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Posted: 5/12/2002 11:55:53 AM EDT
[url]http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-051202crusader.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dtodays%2Dtimes[/url] Los Angeles Times: A Cross-Fire of Visions for a New U.S. Military A Cross-Fire of Visions for a New U.S. Military Secretary of Defense wants to cancel the $11-billion Crusader, saying the 40-ton cannon is unsuitable for battles of tomorrow. But Army brass sees system as vital. By ESTHER SCHRADER and NICK ANDERSON TIMES STAFF WRITERS May 12 2002 WASHINGTON -- To a soldier on the front lines, few sights are more welcome than a big American gun nearby, pounding the enemy. That is a major reason why the fight over whether to cancel the Crusader artillery system, which will spill into the Senate this week, is proving to be so sensitive inside the Pentagon and Congress. Many Army generals believe the Crusader would help ensure that GIs have all the support firepower they need if called into a major ground war. In the Crusader, they see a mobile cannon designed to pulverize large numbers of enemy soldiers before they can attack. But those generals have been overruled by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Seeking a lighter, more lethal force, Rumsfeld contends that the 40-ton piece of weaponry is so heavy that the Pentagon would have trouble getting it to tomorrow's battlefields in time. On the surface, the debate is about the politics of $11 billion in defense spending. Leading congressional supporters of the system, Oklahoma Republicans, are scrambling to save the Crusader, and with it a lucrative home-state weapons contract. But underneath are competing strategic visions for the armed services and whether the military should, literally, lose some weight. Inside the Army, despite the rising importance of air power in modern warfare, many generals still place great faith in ground artillery. It is a faith based on the service's history, tradition and culture. "If you're an infantryman, and you're standing on a hilltop and you call in close air support, you can be waiting for up to an hour to get that," a senior Army general said. "And when you're in combat, minutes turn to hours. It becomes a little like ordering a pizza from a subcontractor on a Saturday night. "With artillery, you tell your guy you need it, and it's there." The system began development in 1994 after the Persian Gulf War. Even though the U.S. forces easily won that war, U.S. generals fretted at the time that their Vietnam-era artillery didn't match up with Iraqi guns. -- continued --
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 11:57:02 AM EDT
The Crusader, a 155-millimeter, self-propelled howitzer, can lob 10 to 12 rounds per minute, or three times as many as the system it would replace, known as the Paladin. The Crusader can hit targets 30 miles away, compared to Paladin's range of about 19 miles. Computerized robotic systems handle ammunition and firing. The weapon is being built by United Defense LP, a unit of the Carlyle Group, and is scheduled for deployment by 2008. "Its relentless firepower and range weakens our enemies--before they get close enough to harm us," says http://www.teamcrusader.com, a Web site run by groups lobbying for the system. But the weight of the mobile cannon, 40 tons, and that of its resupply vehicle, 34 tons, pose a significant disadvantage. It requires ships or exceptionally large cargo planes--and a lot of planning--to move around the world. And once the Crusader arrives at a conflict zone, some worry, it might be too heavy for local roads or bridges to handle. Recent military conflicts have exposed another potential weakness: firing precision. What mattered in remote Afghan mountains was hitting small pockets of Al Qaeda fighters who were making themselves elusive targets. That's not Crusader's specialty. It is designed to spray fire at enemies over a wide terrain. What makes the Crusader "out of date" is its imprecision, says Daniel Goure, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank in Arlington, Va. "It's what you use when you're facing hordes of Russians, not what you use when you're facing specific targets." The Army has been considering the pros and cons of the Crusader in recent years as it reviewed global strategy after the Cold War. Especially since the 1999 conflict in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, when the Army faced embarrassing delays in deployment of key weapons, it has come under pressure to become a lighter, faster expeditionary force. Responding to that call, the Army shed many tons from the original design of the Crusader and cut back on the number of units to be manufactured. But it has resisted, until now, efforts to kill the program outright. Last week the Army reluctantly fell into line behind Rumsfeld's order to do so. The decision remains subject to congressional review. The House early Friday approved a defense bill with a provision urging the Pentagon not to kill the system. The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday will quiz Rumsfeld and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki on the matter. The reason the Army resisted for so long is that defense strategists still have not reached consensus on what coming wars will look like. Will they be in the deserts of the Middle East? In Africa? On the Korean peninsula? Does the Pentagon still need to plan for battle in Europe? "If you're looking to an uncertain future, where you really can't predict the one or two enemies that you're going to fight, you say, 'What kind of a force are we going to need?'" said a top Army strategist. "And the answer kept coming back to, 'You've got to have a little light, you've got to have a little heavy.'" -- continued --
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 11:57:42 AM EDT
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Friday that he was withholding judgment on the Crusader until he hears directly from Rumsfeld. Until recently, Levin said, Rumsfeld and the Army had argued strongly for the weapon. "We want to hear both cases," Levin said at a news conference. "There's obviously a U-turn here that's been taken by the secretary of Defense." If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives. For information about reprinting this article, go to www.lats.com/rights.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 12:49:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2002 12:50:36 PM EDT by jobux]
Do a search on The Carlyle Group. See who owns it, runs it, & is on its board of directors. Then you will know why this POS won't die. Its all about the politics, as always.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 1:18:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jobux: Do a search on The Carlyle Group. See who owns it, runs it, & is on its board of directors. Then you will know why this POS won't die. Its all about the politics, as always.
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The man has a point. See for yourself.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 1:30:42 PM EDT
Well since the US is behind the rest of the world in artillery, I guess the term POS is directly proportional to the distance away from the killing that will be done by the enemy artillery.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 2:58:09 PM EDT
We are not "behind the rest of the world in artillery." Artillery is a system - men, training, esprit, doctrine, target acquisition, communications, logistics, and, finally, hardware. Some country might beat us in one or two areas, but not enough to matter. It's the overall "system" that counts. The Marines did just as well killing Iraqi tanks in the Gulf in old M60A3 tanks with 105mm rifled main guns as we Army tankers did in M1A1s with 120mm smoothbores. But if you listened to the people selling new weapons and their pork barrelling congressmen the Marines would have never had a chance against the Iraqis. If Sgt York were still alive today, I would not want to take him on regardless, even if he had a .22 and I had whatever rifle I could chose, to include the new OICW. Comparing militaries by looking at hardware specs is bogus.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 3:02:50 PM EDT
Elmer Since we don't know who we will fight ten years from now. Trust me when you look at the world artillery the only aspect of the artillery team we are ahead is target acquisition.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 6:08:58 PM EDT
Elmer 1. After you fire off a 155, what is involved putting it back on target? 2. Taking your point about lighter, more readily deployable artillery a little further, what kind of weapon would you like to see developed for that purpose?
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 6:47:51 PM EDT
I can see why the Army wants this big gun. What happens during a war/conflict if the USAF has assigned planes to other duties that has a higher priority? Then the Army guys are pretty much on their own and in a lurch until the USAF resources can be freed up.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 6:56:03 PM EDT
Just before Rumsfeld shut down any more comment, one of the Army's assistant chiefs of staff went on record as favoring the weapon. Pretty significant step for a political general.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 7:00:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2002 7:39:02 PM EDT by Fearandloathing37]
I would think it was kind of hard for the enemy to feel to great about their supposedly superior artillery, when that artillery dies under a hail of MLRS bomblets most of the time before it gets of a single volley. For that matter, the best South African made long range artillery in the world, Is absolutly useless, unless you can find targets over the horizon, other wise it's a big patchwork board of grid squares out there. Feel like playing battleship anyone? The fact of the matter is, that we do not allow the enemy to be able to see or target our forces in any kind of conflict that would include artillery duels, Airpower puts their eyes out, and limits their ability to deploy recon elements. The only armies on earth we could conceivably come into contact with, that might be able to engage in any kind of artillery duel with the U.S. are North Korea and the PRC. In the case of North Korea, The North Korean Air Force would be combat ineffective in a matter of hours, not so much by our hand as the Air Marshall's in the North would find, The ROKAF to be Just as Deadly as The U.S.A.F or the Israeli IDAF. While the North has mapped out every inch of the Approaches to the Han River, this information will be of less use than most armchair stratigists think once the battle turns fluid. If the NK's really want to fire massive bombardments agaist hills that are empty, I'm all for letting them do so, it's a longistical mistake they will not be able to make very long as ROKAF and American Air Power begins to Savage their supply lines. American Artillery tubes would in this case be supplemented By ROK tubes, so the numbers Crusader proponents are throwing around are not quite as bad as they would lead us to believe. As for A massive war with The PRC, well lets just say that China would go nuclear, long before it would let us transport a vast Euro Style Army by sea convoy into a position to threaten the ChiCom mainland. Crusader would be virtualy useless in Tiawan. what we need for China is light fast airtransportable forces. Oh yeah and I'd think twice about that whole scraping a large chunk of the B-1B force, kinda looks like we might need bomb platforms with legs.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 7:16:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jobux: Do a search on The Carlyle Group. See who owns it, runs it, & is on its board of directors. Then you will know why this POS won't die. Its all about the politics, as always.
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Here's a link: [url]http://www.thecarlylegroup.com/people.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 7:26:37 PM EDT
Actually, prior to attacking with MLRS or any thing for that matter they normally have to shoot in order for us to acquire them. And although we had air superiority in the Gulf, the US still took causalities from artillery fire. Remember the Iraqi artillery is what worried the generals the most, but luckily, through numerous artillery raids and reactive counter fire (many artillery units were sent out to shoot until the Iraqi shot back in order to acquire them for attack) most of the Iraqi artillery was suppressed. Now the problem is that unlike 10 years ago when they only a few guns that had 45 cal tubes that had a 7 KM advantage on the MLRS. Most countries have 45 and 52 caliber tubes which out range the MLRS by quite a margin, until you start talking about MSTAR, which only the M270A1 can shoot (only a very few of those in existence). Even in the permissive environment of operation Anaconda, with a BN TF getting almost what a committed division would get in air support, immediate CAS missions sometime took over 30 minutes. To realign a howitzer after firing is not that big a deal, it is just accounting for displacement, it is simple trig. That by either using an infinite aiming point or two separate aiming points equal-distance apart you can account for movement of the gun. Modern guns actual, know there relative position and just ensure they are pointed in the right direction.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 7:39:56 PM EDT
So what are the facts on the alleged "imprecision" of the Crusader? I don't see what's wrong with an area fire weapon so long as the good guys are far away enough to be out of the area. So what if a given shell has only (say) a 30% chance of hitting the target? A battery firing a dozen shells still has a pretty good chance of getting a kill, and it can do it faster and more reliably (in bad weather) than close air support, and it doesn't put a multimillion dollar aircraft at risk. If you really [b]need[/b] precision, a Copperhead-type "smart" shell should do as well as a "smart" bomb dropped from a plane.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 7:59:05 PM EDT
Iraqi artillery causing Casulties in the gulf war? JEEZE, YOU MUST BE KIDDING, ARMY APACHE HELICOPTERS KILLED MORE AMERICAN TROOPS THAN IRAQI ARTILLERY. Are you just going for Zero Sum casualties or what! While I know that you sort of could lump Casualties caused by that SCUD that killed the majority of American Casualties, That would be outside our Artillery tube argument. Iraqi tube artillery caused such a overwhelmingly small number of American causualties, as to almost be a Tactical Write Off, The least Effect of Artillery in any American War that I can think of, where tubes appeared in any numbers at all. As you may have missed, the expanded version of my last post, So I will state, that Iraqi Artillery in the Gulf was about as effective as if the gunners were playing Battleship, They could only guess in the most basic terms the general position of American forces. (They were Somewhere in The same desert) Iraq had no Drones, No Air Recon and their ground Recon elements died horribly before they realy ever had any kind of chance to be used for forward artillery spotting.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 8:15:13 PM EDT
This thing sounds like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which started life as a simple APC and ended up being a 25 ton light tank. Why does the military feel the need to inject every new weapon system with steroids? 40 tons is too much weight for a mobile artillery system. That should be obvious even to Gomer Pyle.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 10:18:58 PM EDT
STLRN - there's always someone better in some detail. You can find someone better in most categories I listed. But not enough of them in one adversary to make a difference. You can't afford the best in every category. The overall best "system" is what counts. The only one country that might be better in several, maybe, is the Brits. But they can't deploy without us. So they are not really better, are they? And what possible opponent might be better than us in more than one or 2 respects. Okay, besides the French, that is ;-) In the Gulf our tanks had crappy radios. The Iraqis had much better. It didn't matter. Does that mean the Army should have reached immediately into every taxpayers pocket to buy a $1 million absolute best of breed radio? Some congressman and armchair spec sheet military analysts would have told you so. Eventually the radios were replaced with something much better. And they made tanks more effective as a system, much more so than a bigger, more complicated gun or a new munition. I believe the same arty fear mongers said the same thing about the Iraqis in 1990/91. They had these awesome SA guns. I actually experienced a couple of rounds that landed 100 yds or so away, near a preregistered target barrel. 2 rounds. No adjustment. The fancy tube, chamber, and ammo, and the radio in the vehicle didn't matter one bit. Nothing like a couple hundred M1A1s on line from horizon to horizon, with Apaches overhead and A-10s out front, not to mention those MLRS' and obsolete M109s pounding away, tearing you a new, wide a$$hole, to distract you from reading your operator's manual on this new, fancy supergun. A sight I will NEVER forget. Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that we could have done the same thing with 20% or less of the forces and much older equipment. And made our whole logistics nightmare a lot easier, and started the war a lot earlier. We would have taken more casualties. That's war. Instead, we laboriously took 6 MONTHS to move all these heavy systems and all the crap and REMFs to support our monstrous, breakdown prone hanger queens into place. And 5 months after the deployment started I spent my first night in the desert with half my company's tanks near the Wadi al-Batin, praying they wouldn't attack, because half our tanks were spread out between us and the port on broken down trucks (you see, not enough tank transporters - too cheap and not sexy to spend money on). The civilian flatbeds the Army hired just fell apart under the 63 ton load. It took a week or more for our maintenance vehicles, supply vehicles, and fuel trucks to reach us. Meanwhile we would have served as pillboxes to stop the Iraqis, if they would have been kind enough to have attacked into our limited movement range. You see, M1A1s can consume 1000+ gallons of diesel a day (while only carrying 500 or so gallons), and with no fuel trucks ... It's all about logistics in the end, gentlemen. After it was all over, our whole battalion of 58 tanks probably fired less than 200 main gun rounds in combat, out of a combat load of 2300 or so. By the time that we got to them 90% of the damage had been done by the Air Force. We spent weeks after the battle crisscrossing the battlefield. The vast majority of the destruction was caused by the Air Force before we got there.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 10:20:16 PM EDT
(continued) Its the men and the overall SYSTEM that are the most important. Its the SYSTEM that counts, the synergies of the whole. You compromise in areas to give you the best synergistic system you can get within your budgetary means that will meet your best guess of tomorrow's threats, not yesterdays. The Crusader is too heavy, too complicated, too expensive, and most probably too breakdown-prone (what, you think you can build only 800 of these things and really make them work to spec - study the history of weapons system procurement if you do) to work as part of a larger system that must be easily deployable. And suppose you get it there. Most countries don't have the bridges to support these heavy vehicles. Guess we spend another $10 billion or so on more Engineers to build bridges for them. Of course they need all their own heavy equipment, not to mention that new $50 million 60 ton bridging vehicle the Carlyle group and their patriotic congressmen are pitching today (I think I'm kidding on this one ... but wouldn't be surprised - nobody beats the military-industrial-Congressional SYSTEM. Ike only got 2/3 of the equation). PRK - no idea about alignment, I was a tanker, not an artilleryman. Maybe they use a collimator (?) near the muzzle. You align your sight system optically to an index mark at the muzzle. That's how we did it on M1A1s in combat, when you did not have time for a complete boresight procedure. What the Army needs, if it is to be relevant at all (remember, the Army does not own any strategic lift assets, unlike the other services), is a 155mm or smaller lightweight wheeled or towed gun with decent range and a simple design. Put the money into target acquisition, command control and communications, and the munitions. Let the wheeled MLRS handle area fire and use arty for precision attack with terminally guided munitions, either inertial, GPS, or laser guided, if you can overcome the G-force issue on arty-launched electronics. Maybe a wheeled vertical launch missile carrier is the ticket. Someone forward or a drone acquires a target, and calls up a terminally guided vertical launch missile fired from maybe 5 kilometers back. Perfect top attack profile. Simple, light, cheap, with the only real money in the missile. Leave true close anti-infantry support to battalion mortars, a cheap and responsive system, and tactical air. BTW, when we (thought) we needed it plenty of tac air was there at our big tank battle. After the war, our CAS AF officer said one of the A-10s was shot down in the battle. He used his rescue radio to say he was being fired at as he drifted down in his parachute. They found his bullet riddled body later. RIP, brother.
Link Posted: 5/12/2002 10:35:38 PM EDT
STLRN, Some people have been suggesting the PZH 2000 as a replacement for the Crusader. Any opinions? (Though at 52 tons is is apparently even worse than Crusader.) Towed arty would have a very hard time keeping up with armor in this day and age, I think.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 2:28:47 AM EDT
I think I may be the only artillerymen and Fearandloathing37 maybe the only artillerymen in the discussion. The big problem in the discussion is that every seems to think we are only going to be fighting the Iraqis or troops of their skill. I on the other hand see that anyone out there could be at war with the US (that includes the FSU, Europe, PRC and NK). What prevented the Iraqi from doing well was the Iraqis more than the US. Their "eyes" or artillery was not destroyed in the air war. The enemy was only attrited around 10 percent by the US air, similar things happen recently in Serbia, the US air was extremely accurate at killing decoys, but very little of the actual equipment. The second big problem is that everything in the PGM arena now is going with GPS. GPS is the key vulnerability. And anyone who thinks we will fight an adversary that will not jam the signal? Now if you assume we fight idiots again than they won't. But since the Survey instructor at Fort Sill, when I was there as a Doctrine writer, built a GPS jammer that could shut down GPS on the whole base for like 30 dollars from parts he got at Radio Shak, imagine what one of the $5000.00 Russian expendable GPS jammer, which they sell on the open mark can do? For a glass and iron sight to take up displacement, we do use either a collimator, distant aiming point or aim posts. The basic premise behind indirect fire is we fire off of deflections. We have one of the above mentioned reference set up, We determine an offset from the reference direction that is applied to the gunners sight the gunner just reacquires the aimpoint in the sight.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 3:41:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mcgredo: STLRN, Some people have been suggesting the PZH 2000 as a replacement for the Crusader. Any opinions? (Though at 52 tons is is apparently even worse than Crusader.) Towed arty would have a very hard time keeping up with armor in this day and age, I think.
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The PzH2000 (there are about 8 other systems in the class either being bought by their nation of origin and/or sold around the world) is a really good system, it can do around 70 or so percent of what the Crusader is intended to do, but it is heavier than the Crusader, which is the whole reason they want to get ride of Crusader. Many proposed at the FA school to go with a Americanized PzH2000, but in the end, it really won't save any money (the development of Crusader is basically already paid for with that 2 Billion already spent). The Crusader is around the same stages the PzH2000 if the PzH2000 was a contender, because of Congressional mandated pre-fielding requirements. Ironically the weapon that the Crusader is meant to support has been fielded for the longest time and is around 20 tons heavier than the Crusader, so weight isn't an issue unless the goal is to get ride of the heavy forces completely, which is not planed. All the newer generation of howitzers (to include Paladin) are designed to reduce the chance of counter battery fires, they don't operate in the traditional battery positions, but fight in ones and two, massing there fires via hasty TOT missions. Since they are so widely dispersed it becomes very hard to kill them. Towed guns cannot keep up with Mech forces, even with the towed howitzer digitalization (aim to field it around FY06) they still take too long to emplace and displace.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 5:52:20 AM EDT
In the Gulf our tanks had crappy radios. The Iraqis had much better.
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This seems like an odd statement. Can you document it? What about our radios was "crappy"? What about the Iraqi radios was better?
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:00:06 AM EDT
My question is this: Why does it have the armor of an M1 tank? I mean, thats nice and all, but isnt arty's best defense not being seen, or being able to shoot and scoot? Yes the SP arty is needed, but an SP arty-tank? Keep the gun, keep the computers,, keep the automation, dump the chaoblam(sp?) armor, probably cut the weight by a third.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:43:09 AM EDT
Marvl - The radios we used, PRC-77 in wing tanks and the mechanical preset versions (you used a screwdriver to tune the preset buttons for 10 or so freqs!) in command tanks were 1960s vintage from what I understand. Our company had an average of 25% of its radios inop and in the maint shop at any time in peacetime. I understand they have since been replaced by SINGCARS. My brother used them after I got out and said they were great - tough physically and they never break down (perhaps the most important point for equipment - if you can't keep the thing running in peacetime, what happens when you stress it and the operator in combat?). My knowledge of what radios the Iraqis had is secondhand - buddies who got in some of their abandoned vehicles said they looked nice and new - maybe French? In terms of towed versus self-propelled, the arty was, with my understanding, almost worthless on the move in Iraq - not enough good targeting info. If we tankers had no clue what was in front of us, ever, until we hit it, then I doubt the arty had a very good picture in depth. This is why arty has never in history been a real contributor in breakthroughs or pursuit. The confusion and rapid changes are much more conducive to direct fire weapons - armor and air. Arty is much better suited to the defense or setting up an offensive breakthrough from a static position.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 7:07:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 7:26:43 AM EDT by STLRN]
Elmer You might want to read some history of warfare since 1939 before you make a statement like "This is why arty has never in history been a real contributor in breakthroughs or pursuit." because it is plan false. Both Marine and army artillery destroyed a lot of targets in Iraqi and Kuwait. Even in the battles of 73 Easting and Medina ridge, army artillery was used to shape the battlefield. I have some where in my TMO boxes the total expenditure reports for all forces in the Gulf, and the army heavy force shot alot of artillery, even while in the pursuit and explotation phase.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 7:27:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 7:45:22 AM EDT by Benjamin0001]
Iraqi artillery causing Casulties in the gulf war? JEEZE, YOU MUST BE KIDDING, ARMY APACHE HELICOPTERS KILLED MORE AMERICAN TROOPS THAN IRAQI ARTILLERY. Are you just going for Zero Sum casualties or what! While I know that you ... As you may have missed, the expanded version of my last post, So I will state, that Iraqi Artillery in the Gulf was about as effective as if the gunners were playing Battleship, They could only guess in the most basic terms the general position of American forces. (They were Somewhere in The same desert) Iraq had no Drones, No Air Recon and their ground Recon elements died horribly before they realy ever had any kind of chance to be used for forward artillery spotting.
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I think it is unsound to base any future AIR/LAND Battle Doctrine on the IRAQI Campaign 1. For a couple of reasons. First, the IRAQI military although large was not playing the game correctly. In fact their unwillingness and unagressiveness is what got them killed to the tune of 200,000+ men. Not all of our enemies have refused to learn the lesson's of Patton and Rommel. I don't know how much the US can count on any nation doing what IRAQ did. In fact to sit tight and not attack basically makes your forces no better then the Magnot Line in France. And in fact the quote every one knows, "Fixed fortifications are an anachronism". That includes a man sitting still on the ground. Useless. However in a highly mobile war all Fronts regardless of Doctrine at times are static. But never for long. I am just saying that we should be careful judging future military thought on a war which over the course of its development and implementation was a once in a lifetime deal. That kind of war may never happen again. I don't know what kind of AirLand integration China uses or to what level. But if you have to fight them, well put it this way, In no war have I ever seen China stall they have attacked and retreated and attacked again, being killed by the thousands and they still attack. In fact China's operational concepts were effective against MacAuthor as he chased them into China , not without warning, and was behind the Chinese boarder when we met a 1,000,000+ counter attack. China is an enemy to be respected to say the least, regardless of how crappy their technology was/is. If you have 10,000's of troops bearing down on you then By god I want all kinds of artillery including the MLRS. Just something to consider. EDITED TO ADD, It was the Chinese that forced the end at the 38th parrallel , not the North Koreans. 1951 January 4 - Seoul captured by the Chinese Communist Forces April 22 - Communist Chinese Forces begin their Spring Offensive. April 30 - Communist Chinese Forces and North Korean Forces withdraw for resupply and replacements. May 10 - Communist Chinese Forces and North Korean Forces begin May offensive operation designated "The Second Chinese Communist Forces Spring Offensive," also known as the Battle of Soyang or the May Massacre. May 20 - U.S. forces halt Communist Chinese Forces and North Korean Forces Soyang Offensive. May 23 to June 1 - United Nations Forces drive north. June 13 - United Nations Forces dig in on the 38th parallel. China was not beaten when they attacked in fact they were still in the game by a large margin.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 7:42:41 AM EDT
In fact to sit tight and not attack basically makes your forces no better then the Magnot Line in France. And in fact the quote every one knows, "Fixed fortifications are an anachronism". That includes a man sitting still on the ground. Useless.
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I don't know about that; it depends on the situation. The Iraqis did OK using fortified positions against Iranian human wave attacks. Would they have been able to launch an effective attack across the desert without any air cover?
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 7:50:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 8:04:16 AM EDT by Benjamin0001]
I don't know about that; it depends on the situation. The Iraqis did OK using fortified positions against Iranian human wave attacks. Would they have been able to launch an effective attack across the desert without any air cover
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I think our enemies know they are not fighting IRAN even if they didn't know it before we fought IRAQ, they know it now. Sometimes troops are forced to do shit even when there ain't air cover. Stalin forced his troops to march straight into battle without giving them time to go prepare, the result is 10,000's killed. When you can't see the ground from the sky then you don't have air cover and you don't have air superiority. To this day we have seen US Air Forces grounded twice for a week or so in IRAQ and also in Afghanistan during the snow storm. Artillery doesn't see snow storms. We might try to never attack without air cover but we have to remember if the time/window for an attack is now (such as afghanistan and the valley) you are going to fight no matter what you got. Because the generals see that you ain't gonna get another chance. Air power or no Airpower. Ben EDITED TO ADD: Iranian HUMAN Wave attacks were not week after week and month after month. Those Iranians would break for soccer or break for lunch or break for whatever reason struck there fancy. The Chinese didn't and don't. I am not a champion of china , don't get me wrong, but I think it wise to consider a nations adversary and put them and train against them as if they were damnation itself, I think that makes it easier to wipe them out when you have to. One US Tanker in the Gulf war remarked, its easier then we trained for. That should always be the case. But its also a warning that you may not be fightin the big dogs. Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 8:11:15 AM EDT
STLRN - as someone who was at the battle of Medina ridge and spent a lot of time after the ceasefire travelling the battlefield, I certainly dispute your 10% attrition figure. The amount of destroyed equipment of all types was massive, both in and out of defensive positions and along roads, it was obvious it was aerial bomb damage, and it was in areas not reached by the ground forces at the time of the ceasefire. From my low level position, arty was not a factor of any importance in the ground war once the ground attack started. In terms of arty effectiveness, the discussions I heard on our battalion command net about calling in indirect fires involved speculating on which subtle terrain feature behind the enemy tank line might be occupied by enemy forces, and calling for fire using this kind of guesswork. Kind of like the Battleship analogy mentioned before. I have no idea what intel higher level echelons had and if they had a detailed picture of the battlefield behind the current line of engagement. My thoughts after reading several histories (Crusade, Into the Storm, and Schwarzkopf's biography), was that there was a massive amount of confusion about detailed enemy dispositions, you basically found them by running into them or seeing them from the air during tac air missions. The only effective arty fire I know of was the planned fires when 1AD approached our objective at al-Busayah (sp?). In terms of arty use in pursuit, there has not been a whole lot of history post WW 2, to change the lessons learned. Most WW 2 arty was towed, as I imagine most was in Korea. How did arty perform in McArthur's breakout to the Yalu? What role did Israeli arty play in 1967 in their breakout? I suggest the lessons have not changed - arty is more effective in the defense with static lines or in set piece attacks. I would point out that as an arty officer you have a vested interest in getting new, more complex weapons, just like the tankers do with tanks. Lack of growth and buzz in your branch is detrimental to your career. That shapes your view, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Change is very hard, it tends to make the career path more uncertain. This permeates the entire military uniformed hierarchy. There are very few proactive thinkers. They tend to be people who have no personal stake (Rumsfeld), malcontenets like Peters who get out, or people at the end of their career (Shinseki) who have nothing to lose. I recommend anyone interested read the Frontline piece 'The Future of War' to get familiarized with the issues and politics of the debate: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/future/
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 10:03:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 10:04:36 AM EDT by STLRN]
As someone who was at the battle of Medina ridge and spent a lot of time after the ceasefire traveling the battlefield, I certainly dispute your 10% attrition figure.
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Well that is what the official lessons learned from the Gulf war place the attrition rate for BAI operations in the KTO, that excludes what CAS did because as your aware their is a difference between attrition though BAI and CAS.
From my low level position, arty was not a factor of any importance in the ground war once the ground attack started.
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That summarizes why you didn't have or see the big picture. From one of the AARs "Zinini's first action was to pound the Iraqi with prep fires form his artillery. As 3rd Bde closed on Tawakalna, evening began to turn to darkness and the weather turned foul again. Griffith could not tell whether the sun had set. When the ground scouts made contact, the artillery stopped and began to fire prep fires at a range of 13 KM; in the overcast moonless night, artillery barrages substituted for air strikes. To the Iraqis, the effect was the same; prisoners later said they thought the artillery was an air attack, and many had abandoned their vehicles for bomb shelters" That is only 1 of many discussion about the effects of artillery in the battle you participated in, and although you may not want to acknowledge it the success that the prep on enemy could be replicated in all circumstances if a weapon had the same capabilities you dismiss. The reason often that artillery was less effective than it could be was the slow emplacement time a short range of the system that the US had at that time, that lesson learnt went into the development of the Crusader.
Most WW 2 arty was towed, as I imagine most was in Korea. How did arty perform in McArthur's breakout to the Yalu?
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Although you may want to believe it, both Patton and Eisenhower credited a large part of US success in Europe to the superiority of US artillery. Patton's two famous quotes about artillery in the Second World War were" "I do not have to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did" and "the poorer the quality of the troops, the more artillery they need. American troops need a lot of artillery." Korea was a hellatous artillery war, in most battles of all three phases the US normally shot more artillery in a battle than it did in the World War Two.
What role did Israeli arty play in 1967 in their breakout? I suggest the lessons have not changed.
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Very little other than the IDF recognized the Egyptian arty as there center of gravity and deliberately eliminated it. They took that as a lesson learned and deliberately went light on artillery. And than 1973 Yom Kippur war happen, and the Arabs bent the wing of the IDF, and the IDF few guns and mortars were systematically eliminated by the Syrians and the Egyptians. It was noted that in the Sinai, the Israelis quickly learnt that without artillery to suppress the enemy that Saggers would wipe out whole Battle Groups. Guess what happen after 73, the Israelis bought a lot of artillery and their current guns are better than Paladin I am a Marine Artillery Officer I will never serve with Crusaders, I would probably retire a few years after they are fielded anyway. Out next generation gun, the XM777 is nothing more than a light M198, so the Marines too can make mistakes.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 11:21:47 AM EDT
STLRN - I fully appreciate the historical importance of arty being the premiere battlefield killer. I do not see that changing. However, it has to get there, it has to work, and it has to be logistically supported to start killing anything. We will probably not fight a major war in the Americas. Unless we preposition massive amounts of equipment overseas, and have a large standing Army to man this sophisticated equipment that has duplicates at home to train with, we will have to move whatever we fight with and sustain it. I do not question what artillery or the Crusader (theoretically) can do, just the tradeoffs made to get to that battlefield capability in terms of weight, complexity, and cost. I think most of the fires that supported us in the Gulf occurred when we were stationary (which occurred frequently, to include most nights in 1AD - thank goodness, the friendly fire incidents I saw were at night), and just as easily could have been accomplished by towed or wheeled unarmored artillery designed to get into action quickly. Rate of fire would suffer, but that is a tradeoff. I admire the Marines. The expeditionary nature of your mission forces you to be forward based and practical. Your relatively meager budgets force you to optimize and make hard choices, and to use what you have. You experiment and, as a result, your doctrine appears superior than the Army's to me in many areas, such as training, marksmanship, urban combat, etc. You can get into theater relatively quickly with significant combat power. The Army cannot. In a global environment, all the services need an expeditionary mindset. I think the biggest improvements in combat effectiveness will not be accomplished by conventional weapons, but by improving communications, intelligence, and decision making systems. That is where the money needs to go. Implementing new concepts like unmanned aircraft, battlefield networked communications and data dissemination, and orbital weapons are our only chance to stay ahead of the Chinese until their society (hopefully) moderates through economic and political reform. The danger is if the political side continues to be significantly outpaced by the economic side, which gives their military more resources but not a new mindset. I am not an artilleryman, but looking at the XM777 I think the Marine leadership made a hard, realistic choice that fits into the bigger system and mission.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 11:54:03 AM EDT
I am not so sure China will use human wave tactics anymore. When they did, Chinese had huge familes and could afford to lose a son. Now they have a 1 child law and families do not want to lose their one child. This is probably why they are modernizing their forces--if then went to war with Taiwan and lost 250,000 KIA the government would be in deep trouble with the populace. GunLvr
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 12:13:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 12:15:21 PM EDT by Benjamin0001]
Luckily as it stands right now, China couldn't even get across the straight without seeing there entire Sea lift capability destroyed. They would have to do something different. And they would have to cut off Taiwan and put it out of range of Western Aircraft, which with America's strategic bomber fleet is impossible. They would have to be willing to waste 250,000 men just to get across that straight on a million man invasion the size of Normandy. Right now they don't have the Air Power, or the Navy to do it. In short it probably won't happen for 20-30 years. If the US develops Space Based high power laser systems in the order of multi megawatts, then it won't matter one iota. You will just see the Entire Chinese Navy vaporize out at sea. And we will definately have that capibility within 20 years. Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 12:16:35 PM EDT
STLRN, The marines can't really do SP artillery, can they? I can't imagine that they'd have room for that on the ship, let alone the problems of moving it to shore. Moving the lightweight 155 by helo is supposed to be less of a cast-of-thousands operation, isn't it?
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 12:21:11 PM EDT
Blah, blah, blah... Once again: Originally Posted By jobux: Do a search on The Carlyle Group. See who owns it, runs it, & is on its board of directors. Then you will know why this POS won't die. Its all about the politics, as always. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here's a link: [url]www.thecarlylegroup.com/people.htm[/url] Thx Renamed.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 12:42:15 PM EDT
Politics is apart of every business. That in itself does not make the Crusader worthwhile or Worthless. Sometimes bad systems have made it because of politics and sometimes Good systems have made it because of politics. Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 2:52:05 PM EDT
We got rid of SP artillery in the summer of 1990, however we still used them in the Gulf with great effects. They actually went so far as grab Marines from other units to put them into the 5th Battalions of both 10th and 11th Marines because it was realized that SP artillery is so much better in towed for every thing other than fire base ops. The deck space argument is used all the time, but really is a false one, the DS Battalions that send batteries to the MEUs were towed artillery equipped, while the SP were in either the Field Artillery Groupment or later the 4th and 5th Battalions. Also, the last time MEU artillery was used in Beirut, even in Grenada the battery went ashore as a rifle companies (The MEU in the Gulf did some artillery raids, from the ship, but those were with 105s and had little effect).
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 3:01:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 3:11:03 PM EDT by Fearandloathing37]
I did watch the Front Line Documentery "The Future of War", In fact I have the Book sitting about two inches from my left hand as I write this. It is unfortunate, that the big point of the book did not come across so well in the Documentery for TV. The point of the book was, YES, we do need to be able to have 30 minute on call fire support in places like Afganistan, Of course where the book and the Crusader people differ, is, that in the book, the writers thought that the thirty minute fire support mission should be fired from KANSAS! The next generation of Hypersonic Super Smart Weapons, will make not only Crusader Obsolete as the English Long Bow, It will most likely, be the end of the Aircraft Carrier, and most of Manned Modern Bomber Forces as well. There is no military mistake graver, than Planning for the Next War using the Last War as a Model. The problem with Crusader is that while it will do a couple of neat things, it is really in the end the technology of four wars ago. We need to get over the Massed Field Army (Fulda Gap Mentality) and think outside the Box. We need to be able to launch a missle from a cruiser out to sea 1500 miles away, that reaches the target in 6 to 7 minutes, and lands within 5 feet of the target. THIS SHOULD BE OUR TECHNICAL GOAL, not Crusader.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 3:16:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 3:27:58 PM EDT by Benjamin0001]
There is no military mistake graver, than Planning for the Next War using the Last War as a Model. The problem with crusader is that while it will do a couple of neat things, it is really in the end the technology of four wars ago.
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One should aslo be careful as to NOT think that they can revolutionize war every time you fight it. Blitzkreig was a new combat model made possible by faster and lighter Tanks, but that only occured with better engines and better armor. I sometimes get the feeling that although NOvelty in warfare is of the utmost importance, there is not ONE MAGIC TRICK TO WIN ALL WARS. These people say we can't fight the last war, but WHO THE HELL ARE THEY LOOKING AT FIGHTING?? China will operate much the same way as Russia but on a much larger scale. So I don't know that anything has changed. Sure new methods must be devised and some of the new methods will replace some of the old. If you can send a fleet of pilotless miniature fighters that are supersonic and lightweight and have multiple turrets each with a laser gun. Fine. Do it, but someone in the END is going to have to go seaze the land and that will always be MEN, TANKS, And their support. Period. You will never get away with less. Because those are the three basic modes of transport are the FOOT,WHEEL, and TRACK. Sure Hover tanks will be fine and they might even be better, and to have Land Speeders like in starwars would be cool to. But we ain't there yet. So someone is going to have to Design a Tank and an APC and a Indirect fire weapon of multiple types, and those things have to be the FASTEST, STRONGEST, LIGHTEST that they can possibly be but they have to exist so I find this argument about the last war dubious at best. There are just so many ways that you can get around a Theatre of Operations. I just could never figure out what the end result they wanted in this argument was?? As if the pervayers of this argument are blinded by it themselves. Just because you are still stuck on the ground does not rule out Technological innovation. The Crusader has that. I don't accept this argument that I keep hearing about "fighting the last war" I think it has some serious issues of Clearity, and may be totally flawed. That argument concerning the last war does not provide any answerS. a:"YOU CAN'T FIGHT THE LAST WAR." b:"WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT CHINA." a:"Great but you can't fight the last war." b:"Great but we are going to fight china." a:"But you can't fight the last war." b:"Fine we are going to fight china." I don't get it. Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 3:38:06 PM EDT
FROM THE MIT MEDIA CENTER:
FIGHTING THE LAST WAR. In most media criticism and in most discussions of the net that take place off the network itself, there is often a tremendous impression of fighting the last war. This phrase dates from analysis of military strategists, who often base their analyses on what happened during the last war and attempt to reason by analogy in to determine what will happen in in the next one. This works fine if the technology of war remains relatively stable, but fails badly in an evolving one. Hence the failure of the Maginot line in WWI, or the development of fission weapons during WWII destabilized strategists until the development of Mutually Assured Destruction scenarios. The next such threat is unlikley to come from, e.g., fusion weapons (developed after WWII), but more likely in information and biological warfare---yet until recently, most of the emphasis of the possibly-now-defunct Cold War was a classic example of fighting the last war, emphasizing nuclear weaponry as the threat and promise of salvation
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But what the hell is the point of the argument to begin with?? New technology will be developed for warfare whether this argument exists or not. From a strategist point of view it all about Position, Time, and Force. That will not change. I just don't get the point of this line of thought. Are the strategist bitching about the development of the atomic bomb?? America fights wars to control all aspects of them, So that automatically puts us on the offensive and in the argressive position. I guess I am missing something, can someone point it out for me. Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:11:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2002 6:23:33 PM EDT by Fearandloathing37]
Ok Benny, my fellow Okie, Lets talk about, what a war with China Would look like, From both a Military and a Geopolitical Reality standpoint. 1.) The first Phase of A Sino American war will be an air and naval battle. (Most likely the biggest Naval Battle since Leyte Gulf.) 2.) The Last Phase of a Sino American war will be a Nuclear Exchange. 3.) There will be no Ground Invasion of China's mainland in between, Because you will not be able to find anyone at either the Pentagon or in the executive branch, with any enthusiasm at all for getting into a large Land War in Asia. U.S. troops Might be deployed to The Island of Tiawan, Korea, Or even in some plans to Vietnam, But there will be no set piece battles on China's mainland, Because China would elect to use the nuclear option long before the possibility of the D-Day type Large Scale Invasion coupled with the Large Set Piece Tank and Artillery Battles That you envision Crusader being a part of could take place. In the case of a deployment to Taiwan, Assets would be quickly moved in by air transport, Crudader would be left behind in favor of more lightly air transportable systems, that would be suplemented by Tiawans own Artillery. CRUSADER LEFT BEHIND. In the Case of a deployment to Korea, Pre deployment of Crusader Might be possible, but because of the rapid ops tempo once the conflict starts, Crusader Tubes, not already on the battle field, will not make it over fast enough, to be there before the war either goes nuclear or a cease fire is negotiated. While many belive that the North Koreans would sweep across the country in a matter of days, I personaly belive they North korean Army will get hung up and stalled on the Han River and then systematicaly chewed up, with or without Crusader. As for Vietnam, well I kind of think we would opt for a lighter gun systen, the vision of the Crusader, designed for the road networks of Europe, Stuck hull down in the mud of some rice paddy in Vietnam, is the best mental picture I can think of, As a reason, why Crusader would not be a great idea in Asia.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:24:23 PM EDT
In the Case of a deployment to Korea, Pre deployment of Crusader Might be possible, Because of the rapid ops tempo once the conflict starts, Crusader Tubes not already on the battle field, will not make it over fast enough to be there before the war either goes nuclear or a cease fire is negotiated. While many belive that the North Koreans would sweep across the country in a matter of days, I personaly belive they North korean Army will get hung up and stalled on the Han River and then systematicaly chewed up, with or without Crusader.
Systematically chewed up with what?? Artillery ?? Lets put this campaign in some of the worst weather in Korea. America has great Counterbattery Radar and Counter Battery Fire. That is what you think would happen. I don't know we would have to war game this out and see where it stood. Ever Played Brigade Combat Team. It is based on the Fort Hood simulations, in fact it is an exact knockoff. It is Awesome if you are into that sort of thing. And you can make your own simulations and weapons.
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:28:29 PM EDT
[img]http://www.shrapnelgames.com/screens/BCT/orders1024.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.shrapnelgames.com/screens/BCT/dvattc1024.jpg[/img] This game frickin ROCKS!!! It is hard to get used to but the guy who made it is one sharp cookie. [url]http://www.shrapnelgames.com/prosim/[/url] Ben
Link Posted: 5/13/2002 6:52:32 PM EDT
What we need is to buy the rights from South Africa to build this unit in the US [url]http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/565230/posts[/url]
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