Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 132
Like Tree9Likes

Thread: You are in command!

  1. #1
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401

    You are in command!

    Its the battle of 73 Eastings and you are the Iraqi Republican Guard commander. You have under your command an armored corps of 3 armored divisions (Tawakalna, Al-Medina and and 1 motorized light infantry division Adnan is on its way. On paper one of the most powerful armored formations in the world. Your even confident that with your mix of Soviet and Western tech and combat experience you could beat a Soviet divisions- known to be much more effective in the attack than the Americans. You've read up on the American experience at NTC in Ft Irwin and how badly most visiting units do. In addition you have a regular army armored divisions, one of the best in fact. Your troops are professional soldiers, combat veterans, politically reliable and used to winning. They can also fight in the heat and inside a CW environment.

    During the Iran-Iraq war your troops broke the Shia's human wave attacks and pushed Iraq back to a decent bargaining position. Your equipment and battle tactics are proven. Your T-72 might not be as new as the Abrams, but in Iran is had no problem shrugging off enemy rounds. While the T-62's and T-55's wont be able to kill an Abrams they should work against the Bradley giving the BMP's more fire power. You know your South African artillery is first rate much better in theory than the older American M109.

    US air power has not been able to serious attrit your forces, though they've minced your supply lines and communications. Coalition air has also grounded your air and helo support. Your ADA units have claimed some successes and overall the news on Iraqi ADA performance is encouraging. You've received word of the right hook and have just enough time to set your defense. When setting you know just how much the Americans can see from space. After all in Iran you were using American provided imagery. Not only can the Americans see you, but you know the Abrams is a race car of a tank so a meeting engagement does not favor you, but ambush or defense in depth might. You also know the Americans have an edge in night vision. You have both passive and active IR but no thermal.

    Some things you don't know.

    Just how effective Chobbam is vs HEAT. You assume its like the applique armor begin put on T-55's or maybe the ceramic fill rumored to be in the T-72 Dolly Partons.

    You don't know that your bore riding steel Sabots are nearly worthless, or that NATO spool style rounds have twice the range.

    You don't know the exact size of the US force. You suspect its VII Corps but do not know about the British division.

    Historic Information

    The Iraqi commander had his security screen pushed as far forward as 50 easting. He then had his forces arrayed for a defense in depth designed to channel attacks into mutually supporting kill boxes. However much of the artillery is not yet sighted in properly and the fiber optic net for secure communications is not established.

    What would you do different compared to the historic commander?

  2. #2
    Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Dec 08
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,434
    This is my idea, I trust our military experts can correct any mistakes I have made. I don't claim to be a general, and in this situation I would want my men and their "hostage" families at home (including my own) to survive the war.

    Arrange for a prearranged complete internal communications blackout to start with a prearranged signal to hand picked, preselected and trusted units, the assasination of all loyal political commizars would be carried out as soon as the order was given - to prevent any info from reaching your HQ. Prior to the engagement, negotiate and coordinate with the Coalation commander in secret to have a disinformation campaign feed to the media, describing a tremendous fight to the death, while secretly arranging for your forces to be captured with little resistance (some lower level commanders might not cooperate and put up a fight, but with some "supply problems", this could be reduced). The purpose being to prevent your high command from punishing the families of the commanders and troops. Your HQ needs to believe you are all dying in battle (your field HQ was completely wiped out, communications were cut and jammed - both occured immediately, the US had secret weapons, and additional divisions and assests that mowed down your divisions. Though the divisions put up a ferrocious fight and took a substantial but believable toll on the attackers), they were unable to reach HQ with any comms. While your HQ is convinced that your forces are putting up a galliant fight for Sadam, with the media announcing significant losses for the coalition. In fact your divisions are being secretly being disarmed and interred incommunicado, in a hidden, highly secure location with very comfortable POW accomodations and healthcare (fix their teeth, let them worship (provide coalition clerics), offer classes in English or general studies and give them plenty of good food - perhaps offering confidential financial "resettlement" incentives to those who are interested), outside prying eyes. It will be necessary to arrange a global satellite blackout of the battlefield. Use a very secure desert camp, with several no man's land perimeters in depth, to avoid any escapes or information leaks, use only carefully vetted hand picked US soldiers to guard them. It shouldn't take too long before the safety of your troop's and your own families can be secured.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  3. #3
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401
    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    This is my idea, I trust our military experts can correct any mistakes I have made. I don't claim to be a general, and in this situation I would want my men and their "hostage" families at home (including my own) to survive the war.....
    They thought they were not only going to survive but win. They felt about us before that battle what many feel about them afterwards. The RG was not the INA, it was a professional and loyal force officered by members of the Tikriti clan (Saddam's clan). They knew the Americans had some aces, but they thought they had more of them.

  4. #4
    Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Dec 08
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,434
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    They thought they were not only going to survive but win. They felt about us before that battle what many feel about them afterwards. The RG was not the INA, it was a professional and loyal force officered by members of the Tikriti clan (Saddam's clan). They knew the Americans had some aces, but they thought they had more of them.
    Ok, well my answer clears up any other "surrender without bringing the executioner home to meet your family" ideas from the options available. Given what we know today, IMO, this commander would have to be very good, and very lucky to have it end well.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  5. #5
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    Jason,

    I disagree. 73 Easting was a hasty defence.The RG was both physically and psychologically oriented the wrong way (south) and it took some doing to re-orient themselves (west) and as such, they lost all contacts between brigades and divisions.

    Also, Al Khaji shown just how poor their armour were and nothing the Iraqis did at the border meant damned squat, meaning the earthworks they were employing might as well be paper shields. Also, the battle of Kuwait City Airport showed just how mismatched they were.

    The Iraqis were still trying to re-establish communications when the Americans smashed into them. Unless, the Iraqis figured out the axis of attack, then I don't see how they could have expected victory.
    Tanker likes this.

  6. #6
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401
    That is kind of the point. A lot of people claim the Iraqi Republican Guard were beaten only because they were so tactically inept that a troop of boy scouts armed with sporks could have beaten them. I feel this runs counter to the facts and dishonors both the US/UK forces and the Iraqis. Thus my challenge to all and sundry to show how the RG as it existed, and thought of itself in 1990/91 could have puled even a draw from the match up.

  7. #7
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Jason,

    I disagree. 73 Easting was a hasty defence.The RG was both physically and psychologically oriented the wrong way (south) and it took some doing to re-orient themselves (west) and as such, they lost all contacts between brigades and divisions.
    Sir that may have bene truly for some sub units but the bulk of the RG 1st Corps was facing the right direction for its blocking mission.

    Also, Al Khaji shown just how poor their armour were and nothing the Iraqis did at the border meant damned squat, meaning the earthworks they were employing might as well be paper shields. Also, the battle of Kuwait City Airport showed just how mismatched they were.
    Yes sir, 100% agree, but that is all post battle 20/20. Pre-battle the Iraqis didn't know that, neither did we.

    The Iraqis were still trying to re-establish communications when the Americans smashed into them. Unless, the Iraqis figured out the axis of attack, then I don't see how they could have expected victory.
    For the most part the Iraqis were facing the right direction and knew the Axis of attack, if not its scope.

  8. #8
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    Jason,

    You have the same reference as I

    The Last Stand Of The Tawakalna

    What was clear was that communications between brigades and division hq was non-existing and while it is speculation that the TAWAKALNA CO was killed travelling between brigades, what was clear is that division control was lacking.

    Also, the reason why I stated that it's a hasty defence, it is clear that the front battalions have no access to artillery nor any other support. They were in the right place. Just not established.

    But all indications were that as soon as the Americans began the HAIL MARY pass, the Iraqi General knew he lost the reccee battle and never recovered from that point.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 17 Mar 13, at 03:02.

  9. #9
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    4,079
    What we do know and they should have known is that concealment is not cover.Also we know that making big piles of sand here and there on a regular pattern tends to indicate there was some serious digging going on in those particular places.So it's not even real concealment,but a childish one.We also know that tank shells can penetrate that particular pile of sand.

    We also know that establishing a security perimeter tends to prevent surprises.We do that even if there is no war going,as a matter of habit.We also tend from time to time to ask those chaps about what's going on and we tend to get worried if they don't talk back.

    The Iraqis had time to plant AP mines.I don't know why they didn't established AT minefields and other counter-mobility preparations.But we'd try to do that as well.

    Lastly,when attacking/counter-atacking,we'd set a base of fire to support the assault element.We'll pop smoke,try to coordinate with mortars&arty.

    I'm too lazy to search how many vehicles were destroyed with no crews to man them.They thought it was an air attack.Ohh,the wonders of a couple of chaps with binoculars and radios.


    Brave they were,no doubt about it.They were also used to victory.Experienced they were as well.But they had a weak mind, that's all to common in this sport.One that likes comfort and dislikes adapting to new conditions.
    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. #10
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Jason,

    You have the same reference as I

    The Last Stand Of The Tawakalna

    What was clear was that communications between brigades and division hq was non-existing and while it is speculation that the TAWAKALNA CO was killed travelling between brigades, what was clear is that division control was lacking.
    Not disagreeing there, but the friction that caused similar losses of coheasion among other nations divisions. Not a real good barometer of the competence of the Iraqis.

    Also, the reason why I stated that it's a hasty defence, it is clear that the front battalions have no access to artillery nor any other support. They were in the right place. Just not established.
    Ahh OK, gothca now.

    But all indications were that as soon as the Americans began the HAIL MARY pass, the Iraqi General knew he lost the reccee battle and never recovered from that point.
    Out teched, out thought and out trained for that most important of armored moves. That was a lesson drilled into us at NTC. Every time the OPFOR punched out the Bn or Bgd scouts we lost.

    Mihais, your assertions are for the most part bogus.

    [quote]What we do know and they should have known is that concealment is not cover.[/qute]

    Sorry, hull down is cover. You should research what cover is.

    Also we know that making big piles of sand here and there on a regular pattern tends to indicate there was some serious digging going on in those particular places.So it's not even real concealment,but a childish one.
    I dare you to spot a a hull down tank's tank berm at 3500m without using thermal to spot the tank itself.

    We also know that tank shells can penetrate that particular pile of sand.
    You mean we as in the West, but no most of us didn't. Iraq obviously had no idea at all on the performance of modern US ammunition.

    We also know that establishing a security perimeter tends to prevent surprises.We do that even if there is no war going,as a matter of habit.We also tend from time to time to ask those chaps about what's going on and we tend to get worried if they don't talk back.
    The Iraqis had pushed security elements as far forward as 50 Easting

    Lastly,when attacking/counter-atacking,we'd set a base of fire to support the assault element.We'll pop smoke,try to coordinate with mortars&arty.
    By "we this time", I assume you mean the Romanian Army not the US. If you read the accounts of the battle, the US Army did not stop forward progress to set up a base of fire. The only deliberate attack was by 1ID after their initial thrust got blunted.

  11. #11
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Not disagreeing there, but the friction that caused similar losses of coheasion among other nations divisions. Not a real good barometer of the competence of the Iraqis.

    Ahh OK, gothca now.

    Out teched, out thought and out trained for that most important of armored moves. That was a lesson drilled into us at NTC. Every time the OPFOR punched out the Bn or Bgd scouts we lost.
    Jason, I think we can agree that the Iraqis lost 73 Easting long before the M1s and the T-72s saw each other.

  12. #12
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    On paper one of the most powerful armored formations in the world. Your even confident that with your mix of Soviet and Western tech and combat experience you could beat a Soviet divisions- known to be much more effective in the attack than the Americans.
    I really have a problem with that. Nothing the Iraqis ever did even come close to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. And by the Kuwait War, T-80s were being fielded.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 18 Mar 13, at 00:34.

  13. #13
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,401
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Jason, I think we can agree that the Iraqis lost 73 Easting long before the M1s and the T-72s saw each other.
    They were beat the day Cheney announced the transfer of VII Corps from Germany....

    I really have a problem with that. Nothing the Iraqis ever did even come close to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. And by the Kuwait War, T-80s were being fielded.
    Sir I was referring to the RG armored divisions vs standard Soviet divisions which were still mainly T-72.

  14. #14
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    7,195
    You die....simple.

    The Colonel has laid out the case that the Iraqis were screwed by doctrine, organization, discipline, training and training.

    They were going up against an army which was like a coiled spring to battle to the death the Soviet Union. It was almost cathartic for the US military to have this fight. It cleansed the self doubt of Viet Nam, Myaguez, Desert One, Grenada and Panama (which was successful in spite of ourselves.) It validated the hard work by everyone of over a decade. I don't care who was in command of the Iraqis...at the end of the day it was a corps versus a regiment....and the corps got its ass kicked.
    “Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”
    - Robert A. Heinlein

  15. #15
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    They were beat the day Cheney announced the transfer of VII Corps from Germany....
    Then why did you post this what-if when you knew there was no way around it?

Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. You Command Team - Offense
    By Albany Rifles in forum American Civil War
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 14 Nov 13,, 14:40
  2. Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hall
    By xinhui in forum Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14 Aug 10,, 03:34
  3. Command Blogging
    By S2 in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09 Mar 08,, 22:38
  4. Bomber Command question
    By Silent Hunter in forum The World Wars
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 14 Jan 08,, 14:37
  5. Air Mobility Command C17
    By howieskiv in forum Military Aviation
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04 Jan 07,, 09:24

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •