January 11, 2014

Command Push

Command Push:  With this technique you have your routes of advance firmed up and the role of reconnaissance is to clear the routes of hostile forces or gather information for the follow on forces to use as they advance down these predetermined avenues of advance.

This type of reconnaissance is faster, but could be fraught with danger if many of the routes are well defended and the you are forced by losses to stop regroup, replan, or doggedly continue pushing into the teeth of a well deployed enemy force (this last is often the answer for most players in CM).  On the other hand, if done correctly this type of reconnaissance could be very effective if you have done a good and thorough terrain analysis, identified the key terrain and most likely enemy deployment zones.  Then the speed of advance could be shocking and overwhelming for an opponent.

The German term Befehlstaktik, is similar to Command Push as it also uses previously determined orders and plan.


  1. Hey Bil,

    I love your Blog! great Job.

    I am just a little confused by the "Command Push/Befehlstaktik" comparison. Then again, maybe I am just misunderstanding things.

    Befehlstaktik is not a way of conducting Recon, nor does it mean that its counter-part (Führen mit Auftrag, or sometimes "Auftragstaktik") does not use predetermined AoAs. It just means that, whatever the mission is, the higher echolon tells you how to execute the mission. Führen mit Auftrag means, higher echolon gives you assets, time, and a mission. The execution is up to you.



    1. Arian, thanks for your comment.. yes I understand that Befehlstaktik and Auftragstaktik are not necessarily reconnaissance related terms... my intent was to compare German and US doctrine and these concepts are similar to Command Push (Befehlstaktik) and Recon Pull (Auftragstaktik) in intent if not specifics.

      I do agree that Auftragstaktik in particular is more complicated than I have intimated.. but I wasn't trying to define it, only compare it to something I had just discussed.

    2. I understand what you are saying. Nevertheless, the phrasing "Befehlstaktik, the German equivalent to Command Push..." is misleading in my eyes. I think it would be necessary, for the sake of clarification, to at least switch the "equivalent to" part with "resembles" or "is similar to".

      Then again, if it is all it takes to be an Befehlstaktik equivalent to have "previously determined orders and plan" isn't everything a Befehlstaktik equivalent? I know what you mean, but I am afraid this one line raises more question for newcomers than it solves.

      Hope it doesn't sound to harsh, just trying to challange an experienced war gamer (and service member?) in order to learn from you :-)



    3. Arian, finally got around to fixing the wording as you suggested (sorry it took so long). Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.