WARFARE IN THE INFORMATION AGE.

Introduction.

The appearance of the IT treatment of the information supposed a revolution in the capture, production and transmission of the existing or caught information. Whose possibilities and transcendency are still far from know, even in his scope and his limits. The information generated in a battlefield or an operations theatre of is enormous, ephemeral in diverse times, almost immeasurably and fluid. The latter quality is fundamental for the production of the intelligence. That is the information caught by the units and sensors of all kinds and that is digested or prepared by the specific organs (G2, S2 and agencies of intelligence), to create a sufficient, effective, opportune and constant intelligence. That is used by the «advanced users» or commands in the different levels of military action (tactical, operative and strategic).

Since it could not be otherwise, in view of the brief exposed scheme, the IT industry soon found an enormous area of activity and possibilities in the military field. And the high military commands, often in «ad hoc» prepared meetings and coctails, received from the manager directors and chairmen of the branch corporations, animated, brief and exciting presentations of the enormous performances that might give to their units of all the branches, the designed, elaborated and installed softwares and hardwares by these vanguard technical companies. The battlefield or the operations zone (the area, the enemy and I), known, conveyed and controlled in real time by my men!!!

The Support of the military Information Systems.

It is not the case that these new technologies allow to elaborate a complex and integrated weapon system. This already existed before the information age and the electronic existing advances allowed his creation. For example, the AEGIS defense system for ships against aircraft, warships, missiles and submarines was designed, created and installed for the first time in 1973. It is equiped by destroyers and even frigates (in a simpler model) of the USA and his allied nations. And this way they are called the «shields or defenders of the Fleet». In effect, every «naval group» centred and escorting an aircraft carrier and every «naval combined force of strategic projection», rely on several ships provided with the AEGIS system. This consists of a powerful radar of several megawatts of power, capable of catching and continuing up around 200 potential targets, placed at distances of up to 350 km to the installed system.

The caught information goes to a computer center that reports to a decision center. Which arranges the launches of missiles depending on the mission of the group or naval force and the estimated danger generated for him by the target. The system is installed in front of the armoured control center of the ship. That gives the final permission for the launch of the missiles. These are arranged in rows of vertical silos (habitually, are four with 4 missiles each one) placed in the front cover, in the part that was occupying the conventional artillery. The silos are re-fed from the interior of the ship with other missiles after the launches. The missiles are propeled by solid fuel, which allows that they should be smaller than the land launched. And the adjustment of the system is studied for the destruction of the enemy ballistic missiles.

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age

The activities that the military men realize in action in front the enemy are numerous, varied and some of them are complex. And all of them demand a sufficient attention from the controls and men. Let us see some of the most significant. Regarding the movement in the ground: to advance, to stop and to move back; so much running as walking, crawling or incorporated, and doing it by jumps or in zig zag. Regarding placing and valueing the environment, hostile or not: to observe, to detect, to process, to decide, to transmit or not the results and to act. Regarding the form of fight (rejection or attack): to hide, to cover and to be protected, to change position, to define well evasive detected targets, to receive the orders of the immediate chief, to attack them with deliberate, rapid, etc. fire, (if it is a question of an infantry). Regarding the communication with his “group” (team, weapon, squad, section): to receive orders and information, to send information and orders, to spread information. And they carry out all this under the uncertainty, the lack of comfort, the tension, the loneliness, even of his companion or buddy, and the fear … The constant and repeated sometimes audio-visual information, that is communicated by the modern digital systems can relieve this physical and psychic load of the soldiers? So to achieve it, would really be of great help for them.

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age ARE THEY LOOKING, DECIDING OR FIGHTING?

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age IS IT USEFUL HERE?

To all that, it could join a flood of information, insignificant in this moment for his mission or his immediate action. This can generate an increase of the needs of the attention capacities of the military men. Through the more important senses, the sight and the ear. And to originate a diversion of his effective available attention (if there is), towards external not fundamental or neutral stimuli of the images and the conversations. The system is going to transmit them a clearer and detailed information of the targets, even defining some more ephemeral or veiled. But it will not give them information about the intentions and the mental conditions of the different located enemies and their group. Though the system is served with probabilities, previous experiences, alogarithms and reliable estimations…

A practical Application.

In the new model of fighting, the attacking force would be kept simultaneously dispersed, communicated and informed in real time and looking for and attacking the enemy. It would be the supposed advantages of the swarm and his concentric and simultaneous assault, which would count now with the knowledge of the ground and the enemy, thanks to the multiple sensors and systems and the real, caught and transmitted information (not intelligence) to the units of the force.

Are similar in capacity all the units of the force? Then we are demanding from them that each one acts as a «polyvalent» fraction of the unit, without specializing them. With what they will probably have some specific, quantitatively insufficient capacities. Are specialized the units of the force? Then they will have to rely on the simultaneous concurrence, in the defense and the attack, of several units. That should complement between all the necessary functions of this tasks «group». And if the enemy electromagnetic countermeasures work against the wireless communications and is established a communications «silence»? And if we now do not have the telephony circular network of the unit and do not possess double couriers for the transmission of “parts and orders” to the chief and from the chief?

And if the enemy deploys in the same way as us? So we would come to a general clash of weak individual forces against enemies weak forces individual. As the great units spread out for his fighting form. Clash that would be solved by multiple partial and isolate combats, using the attrition. They would be like the singular combats of champions and leaders, which happened in other times. And would gain those who were finally keeping a major number of valid units. It would be a clash won by pure material wear of means: men, military means and expensive and sophisticated IT material, almost without transcendent application.

THE NO “COMBAT AVAILABILITY” OF THE FORCES IN THE DEFENSE.

 

A variant exists of deficient or useless «combat availability» of a military force. And it happens when exists the «entrusted«, the «satisfaction» of the commands in the real state of alert of that one. Without assuming or to appreciate the failures in it.

The Development.

We know that the high limit of a characteristic or property is very difficult or impossible to reach. Some of them are the «total destruction» of the enemy and the absolute «public security» in a population or in a society. If you monitor the great public sites, airports, parks, they would attack a church or a mosque…There are always plenty of potential objectives and not enough security forces… But what is exigible and necessary is that the commands optimize the use of the received military resources, which always are insufficient, in the tasks at their charge. With it they will have made all the humanly possible for fulfilling them. Since the optimization of those is equivalent to his «good employment » and to everything what this involve.

The variant of the deficient «combative availability» that we treat, arises in the defense. And it has several possible origins and reasons. This way, we have the deficient organization and deployment of the security zone. That will allow in major or less measured its secret, patient and multiple penetration by enemy groups. That will not have to possess necessarily sappers’ training. Also the dominant positions near the more or less permanent and important position of the forces, must be garrisoned by advanced detachments of, at least, a squad.

The approximation routes to the forces, from certain distance, must be registered by the mortars, the artillery and/or the aircrafts of support. In some sections ambushes can be established and, in others, obstacles and barriers covered by the own fires. Other sectors can be provided with cameras and sensors. The thermal and acoustic airborne sensors can track and detect small enemy units in the different phases of their approximation march to the combat. The intelligence should facilitate trustworthy reports, with sufficient information and updated with the enemy intentions and plans in our zone and their development.

Resultado de imagen de soldados indisciplinados THEY ALSO COULD BE IRREGULARS.

In the irregular war, the enemy is in the habit of reconnoitre, at least initially and also in fluid conditions of fight, by observation. It is important to locate and eliminate these «reconnaissance positions», which will never be fixed, but alternative and ephemeral. The own patient observation is the way. And bearing in mind that, if the exigency is intense, every 30 minutes must be substituted the observer, Because he looks, but already he does not see. If additional means exist for it and as complement, it is necessary to use the patrolling against the armed or not native marauders, in the way of reconnaissances and attacks with limited aims.


Let’s remember that the correct security must prevent that our forces could be beaten by the fire of the enemy infantry weapons. Also, detecting the enemy, tactical surprises from him are avoided to those. And that the presence and/or the action of our forces in this zone, including the advanced detachments, have as a specific task, to win the sufficient time, in order that the forces that have advanced and deployed them, could reach the right «combat readiness» to reject the enemy. And for all this, the security is a irrenounceable part of our total “combat readiness”.

But, also the most experienced veteran or professional units can be «surprised» by the appearance in force of the unexpected enemy, in an assault against them. And it happens when they are entrusted or satisfy with a deficient security. That is another face, less evident and defined as such, of her not or insufficient own “combat availability«.

An Example from the Western Front in the Second World War.

On June 10 of 1,944, soon after the midnight, 2 º battalion of 29 ª division of infantry of U.S.A. was prepared to pass the night. The men had traveled approximately 25 Kms. during the last 20 hours. The executive official of the battalion, commander Maurice Clift, chose a zone formed by two meadows surrounded by hedgerows, in order that the troops were happening the night in the open. The men entered them and were left to fall down against the terraces of the hedges. So tired they were that nobody bothered to come untied the rucksacks and the personal equipment. The majority of they remained slept at once. Some few paid attention to the noise of a few engines coming closer, but they thought they were American vehicles.

They were actually German tanks and trucks belonging to 352 ª infantry division. Not known by none of two rivals, the Germans had been withdrawing and following the same route that the American battalion followed in its advance. When they stopped, the German explorers detected the North American movements in the meadows of encamped. The Germans advanced secretly and surrounded the meadows.

Suddenly, the Germans threw flares. Under the sinister light, almost as brilliant as the midday light, its assault cannons opened fire on the hedges against the Americans. Along one of the hedges, a platoon got up and was cut down by the German machine guns. Many Americans, scared and disoriented, were running across, looking for the meadows exit; the German infantries were knocking down them with its repetition fire. The shells of the German mortars were exploiting for all the zone of the meadows. The Americans were responding with a vague, jerky rifles fire, directed to the opposite hedges. Which could reach both the Germans and their own men in their strolling.

Resultado de imagen de soldados indisciplinados  WASTER SOLDIERS.

«It was terrible”, a survivor was indicating general Cota. «We had crawled more than 90 ms. out of the field, when we listened from behind, a shouting of our men. I thought that the Germans were launching a bayonet charge against them».

The commander of 2º battalion, lieutenant colonel William Warfield (ironically, camp of war), had his command post in a farm close to the highway. Warfield tried to establish a defense, but it was in vain. The officials who threw out the house towards the field, were brought down rapidly. A German shouted in English towards the command group: «Give up, give up!». «Of giving up, certainly not!», roared Warfield. He tried to lead a small group towards the meadows where his men were, but turned out to be dead immediately.

The battle extended about 20 minutes. The battalion had 150 casualties, including 50 dead, slightly more than one third of its effective. Little before dawn, a gravely injured young lieutenant who was reporting to his division commander, general Charles Gerhardt, was falling down suddenly on knees and was striking the soil with his fists. While was sobbing and was sorry that all his men were died and that he had left them to fall down.

The general Gerhardt got angry. «Without safety, shouted exalted. «Simply the battalion came to the field and threw to fall asleep».

An example of the modern counterinsurgency warfare.

The Bristish Complex Bastion in the province of Helmand.

Helmand is one of 32 provinces of Afghanistan. It spreads over 58.583 km ² at the southwest of the country and has a population around the million and half of inhabitants, of the pashtun and baluchi ethnias. The capital is Laskar Gah. In his Washer’s district, at the northwest of the capital, the Camp Bastion is installed. It is the principal military British base in Afghanistan. It can house between 20 and 30 thousand persons in all its facilities, British and American principally, depending on the Branch to which they belong and their missions, equipments and supplies. It occupies a total extension of 52 Km2, approximately 10 km per 5 km. It was designed to be the center of the logistic operations of the ISAF in Helmand. In addition, it is the major military British camp constructed outside their country after the II World War. Built by the British Engineers since the beginning of 2006, the Complex is placed in a desert zone and away from the populations and is provided with long clear sights in all directions.

The Camp is divided structurally in different «sections». Bastion 1 and 2 were first erected. Bastion 2 also contains the Camp Barber (USA) and the Camp Viking (Danish). Bastion 0 was added about 2010 and it houses the facilities of the external contractors. The Bastion 3 is used for the specific training of counterinsurgency. The Complex also includes Camp Leatherneck (of the USMC) and Camp Shorabak, of the National Afghan Army. Camp Bastion’s airport, which possesses two landing strips, attends more than 600 aircraft flights every day, in operations of combat, logistic and medicals. In the attached heliport are deployed the Westland WAH-6 Apache of multiple attack and the Boeing CH-47 Chinook of mixed transport. In these moments the Complex can handle and attend almost all the military and civil aircraft in use. The Complex also houses a great military campaign hospital. And large areas of this great base are protected by a nine meters high concrete wall, which spreads over a perimeter of more of 40km, inserted with special vigilance towers, with soldiers and high technology instruments.

Resultado de imagen de soldados indisciplinados SOLDIERS DRINKING IN THE JAIL.

The British base has been attacked in diverse occasions during his years of existence. The most “media” occasion has been this that we treat. In the assault were dead two Marines (of the attached Camp Leatherneck). And other nine persons, eight military men and a civil contractor, were hurt. Six McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II airplanes of the Marines Corps were destroyed and other two were very damaged. As for the logistic facilities, were destroyed three stations of fuels supply and damaged six aviation hangars not structurally reinforced.

The atack tactic of the Taliban.

The Taliban usual procedure to assault a weak defended or without spirit enemy position is this: at dawn they bombard with the fixed rocket launchers heavy fire, then they approach to use mortars, finally, the assault is realized by several independent squads, that converging advance shooting AK and RPD or PK machine gun bursts and their RPG and RL hollow charge grenade-launchers. They only fire on verified targets or from above and from below them. When they try to keep the surprise, the initiative and the confusion, to lengthen the military reaction time and to obtain a very local and temporary superiority, they act without their meager heavy fire support.

E incluso avanzan arrastrándose lenta y pacientemente. Por ejemplo, para romper un perímetro defensivo y dirigirse y atacar los hangares y aparcamientos evidentes de grandes aeronaves.

A characteristic of the Taliban is that they do not get involved in the defense of their positions. Once obtained the harassment of the enemy and extended the hurt, the mutilation and the stupor on the military men, they will move back. They are not so silly to wait intrepid for the heavy, precise and devastate military fire. Nor to presume of courage, in front of enemies with weapons of superior range and characteristics and capable of turning a surface target into a destruction zone. Also, there are the time and its corollary, the opportunity. The Taliban handle very well the tactical and operational times. They are masters of the patience, the waiting, the repetition of simple and easy trainings. For the important attacks they manage to use scale models of the goal. And, to penetrate in a base and attack the heavy and evident war aircrafts, only need to represent part of the perimeter, the directional location of the target and its identification, as well as the rejection fighting positions of the irruption sector.

Its execution.

Enough hours before 12 pm of Thursday, the 13th of September of 2012, the Taliban forces began to approach from several directions to the air zone of the Complex. To keep a low tactical trace, they followed dragging techniques in their advance to and through the security zone of the area. And up to there got, without being detected, 45 to 50 insurgents that, in three convergent spears of advance attacked by midnight, supported by their squad organic weapons. Not to being detected up to the beginning of the assault, also helped them the scanty combative availability of the men. And the tedious and unproductive routine of the guards and patrols, which creates the passive defense of a great protective barrack. Around 15 Taliban from two of the groups, managed to get through Camp Bastion’s perimeter and to effectively attack the air zone. Finally the attacking group was wiped out (dead and injured men and prisoners).

It was a «significant» assault, the British Defense Department declared, as the insurgents should never have come so far away. It was, admitted the ISAF, a «good coordinated» attack. Organized in three assault groups, the Taliban managed to get through the defense perimeter of the base. «They were well equipped and trained, dressing USA Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, grenade-launchers and explosive jackets», continued the ISAF in his communique. This mission assured that during the assault, the international troops killed 14 insurgents and hurt other one, who is arrested.

The British correspondents in Afghanistan assured that Camp Bastion has an excellent visibility from all parts and is extremely strengthened. The defense correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, who has been for more than twelve times in Camp Bastion, wrote on Sunday, the 14th: «In spite of being in the center of the most dangerous province of Afghanistan, I always felt completely sure, undoubtedly, from an assault of the Taliban. And honestly I believed that there were more possibilities of dying knocked down by a military vehicle that murdered by insurgents». The Coalition’s forces, make clear the correspondents, ask themselves how the Taliban were capable of giving this surprise attack to a strengthened and isolated complex barrack. And a spokesman, Adam Wojack, said that the Friday assault «was a sign for the Coalition that it is necessary to give much attention to the popular, local and international state of mind about Afghanistan».

On Monday, the 10th of September Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman insurgent, declared to Reuters that the Taliban were trying to use all their resources to kill the prince Henry (also called «Harry the Nude», his name of war), third in the succession line to the British throne. After the facts, another Taliban spokesman underlined that they attacked in «revenge» for the American amateur movie which offends Mohammed. And that they choose to commit an attack against Camp Bastion, because the prince Harry was there, acting as co-pilot gunner in the Joint Air Group.

 

And other one of an unsuccessful army …

On Sunday, the 18th of December, 2016, the franchise of the Islamic State in the Republic of Yemen realized an assault against the barracks of the so called National Security in al-Saulaba. That is placed 20 km at north of the coastal city of Aden, at the south of the country and that is now his nominal capital. One first showy characteristic of these suicidal assaults of the EI is that from August of this year, three assaults have been realized against the same barracks. Whose commands obstinatly mantain an ineffective and deficient «combative readiness» of the forces of the garrison, to keep their security.

In the last assault, the most lethal, died 50 soldiers of the Army of Yemen, loyalist to the president Abdo Rabu Mansur Hade. Hundreds of soldiers were still in the exterior of the barracks, waiting to receive the permission to enter and to receive their pays. One thousand soldiers had acceded already in the military facilities. But the access was limited to avoid agglomerations in the courts and facilities. Then, sunni terrorist slipped between the soldiers who were waiting out. And detonated his explosives jacket. Possibly liberating the so called “detonator of the dead man”.

The security is one of so called “principles of the war». That define «what to do» to obtain militarily our aims. And though it does not appear in all the existing lists of principles, specially in the shorter ones, the security is here to remain. And of its not observance, the efficiency and the power of other accepted principles will get reduced or disabled in their application. Since the principles constitute a global, harmonic and synergic set of the procedures of the to do well, for a military operational system.

EPILOG.

The combination of the usual defense and the mobile proactive defense exercises a synergic and convergent effect, of perfection and securement of the security zone. To detect and reject the tactical surprises of the enemy and to alert the own forces of his appearance from behind horizon. And to blur him the tracing of our defense zone. Thanks to the combat and observation advanced positions and the actions from them and of the patrols and advanced detachments. That would allow the enemy to glimpse and estimate where there would be the «defense positions» in the rejection zone and where the heavy fires of the defense would preferably go, in front of the forward limit of the mentioned zone.

THE WAR AGAINST THE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS. Second Part.

(CONTINUATION)

 

Operational Characteristics of the Attacks with Elite Ground Forces.

Units and small units that attack with limited aims (a deep incursion, the temporal capture of a critical position, an ambush) constitute a military closed «system». This condition imposes specific characteristics on the “interfaces of action” with the enemy, which are sometimes different to those of great units, especially in the theme of available means and the time of action.

Attacks with limited aims have been operationally used along large fronts. Where the enemy’s defense lacked depth and enough reserves and was looking to minimize own wear and make use of the multiplier effect of the set’s efforts. This occurred with notable success when the forces of the 9th German infantry Army of General Model sought to reform and consolidate its fronts in the Sychevka’s southwest zone between January and April of 1942.

The definitive characteristic of his use, adapted in these tasks, is that is used with criterion unity, by a kept and «concentric» in the result of his impulses “operational gravity center”. So that the limited efforts do not vanish in reconnaissance in force actions, in not suitable or out of opportunity sectors. It is to say, usiing unduly.

The field of action is the secret for applying freedom of action. By extending or decreasing the field of action, or by changing the field of action on the enemy, one can keep or recover the necessary freedom of action to act favorably and not simply reacting to the enemy.

«Field of action» is any «spatial-temporary-circumstantial» situation that allows for the suitable employment of an Army’s means and capacities in accordance or as part of that army’s intention. The field of action is formed by one or several «interfaces of action«, which are the very small sectors where direct contact occurs between the small units of action of each rival. Examples are when a deployed platoon attacks an enemy section, when a tank attacks infantry heavy weapons, when a section attacks by firing on an enemy’s strong position, when an engineering section opens a path in a minefield, etc.

The task is to find an optimal way in which, through successive «periods of action» applied in «fields or interfaces of action», one can gain the relative freedom of action to act and to carry out «quantum» or elementary units of the general intention. In addition, a general action can be divided into numerous partial actions to achieve in stages, momentary or minor «periods of action»; acting this way in the same «field», divided in minor interfaces of action.

Interaction in stages and situations suitable to advance one’s military means guided by the superior intention or orders is the general mechanism for applying, recovering and maintaining freedom of action in one’s favor.

A characteristic of the freedom of action is that is interactive with the enemy in the «interface of action» and is played out in fields of action that chosen by or imposed on an army. Passiveness means that freedom of action is not taken advantage of through lack of initiative. Thus, freedom of action can also have a result opposite to its intention and this can happen regardless of the type of fight engaged in, whether it is offensive or defensive.

The units had to gain combat superiority over the enemy, since obtaining a local and temporary supremacy would allow them to achieve their aims.

Essential to the mission’s conception are intelligence and simplicity. Essential to its preparation are security and training. The characteristics of the mission in action are surprise, tempo and the commitment of all the mission participants.

Simplicity allows the force to concentrate on a few related aims, using a limited number of men and means in the military closed system. If new tactics or different technologies are used, both the simplicity of the mission’s conception and the surprise of its execution will be enhanced.

On September 12, 1943, the captain of the S. S. Otto Skorzeny carried out the rescue of the Duce from his prison in the high mountain hotel Great Sasso located in the Apennines. Gliders were used to assault the position, fighting against the difficult cold draughts (these produced a delay in the arrival, as they landed at midday) and scarce sites for landing. That such a difficult assault would be attempted, higly surprised the on duty «carabinieri». The attackers took advantage of this by gaining access to the principal building while. At the same time, an acquaintance general of the «carabinieri» friendly landed with Skorzeny. Combat supremacy was rapidly achieved.

Intelligence supposes complete, up-to-date and timely knowledge of the circumstances and characteristics of the mission. Here, with so limited employing means, intelligence is facilitated by different agencies and units that intervene with the mission, even those at the level of the state. Specially the CIA, the National Security Agency or NSA, the Central Security Service or CSS, that links with the NSA, and the FBI.

Security refers principally to the stages of planning, preparation, training and, if appropriate, stage of transport or insertion. It has active and passive aspects. Giving off misleading information and concealing the force’s real intentions up until the stage of action on the objective. Each person must only know what is necessary for his actuation.

Training must be generic for actions and tactics and specific for those actions required for the mission. Independently of this, training is necessary to achieve coordinated actions among units taking part simultaneously in some part of the mission. A general rehearsal of the mission is also necessary, including its planning duration and margins for mistakes. It is also good to include some variant that represents a mistake, an unforeseen event or a loss of combat or movement capacity. And that the men train in correcting them or, at least, in neutralizing them with his effort. For example, a part of the helicopters is knocked down or lands at major distance of the foreseen in the theoretical disembarkation zone.

The final «training area» must be similar in general characteristics to the «target area». And it must be placed at safe of detections and filtrations of information (security), which onlookers and interested persons can catch. The independent variable of «time» introduces sometimes unexpected and not always welcome effects. For example, a vehicle presents problems after a number of hours of hard use, that was not foreseen in tests of «at scale» time.

Surprise supposes attacking an enemy (even if arranged in prepared defense) at a point or flank that is neglected by him at the moment, giving the attacker a favorable «interface of action» on him. It must suppose a “tactical innovation”. Though it could also contain technical differential or new elements. Examples of such “innovations” in the past are hollow load bullets or charges and flame-throwers.

The surprise is the sufficient and necessary multiplier of the combat capacity of the «small incursion force». That will allow him to compensate the scanty military resources that it has on the area. To it joins his inconsiderate and carefully applied with rapidity employment. To provoke an overwhelming effect on the enemy, achieving the temporary local superiority. As being an «isolated military system», the incursion force of will receive neither reinforcements, nor supplies. For its part, the time is not neutral, here is an enemy: because there is not more operation time. From his depletion, the unit will confront the pursuit and his annihilation…

Speed consists in firmnessly acting, ahead of the enemy, in the successive elementary «cycles of action» that define a performance or process. It also presupposes acting with opportunities and with pace (adapted speed, relative to the enemy). Remember that an action cycle includes a phase of observation, a phase of determining the situation, the decision phase and the accomplishment phase. If one’s speed is greater than that of the enemy, his actions will be in response to situations that have already just passed.

Speed also implies rapidly reaching a situation of active supremacy in combat capacity. The enemy’s reaction speed is initially very slow as he is in a stupor, trying to verify what is happening. This means his phase of determining the situation will be lengthened. Deceptive action in these moments will lengthen the time that passes and fog the determination of the situation. Ways of doing this include utilizing some of the enemy’s uniforms, equipment or language by certain parts or subunits involved in the action. Once supremacy over the enemy is attained, it must always be kept. As scanty resources make its recovery very difficult. Once supremacy in combat capacity is reached, the probability of a mission’s success increases exponentially and the vulnerabilities of one’s forces are dramatically diminished.

The commitment of men and officers and their selection qualities, lend moral and physical courage to the actions they undertake. This is necessary to overcome uncertainty, stress, mistakes, diversions, enemy actions, and to take advantage of the always fleeting opportunities. Commitment supposes full knowledge of the mission and the full, voluntary and enthusiastic support of all participants.

Execution is carried out by establishing at the level of the regiment, battalion or company a center of gravity for the common effort, which harmonizes and consolidates the «missions» of its subunits.

THE END.

THE MANEUVER WARFARE. THE CONCEPT OF THE MODERN AIRLAND BATTLE.

AN INTERPRETATION BY FIELDMARSCHAL ERICH VON MANSTEIN.

 

 

A little known example illustrates the omnipresent transcendence of logistics and the line of communication (more or less branched out) in operations and their final results. Between January 29 and mid-March 1943, the Soviets developed an operation called Donbass at the southwest of the Donetz. This operation forms part of what the Germans called the battle of the Donetz. And was Marschal von Manstein’s last strategic success. Which wasted by Hitler in Kursk.

 

General Nikolai Fiodorovich Vatutin, commander of the Southwest Front, created a mobile corp (under the command of general Markian Mijailovich Popov) in the Soviet Front, to exploit the break its armies had achieved at the south-east of Kharkov. The Corp was like an Army of tanks (the Soviets had five Armies of tanks in their battle order). It was integrated by 4 tanks Corps of limited capacity (3rd, 10th, 18th and 4th of the Guard), each of which was reinforced by an infantry mobile division (in trucks). For support it had the mobile Front reserve, the tanks Corps (full up) 25th and 1st of the Guard. These reserves would, at the beginning of February, pursue a exploitation direction different from that of the Popov Group. Assimilating those tactical subordination divisions into the mechanized Corps, thus making them stronger in men and heavy equipment, was hoped to compensate for the specific lack of infantry and artillery of the Soviet tanks Corps.

GENERAL VATUTIN.

Popov Group initially crossed the Donetz from a southwest direction. Its 4th Guard tanks Corp reached Krasnoarmeiskaia on the morning of February 12, after a night march of 60 kilometers from Kramatorsk. During this march, the Corp used one of its tanks brigades, the 14ª of the Guard, as anadvanced detachment”, to eliminate the tactical rubbing” in its advance sector and thus maximize its speed of advance.

GENERAL POPOV.

On February 15, General Vatutin employed his two reserve Corps in the Pavlograd-Zaporozhe direction, towards the mouth of the river Dnepr on the Black Sea. Zaporozhe was the Headquarters for the Don German Group of Armies (this Group had been called South until February 1, 1943) and the 4th Air Fleet (led by Marshal Von Manstein and General Von Richtofen, respectively) which were located in the low Dnepr.

The efforts of the Russians were aimed at trying to reach the coast and to cut the Germansland communications. But the Russians also stubbornly insisted on boasting. Their supporting forces (the rest of the Armies of the southwest Front, especially the 6th infantry and 1st infantry of the Guard) were not defending the advance sectors of their mobile forces. And these forces, advancing as fast as they could toward their ideal operational-strategic aim, stretched their communications lines to the maximum. And made them increasingly vulnerable by extending its length and, thus, the coverage required by antitank and anti-aircraft weapons supported with infantry.

The Soviets acted as if the speed of reaching the objective could, by itself, unhinge the German deployment, by cutting it off from its general Order of Battle and lines of communications towards the West. In reality, they were not given full credit to their enemys maneuver capacity, his ability to create and improvise resources and his still relatively powerful combat capacities, especially among his mobile and crack forces, in the operational zone.

THE SUPREME SOVIET COMMANDER.

Yet much of the pressure for a rapid advance came from Stalin. Probably through the Stavka, Stalin incited Vatutin to spur on Popov and the other mobile corps. Ultimately, this led to Stalins disenchantment (to the point of leading him to request a peace through Swedish diplomats) when the planned operations concluded. See Gerhard L. Weinburg. A World at Arms. Cambridge, 1944.

For their part, the Germans had difficulties in containing the Soviets winter offensive concentrated at the south of Belgorod. In the operational strategic zone of the Don Group of Armies, the Soviet forces overcame the Germans at a proportion of 8 to 1, whereas, in the case of the German Center and North Groups of Armies, that ratio was only 4 to 1.

Von Manstein maintained a front that was 750 kilometers long with 30 divisions. This left him vulnerable to envelopment on the north flank, in a maneuver that could reverse his front or turn his forces back in his operational or strategic rear. Or his forces could be broken through by a forceful action in any zone and he would be left without sufficient available mobile forces to launch an operational strategic counterattack. It was necessary to readjust the front, anchoring it on natural obstacles; and to push back the Soviet offensives toward Kiev (north flank) and the Black Sea or the Azov Sea, creating for it the necessary mobile reserves. Hitler, probably affected by the fall of 6th Army at the end of January in Stalingrad, compromised with Manstein’s requests to yield land in order to gain safety and mobility.

IN THE COVER OF «TIME» NEWSMAGAZINE…

Thus, during the first fortnight of February, the Hollidt Army moved back from the low Donetz, following the Rostov and Tangarov route and dug in again along the river Mius, approximately 80 kilometers to the west of Rostov. The 48 panzer Corps that were in action at the east of Rostov, moved to the north of Stalino, to join the 4th panzer Army of General Hoth and to form part of the mobile counterattack force.

In the middle of February, despite Hitler’s orders to resist at any price, the SS Army Kempf (formerly Lanz) evacuated Kharkov, when its north flank was enveloped by the Soviets from the direction of Belgorod. Meanwhile, the 4th panzer Army was moving back from the low Don toward positions to Stalino’s northwest. This was a difficult march of more than fifteen days over poor road conditions and railroad connections and lines. For its part, the 1st panzer Army, formerly part of the A Group of Armies in the Caucasus, could have moved back through Rostov, thanks 4th panzer Army hold on the front in the low Donetz area. And was taking positions in a front from north-east of Stalino up to the north of the Mius river.

THE GERMAN FIELDMARSCHAL’S COMMAND BATON.

With these maneuvers the Germans left the projecting in their front formed by the Don and Donetz rivers, readjusted their defensive front and managed to create an important operational maneuver force, formed by all three mentioned armies. It is important to emphasize that the Germans were not reacting to the Russians; they were adapting to the general conditions and the forces relations existing, with the expectation that they would act positively when the opportunity arose. This is probably the secret behind their operational blow (like a scythe blow) and the operational and strategicstunning waves” that they were to unleash on the Soviet Armies, which reached the enemys Supreme Commander.

On February 22, the two armored Corps (48 at the right side and the SS panzer at the left side) of the 4th panzer Army of Hoth initiated an offensive movement in the northwest direction on the communications lines of Popov Group and both independent Soviet tanks Corps of the southwest Front.

The terrain was highly favorable for using armored vehicles. Its surface was slightly wavy, allowing for extensive sight control. The narrow creeks that interlaced it were frozen.

Simultaneously there was a convergent attack by the SS Army Kempf from the west, completing the operation of the other five panzer divisions (reduced). This Army also had to prevent the advance on the Dnepr of forces from other Soviet Fronts, either around Krasnograd and Dnepropetrovsk or around Poltava and Kremenchug. This soviet attack, that was aimed at Kiev, was of a larger scope and, therefore, had scantier prospects for success before the spring thaw. The army SS Kempf had limited capacity to reject it.

It is worth emphasizing that, at the time, the 4th Air Fleet of General Richtofen enjoyed air supremacy over the operations zone and his aircraft could support the objective of cutting the enemys communications with up to 1,000 daily sorties.

THE FÜHRER ADOLF VISITS HIM IN ZAPOROZHE, TO CALM DOWN.

The Russian armored vehicles and truck columns were moving back toward the north and north-east at a distance of between 15 and 20 kilometers from the Germans, making them prey to the German divisional and army Corps artillery and aviation.

It was not a question of thesurrounded bag”-style operations that the Germans had carried out in 1941. The area being covered was larger, the German combat capacity (mainly based on infantry forces with artillery and antitank weapons) was scanty and the Soviet forces were elite mobile units with great fire and shock capacities. And knew the danger presented by the loss of its logistical support, at least their commands.

On February 23 both armored army Corps (the SS and 48th) of the 4th panzer Army were converging on Pavlograd. They cut the communications line of the Popov group, which was situated around Grishino, and of the 25th and 1st of the Guard tanks Corps (the mobile reserve of the Southwest Front) which were already approaching Zaporozhe, although not yet in full force. Likewise, the Germans severely struck the 6th infantry Army (at the west of Isyum), following the Front’s mobile reserve, and the 1st infantry Guard Army, which was behind the Popov group, before they cross the Donetz, moving back to their rearguard.

This temporarily liquidated the combat capacity of the Southwest front (General Vatutin). Unless that front focused on reorganizing and re-equipping itself and covering its casualties. And also tried to revive its combat morale by encouraging cohesion and retraining its units and small units.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

 

THE MOTIVATION OF THE MILITARY MEN.

Introduction.

At the beginning of June, 2014 around 30 thousand Iraqi soldiers quartered in Niniveh’s province, capital Mosul (2 million habitants), left their positions and put feet in dusty towards Baghdad. To rapidly realize this «retrograde march» not foreseen by the command, towards the sure refuge of the great Iraqi city, they left behind their heavy equipment, tanks and artillery. What real or supposed threat suffered these professional uniformed soldiers, to get frightened that way? So, the advance to the combat over the province of several hundreds of salafists jihadists muyahidins of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. That were moving in Toyota pick up vehicles, without shielding and lightly armed with heavymachine guns and some rapid fire cannons (20 mm). Though it is true that the muyahidins were approaching the thousand…

ISIS’ IRREGULARS TRAINING…

The Iraqi soldiers were trained by the Americans and his methods and were equipped with modern weapons. The jihadistas had almost autotrained from last/first of 2012/2013 and their weapons were those of a light irregular infantry. Singularly the AK, machine guns and assault rifles, and the light grenade-launchers RPG-7V, casually of Russian patent design. The muyahidins were integrating then a useful force lower than 20 thousand men in Iraq and Syria.

The Iraqis were uniformed, more or less trained in the boots and maneuvers fields, fed, dressed and paid. According to the duke of Wellington, this was sufficient to demand dedication and selflessness from the men: «Soldiers, you are well fed and kept, fulfill now your duty». Though part of their pays were harvested by his direct commands, NCOs, officials and chiefs. For example, as a «bribe» in order that they were not occupying dangerous positions. Furthermore, many enlisted were only nominally, on the paper, and the pays of these “ghosts” were distributed the commands. This way, in November, 2014 there was a special meeting of the Iraqi Parliament to study this plague. That continues destroying his armed forces: that of the «enlisted absentee».

 SHIIS TRAINING…

But the result of this mix of military formation and equipment was an appearance, an entelechy. The Iraqi army was a sham of a national army. That was serving to patrol for benevolent zones; to parade; to support the public order against bandits and delinquents, over that which was acting using an overwhelming superiority of means; and getting idle in the quarters, much better than the majority of the familiar Iraqi houses of adobe and masonry. The number of his troops was the mesmeric, infallibly and omnipresent of approximately 200 thousand, in the flowchart of the battle order of the army. That are the same prescribed by for the American military high commands and ratified by the president, to effectively integrate and serve in the National Afghan Army.

But, neither the training, nor the equipment, nor the wages are enough to turn the men into complete soldiers. His officials’ corp is not nourished by the university, or by an official accredited school and with certain tradition or from a meritorious ascent of the excellence of the NCOs. And his NCOs’ corp is nourished from among the best of a little formed, clumsy and half-hearted general recruit and of the most related to the local clan. This way, the structuring of the soldiers around and with their natural commands, to realize the missions and to support the effort, the penuries, the uncertainty and the dangers in the exercise of his profession, is impossible to manage. The soldiers and the subofficials are not sure that «they» are not going to be «squandered» by his chiefs, before the dangers and according to his conveniences, opposite to armed, brutal and ready to die enemies. They do not even trust in the professionalism of his respective commands. To have the certainty that, obeying them and following them, it is as they would assure their lives in the danger situations and might triumph.

The fact that this is a chronic evil, of very difficult uprooting and correction, can be corroborate in the example of the occupation of the capital of Anbar’s province in May, 2015 by the Islamic State. Here also, in a rapid and forceful assault action, Allah’s muyahidins occupied al-Ramadi at a few hours of sporadic gunfires. Gaining in them the fire supremacy and slipping by the flanks of the tacked positions of the Iraqi army. Finally, a sand storm, with similar effects to the smokes and fogs of the modern fight, concealed them from the sights of the soldiers. And it must have turned the irregular yihadists into «phantasmagoric beasts» for them. This way, all the soldiers also went out, like in Mosul, feet in dusty from al-Ramadi, looking for the refuge and the salvation in the near Bagdad.

The first request of help from the shii government of Iraq to the Americans was for sending 1500 individual antitank launchers. But, we do not know well why, since the Islamic State lacks armoured forces as such. And his Toyotas pick up are vulnerable to the simple fire of the machine guns, which have a major effective range that the above mentioned manual launchers of hollow load. This new Eastern salient or projection of the Islamic State towards the west of Baghdad had to be held back by a new force sent by the Americans to the 4 stars’ general James Terry, of 400 marines. That formed a defense position, a “bolt” perpendicular to the possible advance of the muyahidins, in Taqaddum, at around 25 km at the east of al-Ramadi. Where the Iraqi army says to be training and concentrating forces to recover then this capital.

MARINES TRAINING…

As part of an army made keen to measuring everything (what cannot measure up, it does not exist), the American military men observe and control (monitoring), measure and register the «progress» of the Iraqi soldiers in formation. There exist more than 75 examined in detail, precise and identified individual skills, which are necessary in order that the soldiers recover correctly his functions and could survive the dangers, recklessnesses and combat conditions. They use for it «check lists» and the checkings and verifications adapted to the case. Which they have been developing and perfecting with his own recruits. The problem is that these adjustments can determine the mechanical behavior of a man as a part of the military group and his «marksmanship in the range”. But they will never reflect how they will endure in combat, before the pressure of the enemy, the unexpected evolution, the uncertainty, the fear, the isolation and the loss of comfort. Which is his loyalty to his chiefs and to the small unit or how much are mental motivated to fulfill his new military duties.

Modern methods of impregnation and motivation of the men.

Many modern companies in the great western countries, having finished the wars of the 20th century, recruited or received in his personnels numerous chiefs and officials. And some of them think that these stamped on the enterprises cultures a pertaining to barracks style, of direction from above, without a moderating feedback. That implicitly was that facilitated a so called culture of the death (sic). In order that the enlisted people could do things in opposition to his nature. As killing, without feeling a disturbing emotion. A consultant of Blanchard International suggests exactly this in her book «Why to motivate the persons does not work». But, I think that she is mistaken. That her postulates are a mix of liberal thoughts, psychological simplifications and antimilitarists prejudices. And that does not know well the «ideological» horizon of the great capitalist modern corporations, with his own many contradictions and missed ways.

The «managerial military theory» of the consultant remained stuck and then anchored in the 18th century, in the epoch of Federico the Great. But here, the precision and the mechanical rapidity of the military techniques (load and fire of the muskets) and of the maneuvers, necessary to apply a powerful shock force as rapidly as possible on the enemy, demanded to the men a strong discipline. Together with a great discipline and a training of almost gruelling repetition, to obtain consistently his effects. And, this way, the authoress has not take in mind the evolution of the war in the Contemporary age.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

On the Personality of the Military Command.

The personality of the command is shaped by a series of personal and mental qualities that, outlined and composed by the specific education, voluntary study and training and employment, are going to produce a command capable of knowing, decide and drive the actions most adapted in the different levels of the military activity.

The correct sense crowns, perfects, governs, directs and stimulates the activity of all the other operative systems of maneuver, of all the organs of the military activity towards the attainment of the aims. And it does it in the most suitable possible way, according to its means and the military concrete situation.

GENERAL PAUL EMIL VON LETTOW-VORBECK.

The wisdom is the first quality to get. The wisdom is an habit for which we judge straightly of the military and human things, under a special instinct, which makes us knowing and savoring them with certain connaturality. Here wisdom means simultaneously to know and savor.

The wisdom includes the military understanding, which is a penetrating and deep intuition of the military things in the shape of “apprehension”, that is to say, without expressing judgments or disquisition on them. The intuition is a form of direct knowledge, which is characterized by its immediacy and contemporaneousness on the topic which is. To the wisdom are opposed the stupidity or foolishness, not to know what is possible and due to know, as opposite things, and the fatuity, as the pure denial of it.

  GRAND MASTER JEAN PARISOT DE LA VALLETTE, ORDER OF ST. JOHN, MALTA.

The serenity is another quality. The serenity allows the command to keep calm, without physical or moral confusion that affects him, though the tension and the problems are present and pressing. The serenity protects and keeps lucid the reflexes and power mental, where the wisdom rests.

Two of the gravest and ridiculous failures in which the command can fall down is the pride and the vanity.

Pride is the oneself full satisfaction.

GENERAL DANIEL MORGAN.

The vanity is to believe that we are deserving objects of the others admiration. The conceited is like an “aestilite” (an ascetic who lives upon a column, solitary and looking from upon), which is satisfied thinking about the feelings he believes is waking up in others. Any sign of approval that receives, serves him as reaffirmation in his idea.

In others articles in this “blog” you could see situations that exemplify the useful thing that is to have a specially haughty or conceited enemy.

The humility, adjusting in a difficult balance, to the real and relative value of oneself, is the best antidote for these possible “mental vulnerabilities” of the chief. The humility includes the moderation. We must remember that the false humility is an allotropic form of the pride.

GENERAL HERMANN BALCK.

The moral courage, as courage and spiritual entirety, which allows him to offset the uncertainty, the weariness, the effort and the frustration or difference between the plans and the means and the successive realities of the evolving situation, is another characteristic of the “correct sense” of the command. And not only to win his demons, in such a way that his serenity does not weaken. But to stimulate also the others, so that they overcome theirs own apprehensions and weaknesses in the trials in march. Which is also converted into an effective factor of the leadership capacity. Which supposes to connecting, motivating and direct from mental qualities, his group and not only from the authority of his ranking.

Another factor is the empathy as affective, not necessarily emotional, participation in the personal needs. In this bridging, the command will find a personal human enrichment. That will be another more resort to manage to fill with enthusiasm his men. The enthusiasm is the human energy capable of conquering the entropy of the weariness, the fall of the moral, the lack of comfort, the fears and the apathy in the important and decisive moments of the military activity.

JAN ZIZKA.

The will is the power of the spirit. It is rooted in the moral courage, it informs from the wisdom and interacts with the serenity, feeding her and resting on her. The will allows the command to overcome the demons of the uncertainty, the fears, the effort and the weariness, the lack of comfort and the frustrations. The will is thrown towards the opportunities, appreciated by the wisdom and decided by the moral courage, which removes the tactical and operative doubts.

The discipline and the will are rooted in the personal education, through the fulfillment of the duty towards the society, the military institution and the commanded men. The discipline nourishes the moderation and the humility of the command, giving them a human and militant sense, but removed from mystical connotations.

CHARLES FLANDREAU.

The institutional authority comes from the delegation received of the superior command. It gets about itself to fulfill the ordinances and the aims that are assigned. But the personal conduct and the professional capacity of the command generate his prestige and his example among the men. Who give to the received authority, his personal and concrete quality.

The military education is the control of the trade. Its knowledge is giving by the study in schools and academies and in its permanent update through the later readings. Its application is in the doctrine and the regulations. The mastery comes from the application of the knowledge in the games of war or simulations, in the seminars of discussion and spreading, in the maneuvers and fields exercises and in the real situations which he has to face. We remember that the military specific trade tends to not practice in the life…

They are not here all those who are…