According to FM 3-0, Operations, “initiative is setting or dictating the terms of action throughout the battle.”1 Historically, units that lose the initiative rarely are able to recover and reassert themselves in combat against the enemy.
In the American and British invasion of Anzio, Italy, on 22 January 1944, the Allies in Major General (MG) John P. Lucas’ VI Corps quickly lost the initiative to the surrounding German units. The Germans sent some of their best units to push the Allies back to the sea. They came close to succeeding. The conflict devolved into a costly defensive struggle characterized by an intense exchange of indirect fire. Due to effective counterbattery fires that met the five requirements for accurate predicted fire and the intelligent use of different firing techniques, the Field Artillery demonstrated FM 3-0’s validity by turning the tables on the Germans... (read the full article here)