Accession Number : ADA195658

Title :   Searching for the Stronger Form of War at the Operational Level in the 20th Century: The Defense or the Offense,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Moss, Oliver J , III

PDF Url : ADA195658

Report Date : 06 May 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 60

Abstract : Perhaps one of the most controversial theories proposed by the 19th century military theorist and historian, Carl von Clausewitz was the proposition that the defense, not the offense, was the stronger form of war. This is the second of two monographs addressing this theoretical position with the first monograph dealing with the issue at the tactical level. As previously stated in the first monograph the purpose of this study was not to redefine, manipulate, or submit any new criteria to determine which form of war is the stronger, rather to use the model developed by Clausewitz and apply it to two examples of 20th century warfare at the operational level. The study confirmed that terrain, surprise, concentric attack, moral support, fortifications, and popular support certainly are essential factors in determining the outcome of a battle. The study also confirmed, however, that these and other factors (such as time and initiative) contributed directly to the outcome of a conflict proportional to the manner in which they were employed. Poorly utilized terrain resulted in the terrain contributing more to losing a conflict than winning it. So it is the defender's preparation, his use or misuse of these factors which insures the success or failure of an operation. Defense is still inherently the stronger form of war at the operational level. (KT)

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, ADDRESSING, ATTACK, DOCUMENTS, ETHICS, FORTIFICATIONS, TERRAIN, WARFARE

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE