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Army doctrine and its Implementation

daftandbarmy

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"Actually include an estimate in them",

When you are fighting are you thinking? What happens when the other guy doesn't give you time to think? When there are no slo-mo cameras and no time-outs?

Does "milling" need to be introduced/emphasised in training? (A boxing match emphasising offense - no defense, no time for thinking, just punching until one puncher runs out of steam).

I think we tend to work towards strategic goals. Other fighters fight to win - they can't afford to lose.

Dude... you should have seen their faces when I suggested this to my bosses a few years ago.

At least I have a good idea how the Cro-Magnons must have looked at the Neanderthals now :)
 

TangoTwoBravo

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General Tal seemed like a switched on guy, except for his ignoring the 'less glamourous' Infantry. Have we learned/ adopted anything from him and his successors regarding armoured warfare doctrine?


"Tal was the creator of the Israeli armored doctrine that led to the Israeli successes in the Sinai surprise attack of the Six-Day War. In 1964, General Tal took over the Israeli armored corps and organized it into the leading element of the Israeli Defense Forces, characterized by high mobility and relentless assault. He re-trained all Israeli gunners to hit targets beyond 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi).[5] In open terrain, such long distance gunnery proved vital to the survival of the Israeli armored corps in subsequent wars. Israel's Arab opponents, especially Egypt and Syria, normally fired their Soviet-made tank guns from a distance of between 200 to 500 metres (220 to 550 yd), and quite often tank units advanced to within 100 metres (110 yd) of their targets before firing their main guns. This gave the Israelis an opportunity to exploit this weakness in Arab military doctrine. Its mobility is considered comparable to the German Blitzkrieg and many hold it to be an evolution of that tactic. Tal's transformation and success in 1967 led the IDF to expand the role of armor. However, this resulted in reduced attention to other less glamorous, but essential aspects of the army, such as the infantry. Following the 1973 surprise attack, this excessive focus on fast striking offensive armor left the IDF temporarily without adequate defensive capability. Only in latter stages of the war (with the aid of a US $1.1 billion airlift, Operation Nickel Grass) did the armor break out and show its potential; General Avraham Adan's armor broke through the Egyptian lines, crossed the Suez Canal and enveloped the Egyptian 3rd Army near Suez. While the IDF has become a more balanced force since 1973, Tal's development of armored doctrine has been very important to the IDF and has influenced armored doctrines in other parts of the world."

The Israelis certainly emphasized armour to the exclusion of infantry and artillery after their triumphant Six Day War, along with a belief that their air force could tip the scales. They did well enough defensively on the Golan during the 1973 war, relying on gunnery and doggedness to prevail in a war of attrition. Where their imbalance really hurt them, though, was in the Sinai. They sent armoured brigades in essentially unsupported counter-attacks against prepared Egyptians with Saggers. Their air support was also neutralized by the SAM belts near the Canal.

The 1973 war certainly had an impact on US Army doctrine, with the 1976 Active Defence doctrine drawn from observations of that conflict. The head of the XM1 program went to Israel immediately after the war, and other big US Army programs that came to fruition in the 1980s were influenced by the study of that war.

For Canada, I don't think we can ever complain about an over-emphasis on having too many tanks...

Regarding Israeli influence on Canadian doctrine - when I was a student at the Armour School circa 1990/91 there were certainly references to Israeli experience. While our gunnery practices were evolved from our British roots, the Israeli focus on gunnery was certainly hammered home to me as a student in Gunnery Squadron.
 
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b00161400

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Here is a bit of background on why we fought the way we did in the attack and exploitation. The short answer is three words: the Germany Army. The Germans has the hasty counter-attack, and offensive action in their DNA. It was natural for them to immediately strike back with whatever they could muster, with an aim of their assault catching the enemy disorganized, short of ammunition, and milling about on the objective. In fact, this attack succeeded admirably against the Soviets, but was less successful against the Anglo-Canadians. See Marc Milner's Stopping the Panzers for a discussion.

The Germans often held forward positions with light forces, saving most of their combat power for the counter-stroke. By 1944 we had figured this out, and often attacked with light forces, following on with the majority of, say, a company who arrived on the objective fresh and with lots of ammunition to repel the counter-attack.

For whatever it is worth, I learned this, especislly the hasty reorg and preparation to repel the counter-stroke, as a teen aged recruit in the RCA Depot in 1958. Maybe it still exists in our collective mind set.
This is a good point and I had considered as part of my original post. If a systematic series of limited attacks is part of a larger approach that is based on an understanding of an enemy who habitually counter attacks then that is fine that that is going to be a great way to attrite the enemy. Hopefully that attrition is largely one sided.

The problem is, that's all we do. We never establish a training scenario where the opposite is required, a bold deep penetration where we need to maintain the momentum of the advance and sequence a series of attacks through the previous. Hell, the idea of "maintaining momentum" in the Canadian Army is largely understood at the section, platoon, and Company level where it largely refers to ignoring casualties to continue onto the objective before dealing with them.

This goes back to a larger question of training for "the" war or "a" war. I wonder if our version of "a" war is actually just NW Europe in '44, or what we thought Cold War gone hot might have looked like, with some new aged enablers tacked on. In that light there probably isn't such a thing as just training for "a" war as every training event requires a scenario which shapes and incentivizes the response of the training audience. Add in the requirement to hit specific BTS, and cultural preferences for particular types of operations and it surprising that we ever do anything different.

I think our army's current preference for offensive operations and possible neglect of defensive operations comes from a number of sources. The combat team quick attack was our bastion of tactical professionalism in the 90s. You don't need a big enemy force and you can bring in as many enablers as you want. It is a nice, tidy package. The operational frame of the Gulf War was also there - we didn't really participate but our allies conducted offensive operations. While our Afghan campaign saw us defend localities, our combat operations were usually offensive in nature.

I think, though, that during the Cold War comfort zone was the defence. The operational frame was an area defence in Germany. Countermoves were our thing. I think we are trying to achieve a balance in the contemporary army.

Regardless, I think the typical Canadian army officer prefers deliberate operations with minimal risk. They might say that they accept risk and they might brag about how fast they conduct a combat team quick attack in training, but what I see is a preference for a methodical approach against a well-defined enemy. As a tank troop leader on Combat Team Commander Courses I found that infantry officers often wanted to make the map into a series of battle positions for offensive operations. They would them move us, like chess pieces, from BP to BP up the trace. I see that less now, but I also see us wanting to turn even a "hasty attack" into an attack from out of contact against a foe with over 75% definition.

I have been reading Simond's directives early in the Normandy campaign, as related in John English's Failure in High Command. Simonds wrote: "an attack without adequate reconnaissance and preparation will not succeed...the attack must be carefully organized...the well planned infantry attack with ample fire support may penetrate such a position with comparative ease, but the first penetration will stir up a hornet's nest."

I think that Simonds is the father of the post-war Canadian army. When you conduct an attack with 80% knowledge of the enemy, plenty of fire support, overwhelming local superiority (four tank troops against a single enemy tank), good control measures and with an eye to defending against the counterattack you can feel your doctrinal ancestor nodding approvingly from the back of your turret.
Agreed. It's even deeper (or perhaps more shallow?) than receive approval from one's doctrinal ancestor. Our perceptions of what was a successful attack, or what is required for a successful attack is shaped by approval of who is doing the validation. Combine that with a focus on live fire over force on force and we get a cycle of commanders telling subordinates what right looks like absent any real feedback and thus the story continues.

Your post reminded me of something I wrote about last night and was linked to my original post. How do we know when we're doing a deliberate attack versus a hasty attack? Or when we should do a hasty attack versus a deliberate one? There are, of course, no defined times at each level of command of what makes a hasty attack and what makes a deliberate one. Nor is there a doctrinal check list of indicators that would imply a commander should look to do a deliberate attack. A quick look at the definitions see them being tied to a focus on preparation versus speed in the exploitation of the opportunity of an unprepared enemy. We could probably dig deeper on this but one thing I take away is that it is always going to be advantageous to try to squeeze as much preparation into the time with which we'd consider an attack to be "hasty." Also we want to always be gaining more from our preparation time than the enemy is gaining from his. This is why planning activities like IPB prior to crossing LD can be a force multiplier. Or, having recce screen the advance and provide them sufficient time and space to actually develop an objective can be effective.

"Actually include an estimate in them",

When you are fighting are you thinking? What happens when the other guy doesn't give you time to think? When there are no slo-mo cameras and no time-outs?

Does "milling" need to be introduced/emphasised in training? (A boxing match emphasising offense - no defense, no time for thinking, just punching until one puncher runs out of steam).

I think we tend to work towards strategic goals. Other fighters fight to win - they can't afford to lose.
Between rounds fighters and their coaches think. They also think during the fight. I think you need to watch Floyd Mayweather fight. The best boxer in a generation might contend with your statement on boxing emphasizing offense.
 

Kirkhill

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Re-reading a couple of these posts the concern about open flanks stands out.

My first thought was of Ypres and the misery entailed holding that salient with its open flanks for three years.

The other thought was of all the WWI attacks that failed because flanking forces failed to keep up exposing attacking forces to enfilade fire from defilade.

And the resulting four year long version of the Wall Game. A constant grind.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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This is a good point and I had considered as part of my original post. If a systematic series of limited attacks is part of a larger approach that is based on an understanding of an enemy who habitually counter attacks then that is fine that that is going to be a great way to attrite the enemy. Hopefully that attrition is largely one sided.

The problem is, that's all we do. We never establish a training scenario where the opposite is required, a bold deep penetration where we need to maintain the momentum of the advance and sequence a series of attacks through the previous. Hell, the idea of "maintaining momentum" in the Canadian Army is largely understood at the section, platoon, and Company level where it largely refers to ignoring casualties to continue onto the objective before dealing with them.

This goes back to a larger question of training for "the" war or "a" war. I wonder if our version of "a" war is actually just NW Europe in '44, or what we thought Cold War gone hot might have looked like, with some new aged enablers tacked on. In that light there probably isn't such a thing as just training for "a" war as every training event requires a scenario which shapes and incentivizes the response of the training audience. Add in the requirement to hit specific BTS, and cultural preferences for particular types of operations and it surprising that we ever do anything different.


Agreed. It's even deeper (or perhaps more shallow?) than receive approval from one's doctrinal ancestor. Our perceptions of what was a successful attack, or what is required for a successful attack is shaped by approval of who is doing the validation. Combine that with a focus on live fire over force on force and we get a cycle of commanders telling subordinates what right looks like absent any real feedback and thus the story continues.

Your post reminded me of something I wrote about last night and was linked to my original post. How do we know when we're doing a deliberate attack versus a hasty attack? Or when we should do a hasty attack versus a deliberate one? There are, of course, no defined times at each level of command of what makes a hasty attack and what makes a deliberate one. Nor is there a doctrinal check list of indicators that would imply a commander should look to do a deliberate attack. A quick look at the definitions see them being tied to a focus on preparation versus speed in the exploitation of the opportunity of an unprepared enemy. We could probably dig deeper on this but one thing I take away is that it is always going to be advantageous to try to squeeze as much preparation into the time with which we'd consider an attack to be "hasty." Also we want to always be gaining more from our preparation time than the enemy is gaining from his. This is why planning activities like IPB prior to crossing LD can be a force multiplier. Or, having recce screen the advance and provide them sufficient time and space to actually develop an objective can be effective.


Between rounds fighters and their coaches think. They also think during the fight. I think you need to watch Floyd Mayweather fight. The best boxer in a generation might contend with your statement on boxing emphasizing offense.
Doctrine will offer us some guidance on the difference between a hasty and deliberate attack without really answering your question! A hasty attack is done with the resources at hand. A deliberate attack has much more preparation. A hasty attack would be undertaken against a vulnerable enemy that can be quickly defeated by immediate offensive action (taken from my US manuals from the late 90s). A deliberate attack would be used when the enemy defence is too strong to be defeated by a hasty attack (and hopefully not after a failed hasty attack). To me the answer lies in how much you know, or think you know, about the enemy position when you issue orders out of contact.

If you have UAV imagery of the enemy position, have assigned nick-names to those positions, have assigned tasks accordingly to your subordinates, have regrouped accordingly, are using recce assets to confirm what you already think you know (recce push) and have planned all this out of contact then I think you are conducting a deliberate attack. If you are sending your firebase to a position that you have selected from your map study then you are probably conducting a deliberate attack.

If your firebase is your element that first came into contact with the enemy, has lit them up/won the firefight and has provided you most of your information on the enemy then you are probably conducting a hasty attack.

I find that we want to turn our hasty attack into a deliberate attack. Its not wrong to want more information as long as you have the time to obtain it.
 

FJAG

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... The problem is, that's all we do. We never establish a training scenario where the opposite is required, a bold deep penetration where we need to maintain the momentum of the advance and sequence a series of attacks through the previous. Hell, the idea of "maintaining momentum" in the Canadian Army is largely understood at the section, platoon, and Company level where it largely refers to ignoring casualties to continue onto the objective before dealing with them. ...

I wonder how much of that problem is the size of our training areas. We barely have room for a deliberate attack or positional defence and counter attack much less for rear guard or advance guard operations. By passing and sweeping aside flank guards and spoiling attacks are simply not possible in the space available. Not to mention that this type of exercise engaged much of the force in merely riding around in their tanks and APCs for a considerable period of time rather than practicing their skills.

That wouldn't prevent us from doing these types of scenarios in CPX or CAX formats but then I ask myself where would we use this type of operation. The only recent one which comes to my mind was 1 PPCLIs operations in western Kandahar/Maiwand/Eastern Helmand in 2006. In fact that operation included much of what we're discussing albeit in an asymmetric warfare situation.

During our Cold War era those types of operation were never really part of our tool bag either. Most offensive phases were aimed more to advance to contact, counterattacking or establishing hasty blocking positions. We did talk about consolidation and continuing the advance but never, to my recollection, did we discuss bypass and penetrate.

I do sometimes wonder whether our "exercising our doctrine" merely consists of setting exercise problems that we're familiar and comfortable with rather than any reasoned analysis of what we might need to do and how best to do it. That might very well be a problem in that being an agile, multi-purpose force we already have too many discordant scenarios to deal with.

🍻
 

TangoTwoBravo

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Re-reading a couple of these posts the concern about open flanks stands out.

My first thought was of Ypres and the misery entailed holding that salient with its open flanks for three years.

The other thought was of all the WWI attacks that failed because flanking forces failed to keep up exposing attacking forces to enfilade fire from defilade.

And the resulting four year long version of the Wall Game. A constant grind.
Our British Army ancestry makes us think in lines instead of arrows. Nobody wants to sit in a salient, but you also have to take risks. Similarly, flank protection is essential but you need to take a risk.

The Cobra breakout in late July 1944 shows the tension between boldness and security with regards to flank protection. Bradley did not neglect his flanks - he directed the adjacent Corps' to keep up the pressure to support the breakthrough. Bradley had considered a mopping-up and consolidation phase which he discarded for a pursuit/exploitation. He had sufficient flank protection to stop the German Mortain counterattack, although this was still a dangerous moment when the rampaging US forces to the South could have been cut off.

Is it irony/tragedy that when Monty did try a bold breakthrough penetration in Market Garden it failed? I guess there is never only one right answer or correct method.
 

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Bradley-Patton vs Montgomery-Simonds

On the other hand the Brits did have O'Connor as well as Stirling and the LRDG.

NW Europe was very much a linear war.

N. Africa and the Burma campaigns were more thrusting wars.

But Canada was only engaged in NW Europe.

As to the right answer? The enemy's vote, right? That is the value of milling in training. You need to keep fighting even when you are losing and there is no time to think.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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"Actually include an estimate in them",

When you are fighting are you thinking? What happens when the other guy doesn't give you time to think? When there are no slo-mo cameras and no time-outs?

Does "milling" need to be introduced/emphasised in training? (A boxing match emphasising offense - no defense, no time for thinking, just punching until one puncher runs out of steam).

I think we tend to work towards strategic goals. Other fighters fight to win - they can't afford to lose.
There is a time to plan and a time to act, but I don't think that having "milling" sessions will accomplish anything for our decision-making training beyond injuring people. I get the idea of "being able to take a hit", but I fail to see how that translate to planning.

I taught tactical planning for three years. They key to shorting your decision action cycle is not to remove decision-making and go straight to action. Some folks want to do that. It can work if the situation is exactly as you think it is and your availability heuristics are indeed aligned with the situation. People like that are also very susceptible to deception. Drills at low level have their place (when your entire command is in the kill zone), but we still need to think. The art is being able to tell quickly which factors matter and focusing your decision-making analysis on those factors. Training and experience help.

Time is the key consideration. Is the time you are taking to make your plan accruing to your benefit or to your enemy's? Taking four hours to come up with a plan to destroy a rear-guard platoon may well hand victory to your opponent even if you defeat the platoon. On the other hand, blundering into a kill zone can also cause you to fail to succeed in your aim when your command gets neutralized by the anti-armour ambush and you have to take even more time reorganizing.

Regarding your last line, I would say that in Afghanistan we fought to win the fight we were in. Our opponent worked towards a strategic goal.
 

CBH99

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There is a time to plan and a time to act, but I don't think that having "milling" sessions will accomplish anything for our decision-making training beyond injuring people. I get the idea of "being able to take a hit", but I fail to see how that translate to planning.

I taught tactical planning for three years. They key to shorting your decision action cycle is not to remove decision-making and go straight to action. Some folks want to do that. It can work if the situation is exactly as you think it is and your availability heuristics are indeed aligned with the situation. People like that are also very susceptible to deception. Drills at low level have their place (when your entire command is in the kill zone), but we still need to think. The art is being able to tell quickly which factors matter and focusing your decision-making analysis on those factors. Training and experience help.

Time is the key consideration. Is the time you are taking to make your plan accruing to your benefit or to your enemy's? Taking four hours to come up with a plan to destroy a rear-guard platoon may well hand victory to your opponent even if you defeat the platoon. On the other hand, blundering into a kill zone can also cause you to fail to succeed in your aim when your command gets neutralized by the anti-armour ambush and you have to take even more time reorganizing.

Regarding your last line, I would say that in Afghanistan we fought to win the fight we were in. Our opponent worked towards a strategic goal.
I always enjoying reading the posts here on the site when we are discussing a specific topic, as I learn a lot from folks who know their stuff in elements & professions I've only been exposed to via Hollywood. And your posts are no exception TTB, always enjoy reading your commentary on stuff like this (y)
 

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And thus the enjoyment of these discussions.

There is less of science and more of art in the discussion. The Russians tried to reduce the fight to numbers but as often as not intangibles decided fights.

I agree fully that when the opportunity presents itself it is appropriate to take a breath and think. On the other hand you may have to just keep acting if the other guy is acting while you are thinking.

And I don't know if there is a right answer.
 

Brad Sallows

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Is it irony/tragedy that when Monty did try a bold breakthrough penetration in Market Garden it failed?

I wouldn't call a thread of armour crawling up a highway a bold breakthrough penetration. His proposal to push forty-odd divisions over the Rhine might have qualified, but was never tried.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I'm not convinced we fight well in the defence. The thread over in the Cbt Arms form covers this pretty well. I know we are working on it more often now, however, I think we have an underlying cultural preference for offensive ops which is informed by a history that saw us on the offence more often than the defence. I think our understanding of the defence is largely focused on the servicing of a KZ which is our equivalent to the hasty attack in the defence. I am skeptical that we understand how dynamic and prolonged the defensive battle could be because we focus on preparing for a single direct fire engagement. I'm also not convinced we are particularly good at coordinating those direct fires necessary to be successful in that KZ nor how we shape conditions, and survive, the events prior to those in the KZ.

The set piece attack comment is an interesting one. I agree that our hasty attacks take longer than perhaps they could and that we try to squeeze a lot of analysis into a hasty attack. The Inf school proforma for the pl attack, and the Tactics school's for the Cbt Tm attack actually include an estimate into them. This is probably a good indicator of over thinking it. Despite this, the fact that the hasty attack is the assessment tool for the CA probably has some benefits in enabling the right mindset for enabling the seizing and retaining the initiative through hasty offensive ops. It's just a matter of finding the ways to accelerate the decision and being comfortable with less coordinated attacks that are the inevitable result of reduced time devoted to mounting.

As noted above, the comfort with the risk to force and mission entailed in doing legitimately hasty operations is probably something we're not comfortable with. Training in a peace time environment is unlikely to provide the incentives to really push us to accept the risk to achieve the disproportionate results which are associated with reduced mounting time to achieve surprise, and focusing more on attacking deep to disrupt and dislocate. Hence we focus on achieving security by being excessively flank conscious and attacking in a series of bite sized activities that are inevitably slower and therefore reduce surprise.

I just pulled the old BG BTS pub and there is a BTS for bypass and infiltrate. So we don't really have a good excuse for training hasty attacks as a knee jerk reaction. It is a cultural and "same as last year" approach.
Coming back to your very thought-provoking post - I am trying to imagine the School's reaction to the bypassing of the isolated enemy platoon by the Cbt Tm. I wonder sometimes if the Cbt Tm Quick Attack has become an end in and of itself. Certainly our live fire exercises are heavily if not entirely scripted with walk throughs and rehearsals before going live. Such tactics as there are are baked into the range.

What are your thoughts on the line between hasty attack and deliberate attack?
 

daftandbarmy

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Coming back to your very thought-provoking post - I am trying to imagine the School's reaction to the bypassing of the isolated enemy platoon by the Cbt Tm. I wonder sometimes if the Cbt Tm Quick Attack has become an end in and of itself. Certainly our live fire exercises are heavily if not entirely scripted with walk throughs and rehearsals before going live. Such tactics as there are are baked into the range.

What are your thoughts on the line between hasty attack and deliberate attack?

I have talked about tactics with several members of my regiment who, as Officers or SNCOs, led platoons in action in WW2 as well as various actions in the middle east and the Falklands War.

No one ever led a platoon 'hasty attack' as far as I could figure out. They were all usually engaged as part of larger deliberate attacks.

They had some 'mopping up' type work to do from time to time, which was the closest thing to a hasty attack that I could identify, but it seemed to be mostly just forming an extended line and clearing the woods (or whatever) with some flank protection.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I have talked about tactics with several members of my regiment who, as Officers or SNCOs, led platoons in action in WW2 as well as various actions in the middle east and the Falklands War.

No one ever led a platoon 'hasty attack' as far as I could figure out. They were all usually engaged as part of larger deliberate attacks.

They had some 'mopping up' type work to do from time to time, which was the closest thing to a hasty attack that I could identify, but it seemed to be mostly just forming an extended line and clearing the woods (or whatever) with some flank protection.
My reading of the Falklands War also indicates that the vast majority of the actions were battalion-level deliberate attacks, with the battalion attacks around Stanley forming part of a Brigade plan in terms of sequencing/axis of attack.

The Goose Green battle shows a contrast between the theory and practice in terms of time. LCol Jones' plan had six phases with the objective secured four hours after the LD had been secured and the firebase established. A fourteen hour battle ensued. When the plan and timetable became unhinged the CO came up and spent an hour considering the situation. Interestingly he would reject suggestions on the net from company commanders: "Don't tell me how to run my battle." It seems he then tried to conduct a flanking manoeuvre with his Tac to break the deadlock and was killed.

One of the company commander recounts: "At daybreak the enemy could sit in bunkers and engage us at a range of 900-1400 metres...The ground was very similar to Salisbury Plain and we found ourselves groveling at the base of a hill...Here we fought and groveled for nearly seven hours."

To be fair, fire support was extremely limited and the Paras were not attacking at the force ratios suggested by Staff Colleges. Still, the battle shows that what happens to speed and elan when people are actually getting killed. There is also a command study in there somewhere.
 

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My reading of the Falklands War also indicates that the vast majority of the actions were battalion-level deliberate attacks, with the battalion attacks around Stanley forming part of a Brigade plan in terms of sequencing/axis of attack.

The Goose Green battle shows a contrast between the theory and practice in terms of time. LCol Jones' plan had six phases with the objective secured four hours after the LD had been secured and the firebase established. A fourteen hour battle ensued. When the plan and timetable became unhinged the CO came up and spent an hour considering the situation. Interestingly he would reject suggestions on the net from company commanders: "Don't tell me how to run my battle." It seems he then tried to conduct a flanking manoeuvre with his Tac to break the deadlock and was killed.

One of the company commander recounts: "At daybreak the enemy could sit in bunkers and engage us at a range of 900-1400 metres...The ground was very similar to Salisbury Plain and we found ourselves groveling at the base of a hill...Here we fought and groveled for nearly seven hours."

To be fair, fire support was extremely limited and the Paras were not attacking at the force ratios suggested by Staff Colleges. Still, the battle shows that what happens to speed and elan when people are actually getting killed. There is also a command study in there somewhere.

I think you bring out one of the answers to the question "can you think while you are fighting?"

The chain of command.

A Platoon Commander needs to be thinking (wrapped up in his OODA) while his Section Commanders are engaging the enemy. Not engaging the enemy personally.

Likewise "H" did a dis-service to his battalion with his own personal attack. His job was not just to supervise his coy commanders as they implemented his 6 phase battle plan. It was to Observe the battle, Orient his plan to the actual battle, Decide how to fix the plan and then Act by changing instructions to his coy commanders. His job was to think while this OC's were fighting. Their job was to think while the Pl Commanders were fighting.
 

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What are your thoughts on the line between hasty attack and deliberate attack?
I thought your previous definition was pretty good. Hasty attack is done with the resources on hand, may be in response to enemy fire, or you may "have the drop" on him. Deliberate attack is pre-planned and resourced.

I don't think there is an issue with "preference" for either one in our doctrine or our training; we need to practice both. It's how we practice them that can be problematic. The standard approach - indeed, the accepted norm - is to slam into the enemy, almost always into an obstacle. I've never seen a "bypass," a "penetrate and exploit," or an "attack from the rear." "Exploitation" in training generally means reorganizing and/or passing the next element through to hit the next enemy square on. For a "manoeuvrist" army, we certainly seem to prefer surfaces over gaps.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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Subsequent attacks in the Falklands War were also deliberate affairs, although fire support was noticeably improved. There was up to a week for planning, and battalion COs nested their plans within a Brigade and indeed Division scheme of manouevre. All attacks took place a night. The actions unfolded as follows:

a. 42 Cdo at Mount Harriet: Noisy deception plan ahead of flanking attack. Eight hours of fighting results in the position taken at a loss of 2 KIA and 17 WIA against 25 KIA for the defending Argentinians and 300 prisoners.

b. 3 Para at Mount Longdon: Frontal attack (options somewhat limited by higher Scheme of Manoeuvre) with eight hours of fighting resulting in the position taken at a loss of 17 KIA and 40 WIA against Argentinian losses of 50 KIA and 50 prisoners.

c. 45 Cdo at Two Sisters: Position taken at a loss of 4 KIA and six hours of fighting, along with the CO altering the SoM somewhat after first contact. A platoon commander is awarded the MC for leading a bayonet charge at a decisive moment. He realized that they were running low on ammunition and that staying in place would lead to failure.

d. Scots Guards at Tumbledown: Deception plan combined with flank attack. Position taken after seven hour fight (eleven hours after crossing the LD) at a cost of 9 KIA.

e. 2 Para at Wireless Ridge: Plan was changed after orders had been issued based on new information gained after battles of previous night (Mount Longdon had direct observation on Wireless). Flank attack well supported by indirect fire and light tanks. Position is taken at the cost of 3 KIA.

These battles show how slow things can be, especially in a dismounted fight across difficult terrain. All of the attacks were deliberate with considerable planning. Plans were also adjusted on new information, which takes a certain amount of courage to do. Platoons and companies fought as part of a higher plan, although of course much of the success of these battles needs to be pinned on the quality of the individual soldiers and junior leadership of the British forces.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I thought your previous definition was pretty good. Hasty attack is done with the resources on hand, may be in response to enemy fire, or you may "have the drop" on him. Deliberate attack is pre-planned and resourced.

I don't think there is an issue with "preference" for either one in our doctrine or our training; we need to practice both. It's how we practice them that can be problematic. The standard approach - indeed, the accepted norm - is to slam into the enemy, almost always into an obstacle. I've never seen a "bypass," a "penetrate and exploit," or an "attack from the rear." "Exploitation" in training generally means reorganizing and/or passing the next element through to hit the next enemy square on. For a "manoeuvrist" army, we certainly seem to prefer surfaces over gaps.
There is a danger that in our drive to exercise TTPs and BTS we constrain decision-making and train ourselves to be rather unthinking. I get making sure that a platoon commander or company commander can plan and lead an attack through an obstacle. Once we've shown that we can do that, however, subsequent training should have options to penetrate, bypass etc.

It can be worse at higher levels where we have decided that the sine qua non of formation training is the deliberate river crossing. So we have exercises where SoMs are forced to result in a river crossing when there was no real requirement in the first place. "Why are we crossing the river to attack that enemy battalion when there are already friendly forces on the other side of the river? OK...We'll shut up and colour."
 
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