echelons complete freedom to maneuver in depth around strongly defended
The enemy could join the battle in full strength at the time and
place of their choice.
The preceding FM 100-5 treated offensive operations very briefly. It only
offered a set piece view of these operations.
battle - which would be defensive. The view was that a 6 to 1 advantage in
systems was required for offensive success. This view discouraged serious
consideration of the attack.
Essentially, the 1976 manual repeated what was said in earlier versions.
Little was done to bring offensive operations up to date.
emphasized that the firepower of smaller defending forces could prevent the
successful maneuver of larger attacking forces.
Transitions and relationships between different types of operations were not
developed. Instead the manual presented a picture of offensive operations
typical of modern offensive failures. It was quite different from the 1976
fluid, fast-moving attacks which have succeeded in the recent past.
Further, the 1976-manual gave little consideration to anything beyond the
defeat of first echelon forces.
Other general shortcomings in the old doctrine were:
concentration on short term smaller unit tactics.
bias toward heavy force operations in Europe.
view of nuclear and conventional wars as separate entities.
In summary, the 1976 FM 100-5 was overly focused on the technical and
tactical aspects of war. This was to the detriment of the operational and
psychological or human dimension.
The focus was on tactical defeat
mechanisms - how-to-win engagements.
Operational defeat mechanisms for
winning battles and campaigns were not considered.
and campaigns are discussed in Learning Event 2.
The Soviets rely on mass, momentum, and continuous combat. This reliance is
Army's doctrine must address the basic elements of the Soviet concept of
One of the more important elements is the concept of echelonment.
Echeloning is the key to the successful execution of the Soviet's
Our doctrine must be designed to deal with this
Our concept should seek to avoid the enemy's mass.
We must deny him the
flexibility to employ his follow-on echelons as he desires. The effect of
this is to be able to defeat isolated enemy forces in detail.
operational concept must attack the enemy's plan to achieve decisive