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Tracks vs Wheels   General Army topics

Started 26-May by graylion; 15637 views.
stancrist

From: stancrist

2-Jul

schnuersi said:

the fact that the dismount squad organisation and the vehicle squad organisation are divergent and so a platoon is actually two platoons with on transporting the other at times shows a difference in mindset IMHO.

Concur.

schnuersi said:

With the Panzergrenadiers mounted and dismounted, IFV and dismounts are not seen as different parts or being in competition to one anther. Which from what I have read and heard about and from members of mech inf of other nations is the case there.

Why would the IFV crew and the infantry team see themselves in competition with each other?  Their functions are different and complementary, not competitive.

schnuersi said:

Same is the extreme emphasis on speed on mobility. Panzergrenadiers lack the take and hold ground mentality most infantry outfits show. They have a comparable drive forward and agressiveness as MBT equiped armor units. Which includes the willingness to ignore and bypass the enemy if he is not interfering with the operational goals.

From the view of a tanker this results in very noticable differences. Basically only Panzergrenadiers as mech Inf in an extreme form are able to keep up. The chances is high that there are where they should be when needed. This is usually not the case with other infantry types regardless of mode of transport. This leads to the tank spearhead loosing his infantry support which can quickly jeopadise the success of the operation.

Such a loss of infantry support seems to me to be a leadership failure, not an organizational issue.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

2-Jul

stancrist said:

Why would the IFV crew and the infantry team see themselves in competition with each other? Their functions are different and complementary, not competitive.

I agree. Never the less I have heard and read it.
IMHO its from the fact that the dismounts and the vehicle crew are not fully accepted by one another. They do not seem semself as part of one larger organism. Its us an them. Wich as far as I can tell comes from things like different training facilities and routes and lack of esprit de corpse. Or better false esprit de corps. The dismounts think of themself as infantry doing things the infantry way. The IFV crew thinks of themself as (light) armor doing things the armor way.
The strange organisation with platoons spreading the dismount squads over vehicles and the vehicles though of as their own squad seems to be a manifestation of this.

stancrist said:

Such a loss of infantry support seems to me to be a leadership failure, not an organizational issue.

And what should the leader of a tank compay or batallion do? Dismount get out the wip and force the dismounted infantry men back into their transports?
Its mostly about incompatability of doctrin and "the way we do things". Infantry is notoriously bad at in depth manoeuver warfare. They don't train it, they don't think that way. You can not really blame them for not being good at it. They are good at other things.
Hence Panzergrenadiers. Who are specialised for this type of warfare just like tanks are. They are pretty bad at a lot if not most traditional infantry tasks though.

stancrist

From: stancrist

2-Jul

schnuersi said:

       stancrist said: Such a loss of infantry support seems to me to be a leadership failure, not an organizational issue.

And what should the leader of a tank compay or batallion do? Dismount get out the wip and force the dismounted infantry men back into their transports?

Hahahahaha.  Too funny.  Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

But to answer your question, the overall commander of a combined arms force should make it clear to the infantry battalion and company commanders that their units will bypass the enemy as required and keep up with the tanks.

schnuersi said:

Its mostly about incompatability of doctrin and "the way we do things". Infantry is notoriously bad at in depth manoeuver warfare. They don't train it, they don't think that way.

Perhaps you're right.  It occurs to me that may be why the Army created Armored Brigade Combat Teams, with tank and infantry companies in the same battalion.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

3-Jul

stancrist said:

But to answer your question, the overall commander of a combined arms force should make it clear to the infantry battalion and company commanders that their units will bypass the enemy as required and keep up with the tanks.

Certainly. But since when does anything in combat (or a training excercise) work as planned.

stancrist said:

It occurs to me that may be why the Army created Armored Brigade Combat Teams, with tank and infantry companies in the same battalion.

Personally I think that mixed combined arms batallions for a manoeuver force are a good idea. In practice the battalions of a brigade would be mixed and matched anyways to create combined arms battlegroups. Why not make this a permanent thing.
In the past the German Army also had such mixed batallions but these have been dissolved after the End of the Cold War.

As far as I can tell one source of the problem could be how the training is organised. From the information I have it seems that the IFV crews and dismounts are trained in different schools. Not inside their partent unit. It also seems like cross training is limited. This is different with in the German Army in general. With the Panzergrenadiers every one got the same basic training. They also all get basic training on the vehicle an its opperation. After that the main function for the near future of a soldier is determined. Usually by ability and talent. There can be and usually are changes over time. This is why in several of the videos that have been posted here the soldiers say things like: "currently i am assigned the function of gunner". It seems that this lower level integration is one of the keys.

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