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(p. 247) 14. Theory and Practice of Continental Warfare 

(p. 247) 14. Theory and Practice of Continental Warfare
(p. 247) 14. Theory and Practice of Continental Warfare

Stephen Biddle

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date: 08 July 2020

This chapter examines the theory and practice of continental warfare, with particular emphasis on the relationship between ideas on conventional land warfare and actual experience since 1900. It considers technological change, including mechanization, as the central challenge facing modern theorists as well as tactical and doctrinal responses that emerged very quickly in reaction to modern weapons' radical lethality. These responses emphasized cover, concealment, tight integration of suppressive fire and movement, depth, and reliance on withheld reserves at the cost of lighter forward deployments. These concepts subsequently formed the foundation for most modern systems of tactics and doctrine. The chapter explores the relationship between theory and practice in continental warfare by focusing on four case studies: the European theatre in the First and Second World Wars, the Arab–Israeli War of 1973, and the Gulf War of 1991.

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