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Alam Halfa: A Study Of High Command

38 pages32 minutes


In recent years the army has adopted rigorous programs which evaluate the competence and leadership abilities of its combat leaders. For the first time, senior leaders are being formally evaluated as they command their units in the simulated combat environment provided by the Battle Combat Training Program (BCTP). Preparation for BCTP will require introspection and thought as the commander develops his concept of the operation and establishes the vision to guide his organization. This paper can assist the commander in this effort by challenging his thought processes and by provoking him to find answers to the problems of command. It describes the Battle of Alam Halfa which was fought in North Africa in 1942. It is appropriate because its major participant, General Bernard Montgomery, had a uniquely “BCTP-type” mission. He was expected to assume command, imprint his methods and procedures on his army, and fight a major battle within a two-week period. The study includes an overview of the following: the situation in North Africa during the summer of 1942; the steps Montgomery took to prepare his force for battle; and the fighting itself. It concludes with an analysis of the battle using the AirLand Battle imperatives.

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