Accession Number:

ADA370333

Title:

Fall Gelb and the German Blitzkrieg of 1940: Operational Art.

Descriptive Note:

Monograph rept.,

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1999-05-27

Pagination or Media Count:

57.0

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to determine if the German blitzkrieg and Fall Gelb of 1940 were an expression of operational art. Despite the mythology surrounding Fall Gelb, the campaign does not constitute a major breakthrough in operational art by the Germans. Fall Gelb was not an expression of operational art. This conclusion is based upon an analysis using the approaches posed by U.S. Army and joint doctrine, Dr. James Schneider and Dr. Shimon Naveh. The purpose of this study is to examine more closely what is meant by operational art and to use those contemporary insights to reexamine German military operations in France in May 1940, Fall Gelb. Fall Gelb was chosen because it is a campaign that is frequently studied and often used and abused to illustrate various points relating to military operations. The study of the Fall Gelb campaign offers a glimpse of past operations through the lens of contemporary thought. That study provides the contemporary military professional an opportunity to improve his understanding of operational art through the study of a historical campaign. Fall Gelb must be analyzed using criteria derived from a modern understanding of operational art to objectively assess the significance of Fall Gelb. There are three distinctive approaches to operational art. One way to approach the problem is to use contemporary doctrine as a yardstick. Contemporary doctrine approaches the issue by using simple definitions and lists to describe the essential elements of operational art. Another approach is that taken by Dr. James Schneider from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. Schneiders approach seeks to describe the phenomena associated with the practice of Operation Art. Schneider breaks down operational art into key attributes necessary for the practice of Operational Art. A third approach to the issue is that used by Dr. Shimon Naveh, an Israeli military theorist.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE