Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maneuver Warfare: OODA Cycles - The Most Important One is Yours - Part 2

This series of blog entries are about the so-called "maneuver warfare" as explained by William Lind. The writings of Robert Leonhard will also be included. I claim neither expertise in the subject nor devotion to this way of waging wars and thus I am not trying to convert you into anything. This series is not an analysis or a review of all ideas about maneuver warfare but rather some explorations about the topic based on computer war games and simulations. Future entries will be delivered based in readership.

At around 1330, although our casualties are very light, I can feel the worse is to come. I start moving the reserve company in penny packets towards the north and south defensive positions. They move too slow, or maybe the urgency of the situation makes it look so.

A second Soviet regiment arrives at the bridge, adamantly ignores the two previous hours of butchery and proceeds to attack my left (north) flank positions. Two of my tank platoons ran out of ammo and retreat, giving the Soviets the two microliters of tactical oxygen needed to ignite the Lanchesterian inferno I feared the most.

The Soviets have broken through my north position (yellow icon). Note how the US tank platoons in the left (north flank) are pulling back from their original position.
The few tanks and IFVs that I sent from the reserve company towards the left (northern) flank make little difference. They are caught moving up the hill and end up joining their brother retreating units in a knife fight against the Soviets, who by this time have totally cleared the northern defensive position. Some exhausted and low in ammo, others eager to enter the fight, a mess of retreating and reinforcing Iron Dukes fight the good fight at point blank ranges. Correctly planned, this would have been an elegant reverse slope defense. As it turns out, it is a sloppily planned reinforcement mission from which the only claims I can make are blunting the Soviet spearhead and buying one hour of time. It was a somber spectacle to witness the collapse of my left flank.

The company in my right (south) flank makes some hill-to-hill shots towards the north. But acquiring targets gets increasingly difficult now that the Soviets can move with impunity in my left (north) flank. My units spot some Soviet tanks well west of my previous line of defense. I am being turned and I order a hasty pull back of the remaining forces.

When it rains, it pours. My staff is unable to process my orders! Just in time for the most dangerous time in the fight. Note how the Soviets (red icons) are approaching the road that runs northwest-southwest. Also, below the message window, note the yellow lines for the move orders to my remaining forces.
 To be continued ...

(Sorry for the short entry. I am very tired after a long day at work. I hope it doesn't show too much in what I wrote). :)



Jomni said...

What a nail biter.

JC said...

Hi Jomni, and thanks for your comment. I hope the anticlimactic end of the battle didn't turn you off too much. :)