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RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/15/2011 4:34:24 PM   
witpqs


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For those of us who are Acronym-Challenged: what is MIC/HIC?

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Post #: 91
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/15/2011 6:17:35 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

For those of us who are Acronym-Challenged: what is MIC/HIC?


I apologize

Just sort of throwing out terms off the top of my head from experince I look at these terms to mean:

LIC == Light Intensity Conflcit that ranges from diplomatic challanges to teerrorism. The key is plausiable deniability of all direct actions. Once you lose plausiable deniability you esacate the affair to the very low ends of MIC or Medium Intensity Combat.

MIC == Overt assasniation on the bottom end [read this as recent news of Irans foray] all the way to overt direct action ..

HIC== High Intensity Conflcit. The defintion is kind of fuzzy to me. You can read about the projection of overt military power deep into the industrial and manpower spaces. Sometimes it splits hairs . like if I use 122 mm to bombard a city [a la Seoul] is that a HIC? A HIC might be like porn .. you know it when you see it .. but .. The Christmas Bombing of 1972 is talked about in the light .. the high end of a HIC is the overt use of WMD ...the highest end is the use of nuclear weapons to destroy an enemies industrial complex.

Rolling through the Fulda Gap might start as the high end of a MIC but ....escalates in the gaming world to a HIC pretty rapidly...

One thing you hear about is "asymetrical warfare" that is when one side is fighting a LIC but the other side is fighting a MIC or even a HIC. LIC pays X costs . MIC pays 4 - 8 X costs ... you get the picture ..

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 92
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/15/2011 6:18:58 PM   
Crackaces


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Double Post for some reason ..

< Message edited by Crackaces -- 10/15/2011 6:32:16 PM >

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Post #: 93
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/15/2011 6:25:58 PM   
witpqs


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Thanks!

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Post #: 94
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2011 5:38:08 AM   
Schlemiel

 

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I'm not exactly qualified to talk about this topic.  I've never played a pbem game and am still pretty much an ae noob (though I've read some threads and played the ai some).  I have absolutely no background in the military and strategy and my military history is miniscule compared to others on this forum.  I'm not familiar with Clausewitz and the development of military doctrine (Soviet, western, or anyone else at all), but this topic does intrigue me so I have a few questions for the thread.

First: recon.  Nemo, would it be fair to say you've characterized deep battle being correlated with the effectiveness of recon?  The better the recon, the more accurately your echelons can theoretically deal with the strategic reserves and neutralize operational threats?  This especially intrigues me with respect to the possible invasion of Germany.  From my (uninformed) perspective it would seem that recon itself is worth some extended discussion for my understanding of the concepts of deep battle.  To me it seems obvious that that recon in the pre-tactical phase of deep battle has significant differences from recon once the tactical breakthrough has begun.  To take the extreme example, I would imagine the Soviets would have been hesitant to send too many recon aircraft over the border before beginning a push through the lines.  For one thing, that might incite hostilities and activate the allied strategic reserves and political process before the tactical divisions were pushing cutting into the margin to achieve the strategic breakthrough.  The example of this in witp:ae would seem to be the way both sides track recon to anticipate possible avenues of attack and preparedness.  This could end up becoming a feint, of course, but some level of recon is necessary and subtler, long-term recon has consequences too (both as a gauge and a potential site of maskirovka).  It seems to me that methods of recon are a limited subset during the pre-hostility period if surprise is to be maintained.  Of course intelligence assets and analysts would be used to try to identify the locations of strategic reserves (like the tank depots mentioned in the thread) and logistical lines and there are still some methods of recon available (spotters, high altitude spy planes, satellite cameras, etc.), but such methods are still more limited than the options available after hostilities have begun.

As an aside, I have to wonder if, to some degree, this might have influenced Soviet strategists focus on strategic geography.  No matter how cleverly the opponent might run their logistical lines and how decentralized command and control might be at any given point, if you take the bridges across the Rhine, for example, that option is gone.  Major bridges, rail centers, ports, etc. cannot be disguised in the same way a battalion level logistical line might be concealed (with potential redundancies).  In this sense, the geography provides strategic options and opportunities that are somewhat separate from other, more socially constructed objectives.  Even if the enemy logistics and communications net does not require whatever specific geographical objectives you prioritize, it seems to me that the opportunity cost of not having those objectives intact would provide strategic value in itself.

So I have multiple questions with regard to recon and deep battle.
First: how did Soviet planners regard and plan for the differences between recon before and after the commitment of forces?  Presumably tactical level recon (which I presume would be the eyes of forces on the ground + specialized recon vehicles and aircraft + 5th columnist spotters and whatever else would not be able to properly absorb and communicate tactical level information in a useful time table before the commitment of forces without risking premature escalation) would be mostly off the table beforehand, though it would be most critical and fully operational during and after the breakthrough phase.  Operational level recon (I would lump more generalized recon assets that might be inserted into the operational depth to monitor targets and movements in preparation for the breakthrough echelons) would probably be active to some degree, but limited before hostilities (monitoring communications is one thing, but inserting active recon behind enemy lines is more complicated and would not be done on the same scale (at least in terms of rapid communication) until hostilities were opened for the same reasons).  Strategic level recon (intelligence assets and analysis, satellites, etc) would seem, at least to me, to be the primary means of gathering the necessary information for planning.

b) Were the soviets concerned about operational level maskirovkas in the (relative) absence of operational recon, or am I reading the operational level recon incorrectly, or did they rely on allied passivity to some degree in the case of pre-hostility (such that strategic level recon and the slower pace of operational level recon would be able to keep accurate enough information until all recon could be unleashed)?

c) Would an increased insertion of 5th columnist style recon operatives have likely preceded such an attack?  If so, is there some strategic level method that would have likely been employed to disguise such moves?  (I'm thinking partially of ways to utilize recon in ae here, especially with regards to Japan and submarine based glens, which I would consider roughly equivalent to an operational level recon asset in this context).

d) It seems to me that the technical-tactical capabilities of recon have increased so drastically since the formation of deep battle doctrine as to, perhaps, fundamentally alter the viability of the doctrine.  I'm thinking for example of predator style drones.  They can be, potentially, operated out of the strategic depth but be used to deliver significant disruption of (at least mobile) c&c at the operational level, potentially offer tactical level close support, and offer a platform that can potentially be a form of strategic reserve against a breakthrough.  Plus something like such drones can be (to a much larger degree than older technical-tactical systems) be immune to pre-hostile recon and decentralized enough to provide some immunity to strategic level threats.  If we were to view such a development as simultaneous reserve, recon, and counter-recon that can be deployed faster than any (currently) theoretical ground forces, is the same kind of breakthrough that secures the tactical, then operational sloc still viable?  Such a reserve could only really be pinned (if at all) with assets of similar speed which, at least for now, presumably could not displace ground forces quickly enough for a strategic breakthrough with ground-secured slocs, at least to me.  Is this a problem that could, potentially, be overcome by some new technical-tactical innovation or has the concept of reserves and recon been shifted enough to make the concept problematic at best now?

e) Because the Soviet model was so fundamentally... materialist, do you think it would have been possible to use the Soviet preoccupation with material against them (that is, using the local centers of means of production and transportation in western Europe as a strategic layer maskriovka).  Were the theoreticians (early, post 1943, early Cold War Era, late Cold War period) sufficiently distanced from the Marxist theory that seeped their culture to see past that social construct if it had been used as such?

Second: geo-political developments and deep battle.

I presume (though with very limited knowledge) that the original theoreticians of deep battle still believed in the Marxist Revolution sparking in the nations they would be fighting, possibly in response to such an attack.  Obviously the early theoreticians would have had plans to use such an uprising (both for recon purposes and manpower), but were such events sine qua non to the strategic success of deep battle in the early days of the Soviet Union?  Presumably in the later Cold War period agents could be inserted reasonably easily into Western Europe for the kind of limited pre-hostility operational recon I imagined, but was that a factor of the specific geopolitical nature of the so-called First World nations?  If, say, China had proven to be a genuine enemy, would Soviet Doctrine have been any advantage?  I have absolutely no historical knowledge, but I have read say Bertolt Brecht's plays about Russian agents in China in the pre-revolutionary days, and that was apparently a non-trivial process to find any acceptance locally.  Would inserting operational level recon operatives have been feasible in a theoretical Sino-Russian theater as in the West?  Would the system of echelons have been effective against an opponent to whom losing geography is somewhat more trivial with greater manpower for the attrition grinder?  Now I would think Russia clearly had many more strategic options than China during the Cold War period, but would the doctrine have been likely to be effective?  What kind of doctrine did Russia have in that regard, or did they presume the Marxist nature of the Chinese government would prevent that level of conflict?

Others in the thread have mentioned that the Western Allies had prepared (with all their own attendant illusions) for Soviet doctrine, but were the leaders of the late Cold War flexible enough to have substantially changed it?  Nemo seemed to imply that the doctrine derived very deeply from the Marxist social construct, and given the relative rigidity of the education required to maintain that construct, was a substantial change in doctrine feasible to have been developed without adequate notice?  Can we imagine the broad outline of a complementary doctrine to take advantage of the counter-planning to deep battle (slowing rear echelons to have time to destroy them piecemeal, etc)?  I'm thinking, perhaps, of Nemo's Downfall game where he invaded Okinawa to push back the fighter bases.  Presuming he knew the allies had planned on echelons attacking the one geographic point in fighter range of the homeland and mobilized the appropriate reserves to reinforce and obliterate each echelon in turn, what would be ways to take advantage of such a move knowing that the original plan would (presumably) be much less likely to result in positive attritional exchange.  Of course the options might be limited because of the massive material superiority of the allies at that stage and relatively limited capabilities of the Japanese technical-tactical arsenal.

I'm genuinely curious and clueless as to whether deep battle is something uniquely suited to counter western Europe and the capitalist democracies located there.  Is there a way to imagine it to be effective against LIC assymetrical warfare, against more strictly controlled governments like modern China, against, say England if the Fulda gap (almost all I know about it is from this thread) had been breached, Germany conquered, and France politically neutralized?  It seems that there are certain limitations to what is possible in a technical-tactical environment and the presumably more limited speed of movement of reinforcements by sea and greater gap before reaching even the tactical depth would make echeloning much harder to pull off cleanly (this might also apply to limitations to the doctrine in the island-hopping Pacific.  I'm thinking of some of the (partially) self-sustaining nature of the Festung Palembang strategy in ae and its resistance to being completely isolated even given strategic breakthroughs nearby in Malaya and Java and the possibility of rehabilitating some bypassed islands as Japan through sst or other clandestine supply operations, as well as naval raids if recon superiority can be appropriately challenged through combat or maskirovka).


I'm sure I've got plenty of other questions, but that covers some of my main curiosities and this post is long enough already.

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 95
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2011 1:24:58 PM   
Graymane


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Schlemiel
  It seems to me that methods of recon are a limited subset during the pre-hostility period if surprise is to be maintained.  Of course intelligence assets and analysts would be used to try to identify the locations of strategic reserves (like the tank depots mentioned in the thread) and logistical lines and there are still some methods of recon available (spotters, high altitude spy planes, satellite cameras, etc.), but such methods are still more limited than the options available after hostilities have begun.


I think what you are calling recon is too limiting. Intel uses lots of different resources and assets to develop a picture at not just a national and strategic depth but all the way down to the tactical areas as well. Units from Battalions up and have various organic intel capabilities as well as recon units depending on the branch and nation. Combat-oriented recon units are only one part of the picture.

I think you are also mistaken in thinking that options are more free after hostilities begin. In some cases, it becomes more difficult. You simply have different asset usage and missions. Security tightens up a lot more after hostilities break out, for example. This can make many intel gathering exercises a lot more painful.

(in reply to Schlemiel)
Post #: 96
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2011 5:23:19 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Graymane

quote:

ORIGINAL: Schlemiel
  It seems to me that methods of recon are a limited subset during the pre-hostility period if surprise is to be maintained.  Of course intelligence assets and analysts would be used to try to identify the locations of strategic reserves (like the tank depots mentioned in the thread) and logistical lines and there are still some methods of recon available (spotters, high altitude spy planes, satellite cameras, etc.), but such methods are still more limited than the options available after hostilities have begun.


I think what you are calling recon is too limiting. Intel uses lots of different resources and assets to develop a picture at not just a national and strategic depth but all the way down to the tactical areas as well. Units from Battalions up and have various organic intel capabilities as well as recon units depending on the branch and nation. Combat-oriented recon units are only one part of the picture.

I think you are also mistaken in thinking that options are more free after hostilities begin. In some cases, it becomes more difficult. You simply have different asset usage and missions. Security tightens up a lot more after hostilities break out, for example. This can make many intel gathering exercises a lot more painful.


They could be quite interesting in peacetime, too, if you were playing with the Soviets.

_____________________________

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(in reply to Graymane)
Post #: 97
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/28/2018 9:27:07 PM   
Timotheus

 

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@ Nemo121

This is the first time that I have seen that a westerner understands 'glubokiy boy'.

I think our friend Nemo has worked as a psychologist for the western military to understand their enemy's psyche, OODA loop, reactions and how to predict their actions, and did not just work with PTSD soldiers.

Must have been an interesting career. Also I assume everything is classified.

Am reading his AAR's now, and who knew that concentration of force at the schwerpunkt, and also that having an overall (strategic) plan and sticking to it wins you wars, eh?

To be fair, I can see how in WITPAE (and in war) the mundane, day to day issues and threats can obscure and the overall picture.
So many clicks (both in WITPAE and in real war, computers are here for every military service )

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Post #: 98
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/28/2018 10:33:17 PM   
BillBrown


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Holy necrothread. Nemo has not logged in for almost 3 years and this is a 7 year old thread.

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Post #: 99
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/29/2018 12:15:33 AM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillBrown

Holy necrothread. Nemo has not logged in for almost 3 years and this is a 7 year old thread.

How do you kill a zombie thread?

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Post #: 100
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/29/2018 1:35:46 AM   
witpqs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: BillBrown

Holy necrothread. Nemo has not logged in for almost 3 years and this is a 7 year old thread.

How do you kill a zombie thread?

And Harry passed away 2 months after that post.

RIP Harry Erwin. A good man.

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Post #: 101
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/30/2018 4:19:48 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: BillBrown

Holy necrothread. Nemo has not logged in for almost 3 years and this is a 7 year old thread.

How do you kill a zombie thread?

And Harry passed away 2 months after that post.

RIP Harry Erwin. A good man.

Amen. RIP Harry. Miss his insights and writing ..

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Pax

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Post #: 102
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/31/2018 9:15:02 AM   
tarkalak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Timotheus

@ Nemo121

This is the first time that I have seen that a westerner understands 'glubokiy boy'.

I think our friend Nemo has worked as a psychologist for the western military to understand their enemy's psyche, OODA loop, reactions and how to predict their actions, and did not just work with PTSD soldiers.

Must have been an interesting career. Also I assume everything is classified.

Am reading his AAR's now, and who knew that concentration of force at the schwerpunkt, and also that having an overall (strategic) plan and sticking to it wins you wars, eh?

To be fair, I can see how in WITPAE (and in war) the mundane, day to day issues and threats can obscure and the overall picture.
So many clicks (both in WITPAE and in real war, computers are here for every military service )


Maybe Nemo was a high ranking Soviet defector.

He probably sailed a secret high tech submarine named "Red October" into NATO hands and then retired to a life devoid of russian vodka but full of irish Guiness.

Anyway that was a very interesting thread to read.

RIP Nemo.

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Post #: 103
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/31/2018 4:40:33 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tarkalak


quote:

ORIGINAL: Timotheus

@ Nemo121

This is the first time that I have seen that a westerner understands 'glubokiy boy'.

I think our friend Nemo has worked as a psychologist for the western military to understand their enemy's psyche, OODA loop, reactions and how to predict their actions, and did not just work with PTSD soldiers.

Must have been an interesting career. Also I assume everything is classified.

Am reading his AAR's now, and who knew that concentration of force at the schwerpunkt, and also that having an overall (strategic) plan and sticking to it wins you wars, eh?

To be fair, I can see how in WITPAE (and in war) the mundane, day to day issues and threats can obscure and the overall picture.
So many clicks (both in WITPAE and in real war, computers are here for every military service )


Maybe Nemo was a high ranking Soviet defector.

He probably sailed a secret high tech submarine named "Red October" into NATO hands and then retired to a life devoid of russian vodka but full of irish Guiness.

Anyway that was a very interesting thread to read.

RIP Nemo.

AFAIK Nemo lives! It was Harry Erwin who passed, and the connection is in the posts at the beginning of this thread where Harry and Nemo were having detailed discussions on "deep war" and the like.

Nemo left the forums after some members argued with him in a disrespectful manner. For all his brilliance and cold-bloodedness in playing the game (he would sacrifice any assets for position), he seemed pretty sensitive to disrespectful criticism. Someone that had reasonable arguments or questions could respectfully disagree with or question him and get a respectful response. We certainly lost a lot of strategic help when Nemo left the forums.

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Post #: 104
RE: Operation Market Garden - 8/31/2018 5:44:26 PM   
Lokasenna


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If we're being candid, we also "lost" a somewhat oppressive presence. I know he had his fans, but I didn't see the appeal and frequently felt like I was arguing with a cult-like wall when I had points to make in opposition.

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Post #: 105
RE: Operation Market Garden - 9/1/2018 12:11:52 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

If we're being candid, we also "lost" a somewhat oppressive presence. I know he had his fans, but I didn't see the appeal and frequently felt like I was arguing with a cult-like wall when I had points to make in opposition.

True, he did not seem receptive to contrary positions. I don't recall all the specifics but I don't think of you as anything but measured and thoughtful, so I am sure it was not your disagreements that put him off. There were some hotheaded responses that he definitely did not like from others.

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Post #: 106
RE: Operation Market Garden - 9/1/2018 2:48:51 AM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

If we're being candid, we also "lost" a somewhat oppressive presence. I know he had his fans, but I didn't see the appeal and frequently felt like I was arguing with a cult-like wall when I had points to make in opposition.

True, he did not seem receptive to contrary positions. I don't recall all the specifics but I don't think of you as anything but measured and thoughtful, so I am sure it was not your disagreements that put him off. There were some hotheaded responses that he definitely did not like from others.


I was actually mostly referring to his followers

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Post #: 107
RE: Operation Market Garden - 9/1/2018 3:22:36 AM   
Anachro


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Nemo is a fascinating character who I wish I could have interacted with on these forums in their heyday. I do remember his reappearance in Canoerebel's "Nemo thread" a few years back when I was first starting to post here, which was quite memorable.

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Post #: 108
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 2:36:57 PM   
Nemo121


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Schlemiel,

An interesting post which I missed at the time and since I came back to check out Armored Brigade and saw the resurrection of this necrothread while surfing the matrix forums I thought that, given the effort put into your post it warranted a reply. My apologies for missing it at the time. I'll address your questions/comments/insights in order. If I miss one please do let me know and I'll return to address it as best I can.

Recon:
Knowing where your enemy is, and perhaps more importantly, where they aren't is a massive force multiplier. Good recon doesn't just confine itself to the question of geographic location. It should also address the issue of technical-tactical capabilities ( this isn't a phrase much used anymore, it was really an idea Triandafilov, Tukhachevsky and Varfolomeev used to describe how the technical limitations of Soviet equipment at their time imposed certain tactical limitations on their theories ) of the enemy forces ( e.g. if they have x hours of warning we are coming and are based 100 miles from the front with vehicles which can road march at x miles per hour then, assuming, y minutes to get ready to roll how close to the front can they be by 0900, the time at which we estimate we will break through the FOB and unleash our Operational Manoeuvre Group? ). Once you've got the enemy's technical-tactical characteristics and their locations down then recon means looking at their morale and training ( e.g. during all of the training exercises in which officers from the Warsaw Pact were invited along you can bet they were looking to see what noise discipline was like at night, how well laagers were policed up to remove detritus afterward etc etc ). Lastly you need to do this at the operational and strategic levels also. In WW2 the Allies and Axis had officers whose jobs were to know everything about opposing commanders and to predict how those commanders would approach problems and solve them.

In any case the key point here is that recon isn't just about force size and geography. It is about force size, geography, what that force COULD do given the resources at its disposal, what that force EXPECTS/WANTS to do, how its military superiors view it and its expected role and capabilities and then how it is viewed at the political level. E.g. In 1945 German Panzer divisions had certain tactical-technical characteristics. These were informed by whether the troops were motivated to fight or surrender ( the east front vs west front issue ). These objective realities were then perceived by their military superiors through the prism of those superiors' experience and capabilities AND ideology ( greater adherence to nazi ideology led to greater self-delusion by their superiors at the operational and strategic levels ). THEN you got the frankly delusional views of what was and wasn't possible at the grand strategic level - which often bore no relation to what was possible at the technical-tactical level.

So, the technical-tactical level is all about what is objectively possible given the laws of physics. Once you go beyond that level you have the possibility for layers and layers of self-deception within enemy ranks.

So, the more you know about ALL of these levels ( technical-tactical, tactical doctrine, enemy soldier morale, enemy military expectations and beliefs, enemy political expectations and beliefs, enemy societal expectations and beliefs ) then the better the chance that you can craft a plan to defeat that enemy at the grand strategic level ( the only level which truly matters --- which is a point that most western doctrine misses ). Another key point is that any good marxist doctrinaire is going to point out that the tactical is subordinate to the operational, the operational to the strategic and the strategic to the grand strategic(political etc ) levels and so during their peacetime reconnaissance they will follow that prioritisation.

To put that in a 1980s context --- What does it matter how effective and non-deluded the Austrian army is if politically we can secure the southern flank of our invasion of West Germany and render the army irrelevant through political means?

In a modern context --- Duterte's idiocy and the lack of American economic and political support for more strategically cognisant elements in the Philippines ( relatively speaking ) is allowing China to make great strides in establishing the 9 Dash Line and create a de facto reality which will not be reversed when Duterte is gone. China has done a masterful job over the last few years in that area militarily and politically, aided by the lack of effective action on western nations' parts.


Schlemiel,
You seem to be talking about pre-hostilities and post-hostilities recon... You talk about aircraft flying over the border. I think that you have to take a broader view of what pre-hostilities recon is. The Olympics/World games/Regional Games are great opportunities for pre-hostility recon. They allow you to send GRU operatives over in the guise of athletes and support staff to gain familiarity with the cities in which they will operate. You can establish "friendship camps" during the games to promote "understanding between our nations" and use the staffing of those camps to slip in a lot of operatives who can make contact with people who attend and keep in contact with them afterward - that's a lot of social intel you can get for years afterwards. Sure that intel isn't going to tell you when a specific unit is getting its F35s but it is going to tell you a lot about social attitudes to leaders, policy etc - all useful intel, cheaply won. You have deep-cover operatives and, best of all, you have military agreements with the West for officers to go along on training exercises to "promote understanding". etc etc etc

So you have to look at it holistically... There's a lot more to intel gathering than sending military assets over borders openly. In peacetime all of the other options will be used. You've got to bear in mind that in Soviet and Chinese ideology all contacts between individuals of opposing nations are opportunities for intelligence-gathering, dissemination of maskirovka and recruitment.

The Chinese, for example, are renowned for gathering this low-level intelligence (often from non-military personnel) and using it to build a picture of enemy capabilities and intentions. In this situation even the negative space uncovered ( e.g. those areas in which you can't find any intel ) tell you a lot.

AE doesn't allow such detailed and long-term pre-hostility tracking but, as a matter of course, I always read ALL forum posts of anyone I agreed to play. At times I agreed to play someone who had 2,000+ posts. I then sat down and read EVERY SINGLE post. I would google them to see if they posted elsewhere and then I'd read those posts there also, EVERY SINGLE ONE. I could easily spend 2 days reading forum posts after agreeing to a game before I'd even consider my opening moves. And you'd better believe those opening moves would be influenced by my assessment of the individual. Once I'd finished my reading then the serious discussions about gameplay etc would begin. I've always been open that emails during the game are, in my opinion, part of the psychological element of the game. If someone wants them not to be then I'll abide by that also but my preference is to play people who understand that the matchup is more than just about the moves made within the computer game. Anyone who plays chess at a high level ( or go or any other similar game ) will tell you the same thing. In any case during those game discussions before the first move was made the psychological manipulation would begin. Nothing too direct, just a slow bending this way and that. Obviously you also have to do some things they see just so they can feel that they're seeing your attempted manipulations and relax. The human capacity for self-delusion is immense and it would surprise you how seldom individuals who saw one thrust would keep their guard up looking for further thrusts. Instead they would congratulate themselves on how they spotted the thrust, how you aren't all you were cracked up to be etc etc. Some of them even made the cardinal sin of highlighting that they'd spotted the thrust - basically telling me the level of insight with which they operated --- all before the game even began ;-).

Then they'd be surprised that a situation would unfold in keeping with their precepts and beliefs with a slight maskirovka aimed to be uncovered by the level of insight they had previously advertised to me that they had while a deeper, larger operation unfolded at a level they had previously informed me they didn't operate at. Obviously I'm not saying this always worked but it worked well enough.

So, even within AE I think you can work the same concepts because in war or in computer games people are people.



Once things turn hot you've got to remember that in Soviet doctrine at least 1/3rd of all assets allocated to a given plan are dedicated to the deception phase of the plan. That deception phase of the plan can involve pinning attacks, probes and even all-out assaults with high casualty levels as well as recon, counter-recon and deception.

In AE I remember prepping an invasion of the Marianas Islands as the Allies in early 1942. I viewed the continued fighting in Java and extremely aggressive fighting in the Aleutians as maskirovka operations in support of this invasion. I forget the details but I do remember that the fighting in Java involved losses of hundreds of airplanes on both sides every month and the fighting in the Aleutians involved major fleet engagements, battleship engagements, the commitment of carriers and the loss of hundreds of planes on both sides. I also committed multiple divisions, launched counter-invasions and deployed dozens of submarines.

While I certainly tried to win those campaigns they were part of the maskirovka for the Marianas attack since those two campaigns were about blunting the Japanese advance but were not, in the short-term, going to rob Japan of its strategic initiative. Taking the Marianas, on the other hand, did, in my opinion, rob Japan of the strategic initiative and ended Japanese expansion in that game. A western strategic view could result in fighting in the same areas but it would perceive those fights differently. Maskirovka for the Soviets ( and to a great extent the Chinese ) is more all-encompassing than we are used to considering in the West and it involves the commitment of far more assets with, potentially, greater loss than we are used to. Entire campaigns with 100,000 or 200,000 men committed and with tens of thousands of deaths can be part of a greater maskirovka and never intended to be decisive actions.

People always point to the Soviets are Chinese sending 1,000 troops in a suicidal frontal attack on a village in the 40s or 50s and how this was wasteful. To Western eyes it surely is. To a Soviet or Chinese commander those 1,000 troops kept an enemy Battalion engaged allowing the other 2,000 troops to focus their strength on a company ( which now couldn't be reinforced by the enemy because they were busy massacring 1,000 men ) and achieve a breakthrough allowing the division's exploitation regiment to break through and begin rollup the flanks of the enemy line on either side thus allowing the Corps' tank division to break into the enemy division's tactical depth, creating the possibility of the Front breaking its Shock Army into the enemy's Operational Depth in pursuit of the stratgic objective of moving the entire front to the next strategic defensive point ( the Rhine, Seoul etc ). So to the Soviet or Chinese commander that 1,000 men death toll was an absolute bargain and a necessary price. Anyone who didn't immediately see that and recognise its necessity would not, in Soviet eyes, be fit for anything higher than regimental command.


Recon prior to hostilities:
A. You speak of tactical, operational and strategic recon. I think you are right that there are going to be fewer recon planes flying over Munich in peacetime than once the firing has started. However that doesn't mean that you aren't conducting tactical recon. Athletes, goodwill tours, officer swaps to promote understanding, observers at wargames, the tank olympics etc are all excellent ways to get tactical info. Add in the various operatives you've got abroad whom you can task with befriending servicemen and women and you've got a lot of opportunities for gaining tactical intel. Sure it is a slow process but you have time.


B. The soviets were always concerned about Maskirovka. If you look at how the Soviets said they'd fight WW3 ( Rifle Armies with 3 Motor Rifle Divisions and 1 Tank Division), OMGs with multiple Tank Divisions etc vs how they were organised in peacetime you'd realise that the way they were organised in peacetime was NOT how they would be organised in wartime. E.g. The East German and Polish armies weren't going to fight as they were organised in peacetime. Many of their divisions were going to be parcelled out to be components of Soviet-majority Armies/Fronts etc.

The Allies, on the other hand, were largely organised as they intended to fight during wartime. How ridiculous is giving that free intel to your enemy? Even where there were some variances there were often public documents explaining how they'd be re-arranged during wartime. Very little strategic ambiguity was created about this issue by the West.

Bottom line though the Soviets spent decades plotting firestrikes (TRPs etc to Westerners) on all of the likely defensive points along the routes they were planning to advance. If the West didn't defend the first set of hills or the second but the third then, no matter, the Soviet plan allotted more than enough ammunition to plaster all three sets of hills.


C. What you are talking about is what the Soviets called Extraordinary Forces. They love special forces with novel technical-tactical characteristics. They always have and they still do. People always paint the Soviets as this mass of cannon-fodder whereas in reality whenever possible they went for a high-low mix of forces with a mass of low quality forces with a leavening of high quality, often "extraordinary forces" ( using the Soviet meaning of the term). From my reading of such warplans that have leaked it is clear that the Soviets intended to bolster their initial invasion with many special operations aimed at NATO communications sites, depots and nuclear-capable units. These would have been primarily carried about by GRU Spetsnaz ( as opposed to the more umbrella usage nowadays ) with non-GRU spetsnaz going for more political targets - again though that would have been targeted. There is, after all, no point killing the Turkish or Austrian PM if you think you've neutralised Turkey and Austria politically. The West follows the same pattern historically, assassinating enemy leaders who they view as extreme and preserving those who are moderate in the hopes of those moderates moving up the chain of command and then following a negotiated path to peace - e.g. Gerry Adams in Northern Ireland, Iraq, various less successful attempts with the Taliban, Haqqanis etc.


D. Drones etc are a major shift in recon ability. With that said what a modern offensive looks like has also shifted. In 1941 Japan used aircraft carriers, airplanes, battleships, submarines and millions of troops in an effort to achieve economic security and prosperity ( yes there were other drivers, racism etc but let's just keep things simple for now ).

In 2000 to 2018 China used dredges, propaganda, political naivete, construction crews and concrete to move towards the implementation of the 9 Dash Line. This is an effort to secure strategically and economically vital territory in perpetuity.

Also the Chinese Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has secured the port of Hambanthota in Sri Lanka through political and economic means. They gave Sri Lanka loan terms to build an amazing port promising all sorts of benefits with propaganda and, doubtless, bribes privately. Their terms were such that default was almost inevitable and now they've taken the port on a 99 year lease. The BRI is also melding Myanmar, Pakistan and many other countries China's way, including, crucially for America countries in Africa. It would be a foolish mistake to view the BRI as not having a military component.

Then look at Crimea where Russia carried out an extremely effective military operation and took control of the entire peninsula with almost no bloodshed. Look at how much it cost the Germans in WW2 to take the same ground? Times have changed and while tactical, operational and strategic reconnaissance are still crucially important I think that the idea of operational manoeuvre groups springing forth into the operational depth of enemy forces in order to cause strategic withdrawals of 100 to 200km along the whole front are not how wars will be fought in the next 2 to 3 decades. Certainly I don't think it is how wars will be fought against near-peer adversaries.

With that said I would draw distinctions between having the capability to see a thing, having the understanding to know what it means and having the political and societal will to do something about it. What I mean by this is that drones might see a formation advancing but with good maskirovka and many other operations being conducted simultaneously the true target of that formation can still remain difficult to ascertain until it is too late to shift forces to block it. Also even if its target is ascertained the new mode of war is about attacking the societal and political will to do anything about it. The US military will, I believe, increasingly find itself in a situation in which it knows what is about to happen, where and whom it will happen to but is denied permission to do anything meaningful about it. Without the last step the first two just turn the US military into a modern-day Pandora.

I'll give two examples:
1. Crimea: Everyone knew that those balaclaved, camoed guys in uniform who had spontaneously decided to arrive in Crimea to protect the tartars were spetsnaz etc. We even all knew what their goal was. No-one, however, did anything effective to stop them. End result, Crimea is no longer part of the Ukraine.

2. Khashoggi: He was tortured ( fingers cut off and then dismembered - when the dismembering began he appears to have still been alive ) and killed in the Saudi embassy. The turks have this on audio, the Saudis have it on audio and video. It is abundantly clear that this was pre-meditated ( you don't bring a bone saw in to a friendly question and answer session ) yet it appears Trump is satisfied it was a fistfight which got out of hand. Now, obviously, it is in the Turks interest for their own strategic reasons to make this as embarrassing as possible for the Saudis and so I expect the audio tapes to be released for everyone to listen to on youtube etc. But it does highlight, again, that knowing what happened and doing anything about it are two very different things.


E. I have difficulty understanding how you could use the location of a factory or city as maskirovka in any meaningful way which wouldn't hurt you more than it hurt the enemy. It is, after all, objectively a very important thing. Could you explain what you mean more so I can understand your point?

Well, that's enough for now I'm sure.


_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to Schlemiel)
Post #: 109
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 2:49:01 PM   
zuluhour


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I had never considered paragraph five. It is so obvious yet invisible.

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 110
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 2:54:51 PM   
Nemo121


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And now for the other posts in the necrothread ( I'll come back to finish the reply to Schlemiel later, probably tomorrow ).

1. Timotheus,
Glubokiy boy.... One doesn't hear that bandied about too much .

No, I only worked officially with the military once to simulate Soviet OPFOR for the US Armor College over the course of a few wargames for a course. Unofficially I simulated Soviet OPFOR for serving officers on quite a few additional occasions but, while I found it interesting, my primary profession is mental health and there isn't much call from the Irish Army for OPFOR psychoanalysis . With that said I do find the current Chinese strategic thrust absolutely fascinating. I'd definitely be interested in discussing that with others more and playing it out but that is less about wargames than it is about their rather masterful long-term planning which, I believe, has a high chance of winning them their prize whilst avoiding the Thucydides trap.


2. RIP Harry. A sad loss. It saddens me to think on it.


3. BBfanboy,
Well, there was a lot of underhanded stuff going on then also. To be fair with time and perspective it is clear that a better course would just be to not be as emotionally invested when others attack one personally. But, we all have blind spots and while I'm perfectly fine with someone disagreeing with me vociferously ( and me them ) I don't see why disagreement seems to require personal invective nowadays. It completely stifles discussion.

With that said as time has gone by I've realised that rather than getting angry it would have been ( and is ) better to simply let them have their say and move on without responding. So my "new" life policy is to respond respectfully to respectful disagreement and just move on from personal invective. Well, that's what I aim for anyways . Live, learn, mature


4. Lokasenna,
I'm sorry you felt that way. I remember you and certainly don't ever remember feeling that you were prioritising personal invective over rational, enjoyable vociferous disagreement . I see later you said the "cult-like wall" was from "followers".
a. I wouldn't classify myself as having followers . I simply enjoy discussion and agreement and disagreement. Some people agree, some don't. That's great. Some take it as an opportunity to launch personal attacks - that's less great.
b. If you felt like there was a wall then I'm sorry about that. There shouldn't be. Contrary opinions should be welcome. It is an essential component of healthy debate --- I think we've all become more attuned to the importance of that over the last 2 to three years.


5. Anachro,
I've forgotten the details of that thread... Probably a good thing

Well, I think that's me caught up with the other replies in this thread.

< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 10/20/2018 3:00:54 PM >


_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 111
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 2:57:17 PM   
Nemo121


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Zuluhour,

My apologies but different people count paragraphs differently... Are you referring to this?

quote:

So, the more you know about ALL of these levels ( technical-tactical, tactical doctrine, enemy soldier morale, enemy military expectations and beliefs, enemy political expectations and beliefs, enemy societal expectations and beliefs ) then the better the chance that you can craft a plan to defeat that enemy at the grand strategic level ( the only level which truly matters --- which is a point that most western doctrine misses ). Another key point is that any good marxist doctrinaire is going to point out that the tactical is subordinate to the operational, the operational to the strategic and the strategic to the grand strategic(political etc ) levels and so during their peacetime reconnaissance they will follow that prioritisation.


_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 112
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 3:45:08 PM   
zuluhour


Posts: 5244
Joined: 1/20/2011
From: Maryland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121


So, the more you know about ALL of these levels ( technical-tactical, tactical doctrine, enemy soldier morale, enemy military expectations and beliefs, enemy political expectations and beliefs, enemy societal expectations and beliefs ) then the better the chance that you can craft a plan to defeat that enemy at the grand strategic level ( the only level which truly matters --- which is a point that most western doctrine misses ). Another key point is that any good marxist doctrinaire is going to point out that the tactical is subordinate to the operational, the operational to the strategic and the strategic to the grand strategic(political etc ) levels and so during their peacetime reconnaissance they will follow that prioritisation.

actually, this one. It is too easy to deviate from this in the game, as you have succinctly stated, this is a structure necessary to complete a great task. I read
quite a bit into it and find myself at a lost for time to elaborate, but I will say your grasp (far surpassing my own) and ability to simplify a complex "problem" into
pieces, articulated as well, is past the proletariat label of clever.

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 113
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 5:30:35 PM   
BBfanboy


Posts: 17863
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From: Winnipeg, MB
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Wow! So few people can elucidate a big picture that we never saw/considered and drive right down through all the levels to what we see on the ground. That clarity is why I felt your participation was a huge plus for the forums!

Good to see you back, even if it is just a temporary stay! (so many interesting fields to follow these days, so I understand if you have other interests beyond this game/forum now).

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 114
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 5:43:25 PM   
Nemo121


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Schlemiel,

A.
quote:

I presume (though with very limited knowledge) that the original theoreticians of deep battle still believed in the Marxist Revolution sparking in the nations they would be fighting, possibly in response to such an attack.


They were dead before Operation Barbarossa. Tukhachevsky, Triandafilov, Varfolomeev were all purged by Stalin. Isserson got lucky and died of old age in the 70s.


B. Were uprisings viewed as a component of Deep Battle?
No, the early developers of Deep Battle were looking at the technical-tactical characteristics of weapons and how this could best be used to effect victory in future wars. They didn't specifically fit the concept of Deep Battle into a political layer except insofar as they had to put some boilerplate text in as political cover... I think that if you were smart enough to envision the concept of Deep battle in 1920s and 1930s Soviet Union then you were smart enough to realise that being a military man talking about politics was just signing your own death warrant vis a vis Stalin. I'm sure they thought about these things but they were smart enough to not sign their own death warrants and leave others to place the political/ideological layer on it, complete with the inevitability ot Marxist victory as the proletariat inevitably came to realise how oppressed they were and how they deserved to own the means of production themselves.


C. Would Deep Battle doctrine have been useful vs China...
Well, firstly we need to look at the timeline. China in 1930 was a very different proposition than China in 1960s vs 1980s vs today. Would Deep Battle have been useful in the 30s, 60s and 80s vs China? Well, I think it is essential to have a military philosophy/doctrine which keeps your strategic thinking, operational thinking and tactical thinking coherent and mutually supportive. As such Deep Battle had relevance in every time period.

With that said you have to realise that the Soviet history vs China ( and its antecedents ) has a great bearing on their thinking. Their history features Mongol invasions and the subjugation of the Rus principalities by the Golden Horde in the 13th Century. So they were a lot more concerned in the 60s etc with avoiding being overwhelmed by sheer numbers rather than launching deep thrusts into the Chinese operational and strategic depth in order to conquer China and add it to the Soviet Empire.

So, would Deep Battle have been useful? Certainly, it would have provided the philosophy which joined the Soviet thinking at different levels together but any war with China would have been one of three scenarios based on political goals more than military goals:
a. a limited punitive expedition in order to punish a border skirmish.
b. a defensive war to prevent Chinese advances and capture of areas rich in resources in the Far East.
c. a high intensity conflict which would have featured widespread use of nuclear weapons at tactical, operational and strategic levels in order to destroy the enemy and occupy their territory as rapidly as possible

As you can see the decision of which of these to pursue and is a political decision made at the political level and so, as ever, everything would have been subsumed to the politically-derived objective. Do you want to punish China, outlast China or destroy China? If it is to punish China then you are taking some ground, anihilating some forces, declaring a victory and withdrawing back to the border. If it is outlasting China then you plan to fight on your own ground with only spoiling attacks into Chinese territory and you're not taking and holding Chinese ground for long. If it is to destroy China then if you want to hold the ground you pass through it would be, from a military viewpoint, preferable to leave as few Chinese alive behind your lines as possible (due to radiation and/or chemical or biological warfare). Once you use those weapons the Chinese are bound to strike back with their own nukes and plague carriers and you quickly realise that destroying China is only an option if the ONLY other alternative is your own certain destruction. At that time sense prevails and you go to option A and B... which is what the Soviets did from 1950s onwards.

Bottom line whether or not Deep Battle would work well if the Soviet Union invaded China isn't the real question. The real questions are:
a> How are you going to hold the ground if you don't kill almost everyone who is already there and repopulate it with emigrants from your own ethnic/ideological grouping? ( e.g the lebensraum plan )
b> If you do kill almost everyone there then just what is the value of all this empty ground which is heavily contaminated with nuclear, biological and chemical detritus?
c> Whichever of the two above you choose there is going to be a devastating cost politically and socially both internally and internationally and it is likely that even if on a strict military basis you could do one of the above the internal and international costs just wouldn't be worth it?



D. Would echelons work against an enemy who had ground to trade for time?
It worked to push the Germans back over 2,000 km from Stalingrad to Berlin in 3 years. That's pretty good going. Certainly there would have been many differences in invading China in 1960 vs repulsing Germany in 1942 but on a purely military basis I think it would have been effective. The grand strategic layer ( societal and political realities ) is what would have made it suicidal for the Soviet Union to attempt.

It is one thing to take ground and advance 100km to the next enemy defensive line along a river or mountain range. It is another thing entirely to be able to run fuel and ammunition convoys across that 100km without taking devastating attritional losses over time. A great example of this is Afghanistan or Iraq 2000+. Taking the ground was one thing. Maintaining social support to pay the price to KEEP the ground is another thing entirely. Both the Soviet Union and America couldn't keep the ground they took at a price which their societies deemed acceptable. China in 1960 or 1980 would, in my opinion, have been no different. The Soviet Union could have taken the ground but would, rather quickly, have found the attritional cost of keeping the ground too high.


E. Soviet doctrine developed over time and ability did win out over orthodoxy at times. I think we often look at opposing forces and ascribe to them an unwarranted stolidity of thought and action. The Soviet armed forces developed doctrines and adapted them as necessary over time. They weren't always right and they weren't always wrong. Frequently their doctrine was let down by the poor economy of the Soviet Union and its inability to produce the quantity and quality of weapons the Red Army would have wished to have but I do think that there is a lot of evidence of solid doctrinal evolution from the 1920s onwards ( albeit with retrenchments due to Stalin's paranoia and other ideological upheavals from time to time ).


F. Okinawa situation:
Well, if I were the allies I'd look on the Japanese Okinawan counter-offensive as a great opportunity to trap significant portions of the Japanese army in a position they could not evacuate from to reinforce other areas of their front. If I were the Allies in that situation I would simply defend the portion of Okinawa I still held - in order to bleed the Japanese dry while I remained on the defensive. I would also rotate divisions in to gain combat experience, taking other divisions out once they were blooded in order to commit them to offensives elsewhere. Same for air units etc. Okinawa would become my training ground.

Then I would launch additional attacks on other similar bases within fighter range of Japan. Japan would have to commit its reserves ( ground, naval and aerial ) to fend off each of these invasions. In a worst case scenario in which my invasion took a base but couldn't take a multitude of mutually-supporting bases I would gradually but surely force the commitment of Japanese strategic reserves until eventually they would run out. The next invasion would then be a success. At that point in time I would take the Strategically Decisive force I had been husbanding and immediately launch a land invasion of mainland Japan reasoning that the time to strike was now, when they no longer had a strategic reserve sufficient to throw my forces back into the sea.

From my point of view there is a way for the Allies to turn any Japanese counter-offensives at that time into a major strategic folly as the Allies have such a preponderance of resources that they can afford to poke the Japanese, provoke a response, soak up the response, pin it in place and then attack elsewhere and provoke the commitment of the rest of the strategic reserve until there's none left. It is a truism of war that whoever runs out of reserves first loses - this was the basis of Tamerlane's strategy and it is still effective 600+ years later. In reality what most people will do is throw more and more Allied troops into the Okinawa battle in order to "win" it without realising that "winning" that battle over a prolonged period of time is a major win strategically for Japan.


G. I don't think deep battle is suited to LIC. After all, in Vietnam what did it matter if you advanced 300 miles in a day? All of your supply bases etc were still under threat from the Viet Cong and none of the 299 miles behind you were safe to traverse. You had MOVED 300 miles but you still only owned the ground you were dug in on. You still only OWNED the ground you could cover with your guns. It is a classic case of lots of action but no change. That's quite different than what happened to the Soviets during Bagration where when they advance 100km they owned that ground ( pro-independence partisans notwithstanding ).



Graymane,
Good points.

< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 10/20/2018 5:46:41 PM >


_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 115
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/20/2018 10:43:44 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 3390
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quote:

No, I only worked officially with the military once to simulate Soviet OPFOR for the US Armor College over the course of a few wargames for a course. Unofficially I simulated Soviet OPFOR for serving officers on quite a few additional occasions but, while I found it interesting, my primary profession is mental health and there isn't much call from the Irish Army for OPFOR psychoanalysis . With that said I do find the current Chinese strategic thrust absolutely fascinating. I'd definitely be interested in discussing that with others more and playing it out but that is less about wargames than it is about their rather masterful long-term planning which, I believe, has a high chance of winning them their prize whilst avoiding the Thucydides trap.


How did someone in your line of work get involved with that?

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 116
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/21/2018 4:59:06 AM   
PaxMondo


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Welcome back. Missed you and your thoughts here.



_____________________________

Pax

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Post #: 117
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/21/2018 10:37:58 AM   
modrow

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

Welcome back. Missed you and your thoughts here.




+1 !

Hartwig

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 118
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/21/2018 1:40:33 PM   
Canoerebel


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+1

My guess is that Nemo will disappear into the mists ("the shades," as Greyjoy would say) for the next two or five years. I wish he'd stick around. He thinks on a different level than I do, but he makes me think. I like reading his thoughts, even when I would (occasionally) get crossways with him.

(in reply to modrow)
Post #: 119
RE: Thinking out of the box - 10/21/2018 4:22:54 PM   
ny59giants


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I'm another player who has missed the insights from my fellow mental health professional 'across the pond.' I hope he stays and doesn't allow the naysayers to drive him back into the shadows again.

I'm in the process of gaining knowledge on China and Asia outside of WW2 and love to hear what he is saying about that area of our modern world.

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 120
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