This monograph is a theoretical and historical discussion of the
culminating point. Initially, the author discusses the theoretical
contributions that Clausewitz, Jomini, and Tukhachevskiy have had
on the subject. Departing from this theoretical base, the author
analyzes two major historical campaigns, the Soviet winter
offensive in January 1943 to trap Army Group Manstein, and the race
to the Dnepr in September 1943. The author analyzes these campaigns
using the Colonel Huba Wass De Czege combat power model to identify
the factors of culmination. The author concludes that the factors
contributing to the culmination of combat power are too numerous
and vary too rapidly to allow for an accurate prediction of the
culminating point during the campaign's planning phase. But the
author does value the consideration of the culminating point during
both the campaign planning and execution phases. This discussion on
how to affect culmination offers some suggestions on how
operational level leaders and their staffs can influence the
culminating point. This monograph is the initial process in
identifying and defining the culminating point. It provides a point
of departure for further discussion and research on a new concept
introduced in the current U.S. Army FM 100-5, Operations.
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