Accession Number : ADA307776

Title :   Is Mass Still a Valid Principle of War on Today's Battlefield?

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s) : Firoved, Kenneth A.

PDF Url : ADA307776

Report Date : 14 JUN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : The principle of mass has been an enduring and decisive arbiter on the battlefield for over two millennia. In conjunction with the other principles of war, mass serves as the bedrock upon which U.S. military doctrine is built. Computerized information networks, advanced technologies, and spacepower are fundamentally changing the way operational art is designed and executed. Combatant commanders now have the ability to see the width and breadth of the theater of operations. Rather than massing the effects of combat power at a decisive point, they may now apply the integrated, multidimensional, and synchronized effects of combat power simultaneously against a wide array of decisive points. This research examined the principle of mass in relation to today's military capabilities and tomorrow's potential to determine if mass, as it is presently defined, still has a valid function to fulfill on the battlefield? The author determined the principle of mass is a dynamic concept that changes in definition and in application as technology advances. Where once it meant overwhelming the enemy by sheer weight of arms at a singled point on the battlefield, it has come to mean overwhelming the enemy through the concentration of the effects of combat power at a decisive point and time. The simultaneity of strikes against a multiple array of targets in Desert Storm provides an indication of how the concept of mass will be defined in its next iteration.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY DOCTRINE, *BATTLEFIELDS, *MASS, MILITARY OPERATIONS, WARFARE, COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS, IRAQ, KUWAIT, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, DYNAMICS, ARRAYS, MULTIPLE TARGETS, COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, MILITARY CAPABILITIES, WEIGHT, COMPUTER APPLICATIONS, SYNCHRONISM, MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY ART.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE