Author Topic: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?  (Read 12295 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« on: December 19, 2006, 15:47:26 »
I just saw a picture of a Leo and a LAVIII revetted into an overwatch position at Masu Ghar and it got me to wondering about the waste of resources that that picture represents (seen below).

In addition to two vehicles, complete with wheels, transmissions etc., there are two engines/generators, and 14 personnel that are being under-utilized.  As well the vehicles are heavily armoured to protect personnel, electronics and ammunition.  This is essentially the way that the Tanks fought in Korea.

Does it make any sense at all to combine some of the Remote Operating Weapons Systems concepts and combine it with the static/trailed platforms common for earlier large caliber anti-aircraft guns? 

The ROWS is being used on vehicles in small  to medium  calibers but has been used on warships in small to large caliber weapons (up to 127mm / 5in).  Otomelara has done something of the sort with their twin 40/L70, very similar to our own Oerlikon Twin-35 that has been taken out of service and similar in concept to the 20mm CIWS/CRAM system that is being contemplated to protect garrisons from incoming mortars and rockets.

http://www.otomelara.it/products/products.asp?id=prod_land_hitrole
http://www.rafael.co.il/marketing/area.aspx?FolderID=402&docID=94

http://www.otomelara.it/products/products.asp?id=prod_naval_small
http://www.otomelara.it/products/products.asp?id=prod_naval_large

http://www.otomelara.it/products/products.asp?id=prod_land_aa

Perhaps the concept could be extended to put the 105mm gun of the MGS onto a trailer to create a modern version of the FlAK 88? 

Would such a stationary role be an appropriate use of the skillsets learned by the Air Defence Artillery but with a larger array of weapons and sensors (Radar and E/O) at their disposal?

Garrison Artillery fell out of favour with the move to manoeuvre warfare.  But if we are heading back to maintaining garrisons as permanent bases to control unsettled parts of the world maybe there is a need for the Garrison Artillery again - only now we don't need as many gunners to man the firing points.

It just seems a pity to me to tie up Leo's  and LAVs, with all the necessary extra gear for survival and mobility, when permanent firebases could be wired in much more cost effectively.  Not to mention a few gabions with some overhead cover supplies more protection to the weapon itself than a tank does,  fewer bodies would be required and exposed to risk, and fewer engineering compromises associated with confined spaces would be necessary.  For instance I would think it would be possible to develop a separate, trailable auto-loader that could be married in place to a gun and be reloaded by palletized rounds.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2006, 16:06:49 »
Yes, tanks did operate from dug-in fortified positions in Korea. 

I am not sure what you really are trying to get at here.  In Vietnam there were many Artillery Fire Bases strategically located around the country.  I don't think our FOBs are being set up along those lines though.  In the photo you have provided, a tank or/and a LAV are in a temporary position where they can cover arcs of fire, much the same as MGs are set up.  It is not a waste, but the use of all resources in this case.  An Artillery piece would not have the speed of traverse, nor the flexibility and selection of weaponry that the tank and LAV have (Main Gun and COAX).  An Artillery piece would also have less protection for the crews. 

As for mounting a cannon from the MGS on a trailer......Nope!  A big time NO!  The recoil would destroy the mount and trailer with the first round fired.  The 105 firing SABOT will rock a tank back a couple of feet.  Just think what it will do to a trailer.  That is why we have arty pieces with spades.  A trailer would be 'nonproductive'.

Garrison Artillery may have fallen out of favour in once sense, but Air Mobile Artillery did not.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2006, 16:58:47 »
George - I am saying that covering those arcs may be a 20 year job.  It may only be a 2 year job.  In either event those static vehicles are not being utilized to their best advantage.  Their primary advantage, as you keep reminding me, is in their tactical mobility.  Certainly they can go static for a period but, it is a waste if they sit in place.

KAF, the FOBs, Patrol Bases, PRTs, Platoon Houses.... are all becoming permanent garrisons.  If not manned by Canadians then they will be manned by Afghans.  They do not have the luxury of manoeuvering away from the threat to a more advantageous position.  They must stand and endure.  They must be able to defeat all threats thrown at them. 

Standard CF weapons are weapons of manoeuvre: tanks, MGs, rifles and Field Guns.  Many compromises in design are made in order to make them light an compact enough to move.  They also are man-power intensive. 

The militaries of the world are going out of their way to stick remote weapons stations on vehicles, armour plate and gee-whiz defensive systems.  I don't get the sense that there is the same "canned engineering" approach to creating an active defense for static bases.  I believe however that their is an excellent model available and that is what the Navy has done since the days of Jackie Fisher, if not Henry VIII - and that is to figure our how to protect a virtually immobile target against all-comers with minimal man-power.

Given that some of the ROWS are incorporating E/O sensors, cannons, mgs and anti-tank missiles on a common mount, connected to the operator (single) solely by means of a wire a monitor and a joystick I think that much of the weapons flexibility of the LAV/Leo combination could be replicated without the wheels/tracks, armour, and personnel.  Generated power would of course be a requirement but even there three or for distributed generators on a grid would get the job done rather than one generator for every mount.

The Germans fired the 88mm off of a trailer - that had spades.  The Brits fired the 3.7" QF off of a trailer - that had spades.  Noricum built a 105mm anti-tank gun on a low, towable carriage - that had spades.  The Chinese have the Norinco Type 86 100mm towed anti-tank gun - that has spades.

The concept is the same as the Towed 35, the Towed CIWS, the Towed Twin 40/L70.   A towable assembly, that can be stabilized in place, so that it can traverse widely (6400mils by preference), be hooked up to an autoloader and wired into a central Combat Information Centre where it can be sighted and fired remotely.  This means that 8 gunners could run 4 shifts of 2 gunners on shift and monitor the perimeter while the other 6 gunners got fed, did their laundry, got some sleep and maybe even went on leave.

The infantry and the armour could then focus on patrolling and being QRTs and be less concerned with manning a perimeter.

Armour needs its wheels.  A garrison doesn't.  That is all that I am trying to get at here.  And if we can get some of the job done without wheels (and people) then we can free up more wheels and people for both the Armour AND the Infantry.

I don't see replacing boots on the ground, or for that matter boots in tracks, with technology,  but I certainly see a role for technology in all other combat support and support roles so as to free up PYs to actively engage the population and the enemy.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2006, 22:37:42 »
A tank or a LAV lets you move the base if need be.  Let the Afghans worry about gun emplacements for 15 years down the road....
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Offline CTD

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 23:04:38 »
Kirkhill you bring up a good point.
A few years ago a few buddies and I were talking along the lines as you are right now. Mount a system on a trailer so that it can be moved around, but also so that you could set it up for defensives with ohp etc.
The main problem with this way of thinking is it is different then we have done in the past ourselves. It also entails the use of equipemtn that we are not familiar with and how it would be employed.
 Realistically I agree we should be looking at down the road, not only for ourselves but for the Afgan Army and the people of Afganistan. If we set in place a strong structure now for them to be confident in themselves then we will see the benifits of this.

That emplacement in the picture looks like a pretty well prepared position. Your idea would work wonderfull in this situation. Plus free up the tanks for other tasks. 
Maybe make a suggestion up your COC, come up with a viable solution as to similar capabilities and see what happens. Include all the facits of what you want to acheive, ie replace tanks in static positions with gun mounted on a trailer, will have own generator, ammo loader etc.
You may get laughed at and told you do not have a clue, or you may be told that it is a viable solution.

I think you are on to something, maybe needs to be more refined, but you are on to it.

Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2006, 23:13:26 »
Hey, maybe we could replace those LAVs and Leo with a few M-109s, we haven't dragged them off the museum stands yet.
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Offline Nerf herder

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 23:15:04 »
You are talking about run up positions. The panzers and LAVs aren't tied to the FOB.

They more than likely will be moved when required to do so, on order of course.

Something to keep this all into perspective....this is a land where forts built by the Brits still stand to this day.

Our bases are able to be moved when required, as Infanteer alluded to.

My 0.02 donkey dollars worth.

Regards
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Offline rampage800

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 00:20:05 »
Well if theres a case for it I think you would have to consider only 1 calibre of gun in theatre (ie 155) and not 2 (105 & 155).  I don't think the re-supply system could sustain moving both types of ammo into theatre the same time, to go with that, the areas you could influence with a 105 as opposed to 155 would be greatly diminished.
The 109 might not be a bad choice for such a Garrison, its 155, can traverse 6400 mils (read, no need to take post)offers limited protection and is SP (albeit with the help of some EMEs sometimes).
Its also disposable, seeing how we aren't currently using them, ship them to theatre set them in FOBs and when Canada pulls out (whenever that may be)we can give them to the ANA, kind of like a going away present.
Now the bad news, we don't have anybody to man them. ^-^

Anyhow my 2 cents

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2006, 07:40:41 »
OK

The Photo is most likely of a 'Run Up' position.  It is not really a 'Dug In' position, and not all that protective.  It is a relatively temporary position, that would be used for the defence of the site.  Don't start getting into M109's parking there.  They would not, as I said earlier, have the "Speed of Traverse" to effectively engage an attacking enemy force.  This position is for the defence of the site, against an attack, not for firing at an enemy miles away.  It is hard to say, but with the hill behind, it may even be a wall set up outside of a FOB as an 'outer defence'.

As for your concept of trailers and mine, well let's just say they are different.  Trailers may be good for smaller calibre guns, but I doubt that they will be any good for large calibre, high velocity guns.  Trailers for Triple A are not all that great for A/T.  You also have to have a Prime Mover to haul it around and then there is all the fun of parking a trailer in a tactical position such as this.  In the case that the position is being overrun, how do you hook up and haul the trailer away?  In the case or mounting remote Wpns Systems on a trailer and positioning it, and I am assuming you got this idea from the Phalanx Topic, what do you do when there is a malfunction or it runs out of ammo in the heat of a battle and falls into enemy hands?  I don't think we have exactly reached the sophistication where we are able to employ robotic devices in the ground battle, other than as sensory devices.

We are looking here at a defendable position for a 'mobile' force, not a static force.
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Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2006, 07:55:03 »
It is a relatively temporary position, that would be used for the defence of the site.  Don't start getting into M109's parking there.  They would not, as I said earlier, have the "Speed of Traverse" to effectively engage an attacking enemy force.  This position is for the defence of the site, against an attack, not for firing at an enemy miles away.  It is hard to say, but with the hill behind, it may even be a wall set up outside of a FOB as an 'outer defence'.

George, I seem to recall a direct fire role (not miles away, but hundreds of metres) for the M-109s (Palladan of course) that included a run-up position.  As for attacking enemy, nothing a few APERS-T (flechette) or VT rounds wouldn't handle.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2006, 08:26:41 »
George, I seem to recall a direct fire role (not miles away, but hundreds of metres) for the M-109s (Palladan of course) that included a run-up position.  As for attacking enemy, nothing a few APERS-T (flechette) or VT rounds wouldn't handle.

 ;D
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Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2006, 09:37:48 »
 ::) Speechless...
 or just taking a thoughtful pause to formulate a combination - turning movement and a right hook. ;)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2006, 10:07:42 »
I'll back down on the issue of whether or not the Leo and LAV are in permanent positions George.

I think, more than anything else, my attention was drawn to the commanding nature of that fire position, coupled with the sense that this type of "war" could be as long as any of the modern insurgencies (12 years on average?) or some of the border "wars".  This one is already 200 years old if you consider the Pashtun vs Brits part of the same continuum and a case can be made that the fight is much, much older than that. 

As has been noted the countryside out there is dotted by forts, many of which seem to still be in use.  I believe that the fort/fortlet and garrison concept is still a valid concept when a government needs to be able to secure territory and protect and control a restive population.

Further, since the aim of this exercise in Afghanistan is as much one of making the Afghan government capable of securing its own territory and people as it is to defeat all-comers and destroy the Taliban then it would seem  to me to be a valid form of military aid to supply them with facilities.  So just as we are supplying some body armour, and we should be looking at supplying some armoured vehicles for patrolling, then could we not look at supplying fortified bases of operation? And with those bases could we not also look at supplying an efficient active defence based less on man power and/or high tech vehicles but more on the defensive principles of a warship?

I am not going to force the questions of calibres and slew rates or direct or indirect fires.  That debate can become interminable.

I am also less concerned about the mobility of the solution, or whether it needs a Mack truck to haul it into place. My thought applies to the creation of Static/Permanent facilities.  Cementing the gun carriage in place might also be a workable option for that type of facility. It was for World War 2.

What I was getting at with respect to the Leo/LAV combination as being a "waste of resources"  was that IF they end up being stuck in a Korean type of application, then they are not available to patrol.  They are not available as a QRF and perhaps more importantly, they are not available to move on to assist in securing other advantageous firing positions - be those in Sangin, Garmsir or somewhere back in Korea.

Perhaps I should have said a "potential" waste of resources.  My apologies.   :) :salute:

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Offline Bomber

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2006, 10:35:10 »
Fire up the old twin 35's, I think they are quick enough to spin around and engage in the 6400 mil spectrum.  We have them in the inventory (awaiting a buyer), people still know how to use them, we probably still have ammo, they are on a trailer, and I figure they would destroy anything put in their way.  I don;t suppose the Sky Gaurd radar can be used in the ground detection role could it?  Hmm, If I keep writting this, it might come true.  Tanks were resurrected, 113's were sent to A-Stan, 50's brought back, and 155 came back to the inventory.  Lets keep dicussing this, and the 35's might just get another lease on life.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2006, 10:47:39 »
Having run up positions in a FOB is simply common sense, but if you are looking at an analogy (and we all love those!) this is more like a Roman Legion digging in for the night. The Legion was pretty hard to beat during the day when they were formed up and alert, but were sensible enough to call a halt, dig a perimeter ditch and throw up a wall every night so they could rest, make repairs, eat etc. with some sentries on guard.

In one of the other threads we thrashed out a similar idea, and the conclusion was pretty much the same; "crusader forts" or permanent defensive positions eat up far more resources than they save; provide juicy fixed targets for the enemy to concentrate on and should be limited in scale and scope so the force concentrates on operations rather than force protection. The French created huge lines of fortifications both in France and later in Viet Nam, and were basically outflanked and out manoeuvred each time.

Pulling out one other analogy from my big bag; setting up forts is counterproductive in any event. Forts represent invaders overaweing the local population, William the Conqueror did this in Norman England, and later Edward I consolodated the conquest of Wales by building a series of castles. If we are sitting in large fortified bases in Kandahar and the southern region of Afghanistan, what message is being sent to the local population? (Imagine if your local police station was surrounded by HESCO bastions, razor wire and armed guards backed by artillery).
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2006, 10:57:44 »
Let's not get too fixated on guns on trailers. The examples all used are of towed guns that were placed in action by moving the axles and wheels so as to lower the bottom carriage (the part of the gun which did not elevate and traverse) onto the ground.

The defence of a fixed postion depends on a number of factors, most important of which seem to me to be the role of the base and the means available to the enemy to attack it. To weasel word it, it all depends on the situation, and protecting the forward operating bases pose a different challenge to that of safe-guarding KAF. Emplacing the twin 35s (or a Phalanax) at KAF to shoot down rockets or mortar bombs might be feasible, while a FOB might better use temporary positions for Leos or LAVs to defeat ground attacks.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2006, 11:19:15 »
Arthur, I beg to differ.

Yes forts can be used to overawe a population.  But forts can also be used to shelter a population.  They can certainly be used to shelter a police force that can't find any place else to get a good night's sleep.  It's a moot point about imagining what effect razor wire has on the population.  It's a necessary evil.  It is a response to the threat environment.  Not a creator of that environment.

Now if the Taliban all go away and the forts and razor wire remain, and they are used to protect Tajiks torturing Pashtuns, then your point is taken.

However that is no different to saying that the RG-31 which was used by the South Africans to enforce apartheid should not be used in Afghanistan because of those unfortunate connotations.

The fact is that forts are being built - as temporary structures.  Unfortunately those temporary structures have a nasty tendency of becoming permanent.  Just ask the residents of Gloucester, Manchester and Colchester about temporary Roman "casters".  Or for that matter all those people that lived in the shadow of temporary wooden mottes and baileys that became the stone forts that have lasted a millenium.  

I understand we have already started the process in Afghanistan ourselves by turning over some of our Kabul facilities to the Afghan government.

As to the manpower wastage of a fort, that is precisely the point I am addressing.  Yes it is possible to defend a fort Beau Geste style by putting infanteers on the walls at 1 meter intervals.  but that is manpower intensive and while the Afghans have a lot of spare manpower that would be better employed patrolling, building roads and farming.  Also the range of rifles means that the area of influence of the fort is very limited even when the area of observation is massive.

Yes it is possible to defend a fort by putting vehicles into run-up positions,  and I do understand the difference between covering arcs on a re-org, establishing a marching camp and establishing a fort, but those vehicles are too valuable, and too expensive, a group of design compromises to "waste" them on a task that could be handled differently with static emplacements.

The population can't go anywhere.  The police and the army are tied to the static population if they are to supply security.  They need a shelter to protect the force and that shelter is static.  They can take advantage of that static nature to create a defence of the fort that uses minimum man-power in force protection.

It is entirely likely that the Afghans are going to continue to have to use non-local soldiers to "support" local police for a long time to come.  They need the protection of a fort while they do their 1/3/6 month tour away from their families.  That way it is not just the soldiers that are protected but also their families - less opportunity for the cutting off of kids heads to coerce the soldiers and the police.

That picture of the Leo and the LAV.....you see the vehicles in a temporary position.  I see the vehicles on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.  It would be equivalent to manning those ramparts with Dragoons and Horse Artillery - possible, even necessary as an expedient, but not a permanent solution nor best use of a scarce resource.

Cheers again.

And Old Sweat, thanks for making my points more concisely.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2006, 11:34:42 »
This fort is not in a village.  The Tribal villages are comprised of fortified family compounds.  It is in the village where the Police will be found, not outside in a Fort. 

As for Police and ANA coming into the village for a short period of time, that is an idea that doesn't work well in this Tribal culture.  If this is expected to come to any resolution, then we will have to take Capt Travis Patriquin's analysis to heart.  That means that the 'Law' lives in town, comes from that town, and are not outside in a 'Fort'.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2006, 12:35:10 »
Everything is about balance - carrot and stick, reward and punishment, patronage and coercion.

Captain Patriquin's assertion is absolutely correct.  It proceeds well from the experiences of Oman, Malaysia and India.  However I think that Captain Patriquin, for all his belief in local solutions would be only too happy to have on hand a really big stick.

The value of the stick though, is in the threat of its use more than its actual use.  Once it is used its limitations become apparent and the damage it inflicts is lasting.  The local tribal police in the villages of Afghanistan need to know that if they arrest one of their family's enemy's on just grounds that they have the means available to them to quell any resulting insurrections. The central government can demonstrate its support for them by putting its forces at their disposal. That is the importance of our civil authorities having to request the assistance of the aid of the government's armed forces.  It is a local request not a central imposition.

Those forts ARE necessary to the functioning of a central authority in a place like Afghanistan.  Troops will be necessary.  Troops will be held in garrisons.  Garrisons will be targets.  Targets need to be defended.  A defended target containing a garrison is a fort.

I mentioned the ramparts of Edinburgh.  I could add to that those of Stirling Castle and Dumbarton.  For millenia they have dominated the dividing line between the pastoralist people of the hills, the Highlanders and the farming peoples of the plains, the lowlanders.  The ground demanded the garrisons and the fortifications.

That picture of that FOB, on the end spur of the ridge that over looks the valleys that run into Kandahar and then on to Quetta and Kabul, is strategic ground.  Like Dumbarton, Stirling and Edinburgh it is a millenial position.  The government has to own those positions.  It can't give them up.  I noticed earlier that one of the Taliban's demands was to hand back a similar position at Sperwen Ghar.

I would further note that the fighting over the summer was in similar strategically important positions: Musa Qala, Sangin, Maywand, Garmsir, Gereshi, Laskhar Gah and Tarin Kowt.  Those places aren't important because the warlords are there.  The warlords are there because those places are important.  They dominate choke points on trade routes.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2006, 12:59:17 »
If I didn't make it clear in my last post - I don't think that Capt Patriquin was saying there should be no stick, but rather that the stick should be used very infrequently.

When the British were in India more men died from disease, drink and boredom than ever died on campaign.

To give some further context to my argument below are three images of Stirling Castle.  The first one is indicative of why I reacted to the Leo/LAV image, it is the ground that Stirling dominates.  The second is the ground on which it is located.  The third is the of the fortifications that have grown up over the centuries to defend the garrison, a garrison of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders that are still in residence IIRC.

The original LAV/Leo image is included for comparison

Edit: - One thing that has also occured to me is that in addition to Stirling I could have used the examples of the Citadels at Halifax and Quebec as well as Fort Henry.  Champlain chose his site well, commanding the choke point on the river route into the interior, Halifax is the link across the Atlantic, Fort Henry dominates the entry to the Great Lakes.  These sites are still strategically significant.  I would suggest that you know a government is doing well when it can turn those defences over to the locals (as in the case of the Argylls and the 22nd) or you can turn them into parks and museums as in the case of Halifax and Fort Henry.  Given how long it has taken for those four forts to achieve their current levels of use I think we might have to allow the Afghan government a bit of leeway on timings.  I note that the Canadian Government has not yet given up those sites.

As an aside, or perhaps more germain to the current discussion, it is interesting to note that Henry, Quebec and Halifax could house a battalion or two of infanteers but after the British left it was felt that they could each be held by a Battery of Garrison Artillery manning rifled cannons and the machine-guns of their day, the carronades.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 15:18:31 by Kirkhill »
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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2006, 17:24:20 »
Kirkhill your rationale may be fine, but your history is a little inaccurate.  Fort Henry's second construction and large fortification was completed in 1837.  It was abandoned by the British in 1870 and only occupied by Canadians until 1891.  It fell into disrepair until 1936 and was opened as a museum in 1938.

Fort Henry's other purpose was to guard the Royal Naval Dockyards at the current site of RMC.

The Halifax Citadel is run/owned by Parks Canada and has been a historic site since 1951.  At its peak, the gunners were responsible for more than 2700 guns within the city's defence complex, a tall order, for the number of artillerymen in Halifax rarely exceeded 350.  To help make up the shortage of trained gunners, Artillery NCOs spent much of their time instructing infantry and militia in the art of artillery drill.

The major role for the Citadel after 1900 was to provide barrack accommodations and act as a command centre for other harbour defences. In 1939, the Citadel was used as a temporary barracks for troops going overseas.

So perhaps La Citadelle is the best/only example that meets your criteria for longevity.
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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2006, 18:42:14 »
I'm seeing two issues here.  The first is what is the optimum resource to employ in "forts."  The other is whether we should have forts at all.

On the first issue, I do not see employing LAVs or Leopards as part of a FOB/patrol base/platoon house defence plan as a waste of resources.  A platoon will usually have the task of securing that FOB, and as such their LAVs will already by available.  A FOB in a high-threat area can be augmented by tanks to give it further protection, but those tanks and LAVs can still go forth with minimum notice.  In addition, they may be able to support operations from the FOB itself.  I don't see the need to add a whole new family of equipment with the associated personnel and training bill.  The Afghans themselves have their SPG-9s and light artillery among other systems.  The SPG-9 is a nice little gun as long as you stay out of the backblast...

On the question of having forts at all, I see advantages and disadvantages.  On the plus side they establish a presnce in an area around which you aim to coalesce security and local support (the inkspot stragegy).  They can become supply nodes and allow you to move some CSS elements forward to support operations.  Hopefully, they can allow you to have a place to rest troops in a bit more comfort and security than out in the field.  On the down side, they tie you troops to the ground.  I recognize that the garrison artillery you are proposing is meant to ease this burden, but it does not solve the issue that it still ties personnel and equipment to the ground.  They can also be templated by the enemy and can then become rocket/mortar targets.  Their supply lines can also become vulnerabilities for the enemy to target. 

I would rather be out in the Mongol horde than be the castellan, but I recognize the need for some castles.  Modern forces operating in the field need support from someone somewhere.  I would err on the side of keeping the maximum number of troops mobile, but I recognize that you do need some "forts" out there. 

Cheers,

R5/2B
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2006, 19:50:44 »
Gunner98,  thanks for the corrections on my history.  However I am glad you can see the rationale.  On the other hand though, unless I am mistaken, Halifax, the Citadel and Fort Henry are still in the crown's possession. 

Red Five, I would never suggest replacing the beat cop and the mongol hordes with a castle. I see the need for all of the above, especially until the society settles down a bit.  Then you can have guided tours of the ramparts.  Even the QRH's boss in Iraq, travelling as light as he did, bemoaned that he still needed an operating base.  In his case that base was not local (because his local base was being regularly stonked) but miles away at the end of an airlift and helicopter lift.

I can't help but wonder about the effect on the population if they have smiling, lightly armed local cops in armoured vehicles backed by the permanent mass of a fortress that dominates their view but doesn't interfere with their lives - however there is that ongoing threat of involvement by the mongol hordes, who they regularly meet as they patrol the dominated ground.   That threat could extend to emplaced artillery, guns or howitzers, or conceivably it could include Vertically Launched GMRLS missiles and Netfires.  Together they would give all-weather fire support similar to Fixed Wing Air Support in a 40 to 70 km radius of the fort.  That would mean that the forts would not have to be in every village and would not be a daily reminder.

The longer that the stick is available and is not used, or is only used with care, the more comfortable the locals will become with presence of the stick and the person wielding the stick.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2006, 23:35:49 »
See, we always end up talking about the same things  ;D: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,23394.msg256627.html#msg256627

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2006, 23:50:00 »
See, we always end up talking about the same things  ;D: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,23394.msg256627.html#msg256627



Ouch.  Wash, rinse and repeat, repeat, repeat......   :-[ :P ;D

Does this mean that things are simpler than we make out?  We keep covering the same ground with the same limited array of solutions.  The ones that were available to Sun-Tzu and Pilezer and Menes and whoever taught them.  ???  Technology wouldn't seem to count for much then would it?  Lack of technology can cause you to lose or help you win but it can't cause you to win.

Secure patrol bases, command of choke points, dominance of the ground, good civil relations, aggressive action against disruptive elements - basic principles that are independent of technology.  Technology changes time and space and manpower but does it change operations?  (Do I feel a thread split coming on?)  :D
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2006, 00:10:12 »
I'm pretty sure Odysseus would not be too surprised if he were to have a tour of the modern battlefield. Even the motivations of the ACM (greed, plunder, dominance) would be pretty transparent to the crafty King of Ithaca, and after he worked out the general effects of the weapons Pallas Athena had granted us, he would probably be coming up with solutions we would recognize, even if we were not bloody minded enough to implement them.

Military science (time, space, terrain, effects) is fairly consistent over the millennia, winners are masters of military art (putting the "science" into action).
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2006, 01:01:46 »
I think that any soldier from before 1900 (perhaps the US Civil War veterans less so) would be very suprised to tour a modern battlefield, and I don't think that the adjustment would be very easy.  WWI, with its dress rehearsal at Port Arthur, showed what happens when a real revolution in military affairs occurs.  Alexander would have done well at Waterloo once he had had a quick primer.  The strategy and tactics would have been quite familiar to him.  In 1916, the very things that had stood him and his army so well would have been turned against him and I wager he would have gone down in slaughter like the rest.  The "empty battlefield" stumped pretty much everybody for quite some time.

Going back to today, I think that winning an insurgency is much more than military tactics and military strategy.  The overall strategy and solution must be political in nature or you are stuck with "no win//no lose."   This goes beyond the question of forts and mobile columns.

Cheers
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2006, 11:23:54 »
I think that any soldier from before 1900 (perhaps the US Civil War veterans less so) would be very suprised to tour a modern battlefield, and I don't think that the adjustment would be very easy.  WWI, with its dress rehearsal at Port Arthur, showed what happens when a real revolution in military affairs occurs.  Alexander would have done well at Waterloo once he had had a quick primer.  The strategy and tactics would have been quite familiar to him.  In 1916, the very things that had stood him and his army so well would have been turned against him and I wager he would have gone down in slaughter like the rest.  The "empty battlefield" stumped pretty much everybody for quite some time.

Perhaps that "empty battlefield" was as much a result of weapons being able to apply effects farther than the field commanders could see with their own eyeballs.  They were still restricted to what they could see and what was reported by someone else (using their eyeballs and brains) at the speed of the fastest horse.

Maybe all that is happening now is putting the "field" commanders back in the loop on the "global battlefield".  That seems to be the effect of long range, real time surveillance and instantaneous global communications - an effect often called micro-management.  That effect too was known in historical battles as Field Marshals and Generals got involved in Captains' fights.

Quote
  Going back to today, I think that winning an insurgency is much more than military tactics and military strategy.  The overall strategy and solution must be political in nature or you are stuck with "no win//no lose."   This goes beyond the question of forts and mobile columns.

Cheers

Agreed entirely....Insurgency is all about governance.  To beat the insurgency then you have to get people to trust the government.   

By the way, in Southern Afghanistan are we talking about defeating an Insurgency,  a rising of the population against their recognized government,  or are we talking about establishing dominion, or empire, by Kabul over people that have never recognized even a local empire much less a distant empire?

I am not against empires or dominions so I don't consider Kabul's efforts in that field to be a problem.  It just seems that a campaign of empire building would supply different opportunities and problems to a counter-insurgency campaign.

Now significantly off the topic of the role of a Garrison Artillery in the defense of fixed bases......regardless of size and purpose.  No matter how we slice the campaign, any campaign, there will always be bases to be defended, ranging from section and platoon sized "police stations" that are effectively permanent in nature to Brigade Maintenance Areas that may be in place for a temporary period of months or decades to lagers and FOBs.

My point in all of this originally was that there are places that demand long term covering of arcs.  That can be done as effectively, if not more effectively, by emplaced artillery (defined as any projectile launching system from rifle calibre machine guns to ICBMs) than by tying up scarce manoeuvre forces.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2006, 15:40:38 »
You want to project power from afar?

Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon: ttp://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4203874.html,

Marines in Spaaaaaace!: http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001815.html
Low-cost access to orbit: space Marines to the rescue: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/530/1

Have light Infantry patroling the AOR and the ability to bring on robotic firepower at a moments notice and the Marines a short while later will certainly change the way business is conducted.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Is there a case for a new Garrison Artillery?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2006, 16:51:28 »
All good stuff Arthur - but where do the patrolling light infantry sleep and get to listen to their I-Pods and send their e-mails?  Living in sleeping bags must get old, even for Canadian infanteers.

As to the other stuff - There is always this:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,54658.msg496663.html#msg496663

Combine the best aspects of Parachuting and Glider Troops - stealthy approach, reduced scatter and reduced training requirements.  Pegasus Bridge with the Ox and Bucks in Gliders was one of the most successful Airborne missions of WW2.

Stand By to Drop!
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