The Tactical Operations Center

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The Tactical Operations Center

 

The Second World War

The Second World War offers many lessons throughout the spectrum of conflict: The political lessons are especially the most difficult to learn from and apply as we have seen in such places as Rwanda, Sudan and Bosnia. For the military, the lessons to be learned include preparing to fight the next war through the lens of preparing to fight an opponent who has changed not only what they fight with, but how they use that technology.

Global Changes and Revolution:

Intelligence During Operation Market-Garden

In studying Market-Garden, it is typical and uninformed to characterize the decision to go ahead and launch the operation as an intelligence failure. Quite the opposite is true. Intelligence analysts not only accurately depicted the number of German panzers and the German strength in the area, they also knew where the units were. Unfortunately, they did not take into account the other types of German combat power on the ground. In the end, however, Allied commanders made the decision to go forward largely out of overconfidence.

Retrograde Operations during the fight for Luzon

General Douglas MacArthur has been accused of being many things; but his defensive operations on Luzon during the opening days of World War Two were in line with previously approved war plans; despite the fact that at the end, the Americans and Filipino forces surrendered ignominously.

Logistics during the Normandy Campaign

The Allied planners had expected to fight a war much like that of the Great War. They had not anticipated the new technology of the tank, the airplane, and better combat weapons. They had also not anticipated the leadership traits of men such as Patton, Bradley, Ernie Harmon, and Joe Collins. "Determination, common sense, and improvisation." The success of logistics in Normandy was achieved only because the plans were ignored.

Replacement Operations in the ETO

Replacements in the European Theater of Operations often faced a bewildering path between the time they arrived in theater and when they actually reported to their assigned units. Replacements were often assigned more on need than on the basis of any methodical approach.

Kampfgruppe Peiper and the Law of Land Warfare

During the final major German counteroffensive in the Ardennes forest, SS troopers under Colonel Joachim Peiper carried out numerous killings of civilians and GIs who had surrendered. The role of a commander in this type of situation is of critical importance. Colonel Peiper specifically gave his soldiers orders that violated the established Laws of Land Warfare

Eisenhower and the Single Thrust versus Broad Front Decision

After D-Day, the Allies were faced with a critical strategic question: Should the armies ensure consistent and coherent flanks and attack along a broad front? Or should all resources be placed behind a narrow spearhead? Eisenhower faced numerous critical issues in this decision.

The Jedburghs and the Dutch Resistance

Cornelius Ryan's most glaring omission in his otherwise outstanding and seminal work on Operation Market Garden, A Bridge Too Far, fails to include the operations and sacrifices of the Jedburgh teams assigned to each Airborne Division and the Resistance members who served with the paratroopers.

The full story of the role of the Dutch Resistance during Market-Garden is told in the newly published "Orange Blood, Silver Wings" now available through Amazon.com and AuthorHouse.com.

OSS Melanie Mission

During Operation Market-Garden, the Office of Strategic Services deployed a small team of intelligence analysts and translators into the Area of Operations to collect and report on strategic intelligence. This story, untold anywhere else, was originally published in the CIA's Studies in Intelligence.

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