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The Chieftain's Hatch: Truth as We Know It: Reprise

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Kage4 #21 Posted Oct 04 2017 - 02:02


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View PostIe_Shima, on Oct 02 2017 - 18:28, said:


Not to mention that the IDF was far better trained and equipped than the Egyptians, who were the most modern of the three Arab nations, the others being Jordan and Syria.

Most are unaware of how great an advantage the IDF had when it came to armored crew skill, proficiency, and 2d hand combat experience.

Germany supplied a significant % of the cadre for the training of IDF armored crews - all of them Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS combat veterans with significant combat time under their belts.

One of my great uncles was a part of that cadre, Wehrmacht armored recon, co-opted into the Waffen-SS when the Waffen-SS Pz.Gr. units were being rebuilt and upgraded to Pz. units. A lot of the Germans involved in that training mission were highly motivated in terms of a sort of atonement for what their Nation did to the Jews during WW2.

The end result was IDF armor having an effective ROF in combat that was 50% greater than their opponents, even with their opponents manning MBTs equipped with auto-loaders. At the crucial points of key battles, they simply wiped out entire platoons from ambush in low light conditions before the Arabs could manage any sort of effective return fire. This had and since then has always had a cascading effect. C&C is never 100% effective, so a battalion losing a platoon at a time can be bled white very rapidly as it loses a succession of platoons without gaining any actionable intelligence to mount a counter-assault, etc.

Great write-up Chieftain, I'll be buying the book thanks to you.


Sister_Mary_Gearchange #22 Posted Oct 04 2017 - 04:30


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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Oct 02 2017 - 05:59, said:


The book is well regarded by the US Army's Command and General Staff College. 


You'll excuse me if I don't take that as a positive endorsement.  :)   And I'm not even being sarcastic there.  I'm entirely serious.


I greatly dislike the way the US fights wars: it is too much on the 'systemize and plan and make *everything* a process' side of things.  It's (one reason) why, IMO, regular and reserve Army units so consistently get their arses handed to them at Fort Irwin: the US units are so busy with trying to implement their battle process flowcharts that they forget how to fight.  Obviously, YMMV.  :)


(Opinions on the advantages and flaws of British Army training, equipment, and doctrine, 1985 - 1998, available for $2.95 per rant, or by asking nicely.)


View PostIe_Shima, on Oct 02 2017 - 19:28, said:


This deviates greatly from the Six-Day War, where Egypt was woefully outnumbered and outflanked by the Israelis.  Egypt had a total of 150,000 troops compared to Israel's 260,000, and counted on the Israelis to use the roads in Sinai, and were completely surprised when they attacked through the desert.  Not to mention that the IDF was far better trained and equipped than the Egyptians, who were the most modern of the three Arab nations, the others being Jordan and Syria.  



Iraq was very well equipped and trained, for a country that was facing other middle eastern nations.  But then it went up against nearly every modern nation on Earth, and got smashed by better trained, better equipped and more technologically advanced troops.  Its troops simply were unable to fight back against the UN coalition, and collapsed into ruin.  It was like Italy taking over Ethiopia in the 30's: a modern nation going up against a third-world power. 


I"m sorry, but I have to disagree with the two highlighted statements.  During the Six Day war the *only* professional military in the region was the Jordanians, who were sucked into a war they didn't want.  In almost every encounter with the Israelis *where they were able to negate IDF air power*, the Jordanians kicked [edited].  They are still the only professional military in the region and their performance reflects that IMO.


Iraq, at the time of Kuwait I (and this one I'm talking very personally about), was a pure paper tiger.  The forces were poorly trained and were not capable of conducting operational movement warfare, let alone combined arms ops.  They were even more poorly led.  At every level.  Their equipment was poorly maintained and woefully under integrated. What was modern and well integrated (eg. their French area AA system) they wasted entirely  by allowing the Coalition forces to attack & destroy it piecemeal following chronic mismanagement.  Their main line equipment was, on paper, formidable, but in reality it was second rate garbage.  "Factory second" (for want of a better phrase)  T72's that didn't have proper ammunition, artillery with ammunition past it's safe use date and no C&C equipment to make use of it, etc., etc.


The British 1st Armoured Div could have rolled them up entirely on their own, IMO. 


da_Rock002 #23 Posted Oct 15 2017 - 22:07


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A decent book that has a tie to WoT and is easily available is "DEMOLISHING THE MYTH: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk....."



I'm near the end and enjoyed the read.   Lots of info.   Like a lot of the new books, some of it reads like unit histories and official records rewritten.   The good thing is this book has lots of personal account and unit report interspersed.   The tablet version was dead cheap from Amazon.    Think it was $3.00.   

Beausabre #24 Posted Nov 12 2018 - 03:00


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"had very poor troops" - To which I would reply "There are no bad troops, only bad officers" - Napoleon. South Vietnamese soldiers had shown than when well trained and led (and arguably, training your troops is part of leadership) they were equal to any. Look at An Loc.


A point about French society in the Thirties was the vast gap and fighting between the political right and left, which left a weakened country when war came. The Germans were united by comparison (yes, some had inner doubts, but no one was giving voice to them in the Reichstag). The French were indifferent. "We lost? Well, at least it's over. In the mean time, Herr Oberst, would you like more champagne?"

Beausabre #25 Posted Dec 28 2018 - 16:05


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Chieftain, Let's go out to the pub and get blitzed....Anyway, I think you might enjoy Victor Davis Hansen's "The Western Way of War"

"The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics—that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens—but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century B.C. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government—an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war. A new preface addresses recent scholarship on Greek warfare"






Prima_Vox #26 Posted Jan 06 2019 - 05:14


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Regarding the French, I think Victor David Hanson makes a good point about both the French and the British in his recent book "The Second World Wars" that while Germany had signed an armistice, it did so while occupying a good portion of France.  This gives weight to the idea that to the Germans way of thinking, they really didn't lose the war, and they come out with the idea of a re-do.  To France and Britain, this is a war that must never be repeated and they come out with an "it must be avoided at all costs".  I'm not sure what influence this would have had on French military thinking, but I can't help but believe there was at least some.

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