Monday, August 1, 2016

Flashpoint Latvia Episode 5 - The Operational Art of War III - Grim Prospects of War

This narrative is fictional. No political point is intended. The images are from a custom-made scenario, which I intend to play and report as part of this series.

With an order of battle barely longer than a party guest list, the Latvian National Armed Forces brace for a Russian-led  "liberation of Russian peoples" in the Ludza and Rezekne Districts.

The peacetime deployment in the Latvian eastern districts include two National Guard Battalions. Here shown as yellow counters, the 25th Infantry Battalion stationed in Rezekne and the 32 Infantry Battalion stationed in Ludza. The artillery unit in the west is the 34rd Artillery Battalion. 

The Russian Army has recently moved two independent motorized rifle battalions  brigades which are most likely to push from the border stations at Terehova and Morozovka. The two Russian axis of attack are likely Morozovka-Rezekne and Terehova-Ludza-Malta. Russian objectives west of Rezekne and Malta are likely too, to deter a NATO counter attack from the west.

An assortment of NATO aircraft will be available during the first hours of the invasion, however the Latvian National Guard units lack the means for independent teams that can act as JTACs to call air strikes. One possibility is to deploy company-sized units that can (along with NATO aircraft) interdict the Russian advance.
The available NATO reconnaissance helicopters can only do this much to observe and pinpoint Russian units. In this screenshot, a NATO recce helicopter shows its reach: enough to provide intelligence on Russian forces attacking from Morozovka ...
... but not enough to quickly deploy near the Terehova breaching point.
From this map exercise, it is clear that the forces shown above will be just a speed bump for the Russian forces. The Latvian Armed Forces only brigade (a light infantry brigade which is fully equipped for combat operations) will be needed to keep the Russian invasion contained in the Ludza and Rezekne Districts.

However, this brigade is deployed farther west and will need no less than 6 hours to reach the above shown area of operations.

Cheers,










22 comments:

Doug Miller said...

Nicely done. Amazing how useful OAW III still is.

JC said...

Hi Doug,

Thanks! Stay tuned to see how the scenario turns out.

Cheers,

Chris said...

Great idea and I agree with Doug, what an amazing use of the game.

Александр Журавлев said...

Only question is why Russia invaded in the Baltic states, if NATO forces simply easier to bomb? All this nonsense with the invasion of the Baltic states is very tiring.
Sorry for my English.

JC said...

Hi Chris!
This thing is aching for a Command Ops scenario. I'm just not brave enough to create it. :)

Cheers,

JC said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your comment.

First things first, I don't mean to make any political statement with my blog and I'm sorry if it offends you. I hope it does not.

You make a valid point, it is very unlikely that Russia would attack a NATO country. Many west analyst have pointed out that the current hysteria is unfounded. However, this is a war games/simulations blog and not a defense consultancy firm and nothing published here should be taken seriously.

Cheers,

Anonymous said...

Always a nice little read from you :)

How come two Latvian battalions are only a 'speedbump' against two Russian battalions? The Russians has heavier equipment (but no tanks AFAIK) and can rely on better artillery and air support, but should they still not have at least an uneven fight on their hands?

JC said...

Thanks!
My bad. I meant brigades. Corrected the text.

Cheers,

Chris said...

Hi JC. I will absolutely create a Latvia scenario for Command Ops! I already have maps we can use. I just need help with the OOB and the actual unit components so I can build out an estab. I actually thought about it when I first read your post but then thought I would need help with the hardware that is used by both sides.

If you are interested in helping me with that, I will build estab and maps. Just shoot me an email.

JC said...

Hi Chris,

That would be great. How are you going to deal with the weapon systems? BMPs and T-80 tanks for example ...

Cheers,

Chris said...

I've looked at modern command ops before for a Mosul liberation scenario. I won't be able to model every weapon for a vehicle but for a lot of them I think I can get close. What I don't know is what vehicles a particular unit would have, what weapons infantry would have, how many men, etc. your scenario looks really manageable because of the scale. Division v division is a time suck

JC said...

Hi Chris,

Sounds fantastic. I will contact you via e-mail later today.

Cheers,

Chris said...

Sounds good JC.

Erich said...

I hear you about the whole thing being non-political, but all this anti-Russian hysteria is starting to get to me. Last time I checked, they helped shut down the ISIS oil refineries that *we* (the USA in my case) were leaving untouched because (and I am not making this up) the CIA was worried about "environmental damage". Really. After the Russians starting hitting them where it hurt, we (belatedly) joined in, and now it looks like this has been instrumental in putting ISIS into a financial bind.

But, I'm a wargamer and recognize that, unless you want to game out the USAF pounding the shit out of people whose AD consists entirely of MANPADs and grandpa's DSHK, you've pretty much gotta go up against the only sorta-kinda-maybe-plausible standup competition. And that (unfortunately really) would be the Bear. Sigh.

Johan said...

The Russians are slughtering civilians in Syria by indiscriminately bombing hospitals and other civilian targets with unguided ordnance. They have also invaded several countries, and are being very agressive in the Baltic area and elsewhere. So, making a scenario like this is not at all "anti-Russian hysteria", it's the most plausible scenario if a major war would ever start in Europe within the forseeable future.

Anonymous said...

USA have not invaded Iraq creating havoc and death to tens of thousends of civilians?
In any warefare, including crusade against Hitler, it's mostly civilians dying not the soldiers. The ratio is 10:1. You can google it.

Johan said...

Anonymous, if you really believe that the way the US conducts military operations, with precision strikes with guided weapons, and an extreme care to avoid harming civilians as far as it is possibile, have any resemblence to the indiscriminate, deliberate attacks on civilians that the Russians practice, like in Syria or Chechnya, for instance, then you are so uninformed that any further discussions are pointless.

Erich said...

I'm an ex-USAF Major and find it amusing you believe everything you hear on CNN. Suffice to say, the truth is somewhere in the middle. We've hit our fair share of wedding parties and hospitals as well. We nailed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. We shot down an Iranian civilian airliner. The list goes on.

It's war. It's messy.

The weapons are precision, but the intelligence often isn't. Calling out the other side when your own hands aren't exactly clean just makes you look, well, uninformed.

For the record, I don't think the Russians are intentionally targeting civilians. It's just that they don't a crap about collateral damage. There's a difference.

Erich said...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_bombing_of_the_Chinese_embassy_in_Belgrade

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_hospital_airstrike

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deh_Bala_wedding_party_airstrike

Johan said...

Of course mistakes will always happen, I have never denied that. But, the thing I was mostly arguing against was the claim that this scenario is somehow "anti-Russian hysteria", and that the US is acting just as badly as the Russians, which clearly, they are not.

Александр Журавлев said...


"Friends"
Let's raffle off a US invasion of Mexico or Germany. It will be just as plausible as the Russian invasion of the Baltic states

"...У любителей демократии, похоже, знатно бомбит..."(с)

JC said...

OK, fellows. Can we go back to wargaming? :)