Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 36

Thread: Grant and the Operational Art

  1. #16
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Actually, Major, the first person to try to avoid a decisive battle was Fabius Maximus, aka as the Fabian Strategy. The other person who comes to mind is Julius Caesar who had a knack for refusing battle.
    Sir,
    Not trying a decisive battle is not the same as practicing the operational art. Even in the age of decisive battle, generals wouldn't take up battle unless they felt they could prevail in the decisive battle.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  2. #17
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,287
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Not yet at that level,but those were considered attributes of operational commander in FM3-0 last time I checked.
    If I am reading the Major right he is talking about supreme commanders.

    Yes but that is operational on a different level, closer to a army group commander or theater commander. The number of commanders at the level of Grant- prosecuting and coordinating an entire war or major portion of it in multiple regions is rather small. Subetai, Cornwallis, Grant, Foch, Ike, Nimitz/MacAthur, Zhukov and a few other WWII and post allied, NATO and Soviet officers.

    That type of coordination simply didn't exist before the Mongols are they are definitely the exception to the rule.

  3. #18
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    If I am reading the Major right he is talking about supreme commanders.

    Yes but that is operational on a different level, closer to a army group commander or theater commander. The number of commanders at the level of Grant- prosecuting and coordinating an entire war or major portion of it in multiple regions is rather small. Subetai, Cornwallis, Grant, Foch, Ike, Nimitz/MacAthur, Zhukov and a few other WWII and post allied, NATO and Soviet officers.

    That type of coordination simply didn't exist before the Mongols are they are definitely the exception to the rule.
    Ike, Nimitz, and MacArthur were all theater commanders; supreme in their theater, but theater commanders nonetheless.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  4. #19
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The early Mongol tumens certainly used operational concepts using not just tactics to win local battles, but fighting those local battles for the benefit of "national" objectives and to secure the advantage of other tumens working towards a unified goal at great distance. The mongols unified will and ability to coordinate its units over vast distances to pursue its objectives wouldn't be successfully seen again until Grant/Sherman/Farraguat in the summer of 64. Although British efforts in the American Revolution to coordinate its efforts across the Eastern seaboard seem to be based on concepts similar to the operational arts

    The pacing, audacity, and C2 of the mongol armies were perhaps more important to their victories than their mobility and bows. They also moved past the pure physicalness of war and waged it in their opponents minds as well. Mongols are past masters at fighting and winning the recon battle, using deception, combined arms, using intelligence gained by non-military means, politics, and using terror to create both open cities and clogged roads.
    Z,
    My reading of Mongol history is next to non-existent. However, in looking up Subotai on Wiki (I realize it's limitations), I don't see the practice of operational art, but rather a precursory form, e.g. a distributed use of forces. Can you spell out the argument in more detail as to why we should consider them/him as practicing the operational art? Thanks.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  5. #20
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,287
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Ike, Nimitz, and MacArthur were all theater commanders; supreme in their theater, but theater commanders nonetheless.

    When your theater is a continent and the manpower you control is counted in the millions I think you qualify.

    Z,
    My reading of Mongol history is next to non-existent. However, in looking up Subotai on Wiki (I realize it's limitations), I don't see the practice of operational art, but rather a precursory form, e.g. a distributed use of forces. Can you spell out the argument in more detail as to why we should consider them/him as practicing the operational art? Thanks.
    That is going to depend on what exactly your looking for. You seem to have discredited Ike as an operational commander so now I am confused as to what your looking for. As far as I am concerned everything is there. He planned and conducted operations of different armies over varying terrain and distances to meet a unified objective, he kept his eye on the big picture rather than getting side tracked by the battlefield, he shaped the war by his use of intelligence, misdirection, politics and the recon/counter recon fight.

    So can you elaborate on what your looking for?

  6. #21
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    When your theater is a continent and the manpower you control is counted in the millions I think you qualify.



    That is going to depend on what exactly your looking for. You seem to have discredited Ike as an operational commander so now I am confused as to what your looking for. As far as I am concerned everything is there. He planned and conducted operations of different armies over varying terrain and distances to meet a unified objective, he kept his eye on the big picture rather than getting side tracked by the battlefield, he shaped the war by his use of intelligence, misdirection, politics and the recon/counter recon fight.

    So can you elaborate on what your looking for?
    Ike was a theater commander, and theater commanders practice at the (theater) strategic and operational levels of war.

    I don't think there's a formal doctrinal definition of supreme commander, but I think it commonly refers to the commander at the strategic level of war, and so we're typically talking about the head of state. I don't have my copy of Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime with me, but I believe that that Eliot Cohen defines it as such, and his case studies clearly lead to that definition.

    As far as operational art goes, you can refer to JP 3.0 or FM 3.0 to find the current doctrinal explanation of operational art, or for a comparative conceptualization, the article I linked to in the original post, "The Loose Marble - and the Origins of Operational Art," provides a good laydown.

    Like I said, I'm very ignorant of Mongol history, and so I'm admittedly basing my "no go" vote on a very short and potentially incorrect history from Wiki, but I don't see the successive nature of Subotai's campaign (in the classical historical use of the word, not necessarily in the operational art use of the word). Because I simply don't know the details of the history, I'd be more than happy to be corrected (and I'm also happy even when I think I know the details), but I think we're talking apples and oranges when it comes to what operational art really is.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  7. #22
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,287
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Ike was a theater commander, and theater commanders practice at the (theater) strategic and operational levels of war.

    I don't think there's a formal doctrinal definition of supreme commander, but I think it commonly refers to the commander at the strategic level of war, and so we're typically talking about the head of state. I don't have my copy of Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime with me, but I believe that that Eliot Cohen defines it as such, and his case studies clearly lead to that definition.
    Yes, but effectively there is no difference between the duties of Ike and Grant. They were both supreme commanders who didn't do the actual battlefield leading but gave their subordinates direction and then for the kost part let them carry out the battle. Saying Europe is just a theater also the lines of say the Western Theater of the ACW is in my mind wrong. Ike controlled the armies of US/UK, Free France, Poland, Brazil, Allied Italy, Canada and many others over an area about the same size as the parts of the Eastern US that saw action in the ACW.

    As far as operational art goes, you can refer to JP 3.0 or FM 3.0 to find the current doctrinal explanation of operational art, or for a comparative conceptualization, the article I linked to in the original post, "The Loose Marble - and the Origins of Operational Art," provides a good laydown.

    Like I said, I'm very ignorant of Mongol history, and so I'm admittedly basing my "no go" vote on a very short and potentially incorrect history from Wiki, but I don't see the successive nature of Subotai's campaign (in the classical historical use of the word, not necessarily in the operational art use of the word). Because I simply don't know the details of the history, I'd be more than happy to be corrected (and I'm also happy even when I think I know the details), but I think we're talking apples and oranges when it comes to what operational art really is.

    Based on Loose Marbles, the Mongol invasion of the Khwarizm Empire meets the criteria.Distributive use of forces operating under a unified strategy, depth and scale across the breadth of the enemy, attacks on centers of gravity rather than the pursuit of the battle of annihilation. if we look at the first part of the 2 year invasion we see that

    Jochi- tied down the Sha's field army so another part of the Mongol Army could lay siege to and take Otrar. Not much different than Grant tying up Lee so Sherman could not be stopped. But the Mongol strategy gets more convoluted than this. While this was going on a 3rd Mongol force under Jebe went South to take up blocking positions. While the bulk of the Mongol Army struck out towards the city of Bukhara leaving Otrar to be reduce by other Mongol forces. Bukhara the road towards the enemy capitol. This shows that the Mongols are operating off a unified plan that doesn't seek the mere destruction of the enemies arms, but their nullification through maneuver and position. Not at all different in concept from Grant and Sherman constantly seeking the flank to slide closer to their goal rather than force an envelopment. After the fall of Bukhara the mongols moved onto Samarkand the capitol. In part by vanishing into the desert so that they could avoid the bulk of the enemies forces so they could conserve their strength for the fight at the center of gravity. After the capitol fell they again divided with a force being sent after the Shah who fled, while another force attacked into the Empires remaining rump state.

  8. #23
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Yes, but effectively there is no difference between the duties of Ike and Grant. They were both supreme commanders who didn't do the actual battlefield leading but gave their subordinates direction and then for the kost part let them carry out the battle. Saying Europe is just a theater also the lines of say the Western Theater of the ACW is in my mind wrong. Ike controlled the armies of US/UK, Free France, Poland, Brazil, Allied Italy, Canada and many others over an area about the same size as the parts of the Eastern US that saw action in the ACW.
    Yes and no. Europe was a theater by definition - ETO. Neither were supreme commanders as they both answered to bigger bosses (supreme connotates that they were the HMFIC). Grant filled the role of both de facto theater commander in the Eastern Theater and the General-in-Chief of both theaters. Ike did have some complications in that he led a coalition (although Grant also led a coalition in the sense that he couldn't fire political generals until after the 1864 elections - most of these political generals failed his efforts at the operational level of war in tying down peripheral forces with peripheral operations).

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver
    Based on Loose Marbles, the Mongol invasion of the Khwarizm Empire meets the criteria.Distributive use of forces operating under a unified strategy, depth and scale across the breadth of the enemy, attacks on centers of gravity rather than the pursuit of the battle of annihilation. if we look at the first part of the 2 year invasion we see that

    Jochi- tied down the Sha's field army so another part of the Mongol Army could lay siege to and take Otrar. Not much different than Grant tying up Lee so Sherman could not be stopped. But the Mongol strategy gets more convoluted than this. While this was going on a 3rd Mongol force under Jebe went South to take up blocking positions. While the bulk of the Mongol Army struck out towards the city of Bukhara leaving Otrar to be reduce by other Mongol forces. Bukhara the road towards the enemy capitol. This shows that the Mongols are operating off a unified plan that doesn't seek the mere destruction of the enemies arms, but their nullification through maneuver and position. Not at all different in concept from Grant and Sherman constantly seeking the flank to slide closer to their goal rather than force an envelopment. After the fall of Bukhara the mongols moved onto Samarkand the capitol. In part by vanishing into the desert so that they could avoid the bulk of the enemies forces so they could conserve their strength for the fight at the center of gravity. After the capitol fell they again divided with a force being sent after the Shah who fled, while another force attacked into the Empires remaining rump state.
    This lays things out better for me and I think that it's a valid argument. I came across this which supports you: Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library : Item Viewer

    Any one volume/book recommended reads on Mogol military history, especially as it relates to this?
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  9. #24
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,287
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Yes and no. Europe was a theater by definition - ETO.
    Yes and No, the sheer scale of operations in WWII pollutes the argument. Ike was SACEUR. Under him however he had what were effectively 3 Theaters: Western Europe, The skies over the Reich and Italy.


    Neither were supreme commanders as they both answered to bigger bosses (supreme connotates that they were the HMFIC). Grant filled the role of both de facto theater commander in the Eastern Theater and the General-in-Chief of both theaters.
    So did Ike as he was much more likey to intervene in Western Europe (the letter if Normandy failed, the decisions to fight at Bastonge and stop at the Elbe)



    This lays things out better for me and I think that it's a valid argument. I came across this which supports you: Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library : Item Viewer

    Any one volume/book recommended reads on Mogol military history, especially as it relates to this?
    The easy read would be James Chamber's- The Devil's Horsemen" The Mongol Invasion of Europe. It deals specifically with the campaigns in the western part of the area that would become the Mongol Empire. This includes the Khwarzim invasion and the later simultaneous defeat of both Hungary and Poland hundreds of miles but only 2 days apart by 2 different armies. The invasion of Europe itself was often battles of annihilation but that is due to the Europeans seeking it out and handing the Mongols victory on a platter.

  10. #25
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Yes and No, the sheer scale of operations in WWII pollutes the argument. Ike was SACEUR. Under him however he had what were effectively 3 Theaters: Western Europe, The skies over the Reich and Italy.
    Z,

    Ike was first the NATO commander (later renamed MTO) and then the ETO commander. As the commander of SHAEF, he was not in command of the strategic bombers (except for a brief period pre- and post-Normandy) or MTO, both of whom reported to the CCS, just as Ike did. As a modern day analogy, combatant commanders are theater commanders (e.g., the EUCOM commander).

    I'm tracking now on your supreme commander reference, which was WWII terminology that is equivalent to modern day theater commanders.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  11. #26
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,287
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Z, I'm tracking now on your supreme commander reference, which was WWII terminology that is equivalent to modern day theater commanders.
    Yup, that is what I was talking about. The lead "field" commander outside of the war department/Pentagon for a given region. In this regards Ike and Grant were peas in a pod.

  12. #27
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    4,065
    Some studies(+the one that Zraver already posted).Hope that helps you Sir.

    -http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/p4013coll3&CISOPTR=639&filename=640.pdf#search=%22 napoleonic%20operational%20art%22
    -http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll3&CISOPTR=936&CISOBOX=1&REC=1
    -http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/p4013coll3&CISOPTR=1477&filename=1478.pdf#search=% 22alexander%20the%20great%22
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  13. #28
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Apr 06
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    2,105
    Hi Shek,

    Any chance that you will reproduce your paper on this forum ?
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  14. #29
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    Hi Shek,

    Any chance that you will reproduce your paper on this forum ?
    Sure, although I'm just beginning reading and putting initial thoughts to paper. The tangent that we're on here at the board about when did the operational art emerge in practice isn't central to what I want to explore; rather, I simply want to illustrate how Grant practiced it in the context of the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns.

    What is fascinating is that during the course of those 11 months, we see Grant try new things at the technological, tactical, operational, and strategic levels to get at the problem of defeating the Confederacy to allow for a better peace. It frequently wasn't pretty, but he was always seeking a solution using all of the tools at his disposal. What separated him from Lee was his ability to practice the operational art - it seized the initiative from Lee, and Lee was never able to get it back no matter how hard he tried (and Grant did this at a time of tremendous turmoil in the AOP due to the expiration of 3 year enlistments during the campaigns and the integration of disparate and inexperienced forces).
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  15. #30
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    4,065
    Now,that's will be an interesting read.I'm looking eagerly forward to it.

    Zraver and myself only disagree with the theory that op.art was born during ACW,as some authors claim,not its use by Grant.Apologies if the discussion turned away from the subject.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •