Principles of War and Joint War fighting Function in the World War I

Published: 2019-09-03
Principles of War and Joint War fighting Function in the World War I
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Company Culture United States Technology Personality World War 1
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1647 words
14 min read

Use of command and control during the First battle of the Marne in 1914 marked the commencement of the First World War. The First World War was associated with numerous naive approaches due to lack of technical capacities among the warring parties. Despite dramatic importance of the first battle of Marne of 1914as a result of its action to prevent fast German victory during the World War I, this struggle was eminently anti-climatic. During this staged campaign, there lacked triumphant pursuit of enemies through command and control procedures following the defeat which demonstrated the incoming modern warfare. Some of the main terminologies that encompassed such as Isselin that referred to the Battle of Marne representing the final set-piece battle fought towards rules pertaining to classical strategies.

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Majority of the World War I theaters in 1914 also encompassed similar set-piece combats through command and control procedure (Department of the Army, United States of America, (2011), pp 76). For instance, the Germans overcame Russians at the Tannenberg point while the Russian defeated Australians at the Lemberg region. All the mentioned battles shared a common attributes such that, while some seemed considerably decisive, there was none of them that could defeat any major power. This was characteristic result of low proficiency in use of command and control as the optional Joint Warfighting Functions. The 1914s war encompassing maneuver comprised of a fleeting that eventually failed to terminate the war within reasonable time period. Effective command and control procedures are critical to establishing important directions and control of the battle field and acts as an essential warring tool (Levy, J. S. (2015). Pp 45).

This battle was decided upon by French command and controls also referred to as the Moltke. The success of this squad was mainly centered on the approach it had adopted. In particular, Moltke contents were purposed to remain at their headquarters which were a long distance away from the front scene while allowing their rivals carry out their rigid plans while the French commander, Joffre effectively coordinated the army through a coherent strategy based on real time function. Joffre expressed a better understanding of the operations of the Kluck compared to Moltke during the period in which German transfers across Ourcq and Marne were visibly transparent from the ground (Maier, 2015), Pp106). Apparently, this was characteristic low efficiency in command and control procedures since modern warfare had not reached the point making the management of hundreds of thousands of troop members had been principally impossible.

In this regard, another perspective is clear based on the number of casualties that the two warring groups realized at the end. In particular, the strengths of either German or French are easily estimated based on the number of casualties. The German army had deployed about 760, 000 troops during the third week of August, 1914 and adversely lost a total of 225,000 members towards transfers, sieges and combats as well as members guarding communication lines. By virtue of this alignment German is inherently associated with poor tactical address combined with ineffective command and controls. On the centrally, French army had been changing quickly hence posing a significant challenge to their German counterparts. Under the Joffres command in the French army, it was estimated that there were 700,000 troops in the face out with German troops. However, while there is little known about the actual casualties from the French side, it is indicated that French low casualties compared to the 250,000 troops from their German rivals. Poor coordination of the German war was a major hitch to the effectiveness of their command and controls procedures that reduced the effectiveness of their technical undertakings. In particular, the final casualties indicated approximately 65,000 casualties from the French troops and 40,000 casualties from their rival German troops ((Maier, 2015), pp. 413).

Secondly, during the battle of Somme 1916, it was mainly conceptualized to be a breakthrough was undertaken as an attrition battle. Initial plans of joint Franco-British offensive during the summer in the 1961 were forcefully opposed by German attacks undertaken at Verdun that reduced the contribution of French to as little as a token. As a result, the entire burden fell on British Expeditionary Force under their commander, Sir Douglas Haig who had been expected to open up German positions with unprecedented arms preparations. This was apparently a characteristic inefficiency of command and control mechanism that the German manipulated during these campaigns as well (Maier, 2015), Pp 87). Under effective command and control mechanism, preparations are executed before the engagement in real combat.

The infantry troops had been correspondingly anticipated to experience a walkover while majority of assault formations had comprised of Horatio Kitchener New Army troops that had never been in official uniforms before 1914. This was a clear manifestation of poor command of the procedures that eventually swept away coordinative approaches that could enhance the procedural mechanisms needed in engaging their rivals. In addition, majority of the Kitchener units particular recruits drawn from isolated localities or occupations. The perspective in which this choice was made amidst fears of strong rivals was elemental in reducing possible inefficiency of the processes. During the fateful attack on 1st July, 1916, the position of Principal Germans remained immensely intact while the participants of the war suffered high number of casualties amounting to about sixty thousand casualties from the British side.

High number of casualties was also an important perspective upon which the strained command and controls of the combat were perpetrated. The sacrifice made during this point in time was unimaginable owing to fact that the British had sacrificed their bravest as well as best combats from their country. Despite the crucial choice that the British had made, this approach was doomed to fail due to inability to consolidate a stable command and control center for their troops while staging counter attacks against their rivals. Besides, 1st July only marked the first day of the campaign which entailed less essential outcomes other tan the institutional results. Scholars also cite the perception that BEF only learnt about their craft on Somme that followed their advances to become dreadful instruments of war. The German army therefore suffered heavy casualty levels during the initial stages of the campaigns an aspect that seemed to trail down to the end. The tactics that were employed by the British to terminate the campaigns often involved immense hammering into the same largely defended sectors with virtually no fire support and tactical preparations particularly through poor commands that were often predicated on the basis of morale (Strachan, 2001), pp 77). However, Somme might have been a scale for learning experience though the learning process was unconscionably and inevitably high.

Thirdly, during the 1918, the armies involved in the combat were exceptionally tactical as they had already learnt from previous underperformance that had yielded very negative results to their war fronts. The effectiveness of command and control in the second battle of Marne on 1918 was therefore characterized with increased proficiency (Department of the Army, United States of America, (2013) pp. 66). During the 1918 war, the army was principally structured in a different form compared to the 1914 case. One of the tactical structural additives was the incorporation of novel weaponry while at the same time conducting operations tactfully within doctrines previously developed during the period of war. Despite the fact that majority of the theatres came alongside notorious western fronts, most of the armies had been still fighting on similar ground of their occupation since joining the war. However, one of the most visible facts is that the passing years had seen critical transformation with regards to methods, nature and goals associated with the actual warfare.

According to previous studies, the changes that were inherent during this process presented a verifiable military revolution that combined the components of industrial logistics and firepower with the expansive fighting power possibly generated by nationalism. In this case, the eventual outcomes of improved military approach was also manifested through enhanced military command and control procedures arising from careful manipulation of industrial weapon technology including the use of gas, aircrafts and machine guns among other new incorporations into the warfronts. The perceived transformation however superseded mere tactical enhancement and resulted into changed operational systems such as command, communication controls and intelligence among other essential compliments (Maier, 2015), pp 133). The main focus in this case shifted quickly from capturing territories towards attritions of the rival army and the entire war-making capacities.

The period took about three years of intensive warfare, comprising of three main campaigning seasons via a pre-modern parlance to clear the transformation period. In essence, the tactful approached to the 1918 war was mainly anchored on the enhanced operational methods developed and deployed in 1916. The operational methods established in 1916 were firmly indulged into armies equipped and trained to face modern and visibly deep battles. Both armies and their commanders therefore applied these methods in 1918 to engage in decisive war. During this war, the command and control was also advanced from the fact that those holding high military commands had been on entirely practical and professional soldiers grappling and solving problems associated with the stalemated industrial battle fields before (Hynes, 2011), 59-60). Finally, the consequences of the war were however very costly as a result of large scale attrition warfare compared to the implication of leadership failure or the entire military imaginations. This war can therefore be described as extremely advanced compared to the 1914 with regard to efficient command and control of the troops with an implication of reduced casualties in the long-run or after the three campaign seasons.


Department of the Army, United States of America, (2011). Joint Publication 3-0 Pdf

Department of the Army, United States of America, (2013). Joint Publication 1-0 Pdf

Hynes, S. (2011). A war imagined: the First World War and English culture. Random House.Levy, J. S. (2015). War in the Modern Great Power System: 1495--1975. University Press ofKentucky.Maier, C. S. (2015). Recasting bourgeois Europe: stabilization in France, Germany, and Italy inthe decade after World War I. Princeton University Press.Strachan, H. (2001). The First World War: Volume I: To Arms. OUP Oxford.

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