Mission Command ‘Match of the Day’ Sqn Ldr Rhys Cowsill SCOPE • Origins. • Use and Development: 1806 to Cold War. • Introduction to British Military Doctrine. • ‘Mechanics.’ • Culture. • Threats and Opportunities. MATCH OF THE DAY 14th October 1806 PRUSSIA (Professionals and hot favourites) vs FRANCE (Upstart peasants – New Manager) At Jena and Auerstadt Kick-off 3.00pm NAPOLEON SCHARNHORST SCHARNHORST ‘We fought bravely enough, but not cleverly enough.’ CARL von CLAUSEWITZ ‘On War’ (published posthumously 1832) CLAUSEWITZ’ LEGACY • The Fog of War. • The Friction of War. • The importance of speed of decision making. Findings of Scharnhorst’s ‘Board of Inquiry’ • The Prussian Army was run as a machine, with iron discipline, because the morale of the troops was low. • Officers tried to counter chaos of battle by using mathematical principles. • Nobody took action without orders. • Highly centralised and process-dominated. • It used ‘Befehltaktik’ – i.e. based on Orders. Findings of Scharnhorst’s ‘Board of Inquiry’ • Napoleon was able to communicate very rapidly with his Marshals. • He explained his intentions, as well as what he wanted them to do. • He expected them to use their initiative. • They did! • The result was a very high tempo – a very fast ‘OODA loop.’ The OODA Loop Observation Action Orientation Decision Reforms to the Prussian Army • The need for speed of decision making was recognised. • Officers were trained and authorised to make real-time decisions at low level. • Philosophy that it was better to act now with good intentions than to wait for the ‘right’ order. • Doing nothing was a greater sin than making the wrong decision. • Orders from above could not possibly give the officer on the ground all the guidance he would need. Field Marshal Von Moltke Field Marshal Von Moltke • Father of ‘Auftragstaktik.’ • “Obedience is a principle, but the man stands above the principle.” Auftragstaktik • Senior commanders should not order more than was absolutely necessary but should ensure the goal was clear. • In case of doubt, subordinate commanders should seize the initiative. MATCH OF THE DAY 2 Franco Prussian War 1870 Return (grudge) Match FRANCE vs PRUSSIA Kick-off 3.00pm MATCH OF THE DAY 3 The Great War 1914 GERMANY (ex Prussia) vs COMBINED SERVICES (France/BEF) Match Report • Owing to muddy conditions and outstanding new goalkeeping device (machine guns), match stagnates and goes into extra time. • OODA Loop goes from ‘observation’ to ‘action’ and back again. The OODA Loop Observation Action Orientation Decision Match Report • Owing to muddy conditions and outstanding new goalkeeping device (machine guns), match stagnates and goes into extra time. • OODA Loop goes from ‘observation’ to ‘action’ and back again. • Auftragstaktik comes on as late substitute and almost wins the game. Between the Wars • Germany develops ‘an Army of 100,000 officers.’ • Training centred on ‘thinking obedience.’ • Trust becomes central to military doctrine. • Everyone expected to learn, and be able to do, the job 2 levels up. • Proves very effective in coping with and using the chaos of the battlefield. British Army (the Victors!) • Reverts to ‘huntin’ shootin’ an’ fishin.’ • Prefers to try to control the chaos of the battlefield. • Designs a ‘Master plan.’ • Master plan specifies in great detail precisely what everyone has to do. • Yet, orders are not considered absolute. • Result is a lot of debating and delay – very slow OODA Loop. The OODA Loop Observation Action Orientation Decision Royal Air Force Royal Air Force Royal Air Force • Unusually, prepares to fight the NEXT war. • Dowding designs ‘integrated defence system’ for Battle of Britain (NEC?). • Delegates responsibility for the fighting to Group Commanders. • Allows for a very fast OODA Loop. The OODA Loop Observation Action Orientation Decision Royal Air Force • Unusually, prepares to fight the NEXT war. • Dowding designs ‘integrated defence system’ for Battle of Britain (NEC?). • Delegates responsibility for the fighting to Group Commanders. • Allows for a very fast OODA Loop. • This is the main reason for the defeat of the Luftwaffe. MATCH OF THE DAY 4 Second World War 1939 ‘OLD FIRM’ GAME Venue – Various Kick-off 3.00pm Match Report • Germany has outstanding first half using Auftragstaktik from the ‘off.’ • Big wins away in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium France etc. etc. • Manager substitutes Befehltaktik for Auftragstaktik just after half time. • Germany loses away in Russia (Stalingrad City). • Loses to new Combined Services (US/UK). • Loses at home trying to play 2 games at once. Cold War • Static posturing. • Everyone told what they had to do (Befehltaktik?). • Not ‘manoeuvre warfare.’ • Little need for Auftragstaktik. • But!! BAOR is seriously out-numbered and so… Field Marshal Bagnall KCB GCB CVO MC* • 1986 – Introduces principles of Auftragstaktik to UK Military doctrine and influences NATO doctrine. • Doctrine becomes known as ‘Mission Command.’ • Great idea! • ……but nobody knows about it. Mission Command • Is designed to facilitate effective action under chaotic and confusing conditions. • Is based on trust. • Is intended to unify autonomy and alignment. • The ‘mechanics’ are as follows: Mission Command • The Commander: – Briefs his intent to 2 levels down. – Explains the limitations, e.g. time, boundaries, must do, mustn’t do. – Allocates resources. – States WHAT is to be achieved, not HOW it is to be achieved. – Gives decision-making criteria. Mission Command • The Subordinate Commander: – Understands ‘my role in his plan’ 2 levels up. – Devises his own plan to play his part in achieving the commander’s intent. – Asks for more resources if needed, but offers back resources not needed. – Briefs his subordinates 2 levels down. and so forth… The Culture Required for Effective Mission Command • The Commander retains ultimate responsibility for decisions but: – He must genuinely empower his people. – He must trust his subordinates. • Everyone must act as a leader. • A decision to act now in accordance with commander’s intent, rather than to wait for orders, is imperative. Threats and Opportunities • The greatest threat to the successful implementation of Mission Command is a belief that technology will allow command to be supplanted by control. • The greatest challenge is to use Mission Command, not just in war, but in every- day episodes of leadership at all levels and to become proficient in its use.
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