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Infantry Tactics

Weinie

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Anti-Tank Exercises (Javelin, NLAW and HMG)





I have taken my time responding, in part because I found this discussion appallingly shallow. We are debating how we participate in a shooting war of unspecified intensity, but appear to think it will start and remain what used to be called a "come as you are" conflict. Any potential enemy, and thank all that is holy, there ain't too many potential bad guys around, would be fairly large, pretty well equipped, and serious about winning. So, that suggests, hell, it bellows from the rooftops, that the old way of doing things with a minimal force-in-being is over. Just a couple of things to ponder, but I'm pretty sure you all can think of a lot more, recruiting and training replacements for the casualties, and there probably will be a lot of them, to fill up the troops fighting, and to conduct a rotation, or worse, build up the forces from a battle group or brigade group to perhaps a division or more. Also, care of our casualties and looking after them and their families. Harping on casualties, we suffered what only would be considered light casualties in each roto in Afghanistan. Ian Hope in his book stated 1 PPCLI Battle Group lost 14 KIA in its tour in 2006. In 1953 3 RCR and atts lost 28 KIA in one battle, and even that was not excessive by the standard of our other wars. Not every fight is going to be another Verrieres Ridge, but we will loose a lot of soldiers, and will have to replace them in the field.

One other - gearing up the industrial base to arm and equip our force, and to keep the flow going.

Lets start considering the big picture. It will conjure up very unpleasant images, but I don't think we are doing ourselves any favours by not considering the really unpleasant parts. I could rant on, but I won't, and I apologize for not raising these issues earlier in the debate.
I had mentioned my concern about attrition/casualties in a different thread, but got crickets. My post:

The fallacy, as I see it, with this NTM COA is that it doesn't account for casualties/attrition.

When we were working CBP, no one factored in that we could likely expect extensive/massive attrition, across all domains in a near peer/peer environment. We likely would not have enough time, or the sp chain, to train/equip/re-equip a follow-on force before hostilities finished.
 

blacktriangle

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Why doesn't the CAF seem to care about ATMs?
ATMs or ATGMs? Most of the people I served with in the CAF definitely cared about ATMs - in particular when said ATMs no longer wanted to dispense money. :sneaky:

More seriously, the lack of a modern ATGM like Javelin or Spike speaks volumes about how seriously Canada takes its Army.
 
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Kirkhill

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I had mentioned my concern about attrition/casualties in a different thread, but got crickets. My post:

The fallacy, as I see it, with this NTM COA is that it doesn't account for casualties/attrition.

When we were working CBP, no one factored in that we could likely expect extensive/massive attrition, across all domains in a near peer/peer environment. We likely would not have enough time, or the sp chain, to train/equip/re-equip a follow-on force before hostilities finished.


The reason for the crickets at this end is - there is no answer. We have a government that reflects its clients and the clients would rather not be interrupted from their lives.

Accordingly the best I think we can do is to focus on adjusting some thinking in the regular forces.

My preferred model for the Reserves is still the volunteer home guards of Europe. Citizens that are engaged sufficiently to care and that can be organized according to the needs of the day. Now if only we could guarantee some time to get them and the reg forces on to a war footing with enough UORs, transport and 90 day training programmes.
 

Weinie

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The reason for the crickets at this end is - there is no answer. We have a government that reflects its clients and the clients would rather not be interrupted from their lives.

Accordingly the best I think we can do is to focus on adjusting some thinking in the regular forces.

My preferred model for the Reserves is still the volunteer home guards of Europe. Citizens that are engaged sufficiently to care and that can be organized according to the needs of the day. Now if only we could guarantee some time to get them and the reg forces on to a war footing with enough UORs, transport and 90 day training programmes.
Yup.

But we still have no answer for casualties/attrition. Until we answer that we are a one shot( albeit late) answer to the show.
 
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Kirkhill

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Yup.

But we still have no answer for casualties/attrition. Until we answer that we are a one shot( albeit late) answer to the show.

What will it take to motivate the nation to launch a crusade?
 

FJAG

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I had mentioned my concern about attrition/casualties in a different thread, but got crickets. My post:

The fallacy, as I see it, with this NTM COA is that it doesn't account for casualties/attrition.

When we were working CBP, no one factored in that we could likely expect extensive/massive attrition, across all domains in a near peer/peer environment. We likely would not have enough time, or the sp chain, to train/equip/re-equip a follow-on force before hostilities finished.
I think its both a cyclic and an attitude thing.

The first factor is that our brigades are fairly large and with the limited PYs available we have a hard time filling them properly which means that in the event we need to deploy one full brigade we would have to cannibalize elements of the other two just to get the one out of the door. That leaves even fewer people in those two brigades to draw on to cover attrition or to create a follow-on force.

That of course leaves the reserves, and from the Op Broadsword example above we'd need to use all of our reservists which again leaves nothing for a "follow-on" force.

I think the attitude thing is one where we simply haven't gathered the will within the Army to push hard for a larger and better reserve. We've generally been prepared to live with what we have. The cyclical nature comes in because from time-to-time we do push the idea of a larger, more competent reserve up the chain and when we do succeed with the argument like we did in the 1990s then we don't resource it properly, bleed off funds for admin Class Bs, and never do push for the legislative changes needed (like a decent employer protection legislation) and even more importantly the regulatory and directive changes to properly implement it. We never sustain the effort. Effectively every initiative taken results in status quo ante.

We all recognize that the Res F has substantial systemic weaknesses. We all know that stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. When it comes to creating a more effective Res F, Canada has been stupid for over a half a century.

What bothers me more than anything is that while a bunch of us who are musing about these things around this website clearly see the issue, I'm convinced that the folks who sit around the cabinet table believe they have more military options than they really do. My guess is when the Op Broadsword data was handed up there was more than one dropped jaw. (And I don't mean just within cabinet - I presume within the higher reaches of NDHQ and CFHQ as well) For as long as I remember, when we were heavily into 4 CMBG we never rehearsed attrition (Op Pendent expansion - yes; but attrition - no)

I found it frustrating on CRes and Cadets Council and for some strange reason now that I'm retired I still find it frustrating.

😠
 

OldSolduer

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What will it take to motivate the nation to launch a crusade?
It would have to be very extreme. An existential threat to Canada or humanity and even then I think it would be tough.

Afghanistan to most Canadians was a sideshow. I'm genuinely sorry to say that - its evident that most Canadians could care less about military matters.
 

Haligonian

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Wilf Owen proposing an approach to Infantry doctrine/organization/tactics he refers to as Patrol Based Infantry Doctrine. He sees the 3-5 man det trained to conduct a recce patrol and an OP as the foundation of all infantry employment. An idea I am somewhat sympathetic to but then I also look at the current situation between Russia and Ukraine and think that a conventional, properly enabled mech brigade would be very useful in such a situation.

 

CBH99

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It would have to be very extreme. An existential threat to Canada or humanity and even then I think it would be tough.

Afghanistan to most Canadians was a sideshow. I'm genuinely sorry to say that - its evident that most Canadians could care less about military matters.
So I know I may get flamed for saying this, and that’s fair enough. Believe it or not, I actually don’t mean to sound offensive or sound like a jerk by saying this…

But I’ve come to the genuine belief that most Canadians are absolute morons when it comes to global events, politics, etc.

As much as folks like to take digs at the Americans for ‘not being as globally aware’ as they are… pot, meet kettle.

Most Canadians care about what the media tells them to, believe what it tells them to, and adjust their behaviour according to how the media tells them to - whether they realize it or not.


For Canada to launch a crusade? “An extreme situation” is a good way to put it 😉
 

Kirkhill

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Wilf Owen proposing an approach to Infantry doctrine/organization/tactics he refers to as Patrol Based Infantry Doctrine. He sees the 3-5 man det trained to conduct a recce patrol and an OP as the foundation of all infantry employment. An idea I am somewhat sympathetic to but then I also look at the current situation between Russia and Ukraine and think that a conventional, properly enabled mech brigade would be very useful in such a situation.



I came across the recent article on tools for the infantry and when looking for a place to put it I came across the comment from b00161400.

I agree with both him and Wilf Owen. I also don't see the concept as being at odds with a mech brigade. In fact I find it complementary.
I don't like the idea of tying up large numbers of idle troops in the backs of tin cans. I would sooner that the tin cans at the front operate with small dets of highly capable dismounts that will operate no more than a kilometer from their platoon vehicles (Not their section vehicle but their platoon of vehicles - the minimum force element). Working at that distance from their rides they can work in fighting order, leaving most of their survival needs in the truck and carry heavy weights of weapons and ammo for short distances. And still have energy left over to dig a hole.

If you need mass numbers of dismounted troops then bring them to within a couple of kilometers of their position by dedicated troop carriers suitable for the terrain.
 

KevinB

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Suppressors yes
DMR is a piece of garbage adopted off a directed required by Silly Milley when he was the CSA.
Much better DMR systems exist in SOCOM (okay JSOC) and it shows how out of touch that imbecile is for going the way he did.
LPVO's well geez, the AAR from Gothic Serpent called - wait oh yeah in 1993... Solid work paying attention.
ENVG-B sure it's good - not the best but probably the best a large conventional force will get at this point in time
Drones - no brainer - the Israeli's had a M203 launched one 15 years ago that while not as capable as todays systems showed that at least every section/squad in the conventional army should have that capability.


I came across the recent article on tools for the infantry and when looking for a place to put it I came across the comment from b00161400.

I agree with both him and Wilf Owen. I also don't see the concept as being at odds with a mech brigade. In fact I find it complementary.
I don't like the idea of tying up large numbers of idle troops in the backs of tin cans. I would sooner that the tin cans at the front operate with small dets of highly capable dismounts that will operate no more than a kilometer from their platoon vehicles (Not their section vehicle but their platoon of vehicles - the minimum force element). Working at that distance from their rides they can work in fighting order, leaving most of their survival needs in the truck and carry heavy weights of weapons and ammo for short distances. And still have energy left over to dig a hole.

If you need mass numbers of dismounted troops then bring them to within a couple of kilometers of their position by dedicated troop carriers suitable for the terrain.
Proper tool from the tool box -- I've worked in small teams, the experience and training one needs is a small dispersed team is exponentially higher that a large conventional force -- to use the Aussie SASR as an example - each Assault gets a secondary specialty - either medic or comms dude, as well as tertiary skills - because you really need these skills and redundancy of them when working in groups of 4-6 guys.
 

Kirkhill

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Shoot for the Moon, because if you don't, you won't even get a satellite into orbit

As a matter of personal ambition it is great to go for the moon. It takes a braver person to announce their intention. And it is a fool that doesn't consider the consequences of failure and how to manage it.

Personally, if I achieve only 2 items out of a 14 item agenda I take the win and wait for tomorrow.

The question is if Putin and Biden can carry their support having only gained 2 or 3 out of the umpteen points that were apparently implicit in their Cunning Plans.

Who is the better salesman?
 

KevinB

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As a matter of personal ambition it is great to go for the moon. It takes a braver person to announce their intention. And it is a fool that doesn't consider the consequences of failure and how to manage it.

Personally, if I achieve only 2 items out of a 14 item agenda I take the win and wait for tomorrow.

The question is if Putin and Biden can carry their support having only gained 2 or 3 out of the umpteen points that were apparently implicit in their Cunning Plans.

Who is the better salesman?
You can't expect 4 Cpl/Pte Infantryman to be able to function as a dispersed entity.
Sure they could up till a point where the mission vastly exceeded what their experience and training could offer.

It has nothing to do with salespersonship - it has to do with the cold hard realities of combat.
 

daftandbarmy

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You can't expect 4 Cpl/Pte Infantryman to be able to function as a dispersed entity.
Sure they could up till a point where the mission vastly exceeded what their experience and training could offer.

It has nothing to do with salespersonship - it has to do with the cold hard realities of combat.

We transitioned back and forth several times from a COIN Orbat (bricks and multiples) to General War Orbats (Sections and Platoons) as we skated in and out of Northern Ireland.

The main building block, the 4 man team, remained pretty much intact between transitions. Each team had a commander (Cpl/LCpl), a radio, a support weapon (LSW or 5.56 belt fed) and - most importantly - a sense of humour ;).

This made it really easy to send them off on a recce patrol, build up a fighting patrol/ambush quickly, or assign to a 4 man fire trench or a land rover/light vehicle. One casualty wouldn't mean the team was put of action and they could still carry on with their task, pretty much. Two teams made up a section, one team commanded by a LCpl and the second commanded by a Cpl who was also the Sect Comd, so it wasn't a big transition to a General War scenario.

Beyond that, the classic section/platoon structure was far more suitable to a General War scenario where you needed the whole platoon in action, under one commander, in a high intensity punching match of some kind into the meat grinder.
 

Kirkhill

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You can't expect 4 Cpl/Pte Infantryman to be able to function as a dispersed entity.
Sure they could up till a point where the mission vastly exceeded what their experience and training could offer.

It has nothing to do with salespersonship - it has to do with the cold hard realities of combat.

WRT Shooting the moon - I was talking on another thread about the predicaments in which Biden and Putin find themselves because they pitched grandiose plans and now have to try and salvage some kind of win from their failure to achieve a clear endstate. That is where the salesmanship issue arose.

You using the same analogy in this context confused me. I agree in general that when you start bargaining you should seize as much bargaining room as possible by aiming high.

But back to the issue of tactics.

WRT 4 PBIs wandering the universe seeking direction, we are in full agreement.

How about keeping them in military school a little longer, putting them under a seasoned Sergeant as part of a group of similar dispersed teams under command and control of a Lieutenant and a useful Warrant Officer.

Or follow D&B's experience.
 

Kirkhill

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Under no circumstances would I recommend that anyone (normal) do this ;)

There is a person with whom I travel regularly. When lost I rely on her sense of direction. If she says we should go right I know, without fail, that we should go left. It is a foolproof system that we have both learned to exploit. :D
 
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