The Tactical Maneuver in the Defense.

Introduction.

The spirit of mobile defense is ingrained in forward detachments. They fight the enemy using mobility, surprise, harassment, opportunity and local and punctual superiority, depending on the case. And, whose fight is always framed in the probable transfer of space to the enemy. Maneuver always presides over his tactical behavior.

This “active spirit” that animates and inspires the units that fight in front of the defense positions, must animate, or, at least, not be neglected or forgotten by the units that occupy them.

The defense must not only cling to its fortified or improved positions, to carry out the effective rejection of the enemy attack, through its precise, decisive and opportune fire.

Development of the Fight.

At least part of the defense forces, depending on the missions, the possible opportunities, the battlefields, their own capabilities and that of the enemy, must be trained and emotionally prepared to carry out tactical movements, to more effective and timely defense positions.

For example, carrying out from another support point, with part of its garrison, a local counter-shock against a partial penetration, not yet consolidated, achieved by part of the attacker. Enemy break-in that closely threatens another support point, preferably in the same defense sector.

If we make a delay defense, staffs from other delay points will make larger and more definitive tactical maneuvers. In the former, when a delay point is in danger of being surpassed or overwhelmed by an enemy attack, it must release and withdraw. Generally, by successive jumps, to the rear or to another delay point in the mobile defense by forward detachments. Where they should be received, to facilitate their new deployment in the location.

These delay points would be supported by a natural obstacle, a height, a river, etc. Delay points should never be deployed on the forward slope; seeking, for example, to open fire on the enemy at maximum distances. On the other hand, observatories and resistance nests should be placed on the forward slope or on the military ridge. The delay point will be deployed well down the back slope.

Use of tactical reserves.

Own reserves, concentrated at the end of the infantry zone or at the front of the artillery zone, as part of the defense, will also carry out marches and attacks, that is, maneuvers, in their tactical zone. That they will be, perhaps, more complicated in their deployments, unfolding and opportunities. To attack, from starting points in one’s own depth, the enemy forces that have broken through. Or, that are stopped in front of the defense zone.

The critical moment for the reserve counter-attack will be: when the enemy has passed the “culminating point” of his attack; is quite weak and is disorganized (loss of cohesion). The fire of the own artillery and of the nearby support points, those affected by the enemy attack, must also harass, neutralize the attacker.

These attacks by a combined arms reserve from depth, taking advantage of their mechanical mobility, and attacking on the enemy’s flanks and/or rearguard, are very effective for active tactical defense of friendly forces.

Heterodox applications of good working in Defense. And, if you want to be perfect…

Even, many times, with an unexpected Maneuver and, better yet, if it is also unusual, an enemy can be upset, confused and frightened. If he is governed by military more orthodox and serious canons and norms.

A premature withdrawal and, obviously, with cession of space, can mislead and disturb the enemy. Or, boost his self-esteem and greed and lure him into a dangerous chase.

A favorite Tactic of the Mongols, especially effective when their enemy was longing for the encounter or more confident of success, for reasons of sheer initial numerical superiority, was the «mangudai«. It consisted in the fact that an «army» corps of the Mongols, inferior to the enemy, seriously engaged in the fight. Its size was large enough for the Mongol effort to be considered significant.

With this, they were going to mentally attract the enemy and separate him from any other thought.

BATTLE OF LIEGNITZ, SILESIA, POLAND

After a hard battle, the sheer weight of the enemy forced the Mongol corps back. What was a tactical withdrawal, never disorderly, was taken by the enemy for an exploitable defeat, a rout.

His total and permanent ignorance of the Mongols did not make him suspect anything. And his desire for victory, increased by the real effort made in combat, did not let him see beyond.

The promising pursuit ended by scattering the close and solid formations of the enemy horsemen. At one point in the pursuit, always far from the rest of the waiting enemy forces, the bulk of the Mongol heavy cavalry emerged, hidden, fresh, and thrown into the shock. Which ended up breaking up the disjointed cavalry groups, into which the pursuers had scattered. After a real hunt, the enemy forces remaining in the initial positions in the battle either dispersed or were in turn attacked by the whole Mongol force.

We will now quote a special case of how the mental and moral dialectic of the two opposing commands, the given circumstances and the development of defense and attack, led to an incredible result of the faced battle.

Chu Ko Liang ordered Wei Yen and other generals to gather their forces and march east. He, waiting for news, stayed in Yanh Ping with 10 thousand men to defend the city.

His rival Ssu Ma I said to himself: «Chu Ko Liang is in the city, his forces are small, his position is weak, his generals and officers have lost courage.»

For his part, Chu Ko Liang was calm and confident. He ordered to remove the army banners and silence the drums. He forbade the soldiers to leave the city. And then, opening its four gates, he spread out his men in small groups through the streets of Yanh Ping.

20 "Chino Kongming Chu ko Tres Reinos Zhuge Liang Zhu ge Sabiduría  Estatua|statue| - AliExpress
Chu Ko Liang idealized

Informed Ssu Ma I of the existing situation, he feared a prepared ambush. The «appearances» had done damage to his courage, discernment and reason. And hastily he retreated with his larger army to the northern mountains.

Chu Ko Liang explained to his commanding general, «Ssu Ma I believed that I was laying a trap for him and fled to the foot of the mountain range.»

When Ssu Ma I learned later all that had happened, he was overwhelmed with disappointment and disgust.

An opera has even been written about this Chinese war episode.

Well, but what you are telling us seems to be something very special and very difficult to repeat. And, as if from other times of fear and superstition.

Now see you an almost similar case. Only more modern. And, where all the maneuvers and combats are in sight. But, its result is just as spectacular, unexpected and incredible. Than the previous one, taken as «unusual and difficult to repeat».

Battle of Cowpens
(Washington’s cavalry attacked on the other flank.)

On January 17, 1781, the 45 year old American General Daniel Morgan engaged in a small battle in Cowpens the English regular forces of 27 year old Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Both had similar contingents but 2/3 of Morgan’s around 1,000 men belonged to American territorial militias.

These troops were at risk of shock in face of the force of the regular troops, whose use of bayonets in close combat would terrify them. The militia men were better than normal shooters, being hunters, and had great personal initiative, but they lacked training in close fighting.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Military and National Intelligence, failures and results.

Introduction and Development.

The intelligence services of large countries are often correct in their opinions and forecasts.

The specific intelligence tasks to which a few modern agents are dedicated usually end with partial or total success.

Complex works with ramifications and developments, which hide an estimable but not certain future, fail miserably. Because of this complex and future peculiarity. And, because the ability to observe and measure a parameter of the human soul is something elusive, doubtful and uncomfortable. Next we will see several specific cases.

The reasons for the divergence of successes between singular cases and the projection into the future (foreseen solution) of complex issues, transcending time, are partly in the difficulty of their conception, in the risk that is run in venturing and in the non contrasted exposure to the commands. Obviously, there is a dialectic here between the concealment carried out and the cognitive and intuitive process of its imagination, development and projection (estimated solution).

Only analysts freed from Scholasticism and field manuals are capable of placing themselves in the free, impartial and lucid mental state or position. To capture anomalous, complex and difficult enemy situations. Since they are paid for results and speed, which are contradictory variables, the luxury of putting an analyst agent in a “quiet position” for an unpredictable, indefinite period of time is not usually acceptable.

The new techniques for detecting, observing and tracking targets should not be underestimated. Based on computers, electronic sensors, Artificial Intelligence. But, the presence of field agents should not be suppressed, but rather supported and increased. Cyber monitoring can specify for our spy the precise area of investigation and study.

BRIEFING OF A FIELD AGENT

The field agent is an infiltrator in a neutral or hostile environment. Able to approach and penetrate the government, business or social media of the rival. And capture relevant, important information in a consistent and sustained manner. The field agent gives a seal of verisimilitude or even reality to the information captured from the enemy.

It is not easy to recruit, train and insert your own field agent. Hence, in an era of haste, superficiality and intellectual complexity, technological means have been favored over field agents for espionage work.

Afghanistan 2021.

We all remember the moments of the change of government in Afghanistan in August 2021.

During almost 20 years of staying there, the United States had spent enormous sums of money on said stay, providing various support to the Afghan State and to choosing, training and equipping the Afghan National Army. The Americans even boasted in their public communications, especially from the Defense Department, that they were making progress in the anti-terrorist fight against the Taliban.

MARINES GUARDING KABUL AIRPORT

This turned out to be like the “Potemkin villages.” That the Russian minister of that name prepared in the path that Tsarina Catherine the Great would follow on a trip. So that her trashy inhabitants would appear happy and shiny as her Imperial Majesty passed by.

As soon as the last American troops had to withdraw, the Afghan soldiers, who also turned out to be shoddy, began to surrender their weapons and escape the feared wrath of the Taliban. US forces were only able to secure a defensive perimeter of the Kabul airport. But, the “friendly Afghans” and their families had to get there to board a flight. Fleeing the tidal wave of the barbarity of the Taliban (scholars of the Koran).

As it had been negotiated with the Taliban to accept control of the airport by Western soldiers for a few days, this was not enough for many «collaborators» of the Westerners (translators, drivers, cleaners, etc.) and their families. Many had to make a painful journey to Pakistan to gain their freedom and their lives.

Vietnam War. American stage,

In the United States, during the Vietnam War, the “Igloo White” program was established, endowed with 1.7 billion US dollars, between 1966 and 1971, for the tasks of collecting information on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong supply routes in South Vietnam. The route started from North Vietnam, entering Laos, near the common border, and was the line of all kinds of supplies for the aforementioned forces, operating in South Vietnam. The route was strewn with devices that simulated a plant and were transmitters of information for US intelligence. They measured 1.2 ms. and their battery lasted 50 days. Many times an unmanned flying object, a drone, was used, which collected information from the ground and transmitted it via television to a distant plane.

A SECTION OF THE HO CHI MINH ROUTE

With the data collected from traffic on the roads, the Americans decided on interdiction bombing actions, carried out by their different aerial devices, including the invisible, inaudible and precise B-52 strategic bombers. In early 1971, data from aerial photos after the bombings, taken from planes flying after the attack formations, allowed analysts to assume that the “truck war” was causing a very severe strain on the industrial capacity of North Vietnamese suppliers (China and the USSR).

Historia Desterrada: La ruta Ho Chi Minh: Eje logístico clave en la Guerra  de Vietnam

But, if it was true that so many trucks and equipment were destroyed, how was it possible that the communists maintained the initiative in South Vietnam? On the other hand, where were the tens of thousands of remains of trucks and other materials that literally plagued many of the roads and logistics parks on the Ho Chi Minh Route? Who bothered to remove them?

A more primitive stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Route

Another embarrassing issue was that the total number of vehicles counted by the US aviation as destroyed, exceeded several times the total number of cargo transport vehicles that North Vietnam had, according to Intelligency.

The answer to this essential mystery was soon given by the young American officers (juniors): they were eaten by a monster called the “Great Laotian Truck Eater”; a horrendous scavenger that rose towards dawn and devoured the vehicles destroyed by aviation during the night, after the required photographs for the “wreck count”, the count of debris achieved. Because Americans are very scrupulous with statistics and consider lying a «social sin» that is almost unforgivable for officials.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Hamas attacks Israel in 2023.

General introduction.

Hamas commandos knew they would fight deep in Israeli territory. Very far from their supports, supplies and other Hamas units. Their targets were there: Israeli civilians and military personnel killed or taken hostage. And they knew that once 2 or 3 days had passed, the Israeli forces, superior in human and material resources, would attack, pursue, and ambush them. Their end, in general, was death. Since the Israelis would in this case still have a surplus of captured enemies. To interrogate and learn the parameters that Hamas used, to surpass them for a time: surprise them and establish combat superiority over their troops in many parts of Israel.

The various attackers carried out a “swarm attack” on positions in central and southern Israel. Several of the principles or norms of military forces in a conventional attack were disregarded. For example, the unity of the objective and the unity of command of the forces and the maintenance of a structure, of a deployment for all attacking forces. Here, each small Islamist “unit of action” had its own leader and its own objective. And, it is the set of actions of the “attacking swarm” that defines the strategy and complex real objective of Hamas.

YAHYA SINVAR, PALESTINIAN MILITARY CHIEF OF THE GAZA STRIP.

Here, Hamas forces attacked divided into a multitude of independent groups, small and sufficient, in charge of striking and/or destroying. Or occupy the Israeli military post, kibbutz or cooperative, and take Israeli or Western foreign hostages to send them to Gaza.

All of this reveals and shows us that the military effect sought by Hamas‘s multi-objective attack is an Internal Moral Shock, increased by the surprise factor of the action, already installed in the military establishment and in the populations of Israel. The aura of invincibility of the Israeli Armed Forces and the effectiveness attributed to Mossad and other affected security agencies, not so conspicuous, have been broken.

It is the set of «action units» of the militias, composed of variable weapons or branches of the FA: infantry, airborne, anti-tank, light armor, health, military police, which carries out, through these multiple and quasi-simultaneous actions on the Israeli Nation: The effect of shock, shattering, heartbreaking material and moral.

SEMI IRREGULAR HAMAS TROOPS PARADING

This multiple and general effect is inexorably transmitted to Israelis in arms through social mechanisms. The effects of damage to people and property not protected by the army, the invasion of cruel and vengeful Palestinian forces, which occupy and destroy different points in Israel, commotion and produce shock and disorientation of the troops.

Israel says it has mobilized almost 300,000 reservists to attack the Gaza Strip. They are not the best troops to maintain combat readiness and combat alert.

The geographical and military social scenario of the Islamist radicals.

The so-called Gaza Strip is a narrow, flat and small coastal corridor next to the Mediterranean Sea, located south of Israel. More than one and a half million people live crowded together in its approximately 363 km2 of surface. 99% of the inhabitants are Muslims and Christians number between 15 and 20 thousand souls. The strip reaches a demographic concentration of around 4,150 people per km2, which is one of the highest in the world. Its shape is that of an elongated rectangle, about 45 km long, measuring 12 km at its widest part. At the south is its border with Egypt of about 11 km, around the strategic city of Rafah.

To the east and north the Gaza border with Israel extends for about 51 km. The most important population of the strip is the one that gives it its name, Gaza, located in its northern third. The other prominent towns in the strip actually constitute “districts”, “peripheral neighborhoods” or “satellite towns” of the “ecumene” of Gaza. Among those not yet mentioned we will highlight Beit Hanoun (in the extreme north), Beit Layla, Sheikh Zaid, Dayral Balah (in the center), Jabalia and Kan Yunis (in the south, but not on the border with Egypt).

The unemployment rate of the population is between 35-40%. This makes it very dependent on external aid. And, furthermore, it excites their identity and social demands and defines as “solely” responsible for their evils the most visible, socially and culturally different, and close enemy, Israel. The search for a quick and utopian solution for this population necessarily requires a sufficient defeat of Israel, the oppressive and imperialist power. This makes its population very inclined to embrace “radical Islamist militants” doctrines and parties (the RIM). They allow them to glimpse and evaluate a solution, even in an indefinite and imprecise future. And at least they give them the hope they all need. Islamic Jihad and Hamas are the two main Islamist organizations with implant in Gaza.

Ideology of radical Islamist Palestinians.

Hamas, as a totalitarian socio-political-religious organization, exercises extensive power in all areas of civil coexistence of the inhabitants of Gaza. This power is also conditioned by the nature of the struggle in conditions of isolation, encirclement and hardship. This allows Hamas to invoke in its “general defense” the oppression to which the entire Palestinian population of Gaza is subjected, whether real, felt and/or magnified. Without, in practice, the tremendous suffering of the Palestinians being clearly distinguished from the victimhood wielded by Hamas or the Islamic Jihad. Between 100 and 200 thousand are the actual active militants of both radical organizations. In addition, there are their sympathizers and collaborators, with different degrees of involvement in the services and time dedicated to supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

ISRAELI SOLDIERS DISCOVER FIRST HAMAS TUNNEL SINCE 2014 WAR

Hamas mesmerizes, tenses and grows due to the prospects of a more or less close confrontation with Israel. A people cannot be kept permanently in arms, much less in “combat readiness.” But, the reason for being of Hamas is to recover and imitate doctrinally, socially and militarily the epic and glorious times of the first century of Islam, which approximately coincides with our 7th century and the first part of the 8th. It was the era, after the death of Muhammad, extended in time beyond the first 4 caliphs, from Abu Baker to Ali, called by the Sunnis the Rashidun, the “rightly guided (by God)”.

Because its radical totalitarian ideologists have decided that, when Islam practiced armed Jihad and was rigorous in its faith and customs, Islam convinced, overwhelmed, spread prodigiously across three continents and was almost invincible… And they believe that by reproducing the “basic conditions” of that social context, of that booming civilization, today’s Muslims will once again be great, feared, respected and accepted. There is nothing more and nothing less.

We verify that every few years a “casus belli” occurs or is caused, worthy of its name and with its pernicious effects for the corresponding populations. Thus, there are not many possibilities of being able to truly dialogue with this, to reach common ground and reach peace agreements that are consistent and acceptable to all.

Operational considerations of the Defense of Gaza against Israel.

The land defense of Gaza is very difficult to sustain over time. The strip lacks geographical space to establish a flexible, mobile and echelon in depth defense. This is necessary to give power, solidity, continuity and support to the rejection struggle.

Furthermore, the external supply of weapons, ammunition and military equipment to Hamas would be strangled by Israel. To ensure the sealing of Gaza, the Tsahal could establish “locks”, located transversely in the strip and occupied with reinforced mechanized infantry. They would prevent the transit of military equipment from Egypt. Iran‘s weapons and equipment have their hub or logistics center in Yemen. From here they are transported across the Red Sea to northern Sudan, from where they depart in caravans of trucks. They cross into Egypt halfway along its southern border and head to Rafah.

The Israelis sporadically carry out bombing raids on this “evil route”, concentrating on the intermediate depots along the route and on cargo vehicles. In October 2012, an unexpected explosion destroyed a weapons factory near Khartoum, the capital, and other times, truck convoys are destroyed. The naval persecution of this smuggling flow, through detection and exploration drone flights over the Red Sea, is carried out by the USA. And it is the scarce and reluctant collaboration of the three countries involved, Yemen, Sudan and Egypt, which does not allow the transit (traffic is merchandising) of heavy reactive artillery weapons to be made excessively burdensome for intermediaries and with little return for the end user.

(to be continued)

Spanish Fleet captures the British logistics Fleet in 1780.

Political Background.

Those were the times of the reign of the Bourbon King Carlos III, with Don José Moñino Redondo, Count of Floridablanca, Prime Minister of Spain since 1776, replacing the Marquis of Grimaldi.

Floridablanca, through the Count of Aranda, the Spanish ambassador in Paris, began systematic aid to the American war effort against Great Britain. The aid materialized first in money and supplies.

EL CONDE DE FLORIDABLANCA - RCMAGAZINE – Revista Cultural del Real Casino  de Murcia
COUNT OF FLORIDABLANCA

On April 28, 1779, Louis XVI of France ratified the renewal of the Family Pact between the two Bourbon kingdoms. And war was declared between them and Great Britain.

This is the century of the wars of kings. Since they are projected and carried out by sovereigns and their ministers. They sought to change the world map for dynastic interests and for the aggrandizement of their Powers. Without even taking into account the feelings of the people.

Background.

On July 9, 1780, a combined war fleet of 22 Spanish and 9 French ships had sailed from Spain, bound for the territorial waters of Great Britain. And in order to attack the enemies he could. An ambitious, broad and clear war mission.

Spain and France harassing the Royal Navy at home. To the Home Fleet, the enemy «home custody fleet».

Commanding our combined fleet was the general command of the Spanish Navy, Admiral Don Luis de Córdova y Córdova, 73 years old. At that age, Córdova was already back from Scholasticism, Thomistics, military or naval regulations, and the art of warfare of force against force.

LA GRANDE Y FELICÍSIMA CAPTURA REALIZADA POR DON LUIS DE CÓRDOVA Y CÓRDOVA  | frquesada.com
LUIS DE CÓRDOVA Y CÓRDOVA.

Córdova‘s fleet was divided into a Spanish division and a French division of ships of the line. Supported by a flotilla of frigates, smaller in length and size than the other ships, but much faster at sea. Intended for exploration tasks (active, intuitive and daring) and security or screen tasks (discreet and hiding from enemy views) of the combined fleet.

The flagship of the Spanish Navy was then the imposing and majestic Santísima Trinidad, the most important sailing ship of the line ever built. She had 4 artillery decks and was launched in the shipyards of Havana, advanced in naval construction.

The Santísima Trinidad was also the flagship of Córdova‘s fleet, where he raised his personal flag. And, she will have a decisive role in the development of future war events

The allied ships were already in the English Channel, when they received the news from Floridablanca, informed by their spies in Great Britain, that two convoys with 52 cargo ships in total, had just set sail from the port of Portsmouth, in the south of England, to India and North America.

Pintura Militar y Naval: Navío Santísima Trinidad navegando en línea
THE SANTÍSIMA TRINIDAD MAIN SHIP

This huge logistics fleet was in itself a necessary and sufficient objective for the tasks entrusted to the Admiral against Great Britain.

Córdova realized that his success lay in calculating with the greatest possible probability, that is, estimating correctly, the strip or sector of course followed by the logistics fleet. With this, he worked out for the combined fleet an interception course for the enemy ships, well to the east of the Azores. That would be confirmed later by his flotilla of frigates on a long-distance reconnaissance mission.

Unfortunately, most of the escort warships of the British logistics fleet returned to their bases, when it was already well under way in the open sea.

Developing.

Towards the first light of dawn on August 9, 1780, dispersed enemy freighters began to appear on the horizon of the combined fleet.

Córdova could attack them, cause them great damage, scatter the rest towards his port and capture a certain spoils. And, thus achieve a great victory.

But, he thought better of fooling them with an «appearance«. And, thus, defeat them one by one, capture them and make an immense booty, which he would take to Spain. And, at a minimum cost of life and damage to ships and their cargoes.

The Admiral ordered a large lantern to be lit and placed on the foremast of the Santísima Trinidad. This was the signal the enemy used to rally their ships around his Captain ship. Appearances, to work for, must be believable and the most expected and natural thing in the world. The enemy will fool himself…

And, the British ships headed towards the Spanish lantern that illuminated them on the horizon, as moths do towards the light…

It is worth remembering that our warships carried a variable crew, depending on their sizes and tasks, from the Spanish Marine Corps. In charge of fighting at sea and on land against enemies as infantrymen. And, that the groups leaders and captains of Córdova were fully trained to carry out the decided maneuvers.

Ahead of the Santísima Trinidad, the ships of the combined fleet fanned out to either side of the horizon, following a rough line. And each one was covered by its port or starboard guns. To receive the British as they deserved when the imaginary bag was closed more.

Some allied ships began their attack on the British freighters, seeing that they abandoned their course and wanted to flee.

Action of 9 August 1780 - Wikipedia
NAVAL BATTLE OF 9 AND 10 OF AUGUST OF 1780

From the Santísima Trinidad, they gave and transmitted the «combat order» to the allied groups ships, who transmitted them to the most distant ones. Thus, the rest of the allied ships closed on the scattered and sparse bundle of enemy cargo ships. Attacking them individually.

Let us remember that the cargo ships carried only a symbolic artillery for a minimum defense. Since its structure and displacement were intended to optimize its ability to carry loads for its destination. The artillery, its ammunition, gunpowder and the artillerymen greatly subtracted from its capacity, due to the effective specialization of the means. For its defense, they have the warships escorts.

The enemy, surprised and scattered, was overwhelmed and gave up quickly, once the allied ships were threatening them.

The three warships that were then escorting the British logistics fleet and a freighter escaped from the encirclement, heading for port. Some sources say that the three warships were seized by the allies. And they joined the Spanish Navy. And, they even give their new names as Spaniards.

It took a day to seize all the captured ships. The ring was not, nor could it be, as closed as on land. And, the warships would not surrender at first. Military marines and sailors are not intimidated by a threat and are trained to fight. Theirs is that they fled to the port, once they saw that they could do nothing to defend the freighters. Only to increase the irreparable losses of their nation.

Spanish Marines boarded enemy freighters to subdue and disarm British Trading Companies «soldiers» being flown to colonial duty stations to reinforce garrisons there. And to take the “prey”.

And they would remain in them to control that his sailors carried out the maneuvers to go to the destination ordered by the Admiral of the fleet.

The military operation was effective, clean, profitable and fast. Córdova and his combined attack fleet returned to the Homeland with a huge booty captured from the enemy.

The spoils of war seized by Córdova and his men amounted to:

1,800 “private soldiers” of the West India and East India Trading Companies.

Three thousand British sailors who manned the 51 captured ships.

About 140 million reales (old Spanish coin worth) as the value of the ships, merchandise of all kinds for sale, goods and supplies, weapons and ammunition of the ships and the men of the Companies.

The loss of the logistics convoy destined for the 13 North American colonies dealt a heavy blow to Britain’s war efforts there, against the Native Americans fighting for their Independence.

By August 20, Córdova, his ships, his men, and his enormous booty were reaching Cádiz. Being received in triumph by the local authorities and the people of Cádiz.

Some final considerations.

This Spanish naval feat has little resonance in the History books written since then. As an explanation, we could say that the «Efforts of arms» are always attributed «gunpowder and blood«. As notable, essential and instrumental Additions to them.

And, the Córdova combined fleet Action in the capture of the largest logistics fleet suffered by Great Britain in its history, was quiet (with little gunpowder) and unscathed (without much blood).

And therefore it is assumed to be with little military effort. In other words, without courage, brilliance, stripes, or warlike glory.

We don’t always have a Master Sun (Sun Tzu means that) on our way to understand us. And appreciating a complete victory taking advantage of the weaknesses and failures of the enemy.

Valery Gerasimov, Russian military commander in Ukraine. 2nd. Part.

(continuation)

The mercenary and rapacious Wagner Group.

A minor issue arises, but of great importance due to the disagreements it creates in Moscow and with the troops in the campaign. It is the growing presence of the Wagner Group as a Russian fire extinguisher in the war in Ukraine.

WAGNER RECRUITS RUSSIAN CONVICTS.

It includes convicted criminals, Syrian and Libyan mercenaries «among other elements of bad living» and Russian volunteers. In general, they enjoy disparate salaries, depending on their experience, origin and life path; a convict is basically paid with his freedom, more or less garnished with a clean record.

Their boss is Prigozhin, a Russian plutocrat and Putin henchman. This man is in conflict with part of the Kremlin and with senior military leaders over the permanence of his «private mercenary armed group» in the Russian ranks in the campaign.

The implicit tolerance of the Russian military commands in Ukraine with the men of the Wagner Group generates enormous discomfort among the officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers stationed there. And it greatly lowers their combat morale and their «esprit de corps«.

If Gerasimov comes with full powers as commander of the campaign and considers the previous arguments, in relation to the motivation and combative disposition of his Russian regular forces, he has to recompose the situation of the forces, in relation to the presence of the Wagner Group in the Russian ranks.

Unity of Action and Concentration of Efforts in the Campaign.

Another of the capital problems that Gerasimov will have to solve is the strategic and operational Integration of all the active Fronts of the Russian forces in presence.

To establish a strategic «Superior Effort Unit» that is coordinated, proportional and synergistic. To optimize in «effective times«, according to the «superior universal saving means» principle and the «military principle of the Objective», the distribution and coordinated use over time of the human and material capacities assigned to the different Fronts.

Thus, the Russians have several Fronts with different importance and presenting different opportunities.

The Kiev Northern Front is inactive. Lukashenko is Putin‘s due ally and with his bravado and maneuvers he causes uncertainty in Kiev. It offers an opportunity to drain mobile Ukrainian troops, to fix and protect the Front from possible Russian rapid raids.

Here the presence in Belarus of a mechanized Russian “task force” would suffice. Counting on tanks and infantry combat and transport vehicles, with support from artillery, engineers, defense against aircraft and ground support aviation and its escort. And integrating a couple of divisions. That moved around the south of Belarus, prowling.

The Crimean Front is active towards Kherson, Mariupol and Zaporiya and creates uncertainty towards Odessa. It allows the defense of the 4 territories annexed by Putin.

The Donbass Front, in southeastern Ukraine, is active in the oblasts or provinces of Lugansk, to the north, along the border with Russia, and Donetz, to the south. The Northeast Front, towards Kharkov is in hibernation. Both hold promise in theory in this new phase of the war.

The joint and coordinated action from both Russian Fronts, of «breaking shock forces» of the Ukrainian Tactical defense. Followed, after the irruption, by «armored mobile groups» with air support, advancing in the Ukrainian operational rear towards a town or small area. Forming a wide and double enveloping movement around the enemy. It can create a “pocket” of it or, at least, a serious threat of cutting off communications for the most active Ukrainian forces, and therefore equipped with heavy equipment, deployed in the east of the country. Russia has more than enough regular mobile forces for this.

The Ukrainian Counterattack.

The Ukrainians can counterattack by employing armored forces with sufficient punch, such as the more modern Main Battle Tanks. The “heavy” tanks that Zelensky claims from the US and Europe now. The Challengers (with their Chobham armor); Leopards 2 A5, of German engineering; Leclercs, the first type built of this new generation of tanks and the Americans Abrams.

Advancing rapidly from the depth of the Ukrainian deployment, on one flank of the Russian advancing points. Let’s remember that this territory is favorable ground for armored vehicles.

For this, Ukraine will need to have several battalions of such tanks. Distributed by their most important concentrations, each with about 50 tanks. Distributing or employing it by isolated companies is to waste its special and unique off-road forward speed, shock and firepower, protected by effective armor. Which is completely decisive in modern combat.

In all this theoretical filigree of maneuvers and combats, the most capable, equipped, motivated and prepared will win.

The denatured current Russian air front.

The goal of the current Russian air front is the weakening of Ukrainian morale. Through the successive attack on civilian facilities (energy, water and communications) and urban centers of some importance in Ukraine.

It should be noted that this rather criminal objective does not target the enemy military forces, but their unarmed rearguard populations. For more INRI, it began to be used shamelessly when Putin and his Kremlin bosses and henchmen realized that his “special military action” in Ukraine was a “bluff”. And that the Ukraine was a tough nut to crack for the Russian forces employed in it.

MASTER SUN.

Almost 2,500 years ago, Master Sun (Sun Tzu), in the Warring States Era, already warned that «when the general is already appointed by the sovereign, he should not interfere in his affairs» and «when the courtiers and ministers interfere in his command, they bring misfortune to the Kingdom”.

In addition, this objective has already been used in other cases and with zero effectiveness, by the way.

Japan was mercilessly bombarded by the US, when it had already managed to occupy the Japanese islands (e.g., Okinawa) close enough to insular Japan. The Japanese were already preparing their civilian population for a Numantine resistance to the invader. Creating an immense natural fortress on its islands, where each one was a fortified redoubt of it.

They were the two atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which represented an «ascent to the upper limits» in the fight against civilian rearguards. Because they were much more than a very large cannon shot. The ones that forced Japan to surrender unconditionally to the Americans. Because they threatened (although they didn’t have any more artifacts at the time), to destroy the essence and Japanese national identity.

In general, the use of the «indiscriminate bombardment of the civilian rearguards», what it achieves is to galvanize them around their government and their armed forces. Because they perceive from the enemy a demonic, fierce hatred towards them, which would seek the destruction of their identity, culture and idiosyncrasy.

Modernly, such bombing type was used by the US in North Vietnam. They left South Vietnam in 1973 and in 1975 the communist forces occupied it, almost without resistance.

Russia’s Air Support to its Ground Forces.

The Russian air front in Ukraine must be directed against enemy troop concentrations (reserves, attack preparations, marching forces), their ground communications and logistics network, command posts and communications centers, attack points of their forces, artillery and rocket and drones launch positions.

FINAL.

Valery Gerasimov, Russian military commander in Ukraine.

Introduction.

With all the accumulated defeats suffered by the Army of the Russian Federation in its «special military operation» in Ukraine from February 24, 2022 until now, Vladimir Putin does not rest, he is irritated and has no peace.

The latest «ace up his sleeve» is Army General Valery Gerasimov, born in the Russian city of Kazan, 67 years ago and Chief of the General Staff since 2012.

An almost ideal age for the work that is coming up. Defined by organization, structural changes, discipline, sufficient flow of means and a strong hand.

Almost as USSR Marshal Georgi Zhukov had it. When he went to important battle places to preside, on behalf of STAVKA, the General Staff of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, the main offensives of his Front Groups against the Germans, A Front was the Western equivalent of Army Group, although the Red Armies were smaller in men and means than the Western ones.

MARSHAL OF THE SOVIET UNION GEORGI ZHUKOV, WITH ALL HIS AWARDS.

When Putin appears with his senior military commanders in the photos, his Defense Minister Shoigu is to his right and Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of all the Armed Forces, is to his left.

As Assistants at his Main Command Post, probably in Crimea, Gerasimov will have the Chief of the Land Forces of the Russian Federation, to which the vast majority of the troops present in that theater of operations belong, and the current deputy chief of his General Staff (his G-1, in our nomenclature).

At first there was talk that the appointment of Gerasimov was a maneuver by the top Russian military commanders. To see how an intellectual general, a modern hybrid warfare theorist, performed in the field. But, it is not true that he has no combat experience. He has enough of her.

Gerasimov already participated in his day in the two «anti-banditry wars» or counterinsurgency (Russian name) in Chechnya. That was fighting hard for his independence from Russia, as the heir of the USSR, the former imperialist oppressor. In the second, in 1999, he was the deputy head of the Russian armed forces in the campaign. He is accused of war crimes against Chechen populations for his direct action.

He also acted, already as Chief of the General Staff of the Russian forces, during Russia’s campaign in direct support for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, since 2015, making frequent trips to the Syrian theater of operations.

Based on his direct experiences and his ability to analyze and synthesize the issues of his profession, Valery Gerasimov developed his Theory of Military Doctrine, currently in force in Russia. It’s his Hybrid War Theory.

Although it is nothing more than a Compilation of diplomatic, heterodox foreign, economic and military action policies and their trends. In short, what Gerasimov advocates is to use against the enemy all the means of a modern State in a great centripetous and synergistic action: diplomats, heterodox exteriors (various support for internal enemy dissidents, including armed forces, boycotts, promotion of popular discontent), economic, military

Thus, Putin decided with his military leadership to replace the «butcher of Syria» Colonel General Surovikin, as military chief of the Ukrainian campaign, appointed just a few months ago. He was the fourth replacement for the Russian campaign manager in Ukraine.

The general of ideas and methods with a strong and intransigent hand and centralized orders, which were given from top to bottom, by a general with more flexible and fresh training and ideas.

Based on his direct experiences and his capacity for analysis and synthesis of the issues of his profession, Valery Gerasimov developed his Theory of Military Doctrine, currently in force in Russia. It’s his Hybrid War Theory.

Although it is nothing more than a Compilation of diplomatic, heterodox foreign issues, economic and military action policies and their trends. In short, what Gerasimov advocates is to use against the enemy all the means of a modern State in a great centripetous and synergistic action: diplomats, heterodox exteriors (various support for internal enemy dissidents, including armed forces, boycotts, promotion of popular discontent), economic, military

Thus, Putin decided with his military leadership to replace the «butcher of Syria» Colonel General Surovikin, as military commander of the Ukrainian campaign, appointed just a few months ago. It was the fourth replacement of the Russian campaign commander in Ukraine.

The general of ideas and methods with a strong and intransigent hand and centralized orders, which were given from top to bottom, by a general with more flexible and fresh training and ideas.

That adapted the stagnant and heavy working of the Russian Army to a war of IV (guerrillas) and V (hybrid) generations.

Fighting against a very well equipped enemy (with better equipment and materials than theirs, for a conventional war, in general), committed and determined in their fight, with highly trained officers and cadres, tremendously motivated.

And, educated, trained and mentalized for a modern war, both of «operational movement and combat» and of «guerrillas and counterguerrillas».

Some Problems for Gerasimov.

Many are the problems accumulated by the Army of the Russian Federation and not all of them are solvable in the short term. Probably because they are already structural.

Continuous, effective and sufficient military logistics.

One of the star, creaking, problems of the Russian military is to establish a modern and effective comprehensive military logistics. Even defining it is quite simple for a professional.

INDOCTRINATION IN A SOVIET STATE AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE.

But, in the USSR and now in the Russian Federation, they have not been able to or did not know how to do it well.

In the USSR it was a classic that the potatoes collected in a kolkhoz or sovkhoz rotted in the field. Meanwhile, a few tens of km away, the urban people suffered from hunger or a nearby alcohol manufacturing industry did not receive the potatoes to produce it, from the starch of them.

Probably, the seminal error comes from the Marxist-Leninist economic doctrines, far from reality even in theory. In this case, the economy.

Where logistics is not considered, nor is «added value» attributed to it in the economy. Therefore, in the Budgets and the theoretical Soviet Five-Year Plans it was not taken into account.

The “total value” of a good comes from the “labor of the workers” and, later, of the peasants as well. And, amen.

As all the value of the good is attributed to the producers, the difference between the sale price and the production cost of the workers, the famous surplus value, is accused of being Appropriated (Stealed) by the bloody capitalists.

Capitalist production is not simply the production of commodities; it is essentially the production of surplus value.

This is one more theoretical fallacy of communism, with disastrous economic and military consequences for the country.

Although communism has already disappeared from Russia as a theoretical ruling force, many of its styles, ideas and methods, applied for 70 years, have penetrated and endured in the idiosyncrasies of society and its culture.

(To be continued)

The Opportunity as Command’s Instrument for Victory

Introduction.

The opportunity arises from the play of dialectical actions between the opposing units. Opportunity is the tactical, even operational, weakness that arises in an enemy sector or is about to do so. We can act on it and even precipitate it with our combined weapons system in an «action interface» especially favorable to us. In opportunity always underlies an enemy error. If this was insurmountable for him, it would be due to the unforeseen, surprising circumstances that concurred. Opportunities are a useful and advantageous feature provided by the dialectic of actions in the chaos of war.

The intermediate objectives foreseen in the plans are not opportunities. They are forecasts derived from the planning and the well-founded resolution of the command. When contacts with the enemy begin, its achievement begins to be tested, as Moltke said, in the dialectics play.

Functioning.

Of this play in a chaotic environment, independently of the greater or smaller deviations from plans, will arise the opportunities and the dangers. The dangers would be the enemy opportunities on us. Both are unexpected, but accessible and exploitable during a certain time. The reason of the unpredictably of the opportunities in the time is in the number almost infinite of variables and individual and collective actions that concur to define asituation” and the successive cycles of action in which it develops.

The opportunity arises when the enemy fails to use his forces and means of support. It can originate in differences in the qualities of enemy forces and in the transitability of a given terrain, that debilitates a defense or the momentum of an attack. It also appears in the negligence of the enemy in presenting an exposed flank, that is, an interface of action real or potential favorable with us, not properly taken care of by him to face our available combined arms system. The opportunity is an emptiness in combat capacity that arises in a cycle of action for a unit, or a sector, that is unprotected and neglected for long enough allowing it to be detected and exploited by the enemy.

It is necessary to take advantage of opportunities quickly. The dynamics of interaction in a chaotic environment makes opportunities unattainable after a short time. The succession of cycles of action continually modify circumstances.

Developing.

To detect opportunities at any level of military activity, intelligence is necessary (elaborated the exploration and reconnaissance and converted into useful, continuous, sufficient knowledge) and the sufficient presence of the corresponding command. To take advantage of them, simple and vertical communication is necessary, supported by implicit communication between subordinate leaders and mobility, flexibility and combat capacity available in the units and commands involved. If the opportunity is transcendental, the tactical or operational center of gravity of the military means is transferred to it by the command. If it is important, their use must contribute concentrically to its creation and development.

The same characteristics just mentioned, but focused on ourselves, are the ones that, in turn, will protect us from enemy dangers or opportunities. This will prevent its appearance, compensate for the danger or mitigate its presence and reduce our time of vulnerability. If despite foresight and care, surprising or unexpected circumstances concur in its appearance, even due to a mistake on our part, the means to be used are the last two actions mentioned for its detection and use.

What is that sufficient presence of the commander? The one that allows him to take advantage of the opportunities that arise at his level of activity. All of this is directly related to the two different command styles or forms for carrying out the tasks of the different levels of command.

Tactical command must be exercised bySensing the “action interface” with the enemy, exchanging actions with him on the ground. The limit of tactical command is clearly in the brigade. And, in large operations or in the attack or in the armored forces, it probably reaches in greater or lesser degree to the division, whose commander must drive forward the march or the attack behind the first important marching force of the bulk of the unit.

The command of the army corps is clearly an corps’ operational management and must have a broader perspective of the whole. As well as a greater distance from direct contact with the enemy, which overcomes the interface of action and its immediate rear. This gives the command breadth, vision, serenity and security.

In the immense chaos that is created in a combat, the foresight of the command can impose and outline its evolution in a direction and sense.

Like the effective command, is capable of «searching» and «feeling» the enemy’s signs of weakness and discouragement. And then he prepares the forces that he will use in the persecution and the support that he will give them. Putting them under the command of an energetic, spirited, leading and lucid commander.

The command must prepare «rapidly available forces» in the units under its command. For example, a mixed company in the battalion; a combined arms battalion in the brigade. In such a way that the appearance of the opportunity, close and surprising, allows him to take advantage of it. Since the surprise will help the opportunity to be seized at first by a relatively small force of their own. And that may soon be reinforced by the bulk.

Example of the effective, non-physical presence of a High Command.

Erich von Manstein directed the counterattack operation of the German Armies Group Don, mainly against the Soviet Southwestern Front of General Vatutin, from his headquarters in Zaporiya. By mid-March1943, the Germans had eliminated six tank corps in the order of battle of Vatutin, recovered Kharkov and settled a resistant defense front from Tangarov to Belgorod, supported in the Mius and the Donetz. They also had enough mobile reserves in the south of Russia to reject possible soviet operational ruptures in the zone. And, after the setback of Stalingrad, they had recovered the strategic initiative, at least in the southern theater of operations.

HITLER, WORRIED, VISIT MARSHAL VON MANSTEIN AT ZAPORIYA, UKRAINE.

An attack against the Kursk salient, completed its formation by von Manstein‘s advance on Belgorod, which would have begun in April, then had a chance of success due to the lack of Soviet preparation.

This same offensive, which began in July 1943, determined that no more mistakes by the German High Command (Hitler) were of any importance: then, the subjet of total strategy or state strategy was no longer who would win the war, but how long it would take to do so.

A Failure in the effective presence of command.

Let’s see an example of an inadequate presence of the commander, in relation to the echelon that he is supposed to command. It starred Rommel in North Africa in November 1941.

Rommel’s advanced command post in the desert.

Mistakenly believing that the British armor was dispersed after some fighting, Rommel ordered to concentrate his Panzers on the Libyan-Egyptian border. Directly dedicated to it, acting as a regimental commander, he was involved in the repulse of a British attack. He was even isolated with his command vehicle, due to a mechanical problem, for half a day at the front.

This temporarily deprived him of control of operations in Tobruk. This was Rommel’s main operational objective, while resisting the German siege was the main objective of the English. Due to this unjustified distraction, Rommel had to abandon the attempt to take that fortified port, located in his operational rear, which he could have consolidated for his defense of his won territory.

In less than a month, the advances of the English tanks and infantry forced him into a long retreat towards Tunisia. He had to give up almost all the ground he had gained since March, when he arrived in Africa, until he recovered and was able to fight back, as British pressure lightened.

The Russian-Ukrainian War six months later.

Situation.

Everywhere we get news of:

Missiles carrier ships, corvette, frigate, destroyer, light cruiser type, of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, sunk from the ground by Ukrainian guided missiles.

Moskvá (2000) - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Black Sea Fleet flagship «Moskva», sunk at beginning of the war.

Groups of Russian tanks, interspersed with fuel or ammunition logistics vehicles and infantry fighting vehicles, (where is their marching column or attack deployment or their security against the enemy?), that roam the combat zone erratically and disjointed.

Así es el T-90M, la joya de los tanques rusos también cae en Ucrania:  misiles a 10 km y armadura reactiva
Russian Main Battle Tank T-90

And that are destroyed by the Ukrainians, using personal anti-tank rocket launchers and artillery with very modern fire direction, of American or European manufacture. German 155mm self-propelled guns are especially good. Their entire direction of fire is automatic and the Ukrainians did not get used to it well.

Russian planes and helicopters are shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft positions on the ground, fixed or mobile, including personal manned.

🥇 Avión Sukhoi Su-57 (T-50 PAK FA) -【AvionesdeCombate.org】
Russian Fighter Sukhoi SU-57, but not shipped to Ukraine.

Putin continuously threatens his potential enemies, in short, the liberal West, with intercontinental ballistic missiles of hypersonic speeds and each carrying several warheads. They separate in the last phase of flight towards the target area, from the carrier missile.

They are the MIRV or multiple independent reentry vehicles.

Putin, de emperador romano

With all the hilarious and ineffective «destructive defensive potential» (DDP) of its weapons of ultramodern technology and extremely poor results. Why doesn’t Putin establish a modern, effective, Motivated and smaller army? Following the fashion of the Israeli army, as example, and of dimensions according to Russia’s own needs.

And, he abandons his echelons and his massive advance and attack tips. Where its deployment hinders itself. To move and to attack or retreat with agility, precision and effectiveness.

Results.

According to a summary of prestigious foreign journalistic media (The Economist, Forbes, The Washington Post) and the newspaper El Mundo, the Confirmed Casualties in this conflict by August 24 would be:

Tanks

Ukrainians 240

Russians 967

Aircraft and helicopters

Ukrainians 74

Russians 213

Ships of all kinds

Ukrainians 19

Russians 11

That number of Russian tanks would be the equipment of four tank divisions or five or six mechanized or motorized divisions, according to nomenclature, with their full order of battle. Also, in its war in Afghanistan, the USSR lost 147 tanks. And, furthermore, the number of Russian tanks lost so far is higher than the active tanks of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, combined.

If Russia cannot deal with Ukraine, which is much weaker militarily, how is it going to deal with a certain probability of success with the USA or the UK or France?

Promising Background.

Mijaíl Tujachevski – Edad, Muerte, Cumpleaños, Biografía, Hechos y Más –  Muertes Famosos del 12 junio - CalendarZ
Mikhail Tujachevski

Russia, formerly the USSR, was in the years 22 to 37 of the last century, an advanced power in military philosophy or «modern theory of military art and science«. Marshal Mikhail Tujachevski, Lieutenant General Vladimir R. Triandafillov and Brigadier Georgy S. Isserson shone there with their own light… with their teams of auxiliaries and collaborators. All scholars and advanced in the theory of the Deep Maneuver in the enemy tactical, operational and, even, strategic rearguard of modern armies.

Georgii Isserson (1898–1976) | Weapons and Warfare
Georgy S. Isserson

Which I believe was more solidly reasoned and argued than the German mechanized warfare theory. Which was more like “practical”.

Germany, with excellent commanders and officers, cadres (unparalleled in the world) and soldiers, some of the best in the world; and, for the moment, in 1939, all highly trained and motivated.

By the way, they call Blitzkrieg the German way of fighting. Name given by a journalist. And people think it’s because of the speed of their maneuvers.

Триандафиллов, Владимир Кириакович — Википедия
Vladimir R. Triandafillov

But, the specialists called it blitzkrieg, because of the continuous changes of direction of the tactical movements of the main forces. Following the weakest or least protected points or positions of the enemy. Changes tracing the paths of the beam on the surface of the combat area.

Only Triandafillov died peacefully and recognized, in 1931. Isserson was in jail when the Great Purge and his merits or contributions were not recognized. Tukhachevsky was shot in the 1937 great purge of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. To eliminate the military cadres that could overshadow the power of the Party, the excuse (or Stalin).

This sterilized the creativity and freshness of the surviving military commanders. Surveillance and denunciation among peers increased. The military ideas and concepts of those purged acquired their infamy and vituperation; this was fatal for the USSR and its military forces 4 years later in a foreign invasion. The commands and officers only cared about carrying out the orders without errors; so as not to be victims of purges or dismissals or transfers; which leads in war to not doing anything effective, forceful or decisive.

And it led the Army to assume the old doctrines of the Russian Civil War against the White armies. When the mechanization of the forces was still a desideratum, the Red army logistics used to survive the dispossession of the trodden territory, the sole command of the military chief was shared with the political commissar in the unit and the Red armies were hordes.

And this is how the USSR faced the German invasion of June 22, 1941, without able and trained senior officers, officers and non-commissioned officers and without adequate doctrine.

Are we now in a similar Stage or Phase of Decline in Putin‘s Russian Army, which has more than a million people enrolled at arms?

The Russian Campaign for the Donbass’ Basin.

Introduction.

When the Russians have attacked the vast area of the Donbass, as the Center of Gravity of their military efforts in eastern Ukraine, they have done so by employing other, more primitive tactics, if possible.

Russian attempts to employ their modern combined weapons units, the Mobile Battalion Groups, a kind of demi mobile brigades or light brigades, against the ecumens of Kyiv, in western Ukraine, or Kharkov, in eastern Ukraine, were met with unexpected defeats. Thanks to the effective rejection tactics of the Ukrainian units, employing a mobile defense with cession of space and a favorable terrain for defense, almost always.

After the capture of Mariupol, with its port to the Sea of Azov and its gigantic steel industry Azovstal, the time came to attend and occupy the Donbass’ basin, with the oblast (province) of Lugansk, to the north, next to the Russian border and the oblast of Donetz, to the south, towards the peninsula of Crimea, occupied already in 2014.

In this new performance of the Russian Army, «support» heavy fire is no longer such. It has, as an Army Branch, an Own Use, «per se«. That it is surgical and almost total destruction of Ukrainian positions. This guarantees greater survival to their soldiers in the assault on those positions. Operation, on the other hand, that will rarely be important already.

These are not brilliant tactics, nor exemplary ones they use.

SwashVillage | Cómo Ulysses S. Grant ganó el sobrenombre de Subvención de  rendición incondicional
GENERAL ULYSSES GRANT

They are similar to the Attrition and Wear tactics employed by Grant at the end of the American Civil War. He systematically chased Lee and attacked him, not caring too much about the cost. But, he wore him down inexorably. And it led him to his surrender at Appomattox in April 1865.

As he won and as in the war is debatable almost everything, Grant was commended for his perseverance, definition and concentration on a decisive goal and other things…

Or, those used by Foch, Generalissimo of the Allies in the Western European theater in 1918. Who hammered uninterruptedly the German positions in some sectors. Until breaking them, bursting behind their lines and trying a shallow exploitation. That always broke the opportune German operational counterattack. And, that only changed his effort to other sectors, when the German resistance was strong or hardened in them.

Ferdinand Foch, general francés y comandante supr...
GENERALISSIMO FOCH, ALLIED SUPREME COMAND IN 1918

But this unfailingly exhausted the means available to an adversary inferior to the Allies. And, it led Germany to a humiliating surrender before them. And to the dismemberment of the Second Reich and the establishment of the Weimar Republic. That did not direct positively the desires and wishes of the German people.

They are the tactics of the great mace or hammer on the anvil. In contrast with indirect actions and maneuvers of other generals and theaters of operations and epochs. They have the elegance, cleanliness, speed and efficiency of Foil fencing.

These Russian tactics are more costly, long and bloody. And, they are applicable when:

One’s means are far superior to those of the enemy.

The Russian’ Command and Control structure does not respond effectively to the needs of modern warfare. Regarding the complementary use of maneuver and combat, according to the needs of the command and the taking advantage of the opportunities that arise.

Politicians Only ask the military for victory.

Own commands are mediocre and subject to a «zero fault» control by their superiors. Above all, such commands lack imagination and freedom of action.

We will see bad, costly and painful results.

Campaign’s General Development.

Tactical mobile battalions attack in a sector of between one and three km, according to the intensity of the effort that the brigade leaders want to apply in the area. The mobile battalion, which is the effective autonomous tactical unit of the Russian Army, possesses its own organic artillery. But, for certain missions seeking the wear and tear of the enemy, the division can assign them even one more artillery group in direct support, coming from the reserve of it.

Los posibles escenarios militares para una invasión rusa de Ucrania -  Infobae
PARTIAL PHOTO OF A RUSSIAN MOBILE BATTALION IN PARADE

The advance by an attack strip is carried out by a mechanized or motorized infantry company and a tank company, with the corresponding services of the battalion. As fighting takes place on enemy urban terrain, villages and districts, command is exercised by the infantry chief. Which the tanks support from positions further back. Using their powerful cannons with direct fire and HE-type charges, against enemy infantry «support points» and «resistance nests» and anti-tank positions in the infantry zone. In the appearance of Ukrainian tanks and/or Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Russian tanks or a part of them, as decided by the tank command, would quickly switch to anti-tank ammunition and/or smoke charges, if appropriate.

Rusia tendrá en órbita 150 satélites para 2025
RUSSIAN SATELLITE

There is no operational exploration by parts of the Russian ground forces here. This function is fulfilled by the many surveillance satellites deployed in space. And, the «unmanned aerial exploration vehicles» or drones launched from the ground by the Army.

It is assumed that all this information collected by several different means and commands, is centralized in a common Intelligence Center.

Guerra en Ucrania: Rusia tiene drones con tecnología española, según  investigadores británicos – FayerWayer
RUSSIAN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Responsible for such reception and its analysis and projection for various times, days, weeks, months. Creating a reasonably reliable, up-to-date, continuous and timely Intelligence. That would facilitate to the ground commanders of brigades or mobile groups, in charge of operations.

The mobile battalions in contact only advance a small combat exploration for their different Weapons. To narrow down and outline the various immediate targets that correspond to them.

If the Artillery, Rockets and Tactical Aviation were used at heart in any of the battles of the Campaign, the Russian ground troops would have as mission in that battle the occupation and consolidation of the objective to «assault». In which there would no longer be enemy soldiers, because they would probably have withdrawn in advance to the attack of the Russian ground force.

The Gravity Center of the Joint Effort of the Combined Means. 2nd Part.

An Instrument of the Command.

(continuation)

Now, closing the “historical and definer cicle”, the wars of V generation are called hybrid or multi functional wars, which, really, always have existed. With the major or minor participation of each one of the available “means of intervention» (Foreign Relations, regular and irregular Armed Forces, Economy, Cybernetics, etc) in the social group, to obtain the searched «functions of intervention» on the enemy. Forming a “means” mix, adapted to all situations and confrontation theaters.

Not for nominating nowadays with an exotic and new word, preferably foreign, one makes this way a «mean or a function of intervention» fresh and promising. The problem is that the ignorance of the history, still the recent one, impoverishes the new concepts, ideas and situations of conflict. Without winning in application, efficiency and cognitive capacity with it. With this, only it falls or repeats the previous history, returning to learn it. And that, as in a spiral screw, only changes the phenomenon temporal «plane of execution«. Where are kept safe and now partly secret, the different «essential parameters» of the phenomena of the conflicts and fights.

Almost all the «means of intervention» of the State, used to obtain his national aims, already were present in the panoply of means at his disposition, a long before this new name of the Hybrid War. The «functions of intervention» were developed by «means» adapted to the real possibilities of his epoch. And they were obtaining the looked aims, though they were very specific. There we have the actions of the SAS (Special Air Service) as «special forces of punctual intervention with limited objectives” in the enemy rearguard. Fighting against this one and to support and help the local «forces of resistance to the occupant». In the USA we have to the SEALs, the Rangers, the Delta force and the Special Forces, among others. In Germany is the GSG 9 group. In Australia and New Zealand they have the same name that the British corps.

Resultado de imagen de propaganda social
CHINESE PROPAGANDA AGAINST TAIWAN.

The strategic and tactical needs of the war and the functions of the «means of intervention» are slightly variable. And his variability is a function of the improvements in general training, scope, speed, capacity of shock and fire on the enemy, communications between «means», protection of these, etc. That offer the successive technologies applicable to the «means».

One of the «means of intervention» of a world or regional power to obtain his «national and strategic aims» are the «Foreign Relations«. That has a concept qualitatively more extensive than the Diplomacy. This refers to the State or government affairs, that treat two or more nations (alliances). And the diplomatic «function» is to negotiate by the political way what communicates to him his State, department or secretary. Asking and receiving successive instructions, if it was necessary, to support and continue the negotiation. And being kept or not in his execution and protocol relations, within the qualities of discretion, prudence and tact that characterize his trade.

Resultado de imagen de cuba en etiopía
Cuban «internationalists» forces help Ethiopy in 1977.

The Foreign Relations also include other relations and more heterodox actions. That is necessary to look for, to keep and to support in the exterior to obtain our National aims. This way, a function of the foreign relations is to appear for it, new opportunities and more secondary ways or routes and «means of intervention«. The Foreign Relations collaborate directly, since always it has been done, using the means and the in force national strategy, with the Intelligence, the Economy and the national Armed Forces. That is to say, acting together in a «mix» of functions and means of intervention, the war always has been Hybrid from the Prehistory. Creating new opportunities and ways, to apply and use the whole creative and potential capacity of the State, to achieve his strategic and operational aims.

Resultado de imagen de Metternich diplomacia
Prince Klemens Wenzel Metternich (1773-1859). As a chameleon diplomat he was more important in his achievements than Napoleon in his wars.

A succinct example between thousands of situations. The «Central Strategic Command of Combined War» can request to Foreign Relations the search of dissident or domestic enemy in a potential enemy country. Located one o more of these, there are valued his capacities, circumstances, implantation and operational possibilities. This way, FF. RR. would present a report to the Central Command in the shape of a «founded resolution”, involving in it. That is, valuing schematically the existing cases and being decided for one or two, depending on his qualities and our general or punctual convenience.

These dissidents or enemies will be politicians or also armed rebels. In the first case, our nation might grant to them asylum, scholarships, economic support and advice to his groups. In the second one, in a phase of major confrontation, we could also send supply and armaments, advisers and trainers and «special operations» or units of «foreign volunteers», to support and/or reinforce them in his insurgents activities.

At the beginning of the 16th century the «reformists and heretical» ideas of the priest Martin Luther propagated in the center and north of Europe, with the help of the press. The origin of the word propaganda arises during the Counter Reformation. It is a reference to the spread of the catholic faith. With the Jesuits in the forefront of this task of catechizing. Facing to the deviations from the preexisting orthodoxy, taught by the Lutherans, Huguenots, Calvinists, Erasmists, etc.

The propaganda always handles basic, essential information, that are easy and simple by definition. This is due to the fact that his «aim» (the «target«) is always large and numerous: the population of a certain country or region, or a religious, economic, racial or socially different extensive group. They are those that it is necessary to inform, convince and, according with the cases, to protect.

A «mean of intervention» against the enemies or to change or to influence wills, which was not known, for unthinkable, until a few years ago, is the Cybernetic War.

The cybernetic attacks can go to the software or the hardware of the personal IT, managerial or institutional systems. The software is the «logical support» of an IT system, which makes possible the accomplishment of the different tasks. This «logical support» includes the operating system and the applications or IT programs that those realize. The hardware is the machinery or the set of physical components of the computer. This way, summarizing, the software generates instructions that are executed by the hardware or physical support of the system.

June 2021 Cyber Attacks Statistics – HACKMAGEDDON

In general, the attacks are realized to the software of a system, looking for a «weakness» of this one. And using the malicious codes, the back entrances, etc. A penetration or attack to the software is prevented in general with an antivirus adapted to the received virus. To attack the hardware is necessary to act on the «physical component» of the computer. And his detection, with the nowadays existing miniaturization, turns out to be very improbable and long in the time, until the devastation is detected. The best way of acceding to the hardware is realizing the intrusion in the factories of components and of assemblies. But these are protected by control measures of components and external equipment, based on the nationality and the producer of them. Unless the attacker and the manufacturer undesirably match…

Imagen relacionada
Somewhat confusing scheme of Cyber War.

The Economy is an important and classic “mean of intervention» of the State and of the Nation. It means and involves in the effort of war the capacity of obtaining and producing all kinds of goods and services, intermediates and finals, that the technologies and processes in effect in each stage are capable of get and obtain.

Resultado de imagen de reagan and gorbachev

The Economy is tied directly with the applied, specific education, of the skilled workforce, who is needed and could be achieved in a nation. The own aptitude to obtain goods or services (even with tourism, raw materials, trade) appetizing to other nations or social groups, will serve for the direct exchange or for barter of the goods and services in which a society is showing a deficit. As an example, energy or specifically qualified workforce.

Also, in cases of need and usefulness, a nation can decide to assign more productive resources to the production of a certain good. But, all more it is required specialization in the production, the performances, both neat and economic (as cost of them) will be minor. By virtue of the laws of the diminishing performance and of the increasing costs that suffer these «specialized reconverted productive processes«.

It is very easy to use the cement in producing military goods of static defense (bunkers, defensive armed lines) and not to raise buildings with it; it is relatively easy to convert the industrial vehicles factories of into armored vehicles plants. And it is very difficult to obtain great performances from a dairy changed in an arms plant.

All of these «means of intervention» require been necessarily and sufficiently harmonized and coordinated by a «centre of gravity» of the Central Strategic Command in each theatre of operations. That, in a centripetal and convergent effort, simultaneously or successively, it would direct and apply the specific means at its disposal.

The End.

The Gravity Center of the Effort of the Joint Means

An Instrument of the Command.

Introduction.

The center of gravity is not an own physical unit, nor is its mission, neither a point in space or one with a predominant physical characteristic or an enemy unit.

The center of gravity is a coordinated flow of ideas of variable application, that generate original actions for fulfilling the mission and objectives. Originality, flexibility, variability, consistency, difficulty to predict by the enemy and effectiveness are essential to its establishment. Actually, the center of gravity is the instrument of direction, distribution and concentration, impulse and work. That the command has to focus on and unify, with the goal of accomplishing objectives and missions, and employing the efforts of his subordinate units and supports.

The chief is centered in his objectives and missions by means of the created center of gravity and follows a methodology for applying the operational systems.

The Efforts Concentration.

As far as concentration goes, the so called “principal effort” expresses an effect of penetration in a given direction and a sense of being able to arrive at the rupture and exploit it. The combined-arms and aerial efforts of the units are concentrated on this.

The center of gravity has a more spatial and temporal sense, looking for an “operational convergence” of “related efforts” towards an objective. Those are not necessarily contiguous, simultaneous or sequential, but are synergic and result in outcomes based on consideration of the optimal form (means economic) of action of each weapon and service.

The center of gravity is more global or holistic; the main effort is more adding and cumulative. The main effort is exemplified by the hammering strategy of French Marshal Foch on the European western front beginning in the summer of 1918. This strategy was used to overcome the Germans purely by eroding their battle capacity in the theater of operations. And only shifting its direction when German resistance was excessive.

The effects of the main effort are more direct, predictable and evident. Those of the center of gravity are more subtle and unexpected, at least in the first phases of a military action.

The main effort is an instrument of the tactical level and is not necessarily generalized to the other levels. The center of gravity can be used in all dialectical activity where several means (either in number or in nature, near or distant) can be used. Within each level of military activity, beginning with the superior one, the center of gravity brings together and harmonizes all activities to obtain the most important effect or objective of that level.

Developing.

At the strategic level, these would be the critical vulnerabilities of the enemy within the theater of operations. The nature of these would be informed by an important political component. At operational level the center of gravity would be created over the critical vulnerabilities of the campaign. At tactical level it would be the objective that would make operational transcendental the battle. If this was correctly addressed, as necessary for the operational direction, the objective would be that which would be decisive in the battle and get the exploitation of victory.

The center of gravity supposes a centripetal action of all the lines of performance, of the ramified activity of all the units and the services, not necessarily coincident, but convergent in their efficiency and result.

Following the communications ramified lines, we take advantage of the departure situation of each force and the transitability of the land, looking for the optimal use of the combined-arms set, reserves and logistics. By means of the different lines of attack or action we induce uncertainty in the enemy, we disperse his defensive capacity and disturb his plans for, and execution of, defense.

The ramified lines, in a final centripetal action, are peculiar to the center of gravity. The accumulation of forces in a sector, reiterating (inserted or successive units) or strengthening (adding tanks, narrowing the sector or providing greater fire support) the effort, is peculiar to the concept of the main effort.

Strategy: Does the Center of Gravity Have Value? - War on the Rocks
ALLEGORY OF THE WORKING OF THE CENTER OF GRAVITY OF THE MEANS

An example of the use of the center of gravity following those ramified lines at the strategic level, is found in Napoleon’s operations to secure the surrender of Ulm held by the Austrian army of General Mack and Archduke Ferdinand.

In an ample advance of its independent army corps, the Great Armée (about 210,000 men) crossed the center of Germany, from the Rhein to the Danube. With this it operationally interposed between the Austrians (about 40,000 men) and the allied Russian forces that went to help them. The French initiated the crossing of the Danube on October 7, 1805 and, during the following week, Napoleon converge most of his army corps in an enormous spiral on Ulm. While a sufficient force watched the arrival from the east of Russian General Kutuzov.

Batalla de Ulm - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
THE SURRENDER OF MACK AT ULM’S OUTSKIRTS

General Mack made, in vain, several attempts at rupturing through Napoleon’s forces, applying his greatest efforts in Haslach and Elchingen. Both Austrian commanders quarreled among themselves and Archduke Ferdinand, with his 6,000 riders, separated from the main force and tried to escape to the northeast.

On the other hand, General Mack and the rest of his men (about 27,000, after the mentioned battles) met Napoleon’s overwhelming numbers at the doors to the city of Ulm since October, 14 and laid down their weapons at the feet of the Michelsberg mount. The capitulation was signed by General Mack on the 20th. The forces of Archduke Fernando were surrounded and won by the cavalry corps of Murat near Trochtelfingen. Another 12,000 Austrians surrendered in Neustadt. The campaign, without properly battles, cost Austria more than 50,000 men of her initial forces of about 70,000 troops.

The center of gravity directs, canalizes, gathers and orients the creation and the direction of the strike of different units and supports in each case. Its shift by the command allows the continuous adaptation to circumstances and the maintenance of focus on intermediate aims.

The center of gravity has as effective factors the speed of operations and logistics. The first allows optimal actuation of the combat capacity of forces and the second diminishes or compensates for the inevitable wearing down of the mobility capacity of troops and posible combat capacity during operations.

Its negative factors are poor transitability, including caused by obstacles, cuts and minefields, and battles command did not wish to engage in. The first “wears away” the operational mobility of the troops and the second “exhausts” their potential combat capacity.

Without those capacities, the fluidity, synergy and the ramified activity of thecenter of gravity tends to revert in a main effort in an operational direction that is quickly known by the enemy. So, the “stunning waves” that are generated on the enemy, cross-sectional to our advance in his operational zone, diminish with it in intensity and frequency, perhaps in the end, even disappear.

The direct elements of performance in the center of gravity are the combined-arms sets, the own and superior level of reserves (even including those in the mass of support or operational rearguard) and logistics. Once the center of gravity is conceived, it is applied and developed by means of the operational systems.

The Development and the Future.

The Hybrid War, a scolium?

Well, but this concept for command can be useful for the wars of I, II, III and IV generation (according to the US denomination, widely «accepted»). But, now we approach the era of the war of V generation: the hybrid or miltifacetic or multifunctional war.

Employing, in addition, digital, computer methods, using the precision and discrimination that allow mathematical algorithms and the technology of radiations and electromagnetic pulses.

NATO Pushed to Upgrade Romania to 'Center of Gravity' for Russian  Deterrence by DC Think Tank - Sputnik International
NATO UPGRADING ROMANIA TO GRAVITY CENTER IN THE DEFENSE OF EUROPE

But it is just that this model of dialectical confrontation with its variable component of physical strength, needs a harmonious and holistic integration of the available multidisciplinary means. By focusing them on achieving different objectives simultaneously or successively, that we want to achieve. And preserving the universal principle of optimization and saving means.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

The Combat and the Operational Movement as the Essential and Complementary Opposites of War. 2nd. Part.

(FINAL)

A favorite tactic of the Mongols, especially effective when their enemy was willing to meet or was more confident in its exit, for reasons of pure initial numerical superiority, was the «mangudai». It was that a Mongol «army» corps, inferior to the enemy, was seriously engaged in fighting. Its size was large enough for the Mongol effort to be considered important. With it he would mentally attract the enemy and remove him from any other thought or possibility. After a hard battle, the sheer weight of the enemy forced the Mongol corps to retreat. What was a tactical retreat, never really disorderly, was taken by the enemy as an exploitable defeat. His total and permanent ignorance of the Mongols made him suspect nothing. And his desire for victory, augmented by the true effort made in the combat, did not let him to see beyond.

Mangudai - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
MANGUDAI

The yearning persecution ended up scattering the tight, solid formations of the enemy riders. At a moment of pursuit, always far from the rest of the enemy forces waiting, the bulk of the Mongol heavy cavalry emerged, hidden, fresh and thrown to the clash. That ended by undoing the disjointed cavalry groups, in which the persecutors had dispersed. After a real hunt, the enemy forces that remained in their initial positions in battle, either dispersed or were in turn attacked by the whole of the Mongol forces.

The modern working of the combat and operational movement binomial.

In putting into practice with a «correct sense» these things, the combats and the operational movements are continuously and cyclically renewed in their possibilities. Giving each one mutual impulses, opportunities and reasons for action. In this intimate collaboration, decisions are outlined and consolidated until objectives are achieved.

The operational movement of units in military operations, returning to the physical force simile, is not an applied force, but a potential one, that has not yet produced work. It is like free gas or a stream of water. Its potential character, which is perceived by the enemy, is a threat that can cause disorganization and dislocation on its operational advance. Combat is like a concentrated, regular and kinetic force, capable of immediately performing the service asked of it. It springs into action as steam exits a boiler and as water moves the turbine paddles of a dam.

Another pair of better-known complementary «opposites» exist between interarms groups and it is the factor of efficacy that they possess.

FDRA - Historia de la Defensa: SGM: El frente oriental y la Operación  Barbarossa
GERMAN TANKS, ICV AND RECONNAISSANCE VEHICLES.

This refers to cooperation between mechanized infantries and tanks, which is derived from the nearby combat capacity of the first and the protection and direct fire power of the second, that are united in comparable tactical and operations speeds. Both forces maintain the impulse and the shock of the armored corp, according to opportunities that are offered to it and framed by its intentions and resources, the terrain, and the intentions and means of the enemy.

We have to remember that at the end of 1980s and the beginning of 1990s, proponents of a war of maneuvers in America argued that combat (bad) harmed movement (good).

BMP-3 - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
The BMP-3 is a ICV very good equiped to fulfill its missions

But, without combat there is no decision and without operational movement there is no exploitation of the operational and strategic enemy zones, nor there are high profitable combats against enemies whose deployments have been dislocated. A mobile corp «influences» the enemy by damaging him through combat or by the timely interruption of vital parts of his deployment. Nuclear dissuasion worked because its destructive capacity was real and intolerable and because the possibility of its employment was credible.

Amx-56 Leclerc Carro De Combate Principal Frances - Fondos de pantalla HD,  Fondos de escritorio, Imágenes y Wallpapers HD para móvil, tablet y  ordenador
MAIN BATTLE TANK AMX-56 LECLERC

Operational movement and combat are necessary, complementary, cooperative and mutually transcendent instruments of the operational strategy. Problems and contradictions arise when, deprived of freedom of action, it is necessary to use or substitute one in the detriment of the other, in order to generate a new impulse for continued military action. When forced to do this, the effects are grave, as they harm «total time» required to planning, preparation and accomplishment of combat or movement operations. It is for this reason that, for example, to engage in an unexpected combat during a march, is inadvisable, as it wreaks havoc on operation «time» and squanders the combat capacity of the units.

Los primeros vehículos blindados de reconocimiento CRV 8x8 Boxer, con la  torreta de 30 mm llegan a Australia. – Galaxia Militar
SPANISH MODERN RECONNAISSANCE HEAVY VEHICLE

In the movement phase, combat is secondary and should be used against opportunistic objectives, to secure the sector of advance, and, especially, to thwart enemy efforts when possible. In the combat phase, combat capacity should be used according to tactical established procedures and looking in its conception to ensure that decisions have transcendence in operational strategy. Doing this results in each element stimulating and strengthening the other in their respective operations, something that often has a multiplier effect in causing final results that were unexpected «a priori». The feeling that a special «pace» or tempo has been achieved is a sure enough sign that one’s forces have freedom of action and are operating correctly with the nature of war in its favor.

The relative characteristics of combat are:

Its great intensity in a tactically «dense» environment, with heavy operational actions; the depletion of combat capacity, with a corresponding loss of «influence» on the enemy, that comes from not being able to further damage him; and the maintenance of movement capacity to carry out an operational exploitation.

Descargar fondos de pantalla Coche blindado, Fennek, de reconocimiento de  coches blindados, alemán de vehículos de combate, modernos vehículos  blindados, el Ejército de Alemania | Military vehicles, Army vehicles,  Armored vehicles
LIGHT RECONNAISSANCE VEHICLE

Combat allows one to gain operational «impulse» by breaking through and penetrating, enveloping and pursuing the enemy. Including a delayed defense when forces are obliged to stop their advance, and, in general, to take advantage of tactical opportunities.

The relative characteristics of operational movements are:

Operational lightness that allows for a high speed of march; the depletion of its movement capacity with the corresponding loss of «influence» on the enemy, that comes from not being able to reach him; and the maintenance of combat capacity in a system where combined arms are balanced.

Operational movement becomes obstructed when mobility is impeded. This can be caused by: the enemy (mine fields, reinforced and/or covered by fire obstacles); the necessity of responding to enemy fire or tactical movement; the lack of supplies or the dislocation of mobile groups from their «mass of support«; deployment changes, the force reorganizations, the uncertainties caused by the lack of intelligence, and the undecisions or doubts within the command.

Finally, when logistics are well-organized and communication lines are secure and adequate, the capacities of combat and operational movement can be recovered. Even if they have been depleted by the mobile corps and by its support mass in the different operations, in order to move forward on objectives ordered by the command.

THE END.

ALLEGORIES ON THE OPERATIONAL STRATEGY

«When Prince Wenhui’s butcher was carving up an ox, he seized the animal with his hands, forced it to its knees and his knife, upon being sunk into the animal, produced a pure musical sound.

Seeing his butcher working one day, Prince Wenhui said: –Ah!, Excellent! How have you reached such perfection with your art?

Una lectura del Zhuangzi | Diletante
MASTER CHUANG

Leaving aside his knife, the butcher answered, «At first, when I, your servant, began butchering oxen, I only saw the ox before me; after three years I still did not see the ox itself. Now I use my spirit to truly know the ox, not my eyes to merely see it. Once the senses are restrained, it is the spirit that acts.

Following the natural lines of the ox, I cut between the joints until I reach the bones between the bones and the tendons. In this way, the knife accommodates the natural lines of the ox and, in this way, encounters not even the merest hindrance from the veins or tendons, much less from the animal’s big bones!

A good butcher changes knife once a year, since that it is used to cut the meat; a common butcher changes it once a month, as he uses to cut bones. Nineteen years has passed that I, your servant, have used the same knife. With it I have butchered thousands of oxen, yet it remains as sharp as if it had recently been forged at the millstone. The joints of the ox have hollows and the blade of the knife is not thick. Sinking the blade of the knife into the softness of the ox is done comfortably and easily. Because of this, even after so many years my knife appears as new as when it was just came off the millstone.

When I sometimes run across a knot, I probe the difficulty and proceed with the greatest care. I regard the ox intently, move slowly, handle the knife very carefully and, there!, the ox is quartered and reduced to flesh. At that time I stand up, knife in hand, and look around feeling pleased. I clean the knife and put it away.

Excellent!–exclaimed Prince Wenhui. Hearing your reasoning I have come to understand the work necessary to nurture life.

However it is true, Sir, remarked the butcher, this virtue is acquired neither from erudition nor from books. It is the fruit of observation and reflection and, because of that, it cannot be passed on if not learned first-hand. (1)

The effect of a torrent of water in his way (2):

«If we observe a torrent descending on successive banks of land or dams that lie in its way, we see that it first thrusts against the obstacle, probing and testing all its surfaces.

Opportunely, once finding a small break or weakness, the water gathers and its first trickles begin to rush over the obstacle.

Basil Liddell Hart - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
CAPTAIN BASIL HENRY LIDDEL HART

Contained on all sides, the water rushes through the gap and, by eroding the earth it comes into contact with, widens the gap. Whirling through and around the edges of the gap, the water washes away soil and expands the gap.

As this happens, a current of water flows directly through the gap; on each side of the current, whirlpools of water continue to circulate. Having crossed the gap, the water gathers and expands, to become once again a torrential onslaught. As it flows, the water increases constantly its volume until the torrent has reached again its original proportions, leaving in ruins all obstacles that it encountered.”

Commentary.

The butcher, his knife and his art, non-reflective in action, represent the specific aim of the operative strategy in war: disorganize the enemy with the least possible cost to one’s own means (combat capacity, operational mobility and supplies).

The work of the butcher is to cut up beast; to convert it from a beinginto a set of pieces and wreckage that is ready to be prepared for consumption. To prepare the pieces of the ox for later consumption, further work of cutting, portioning and reducing is required by other butchers and cooks at the palace. This work is equivalent to battles of encirclement and annihilation, where the overwhelming superiority of a local operative strips its enemies of resources and strength.

File:FallGelb Manstein.svg - Wikimedia Commons
DIVISION GENERAL VON MANSTEIN GENIUS’: BEGIUM AND FRANCE, MAY 1940

The metaphor of flowing water is akin to the flexibility and adjustments necessary to tactical actions carried out by units and small combined arms units against an enemy.

But the breach in an obstacle encountered by water is neither enlarged, nor does it expand without erosion. Not even water, the embodiment of docility and smoothness, vanquishes, per se, soil.

Each drop of water that flows through the breach, erodes soil through its “minimal gravitational force”, especially during the turbulent movement of the liquid, whose force is tangential to the obstacle.

The water in a torrent or river flows continuously, seemingly inexhaustibly, due to the gravitational energy of the Earth, which pulls it to the lowest level in a riverbed.

The waters of the sea and of the rivers win over gravity and the forces of Van der Waals, which join by covalent bonds its molecules, thanks to thermal solar energy that provides to them the «specific heat of evaporation«. Water is condensed into drops by superficial tension, giving them their size and shape. They are then gathered into clouds, from which water falls as droplets again to the Earth, feeding the «constant torrent «.

(1) Master Chuang. Barcelona, 1996. Pages 54, 55, 146 and 147.

(2) B. H. Liddell Hart. “The man in the dark” Theory of Infantry Tactics and the “Expanding Torrent System of Attack”. Journal of the R.U.S.I. February, 1921. Page 13.

The Combat and the Operational Movement as the Essential and Complementary Opposites of War

Combat and operative movements are not antagonistic forces. Rather, they are necessary and complementary forces. That move harmonically and opportunely our military resources in the effort to achieve the objectives that an enemy would violently denies us. Combat is the utilization of combat capacity, while operational movement refers to the employment of the operational movement capacity of a military system.

Introduction.

Both form a unit of action, so that one without the other can not exist from conceptual and practical points of view in the machine of war. One force may sometimes be predominant, such as when it is being employment, and during that period it is more visible to observers and in its effects.

UNED - Literatura Inglesa de la Primera Guerra Mundial: Poetas en las  trincheras (I) - 25/07/14 - RTVE.es
The trenches covered soldiers from enemy machine guns deadly fire.

The combat without opportunity and operational transcendence ultimately falls, in unbearable human and material losses and brutal and successive shocks. That enervate and degrade participants. Effects that could get in «the chaos born from itself». An example are the battles on the Western Front during World War I. Which originated the tactic of slow, prolonged, stabile and undecided fighting, whose results and personal and economic costs were terrible.

Maurici de Saxònia - Wikiwand
THE MARSHAL OF SAXE.

Operational movement that systematically avoids combat also fails due to the lack of decision and transcendence. It becomes superfluous and useless, a spendthrift arabesque that depletes logistics and results finally in paralysis. This is illustrated during the epoch of Marlborough and Marshall of Saxe. As Beaufré claims, this war that began in the 17th century lasted through much of the 18th century was characterized by mobile but only slightly decisive operations.

John Churchill, I duque de Marlborough - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
THE FIRST DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH

An example of the synthesis of these factors in an almost perfect system of war is art of war achieved by the Mongolians through their conquests and invasions. As example, its series of sustained attacks that managed to seriously threaten the center of Europe in the middle of 13th century.

The Mongolian Warfare: an harmonic synthesis of the combat and the operational movement.

On one hand, the Mongolians possessed an incredible capacity for consistent movement. Their minimal needs were met by pillaging the land and each rider possessed several mounts. These provided both meat and transport for their rapid tactical and operational actions. One Mongol horse could supply enough meat for more than 100 men’s daily rations in campaign. Their success was enhanced by a few polished, simple and forceful tactics. Based on discipline and that made use of their hunting experience with the compound bow, their expertise in managing herds and their knowledge of the human feelings that combat intensifies. The know-how of the Mongolians with the compound bow –a skill that takes much time to acquire and that must be maintained by frequent training– came from their productive activities as nomadic shepherds, who had a great deal of free time.

What was the operational zone of the Mongols?

They did not have it, nor did they need it. Their optimal level of enlistment was both simple, effective and quick to achieve. They start from «their» strategic zone, defined by the advance and the location of their nomadic hamlets, never observed or suspected by their enemies, to the tactical zone with it. No need for the transition or adaptation imposed by the complexity of manufacturing technology and the combined arms groups and their deployments and the entire logistics chain of an army. Their operations do not require the physical support of the operational zone.

In front of the discontinuous front of the positions of their enemies, there is a wide, unprotected and empty area, controlled by no one, that the Mongols use to the fullest for their strategic approach.

There is nothing, on the part of its enemies, that reminds advanced detachments or reconnaissance groups. Although the Marshal of Saxony in a similar war context, because there was not yet mechanization of armies or long-range fire, warns that they can be relatively safe, in their operations independent of the forces advancing behind them.

This double character, punctual of the combats and independent of them in the operations, favors to the maximum the art of the Mongol war, which is always operationally offensive.

En busca de la tumba de Gengis Khan
GENGIS KHAN

The Mongol preoccupation with the enemy is generally strategic, thinking of its exposed flanks at the level of the occupied countries. Somehow, it is originated in its ever-small number for their objectives and in the tactical non invincibility of their forces. If they find an organized, skilled and, above all, serene enemy. Genghis Khan, in 1221, after the conquest of the Muslim empire of Samarkand, located in Turkestan, Persia and Afghanistan, systematically sacked Afghanistan. His son Tului killed most of the inhabitants of northern Persia (Khorasan). With this they protected the southern flank of the empire.

Subuday-Bagatur.Mongolia | Монголия, Скульптура, Доспехи
MONGOL GENERAL SUBUDAI

In 1241 100 thousand Mongols, under the command of the crown prince Batu and general Subudai, crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border to attack Hungary. Around 20000 men, two Tumans or divisions, under the command of Prince Baidar and Prince Kadan, are charged with ensuring that the Hungarians will not receive reinforcements from Poland, Germany or Bohemia.

To this aim, they defeat the concentrations of the forces of these nations in Chmielnik (attracting the enemy in their pursuit, without a previous fight, to an ambush, appearing as a incursion group that was retiring to its base), at 18 Kms of Krakow, and in Liegnitz (by means of a “mangudai”), at 60 Kms to the west of Breslau. With this last victory and a feint to penetrate in Germany, they drive away, until more than 400 Kms of Hungary, the King Wenceslau of Bohemia, who goes back to defend his lands. In less than a month, the Mongol detachment had travelled 650 Kms and fought two decisive battles for its plans. Poland was stunned and prostrated after their passage and the Germans, at west of the Oder, were preparing to defend their lands. This action also protected the Mongol’s land communications with Ukraine, their base of departure, where their nomadic hamlets remained. Which were unable to follow or logistically support so spectacular advances.

Its large units, divisions or tumans always advance covertly, disguised and informed by what was an operational reconnaissance with combat capacity. It was based on squadrons of light cavalry (archers protected with a silken wadding that enveloped, isolated and allowed to remove very easily the points of enemy arrows) from 50 to 100 men. Their exploratory tests and rapid movement also contributed directly to misleading and intimidating an enemy who was unaware of the role of these units. And many times he took them for the vanguard of the armies. Also, this way, the enemy saw Mongols everywhere…

Guerra abierta: Sd.Kfz 232
SdKfz 232 reconnoissance vehicle. It had a 20 mm. gun to do it «in force».

This function of operational reconnaissance has not always been recognized by modern armies. The Germans were masters in it, especially in theaters like the African and the Soviet, where discontinuous fronts and the vacuum of enemy operational areas allowed very well it.

Independent of this reconnaissance of their immediate area of operations, the Mongols maintained another strategic exploratory activity, as a generator of intelligence for immediate use: espionage and the use of agents at their service, inside enemy countries. They sought to understand the characteristics of those nations and the alliances and divisions among them. The Mongols, in turn, were virtually impervious to their knowledge by their enemies. Even in tactical details that, when they found the Mongols, had to be more obvious to them.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

THE MILITARY SURPRISE: concepts, effects, realization and types. 2nd. Part.

(CONTINUATION)

The three cavalry regiments of the brigade had a total of 27 officers, 228 N.C.O.s and 1,740 soldiers mounted on German horses. All those who could, carried sub-machine guns –either the MP-38 or MP-40- instead of the 7.92 mm K98 carbines. They were supported by 30 heavy machine guns (MG-34 on tripods) and 72 light machine guns (MG-34 with bipods). Their heavy support fire was provided by a battery of 6 light howitzers of 75 mm for each of three hippomobile regiments. As external support they would have artillery fire, either centralized or from the divisions placed in its flanks, for the attached observers and officers were accompanying it.

Resultado de imagen de carretas del país soviéticos Country wagons moving forward in a huge Russian plain…

They were also supported by an engineers company (pioneers) and a sanitary company. By means of a park of Russian country wagons, each dragged by a pair of native horses, the supplies, replacements, ammunitions, medical forces, etc. of the brigade would be carried to them. They also had a motorized supply column.

The nature, the structure of the brigade and its support were perfectly adapted to the mission and contributed to its simplicity. It even received the support of a tanks company (14 tanks) for the attack, when the reconnaissance saw the possibility for use it.

Another key aspect of the mission was intelligence, acting already before the conception of the operation. This provided the most complete knowledge of the enemy and operations zone. Intelligence was a combination of information acquired by all the units, that was continually updated. It allowed better definition of the mission, assignment of the means and units, and training preparation. It also allowed for more appropriate adjustments or changes in plans, etc.

Another indispensable factor in this extraordinary or heterodox operation was the training and trial of the mission. The brigade trained for 4 to 6 weeks before its activation, in areas similar to the future operations zone; this fulfilled the security factor.

The training with tanks was not done, because its employment was not foreseen. And one of the problems that arose during the operation was that communication between the cavalry and tanks was poor. In the thick wild forests the wireless radios did not work well and it was necessary to use the existing wire telephony. But these were not enough for adequate communications between all the small units.

Resultado de imagen de frente del este 1942

A characteristic of the training in these special missions is that that it must be as complete as possible, in agreement to its peculiarities. And a full trial, including the total foreseen time, is always necessary. For example, to verify the resistance of certain equipments and not only its good functioning, as would happen in a partial or incomplete test.

The brigade and 5th panzer division were in their departure positions 10 days before the start of the march towards the contact. The Soviets were not capable of detecting the activation of this unit, so the security factor remained fulfilled.

Immediately, the brigade, with the help of the tanks troops, carried out an intense reconnaisance of the intermediate area and the enemy positions (advanced combat troops and the forward limit of the defense). It was deduced that the tanks’ support in the attack was possible (in a narrow sector), if a necessary adaptation was effected in the tracks accessing the area. This innovation would add an important shock capacity and heavy direct fire to the assault, especially in the irruption, in the struggle for enemy fighting positions and in the interior of the defense zone (artillery, units in disorder or in retreat, transport, supplies, etc.)

The factor surprise was going to be achieved by the tactical innovation and the unexpected action in «field of action» chosen for the attack. It is important to remember that the Soviets were prepared and fortified against an attack that they knew was coming. In addition, since the beginning of the war the Soviets had shown themselves to be masters of defense and in disguising positions. Still, the Germans hoped that a strong attack on an unexpected place would dislocate the enemy’s combat capacity and means of defense. The German plan allowed no practical reaction time to the enemy.

Resultado de imagen de frente del este 1942

With this, the speed of action factor is obtained by the attacker. This allowed the Germans to overcome rapidly their principal vulnerability: the initial contact with the enemy in the decided «interface of action«, in which always can be produced unexpected setbacks in the face of potentially bigger forces, until the law of the action is imposed on the enemy.

As the mission begins, there is uncertainty or friction, due to the enormous number of individuals and units involved; mistakes, that are a function of the small failures that happen inevitably in all the human actions that comprise a mission; enemy action, until the fire supremacy and maneuver deprive him of initiative; opportunities, in the shape of favorable situations not foreseen by the Germans and which the commands of the small units must exploit in order to fulfill the mission.

To be able to act this way, the extraordinary or special troops must possess the commitment factor, which involves the acceptance and recognition of the entrusted mission, its important consequences and its real possibilities of success in these conditions.

A couple of days before the assault, the engineers were making progress through the forest boundaries with mechanical saws. They constructed a reinforced path and carpeted it with middle logs cut up “in situ” and arranged about a meter apart. This was to give sufficient firmness to a route up to the Soviet minefields which would support the tanks added to the hippomobile brigade in tactical subordination, which slowly initiated its advance a little later. The noise of the saws and the engines of the vehicles was drowned by the flight of reconnaisance planes at low level and sporadic harassment fire.

The joint assault began on July 2, 1942.

The hippomobile brigade had to cross 15 kilometers of forests and marshes to reach the Soviet positions. At its right was the 5th panzer division attacking, which acted as the normal force or mass of support for the assault. Its left flank was supported on this area of difficult ongoing, covered by weak infantry forces (about a company). Until, on the 3rd day, a German infantry division began its assault through this sector.

At 3 a.m. the tanks advanced close to the cavalry troops, taking advantage of the general artillery preparations. They were accompanied by engineers’ troops. The minefields were immediately detected and the engineers cleaned the area around the passing paths to extend its width. Suddenly, the forwards tanks and cavalry reached the limit of the Soviet position of defense in this decided «field of action» over them.

Resultado de imagen de 9º ejército alemán Rzhev Model saves the day for the 9th German Army.  Column of Soviet military prisioners.

In a single thrust they burst in, breaking the Soviets’ first lines of defense. After this, the tanks were kept in reserve, since the enemy position stretched through an unknown wooded area. That morning the cavalry managed to penetrate 6.5 kilometers inside the Soviet position.

The whole time the train of country wagons was capable of advancing supplies, replacements and munitions to the tired men.

For its part, the 5th panzer division could not advance despite its superior capacity of shock and means, and suffered heavy losses by very well camouflaged Soviet forces in depth.

Around midday, a hippomobile regiment turned to attack the principal enemy positions from the east. To reach them, it had to cross a swampy forests zone where the water was knee-high. At dusk, the brigade had control of a sector of the principal road inside the Soviet position, breaking the Soviets’ tactical cohesion and turned it untenable.

Just after midnight on the 4th, Soviet resistance was collapsing in the area of assault of the 5th panzer division and hippomobile brigade. This crossed another swampy forest area of 10 kilometers depth and emerged at the operational enemy rear. Here was a scene of chaos filled with abandoned vehicles and stroked columns and groups of troops and soldiers. Arrival of the panzer forces accelerated the decline of the 39th Soviet infantry army as an organized and effective force.

That same day the whole sector of this army collapsed and the German infantry divisions of Walter Model’s 9th army converged on its interior by all its assault sectors.

In the 11 days that the operation lasted, the Germans captured 50,000 Soviet prisoners, and around 230 tanks and 760 artillery pieces.