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University of Ioannina, Greece & visiting London Metropolitan University, uk


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Three Types of Victory and Two Types of Defeat:

Military versus Economic Objectives in War


By


Dr. Ioannis-Dionysios Salavrakos

(University of Ioannina, Greece & visiting London Metropolitan University, UK)


1. Introduction

If war is the continuation of politics by other means, then we have to accept that wars are planned by the politicians, but they are executed by the generals. When the military is ordered to plan a war the immediate objective is to perish enemy forces, this is a purely military objective. If however, the initial objective is not fully realised, then the second best option may be to destroy (or capture) the economic infrastructure of the opponent. A third option may be to destroy both military and economic targets of the enemy.

However the paper aims to provide an answer on the question how victory can be achieved? In order to do that, we analyse three case studies. These are in chronological order: a) The Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, b) the biggest conventional conflict in human history (the German-Soviet conflict of 1941-1945 period), c) The 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon.

Before continuing our analysis, we have to refer to the literature again. We point out that Martel (2007) distinguishes between three types of victory. These are as follows: (a) “Tactical Victory”, (b) “Political-Military Victory”, (c) “Grand Strategic Victory”. The first type is associated with victory in small scale battles or conflicts. The second category is associated with victory in small or large scale battles during limited warfare. The third type of victory is associated with the concept of grand strategy and complete change of the status quo. In this case the winner has achieved immense territorial gains and even regime change inside the defeated country. Practically this is total victory in total war.1

Taking into consideration the above distinction we point out that the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, is associated with the “Political-Military Victory”, of Martel (2007) concept. The German-Soviet War of 1941-1945 is associated with the “Grand Strategic Victory” concept, whereas the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon is associated with Martel’s (2007) “Tactical Victory” concept.

We argue that in all three cases of conventional warfare ultimate victory is achieved only if both military and economic enemy targets and infrastructure is destroyed or captured. If both objectives are not met then we argue that there is no guarantee of total victory, since the opponent can sooner or later regroup and start offensive operations.

^ 2. Case Studies: The nexus of war and economics

2a. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871).

The French defeat during the 1870-1871 conflict is associated with military as well as economic factors.

The military factors are the following: The French Army could in theory easily mobilise 400,000 men. However when the mobilization occurred (14 July 1870) the results were totally different from those anticipated. The army expected to enlist 163,000 men in two weeks tme, however only 39,000 were mobilized. Between 16-26 July 1870 the French side mobilized 594 military trains which transported 186,000 men, 32,000 horses, 500 guns, 1,000 ammunition wagons and 1,500 cards to the borders. By the end of July the French side had deployed in the borders 250,000 men with 912 guns. This strength was much smaller compared to the initial French planning. However the French army still had enjoyed a firepower advantage. Τhe French infantry was equipped with Chassepot-type rifle. Τhis specific gun had a range of 1,000-1,500 yards. Also every infantry soldier had 105 rounds of ammunition (cartridges). In addition to this there were 144 machine guns (Mitrailleuse-type), which could fire 125 rounds per minute and had a range of 1,200 meters. On the contrary the French artillery had old guns with low velocity and range.

On “the other side of the hill” the Germans were able to mobilize a total force of 1,200,000 men (300,000 tactical army, 400,000 reserves, 500,000 civil strength). In the first 15 days the German side was able to deploy to the borders 350,000 men and 1,584 guns, achieving immense numerical superiority. Every German had 70 cartridges for its rifle, (a Dreyse type), which had a range of only 400-600 yards. However in artillery the steel Krupp made guns created an immense advantage to the Germans. The French side will taste one defeat after the other from August 7th onwards. The greatest defeat occurred in Sedan in September 2nd when the German side had 9,000 casualties and the French had 38,000 (3,000 νεκροί, 14,000 wounded, 21,000 prisoners, between them Νapoleon ΙΙΙ himself). The war will continue until the signing of the armistice in January 26 1871 and the final defeat of France in March 18th 1871.

The defeat was not only the outcome of the low scale French mobilization during the 15-30 July 1870 period. Throughout the war the French defence industry had low productivity and almost zero economies of scale and scope. Thus monthly Chassepot rifle production, was only 15,000-18,000 pieces. The outcome was that the 1,500,000 rifles which the French used were of 15 different models and all of old technological standards. Ammunition production was also low (2,8m. cartridges / week in September, 4,5m. cartridges / week in December and 7m. per week in the first week of February, after the armistice. The famous Creusot gun manufacturer could produce only after Sedan 250 artillery pieces, whereas the total artillery production was 1,400 pieces throughout the war.2

The German industry on the other hand was more successful. To illustrate, the initial 70 cartridges per soldier were increased to 200 during the war. Throughout the war the artillery consumed 670,000 shells. (The lower daily consumption was 55 shells and the higher was 88 shells). Τhus high production rates were achieved.3 In rifle production German industry had endorsed already mass production practices and also the steel made guns were the best in Europe.

Τurning our attention to defence spending the French spent during the war, whereas the Germans had spent before the start of the war. French pre-war spending was 420m. FF. In July 16th an additional 50m. credit was provided. In 21 July another 500m. By August 12 1 billion FF were spent, and the Bank of France provided another 250m. Total French spending was 2,25 billion FF.4 The French military effort was financed by other banking institutions as well (Banque de Paris, Credit Lyonnais, J.S. Morgan, Rothschild, Barings). In the case of Barings the bank provided £2 m. to the French and also provided the guarantee for the sum of £2,7 which the Rothschild’s offered.5 On the other hand, the German side had spent during the 1859-1862 period 434,68m Marks, whereas throughout the war defence spending was 1,5-2,0 billion.6 The role of banks was essential. Prussian bonds were financed by Disconto-Gesellschaft Bank which saw its profits to soar from 1,4m. thaler in 1869 to 5,6m. in 1871. Paradoxically the Rothschild provided only limited finance, whereas the Deutsche Bank did not play an important role since it was founded just in Μarch 1870.7 Finally “raw economic power” (population, coal, iron, pig-iron and steel production, length of railways) also played an immense role. In all the above Germany enjoyed an overwhelming superiority compared to France.8

The war of 1870-1871 can be categorised as a “Political-Military Victory” for Prussia / Germany. However France was not occupied, nor its industrial potential destroyed. Even the 5 billion FF indemnity which was imposed on Paris was quickly repaid and did not in the long run affect the French economy. Thus French capital, industry and military power were not affected. Actually France recovered from the defeat and took its revenge during the 1914-1918 period. The war proves the assertion that if total defeat is not achieved then sooner or later the opponent will re-group and start offensive operations.


^ 2b. The case of long conventional warfare: The case of the German-Soviet conflict 1941-1945.

The German-Soviet Non Aggression Pact of August 1939 had ten-year duration, and provided Nazi Germany with immense access to abundant raw materials and also with the prospect of a war only in one front (i.e. against the Anglo-saxonic Powers). Hitler initially had no desire to attack the USSR. He was aware that a war in two fronts could have been catastrophic; that was after all the lesson of the 1914-1918 war.

Hitler started to change is mind in September 1940. At that time, the Past of Steel was signed between Germany, Italy and Japan (September 28th 1940) and its aim was against Britain and the US. However, Moscow thought that it was an attempt to encircle the USSR. In November 1940 the Soviet foreign minister, Molotov, made an official visit to Berlin and Hitler formally proposed to the USSR to enter the Pact of Steel. When the Soviet minister refused, Hitler decided to abolish the potential future Soviet threat by launching another successful blitzkrieg (Operation Barbarossa).

The initial objectives of the campaign were purely military. The German forces with their allies would have to destroy the Red Army and the Red Air-Force. Although the Soviet forces would outnumber the invaders the task seemed possible. The Soviet forces had been qualitative inferior due to the complete destruction of the officer’s core during the 1936-1938 periods. Furthermore, the Soviet forces had proved inadequate in the Soviet-Finnish war of 1940. Finally the imbalance of forces was not so overwhelming. Thus, according to German intelligence the USSR possessed 10,000 tanks and 10,000 airplanes. However, the actual numbers were 24,000 tanks and 20,000 airplanes; thus German intelligence underestimated the military arsenal of the USSR.

Under the circumstances the initial aim of Barbarossa was the complete destruction of enemy forces; a purely military objective. As the campaign evolved, Hitler required from his generals to meet economic objectives as well. These, included, the capture or destruction, of the industrial basis of the USSR, and the capture of agricultural resources, and raw materials of the Ukraine. The German armies invaded the USSR on June 22nd 1941 and by December they have made immense gains both in military as well as economic terms. (Table 1 demonstrates the military gains of Barbarossa).


^ TABLE 1: SOVIET MILITARY EQUIPMENT (JUNE-DECEMBER 1941)

Τype of equipment

Number Disposable

(22-06-1941)

Entry into service

(22/06-31/12/1941)

Totals 1941

Losses 1941

Losses as % of general total

Rifles

7,740,000

1,570,000

9,310,000

5,550,000

59.6%

Sub-machine guns

100,000

100,000

200,000

100,000

50%

Machine guns

248,900

55,100

304,000

190,800

62.7%

Anti-Tank Artillery

14,900

2,500

17,400

12,100

69.5%

Αnti-aircraft Artillery

8,600

3,400

12,000

4,100

34.1%

Artillery

33,200

10,100

43,300

24,400

56.3%

Mortars

56,100

42,400

98,500

60,500

61.4%

Katiusha systems (*)

0

1.000

1.000

0

0

Heavy Tanks

500

1,000

1,500

900

60%

Μedium Tanks

900

2,200

3,100

2,300

74.1%

Light Tanks

21,200

2,400

23,800

17,300

72.6%

Fighter airplanes

11,500

6,000

17,500

9,600

54.8%

Ground support airplanes (**)

100

1,400

1,500

1,100

73.3%

Βοmbers

8,400

2,500

10,900

7,200

66%

Vehicles

273,000

205,000

478,000

159,000

33.2%

Wireless Telecommunication systems

37,000

6,000

43,000

24,000

55.8%

Source: Evan Mawdsley: “Thunder in the East. The Nazi-Soviet War 1941-1945”, Hodder Arnold, 2005, page 47. The numbers have been rounded. Air-force losses include accidents, as well as, deliveries from the US (Lend-Lease). (*)=MLRS Multiple Lunch Rocket Systems, (**)=we refer to Shturmoviki type airplanes. (To the above numbers one has to add the loss of almost 4 million soldiers and army officers of the Red Army and Air Force during these months).


The data of Table 1 demonstrate that in spite of its initial success Barbarossa did not fully destroy the military forces of the USSR. Although losses were above 50% of total equipment in many categories it is obvious that the Red Army and the Red Air-Force had still adequate defence articles to oppose the German Army and its allies. If the military objectives of Barbarossa were not fully materialised it is interesting to see how the economic objectives of the campaign have developed. In this case, the results were much more spectacular. Since various sources provide slightly different data, a brief presentation / review, follows.

According to Deborin (1959) between June-Νοvember 1941 the USSR suffered the following economic losses: 40% of its population, το 41% of its railway network, 58% of steel production, 60% of aluminium production, 63% of coal production, 68% of pig-iron production, 60% of pork meat, 38% of animal capital, 84% of sugar production, 38% of wheat production. Between June-Νοvember 1941 the value of total industrial production decreased by 2.1 times, and the ball bearings production decreased by 21 times. However, the author points out, that 1,360 big factories have been saved from the German aggression. The Soviets succeeded in moving the above factories behind the Urals and thus revitalize their economy and defence industry.9

According to Elleinstein (1977) during the June-December 1941 period the USSR lost the: 40% of its population, 38% of wheat production, 47% of wheat arable land, 84% of fruits and sugar production, the 38% of animal capital, 60% of pork meat, 58% of steel production, 68% of pig-iron production, 63% of coal production, 60% of aluminium production. In the same period 303 defence factories were captured by the Germans.10 The above source points out that 1,523 factories were saved during the above period (July-Νοvember 1941). Only in Moscow region 498 factories were transported by 71,000 train wagons. Only for the transportation of Zaporoziyie steel industries 8,000 wagons were used. Furthermore, 667 factories were send to Urals, 226 were send to the Volga, 244 to western Siberia, 78 to Eastern Siberia, 308 to Central Asia.11 According to Ranki (1993) during the June-December 1941 period the USSR lost the 71% of iron production, 58% of steel production, 63% of coal production, 45% of electrical energy and the biggest part of chemical and mechanical engineering industries. Also the country lost 50% of its wheat production, 80% of sugar production and 71% of sun oil production. More than 2,600 factories were under German control, however 1,200 were saved.12 However in terms of machine tools and factory equipment the number reaches the 2,000 factories. Furthermore, adequate food supplies and animal capital including 200,000 pigs and 800,000 horses were saved. Furthermore, 7.5-10 m. people were saved (although other estimates refer to 12.5-15 m.). In order to transport the above human as well as material capital to safe areas 30,000 locomotives and 1,500,000 wagons were used.13 From the above one thing is certain. In December 1941, when the US entered the war, the German forces had won a CRITICAL BUT NOT ABSOLUTE VICTORY in the Eastern Front. The USSR had suffered immense military as well as economic losses, however it was not fully destroyed. At that time, on the other hand, Germany had been strengthened immensely in economic terms due to the occupation of Europe as well as the huge parts of the USSR. Table 2 demonstrates the increase of German economic strength due to the victories of the 1939-1941 period.


^ TABLE 2: CHANGES OF STRATEGIC RAW MATERIAL IN GERMANY 1939-1941




Germany & Αustria

Ιtaly, Hungary, Rumania, Βulgaria

General Total

(1)

Occupied Countries (*)

General Total

(2)

Size (sq. km.)

554

801

1.355

1.922

3.277

Population (m.)

76

78

154

129

283

Electrical Εnergy

(m. KWh)

52

15

67

43

110

Coal (m. tons)

185

2

187

161

348

Iron-ore (m. tons)

3,4

0,5

3,9

22,4

26,3

Copper

(thousand tons)

31

1

32

67

99

Bauxite

(thousand tons)

93

848

941

1.176

2.117

Oil (m. tons)

0,5

8,7

9,2

0,8

10

Iron (m. tons)

16,3

1,4

17,7

20,2

37,9

Steel (m. tons)

20,0

3,2

23,2

20,4

43,6

Αluminium

(th. Tons)

131

23

154

64

218

Vehicles (thousand)

333

75

408

268

676

Wheat (th. Tons)

136

148

284

264

548

Μαλλί (th. Tons)

19,6

59,7

79,3

59,4

138,7

Cattle (m.)

22,9

15,3

38,2

45,4

83,6

Pigs (m.)

26,7

9,9

36,6

27,8

64,4

Source: Dietrich Eichholtz: “Geschichte der deutschen Kriegswirtschaft 1939-1945”, Band I (1939-1941), K.G. Saur Verlag, Munich, 2003, page 223. (*)=France, Βelgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Νorway, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Αlbania, Greece).

It was obvious that Germany had ejoyed immense economic superiority over the USSR not only in December 1941, but almost throughout the war period. Table 3 demonstrates that superiority, (without taking into consideration the resources of occupied Europe).


^ TABLE 3: COMPARATIVE INDUSTRIAL STREANGTH BETWEEN GERMANY-USSR 1941-1945




1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

^ Raw Materials
















Coal

(m. tons)
















USSR

151,4

75,5

93,1

121,5

149,3

Germany

315,5

317,9

340,4

347,6




Steel

(m. tons)
















USSR

17,9

8,1

8,5

10,9

12,3

Germany

28,2

28,7

30,6

25,8




Αluminium

(th. Tons)
















USSR

-

51,7

62,3

82,7

86,3

Germany

233,6

264,0

250,0

245,3




Oil

(m. tons)
















USSR

33,0

22,0

18,0

18,2

19,4

Germany (a)

5,7

6,6

7,6

5,5

1,3



















^ Main Defence Articles
















Tanks & SPG *
















USSR

4,800

(6,590)

24,400

(24,446)

24.100

(24,089)

29.000

(28.963)

20.500

(15.400)

Germany

3,800

(5,200)

6,200

(9,300)

10,700

(19,800)

18,300

(27,300)

4,400

(n/a)

Artillery **
















USSR

30,000

(42,300)

127,000

(127,000)

130,000

(130,300)

122,000

(122,400)

72,000

(62,000)

Germany

22,000

(30,000)

41,000

(69,000)

74,000

(157,000)

148,000

(361,000)

27,000

(n/a)

Aeroplanes ***
















USSR

8,200

(15,735)

21,700

(25,436)

29,900

(34,900)

33,200

(40,300)

19,100

(20,900)

Germany

8,400

(11,776)

11,600

(15,409)

19,300

(24,807)

34,100

(39,807)

7,200

(7,540)

Rifles
















USSR

1,567,000

4,049,000

3,436,000

2,450,000

637,000

Germany

1,359,000

1,370,000

2,275,000

2,856,000

665,000

^ Machine Guns
















USSR

106,000

356,000

459,000

439,000

156,000

Germany

96,000

117,000

263,000

509,000

111,000

Sources: 1) R. Overy: “Russia’s War”, Penguin Books, 1999, page 155, 2) R. Overy: “Why the Allies Won”, Pimlico, 1995, pages 330-332, 3) Mark Harrison (ed.): “The Economics of World War II”, Cambridge, 1998, pages: 15-16. (*)=SPG=Self-Propelled Guns, (**)=refers to total artillery pieces including heavy, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, mountain, field guns, etc. (***)=The first number for aeroplanes refers exclusively to combat types, whereas the number in brackets refers to total aircraft production. The data on defence production vary according to source. For additional information see: 1) G. Ranki: “The Economics of the Second World War”, Böhlau Verlag, 1993, 2) John Ellis: “The World War II Databook”, Aurum Press, 1995. See also the references of the other tables.


The data of Table 3 demonstrate that throughout the war Germany enjoyed an immense economic advantage over the USSR on all resources, with the exception of oil. However the tremendous economic advantage was not transformed to military power. Thus almost throughout the war the USSR produced more defense equipment compared to that of Germany, without counting the additional military aid from the Western Allies (USA, Great Britain). The German failure to transform the economic to military advantage explains the defeat of the Reich from the USSR.

Until now we have demonstrated two points: The first one is that during the initial war period (June-December 1941) the Germans achieved a critical but not a complete victory on both military and economic terms against the USSR. The second point demonstrates that Germany enjoyed an immense economic advantage throughout the war when compared to the USSR. Why the Germans lost the war? Let us analyze the events of the 1942-1945 period.

In 1942 the German aims in the Eastern Front remained both economic and military. However it was the economic war aims which had precedence. Thus Hitler’s aim was the oil fields of the Caucasus region. He believed that if Caucasus was captured, then the USSR would have to sue for peace. This time the main military objectives were in the south. (Operation Blau). However, both military and economic objectives were never met. (Table 4 demonstrates the military gains of Blau).

It is obvious that inspite of the initail victories (Sevastoupol, etc), the Germans destroyed a smaller portion of Soviet defence articles in 1942, compared to 1941. Furthermore, the economic objectives were never materialized. The German army managed to captured the oilfields of Baku, but these were destroyed and therefore of no use to them.14 The remaining oilfields were simply never captured since the German Army had to retreat to its initial positions, since its flanks were exposed to Soviet counterattacks. Eventually the campaign ended with the defeat of Stalingrand in February 1943.

During 1943 the Germans had totally abandoned any attempt to destroy economic targets of the USSR. Their aim was purely military, i.e. to destroy enemy forces (Operation Citadel). However once again the German attempt failed, Kursk was the end of German blitzkrieg in the Eastern Front.

In 1944 the German army will attempt to attack in the West (Ardennes-Operation Wacht am Rhein). The final German attack will occur in January 1945 again in the Western Front (Operation Nordwind). It is obvious that during the 1941 campaign against the USSR neither military nor economic aims were fully materialized. The same occurred during 1942. In 1943 only military targets were set fot the attack against the Kursk salient. In 1944 and 1945 attacks again against military targets were not materialized. We can therefore conclude that the German defeat was a nexus between unsuccessful military and economic war aims.

Let us know proceed with the findings. In the case of the German-Soviet War (1941-1945), the initial, as well as primary aim of Barbarossa was to destroy the Red Army. This was achieved during the June-December 1941 period, when practically the USSR, lost, its entire original arsenal. However the war was not over, and became even more complicated because the US entered the conflict. Under these developments Hitler shifted his attention to economic warfare. If the oilfields of the Caucasus were captured the USSR would collapse. In Hitler’s mind it was not only the oil which if deprived to the Soviets would result in peace. The western allies were transferring military hardware to the USSR, via two routes. The former was the convey system of the North Sea, the latter a land route via Iran. Thus with the capture of the Caucasus the USSR would not have at its disposal the second supply route. Unfortunately for Hitler his economic warfare strategy failed, just like the military strategy of the former year. Thus by the end of 1942 the grand strategy of the dictator was in ruins. He had failed to win the military as well as the economic warfare in the Eastern Front. More important was the price of this failure, in terms of personnel and equipment losses.


^ TABLE 4: SOVIET MILITARY EQUIPMENT JANUARY -DECEMBER 1942

Τype of equipment

Number Disposable

1-01-1942

Entry into service

(1942)

Total (1942)

Losses (1942)

Losses as a % of general total

Rifles

3,760,000

4,040,000

7,800,000

2,180,000

27.9%

Sub-machine guns

100,000

1,560,000

1,660,000

550,000

33.1%

Machine guns

113,200

238,200

351,400

106,100

30.19%

Anti-Tank Artillery

5,300

20,500

25,800

11,500

44.5%

Αnti-aircraft Artillery

7,900

6,800

14,700

1,600

10.8%

Artillery

18,900

30,100

49,000

12,300

25.1%

Mortars

38,000

230,000

268,000

82,000

30.59%

Katiousha Systems (*)

1,000

3,300

4,300

700

16.27%

Heavy Tanks

600

2,600

3,200

1,200

37.5%

Μedium Tanks

800

13,400

14,200

6,600

46.47%

Light Tanks

6,300

11,900

18,200

7,200

39.56%

Fighter aeroplanes

7,900

10,700

18,600

7,000

37.63%

Ground Support airplanes (**)

400

7,200

7,600

2,600

34.2%

Βοmbers

3,700

4,100

7,800

2,500

32.05%

Vehicles

318,000

153,000

471,000

66,000

14%

Wireless Telecommunication systems

19,000

27,000

46,000

7,000

15.2%

Source: Evan Mawdsley: “Thunder in the East. The Nazi-Soviet War 1941-1945”, Hodder Arnold, 2005, page 47. The numbers have been rounded. Air-force losses include accidents, as well as, deliveries from the US (Lend-Lease). (*)=MLRS Multiple Lunch Rocket Systems, (**)=we refer to Shturmoviki type airplanes.

General Hadler had written in his dairy that until March 25th 1942 the German losses in the east were 32,485 officers and 1,040,581 soldiers. Furthermore, 3,486 tanks were destroyed and only 141 tanks of the original invasion force were operational. In addition only 873 new tanks have been delivered as replacements. Also from the initial number of 650,000 horses half were dead in the spring of 1942 and on top of all these there was a shortage of 2,000 artillery pieces and 7,000 anti-tank weapons.15

Walsh (2000) points out that until January 31st 1942 the German losses in the Eastern Front were 917,985 men. Between, June 1941-31st Μarch 1942 4,200 tanks were lost and out of 16 panzer divisions only 140 tanks were operational. In addition 101,529 vehicles and 207,943 horses were lost. The Army Group North had only the 50% of its original strength whereas Army Groups Centre and South possessed only the 35% of their original strength.16

After the termination of Fall Blau in 1942 the losses for the German were again horrific. Around 1 million men were lost in the Stalingrand Front form all Axis countries (Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania). The losses of material were also immense. Only inside the Stalingrad pocket 5,325 tanks and AFV, 13,015 guns, 5,852 mortars, 15,300 vehicles, 7,369 moto-cycles, 3 armour trains, 1,125 train wagons, 235 arm storages, more than 8,135 machine-guns, 90,000 rifles, 61,000 automatic weapons, 1,284 aeroplanes, 480 cranes, 320 telegraphs, 56 river boats were lost.17

In December 1942 Hitler’s grand strategy was ruined. He hoped that the German would achieve a decisive military victory against the USSR and this did not occur. Then he hoped for a decisive economic victory which was also not materialised. In addition his hope that Japan would be able to tight down the whole strength of the Anglo-Saxonic Powers in the Pacific also did not happen.18 Thus Great Britain and the USA were able to fight simultaneously Japan in the Pacific and Germany in Africa, the Mediterranean, in the skies above Germany and in the Atlantic, splitting the German resources in four different fronts.

The attack in Kursk in July 1943 was desperate. The strategy of attempting to destroy the Soviet military potential, before the Americans and the British invade en-mass in Fortress Europe was again present. However the goal was again not materialized. The same strategy applied to the Western Front in 1944 and 1945 with no success again.

Eventually the Axis Powers were totally defeated. The status quo changed and the political regimes of Germany, Italy and Japan changed as well. In the case of the German-Soviet war the Soviets occupied the capital of the Reich and they even created a puppet country a soviet satellite, the GDR (German Democratic Republic). The theoretical concept of Martel (2007) of “Grand Strategic Victory” certainly applies in the case of the Hitler-Stalin war. The Third Reich was totally defeated, the military as well as economic infrastructure of the country was fully destroyed.


^ 2c. The case of short conventional warfare: The case of Israeli attack in Lebanon (2006) and its aftermath.

The military operations in Lebanon during the July-August 2006 period demonstrate that victory is a nexus of military and economic factors. To illustrate during the above conflict (12-28 July 2006) the artillery of the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) consumed 15,000 shells, when Hezbollah used 4,000 rockets from a total reserve of 10,000-12,000. Furthermore, the air-force of Israel made more than 5,000 sorties. The total economic cost for Israel was €13,81 billion and it was estimated as follows: The direct military cost was €2,790m, the spending of the Israeli government for reconstruction and financial assistance was €1,180m. The private funds for reconstruction by Israeli citizens were €2,160m. The losses to the Israeli GNP were €6,420m. An additional sum of €376m had to be added due to tax losses and finally financial transfers from tourists decreased by €884m.19 A total of 500,000 Israeli citizens had to abandon their homes.20

The cost for Lebanon was also immense, a great success of IDF. After 33 days of intensive warfare (12 July-14 August) the infrastructure of Lebanon was destroyed. The following data reflect the cost of damage.

The primary sector had seen the complete perish of 121,000 trees. The total loss for agricultural products as well as animal capital was $567 million. In the secondary sector 9,600 industries, small firms, public utilities were bombed, with immense economic losses. The losses on transportation were estimated at $400m. In total 70 bridges, 75 railway targets, and 94 avenues (630 km of terrestrial infrastructure) were partially or totally destroyed. The three airports of Lebanon were also bombed and that created an additional cost of $55m. Four hundred cities and villages were bombed and more than 15,000 homes were destroyed; a total cost of $105 million. Furthermore 32 petrol stations were bombed and in addition 10,000 tons of oil were thrown, to the Mediterranean Sea. The damages in telecommunications infrastructure were estimated at $100m and the damage to utilities (water supplies, network etc) was estimated at $74m. Furthermore, 915,790 individuals became refugees. The opportunity cost of the war was also huge. To illustrate, only the losses from tourism were estimated to €2,5 billion. The Lebanese government has to spend an additional sum of $3,5-$4 billion for reconstruction.21

The above data from senior economists, from both sides, demonstrate that the total economic cost f the war for Israel was €13,8 billion and for Lebanon was $4,3 billion plus an opportunity cost of €2,5 billion from losses in the tourist industry. If we apply an exchange rate of 1€=$1,2 then the cost for Lebanon was €3,583 billion plus the €2,5 billion; the total cost it is estimated at €6,083 billion. It is obvious that Israel had a double cost, compared to Lebanon; however the Israeli economy is much wealthier than the Lebanese economy.

If the above estimates on the economic side are correct we can easily claim that the limited war of Lebanon was an immense economic success for the IDF. The infrastructure of Lebanon has been perished completely.

However we have to provide an answer to the additional question of the success or failure of the military objective. The military objective is of course well known. The aim was to perish Hezbollah and destroy its military capacity once and for all. A secondary aim was to destroy any support which Hezbollah enjoyed with the local Lebanese population. Where these aims fulfilled? The answer to the above question is negative. To begin with the military capacity of Hezbollah was not perished; and actually we can claim that the opposite occurred.

The data on the military arsenal of Hezbollah are limited. However from the available information we can have the following picture:

The group had 40 underground C3I (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence) centres from which Hezbollah was controlling the 176 “square battles” (military districts) of South Lebanon. Obviously the above centres were main targets of the IDF. However there is no indication that all of them have been destroyed. We point out that Hezbollah fighters had night vision equipment as well as bullet proof jackets and uniforms. The group also had a range of anti-tank weapons [Kornet-E 9P133, Metis-M9M131, Koncurs 9K113(AT-5 Spandrel), Fagot 9K111 (AT-4 Spigot)]. More than 500 of the above missiles were fired on Israeli AIFV, AFV, as well as tanks, and the outcome was that at least 42-50 vehicles were damaged or destroyed. Thus 30 AFV are damaged and at least 12 are destroyed. From the destroyed ones 8 are tanks (1 Merkava Mod.2 and 7 Merkava Mod.4). The remaining ground losses of IDF were 35 soldiers, thus a ratio of almost one loss per day.22

Turning our attention to ground missiles rockets, and anti-aircraft arsenal the group was equipped with at least four types of them: The Iranian made Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets were important. The former with a range of 45 km and a 45 kilos warhead; and the latter with a range of 70-75 km, and a 90 kilos warhead were the spear of Hezbollah. In addition the group possessed rockets of 107mm, 122mm and 220mm. from those the Grad ones (122mm) had a range of 20 km, whereas the Urugan ones (220mm) had a range of 30 km. It is also important to stress that Hezbollah had at its disposal UAV equipment. At least three UAV Hezbollah systems have been shot down by the IDF. The losses of the Israeli Air Force were considerable even though most of them were attributed to accidents. Thus 3 Apache helicopters (2 AH-64A, 1 AH-64D) were lost although the 2 AH-64A had a collision, and the AH-64D was shot by friendly fire. Furthermore one F-16 was destroyed during landing.23

It is obvious that Hezbollah had at its disposal a variety of weapons and these were not fully destroyed by the IDF. From the 12,000-14,000 rockets of Hezbollah 3,700-4,000 were used against Israeli targets, and the IDF claimed the destruction of an additional 1,300 rockets. This means that out of the original arsenal Hezbollah still had 6,700-7,000 rockets (or 8,700-9,000) when the hostilities terminated.24 Furthermore, we can claim that after the cease-fire Hezbollah started to re-arm. The proof of the above assertion came in May 21st 2008, when the Doha Agreement was signed in Lebanon, between the various political parties and fractions (including Hezbollah). One of the main articles of the treaty, points out, that arms trade and accumulation or use of military articles is prohibited.25 The above demonstrates that illicit arms trade continued to occur in the region and that Hezbollah was still possessing, an arsenal, which if used, could threaten Israel. Thus for the purpose of the current intellectual exercise we can conclude that in the case of Lebanon the IDF won an immense economic victory, but not a military one. It is obvious that the military potential of Hezbollah remained when the military operations ceased. The complete destruction of Lebanese economic infrastructure was not a guarantee of peace. In two years time Israel had to intervene in Gaza and fight Hezbollah again (December 2008-January 2009). The 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon has the characteristics of “tactical victory”. In this case, we have an incomplete victory in small scale battles and conflict.


4. Conclusion

The aim of this paper is to assess the importance of the destruction of economic warfare targets versus the destruction of military warfare targets. In other words we try to answer the question: Can a war be won by destroying the enemy’s economic infrastructure if the strategy of destroying its military capability fails?

In order to answer the above question we consider three types o warfare: The prolonged classical conventional warfare, the case of low intensity war and the war of limited objectives. In all three cases there are two ways to achieve victory: a) Destroy only the military potential / power of the opponent(s), b) destroy exclusively the economic infrastructure of the opponent (s). It seems that both the above routes are not leading to victory. In the end, generals and economists have to unite. In war the dilemma is not guns or butter. Both are needed.

In terms of game theory the strategy can be illustrated in a matrix where two adversarial / opponent nations, have the following choices in order to win a war: (1) both attempt to achieve complete military victory, i.e. strategy of annihilation of the opponent forces, (2) nation 1 attempts to achieve a military victory, while nation 2 attempts to achieve victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent, (3) nation 2 attempts to achieve a military victory, while nation 1 attempts to achieve victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent, (4) both attempt to achieve complete victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent. In a more complex game both countries attempt to achieve victory by destroying the military capabilities, as well as, the economic infrastructure of the opponent.

Under this scenario the matrix has the following form. The eight different options are practically associated with different types of warfare (from limited to total). The leadership (political and military) of both countries will choose one of the different options, according to their political goals, their economic, industrial, demographic, technological strengths and weaknesses etc. Obviously the above is a two-player game (thus we exclude the possibility of future alliances between the two initial opponents and other states).

The best option that of destroying simultaneously the enemy’s military capacity, as well as economic infrastructure, can occur only if there is an overwhelming advantage (quantitative and qualitative) of the aggressor over the defender. Furthermore a large scale surprise attack, which will give a first mover advantage, can be regarded as essential. Under this strategy the victor will destroy the enemy’s forces (land, naval, air), reserves, military deposits and installations, laboratories and military and dual purpose research centres, intelligence network and communications systems. Simultaneously the following economic targets have to be perished: Defence industry (small arms, shipyards, airframe and aircraft industry, avionics, etc), electrical stations and electricity generators, pharmaceutical and chemical industry, medical equipment industry, oil industry and refineries, natural gas and oil pipelines, gasoline stations, water utilities, terrestrial, rail, river-boat, and other types of transportation network, related and supporting industries to defence production (iron, steel, plastics, rubber, electronics, computer, artificial intelligence etc.), food process industry and agricultural production, beverages, bridges, ports, storehouses, TV and radio stations.


^ Figure 1: Strategy Game




Nation 2

Nation 2

Nation 2

Nation 2

Nation 1

Nation 1 attempts to achieve complete military victory, i.e. strategy of annihilation of the opponent forces

Nation 1 attempts to achieve a military victory, while nation 2 attempts to achieve victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent

Nation 1 attempts to achieve complete victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent.

Nation 1 attempts to achieve complete military victory, i.e. strategy of annihilation of the opponent forces and simultaneously destroy opponent’s economic infrastructure

Nation 1

Nation 2 attempts to achieve complete military victory, i.e. strategy of annihilation of the opponent forces

Nation 2 attempts to achieve a military victory, while nation 1 attempts to achieve victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent,

Nation 2 attempts to achieve complete victory by destroying the economic infrastructure of the opponent.

Nation 2 attempts to achieve complete military victory, i.e. strategy of annihilation of the opponent forces and simultaneously destroy opponent’s economic infrastructure


Throughout history wars have occurred between different opponents and with different duration as well as objectives. The aim of this paper has been to analyse the different policy options available to both political as well as military leaders.

We can definitely conclude that the first best option is one which although inhuman and hard during the war period will definitely guarantee piece when the hostilities will terminate. The defeated country will not have the ability to threaten piece for a long time period. Without military capabilities and with no economic infrastructure the last thing that feature politicians and generations will do is to try and change the new status quo. Simply comparing Germany of 1919 with that of 1945 proves the above point. In the first case, the defeat during the First World War was limited. The country still had an impressive economic and scientific base in order to rebuilt its armed forces, and challenge the Versailles Treaty. However in 1945 when the Red Army occupied the Reich’s capital, already perished by the allied air offensive and the country was fully destroyed any attempt to change the new status by force simply could not occur. It is still an open question if the lessons of twentieth century total warfare will be applied in the era of RMA. The Second Iraq War, as well as the Second Israeli attack in Gaza during 2008-2009 perhaps, provide, an initial but not a final definitive, answer.


Bibliography


a. Bibliography in Greek

-N. Balomatis: “Lebanon: Military and Political Conclusions”, in Defence & Diplomacy, issue No. 185, September 2006, pages: 44-49.

-G.A. Deborin: “The Second World War”, Ministry of Defence USSR, Greek edition, 20th Century publishers, Athens 1959.

-A. Dimou: “Lebanon”, in Strategy, issue No. 166, July 2008, pages: 114-117.

-Jean Elleinstein: “History of the USSR”, Volume Β, Themelio editions, Αthens 1977.

-Sir Hever: “The War Losses”, in the volume: V. Vogiatzi (ed.): “The Defeat of the Winners Iraq-Lebanon-Palestine-Afghanistan”, Ellinika Grammata editions, Athens, 2007, pages 203-212.

-G. Nezis: “The Lebanon Operations”, in Defence Matters, issue No.240, September 2006, pages: 50-57.

-Mufid Kotais: “The Economic Destruction of Lebanon”, in the volume: V. Vogiatzi (ed.): “The Defeat of the Winners Iraq-Lebanon-Palestine-Afghanistan”, Ellinika Grammata editions, Athens, 2007, pages 197-202.

-D. Patsoules: “Secret War in Ruins”, in Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages: 116-121.

-I.D. Salavrakos: “Economy and Total War”, Vol. I The Case of the First World War (1914-1918), Athens, Kritiki, Scientific Library, September 2007.

-I.D. Salavrakos: “Economy and Total War”, Vol. II The Case of the Second World War (1939-1945), Athens, Kritiki, Scientific Library, October 2008.

-I.D. Salavrakos: “Money, Politics and War Co-operation and Antagonism from the Industrial Revolution to the 21st Century”, Kadmos editions, Thessaloniki, 2008.

-Th. Stamou: “Missions of Israeli Air Force in Lebanon”, in Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages : 26-27,

-M. Trimbalis: “Land Operations in Lebanon”, in ^ Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages: 28-29,


b. Bibliography in English and German

-H.-J. Bontrup & N. Zdrowomyslaw: “Die Deutsche Rrüstungsindustrie”, Distel Verlag, 1988.

-W. Deist: “Remarks on the Preconditions to Waging War in Prussia-Germany, 1866-71”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 311-325.

-John Ellis: “The World War II Databook”, Aurum Press, 1995.

-Dietrich Eichholtz: “Geschichte der deutschen Kriegswirtschaft 1939-1945”, Band I (1939-1941), K.G. Saur Verlag, Munich, 2003,

-Niall Ferguson: “The World’s Banker The History of the House of Rothschild”, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998.

-Will Fowler: “Russia 1942-1943”, Ian Allan Publishers, London, 2003.

-Mark Harrison (ed.): “The Economics of World War II”, Cambridge, 1998.

-H. Jager: “German Artillery of World War One”, The Crowood Press, 2001.

-M. Kitchen: “A Military History of Germany”, The Citadell Press, 1976.

-R. Lewinsohn: “The Profits of War”, New York, 1937.

-William C. Martel: “Victory in War Foundations of Modern Military Policy”, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

-Evan Mawdsley: “Thunder in the East. The Nazi-Soviet War 1941-1945”, Hodder Arnold, 2005.

-M. Messerschmidt: “The Prussian Army from Reform to War”, in the volume: S. Förster & -

-B.R. Mitchell (ed.): “Abstract of Historical Statistics”, Palgrave, 2003.

-J. Nagler (ed.): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge University Press, pp. 263-282.

-Williamson Murray: “Strategy for defeat. The Luftwaffe 1933-1945”, Eagle editions, London, 2003.

-R. Overy: “Why the Allies Won”, Pimlico, London, 1995.

-R. Overy: “Russia’s War”, Penguin Books, 1999.

-G. Ranki: “The Economics of the Second World War”, Böhlau Verlag, 1993.

-I. Romsics: “Hungary in the Twentieth Century”, Corvina Osiris, Budapest, 1999.

-Hugh-Trevor Roper (ed.): “Hitler’s War Directives 1939-1945”, Birlinn, 2004.

-William Serman: “French Mobilization in 1870”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 283-294,

-Martin Van Creveld: “Supplying War”, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

-Stephen Walsh: “Stalingrand 1942-1943 The Infernal Cauldron”, St. Martin Press, New York, 2000.

-Daniel Yergin: “The Prize. The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power”, Free Press, 1992.

-Philip Ziegler: “The Sixth Power: Barings, 1762-1929”, William Collins, London, 1988.



1 See analytically: William C. Martel: “Victory in War Foundations of Modern Military Policy”, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 83-103.



2 See: 1) William Serman: “French Mobilization in 1870”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 283-294, 2) W. Deist: “Remarks on the Preconditions to Waging War in Prussia-Germany, 1866-71”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 311-325.

3 See: H. Jager: “German Artillery of World War One”, The Crowood Press, 2001, pp. 194 and 217. Τhe above data are not accepted across the bibliography. For different data see: Martin Van Creveld: “Supplying War”, Cambridge, 2004, pp. 102.

4 See: William Serman: “French Mobilization in 1870”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge, 2002, pp 283-294, especially pp. 288-289.

5 See: Niall Ferguson: “The World’s Banker The History of the House of Rothschild”, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998, pp. 729.

6 See: 1) M. Messerschmidt: “The Prussian Army from Reform to War”, in the volume: S. Förster & J. Nagler (ed): “On the Road to Total War The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification 1861-1871”, Cambridge, pp. 263-282 and especially pp. 267-268, 2) H.-J. Bontrup & N. Zdrowomyslaw: “Die Deutsche Rrüstungsindustrie”, Distel Verlag, 1988, pp. 29.

7 See: 1) R. Lewinsohn: “The Profits of War”, New York, 1937, pp. 98, 2) Philip Ziegler: “The Sixth Power: Barings, 1762-1929”, William Collins, London, 1988, pp. 178.

8 See data in: B.R. Mitchell (ed.): “Abstract of Historical Statistics”, Palgrave, 2003, pages 19, 21, 422, 429, 453, 458-459, 673.

9 See: G.A. Deborin: “The Second World War”, 20th Century editions, Αthens, 1959 page 171.

10 See: Jean Elleinstein: “History of the USSR”, Volume Β, Themelio editions, Αthens 1977, pages 119, 121 and 125.

11 See: Jean Elleinstein: “History of the USSR”, Volume Β, Themelio editions, Αthens 1977, pages 122-123.

12 See: G. Ranki: “The Economics of the Second World War”, Böhlau Verlag, 1993, pages 37 and 108.

13 See: G. Ranki: “The Economics of the Second World War”, Böhlau Verlag, 1993, page 37.

14 See: 1) Daniel Yergin: “The Prize. The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power”, Free Press, 1992, pp. 337, and 2) Will Fowler: “Russia 1942-1943”, Ian Allan Publishing, London, 2003, pp. 18.


15 See: Williamson Murray: “Strategy for defeat. The Luftwaffe 1933-1945”, Eagle editions, London, 2003, pp. 88-89.

16 See: Stephen Walsh: “Stalingrand 1942-1943 The Infernal Cauldron”, St. Martin Press, New York, 2000, pp. 26.

17 See: 1) Williamson Murray: “The Luftwaffe 1933-1945”, Eagle editions, 2003, pp. 116, 2) Will Fowler: “Russia 1942-1943”, Ian Allan Publishers, London, 2003, pp. 47, 3) M. Kitchen: “A Military History of Germany”, The Citadell Press, 1976, pp. 321-322. See also: I. Romsics: “Hungary in the Twentieth Century”, Corvina Osiris, Budapest, 1999, pp. 206 and G.A. Deborin: “The Second World War”, Ministry of Defence USSR, Greek edition, 20th Century publishers, Athens 1959, pp. 309-311.

18 This was the aim of Hitler’s Directive No. 24. See analytically: Hugh-Trevor Roper (ed.): “Hitler’s War Directives 1939-1945”, Birlinn, 2004, pp. 104-106.

19 See: Sir Hever: “The War Losses”, in the volume: V. Vogiatzi (ed.): “The Defeat of the Winners Iraq-Lebanon-Palestine-Afghanistan”, Ellinika Grammata editions, Athens, 2007, pages 203-212 and especially page 210 (in Greek).

20 See Greek press “Investor’s World”, 12-13 August 2006, page 35 and 19-20 August same page. See also: Eleftherotypia 16 August 2006, page 12 and The News (Ta Nea) 14 August 2006, first page.

21 See: Mufid Kotais: “The Economic Destruction of Lebanon”, in the volume: V. Vogiatzi (ed.): “The Defeat of the Winners Iraq-Lebanon-Palestine-Afghanistan”, Ellinika Grammata editions, Athens, 2007, pages 197-202 (in Greek), and Greek press “Investor’s World”, 12-13 August 2006, page 35 and 19-20 August same page. See also Eleftherotypia 16 August 2006, page 12 and The News (Ta Nea) 14 August 2006, first page. A figure needs to be clarified. In the original text the cost from home destruction is written as $105 billion. The above must certainly be a typographical error. The cost of 15,000 homes (even if these were luxury ones) cannot be in billion.

22 See: 1) M. Trimbalis: “Land Operations in Lebanon”, in ^ Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages: 28-29, 2) D. Patsoules: “Secret War in Ruins”, in Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages: 116-121, 3) N. Balomatis: “Lebanon: Military and Political Conclusions”, in Defence & Diplomacy, issue No. 185, September 2006, pages: 44-49.

23 See: 1) Th. Stamou: “Missions of Israeli Air Force in Lebanon”, in Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages : 26-27, 2) G. Nezis: “The Lebanon Operations”, in Defence Matters, issue No.240, September 2006, pages: 50-57.

24 See: D. Patsoules: “Secret War in Ruins”, in Hellenic Defence and Security, issue No.7, September 2006, pages: 116-121.

25 For an analysis of the treaty see: A. Dimou: “Lebanon”, in Strategy, issue No. 166, July 2008, pages: 114-117.




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