Accession Number : ADA331852

Title :   Mailed Fist or Pursuit Operations: An Operational Analysis of VII Corps During the Gulf War.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis, 2 Aug 96-7 Jun 97,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s) : Zotti, Steven M.

PDF Url : ADA331852

Report Date : 07 JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 219

Abstract : This study analyzes the decisions of Lieutenant General Frederick Franks during the planning and execution of the ground campaign of Desert Storm. Franks has been criticized for being consumed with the synchronization of his multi-division attack to crush the Republican Guards. Criticism centers on the perception that his synchronization efforts over-complicated the plans and Franks' conservative command style delayed the fight. The study focuses on the magnitude and complexity of maneuvering an armored corps of six division equivalents over terrain one-half the size of South Carolina. Factors considered in the study are the command climates from CENTCOM through Third Army to VII Corps, correlation of forces, and time-space considerations. The plan development at the three levels, decisive points, and Franks' decisions throughout the ground war are also considered. At the tactical level, the three critical points analyzed are the decisions surrounding the breach of Iraqi front lines on 24-25 February, the massing of forces along Phase Line SMASH on 26 February, and the attempt to conduct a double envelopment of remaining Iraqi forces 27-28 February. This thesis concludes that Lieutenant General Franks was prudent and tactically wise to mass his divisions. Three factors contributed to the inability to destroy the Republican Guards. The dysfunctional theater command climate and the corresponding confusion in mission and intent. The lack of coordination and synchronization throughout the theater and Army plans. Finally, the inability of VII Corps to revise its plan to react to their overwhelming initial success.

Descriptors :   *THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, *STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, *PERSIAN GULF WAR, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY HISTORY, WARFARE, IRAQ, KUWAIT, LAND WARFARE, DECISION MAKING, INFANTRY, DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, THESES, VISUAL PERCEPTION, PURSUIT COURSES, ARMY PLANNING.

Subject Categories : Geography
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE