The Evolution of US Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76

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Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, 1979 - Military art and science - 57 pages
This paper focuses on the formulation of doctrine since World War II. In no comparable period in history have the dimensions of the battlefield been so altered by rapid technological changes. The need for the tactical doctrines of the Army to remain correspondingly abreast of these changes is thus more pressing than ever before. Future conflicts are not likely to develop in the leisurely fashions of the past where tactical doctrines could be refined on the battlefield itself. It is, therefore, imperative that we apprehend future problems with as much accuracy as possible. One means of doing so is to pay particular attention to the business of how the Army's doctrine has developed historically, with a view to improving methods of future development.

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Page 12 - The Army had become accustomed to massive amounts of firepower which came at the expense of mobility. The Army had also perfected its techniques of employing firepower and the defense to inflict huge losses on an attacker. Thus the Army focused upon attrition at the expense of maneuver and its offensive...
Page 41 - ... the outcome of which may be dictated by the results of initial combat. This circumstance is unprecedented : we are an Army historically unprepared for its first battle. We are accustomed to victory wrought with the weight of materiel and population brought to bear after the onset of hostilities. Today the US Army must, above all else, prepare to win the first battle of the next war.
Page 38 - It was a sheer physical impossibility to keep him (the enemy) from slipping away whenever he wished if he were in terrain with which he was familiar — generally the case.
Page 51 - August 1957, 6. 26. (Lieutenant General) James M. Gavin, War and Peace in the Space Age (London, 1959) 28-9. On the occasion of the anniversary of the October Revolution the Soviet Union put on display a "family" of tactical nuclear weapons that, according to Gavin, "cannot be matched anywhere in the Western world at this time.
Page 51 - Faint Praise: The Development of American Tanks and Tank Destroyers during World War II...
Page 53 - Semiannual Report of the Secretary of Defense, January 1 to June 30...
Page 25 - The tactical doctrine for the employment of regular forces against insurgent guerrilla forces has not been adequately developed, and the Army does not have a clear concept of the proper scale and type of equipment necessary for these operations."57 The Howze Board also recommended the creation of air assault divisions and air cavalry combat brigades in its Final Report on 20 August 1962. These forces would be useful in both conventional and counterinsurgency warfare. The army as a whole made only...
Page 16 - Laird summed up our future commitments when he said at the Annual Meeting of the Association of the United States Army in October (see Page 8), "I want to tell you there is a new world ahead for defense manpower.
Page 51 - Lynn Montross, Cavalry of the Sky: The Story of US Marine Combat Helicopters (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954). Recent scholarly studies of Marine Corps subjects include: • John C. Chapin, "The Marines' Role in the US Occupation of Haiti, 191 J— 1922," unpublished MA thesis, George Washington University, 1967.

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