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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Modern Wars & Warfare

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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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  #16  
Old 18 Mar 17, 22:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
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.
Those were orders to Eisenhower.
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  #17  
Old 18 Mar 17, 22:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
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.
But from a tactical level, and that's what wins wars after all,an army corp commander should say to his subordinate div commanders 'I want point x taken'
They ought to then come to a rough plan and tell their subordinate BG commanders that they want point Y taken and by Zulu Delta hours and then they absolutely MUST get on with ensuring 100% that their sub units have the bullets and beans to do as requested.

Telling a subordinate unit to do something is very very far away from enabling them to do it.

Lots of US fire breathing commanders were great at firing their troops forward but abysmal at thinking how to support them once they got there, and they generally did get there.
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  #18  
Old 18 Mar 17, 23:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
Those were orders to Eisenhower.
I know those were his orders, but I am specifically talking about Commander's Intent, not the orders.

Without the why, the subordinates are limited to centralized command and control. Countless armies throughout history have run into this problem....without the 'why,' there is no room for initiative or judgement from subordinate commanders.

Last edited by Nichols; 18 Mar 17 at 23:33..
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  #19  
Old 18 Mar 17, 23:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
But from a tactical level, and that's what wins wars after all,an army corp commander should say to his subordinate div commanders 'I want point x taken'
Without giving the why point x needs to be taken, the subordinates are limited to only taking point x. That is a good recipe for attrition warfare.
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  #20  
Old 18 Mar 17, 23:37
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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."
When in action the unexpected was extremely likely to crop up and that is when the original plan falls apart and that is when the junior officers or senior NCOs take over. What happens then is 'in the laps of the Gods'. With a bit of luck the Junior officer may hold the situation together the best bet though would be a Senior NCO taking over bringing about a result that is at least fairly successful. lcm1
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  #21  
Old 19 Mar 17, 08:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
I know those were his orders, but I am specifically talking about Commander's Intent, not the orders.

Without the why, the subordinates are limited to centralized command and control. Countless armies throughout history have run into this problem....without the 'why,' there is no room for initiative or judgement from subordinate commanders.
Eisenhower needed to be told why we wanted to destroy Germany's military?
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  #22  
Old 19 Mar 17, 08:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
Eisenhower needed to be told why we wanted to destroy Germany's military?
No but he may have need telling about unconditional surrender. If Cave Brown (A Bodyguard of Lies) is to be believed elements of the German army approached the Allies with suggestions for a surrender on terms or a negotiated peace
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  #23  
Old 19 Mar 17, 08:45
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
No but he may have need telling about unconditional surrender. If Cave Brown (A Bodyguard of Lies) is to be believed elements of the German army approached the Allies with suggestions for a surrender on terms or a negotiated peace
Odd, I thought he was at Casablanca, or had at least heard of it.
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  #24  
Old 19 Mar 17, 11:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
Odd, I thought he was at Casablanca, or had at least heard of it.
This thread is about orders. I'm talking about the difference between centralized command and control and non centralized command and control.

While you were on ship, you lived in a centralized command and control environment, depending on what shore duty you did....there is a good chance that you never had an opportunity to thrive under a non centralized command and control. The concept of mission orders, commander's intent.......could be difficult for you to understand.

Today's military can not fight the way we did in World War II, maybe you should take your discussion to the World War II forums and stop getting into the WW II weeds in this thread.

Watch the three minutes of the video that I posted earlier in this thread, it might help you to understand what I am posting about.

We no longer have 'Your Draftee Army'

http://www.2ndbn5thmar.com/orgideas/...cBreen2001.pdf
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  #25  
Old 19 Mar 17, 11:55
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Nah.
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  #26  
Old 19 Mar 17, 12:28
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The brainy officer later served three tours at the prestigious Naval War College, one as a student and two as an instructor. As a student, he wrote admiringly of Japanese Admiral Togo, victor of the Battle of Tsushima, who kept his patience and cool head in battle and whose command style was to give his subordinates considerable freedom of action and let them exercise their initiative. These were the qualities that would characterize (Raymond) Spruance himself as a flag officer.

Quote:
"Things move so fast in naval actions, and the consequences that hang on the results of these actions are often so momentous, that fast teamwork is essential. Teamwork is something that comes best from associations, training and indoctrination. There are too many variables possible in war for everything to be foreseen and planned for ahead of time. Our plans can be made out in great detail up to the time we hit the enemy. After that, they have to be flexible, ready to counter what the enemy may try to do to us, and ready to take advantage of the breaks that may come to us. To do that, the man on the spot must know where he fits into the operation, and he must be able to act on his own initiative either without any orders at all, because radio silence may be in effect, or on very brief orders because there is not time for long instructions."
http://www.pwencycl.kgbudge.com/S/p/..._Raymond_A.htm
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  #27  
Old 19 Mar 17, 12:37
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Quote:
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Wes, that is exactly what this battalion commander is doing, he gives his subordinates and unheard of level of freedom of action to make things happen:

https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/.../decision-time
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  #28  
Old 19 Mar 17, 12:43
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That's some good work, Gunny!

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  #29  
Old 19 Mar 17, 13:16
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It has been said that the most dangerous order is "do whatever you think necessary" especially if the circumstances have any political connotations. Essentially that's how the Peterloo Massacre happened
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Old 20 Mar 17, 19:40
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OK, got it. We don't do that anymore and never will again. Now such an order would have contain an environmental statement, a statement restricting collateral damage, a cultural impact statement and about one more entire forest worth of paperwork...before Congress even saw it.

Oh...and a lengthy dissertation on who the Coalition members were to be, how they were to be housed, fed, fueled, fixed and utilized, as well.


America no longer fights wars. We now undertake "distant political actions."
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