Accession Number : ADA307608

Title :   Operational Deception. When the Web is Worth the Spinning.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Campbell, James D., Jr

PDF Url : ADA307608

Report Date : 12 FEB 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 20

Abstract : As an operational planner, it is important to understand the tools available to plan and execute successful military operations. One such tool is deception. It can affect the application of several of the principles of war; Surprise, Maneuver, Mass, Economy of Force, and Security. This paper examines precepts of deception which may be useful in determining when deception operations may best be undertaken. Unity of effort, plausibility and preconceptions, control of intelligence and consideration of time are all examined in the context of an historical case study. The Battle of Kursk provides the historical case for examination. It is particularly useful because it is one of the rare occasions in which both sides executed deception operations. In what would be the largest tank battle ever fought, the German deception failed and along with it their last major offensive in the East. The Soviet deception was successful and allowed them to stop the Germans, seize the initiative and begin the counterattack which would lead to the Germans ultimate defeat. Analysis shows that the Germans failed integrate their deception into the overall plan, present a believable alternative to their true intentions, manipulate Soviet intelligence systems, or use time to their advantage. Soviet deception, on the other hand, was successful in each of these areas which significantly improved their chances of success. The operational planner can take these precepts and weigh them against the prospect of future operations to determine if deception is a reasonable course of action. If the conditions are not met, then the web of deception may not be worth spinning.

Descriptors :   *THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, *DECEPTION, AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, USSR, MILITARY HISTORY, COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS, LAND WARFARE, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, BATTLEFIELDS, ATTACK, CASE STUDIES, JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES, GERMANY, MANEUVERS, ARMY OPERATIONS, MILITARY PLANNING, BATTLES, MILITARY TACTICS, STRIKE WARFARE, BATTLE MANAGEMENT, MILITARY ART.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE