Accession Number : ADA331322

Title :   Operational Raids During the Civil War: Are They Relevant Today?

Descriptive Note : Monograph rept.,

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

Personal Author(s) : Thompson, Burdett K.

PDF Url : ADA331322

Report Date : 22 MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 67

Abstract : This monograph defines the meaning of the operational raid and demonstrates that raids conducted during the American Civil War were effective methods in achieving limited operational and strategic goals. Current service and joint doctrine and the effects contemporary raid warfare produces are reviewed. Like today, Civil War commanders had to select the most appropriate way to accomplish their mission while considering the forces available, enemy, terrain, and time. Five large scale', high impact raids are analyzed and provide useful historical examples of the operational raids as they existed in the Civil War. The five raids analyzed are the Van Dorn, Forrest, and Orierson raids during the Vicksburg Campaign, Stoneman' 5 raid in support of Hooker's Chancellorsville Campaign, and Sherman's Meridian raid. The raids focus on the operational concerns and considerations facing commanders and illustrate the divers nature and techniques for conducting raids. They also demonstrate the value of interrupting the enemy's concentration of forces, finding and striking his decisive points, and depriving him of critical support or command and control. The analysis portion of the study demonstrates that Civil War raids were viable options for accomplishing operational and strategic objectives. The degree of success depended on the commander's ability to apply the factors of objective, surprise, audacity, and simplicity. To execute raids today commanders must ensure that forces are properly trained to conduct complex high-risk operations. They must be capable of executing rapid, precise, and bold actions to exploit enemy vulnerabilities. This monograph concludes that raids are viable options for the operational commander to achieve decisive results in the current strategic setting.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *MILITARY STRATEGY, *OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, *RAIDS, MILITARY HISTORY, WARFARE, DECISION MAKING, MILITARY DOCTRINE, MILITARY COMMANDERS.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE