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Was George Orwell an Optimist? Then what was the difference between the bad German doctrine and horrible French doctrine? Jason Cawley. Pelle Nilsson. Incidentally, the British lost all the fights at Mons etc that their nationals present as evidence of their superiority.

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Doctrine was a bit better than that, but the Germans did expect infantry to attack in long skirmish lines, firing while moving, and simply defeat any enemies in front of them. They did, however, have an excellent divisional artillery arm, including mm howitzers in each infantry division, that was trained from the start in indirect fire. In practice, that artillery could put a barrage down ahead of the German infantry skirmish lines and often "shoot them in", as long as the defenders were not strongly entrenched.

The French relied on direct lay rapid fire from their "French 75s" for artillery support, and that really only worked with visible, massed infantry targets. Doctrine provides the ability to take a sketch like the figure below to transfer a massive amount of information. It enables soldiers to quickly identify the units involved, the main effort, all the missions, the exact tasks to be completed and much more.

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Sample course of action sketch, FM The importance of this common language cannot be overstated. It allows people from completely different backgrounds social, regional, commissioning sources, etc. It enables the Army to communicate quickly even when there is a language barrier such as military international, multinational, non-government partnerships. It provides the lessons from generations of soldiers learned during hard fought battles, campaigns, and wars.

Challenge the naysayers who might think they are smart enough to win the next war on the basis of their experience alone.

Encourage all to take advantage of the tools doctrine provides our force. An infantryman for the past 23 years, he has held the ranks of private to sergeant first class, and lieutenant to major while serving in ranger, airborne, light, and mechanized infantry units. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U. A very good read and prompt for more discussion beyond references.

Doctrine must be taught but should be considered as a starting point, not a defined and constricted space to initiate military operations. While the definition of doctrine is pure and simple, it is often referenced and derided in the classroom to be associated with Napoleonic encampments or WW1 trench warfare, as a lack of leadership perspective to a revised battlefield or adaptive enemy and thus ignored. Good article John. While I agree that doctrine is important and everyone should read and understand its application, there is room for creativity. Doctrine provides the foundation, the professional language that we must all speak to accomplish our mission.

The problem is becoming too tied to what doctrine says and this tends to stifle creative thought. Use doctrine to start the conversation and start a plan, but allow people the freedom to deviate or go against doctrine when needed. If you have been at the job for longer than one day, then you may have seen other ways to do the job, that also achieve success.


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However, being on the job for more than one day, you may not have found another way to get the job done. As US military personnel, we are all expected to use our brains to solve problems. As I interpret Gen Mattis' quote "Doctrine is the last refuge of the unimaginative" , his comment is not to disparage doctrine, but merely to indicate that those who are unimaginative think no further than what is clearly stated in doctrine.


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Doctrine provides not only a common language from which we can express complex ideas, but it also serves as a point of departure to more imaginative concepts of how to conduct military operations. Doctrine is frequently derived from experiences good or bad , but just like any financial planner will tell you, past experiences do not guarantee future performance. The world is constantly changing and modern militraries modify their doctrine as necessary to remain relevant and effective.

German Panzer Tactics WW2 - Attack

The more fundamental the doctrinal principle, the more enduring it becomes, while doctrine that is based on specific capabilities or tools may be quickly overcome by events. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

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Mission-type tactics - Wikipedia

The articles and other content which appear on the Modern War Institute website are unofficial expressions of opinion. Find results with: error div. Add another field. Search by date Search by date: from after before on from: to to:. Add or remove collections. Reference URL. German tactical doctrine, Special Series, no. View Description. Page Flip View. Extra Large.

FMFRP 12-11 German Tactical Doctrine

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