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The Lucky Seventh in the Bulge: A Case Study for the Airland Battle

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Length: 141 pages3 hours

Summary

This study examines the operations of the 7th Armored Division from 16 December 1944 through 29 January 1945. The focus is on the nature of combat as seen from the perspective of battalion through division-level commanders. The 7th Armored Division provides data on defensive operations, withdrawal, reconstitution and offensive operations. This data is used to examine the validity of the AirLand Battle concepts of “agility,” “initiative,” “depth” and “synchronization.”
The study illuminates the tremendous complexity of high-tempo, continuous operations and the validity of the AirLand Battle doctrine. The study reveals the key to success in such operations is the ability to cope with high levels of friction which stems from the clear communication of intent. The study raises questions on the ability of the US Army to fight at night, the Army’s doctrine for retrograde operations, and its artillery doctrine.

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