• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Army doctrine and its Implementation

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,477
Points
1,040
... 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.
Okay. You've accurately described my experiences in the '70s and '80s and I expect they were also true in the '90s.

That leaves me with several questions:

1. Was it any different in Afghanistan?

2. Why do we train this way?

3. Do we need to do something about that and, if so, what?

:cautious:

Subsequent attacks in the Falklands War were also deliberate affairs, although fire support was noticeably improved.
The Falklands was a footslogging campaign against a dug in enemy on mostly open, exposed ground. That's generally not conducive to anything but deliberate attacks. From what I understand both sides had some light armoured forces - Scorpions and Scimitars for the Brits, Panhard AML 90s for the Argentines - and, for the Brits, these were helpful and sped things up where the terrain permitted.

🍻
 

quadrapiper

Full Member
Reaction score
44
Points
330
Okay. You've accurately described my experiences in the '70s and '80s and I expect they were also true in the '90s.

That leaves me with several questions:

1. Was it any different in Afghanistan?

2. Why do we train this way?

3. Do we need to do something about that and, if so, what?
Watching the comments re: training, how much of the answer is "more time in the field" instead of just enough time for the platoon, company, or battalion to check the box saying "executed an attack as a unit?"
 

TangoTwoBravo

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
328
Points
880
Okay. You've accurately described my experiences in the '70s and '80s and I expect they were also true in the '90s.

That leaves me with several questions:

1. Was it any different in Afghanistan?

2. Why do we train this way?

3. Do we need to do something about that and, if so, what?

:cautious:


The Falklands was a footslogging campaign against a dug in enemy on mostly open, exposed ground. That's generally not conducive to anything but deliberate attacks. From what I understand both sides had some light armoured forces - Scorpions and Scimitars for the Brits, Panhard AML 90s for the Argentines - and, for the Brits, these were helpful and sped things up where the terrain permitted.

🍻
Regarding Afghanistan, during my second tour (Feb to Aug 06) most fights were essentially chance encounters, but there were certainly deliberate operations. I am not sure if bypass and penetration really apply in that kind of war - it was COIN after all.

I would say that firefights took a long time. Whereas in training you have a firebase and then assault with roughly 2/3rd of your force, in 2006 it was more along the lines of gain a fire position to define the enemy (who would have initially engaged from their own fire positions upon the arrival of CAF/ANA to the area) and then hammer him. Ammunition expenditure was considerable. The matter was usually settled by artillery or an airstrike, after which the enemy would melt away.

In Garmser I recall two JDAMs being dropped on a single compound held by some tenacious (and ultimately vaporized) defenders. That was part of a two-day engagement, albeit with many pauses along the way.

You fight the war you are in, not necessarily the war you thought you would be in. You fight it with the methods and equipment you have, adapted as possible to the situation.
 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
882
Points
1,060
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.
Every Army officer should read Spencer Fitz-Gibbon's Not Mentioned in Despatches. It is the single best battlefield analysis I have read to date and breaks down a unit level battle to its component parts.

The author shows conclusively that the CO overplanned the attack, tried to overcontrol the attack, and just plain executed a clumsy action. He was rude and dismissive of his subordinates, and when his bad attack stalled and was in danger of failing, he acted stupidly and was shot and killed. For his actions, he was awarded the Victoria Cross....

Fortunately, his DCO was a far better officer and was able to rescue the situation, reorient the battalion, and carry the day.

There were 6 unit level engagements in the Falklands War; Goose Green (2 Para), Mount Harriet (42 Cdo), Mt Longdon (3 Para), Two Sisters (45 Cdo), Mt Tumbledown (Scots Guards), and Wireless Ridge (2 Para). The first was a lone attack driven by political imperative (as all acts of war must be), the middle three where part of the break-in battle at Stanley by 3 Cdo Bde, while the last two were executed as a breakthough to Stanley itself (I believe this was commanded by 5 Bde - can't check my sources now).

All of these attacks were conducted at essentially 1:1 odds, which puts paid to the silly myth of "must attack at 3:1" that we continue to hang on to. Suppression and, ultimately, shock are the key and history shows that small assaulting elements are successful against a larger enemy who is in shock. There is some clever deception and manoeuvre in these attacks, and they are all worth pulling apart. One featured the British stepping into a minefield, which forced some hasty reaction on the fly.

MGen Thompson, Comd 3 Cdo Bde, said that after Goose Green, all attacks were conducted at night because they did not have enough artillery systems to adequately suppress the Argentine prepared positions. This goes to show that manoeuvre and firepower is not a dichotomous relationship, and the ability to mass accurate fires quickly on the fly is essential to support good manoeuvre. The German break through at Sedan in 1940 was supported by essentially every German bomber in theatre.

The Argentines also fought well; even poorly led conscripts fight well from hardened positions with sited crew-served weapons. None of those battles were walk-overs. The Argentines were dreadfully led though, and while they were capable of defence, they lacked the leadership to challenge the British through aggressive patrolling and countermoves. This should be part of our calculus in the attack; what's the enemy likely to do?

The Battle for Stanley is instructive in a few regards. The first night's attack on Stanley at Mount Harriet, Mount Longdon, and Two Sisters was essentially a broad front attack by a Brigade - all three objectives were hit almost simultaneously. Thompson has been asked over the years as to why he didn't conduct a "pencil attack" to break through the crust of the Argentine defensive position with one unit and push other units through the breach. He said that when you look at the ground, Mt Longdon in the North was simply too dominant of a feature to be ignored.

His concept was to attack "three up" and to figure out where he best opportunity to exploit was the next day. These attacks were all "silent" - conducted at night with little preparatory fire - because he did not have enough artillery ammunition or guns to properly suppress/shock the Argentine positions. The fighting took longer than expected (further proof that the Argentines weren't terrible), and so exploitation wasn't possible and the Brits had to re-cock to conduct further engagements the following night.

Finally, these were all deliberate attacks; 3 Cdo Bde had a week to conduct reconnaissance from its positions at Mount Kent/Bluff Cove. Thompson wanted to attack earlier, but was told by his boss to wait until 5 UK Bde got established. This was a good example of inter-service politics - there was no chance the British Army was going to let the entire ground fight be conducted by a Marine Brigade.

The so what out of all of this?

1. Ground always provides options and limitations.
2. Small units (companies and platoons) win engagements through aggressive patrolling and closing with the enemy after suppressing/shocking him through fires.
3. Larger units (battalions and brigades) win battles by figuring out how to shock the enemy and exploit the opportunities presented by small unit engagements. These commanders have to understand how engagements are unfolding, recognize what is happening vis-a-vis the enemy, and be capable of adjusting the plan on the fly. They must not try to control the battle, and they must be comfortable with the uncertainty involved in "fighting on the fly."
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
553
Points
1,060
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.

Way back in the 70's a buddy of mine, since deceased, picked up the sobriquet C.E. during his Phase 3 training at Gagetown. It followed him the rest of his life.

Conducting section attacks down Shirley Road Scotty decided to flank the enemy position and led his section on a 2 hour march/crawl to come at the objective from a rear flank.

DS was more bemused than amused.

C.E. stands for "Corps Envelopment"
 

TangoTwoBravo

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
328
Points
880
Every Army officer should read Spencer Fitz-Gibbon's Not Mentioned in Despatches. It is the single best battlefield analysis I have read to date and breaks down a unit level battle to its component parts.

The author shows conclusively that the CO overplanned the attack, tried to overcontrol the attack, and just plain executed a clumsy action. He was rude and dismissive of his subordinates, and when his bad attack stalled and was in danger of failing, he acted stupidly and was shot and killed. For his actions, he was awarded the Victoria Cross....

Fortunately, his DCO was a far better officer and was able to rescue the situation, reorient the battalion, and carry the day.

There were 6 unit level engagements in the Falklands War; Goose Green (2 Para), Mount Harriet (42 Cdo), Mt Longdon (3 Para), Two Sisters (45 Cdo), Mt Tumbledown (Scots Guards), and Wireless Ridge (2 Para). The first was a lone attack driven by political imperative (as all acts of war must be), the middle three where part of the break-in battle at Stanley by 3 Cdo Bde, while the last two were executed as a breakthough to Stanley itself (I believe this was commanded by 5 Bde - can't check my sources now).

All of these attacks were conducted at essentially 1:1 odds, which puts paid to the silly myth of "must attack at 3:1" that we continue to hang on to. Suppression and, ultimately, shock are the key and history shows that small assaulting elements are successful against a larger enemy who is in shock. There is some clever deception and manoeuvre in these attacks, and they are all worth pulling apart. One featured the British stepping into a minefield, which forced some hasty reaction on the fly.

MGen Thompson, Comd 3 Cdo Bde, said that after Goose Green, all attacks were conducted at night because they did not have enough artillery systems to adequately suppress the Argentine prepared positions. This goes to show that manoeuvre and firepower is not a dichotomous relationship, and the ability to mass accurate fires quickly on the fly is essential to support good manoeuvre. The German break through at Sedan in 1940 was supported by essentially every German bomber in theatre.

The Argentines also fought well; even poorly led conscripts fight well from hardened positions with sited crew-served weapons. None of those battles were walk-overs. The Argentines were dreadfully led though, and while they were capable of defence, they lacked the leadership to challenge the British through aggressive patrolling and countermoves. This should be part of our calculus in the attack; what's the enemy likely to do?

The Battle for Stanley is instructive in a few regards. The first night's attack on Stanley at Mount Harriet, Mount Longdon, and Two Sisters was essentially a broad front attack by a Brigade - all three objectives were hit almost simultaneously. Thompson has been asked over the years as to why he didn't conduct a "pencil attack" to break through the crust of the Argentine defensive position with one unit and push other units through the breach. He said that when you look at the ground, Mt Longdon in the North was simply too dominant of a feature to be ignored.

His concept was to attack "three up" and to figure out where he best opportunity to exploit was the next day. These attacks were all "silent" - conducted at night with little preparatory fire - because he did not have enough artillery ammunition or guns to properly suppress/shock the Argentine positions. The fighting took longer than expected (further proof that the Argentines weren't terrible), and so exploitation wasn't possible and the Brits had to re-cock to conduct further engagements the following night.

Finally, these were all deliberate attacks; 3 Cdo Bde had a week to conduct reconnaissance from its positions at Mount Kent/Bluff Cove. Thompson wanted to attack earlier, but was told by his boss to wait until 5 UK Bde got established. This was a good example of inter-service politics - there was no chance the British Army was going to let the entire ground fight be conducted by a Marine Brigade.

The so what out of all of this?

1. Ground always provides options and limitations.
2. Small units (companies and platoons) win engagements through aggressive patrolling and closing with the enemy after suppressing/shocking him through fires.
3. Larger units (battalions and brigades) win battles by figuring out how to shock the enemy and exploit the opportunities presented by small unit engagements. These commanders have to understand how engagements are unfolding, recognize what is happening vis-a-vis the enemy, and be capable of adjusting the plan on the fly. They must not try to control the battle, and they must be comfortable with the uncertainty involved in "fighting on the fly."
Great post. I think that the Falklands War can be plumbed for insights into war between "near peers." Sure its a little dated and in a very specific area of the world, but it was a real war between real people and not a CAX against an imaginary enemy.

I recently read Goose Green by Fremont-Barnes. There are very revealing vignettes, primarily from the company commanders, regarding LCol Jones' command style and conduct of the battle. On the one hand, command is not a committee and not all helpful suggestions are actually helpful. On the other, when things get all fouled up perhaps it is the time to get some new perspectives. It is interesting, though, that when he came forward to assess the hold-up he took an hour before issuing direction (which was essentially to carry on with the plan). I compare that with colleagues who try to conduct the combat estimate for a quick attack in less than five minutes. I am not saying that either is wrong, but when actual lives are on the line perhaps we take a little more time to plan?

There are some examples of COs in the war adjusting their plans as their battles progress, achieving a "fingertip feel" for the battle without being the forward-most troop in the battalion. Lieutenants should be the ones leading the charge over the last 10 yards.

I have attended courses in the US and been on operations with Argentinian officers - very professional fellows with some fascinating operational experience (including six-month deployments to Antarctica) . I am still friends with severaI of them. I would have liked to have asked them what their army took from the war in terms of lessons. I sensed, however, that the Falklands War was a sensitive subject for them and not one that I would bring up. I value friendship on a current operation more than insights into a past one. Its unfortunate, and perhaps linked to unpleasant memories of the junta? My read of the battles is that Argentinians troops and their officers could indeed be brave, stubborn defenders. They didn't really seem to counter-attack, relying on prepared positions and artillery.

Perhaps our force ratio calculators are set for Verrieres Ridge against some of the best the Germans had to offer? Is overestimating your opponent worse than underestimating him?
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
3,584
Points
1,060
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.

And the artillery, naval and air support, as well as the direct fire from the Blues and Royals' CVRT.

Everyone I knew who was there, some of them at these battles, were pretty clear that where fire support flagged, so did the attack.

After the Goose Green 'near miss', saved by heroic actions at the lowest levels but imperilled by a frigate that went U/S mid-fire plan and not enough mortar and arty ammo, they didn't mess around with anything too fancy. Two up, one back, FOO/FAC with the boss, good recces beforehand etc.

Following that war it was a real 'back to basics' experience for the British combat arms, with good results.
 

GR66

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
228
Points
710
And the artillery, naval and air support, as well as the direct fire from the Blues and Royals' CVRT.

Everyone I knew who was there, some of them at these battles, were pretty clear that where fire support flagged, so did the attack.

After the Goose Green 'near miss', saved by heroic actions at the lowest levels but imperilled by a frigate that went U/S mid-fire plan and not enough mortar and arty ammo, they didn't mess around with anything too fancy. Two up, one back, FOO/FAC with the boss, good recces beforehand etc.

Following that war it was a real 'back to basics' experience for the British combat arms, with good results.
This comment could equally belong in the Force 2025 thread, but reading this and the comments up thread discussing our WWII doctrine it sure seems to stand out how much our current weakness in indirect fires capabilities cause us serious issues if we ever get in a serious fight.
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
779
Points
910
If time isn't a limiting factor, I'd expect most offensive actions to be deliberate, planned to minimize casualties and use of resources. To learn proper lessons, you'd need to study situations where time was insufficient.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,868
Points
890
If time isn't a limiting factor, I'd expect most offensive actions to be deliberate, planned to minimize casualties and use of resources. To learn proper lessons, you'd need to study situations where time was insufficient.

Cough Lavoie vs Fraser cough
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,868
Points
890
Op Medusa

 

b00161400

Full Member
Reaction score
8
Points
180
Okay. You've accurately described my experiences in the '70s and '80s and I expect they were also true in the '90s.

That leaves me with several questions:

1. Was it any different in Afghanistan?

2. Why do we train this way?

3. Do we need to do something about that and, if so, what?

:cautious:


The Falklands was a footslogging campaign against a dug in enemy on mostly open, exposed ground. That's generally not conducive to anything but deliberate attacks. From what I understand both sides had some light armoured forces - Scorpions and Scimitars for the Brits, Panhard AML 90s for the Argentines - and, for the Brits, these were helpful and sped things up where the terrain permitted.

🍻
In defence of our training construct it is meant to demonstrate that commanders can coordinate combined arms. A hasty attack necessitating a breach is a good vehicle for this. Again, the problem isn't the hasty attack, it's that it has such a dominant role in the CA.

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?

Your previous post was pretty good. The purpose of the original question was to come up with some practical indicators that you're executing one or the other. You mentioned a few. Here's what I'm thinking:

1. Deliberate attack you are planning out of contact less your recce elements.
2. Deliberate attack uses significantly more information. You likely have recce elements in perpetual contact with the enemy providing composition and disposition which can be regularly updated and confirmed prior to execution.
3. Deliberate attack likely has more regrouping and this has been done out of contact. There will also be additional enablers made available.
4. A deliberate attack will have rehearsals.
5. The deliberate attack is necessitated when a hasty attack would fail or would otherwise be overly costly.

Another question that I think about is what are the indicators that tells a commander that he should be stopping to move into battle procedure for a deliberate attack. This of course is dependent on the capabilities of the friendly and enemy forces but I'd say a failed hasty attack is one of the primary followed by the presence of significant obstacles and mutually supporting posns that cannot be neutralized with the forces at hand.

The so what out of all of this?

1. Ground always provides options and limitations.
2. Small units (companies and platoons) win engagements through aggressive patrolling and closing with the enemy after suppressing/shocking him through fires.
3. Larger units (battalions and brigades) win battles by figuring out how to shock the enemy and exploit the opportunities presented by small unit engagements. These commanders have to understand how engagements are unfolding, recognize what is happening vis-a-vis the enemy, and be capable of adjusting the plan on the fly. They must not try to control the battle, and they must be comfortable with the uncertainty involved in "fighting on the fly."
If Battalions and Brigades need fight on the fly and be prepared to exploit chaotic lower level battles then it implies that a flexible base plan with a few potential conplans would be much better than a detailed tightly coupled plan (preaching to the choir here, I know). I get the sense, however, that at these levels we often seek highly synchronized, choreographed plans that are easily disrupted. Probably a product of doing highly choreographed live fire attacks as sub unit commanders.

If time isn't a limiting factor, I'd expect most offensive actions to be deliberate, planned to minimize casualties and use of resources. To learn proper lessons, you'd need to study situations where time was insufficient.
It will be rare that time will not be a limiting factor. A competent defender will use every moment to improve their defenses and move fresh forces into the area. If fresh forces aren't available then they will seek allies and partners to bring theirs to bear.

This goes back to what I and Tango mentioned a few posts back. The question, which is probably unanswerable, is who benefits most from the time taken by the attacker for preparation and at what point do the returns begin to diminish.
 

TangoTwoBravo

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
328
Points
880
I am going to stick with the theme of time in terms of planning and execution for a minute. The first Gulf War offers, at a high level, a somewhat modern view. Although the ground war was over very quickly, there was tension regarding time and execution between CENTCOM and VII Corps (3rd Army is the rather silent middle man in the drama) regarding the timeline to achieve VII Corps task to "destroy the Republican Guard."

A key aspect of Gen Franks' plan the destruction of the RG was that his VII Corps would hit the RG as a "tight fist." Hitting an enemy Corps with your own Corps of five heavy divisions as a "tight fist" requires synchronization, which in turn requires time. It also shows a rather deliberate approach to the battle. At least three times during the war Comd CENTCOM called Comd 3rd Army directing him to "light a fire" under Gen Franks regarding his progress and considered relieving him. There was the pressure of time at the strategic level with the possibility of a ceasefire being imposed before the mission was completed.

The actual engagements were usually concluded quite quickly. At the Battle of the 73rd Easting against the Tawakalna RG Division, for example, a Troop (company equivalent mix of M1s and M3 Bradleys) of 2nd ACR destroyed over a battalion of tanks in a defensive position that included infantry in under 24 minutes. It could certainly be considered a hasty attack - the Troop Commander assaulted enemy positions frontally with no losses to his own command, going three km past the limit of exploitation as he not want to halt in the middle of an enemy position because of an Easting. In the same wider battle that day, the Div Cav from the adjacent 3rd Armored Div equipped with Bradleys fought a tough 75 minute battle with the loss of four Bradleys and 2 KIA. That engagement was only settled by the arrival of 4-34 Armor with tanks. All in all, the battle took six hours to conclude - this was a multiple formation engagement.

As part of the Battle of Medina Ridge (from the eponymous Republican Guard division that was holding it), a US brigade of three tank battalions destroyed a brigade equivalent (over 60 tanks destroyed and 40 APC plus supporting vehicles) that were in defensive positions in 40 minutes. They did so line-abreast with 200 rounds of 120mm tank fire. I guess that's a hasty attack by fire? The wider engagement, of course, took more time to conclude.

Not all engagements were so quick and many were chaotic due to visibility and intermingling of units. Following the battle against the Medina Division, 1st Cav Div (really a Heavy Division) was to pass through 1st Armored Division. A realigning unit moved into an unsecured area and was caught in a tough fight in darkness that also resulted in fratricide. This caused the FPOL to be delayed to the morning, something like an eight hour delay.

So while engagements could be short, setting all this up took time. As Gen Franks at VII Corps synchronized his divisions in a mobile battle with 24 hr tempo, General Powell had told Gen Schwarzkopf that he was "on the ceiling about VII Corps" and that it was "very hard to justify VII Corps' actions to anyone in Washington." Pressure rolled downhill. So I don't know if you ever have enough time?

What does all this mean? I think we can see a bit of the Western way of war. We are concerned about casualties. We like to mass. Neither of these are bad! Several Div commanders went with sequential engagements to allow them to mass all of their fire support. Some would always ensure that they had AH screening their advance. Some stopped leading with their Cav units that did not have integral tanks. When we have situations were our forces are virtually invincible (M1s fighting frontally) we can do things quite quickly once in the fight. Setting these situations up, however, and preventing fratricide take deliberate planning and synchronization, which also takes some time. This does not mean lengthy orders, but rather sensible control measures and sound schemes of manouevre that can be executed on the ground.

Going back to force ratio calculators, how does all this square up? I think pre-war calculators would have worked out very different results.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
3,584
Points
1,060
I get the sense, however, that at these levels we often seek highly synchronized, choreographed plans that are easily disrupted. Probably a product of doing highly choreographed live fire attacks as sub unit commanders.

I recall a quote from the one time CIGS, Field Marshall Sir John Dill I believe, who said:

"The aim is to surprise the enemy, not amaze him.'

That has stuck with me through all these years, and served me (and my troops) well in various situations :)
 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
882
Points
1,060
Going back to force ratio calculators, how does all this square up? I think pre-war calculators would have worked out very different results.
I always challenge a force ratio calculator with the question "ratio of what?"

Troop numbers? AFV numbers? Artillery numbers?

How does a force ratio calculator account for surprise? There are studies showing that forces outnumbered 3:1 have plowed through their adversary when they have surprise (as a result of shock). T.N. Dupuy writes about this extensively in his book Understanding War and his model of battlefield effectiveness.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
3,584
Points
1,060
Cough Lavoie vs Fraser cough

Oh great, now you've gone and done it :)

oh no shit show GIF by VH1
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,477
Points
1,040

As a more modern discussion point than the Falklands or Afghanistan.
I suggest we take up a collection and hire Karber to present a mandatory lecture to Trudeau and the MND and maybe a few other folks in Ottawa.

A very good and informative lecture and if you have any more questions about whether or not the Canadian Army is configured for a peer conflict ... watch the video again.

🍻
 

GR66

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
228
Points
710
I suggest we take up a collection and hire Karber to present a mandatory lecture to Trudeau and the MND and maybe a few other folks in Ottawa.

A very good and informative lecture and if you have any more questions about whether or not the Canadian Army is configured for a peer conflict ... watch the video again.

🍻
Agree 100%. Well worth the time to watch this video.
 
Top