U.S. Army Deliberate River Crossings: A Bridge Too Far?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES
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This monograph analyzes the capability of the US Army to conduct deliberate division river crossing operations today. The Korean Peninsula, Southwest Asia, and the plains of Europe all have major rivers. Combat operations in a major regional contingency in any of these areas would necessarily involve river crossing operations by one or more heavy divisions. The focus of the monograph is on the heavy division involved in mid to high intensity operations. The discussion begins with doctrinal definitions in the area of river crossings, to include the purpose of river crossing operations and definitions of success. The eight conditions that have historically led to success in deliberate river crossings are then identified. Historical examples from World War II and the Yom Kippur War are then examined and analyzed. Each case study is compared to the eight conditions to demonstrate the validity of these factors. Next, todays US Army doctrine, training, and available resources are presented and assessed. The monograph concludes with a comparison of the situation in todays US Army with the conditions required historically for success. This study suggests that the US Army currently has some serious training and resource deficiencies in this area and provides recommendations to improve the Armys stance.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics