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How the Resistance Movement Caught Allies in a Trap (Interesting Read)

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posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 08:28 PM

How the Resistance Movement Caught Allies in a Trap
Christopher Bellamy The Independent 25 March 2003

As the Battle for Baghdad gets under way, the Iraqi defensive strategy is looking increasingly sound. In his speech yesterday, Saddam Hussein said the invaders were "trapped" by heroic Iraqi resistance. In a way, he may just be right.

The pace of the US 3rd Mechanised Infantry Division's race up the Euphrates and towards Baghdad has been almost unprecedented in the history of war. But as this mighty armoured force heads for the capital, its main supply route looks increasingly vulnerable. The Iraqis have let the Americans, and, to a lesser extent, the British, roll over them and then appeared behind the invaders in small groups to harry them from the rear.

The US and British formations pressing towards Baghdad and held on the Euphrates and Tigris have had to "reconsolidate", and go into all-round defensive positions to guard against opposition coalescing behind them. In that sense they are, as President Saddam put it, "trapped".

The left flank of the Allied thrust has gone extremely fast; the right, far more slowly. The Iraqis have therefore achieved exactly what they need: they have identified the main enemy thrust. The Iraqi generals, including quite a few trained at Sandhurst, know what to do next. Counter-attack the isolated spearhead with a massive armoured reserve. Of the Republican Guard Force's six divisions the only Iraqi divisions to be at full strength three are in the area around Baghdad. A full-scale armoured battle is probably what the US planners want, because they would win it. The Iraqi generals know full well what happens when T-72s and BMPs come up against M1 Abrams and Bradleys, Apaches and A-10 Thunderbolts. That is why, so far, the Iraqi strategy of avoiding large-scale battle has been so successful. But the appearance of the Americans, tired and at the end of their supply lines, outside Baghdad might be too great a temptation. The resulting contest could be symbolic, with shades of the Battle of Kursk in 1943.

The Allied attack, indeed, has much in common strategically with the German assault on Soviet Russia in 1941 and, from an operational viewpoint, with the invasion of France in 1940. In the former, the Germans, neglecting their flanks, tore across Belgium and northern France to the sea in a few days. Guderian's crossing of the Meuse at Sedan is considered to be the master-stroke which made this possible, and it is no coincidence that, before the present war broke out, US armoured divisions were instructed to study it. By a strange coincidence, the crossing over the Euphrates at Nasiriyah is much the same distance from Baghdad as Sedan is from Paris. In 1940, the British and French attempted to cut the advancing German spearhead off with a counter-attack from north and south. In fact, only the British attack, at Arras, had any chance of success. It failed, partly because they lacked air support, but gave the Germans, including Rommel, a real shock. The US commanders are no doubt confident that their overwhelming air superiority and the complete "transparency of the battlespace" will mean they can identify and destroy any Iraqi counter-attacks.

The comparisons with 1940 are ultimately comforting to the American and British forces. Those with 1941 are less so. As they fanned out into the vast spaces of the western Soviet Union, the Germans encircled vast numbers of Soviet troops. But many of the troops were able to work their way out, and others, left behind by the swift German advance, joined local people to form partisan units. That is exactly what seems to be happening in southern Iraq at the moment.
The Allied commanders must be worried at this continued resistance around and behind their advanced forces. They could deal with it, if they were more brutal in their use of the available weaponry or if they had more troops. If such resistance continues it will be necessary to deploy more troops, either regulars or reservists, or to use Iraqi units which have come over to the Allies for rear-area security.

posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 09:00 PM
now iraq doesn't have a chance in a line on line armored battle, but if they follow this strategy it may work. however i'm no trained general, so this is going to be somewhat flawed.

the supply line:
this is our achille's heel and if they don't see this soon, they they have no chance, but say they do. an all out attack on this supply line by any type of short range missle and what's left of the IAF, followed by cutting off the spearhead with one of the 3 RG divisions, RG I would engage the allied forces head on, but would have to be careful, as this is head on it would likely take up the most casulties. the 2nd RG would flank the battle and come in from the southeast, forcing a detachment of the 3RD ID from the US to engage them.

look at what we have now, two seperate but close battles, the main spear of the 3rd ID against the 1sr RG unit, and the detachment of the 3rd ID against the 2nd RG unit. now here's the kicker, the 3RD RG unit comes in around the battle, and strafes at the 3rd ID as they do, then they will come in behind the 1st battle and the 1st and 3rd RG units will get the 3rd ID in a pincer attack, eventually, maybe one of the other three RG units will arrive on scene and reinforce the already injured 1st RG. now the 1 and 4th RG units will make a last death push against the 3rd ID killing or capturing those troops, and at the same time goes to aid the 2nd RG with it's conflict with the detachment. then these four units would push on down the supply line, caputring or destroying, (most likely capturing) us supplies for use against us, in more battles. this, if successful, will be an indo-high for iraqi morale. any iraqis that had doubt would be patriotic, and would likely decrease support for the war here at home and over seas. now the persistant problem remains in the air, that is where iraq is weakest. however, if iraq gets its military involved with civilians, it'll be much harder to get to the instillations and not kill civilians. with the new supplies, fresh m-16's m-4's miniguns, 5o cals and other light and heavy weaponry would likely be given to the RG units, making them even deadlier. after that only the stars know.


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