MH-8:Making War More Lethal
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MH-8:Making War More Lethal . New Technologies, Institutions, & Ideas Strategic Overview. Late 19th Century – New Imperialism in West grows: Scramble for Empire – Africa, Asia, LATAM: Competition & conflict emerges as a result; West controls 85% all Lands by 1914;

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New Technologies, Institutions, & IdeasStrategic Overview

  • Late 19th Century – New Imperialism in West grows:

    • Scramble for Empire – Africa, Asia, LATAM:

    • Competition & conflict emerges as a result;

    • West controls 85% all Lands by 1914;

  • Industrialization accelerates & expands:

    • Impact: advanced technology in West;

      • Weapons technology increases West’s killing power;

      • War now more dangerous & lethal;

  • Central government’s power grew dramatically:

    • Control over $$$ resources & population;

    • Able to direct state’s resources to military & war

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Impact of Late 19th Century Advances

  • Effect of advances & changes influenced & shaped:

    • West’s military tactics, techniques, concepts, & methods

    • Organization & equipment for control & support

    • Weapons advances: rifles, machine guns, artillery:

      • Greater increase range, accuracy, rate of fire

      • For artillery: accurate plunging fire (back side of hills)

      • Weapons now wore lethal, efficient, & effective in war

  • For Navy: Dreadnought superseded older Battleships:

    • Impact: Shaped western International Affairs & National Security Strategy

    • Western nations’ FP became more aggressive

      • (Asia, Africa, & Caribbean for US)

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New Military & Naval Concepts & Ideas

  • Major impact on models & systems for waging war

    • Adopt successful military models of recent history

  • Prussian General Staff – successes studied

    • Austria-Prussian-1866 & Franco-Prussian Wars- 1871

    • Planning, Command & Control copied & adapted

  • A.T. Mahan’s theory &impact on Naval Strategy:

    • West embraces Sea Power & Control of the Seas

    • Blue Water Navy sought by budding Imperialists

    • Build Battleships & bases to protect $$$ markets

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Three Regional Conflicts

  • Three Regional Conflicts of the period:

    • Refutedorverified these changes in methods of war

      • Spanish-American War

      • Boer War

      • Russo-Japanese War

  • Above offered a varied mix of lessons learned

    • Too often with the wrong lesson drawn-Boer War

  • Weapons technology advances had a significant impact on tactics

    • Whether or not commanders were alert to them & able to adapt

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New Weapons Technology

  • Impact of Industrial Revolution:

    • Steam & steel:

    • More powerful explosives;

    • Population increases;

    • Greater destruction & killing power;

  • Impact of various weapons technology advances:

    • Smokeless powder (visibility & concealment);

    • Artillery (potential for rapid indirect fire support):

      • High round trajectory

      • Recoil mechanism

      • Breech loading

    • Tactical impact was mixed

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New Weapons Technology- 2

  • Machine Guns:

    • Replaced direct fire artillery support (up front)

    • Artillery (plunging fire) placed to rear of infantry

  • Rifles: increased range, accuracy, & rate of fire:

    • Smokeless powder;

    • Magazine loaders;

    • Metallic cartridges;

  • Relevant innovations:

    • Telegraph & field telephone (HQ to front lines)

    • Command, Control, Communication (C3)

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New Weapons Technology- Details

  • Machine Guns:

    • Before 1884: required external power source

      • Example=> Gatling gun

    • Maxim invented a self-powered gun in 1884

      • Capable of firing 600 rounds per minute

    • Russians first to employ machine guns during the Russo-Japan War

    • British Vickers Maxim- more portable at 38 lbs & used WWI & II

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Advances in Rifles

  • Sequence of advances in Rifles:

    • 1871: Mauser invents first metallic cartridge, bolt action

    • 1885: von Mannlicher invents clip loading magazine

    • 1886: French Lebel rifle invented

    • 1893: U.S. Army adopts .30 caliber, 5 shot Krag -Jorgensonrifle

      • Employed during Spanish-American War

    • 1903: U.S. bolt-action Springfieldrifle invented & adopted

      • Primary infantry weapon of WWI

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Advances in Artillery

  • Technical & Tactical changes in Artillery (arty):

    • Firing trajectory became more rounded

    • Able to fire behind enemy infantry

      • (with tactical implications)

    • Recoil system develop using hydrostatic buffer & recuperator system => tactical impact?

    • More accurate sustained fire possible

  • Key examples used in WWI:

    • Germany’s heavy guns (Fort busters) & on ships

    • French 75 mm field gun- 1893- light, mobile, rapid fire

    • Austria-Hungary’s Howitzers

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New Weapons Technology- Details-2

  • Smokeless Powder:

    • Invented by Paul Vioillee (1884)

    • Advantages: more powerful & stable

      • Eliminated telltale smoke (position), cleaner & faster, more even burn

      • Longer range projection of round

  • Related Developments & Advances:

    • TNT- increased stability & yield of high explosives

    • Improved Steel- improved design strength for lighter weapons

    • Telegraph & telephone improved command, control, & communication (C3)

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Prussian General Staff System

  • Impact Prussian victories in 1866 & 71:

    • Studied extensively throughout Europe & Japan:

  • Prussian model & composition:

    • Elite general staff (direct peacetime access to Kaiser)

    • Highly educated & trained professionals (63 to 600+)

  • Prussian model adapted in various ways & degrees:

    • Great Britain – ambivalent & stuck in British tradition

    • France- impressed but conflicted in attitude

    • United States:

      • Traditional American attitudes (No standing pro Army)

      • Congress: concerns toward professional officers

    • Japan- impressed & adopted Prussian model

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Navies & Naval Theorists

  • Growing global (West & Japan) interest in Navies:

    • Competition for Empire & Social Darwinism

      • As expressed by Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”

    • Improved capability in range, speed, & fuel efficiency

    • British Dreadnought replaced old BBs- now obsolete

    • Mahan’s theory of Sea Powerhad major impact

  • Naval Theorists & three contrasting views:

    • Admiral Aube & Jenue’Ecole – commerce raiding:

      • Guerre de course and the small nation & Fleet (France)

    • Julian Corbett & Maritime Strategy:

      • The real role of Navies: support the land force & a Nation’s overall grand strategy (Army’s view)

    • Alfred Thayer Mahan & The Influence of Sea Power:*

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Alfred Thayer Mahan

  • Major impact on Western Europe, Japan, & United States

    • Analysis of history of sea power throughout ages

    • Island Nation characteristics & maritime orientation

  • Key purpose of Navy: Command of the Sea:

    • Ensure friendly commerce & trade of merchant fleet

    • Deny same benefits to Nation’s enemies

  • Key Tactical Objectiveof Fleet:

    • Destroy enemy’s Fleet at sea in battle (Battleships)

    • Mahan: “Never divide the Fleet.”

  • Professional Navy officer corps attitude on Mahan

    • More BBs means bigger Navy budget & promotions

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Small Regional Wars – overview

  • Contributing Social Factors – late 19th century:

    • Social Darwinism applied Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the fittest” to society & Nations=>

    • New Imperialism (prestige & image of power)

    • Christian missionaries (convert native peoples)

    • Economic incentives (trade, markets, raw materials)

  • Contributing Western Technical refinements:

    • Screw propeller on ships (more efficient & protected)

    • More efficient steam engines:

      • Less fuel consumption

      • Greater ranges

      • Greater cargo loads

    • All above allowed West to dominate the “Third World”

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Escalating Competition

  • Result: Competition among Western Powers grows

  • Industrial West easily overcame native resistance through the use of:

    • Gunboat Diplomacy

    • Threats & shows of force

    • Bombardments of port cities

    • Power projection, intervention, & invasion

  • Main problem main with small wars:

    • According to Major Caldwell:

    • Indigenous peoples follow their own rules & not West’s

      • (Guerilla warfare & indigenous insurgencies)

    • His unheeded advice demonstrated in 3 small wars

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Spanish American War- Prelude

  • America’s control of Western Hemisphere:

    • Started with the Monroe Doctrine of 1823

    • Growing US – Spanish tensions in Caribbean

    • Cuban Revolution in 1895 & negative Spanish PR

  • Two key events influencing American attitudes:

    • Spanish insult to President McKinley

    • Remember the Maine!

  • US preparations for war:

    • Navy mostly ready with 4 new 1st class Battleships

    • Army totally unprepared:

      • Lack of troops, training, logistics &competent HQ staff

      • Small unit operations experience only

      • No Strategic, Operational, or Tactical Plans

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Spanish American War- Strategy & Tactics

  • Lack of strategic plan & tactical objectives:

    • Evolving strategic objectives: take Cuba, Philippines, & PR

    • Ambiguous tactical objectives – plan as you go

    • Santiago, Cuba evolves as target for the Army

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Spanish American War- Strategic Deployment

  • Navy divides the Fleet

    • Navy deploys to Cuba & gains “control of the sea”

    • Traps Spanish Fleet within Santiago

  • General Shafter deploys with Navy to Caribbean

    • Conducts amphib landing

  • Admiral Dewey deploys to the Philippines

    • Boldly sails into Manila Bay at night

    • Destroys Spanish Fleet next morning

    • Captures Manila & becomes hero

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Naval Strategic & Operational Execution

  • Admirals Sampson & Schley deploy as ordered off Cuba

    • Schley blocked AdmCervera’s Fleet within Santiago harbor

    • But Spanish guns blocked any further advance into the harbor

  • What must happen first before the Navy can proceed to finish its mission??______________________*

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Army Operational & Tactical Execution

  • US Army was tasked to take out guns blocking harbor

  • General Shafter landed at Daiquiri (later at Siboney)

  • Tactical objectives:

    • El Caney on RF (Fortified=> US severely repulsed & stalled)

    • Kettle Hill & San Juan Hill (Concentrated Arty finally succeeds)

    • But Shafter’s troops had stalled & want to await reinforcement

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Naval Tactical Execution

  • Fortunately for USN, Spain orders Cervera’s Fleet to break out

    • He complies with what is essentially a suicide mission

  • Como Schley attacks as Spanish attempt to flee; sink several ships

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Spanish American War- Results

  • Costly tactical “victory”

    • Especially for the Army

    • Future President becomes a hero

    • With a little help from the Buffalo soldiers

  • Operational & strategic victory:

    • Cuba & Puerto Rico put under US control

    • Spain ejected from Western Hemisphere for good

    • Downside: Philippines evolved into long term occupation and bloody insurgency

      • American motives questioned as a result

  • Lessons Learned:

    • Numerous US tactical planning & logistics shortfalls identified (also generalship)

    • Good defense appeared to trump offense

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The Second Boer War (1899-1902)

  • Overview:

    • Bloody & costly war between Britain & Boers

  • Conventional Phase:

    • British finally able to dominate but Boers would not give up

    • Excellent marksmen with modern rifles who refused to play by conventional rules or tactics

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The Second Boer War (1899-1902)

  • Guerrilla WarPhase:

    • Boers waged effective GW

    • Conducted hit & run ambush against small separated Brit units

    • “Block Houses” were built along main railroad lines to protect them

  • Meanwhile Lord Kitchener employed harsh tactics to deal with the guerrillas & their supporters (families)

    • His scorched earth strategy destroyed many farms

    • Families of guerrillas were placed in concentration camps

      • Over a third imprisoned died

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The Second Boer War - Results

  • British finally repress insurgency

    • Casualties: 8K British soldiers vs. 4K Boer fighters

    • Over forty thousand civilians died of disease in camps

  • Significance of the war:

    • British appreciation for marksmanship of Boers

    • Tactical innovations:

      • Indirect artillery fire (against positions on reverse slope)

      • Creeping barrage with advancing infantry

        • Employed as tactic for cover and rushing advance

  • Lessons not Learned:

    • Failure to incorporate above into future tactics (WWI)

    • Boer War considered unique & not relevant by generals

      • Russo-Japanese War seen as more likely (Euro mil. observers)

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Russo-Japanese War (1904-05)

  • Origin of war:

    • Struggle for control of Port Arthur & Manchuria

    • Japan feels threatened when Russians occupy Manchuria

    • Russia starts RR construction to Port Arthur

  • Japan launches surprise attack on Russia Far East Fleet at Port Arthur

    • Follow up w/invasion force of four armies (shown by white arrows)

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Russo-Japanese War- Significance

  • Japan’s determination displayed at Mukden:

    • Flanking & frontal assaults

    • Wave upon human wave against well entrenched defenders

  • Role of Prussian System & Japan’s Sea Power & (Togo’s victory at Tsushima)

  • Significance- War demonstrated complexities of:

    • Strategic & tactical surprise

      • Surprise attack on Russian Fleet at Port Arthur caught Russia off guard

    • Complex Command, control, & employment of large armies

    • *Tactical impact of modern weapons used in defense against offense:

      • Machine gun & effective indirect fire

    • Costly but effective frontal and f flank assaults by waves of Japanese troops (with tragic implications for WWI)

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Russo-Japanese War’s Impact

  • Japan demonstrated superior operations & tactics

    • Especially at sea: faster, modern battleships, superior gunnery, & better trained & motivated seaman

  • Geo-Political & Strategic impact:

    • Japan gained parts of Manchuria & Sakhalin’s lower half

    • Eastern Power had defeated Western Power for first time:

    • Great prestige was gained by Japan on the world stage

    • Russia descended into 1905 Revolution

  • Wrong lesson learned:

    • Élancan overcome strong defense armed with machine guns & artillery

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  • Dramatic change in war’s conduct between 1871-1914:

    • New weapons & advanced technologies

    • New techniques & tactics

    • Command & HQ staff advancements:

      • Command, control, & communications improved

      • Strategic & logistical planning improved;

    • Prussian system analyzed & selectively adapted

      • By Japan, France, Britain, & United States

  • Tactics employed during Russo-Japanese War

    • Indication of how future wars would be fought (WWI)

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Assessment- 2

  • Major changes linked to societal changes:

    • Central government control & exploitation of:

      • Industrial Revolution;

        • Technological advances & R&D & weapons & equipmentinnovations

      • Population increase and its control & direction;

      • Politics to support national goals (Nationalism & propaganda)

      • Management & use of $$$ resources (mobilization for war)

  • Reforms & application of lessons learned mixed:

    • Small wars provided new ideas & tactics to consider

    • Still wrong lessons drawn from last war fought:

      • Offense considered superior to Defense => World War I

      • Morale (élan) over entrenched machine guns & arty?!!