Battle of the Bulge: Intelligence Lessons for Today.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Military history has many examples proving the importance of intelligence. While intelligence successes have many who take credit, intelligence failures go looking for people to blame. Symtomatic of this process is the fact that intelligence failures receive ail the bad publicity, are ill-defined, and are an easy excuse for commanders or policy-makers who erred in judgement or simply ignored intelligence. This paper is not an apology for past or future intelligence failures. Instead, I attempt to demonstrate that even today there is still a tremendous potential for military intelligence failures and explain the major reason for that failure. An examination of a true intelligence failure can provide insights into the problems the intelligence community has in doing its job correctly. The case study I have chosen is the Battle of the Bulge. By the end of 1944, Germany seemed defeated. Allied armies were poised to deal the death-blow on a beaten nation. However, on 16 December, this beaten nation proved that it was not ready to die without a last fight. The German army counter-attacked, surprising and overrunning a large sector of the Allied line. In the weeks leading up the battle, many of the intelligence indicators were available to the Allies. What they did with this information to come to the wrong conclusions is the subject of this paper.
- Military Intelligence
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics