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Thread: What if Nixon Succeeded

  1. #196
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    Tronic, the blunders made by senior officers from both the IA and PA are understandable to an extent. The higher defense staff from both sides had all been commissioned in the BIA which was basically an infantry force for all practical purposes. There was very little institutional experience of large scale armored or combined arms warfare. There were individual senior officers who were bright spots of course and the bravery of the soldiers and junior officers was beyond question, but overall, the inexperience showed.

    The mistakes were even more glaring in 1965 - the performance of the respective 1st armored divisions of both sides for example. I guess there was really no other way for either army to learn.
    Last edited by Firestorm; 29 Aug 13, at 08:24.

  2. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    IA had troops numbers outmatch PA, unlike the Japanese and what about InAF? They had clear skies.
    The Japanese had better air superiority than the Indians had over the Pakistanis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    More importantly, India had superior intelligence in EP, thanks to the locals who were greeting the Indian forces as liberators, as opposed to the IJA in Changsha. The PA was facing a hostile local militia and difficult terrain. I don't think the PA would have been able to surround three Indian Corps with only 3 Divisions.
    Think you guys are missing the big picture.

    You have an enemy division in your rear area.

    I also think you've missed the main point. To win this fight, the Pakistanis cannot rely on combat power. They have to rely on deception.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 29 Aug 13, at 14:10.

  3. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    I also think you've missed the main point. To win this fight, the Pakistanis cannot rely on combat power. They have to rely on deception.
    How do they carry out the deception when every town and village is teeming with separatists who immediately report any PA troop movements to the IA or Indian intelligence? It was pretty much impossible for them to keep anything secret in EP and surprise the IA.

  4. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    How do they carry out the deception when every town and village is teeming with separatists who immediately report any PA troop movements to the IA or Indian intelligence? It was pretty much impossible for them to keep anything secret in EP and surprise the IA.
    You don't. You create confusion so that every report going into the InA HQ makes zero sense. Meanwhile, the main prize, Dhaka, is ready and waiting.

    You present a picture that the InA expects to see and wants to see, that of Dhaka waiting for battle, while all the other confusing pictures, would tend to get ignored because they don't make sense.

    The other term for the Fog of War is information overload.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 29 Aug 13, at 22:40.

  5. #200
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    More importantly, India had superior intelligence in EP, thanks to the locals who were greeting the Indian forces as liberators, as opposed to the IJA in Changsha. The PA was facing a hostile local militia and difficult terrain. I don't think the PA would have been able to surround three Indian Corps with only 3 Divisions.
    You don't engage 3 corps at once,you defeat them in detail.Starting with the Indians East of Dhaka.Those in the N are a bit farther away,while the rivers,distance and some delaying actions can keep everything W of Dhaka out of action long enough.

    The Pakistani plan repeats an old mistake.Confuses politics with operational art.They dispersed in order to prevent the Indians to capture land,establish a rebel government there and wait for the mighty UN.Given the force ratio and the wide extent of territory,the allies,inevitably,will get a patch of land.They also rely on the main army in West Pakistan to win the war,then,of course,wait for the mighty UN.Which really doesn't solves their problem in E. Pakistan at all.They still have to beat the IA or the MB there.
    The minute details are impossible to know/predict.A lot (most actually)depends on the actual terrain and local infrastructure,that don't show on google maps
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  6. #201
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Think you guys are missing the big picture.

    You have an enemy division in your rear area.

    I also think you've missed the main point. To win this fight, the Pakistanis cannot rely on combat power. They have to rely on deception.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    You don't engage 3 corps at once,you defeat them in detail.Starting with the Indians East of Dhaka.Those in the N are a bit farther away,while the rivers,distance and some delaying actions can keep everything W of Dhaka out of action long enough.

    The Pakistani plan repeats an old mistake.Confuses politics with operational art.They dispersed in order to prevent the Indians to capture land,establish a rebel government there and wait for the mighty UN.Given the force ratio and the wide extent of territory,the allies,inevitably,will get a patch of land.They also rely on the main army in West Pakistan to win the war,then,of course,wait for the mighty UN.Which really doesn't solves their problem in E. Pakistan at all.They still have to beat the IA or the MB there.
    The minute details are impossible to know/predict.A lot (most actually)depends on the actual terrain and local infrastructure,that don't show on google maps
    I've been thinking this over and while I can envision these maneuvers on the Western front in the plains of Punjab or the Thar desert; Bangladesh still makes these type of maneuvers quite difficult, to say the least. One has to understand the topography of the country. Bangladesh is one of the wettest countries in the world; with 60 major rivers intersecting the country, with about 800 smaller tributaries. It is composed of the world's largest river delta, and the entire country's soil is made up by silt carried by these rivers.

    Here's a river map of the country:



    And some pics:






    Majority of the country sits under water most of the year. A very difficult place to maneuver armour. IA's thrust towards Dhaka followed thin, traversable routes. I guess the PA could've maneuvered to cut off supply lines, but moving out of it's own fortifications would mean PA would also bleed dry of it's supplies, and unlike the IA, could not be replenished by air or sea.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

  7. #202
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    Good Heavens, give me a marsh buggie and I'll stop an entire corps cold.

  8. #203
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    Reminds me of what a war in the Florida Everglades or the Brazilian Pantanal would be like. Rivercraft and seaplanes would be important. As well, troop movements during the summer monsoon would be difficult at best. And let's not get started with the myriad of tropical diseases that would occur. I can see why the Americans did not like fighting in Vietnam.

  9. #204
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    I've been thinking this over and while I can envision these maneuvers on the Western front in the plains of Punjab or the Thar desert; Bangladesh still makes these type of maneuvers quite difficult, to say the least. One has to understand the topography of the country. Bangladesh is one of the wettest countries in the world; with 60 major rivers intersecting the country, with about 800 smaller tributaries. It is composed of the world's largest river delta, and the entire country's soil is made up by silt carried by these rivers.

    Here's a river map of the country:

    Majority of the country sits under water most of the year. A very difficult place to maneuver armour. IA's thrust towards Dhaka followed thin, traversable routes. I guess the PA could've maneuvered to cut off supply lines, but moving out of it's own fortifications would mean PA would also bleed dry of it's supplies, and unlike the IA, could not be replenished by air or sea.
    A prepared defender could dance around a heavy column.It's like Finland 1939,only instead of snow and skis you have rain and zodiac boats.The Indian air power is even less relevant against such a dispersed opposition.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  10. #205
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    ahh hem.... errr Arnheim. Before the introduction of effective long range man portable ATGM's that would be a nightmare to attack with armor. During the wet season a few tanks could stop any advance. It would be Market Garden all over again. Yet the Pakistanis had only light armor in country. I'm guessing because of bridge weight concerns.

  11. #206
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    I was just thinking an indisputable superior position on the Pakistani side but if the intent is to inflict intolerable casualties, then I suggest the Battle of the Schelt as the model.

  12. #207
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but even in the battle of the Scheldt the Germans had numerical superiority or at least parity with the Canadians. They weren't defending against overwhelming odds like the pakistanis in the east. All this talk about tactical victories and inflicting casualties is more appropriate for the western front, where the Pakistanis had the required forces to effectively challenge the IA and didn't have to worry about Indian spies in every nook and cranny. They could have achieved a lot more on the western front and indeed that was their whole plan. Niazi's army in the east was little more than a token force if you look at the overall size of the PA. They were counting on the fact that the Indian people would never accept losing Indian territory for the sake of Bangladesh. A decent amount of territory captured on the western front and their job was done. The IA's gains in the east could be easily nullified. It was their western forces who failed miserably. The eastern ones who were just playing to the script ended up shouldering all the blame because all the important people in the PA were commanding in the west.

  13. #208
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Hindsight is always 20/20,but that doesn't excuse the PA.How about a proper concept on their part.The Western force prepares to capture land,while the Eastern force prepares to defeat the IA.It might not work well,but failing to plan is planning to fail.

    The Colonel's point is not about numbers,but concept of operations.My guess is the initial question,regarding the possibilities of PA has been answered.Like in any war,there were many solutions.And like in any war,it's not over just because it starts under unfavourable odds.
    Still a brilliant victory for the IA,who managed to read the enemy.
    Last edited by Mihais; 03 Sep 13, at 22:53.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  14. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong but even in the battle of the Scheldt the Germans had numerical superiority or at least parity with the Canadians.
    The Germans didn't know that Montgomery were only going to send the Canadians but even if Montgomery sent the entire American expeditionary force, the casualties would have been the same. You either fight up narrow walk ways or your equipment and wet uniforms are going to drag you to the bottom of flooded plains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    They weren't defending against overwhelming odds like the pakistanis in the east.
    The answer to overwhelming numbers have always been terrain and from the photos, this is an engineers defensive dreams. I have to flood, not build up, which leaves narrow axis of attacks, aka kill zones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    The eastern ones who were just playing to the script ended up shouldering all the blame because all the important people in the PA were commanding in the west.
    Poor Generals, poor planning. East Pakistan didn't even buy time for West Pakistan to recover from their failures.

  15. #210
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    OOE, the IA conducted the entire campaign like in 10 days. IA planned for speed because they did not want to give the eastern army time to build up defenses against IA's axises of attack. IA's axises of attack were kept secret until the first couple days of war.

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