Eisenhower and Manstein: Operational Leadership Lessons of the Past for Today's Commanders
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The United States Military, the ultimate instrument of national resolve, is centered on servicemen and women. Without effective leadership these men and women are ill-equipped to succeed in combat and are unjustly put in harms way. The commander at the operational level is the link between national policy and action. His actions, character, and decisions are of historical importance. While this paper will not cover the full spectrum of operational leadership, the most important traits of operational leadership will be explored. Additionally, this paper will highlight recent failures in operational leadership and compare and contrast them with lessons learned from two diametrically opposed operational leaders of World War II General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshall Erich von Manstein. The analysis will concentrate on the operational leadership characteristics and challenges faced by General Eisenhower and Field Marshall von Manstein in the planning and execution of the Normandy Invasion and the 3rd battle of Kharkov. The analysis will not deconstruct the operations but rather center on the impact that their leadership qualities had on the degree of success of the operations. Finally, the paper will show how the lessons of 65 years ago are still applicable today.
- Administration and Management
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations