View Full Version : To OOE/M21Sniper: Armored Warfare in North Korea

31 Jul 04,, 18:34
You guys have explained why during a North Korean invasion they can't use their armor. But this question pertains to after the North Korean invasion has been stoped and when their forces are being pushed up into North Korea. What would be some of the challanges our tankers would face in the mountainus terrain and how effective would the armor advantage we have be? Also how effective would CAS (A-10/AH-64/AH-1W) be in this type of terrain?

Also do you believe the North Koreans after being forced back into their country could put up an effective(by this I mean inflict heavy casulties, not stop the offensive) defense against a US/South Korean invasion force?

Also could Iran mount an effective defense against US forces invading Iran?

31 Jul 04,, 23:13
Well, first and foremost, what matters is what KIND of force the US has opposing either of those countries.

Neither could've stopped the force assembled for ODS- and neither could come close to even slowing it down conventionally.

The force that was assembled for OIF was the bare minimum required, and would be insufficient for an invasion of either Iran or the DPRK, though it would be quite a capable defensive force against an attack by either.

Korea has the capacity to inflict heavy casualties on unarmored forces, simply because they've got so damned much arty up around the DMZ. Something like 13,000 pieces of it. Presumably it is all pre-plotted, and has been for years. Against an armored force, most of that stuff would however be inneffective- minimaly effective. That has a lot to do with the FIST/FO, and i honestly don't know how good the DPRK or Iranian FO corps are. Never really looked into it.

Korea presents a huge challenge for armored warfare for the same reason Italy did. It's mountainous terrain with only 1 decent road that can support a large scale mechanized advance.

You can rest assured that every gun and MLRS battery in South Korea in range of any section of Highway1 has pre-plotted FASCAM and delay fire-missions in it's fireplan.

If highway 1 is closed the amount of forces and materiel flowing south will drop off to a trickle.

Air superiority is a pipedream for the North, even against the ROK airforce, so i would not want to be a DPRK soldier in a traffic jam on Highway1 once the shooting started.

A lot of the old problems with CAS have been overcome with the largescale introduction of GPS, and GPS guided weapons. Previously friendly airpower was reluctant to drop without a visual ID, or common terrain reference. That is not the case at all today. A B-52 will drop from 35,000 feet having never seen the target without hesitation because he has a solid 10 digit grid to ensure the right people are hit.

CAS was by the way quite effective in the first Korean war with F-51 mustangs, F-80 Shooting Stars and F-84 Thunderjets doing most of the support while the F-86s flew top cover.

Korea is also perfect for heavy naval artillery support and interdiction because of Highway1's proximity to the coast.

31 Jul 04,, 23:45
Korea is also perfect for heavy naval artillery support and interdiction because of Highway1's proximity to the coast.

To bad we couldn't bring the Iowa's back in enough time which is the only weapons platform we have capable of providing heavy naval artillery support.

01 Aug 04,, 03:25
You get enough 5" Guns firing and you can still lay down a lot of steel.

I know the 5"(127mm) seems wimpy, but having been shelled by light mortars- 81mm was our estimation- let me tell you that when that shit starts going off around you it does not seem very wimpy at all. Even an 81mm mortar has a 15 meter lethal radius.

The 5"/62 ER shells can reach inland pretty much as far as the 16"/50s can, so they will be able to deliver a good deal of effective fire, just not nearly enough for my tastes.

Anyway, once Highway1 is closed it pretty much becomes an infantry advance for the North. Infantry is the only force that can advance in mountainous terrain in large numbers. What isn't mountain or forest is pretty much all rice paddy. South Korea is a nightmare for manuever warfare.

01 Aug 04,, 03:48
My problem was more with the lack of armor on the ships with the 5" guns more then the actual guns themselves.

A BB would be so effective in a war with North Korea. For the price of the BB there is nothing better.

01 Aug 04,, 04:39
Speed is their armor i suppose.

Officer of Engineers
01 Aug 04,, 04:59
1) If your original scenario holds in that the war is already started, the advantages are all US/SK. Presumably, the SKs would have mobilized its reserves and 8th Army is fully committed. The SKs always outnumbered the north but mostly in the res. The NKs' numeric superiority is regforce but when both are combined, the SKs are dominant.

2) The NKs would have exhausted themselves in men and material. Whatever they have left would be in those fortifications they so brag about. Each one of those forts would be a tough fight but each one of those forts are only coy strengh and once a line of forts is breached, then the entire line is useless.

3) We're not limited by time. The NKs are. They had to win the war before the SK res come into play. Thus, we can properly prepare the engr assets to get over those craters. We also have a superiority of air insert doctrine. We'll never do another Market-Garden but nothing says we can't take a minefield/bridge/fort from both ends at once.

4) The Chinese will intervene. At best (or worst depending on your PoV), they are on our side, trying to get rid of a real big menace (the Chinese are as fed up with Kim as the Americans are and and the NKs are the Chinese's Mexicans). At worst, they're imposing their rule on NK to ensure their buffer zone. Either way, the NKs would be physically and psychologically facing south. They would not be expecting nor be prepared for a Chinese intervention.