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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
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      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
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Attrition vs Maneuver .. secrets revealed!! (long)

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I see that the old threads on Attrition vs Maneuver have sunk into the deeper recesses of this message board, so I am going to start a new thread on the controversy. I think we have a pretty decent working definition of warfare by ‘Maneuver’ so I would like to work on our definition of warfare by ‘Attrition’. I think that the first proposed definition of warfare by ‘Attrition’ fell a little short. ‘Attrition’ warfare is the destruction of the enemy army that much is true. However, I believe that this needs to be expanded a little bit. How about if we call ‘Attrition’ warfare as destruction of the enemy army without the use of decisive battle. This is simply battle through the use of brute force. Conversely, let’s call ‘Maneuver’ warfare as the destruction of the enemy army through the use of decisive battle. This decisive battle is achieved through speed and dislocation. Let’s also add a third category of warfare called … well lets just call it normal warfare. Warfare that is neither ‘Attrition’ nor ‘Maneuver’ but strives to be either one or the other. Let us also add another layer of warfare to our ‘warfare pie’ … let us call it Total War and Limited War. Think of it like whipped cream on top of mom’s apple pie wink.gif . Better yet, think of Total War and Limited War as the context within which ‘Attrition’, ‘Maneuver’, and ‘Normal’ warfare reside.

Okay, now that I’ve introduced a few new words to our discussion of ‘attrition’ and ‘maneuver’ let me try to explain my view on what these terms mean. By decisive battle, I mean a battle where a whole war can be won or lost based upon this one clash of arms. This clash of arms can be bloody or it can be bloodless – it is the end result of decisive battle that is important. This battle (or campaign in a more modern sense) ends the war that the nations are involved in. By Total War, I mean a war where each nation uses every resource at their disposal to destroy their antagonist and does so without regard to method employed. Total War = Total involvement. Limited War would then mean the opposite of Total War. War with some limiting factor – all the resources of each nation are not pledged toward mutual destruction.

Let us now examine some examples in history to flesh out my theory. Verdun … ‘Attrition’ or ‘Maneuver’? Well let us apply our definitions. Falkenhayne’s plan was to attack the French army at Verdun. He chose Verdun because he knew that the French had a special reverence for that location that exceeded its strategic value and would fight to the last man protecting it. Falkenhayne’s battle plan was so constructed, however, that he could never actually take Verdun. Actually capturing Verdun was not Falkenhayne’s intention – destruction of the French army was. Well, as examined earlier, destruction of the French army is the objective and so far we can apply both ‘attrition’ and ‘maneuver’ to this battle. However, is Falkenhayne’s plan a plan for ‘decisive battle’? Absolutely not. There is absolutely no chance of the Germans capturing Verdun and ending World War 1 in decisive fashion. Verdun is an attempt to gain victory through battle that is not decisive. It is a simple numbers game – Falkenhayne thinks he can kill three times as many French soldiers as he loses German and that is the basis of his plan.

Now let’s look at another battle from World War 1. The battle of the Somme. ‘Attrition’ or ‘Maneuver’? Easy enough some might think – the battle of the Somme was a battle of Attrition. Not so I say. Why you might ask? Well, I say the the Somme was not a battle of ‘Attrition’ because the intention was to break through the German lines and exploit that breakthrough with cavalry in an attempt to end the war. The intention was ‘decisive battle’. So was the Somme ‘maneuver’ warfare? No, because the Somme does not meet the criteria of ‘maneuver’ warfare either since the Germans were never behind in their decision cycle and their ability to resist was never weakened through speed and dislocation. Therefore, the Somme was ‘normal warfare’ that strived to become maneuver warfare.

Okay, let’s now examine an example of ‘maneuver’ warfare. How about the Ludendorff offensives in 1918? The target of these offensives was the destruction of the allied armies in France. Specifically an attempt to force the British back onto their island. This would appear to be an ‘attritional’ objective. The difference, however, is that the Germans planned to achieve this destruction through the use of ‘decisive battle’. One season’s worth of campaigning and the war would be done. Things didn’t quite work out the way the Germans wanted to, but they did manage to achieve some measure of ‘maneuver’ warfare as the allies were temporarily suffering from the speed of the German advance. The advancing Germans would reach new allied defense lines in the early stages of preparation and overrun them before these defenses could be dug. Was World War 1 a war that was won by ‘attrition’ or ‘maneuver’? World War 1 was neither a war of ‘attrition’ nor a war of ‘maneuver’ – it was ‘Total War’ and attrition and maneuver were both used in its prosecution. An attempt to translate ‘attrition’ to ‘total’ can be argued, but by that translation all war is ‘attritional’ in nature because by its very definition ‘war’ involves the wasteful destruction of life and property. Therefore, I argue that the destruction of life and property is not ‘attrition’ warfare, but is simply a byproduct of warfare itself.

Finally, I would like to address a few points brought up by various individuals in the original ‘Attrition’ vs ‘Maneuver’ threads. Vietnam – ‘attrition’ or ‘maneuver’? Vietnam was most definitely a Limited War that was prosecuted through a strategy of ‘attrition’. The reason we can define the whole Vietnam War as a war of ‘attrition’ is that neither side could ever bring about ‘decisive battle’ and since the scope of the war was limited we can label it easily enough. The Vietnamese could not achieve ‘decisive battle’ because they lacked the military strength to eject the forces of the United States. The US forces could not achieve ‘decisive battle’ because the enemy was ill defined and difficult to pin down – try as they might. The body count system is also a strong indication that the US forces had attrition as their goal. There was virtually no chance of ever achieving decisive battle for either side in Vietnam and that is why it lasted so long. Attrition almost in its purest form.

Was the strategic bombing of Germany in World War 2 a campaign of ‘maneuver’ or a campaign of ‘attrition’? Although the proponents of Strategic Bombing felt that it would be decisive battle, it turned out to be anything but. That 1000 plane raid on Berlin was not going to end the war, nor was the next 1000 plane raid, or the next. Strategic Bombing is attritional warfare pure and simple because there is no chance of ‘decisive battle’. No single bombing raid was going to end World War 2 – not even hundreds if not thousands of raids were going to end World War 2. Strategic Bombing is destruction of the enemy without the use of ‘decisive battle’.

Okay, how about D-Day? Was D-Day ‘attritional’ or ‘maneuverist’? Well, from the allied point of view, D-Day was normal battle that strived for maneuver. The landing was made in an attempt to force ‘decisive battle’ and end World War 2. The ‘maneuverist’ strives to break out of Normandy and end the war through ‘decisive battle’ but what would the ‘attritionist’ do? The ‘attritionist’ would not attempt to break out of Normandy, but would remain in the Normandy area and attrit the enemy. The ‘attritionist’ would land and sit thinking that they’ve got the enemy right where they want them. A closer look at Normandy actually reveals that it was the Germans who conducted a war of ‘attrition’ there. Why you might ask? Because the Germans were incapable of forcing ‘decisive battle’ and ‘attrition’ was the only means by which the Germans could fight the enemy. In the end then, ‘attrition warfare’ is what a commander relies upon when all his other options are gone, ‘maneuver warfare’ is what every commander strives to achieve, and ‘normal warfare’ is what most commanders end up doing.

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Allow me to murky the waters a little. So far, we have been discussing the doer or maneuverer/attritter.What about the doee? You know, the guy being attacked/maneuvered/attritted upon. In your examples, Falkenhayn is the principle and primary focus. What options did the French have, if any?

One point about maneuver warfare is that it almost exclusively focuses on the offensive minded army. It rarely, if ever, is discussed in terms of the defense.

Food for thought.

Allons.

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Ooh, we studied about this in History class. ASL Veteran hit it on the money for the German leadership's decision for attritional warfare at Verdun with the main objective of killing as much Allied soldiers as possible, esp. the French. I forgot why it was an important site for the French but they didn't want to give it up. The Germans massed huge amounts of artillery and blasted the French before the infantry advanced. Not much options for the French except maybe a counterattack but falling back/retreating was not an option since Verdun was important. The result? Many dead soldiers and the lines forming back close to what they were before the battle. A pity.

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"Uncommon valor was a common virtue"-Adm.Chester Nimitz of the Marines on Iwo Jima

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Decisive battle can be achieved by the ‘defender’ if the resources are available. Comparing Verdun with Stalingrad might be revealing. Verdun was a battle of attrition no doubt, but what if the French didn’t want to play along with Falkenhayne’s plan? Although the situations are different geographically and technologically, perhaps the French, rather than allow themselves to get sucked into a battle of attrition at Verdun, could have allowed its easy capture and then if the Germans attempted to exploit that gain they could have pinched off the advancing forces. Falkenhayne’s plan of attack used too narrow of a frontage to allow for a clean break of the French line, so if a break were allowed to materialize the ‘exploiting’ force may have been cut off and destroyed. One would have to wonder what Falkenhayne’s reaction would have been if his armies made a breakthrough of the French line. Perhaps he would have been consumed with anger at the French reluctance to play along with his game. Problem is that the French were defending in a salient and the Germans would have to advance pretty far before such a plan could take effect. It could have been very Cannae like though. Maybe such mobile warfare was unthinkable to the French anyway.

The Germans were the aggressors at Stalingrad, yet that is a case where the defender achieved decisive battle through maneuver by pinning the enemy in the city and enveloping his forces through maneuver. The Soviets could easily have chosen a pure attrition strategy by pouring troops into the city, but Zhukov opted for a more prudent maneuver strategy of double envelopment. The option and the resources were available. Guderian allowed the Soviet armored columns to advance in 1944 then cut them off and pursued a fairly brilliant strategy of maneuver in defense also. Who knows what may have been if Hitler had left him in command. The resources were just not there in sufficient quantity to make the campaigns in 1944 decisive for the Germans though.

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A definition of "attrition" that leads to the conclusion that WW I was "neither attrition nor manuever", is not a definition of attrition but of something else. WW I is the paradigmatic case of attrition warfare.

The reason for the silly outcome can be found in the attempted definition. It is simply not true that seeking decisive battle is ipso-facto "manuever". Either manuever or attrition may seek decisive battle or avoid it.

Examples - if you manuever to make an enemy army retreat by threatening its supply lines, simply in order to advance to an objective (say, the relief of Ladysmith in the Boer war), then you are conducting manuever warfare without seeking decisive battle. It is equally possible to use manuever to force battle on an enemy army, or to try to ensure that any fight that does occur will have more decisive effects (e.g. pinning an enemy to an unfordable river).

But it is equally possible for attrition ideas to seek or to deny decisive battle. Grant attacking frontally in the Wilderness was certainly seeking decisive battle, as was Blucher recommending a head-on attack at Leipzig, and whatever your own ideas, Falkenhayn definitely thought that bleeding the French army "to death" would be a decisive battle. But use of say, U-Boats against Allied or U.S. subs against Japanese merchant shipping, was not seeking decisive battle but applying attrition while denying such, at least with those assets.

The differences between manuever and attrition lie elsewhere. Attrition is about hitting the enemy where he is, it seeks enemy strength because it wants to effect the whole enemy force. Falkenhayn said that the French would use *all* of their reserves. He wanted that to be the case. He was *not* trying to fight a smaller piece of the French army and overpower it with numbers or by attacking it from multiple directions. He was trying to fight the *entire* French army, to hit strength.

By contrast, Manstein wanted concentrated portions of the German army, to hit the French army at its thinnest and weakest points. He wanted to fight less than all of the French army directly. By overpowering only selected portions of it, rapidly, he expected to gain territory and to use that gain to disarticulate the remaining French defenders and destroy their ability to coordinate their actions. He then expected to be able to defeat the remaining forces in detail, by again applying greater odds against portions of them. This is the main idea of manuevering, it seems to me.

Why did Falkenhayn expect results from instead tackling the entire French army? Because he was applying a different means and seeking a different effect. He was not looking for opportunities to employ *shock* action in many-on-few situations, and then to multiply those in sequence, through time. He was looking for an opportunity to employ *fire* action, against a mass of defender's forced to concentrate to stop his own infantry attacks.

The infantry attacks, and the threat they posed to the objective that the French valued and would strive to keep, was precisely to bring massed French defenders into the battle zone. The decisive attrition effect he then hope to achieve, would be accomplished by fire.

Falkenhayn deployed more than 1200 artillery pieces around the 3 sides of the future battle area, where the whole attacking frontage amounted to 8 miles. The initial stockpile was 2.5 million shells, which were expected to be fired in the first week alone. It had taken more than 1000 trains to bring all the shells to the front. A very high portion of the German artillery was heavy guns, about 45%. They had very large numbers of 210mm howitzers, for instance. During the course of the battle, they also used copious quantities of gas, including new types that they knew defeated the existing Allied masks.

At this point in the war, the Germans had a large lead in heavy artillery. The allied artillery arms where significantly lighter, more concentrated on 75mm field pieces most effect only at troops not in trenches, and their heavier and longer-ranged guns generally topped out at 155mm, which the Germans could match for gun dueling. The French had not adequate counterpart to the plentiful 210mms meant to plaster the trenches.

And Falkenhayn planned to dole out the German reserves, into the battle zone, with an eye-dropper. He needed the attack pressed enough to force massed defenders, but beyond that he wanted to avoid presenting as dense a target for the French guns, as they provided to the German ones.

Now, when the weapon and effect you are counting on is this sort of area fire weapon, whose effectiveness increases with the density of the enemy in the targeted area, you do not want to hit a small portion of the enemy force. You want to hit as much of it as possible. The idea was to draw the French army, in sequence and continually bunched-up, under a devasting barrage of these heavy guns, and just blast them.

Because the idea was not "shock action", does not mean the goal was not decisive battle. It simply meant that hitting where the enemy was, was preferable to hitting were he was not.

This shock-fire distinction runs throughout the manuever-attrition dicotomy, while not of course exhausting it. The point is, that there are definite and quite concrete military reasons, for hitting an enemy where he is rather than were he is not, when using certain kinds of military force and seeking certain kinds of effects.

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Manstein - yes, not Guderian. My mistake. I know full well how Falkenhayne intended to attrit the entire French army. I am sure that he thought it would be decisive too .. but only in the sense that Strategic bombing is decisive. In other words, Falkenhayne was going to bleed the French over a long period of time until the nation of France ran out of troops to throw into the cauldron. However, what I am referring to as decisive means that a result is achieved over a short period of time. Immediate. Decisive not in the sense that you are going to kill every Frenchman capable of carrying arms, but that a desired effect is achieved quickly. Decisive in the sense that Austerlitz was decisive.

Note that I also said that decisive battle can be bloodless. I am not familiar with the example you gave from the Boer War, but if an enemy force is forced to retreat from a defensive position by the application of maneuver alone, then the desired result has been achieved. It still falls under the category of decisive battle - even though the 'battle' was technically just a maneuver.

World War 1 was Total War, and the byproduct of Total War is the destruction of life and resources. Your first statement makes me again think that you are lumping the act of making war into the act of 'attrition'. You do not differentiate between the two and make War = Attrition. However, 'attrition' is just another means of waging war not the act of war itself. A statement that makes World War 1 in its entirety to be a war of attrition seems overly simple to me. By its very nature warfare itself is attrition, but that is not what I feel is the military definition of attritional warfare.

Verdun seems to be a good spotlight on our differences. I feel Verdun was attritional because Falkenhayne had no intention of breaking the French line with decisive action which would then end the war (at least hope for the end). You seem to feel that Verdun was decisive battle and that it was attritional because Falkenhayne attacked the French with the intention of creating casualties. I don't feel that the act of casualty creation in and of itself is necessarily 'attritional'. Perhaps you could take your definition of attrition from your attrition post and apply your own definition to each of the same examples I gave and explain why you feel that they are what you feel they are. The why part is the most important because if the why consists only of destruction of the enemy, then virtually all battle is attritional. The why must consist of something other than - the enemy was there, therefore I hit him.

Unless of course your definition of attrition is as simple as hitting the enemy where he is, and maneuver is hitting him where he isn't. Problem with that is that you now put Napoleon as an 'attritionist' because he sought battle. My definition leaves Napoleon as a 'maneuverist' because he sought decisive battle. The other problem is that the definition of 'maneuverist' as hitting the enemy where he isn't does not fit with the Marine Corps definition of 'maneuver warfare'. Perhaps another reading of the Marine Corp definition is in order?

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No, I am not collapsing the distinction and making attrition equivalent to warfare, and manuever equivalent to badmitton or something. I have given lengthy examples of manuever warfare, have never claimed that manuever is not warfare, nor that it is indecisive in itself or any other such rot. Why this continual mischaracterization of what I am actually saying? I can only assume it is because, despite my having said it over and over, the basic distinction has not yet been seen.

When Manstein hit the French were they weren't, it did not mean he was playing badmitton. He was conquering France. But he was not applying attrition strategies. He was applying a manuever strategy. Specificially, he planned to overpower small units of the French army with much larger portions of the German army in high local odds *shock* actions. In shock actions, having more forces at the point of combat is helpful, and if there are enough of them decisive at that point, and if there are more than enough of them all of that cheaply for the more numerous side.

But none of those things are eternal principles of warfare as such, nor are they synonymous with thought or cleverness or art or skill in warfare. They are one method, of using one set of facts, to achieve military aims. And the primary factor being exploited is the relatively superiority of concentrated forces in shock action.

When Napoleon manuevers between the still concentrating elements of the Prussian army in the Jena campaign, the logic he was attempting to apply is the same. He aimed to fight small portions of the Prussian army with all of his. (Auerstadt wound up with the reverse situation, and Davout saved the decisiveness of Napoleon's victory by winning it - but that is a complication). Again, he puts his army where the Prussian army is not yet concentrated, then he fits pieces of it rather than the whole thing. That is "manuever" to me, in its basic idea.

Yes, manuever has extended meanings stemming from that - and less than "all thought" or something. When the threat of the same effect is used to force an enemy army to move, then it is a reasonable extension of the same idea.

Let us examine a paradigmatic case of manuever to highlight this. I now that manuever "is not just turning a flank", but turning a flank of an enemy deployed linearly and thinly is certainly a manuever and a useful one. *Why*? Why is it useful? Why does the threat it instantly creates led the side with the turned flank to move and change his dispositions in reaction to it?

Because the forces on the last 1/2 mile say of the thin, long line, amount to perhaps 5% of the whole 5 mile line force. Obvious enough. But the flanking force may be a 1/3rd of the enemy force. If the armies are roughly the same size, then the flanker will achieve 6-7 to 1 local odds simply from the thinness of the line, and the limits on engagement ranges. When the defender reacts, he pulls that sector of the line inward and backward, and sends a reserve to support the threatened men, say. He thus presents more of his total force to the flanking force - perhaps triple the men previously at the end of the line. The local odds ratio falls to ~2:1.

What one sees from this example is the way local odds ratios and the idea of hitting only a portion of the enemy force, is central to the logic of this classic manuever.

But in the above, the assumption made is that more forces near a point generate greater combat power. Which is true for manuever forces fighting each other ("symmetrically", it may be useful to add) with "shock" action, in which the local ratios of strength are important variables.

But these things simply are not true for the critical variables in many military situations in which fire is important. An example may help to see this. In the Ia Drang battles, a single U.S. infantry battalion (airmobile) was on the ground at LZ X-Ray. The NVA hit this one battalion with an entire NVA regiment plus one VC battalion (the last slight understrength, all the 3 NVA ones full strength in infantry). The NVA commander moreover managed to direct one attack at a single U.S. company in the U.S. line, with the strength of 4-5 companies. The U.S. company was, moreover, understrength and relatively poorly deployed, for various reasons (not least, being in hot action from the minute the landed).

Did this 4-5:1 or better local odds ratio allow the NVA side to employ effective "shock" action? No, not really. Why? Because the entire frontage on which this attack was carried out, was less than 300 yards, and that frontage was "beaten" continually by 4 batteries of U.S. 105mm howitzer. Some of the NVA made it to the U.S. positions, and the losses there were heavy on both side. But the rest of the NVA attack force was cut to pieces to no purpose.

It was simply not physically possible to get a local odds ratio that mattered against men deployed that closely supported by that much fire. Packing in more men did not increase the local odds ratio decisively. It just increased the average number of casualties caused by each 105mm shell.

Force to space, and fire, have effects that follow an entirely different logic than the local-concentration logic that lies behind manuever and shock-action thinking.

This is not because "hit them where they ain't" means avoiding battle. Manstein was not avoiding battle but defeating the French army. He was just doing it by employing shock action at selected portions of it in sequence, with that sequence designed to make it easier to keep getting local odds ratios in the German's favor.

Similarly, it is not meant that manuever does not employ fire, either of the local "shock action" variety I've already beaten to death, nor other kinds. Using fire to "blast a hole" is a common manuever idea about the application of fire. The fire is meant to reduce the last enemies standing on a certain spot of ground, in order to make manuevering easier, with all of the above shock possibilities that can mean.

But attritionist fire is not trying to blast the last defender out of a thin sector. It is trying to blast the thick sector, because that is where the money is, in attritionist terms. That is where the shells have the greatest impact each. I say "it is a case of hitting him where he is". No, that does not just reduce to "seeking battle". It means the targeted portion of the enemy army is the strongest part, not the weakest.

Many manueverists think this must somehow be unartful and dumb, because they are so drilled with the idea of manuevering at weak points and seeking the multiplier effects of lopsided shock odds ratios, that they cannot imagine that doing it "backwards" (as it seems to them) is anything but dumb. But that is simply not the case. It is another effect that is being sought, and it can only be sought with such "targeting", and other means are being employed besides shock action at local odds.

But I can easily replace all of this abstraction with some concrete cases. If you have a platoon of infantry manuevering together closely in CM, you can "run over" enemy squads. The enemy at best suppresses one of your squads, your others then suppress him back. He then stops firing. Your pour on the fire, and he quickly takes losses and usually runs (if the range is quite close, he won't even make it). Simple enough. This to me is a "manueverist" idea even though it certainly involves shooting.

But an enemy platoon deployed closely in a body of woods can be tackled by an entirely different method. An 81mm mortar barrage can be placed on top of them. Here, instead of their tight deployment helping them to outshoot a squad and defeat it, their concentration helps the mortar barrage hit all of them, and break all of them at once.

When manuevering a platoon, do you want to run into a body of woods held by an unsuppressed, unbroken enemy platoon in full strength and tightly deployed? No, you will get killed. Do you want to manuever the same platoon into a body of woods containing only a single enemy squad? Sure, you will overrun him. Thus, thinking about where to send your concentrated platoon, "hit em where he ain't" is *true*. "Ain't" means "thinner on the ground than me, thin enough that I can outshoot him rapdily".

But when placing the 81mm mortar barrage, do you want to place it on the 1 squad in a body of woods? Or on an entire platoon in a body of woods? Other things being equal, you want to place it atop the full platoon, obviously. More of the rounds falling will hurt something. The total effect of your available mortar fire on the enemy force, other things being equal, will be magnified several times. So when placing the barrage, you want to "hit him where he is", meaning the place he is thickest on the ground, not thinnest.

Why this difference? Fire in one case, shock in another, obviously. But how does the result come about? What defines the shock case is that the enemy weapons can hit your reciprocally, but they can be suppressed or destroyed more rapidly if more of your guys are shooting, and therefore more of your guys having LOS and range to the same target *protects* your men. Against the mortars, having more of your guys next to each other (the simplest and most reliable way to get same LOS and range to the same targets) does *not* protect them more, but makes them (as a group) more vunerable rather than less.

In other words, there are some military effects in which local odds or greater concentration than the enemy improves the situation, and other military effects in which they do not help and can actually hurt.

Why was WW I as a whole a paradigmatic case of attrition warfare? Because the combination of massive armies on a limited frontage with high defense dominance in weapons (long ranges, high effectiveness against exposed troops and low effectiveness against unexposed troops, etc), meant that local odds ratios by concentration of manuever elements *did not work*. There was sufficient force-to-space for the tech available, that local concentrations of force did *not* achieve decisive shock-action effects.

That is why WW I was an artilleryman's war. The manuever elements were *not* the decisive forces in WW I. The artillery was. The artillery could "concentrate" its fire, but more importantly still, its effects were multiplied by the packed frontages involved, even with trenches and other such fortifications to reduce its effects again. This was so true, that the German by the last two years of the war had evolved the "defense in depth" idea, precisely to enable them to leave the forward trenches as empty as possible, because the more filled the forward trenches were, the higher the regular losses.

Notice, in manuever warfare, if you have local odds at some sector, you expect lower losses there because of your "advantage". But that flat did not happen in WW I. The side with the local odds took higher losses, not lower, because he was a denser target for the enemy artillery, which was the most important factor in the entire military equation.

If the U.S. Civil war was an infantryman's war, and WW II was a tanker's war, WW I was an artilleryman's war. The logic of the fighting was attritionist logic, and every misguided attempt to avoid that truth (and there were many of them; officers of manuever elements in particular disliked their role of "target" intensely) failed completely.

You imagine that Falkenhayn's plan did not "promise" to be decisive because it was not going to lead to a "breakthrough" but only to "cause casualties". I do not claim that is was meant to be "decisive battle" merely because it was battle and was shooting and meant enemies killed and wounded. I mean decisive in the strict sense. And breakthrough and decisive simply are not synonyms - that is manueverist dogma but the facts do not support it.

In WW I, every army that lost above some percentage of its front-line rifle strength broke apart in the field. This is not "indecisive". Entire nations threw down their rifles and deserted. Governments were toppled because the men at the front did not want to go on getting killed. Armies mutinied and refused to obey their officers. Men simply started retreating, and kept right on going all the way home, with their rifles, to take up politics - in a number of cases.

It is simply not necessary to seize ground or "break through" in order to defeat an enemy army, destroy the front line infantry strength it needs to hold its front, increase the strain on every remaining unwounded "effective" beyond already unbearable levels, and smash the will to fight of entire peoples. When Falkenhayn sought decision at Verdun, he was not seeking to annoy the French army and hurt individuals. He was trying to break the French army as an organized instrument, and even with British help to draw off his forces, he very nearly succeeded.

The reason many do not understand this is that they simply do not like in "artillerist terms", or fail to recognize that is can indeed be a decisive arm, and was in WW I.

But while the constrast between fire and attrition and shock and manuever is perhaps most clearly drawn with this sort of distinction by "branch of service" - artillery on the one hand, armor on the other - the principles of both types of strategy *can* apply to all kinds of arms. Indeed, all kinds of arms have to be fitted to the strategy the commander chooses.

I can put this in CM terms. If you spend most of your QB points on tanks and some quality infantry platoons, it is likely you will plan on a manuever strategy. You will try to hit thinner parts of the enemy force (including "practically" thinner ones, given your units and which of his can do what to them, etc). In that case, you may wind up using your arty for a mix of -

1. smoke missions to get to important locations or to amplify the effects of the direct fire of your manuvering forces

2. suppression barrages against enemy guns of particular types, e.g. AT guns along some important avenue of approach

3. occasionally breaking up a hopefully shallow "block" along your choosen route, e.g. one enemy infantry platoon that you then rush

4. distraction and harassment fires on suspected enemy positions, to prevent reserves from meeting your main thrust or the like.

What all of the above will have in common, is that you are seeking victoruy from your manuevering tanks and infantry, whose effect is supposed to be multiplied by where they are or which direction they come at part of the enemy force from - and you use your artillery support like a scalpel to achieve those manuever goals.

But it is entirely possible to fight in CM with an entirely different approach, and with it a different assessment of the importance of the artillery, of numbers, of taking your time, and of relative lack of "razzle dazzle" about where your manuever forces go.

Briefly, you can take lots of things that fall from the sky and go boom, combined with relatively large numbers of relatively mediocre infantry, and then fight the war "between the tackles", to use the football analogy again. Find the main enemy positions by bumping into them with your infantry and getting into firefights with them. Call down the wrath of God. Send your remaining numerous mediocre infantry into the shambles to take the surrender of the prudent, and to dispatch the foolish, enemy survivors.

The principle thoughts behind this approach are - even mediocre infantry has enourmous firepower at close range, and if the enemy is suppressed or broken that will show up. The artillery also has enourmous firepower, especially on troops at all bunched up. And if they don't bunch up some, even mediocre infantry, if present in numbers, will run over them like 300 lb linemen.

I defy anyone to say that doesn't work in CM, or to say it wasn't how much of WW II was fought. But it ought to be clear to the meanest capacity that it is not the same thing as the razzle-dazzle left end-around with Panther n' veteran Grenadier halftrack over sideslipping Puma charge.

Nor are the tactics against them the same. For instance, in the case of the razzle dazzle, you want to put your reserves in front of his incoming pincer before it bits you like he planned. But putting your reserves in front of the attritionist arty+inf steamroller (at defender's odds) will put you flat on your backside and is exactly what the other guy wants - a marked artillery target.

Attrition strategies and manuever strategies are not the same, they are different, they differ at fire and shock, as hitting strength with area-effect weapons or hitting weakness with manuever elements.

The first uses manuever elements to fix the enemy, to pressure him, to force him to thicken his positions or be defeated in detail, then calls for decision from the artillery, and mops up with the manuever elements.

The second uses artillery support in suppress AT assets, provide smoke, shoot one's way through a certain route your own manuever elements are going to take, etc. Briefly, it subordinates the artillery to the manuever arms, and seeks decision from the placement of those manuever arms, and from their effectiveness against pieces of the enemy force in sequence one after another.

It is not the case that "one is warfare", nor is it a case simply of "all is both", because how the arms are employed in the two strategies is *different*, and which are subordinated to the others is different, and the actions defenders take to counter them will have different effects.

You can hit the enemy side with a rapier thrust or you can bang him over the head with a sledgehammer. Either will indeed defeat him if you manage it. Pretending they are really the same thing is silly - they aren't. Pretending only the rapier thrust is "decisive" is simply empirically false. As previously noted at great length, most of the large wars of modern times were won with sledgehammers.

As for someone's question "what if the enemy can be defeated without destruction of his force? Is that bad?" was the rhetorcial and begged question. For the human participants if that is actually the way it happens it is good, obviously. But it is also militarily somewhat rare since Napoleon at least, and furthermore it is not something you can entirely rely upon. It often puts the decision in the hands of an enemy's politicians, for example (which incidentally doesn't work so well with the unreasonable ones who litter the history of modern war). If you are trying to win cheaply and the other fellow is just plain trying to win, you may find in some historical cases that gives him something of an advantage, which you may be less able to afford in military terms than you perhaps supposed.

In addition, it is an old and not very cogent argument by slur. Hooker manuevered a lot and didn't send people into the Wilderness in head down attack. But he lost a battle in the Wilderness all the same, and didn't end the war besides. (The point of which is merely that a dedication to manuever hardly ensures lower casualties). And more often than people like to think, the lowest ultimate casualty roll will be found in whatever course ends the war faster.

But this last is in my opinion a distraction. The principle problem I have been having in this thread, is that so far I have not seen any sign that a single person recognizes as real the difference in strategy I am talking about. Why is this point so hard to see? Artillery is not armor and it does not operated by the same tactical principles as manuever elements. Nor is it written anywhere in stone that its is merely ministerial to the roles of the other arms. Instead, perfectly working alternate strategies can be employed that are the other way around.

Nor are they all WW I legacies. Gen. Moore was doing much the same thing at LZ Z-Ray in the Ia Drang in 1965. He sought decision by indirect fires, and employed his manuever elements to bring about the opportunity for them, under favorable conditions. Indeed, in a larger or outside view, his manuever force was out there as bait.

I hope this is illuminating...

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I have a problem accepting your definitions as gospel. They do not match current modern military thinking nor do they actually address the fundamental differences between the two schools of thought.

All warfare focuses on the decisive moment and how to achieve it. All warfare aims at the destruction of the enemy (believe it or not the weak underbelly, so often used as the aim of Manoeuvre, will result in the destruction of the enemy as a fighting force as well). In fact Manoeuvre employs the same "brute force" ratios just at positions of opportunity, where attritionist mentality would be to carry it to pre-determined targets.

I believe your search for a decisive battle is grabbing at smoke as any war will have a series of such engagements but not a single one which carries the course of the war. If you don't believe me answer me this; are not all of the battles which lead to a perceived "decisive engagement" just as important?

The two systems are not easily definable and I question upon what grounds of authority you have to solidify your claim. Otherwise you have an interesting hypothesis but no qualification by which to support it.

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To the Capt - I have no idea who the "you" is in your post.

If it was meant to be me, I notice the following. In your post, you make no distinctions and collapse all distinctions I have drawn between recognizably different approaches to fighting. Their difference is recognizable, because different things are done, different arms are subordinate to each other, success is sought through different tactical effects, and their "counters" are different for a defender.

When real differences exist and definitions do not reflect them, it is the definitions that are wrong, not reality. The entire purpose of definitions is to make real distinctions - that is what the word means (here this ends and something else begins, shortened and in latin).

If you cannot see tactical differences between the employment of massed manuever elements against weak points, and the employment of indirect fires against massed manuever elements at strong points - if you cannot see they are in some respects counters to one another - then I submit you are the one ignoring tactical realities.

But if you indeed think so, please refer back to my examples. Is it, or is it not true, that the platoon manuevering together easily defeats seperated squads in shock action in covered terrain, and that such seperated squads are a better target than entire good-order platoons, for your own platoons? Is it, or is it not true, that a platoon in woods is a better target for mortar fire than a squad in woods?

Isn't the best place to "hit" with a manuever element, a place *thin* in enemy manuever elements, and the best place to hit with indirect fires, a place *thick* with enemy manuever elements? Is anyone so dense as to actually deny this out of doctrinal orthodoxy? I think not.

Well, it has consequences. It means decision can be found one way by exploiting places where the enemy is spread out, and it also means that decision can be found in an entirely different way by exploiting places where the enemy is *not* spread out. They are not the same.

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Actually Mr Cawley, the post was directed to the founder of the thread and not you.

You have raised some of the fundemental problems I have with this attempt at grasping the differences between Attrition and Manoeuvre. Both of you and Mr Vetran are looking at the end result of to schools of doctrine, placing them in historical context and attempting to debate strengths and weaknesses of each.

Neither of you (in my mind at least) has even come to term with the actual meaning of the two terms or the "why" of the two approaches. Nor has the full depth and breadth (read Scope) of the argumement. You argue platoon tactics and national strategy in the same breath, sweeping each with dangerously broad strokes.

Manoeuvre and Attrition are not TACTICS they are APPROACHES to a problem. They are philosophy. The question isn't how many tanks I should by and how I plan to move em about but "why should I buy units in the first place".

Application of Attrition and Manoeuvre on a scale such as CM is just plain silly. Yes, we can try and be sneaky and try and pull the enemy in (it is called deception) or we can try to bring fire from an unexpected quarter (it is commonly referred to as surprise), we can also pound the opponents troops thru superior application of Firepower (aka "Winning the firefight). None of this has a schmick to do with Attrition and Manouevre.

They address the questions of, what do I do if "blah" happens and what would my boss want me to to in "blah" (Mission Analysis). Or my mission is "blah", I will do "blah" and then wait for orders.

The rest of it (including the Marine Corp definition) tell us what to do with the approaches when we use em.

"Isn't the best place to "hit" with a manuever element, a place *thin* in enemy manuever elements, and the best place to hit with indirect fires, a place *thick* with enemy manuever elements? Is anyone so dense as to actually deny this out of doctrinal orthodoxy? I think not." -your quote

Exactly my point. You don't know why the hell you are even there or why your boss is in this position. Therefore you don't know if your statement is a good idea or not. The answer is it depends on yours, your commanders, and his commanders intent.

An example from above. If the commander needs an enemy element "taken out" to better fufill his or his commanders plan. You would then carry out an engagement of "attrition" for Manouevrist reasons by hitting his forces head on.

You cannot try to apply tactical doctrine to any situation without knowing the reasons why the methods differ or why they are employed.

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Yes, it is unclear who the 'you' in the Captains post is. Yes Jason, that post was the best description so far of what you mean by attrition and maneuver and I do not believe that we are too far apart on our definitions. I do indeed equate decisive action with shock and maneuver and you do not. From my point of view, it is more of a time factor since a strategy of maneuver will render a decision much more quickly that a strategy of attrition. There are a few fundamental differences in how we view things, but they are very small definitional differences that yield large interpretational differences. I believe that we are discussing this from opposit ends of the spectrum and I doubt we will ever actually agree - but at least I now understand wink.gif

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Ah, I see the good Captain has joined our thread again. Yes, the quest for decisive battle can be like grabbing at smoke. I only maintain that the commander will make an attempt to grab at that smoke through maneuver and shock (using Jason's definition for simplicity). Many commanders will fail and some will succeed. The quest for decisive battle is the quest for maneuver - that is where Jason and I disagree.

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I will give you that "a" decisive battle "may" be the end result of a manoeuvre or Manoeuvre. The acutal goal of Manoeuvre is to get "inside" of the enemies decision cycle and maintain a higher tempo (therefore initiative) of action. By doing this you will be able to render his total force useless (dislocation) by preventing him the ability to concentrate it. You will seriously degrade his morale and command effectivness (disruption) furthering the cascade action of faster tempo.

How you accomplish this is the heart of Manoeuvre warfare. By "letting go of the reins" and empowering subordinate commanders with the right to pursue your intent even in the face of disobeying your mission statement. You will achieve the ability to "move faster and exploit opportunity" at a pace which will render a slower opponent in a reactionary stance.

Attrition stresses control over speed and is best employed when "breaking-in" or when the enemy is prepared and there is no way to "turn the flank" or "dance fancy". Then a highly controlled and well planned methodical "punching thru" of your forces will allow a "window" for exploitation and true Manoeuvre.

As I had stated in an early thread, the question is; are we headed into a hybrid system in which the tenants of Manoeuvre will be executed using Attritionist methods. There lies the crux of the issue and if anything can make you a better CM player, this is it.

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Originally posted by ASL Veteran:

‘Attrition’ warfare is the destruction of the enemy army that much is true. However, I believe that this needs to be expanded a little bit. How about if we call ‘Attrition’ warfare as destruction of the enemy army without the use of decisive battle. This is simply battle through the use of brute force. Conversely, let’s call ‘Maneuver’ warfare as the destruction of the enemy army through the use of decisive battle. This decisive battle is achieved through speed and dislocation.

I appreciate the attempt to clarify the difference between attrition and maneuver.

You are free to define words any way you want, but I would like to point out that Leonhard would strongly disagree with you definition of maneuver warfare: in his book (The Art of Maneuver), while agreeing that the US Army has made significant progress towards adopting Maneuver Warfare, he roundly criticizes as a major step backward the emphasis on the idea of the "single decisive battle".

But as the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, "Words mean just what I want them to mean, no more and no less!" smile.gif

Henri

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Originally posted by Henri:

But as the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, "Words mean just what I want them to mean, no more and no less!" smile.gif

Actually, it was Humpty Dumpty who said that. wink.gif

I think the Capt. has raised a good issue with regard to the use of the terms "Attrition" and "Maneuver" at the squad/tactical level depicted in CM. This has been raised in other threads, but I think Capt. has phrased it best.

The two tactical poles depicted by Jason --massed direct fire against weakpoints vs. massed indirect fire against enemy concentrations -- are probably better described by just those terms he uses, i.e., "shock" and "fire".

The greater issue here is, in fact, definitional. Until the participants can agree on what exactly they are discussing, they will continue to talk past and across each other, thereby generating more heat than light.

{edited for clarity}

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Ethan

-----------

"We forbid any course that says we restrict free speech." -- Dr. Kathleen Dixon, Director of Women's Studies, Bowling Green State University

[This message has been edited by Hakko Ichiu (edited 02-05-2001).]

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Originally posted by Henri:

I appreciate the attempt to clarify the difference between attrition and maneuver.

You are free to define words any way you want, but I would like to point out that Leonhard would strongly disagree with you definition of maneuver warfare: in his book (The Art of Maneuver), while agreeing that the US Army has made significant progress towards adopting Maneuver Warfare, he roundly criticizes as a major step backward the emphasis on the idea of the "single decisive battle".

But as the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, "Words mean just what I want them to mean, no more and no less!" smile.gif

Henri

I would be curious to know what that definition would be? Might as well throw another log on the fire eh? wink.gif

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Mr Ichiu has in fact hit the heart-of-the-matter.

We need to clearly define just what the hell we are talking about and then determine if it has a role in CM.

I believe it does but at a very distilled level. I think that the Normandy Campaign suggestion is excellent and it is there that we may actually see the two systems in action. Assuming of course, that the higher commanders utilize it as intended.

I will only say my definitions represent what the current Canadian and US military are preaching as doctrine, I had the opportunity to hear and sit across from good LCol Leonhart in a mess dinner and I can say that the man has some revolutionary ideas. Whether or not they will work is still a matter of debate.

I will accept other definitions but, as all good definitions must, they must also fully encompass the two systems at their roots and not simply try and describe to branches.

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Maneuver warfare implies accepting risk. Commanders willing to accept high risk will be more inclined to adopt forms of maneuver warfare. Conservative commanders will be less likely to. You are right that it is indeed a mindset not just some scientific formula. In fact, I’d say it is almost 100% command philosophy driven.

Take as an example a division operations officer schooled and trained in maneuver warfare. His plans will reflect that philosophy. If his division commander is conservative in his approach, then no matter what brilliant plans the G3 comes up with, they will most likely not be accepted by his more conservative commander. Ultimately, the G3’s plans will most likely be a blending of the two approaches. In this case, the division commander is not willing to assume the risk and the G3 consequently adopts a more conservative approach. This does not mean the division commander’s philosophy is the wrong one, just that it is the more conservative and less risky of the two. Flip-flop the two and we find the division commander unhappy with the conservative minded approach of his operation’s officer. In the end the division G3 will try to make his plans more in line with the philosophy of his commander. Like most things in the military, it does in fact “start at the top”.

Having said that, I can tell you the Army is striving to inculcate in its leaders the foundations upon which maneuver warfare are based. Mission based orders, flexibility, audacity, innovation, and getting inside the enemy’s decision cycle are all taught and trained in various classroom and field environments. The Army has gone to great pains to create free-flowing tactical exercises and situations to reinforce this mindset throughout the course of one’s career. However, with career and job progression as it is in the Army, the lessons may be quickly forgotten as the commander, freshly trained in maneuver warfare, is assigned to a desk job somewhere after command. Ultimately, it all falls back on the philosophy or style of the individual. Like the old boxer who starts boxing at the sound of a bell, so too maneuver minded commanders easily slip into the maneuver mindset when called upon. The conservative minded will be slower to do so, if at all.

Which brings up another point. I believe length of conflict plays a very significant role in maneuver warfare theory. In a short duration conflict, maneuver warfare has the potential to reign supreme. More likely than not, that conflict is shortened by the implementation of maneuver warfare by the victorious side. If however, the conflict becomes protracted, the novelty of maneuver warfare wears off and the more conservative approach once again takes hold. This is evident in the case of Germany in WWII. We have all used them as shining examples of maneuver warfare. I think we all agree that they simply did not forget what maneuver warfare was. Yet, from about 1942 onward on the Eastern Front, they did not use it. The question here has to be “why not?” The answer most likely can be found in the lack of willingness of the German commanders to accept risk when faced by an opponent possessing superior numbers. The German commanders were not willing to accept the risks associated with maneuver warfare. The same cannot be said for Rommel in the desert. He accepted risk initially and was very bold in his early Afrika campaign. His was a personality driven approach.

Interestingly enough, much of the discussion has been about personlities. I’ve seen Grant, Lee, Jackson, Rommel, Von Manstein, and others mentioned when discussing maneuver warfare. Henri has mentioned the current USMC and this is the only military entity per se that has been mentioned as adopting maneuver warfare. I would venture to say that while the USMC does in fact train the spirit of MW, it has yet to demonstrate it in action. Having seen USMC training exercises, I believe the same personality driven approach ultimately decides what form of warfare the unit uses. Conservative commanders fight conservative battles, audacious commanders fight bold battles.

Perhaps the best ways to describe the two forms of warfare we’re discussing is not attrition or maneuver but rather conservative and audacious.

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The greater issue here is, in fact, definitional. Until the participants can agree on what exactly they are discussing, they will continue to talk past and across each other, thereby generating more heat than light.

I seem to recall the last statement buried within a Rush song many years ago. wink.gif

BTW, Henri, I recall from one earlier reference by you of Leonhard that he regarded the conduct of the Gulf War campaign with a critical eye. Could you elaborate soon as to what he criticized? Was it the total air/ground campaign, or the ground campaign in specific? And why?

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Good answer,

I will stress again however, that the true master will have "fingerspitzengefeul"(sp?) or "sixth sense for battle" and instinctivly know when to employ one or the other. And more importantly be able to train his officers and men to be able to switch from one mindset to the next without dropping a beat.

I have always hated the two names (Manoeuvre/Attrition) and have felt that a new set is warranted to prevent confusion.

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Originally posted by The_Capt:

I will give you that "a" decisive battle "may" be the end result of a manoeuvre or Manoeuvre. The acutal goal of Manoeuvre is to get "inside" of the enemies decision cycle and maintain a higher tempo (therefore initiative) of action. By doing this you will be able to render his total force useless (dislocation) by preventing him the ability to concentrate it. You will seriously degrade his morale and command effectivness (disruption) furthering the cascade action of faster tempo.

Indeed, I am in complete agreement here. I too believe that maneuver gets into the enemy decision cycle. I believe that is how decisive battle is achieved.

Originally posted by The_Capt:

Attrition stresses control over speed and is best employed when "breaking-in" or when the enemy is prepared and there is no way to "turn the flank" or "dance fancy". Then a highly controlled and well planned methodical "punching thru" of your forces will allow a "window" for exploitation and true Manoeuvre.

I would maintain that the goal of the attritionist is not to punch through, but rather to .... pound the enemy with artillery and attrit him (example only - I think consistant with Jason's view). Any attempt at punching through is maneuverist to me.

------------------

When we were in the Bocage country we were assaulted by them Tigers ... you know what I mean by assaulted huh? WELL I MEAN ASSAULTED!!!!

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Originally posted by Henri:

But as the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, "Words mean just what I want them to mean, no more and no less!" smile.gif

Henri

I thought it was Clinton who said that during his Grand jury testimony. You sure it was the Queen of Hearts?

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Originally posted by ASL Veteran:

I would maintain that the goal of the attritionist is not to punch through, but rather to .... pound the enemy with artillery and attrit him (example only - I think consistant with Jason's view). Any attempt at punching through is maneuverist to me.

I guess that makes Picket's Charge in the ACW a "maneuverist" action... rolleyes.gif

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Originally posted by ASL Veteran:

I would be curious to know what that definition would be? Might as well throw another log on the fire eh? wink.gif

In fact, neither Leonhard (The Art of Maneuver) nor Lind (Maneuver Warfare Handbook) give a definition of maneuver warfare.

The US Marine Corps MCDP1 "Warfighting gives the following definition:

Maneuver warfare is a warfighting philosophy that seeks to shatter the enemy’s cohesion through a variety of rapid, focused, and unexpected actions which create a turbulent and rapidly deteriorating situation with which the enemy cannot cope.

This definition needs of course to be understood in context, and MCDP1 has 113 pages.Clearly this definition implicitely refers to the Boyd cycle.

Spook:

As I said, I only glanced at the chapter in Leonhard where he discusses the Gulf War, but I'll have a look tonight and see if I can summarize what he said.

About attrition, here is what MCDP1 says on p. 81:

...In fact, maneuver warfare often involves extremely high attrition of selected enemy forces where we have focused combat power against critical enemy weakness. Nonetheless, the aim of such attrition is not merely to reduce incrementally the enemy’s physical strength. Rather, it is to contribute to the enemy’s systemic disruption. The greatest effect of firepower is generally not physical de-struction— the cumulative effects of which are felt only slowly—but the disruption it causes...

Henri

[This message has been edited by Henri (edited 02-05-2001).]

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Originally posted by CavScout:

I guess that makes Picket's Charge in the ACW a "maneuverist" action... rolleyes.gif

A failed attempt at achieving decisive battle through a focused attempt at penetrating the enemy line. All attempts at maneuver warfare aren't successful. Penetrating the Union line would incur all the definitional results of maneuver warfare - disruption, dislocation, etc - upon the union army. rolleyes.gif

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