The Aleutian Campaign: Lessons in Operational Design
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI DEPT OF OPERATIONS
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Failures and successes relative to current theories on operational design and operational art are examined and critiqued from the U.S. perspective at the operational level. Emphasis is placed on examining the critical linkages between tactical and strategic objectives. The campaign is divided into three phases with the first centering on prewar plans, the second, on orientation and expansion within the theater and the third, on the counter offensive with the intention of linking tactical and operational objectives to the strategic goal. A convoluted command structure and personality clashes between senior leadership created significant problems through most of phase II. With the transfer of senior leadership late in phase II, a significant transformation occurs within the theater operational objectives are accomplished through coordinated joint operations and Clausewitzs theory of Center of gravity is validated with the neutralization of the Japanese Northern Area Force. Phase III is dominated by the operations to retake Attu and Kiska and the failures in operational intelligence. Lessons are summarized to include interdependence of all elements of operational design, unity of command, physical dimensions, logistical sustainment and the far ranging effects of operational intelligence. The lessons remain valid for the contemporary student of operational art.
- Administration and Management
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics