The battle of Uhud

The Battle Of Uhud
In The Name Of ALLAH The Beneficent The Merciful
In this essay I will be looking at the underlying factors which led to the Battle of Uhud, the main events which occurred, including my own analysis as well as looking at the result of the battle.
The Battle of Uhud was a follow up to the Battle of Badr, the opening clash between the Muslims and the pagans of Makkah. The Makkans had suffered a surprise loss against the Muslims with many noblemen being killed. After this defeat there was outrage in Makkah. There was a lot of pressure on Abu Sufyan now that he was leader of Quraish. Abu Sufyan had avoided showing up at Badr, choosing instead to save the caravan[1]. He was even under pressure in his own home from his wife, Hind, who had lost her father, uncle, brother and son[2] at Badr. Her relatives were killed by a combination of Hamzah and Ali[3] so she had an insatiable thirst for revenge especially against Hamzah as described later.
To Abu Sufyan’s credit, he showed a great desire for revenge himself, pledging the entire proceeds from the caravan in order to raise funds for another battle against the Muslims. He managed to assemble an army of 3000 with 700 armoured with 3000 camels and 200 horses. The army marched towards Madinah arriving there on 6th Shawwal 3 AH[4][5].
The Prophet (SAW)[6] was already aware of the threat having received an urgent letter[7] from Makkah[8]. The Prophet (SAW) held a council of war the following morning. It was decided that the Muslims would go out and meet the enemy. The Muslim army consisted of 1000 men with only 100 armoured and no cavalry. The army reached a place called Ash-Shaikhan where they camped for the night.

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The following morning, the Muslims had moved to within sight of the enemy. The hypocrites decided to return to Madinah led by Abdullah Bin Ubayy. 300 men withdrew and left the Muslims with 700. It is obvious the hypocrites did not wish to fight so this looks to be a carefully devised plan by Abdullah and his followers in order to weaken the Muslims both in physical strength as well as their morale. The moment of withdrawal was deliberately chosen so close to the start of the battle and within sight of the enemy so that they could see this occurrence and therefore receive fresh encouragement[9].
The Prophet (SAW) moved his army again and positioned them so that the enemy was between them and Madinah. This shows the incredible military leadership of the Prophet (SAW), having arrived at the battlefield after the enemy he took up a better position which would restrict the numerical advantage of the Makkans as well as being protected on all sides apart from one which would lead the pagans to expose the Muslim rear[10]. To deal with this he placed 50 archers under the command of Abdullah Bin Jabir on a mountain with explicit instructions not to vacate the position no matter whether the Muslims were winning or losing.
The battle began with the most ferocious fighting centring on the Bani Abdu-Dar who were charged by the Qurarish to be the standard bearers. Bani Abdu-Dar fought courageously with each family member picking up the standard after the previous one was slaughtered and until all 10 members of the family are dead[11]. Then their huge Abyssinian slave takes the standard and continues to fight until he too is slain[12]. After this there was no one left to carry the standard.
Hamzah, one of the heroes of Badr was again fighting bravely. It has already been mentioned that Hind wanted revenge so she hired an Abyssinian slave called Wahshi, who was an expert in the use of a javelin, to assassinate Hamzah in return for his freedom. Hamzah had just killed his third opponent, when Wahshi, who until that point had been hiding behind trees and rocks trying to get within range of his target, took aim and struck Hamzah straight through the stomach. Wahshi then waited for Hamzah to die before removing the javelin and then returned to the Quraish camp. However Hind was still not satisfied and after the battle she mutilated his body including cutting open his stomach and taking a bite out of his liver[13].
Despite the great loss of the uncle of the Prophet (SAW), the Muslims pushed forward and seized the advantage, the bulk of the Quraish army turning and fleeing with the Muslims in hot pursuit. The Muslims managed to raid the Quraish camp and started plundering the booty. This should have been the end of the battle and another clear cut victory for the Muslims.
Unfortunately, this is where the biggest controversy of the Battle of Uhud occurs. The archers, who until now had managed to hold off the advance of the pagan cavalry, decided to join the plunder and disobey the direct command of the Prophet (SAW) as mentioned earlier. Abdullah Bin Jabir, repeatedly called his men to return to their posts but his cries fell on deaf ears as the archers continued towards the Quraish camp intent on a share of the spoils.
Khalid Bin Waleed had managed to keep his men under control amidst the chaos surrounding them. Khalid was keeping an eye on the developments taking place amongst the archers and was looking to exploit just such an opportunity that had presented itself. It was at this moment Khalid made his move and pulled off a masterstroke. The remaining archers were very valiant and determined to follow the Prophet (SAW)’s instructions down to the last letter. All of them became shaheed[14] whilst defending the position given to them by the Prophet (SAW). Khalid had attempted to pull of this manoeuvre a few times earlier but was prevented by the archers but had finally succeeded in doing so due to the archer’s abandonment of their occupied position.
This signalled a reversal in fortunes for the Muslims. The bulk of Quraish who had previously being fleeing, seeing the sudden developments, returned to battle. The Muslims were trapped and under attack on two fronts which led to mass confusion and panic even resulting in Muslim killing Muslim albeit accidently[15].
The Prophet (SAW) was left in an exposed and vulnerable position with only a small group of Sahabah[16] with him and the remainder of the army too far for him to control[17]. The Prophet (SAW) was a courageous man and tried to rectify the situation by putting his own life on the line. He called the Muslims towards him although the idolaters recognised his voice and were closer to him therefore reached him first[18]. The battle now centred on the Prophet (SAW) and this has to be the most difficult trying and testing moment of his life surpassing the day of Taif[19]. More pagans left the main battle and charged towards the Prophet (SAW). This small group of Sahabah performed many heroics in order to defend their leader who they loved more than their own lives. They were under severe pressure but they fought ferociously. Many of them became shaheed. The Prophet (SAW) was pelted by stones and received injuries including broken lower font teeth.
After this there was a lull in the fighting, while the Makkans were regrouping, Abu Ubaidah used his teeth to remove the rings stuck in the Prophet (SAW)’s cheek breaking his own teeth in the process[20]. Ubayy Bin Khalf rode towards the Prophet (SAW) on horseback. The Prophet (SAW) told the Sahabah to allow him to approach. This man had a personal dual to settle with the Prophet (SAW). The Sahabah moved out the way, the Prophet (SAW) picked up a spear and launched it at him. It hit Ubayy between his collarbone and neck and he fell of his horse and ran back to the Quraish camp[21].
The fighting resumed once again with greater intensity and purpose. The Prophet (SAW) had a human shield[22] protecting him from arrows[23]. Ibn Qamiah managed to strike him with his sword on the shoulder resulting in the Prophet (SAW) falling behind in to a ditch dug as a trap by the enemy. Ibn Qamiah then raced back to declare the death of the Prophet (SAW).
The rumour spread quickly. The main army of Muslims were heartbroken. Some fled to the mountains, some toward the desert, some toward Madinah while the rest only wanted to fight till the end. The Quraish then commit the same mistake as the Muslims, thinking they had completed their objective they started plundering after the booty. The Quraishi women then began mutilating the bodies of the deceased.
By now the majority of the Muslim army had dispersed. The Prophet (SAW) began to make a planned withdrawal with the remaining Sahabah who were mostly injured, some more severe than others, were joined by another group of Muslims as they retreated to Mount Uhud. Khalid had spotted this withdrawal and raced after them with some of his men but was unable to catch them before they reached Uhud. Khalid realised the situation was not in his favour as he was on horseback on mountainous terrain. Khalid then informed Abu Sufyan who was looking for the body of the Prophet (SAW) that he was up in the mountain. Abu Sufyan approached hoping that the rumour was still true, thereby had an interesting conversation with Omar[24].
The Muslims started gathering at where the Prophet (SAW) was resting. The Muslim women[25] were tending to the injured. Once the enemy had vacated the battlefield the Muslims went to inspect the dead and wounded. The Janaazah[26] was performed. The Muslims returned to Madinah[27].
The Muslims had lost 70 men whilst the idolaters had lost 22. The pagans spent the night celebrating. Meanwhile, in Madinah, the Muslims were counting their scars but on the orders of the Prophet (SAW) they went after the Quraish the following morning. Abu Sufyan was satisfied with the result and felt Badr had been avenged by Uhud. Even Hind was pleased. Khalid was one of those who wished to finish the Muslims while they were weakened and destroy Islam once and for all. He believed they had achieved nothing which was indeed correct because the Prophet (SAW) and the most prominent Sahabah were still alive and the Islamic State was still intact. Abu Sufyan feared the 300 who had withdrawn would return in the event of another battle although the Prophet (SAW) only asked those who had participated the previous day to return. On hearing the news of the approaching Muslim army, the panic stricken Quraish fled.
My opinion is that the result of the battle is a win for the Muslims albeit not as clear cut as the Battle of Badr. In boxing terms, it was a split decision to the Muslims. Although in terms of casualties it is agreed the Muslims suffered the heavier losses but this is a superficial way of looking at the result of the battle. The best way to judge the battle is to look at the aims and objectives of both sides. Bringing such a large army and having spent such a large amount of money, my opinion is the Quraish undoubtedly wished to kill the Prophet (SAW), wipe out Islam completely and destroy the Islamic State at Madinah. None of these were achieved. Before Abu Sufyan left the battlefield he knew the Prophet (SAW) was alive, he chose not pursue the Muslims up the mountain and chose not to raid Madinah. It must not be forgotten that Quraish army was 3 times larger than the Muslims[28] and yet they only managed to kill 70 Muslims and having had the advantage they did not seize it. It looked to be a comfortable victory for the Muslims. The turning point was certainly the disobedience of the archers and the great manoeuvre of Khalid. A victorious army would not have fled the following morning. There are many lessons to be learned from Uhud such as do not disobey the Prophet (SAW). The Quran contains over 60 verses regarding Uhud[29] I would like to end with one such verse:
“Allah verily made good His promise to you when you routed them by His permission, until (the moment) when your courage failed you, and you disagreed about the order and you disobeyed, after He had shown you that for which you long. Some of you desired the world, and some of you desired the Hereafter. Therefore He made you flee from them, that He might try you. Yet now He has forgiven you. Allah is a Lord of Kindness to believers.”[30]
Bibliography
Akkad, M. (Director) (1976) The Message [Film] Libya: Filmco International Productions
Akram, A.I. (2007) Khalid Bin Waleed Sword Of ALLAH Birmingham: Maktabah
Mubarakpuri, S.R. (2002) The Sealed Nectar London: Darussalam
Subhani, J. (2000) The Message Qum: Ansaryian Publications
Watt, W.M. (1961) Muhammad Prophet & Statesman Oxford: Oxford University Press
[1] This caravan contained the property and wealth of the emigrants who sacrificed everything to go to Madinah. The caravan had safely made it to Syria and was on the return journey to Makkah.
[2] Also Abu Sufyan’s son
[3] Khalid Bin Waleed P:18
[4] Late March 625
[5] The Sealed Nectar P:294
[6] Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam = May the peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him
[7] From his uncle Abbas who was a Muslim yet to declare his faith and still living in Makkah.
[8] The Sealed Nectar P:293
[9] The Sealed Nectar P:298
[10] Khalid Bin Waleed P:23
[11] The Sealed Nectar P:306
[12] The Sealed Nectar P:307
[13] Khalid Bin Waleed P:39
[14] Martyrs
[15] Khalid Bin Waleed P:30
[16] Companions
[17] Khalid Bin Waleed P:32
[18] The Sealed Nectar P:313
[19] When the Prophet (SAW) went to Taif to preach Islam but was ridiculed by the chiefs and stoned by the town’s children.
[20] The Sealed Nectar P:321
[21] When he came to Madinah to ransom his son after Badr, he said he would kill the Prophet (SAW) but the Prophet (SAW) promised to kill him instead. Indeed the prophecy came true. It is reported the wound was only superficial however he was adamant he would die causing hysteria among the pagans. He died after the battle on the way back to Makkah.
[22] Abu Dujanah
[23] Khalid Bin Waleed P:33
[24] AS: Is Mohammed among you? Is Abu Bakr among you? Is Omar among you? (no response)AS: These 3 are dead. They will trouble us no more O: You lie O enemy of ALLAH! Those 3 are still alive and there are enough of us left to punish you severely! AS: May ALLAH protect you O son of Khattab! Is Mohammed really alive? O: By my Lord Yes! Even now he hears what you say AS: You are more truthful than Ibn Qamiah AS: Glory to Hubal! O[now repeating the words of the Prophet (SAW)]: Glory Be To ALLAH! AS: We have Uzza. You have no Uzza O: ALLAH is our Lord. You have no Lord AS: This is our day for your day of Badr. It is equal O: they are not equal. Our dead are in Paradise while your dead are in the fire! AS: we shall meet again at Badr next year. O: You have our pledge. It is an appointment. AS: You will find among your dead some who have been mutilated. I neither ordered this nor approved of it. Do not blame for this.
[25] Including the Prophet (SAW)’s daughter Fatimah and his wife Aisha
[26] Funeral Prayer
[27] The Sealed Nectar P:334
[28] 4x after withdrawal of hypocrites
[29] Mainly in Surah Ali Imran
[30] 3:152
 

Google, Apple, and Facebook Battle Struggle for Your Internet Experience

Summary:
Apple, Google, and Facebook are all trying to dominate our internet experience. Apple is not only based on hardware but also software. The Apple store offers about 2 million applications for mobile and tablet devices. Furthermore, Apple’s IOS is very secure and user-friendly, which is why it is a top contender of internet experience. Google is the leading search engine, it provides Android for free to smartphone manufacturers, making Android a primary OS used worldwide. Facebook is the world’s largest social networking service. People use Facebook to connect with friends and family, and because it is so appealing it has become the primary gateway to the internet. Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising; however, they are looking for ways to expand by moving to messaging, and video displays, and this challenges YouTube. 95% of young adults use Facebook products, while Google and Apple provides 99% of mobile operating systems.
Related Research:
According to research Google has been talking about a new operating system (OS) Fuchsia that would replace Android. Fuchsia is building towards the next generation of smartphones. Like Apple Google wants to have its own OS so that they can have control over code, hardware and licensing. For Facebook, relevance is the focus of their personalization algorithm. Facebook looks at the smallest aspects of your online life so that it can recommend advertisements, similar to Google. Facebook is now finding ways to built the next big platform and recently, they started to put money into smart displays, like virtual reality. Apple has a reputation for innovative products. Moreover, Apple has a efficient supply chain, they own chip manufacturers and have a community of millions of software developers creating applications for Apple products. Apple products work seamlessly with one another which is why so many people go for Apple. 
Question 1: Compare business models and core competencies of Google, Apple, Facebook
Apple’s business model focuses on centralized control of most aspects of its hardware and software. In 2011 Apple introduced SIRI (speech interpretation and recognition interface). Apple is not only gaining revenue on hardware devices but also Apple Music and iCloud storage payments. Apple’s core competencies are its innovative design, due to Apple’s appealing features, there is a significant competitive advantage over rival companies. Apple’s products are very hard to imitate and are very consistent in its product portfolio development.

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Google continues to be the number one search engine. Its business model focuses on the Internet and the Web. Approximately 84% of revenue coming from advertisements. Google’s core competencies are that in 2005 they purchased Android, an open-source mobile operating system to compete in mobile computing. Google provides Android at no cost thus making its main source of revenue through app purchases. Google’s core competencies are to extend Android to as many devices as possible. 
Facebook gains 98% of its revenue from advertising. Facebook is also a serious competitor to Google in the mobile ad market. Facebook has its own search engine which competes with Google. During the past few years, Facebook has moved into virtual reality, messaging and video. A new standalone app will allow users to stream videos through setup boxes like Amazon.com, Apple TV as well as Samsung interconnected TVs.
Question 2: Why mobile computing is important to these firms?
Mobile computing is important to these firms because it does the activities that involve the internet without needing to be in one specific place. Not only that but it also increases the revenue of the firms. The strategies that firms use will be more customer-friendly. This can improve customer sand supplier intimacy. 

The mobile industry’s leader is Apple. The mobile computing strategy started with Apple’s iPhone, iPod, iTunes. Apple also provides IOS which is a closed platform that is only available for Apple devices, making it more restricted.
Google introduced the Android mobile operating system for non-Apple devices. Android is open and allows users to use any applications through any resources, unlike iTunes. Google owns YouTube and Google Maps which provides user free access to watch videos and find places.
Facebook provides a mobile advertisement on its homepage as well as on phone screens. Facebook also has its own search tool. As Facebook moves towards virtual reality, messaging and more it challenges firms like Google.

Question 3: Which company and business model is likely to dominate?
I think Google’s business model will likely dominate because there are a variety of services that Google provides. The three basic markets for mobile computing, are hardware, OS and application stores, all of which Google provides. Their OS Android is free therefore many manufacturers are using Android as the standard operating system. Furthermore. Lastly, Google’s App Store has the biggest advantage of them all. With many applications online and more in development, Google has taken a toll on the competition.
Question 4: What difference would it make to a consumer if the firms dominated the internet experience?
If the firms were to dominate the internet experience, then the consumer would eventually have to choose from one manufacturer only based on personal preference. 
References:

Bhatia, R. (2018, September 4). How Google Fuchsia May Change Your Internet Experience As You Know It. Retrieved October 29, 2019, from https://analyticsindiamag.com/how-google-fuchsia-may-change-your-internet-experience-as-you-know-it/.
Kifleswing. (2019, October 19). Why big tech companies keep pouring money into hardware when Apple still dominates. Retrieved October 29, 2019, from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/19/microsoft-amazon-google-and-facebook-have-new-gadgets-for-holidays.html.
Linton, I. (2019, February 11). What Is Apple’s Competitive Advantage in Its Industry? Retrieved October 29, 2019, from https://bizfluent.com/info-8734236-apples-competitive-advantage-industry.html.
Shayna Hodkin, S. (2015, August 7). The Internet of Me: Creating a Personalized Web Experience. Retrieved October 29, 2019, from https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-me/.
Spoonauer, M. (2019, April 19). 10 Reasons the iPhone Beats Android. Retrieved October 29, 2019, from https://www.tomsguide.com/us/iphone-is-better-than-android,news-21307.html.

 

The Tet Offensive: Battle Analysis

Battle Analysis

The Tet Offensive

The Turing Point of the War

DEFINE THE SUBJECT

On January 30th and 31st, 1968, a series of coordinated surprise attacks by North Vietnam took place on South Vietnam. Ranging from military outposts, provincial capitals, the autonomous cities, district capitals and towns, and the capital of South Vietnam called Saigon. This incursion would be known as the Tet Offensive, these surprise attacks were aimed at to breaking the stalemate in the Vietnam War since 1964, between the communist government of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong National Liberation Front against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States and its allies.

REVIEW THE SETTING

Strategic/Operation Overview

The Tet Offensive took place on the lunar New Year on the Vietnamese calendar, called the Tet. It was the most important holiday on the calendar for most North and South Vietnamese people. In previous years, the Tet Holiday had been an occasion for an informal truce within the Vietnam War. However, in late 1967 and early1968, General Vo Nguyen Giap of the North Vietnamese Military chose this occasion for a coordinated surprise attack aimed at to breaking the stalemate in the Vietnam War. General Giap and the North Vietnamese government believed that these surprise attacks would cause the U.S. Armed Forces and Army of the republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to collapse and foment discontent and rebel among the South Vietnamese population. Furthermore, General Giap also believed that the alliance between the United States and South Vietnam would break and hoped that the offensive would drive a wedge between them and convince the American leaders to give up their defense of South Vietnam and eventually unifying North and South Vietnam.

Study The Area Of Operations

(1)   Weather

The Tet Offensive was timed to coincide with the poor weather in some parts of South Vietnam ranging from fog, mist, rain and even monsoon in the northeast of South Vietnam. It played a part for the PAVN offensives with some of the elements they were able to conceal their movements around towns, cities, and military bases. The reason for this is that most of the southern areas of and northern area of South Vietnam only have two types of climate seasons, a rainy season and a is dry season. It is like living in areas of the southern states of Georgia and Louisiana.  Another big factor of the Tet Offensive was the time frame of the attacks, in which that most of the attacks took place either in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning that following day.

(2)   Terrain

 The country’s terrain that dictated the Tet Offensive at that time was South Vietnam. The Terrain of South Vietnam is divided into several parts that consist of mountainous terrain that has densely covered forest in that area in the Central Highlands connecting with Laos and Cambodia that is in the northern part of South Vietnam. The other terrain features of South Vietnam are tropical coastal lowlands covers 20% of the southern area of the country. This is where most of the towns, cities, and the capital of Saigon are located in South Vietnam but later renamed to Ho Chi Ning City.

Compare the principle antagonists

(1)   Size and Composition

Before the offensive began the ARVN strength had about 350,000 regulars in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. South Vietnamese also regional and local militias that consist about 149,000. Even though they had a reasonable force, but they were dependent relay on outside military aid that and economic aid. The majority of economic aid the military aid was consist of military equipment and manpower that was provided by United States government, due to the fact the ARVN had inexperience offices and troops as well as the will to fight sometimes.

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On the other hand the U.S. Armed Forces relied on several things such as new technology, the intelligence from the CIA and the strength of numbers. In  the begin of 1968 U.S. only  had deployed over about 331,098 Army personnel and 78,013 Marines that consisted of nine divisions, an armored cavalry regiment, and two separate brigades to the of country of South Vietnam. They were also joined with the 1st Australian Task Force, a Royal Thai Army regiment, two South Korean infantry divisions and a Republic of Korea Marine Corps brigade.

In comparison to the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Viet Cong (V.C.) South Vietnamese and U.S. military intelligence believed that PAVN and the V.C. forces in South Vietnam during January 1968 had a total of 323,000 men, including 130,000 North Vietnamese regulars, 160,000 V.C. and members of the infrastructure, and 33,000 service and support troops. Both the PAVN and the V.C. were organized into nine divisions composed of 35 infantry and 20 artillery or anti-aircraft artillery regiments, which were, in turn composed of 230 infantry and six Sapper Battalions. (See the picture below for the full details of all the units that participated in the Vietnam War/ Tet Offensive of 1968). PAVN and the V.C. relied on deception espionage and guerrilla tactics. They were also dependent on outside economic aid and military aid as well. The vast majority of the economic aid and military aid was provided by either the Soviet Union or by China.

(2)   Technology

For the Tet Offensive the U.S. and its allies had several primary weapons ranging from the of the M1 Garand rifle, M2 Carbine rifle, the M14, With an effective range of 500 yards, the with its 7.62 mm M14 rifle was the primary infantry weapon of the U.S. military. The classic AR-15 better known as the M16A1 with its 5.56 mm weapon first introduced to the Army in 1965 it was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam, and the M60s (nickname “The Pig” because of its hefty size) with its 7.62 mm 200-round belt behemoth served as a squad automatic firearm during the war among many U.S. units. The weapon suffered its share of drawbacks it would blazed through rounds so quickly that every soldier in a squad typically had to carry an extra 200-round belt of ammo just for the weapon. As well as inability of crews to change out the barrel rapidly after prolonged firing. It was also susceptible to the Vietnamese climate, which made damage and deterioration inevitable.

For the PAVN and the VC they also had multiple weapons, raging from the Kar 98k, Arisaka type 99 rifle, the Type 38 rifle to Stg-44, but the standard infantry weapon that VC and the PAVN used was the Soviet SKS (better known as the AK-47) it’s a carbine/semi-automatic rifle with it 7.62mm round or the Chinese version of the Type 56 Carbine similar to the AK-47 both weapons were widely used, it more reliable rugged and easier to maintain but it was less accurate. VC and the PAVN also used the B-40 Rocket Launcher and Rocket Propelled Grenade (better known as the RPG). The RPG was originally designed for use against armored vehicles but it was adapted for anti-personnel use to good effect.

(3)   Doctrine and Training/Intelligence

The U.S. intelligence (CIA) and the U.S. Armed Forces at that time had the capabilities to investigate and verify certain key transmissions that were coming-in from the VC and PAVN. They also had the capabilities get their hands on certain documentations that were left behind by PAVN and its allies VC. But they simply chose to ignore or not employ those elements or doctrines in accordance with their policy and procedures that had.

(4)   Conditions and Morale

Despite the poor Intel that was giving out and the lack of commutation from higher command. U.S. Armed Forces its allies had a good morale and their willingness to fight prior to the Tet Offensive. That suddenly changed there after the PAVN and V.C launched their surprised attacks all over the South Vietnam. Largely to the leadership failing to recognized key signals and miss opportunities that lead up to the Tet Offensive by the PAVN and V.C. The morale of US troops was still same but they shocked that PAVN and the V.C. was able to coordinate a larger scale attack all over South Vietnam. On the other hand public opinion about the war started to change back in the United States.

(5)   Command, Control & Communication

Command, control, on the part of the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies was at best when it came to the Tet Offensive. They were able to drive back the enemy forces in mostly all the location that PAVN and the V.C. attacked in South Vietnam. But when it came to on the communication/Intel that was mostly handed to them or given up by the PAVN and V.C. forces. The U.S. Armed Forces and its allies they didn’t do their due diligence in follow up with those investigations or they didn’t reverifing those leads that had. That could have prevented the Tet Offensive in the first place.

(6)   Leadership

The leadership of the U.S. military was the single largest factor in the attack on South Vietnam. General Westmoreland could have divert his attention and recourse away from o defending town/city of Khe Sanh and started focusing on the Intel that was coming in from U.S. intelligence prior to the Tet Offensive. That could have prevented the surprise attacks that happen all over the country of South Vietnam.

State the Mission

The main objective of the ARVN and U.S. Armed Forces during the Tet Offensive was to stop any offensive attacks that the PAVN and the V.C. had started and defended all the provincial capitals, towns and key installations and pushing back the enemy forces way at all cost.

The main mission of the PAVN and the V.C. was to attack major cities and towns including of all five provincial capitals, key structures and installations in the capital of Saigon. The goal was to break the stalemate in the Vietnam War and drive a wedge between Alliance of the U.S. and South Vietnamese, then eventually have the American leaders to give up their defense of South Vietnam.

Describe the Initial Disposition of the Opposing Forces

In order to prepare for the Tet Offensive, General Giap needed several key factor be in place before launching the Tet Offensive. First key factor, increased resources and supplies long the Ho Chi Minh Trail to its forward operating bases along the Cambodian and South Vietnam border. The logistical build-up began in mid-year of 1967 – mid January 1968, it consist of 81,000 tons of supplies and 200,000 troops, including seven complete infantry regiments and 20 independent battalions made the trip south on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

General Giap second key factor was deception, meaning having the American attention and forces away from the population centers in the lowlands area, by having the People’s Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) launched a series of attacks in 1967 on Isolated American garrisons in the highland of central South Vietnam and along the Laotian border just below the Demilitarized Zone and Cambodian frontiers.

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The last key that General Giap want was a On January 21, 1968 PAVN forces began a massive artillery bombardment on the U.S. Marine Garrison at Khe Sanh which was located in northern part of the South Vietnam on a principal road into Laos. President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Top U.S. General William Westmoreland commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam (MACV), focused their defense of Khe Sanh drawing away military recourse away from the big towns and cities leaving them vulnerable for an open attack as well as allowing General Giap’s and it PAVN forces of 70,000 poised to begin objective of the Tet Offensive this would take place all over the country of South Vietnam.

DESCRIBE THE ACTION

a. Describe Opening Moves of the Battles & Major Phases & Key Events

 The Tet Offensive was set in three phase, the first phase of the Tet Offensive took place shortly after midnight on January 30th, 1968 It consist of the PAVN attacking five provincial capitals in II Corps and Da Nang I Corps, headquarters of the U.S. I Field Force. Those first attacks may have been launched prematurely due to confusion and changeover in the calendar date by V.C. Shortly thereafter other towns and cities followed suit from Ban Me Thuot, Kon Tum, Hoi An, Tuy Hoa, Da Nang, Qui Nhơn, and Pleiku. During those operations the PAVN followed a similar pattern just the V.C. at the same locations with a massed ground assaults conducted by battalion-strength elements, sometimes supported by V.C. These forces would join with local cadres who served as guides to lead the regulars to the most senior South Vietnamese headquarters and the radio station. The operations, however, were not well coordinated at the local level. By daylight, almost all PAVN and V.C. forces had been driven from their objectives. By General Phillip B. Davidson he was the new Military Assistance Command, of Vietnam (MACV) chief of intelligence, he then notified General Westmoreland that “This is going to happen in the rest of the country tonight and tomorrow morning.” General Westmoreland then alerted the rest of. U.S. forces were placed on maximum high alert and similar orders were issued to all ARVN units as well. However, The ARVN and U.S. Armed Forces that didn’t get attack responded without any real sense of urgency cause they though it was a false alert since due the Tet holiday.

On the following day of January 31st, 1968, approximately 84,000 PAVN and V.C. forces started too mortared or rocketed every major allied airfield and attacked 64 district capitals and scores of smaller towns. They assailed through Saigon, Cholon, and Gia Dinh in the Capital Military District; Quang Tri (again) Hue, Tam Ky, and Quang Ngi as well as U.S. bases at Phu Baj and Chu Lai, Phan Thiet Tuy Hoa (again) and U.S. installations at Bong Son and An Khe; Can Tho, and Vinh Long. The by the following day, Bien Hoa, Long Thanh, Binh Druong, Kien Hoa, Dinh Tuong, Go Cong, Kien Giang, Vinh Binh, Ben Tre, Vĩnh Bình, and Kien Tuong were also assaulted as well. The first phase of the Tet Offensive attacks lasted until

February 24th 1968. There were other Tet Offensive attacks they were called two phases and three phase.

 The second phase of attacks the Tet Offensive or Mini-Tets that most South Vietnamese and Americans called them. In late April 1968 and ended the following month in late May 1968. These attacks consist of 50,000 men and women of the PAVN striking 119 targets in South Vietnam including the capital of Saigon (again).

 The third and finally phase of the Tet Offensive attacks started on August 17th, 1968 and ending in mid or late September of 1968. North Vietnamese Army mostly targeted military elements and towns that border Cambodia such as Tay Ninh, An Loc, Loc Ninh and the capital of South Vietnam Saigon was struck again as well.

b. State the outcome

The Tet offensive showed a considerable degree of military preparedness, skill and bravery on the part of the PAVN and the V.C. It shook the morale of the US Armed Forces, which was forcibly made aware of its own vulnerability, and it had a profound effect on US public opinion. However, from a military point of view it must be seen as a defeat for the PAVN and the V.C. When the offensive was over in most parts of South Vietnam. The Americans and its allies remained in control and the PAVN and the V.C had suffered heavy losses. PAVN and the V.C. dead totaled somewhat around 45,000 and the number of prisoners nearly 7000, while the Americans and South Vietnamese lost about 6000, with 16,000 wounded and over 1,000 missing in action. Within a matter of days PAVN and the V.C. were driven from most of the positions they had acquired. This was both the high point of guerrilla actions in the war and the beginning of their decline. Thus, the Tet offensive ended in the destruction of much of the V.C. infrastructure in the south. This was a heavy blow. After the Tet offensive, the regular North Vietnamese army (PAVN) did most of the fighting against the U.S. and its allies. Although the Tet offensive had failed in its major objectives, it had a profound and lasting effect on the course of the war. The cost in North Vietnamese casualties was horrendous but General Giap’s gambler proved to be the turning point in the War. It was a media disaster for the White House and effectively ended the presidency of Lyndon Johnson,

ASSESS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ACTION

Relate Cause Effect

This failure to not follow the doctrine, policies or procedures that they had in place, caused fatal error exploited the U.S. Armed Forces and the ARVN that lead up to the Tet offensive and also was the turning point of the Vietnam War. If the U.S. Intelligence (CIA) simply had utilized the proper doctrine, tools, and protocols to investigate and verify more thoroughly on certain key reports, secret documents and radio transmission, surely the ARVN and the U.S. Armed Forces would have been more prepared or they could also prevented the Tet Offensive as well.

Establish Military “Lessons Learned”

Perhaps the biggest take-away from this battle, could be the absolute importance of Command, Control, and Communication.  Those three principals were severely lacking in this example, and ultimately played major roles in the outcome of the battle. The other lesson learned from this attack is that if our government agencies has the capability to investigate Intel of incoming transmissions or “acquire” certain documentation received from your spies, allies or even from the enemy. It needs to investigate and verify and then reverified again so that something like the Tet Offensive never happens again.

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Did FIghter Command Nearly Get Defeated in the Battle of Britain?

Fighter Command came close to defeat during the Battle of Britain. How accurate is this statement?

 

Off Cdt Nixon 263, D Squadron, D Flt

The year of 1940-41 proved a pivotal time during World War 2, not only had France surrendered by June 1940 but both the United states and the Soviet Union remained out of the war. This left Great Britain the only remaining world power in the fight against the Nazi regime[1]. With the fall of France, Germany was now a predominant power across the continent. The Battle of Britain to come was to put Britain under extreme pressure to litigate peace on German terms, or to gain ‘air superiority’ known as directive 17 for Hitlers’ planned invasion, Operation Sealion[2]. This essay will examine three main points that ultimately demonstrate that even though Fighter Command became stretched at times and the overall victory was only by a narrow margin, it did not come close to defeat. Firstly, it will discuss, how Britain had effectively used its advancement in technologies such as, the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) to their advantage. Secondly the poor intelligence and leadership of the German high command that led to both strategic and operational level failures, and finally the British war effort production output which all combined support the fact that fighter command did not come close to defeat.

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Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding became commander of Fighter command on 14th July 1936 and within a week chose Bentley Priory to become the new headquarters (HQ)[3]. It was here at Bentley Priory that would be home to the world’s first Integrated Air Defence System (IADS), the ‘Dowding System’. Prior to entering his role as Air Chief Marshall, Dowding had contributed to the decision that led to the funding and research into RDF (Radio Direction Finding)[4] which in turn would become an essential component to the IADS by the end of 1939. The capability of this technology meant that enemy aircraft can be detected with its height and distance approaching the UK mainland from Europe. This provided the British pilots a minimum of a 5-minute warning prior to an attack as the aircraft crossed the channel that the observer corps was not capable of providing.  This technology brought a range of advantages to fighter command, one being that little to no standing patrols were required which in turn would diminish manpower and a range of resources. The system would also guide British pilots into effective high advantage positions for engaging the enemy from above.  The system was not just comprised of fighter command and its aircraft but, the observer corps and anti-aircraft batteries. All working in unison under the same command from Bentley Priory, allowing flexibility at tactical level[5]. The UK was split into four segments, number 10-13 group, each being informed with critical information from the HQ, allowing each area to conduct its own ‘mission command’ and tactically apply their assets to intercept the enemy with the sector and station that was best suited and equipped for the task[6].  This statement is supported by a Luftwaffe pilot Adolf Garrand who stated,

“From the first the British had an extraordinary advantage, never to be balanced out at any time during the whole war, which was their radar and fighter control network and organisation. It was for us a very bitter surprise. We had nothing like it. We could do no other than knock frontally against the outstandingly well-organised and resolute direct defence of the British Isles”

 

For a period of the battle the Luftwaffe targeted the RDF sites, although only small effects were felt across the arm due to the effectiveness of the repairs on the equipment, it was only direct hits that caused prolonged damage. To counter the down time for repair after direct damage, fighter command installed dual transmitters so a recognised air picture (RAP) could be maintained throughout the battle, keeping that advantage to British pilots. The Dowding system was crucial in evading defeat by providing fighter command with a vigorous detection, dispatch and control system. Allowing the RAF to put the principles of war into effective use, surprise, concentration of force, flexibility and economy of effort.

June 30th 1940, Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering signed the operational directive 17 for the aerial war against the British Isles. The plan incorporating an attack against the RAF itself, its support echelons and the aircraft industry. These attacks would create the necessary conditions for an assault on the UK mainland known as Operation Sealion. The strain of blitzkrieg and the battle for the Fjords of Norway imposed a significant host of economic, tactical and strategic problems before solving the “British question”. The German intelligence and leadership during these key months proved to be inadequate to achieve success, causing significant changes to operational tasks. All the way up to July 1940, Hitler still believed that the UK would sue for peace which he would happily accept. At this time the mood in Berlin was euphoric, the Germans believed that the war was almost over. Following Goering’s lead the Luftwaffe paid little attention to the future operational problems in securing the UK.  A report produced on 16th July 1940 by the Luftwaffe significantly underestimated the capabilities of the ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Spitfire’ aircraft, along with no mention of the Britain’s Integrated Air Defence System[7], finishing with the positive note that “the Luftwaffe, unlike the RAF, will be in the position in every respect to achieve a decisive effect this year”. A lack of intelligence in the operational capabilities of the British aircraft against those in the Luftwaffe’s arsenal led to an overestimation of theirs. German Bombers, Stukas and the BF 110 fighter proved vulnerable to British fighters, it was only the Bf 109 that proved a compatible match to the Spitfire and superior to the Hurricane. The single engine fighter BF 109 thus had to provide protection to all bomber and BF110 sorties throughout the battle. This overworked the German fighter crews and its equipment, leading to heavier casualties as the battle progressed.  Prior to the battle, Britain had 1032 aircraft across its operational bases, 715 being ready for immediate action and a further 424 in storage units. These reserves remained unknown to German intelligence leading to a miscalculation of the number of aircraft required at the front to have superior numbers to overwhelm Fighter Command. It was with these statistics that Goering assigned only 1011 fighters with 805 being immediately ready for combat to the front for operations[8]. The numerous varying intelligence reports from various levels led to the German strategy to change sporadically, even when each phase had not been completed. It was these decisions to change the aim of attack that provided Fighter Command the opportunity to adjust and repair for a prolonged fight. Fighter command was coping during the operational phase targeting aerodromes and industry infrastructure by 12 group supporting and protecting the airfields while 11 group were up engaging the enemy.  Hitler ordered a change in the strategy on the 7th September 1940 to target London in retaliation to Bomber Commands attack on Berlin. It is clear that this shift in tactics relieved some of the stresses on both the bomber and fighter commands and its resources, providing an invaluable rest period to recover its losses to full capability.  Even if there wasn’t a shift in the German strategy to target 11 group aerodromes, the introduction of more satellite airfields could have been utilised or a tactical withdrawal to retreat the aircraft inland out of the range of the German fighters meant that fighter command would have remained an effective fighting force and have the ability to project air power on an invasion force.

 Prior to the war Dowding in 1937 convinced the Prime Minister of the time, Neville Chamberlain, to increase his force. He achieved this by convincing the Prime Minister and the Minister of Co-ordination of Defence, Sir Thomas Inskip that the manufacture of fighters was the far cheaper option in comparison to a fleet of bombers. Neville chamberlain believed that bombers were immoral and therefore were neglected in the development of the Air Force prior to the Second World War. This decision led to the purchase and manufacture of over 1000 Hurricanes and 310 Spitfires between 1936-1938, beginning the mass production of fighter aircraft. By June 1940, the production output was approximately 500 aircraft a month, this figure was only once succeeded in August 1940 where the fighting was at its height. The Harrogate Programme set in January 1940, set the target of 3602 fighters to be manufactured per annum, although this was exceeded by 681, demonstrating the efficiency of the British Industry. During the battle the repairs to damaged aircraft was complemented by the Civilian Repair Organisation (CRO). At its highest point this administration help deliver a further 160 aircraft per week to the front line. It was with the combined effort of the British industry that the German’s were being massively out produced for fighter aircraft. By the end of the battle figures showed that between June – November 2091 aircraft were manufactured compared to 1220 lost in combat, alongside this there was a significant increase in the number of available pilots, coming from accelerated training programmes and squadrons being formed of pilots from occupied Europe. In comparison the German’s had a different doctrine in its formation of aircraft fleets, a combination of aircraft from bombers to fighters, acting as an Expeditionary Air Wing. There was no organised manufacture and repair unit to repair and return damaged aircraft to the frontline. All of Germany’s industry was within its homeland, this caused a huge logistical effort to fix severely damaged aircraft efficiently. Even though the Luftwaffe could inflict heavy losses upon Fighter Command there was always a consistent flow of newly trained pilots and enough fighter aircraft at the front to remain a formidable fighting force. This was achieved as the Luftwaffe failed to continue to target infrastructure and industry due to their strategic change to bomb London. On the other hand, the German’s also suffered heavy losses across the year and was not able to maintain its number of pilots or aircraft at the front because of its poor logistic set up and the manufacturing doctrine of the Luftwaffe.

In the inter-war years, the build-up and development of the German Air Force was flawed with its doctrine and the competition between its leadership. The Luftwaffe was predominately equipped with aircraft and technology that was outdated, principally their heavy bombers (Ju87, He111). The maintenance and production of aircraft was flawed with logistical errors and poor aircraft manufacturing doctrine. This led to a significant drop in aircraft numbers which were operationally ready at the front during the battle. Meanwhile the British industry were capable of manufacturing and maintain sufficiently high numbers continuously and therefore maintaining the number of fighter aircraft at the front. In terms of operational capability, the Luftwaffe were well trained and experienced, although organised to support the movement of the army and not to conduct its own independent operations. The leadership had failed to see this structure was not working as it had proved so effective with the Condor legion during the Spanish Civil War and the Blitzkrieg across Europe. The critical fault therefore lies with how the German leadership conducted the campaign and its intelligence gathering. Germany had failed in achieving accurate intelligence prior and during the battle which lead to poor decisions being made. Decisions made by Hitler himself and Goering led to the Luftwaffe’s resources being used ineffectively or withdrawn during the latter part of the battle for the planned invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa), allowing the Royal Air Force (RAF) the ability to recover, regroup and develop a strategic plan to counter.  The effectiveness of Fighter Command in utilising its technological advancements over the enemy and its aircraft was an advantage the German’s could never match. The detailed control system based out of Bentley Priory provided the RAF fighter pilots with a significant advantage in battle through its early warning and recognised air picture. These factors combined stopped the Luftwaffe gaining a foothold to gain air superiority by defeating Fighter Command to assist the land invasion Operation Sealion or crushing the morale of the British people to surrender.

Bibliography

Overy, Richard (2010) The Battle of Britain – Myth and Reality (London: Penguin Books).

Bungay, Stephen (2009), The Most Dangerous Enemy (London: Aurum Press Ltd).

Murray, Williamson (2002) Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945 (University Press of the Pacific).

Lt Col Lund, Earl (1996) The Battle of Britain: The German Perspective (USAF)        

Smith, Tyler (2016) Enduring the Battle of Britain and the Blitz: Perseverance of the British Home Front from 1940-1941 (Liberty University)

Bishop, Patrick (2010) Battle of Britain (Clays Ltd)

Cooksley, Peter.G (1983) 1940 The Story of No.11 Group, Fighter Command (Robert Hale Limited)

C.Dildy Douglas (2018) Battle of Britain 1940: The Luftwaffe’s ‘Eagle Attack’ (Osprey Publishing Ltd)

Ray, John (1994) The Battle of Britain New Perspectives: Behind the Scenes of the Great Air War (DAG Publications Ltd)

Deighton, Len (1980) Battle of Britain (Dai Nippon Printing Company Ltd)

[1] Smith, Tyler (2016) p.4

[2] C. Dildy, Douglas (2018) p.40

[3] G. Cooksley, Peter (1983) p.65

[4] C. Dildy, Douglas (2018) p.26

[5] C. Dildy, Douglas (2018) p.28

[6] Lt Col Lund, Earl (1996)

[7] Ray, John (1994) p46-47

[8] Overy Richard (2010) p.32
 

The Battle Between Alternative and Traditional Media

The discussion about where the most reliable source to get information is has been debated during recent years in society. The traditional media such as newspaper, magazines and television are currently battling against some non-traditional media such as Twitter, Youtube and Blogs are trying to keeping their relevance and trust of the people. As Dogu (2015) argued, media daily produces some material dramatic ideological trends which can be observed giving their version of the facts. For that reason, it is a  factor which dramatically motivates people to examine past events analyzing the relations of the media and how it covers other cases. After the significant increase of alternative media, some people prefer mainly to believe just in traditional and famous communication vehicles supporting the narrative that minor media is not reliable. According to Emanuelson (2018), fake news appears throughout history, such as the private industry, misleading customers using false news in advertising such as some campaigns about the benefits of smoke. However, in current times, technology contributes to expanding news rapidly around the world. It seems obvious that alternative media is essential to provide an opportunity for people to get more than one side of the facts, give transparency for news and contribute to deconstructing narratives helping the investigation of facts.

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It is undeniable that the advent of alternative media has brought the possibility for many people to have access quickly to information, and not only that, it was also possible to facilitate access to more than one version of the news.  According to Emanuelson (2018), social media bringing a usable space for the spread of all kind of information. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow anyone to directly shares some information from one media to another. Famous people, such as actors and singers, can instantly share their content with thousands of fans. It is now commonplace to notice people searching for more than one source when they want to check a fact and can often see both sides of the fact. A good and current example is some news that accuses a famous and reputable person about something that can generate controversy, it is now possible to have direct access to what the accused has to say without needing the traditional media as an intermediary.
The significant increase of demand for alternative media and the reduction of interest in cable television, newspapers and traditional channels has created a space for fair competition for space and also greater transparency and concern for the reputation of those responsible for generating content. As Etter, Ravasi and Colleoni (2019) argued, genuinely, journalists tend to follow the same processes and criteria to write and frequently use a similar set of sources of information for their content. The constant reduction of time available to research, examine, and reflection forced several agencies of news to use prepackaged materials, resulting in shallow standard news. These factors contribute to the fact that public opinion might no longer rely on traditional media, as Etter, Ravasi and Colleoni (2019) reported, social media construct a plurality of experiences, stances, and points of view. The range of speakers that host the information is not necessarily part of commercial news, and much of the content became from personal experiences. For instance, it is possible to remember the incident that happened inside the United Airlines plane in April 2017, where by mistake the crew had no seats for all passengers and after an intense discussion took three passengers the force from inside the aircraft and they followed the trip. That same day, various popular and reputable media declared that passengers attacked the crewmembers of the plane, but some people filmed it hiding and managed to spread the truth about alternative channels on the internet, this is just one of many examples that help to clarify the relevance that alternative media has brought to make the facts more transparent.
The possibility of deconstructing narratives and deepening the search for truth is undoubtedly the most significant contribution that alternative media has brought to people. It is common to receive reports from people who update themselves daily using alternative media. According to Conference Papers International Communication Association (2017), civil commitment might imply personal and group actions designed to place and solve problems of social concern. This motivation can carry several forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. The Internet brings other ways of civic compromises, such as signing online requests, contacting federal and political employees, join in online groups, and making comments in online discussions and news. The Pew Research Center as cited by Conference Papers International Communication Association (2017), recently reported that youthful adults are more susceptible to use social media as a significant source of information and that represents 62% of U.S. adults overall get news on social media sites. In addition, 39% of also American adults take part in politic or civic activities on social networking sites, which proposed that kind of online involvement might be considered a model of political participation. This kind of behaviour with the increase of the active participation of the population contributes so that the traditional media re-think the methods of work and mainly look for alternatives to conclude better investigations in search of the truth of the facts. What is common in the current days is to see ordinary people refuting with reasonable pieces of evidence and facts some news of reputable traditional media vehicles and often bringing new elements to the knowledge of all public opinion. A shining example is the elections in several countries around the world where, independently of the political position, all have equal access to diverse sources of information, unlike the traditional model of the past, that information came only from a few sources with the tendencies pre-defined. Today, the power of analysis and deepening is in the hands of ordinary citizens.
Regarding those who believe that traditional media is the safest and most reliable source of news, some arguments support this thinking. The most important and standard is that many people understand that non-traditional media content always brings a radical view of facts with limited research resources and lack of responsibility of the authors. According to Dogu (2015), alternative media has a habit of using practices from the places or communities to which they are linked and often produce materials with radical content as opposed to hegemonic discourses.  It seems clear that this argument does not hold, what is needed is to be very clear when analyzing the sources and also the truthfulness of the facts. The most honest way to do this filter is from the individual who is consuming this news, from the moment that the great and famous media vehicles define who is right and who is not, they are taking the liberty and trying to manipulate the people mind. According to Emanuelson (2018), social media bring people a significant control over the information that they see while using the service. It is never too much to remember the importance and relevance of the freedom of choice, which is one of the foundations of democracy, so it is always the individuals who must make their own choices.
To sum up, it is essential to state that alternative and non-traditional media such as Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, are very relevant to the current society and that regardless of the political position it is always crucial that the individuals keep their complete and unrestricted freedom to define where they should auto inform themselves. As Dogu (2015) argued, “The significance of alternative media not only comes from the consolidation of freedom of information; they are also important for revealing often-ignored aspects of an issue and for representing oppressed individuals and groups who never had space on the mainstream debate.” In order to maintain this, it is essential that traditional and reputable media corporations and governments respect the positions and adverse arguments. However, it is also mandatory that individuals continue to strive for the freedom of alternative media space to be guaranteed and for all to own their positions. If the governments try in some way or the traditional and reputable media does not respect the freedom of alternative media, the future will be uncertain. Moreover, very probably might begin a kind of digital dictatorship where the truth will be filtered, and it will not be possible to have access to more than one face of the facts based on different sources of research and points of views. As a consequence, this might also produce several implications for the people everyday life, such as a possible collective alienation that is hugely negative for the development of future generations mainly about to the critical thinking which is a vital instrument for building people’s intellect and be successful in their lives.
References

Conference Papers – International Communication Association, (2017).Who finds value in news comment communities? An analysis of the influence of individual user, perceived news site quality, and site type factors. Conference Papers – International Communication Association, 1–38. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/login.aspx?direct=
true&db=ufh&AN=135749835&site=eds-live
Dogu, B. (2015). Comparing online alternative and mainstream media in turkey: coverage of the TEKEL workers protest against privatization. International Journal of Communication (19328036), 9, 630–651. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=110802699&site=eds-live
Emanuelson Jr., E. (2018). Fake left, fake right: promoting an informed public in the era of alternative facts. Administrative Law Review, 70(1), 209–232. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth
&AN=131578913&site=eds-live
Etter, M., Ravasi, D., & Colleoni, E. (2019). Social media and the formation of organizational reputation. Academy of Management Review, 44(1), 28–52. doi:10.5465/amr.2014.0280true&db=ufh&AN=135749835&site=eds-live

 

Mission Command in the Battle of La Drang

The efficiency of mission command makes it a preferred concept in the military because it enhances the capacity to accomplish assigned missions. Mission command guides the human factor to adopt a set of actions and behaviors to make independent decisions, exploit the created opportunities, address the prevailing risks, and achieve the desired end state.1 Mission command ensures that commanders collaborate with the rest of the force to integrate and synchronize operations. In addition, the application of mission command is dependent on six principles that include the need to build cohesive teams through mutual trust, creating shared understanding, providing clear commander’s intent, exercising disciplined initiative, using mission orders, and accepting prudent risk.2

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The Battle of la Drang initiated military revolution that caused a significant shift in how armies conducted their warfare. The use of air mobility to transport soldiers on a surprised enemy, enhanced the efficiency of the US Army and eliminated the challenges and pitfalls associated with terrain. Additionally, they offered lessons that would shape the future utilization of mission command in complex environments. Consequently, it emphasized the need of well-intended commanders to utilize the principles of mission command and enhance the Army to deriving their operational goals. In order to understand the implications of mission command on the Battle of la Drang, it is important to examine the decisions and actions undertaken by both the commanders and personnel. However, this report will only focus on three principles that include providing a clear commander’s intent, exercising disciplined initiative, and the acceptance of prudent risk. Lastly, the information will determine whether the commander applied the principles of mission command to achieve the operation’s goals. 

Provide a Clear Commander’s Intent

A commander’s intent is clear, precise, and concise. It articulates the goal, purpose, and the desired outcome of the operation. The purpose is to guide and unify the actions of the staff, subordinates, and the supporting commanders to attain the commander’s desired outcome even in the absence of orders. The commander should convey the reasons behind the operation, the key tasks to be undertaken, and their intended outcome.3 The efficiency of this principle relies on the existence of a clear communication approach between the commander and his/ her Soldiers prior to the operation.4 It is important that the commander communicates with his/ her Soldiers to raise their awareness and comprehension of expectations, tasks, and boundaries for conducting such roles.

Clear evidence of compliance with the principle in the battle is evident. The commander’s intent had clear and well-defined orders that were to guide the operations of the US Army in Vietnam. The mission orders focused on weakening the Viet Cong and its allies by curtailing their influence, eliminating the local support intended at facilitating their operations, and enhancing the capacity of the local villagers to defend themselves. In order to accomplish these goals, the Special Forces and the Army conducted successive small counterinsurgency throughout the country targeting the Viet Cong and its allies.5 In addition, the orders prioritized the establishment of measures that were to repulse any retaliatory offensive attacks by the Viet Cong and its allies targeting the Special Forces Camps in Plei Me, Dak Sut, and Duc. The approach is evident in the orders issued by General William C. Westmoreland who was the Commander of US Forces in South Vietnam. The strategy led to the deployment of a battalion of Marines to guard the airbase at Pleiku as a means of avoiding a repeat of the offensive attack by the Viet Cong at the base that resulted in eight fatalities and over hundred wounded.6 Consequently, it ensured that the Army was prepared for any future attacks on the base. Furthermore, compliance with this order led to the successful repulsion of a repeat offensive attack by the Viet Cong and its allies. Led by General Chu Huy Man, who was the Commander of the Western Field Front Headquarters, forced them to withdraw towards the Cambodian border. The commander’s orders and intent that shaped the engagement of the US Forces in Vietnam focused on weakening the will of the North Vietnamese to fight. Subsequently, the initial objective was to repeatedly engage and destroy them to maintain a resemblance of a political order in Saigon that could actualize the interests of the US in the region.

The shift of the initial operations targeting the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regiments is a clear illustration. Prior ground combat operations targeting the Viet Cong and its allies rendered ineffective by the terrain of their new location that made it inaccessible. Therefore, it ushered a new and reactive approach by the US Army that involved the deployment of the airmobile assault.7 The decision of this new approach was facilitated by intelligence source that revealed the location of the NVA regiments that were 5 km northwest of landing zone (LZ) X-Ray, south of LZ X-Ray, and 3 km to the northwest of LZ X-Ray.8 As a result, Colonel Brown ordered his 1st Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Harold G. Moore to prepare and execute an airmobile assault into the Ia Drang Valley.9 The successful execution of the airmobile assault required the coordination of varying tasks that could facilitate the acquisition, safe landing, and the protection of the helicopters.

Exercise Disciplined Initiative

Disciplined initiative are actions undertaken by the supporting commanders and Soldiers when the prevailing situation renders the commander’s orders irrelevant or when they face unpredicted opportunities or threats. The supporting commanders use their judgment to initiate actions to adapt to the prevailing situation. However, they are required to adhere to the limits set by the commander’s intent.10 For example, supporting commanders and subordinates can initiate alternative actions to derive the intended outcome. They can engage in actions that strive to solve the prevailing unanticipated threats and problems. In addition, the supporting commanders can defy the commander’s orders if they are unlawful and expose the force to needless risk.11 Adhering to lawful orders strives to ensure that the disciplined initiates are legitimate and credible. Trust is a fundamental principle within the exercising disciplined initiative principle. Leaders and subordinates need to know each other’s limits to make the right choices within the parameters of the commander’s intent.

The preparations that facilitated the execution of the airmobile assaults highlight the compliance with the principle. The opportunity to exert maximum damage on the NVA regiments through aerial bombardment meant that the US Army’s adaptive approach placed them at an advantageous position to accomplish the commander’s initial order of weakening the NVA. Consequently, coordinated preparation efforts undertook suitable landing zones and provided artillery support at strategic positions to protect the helicopters from attack by the NVA regiments.In addition, implemented strategies ensured that the Army assumed a defensive posture that could successfully resist any attacks by the NVA. The strategies involved superior fire support and the timely deployment of additional units from the 1st Cavalry Division to assist the existing forces to repulse the possible attacks by the NVA. Finally, in order to exercise disciplined initiative, subordinates must trust that their leaders will take ownership

of their mistakes, which includes not leaving them unsupported on the battlefield or in their career.12

Accept Prudent Risks

The uncertainty that is prevalent in military operations compels commanders to make decisions that limit the force’s exposure to potential risks, injury, and loss while accomplishing the operation’s goal. The principle recognizes that each opportunity comes with its set of risks and opportunities. Subsequently, the commander needs to determine, analyze, and instigate efforts to address the risks, assess the viability of the opportunities, and initiate appropriate actions that exploit the opportunities.13 The principle prioritizes the element of surprise and mobility when seeking to exploit the presented opportunities. Any actions intended to exploit the opportunities should be undertaken in a location that the enemy does not expect and should deprive them of any knowledge.

While the intended aerial bombardment ensured that the US Army altered their initial approach to accomplish the operation’s intended mission, it failed to account for the varying options that the NVA had to counter their attacks. Specifically, it signifies the inefficient undertaking of the principle because it only focused on the logistics and terrain-based concerns. It neglected the need to limit the force’s exposure to potential risks, injury, and loss by assuming that the NVA regiments lacked the capacity to interfere with the new plan.14 For instance, Lieutenant Colonel Harold G. Moore failed to consider a scenario where the actions of the NVA deviated from his expectations. In addition, failure to articulate the remedial responses that could neutralize the unexpected actions of the NVA regiments threatened the successful accomplishment of the operation’s objectives. Moreover, the inability of Lieutenant Colonel Moore to consider the possible unexpected events while planning the aerial bombardment exposed them to potential failure, injuries, and casualties. The inadequate planning of the aerial bombardment attributed to the damage and the subsequent destruction of Lieutenant Herrick’s platoon caused by the surprise attack from the NVA regiments. Not able to connect with Lieutenant Devney’s platoon, Lieutenant Herrick exposed himself to enemy fire that ultimately led to his death. Lastly, it led to a prolonged engagement that exposed the other platoons and segments of the US Army to surprise attacks by the NVA.

Conclusion

Mission command is a tactical approach utilized by commanders to conduct military operation. The approach focuses on the decentralization of military decision-making that empowers commanders and armies to undertake unified and discipline military operations. Ultimately, accomplishing the commander’s intent and goals of the operation. The efficiency of this approach relies on the capacity to adhere to the provisions articulated by its six guiding principles. While the battle revealed the successful application of the principles of “exercise disciplined initiative” and “provide a clear commander’s intent”, the inefficient application of the “accept prudent risks”, threatened to derail the accomplishment of the operation’s goals. The failure to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the risks associated with the aerial bombardment exposed the US Army to surprise enemy fire.

Notes

1. U.S. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0 Mission Command (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, March 2014), 2.

2. Ibid., 2.

3. Ibid., 4.

4. Ibid., 8.

5. Peter Schifferle, The Ia Drang Campaign 1965: A Successful Operational Campaign or Mere Tactical Failure. (Monograph, School of Advanced Military Studies, 1994), 36.

6. Carl Builder, Steven Bankes and Richard Nordin, Command Concepts: A Theory Derived from the Practice of Command and Control (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1999), 89.

7. Thomas Graves, Transforming the Force: The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963 to 1965. (Strategic Studies Institute and US Army War College Press, 2017), 20.

8. Builder et al., 94.

9. Ibid., 94.

10. Nathan Finney and Jonathan Klug, Mission Command in the 21st Century: Empowering to Win in a Complex World. (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: The Army Press, 2016), 43.

11. Ibid., 85.

12. Ibid., x.

13. U.S. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0 Mission Command (Washington, DC:

Government Printing Office, March 2014), 5.

14. Builder et al., 101.

Bibliography

Builder, Bankes and Richard Nordin. Command Concepts: A Theory Derived from the Practice of Command and Control. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1999.

Finney, Nathan K, and Jonathan P Klug. Mission Command in the 21st Century: Empowering to Win in a Complex World. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: The ArmyPress, 2016.

Graves, Thomas. Transforming the Force: The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963 to 1965. Strategic Studies Institute and US Army War College Press, 2017.

Schifferle, Peter J. The Ia Drang Campaign 1965: A Successful Operational Campaign or Mere Tactical Failure. Monograph, School of Advanced Military Studies, 1994

U.S. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0: Mission Command. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, March 2014.

 

Battle Analysis of the Falkland Islands

 

 

FALKLAND ISLANDS BATTLE ANALYSIS

The battle of the Falkland Island was an undeclared war in 1982 from 2 April to 14 June between the United Kingdom and Argentina. The conflict lasted ten weeks and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June, returning the islands to British control.[1] The battle also was basically the last complete war after the Second world war involving symmetric tactics by both adversaries. Falkland islands battle is of particular interest when considering the application, and combination of military/war theories by famous philosophers like  Henri Jomini, Carl Von Clausewitz, Liddell Hart and Sun Tzu amongst others. Consequently, this paper will discuss the application or misapplication of both forces to some theories propagated by Sun Tzu on Knowing the enemy, Clausewitz on the surprise and Henri Jomini on logistics, 

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“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”[2] It implies that a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the adversary, his capability, intention and reaction to your actions would ensure success. The Falkland battle proved that Argentina did not adhere to this theory in that they had a faulty knowledge of Britain’s political, economic and military resolve before commencing the assault of the Falkland Islands. This is because they perceived the United Kingdom lacked not only the means to defend its interests 8,000 miles from England, but also the national will to employ what little capability remained.”[3] Additionally, the argentines were overoptimistic that the United Nations (UN), the USA and Russia would support its cause for claiming the Falkland islands as part of Argentina.[4] Accordingly, this strategic misconception by the Argentineans, negatively affected its operational plans. As a result, the actions of the Argentine forces were reactionary (improvising) rather than proactive when the British decided on kinetic military action to repossess the Island.[5]

Unlike the Argentines, Britain carefully analyzed its strength and weaknesses against those of its foes. The British had naval and amphibious superiority while the Argentines had air superiority regarding numbers of available aircraft.[6] Consequently, Britain in adherence to Sun Tzu’s theory of “knowing the enemy” came up with four operational objectives named “Operation Corporate”.[7] These operational objectives also buttress the  adoption of Clausewitz theory on military objective i.e. one must keep the dominant characteristics of both belligerents in mind. Out of these characteristics a certain center of gravity develops, the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends. That is the point against which all our energies should be directed. Accordingly, the ability to Britain to adhere to this theory from the onset, accorded them the advantages of initiative and flexibility which eventually led to the recapture of the Falkland Islands.

Thus, march by an indirect route and divert the enemy by enticing him with a

Bait…… [8]

         Sun Tzu 

Surprise therefore becomes the means to gain superiority, but because of its

psychological effect it should also be considered as an independent element.

Whenever it is achieved on a grand scale, it confuses the enemy and lowers morale; many examples, great and small, show how this in turn multiplies   the results.[9]

Carl Von Clausewitz

 In the course of the war, numerous instances of the application of surprise as postulated by Clausewitz by both countries was evident. For example, on 28 March 1982, the Argentinian task force departed from its home port in Puerto Belgrano for an exercise with the Uruguayan navy; almost everybody on board the different ships except very few Officers knew about the true nature of the deployment. After one day at sea, and at the same time, the ships turned their general courses from south to east, the real aim of the underway was communicated and all realized that they were tasked to achieve Argentina’s greatest sovereignty dream, retake the “Islas Malvinas.” This act of deception by the Argentine took the royal marines off guard, and eventually led to the capture of Falkland island. However, this perceived success by Argentinian forces was short-lived. Similarly, the successful attacks by the British forces on Port San Carlos, Goose Green and Darwin were accomplished by combinations of the above stated quotes.

ADHERENCE TO HENRI JOMINI’S THEORY

2. “Logistics comprises the means and arrangement which work out the plans of strategy and tactics Strategy decides where to act logistics brings the troops to this point”.[10]This preceding quotation is from Henri Jomini an 18th Century war theorist whose work was titled the art of war. It emphasized the importance of Logistics in deciding strategy and sustaining tactics in conduct of military operations with respect to the particular operating environment. As mentioned earlier the Falkland islands war was fought across the 3 major operating environments however the highlight of the operations was the formation of a naval task force to counter the Argentine seizure of the Islands which took the British by absolute surprise. The Task force comprising several frigates, submarines and landing ship logistics ships and aircraft carriers had to confront the problem of sailing over 7, 000Nautical miles to the theatre of operations.

3. This major Logistics challenge was addressed by the assistance of several British allies including France, US and the activation of a base at Ascension Island which was approximately half way between the UK and Falkland Island. A major issue addressed was the large amounts of fuel needed to ensure smooth sailing of the task force. The solution to this logistics challenges was to source for fuel in Sierra Leone which was some 4100 miles from the Falklands.Over 29 tankers were detailed to ply this route. This addressed the Logistics Requirement challenge of the Falklands Island war for the UK and thus adhered to Henri Jomini theory on the importance and influence of Logistics in determining strategy and tactics in modern warfare. Logistics was of the utmost importancean extended line of communication (LOC) made possible by the assistance of their allies and strategic partners.  Failure to maintain this LOC would have been a direct neglect of Henri Jomini theory and could have cost the British the war.

 

SUMMARY

6. The Falklands Island war which was symmetric in nature was fought over 30 years ago involving movement of men and material over enormous distances that  required  coordination, supervision and sustenance of British combat units several thousands of Miles away from their home base. Curiously it was a conflict in which war was not declared officially.  It reasserts the theory of Carl Von Clausewitz which says “War is a continuation of Politics by other means”.The conflict resulted in a decisive British victory culminating in the surrender of Argentine Forces on  June 14 1982. 

7. The current threat being faced by the Armed Forces of the world is assessed to be Asymmetric as it is mainly from non state actors like the Talibans, Al Quaeda and ISIS. The Falkland Island war as earlier stated was symmetric in nature but the lessons of the conflict are encompassing and cuts across both the Symmetric and Asymmetric types of conflict.These lessons can be summed up in Logistics, Firepower and Intelligence. Modern military operations in any form or shape will be dependent on accurate and timely intelligence precise and defined firepower and a coherent and workable Logistics plan to sustain the operation.                               `

 ` `

[1]  Freedman

[2]

[3]  Admiral Harry D. Train II, U.S. Navy (Retired), “An Analysis of the Falkland/Malvinas Campaign”, in The Falklands War Officer Training Package (Toronto, Ont. : Canadian Forces College, 200-), section 12, p 36. 

[4]

[5]  Cdr F.K. Saelzer Concha “When Goliath defeated david”

[6]  ibid

[7]  Ibid

Additionally, the Argentines further failed to adhere to Sun Tzu theory by not correctly predicting that the UK would control and block the sale of the Exocet missiles through the French.  Furthermore and of more consequence was the failure of the Argentine High Command in addressing the issue of the Ascension Island which was vital to maintaining and sustaining the entire British Operation against the Argentines at the Falklands. If the Ascension Island was factored into the operational plans of the Argentines the UK might have found it difficult to maintain its forces so far away from its home base and thus their capability would have been limited due to broken lines of communications. A complete intelligence picture of the intension’s capabilities and likely/dangerous course of action open to the British should have been considered in the entire operational plans of the Argentines before deciding to capture the Island.

[8]

[9]

[10]
 

Factors that Determined the Outcome of the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain has been described as the first major battle contested entirely by air forces, fought between 10th July and 31st October 1940.[1]  It resulted from German efforts to drive Britain out of the war, whether directly by seaborne invasion or by its threat,[2] forcing Britain to sue for peace.[3]   For these efforts to succeed the Luftwaffe had to attain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), which objective the Germans failed to achieve. 

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This essay will argue that British air defence organisation and the ability to maintain effective forces combined with inadequate German intelligence were the key factors in determining the result.  It will consider the world’s first Integrated Air Defence System (IADS), the Dowding System,[4] enabling Fighter Command to effectively control the deployment of its resources and manage its assets such that it never reached the point of collapse.  It will analyse British success in achieving levels of aircraft production and serviceability that prevented the Luftwaffe from establishing effective numerical superiority.  Finally the failure of the Germans to secure accurate intelligence of RAF aircraft numbers, losses and deployments will be considered, together with the effect of this upon Luftwaffe planning, strategy and tactics and in encouraging the overconfidence of its leadership.
A key factor in the outcome of the battle was the RAF’s effective use of its IADS, which gave Fighter Command the ability to ‘see, control and influence what was happening using the maximum economy of force’.[5] Central to this was the Chain Home system of Radio Direction and Finding (RDF) stations which by 1940 covered the length of Britain’s eastern and southern coasts from the Orkneys to Weymouth. These could provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft at ranges of up to 200 miles, or 110 miles for low flying aircraft.[6]
The aerials of the Chain Home stations did not rotate, a broad beam of radio pulses being transmitted to ‘floodlight’ a fixed area of sea approaches.  The Chain Home Low (used to identify low flying aircraft) aerials did rotate, however their signals were affected by returns from the land surface.[7]  Therefore once enemy aircraft crossed the coast and moved inland they were unsighted by the RDF stations and hence responsibility for tracking them was passed to the Observer Corps.
In 1940 there were 30,000 observers continuously manning 1,000 observation posts, largely made up of volunteers self-trained in aircraft recognition and height estimation.[8]  While the system worked well in good weather the observers struggled in rain or low cloud, however the Observer Corps constituted the sole means of tracking enemy raids once they had crossed the coastline.  Supplemented by low-level radio interception based around the RAF wireless interception station at Cheadle (taking advantage of the slack radio discipline frequently displayed by German aircrew),[9] information on incoming aircraft was sent by landline to Fighter Command headquarters or, in the case of the Observer Corps, to Sector Stations (i.e. airfields) and Group Headquarters.
The cumulative effect of these multiple sources of intelligence was to create a network of information that could be internally compared for consistency, one source confirming, refuting or supporting another, to build a composite picture of enemy activity.  The IADS information network had such an effective flow of secure intelligence it allowed Fighter Command the crucial time to flexibly organise responses to German attacks.[10] This gave the RAF an essential counter to the element of surprise enjoyed by an enemy who could pick and choose when and where to attack.
The heart of the system lay in the Filter Room at Fighter Command headquarters, where information on incoming aircraft was relayed by landline from RDF stations.  Here plots were recorded and once the track of incoming aircraft was clearly established information would be relayed in turn to Group Headquarters and individual Sector Stations.  Group commanders decided which of their sectors to activate while Sector Station commanders selected which squadrons should fly on a particular operation. The whole process, from target discovery to aircraft deployment, was intended to take only minutes however without speed and clear instructions based on accurate and timely information the system could not be effective and for this the IADS was critical. 
As a result Fighter Command no longer needed constant airborne patrols to track the enemy and could use the minimum assets necessary for an interception.[11] The effectiveness of the RAF squadrons was thus increased, with pilot flying hours reduced and aircraft and fuel usage minimised, maximising the efficient utilisation of personnel and aircraft.[12]
The effectiveness of the IADS was supported by the maintenance of operational aircraft numbers.  Despite advances in monoplane aircraft technology prior to the war which greatly increased the speed, reach and potential of air power the British aircraft industry had been unable to properly exploit these developments due to years of austerity and disarmament.[13]  Great strides were made, however, to enable British aircraft production to catch up with Germany’s by the outbreak of war.
The Air Minister, Lord Swinton, introduced a scheme to generate a reserve of productive capacity by creating ‘shadow factories’ across Britain that would be provided with all the resources necessary to establish a functional production line by their ‘parent’ firms.[14] Increased aircraft production was supported by the Civilian Repair Organisation (CRO) placed under the energetic Lord Beaverbrook at the Ministry of Aircraft Production.  The CRO proved highly effective, co-ordinating the maintenance and repair of military aircraft by civilian firms with such success that 60% of aircraft repaired were able to return to operational service, the remainder being utilised for spares.[15]  The foundations of success had been laid with new aircraft being constructed at an unprecedented rate and damaged aircraft returned to service in ever increasing numbers.  The numbers confirmed this: in addition to nearly 300 new aircraft a week, in the last two weeks of June more than 250 were repaired and sent back to squadrons.[16], [17]
Throughout the battle British aircraft industry out-produced its German rival by a considerable margin, allowing a continuous flow of replacements to compensate for the high loss rates sustained by Fighter Command.  Indeed RAF fighter numbers grew steadily stronger between June and October. On 19 June there were 548 operationally ready fighters (with 200 more ready for the following day); by 31 October 729 ready to fly, 370 in store at a day’s notice, and a further 110 at four days’ notice.[18]  At no point during the battle did Fighter Command suffer from a shortage of serviceable front-line aircraft.[19]
Unlike the increasingly efficient British aircraft production and repair systems the German aviation industry suffered from generally poor levels of performance, constructing less than half the number of aircraft produced by the British during 1940.[20] Despite possessing the most advanced aeronautical technology in the world, with larger resources of machinery, raw materials and manpower than the British, productivity often fell more than 30% below target.[21]  
German aircraft were some of the most technically complex of the period therefore could frequently not be suitably repaired in the field, [22] often having to be transported back to Germany by land or rail.  This exposed the long supply and logistical chain of the Luftwaffe from its forward bases back to German factories, in direct contrast to the RAF based in its home airfields. The RAF and the CRO could repair an aircraft in hours, depending on its level of damage, and have it serviceable for front-line combat the next day. Luftwaffe repair times were long:  ‘just over a thousand Me 109s and just fifty-nine Ju 88s would be repaired and back in the air during the whole of 1940’.[23]   This poor supply and repair system restricted the operational capabilities of the Luftwaffe, preventing it from achieving a decisive numerical advantage in the air.[24]
By the summer of 1940 Germany’s series of speedy and spectacular victories had left the Luftwaffe’s high command feeling arrogant and unbeatable.[25]  Led by Goering, who lacked ‘the technical knowledge and strategic forethought necessary to develop the German Air Force’s full potential’,[26] Luftwaffe leadership had come to believe that they could defeat Britain as quickly and efficiently as their other recent campaigns. This overconfidence was supported by German Air Intelligence failures.
The Luftwaffe never understood the efficiency and effectiveness of Britain’s defences,[27] as late as July 1940 producing intelligence reports which failed to appreciate the significance of either IADS or RDF.[28] This contributed to the German failure to give a higher priority to attacks upon the RDF stations.  Luftwaffe intelligence was ‘disorganised and inefficient’,[29] displaying a clear lack of understanding of RAF capabilities. This resulted in ever changing operational aims and objectives and plans that were disjointed with contradictory targets.[30] 
The true balance of forces was never properly appreciated, the outcome being a misperception that played a critical part in the conduct of the battle.  German intelligence reports consistently underestimated the size of Fighter Command and the scale of British aircraft production while exaggerating RAF losses. This encouraged the Luftwaffe to believe that attrition had pushed Fighter Command to the very edge of defeat, leading first to complacency then strategic misjudgement. It was assumed that Fighter Command was virtually eliminated: at the end of August it was estimated that the RAF had lost 50% of its fighters. On 16th September Goering announced that Fighter Command had only 177 operational aircraft, while intelligence estimated that only 300 British fighters were left, including reserves, with a monthly output of 250.[31] 
This miscalculation led to the mistaken shift of targets from air bases to industry and communications.  In reality on 19th September Fighter Command had an actual operational strength of 656 with 202 aircraft in reserve, 226 in preparation; output of fighters between 7th September and 5th October being 428.[32]  This difference was critical, leading the Luftwaffe to fight in September as if Fighter Command had been all but destroyed and resulting in a level of attrition so high that the Luftwaffe could not sustain it for more than a few weeks.
The outcome of the Battle of Britain was technically a stalemate, neither side being defeated in a conventional sense as both remained operationally effective.  However, the failure of the Luftwaffe to achieve its primary objective of air supremacy enabled the RAF’s Fighter Command to claim victory by the removal of the threat of invasion. 
This essay has argued that the German failure resulted from effective British preparation contrasted with an overconfident Luftwaffe lacking efficient logistics and whose intelligence failures led to poor strategic decision making.  The development of the IADS, supported by innovative RDF technology, gave the RAF a greatly enhanced early warning and resource management capability that supplied Fighter Command with a vital force multiplier. The use of IADS was underpinned by a swift and revolutionary transformation of the British aircraft industry to produce a collaborative, nation-wide mass production and repair capacity in the form of shadow factories and CRO. 
These developments enabled the RAF to replace its losses and increasingly negate the Luftwaffe’s initial numerical superiority.  German inability to produce and repair their own aircraft in similar numbers eroded the balance of forces as the battle progressed and the Luftwaffe leadership’s misperception of these factors, driven by a lack of accurate intelligence, encouraged first complacency and then fatal strategic misjudgement.
Bibliography
Addison, Paul & Jeremy Crang (2000), The Burning Blue: a New History of the Battle of Britain, (London: Pimlico).
Barley, Wing Commander M.P. (2004), ‘Contributing to its Own Defeat: The Luftwaffe and the Battle of Britain’, Defence Studies Vol 4, No 3, pp.387-411.
Bungay, Stephen (2009), The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain (London: Aurum Press).
Cole, Gerald (1990), The Battle of Britain the Siege that Failed (Berkhamsted: Firefly Publications).
Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe (n.d.), Royal Air Force Museum, https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/commander-in-chief-of-the-luftwaffe.aspx, accessed 17 Dec 2019.
Guerlac, Henry (1987), RADAR in World War II (Cambridge: Tomash Publishers).
Holland, James (2010), The Battle of Britain: Five Months that Changed History May-October 1940 (London: Transworld Publishers).
Introduction to the Phases of the Battle of Britain (n.d.), Royal Air Force Museum, https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/introduction-to-the-phases-of-the-battle-of-britain.aspx, accessed 20 Dec 2019.
Ledwidge, Frank (2018), Aerial Warfare: The Battle for the Skies (Oxford University Press).
Orange, Vincent (2008), Dowding of Fighter Command: Victor of The Battle of Britain (London: Grub Street Publising).
Overy, Richard (2005), The Air War (Dulles: Potomac Books).
Overy, Richard (2010), The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality (London: Penguin Books).
RADAR – The Battle Winner? (n.d.), Royal Air Force Museum, https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/radar-the-battle-winner.aspx, accessed 02 January 2020.
Shields, John (2015), ‘The Battle of Britain: A Not So Narrow Margin’, Air Power Review, Vol 18, No2, pp.182-196.
Support from the Ground in the Battle of Britain (2018), Imperial War Museums, https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/support-from-the-ground-in-the-battle-of-britain, accessed 15 January 2020.
Wood, Derek & Derek Dempster (2010), The Narrow Margin (Barnsley: Hutchinson & Company).
Wright, Robert (1969), Dowding and the Battle of Britain (London: Macdonald &Co).
Zimmerman, David (2001), Britain’s Shield: Radar and the Defeat of the Luftwaffe (Stroud: Sutton Publishing).

[1] Introduction to the Phases of the Battle of Britain (n.d.), https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/introduction-to-the-phases-of-the-battle-of-britain.aspx.
[2] Overy (2010), p.19.
[3] Ibid., p.xii.
[4] Ledwidge (2018), p.68.
[5] Id.
[6] RADAR – The Battle Winner? (n.d.), https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/radar-the-battle-winner.aspx.
[7] Id.
[8] Support from the Ground in the Battle of Britain (2018), https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/support-from-the-ground-in-the-battle-of-britain.
[9] Overy (2010), p.20.
[10] Wright (1969), p.64.
[11] Bungay (2009), p.235.
[12] Guerlac (1987), p.11.
[13] Orange (2008), p.69.
[14] Smith (2000), p.50.
[15] Wood & Dempster (2010), p.103.
[16] Id.
[17] Holland (2010), p.325.
[18] Overy (2010), p.45.
[19] Holland (2010), p. 325.
[20] Overy (2010), p.50.
[21] Id.
[22] Ibid, p.51.
[23] Holland (2010), p.325.
[24] Overy (2005), p.23.
[25] Zimmerman (2001), p.195.
[26] Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe (n.d.), https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/history-of-the-battle-of-britain/commander-in-chief-of-the-luftwaffe.aspx.
[27] Shields (2015), p.185.
[28] Cole (1990), p.49.
[29] Wood & Dempster (2010), p.41.
[30] Barley (2004), p.403.
[31] Overy (2010), p.114.
[32] Id.
 

To What Degree Did Air Power Contribute to Allied Victory at the Battle of El Alamein in October/November 1942?

To what degree did air power contribute to Allied victory at the Battle of El Alamein in October/November 1942?

 

The second battle of El Alamein took place between October and November 1942 in Egypt. Allied forces, led by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, fought against General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Panzerarmee Afrika to secure a much-needed victory after Britain had faced various global strategic setbacks. This included the loss of Hong Kong, Germany’s invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia and the sinking of allied ships by German U-boats in the Atlantic.[1] This essay will substantiate that the use of air power made a considerable contribution to the demise of the Panzerarmee Afrika and consequently secured victory for allied forces. Most significantly, the Desert Air Force played a pivotal role in the disruption of the supply line to Panzerarmee Afrika, which consequently prevented the Germans from launching a counter offensive[2]. In addition, Air Vice Marshal Arthur Coningham and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s professional relationship led to Land and Air Commanders working together more closely. Montgomery used this close collaboration with the Desert Air Force to secure his first victory at Alam Halfa Ridge, which in turn led to a more rapid victory for British forces at El Alamein[3]. This essay will detail the importance of the role that air power played in shaping the battle, utilising close air support, through targeting areas beyond the battlefield and having a greater air armada in order to achieve air superiority. Finally, this essay will consider the role that land forces played by utilising the infantry and armour, especially during Operation Supercharge, and it will argue that maximising air power through air support and aerial bombardment was the leading factor in air-land integration during this operation.

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Supplies such as fuel and munitions were fundamental components required for the second battle of El Alamein. The Desert Air Force proved vital to the disruption of the Panzerarmee Afrika supply line. One of the ways this was achieved was with the assistance of Ultra,[4] who provided the exact locations of Axis shipping movements heading to Torbuk. Consequently, the Desert Air Force attacked the ships causing severe enemy cargo losses in the region of 25 per cent of general military cargo and 41 per cent fuel.[5] To counter the losses caused by the Desert Air Force and their continuous attack on his provisions, Rommel attempted to bring supplies in from Benghazi by lorries and other various means.[6] However, they proved attractive targets for long-range Beaufighters who destroyed the convoys. In September 1942, no less than nine Italian vessels were sunk on the African convoy routes, six of these by Mediterranean aircraft. Rommel stated, “[and some of] the petrol, which was a necessary condition of carrying out our plans, did not arrive. The ships which Cavallero had promised us were […] sunk, some of them delayed and some of them not even despatched”.[7] Once again, the Dessert Air Force were hindering Rommel’s attempts to launch a counter-offensive. On 26th October 1942, 3 days into the second battle of El Alamein, the Desert Air Force intercepted and attacked a heavily escorted convoy of cargo ships making for Torbuk, resulting in the sinking of Proserpina, an oil tanker carrying 2,500 tons of petrol for the Axis ground forces.[8] However, the convoy wasn’t completely destroyed until the following day when Tergestea, a large merchant vessel off the coast of Torbuk port carrying 1,000 tons of petrol and 1,000 tons of ammunition, was sunk.[9] This attack is believed to have been observed by high ranking German officers from the coastline.[10] If this is accurate, not only did they observe the convoy perish in a plume of black smoke, but also, they witnessed the demise of Rommel’s last attempt to launch a counter offensive. Had it not been for Coningham’s Desert Air Force and their relentless disruption of the enemy’s supplies, Rommel would have received sufficient fuel and ammunition to have allowed him to move substantial forces from the rear-guard in order to mount a major counter-attack.[11]

It can be argued that the foundation of a successful professional relationship is based on collaboration. Montgomery wrote in his memorandum that the Eight Army could not fight on the ground without the support of the RAF,[12] therefore, for the Army and Air to co-exist on the battlefield they needed to be united as one force. Thus Montgomery’s first priority was to develop a close collaboration with the Desert Air Force. Initially, to form their air-land integration, Montgomery and Coningham built the land and air headquarters near to the front line. This simplified the command of these services and ensured that the correct support was delivered at the right time and in the right places.[13] Montgomery profited very early on from this professional relationship whilst commanding the Eighth Army, where he tasted his first victory at Alam Halfa Ridge. During the battle, once daylight had started to fade and the Army were unable to establish enemy targets, the Desert Air Force would light up the desert below with flares exposing soft-topped transport, tanks and guns of the Axis forces to be destroyed by medium range and low flying fighter-bombers.[14] This battle demonstrated how the organisation of air power could be used in direct support of the Eighth Army, helping to secure a rapid victory for British forces. To some degree, the growing relationship between air and land forces was an emerging concept in the British military at leadership level. The effects of this professional relationship would inspire Army-Air cooperation for the remainder of the Desert War. The Eighth Army took immense satisfaction in watching the tight formations of the Desert Air Force fly over their advanced armour and clear out Axis forces who presented themselves as attractive targets. This had a huge effect on the morale of the troops below as they knew that they were being supported by the air throughout the campaign.[15] 

The Desert Air force’s attempt to secure air superiority in early October 1942 began with the ability to put 530 serviceable aircraft into the air which heavily outnumbered the 350 exhausted Luftwaffe of the Axis forces.[16] This was actioned when, on the 9th October 1942, enemy owned Daba and Fuka airfields were underwater due to a very heavy rain fall on the 6th October. Seizing the opportunity whilst the enemy were stranded, Coningham launched his full armada of bombers and fighters to destroy the two airfields, along with transport, fuel dumps and gun positions.[17] This attack on the already outnumbered and fragile Axis forces meant that Rommel’s air support was declining swiftly, thus gaining air supremacy for the Desert Air Force. The Desert Air Force then began its full offensive with a bombing campaign, attacking the enemy’s lines of communication, bombing airfields and providing reconnaissance on the enemy’s movements. Furthermore, they supported the Army’s forward area with fighter cover, whilst preventing any attempts by Rommel’s forces to spy, either through air or ground reconnaissance. This contributed further to their command of the air and their assistance of Montgomery and his preparations.[18] Four days later, Montgomery deployed his units on land with a reduced enemy threat from the air[19] and launched operation Lightfoot on the 23rd October 1942. This was followed by the artillery of the Eighth Army opening fire on enemy positions.[20] Rommel, now suffering from the effects of the allies controlling the air, recognised that without regaining control, the fight for the desert was looking bleak. As Desert Air power played such a dominant role early on in the battle, Rommel was forced to withdraw his troops on the 4th November 1942, effectively handing victory to the allied forces.

The infantry regiments played a crucial role for the Allied forces during the battle. One obstacle that the Eighth Army had to overcome was the clearing of a path through a vast minefield known as ‘devil’s gardens’.[21] Throughout this perilous task the infantry and armour were closely supported by effective air power which enabled the path to be cleared and allowed them access to attack Rommel’s troops. The influence of air support was unmistakeable to those operating on the ground. Once troops had dug their trenches and taken up fire support positions to assist the armour, all that was required of them was to wait whilst the Desert Air Force took control.[22] One infantry commander stated, “this battle was fought as it were over the heads of the infantry…though shelled and mortared, and sometimes under machine gun fire, they were spectators, of what, to them seemed was a new kind of warfare”.[23] There were no immediate threats from the air, the Allied infantry units were able to engage successful attacks against enemy forces, destroying Axis armour. On the 2nd November, Montgomery launched his next offensive, Operation Supercharge, which was designed to penetrate Rommel’s main line.[24] Once again, the Desert Air Force underwent an intensive bombing campaign lasting several hours on the Axis positions, followed by an artillery bombardment. On the second day of Operation Supercharge, the Desert Air Force flew 1,208 times and dropped 396 tons of bombs on enemy positions in order to aid the movement of ground forces towards the Rahman Track, which would open a corridor to enable Montgomery’s remaining forces to attack the Panzerarmee Afrika.[25] Once Rommel began to withdraw, Montgomery became more reliant on the Desert Air Force to bomb the retreating infantry columns, whilst the Allied infantry mounted attacks to finally push out the remaining armour.[26] Although victory was ultimately achieved on the ground, it was by employing the Desert Air Force to provide consistent air support through harassment of Rommel’s supply lines, aerial bombardment on the battlefield and further afield, that this was possible.

Despite the obvious significance of land forces, the Second Battle of El Alamein was won on the ground, air power proved essential in facilitating the victory for land forces. The Desert Air Force played a fundamental role in disrupting the supply line to Panzerarmee Afrika in the prelude to the battle, which prevented Rommel from launching a counter offensive against Allied Forces, and potentially averting their defeat. Arguably, the professional relationship between Coningham and Montgomery proved to be a crucial factor, as they demonstrated that successful Land-Air integration would allow for greater freedom of movement for infantry and armour on the ground. This in turn led to successes on the battlefield as they were being supported by air throughout the campaign. The continuous aerial bombardment of battlefields and other axis establishments by the Desert Air Force had a major impact on the effectiveness of an already exhausted Luftwaffe, thus allowing Allies the freedom to strike Rommel’s ground forces from both land and air. Although the records show that Montgomery’s Eighth Army commanded more infantry, artillery and tanks than those of the Panzerarmee Afrika, it is evident that air power was a leading factor in maximising their efforts, especially during Operation Supercharge. By the end of the battle, Rommel understood what Montgomery had acknowledged from previous battles; that in controlling the air, you can then control the battle on the ground. It was written that “the Royal Air Force forgot how to support the Army”, however, General David Fraser Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies re-quoted this with the addition “by the end of 1942 [the RAF] had re-learned the art, with advantages”,[27] recognising the true significance of air power at the Battle of El Alamein.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ball, Simon (2016), Alamein (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Barr, Niall (2005), Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of El Alamein (London: Pimlico).

Evans, Bryn (2014), The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945 (Barnsley: Pen & Sword Aviation)

Ford, Ken (2005), El Alamein 1942 (Oxford: Osprey).

Hamilton, Nigel (2001), The Full Monty, Volume I: Montgomery of Alamein, 1887-1942 (London: Penguin).

Hart, Liddel (1953), The Rommel Papers (London: Collins).

Hinsley, F.H (1993), British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

How El Alamein changed the war, BBC News, 23 October 2002,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2347801.stm

Ledwidge, Frank (2018), Aerial Warfare (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Miles, Wilfred (1980), Life of a Regiment, Gordon Highlanders 1919-1945 (London: Warne).

Orange, Vincent (1990), Coningham (London: Methuen).

Playfair, Major-General I. S. O (2004), The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume IV: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa (London: HMSO).

Richards, Denis and Saunders, Hilary St. G (1954), Royal Air Force 1939-1945, Volume II The Fight Avails (London: HMSO)

Terraine, John (1985), The Right of the Line, The Royal Air Force In The European War 1939-1945 (Suffolk: Hodder and Stoughton Limited).

[1] How El Alamein changed the war, BBC News, 23 October 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2347801.stm.

[2] Evans (2012), p.48.

[3] Ford (2005), p. 53.

[4] I.C.B Dear and M.R.D. Foot (1995), p.1165.

[5] Terraine (1985), p.381.

[6] Richards and Saunders (1954), p.229.

[7] Quoted in Brigadier Desmond Young’s Rommel

[8] Evans (2012), p.46.

[9] Id.

[10] Richards and Saunders (1954), p.241.

[11] Evans (2012), p.48.

[12] Hamilton (2001), p.605.

[13] Ledwidge (2018), p.66.

[14] Ford (2005), p. 53.

[15]Terraine (1997), p.385.

[16] Ford (2005), p.62.

[17] Richards and Saunders (1954), p.233.

[18] Ford (2005), p.62.

[19] Orange (1990), p.113.

[20] Hamilton (2001), p.696.

[21] Barr (2004), p.270.

[22] Ibid, p.328.

[23] Miles (1980), p.139-40.

[24] Ford (2005), p.80.

[25] Terraine (1997), p.385.

[26] Hamilton (2001), p.766.

[27] Terraine (1985), p.383.
 

Analysis of the Battle of Bhutan

Introduction

 Over the course of World War 2 there are many points in which soldiers have made imperative decisions for advancement through tactical knowledge. By usage of critical thinking and sensible judgement the course of the war changed immensely and effected the way the Army operates to this day. The Pacific Theater during World War 2 was no stranger to these concepts. The United States’ main adversaries in that region were the Japanese whom were merciless, persistent, and strategic in their agenda. They were feared as being an enemy that would never give up or retreat and would chose to die in battle over surrendering. In the late 1930s and early 1940s the Japanese were extremely interested in expanding their Empire to all of the Countries surrounding them, because of their resources and strategic locations for their Navy and ground forces. The Philippines had been among those countries, who at the time were occupied by United States Forces along with troops from the Philippine Army. When the Japanese invasion occurred, this led to an immense outcome of conflict between the two rivals. During World War II the Battle of Bataan was a prominent turning point in warfare history.

Key Preceding Events

 Capture of the Philippine Islands was crucial to Japan’s effort to control the Southwest Pacific, seize the resource-rich Dutch East Indies, and protect its Southeast Asia flank (Jennifer L. Bailey, 1992).  In order to achieve this goal the Japanese Empire incorporated and utilized the 9 Principles of War. This was accomplished by tactically and strategically outthinking their foes when developing their plan of attack for the Philippine Islands. From the beginning of the war the United States remained a neutral Country until early one Sunday morning on December 7th 1941. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched a surprise air attack against the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Japan’s intent was to prevent the U.S. Pacific Fleet that was docked there from interfering with their plans in Southeast Asia. Only 13 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the troops in the Philippines were ordered to their battle stations and all Commanders were notified that a state of War now existed with Japan (Morton, 1953). Despite this warning, when the Japanese pilots of the 11th Air Fleet attacked Clark Field nine hours later, they caught two squadrons of B-17s lined up on the field and a number of American fighters just preparing to take off (Jennifer L. Bailey, 1992). Simultaneously the Japanese attacked Iba Field in the Northwest of Luzon Island which was also very successful. The U.S. Air Force in the Philippines lost half its planes on the first day of the war. Over the next four days the Japanese also targeted and bombed various ground targets surrounding Manila, the capital of the Philippines, such as anti-aircraft sites, naval bases, and Government buildings. On December 10th 1941, the Japanese launched a full scale pincer invasion of the Philippine Islands under the command of Lt Gen. Masaharu Homma and the 14th Japanese Army with support from the air and sea, totaling of around 50,000 troops, 500 aircrafts, and 90 tanks, with the primary objective of capturing the Capital City, Manila. The Philippine Islands were now at war with Japan and defended by the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. General MacArthur reorganized his command into four separate groups. The North Luzon force, under Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright, The South Luzon force, under Brigadier General George M. Parker Jr, The Visayan-Mindanao force, under Brigadier General William F. Sharp, and The Reserve force of the Philippine Army, under General MacArthur’s direct command (Connaughton, 2001). In total General MacArthur’s forces including the forces from the Philippine Army, was about 75,000 to 100,000 troops, 100 tanks, and only 277 aircraft due to the Japanese bombings. General MacArthur also planned a 5 Phase-line withdrawal plan to be incorporated in their defense which he called War Plan Orange, which called all his forces from the north and south to continuously pull back upon overwhelming Japanese attacks to new lines of defense until they reached Bataan and Corregidor. As the invasion began General MacArthur decided to change the plan to holding the Japanese to the beaches and not letting them gain any ground. By December 23rd 1941, the Japanese had pushed back the U.S. and Philippine forces, due to their poorly trained and poorly equipped units, and were now 10 miles inland. General MacArthur soon realized that the USAFFE defense plan had failed and on December 26th 1941 he notified his commanders that he reactivated the old prewar plan, War Plan Orange, moving all of his men and supplies back to the Bataan Peninsula.

The Battle of Bataan

 Due to the excellent leadership and outstanding dedication from all the Soldiers, all of the U.S. and Philippine forces were successful in withdrawing to Bataan quickly and in remarkably good order (Whitman, 1990). The hasty withdrawal also brought its fair share of repercussions as well. In order to achieve what they did, the retreating units had to leave behind most of their vital medical supplies, ammunition and food. The dramatic shifts in the USAFFE’s defense plan also left little to no supplies in the Bataan Peninsula for it had all be reallocated in support of the North and South Luzon forces defending the entire island chain. Now with trucks in short supply, roads congested, and time short, resupply of the Bataan and Corregidor strongholds was impossible (Jennifer L. Bailey, 1992). With insufficient amounts of food, weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies, it was starting to become clear that the change to the defensive plan would prove to be the determining factor in the operations to follow. The plan to defer the inevitable Japanese attack on the Bataan Peninsula was two defensive lines. The forward line stretched from Mauban in the west to Mabatang in the east, General Wainwright’s forces held the eastern sector while General Parker’s forces held the western sector, and in the middle of the two was Mount Natib, 4,218 feet-high and considered by the Americans to be to rugged of terrain making it impassable. The two lines were therefore incapable of direct contact with one another, leaving a serious gap in the defensive line. Japanese attacks on the first defensive line started on January 9th 1942 directed towards the western sector. After eight days of intense combat, General Parker committed the Philippine Division, but even with the help of the reserve force he could not destroy the Japanese salient at Abucay Hacienda (Jennifer L. Bailey, 1992). General Wainwright’s forces in the east were also struck hard by Japanese attacks penetrating their line in several places. The Japanese attacks and their infiltration through what was supposed to be the impassable terrain of Mount Natib, forced the American defenses to evacuate their now compromised positions and bound back to the rear defensive line on January 22nd 1942. The rear line ran from Bagac on the western shore to Orion on the eastern shore. As for the Japanese, they decided to detour a big element of their troops around the rear defensive line by boat, to stage an assault along the shores on the southern edge of the peninsula behind the defensive line. Meanwhile the Americans health and confidence were rapidly eroding. The Bataan wilderness and the depleted food stockpiles began to foster disease among the ranks in the form of malaria causing extreme suffering (Ulanoff, 2000). In result 75 percent of all the American and Philippine forces were ineffective and unfit for duty.  Between January 22nd and February 2nd the Americans managed to deny the Japanese of gaining a beachhead and in doing so the Japanese suffered heavy casualties (Young, 1992). The Japanese revamped their forward momentum against the rear defense line on January 26th but due to badly fatigued forces from continuous fight, failing to take advantage of the lines weak points, and the strengthened defensive positions of the Americans, the Japanese attack was short willed and the Americans for the first time managed to drive the enemy back, under remarkable circumstances. Completely isolated and with no chance of reinforcements or supplies the Americans directed their diminishing energy towards digging in and fortifying their positions for the next inevitable attack (Ulanoff, 2000). On March 12th General MacArthur departed the Bataan peninsula under President Roosevelt’s order to move to Australia, leaving General Wainwright in command. The Japanese attack finally began on April 3rd with a aerial and artillery bombardment, followed by the strongest enemy push up to that point. The exhausted, malnourished, and dispirited defenders soon gave ground, and the entire line began to crumble, and in thirty-six hours the Japanese succeeded in breaching the American line (Jennifer L. Bailey, 1992). On April 8th and 9th the remaining forces on Bataan surrendered to the overwhelming force of the Japanese. All those still alive were taken prisoner and forced to march north sixty-five miles on what became known as the Bataan Death March, about 600 Americans and around 10,000 Filipinos died during the march.

Significance and Lessons Learned from Bataan

 The valiant defense of the Philippines by the Americans and Philippine forces against overwhelming waves of endless Japanese forces became a symbol of hope for the United States early in the war. Deemed the Battling Bastards of Bataan the Soldiers that fought and died in Bataan inspired the Allied troops, who honored such brave sacrifices by eventually retaking The Philippine Islands from the Japanese. The Philippine Island Campaign was the U.S. Army’s first prolonged conflict since World War 1, and the reports of new enemy tactics and weaponry along with the failure in General MacArthur’s defense plan provided important battlefield evidence of the enemy’s effectiveness in there newer weaponry, and future ways to combat their tactics by adjusting our own. Finally this battle is marked as the largest single battle defeat in U.S. Military History, and ultimately led to the Bataan Death March where thousands of Americans and Filipinos were killed during a 65 mile forced march to the newly established Japanese camp.

References

Connaughton, R. (2001). MacArthur and the Defeat in the Philippinnes . New York : The Overlook Press.

Jennifer L. Bailey, C. o. (1992). Philippine Islands, U.S. Army campaigns of World War II . U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Morton, L. (1953). The Fall of the Philippines. Washington DC: U.S Army Center of Military history.

Ulanoff, S. M. (2000). To the Shores of Iwo Jima; The Battling Bastards of Bataan . New York : GoodTimes Home Video Corp.

Whitman, J. W. (1990). Bataan: Our Last Ditch: The Bataan Campaign, 1942. Hippocrene Books.

Young, D. J. (1992). The Battle of Bataan: A History of the 90 Day Siege and Eventual Surrender of 75,000 Filipino and United States Troops to the Japanese in WW2 . McFarland & Company .