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US Military Doctrine. Lsn 4. Agenda. Doctrine Forms of Maneuver Characteristics of the Offense Characteristics of the Defense METT-TC OCOKA Leadership Dimensions. Doctrine. Describes (but does not prescribe), how the Army conducts campaigns, operations, battles, and engagements

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  • Doctrine

  • Forms of Maneuver

  • Characteristics of the Offense

  • Characteristics of the Defense



  • Leadership Dimensions


  • Describes (but does not prescribe), how the Army conducts campaigns, operations, battles, and engagements

    • Must be detailed enough to provide meaningful guidance, yet flexible enough to allow commanders to exercise initiative when dealing with specific situations

  • Rooted in time-tested principles but must be forward-looking and adaptable to changing technologies, threats, and missions

  • To be useful, doctrine must be well known and commonly understood

    • Promulgated through field manuals and other publications and through the professional military education system

Forms of maneuver1
Forms of Maneuver

  • The five forms of maneuver are the

    • envelopment,

    • turning movement,

    • infiltration,

    • penetration, and

    • frontal attack.


  • The envelopment is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to avoid the principal enemy defenses by seizing objectives to the enemy rear to destroy the enemy in his current positions.

  • Envelopments avoid the enemy front, where he is protected and can easily concentrate fires.

  • Single envelopments maneuver against one enemy flank; double envelopments maneuver against both. Either variant can develop into an encirclement.

  • Example: Chancellorsville

Turning movement1
Turning Movement

  • A turning movement is a form of maneuver in which the attacking force seeks to avoid the enemy's principal defensive positions by seizing objectives to the enemy rear and causing the enemy to move out of his current positions or divert major forces to meet the threat.

  • A major threat to his rear forces the enemy to attack or withdraw rearward, thus "turning" him out of his defensive positions.

  • Turning movements typically require greater depth than other forms of maneuver.

  • Example: Peninsula Campaign


  • An infiltration is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force conducts undetected movement through or into an area occupied by enemy forces to occupy a position of advantage in the enemy rear while exposing only small elements to enemy defensive fires

    • Typically, forces infiltrate in small groups and reassemble to continue their mission.

    • Infiltration rarely defeats a defense by itself. Commanders direct infiltrations to attack lightly defended positions or stronger positions from the flank and rear, to secure key terrain to support the decisive operation, or to disrupt enemy sustaining operations.

    • Example: Mosby’s raid on Fairfax Courthouse


  • A penetration is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to rupture enemy defenses on a narrow front to disrupt the defensive system.

    • Commanders direct penetrations when enemy flanks are not assailable or time does not permit another form of maneuver. Successful penetrations create assailable flanks and provide access to enemy rear areas.

    • Because penetrations frequently are directed into the front of the enemy defense, they risk significantly more friendly casualties than envelopments, turning movements, and infiltrations.

    • Example: Sherman’s March to the Sea

Frontal attack1
Frontal attack

  • The frontal attack is frequently the most costly form of maneuver, since it exposes the majority of the attackers to the concentrated fires of the defenders.

    • As the most direct form of maneuver, however, the frontal attack is useful for overwhelming light defenses, covering forces, or disorganized enemy resistance.

    • It is often the best form of maneuver for hasty attacks and meeting engagements, where speed and simplicity are essential to maintain tempo and the initiative.

    • Commanders may direct a frontal attack as a shaping operation and another form of maneuver as the decisive operation.

    • Example: Fredericksburg

Characteristics of the offense
Characteristics of the Offense

  • Audacity

    • “a simple plan of action, boldly executed”

  • Surprise

    • “attacking the enemy at a time or place he does not expect or in a manner for which he is unprepared”

  • Tempo

    • “a faster tempo allows attackers to disrupt enemy defensive plans by achieving results quicker than the enemy can respond.”

  • Concentration

    • “the massing of overwhelming effects of combat power to achieve a single purpose”


  • The British followed up their success on Long Island with a series of landings on Manhattan Island

    • Compelled Washington to retreat, escaping finally over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania with about 3,000 men.

    • Howe then went into winter quarters


  • In December 1776, Washington determined to make a surprise attack on the British garrison in Trenton, a 1,400-man Hessian force

    • Hoped that a striking victory would lift the badly flagging American morale.

  • Reinforcements had raised Washington's army to about 7,000

The Hessians were German mercenaries hired by the British to fight the colonists. The money however went to the German treasury, not the soldiers.


  • On Christmas night (December 25-26) he ferried about 2,400 men of this force across the ice-choked Delaware.

  • At 8:00 a.m. they converged on Trenton in two columns, achieving complete surprise. After only an hour and a half of fighting, the Hessians surrendered.

    • Some 400 of the garrison escaped southward to Bordentown, N. J., when two other American columns failed to get across the Delaware in time to intercept them.

    • About 30 were killed and 918 captured. American losses were only 4 dead and a like number wounded.

Trenton characteristics of the offense
Trenton:Characteristics of the Offense

  • Audacity

    • Washington knew he had to do something to restore morale and act decisively before the 1776 enlistments expired

    • Risked poor weather, previous poor performance of troops, and dividing his force

    • In house to house fighting, American inspiration and initiative countered British superior training and discipline

  • Surprise

    • Took advantage of British being in winter quarters and in poorly defended, dispersed locations

    • Bad weather and limited visibility

    • Christmas had reduced British security

Trenton characteristics of the offense1
Trenton:Characteristics of the Offense

  • Concentration

    • Washington led 2,400 men across the Delaware at McConkey’s Ferry above Trenton and then proceeded by two columns on different routes, converging at opposite ends of the main street in Trenton

  • Tempo

    • Washington’s forces attacked before the British could react

Characteristics of the defense
Characteristics of the Defense

  • Preparation

    • “The defense has inherent strengths. The defender arrives in the area of operations before the attacker and uses the available time to prepare.”

  • Security

    • “provide early warning and disrupt enemy attacks early and continuously”

  • Massing effects

    • “To obtain an advantage at decisive points, defenders economize and accept risk in some areas; retain and, when necessary, reconstitute a reserve; and maneuver to gain local superiority at the point of decision.”

  • Flexibility

    • “Planning focuses on preparations in depth, use of reserves, and the ability to shift the main effort.”

Cowpens preparation
Cowpens: Preparation

  • Nathanael Greene was commander in the Carolinas and Georgia

    • Only a little over 1,000 Continentals and bands of ill-disciplined militia against Cornwallis’ 10,000 men

  • Had to create circumstances to achieve success

Cowpens preparation cont
Cowpens: Preparation (cont)

  • Greene divided his army into two divisions which he posted to the northwest and northeast of Cornwallis’ camp at Winnsboro

    • Allowed him to better feed his own men, sustain the militia, and harass the British

    • Tempted Cornwallis to divide his main body, making it more vulnerable

      • Cornwallis did this in Jan 1781, sending 1,100 men (commanded by Tarleton) to attack Greene’s western division (commanded by Morgan)

Cowpens security
Cowpens: Security

  • Greene’s strategy was luring Cornwallis away from his bases of supply

  • Morgan applied the “troops” portion of METT-TC and recognized his militia was ill-disciplined

    • Deployed militia in two lines, 300 and 150 yards in front of his Continentals

    • He asked each militia line to fire twice before retreating behind the Continentals

    • A small force of 125 cavalry was posted in the rear to cover the exposed flanks

Cowpens disruption and massed effects
Cowpens: Disruption and massed effects

  • Americans executed as planned

    • Militia in the first lines checked the British cavalry and fired two effective volleys into the infantry before retreating behind the Continentals

    • British rushed after the retreating militia and became disordered

    • Continentals fired repeated volleys into the British

    • British disintegrated against American counterattack

Cowpens results
Cowpens: Results

  • Americans suffered 6.2% losses (12 killed and 60 wounded)

  • British suffered 90% losses

  • Cornwallis became obsessed with Morgan and turned to pursue him

    • Morgan retreated into Virginia (flexibility)

    • In a month Cornwallis marched 225 miles without achieving decisive battle

Mett tc1

  • Mission

  • Enemy

  • Terrain and Weather

  • Troops and Equipment

  • Time

  • Civilians


  • Seize Vicksburg in order to control the Mississippi River and separate the Confederacy in two


  • Pemberton

    • Five divisions totaling 43,000 effectives

  • Pemberton fell under Johnston’s Department of the West

    • Represented some potential for a relief force

  • No ironclads and only a few wooden gunboats


  • Vicksburg located astride the railroad that linked Shreveport, LA (and thus the three states west of the river) to the eastern transportation network

  • Line of bluffs that dominated the river favored defense

  • Northeast and west of Vicksburg was wetland that would inhibit offensive movement


  • Army

    • Grant had a maneuver force of ten divisions (44,000 effectives)

  • Navy

    • Porter’s Mississippi River Squadron had about 60 combat vessels of which 20 to 25 could support the Vicksburg operation at any one time

Us military doctrine

  • Pemberton had ample time to prepare his defense

  • Grant needed to attack before his supplies run out and before Johnston could reinforce

  • Once the siege began, time benefited the offense


  • About 5,000 lived in Vicksburg

  • Pemberton was responsible for their well-being

  • Other civilians along the Mississippi River posed a guerrilla threat to the Federal Navy

  • Potential source of intelligence


  • Observation and Fields of Fire

    • Being able to see and engage the enemy

  • Avenues of Approach

    • Create maneuver opportunities to get to the enemy

  • Key Terrain

    • Gives a marked advantage to whoever controls it

  • Obstacles

    • Slow and impede movement

  • Cover and Concealment

    • Cover protects against enemy fire. Concealment protects against enemy observation.

Champion hill vicksburg campaign
Champion Hill (Vicksburg Campaign)

  • “Champion’s Hill, where Pemberton had chosen his position to receive us, whether taken by accident or design, was well selected. It is one of the highest points in that section, and commanded all the ground in range. On the east side of the ridge, which is quite precipitous, is a ravine running first north, then westerly, terminating at Baker’s Creek. It was grown up thickly with large trees and undergrowth, making it difficult to penetrate with troops, even when not defended. The ridge occupied by the enemy terminated abruptly where the ravine turns westerly. The left of the enemy occupied the north end of this ridge. The Bolton and Edward’s station wagon-road turns almost due south at this point and ascends the ridge, which it follows for about a mile; then turning west, descends by a gentle declivity to Baker’s Creek, nearly a mile away.”

    • Grant, Memoirs


  • Obstacles

    • “On the east side of the ridge, which is quite precipitous, is a ravine running first north, then westerly, terminating at Baker’s Creek”

  • Avenues of approach

    • “The Bolton and Edward’s station wagon-road turns almost due south at this point and ascends the ridge…”

  • Key terrain

    • “one of the highest points in that section”

  • Observation and fields of fire

    • “commanded all the ground in range”

  • Cover and concealment

    • “grown up thickly with large trees and undergrowth”

Strategic leadership skills
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

    • Communicating

    • Using Dialogue

    • Negotiating

    • Achieving Consensus

    • Building Staffs

Strategic leadership skills1
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Conceptual Skills

    • Envisioning

    • Developing Frames of Reference

    • Dealing with Uncertainty and Ambiguity

Strategic leadership skills2
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Technical Skills

    • Strategic Art

    • Leveraging Technology

    • Translating Political Goals into Military Objectives

Strategic leadership skills3
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

    • Communicating

      • “When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks; and when you turned northward east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now which to make the personal acknowledgement that you were right and I was wrong.”

        • Lincoln to Grant

Strategic leadership skills4
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

    • Using Dialogue

      • Pemberton preferred to command behind the scenes and had little direct communication with his soldiers or subordinate commanders

    • Negotiating

      • Grant and Porter were able to achieve Army-Navy cooperation in the absence of a hierarchical command relationship

    • Achieving Consensus

      • Pemberton’s superiors, Davis and Johnston, did not achieve consensus on the proper strategy and gave Pemberton conflicting guidance

    • Building Staffs

      • Grant drew great benefit from his logistical staff that kept him resupplied after he “cut loose” from his base

Strategic leadership skills5
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Conceptual Skills

    • Envisioning

      • Success at Raymond convinced Grant to shift his decisive point from the Confederate railroads to Jackson, which allowed him to isolate Vicksburg from reinforcements.

    • Developing Frames of Reference

      • Pemberton brought from Charleston a dictum that he must not do anything to leave Vicksburg vulnerable.

    • Dealing with Uncertainty and Ambiguity

      • This was Pemberton’s chief failure. He was continually left guessing by Grant’s diversions and maneuver and was always a couple steps behind.

Strategic leadership skills6
Strategic Leadership Skills

  • Technical Skills

    • Strategic Art

      • Control of the Mississippi would separate the Confederacy into two halves and controlling Vicksburg would give the North control of the Mississippi

    • Leveraging Technology

      • At the time of the Vicksburg Campaign, the Confederacy had no ironclads. The Federal Mississippi River Squadron included thirteen ironclads.

    • Translating Political Goals into Military Objectives

      • The Anaconda Plan was rejected as a military strategy because it failed to meet the political objective for a quick, offensive war.

Us military doctrine

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