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Thread: M1A2 vs Challenger 2 (intelligent debate)

  1. #61
    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    At the end of the day a Tank is as good as its "sunray" and crew
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Zraver,

    Had you a chance to study the Israeli-Hezbollah War in depth yet? I like your eval as why there was such a breakdown in from brigade down to company in such woeful neglect of common military practises.
    OOE, No real sources to do so, and damn little time with school.

    But if I had to hazard some guesses I think it is going to boil down to over confidence on the part of thier intelligence agencies and ground forces.

    1- The majority of thre troops used seemed to have been reservist who cut thier teeth vs Palestinians led by commanders who learned their offensive skill in the 80's cutting through the PLO and hezzies in Beruit. Or regular troops who have been sititng instatic posistions since the last lebanon war ended. All raised on Israel's tradition of victory and elan.

    When they ran into a foe that was every bit as dedicated, smart, and well equipped, a foe that just a few years before had not been any of those things the IDF unravelled.

    The IDF has never really repsected the Arab fighter. They reserved that for the Egyptians and Jordanian's. These reservist have been imposing Israels will on the West bank and Gaza vs gunmen and suicide bombers. I don't think they were prepared for the tenacity of the Hezzie fighters.

    Hezzbollah knows how to recruit and indoctrinate fighters who will sacrafice thier lives. They then spent the last several years mating that fanaticism to the following. Modern anti-tank missiles en masse, a defensive net that was fully autnomous and didn't need higher levels of control, superb camoflauge, and an excellent media corps.

    2- Iran/Syria supplied the Hezzies with advanced anti-tank weapons. We all remember Israel complaining to Russia about Kornets and RPG-29's. This points to the failure of the itnelligence agencies. The ground troops thought they were going to be facing the same O same O and felt invulnerable. I think they made the same mistake they did in 73. They felt thier tankers were the best and could take on any threat and so sent them in unsupported.

    I recall one of the worst losses for the IDF was the initial rescue effort when a Merkava doing duty as a tank and as an IFV ran over a Hezzie mine and got imolated. Mines should have been the last thing to take out a Merkava in a border area. It points directly to over confidence beucase you know the border will have mines and engineers should have been in support.

    Later as the war progressed and the Hezzies in the towns refused to break, this pinned the IDF in place. I think the Israelies failed to set up proper op-sec and this allowed the anti-tank teams were able to come into play. The video out there that shows an IDF tank getting hit repeatedly is almost certainly staged. The truck off to the tanks side is already fully involved (on fire) and tank is not moving or scanning. I think a command detomated IED or earlier ATGM got it, but the fact that Hezzie missile troops and cameramen could move about in the open daylight and shoot a tank form multiple directions shows Israel did not have command of the aproaches and high ground.

    Hezzbollah could not command, counter attack, or resupply but it's light infantry anti-tank teams operating form the supply bunkers were the weapon with the most mobility in the recent war.

    3-All that said I think a certain level of shock set in as well. By the time the overconfidence wore off and adaptation should have set in, The IDF drive flat out bogged down, but losses didn't skyrocket. This to me implies a certain fatalism among the troops and an unwillingness by commanders to press the attack home. Isreal knew she had to win or play the fool on the worlds stage and despite this her troops failed.

    In closing it looks like the local commanders tried to bus tinto Lebanon ealry and resuce the troopers who were snatched. A repaly of Peace of Gallilee but on a smaller scale. The problem was Hezzbollah had been planning to fight just that kind of operation. Like Gettysburg or Stalingrad the IDF started feeding troops into a battlefeild of its enemies choosing and never gained any traction.

  3. #63
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Iran/Syria supplied the Hezzies with advanced anti-tank weapons. We all remember Israel complaining to Russia about Kornets and RPG-29's. This points to the failure of the itnelligence agencies.
    On this particular point, there was no intelligence failure. They knew that there were Kornets, 29s and Metis-Ms in possession of Hizballah. What they were complaining to the Russians about was that they were supposed to sell to Syria, and those were non-transferrable. By serial numbers, as well as delivery stubs, they were identified to be delivered by Russia to Syria, and transferred to Hizballah despite the agreement. The Russians, of course, denied any wrondoing as per their standard modus operandi.
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  4. #64
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    Thanks for the excellent post, zraver. Fascinating analysis.
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

  5. #65
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmchairGeneral View Post
    Thanks for the excellent post, zraver. Fascinating analysis.
    Search for the Center for Strategic and International Studies report if you're further interested, that was a pretty good one.
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    On this particular point, there was no intelligence failure. They knew that there were Kornets, 29s and Metis-Ms in possession of Hizballah. What they were complaining to the Russians about was that they were supposed to sell to Syria, and those were non-transferrable. By serial numbers, as well as delivery stubs, they were identified to be delivered by Russia to Syria, and transferred to Hizballah despite the agreement. The Russians, of course, denied any wrondoing as per their standard modus operandi.
    If they knew they were there then why did they fail to take proper measures to supress the anti-tank teams? The goverment might have known, but the knowledge obviously didn't make its way down the chain or wasn't listened too.

  7. #67
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/...ez_lessons.pdf

    Council on Foreign Relations also has some good stuff,

    cfr.org
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  8. #68
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    If they knew they were there then why did they fail to take proper measures to supress the anti-tank teams? The goverment might have known, but the knowledge obviously didn't make its way down the chain or wasn't listened too.
    From what I understand, they were so afraid of high casualties on the part of the infantry, that they ended up sending the tanks in unsupported. Classically improper combined arms because of political worries. Well guess what, in the end that tactic resulted in high casualties. As Ralph Peters says, those unwilling to pay the butcher's bill up front will pay it with compound interest in the end.

    Part of the problem was also the bad intelligence on quantities. They knew they had advanced ATGMs. What the didn't know was they they had so many, and were willing to piss away 10-15 per tank.

    Similarly, the didn't expect Hizballah to use ATGMs against houses taken over by infantry because militarily, these are not high value targets in comparison to tanks. Not something an ordinary enemy would do, expensive ATGMs against houses. Aman (military intel) failed to understand the political-media ramifications of killing a squad of infantry are much heavier than damage/loss of tank. Basically, they didn't grasp onto that out of the box thinking. Though I do think that next time, the Israelis will be much more ready. And next time is coming, there is no doubt.
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  9. #69
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    I don't think it was fear of causalties. That sounds like CYA. The whole thing reeks of overconfidence. We didn't know they'd use ATGMs vs houses (you should have thier goal is to kill jews not tanks), we doidn't know they'd fire so many in a volley (you should have thats really the only way to kill heavy armor with Russian missiles, and they just want to kill Jews)

    The way they moved into Lebanon like it was going to be a pinic, and thier post battle excuses all point towards a serious case of overconfidence.

    I agree that in winning the battle Hezzbollah may have lost the war. I think Israel is busy at work developing ways to make round 2 go thier way in a big way.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    From what I understand, they were so afraid of high casualties on the part of the infantry, that they ended up sending the tanks in unsupported.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    What the didn't know was they they had so many, and were willing to piss away 10-15 per tank.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    Similarly, the didn't expect Hizballah to use ATGMs against houses taken over by infantry because militarily, these are not high value targets in comparison to tanks. Not something an ordinary enemy would do, expensive ATGMs against houses.
    I have to agree with Zraver. All this reeks of arrogance from brigade down to even section level. Good Heavens. The Israelis are sending $35mil airplanes dropping $100K PGMs on a $200 bunker to be followed by a $2mil tank. The Hezbollah won't return the favour?

    All of the above just leave a very bad feeling. I just cannot see how brigade level stupidity translated all the way down to section unless it is systemic.

    Zraver's eval sounds right on the money.

  11. #71
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    fascinating analysis, gentlemen.

    here's a question from the military newbie: what were israel's strategic OPOBJ?

    was it to rescue the kidnapped IDF soldiers, or enter into a battle of attrition with hezbollah, or a punitive response?

    i was surprised at the time that israel did not use more force than it did. after all, in terms of the diplomatic environment, that was about as "friendly" as it was going to get for israel- not only did the US stick out its neck on this one, but also the UK, canada, australia, and germany. rice's statement regarding the war being the "birth pangs of a new middle east" clearly showed that the US was certainly hoping that israel would deal something of a death-blow to hezbollah.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #72
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    Even the Saudi's and other Shia Muslim states were unwilling to condem Israel initally (seeking to let the Jews defeat the Iranian proxy forces).

    I don't think Israel had an objective at least not very clearly defined. "Go in and get em back" sounds good and is great for morale but it takes more than a can do attatude. During the month long war the IDF continually fed men and machine into a Hezzie meat grinder. You could almost here the staffs arguing for one more push.

    The IDF's willingness to fight the battle on Hezzboillah's terms and on the ground of its enemies choosing is a key part of why I think the IDF was over confident at all levels initally, and then later affected by shock at mid and lower levels. We all know that fighting when, where and how your enemy wants you to, is the quickest path to defeat.

    Through out the campaign Israel kept sending mixed messages and changing the public face of what it was tryign to accomplish. First they were going to penetrate into the interior and cut hezzbollah off and destroy it and get thier soldiers back, then they were gonna set up a security zone and grind Hezzbollah down in a war of attrition and so they called up more reserves. Then they were gonna clear out the Hezzie rocket launchers and finally paratroops who could have been used to great effect intially beucase of thier mobility and training made a last gasp for a clear battlefeild win before Israel accepted UN mediation and a cease fire... in defeat.

    Olmert is obviously not a good war time leader, but the IDF's commanders share an equal or greater amount of the blame. I am sure they have very valid reasons for neglegting training, doctrine and planning.After all bulldozing houses, dodging snipers, and manning checkpoints are certainly manpower intensive and very expensive. But reasons or no reasons the blame for the failure of the offensive can only role one way, uphill.

  13. #73
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    I have to agree with Zraver. All this reeks of arrogance from brigade down to even section level.
    I'm not arguing against that. I was just adding to it, because the situation is more complex than simply arrogance. I'm saying that besides for that, there are also these other components, which I mentioned. The fact that arrogance was a big part of why they entered Lebanon in that fashion, doesn't rule out the factors that I mentioned previously, I don't think.
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  14. #74
    WAB BOUNCER Senior Contributor Stan187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post

    here's a question from the military newbie: what were israel's strategic OPOBJ?
    There were not any clear consistant ones. That's why they couldn't fullfill goals, because they set ones that were going to require more committment than they were willing to invest.
    In Iran people belive pepsi stands for pay each penny save israel. -urmomma158
    The Russian Navy is still a threat, but only to those unlucky enough to be Russian sailors.-highsea

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    I'm not arguing against that. I was just adding to it, because the situation is more complex than simply arrogance.
    Those reasons you've cited would have explain the 1st 48 hours of the ground fight. Only arrogance can explain the rest.

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