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Modern Wars & Warfare General discussion on war. Topics that are not covered in any of our sub-forums below. .

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  #1  
Old 18 Mar 17, 10:15
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ANY FOOL CAN OBEY AN ORDER

Chew on this a bit.

Quote:
American doctrine prioritizes instructions over detailed battle orders—the commander’s concept that allows subordinates flexibility in execution. Yet, the commander is ultimately responsible for the outcome, so it defies human nature that he will sit back and just hope for the best. The World War II–era Wehrmacht is the academic model for mission type orders. Yet, Adolf Hitler set a culture of strict obedience to his orders, on pain of death. Did the German army actually practice its own doctrine? Further, the military decision-making process is a formula that, like industrial mass-production, attempts to guarantee that even the dullest commanders and staffs can reach the school solution.
http://mwi.usma.edu/fool-can-obey-order/
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  #2  
Old 18 Mar 17, 10:54
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Centralization and careerism is a disease within the US military that has been growing for decades.

Technology and media scrutiny is making it worse.

Patton, Pershing, Ridgeway...none of these men would have survived in today's military. Centralism is creating bureaucrats.

I don't recall the author, but a statement was made that a nation should have two militarys. One would be dressed in bright uniforms, drilled to perfection, and always polished and gleaming. It would be available at a moment's notice for parades and ceremonies.

The other would be off out of sight, doing nothing but training for war. Boots would be dirty, weapons would be clean, and ability would be the core virtue.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 10:55
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Fisher was a fine one to talk given that he and his successor Arthur Wilson developed the concept of Central Operational Control” (COC) intended to allow a senior admiral to direct his fleet from a plotting table in a control room on his flagship through the new medium of Wireless Telegraphy (WT). The result was that neither Fisher or Wilson vouchsafed their war plans and strategy to lesser admirals let alone humble captains -they didn't needed to know all they had to do was execute the orders received through COC, report on the situation and await further orders. As the exasperated Admiral Sir Archibald Berkeley Milne remarked of the system "They don't pay me to think, they pay me to be an Admiral"

This way of working and fighting was developed between 1904 and 1911 when the disastrous naval manoeuvres of that year decisively showed that it did not and could not work. In that time it stifled the spirit of initiative in the RN and helped establish the mindset Fisher complains of!
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Last edited by MarkV; 18 Mar 17 at 11:01..
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  #4  
Old 18 Mar 17, 11:23
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Arnold, the author you are looking for is Jean Larteguy, and the book was The Centurions.

As for mission type orders. MarkV makes a good point. Today's command environment and advances in communications make Central Operational Control even more likely. Commanders now have the illusion that they understand the situation on the ground based on streaming visual/audio feeds from the battle site. Think Desert One and the decision to abort or not abort the mission being thrown to Jimmy Carter, and the National Security staff and White House watching the take-down of OBL.
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  #5  
Old 18 Mar 17, 13:40
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"No plan survives the first contact with the enemy." If this is true then having troops who understand the mission and can adapt to the situation would be superior to just having them follow orders. The inflexibility of the phalanx is a classic case of "just following orders."
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Old 18 Mar 17, 14:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
"No plan survives the first contact with the enemy." If this is true then having troops who understand the mission and can adapt to the situation would be superior to just having them follow orders. The inflexibility of the phalanx is a classic case of "just following orders."
This is because usually the enemy also has a plan. Barbarossa succeeded at first because the Soviets didn't have a clue much les a plan and because of Stalin's purges very view commanders with enough of an independent mind to create one. However even without a coherent enemy sheer entropy will get you in the end.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 15:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
This is because usually the enemy also has a plan. Barbarossa succeeded at first because the Soviets didn't have a clue much les a plan and because of Stalin's purges very view commanders with enough of an independent mind to create one. However even without a coherent enemy sheer entropy will get you in the end.
Being 66 years old, I have to agree with you.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 16:34
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ANY FOOL CAN OBEY AN ORDER...

And any idiot in the government can give one.

It's a perfectly balanced formula for today's wars that are never intended to be won.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 16:37
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Wrong.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 16:45
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ANY FOOL CAN OBEY AN ORDER...

And any idiot in the government can give one.
No only a legally authorised idiot - quite rare
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Old 18 Mar 17, 17:07
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The key to mission orders is a clearly articulated Commander's Intent.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 18:30
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Quote:
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The key to mission orders is a clearly articulated Commander's Intent.
You mean like Viet Nam? Iraq? Afghanistan?

The only way to wage war is to decide the major objectives and then let the military take over and get it done. Micromanaging is for morons. The president's job is to keep the supplies flowing. the home front calm and the people behind the military effort.

And no more awards and decorations for the non-participants, or good deeds being punished. Fight the damned war or don't, but keep politics out of it once it starts.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 19:24
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The key to mission orders is a clearly articulated Commander's Intent.
"You will enter the Continent of Europe and, in conjunction with other Allied forces, conduct military operations aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her military forces."

One sentence.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 19:40
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You mean like Viet Nam? Iraq? Afghanistan?
No, you are not tracking with what I am posting. I could reference USMC Doctrinal Publications but it is probably easier for you to watch about three minutes (20:35 - 23:25) of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LbeKkg3D0c
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Old 18 Mar 17, 19:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
"You will enter the Continent of Europe and, in conjunction with other Allied forces, conduct military operations aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her military forces."

One sentence.
From a strategic level, the only intent needed would be something along these lines:

'My intent is the unconditional surrender of Germany'

The how is left up to the subordinate commanders.
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