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Chariots on Fire by Maj Cole Petersen

b00161400

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daftandbarmy said:
In the 'gutter fight' that is the lot of the Infantry, fire bases can become assault sections at any time (and vice versa) because, if you really have to 'take that hill', failure is not an option during the assault. So dividing it into neat little silos like 'fire base' and 'assault troops' is meaningless.

My point is that saying we need a ratio of 5-7 attackers to every one defender doesn't really help me plan to best employ my force when I have a variety of assets to use and different ways of employing them.
 

daftandbarmy

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Haligonian said:
My point is that saying we need a ratio of 5-7 attackers to every one defender doesn't really help me plan to best employ my force when I have a variety of assets to use and different ways of employing them.

Well, if it's Parachute Regiment troops, you can plan on 1:3 at least then :)
 

b00161400

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A good blog here that discusses qualitative assessments of history that of course includes military history.  Specifically this thread discusses the 3-1 rule and for the most part debunks it.

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/tag/3-1-rule/
 

pbi

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ballz said:
Not really tracking the follow-on of your question... You didn't think I was inferring we use it for indirect fire, did you?

You might want to ask the Canadians who fought in Italy about that one. The Germans taught them all about the deadly effects of plunging HMG fire, from guns which were very difficult to spot because they were dug down in defilade. 25mm falling on unprotected troops, HQ or CSS units, or gunners in battery positions, would probably still have the same effect it did back then.

If I recall correctly, this is why the FN MAG and the C6 were originally fitted with mortar sights, but you don't strictly need those sights to do IF with an HMG. Back in the days of the AVGP, I can recall training for IF in the defence, by marking inside the turret rings and adjusting onto identifiable features. I'm not a LAV guy but I bet a smart MCpl could figure it out.
 

pbi

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Thucydides said:
On the other hand, there was a thread here some time ago where Australian experiments were conducted using much greater ratios of firebase to assault. I can't remember if the overall force ratio was still 3:1, but the experiments were almost like WWI era "Bite and Hold" tactics, with the majority of the company forming a firebase and an assaulting force as as small as a reinforced section was actually going in after very limited objectives. ...

Rommel talks about doing something very much like this, in his book "Infantry Attacks". He describes his experiences in a Jager regiment in WWI. In particular, he relates an assault on a very strong Italian alpine position at Cimolais, which he achieved with his battalion against a dug-in and well-prepared enemy battalion. He did it by massing his machine guns (and some light mountain guns) to concentrate on a single key part of the Italian position. Once that was broken, he was able to use it to unlock the rest of the Italian position and drive them out.

One point he makes is that his LMGs were firing at their extreme range, and at first he thought they might not do much good. What he found was that the psychological effect of the rounds cracking overhead and smacking into the dirt still suppressed the enemy.

He didn't have three to one in a textbook sense, but he assessed that he didn't need it. He struck at the weak point, and then the odds began to change in his favour, so that it was never 1:1 at the point of assault.
 

ballz

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pbi said:
You might want to ask the Canadians who fought in Italy about that one. The Germans taught them all about the deadly effects of plunging HMG fire, from guns which were very difficult to spot because they were dug down in defilade. 25mm falling on unprotected troops, HQ or CSS units, or gunners in battery positions, would probably still have the same effect it did back then.

If I recall correctly, this is why the FN MAG and the C6 were originally fitted with mortar sights, but you don't strictly need those sights to do IF with an HMG. Back in the days of the AVGP, I can recall training for IF in the defence, by marking inside the turret rings and adjusting onto identifiable features. I'm not a LAV guy but I bet a smart MCpl could figure it out.

Not doubting the ability to use machine guns in such a way, we have an SF kit for a reason. For the 25mm, I just don't think the physics are on the side of using it indirectly with much success with what we currently have. It would definitely require different ammo (low-velocity), etc. The cannon has a muzzle of velocity of ~1100m/s, the trajectory is pretty darn flat as a result. Those rounds are well outside of an infantry company's fight before they come back down. The AVGP had a heavier round coming out at less than half that speed, so the trajectory wouldn't even be comparable.

Anyway, my point about "other ways" was more along the lines of using them in a fire base or multiple firing positions, for cut-offs, etc.
 

tomahawk6

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Good read.I guess the difference would be the terrain.If you are in a high threat environment from enemy ATW speed and overwatch are essential.LAV's would be fine in a low threat environment.Most of my experience is light infantry with mobility from helicopter or parachute then you are footmobile.I read the reports of Israeli armor having a tough go the last war they had.I think in the next war they will use attack helos with their armor to suppress the infantry and ATW threat I know I would.They have an aversion to casualties which might preclude infantry moving ahead of the armor. If there is a follow on to Bradley I wonder if we took an Abrams and made it a squad carrier with something like a 25mm gun and maybe eternally mounted anti tank missiles ? We know that would fit into a C17.
 

tomahawk6

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After reading about namer it looks great but its based on the Merkava which we don't have, namer is 60t and the Abrams is 70t but if you remove the 120mm gun I would like an Abrams version better.We have spares for that.I don't think you would need more than 250 abrams IFV's.Just a guess.
 

Infanteer

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I wonder how significant the redesign would be to mount the engine in the front.
 

b00161400

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Namer is one of the finest systems going.  I actually wrote a paper for my masters on the requirement for a HAPC over the continued use of IFVs. 
 

a_majoor

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While the Namer is nice, I would suggest that when you are coming to the dismount point you need some bone crushing firepower to suppress the enemy and assist the dismounts.

That being the case, the Merkava 1 is actually much better. It has room for a dismount section in the back, carries a 105mm to deal with bunkers, hard points and AFV's which might have been missed (a 105mm at point blank range will ruin anyone's day). It also has a 60mm breech loading mortar, two or 3x7.62mm GPMG's and often a .50 HMG mounted over the barrel of the main gun. The ability to provide massive fire support to the dismounting infantry also provides more freedom for the commander to deploy tanks, artillery and ATGM's outside of the direct assault. While no solution is 100%, a heavily armoured battle taxi like the Namer or Achzarit gets you there, but provides limited help at the actual dismount or assault.
 

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Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Haligonian] .  I actually wrote a paper for my masters on the requirement for a HAPC over the continued use of IFVs.
[/quote]

Crap deleted a post instead of editing.

Basically asked how come?
 

GR66

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No arguments on the tactical benefits of the Namer or Merkava I on the battlefield (although my understanding of the Merkava's troop carrying capability is that it's designed/meant for taking troops on board for short tactical advances rather than acting as a true APC), but are they practical for an expeditionary army like Canada's?

At 60+ tons we can only deliver one at a time on a C-17, so realistically we're looking at deployment by ship in order to deliver any meaningful sized force.  Then being a heavy tracked vehicle we'd need tank transporters/trains to move them from the (possibly distant) safe port to the front.

I'm personally of the firm belief that the military threats from Russia/China are not invasion of Western Europe or our major Asian allies, but rather quick campaigns where they can muster localized superiority of forces in order to seize limited objectives before NATO/Western forces can respond.  Is a slow to deploy heavy Canadian mechanized force able to respond in time to such a situation?

I'm not suggesting that there are no situations where Canada wouldn't have time to deploy a heavy force (planned interventions like Iraq or Afghanistan, Peace Keeping missions, or deterrent deployments like Latvia come to mind), but is that what our military should be fundamentally designed for?  In most of those situations Canadian involvement is as much a political requirement as a military requirement and that need could possibly be filled by other types of forces that may be more effective in a true major power military crisis.

Like so many discussions on this Forum, I guess it again comes down to the fundamental question of what is the real purpose of the Canadian military, and how should it be organized and equipped to fulfill that purpose.
 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
. . .
I'm personally of the firm belief that the military threats from Russia/China are not invasion of Western Europe or our major Asian allies, but rather quick campaigns where they can muster localized superiority of forces in order to seize limited objectives before NATO/Western forces can respond.  Is a slow to deploy heavy Canadian mechanized force able to respond in time to such a situation?

I'm not suggesting that there are no situations where Canada wouldn't have time to deploy a heavy force (planned interventions like Iraq or Afghanistan, Peace Keeping missions, or deterrent deployments like Latvia come to mind), but is that what our military should be fundamentally designed for?  In most of those situations Canadian involvement is as much a political requirement as a military requirement and that need could possibly be filled by other types of forces that may be more effective in a true major power military crisis.

Like so many discussions on this Forum, I guess it again comes down to the fundamental question of what is the real purpose of the Canadian military, and how should it be organized and equipped to fulfill that purpose.

That truly is the question.

At the moment we are involved in a trip wire tasking to deter Russian aggression in the Baltics. The Russians have heavy mech forces capabilities and therefore our force there should be capable of defending against any Russian activities up to and including heavy mech forces. Under the old rule of "you don't bring a knife to a gun fight" anything less would not be a credible deterrent.

This reminds me of a rather interesting seminar I attended in Germany shortly after the Baltic states became Partners for Peace but before full NATO membership. One of our guest speakers was a young Russian diplomat who had been thrown in as a substitute for the Russian ambassador at the last minute. During question period he was asked as to what Russia's response would be to the Baltics being given full NATO membership. His terse response was "The tanks will role."  :threat: To say the least, we were somewhat taken aback by this blatant statement.

Somehow our deployment in the Baltics right now makes me think of "C" Force and how effective it was in deterring the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in 1941.

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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Totally different situation.  C Force never had GBA+ training.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Totally different situation.  C Force never had GBA+ training.

Neither have the Russians. ;D

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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Thucydides said:
While the Namer is nice, I would suggest that when you are coming to the dismount point you need some bone crushing firepower to suppress the enemy and assist the dismounts.

That being the case, the Merkava 1 is actually much better. It has room for a dismount section in the back, carries a 105mm to deal with bunkers, hard points and AFV's which might have been missed (a 105mm at point blank range will ruin anyone's day). It also has a 60mm breech loading mortar, two or 3x7.62mm GPMG's and often a .50 HMG mounted over the barrel of the main gun. The ability to provide massive fire support to the dismounting infantry also provides more freedom for the commander to deploy tanks, artillery and ATGM's outside of the direct assault. While no solution is 100%, a heavily armoured battle taxi like the Namer or Achzarit gets you there, but provides limited help at the actual dismount or assault.

I talked to an Israeli Officer once upon a time who mentioned that the space in the back of the Merkava is actually for ammo. The Golan Heights defensive battle during the '73 war convinced them they needed more on board storage for bullets.

The other key determining factor for Israeli armour is survivability of the crew, within the context of a defensive battle for national survival, hence the reason the Namur is so huge and the Merkava has the engine in the front etc.

I think this topic has been done to death in other sections of this forum but, as seen on comments on another page, if we have 'wheels' bogging down in Gagetown while 'tracks' float forward, I think we have a systemic issue.
 

dapaterson

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daftandbarmy said:
... if we have 'wheels' bogging down in Gagetown while 'tracks' float forward, I think we have a systemic issue.

Exactly.  Never fight a war in Gagetown.  Clearly, we should just use New Brunswick as a buffer to absorb the enemy before they reach Quebec.
 

b00161400

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GR66 said:
Like so many discussions on this Forum, I guess it again comes down to the fundamental question of what is the real purpose of the Canadian military, and how should it be organized and equipped to fulfill that purpose.

This is it.

I honestly argued the paper from the reverse perspective though by starting at the tactical level and assuming we wanted the ability to operate in conventional mechanized operations as part of the main force.  The argument sounds something like this (without reviewing the paper):  LAV is too light and is likely to result in massive casualties as sections are destroyed while mounted so we need something with tank like protection to accompany tanks.  It should also have tank like mobility.  The IFV as a concept puts an infantry carrier in the wrong place on the battlefield by virtue of its armament.  People are going to fight the vehicles and they will be subsequently destroyed as any light vehicle involved in the direct fire fight will be.  Even if the section is mounted at the time the section is likely to become irrelevant as they will have lost their tpt to keep up with the mobile fight.  We do combined arms, so, we should let tanks worry about the mounted combat and allow infantry to focus on the dismounted.  As part of this the trg requirements to keep mechanized infantry competent in crew skills while also maintaining dismounted skill sets (and now, potentially, a full suite of cbt sp skills as well) is too large and results in us being not sufficiently good at either.  I also traced the IFV development lineage to show that it is a concept uniquely suited to the Cold War defence of western Europe scenario where an opportunity to put additional kinetic energy penetrators and ATGMs on the battlefield to deal with the mass of the Warsaw Pact was a decisive factor over any specific operational requirement of the infantry.
 
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