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OPFOR discussion on possible Syrian tactics?


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I see quite a lot of heavy defensive battles for key pieces of terrain, villages, and of course cities. For such battles the US player will know the enemy is there and that means no classic style ambush. Of course, in any battle there can be ambushes (it is something commander's love to do to the other guy!), but the basic character would be one of a classic attacker/defender type scenario with the Syrians on the defensive most of the time. I can see a few scenarios where the US is set up defensively and has to ward off a counter attack of some sort.

Steve

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Originally posted by KNac:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Of course, in any battle there can be ambushes (it is something commander's love to do to the other guy!)

Sure hehe

Anyway, we can always play Blue On Blue QB with ME or similar things, for armoured battles and stuff like that hehe. [/QB]</font>

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

These guys would have the heavy stuff (the Kornet is NOT very portable) already deployed and ready to go.

that's why they would prefer Metis-M.

rashs.jpg

EDIT: though of course after the first (missing) shot they would be carpet bombed by the circling B52s.

[ December 19, 2005, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: undead reindeer cavalry ]

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

To get back to the topic of this thread...

I think another Thunder Run style move will be anticipated by the Syrians. The two reasons it worked in Iraq was a) they weren't expecting it (few could say they were!) and B) there was little indication that the Iraqis could do much against it. Both elements are lacking now, at least in theory.

What is the counter to a Thunder Run style attack? Easy... ambush teams armed with heavy ATGMs, RPGs, grenades, plentiful small arms, and perhaps a few other nasties like IEDs positioned along likely routes. I think it is highly likely that some urban areas will see these types of defenses waiting for an invasion. It is easily within Syria's current means, and therefore should be considered plausible.

There was once this war in which a small country with an army equipped with outdated weapons was able to stop the attack of one of the major powers of the time. I am of course talking about Winter War. If the US side is going to have some troubles attacking, the reason is going to be the same it was in 1939: being overly confident in their superior war machine. You know, Finland was supposed to fall in less than a month (two weeks to take Helsinki is what I remember was the plan), but Finland was able to survive for over 3 months. Ofcourse if the war had continued, the Finnish defence would have collapsed.

I am not comparing the equipment or training or leadership or anything like that of the US army and the Red army. But, in the Winter War the Soviet plan was to just drive through Finnish defence and win the war. It turned out that that was (not suprisingly) a bad plan. I think that there are people on this board showing the mentality that the war against Syria would be just driving through the Syrian defence and winning the war. In case the Syrians are going to defend their land to the last man (I really don't know if this would be the case) then the US Army would have to do some real fighting. And this gives us interesting battles to play. As Steve pointed out, the Syrians propably have the tools for stopping Thunder Run type attack(s). The question is if the mentality to do so is there.

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URC,

it's strange how so many of the "but it could never happen in real life" has actually happened.
Yeah, but that is just statistics talking. Mostly the stuff that isn't supposed to happen hasn't. To be credible you must establish that you know the difference between wild and crazy "what ifs" and ones that are plausible. Just because you can think it up doesn't mean it is plausible.

Much of what you've come up with is not plausible, and therefore can not be taken seriously. At least not the way you've presented your case, which amounts to presenting a position without anything to back it up. And in many cases, such as in the other thread, the positions you come up with are contradicted by current events. From what I can tell you've got a chip on your shoulder and are building a case based on your bias and not the facts.

Steve

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

Much of what you've come up with is not plausible, and therefore can not be taken seriously. At least not the way you've presented your case, which amounts to presenting a position without anything to back it up. And in many cases, such as in the other thread, the positions you come up with are contradicted by current events. From what I can tell you've got a chip on your shoulder and are building a case based on your bias and not the facts.

you are arguing against something that i am not arguing for. like i said, Syrian side is doomed if it is to fight in a classic Soviet style. what i am arguing for is that a Syrian force fighting on a low-signature light force doctrine is able to halt a Shock & Awe Thunder Run invasion for long enough to make the invasion costly enough that the invading side runs into political difficulties.

if there is something to argue against my opinion, it is to argue that Syrians can't fight that kind of war or that the invading side would not run into political difficulties.

Shock & Awe doesn't work against light forces because they are hard to detect & bomb. Thunder Run doesn't work because light forces are hard to detect and are very effective against rapidly advancing mechanized forces. once the Thunder Run is stopped the enemy is confused and has to deal with more than isolated pockets of resistance. these can be dealt with, but it takes time and casulties. if the invaders have time and can take the casulties then it is not a problem - Syrians lose.

[ December 21, 2005, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: undead reindeer cavalry ]

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Drusus,

i fear Syrians are more like the Soviets were in 1941, and the invading forces more like the Germans.

what might be more productive would be to look what kind of tactics modern Finnish forces use. how are we able to disperce our forces and yet be able to concentrate them at key points. how can we have light forces, yet concentrate firepower for great effect.

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Sergei,

that's true, though i think Syrians should mostly stay clear of flat open areas. what i had in mind was the build up areas and the areas with considerable terrain elevations. though i guess Syrians are too rigid for the kind of flexible gathering of smaller units to create local ad hoc "task forces".

parts of the coast are quite forested BTW.

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Originally posted by undead reindeer cavalry:

Sergei,

that's true, though i think Syrians should mostly stay clear of flat open areas. what i had in mind was the build up areas and the areas with considerable terrain elevations. though i guess Syrians are too rigid for the kind of flexible gathering of smaller units to create local ad hoc "task forces".

I don't know, but I doubt that Finnish Defence Forces would ever consider pursuing a doctrine that left most of the country occupied by enemy with only the few larger cities held by "flexible gatherings of smaller units".
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My point was about the mentality that the US forces are going to win by doing only easy fighting. That there aren't going to be any interesting battles to play in CMSF because the Syrians can't do anything but either go home or die without a chance of winning even a single CMSF sized battle. That mentality is very much the same the Red Army had in 1939. If the US would attack with that mentality (lets drive to Damascus and the war is over), there could be some disasterous results. If there would be is more about the mentality the Syrians would have in the war than equipment & training. If I have understood the reason for Thunder Run correctly it was to give Saddam's Army a decisive blow. But what happens if the blow isn't decisive? You have lost a huge gamble. Here is a really interesting link: Thunder Run (www.tankmastergunner.com) I don't know if that is accurate description of the battle, but interesting anyways ;)

I think it could even be possilbe to just drive to Damascus. But the real problem is what to do when you get there (propably with high losses). What if you can't hold the ground you just gained? You are (relatively) alone in the center of a huge city and there are hostile forces everywhere, if you run out of supplies you are in real problems. If I remember correctly the Russians tried their version of Thunder Run in Groznyi. First they drove to the center of Groznyi and lost some tanks doing it. Then they saw that it was impossible to stay there and drove away. And lost even more tanks doing that. Now, there are propably more informed people to tell how the battle at Groznyi really went. That is just how I remember hearing about the attack. Compare Groznyi to Thunder Run. If the Syrians are any better trained or equipped than the Iraqis, then doing Thunder Run to Damascus would end up as in Groznyi. From that description of the Thunder Run it was close enough to end like Groznyi in Iraq, too.

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The comparison to the Winter War is a good one, but incorrectly applied. The correct comparison would be the wars waged against Israel. The collective Arab forces were larger, confident, and somewhat motivated. However, they were generally terribly trained and lead. They attacked the territory of a smaller, but extremely well trained, very highly motivated, well lead, and vastly better coordinated force. Israel is more like Finland, the Arabs like the Soviets.

For a US vs. Syria situation the best comparison is US vs. Iraq. There is no reason to stretch back to WWII or any other time period because the most relevant example is staring people right in the face.

Steve

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I only want to compare the way people are seeing the forecoming war. And the possible effect of thinking that Syria would be as easy to take as Iraq. In 1939 the Red Army was sure they could crush Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) in less than a month. And people saying that this would not happen were (propably) few and (propably) mostly Finnish. Yes, I know there are MAJOR differences between Red Army vs FDF and USA vs Syria. But, IF the mentality of the US Army is that they are just going to take Damascus with the same plan they did take Baghdad it could end up in a disaster. In WWII some countries collapsed suprisingly easily (France) and some countries resisted the attack suprisingly well (Finland). In 2003 Iraq's defence collapsed suprisingly easily. This doesn't imply that the Syrian defence must collapse as easily. It could happen, but jet again, trying Thunder Run to Damascus could end up in a disaster. There are some differences between Syria and Iraq: Saddam's regime was based on the minority of Iraqs. The Iraqi army was bombed (more or less) for ten years and before that some of the forces were already destroyed in GWI. There might be differences in the training. And maybe the biggest difference is that the mentality of the defenders of Syria could be much better. And ofcourse the equipment of Saddam's Army was ten years outdated.

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