Officer Candidate School (United States Army)
The United States Army's Officer Candidate School, located at Fort Benning, trains and evaluates potential commissioned officers in the U. S. Army, U. S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard. Officer candidates are former enlisted members, warrant officers, inter-service transfers, or civilian college graduates who enlist for the "OCS Option" after they complete Basic Combat Training; the latter are referred to as "college ops". OCS is a rigorous 12-week course designed to train, assess and develop second lieutenants for sixteen of the U. S. Army's seventeen basic branches, it is the only commissioning source that can be responsive to the U. S. Army's changing personnel requirements due to its short length, compared to other commissioning programs and their requirements. Completing OCS is one of several ways of becoming a U. S. Army commissioned officer; the other methods are: Graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York Graduation from any of the other U. S. federal service academies.
Graduates of these academies must request commissioning in the Army, be granted approval by both the Army and their parent branch of service, before commissioning as an Army second lieutenant. Completing Reserve Officers' Training Corps offered at many civilian universities throughout the United States Officer Candidate School programs of the Army National Guard at Regional Training Institutes; the curriculum is identical to that of the federal OCS program and audited by the U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; the programs are structured to better accommodate part-time soldiers of the Army National Guard. Direct commissioning is used for accessions of chaplains, medical professionals, Judge Advocate General lawyers; the U. S. Army Reserve is using this method in limited numbers for the basic branches as well. Interservice transfer as a commissioned officer of another United States military branch. Battlefield commissions, or meritorious commissions, though technically still provided for, have not been used by the U.
S. Army since the Vietnam War; the U. S. Army Officer Candidate School is organizationally designated as 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 199th Infantry Brigade, it was redesignated from the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment in June 2007. It is a subordinate unit of the Maneuver Center of Excellence headquartered at Fort Benning; as of July 2014 the battalion has five training companies and a Headquarters Company in operation, designated HHC, Bravo, Charlie and Echo, each of which can conduct one class at a time, with a maximum of 160 candidates being trained in each class. Only Alpha thru Delta are used, but if there are sufficient numbers of students, Echo company will be opened-up as well. HHC serves as the "holding" company for brand new candidates going thru their in-processing or for injured candidates who are recuperating from their injuries; those who recuperate from injury are "recycled" into the next class. Every three weeks a class graduates and another one is started; the commander of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 199th Infantry Brigade is Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Chitty and the Command Sergeant Major is Command Sergeant Major Stephen Anthony Carney Jr. Historically, OCS has provided the means by which the U.
S. Army could generate large numbers of junior officers during periods of increasing personnel requirements during wars. Prior to 1973, OCS was branch-specific, at one time there being eight separate schools. Candidates being commissioned in the combat support branches were sent to Fort Belvoir and would be trained as Combat Engineer Officers. Upon graduation, they would be commissioned in their assigned branch and sent to an officers basic course. Candidates being commissioned in the combat arms branches, would be sent to Infantry OCS at Fort Benning, Georgia or Artillery OCS at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. At that time, OCS consisted of twenty-two weeks of field training; the Vietnam war brought a significant expansion of the program. In 1973, OCS was made branch immaterial and was consolidated into two courses taught at Ft. Benning, another at Fort McClellan, Alabama for female Officer Candidates. In 1976, the OCS at Ft. Benning integrated females, became the only OCS left in the active Army, with the closure of the WAC School.
The term "90-day wonders", both as a pejorative and term of affection, has been intermittently applied to junior officers commissioned through OCS since World War II. Officer Candidate School was first proposed in June 1938, as the Army began expanding in anticipation of hostilities when a plan for an officer-training program was submitted to the Chief of Infantry by Brigadier General Asa L. Singleton, Commandant of the Infantry School. No action was taken until July 1940, when Brig. Gen. Courtney Hodges, Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, presented a revised plan to Brig. Gen. Omar Bradley, Commandant of the Infantry School. In July 1941, the OCS stood up as the Infantry, Field Artillery, Coastal Artillery Officer Candidate Schools, each located at Fort Benning, Fort Sill, Fort Monroe, Virginia. In addition to the aforementioned programs, there were Officer Candidate Schools stood up for other branches, in particular the Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Due to the rapid creation of these programs because of wartime necessity, the rapid closures or restructuring soon after the end of the war, historical records were not always created or adequately maintained and little is known about some of these branch specific commissioning courses.
Philippines Campaign (1944–1945)
The Philippines Campaign, the Battle of the Philippines or the Liberation of the Philippines, was the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines during World War II. The Japanese Army overran all of the Philippines during the first half of 1942; the liberation of the Philippines commenced with amphibious landings on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. United States and Philippine Commonwealth military forces were progressing in liberating territory and islands when the Japanese forces in the Philippines were ordered to surrender by Tokyo on August 15, 1945, after the dropping of the atomic bombs on mainland Japan and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. By mid-1944, American forces were only 300 nautical miles southeast of Mindanao, the largest island in the southern Philippines – and able to bomb Japanese positions there using long-range bombers. American forces under Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz had advanced across the Central Pacific Ocean, capturing the Gilbert Islands, some of the Marshall Islands, most of the Marianas Islands, bypassing many Japanese Army garrisons and leaving them behind, with no source of supplies and militarily impotent.
Aircraft carrier-based warplanes were conducting air strikes and fighter sweeps against the Japanese in the Philippines their military airfields. U. S. Army and Australian Army troops under the American General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations, had either overrun, or else isolated and bypassed, all of the Japanese Army on New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands. Before the invasion of the Philippines, MacArthur's northernmost conquest had been at Morotai in the Dutch East Indies on September 15–16, 1944; this was MacArthur's one base, within bomber range of the southern Philippines. U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army as well as Australian and New Zealand forces under the command of Admiral Nimitz and Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. had isolated the large Japanese South Pacific base at Rabaul, New Britain, by capturing a ring of islands around Rabaul, building air bases on them from which to bomb and blockade the Japanese forces at Rabaul into military impotence.
With victories in the Marianas campaign, American forces were getting close to Japan itself. From the Marianas, the long-range B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers of the U. S. Army Air Forces could bomb the Japanese home islands from well-supplied air bases – ones with direct access to supplies via cargo ships and tankers. Although Japan was losing the war, the Japanese Government, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, showed no sign of capitulation, collapse or surrender. There had been a close relationship between the people of the Philippines and the United States since 1898, with the Philippines becoming the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, promised their independence in mid-1946. Furthermore, an extensive series of air attacks by the American Fast Carrier Task Force under Admiral William F. Halsey against Japanese airfields and other bases on the Philippines had drawn little Japanese opposition, such as interceptions by Japanese Army fighter planes. Upon Admiral Halsey's recommendation, the Combined Chiefs of Staff, meeting in Canada, approved a decision to not only move up the date for the first landing in the Philippines, but to move it north from the southernmost island of Mindanao to the central island of Leyte, Philippines.
The new date set for the landing on Leyte, October 20, 1944, was two months before the previous target date to land on Mindanao. The Filipino people were ready and waiting for the invasion. After General MacArthur had been evacuated from the Philippines in March 1942, all of its islands fell to the Japanese; the Japanese occupation was harsh, accompanied by atrocities and with large numbers of Filipinos pressed into slave labor. From mid-1942 through mid-1944, MacArthur and Nimitz supplied and encouraged the Filipino guerrilla resistance by U. S. Navy submarines and a few parachute drops, so that the guerrillas could harass the Japanese Army and take control of the rural jungle and mountainous areas – amounting to about half of the archipelago. While remaining loyal to the United States, many Filipinos hoped and believed that liberation from the Japanese would bring them freedom and their already-promised independence; the Australian government offered General MacArthur the use of the First Corps of the Australian Army for the Liberation of the Philippines.
MacArthur suggested that two Australian infantry divisions be employed, each of them attached to a different U. S. Army Corps, but this idea was not acceptable to the Australian Cabinet, which wanted to have significant operational control within a certain area of the Philippines, rather than being part of a U. S. Army Corps. No agreement was reached between the Australian Cabinet and MacArthur – who might have wanted it that way; as a result, the Australian Army played no part in the Philippines. However, units from the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy, such as the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, were involved. During the American re-conquest of the Philippines, the guerrillas began to strike against Japanese forces, carried out reconnaissance activities a
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e
Sheridan Reserve Center
The Philip H. Sheridan Reserve Center is the former Fort Sheridan now in Lake Forest and Highland Park in Lake County, United States, it was established as a United States Army Post named after Civil War Cavalry General Philip Sheridan, to honor his services to Chicago. When the main fort was closed by the Army on May 3, 1993, the majority of the property was sold by the Department of Defense to commercial land developers. Most of the original housing structures were refurbished and resold as a residential community. Other buildings were given to cultural organizations like Midwest Young Artists, the largest youth music program in the Midwest. 90 acres of the southern end of the original post were retained by the Army. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, Fort Sheridan was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component; the Commercial Club of Chicago, concerned since 1877 with the need for a military garrison, was motivated by the Haymarket Riot in 1886 to arrange for the donation of 632 acres of land to the Federal Government for this purpose.
Troops arrived in November 1887 to what was called Camp Highwood. A year Camp Highwood was renamed Fort Sheridan. Troops stationed at Fort Sheridan were used in 1894 to quell labor unrest during the Pullman Strike. Fort Sheridan became a mobilization and training center beginning with the Spanish–American War in 1898. Following World War I, Fort Sheridan processed nearly 20,000 returning wounded soldiers and helped them return to civilian life through physical and occupational training reenter the workforce. During World War II, over 500,000 men and women were processed through military service. Many army officers who became famous lived there, including George Patton and Jonathan Wainwright; the 174th Military Police Battalion of the Leavenworth, Kansas National Guard was stationed there in 1950. Fort Sheridan served as the base for supplying and servicing Nike antimissile systems in the upper Midwest from 1953 to 1973, at which point it returned to providing administrative and logistical support services.
The 94 buildings in the Historic District, built between 1889 and 1910, include 64 structures that were the first major works of the architectural firm Holabird & Roche of Chicago. These earliest buildings are made of bricks molded and fired on site, using clay mined from lakefront bluffs; the water tower the tallest structure in the Chicago area, was altered and shortened by 60 feet in 1940. The row of buildings flanking the tower were troop barracks; the 110 acre Historic District, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984. In 1979, the site was documented by the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey. In 1979, director Robert Redford used a warehouse on the base to build interior sets for his Oscar-winning film Ordinary People. Fort Sheridan closed in 1993; the decision to close Fort Sheridan came in the 1989 first round of base closings under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. An Army Reserve base continues to use about 90 acres of the original Post.
The remaining property is divided between the Lake County Forest Preserves, a residential development, a Navy family housing development for personnel of nearby Great Lakes and a variety of ongoing commercial developments. The geological setting of Fort Sheridan is tableland above a 70-foot high bluff in an area cut by seven deep ravines; the bluff overlooks Lake Michigan and the ravines create an open face in the bluff at the beach's edge. Over the years, the Army filled in the ravines with waste generated by military operations; the most toxic waste was placed in the Wells Ravine known as Landfill 7. The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers Landfill 7 to be a Superfund National Priorities List location; the landfills were not operated in an environmentally sound manner. An IEPA permit was not issued while the landfill was operating, a high-density plastic containment liner was not used between the ravine and the waste. Regulatory oversight did not begin until 1979. An operating permit was issued.
The Army applied for a closure permit, installed a leachate collection system, placed a clay cap over Landfill 7. By 1982, the cap had failed due to ponding of water and the failure of the leachate collection system to collect leachate; the Army stated. By 1989, Fort Sheridan was facing potential closure by Closure commission; the Army began evaluating the permanent closure of Landfill 7 and the inherent problems with its maintenance. Because Landfill 7 had been dispensing 14,000 gallons of leachate per day into Lake Michigan, the leachate was above state environmental effluent standards, CERCLA allowed the Army to implement an interim remedy prior to deciding on a permanent remedy; the Army chose to construct a $16 million cap. Public comments for this interim action opposed the cap, focusing on the Army's characterization of the type of waste in the landfill, the geologic instability of the ravine and bluff environment, the proximity to Lake Michigan from which local drinking water is drawn.
The Army responded that the cap was an interim solution, thought to be effective for temporary containment of the waste. After the interim containment remedy was selected on April 22, 1997, the Army brought in Dr. Shabica to evaluate the shore protections as part of
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II; the 82-day battle lasted from April 1 until June 22, 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were planning to use Kadena Air Base on the large island of Okinawa as a base for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands, 340 mi away; the United States created the Tenth Army, a cross-branch force consisting of the 7th, 27th, 77th, 96th infantry divisions of the US Army with the 1st, 2nd, 6th divisions of the Marine Corps, to fight on the island. The Tenth was unique in that it had its own tactical air force, was supported by combined naval and amphibious forces; the battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, tetsu no ame or tetsu no bōfū in Japanese.
The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of Japanese kamikaze attacks, the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with 160,000 casualties on both sides: at least 75,000 Allied and 84,166–117,000 Japanese, including drafted Okinawans wearing Japanese uniforms. 149,425 Okinawans were killed, committed suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population. In the naval operations surrounding the battle, both sides lost considerable numbers of ships and aircraft, including the Japanese battleship Yamato. After the battle, Okinawa provided a fleet anchorage, troop staging areas, airfields in proximity to Japan in preparation for the planned invasion. In all, the Army had over 102,000 soldiers, over 18,000 Navy personnel. At the start of the Battle of Okinawa, the 10th Army had 182,821 personnel under its command, it was planned that General Buckner would report to Turner until the amphibious phase was completed, after which he would report directly to Spruance.
Although Allied land forces were composed of American units, the British Pacific Fleet provided about ¼ of Allied naval air power. It comprised a force. Although all the BPF aircraft carriers were provided by Britain, the carrier group was a combined British Commonwealth fleet with Australian, New Zealand and Canadian ships and personnel, their mission was to neutralize Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands and provide air cover against Japanese kamikaze attacks. Most of the air-to-air fighters and the small dive bombers and strike aircraft were US Navy carrier-based airplanes; the Japanese land campaign was conducted by the 67,000-strong regular 32nd Army and some 9,000 Imperial Japanese Navy troops at Oroku naval base, supported by 39,000 drafted local Ryukyuan people. The Japanese had used kamikaze tactics since the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but for the first time, they became a major part of the defense. Between the American landing on April 1 and May 25, seven major kamikaze attacks were attempted, involving more than 1,500 planes.
The 32nd Army consisted of the 9th, 24th, 62nd Divisions, the 44th Independent Mixed Brigade. The 9th Division was moved to Taiwan before the invasion, resulting in shuffling of Japanese defensive plans. Primary resistance was to be led in the south by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, his chief of staff, Lieutenant General Isamu Chō and his chief of operations, Colonel Hiromichi Yahara. Yahara advocated a defensive strategy, whilst Chō advocated an offensive one. In the north, Colonel Takehido Udo was in command; the IJN troops were led by Rear Admiral Minoru Ōta. They expected the Americans to land 6–10 divisions against the Japanese garrison of two and a half divisions; the staff calculated that superior quality and numbers of weapons gave each US division five or six times the firepower of a Japanese division. To this, would be added the Americans' abundant naval and air firepower. In Okinawa island, middle school boys were organized into front-line-service Tekketsu Kinnōtai, while Himeyuri students were organized into a nursing unit.
The Japanese Imperial Army mobilized 1,780 middle school boys aged 14–17 years into front-line-service. They were named "Tekketsu Kinnōtai"; this mobilization was conducted by the ordinance of the Ministry of Army, not by law. The ordinances mobilized the student as a volunteer soldier for form's sake. In reality, the military authorities ordered schools to force all students to "volunteer" as soldiers. Sometimes they counterfeited the necessary documents. About half of Tekketsu Kinnōtai were killed, including in suicide bomb attacks against tanks, in guerrilla operations. After losing the Battle of Okinawa, the Japanese government enacted new laws in preparation for the decisive battles in the main islands; these laws made it possi
United States Army Command and General Staff College
The United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, international military officers. The college was established in 1881 by William Tecumseh Sherman as the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry, a training school for infantry and cavalry officers. In 1907 it changed its title to the School of the Line; the curriculum expanded throughout World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and continues to adapt to include lessons learned from current conflicts. In addition to the main campus at Fort Leavenworth, the college has satellite campuses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; the satellite campuses provide non-residential distance learning opportunities. The United States Army Command and General Staff College educates and develops leaders for full spectrum joint and multinational operations; the college consists of four schools: Command and General Staff School provides Intermediate Level Education for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, international military officers.
ILE is a ten-month graduate-level program. There is one ILE class per year. About 1,200 US military and international officers make up the class. In addition to the ILE curriculum, a graduate masters program exists for students who may qualify to complete a thesis-level research paper and receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences degree at the School of Advanced Military Studies; the Masters program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body for collegiate institutions in the midwestern United States. ILE students are mid-career field-grade officers preparing for battalion command or staff positions at the division, brigade, or battalion level. In addition to CGSS at Fort Leavenworth, the school operates satellite campuses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Students at the satellite campuses complete the ILE Common Core, a condensed ninety-day program without the MMAS option, in lieu of the traditional ten-month program. School of Advanced Military Studies provides post-ILE instruction on complex military issues at the strategic and operational levels.
Students who complete the curriculum receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences and are assigned as high-level military planners. The Masters program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body for collegiate institutions in the midwestern United States. School for Command Preparation provides instruction for colonels, lieutenant colonels, command sergeants major who have been selected for brigade or battalion command. Courses are three to four weeks and focus on special topics unique to assumption of command at the levels indicated. School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics provides officer continuing education towards developing the Scholar-Warrior-Leader from first lieutenant to selection for major; the result is mastery of branch-specific technical and tactical skills, staff processes in battalions and brigades, direct leadership and command competencies, initial broadening opportunities. During World War I, the CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth was closed, from 1916 until 1920.
Most of the school staff was sent to Langres, France, to open and conduct the Army General Staff College, which operated from November 1917 to December 1918. This compressed-curriculum school was needed to provide command and staff officers for the exponentially growing number of Army units; the college reports that 7,000 international students representing 155 countries have attended CGSC since 1894 and that more than 50 percent of CGSC International Military Student graduates attain the rank of general. Prime Minister and General Kriangsak Chomanan of Thailand General Alfredo M. Santos of the Philippines Lieutenant General Rafael Ileto of the Philippines Major General Edmund E. Dillon of Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Prime Minister and General Tran Thien Khiem of South Vietnam General Do Cao Tri of South Vietnam Colonel Le Huy Luyen of South Vietnam General Hau Pei-tsun of the Republic of China President Paul Kagame of Rwanda General Katumba Wamala of Uganda Brigadier General Muhoozi Kainerugaba son of Ugandan president, 2007–08.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan General Rahimuddin Khan of Pakistan General Jehangir Karamat of Pakistan General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani of Pakistan Brigadier Abdul Shakur Malik, Force Commander for the Northern Areas, Acting Director-General Military Training, of Pakistan General Eiji Kimizuka of Japan General Hisham Jaber of Lebanon General Krishnaswamy Sundarji of Indian Army Prime Minister and Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore General Dieudonné Kayembe Mbandakulu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo President Gaafar Nimeiry of Sudan Lt. Col Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua General Nguyễn Hợp Đoàn of South Vietnam General Nguyễn Khánh of South Vietnam General Phạm Văn Đồng of South Vietnam Ministry/Chief of Army General Staff and General Ahmad Yani of Indonesia President and General Susilo
Western Front (World War I)
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium gaining military control of important industrial regions in France; the tide of the advance was turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918. Between 1915 and 1917 there were several offensives along this front; the attacks employed massive artillery massed infantry advances. Entrenchments, machine gun emplacements, barbed wire and artillery inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks and no significant advances were made. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, with a combined 700,000 casualties, the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with more than a million casualties, the Battle of Passchendaele, in 1917, with 487,000 casualties.
To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried new military technology, including poison gas and tanks. The adoption of better tactics and the cumulative weakening of the armies in the west led to the return of mobility in 1918; the German Spring Offensive of 1918 was made possible by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended the war of the Central Powers against Russia and Romania on the Eastern Front. Using short, intense "hurricane" bombardments and infiltration tactics, the German armies moved nearly 100 kilometres to the west, the deepest advance by either side since 1914, but the result was indecisive; the inexorable advance of the Allied armies during the second half of 1918 caused a sudden collapse of the German armies and persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable. The German government surrendered in the Armistice of 11 November 1918, the terms of peace were settled by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. At the outbreak of the First World War, the German Army, with seven field armies in the west and one in the east, executed a modified version of the Schlieffen Plan, moving through neutral Belgium to attack France, turning southwards to encircle the French Army and trap it on the German border.
The Western Front was the place where the most powerful military forces in Europe, the German and French armies and where the war was decided. Belgian neutrality had been guaranteed by Britain under the Treaty of London, 1839. Armies under German generals Alexander von Kluck and Karl von Bülow attacked Belgium on 4 August 1914. Luxembourg had been occupied without opposition on 2 August; the first battle in Belgium was the Siege of Liège. Liège was well surprised the German Army under Bülow with its level of resistance. German heavy artillery was able to demolish the main forts within a few days. Following the fall of Liège, most of the Belgian field army retreated to Antwerp, leaving the garrison of Namur isolated, with the Belgian capital, falling to the Germans on 20 August. Although the German army bypassed Antwerp, it remained a threat to their flank. Another siege followed at Namur; the French deployed five armies on the frontier. The French Plan XVII was intended to bring about the capture of Alsace-Lorraine.
On 7 August, the VII Corps attacked Alsace to capture Colmar. The main offensive was launched on 14 August with the First and Second Armies attacking toward Sarrebourg-Morhange in Lorraine. In keeping with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans withdrew while inflicting severe losses upon the French; the French Third and Fourth Armies advanced toward the Saar River and attempted to capture Saarburg, attacking Briey and Neufchateau but were repulsed. The French VII Corps captured Mulhouse after a brief engagement on 7 August but German reserve forces engaged them in the Battle of Mulhouse and forced a French retreat; the German Army swept through Belgium, razing villages. The application of "collective responsibility" against a civilian population further galvanised the allies. Newspapers condemned the German invasion, violence against civilians and destruction of property, which became known as the "Rape of Belgium". After marching through Belgium and the Ardennes, the Germans advanced into northern France in late August, where they met the French Army, under Joseph Joffre, the divisions of the British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French.
A series of engagements known as the Battle of the Frontiers ensued, which included the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Mons. In the former battle the French Fifth Army was destroyed by the German 2nd and 3rd Armies and the latter delayed the German advance by a day. A general Allied retreat followed, resulting in more clashes at the Battle of Le Cateau, the Siege of Maubeuge and the Battle of St. Quentin; the German Army came within 70 km of Paris but at the First Battle of the Marne and British troops were able to force a German retreat by exploiting a gap which appeared between the 1st and 2nd Armies, ending the German advance into France. The German Army retreated north of the Aisne River and dug in there, establishing the beginnings of a static western front, to last for the next three years. Following this German retirement, the opposing forces made reciprocal outflanking manoeuvres, known as the Race for the S