The Deficiencies Associated With The Joint Functions During Operation Husky

The Deficiencies Associated With The Joint Functions During Operation Husky

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The complexities inherent to Command and Control (C2) of a large homogeneous armed force can be overwhelming even to the most experienced. Adding other countries’ leadership, experience, requirements, training and tactics to a combined and multi-lateral endeavor adds even more complexity to unity of command and control, not to mention all other functional requirements. This essay will evaluate the deficiencies associated with the joint functions during Operation Husky using the three attributes of mission command from joint doctrine: commander’s intent, understanding, and mutual trust. It will also evaluate two additional joint functions, intelligence and movement and maneuver, for an Allied force that was created to deliver an Axis defeat in the invasion of Sicily. Despite the overall successful end-state of Husky, planning and execution of the operation by joint staff proved to be a formidable task on the operational level. This was due to overall poor planning, indecision by joint leadership, and lack of coordination and unity between the forces.
Joint Publication 3-0 articulates that a fundamental key to a successful joint operation is the establishment of a Joint Force Command (JFC) amongst all functional and Service component commanders. While General Eisenhower was appointed Allied Commander in Chief, he had no real command authority over his subordinate leaders for the Allied operation hence the issue that plagued the C2 function of the operation. Eisenhower had three subordinate commanders, each being a British general officer that commanded a major functional area; the ground, air and naval forces. Eisenhower was accustomed to the American practice of decisive leadership versus the British way which was more of a com...

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... single operational commander, immediately subordinate to the Allied Commander, would have played a pivotal role in the prevention this major operational flaw. This commander would have united the air, naval and ground forces in a concerted effort and made this individual a major contributor to successes of the joint operation. Coalition politics, lack of understanding multinational counterparts and the intricacies of the joint requirements underpinned prevalent issues experienced. However, despite these and other shortcomings encountered during Husky, the operation did ultimately end in a major victory for the joint Allied force. Most importantly, the lessons learned here in terms of planning and the execution of joint functions were invaluable. It set the stage and framework for future successful joint operations that would ultimately led to the defeat of the Axis.

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