Joint Publication JP 3-02 Amphibious Operations 10 August 2009
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The German high command had to contend with a stalemate in the west and a tottering, but still capable, opponent in the east. Germany's position was, however, much weaker than it seemed. The Entente had paid a heavy price during its offensives in the west, but so had the German army in turning back those offensives. On the Western Front, the German army was not strong enough to attack with any prospect of success against the numerically stronger Entente.
In addition, Germany's allies, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, were having difficulty sustaining the struggle after 3 years of war. The Entente, on the other hand, had a powerful new ally: the United States. The Germans estimated that it would take the Americans until the middle of to deploy a force large enough to be a major factor in the outcome of the war. If the German army could not achieve a decisive victory in the west before this time, then it would become impossible to prevail afterward.
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Another concern was the British blockade. Soon after the war began in August , Britain had blockaded German and German-occupied ports. The British wanted to prevent the importation of war materials, but their definition of contraband also included food. As a result, the German people were slowly starving to death.
The Germans referred to the winter of — as the "turnip winter" due to the lack of food. These two men, empowered to act virtually as military dictators, believed that ultimate victory could only be achieved on the Western Front. Britain and France had to be forced to sue for peace if the war were to be ended on terms favorable for Germany.
To achieve such a result would take far more troops than were currently available in the west. The question was how such a large number of troops could be freed for operations in the west. Ludendorff's conclusion was that if Russia could be forced from the war, a million German troops could be transferred from the Eastern to the Western Front. The key factor was time. Russia had to be subdued as quickly as possible so German troops could be moved west in time for a spring offensive in There were a number of obstacles that made an amphibious assault a difficult undertaking for the German army and navy.
From the creation of the German Empire in until its demise in , Germany was first and foremost a land power. The buildup of the German navy that occurred in the decades before World War I did not radically change this, nor did it cause the military services to seek to work more closely together. As a result, both before and during World War I, the army and navy had virtually no experience with joint operations. In fact, throughout the first 3 years of World War I, they had essentially conducted separate wars with little coordination.
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To add to the complexity of mounting an amphibious operation, the German armed forces had no amphibious doctrine. All lessons would be learned through hard experience. Moreover, there was no specialized equipment for conducting an amphibious assault; German troops would go ashore in towed boats.
The Germans were also under severe time constraints; poor weather in the Baltic Sea would make the operation impossible by the end of October. Von Hutier was an extremely shrewd general best known to history for his later involvement in the offensives on the Western Front. He made the commander of the landing force and the commander of the Special Fleet coequals for planning. If there were any disagreements they could not work out themselves, they could then seek out the general for a decision. This mirrors the manner in which current U. The Germans also recognized that at certain times the landing force would support the Special Fleet and that at other times the fleet would support the landing force.
The order from the commander of the Eighth Army established a "supporting-supported" relationship between the commander of the naval force and the commander of the landing force. The Germans demanded an extremely high level of cooperation among their officers, even among those of different services. This culture of cooperation allowed the German army and navy to overcome any barriers posed by a lack of doctrine or experience in working together and helped to accomplish the mission in an exemplary fashion.
There are other similarities between Operation Albion and current U. JP 3—02 establishes three tenets of amphibious planning: commander's involvement and guidance, unity of effort, and integrated planning. Operation Albion provides valuable lessons regarding each of these tenets.
Commander's Involvement and Guidance. There is a quotation often attributed to Marine Major General Mike Myatt, the commander of the 1st Marine Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm , in which he described maneuver warfare as "centralized vision, decentralized decisionmaking. The high command created a special cell to conduct much of the initial planning.
Once this had been completed, the planners were seconded to subordinate commands to assist with the detailed planning. CWC, while highly effective for defending an aircraft carrier, does not translate well to the widely-used Prussian general staff structure , which is comprised of functional directorates e. The friction is evident even within Navy commands. Fleets are often broken into task forces, but task forces often employ CWC instead of further subdividing into task group and units.
When a ship shifts from one task force to another, she sometimes retains her warfare commander duties to the former, creating a conflict for the fleet staff to manage. Surface ships will no longer deploy with CSGs by default, and therefore will not be able to rely on a training curriculum tailor-made for CSG operations. Likewise, threat recognition and study of enemy tactics cannot be exclusive to a single geographic region. Ships may be asked to respond to any number of contingencies around the globe while potential adversaries are increasing their own out-of-area deployments.
Finally, an important element of Global Force operations will be deception. Inherent in the DFE concept is an element of unpredictability, which can be supported by military deception, both operational and tactical. As DFE seeks to keep potential adversaries on their heels by making the location and timing of naval deployments less routine, the Navy can further confuse their operational picture and frustrate efforts to understand U. Tactically, the Navy can employ Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare to make the enemy think the fleet is concentrated where it is not, and vice versa.
Technological Factor. A variety of emerging technologies, and some long-established but neglected by the U. Navy, now enable the U. Naval warfare has come a long way since the Battle of the Coral Sea in , the first naval engagement in which opposing warships did not sight each other. In the future, some key technologies will enable naval forces to engage targets when not even in the same theater.
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Global Force will utilize long range hypersonic missiles and aircraft, next-generation cruise and ballistic missiles, next-generation unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, and cyber to name a few. Much has been written on the advent of hypersonic weapons, airborne projectiles that travel faster than Mach 5. Some have even suggested a new hypersonic arms race is underway. On the other hand, some argue there is nothing transformational about these weapons, and they do not alter strategic fundamentals. Hypersonic manned or unmanned aircraft could also transform naval operations in unforeseen ways, but the Navy should exercise caution in investing too heavily in them, potentially sacrificing lower cost, higher quantity missiles for an exquisite technological solution just to fit the current operational paradigm of naval aviation.
Manual Joint Publication JP 3-02 Amphibious Operations 10 August 2009
Anti-ship missile technology has advanced in a number of ways aside from velocity. Since the U. Navy first fielded the Harpoon missile in , technology for propulsion, maneuver, and homing have all revolutionized the way in which missiles can be employed against ships. Meanwhile, terminal homing technology is constantly improved to counter defensive electronic warfare systems. Today, the U. Navy still only employs four to eight Harpoon missiles on its surface combatants. While lagging far behind other naval powers in anti-ship missiles, the U.
Apart from missiles, the railgun is a popular weapon often discussed as the future of naval gunnery. China purportedly fielded a prototype on one of its warships in ; however, the U. With a theoretical range of over nautical miles, the railgun certainly would have a place in Global Force , but the verdict is still out on its viability in naval warfare. Interestingly, in the U. Unmanned aerial systems UAS can provide surveillance, extending the over-the-horizon targeting range of individual combatants, and communication relays, allowing force elements to operate disaggregated without relying on satellite networks or more conventional communications, which may be denied in future conflicts.
Future UAS will also conduct strike and aerial refueling missions. On the surface, the U. Similarly, unmanned underwater vehicles UUV will become an integral part of advanced undersea warfare systems to detect, identify, and counter enemy ships and submarines.
Another emerging technology, artificial intelligence AI , could make it possible for unmanned systems to operate autonomously when range or environment prohibit communication links for tactical control. Fielding autonomous weapons invokes substantial legal and ethical debate, but the technology can certainly benefit dynamic and distributed operations. Global Force will employ force elements comprising a mix of manned assets and autonomous systems.
Beyond vehicles, AI will also be used in communication systems such as cognitive radio to dynamically access the electromagnetic spectrum and make it more difficult for adversaries to deny friendly use of the spectrum. In the cyber domain, payloads could be programmed with AI and deposited into enemy networks to conduct its mission autonomously without reach back. A key aspect of cyber warfare as it relates to Global Force is that it permits engagement of the enemy irrespective of range.
As long as friendly cyber forces can connect to adversary computer networks, cyber warfare can be conducted from anywhere in the world. By maintaining presence around the world, the Navy brings the capability of connecting to certain networks that would otherwise be inaccessible. Human Factor. As technology inevitably increases in complexity and permeates every aspect of naval operations, the U. Navy will need to embrace the benefits of specialization in human capital management.
While the Navy appears aware of the effect of this technological evolution on its ships, it may have underestimated its effect on the officers who lead and manage them. Global Force will give rise to a new level of complexity in the warfighting capabilities that Surface Warfare Officers SWOs will be expected to employ, and missions they will be expected to execute. It is prudent to ask whether the surface force has maxed out the cognitive capacity of generalists, and whether it is time for SWOs to be trained as specialists to become experts in a single mission or warfare domain.
The British Navy, and many others, employ this model. The U. Navy, however, develops ship and submarine officers as generalists, for the most part.