Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Ironcross, Apr 12, 2006.
how would you apply blitzkrieg in modern warfare?
With all the modern AT rockets etc I think sending any big numbers of tanks to attack is total waste of tanks.
As well as big ships can be sent to the bottom of the ocean with the likes of Exocet missiles so...
Yeah I agree with you Kai.
Although I think blitzkrieg can be applied on a smaller scale. Sending some gunships into a town while pounding them with artillery. Meanwhile you send in a few APC's full of Marines (or Bundeswehr if you want to keep it German) and an Abrams or two.
Thanks, it might be a litte off the topic but what kind of technique do you think will be useful in modern warfare.
Well the Americans have been successful with the Air-Land doctrine
The tactic is still possible today, in all of it's incarnations. True there are more ways to bring down airplanes, blow up tanks and sink ships than ever before. There are also a lot of counter measures. The basic idea is still the same, pin down your opponents forces, envelop them so that they can neither communicate, escape or be re-supplied, and then anialate the forces in the pocket. You do not engage your enemy on their terms. You bypass their strong points, cut them off and then play to your strengths, such as artillery, air power, etc. Then once they have been softened up you use the appropriate forces to destroy the last of their resistance.
I think we are facing problem like the people in WWI faced, for them are the machine guns and gas. For us, it is the rockets and nuclear weapon. The people back them made tank to counter machine guns and gas masks to counter gas. Do you think we can do the same?
Well, the americans used Blitzkrieg on Iraq in Operation Freedom. They just rushed right to the capital bypassing all strongpoints.
The seesaw of advancement and countermeasure is always on-going. We have developed armors to help protect against rockets like the RPG, we have developed radars that can locate the firing position of where ballistic rockes come from. The United States is working on the "Star Wars" defence against incoming nuclear weapon delivery systems. When the counter-measure is fully deployed someone always comes along with a new technology that needs a new response. I don't think it will end.
Did the Germans really use "blitzkrieg" in WW2?
In the Poland campain, they only averaged 15kms a day, just about the same in WW1. Or was it just that the allies wern't ready?
Hmm, see my reply to the very same questions in "Early German Successes"!
The "blitzkrieg" is still a viable doctrine / set of tactics. The problem is in doctrinal and organizational employment of it today. There are currently no larger militaries that make it a practice as a rule to use maneuver warfare. The US, for example, talks a good game on it in their various Air-Land Battle doctrines. But, outside of special forces type operations, the US does not practice what they profess to preach. Instead, the practice is a top down, buearucratic "corporate" style of warfare relying heavily on a fixed top down chain of command.
Just because the US can crush some third rate army like Iraq does not prove them capable of practicing manuever warfare in the style of Israel from 1956 to 1973. I suspect some of the Israeli edge from this period has dulled since as their military settled into a period of relative peace.
Usually, maneuver warfare is the result of practical experiance learned the hard way on the battlefield. In peace armies tend to move towards a more sedate and sure practice of the art of war.
I find this statement somewhat unexpected. The US defeated twice a third rate army, all right, but the doctrine they used was the same studied and practiced in exercises against first class armies.
You may say the Israeli amy has dulled, and 30 years of fighting insurrections does take a toll, but I see no reason why mobile mechanised warfare is not taught in academies, these internal control tasks being considered a nuisance that has to be done too, not the primary mission.
WW3 never happened and it does not appear to ever be, so it's expected that alternative doctrines appear to confront different types of enemies. We are not going to see the GSFG (Group of Soviet Forces in Germany) pouring over the Inner German Border, as I and certainly others here wargamed it so often!
As for the US Army: I know quite a few officers in various positions. Most are far more paper pushers than truely knowledgable warriors. The latest verison of the Air Land Battle doctrine sounds alot like Army doctrine of the 60's or 70's rather than the original version published in the late 80's in that it stresses firepower over everything once again.
Or, you might read a book like Robert Leonhart's (I may have spelled the name wrong as it isn't in front of me) The Art of Maneuver Warfare. He is a mid-grade officer and his description of the Army's operations in Iraq the first time around is less than flattering.
Schwartzkopf certainly did not show any real flare or degree of skill in simply having each division at his disposal move forward in a rigid plan of advance where phase lines and dressing flanks counted more than rapidity of advance and local initiative.
It is the later that characterizes the "blitzkrieg" style of war.
As for Israel, I suspect (but have no direct evidence) that their military, like any other, has lost alot of its combat edge as it no longer has many of the combat experianced commanders it once did. In 1956 there were many ex- US, European and, Soviet officers that were Jewish that lent their WW 2 experiance to the formative Israeli army. From there wars were frequent enough to ensure a steady supply of experianced and hungry officers who needed to really know and apply their art.
Now that that has fallen off I would think that many of their current officers are not as well versed in the culture of combat as their predicessors as happens in any army that is not fighting war for real. How much they have lost is another question.
All right, T.A., I recognise I am outdated in this matter and accept what you say. I''l look up that title you mentioned. Thanks!