Question about covering fire

Discussion in 'Land' started by erudite8, Jun 16, 2017.

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  1. erudite8

    erudite8 Officer Candidate

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    I would like to ask someone with military education (preferably officer), in particular with real warfare experience: to attack enemy position, an infantry unit commander, let's say platoon commander, must provide covering fire to decrease the perfomance of the enemy troops. It might be done using organic platoon assets, mostly LMGs and MMGs, or using additionally more heavy assets like mortars, artillery etc. I wonder, how the platoon commander determine whether his organic firepower will be enough to take enemy position or not and additional fire support from other arms is required.
    Let's say, for example, a platoon must attack a well prepared trenchline but without any concrete or wooden pillboxes. However, the terrain in front of the trench is open stepp with clear fields of fire. The weather is clear sunny day with some moderate wind. Let us discuss three cases - 1)the defender is single squad, 2)the defender is a squad and an additional MMG on tripod, 3)the defender are two squads (for simplicity the attacking and defending squads have identical weaponry). Will you as a platoon commander be able to organize the attack only with organic weapons or you will need additional fire support in form of mortars, CAS or smth else in each of the three cases?
    This question may be reformulated in a more general one: how the attacker decides how much firepower will he need to overpower dug in defender depending on terrain, weather, the size of the enemy force, etc.
     
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  2. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Captain

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    @erudite8 I will answer u tomorrow buddy. You have a good evening and a nice weekend. I can just start saying the commander is the most valuable guy on the team. Team takes orders and look up to him. He should not take unnecessary risk. But in the same time be as good as your team mates. And to be respected well as team leader. Dont ask some one to do something your not willing to do your self.
     
  3. erudite8

    erudite8 Officer Candidate

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    Ok, looking forward for a conversation;)
     
  4. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    I'm not officer (only Sergant), but in Russian Army you are not really interesting how many enemies are in front of you. For platoon is determined widht of assault stripe - 300 m. Elder commander can give you flamethrowers, anti-tank missiles or something else. You go forward, and you can win or die. If you will die - elder commander will send a stronger platoon with more enhancements (or ask artillery or air support). Really he can give you enhancements after getting recce data, but it is his choice.
     
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  5. erudite8

    erudite8 Officer Candidate

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    Hello, fella:russian:
    Well, my question is basically about determinig force ratios. You are right, according to our Manual of Land forces, part III, you receive orders and support assets from your superior commander and then you execute orders as best as you can. Hovewer, someone in the chain of the command must determine these force ratios. I've heard that in Russian army the minimal tactical unit capable of fighting on its own is a battalion. So, a battalion commander must assign his companies specific tasks in the offensive operation. The question is how he is doing this to reliably achieve victory.
     
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  6. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    Generally there are opinion, that in offensive on equal level enemy, offensive side should have ratio more that 3:1.
    US FM 100-5 (Operations) recommend ratio 6:1 on the line of main strike.
    So, after an artillery or air strike in the stripe of platoon's offensive should remain less that squad (or half of it).
     
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  7. erudite8

    erudite8 Officer Candidate

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    Yeah, those are the textbook estimations. What is your opinion about how valid they are? I read somewhere that in Soviet army people estimated the amount of bullets raining at the enemy per meter of the front of assault.
     
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  8. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    This is an interesting topic of discussion, we see a lot of hollywood movies where a guy says give me covering fire and few germans get killed and we take the town without loses. This is obviously just a fallacy but I think a good case study is the Assault on Brecourt Manor. Another good one to study is the Battle for Fort Eden-Emael.
     
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  9. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Captain

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    @erudite8 Any chance you can add map or good picture over the enemy base? I would first get as much intell you can. How many men are they. What are there routine and so on. Then i will give u a good answer
     
  10. erudite8

    erudite8 Officer Candidate

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    Ok, i tried my best in topography :).
    This is a sketch of a tactical situation. A single outpost in form of a trench is held by the enemy in the mountain saddle. Let's us assume that this mountains are absolutely impassable for your platoon. Your task is to dislodge the outpost. Weather is clear, sunny and windy.
    topography_sketch.png
     
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