Tactics & military craft

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Lalmohan
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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Feb 2018 23:50

pak doctrine for some time has been to use irregulars in one way or other. in the case of an IA assault on an urban centre, they will likely mobilise their irregulars to 'die in a ditch' or a building to hold up the IA whilst regular PA moves out to more secure areas to regroup. irregulars here can vary from LET cadres with advanced training to bearded uncles with fervour of jihad and a rusty AK. if organised and put into trenches/buildings in different lines and backed by regular PA for comms/logistics and recon, these will be an useful nuisance, especially if mixed up with civilians

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 09 Feb 2018 00:17

So what is the center of gravity for Pak military?

Is it Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi or Islamabad?

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Anoop » 09 Feb 2018 01:04

Ramana, i believe it is none of those...and even if it were, those shouldn't be targets for us for obvious reasons. If we define the center of gravity as their critical vulnerability, not their stonghold, it is their image of PA as the sole protector and functioning arm of government in the eyes of their population. And that means that image is what they hold most dear and should be the focus of our attention. In practical terms, a large captured area, even if uninhabited, without a corresponding loss of own territory and a disproportionate destruction of military assets, would be enough to terminate the war on our terms. The last point is key - we call the ceasefire or offer unilateral withdrawal after sitting in their territory. Simultaneously, we realign the LoC to reduce infiltration. We don't hand that back at the negotiation table.

Why was Pak surprised to the point of Musharraf capitulating in 2002 when 2 IA strike corps were in the Rajasthan area? It was the possibility that they would be embarrassed before a ceasefire. If they truly believed we would cut Pak in half, why not wait for the balloon to go up and brandish nuclear weapons? Their nuclear bluff was called then...their vulnerability is far greater i.e. their threshold of pain is far lower than we think.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Feb 2018 16:00

Lalmohan wrote:pak doctrine for some time has been to use irregulars in one way or other - in the case of an IA assault on an urban centre, they will likely mobilise their irregulars to 'die in a ditch' or a building to hold up the IA whilst regular PA moves out to more secure areas to regroup. irregulars here can vary from LET cadres with advanced training to bearded uncles with fervour of jihad and a rusty AK. if organised and put into trenches/buildings in different lines and backed by regular PA for comms/logistics and recon, these will be an useful nuisance, especially if mixed up with civilians


Absolutely. And they will activate media as well and try to portray a conventional war as non conventional - casualties of weomen and children etc. We need to absolutely ensure we bypass these centres. No way can we get bogged down. The next Dograi will not have ‘civilians’ evacuated. They will be used as human shields.

We should be ruthless and use AirPower to blast a path through these centres. Road and rail junctions we might have to hold if we can’t destroy by air.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Feb 2018 16:04

I have the outlisnes of a concept in mind. When Ramana sir gives go ahead I will as CnC West in the 2 front war play with this concept.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Feb 2018 16:05

ramana wrote:So what is the center of gravity for Pak military?

Is it Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi or Islamabad?


Probably their corporate network and their hold on the people. This war will have to be as much kinetic as its information warfare.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Anoop » 09 Feb 2018 16:37

Sir, what about their electric power grid, internet and television communication? Doesn't have to be hard kill, a rolling power and communication blackout achieved by cyber attacks or satellite disruption will cause the civilian population to be blind and deaf to the Pak govt's propaganda during a war. I think the loss of morale and faith in the ability of the PA to protect the people woild be significant.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Feb 2018 17:02

Sure. In fact rather than hard kills of television networks we should find a way to subvert them and control the messages. Absolutely crucial. Electricity and water networks can be taken out. In fact certain dams could be blown to flood in a big way.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Feb 2018 17:03

Not only should they be blind to Pak propaganda they should receive ours

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2018 06:02

Akshay Kapoor wrote:I have the outlisnes of a concept in mind. When Ramana sir gives go ahead I will as CnC West in the 2 front war play with this concept.



Please go ahead.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Feb 2018 20:40

the advantage of being a 'third world country' is that much of your critical infrastructure is non-existent, rudimentary or manual... i.e. not so easy to jam/hack/disrupt using cyberwarfare techniques

a few years ago the russians pretty much shut down estonia (power, banking, etc.) - pretty much as a demonstration of what is possible

this cyber attack would be most effective against the US network centric warfare concept, but not everyone has achieved much capability in that regard, not even other nato members

if you are a highly networked force relying on multipliers, then even simple hacking could render you blind and unsupplied and sent to the wrong place at the wrong time...

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2018 01:21

for reading and knowledge:

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/tme30/index.html

German manuals per US Army

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 15 Feb 2018 22:39


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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 18 Feb 2018 19:45

reading recently that ISIS and other para-military forces in Syria have started using DIY drones in combat roles. largest attack appears to be a number of 'swarm attacks' on a russian airbase, the first of which appears to have done some damage. they are using homebuilt model aircraft, some with a 3m wingspan, guided by GPS and dropping frag grenades. the second attack seems to have been held off by the russians, but the homebuilt option seems to be getting popular. US army is training infantry to counter enemy mini/micro drones by getting whole squad to rapid fire slightly ahead of the drone to maximise chance of a hit (otherwise small drones very hard to bring down). ISIS apparently already very competent in using parrot style mini drones for recon

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby brar_w » 18 Feb 2018 20:20

this cyber attack would be most effective against the US network centric warfare concept, but not everyone has achieved much capability in that regard, not even other nato members

if you are a highly networked force relying on multipliers, then even simple hacking could render you blind and unsupplied and sent to the wrong place at the wrong time...


The US is no longer the only force that uses NCW concepts. This was true in the 1990's, but in 2018 many are there or getting there rapidly. And these concepts and scenarios is precisely why you extensively red-team, war game and develop counter-counter measures.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... -red-flag/

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby NRao » 18 Feb 2018 20:43

this cyber attack would be most effective against the US network centric warfare concept, but not everyone has achieved much capability in that regard, not even other nato members

if you are a highly networked force relying on multipliers, then even simple hacking could render you blind and unsupplied and sent to the wrong place at the wrong time..


Not all "network"s are the same. Will leave it at that.

I am not aware of any other force (than that of the US) that, is so large, is so far from their own national borders, for so long (all the time). In such circumstances "network"s have a diff meaning.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 19 Feb 2018 23:31

agree with both of you (above) - however what the US has built is very hard to replicate and quite hard to defeat by conventional means. hence asymmetric and hybrid warfare concepts have arisen

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby brar_w » 20 Feb 2018 00:15

I did not mean that it was impossible or even very hard to defeat. In fact there is a huge focus on getting rid of vulnerabilities as those very asymmetric capabilities you refer go after some of those, like degrading or denying GPS and going after the long logistical tail that supports the US forces. That GPS-degraded or denied is now part of at least 1 Red Flag a year, the USAF is no longer assuming that it can fly large battle management and C2 platforms freely is a good sign of where they think their adversaries are investing.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 20 Feb 2018 01:40

Lalmohan and brar_w This thread was for understanding mainly Army tactics especially wrt Indian Army.
if you throw in GPS spoofing and all that it becomes like any other thread with lost of scenarios and reams of rebuttals.
And throw in network centric warfare from nrao!!!

Might as well close the thread and go home.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 21 Feb 2018 02:10

the point is that army tactics are no longer what they used to be. we are having great discussions about combat from 30-40 years ago, maybe sometimes a little closer in time. thats all great, and i enjoy them too. but battle space and warfare management has really moved on, shouldn't we be considering the battlespace the army/combined arms will have to fight in, in the future? tomorrow's wars, not day before yesterdays...

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 05 Mar 2018 06:41

Up. LM eventually we will get there.
Allow us slow coaches to get there.

So far we have looked at tactics at following formation levels:


Section
Platoon
Company

We still have to look at tactics at
Batallion
Brigade
Division
Corps
Above this are strategic and will cover at a high level.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 05 Mar 2018 18:12

We have done a bit of batallion tactics as well. And we have also demonstrated the different tactics flow from the operational imperative of different terrain and the type of operational situation. This grounding was very important to have an appreciation of what works and why. Without that appreciation the discussion will not have much value.

Avik I saw your comment on Arjun thread and it would be nice to get your appreciation of armour tactics.

Then I would like to draw on some lessons wrt combined arms ops especially armour and infantry. Hopefully LM ji will find some elements of that interesting.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby shiv » 05 Mar 2018 20:58

Anoop wrote:
Akshay Kapoor wrote:quiz - what are the the ways to defend against flanking


Sir

1. Use of natural obstacles in the terrain i.e. site defences so that approaches are covered by overlapping arcs of fire. For example, defences with cliffs for flanks or DCB along large river banks.

2. Use of minefields.

3. Scout parties along flanks.

4. Keep reserve company to reinforce flanks if enemy attempts to turn the flank. Reserve company must have mobility to reach flank in time.


I have been doing so many things that it took me a long time to start reading and catching up with this thread.

I vaguely recall some battle situation (not Indian) that I read about - I can't remember the exact details - but I will try and describe. It went something like this:

Company A, B and C were in line abreast at the frontline each separated by some distance. Company A came under fierce enemy attack. Company B knew there was some firing going on off to their left but things were quiet for them. Company C on the right were advancing and went right up ahead finding no opposition,

Meanwhile - the radio set of company A was destroyed - so there was no way they could communicate to the back and ask for mortar or other support. I cannot recall why there was no lateral communication where company B could come to the aid of company A. One man in company A volunteered to run back and give a verbal report - but as he went back he was suspected to be a deserter and sent back to the front.

Sorry for being sketchy on the detail - I will try and find the original battle tale - but ultimately it was chaos with company A taking a beating and company C running into enemy territory with so support from the sides.

I vaguely recall that there was some lesson there about BOTH lateral and front-to-back communication. Of course a lot of the battle management equipment used by the US as well as the planned "Future Infantry Soldier" of the Indian army deal with this - but it is a tough situation where you are carrying heavy and sensitive electronics into the most hostile situation.

Sorry if I have digressed but I something in the above post rang a bell..

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 05 Mar 2018 21:43

Welcome shiv sir. Not a digression - you have made a very important point. How to maintain communications within the companies during advance and defence and how to maintain cohesion. If you can get us some info on the tactical situation we can also look at battle. What were the tasks of each company. Which was protecting flanks.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 05 Mar 2018 22:07

Some comments. First every platoon and should have a radio set so one break down should not cause a big problem. Second every officer has a runner/sahayak/buddy. The primary op role is to carry messages. So again this shouldn't happen in Indian Army. Lastly support from the other company is usually detailed by BN HQ ie CO or 21C. So coys give report to CO and he details support.

From what you have posted it seems that mistakes were made by both the enemy and own forces. Sounds like own forces were advancing with coy A in centre and others on flanks. I don't know the tasks so will be interesting to know the situation. Anyhow enemy went to aggressive defence and attacked instead taking them completely by surprise. . Enemy could have used oblique order ie fix one flank and pivot to the other flank and roll it up. Or fix centre is attack coy A with light forces and roll up the flanks by attacking B and C with heavier forces. They seem to have instead attacked coy A with too much power and not had any for the flanks. The opposite should have been done ie attack with just enough to fix the centre and pivot strength to one or both flanks. Own forces on other hand seem to have wilted under pressure. Coy C having advanced too far ahead should have been ordered to loop back and attack enemy in the rear. They are in communication with CO at least. He should have asked them to send a patrol arleast to make some sense of the siraution espeicllay as he was not getting info from coy A. A runner should have been sent to CO immediately by Coy A to apprise him if siraution as this attack was completely unexpected.

Bad command and control by CO. He was probably too far back as American officers generally are. What were the company officers doing ? Lots of basic mistakes.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 05 Mar 2018 22:14

And what was Bravo Coy doing ? They hear fire and make no attempt to find out from BN HQ what's happening ? Remember they are in advance and were not expecting contact so soon. So if contact has happened they need to find out why and where. Especially if they are line abreast because they need to know their relative position at all times.

Re complex sensitive communication equipment point yes assume it will break down always and everytime in battle. Infact signals officers are taught that assume everything will break down and you will have to run a telephone line.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Vidur » 05 Mar 2018 23:53

Good that discussion has started again. You must keep this up.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 06 Mar 2018 01:07

Vidur at your level you need to understand corps and multi corps level opeadtions.

Please do read the Operational Art thread.

Eventually want to expand that to naval and air force operational art.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 06 Mar 2018 05:56

viewtopic.php?p=2256500#p2256500

Akshay

How is a regular infantry division organised? And a mountain division?

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 06 Mar 2018 22:58

Inf Div has 3 inf bdes, one arty bde, 1 ENGR Regt, ASC Bn, Signals and sometimes an Armoured Regt. In Plains AD regt could also be there. Moutain Div is the same but its arty is lighter and more mobile and it doesn't have an AD regt.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 06 Mar 2018 23:32

Thanks. Quite useful to evaluate later.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 13 Mar 2018 22:03

An excellent excellent article by Gen Harbaksh Singh who was GOCnC Western Command during 65 ops.

He talks about combined arms tactics and each component arm. Notice use of reverse slopes, enfilade fire etc as I have discussed earlier. Notice the need to maintain grit and resolve , notice the Pak use of arty and their poor infantry. Notice how Patton tanks proved to be their undoing because of bad training.
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spot ... l-concept/

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 13 Mar 2018 22:11


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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 13 Mar 2018 22:12

Who wants to tease out the main principles of armour use and combined armour / infantry operations.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby shiv » 14 Mar 2018 11:26

Akshay Kapoor wrote:Who wants to tease out the main principles of armour use and combined armour / infantry operations.

This is a tough one for a person like me. While I have no "inside knowledge" I have in my mind two scenarios:
1. What a vast mass of people on a public forum think tank warfare is/should be (judged by reading multiple posts)
2. What I think is right

1: What people seem to think:

Tanks are going to become useless because ATGMs and attack helicopters will rule. I disagree with this because - if you move to the correct threads people will inform you that Attack helicopters will get shot down by modern air defences.

2. What I think it should be:

I think my own idea, ignorant as it is, is summed up as what the Pakistanis used to do in the Indian Defence Review link you have posted above - I will quote:
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spot ... l-concept/
Pattern of Attack

13. In the plains the enemy attempted to establish complete fire superiority before mounting an attack. Objectives selected for attack were subjected to intense artillery preparation for prolonged periods lasting from two to several hours before mounting the assault. As already mentioned, the liberal use of artillery dwindled rapidly towards the closing phase of the campaign.

With limited approaches in the mountains, PAK defensive positions were sited on dominating features and were generally well prepared.

14. The enemy usually tried to create the impression of delivering the attack from several directions. Some armour would appear well away on a flank to lure away own tanks and to divert artillery fire. Simultaneously, an attempt would be made to neutralize own guns by counter bombardment, air action and fire from tanks. Thereafter, tanks approached the Forward Defended Localities six to eight abreast firing their secondary armament to frighten own infantry. This tanks assault echelon would stand off beyond the range of our recoilless guns and the follow up armour would try to envelop the locality and/or infiltrate into battalion areas. Behind the tanks, the infantry would dismount from Armoured Personnel Carriers or Troop Carrying Vehicles to advance in assault formation shouting war cries and firing weapons from hips. The infantry, however, generally halted outside the protective minefields. It would thus appear that the enemy mainly relied on their preponderance of fire power, both artillery and tank, to overwhelm our troops. Wherever own infantry stuck to their ground such attacks invariably fizzled out.

Advance

15. The planning of offensive operations by the enemy was bold. In their thrust into the KHEM KARAN Sector, the enemy selected objectives lying deep in XI Corps zone. As already described the aim of the enemy’s thrust was to cut off the GT Road at JANDIAL GURU and capture the vital bridges at BEAS and HARIKE. The line of advance was chosen carefully along the grain of the country to obviate the crossing of numerous water obstacles.

Withdrawal

16. Withdrawals were covered with a screen of strong covering troops consisting of armour, infantry, elements of reconnaissance and support battalion with artillery in support directed by observation posts. A few of the personnel at the observation posts remained behind hidden in villages and on trees, usually in civilian clothes.

The enemy usually tried to create the impression of delivering the attack from several directions. Some armour would appear well away on a flank to lure away own tanks and to divert artillery fire.

Harassing Tasks

17. The enemy made extensive use of medium machine guns or recoilless gun mounted jeeps and mortars on Armoured Personnel Carriers in a harassing role both during day and night. They would engage our defences for a short duration and then shift positions several times in an attempt to give the impression of greater strength.

Infiltration Operations

18. The infiltrators entered through wide gaps between our picquets with the help of local guides. They established bases up to a company in strength on ‘out of the way’ forested hill tops. A certain amount of digging was done but overhead protection was rarely provided.



The above is what I think tank warfare is supposed to be like in theory. I can't see what Pakistanis were doing wrong - but as Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh points out there were human "grit and fortitude" factors that the Pakistanis sometimes lacked.

Of course ATGMs, night fighting ability and Attack helos will play a role nowadays -but a tank is a tank. Even ONE tank is scary and an adversary will not have ATGMs, tanks or helos to help all the time. So tank warfare is not going to vanish in a hurry

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby ramana » 15 Mar 2018 00:52

Captain Amarinder Singh and Lt. Gen Shergill in 'Monsoon War' write very well about the Pak tactics in the 1965 war. And the armament deficit in the Indian battalions opposing them.

Also read the 1965 war thread. Abdul Hamid dispelled the fear of the tanks by his personal bravery.
3 Cavalry found that the Centurion was able to withstand direct hit from the Patton tank on the mantlet and hence started engagement with gun head on instead of being parked to the side. This increased the kill ratio.
Before that the Patton was considered invincible.

I would like someone to compare the Pak tactics with the US Army tactics from their Field manuals.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Lalmohan » 15 Mar 2018 02:23

the primary advantage of tanks are their ability to rapidly manoeuvre and bring to bear firepower to create a breakthrough in the enemy lines and then sever the communications/resupply routes (Guderian Panzer tactics first used devastatingly well against a technically superior French armoured force). tanks generally need to be supported by infantry to occupy and hold ground, most easily achieved by having armoured personnel carriers in a fluid battle.
integrate with artillery and helicopters and you evolve to the air-land battle concept of the 70's and 80's; add in network centricity and you have Gulf War 1, which was in essence the NATO model to counter a similar Soviet model (72 hrs from the Polish border to the English Channel)
works wonderfully well in the N European plains or the Iraqi desert as a punching arm

defensively, you can dig tanks in and use them as mini-bunkers, which the iraqis did quite well (at least in terms of deployment), but they hadn't realised the overwhelming superiority of US air power, which rendered their armour next to useless. A few of their tank crews died bravely taking on a better equipped and better informed US cavalry force

balkans - hilly broken ground, the serbs managed to hide most of their tanks out of sight from NATO strike packages

air land battle concept would work well in the rajasthan and punjab sectors (were it not for the canals) given the room for manoeuvre and a big chunk of IA strategy is to smash a big fat armoured gada straight across to the Indus. given the IA's ability to credibly deliver this, the PA has resorted to tactical nukes as a threat/deterrent

i would suggest that in a modern battlefield, if a tank is not able to move and fire, it is dead. i think the israelis are struggling with this now on the lebanese border

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 16 Mar 2018 19:01

shiv wrote:
Akshay Kapoor wrote:Who wants to tease out the main principles of armour use and combined armour / infantry operations.

This is a tough one for a person like me. While I have no "inside knowledge" I have in my mind two scenarios:
1. What a vast mass of people on a public forum think tank warfare is/should be (judged by reading multiple posts)
2. What I think is right

1: What people seem to think:

Tanks are going to become useless because ATGMs and attack helicopters will rule. I disagree with this because - if you move to the correct threads people will inform you that Attack helicopters will get shot down by modern air defences.

2. What I think it should be:

I think my own idea, ignorant as it is, is summed up as what the Pakistanis used to do in the Indian Defence Review link you have posted above - I will quote:
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spot ... l-concept/
Pattern of Attack

13. In the plains the enemy attempted to establish complete fire superiority before mounting an attack. Objectives selected for attack were subjected to intense artillery preparation for prolonged periods lasting from two to several hours before mounting the assault. As already mentioned, the liberal use of artillery dwindled rapidly towards the closing phase of the campaign.

With limited approaches in the mountains, PAK defensive positions were sited on dominating features and were generally well prepared.

14. The enemy usually tried to create the impression of delivering the attack from several directions. Some armour would appear well away on a flank to lure away own tanks and to divert artillery fire. Simultaneously, an attempt would be made to neutralize own guns by counter bombardment, air action and fire from tanks. Thereafter, tanks approached the Forward Defended Localities six to eight abreast firing their secondary armament to frighten own infantry. This tanks assault echelon would stand off beyond the range of our recoilless guns and the follow up armour would try to envelop the locality and/or infiltrate into battalion areas. Behind the tanks, the infantry would dismount from Armoured Personnel Carriers or Troop Carrying Vehicles to advance in assault formation shouting war cries and firing weapons from hips. The infantry, however, generally halted outside the protective minefields. It would thus appear that the enemy mainly relied on their preponderance of fire power, both artillery and tank, to overwhelm our troops. Wherever own infantry stuck to their ground such attacks invariably fizzled out.

Advance

15. The planning of offensive operations by the enemy was bold. In their thrust into the KHEM KARAN Sector, the enemy selected objectives lying deep in XI Corps zone. As already described the aim of the enemy’s thrust was to cut off the GT Road at JANDIAL GURU and capture the vital bridges at BEAS and HARIKE. The line of advance was chosen carefully along the grain of the country to obviate the crossing of numerous water obstacles.

Withdrawal

16. Withdrawals were covered with a screen of strong covering troops consisting of armour, infantry, elements of reconnaissance and support battalion with artillery in support directed by observation posts. A few of the personnel at the observation posts remained behind hidden in villages and on trees, usually in civilian clothes.

The enemy usually tried to create the impression of delivering the attack from several directions. Some armour would appear well away on a flank to lure away own tanks and to divert artillery fire.

Harassing Tasks

17. The enemy made extensive use of medium machine guns or recoilless gun mounted jeeps and mortars on Armoured Personnel Carriers in a harassing role both during day and night. They would engage our defences for a short duration and then shift positions several times in an attempt to give the impression of greater strength.

Infiltration Operations

18. The infiltrators entered through wide gaps between our picquets with the help of local guides. They established bases up to a company in strength on ‘out of the way’ forested hill tops. A certain amount of digging was done but overhead protection was rarely provided.



The above is what I think tank warfare is supposed to be like in theory. I can't see what Pakistanis were doing wrong - but as Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh points out there were human "grit and fortitude" factors that the Pakistanis sometimes lacked.

Of course ATGMs, night fighting ability and Attack helos will play a role nowadays -but a tank is a tank. Even ONE tank is scary and an adversary will not have ATGMs, tanks or helos to help all the time. So tank warfare is not going to vanish in a hurry


Shiv sir I agree the Pakis had a good concept big execution like always for them was not always good.

What mistakes did the Pakis make ?You point out correctly that one was grit and determination. Ultimately that is crucial. The second problem was that they did not know their equipment even though it was very superior to ours. An important adage in the Indian Armed Forces is gunnery, gunnery, gunnery. In the infantry it manifest as Ek Goli Ek Dushman. The point is that you must be very proficient with your weapon. Our tank gunners and young leaders are excellent. Our tactics at sub unit level (company/sqdn) though not revolutionary were well rehearsed , well drilled and well executed. The Pakis on the other hand shied away from using their tank guns and pressing the attack. The former because they did not have full proficient with the advanced wepqonry of the Patton. For example they would optimise every shot and try to get it dead right using the computer while we would use our tried and tested approximations on equipment we were very familiar with. Of course as Ramanaji points out our infantry played a big role with the RCL guns and sheer grit. If we didn’t budge the Paki wouldn’t often press home the attack. Longewala is a good example. They should have disregarded the minefiled and pressed on. A coy holding down a tank Regt and an infantry battalion is shameful for the attacker.

That’s another inersting point. Our infantry was and is excellent. Perhaps the best in the world. They close in and engage. That obviously means casualties. We take them. However the Paki infantry and armour were shy.

Akshay Kapoor
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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 16 Mar 2018 19:09

Principles of armour -

1 - armour needs to keep momentum. Whether it is large open deserts or more funnel like situations in other terrain. It needs to keep moving not only to protect itself but more importantly to fulfill its role of delivering the required firepower at the required place at the required time. If it encounters opposition it must break through and accept casualties.

Pls see the link about the armoured doctrine in the 70s I posted above. Very illuminating.

2 - Situation awareness. Self explanatory. It’s espeiclaly important as you are in a small confined place. Here good coordination with infantry an armour can really help.

3 - Gunnery.

4 - Inititiave , armour ethos is a little different from other arms because initiave is expected at the lowest rank. A tank commander of a havildar must be able to take decisions in the fury and sound of the armoured battle and not wait for orders. Initiative grows with solid roots in drill, knowing your job and mission. Initiative without that is just chaos.

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Re: Tactics & military craft

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 16 Mar 2018 19:23

Lalmohan wrote:the primary advantage of tanks are their ability to rapidly manoeuvre and bring to bear firepower to create a breakthrough in the enemy lines and then sever the communications/resupply routes (Guderian Panzer tactics first used devastatingly well against a technically superior French armoured force). tanks generally need to be supported by infantry to occupy and hold ground, most easily achieved by having armoured personnel carriers in a fluid battle.
integrate with artillery and helicopters and you evolve to the air-land battle concept of the 70's and 80's; add in network centricity and you have Gulf War 1, which was in essence the NATO model to counter a similar Soviet model (72 hrs from the Polish border to the English Channel)
works wonderfully well in the N European plains or the Iraqi desert as a punching arm

defensively, you can dig tanks in and use them as mini-bunkers, which the iraqis did quite well (at least in terms of deployment), but they hadn't realised the overwhelming superiority of US air power, which rendered their armour next to useless. A few of their tank crews died bravely taking on a better equipped and better informed US cavalry force

balkans - hilly broken ground, the serbs managed to hide most of their tanks out of sight from NATO strike packages

air land battle concept would work well in the rajasthan and punjab sectors (were it not for the canals) given the room for manoeuvre and a big chunk of IA strategy is to smash a big fat armoured gada straight across to the Indus. given the IA's ability to credibly deliver this, the PA has resorted to tactical nukes as a threat/deterrent

i would suggest that in a modern battlefield, if a tank is not able to move and fire, it is dead. i think the israelis are struggling with this now on the lebanese border


Very Good points sir. Would you like to explain a little bit about basic armour sub unit tactics. Would be very useful.


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