Akshay Kapoor wrote:Anoop, you also had some other questions early in the thread. Now that we have reached batallion level we can answer them. Feel free to ask any that you are still unlcear on. But do try to answer them yourself first using the principles we have studied on this thread.
Thank you. I'd like to rephrase my questions with some context. I started with the assumption that one common reason a battle is lost or an objective is not achieved even with equally matching forces is due to the fog of war i.e. incorrect information about the enemy's strength or even of own forces' disposition. The purpose of those questions was to get a mental picture of what a Coy or a Bn commander can "see" during battle. To reduce the concealment effect of terrain, let us consider an Inf Bn operating in the plains, facing DCB fortifications along a major river. Taking your advice, I am trying to answer my own questions.
1. Line of sight would be limited to around 2000 m with binoculars.
2. Max range of Coy Support Weapon would be 1800 m (7.62 mm MMG, 30 mm AGL) and Bn level weapon would be 5200 m (81 mm Mortar) with 2500 m for ATGM. Assuming that the forward Platoons are being engaged by enemy Coy Support Weapons, their direct assessment would be limited to around 2 km range. Similarly, their effective fire would be in the 2 km range (ATGM and AGL), assuming that their own 81 mm mortar fire would be ineffective against fortified DCB defences. However, being in the open, they are susceptible to the enemy’s 81 mm Mortar which can reduce their range of observation/influence by nearly another 2 km.
3. Under enemy fire, tendency is to keep the head down, preventing a correct appraisal of opposing force. Also, shock of battle may result in an over-assessment of enemy strength by the Platoon or Coy in contact with the enemy.
4. Conflicting reports from platoon HQ to Company HQ and from Coy HQ to Bn HQ requiring command decisions on what to prioritize for reinforcements/exploitation.
5. Whereas a Coy Cdr needs to focus on the immediate objective, the Bn Cdr must also focus on what lies behind the objective i.e. how would the enemy bring his reserves to bear and how resupply must be accomplished to retain any positions captured. So his field of view must be deeper, but the limit of “observation/influence” is shorter unless he has access to Bde level assets e.g. Arty, aerial recce etc.
Are these assumptions even in the ball park?
The followup question is - What can modern technology do to reduce this fog of war? How effective will this be? Some options could be:
1. Use of satellite imagery and GIS in peace-time to augment maps of enemy territory, particularly of fixed fortifications, roads and railway lines, ammunition depots and minefields.
2. Use of UAV for real time intelligence gathering.
3. Use of BMS to share image/GPS/GIS data between echelons to reduce confusion.