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Posted on Apr 16, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Rear Area Security in the Operational Art of War

By Mark Dabbs

IV. Threat Response

When airborne units or partisans do present themselves as a problem, odds are you will not need front line units to effectively contain and/or eliminate them. Odds are that in WWII scenarios airborne units will not be accompanied by AFV’s. Not a guarantee, but most airborne and airlanding units do not have this kind of support. Some partisans may, but rarely. They are also likely to have far less and significantly lighter artillery than enemy front line formations.

Below are the typical components of a military police battalion, a security regiment, and an infantry regiment, respectively. Composition is critical, particularly with respect to per component replacement rates – what is accumulating in your replacement pool, and what is drying up as fast as you can get it. Spare your front line forces from unnecessary attrition and let your lighter forces handle your rear area incursions. Seek to distribute your losses amongst components of which you have proportionately more.


An MP Battalion

While an MP unit is not particularly b, it does not seem to be subject to the same vulnerabilities as HQ’s in attempting to contain partisans. It’s not an expensive unit to lose and it is likely that your replacement pool can cover the loss. In this regard, it is very much eligible to be enlisted in the containment of partisans, and to a lesser extent, airborne forces.

A Security Regiment

Security regiments, however, are built for the elimination of partisans and airborne forces. They can hold their own reasonably well on the front line, are good for a quick but temporary patch or even as a delaying force covering a retreat, but they are most efficiently applied to tracking down partisans and dealing with other lightly armed forces. While they might be considered for converting ownership of hexes, this is best applied on the heels of a rapid advance and a likelihood of bypassed enemy units. As the momentum of an offensive slows, security forces should base themselves as discussed previously and respond only to known enemy activity. Don’t drain their supply and readiness through unnecessary movement. Keep them ready for combat and break them down into two or threes as needed with the objective of first containing any enemy, and second – eliminating it.

An Infantry Regiment

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