September 2008 Mailbag
As always, we received more letters than we had space to print in Armchair General magazine. Here are two more we’d like to share.
More Battlefield Photos from “Down Under”
Reader Ritchie Wallace of Cairn, Queensland, Australia sent us some “today” battlefield photographs from trips he’s taken over the past year (see “Where in the World is ACG?” in the July 2008 Mailbag). Here are three more he sent. Two, showing Wallace with amtracks, are from Peleliu; note the light-colored napalm canister in the foreground of the first picture. The third shot is from Saipan, where Chamorro boys hold a USMC flag while standing atop a submerged American M4 tank. The Marines suffered 3,000 KIA and another 10,000 WIA to capture this strategically located Pacific Island. Both islands were scenes of bloody assaults by U. S. Marines against determined Japanese defenders in 1944.
Through a Deadly Iraqi Minefield (Combat Decision Game #25, You Command, March 2008 Issue)
Enjoy reading Armchair General. I have a submission for the "Through a Deadly Iraqi Minefield" problem, (CDG #25), in your March 08 edition.
Before I submit my 200-word proposed solution, I wish to hopefully enhance your interesting and challenging problem with several clarifications/corrections.
a. The Marine Corps has combat engineer, tank and amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) battalions – and respective companies.
b. Assault Lanes through the minefields are breached, not cleared. Clearance (ideally removing all mines) is something done by follow-on forces – as required and as time permits. Clearance is a misnomer when discussing Hasty or Deliberate Breaching tactics, techniques and procedures.
c. Iraq subscribed to (then) Soviet Doctrine: minefields accompanied by wire & anti-tank ditches with soil escarpments (on the enemy side of the ditch) – an example of "complex obstacles."
d. Complex obstacles breaching requires Breaching, Assault & Support Forces comprised of combat engineers, tanks, AAVs and infantry and artillery.
e. Ditches are breached by:
— Combat Excavators: push dirt into the ditch & cut a lane thru the escarpment – (actually used during Operation Desert Storm (ODS)); or,
— Assault Bridges: (available for such breaches during ODS – but not used).
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