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"Modern War Tech / Doctrine Phases" Topic


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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Ferreo Cuore29 Jan 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

I am reading interesting books on variety of modern to contemporary warfare. It makes me think a lot. So I would like to ask group about TECHNOLOGY and DOCTRINE:

1) from 1940 until 2020 [near future] what are the major phases in Technology and Doctrine.

When I say "Phase" I mean that there is a major change that affects many and is clearly different, e.g. we may say that computerization of military gear is a major phase beginning in…1990? 2000? I leave question open.

2) In each of these breaks, what is the main effect? For example, tanks shoot on move better, air power is more tactical and integrated in close support, whatever you are thinking.

I'm guessing the following:

WWII thru Korea
Vietnam thru 1980s
1990s thru 2005
2005 thru 2020?

Welcome you thoughts!

Legion 429 Jan 2018 3:54 p.m. PST

I do remember in '83 while attending the US ARMY Infantry Officer Advance Course at Ft. Benning, GA. We were all senior 1LTs/or recently promoted CPTs. Which happened monthly. We did have a class about terminology(s), etc.

As most of the Superior Officers we'd "work for" when assigned back to a combat unit, etc. I.e. MAJs, LTCs, COLs, etc. They may be using some of the older "terminology", etc., they were taught and used when Junior Officers such as ourselves. In the years passed.

Of course eventually we all'd be speaking the same "lingo", we still learned some of the older terms, etc.
However, much of the old terms vs. the new terms, etc., at that time I forget in my old age … old fart

However, all officers at all levels went thru formal training thru out our careers. And we were expected to learn on our own as well. I can't think after serving in 4 Inf Bns, 1 Air Assault & 3 Mech, 1 Mech Bde HQ, '79-'90, any of our Senior Leadership doing anything that was not really up to modern standards, etc.

I know right after Vietnam the US military had to rebuild itself. To become more effective on facing all threats, etc. So somethings had to be taught based on lessons learned in SE Asia. As well as the current evolving Geopolitical situations worldwide.

Even in the early '80s one of the Bns in my Bde in the 101. Trained for Desert Ops. And deployed to Egypt. My Inf Bn deployed yearly to Panama for Jungle Training and operations. As things in Central and South America were still very "busy" in the '80s.

I was later assigned to a forward deployed Mech Bn of the 2ID in the ROK for 22 months with 2 tours on the DMZ. Even a deployment to West Germany briefly for a REFORGER. Plus two rotations to the Desert Warfare Training Center, The NTC, Ft. Irwin CA. Once on the Bde Staff and then a Mech(M113) Co Cdr.

So I guess I'm saying if this is what you are asking ? The leadership of the US ARMY "evolved" and was trained to fight the next war. Which as we saw many times in the past. Historically, armies of the past were trained to fight the last war. That was not the case in my experience. And IMO GWI and GWII plus the initial invasion to Afghanistan demonstrated that.

Wolfhag29 Jan 2018 4:05 p.m. PST

I'd have to say the main break would be when the Abrams and Bradley took to the field and US field artillery doctrine started using digitized fire control, SATCOM, and GPS with the advent of the MRLS system. Combined with the all-volunteer Army and excellent training that was a combined arms game changer and a real force multiplier.

For the USMC I'd say WWII up through the mid-1980's or when they finally replaced the WWII style web gear, steel pot helmets, mortars and AT weapons. In the mid-1970's we were still using the 3.5" Rocket Launcher (the Army had the Dragon) and WWII model 60 and 81mm mortars and flamethrowers. Our battalion level AT system was the 106mm recoilless rifle (the Army had the TOW) mounted on the Mechanical Mule. We had the M48A3 with basically the same 90mm gun as the WWII Pershing. IIRC the Marines did not upgrade to the Abrams until Desert Storm.

I'm pretty sure the PRC-25 was just a smaller version of the WWII SCR-300, the original Walkie Talkie, the smaller handheld one was actually called the Handie Talkie.

We were still eating the canned food "C Rations" sometimes the date on the box was 1952.

Wolfhag

Ferreo Cuore29 Jan 2018 5:50 p.m. PST

I'm asking for something more like what Wolfhag gave, but with dates.

"I'd have to say the main break would be when the Abrams and Bradley took to the field and US field artillery doctrine started using digitized fire control, SATCOM, and GPS with the advent of the MRLS system. Combined with the all-volunteer Army and excellent training that was a combined arms game changer and a real force multiplier."

So this Sounds like it is being suggested that:
1940-1985 is very similar technology and doctrine, with weapons getting better but not being revolutionary throughout the period.

There there's a break into 1985-2020, at least for the USA and its allies. I assume that the USSR is assumed to parallel this more or less – with Chine not far behind.

Precision munitions seem to make a big debut in GWI, so 1990.
GPS seems to be used militarily after GWI, so 1990
Cellfone GPS seems to be available after 2005.

Perhaps another way to say the same thing is:

"If one was to write a set of modern warfare rules from 1940 until now, what are the main areas for the sub-rule sets?"

Is this easier to see the question?

Wolfhag29 Jan 2018 6:32 p.m. PST

I think for the Soviets the break from WWII / Korea would be when they fielded the T-72/T-64 and IFV's like the BMP and the newer SPA. The ATGM's were a real game changer.
I'm not sure you could really have subsets as there is a lot of overlapping. Nations do not develop at the same pace with their R&D and production capabilities.

Going into the 1980's it seems to be more technical and armor upgrades. Things like laser rangefinders, enhanced electronics and digital fire control, composite armor, and active protection systems. Even though the Russians have come out with some new high tech weapon platforms it's hard to ascertain how well they perform and if they'll ever have enough to make a difference on a large scale battlefield.

Russia's client states are normally lagging behind in what the Russians will sell them.

Wolfhag

Ferreo Cuore29 Jan 2018 7:20 p.m. PST

Hmmm, so if we regard the US and NATO as the technology leader, the pace is something like:
1940-1970 Tech 1, mechanical, improvements in similar gear.
1971-1985 Tech 2, lasers, enhanced electronics, armor upgrades
1986-2005 Tech 3, computers, GPS, precision munitions
2005-2020 Tech 4, very computerized, wide mix of cutting edge gear with older, simple gear. Great Variety.

Legion 430 Jan 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

Yes, I see Ferreo … Well in that case, I'll go with what Wolf posted. He and I frequently email and served generally @ the same time. And I totally agree with this …

Combined with the all-volunteer Army and excellent training that was a combined arms game changer and a real force multiplier
This is the time period in which I served …

Wolfhag30 Jan 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Legion,
I served at the end of the VN war. Morale was at the lowest with pretty bad drug and racial problems. We still had draftees. In Boot Camp, about 40% were mental category 4's. That's about an IQ of 70. I used to write a letter home and to their girlfriends because many could not read or write well enough. A few claimed it was the first time they saw a flushing toilet. Many had been convicted of one or more felonies. I once had a guy sitting across from me at breakfast start slitting his wrists. A DI walked over and started watching him. The recruit looked up at the DI and stopped. The DI then urged him to continue cutting his wrists until he killed himself so he would not have to kill him. Really, these are true stories!

In the FMF I once had a 2LT platoon commander with tears in his eyes pleading with the platoon. Guys would go AWOL and then come back to get a Court Martial to be discharged.

Fortunately, things got better before we went overseas. We got a new CO who did 2 tours in VN as an infantry company commander and claimed his men tried to kill him twice unsuccessfully. His dad and he were West Point graduates and he said he got out of the Army because they were a bunch of pussies.

We got a new platoon commander that was prior enlisted and our new CO kept us in the field and worked us hard, morale rose as we forgot our problems and differences. He was a real bastard and we mostly hated him but respected him as he did everything we did and more, including maxing the PFT. The guy was a total stud but was more than fair with me when I got into trouble which was more than twice.

It paid off when we went to the Med after the Six Day War. We trained with the Royal Marines at Land's End and the FFL 2nd Para on Corsica. They liked us so much we had a ceremony on the flight deck of our carrier where they pinned a ribbon on our company guidon. We still had a few real losers but the plan was to break their leg after we hit the beach so they would be medivacked.

Wolfhag

Murvihill30 Jan 2018 9:38 a.m. PST

Technology consists of 'leaps' and 'crawls'. A leap is the invention of something that changes the nature of warfare drastically. For example, the brass cartridge allowed everyone to lie down and shoot, fundamentally changing the nature of combat. crawls are minor changes that marginally improved performance, such as the percussion cap that made guns more reliable. If you use that as a definition you should be able to map out the leaps pretty quickly: Gasoline engine, jet engine, computer etc. Technology dictates doctrine to a certain extent but what (I think) dictates how valid your doctrine is is the amount of time since you've had a major war. It seems like the longer it's been the more things a country forgets about how to properly fight a war.

Legion 430 Jan 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

Very Interesting stuff Wolf. So you were on active duty about 8-10 years before I started ROTC in '75. The 6 Day War was in '67 …

Your post is a good example why we shouldn't have a draft. Which is something I always believed. The US stopped the draft in '72. Today the Pentagon estimates about 70% of draft age individuals would not qualify/could past the tests/screening to get drafted and serve.

West Point graduates and he said he got out of the Army because they were a bunch of pussies.
Well everybody is entitled to their opinion ! LOL ! wink

We trained with the Royal Marines at Land's End and the FFL 2nd Para on Corsica.
I'd think you wouldn't get better cross training than that !

UshCha31 Jan 2018 1:46 a.m. PST

Murvill, probably has it. If we take tanks, at the end of WW2 stabilisation of guns came in. Even the Sherman had some stabilisation but it was not always considered ideal. Stabilisation got better over time being more capable over time. However to begin with only the few have it and it ripples down the chain. Where do you draw a line? For stabilisation for the gun freaks we have 3 standards.

Laser Range finders do have a significant effect as they come in, as the ability to better predict the positon of the enemy by having an accurate bearing and velocity vector but again it comes in over years. However all is not quite as it seems. The US manual on the Abrams at the time we wrote our rules noted that though FLIR works through normal smoke (not hot smoke) the laser range finder does not. They may have got better now.

Friend who was a cold war warror noted that the rise of image intensifiers just ment you did the same at noiht as you did in the day so no real new tactics just some fell be the wayside.

Legion 431 Jan 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

I remember during M47 Dragon Training in '79. Since the M47 at that time didn't have a night sight for the Tracker. We were trained to call in Illum rounds so we could see the target then engage.

In '86 the Mech Bde I was assigned still didn't get the night sight for the M47. So I remember the Bde Cdr, saying until we get them, we'll do it the old school way. Call in Illum … IIRC we did get them in '87 or '88.

And yes, tech advances based on the needs generated by the battlefield. Sometimes it comes around quickly … other times new tech is introduced more slowly. Based on a number of factors.

Then once the tech, gets a "real world" field test. Then that tech may have to be modified. E.g. Uparmoring the M2/M3 Bradley IFV/CFV then getting rid of the Firing Port Weapon. The M231 IIRC …

The M1 TUSK, the current situation at that time required that mod. As well as the "Turkey Cage" for the Stryker and some MRAPs, etc.

Plus the MRAP as well … the current tactical situation deemed some new "tech" had to come into the inventory. Similar, IMO somewhat to the intro of the Tank in WWI. There was a need to solve a "problem", i.e. that the current tactical situation had presented.

Ferrero … Regardless, I hope some of the posts here answered your query. I think the posters did a good job trying to give you some useful input/answers. We do have some smart guys here ! wink
I'm not counting myself … I was just a dumb Grunt ! evil grin

Wolfhag31 Jan 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

Legion,
Yes, it was the Yom Kippur War, not 6 Day War.

If the Army trained all of their officers like the CO we had they are anything but pussies.

I was stationed at Ft. Meade Army base for a while. Rough neighborhood. My guard post and our mess hall were shot up on several occasions.

Wolfhag

Legion 431 Jan 2018 3:16 p.m. PST

Ah ! I thought so, Yom Kippur War in '73, that makes more sense, now. Thanks ! I thought were we a little closer to our times in service. As I said, I started ROTC in '75 then Active Duty in'79.

If the Army trained all of their officers like the CO we had they are anything but pussies.
Well I know a number of US ARMY Officers and NCOs that I served with that were some pretty tough SOBs ! And some of those Senior NCOs that served in SE Asia, were not just tough … but plain mean ! 2LTs … we were pretty much just in the way, it seemed.

Yeah, Ft. Meade was pretty much in a tough neighborhood … it probably still is. evil grin

Wolfhag31 Jan 2018 6:05 p.m. PST

Legion,
The post I was standing was the main entrance to the main building at NSA.

Wolfhag

Legion 401 Feb 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

Wow !!!! I hope the security at the NSA has improved since then !!!! huh? A lot !!!!

Wolfhag01 Feb 2018 11:08 a.m. PST

It turned out a Marine was taking liberties with some Army guys wife and he was getting back at us. I doubt if it ever made the news.

Wolfhag

Legion 401 Feb 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

Seems to be a lot of that going around if you watch the media … huh?

Dynaman878901 Feb 2018 6:27 p.m. PST

> claimed his men tried to kill him twice unsuccessfully.

Well, if they had succeeded…

Wolfhag01 Feb 2018 7:27 p.m. PST

Dynaman,
I forgot to add our CO, Captain German, had a sense of humor too.

Wolfhag

Legion 402 Feb 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

LOL ! evil grin Don't think my guys ever tried to kill me … but I was a Co Cdr, '87-'89 … so …

I'm sure at times some would have liked to ! huh? wink

donlowry02 Feb 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

It seems like the longer it's been the more things a country forgets about how to properly fight a war.

What you get in a long stretch of peace is a bunch of officers and NCOs who know all about how to get along in a peace-time service and very little about how to fight a war.

Legion 402 Feb 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

Well it would be great if we all could "get along" … but until that happens …

"Pray of Peace … but Prepare for War … "

Apache 604 Feb 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

Ferrao, posted:

"Hmmm, so if we regard the US and NATO as the technology leader, the pace is something like:
"Hmmm, so if we regard the US and NATO as the technology leader, the pace is something like:
1940-1970 Tech 1, mechanical, improvements in similar gear.
1971-1985 Tech 2, lasers, enhanced electronics, armor upgrades
1986-2005 Tech 3, computers, GPS, precision munitions
2005-2020 Tech 4, very computerized, wide mix of cutting edge gear with older, simple gear. Great Variety."

- I like your section posted below. I'd like to add my "2 cents" about C3I (Command, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) and point out that you will see VERY large disparities between nations and even among Services (US Army vs USMC vs National Guard…)

"regard the US and NATO as the technology leader, the pace is something like:"
There are huge differences between fielded capabilities for US active duty forces and the Armies of some of our NATO allies. Throughout the Cold War ear, the Turks maintained large and professionally led forces, but their technology lagged by 20 – 30 years. I think they are still flying F-4 phantoms, today.

Tech level (consider adding to your previous)
1940-1970 Tech 1, most communications are in clear or encrypted single channel.
1971-1985 Tech 2, frequency hopping and encrypted comms
1986-2005 Tech 3, most comms are short digital bursts. precision munitions are available but 'rare.' Greatly increased ISR capabilities at the Division level (Desert Strom) and Brigade/Regimental Combat Team level (2001-2003 AKA March to Baghdad).
2005-2020 Tech 4, Commonly fielded UAVs available to every level of command, precision munitions widely available, Networked communications give tactical commanders (Bn and above+/-), easy access to "National Level" ISR assets including satellite and electronic intelligence assets.

At least as important as the material technologies is the training, doctrine and leadership changes (the below is VERY US centeric).

1940-1970 Training 1, training is primarily by branch, and aimed at producing large formations. Interdependence between ground forces and aviation is rare. Special forces are used to train indigenous forces, with secondary mission of recon and raiding forces.
1971-1985 Tech 2, combined arms warfare training increases and is EXERCISES AND EVALUATED at National Training Centers. Special forces supported by better comms and ISR starts to take on operational level tasks.
1986-2005 Tech 3, "JOINT Operations" become the norm. Aviation, ground combat and SOF interdependence and interoperation capabilities improve.
2005-2020 Tech 4, Improved "Joint Capabilities." Conventional ground forces integrates many previous "SOF" type capabilities. Rifle platoons have JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers – who can use GPS, Lasers, burst comms… to control aviation and fires) and are expected to integrate UAVs and Electronic Warfare.

Legion 405 Feb 2018 7:51 a.m. PST

Good intel Apache !

Ferreo Cuore08 Feb 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

Thank you very much!

Lion in the Stars11 Feb 2018 5:06 a.m. PST

Tank-wise, I think the big game-changer was the Abram's ability to get accurate fire on the move. Not sure when the Russians got that ability (T80s, maybe?). Before then, you really needed to stop moving to shoot accurately, regardless of your 'stabilizer'. Basically WW2 tank tactics, just with bigger guns and better armor. I think we can set this revolution at 1985.


On the Infantry weapon side, I'd have to say that the big 'revolution' was man-portable ATGMs like TOW. Before then, infantry needed enormous, heavy antitank guns to do the job. Again, basically WW2 infantry tactics. There's also the widescale deployment of small-caliber Assault Rifles, but I think we can set this revolution at 1973.

I believe that there are two artillery revolutions.

The first is when arty started using GPS and digital computers, so that the battery didn't need to survey itself before it could shoot accurately. I'll let the redlegs confirm it, but I think this was about 1985.

The second artillery revolution is GPS-guided munitions, where the FO can tell the battery to shoot on this GPS coordinates. M982 Excalibur shells were first deployed in 2007, and precision guidance retrofit kits (M1156 and XM395) were deployed in 2013 or thereabouts.

Legion 411 Feb 2018 7:37 a.m. PST

The M1 MBT and M2/3 IFV/CFV were a real leap forward some would say. Compared to the M60A1 MBT and M113 … And I very much tend to agree. But being an M113 Co Cdr, many of use felt that the lack of dismounts the M2 could carry vs. the M113 could be a disadvantage. 6 vs. 9 …

Yes, you had more firepower and protection with the M2 IFV. I.e. the 25mm Bushmaster and TOW sponson vs. an M2 50.cal. But in many cases a vehicle can't go everywhere the dismounted Infantrymen can, e.g. swamp/marsh, etc. But like with many new higher tech items, sometimes you may have to modify your MTO&Es, tactics, techniques, etc.

UshCha11 Feb 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

Lion in the starts,
Certainly there was a change with GPS but even that may not have been as big as you might think. Doing some research I looked into the !55mm gun batteries. Befor GPS they had a inertial navigation system. This meant that the gunns would have a previously surveyed peg put in there battery area that the guns touched there (left hand I think) front mudguard on and updated the INS system for this position, so they could shoot and scoot within a significant area still having an accurate position. Must admit never looked too closely at the date, dates are not really my thing.

Legion 412 Feb 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

Something to remember about GPS, and we didn't have it when I was on active duty,'79-'90. Would probably have been very helpful in the desert, etc. But even with GPS … you still have to know how to read a map, land nav, etc.

streetgang6 Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

Very topical discussion. US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is wrestling with the same issues and have taken the enlightened approach of crowd sourcing possible futures. Check out the "Mad Scientist" conference that they sponsor:

madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil

The question remains, what does that mean for us gamers? Gazing into my Magic 8-Ball….

Detection – with the proliferation of UAS, night vision, kids with cell phones, etc., detection is pretty much a given. Which actually solves one of the age old problems of table-top wargaming, how do we mitigate the god-eye view of the battlefield? (un)fortunately, having near perfect awareness of where all your forces are and good-enough awareness of the enemy,as well as the information distribution means to share this info force wide , means problem solved! No more double blind games – huzzah!

Lethality – Now the bad news. To be detected means to be destroyed if engaged. Ph and Pk of precision munitions have advanced to near 100%. If the weapon can kill a target, it WILL kill the target. Rolling dice for Ph/Pk is now as relevant as rolling for mounted movement in WW2 games; it may have been a variable in earlier eras, now its a certainty.

Deception – Now the even worse news. The tactical problem becomes how to keep your forces alive, with one possible solution being not getting detected. This means a premium now goes to staying in cover and concealment. This means CITIES! Don't like "Drop Zone Commander?" Too bad, that's the game we will all be playing.

Hide in Plain Site – Even grimmer news. Another way to deceive your opponent is to hide in plain site. Where do you hide people? Why amongst OTHER people. Some of my gaming colleagues in this discussion experienced this during their US Gov't paid time in SE Asia. I too experienced this phenomenon during my time playing the year long "Sword and the Flame: Moderns Expansion" 1:1 scale version in Afghanistan. SO, how do you deal with an enemy that hides amongst civilians? Damned good question! Got an answer, I know some folks in a 5 sided building that would love to know as well. A possible solution is the time honored kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out, which opens up moral implications beyond the scope of our game.

Target Rich Environment – ANOTHER possible solution is to overwhelm the shooter with so many targets that SOMETHING will survive. Hence, swarm attacks. We saw a whiff of this in the 1980s Iran/Iraq war where the Iranians sent forward bands of children tied together to clear minefields under direct enemy fire. Cf., moral implications beyond scope. Societies that place a higher value on human life are likely to address this issue through SWARMS OF DEATH ROBOTS, aka, (semi)autonomous drones. As Heinlein famously wrote "Bugs, Mr. Rico. Zillions of em!"

Okay, lets keep the conversation going. Your thoughts?

Legion 412 Feb 2018 3:00 p.m. PST

Detection
Well from a war game perspective with the on going tech developments coupled with the realities of their use on the battlefield … Drones and additional robots/robotic devises will more and more become the norm. I'd think …

Lethality
I think that old saying from when I was a Grunt, "If you can be seen … you can be hit … If you can be hit you can be killed." That is going to just continue as weapons systems only get more high tech and in turn "deadlier".

Deception
Well we all know that Sun Tzu said something to the affect, and I'll paraphrase "All warfare in deception." But that goes beyond cover & concealment, but tactics & techniques along with a strategy of a more "indirect" approach so to speak.

But we all also know that an enemy using urban terrain as cover & concealment will be a very tough to rout/clear out. If you want to limit collateral damage to not only non-combatants but infastructure. And fighting house to house, door to door, room to room, not only takes time. But absorbs forces like a sponge. We can see even recently with places like Mosul and Raqqa. But more so in places like Stalingrad, Berlin, etc.

Hide in Plain Site … SO, how do you deal with an enemy that hides amongst civilians? Damned good question! Got an answer, I know some folks in a 5 sided building that would love to know as well. A possible solution is the time honored kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out, which opens up moral implications beyond the scope of our game
That very much appears to be the new normal especially in an urban/MOUT COIN environment. Even if you could read minds, since the enemy "moves among the fishes". Even if you know who they are, they hide among/behind non-combatants, even using them as de facto or actual human shields. To reduce 1st World militaries' firepower as otherwise they couldn't really standup toe-to-toe with modern high tech forces.

Plus the paradigm that collateral damage may actually make more non-combatants join the insurgents' cause. Which I do believe there may be a point this may not matter anymore or less. But each situation has to be looked at on a case by case basis. As we saw in Iraq with AQ and recently in Syria and Iraq with ISIS. The locals soon came to realize the insurgents were killing more of them than the so called "invaders".

Regardless, not matter how much a 1st World military tries to avoid it. Collateral Damage(CD), as it always did in conflicts, will occur. All that militaries e.g. the USA can do is attempt to limit it as much as possible. And those that say the USA does not care about CD, my response remains the same. If the USA didn't care about CD there would places on the planet that would look like the dark side of the moon. And that is without using WMDs. The US does not have to. Everything needed to be done can be accomplished with HE. From various weapons systems, i.e. aircraft, ships/boats, ground systems, etc.

Target Rich Environment
Well that concept certainly has some use, e.g. when firing cruise missiles, etc., at a target which may have a defense of AAA/ADA/Anti-missile tech. Or as we saw something like that in WWII. E.g. 5 Allied MBTs go toe-to-toe 1 heavier German MBT. The 5 can't all be killed by the one. Before the one is killed.

The example of the human waves used in the Iran-Iraq War. Only demonstrates my thoughts that that war was more like WWI being fought with modern weapons. Both sides like many in that region have little understanding of modern mobile combined arm warfare. Along with some have the belief to die in battle against your sworn enemy means you will go to a "Paradise". Those two factors alone demonstrates that those two belligerents were not only fighting the last war … But the one before that. And of course human waves of "martyrs" creates a target rich environment. The hope of "Paradise" not withstanding, AFAIK …

Apache 613 Feb 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

-We've discussed previously/elsewhere on this forum about the range of 'tech levels' that might be present in a given battle. I suggested that "Desert Storm" was an example of a 1965 force (or tech level 1) being destroyed by a modern force (tech level 3). It's not a 'fun' game as it's very lopsided.

I've hosted a couple of games where all the players were on the "friendly" side (USMC BLT, US Army Airborne Bn, Royal Marine Commando) and I ran the "defenders." I was not trying to win, just give my friends an interesting set of tactical decisions.

Detection:
- Even well trained units from top tier Nations have a problems with processing all the information available, in real time. Doctrine and ROE may delay or prevent the application of fires.
- Electronic warfare can be huge in mitigating the 'enemies' ability to detect and target. Their are ways to shut down cell phones for example.

"Lethality Now the bad news. To be detected means to be destroyed if engaged. Ph and Pk of precision munitions have advanced to near 100%."
- I agree with you to a great extent, but their are limits on the number of precision weapons that are likely to be available, and dispersion and movement makes targeting difficult at the least.

"Rolling dice for Ph/Pk is now as relevant as rolling for mounted movement in WW2 games;"
- I don't think even the U.S. is there against a near peer competitor, yet.
- In addition, some active defense systems may provide a saving throw.

"Deception… This means CITIES!"
- Agree. I think most modern games should be MOUT fights.

"Hide in Plain Site…"
- The "little green men who helped the local militias 'liberate' the Crimea are a good example of this. As is the use of non-state surrogates (Hezbollah for example)

As to finding the enemy among a population…
- Winning the support of the population, and thus preventing the enemy a permissive hiding space is key. It's easily stated, much harder to accomplish; effectively impossible in the short time periods represented by most games.

Conversely, Very few nations can field even a single Brigade with air support capable of operating at the highest levels (I believe US, Russia, China, and the UK can; Poland, France and Germany are maybes. For each one the locations (on home soil or expeditionary operations somewhere else) will have significant impacts on the ability to sustain operations.

Lion in the Stars15 Feb 2018 8:50 p.m. PST

Lion in the starts,
Certainly there was a change with GPS but even that may not have been as big as you might think. Doing some research I looked into the !55mm gun batteries. Befor GPS they had a inertial navigation system. This meant that the gunns would have a previously surveyed peg put in there battery area that the guns touched there (left hand I think) front mudguard on and updated the INS system for this position, so they could shoot and scoot within a significant area still having an accurate position. Must admit never looked too closely at the date, dates are not really my thing.

Forgot about that…

The backup gyrocompass in my subs was sourced from the US Army, was about the size of a shoebox. Our SINS (Ship's Inertial Nav System) was mechanically small enough to fit into a tank or SPArty, but I think it was too delicate to enjoy rattling across the battlefield.

The backup system wasn't good enough for missile work, but was fine for general navigation. (You really wouldn't believe how precise you need to be in your starting location to make sure a missile lands where you want it to…)

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