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1. Bibliographic Entry:

2.  Author (Top-3 notes on author): Isserson

3.  Context.  (Information about the author's environment that influenced the development of his theory):

4.  Scope.  (What is the theory about? How broad or narrow is it?):

5.  Evidence/credibility.  (What is the basis of evidence for the theorist's work?):

6.  Central Proposition/Thesis: The primary mission of operational art as the study of conducting an operation was the unification of separate combat efforts, not directly connected tactically, in space along a front, in time, and in depth to achieve an overall assigned aim. that is, bringing an entire chain of combat events into an active system, coordinated along a front and in the depth, which purposefully and successively leads to the defeat of an enemy.

7.  Sub-themes:

a.     Operational art enables break through and exploitation.  Reserves are required for exploitation.  Contrary to the all-in theory of the Napoleonic era.  If all assets are assigned to stand in the line, there is no one left to shoot through a breakthrough in the line.

a.     This goes for airpower as well.  We don’t task organically so that the ultimate weapon for flexibility and maneuver can quickly exploit opportunities. This can only be done from the operational level, and only through centralized command.

10.  Importance:  Without an operational level C2 function, the Soviet Deep Battle concept  is a no-go.

11.  Personal significance.  How has this work contributed to the development of my personal theory of war?

 

Notes:

48 These difficulties turned on the enormous defensive strength of a positional front, the absence of political stimuli in soldiers for overcoming this, superiority of defensive over offensive means, the necessity for concentrating enormous means of suppression, complexity in organizing and conducting offensive actions, etc.: that is, in a military-technical sense they were localized completely in the realm of tactics.

49 Ludendorff says that it was necessary to place tactics above strategy. And, in actuality, the Germans attacked not where it was required according to concepts of operational expediency, but rather where it was possible with respect to tactical conditions.

51 To sum up, the study of the modern operation today js at a quite unsatisfactory level, and remains the least-developed branch of military art.

52 Operational art as the study of an operation is, therefore, acquiring the significance of a most important discipline for the practice of operational work and direction of large military formations.

Operational alt is unbearably conservative

53 The operation is a tool of strategy, while strategy is a tool of politics. Therefore, an .operation is not the culminating factor of armed conflict. It is itself an element subordinate to war as a whole. (CvC concept of the engagement).

54  Under these conditions, the mission of our operational art is to substantiate and form a theory of a deep annihilating operation.

56 Thus, battle in the Napoleonic era was a one-act tactical phenomenon

57 Clausewitz expressed this situation as follows: "As soon as the enemy approached so as- to give a general, decisive battle. strategy was over, and it could rest.

59 Moltke the strategist W:'.S faced with a completely new problem of coordinating and directing combat efforts, tactically dissociated and dispersed space to achieve the overall aim of defeating the enemy. This situation was the first characteristic sign of the phenomenon which is known in modern terminology as the operation.

63 The entire evolution of military art after the War of 1870 proceeded under the guise of shifting the decision from the front to the flanks. Therefore, linear strategy strived even more toward a widening of the front.

65 Concentric maneuver from various directions could be implemented only in separate particular theaters of war which retained sufficient freedom of maneuver.

66 Thus, at the beginning of the twentieth century the operation was formed as a chain of combat efforts. continuous along a front, uniform with respect to depth, and united by an overall plan for defeating the enemy or opposing him.

The primary mission of operational art as the study of conducting an operation was the unification of separate combat efforts, not directly connected tactically, in space along a front, in time, and in depth to achieve an overall assigned aim. that is, bringing an entire chain of combat events into an active system, coordinated along a front and in the depth, which purposefully and successively leads to the defeat of an enemy.

68 Hence, it was also not understood that under new conditions  operational art required effective, continuous leadership during the entire course of the operation, including the battle. (Pre-operational art, orders were issued and the army would go. No ability to flex to dynamic taskings)

Moltke thought:

            Each battle is a kind of springboard for new strategic decisions . . . material and moral consequences of battle are so enormous that a new situation is always created dependent on its outcome. 

Armies moved along their specific axes independent of the outcome of the battle, independent even of where it was forthcoming.

The operation became uncontrollable, and in this lay the enormous contradiction of operational art, which in 1914 did not, in general, find a place for itself in the overall system of conducting military operations.

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