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"Tanks, but no Tanks!" Topic


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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Nov 2021 4:34 p.m. PST

…the Marine Corps has decided to divest itself of heavy armor and return to its "maritime roots" as light naval infantry. Contingent to this plan is an understanding that the Army will provide heavy armor if and when tanks are needed—all well and good if the Army has armor available and if the inevitable interservice communication problems and operational differences can be resolved in the heat of battle.

…Battlefield experience indicates that sooner rather than later the Marine Corps will regret this decision…

Proceedings Magazine: link

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 5:46 p.m. PST

Yup, the Commandant is smoking crack.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 6:00 p.m. PST

I seem to recall your Army (Like ours in WW1) had its own air force!
The last time UK Royal Marines had Tanks was in and just after WW2…just sayin'

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 7:33 p.m. PST

And the Royal Marines just beat us in exercises…tank you very much!

What is the strategic mission of the USMC and what do people anticipate its role will be in potential conflicts? How does armor fit with this?

smithsco18 Nov 2021 7:56 p.m. PST

If the Marines are really just there to storm beaches then tanks aren't as necessary but if they need to go toe to toe with Russians in Poland or Norway or with China or DPRK in various scenarios a few Abrams could go a long way.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 8:02 p.m. PST

That makes sense, but why would they be in those places instead of the Army?

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 8:24 p.m. PST

Tortorella, they would be there first because they are more mobile than the Army.

The Marines said if they needed tanks they would just get them from the Army. Dumb idea. No one funded extra tanks for the Army to use for the Marines. No one funded the sealift and amphibious capacity for Army tanks for the Marines to use.

And no one is having the Army tankers and Marine infantry train together.

Also the UK Marines beating the US was false. The units of US and UK troops were integrated. So neither side was just US or just UK troops. Also training at Ft. Irwin does not decide a winner or loser to the exercises.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2021 5:27 a.m. PST

Tanks remind me of Psiloi in ancient armies, you never need them till you face an enemy with them.

Legion 419 Nov 2021 7:08 a.m. PST

, they would be there first because they are more mobile than the Army.
Save for the Army 82d and 101 …

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2021 9:04 a.m. PST

So the army will have independant tank battalions again?

Might be a logistical nightmare deciding how they get their fuel, ammo and parts if they have to depend on a force that doesn't carry any of that???

SBminisguy19 Nov 2021 10:09 a.m. PST

Short-sighted and criminally stupid. The reason the USMC had organic armor support is because they found they would be the first responders -- the first into a crisis, and needed armor. They couldn't wait for the US Army to entrain and ship an armor unit to a hotspot. The MEU concept was brilliant, it worked, it was based on combat and deployment experience. What we are seeing is a weak USMC Commandant "following orders" under pressure from the current Admin to cut costs and enact social engineering policies over readiness policies. The same goes for the chain of command reporting to him. Is there any push back to this bad move? maybe, I don't see it -- and the USMC leadership is certainly swift in crushing and destroying any officer who dissents from the party line.

It's only setting us up for the next bloody Task Force Smith fiasco… :(

jamemurp19 Nov 2021 2:22 p.m. PST

>Short-sighted and criminally stupid.
Are you familiar with current US military policy? If you haven't checked lately, the US is scaling down operations in multiple areas. This isn't new- the previous administration also attempted to scale down involvement on multiple theaters. Cost *may* be a concern, but that probably has more to do with shifting costs around as the overall military/defense budget certainly isn't being reduced- it has been steadily increasing. Efficiency is certainly a concern.

The idea seems to be adapting to the nature of current military threats that are more insurgency and less traditional armies. The opinion piece give an example from the Korean War as the most recent example, so is hardly making good arguments about current needs. One of the major problems with militaries is a tendency to plan for fighting yesterday's war. Streamlining and focusing on core strengths is not a bad thing. The goal is to re-orient the USMC as a premier strike force- the 9-1-1 response when a situation demands it.

>What we are seeing is a weak USMC Commandant "following orders" under pressure from the current Admin to cut costs and enact social engineering policies over readiness policies.
The dig at social engineering is absurd- you do know that militaries are based around human conditioning, right? Do you know what social engineering means? Moreover, do you even know who the current USMC Commandant is are what his approach has been? Doubtless you are aware that he has expressed concern over the Marines 75% turnover average after the first enlistment and put focus on retention over an enlistment mill. And you no doubt are aware he has had command in Haiti, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Likewise I am sure in your studied critique, you know he has prioritized rapid response especially to Chinese threats and the importance of combined forces.

This kind of baseless, armchair generalling would be laughable if it weren't so common. Perhaps complaints about dismissing older, slower assets will age well and a move to a more focused force utilizing modern assets will prove foolish. Maybe we will regret focusing too much on China. I somehow doubt it. I also expect those howling about the military recognizing the realities of a diverse population will bear no more fruit than those screaming about desegregation. Adapt or die.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2021 7:35 p.m. PST

I think it is not right to tie any critique of the always-evolving military line-up to the "current administration" and "social engineering".

Berger, who seems to be highly qualified to me, began serving under the previous administration, when his proposed changes began a debate about service roles and interactions, including the issue of tanks and the USMC relationship with the Navy regarding roles. Some felt this debate was long overdue. Others were critical.

IMO, trying to tie in a political agenda about the current administration here will end this thread's potential for me to learn more about what is happening and where we are headed. I am of the opinion that Berger already had his views and ideas some time ago.

IMO the CinC and the Commandant are not interested in undermining Corps, are patriots, and deserve more respect.

Legion 420 Nov 2021 1:12 p.m. PST

So the army will have independant tank battalions again?
No, units cross-attach all the time. We've had USMC Co. attached to our Army Inf Bn. On an FTX in the ROK. This sort of technique/tactic is used quite often.

So those Tanks will not be part of an independent Bn. But a Bn, organic to a Bde. And in this case this Tank unit will be attached to the USMC. And battalion has its own organic Maint., Log, etc., assets …

Legion 420 Nov 2021 6:28 p.m. PST

The goal is to re-orient the USMC as a premier strike force- the 9-1-1 response when a situation demands it.
The USMC is geared for that with the FMF, etc. And again, the the ARMY's 82d, 101, 75th Rangers and a number of Spec Ops units from all branches are also/already the "9-1-1 forces". Which again includes USMC units.

The idea seems to be adapting to the nature of current military threats that are more insurgency and less traditional armies.
Not really that accurate … with recently leaving A'stan[some refer to that op as a "debacle", just heard it again from a USAF Sec Force Officer recently] the US Military has to be geared to fight conventional wars again along with COIN. Much of COIN will be Spec. Ops forces. While the US Military must be able to take on conventional forces, of again our traditional enemies i.e. the PRC/CCP, Russia & North Korea.

Albeit direct combat with any of those traditional enemies is probably small. We still have to be combat ready, just in case. No more Pearl Harbors, No Kasserine Pass, no more TF Smiths, etc.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2021 7:13 p.m. PST

Thank you Legion for explaining how this works…and that the Army's own elite forces are part of the 911.

Legion 421 Nov 2021 10:13 a.m. PST

Yes, all branches Spec Ops works together under the Spec Ops Cmd, etc. E.g. the elite USAF Combat Control Tms[CCTs], in many situations a CCT is attached to an US ARMY SF A-Team, etc. They call-in/coordinate all air assets from USAF, Army, etc.

The elite USAF Pararescue[PJs] work with other branches' Spec Ops as well. For for Combat Search & Rescue[CSAR], Medevac, etc.

And many may not know, with one of the more "famous" actions, the UBL raid. The SEALs were flown in by US ARMY's elite 160th Spec Ops Aviation Rgt's MH-60 Stealth Blackhawks. Many Spec Ops missions are flown in & out by 160th aircraft.

USN SEALs were the QRF[Quick Reaction Force] for the UBL raid, flew in the 160th's CH-47s. Prepared to assist the SEALs on the ground in the UBL compound, if need be.

With the creation of Joint Spec Ops Cmd over a decade ago, the US Military's Spec Ops assets work/coordinate very closely together.

US Spec Ops units worked together on the Raid in Iraq to recover Army SP4 Jessica Lynch as well. From this link

On April 1, 2003, U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion 8th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, as well as members from the Navy SEALs under the command of the U.S. Army, staged a diversionary attack, besieging nearby Iraqi irregulars to draw them away from Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah. Meanwhile, an element from the Joint Special Operations Task Force 121 composed of U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs), Army Rangers, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and Delta Force launched a nighttime raid on the hospital, and successfully retrieved Lynch and the bodies of eight other American soldiers

Two US Spec Ops assets that don't get a lot of "press" for obvious reasons are the ARMY's Delta Force and the operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC[Joint Special Ops Command] Special Mission Units.

So this close coordination of US Spec Ops assets makes them that much more effective and in turn deadly.

jamemurp22 Nov 2021 7:52 a.m. PST

Yes, coordination between branches has proven far more effective than needless redundancies between branches. It is modern combined arms in action and it is baffling to me the criticism being levelled at this. I mean disputing the efficiency/effectiveness of the decision is one thing, but ignoring that it is kind of the tail end of organizational decisions going on, what, the better part of a decade?

I also agree, Legion 4, that your contributions to the thread are extremely helpful.

Legion 422 Nov 2021 5:43 p.m. PST

Always glad to pass on any information I know. 👍👍

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