Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Modern army vs WW2 army (update)

So, it looks like my original article on this subject has become quite popular. Published on May 18 2012, the purpose was to determine what a conventional conflict between a modern army and a WW2 army would look like. A few months ago, it was featured on two popular websites (alternatehistory.net and spacebattles.com), and generated alot of discussion. But thats about where the good news ends. You see, my article was copied and pasted ad lib by someone going by the name of Lee_Beer and blackadam: He distributed my work without disclosing who the author was, and essentially claimed them as his own. If he had done that on some archive, it would have been annoying enough. But no, he went the extra mile and posted it in a goddamn debate thread! Let me tell you: Whenever some anonymous shithead distributes my articles in a place like that, without giving a source, it pisses me off. I didn't find out about this shenanigans until a few weeks ago, but once I did, I started reading the responses to it. To a mixture of amusement and frustration, I learned that a gang of debunkers had attempted to refute my claims. If they knew who had actually wrote these articles, they may have thought twice before committing such a blunder.

Though I haven't mentioned it on this blog, one of my favourite hobbys is online debating. I am a well known pwnage artist on youtube, having carved out a bloody path there for more than 4 years. When people try to debunk my work, they will get one of two possible reactions. If they are professional and respectful, they will get a professional and respectful response. But if they use crappy arguments and act like douche bags, guess whats gonna happen? I'm going to beat them like a red headed step child! My problem is never with the fact that people disagree with me, but merely the manner in which they choose to do so. I have no patience for idiotic lolcows who think they can dismiss my arguments with laughter or incredulity: To mock is not to debunk. Some of the sharpest criticisms I encountered came from the spacebattles.com babies, who seemed to believe that because modern forces have more advanced technology, that they are guaranteed to win. In other words, they are exactly the kind of audience I had in mind when I wrote misconceptions about warfare. Most of their responses were techno babble or outright nonsense, and some of them came within a hair of refuting each other.

The majority showed no understanding of combat power, tactics, operational art, or strategy. It was an almost myopic focus on the exchange of bullets and shells, the supremacy of passive reconnaissance, or the exaggerated effects of airpower. They were so busy fantasising over what the modern forces would do, they failed to give any consideration for how the WW2 force would respond. It was obvious why this crowd was widely regarded as the biggest group of military morons there was on the internet. A couple of the debunkers seemed to realise that this conflict would not favor the modern side very much, and tried to turn it into an air or even naval conflict! That alone was one of the most retarded, transparent attempts at shifting the goalposts that I have witnessed. The entire subject of my post (outlined in the title) was about an army vs another army, not a #$%^ing navy! So without further ad due, I'm going to defend the claims made in my original article, and give these fools an abject lesson in humiliation. This won't be a response to each and every naysayer on spacebattles.com (since dozens of people eventually weighed in with their two cents), but only to those who actually attempted a full debunking.
Authors note: The name of my opponents and their arguments will be listed in bold, while my rebuttal will be listed directly afterwards without bolding. Hopefully, this will make for a less monotonous read, and avoid the nuisances of a wall of text... The most popular match up seemed to be the german army of 1944 (numbering 7 million men) against the american army of 2012 (numbering 750,000 men), so we'll stick with that theme.
As you'll soon see, this sums 
up my opponents pretty well 

Peptuck: I'm just stuck here imagining how horrible it would be for a WWII army to deal with a couple of flights of AC-130s circling overhead outside the range of anything they can shoot it with, in the middle of the night, calmly annihilating anything with wheels with total and complete impunity after the jet fighters and Stingers have swatted everything that can fly out of the sky.

The AC-130s would be good at their designated role, but don't fool yourself into thinking they'd be immune to counter fire. German divisions came standard equipped with a dozen or more 88mm anti-aircraft guns: There was a similar pattern among all the other major combatants of WW2, americans with their 90mm, british with their 94mm, and russians with their 85mm. [1] The maximum altitude an AC-130 can engage from is 6000 meters, but standard altitudes vary from 3600 meters to 2000 meters. Hence even at their maximum engagement altitude, the gunships would be well within the range of 88mm flak, which have an effective ceiling of 8000 meters. Even at night time and without radar, barrage fire (the simplest of 3 firing patterns) can be used to deter them. Another thing to keep in mind: Prior to 2014, the AC-130 fleet numbered 37 planes. There were 8 of the AC-130H, 17 of the AC-130U, and 12 of the AC-130W. Thats not exactly an abundance of airframes...

Peptuck: ....I'm actually not entirely sure. I'm pretty sure that they'd be able to take out the flak before it detects them, because modern Wild Weasel/SEAD would so utterly ruin WWII radar that any flak would be operating entirely by sight, and the AC-130s would be coming at night. I could be wrong, though, as I'm not 100% sure how WWII anti-air operated.

Who is going to carry out counter-battery operations against AA guns? Are you implying the AC-130s will do it themselves?! Heavy flak battalions have their own gun-laying radars, which are only active during the course of an engagement, and are frequently moved along with the unit (which is mobile, not static). You aren't going to be able to determine their location beforehand for SEAD to take them out, instead, the jets will need to babysit the AC-130s during their missions for guaranteed protection. Even though they'll be badly needed elsewhere, fighting for air supremacy and whatnot... And even without their radar, the 88mms still pose a threat. Anti-aircraft batterys have sophisticated range finders, searchlights, and sound detectors that can help them zero in on a big noisy plane like the AC-130. To suggest that the gunships could immediately go to work on the ground forces without putting themselves at great risk is dishonest, especially if this is later in the war when the doppelz├╝nder fuse became available. According to kenneth p. werrell, this increased their lethality against bomber formations by a factor of five.

Dark Voice: Modern day infantry is nowhere near World War II-era infantry. The M16A4 has an effective firing range of 600 meters for point targets and 800 meters for area targets. It fires 5.56x45mm NATO at a muzzle velocity of 950 meters per second. Compared to that, the World War II M1 carbine has an effective combat range of 270 meters and has significant bullet drop past 180 meters. It also fires a smaller round at about 65% the muzzle velocity.

Really, is it the infantry that are nowhere near the same level, or merely the weapons that they use? Be careful not to conflate the two: A good soldier can compensate for bad equipment, but good equipment cannot compensate for a bad soldier! And why are you comparing service rifles with carbines? They aren't intended to fulfil the same role (the former is a weapon for infantry, while the latter is a weapon for support troops), so doing stuff like that just comes off as dishonest. In any case, soldiers rarely use firearms for encounters beyond 300 meters, so the M16s extra range goes to waste. Both weapons are semi-automatic, and the rate of fire is limited only by how fast the trigger can be pulled.

Dark Voice: The M1 Garand fires a slightly larger round (62 rain 5.56 vs 150 grain .30-06) at 850 meters per second with an effective combat range of 460 meters. Both the M1 Garand and M16A4 deliver nearly the same kinetic energy per shot; the difference is that the M16 has nearly double the effective combat range and much faster rate of fire.

First off, since when is 150 grains only 'slightly larger' than 62 grains? You aren't even listing the standard ammo used by the M1 garand, which weighed 174 grains. Second, your assertion that 5.56x45mm and 7.62x63mm deliver nearly the same kinetic energy is pure, unadulterated bullshit. The M855 ball has a mass of 62 grains and a velocity of 940 mt/s, giving it a KE of 1767 joules. The M1 ball has a mass of 174 grains and a velocity of 805 mt/s, giving it a KE of 3661 joules. Therefore, the M1 ball has 107% more kinetic energy than the M855 ball, not 'nearly the same.' Did you really think that claim would fly?!

Dark Voice: Body armor (more specifically, Kevlar) would be a massive boon in a World War II battlefield, which is filled with low-energy individual bullets instead of the high explosive IEDs that troops have come to love.

Body armor won't protect soldiers from full power rifle ammunition. ESAPI plates are not standalone capable, and even with its IOTV plate carrier, it is not rated to withstand 7.62x63mm AP. Most people aren't aware of the fact that the army doesn't adhere to NIJ standards. Hence, unsubstantiated claims about ESAPI being rated for level IV are not only illogical, but in contradiction with field tests: These reveal that it cannot withstand even regular 7.62x63mm ammunition. [2] (Also, notice the manipulative wording he uses here: Low energy bullets, as compared to high explosives. Dark Voice is trying to subtly shift peoples opinions through word play)

Dark Voice: I don’t know where you’re getting the nonsense that one bullet impact is enough to render a soldier useless; more than likely, a soldier with Kevlar would be able to tank a few World War II rifle rounds before causing serious internal injury.

Bulletproof vests are rated not only for how well they stop penetration, but also for how well they limit blunt force trauma - the diffused energy of the bullet transferred through the vest to the body. The NIJ specifys an allowable backface signature of 44mm, as a safety threshold that should not be exceeded. But once again, the army doesn't adhere to NIJ standards. The interceptor and IOTV line of body armor are known to be unsafe in this regard, since the army raised the allowable backface signature to 48mm during testing. None of this is going to matter, though, since 7.62x63mm rounds will penetrate clear through the #$%^ing vest! (Humorously, Dark Voice doesn't seem to know what type of body armor the military issues: He makes it sound like they use kevlar by itself, oblivious to the fact that virtually any centerfire rifle ammo will penetrate soft body armor)

Dark Voice: World War II troops would get utterly annihilated at night when they cannot see or move or even communicate without being found. Thanks to the advent of SIGINT, any and all radio transmissions made by antique World War II radios would be instantly pulled out of the air and read by whatever military commander is in charge of this massacre; the modern day army would know the commands probably before the actual recipients do.

WW2 armys would be at a real disadvantage in night combat, but whether or not that applys to SIGINT as well isn't clear. [3] Any information gained through that route will have reduced impact, because it must pass through headquarters that are larger and slower than the downtimers HQ (who can act on intelligence faster, and issue orders to subordinates with less delay). They were not encumbered with a planning cycle which required staff members to filter through information, confer with a planning officer, and then present it to the commander. In WW2, a german divisional HQ could respond to a counterattack in an average of 10 minutes. Today, a british divisional staff needs ten times as long (!) to respond to a counterattack. And before you start bloviating about the effect that jamming would have, remember that armys back then were less reliant on radio communications, especially at lower levels: It was just as likely that they would use telephone lines, messengers, signal lamps, flares, or smoke.

Dark Voice: I highly, highly, highly, highly doubt a 75mm cannon would penetrate the frontal or even side armor of an M1A1. A single tank column would be utterly unstoppable except to airstrikes, and that’s what we have F-16s for.

No one claimed that 75mm rounds could pierce an M1A1 abrams from the front, so calm your ass down. In the european theater of war, allied tanks were knocked out from the sides more often than the front, so lets give some attention where it is due. Unofficially, the abrams has armor rated at 240-350mm on the turret side, and 90-160mm on the hull side. [4] This is quite difficult for a WW2 era tank to deal with, but not impossible. In fact, because of the huge arms race and short development cycles back then, tank crews were often forced to do battle with superior vehicles. The british and americans were frequently behind the curve with their tanks, which inspired them to use fire and maneuver in order to gain a tactical advantage. In theory, a 75mm gun could pierce the abrams hull side from medium range. An 88-90mm gun can penetrate it from long range, and could also pierce the abrams turret side from short range. One shot kills are a possibility.

Dark Voice: There is absolutely no way in hell anything from World War II on the ground is busting open a modern day MBT with the exception of heavy artillery; and this heavy artillery would be subject to immediate counter-battery fire and controlled airstrikes.

Really, you don't think stacked land mines could cripple or destroy an MBT? How about satchel charges, thermite grenades, anti-tank grenades, or a flame thrower over the radiator grill? In any case, you are suffering from tunnel vision: The main role of a tank isn't merely to destroy other armored vehicles. According to george patton: “The tanks purpose is to bring machine-guns to bear on the enemys unprotected rear, using speed and surprise.” Their whole raison d'etre is to punch through the enemys front lines, wreak havoc among their rear echelons, and riddle everything in sight with cannon fire. Thing is, the M1A1 abrams has just 40 rounds of ammo for the main gun, and these are only APFSDS and HEAT rounds, which are useless against infantry and buildings. These MBTs are no examplar of combined arms tactics: In fact, they are one trick ponys which don't present much of a threat to anything other than a tank. This means that M2 bradleys and M1126 strykers are going to be doing most of the grunt work, and they can be easily destroyed on a battlefield filled with anti-tank guns. Its quite possible that the abrams could have their infantry and engineer support peeled away by cannon fire, and end up isolated from their reserves until they run out of ammo or fuel.

Dark Voice: Another key component is mobility: World War II-era tanks frequently got stuck and had a far inferior center of weight compared to modern day MBTs. An Abrams would be able to travel where a Sherman would get stuck and do it faster.

The mobility of the abrams is probably the most over hyped feature of this massively over hyped vehicle. The armys own studies indicate that at speeds greater than about 25 mph, tank crews basically move faster than they can see whats in front of them, especially in closed terrain. The abrams 10 mph speed advantage over other MBTs was rarely used in combat, and had the disadvantage of consuming enormous amounts of fuel. It has no high explosive rounds, no multi-channel radio, no tank-infantry telephone, a poor field of view, and a scaldingly hot engine exhaust, making it a poor choice for combined arms operations. Also, there is a difference between tactical and strategic mobility. German tanks excelled at the former, while american and russian tanks excelled at the latter. The panther and tiger 1-2 had broad tracks, torsion bar suspension, neutral steering, and an excellent length to width ratio. But on the other hand, the sherman and T-34 were mechanically reliable, easy to repair, had excellent range, and were light enough to cross most bridges.

Dark Voice: There is also range. Most World War II tank battles occurred at visual range. In modern-day tank combat, everything happens at 4-6 or even 8 kilometers away, where the first one to see the enemy wins. The computer takes care of the targeting and the commander picks off targets like a sniper. In a hypothetical modern vs WW2 scenario, the World War II force would get devastated by a foe that can hit them from beyond visual range while backtracking at far greater speed than they are capable of. In other words, they would get wiped out before even seeing their enemy.

Actually, the longest range that an MBT has ever scored a kill from was 5.1 km: This was made by a challenger tank during the gulf war, at a time when most kills were made from a distance of 3 km or under. Moreover, you neglect to mention that unless they are fighting in the desert or the steppes (where lines of sight are always long), MBTs may not have the option of simply picking off enemy tanks from standoff range: They might find themselves involved in meeting engagements or battles of maneuver. [5] In the european theater of war, allied tanks were knocked out at an average distance of under 800 yards. The terrain is congested enough that a sherman or panzer 4 (led by a skilled crew) could creep up on an abrams and take a shot at the sides and rear. Short engagement ranges would be much preferred by the WW2 force, since it would give them a better chance at piercing an MBTs incredible armor. Also, one should not forget that modern tanks are full of shot traps, or that old style AP rounds had a tendancy to deflect off armored surfaces at weird angles, sometimes causing them to jam into the turret ring or roof of the hull.

 Blue is the modern force, red is the WW2 force. Red has 
7 million men in a line, and blue has 750,000 men in four
isolated pockets. How does blue avoid getting outflanked?

Nuts!: But hey, let's assume that two military formations are dumped into the Fulda Gap a couple-hundred miles of each other and told to wipe out the other if they want to go home. The modern military force will have a pretty good idea of what their enemies are do long before they get close, because drones are practically ubiquitous in modernized military forces from the squad level up. The Mark I eyeball coupled to the Mark II spotlight has only a tiny chance of seeing a Reaper buzzing around at night, and hell, a Reaper can literally fly higher than WWII fighters could even reach.

It sounds like you are looking at this from a more strategic viewpoint. While this creates opportunitys for theater missiles and JSTARS craft (to observe and bombard concentration points), it also means some really unpleasant things can happen when the two sides actually close with each other. Because of the quantitative and qualitative differences between them, they don't deploy into combat the same. As pointed out by sven ortmann: “Fortified, static front lines as in much of WWI and WWII are impossible in almost all modern warfare scenarios, though. The German, French and Soviet armies of WW2 consisted of a few highly mobile divisions and about 85-95% foot-mobile infantry divisions. The latter formed the static front lines while the mobile forces prepared for the next mobile warfare phase. Todays armies are smaller versions of the mobile forces, with no bulk of slow infantry divisions.” Because the modern force cannot maintain a continuous front line, they would be outflanked by the WW2 army as soon as they move to contact, which would leave them at constant risk of encirclement. Do you understand why its in the moderns best interests to avoid strategic level engagements? There would be salients so large, it would make kursk look miniscule by comparison!

Nuts!: The modern force will see what their enemies are doing. They'll form a plan and disseminate it rapidly, because they've got a much more robust communications net and operators who've trained for years specifically to handle information transfer. They'll be able to move at a pace the WWII forces won't be able to believe, not just because of how much faster their vehicles are, but how much more reliable they are. The Sherman was a powerful tank in the 1940s because a unit of Shermans could expect to have 3/4ths of them running on any given day, and that's the best of the lot!

Your making the assumption that the modern forces HQ staff are omniscient. In reality, they depend on dedicated reconnaissance assets just as the WW2 forces did. Your infatuation with passive recce (reapers, JSTARS, etc) is typical of military morons. [6] To reconnoiter an enemy force through observation alone is an uncertain and time consuming process, regardless of whether it is done from the ground or air. In a highly mobile theater of war, the scouts generally aren't able to provide intelligence in a relevant time frame. And even when they do pass on usable intel, it goes straight to corps or divisional HQs and circulates there, rarely being transmitted to brigade leaders and their subordinates. This organisational failure nearly caused a crisis at the battle of karbala gap, when three iraqi brigades moved across the desert virtually undetected to repel an american battalion, which was trying to cross the euphrates river and capture saddam international airport. Also, a formations agility is determined less by the speed of individual vehicles and more by the size of the formation itself. Coordinating the march of thousands of different vehicles both on and off road (while navigating traffic jams, and stopping for fuel and maintenance) is an inherantly slow process. The german 2nd panzer division advanced from sedan to the english channel in may 1940 at about 45 km per day. The american 3rd infantry division advanced from an najaf to baghdad in march 2003 at about 50 km per day. Eerily similar.

Nuts!: A modern force can see their enemy with impunity, can communicate in ways a WWII-era force literally cannot duplicate, ("Targeting datalinks? Around here, that means 'I yell at the guys with the 105mm cannons to hit the same gridsquare on the map as us.'") and can move at a pace they can't even hope to match. While the WWII forces are still stumbling around trying to make contact, a modern force is already on the move with a plan to carry out.

The modern forces great superiority in communications are hampered by large and complex headquarters. Since the beginning of the cold war, when the preference for thorough intelligence and meticulous planning became popular, HQs have grown in size and been run by higher ranking officers. They collect enormous amounts of information and take hours to sift through it all, deliberate, and come to a decision. Theres no indication that any of this extra information helps them make better judgements: Because of cognitive bias, commanders will only latch onto a few pieces of information and ignore all the rest. Also, these HQ protocols greatly increase manpower requirements. In WW2, a british divisional HQ was comprised of 51 officers (german HQs had 38 officers, while american HQs had 79 officers). Today, a british divisional HQ is comprised of 160 officers. Thats a growth of over three fold. At best, this increases the amount of overhead and paperwork to be done. At worst, this makes them completely unable to keep up with the pace of battle, and powerless to issue timely orders to their subordinates.
NUTS!: They'll blast a hole in enemy lines with tube and rocket artillery firing at ranges which prevent the enemy from firing back, (assuming they even could) then fill that gaping gap in the enemy's lines with a horde of tanks and IFVs. They'll have MBTs running around shooting up supply convoys and rearguard units while the enemy command is still trying to figure out WTH just happened to a half-mile stretch of their forces.

Both sides are going to be doing this to each other, because one sides advantage in quantity will be balanced out by the other sides advantage in quality. This conflict won't be some one sided curbstomp on either end. While the modern forces will undoubtedly have a better loss-exchange ratio, they won't be as able to weather attrition since they are so much smaller to begin with. This matter is also influenced by organisation and morale, as the german army of WW2 had so amply demonstrated. Statistically, most divisions would break after experiencing 5-15% losses, but some of the waffen SS divisions managed to keep fighting after 40% losses (!). And even when formations were shattered, they were not pulled out of the line and slowly reformed: Instead, the personnel were drafted together with other survivors into improvised battlegroups called alarmeinheiten for immediate action, which helped to alleviate manpower shortages.

Mjolnir66: This is so wrong its unbelievable. At night, I can operate and engage out to 400m due to night vision. The WW2 soldier can't engage past maybe 100m on a really clear night. I can operate like its day at 100m on a low light, overcast night. This is a battle winning advantage. This is before we even go to thermal.

No one denys the transformative effect of night vision devices. They drastically increase a soldiers vision regardless of light conditions, allowing them to better navigate the terrain and effectively fire at targets. Its not much of an exaggeration to say that night combat hasn't been the same since their introduction. So how did WW2 armys operate without it? They relied on search lights, flare guns, and starshell. The number and location of illumination posts prior to a battle were important factors. [7] Tanks and artillery also used gunsights with illuminated reticles, which gave some improvement at observing and acquiring targets at night. The modern force would definitely have an advantage on the defense, since their night vision devices allow them to penetrate the cover of darkness and bring accurate fire onto the enemy. But if they go onto the attack, it could be a different story. They can still be exposed by starshell and blinded by smoke screens. In closed terrain, the enemy doesn't need NVGs to take a heavy toll on the modern force. This much was proven in the battle of dak to, when american attacks on hill 823 and hill 875 were stalled by viet cong ambushs and night infiltration.

Mjolnir66: Lightweight equipment is a major game changer, it means I can take more ammo, while also taking more food and water to survive longer without being resupplied. Imagine it this way, a full days food for me weighs 1kg. That a 4000cal, nutritionally balanced day too, and that in itself helps endurance. You have a soldier who can survive with no resupply for 3 days with just the kit he's carrying on him.
Thats all well and good, but like the saying goes, 100 lbs of lightweight equipment still weighs 100 lbs. Its not humanly possible to carry that much gear without negatively impacting ones agility and endurance. According to phil west: “Soldiers are now carrying far more weight than the men of the 1940s and 50s. Equipment such as body armour and NBC gear are partially responsible, but the main reason is that troops are carrying everything they might need rather what they are most likely to need.” The overloading of foot soldiers that we see today is an acute leadership failure... As for the bit about rations, try to remember that back in the 1930s, the germans were using dextrose, the swiss were using high fat chocolate, while the japanese used ordinary rice. You cannot pack caloric value much denser than that, even for astronaut food.

Mjolnir66: Then you have the body armour. 90% of the areas that would mean death before a medic can see you are now covered and relatively safe from both shrapnel and bullets. A hit to the plates is not just survivable, but is an "injury" you can continue to fight with. I have a friend who took a 2 round burst from 7.62R at something like 10 to 20m range to the same spot on his plate and apart from being knocked to the ground, was none the worse for wear. I know 2 people who's helmets saved them from being shot in the head. Modern protective equipement drops casualties something like 90% over an unarmoured soldier.

Your right. Body armor is much more relevant from the strategic viewpoint than anything else. When widely issued to soldiers, it allows an army to better resist attrition and sustain its manpower over the course of a long campaign. Body armor wasn't created so that troops could run around with reckless abandon and gun sling with the enemy: Its purpose is to prevent a soldier from becoming a write off whenever he gets hit, and give him a chance to recover and fight another day. Too many people equate body armor with invulnerability to bullets, forgetting the fact that there are no guarantees in a fight.

Mjolnir66: Armour penetration is something 5.56 has a massive advantage over older rounds in. And 7.62 is basically .30 06 updated anyway, except as a better designed round. Its not some OCP for the modern troops. And we don't need flame throwers and infantry guns. A Carl Gustav, or RPO is a much better option than either, while being much easier to move around.

This is obviously untrue, 5.56x45mm has no advantage in armor penetration over 7.62x63mm. Even the M995 round cannot out penetrate the venerable M2, despite the benefit of a tungsten (rather than steel) core. A flamethrower has the advantage of burning everything along its trajectory, whereas incendiary projectors like the RPO and FLASH detonate at a preset distance, with a small burst radius. And thats not even taking into account the psychological effects: The suppressive firepower of a flamethrower is simply enormous (even when used in short bursts), and their discharges can create large clouds of smoke and blind the enemy. Its a weapon of terror that has no equal. RPO and FLASH may be lighter, and have a longer range, but there are some features of a flamethrower they are just not capable of duplicating.

Mjolnir66: A single 1000 man armoured battlegroup would easily chew through a WW2 division. When even your IFVs can kill the heaviest tanks your opponent has, then things are a little one sided. The biggest limitation on the modern forces is how fast they can resupply ammunition.

Like your friends, you refuse to acknowledge that modern forces have no dedicated anti-tank formations. What they have instead are an assortment of anti-armor weapons, scattered throughout the brigade at various levels: They aren't grouped into a relevant command structure which provides area denial capability. Therefore, a WW2 army would still be able to overun them with a column of tanks, especially if they approach from the flanks. Because of their tooth to tail ratio and dependency on major weapon systems (as opposed to masses of infantrymen), modern forces have poor all-round security: They rely on MBTs and artillery munitions for defense. Both the M198 and M777 howitzers have a traverse of just 800 mils, equal to 45 degrees. What if the battery gets an out-of-arc fire call? If the howitzer is resting on blacktop, it can take 3 minutes to turn the M777 on its wheels and face it in another direction. If its resting on uneven soil, this procedure can take more than 10 minutes. That limits it ability to respond to emergent threats on the battlefield.

 At brigade level and above, this is where
the modern forces are truly vulnerable
So that pretty much destroys the main arguments put forward by the lolcows. There were other claims that I did not even bother responding to, as they were obviously false and refuted by other forum goers. The biggest example would be Dark Voices absurd claim that it would take no more than twenty F-16 fighters to annihilate a thousand bomber raid, or that field howitzers could be used to effectively engage propeller aircraft (seriously, WTF?). It was stupidity on top of dishonesty. But there were some highlights.
One of the debunkers (a guy by the name of Apocal) had some very good insights about the difference in artillery capabilitys, and conducted himself in a much more professional manner than his peers. His points are well taken, and I would be happy to see more comments in this vein. Interestingly enough, there were numerous people who suggested that my original article had been inspired by the worldwar series. That was a good guess, but wrong: My motivation came from the axis of time trilogy.

A note to the spacebattles.com babies: The next time you think you can tear into an article as well researched as mine was, do an online search to see who the author is. Instead of bayoneting a scarecrow, find out whether it was copied from somewhere else. You might save yourself some embarrassment. And if any of you have a problem with the things I said here, then step up to the plate: My comments section is open to anyone!
P.S: In case theres any doubt about the source of the original article, just check the time stamps: I published it on my blog on May 18 2012, and began receiving comments on July 17, 2012. The thread on spacebattles.com did not start until November 11, 2014, more than 2 1/2 years after my work was published. I'd say thats pretty much a closed case.


[1] Theres some confusion on this subject, one source indicates that 88mm flak battalions were normally attached to armies or corps (and not to divisions).
[2] Military tests require three rounds to be fired in a tight grouping from 10 to 15 meters, and these conditions were fairly represented in the trials.

[3] If you focus solely on the ability to decode their radio messages, then modern forces are on no better footing than the allys during WW2. ULTRA was cracking the enigma code on a daily basis, so the main difference would simply be the speed at which the information is distributed down the chain of command.

[4] Another set of estimates come from forums.bistudio.com, which conclude with measurements posted at steelbeasts.com. They rate its LOS armor thickness as so: 300mm for the turret sides, 200mm on the hull sides, and 75mm on the rear.

[5] Anyone who thinks this conflict will be a repeat of the gulf war is laughably delusional. The iraqi army of 1991 was greatly inferior to the german army of 1944 in every regard except technology. They had poor initiative, poor command staffs, poor training, no inter-branch cooperation, etc.

[6] He also makes the error of assuming that these recon planes can loiter anywhere they want without being seen. Even if you take radar out of the equation, there were numerous types of infrared systems like adlergerat that could detect bombers at night.
[7] The WW2 force would need to have continuous illumination to successfully defend against a modern force. Listening posts, trip flares, and mines could provide advance warning of an attack, but without illumination from parachute flares, they won't be able to accurately engage.


  1. Man, seriously? This? I tell you what? Why not you grow the balls and actually stand toe to toe with us?

    1. Oohh, you came to the wrong place to say something like that. You might get away with this on your little forum, while surrounded by friends. But on here? Your dog meat.

      You lecturing me about cowardice, while hiding under the banner of anonyminity, is just about the level of insight I would expect from a inbred parasite who spends most of their time on spacebattles.com. As quoted from someone who has dealt with you bottom feeders before: ''Accountability is a prerequisite for respectability. People who refuse to divulge their real names can't ever be taken too seriously, because their insistence on anonymity is proof that they don't have any confidence in their own ideas.''

  2. I'll second that. You may as well come on to a place that has a layout more pleasant to the eyes, where quoting and replying and debunking of your "article" is more conveniently done.

    As a bit of low hanging fruit, I should note that dedicated antitank formations in the infantry have basically gone away because your standard infantry section will at the very least have 2 grenadiers, either carrying underbarrel 40mm GLs or dedicated MGLs, plus at least two guys either carrying AT-4s, Carl Gustavs, MATADORs, MILAN, Javelin or other ATGM. You get the picture. If it's LAWs then that's worse, you could have everyone holding one LAW.

    So anyway assuming no LAWs in the section, an infantry section at the very least has two heavy AT weapons and two Panzerfaust equivalent weapons...

    1. I've no interest in joining that diversionary thread. I'm already in the process of demolishing my 3 main opponents: Dark Voice, Mjolnir66, and Nuts!. (Peptuck seems to have caught word of how formidable I am in 1 on 1 debates, he has wisely chosen to avoid my PM. But as for the rest of you, I cannot say the same) Besides, why would I run off for another debate thread, when I have some opponents ripe for the picking, here on my very own site? I may have left the door open, but it was your choice to walk in.

      40mm grenades (even of the HEAT variety) aren't of much use against late WW2 tanks. They might score penetrations on the side armor of shermans or cromwells, but thats about all you can hope for. The behind armor effect of 40mm HEAT is poor, and the curved trajectory of grenades makes direct hits hard to obtain. http://abload.de/img/m79ewkxo.jpg

    2. Difficult is not impossible. All your image shows is that you need to adjust your angle depending on range. That's why leaf sights are a thing - which your own image shows! Given you're only talking about the grenadiers, I'll take that as a tacit concession on your part on the 2 ATGMs in the section. ;D

      This is, again, ignoring how if there is a need, it's very easy to hand out LAWs to every man in a section, in which case you've got something like 10-14 LAWs ready to kill tanks.

      True, with ~50mm RHA penetration, 40mm HEDP isn't a guaranteed tank killer, but it's still going to hurt - at the very least, you can get mobility kills - and the M203 with its leaf sight is still going to be easier to use than the PIAT. Though that might be damnig with faint praise, haha.

    3. Le sigh. I have gone over this very same point numerous times in both of my articles, and its a point you people just can't seem to get through your thick heads. I'm going to bypass this myopic focus on hardware, and go after the central point of your entire argument: That a smattering of anti-tank weapons will protect infantry units from a dedicated tank assault. Heres a pretty picture to help you conceptualise my approach. https://abagond.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/disagreement-hierarchy.jpg

      This quote comes from jim storrs book: ''Anti-tank defense illustrates the need to take a systemic view of combat and of armed forces. Anti-tank weapons destroy tanks, whereas anti-tank troops protects units and formations. All combat troops need to be able to destroy tanks. There is a case for giving support troops anti-tank weapons as well. There is, however, a wider issue: The need to protect the unit or formation. The germans appear to have realised this, and made two deductions not made in other western armys. The first is that protection and defense are not the same: Anti-tank units can be handled offensively and be very effective. There are numerous examples drawn from the western desert. Lieutenant-general lesley mcnair, who organised and trained the U.S. army for the second world war, insisted that anti-tank battalions should be handled aggressively, and then refined their tactics after experience in tunisia. The second deduction is that there is a strong case for a formation level specialist anti-tank unit that fights as such. In the wehrmacht it was equipped and handled as a battalion, with an armored headquarters.''

    4. The point I was trying to make is that standard leg infantry already have AT weapons, and if you need to beef up their AT firepower it's a matter of 1) issuing out more AT weapons & reloads (LAWs, LAWS everywhere) and 2) refresher AT training.

      Dedicated AT teams carrying ATGMs and reloads and LAWs being passed out to everyone /were/ a thing during the Cold War; they've since gone away since nobody's training to fight a massed wave of Soviet armor crossing the Fulda Gap, but that's still a matter for training to rectify. Look up the May-June 1992 issue of Armor magazine, where then Lt. John Nagl wrote on how an experienced armor task force that had been victorious in Desert Storm was wasted at NTC...

      ...By Alaska NG who'd been given a relatively short course on ATGMs. Yep, taken out by weekend warriors - albeit weekend warriors trained by the NTC cadre.

      I don't claim that infantry with AT weapons aren't going to take casualties: they will. But as the Syrian War is showing, infantry with ATGMs have a potent weapon against tanks.

      Consider: a section - anything between 10-15 men - armed with a LAW apiece can kill up to 15 tanks (not counting the two ATGM blokes who're also humping reloads). In short, if they know what they're doing, a section of infantry can theoretically best case kill a company and change of tanks (obviously it's not going to work out /that/ well for real; a conservative estimate will be 50% probability of kill). A company of tanks has just gotten mauled by a /section/ - not even a platoon of infantry!

      I should also add a caveat here - you quote of Storr refers to McNair and antitank battalions. These AT battalions are /tank destroyer battalions/. You're kinda shifting the goalposts here. Their role today is filled by Bradleys and Strykers carrying ATGMs and Abrams tanks - and even TOW Hummvees.

      But I think you've forgotten that in a large set piece battle as the one you seem to be envisioning, the infantry are not on their own. Combined arms are a thing. Modern artillery is accurate enough in terms of tactics, guns and rounds to be used against tanks. Precision guided munitions are a thing. Infantry can lase for gunships and fast air to provide battlefield interdiction (if the air assets don't do that themselves). Hell, A-10s. They're unsurvivable on the modern battlefield outside a permissive airspace, but given WW2 tactics, sensors and weapons, a WW2 battlespace is essentially permissive airspace.

      What I'm trying to say is that unless the infantry are moving into where tanks have been hidden and camo'd, and if they're facing tanks heading to them, the tanks on the assault are going to be hilariously vulnerable to CAS missions - and even if the Flak 88 can fire on the move, fighters can still drop PGMs on the tanks and their AA from outside the Flak 88's range and then continue to attack at leisure.

      Can infantry with AT weapons alone fight off a determined tank assault? Maybe. It all comes down to the situation at hand. But here's the thing - for a WW2 infantry section, they /would/ have to fight alone. For modern infantry, they can call on artillery, fast air and attack choppers. That makes a whole lot of difference.

    5. The modern forces are inferior when it comes to their ability to survive armored assaults. Among the WW2 germans, it was quite common for squads to be packing multiple panzerfausts, and for platoons to have a couple of panzershrecks. Though their performance pales in comparison to javelin, reloads are much cheaper and more plentiful. (They also don't have a long flight time, which allows targeted tanks to deploy smoke) In that regard, there is not much qualitative difference between the two.

      However (and this is a point I have had to restate again and again), you can give the infantry themselves as many rockets as they can carry, and it is still not going to compensate for the absence of a dedicated battalion of anti-tank guns at the divisional level. While the modern infantry are fighting more or less on their own against tanks, the WW2 infantry will enjoy long range fire support from towed or motorised anti-tank guns. While the armor of MBTs protects them from most anti-tank weapons, anything else accompanying them (bradleys, strikers, etc) is going to get wiped out.

      'But I think you've forgotten that in a large set piece battle as the one you seem to be envisioning, the infantry are not on their own. Combined arms are a thing. Modern artillery is accurate enough in terms of tactics, guns and rounds to be used against tanks. Precision guided munitions are a thing. Infantry can lase for gunships and fast air to provide battlefield interdiction (if the air assets don't do that themselves). Hell, A-10s. They're unsurvivable on the modern battlefield outside a permissive airspace, but given WW2 tactics, sensors and weapons, a WW2 battlespace is essentially permissive airspace.'
      In a set piece battle, that may be true. But if the modern force gets attacked in the flank or rear, all they'll have are some guys with a rocket launcher. Thats literally all you can expect of their security details. The pickets will be shattered, and the main body will be struck.

    6. I will rebut you in more detail in a few hours, but I just want to point out something:

      Panzerschrek has an effective firing range of 150m, muzzle velocity of 110m/s, and penetration of up to 160mm.

      The M72 LAW has an effective range of 165 (against moving target), muzzle velocity of 145m/s, and penetration of up to 250mm. It is a qualitatively superior weapon to the Panzerschrek and more than able at killing WW2 tanks.

      Your argument about how Bradleys and Strykers (note the name, they're named after PFC Stuart Stryker and Spec 4 Robert Stryker, who were MoH winners in WW2 and Nam) are unsurvivable is spurious, given that towed guns have absolutely zero protection against any antitank weapon, and the mechanised guns (M36, M18) have jack and shit for armor.

      Besides, in the modern US army, there's something better at hunting large tank swarms than antitank guns. It's called Apaches, Apaches everywhere. (And Kiowas, but a Kiowa can only sling a max of 2 Hellfires, whereas an Apache can carry 16.)

    7. Well, congrats. I've had to split this because your site won't accept anything more than 4096 characters.

      With regard to smoke, do note that smoke isn't going to help very much against nightvision goggles, let alone IR sights. Javelin's IIR sensor will still be able to lock on to enemy tanks through the smoke. The only smoke that's really going to adversely affect modern thermal imagers and FLIR is white phosphorus... which isn't used by WW2 tanks to make smoke.

      And while the tanks remain in the smoke, they themselves can't see. Sooner or later, in order to engage, they're going to have to move out of the smoke, and in that time they're vulnerable.

      Also, many ATGMs are actually faster than the Panzerschreck. This is admittedly offset by the longer effective range, but that's a reasonable compromise.

      From what you've said, the implication is that the lack of dedicated AT guns at the division level is a serious flaw. I should note, however, that towed AT guns are no longer a thing, simply because to get an AT gun effective against other tanks, it's so big and bulky that you may as well just stick it into a tank chassis. (Note the size of the Rheinmetall 120mm or the Royal Ordnance L7.) The ATGM revolution means that your towed AT guns have been replaced with motorised infantry in Hummvees or other 4x4s carrying ATGMs, and your mechanised AT guns have been replaced by ATGM-carrying IFVs.

      I will acknowledge that yes, the Russians did originally make the Sprut AT gun as a towed gun... and even then, it had an APU to drive itself at the speed of 14km/h because AT guns have shit for mobility. And in Russian service, they aren't just using the Sprut as a towed gun, they use it as the armament of the 2S25 Sprut-SD tank destroyer.

      Note, however, that it takes 90 seconds to unpack from travel for firing, and another 120 to pack up for travelling. And this is a /modern/ AT gun. Hardly what I'd term a very mobile weapon. Is it no wonder then, that VDV uses the Sprut-SD, which, being a tracked TD, can fire on the move and possesses superior mobility to a towed gun. Or that ATGM teams are a thing? A squad of infantry in a jeep carrying ATGMs is significantly more mobile on the attack, is stealthier and has a smaller footprint than an towed gun and its truck, and can shoot and scoot faster than the towed gun - with similar engagement ranges.

      Even WW2 experience showed that towed guns on the attack are significantly less than ideal, simply because of how cumbersome they are. It's telling that of the tank destroyer battalions, the units with most sucess were tracked TDs - M18 Hellcats, M10 Wolverines, M36 Jacksons - and not the towed AT guns. Hell in the Battle of the Bulge, towed AT gun units were unable to reposition or withdraw once contact was made with the enemy, and were overrun by the advance or outflanked by the enemy. A towed gun has zero protection from anything, even small arms!

      You mention that ATGMs have slower projectile speeds than AT guns. That's generally true, perhaps. However, note that on average ATGMs have effective ranges in excess of 2000 meters. Relatively slower speed is offset by being able to control the missile (command-guided ATGMs, e.g. TOW) and long engagement ranges.

      Also, I mentioned earlier the Panzerschreck's muzzle velocity of 110m/s. Javelin's flight time to a target 1000m away is approximately 4.6 seconds, meaning that the muzzle velocity is approximately 217m/s. Just under /twice/ the speed of Panzershreck! That's not getting into the suprior sighting mechanism, the Imaging Infrared seeker and how a Javelin operator can reach out and touch enemy tanks from 2500 meters away - that's 16.67 times the range of Panzerschreck, against a _moving_ target!

      Here's the thing: your paradigm is completely WW2, and you've basically missed how warfare has changed in the last 70 years. You do not need a dedicated battalion of AT guns at the division level because at this point /everything/ is and can be an AT asset.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. You state:
      "However (and this is a point I have had to restate again and again), you can give the infantry themselves as many rockets as they can carry, and it is still not going to compensate for the absence of a dedicated battalion of anti-tank guns at the divisional level. While the modern infantry are fighting more or less on their own against tanks, the WW2 infantry will enjoy long range fire support from towed or motorised anti-tank guns. While the armor of MBTs protects them from most anti-tank weapons, anything else accompanying them (bradleys, strikers, etc) is going to get wiped out."

      Your supposition here depends on several things: first, that the engagement be an open field set piece battle, because unsupported tanks in urban confines _die_ to infantry, as Grozny showed.

      Secondly, you're insisting that modern infantry will be fighting unsupported while WW2 will have support from towed and motorised AT guns. You're ignoring my previous post, where I mention fast air, attack helos, and artillery. You're debating in bad faith and shifting goalposts here, running purely on fiat. Nope, you don't get to do that. If you insist that WW2 infantry get towed, motor and let's throw in mech AT guns for support, then modern infantry get those other toys. You can't have your cake and eat it.

      Thirdly, as I have said before, your argument that the Bradley and Strykers are going to be vulnerable is a spurious argument. These vehicles are no more vulnerable to WW2 AT weapons than the M18 Hellcat, M10 Wolverine or M36 Jackson. Towed AT guns are hilariously vulnerable to mortars, arty and even fucking hand grenades. Meanwhile, the Bradley and Stryker are armored against the standard artillery shrapnel used by the Russians. Won't survive a direct hit, but they'll protect the troops inside from shrapnel, canister and at least 14.5mm from all those Duskhas - and their TOWs /will/ kill any WW2 they see, even a Pershing or King Tiger.

      I would suggest you look up the Battle of 73 Easting. It's a rather enlightening look at how American armor performs.

      Fourth, you insist that a division should have its own organic AT battalion to go and fight enemy ninja tanks. Surprise surprise, that's what the Abrams is for. It is, afterall, a main battle tank, and any WW2 tank going up against it is ridiculously outmatched. The Abrams has better sensors, the better and more accurate gun, better strategic and tactical mobility, and is virtually immune to almost any WW2 AT gun or tank gun. It has better comms, better NBC protection - hell, the great advantage of the Abrams? It can FIRE ON THE MOVE. And HIT. WW2 tanks can't do that. They have to stop to shoot. By WW2 standards, the Abrams is a heavy tank with the mobility of a light tank, deployed in medium tank numbers.

      But say all our Abrams are tasked. What then?

      That's what Apaches are for. Built to hunt tanks in the Fulda Gap. With /significantly/ superior mobility to any ground vehicle, allowing them to better serve as mobile fire brigade. And that's discounting fast air - a massed tank formation is a turkey shoot to fighters and A-10s and even MRLS.

      Lastly, you're arguing that a WW2 force would be able to ninja their way into a flanking attack on HQ and the rear echelons. This is, at the very least, highly improbable, given the superiority of battlefield sensors, recce assets such as Predator, Reaper and J-STARs, and the ridiculous superiority in sighting systems, SIGINT and comms employed by modern forces. Against a modern force, a WW2 army is essentially broadcasting in the clear.

      And even if such a thing should happen... that's why we have Apaches, which fill the role of the tank hunting TD battalion.

      -Whiskey Golf

    10. Very curious. It takes you nearly 12 hours to deliver a rebuttal to me (during which time, you were almost certainly getting feedback from friends), but within a span of 2 minutes, I get three responses from two apparently different people. One of them is anonymous, and identifys himself as Whiskey Golf. The other goes by the name of Wild Goose. He leaves a response identical to the one you delivered, which is then deleted in a fit of embarrassment.

      [Authors note. Theres really only two conclusions I can draw from this: Either Wild Goose was providing Whiskey Golf with information he did not have access to (hence the need for almost 12 hours of discussion), or Wild Goose is a sockpuppet used by Whiskey Golf to give the appearance of numbers. That means Whiskey Golf is either an out of his league ignoramus, or he is a coward who fears 1 on 1 debates. Ironically, he was the one who most vocally declared me to be the coward, because I refused to face his forums spanish inquisition. You've got to admire the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of these people. Anyway, back to topic.]

      I freely admit that a panzerschreck or panzerfaust is inferior to a LAW, and wouldn't be of much use against an MBT. But they perform an identical role, and are in the same ballpark of performance. Towed anti-tank guns don't need anything more than a gunshield, what they need is camouflage and concealment. When placed in defilade or firing obliquely from a hidden position, they are as deadly to tanks as machine guns are to infantry. If they let themselves get overrun and do not reveal their presence, the crew of an anti-tank gun can get clear shots at the rear armor. A dangerous expedient, but sometimes necessary.

      Also, you are forgetting that the germans employed a wide variety of motorised anti-tank guns during WW2, notably the sturmgeschutz 3, jagdpanzer 4, and hetzer. They were cheaper than a tank, had lower training requirements, good mobility, and decent armor. As evidence of their effectiveness, models like the sturmgeschutz 3 racked up a huge numbers of kills, something like 20,000 AFVs by the spring of 1944.

      What mode of attack will the apaches be using? Will they use fire and forget missiles and then duck behind cover? Will they get as high as they can and use cannon fire from standoff range? Or will they try infiltrating the enemys rear areas in the hopes that they can catch a supply column or some combat troops at rest? All of these methods have their own risks and complications, as we saw during the battle of najaf. It took only 1 bungled attack for the 11th aviation regiment to suffer 29 damaged apaches, and be rendered combat incapable for an entire month.

    11. Actually, thats not true. Night vision devices cannot see through smoke, fog, heavy rain, snow, or other obscurants. Smoke will work pretty much as intended, unless the modern forces are using infra red. FYI, only those tanks at the head of the column will need to conceal themselves: Those at the rear or in overwatch positions will have a clear line of sight to the javelin teams, and will be able to place suppressive fire on them. Unless they displace after firing a couple of missiles, the javelin teams will be spotted and neutralised.

      The size and weight of modern anti-tank guns (like the 125mm 2A45) can be attributed to the fact that they have to penetrate the frontal armor of MBTs at long range... A foolish requirement given that most tanks are destroyed from the side anyway, because the sides offer a larger profile, amd are more thinly armored. Even today, the 100mm 2A19 is a perfectly adequate anti-tank gun, provided it uses modern APFSDS rounds and is supplemented by ATGMs. According to inetres.com, javelins have a flight time of about 4.6 seconds at 1000 meters, and about 14.5 seconds at 2000 meters (they don't accelerate continuously, quite the opposite).

      Guns retain the advantage of invulnerability to countermeasures, low observability, short flight time, and high volume of fire. Maybe ten rounds per minute, as compared to the javelins three missiles per minute. Emplacement and displacement times for anti-tank guns are not a big deal, since they don't normally shoot and scoot: They stay put and defend their sectors until overrun. The other thing you don't seem to realise is that its not just about the guns, but how they are actually organised. This is a coherent battalion with its own HQ staff, who were trained to deploy their forces with aggression and imagination. Simply put, there is nothing comparable in todays military.

      This should give you an idea of what the modern forces would encounter. http://oi57.tinypic.com/hwwtiw.jpg Notice how they take advantage of the terrain, so that saggers cover the long distances, while T-62s cover the medium distances (none are forced to engage outside their effective range). They have overlapping fields of fire, and are backed up with short range weapons for emergencys. A german defense line would be similar, albeit with more range limited weapons. 88mm pak 43s would replace the saggers. 75mm pak 40s (or maybe panzer 4s) would replace the hull down T-62s. 37mm pak 36s (with stielgranate 41 HEAT rounds) would replace the SPG-9. Finally, panzerfausts and panzerschrecks would replace the RPG-7. A pretty formidable disposition. On the other hand, this is what the WW2 force would encounter. http://i58.tinypic.com/2ug1834.jpg

    12. It's called being stuck at work in Malaysia yo. Timezones are a bitch and half. :V First post to you was about 7am my time, then I had to go to work and get sandbagged and could only post at almost 6pm my time.

      Also I've been trying to disassociate myself from my old nick for a few years now, especially since that nick is technically sockpuppeting on SB (long story lol) and I didn't want to confuse you :p


    13. But hey, if it makes you feel better, I'll go back to my old nick. I didn't want you to get the impression you were being ganged on, but if it means so much to you... *shrug*

    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    15. Anyway what the hell, going back to my old nick. I have two names, but you've still been debating with the same person all this time. I just didn't want you whining that you were being ganged on, lol.

      Also it took you 14 hours and 37 minutes to post your own most recent rebuttal. And 13 hours 13 minutes for your first "rebuttal", and 25 hours 37 minutes to post your second rebuttal. :p People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, haha. :p

      I note that you're entering the territory of ad hominems. An ad hominem is a notoriously weak argument. You're casting aspersions so as to shift the focus off the position and onto the opponent. Now, why would you need to do that, unless you realise how shaky your own position is? ;D Argue the facts, not the person, James. We both know you're a bully and you've proclaimed yourself as such, but do /try/ to make an effort, alright? :V


      I'm unsure why you're comparing the effectiveness of the Panzerschreck and LAW to _modern MBTs_ when I've been talking about them being used against _WW2_ tanks. Which, y'know, is the whole point of your article: a Modern force vs a WW2 force. Or have you forgotten that? This is an irrelevant tangent, especially as we've established LAW's usefulness against WW2 tanks. Plus, it's got 90mm more of penetration vs Panzerschreck. If you agree that Panzerschreck is a credible threat to WW2 tanks, then the same applies to the LAW, which is superior to the Panzerschreck in all ways.

      For a self-professed scholar, your own cognitive dissonance is showing with regard to the fact that throughout all this "discussion" the assumption has been that the WW2 force is on the attack, and then suddenly you're bringing in towed AT guns in defensive positions into the picture. You're goalpost shifting here, and I won't let you. This is about a WW2 force on the attack. Both formations are engaged in a battle of manuever - else if the WW2 force is on the defensive, how is it going to outflank the modern force and take it by surprise, as you /asserted/ earlier?

      As for the superiority of towed AT guns on the defense, I will refer you again to the Battle of the Bulge as but one example where towed AT guns were unable to reposition to meet German advances, and in more than a few cases were flanked by infantry and had their positions overrun, with the survivors abandoning their guns. At the very least, with *man portable* ATGMs and AT rockets so you can bug out and not leave your weapons behind. Another strike against towed AT guns! And hell, if you're talking about concealmeant, it is significantly easier to conceal an ATGM/RPG team than it is for a towed gun, and an ATGM gunner need only turn his body to reorient his missile - whereas reorienting a dug-in towed gun is a non-trivial excercise.

      I do have to wonder why you are so insistent on dying on the hill of towed AT guns, especially when WW2 itself shows us that turreted TDs were more effective than towed guns.

      You also seem to be unaware that when a unit has been overrun, at best case it is forced to retreat; at worst case it is completely destroyed. That is what overrun means. It is significantly easier for infantry to overrun a towed AT gun, as opposed to a tracked turreted tank destroyer, given that, y'know, the TD is /armored/ and the crew is /buttoned up/.

      A note, by the way, on terminology:

      * Motorised, in the military context, is generally used to refer to things that are truck mounted/transported. A Motor Rifle Division, for instance, transports its troops in trucks.

      * Mechanised, meanwhile, is used to refer to formations with APCs and IFVs - Stryker battalions are mechanised units, for example.

    16. Therefore the Stug III, JagdPz IV and Hetzer you mention are actually mechanised tank destroyers. I should also note that the US did have motorised tank destroyers built on truck chassis - they weren't really very effective, to be honest. What you are also apparently unaware of is that the nature of casemated tank destroyers means that they are inherently vulnerable to being outflanked and cannot reposition and reorient fast enough if they're outflanked. Furthermore, the vast majority of kils made by German TDs (Which were all casemated guns) were made /defending/ and at chokepoints. Casemated TDs are at a significant disadvantage on the attack, in a battle of maneuver.

      (I mean, really, why on earth do you want to use casemated TDs on the attack when you have better options in the US Army's turreted TDs, which I've mentioned earlier?)

      You mention the 2003 Battle of Najaf, part of the battle of Karbala (there were further battles in 2004 and 2007 at Najaf), in which the Apaches got the shit kicked out of them. Your conclusion is flawed because it doesn't take the full picture into account: Those Apaches were under observation, and flew into a prepared ambush, taking fire small arms, autocannon and heavy machinegun fire from multiple camoflaged positions, and they were not moving evasively. The Apaches were also hesitant to eturn fire because of fears of civilian casualties, given how the insurgents positioned themselves in a civilian population area.

      Meanwhile, the current situation is different. The WW2 tanks are advancing to engage. They lack any form of detection for the Apaches, and are not being escorted by /effective/ mobile AA - the Shilka, Gepard, and Tunguska can fire on the move and /hit/ helicopters with their guns (plus, they've also got missiles as extra party favors). The Apaches also have no hesitation to engage beyond positive identification of the targets to be serviced, as there is no worry of civilian casualties of collateral damage. There's nothing stopping the Apaches from using a mix of going high and slow or low and fast or however they want to engage the WW2 tanks.

      I should also add that the Hydra 70 and Zuni rockets are also credible antitank weapons, and if you're faching British Apaches, they don't even need the Hellfires, they'll just use CRV7 rockets with the WDU-5002/B Flechette Anti Tank warhead, which can penetrate a Soviet T-72 MBT from /any/ angle. When you consider that the T-72 is better armored than all WW2 tanks... well.

      But let's say they stick with Hellfires. The nose turret turns, y'know. You can fire a Hellfire, take evasive action and still guide the missile. Or you can buddy lase - have someone else lase the tank and shoot. There are plenty of options for that: infantry, Kiowas, UAVs... in Iraq it was a regular thing for UAVs to identify and lase targets for Kiowas and Apaches to hit with Hellfires. You need to think bigger, James. Your paradigm is too narrow.

      Now, you say smoke will be effective against NVGs. Yes and no. What would be more of an issue with daytime smoke would be that the sun would be so fucking bright that looking through an NVG - which operates on the image intensification principle and sees in the infrared spectrum - would pretty much blind you. That said while NVGs are not pure thermal sights, anything hot will radiate in the infrared spectrum, and will show up easier on an NVG. Sufficient smoke will obscrure NVGs, but the problem with that is that anything that can obscure NVGs - which you've already cited - is basically going to blind your WW2 tanks, who're limited to the naked eye.

    17. In the meantime, thermal imagers give no fucks and merrily spot you any which way. It's a good thing the Javelin's CLU has an IIR sight! I quote FM 3-21-94, section F-3: "Limited Visibility. Heavy rain, smoke, fog, snow, sleet, haze, and dust are referred to as limited visibility conditions. The presence of these conditions can affect the gunner's ability to acquire and engage targets with the Javelin, especially when using the day sight of the CLU. The gunner should use the IIR sight of the CLU to acquire targets because it provides the best target image during limited visibility conditions."

      How fucking hax are thermal imagers? In Desert Storm, Abrams tanks engaged Iraqi tanks with impunity during a sandstorm and killed the blind tanks because they had thermal imagers.

      As a general note, infantry nightvision systems are image intensifiers that see the IR spectrum. Vehicle systems are thermal imagers/Imaging Infrared (IIR).

      You claim that the tanks behind the column are going to be able to spot the Javelins. At 2000 meters. When they're driving into smoke (because, y'know, the smoke's in front of them). When the Javelin crews are going to be concealed. You do realise that unlike a towed AT gun, the Javelin's soft launch means there's less backblast and muzzle flash than a dug in towed gun. And you /do/ realise that it's significantly easier for two men to displace and relocate - as opposed to moving a dug in towed AT gun. :V You're also assuming great accuraccy from the tank crews, but records shows that combat accuraccy dropped a great deal in WW2.

      I also find it surprising that you think the requirement to frontally kill an MBT is foolish. Why was the Pak 43 the most effective AT gun of WW2? Because it could frontally penetrate any Allied tank that saw it. When AT guns are employed defensively, /especially/ casemated TDs and towed guns, it is a near certainty you're going to be facing tanks coming at you. Shermans killing Tigers and Panthers from the side was also partly necessity, given 75mm Shermans could not punch through the frontal armor of Panthers and thus had to maneuver for side shots. Given your preference for towed AT guns, which are effectively stationary with zero tactical mobility, I'd have thought you'd want a gun that can kill a tank frontally.

      Better to have that capability and not need it, than to need it and not have it. The Pak 43 was the former, the 75mm Shermans and 37mm towed guns the latter.

      At least you're admitting the ability of ATGMs now.

      It's true that sabot's advantage over ATGMs is a faster flight time and it retains more of its kinetic energy over range. However, you're goalpost shifting; your original claim was that Panzerschreck's short flight time meant tanks could not deploy smoke. Javelin has a faster speed than Panzerschreck and will hit faster if fired from the same range. Secondly, while Javelin's speed drops off as range increases (what with the the fact that the rocket motor burns out and it relies on its momentum and gliding to go the rest of the way), the only reason Panzerschrek does not have this issue is because it's used at a ridiculously short range of 150m - it'll hit the target before drag gets a chance to work on the rocket. Lastly, as I've said earlier, smoke is a nonissue: the diesel-generated smoke that WW2 tanks use is completely ineffective against Javelin's IIR seeker.

    18. You argue that guns are immune to countermeasures. This is a red herring, given that WW2 forces lack countermeasures effective against ATGMs - hell they don't even know that ATGMs are a thing! I'll agree that AT guns - particularly modern guns - have advantages in terms of flight time and rate of fire; that was never in doubt, but I think you're forgetting your force is a WW2 force. I also have to shake my head at how cavalierly you want your towed guns to stay in position until killed, but that's an irrelevant tangent you've introduced, given that you are postulating the WW2 force on the _attack_.

      Your point about the AT battalion with its own HQ force is also just your assertion; you don't really have anything to back it up - and if you want aggression and imagination, that was found in the turreted TD battalions. And guess who's taken over their role and their mantle, as I've said above...

      I also find it highly ironic and amusing that you're using the defensive dispositions of a modern force (albeit a Cold War Soviet unit, but the principles remain valid)... and then you assume the modern force will not use these defensive dispositions. Now who's got the problem with cognitive dissonance? :p Looking at this, why do you think a modern force will not use the same tactics? That's either slipped your mind, or you're cherrypicking and debating in bad faith. (Incidentally, the SPG-9 is an unguided recoilless rifle, and not a towed AT gun, and thus it has the shortest engagement range.)

      Again, the defensive dispositions of WW2 forces that you mention are /irrelevant/ to this conversation given that we are talking about WW2 forces on the attack. Don't try to confuse the issue.

      A pic of a bored American soldier goofing off is hardly a credible argument. It's just more proof to my mind that you're debating in bad faith - and poorly, at that.

      Also, this reply was made in 8 hours and involved no input from my mates - though I do have a fair number of friends who've served. You're not the only person who does his own research. :p

    19. One last comment: Basically, there's no fucking way WW2 tanks are going to ninja anyone because they've got shit for nightvision so they can't maneuver at night, the tanks that DO have nightvision are using active IR and so will light themselves up for everyone to see, and no matter whether they move during the day or night, they'll radiate on thermals and will be easy targets for anyone with thermal imager sights.

      Also they're loud as fuck, and most certainly cannot sneak on anyone (unlike the Abrams, which has a ridiculously quiet engine and can sneak up on people who don't have thermal imagers or NVGs).

    20. Are you trying to spam me to death or something? Why do you need 7 comments to respond to just 2 of mine? Whiskey Golf, you need to work on conciseness. You keep deleting your own posts, and bending your arguments out of shape. It won't take much to beat you at any rate. About the difference in our response times, you seem to be forgetting something. On august 23, you found the time to read my comments and leave a response, before taking nearly 12 hours to return for an actual rebuttal. And in a span of 2 minutes, you were joined by someone who left a comment identical to yours, raising my suspicions that you were using a sockpuppet (which you then admitted to).

      'I'm unsure why you're comparing the effectiveness of the Panzerschreck and LAW to _modern MBTs_ when I've been talking about them being used against _WW2_ tanks. Which, y'know, is the whole point of your article: a Modern force vs a WW2 force.'
      It probably has something to do with the fact that LAWs are going to be used against WW2 tanks, while panzerfausts and panzerschrecks are going to be used against modern tanks. Which, y'know, is the only sensible conclusion that could be drawn, given that nazis don't use LAWs, and yankees don't use panzerschrecks. Know what I'm saying, bro? But all joking aside, I never denied that LAW was a superior weapon, or that it would be effective against WW2 tanks. You are putting words in my mouth.

      'For a self-professed scholar, your own cognitive dissonance is showing with regard to the fact that throughout all this "discussion" the assumption has been that the WW2 force is on the attack, and then suddenly you're bringing in towed AT guns in defensive positions into the picture.'
      LOL, you can't even remember the positions you were taking in this debate! The focus of our argument was to determine which force was better able to defend itself from a dedicated tank assault. The question of WW2 forces on the attack came only after YOU mentioned artillery and air support being able to augment the moderns anti-tank abilitys. I claimed that if they were attacked in the flank or rear, this support wouldn't be available, and all they'd have are some guys with a rocket launcher. Does that clear things up? Its pretty sad when your opponent needs to summarise your own arguments for you!

      I've given equal attention to how both sides would perform in the attack and defense. About the anti-tank guns, I have no preference over whether they are towed or motorised, as long as its an actual gun. They retain the advantage of invulnerability to countermeasures, low observability, short flight time, and high volume of fire. Anti-tank guns need to be deployed properly, and work in concert with infantry if they are to repulse tank assaults. While theres no such thing as a perfect solution in warfare, theres no denying that the existence of anti-tank battalions gives WW2 force a major advantage on the defense. By comparison, modern forces have nothing more than an assortment of anti-tank weapons scattered throughout the brigade at various levels: They aren't grouped into a relevant command structure which provides area denial capability.

    21. ATGMs may be easier to conceal than anti-tank guns, but they also have a much larger firing signature (flash and smoke). The instant they open fire, everyone knows where they are. Anti-tank guns are usually able to get off a few shots before they are identified. As for my comment about anti-tank crews letting themselves get overrun so they can take shots at the rear of tanks, I should have said bypassed instead of overrun. My point remains. BTW, motorised vs mechanised is wrong, the proper term would be self propelled.

      You still haven't told me what mode of attack the apaches will be using, so theres no way for me to provide an answer on whether or not the WW2 forces could defend themselves. You are also forgetting that the germans had a variety of motorised anti-aircraft guns in service: The mobelwagen, wirbelwind, and ostwind. Although these vehicles were only produced in small numbers (less than 400 total), they provided effective air defense to convoys that were on the move, and beyond the protective umbrella of anti-aircraft artillery.

      'You claim that the tanks behind the column are going to be able to spot the Javelins. At 2000 meters. When they're driving into smoke (because, y'know, the smoke's in front of them). When the Javelin crews are going to be concealed.'
      During a road march, there would be 50 meters spacing between tanks, which would decrease to maybe 30 meters during an attack. An average panzer division would have 90-110 tanks, and be deployed in a panzerkiel formation. Each tank can deploy a smoke screen roughly 4-5 meters high, and 20 meters wide. Remember that while the tip of the panzerkiel is narrow, the base is not. A smoke screen wide enough to conceal the tanks at the front wouldn't affect tanks at the rear of the column: They would have a clear line of sight to the javelins.

      At 2000 meters, an 88mm kwk 36 could hit a 2.5 x 2 meter target 50% of the time. Their HE shell is larger than an 81mm mortar round, and according to strategypage.com: If an 81-mm mortar round lands within 30 meters of a target, the target will probably be suppressed, if not hit. How many shots could the javelins take before they get zeroed? Two, maybe three. Missiles are very inefficient in their use of propellant, and even with a soft launch option, their firing signature is never going to be smaller than a guns. The muzzle flash emitted by a gun varys with caliber, barrel length, projectile size, propellent volume and type, etc. Some anti-tank guns had small firing signatures, while others (like the 17 pounder) had very large muzzle flashs.

      'When AT guns are employed defensively, /especially/ casemated TDs and towed guns, it is a near certainty you're going to be facing tanks coming at you. Shermans killing Tigers and Panthers from the side was also partly necessity, given 75mm Shermans could not punch through the frontal armor of Panthers and thus had to maneuver for side shots.'
      In reality, you couldn't be further from the truth. The statistics on how allied tanks were destroyed during WW2 are addressed in one of my links: Gunfire casualties in the ETO were knocked out of action at an average of ~800 yards. German gunners didn’t seem to aim for any particular part of the tanks, the study’s authors suggest that the Germans fired at the first part of the vehicle they saw. 60% of gunfire hits were recorded to be hit from the side. 37% of hits were from the front and 3% were done from the rear.

    22. 'It's true that sabot's advantage over ATGMs is a faster flight time and it retains more of its kinetic energy over range. However, you're goalpost shifting; your original claim was that Panzerschreck's short flight time meant tanks could not deploy smoke. Javelin has a faster speed than Panzerschreck and will hit faster if fired from the same range.'
      Javelins travel slower than pretty much any gun launched projectile you can care to mention. That matters when you are intending to fire them from 2000 meters, rather than the 150 meters of a panzerschreck, or the 60 meters of a panzerfaust (duh). At that distance, WW2 tanks have approximately 14.5 seconds to react to an ATGM. Thats plenty of time for them to deploy a smoke screen from their dischargers. Don't forget, you were the one who claimed that smoke isn't going to help very much against night vision goggles! Your accusation that I am shifting the goal post is nothing but projection.

      'I also find it highly ironic and amusing that you're using the defensive dispositions of a modern force (albeit a Cold War Soviet unit, but the principles remain valid)... and then you assume the modern force will not use these defensive dispositions. Now who's got the problem with cognitive dissonance?'
      Theres one big problem with that argument, and it has to do with the fact that the russians are the only major army in the world that still employ anti-tank battalions. They are organic to all infantry and armored divisions, in fact. The russians can actually use defensive formations like the ones I showed, because all the elements needed are tasked under an appropriate command structure. As for the americans, there is no set of protocols which could enable them to put forward an effective anti-tank defense. If they are subjected to attack by a column of tanks, all they'll have are some guys with a rocket launcher.

      And to finish my argument off, I would again like to steal a quote from jim storrs book: ''The counter-argument is that 'the best defense against a tank is a tank', which is simply not true. Specialist anti-tank weapons are generally about 2.5 times better at destroying tanks. Guderion freely admitted it. During the battle of the bulge U.S. tank-destroyer battalions destroyed 306 german tanks; one battalion alone destroyed 105. Perhaps, more importantly, the argument that 'the best defense against a tank is a tank' has been used by the armored community to justify replacing anti-tank units with more tanks. The U.S. army is one example. Western armies seem to have accepted the argument that a tank unit is more flexible than an anti-tank unit without adequate analysis. There is a systemic need to protect the force, but in practise tanks are almost never used for anti-tank defense. They are usually given more offensive roles, such as counter-attacking. Tying them to the defense is seen to distract from their offensive role. The culture of armies armored branchs gets in the way here.''

    23. You sound pretty upset for some reason, James. A deleted doublepost and a couple of off the cuff comments & explanation of how long it takes me to reply are hardly what I'd call damning, or trying to spam you to death. :p Perhaps _you_'ve got a problem with focus and keeping your thoughts organised, haha!

      Besides, my main thrust is broken up into three comments because your blog here has a 4096 character limit for posts. I note that you yourself have split your rebuttal over multiple posts, yet you don't seem to be taking yourself to task over that. :p

      Don't worry, I'll be back. :V Probably in about 12 or more hours, since it's 4.28pm here in Malaysia, and I'm grabbing a few minutes to bang out this quick comment before I get back to work (ah, the glorious Asian concept of staying back late to show you're working hard. I love it not. :/ )

      (Also I read much faster than when I actually prepare an argument. :V)

    24. Anyway I'm back, the night was young, so here we go. (Also at 2536 words, this is called being thorough. :V)

      Incidentally, for anybody who's reading, kesler12 knows damn well that the post deleted at 1929 on 24/08/2015, UTC -7, was a double post and had nothing to do with my rebuttal. He's just chosen to latch onto this in an attempt to confuse the issue and cast aspersions on me.

      As I've said before James, if your argument is strong, you don't need to attack me. Surely the academic rigor of your own arguments is not lacking? And yet you choose to attack your opponent, shifting the focus onto me, away from your position.

      I also submit that the issues you're making with the time I take to return a rebuttal are merely spurious arguments, a smokescreen for you to try and confuse the issue. What does it matter how long it takes me to make a reply? We are not playing speed chess here. And if you really want to make an issue of turnaround time, I will again remind you that it is /you/ who is taking so long to reply. There was a gap of /22 hours 42 minutes/ between my final comment at 0205 25/08 and your reply on 0047 26/08. Do you /really/ want to die on this hill? Because if you want to make this an issue, /you're/ the one who looks bad.

      So. Are we going to stand around here all day as you raise spurious and irrelevant tangents? Or shall we get to the meat of the discussion, hm?

      With regard to LAWs and Panzerschreck, the point I was trying to make was on the effectiveness of the weapon, which you'd apparently downplayed earlier. I'll accept your concession on the effectiveness of LAW. ;D

      You accuse me of not remembering the positions I was taking in this debate. Actually, my starting position was that modern infantry already have effective AT weapons to start with, and you were discounting too soon the effectiveness of 40mm HEDP grenades, and you insist that a WW2 force is going to be able to flank a modern force and chew up the infantry on the defense. James, when you argue that a WW2 force can flank a modern force and overrun the infantry, you're pretty much arguing the context of the attack. Talking about the defensive ability of a WW2 force vs modern force is tangential to the matter at hand (especially since WW2 AT weapons do jack and shit to any modern MBT).

      Incidentally you think that air support and artillery would not be available to infantry pickets on the defense. Do the words "Danger close" and "Broken Arrow" mean anything to you? These are fire support calls: the first to warn arty and air that enemies are /really fucking close/, and the second means "I am about to be overrun, hit my position as a last fuck you to those guys." I hasten to add that if this is a mechanised infantry force as opposed to motorised, they're going to have their IFVs with them, so it's not as if they're completely pushovers. (Also, artillery is not just towed guns: self propelled guns and rocket artillery are things, and have been things for the last 40 years.)

      Furthermore, you keep ignoring the matter that it is impossible for a WW2 armored force to sneak up to its modern equivalent at night or day, given the heat all those tanks are radiating. Really, they'd be prime targets for J-STARS or Predator or FACs to find, who'd then roll strike packages onto those tanks, turning the field into Highway of Death 2: Armored Bugaloo. But that's /boring/, which is why I haven't stressed that. I think you've also forgotten that aircraft are not impeeded by terrain the way tanks air, since, y'know, they /fly/. :p

    25. Well, you're shifting your position now on AT guns. I myself think that towed AT guns are suicide and a fool's errand: if you must have AT guns, turreted TDs, that's the way to go. Superior crew protection, mobility, sensors, comms and survivability. Why, the only thing a modern TD lacks is the armor of an MBT! I should note however that AT guns in turreted TDs on static defense in fighting positions have little practical difference between tanks on the defense. I will also remind you that tank destroyer battalions were disbanded and the antitank role given over to tanks because, surprise surprise, the tank destroyers were spending so much time in infantry support. When you have TDs doing infantry support and tanks fighting tanks, it makes a certain amount of sense to combine both roles into one platform.

      (Henceforth, when I refer to AT guns, I'm talking about towed guns. Turreted TDs are turreted TDs. And towed guns are technically motorised in the sense of being towed by trucks. At least if we follow the Nato definition; I think you're using the Soviet/Russian meanign of motorised = mechanised.)

      I also think you're being too rigid in your insistence on a dedicated AT battalion. Rather than antitank work be the specialised province of just one faction, in the modern military the antitank role is something that tanks, IFVs, helicopters and infantry are all trained to do. This gives a commander more flexibility in that everyone can do it, not just the dedicated assets.

      You claim that ATGMs have a larger firing signature compared to AT guns. Well.

      This is the Pak 40 75mm towed gun used by WW2 forces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7fhBm1ouSU Skip to 6:37 when they fire the gun. Note the muzzle flash and all the dust kicked up. This is a video of vehicle-mounted TOW missiles and Javelins being fired.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYuj9krS9aY Skip to 1:15. Note the smoke. Significantly less than the AT gun. Here's another video - skip to 2:10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD2Pj1DXwy4

      As you can see, the Javelin has neglible muzzle flash when compared to the Pak 40. Really, it's the AT guns who're going to be more easily detected and engaged. You're also forgetting that for RPGs and recoilless rifles, backblast is a thing: unlike the AT guns, the backblast is vented /behind/ the operator. And that's before we get into these weapons that have the models with reduced backblast so that they can be fired indoors...

      I'll concede that it is a legitimate choice to hold fire and let enemy forces bypass you so you can attempt side engagements. Not a great choice, but it's an option - one best used with turreted TDs instead of the towed AT guns you adore so much.

      I'll let you have the concession on the correct term being self propelled for the individual gun; however the explanation of motorised vs mechanised is correct, by NATO standards. Self propelled tracked guns are mechanised assets. :V

      James, I've given you multiple options that the Apaches can use. If your understanding is really that good, you should have been able to look at those multiple plans of attack and consider the possibilities. I will not spoon feed you. If you really are the expert you believe yourself to be, you should be able to look at this sentence - "There's nothing stopping the Apaches from using a mix of going high and slow or low and fast or however they want to engage the WW2 tanks." - and be able to come up with multiple possibilities of how the Apaches will engage, and consider possible counters to those possibilities. Unless, that is, your own understanding is more limited than you had initially believed, and instead of dealing with that, you're lashing out at me. But very well, I'll lay it out for you.

    26. The Mobelwagon, Wirbelwind and Ostwind are the SPAAGs brought along by the WW2 force. Now, compared to modern SPAAGs, they're quite inferior. Shit comms. Exposed crew. No search radar, so they can't detect targets at a distance. The guns are manually sighted and fired, so accuraccy is going to be crap. And the guns aren't gyrostabilised, so trying to fire on the move is a fools errand. Let's look at the guns:

      The Wirbelwind uses the 2cm Flakvierling 38, which has a maximum range of 2,200 meters.
      The Ostwind and Mobelwagen use the 3.7mm Flak 18, which has a maximum range of 4,800 meters.

      What's going to happen is that first, using Predators or Kiowas, the WW2 force is going to be scouted out. The SPAAGs are going to be identified. And then they'll be engaged. By rights strike packages would be rolled out onto the targets but that'd be just a turkey shoot as the strike package drop JDAMs, cluster bombs and Mavericks on the WW2 force and easily wipe it out, unthreatened by the ineffective SPAAGs. Do note that Maverick missiles have a range of 22km - 22,000 meters. You can drop JDAMs on this force from 28km out. Keep your aircraft at 30,000 feet and they can drop PGMs on your WW2 force and its pathetic SHORAD all day long.

      But that's boring (if practical), so let's go with Apaches. Having been advised of targets by the Kiowas and Predators, the Apaches know that their Hellfires outrange the air defense - 8,000 meter range for the Hellfire is nothing to scoff at! So they stay out of range of the AD and methodically pick them off, and then they're free to rampage among the tanks with impunity. And your SPAAGs aren't going to know what hit them, since, like I said, no radar.

      A Tunguska is effective SHORAD. The Wirbelwind, Ostwind and Mobelwagen /aren't./

      You keep talking about the smoke screen. No matter how many times you talk about WW2 tank smokescreens, I will continue to repeat: diesel smoke is ineffective against the Imaging Infrared seeker of the Javelin. It may as well not exist. Your refusal to acknowledge this fact is proof that you're debating in bad faith, and that you're not as knowledgeable as you think you are. You're also using misleading statistics: combat accuraccy of the Pak 43 at 2000 meters was 43% with PzGr 39/43 APCBC-HE and 47% with Pzgr 40/43 APCR. (http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tiger2.htm) In addition you equate the Pzgr 39/42 Armor Piercing Capped with Ballistic Cap - High Explosive shell with the pure HE shell of the 8cm Granatwerfer 34. This is a simplistic analysis and a flawed reasoning: one is an APCBC-HE shell, which is not pure HE, and the other is a dedicated HE round. Also, without knowing the specific amount of explosive filler in the round, we cannot say for sure how effective a near miss would be.

      You also assume that a Javelin team would be able to get off two to three shots before being suppressed. Here's the thing: as soon as they fire, they can reposition. This ability, something you discounted earlier, is what is going to keep the Javelins in play longer than dug in towed AT guns. Meanwhile your AT guns are stuck in position and can't relocate and are going to be easier targets.

      You bring up firing signature of Javelins again and claimed "and even with a soft launch option, their firing signature is never going to be smaller than a guns." Please refer to the videos above. In addition:

      PTRD-41 Antitank rifle (totally useless, and has more smoke than Javelin): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIU1eJk-P5A
      37mm M3 AT gun (more smoke than Javelin, also not as effective): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utaE6cRcgzY

      I don't really think I need to get more videos, do I?

    27. I'm interested in looking up your sources for the side kills in the ETO, but I'll concede that more tanks in the ETO were killed by side shots. Point to you. Still, 37% frontal hits is not an insignificant number. Being able to frontally kill an MBT is still a useful feature - the gun works all the time from every angle. I feel no need to argue again the points I've already made.

      Your argument is that the slower speed of a Javelin vs a sabot round is an issue firing at 2000 meters. I agree that this is an issue against modern tanks (since it does give the tank time to use countermeasures and active defenses), but this is a nonissue against WW2 tanks which lack ATGM countermeasures and active defenses. As I repeatedly say, even if the WW2 tanks generate smoke, it's pointless because the Javelin's IIR seeker can see through smoke. Now, if it was modern IR smoke, designed to defeat thermal imagers, then yes, the WW2 tanks might have a chance - BUT THEY DON'T HAVE IR SMOKE. This even assumes the WW2 tanks will know they've been engaged - remember the videos I linked?

      With regards to night vision goggles, you can have this concession. It was my fault for not clarifying what I meant: most infantry NVGs are image intensifiers that /see the IR spectrum/, which can be obscured by smoke; however there /are/ NVGs that use thermal imagers, which can see through smoke. Vehicle nightvision systems are predominantly thermal imagers, and likewise can see through smoke. I assumed that you were astute enough to know what I was talking about. It seemed quite obvious to me. Evidently, it was not obvious to you.

      On the topic of antitank battalions, my own research indicates that the dedicated antitank battalion was a thing in the Soviet Army, but I have not found any sources indicated this is still practiced in the Russian Army. Your sources would be appreciated. I should also point out two more things:
      1) Your diagram is not for an antitank battalion. The Soviet-style AT battalion has a towed AT gun battery, an ATGM battery, headquarters element and Service battery. Hell, the diagram explicitly names the force as a Motor Rifle Battalion. Note that the MRB would have an AT platoon tooling about in 1-2 IFVs, of which similar things existed in the US Army - every battalion has its own AT assets in addition to squad level AT weapons. (That would be the Sagger teams.)
      2) A Soviet/Russian force /is/ a modern force. :p It's just that throughout your "article" and this discussion your assumption has been that "modern = American". Russian is also modern. :p

      You further state: "As for the americans, there is no set of protocols which could enable them to put forward an effective anti-tank defense. If they are subjected to attack by a column of tanks, all they'll have are some guys with a rocket launcher."

      I direct you to the Battle of 73 Easting where G Troop fought a defensive battle with Abrams tanks, Bradley IFVs and even the military intelligence platoon trading fire with Iraqi dismounts. Even taking away tanks, the IFVs tagging along with the infantry will put up a good fight against the WW2 tanks, and this is the sort of stuff Bradley crews dream of. Plus as I've mentioned earlier, air support and artillery. We're starting to rehash old ground here.

      Quoting Storr is all fine and well, but he - and by extension you - continue to talk about WW2 as your primary context, and you have not recognised that warfare has changed in the last 7 decades.

      So long as you don't recognise that, this is never going to end.

      Still, I have to laugh at how much this thing is derailed. And to think I started out with low hanging fruit, haha.

    28. Most of your comments are just waffle, and try to fudge the history of how our debate progressed. I already told you why I was suspicious about your post times coinciding with that of other posters, theres no need for your long winded commentary to obscure this. Since I never downplayed LAWS effectiveness to begin with, how can that be seen as a concession? You don't seem to understand the duality of combat. When the WW2 force is on the attack, the modern force is on defense (by definition). You get confused when I give attention to the other side of the coin, I.E, modern force on the offensive and WW2 force on the defensive. I know what danger close and broken arrow are. Calls for support take time to materialise, and if the moderns get overrun too quickly, it won't have any influence on the battle.

      'Furthermore, you keep ignoring the matter that it is impossible for a WW2 armored force to sneak up to its modern equivalent at night or day, given the heat all those tanks are radiating. Really, they'd be prime targets for J-STARS or Predator or FACs to find, who'd then roll strike packages onto those tanks, turning the field into Highway of Death 2: Armored Bugaloo.'
      This is utter nonsense, for reasons I already discussed in my article. Your infatuation with passive recce ignores many recent examples of failure. In the 2nd gulf war, JSTARS were unable to detect three iraqi brigades moving across the desert (which is perfect sensor terrain) to repel an american battalion trying to cross the euphrates river. Those bridgeheads were a major objective: In theory, there should have been aircraft been flying over it constantly and providing regular updates to the battalion HQ. But in practise, they didn't have a clue what was on the other side of the euphrates, and only learned about the counter-attack at the last minute. In cluttered european terrain, with enemys that are adept at camouflage and concealment, this kindof thing will happen all the time.

      You have also ignored every single thing I've said which outlines why tanks are not a replacement for anti-tank guns (towed or motorised). You should try to actually address my reasoning, instead of just claiming the opposite. About the muzzle flash, I've seen some of those videos before, they don't convince me. Are you aware that the condition of a weapon can influence its firing signature? Those are 70 year old guns which have been stored in unknown conditions.

      Mobelwagon, wirbelwind and ostwind are indeed inferior when compared to the shilka, gepard, and tunguska. But they are better than what modern day americans have, which is exactly squat. They are completely dependant on stinger missiles, some mounted on humvees, but most carried on the backs of soldiers. The WW2 germans were much more diverse and capable when it came to anti-air. Don't forget that they also had large numbers of ground attack aircraft. Venturing into the realm of CAS is a losing proposition.

      'You're also using misleading statistics: combat accuraccy of the Pak 43 at 2000 meters was 43% with PzGr 39/43 APCBC-HE and 47% with Pzgr 40/43 APCR. (http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tiger2.htm) In addition you equate the Pzgr 39/42 Armor Piercing Capped with Ballistic Cap - High Explosive shell with the pure HE shell of the 8cm Granatwerfer 34. '
      I drew my figures from wikipedia. In an interesting coincidence, as soon as I went back to confirm them, the numbers were changed. Just goes to show how unreliable public resources are. A few percentage points don't make for any real difference. Also, I specifically said that the tankers would be using HE rounds against the ATGMs. The comparison with an 81mm mortar round is hardly reasonable, given that an 88mm shell actually outweighs it.

    29. As for the battle of 73 eastings, the fact that you'd use that as a measuring point explains much. You really should read up on the literature about this, the iraqi army is one of the weakest militarys in the middle east. According to stephen biddle: ''But without better tactical performance, no improvements in strategy or operational art could have changed the Iraqis' fate much in a shooting war. Even outnumbered U.S. attackers annihilated dug-in, actively resisting Iraqi defenders by frontal assault in close combat; if the troops behind the triggers cannot kill targets under such conditions, it is hard to see what even virtuoso generalship could do to change the results.''

      I could do a complete debunking of everything you've said, but to be honest, my patience has passed its limits. You have an admirable amount of resolve, but you're too heavily bound by orthodox thought. The reason we are butting heads is that we don't view warfare in the same light. The difference in anti-tank capabilitys is a question that deserves more than just an argument. I'm going to do an article on this sometime in the future, which will better explain the concepts I failed to get across to you. It won't be ready for a while, so check back every few days. If you still disagree with me, we can resume the discussion there on more solid ground!

    30. You do realise that the americans have shit for ground based mobile AA because they would sweep the skies clean of any opposition first right? I mean the USAF is still a thing. Or is that something you are not going to allow?

    31. James, when you open up with referring to your opponenet's arguments as waffle, I really have to laugh. I mean, I get that you realise you're on shaky ground, but if you're trying to discredit someone really, there are much better terms to use than waffle.

      "kesler12, also known as TheJamesRocket, your posts here use rhethoric to obscure the fact that your position is unsound and you are unable to effectively rebut me, and rather than argue the points, you instead cast aspersions on me with the aim of deflecting attention off your points and the argument, and onto me. As you have been doing this throughout this debate, and your efforts intensify after every rebuttal I post, I can only conclude that you are debating in bad faith and are insincere in your intentions."

      Now, /that's/ how you do it. :V

      Incidentally, I wouldn't needed to have made that thorough commentary on post times if you hadn't made reply turnaround such an issue. You brought this on your self. :p (But srsly, 55 hours to make a 2 comment reply? You're slipping, James. :p)

      James, I dare say I have a better understanding of combat than you. Regardless of what you're saying, WW2 towed AT guns (and towed AT guns in general) on the defense was an irrelevant tangent since 1) your initial premise was WW2 tanks attacking and 2) WW2 at guns will do jack and shit to modern MBTs, be they Abrams, Leopard II, Challenger II, Armata, T-80, and so forth. In addition,

      I should also note James is that you assume that the WW2 tanks are basically attacking a HQ/picket of some sort, defended only by infantry. I've gone along with that assumption because if your WW2 tanks actually by some miracle manage to flank or get behind an American armored force that's advancing to attack... they'll just get slaughtered by the tanks, since none of their guns can do jack and shit to an Abrams' armor. But that's /boring./ :p

      Your whole assumption here relies on the pickets being surprised, which smacks of fiat on your part, since any competent infantry picket is going to detect tanks in the open that are coming after them, from far off. You've implicitly agreed that the Javelin teams will get a chance to fire from at least 2000 meters away, which means they will detect those tanks at 2000 meters out. Furthermore, assuming an advance speed of 20km/h, it's going to take Panzer IV about 6 minutes to reach the pickets (a rough advance of 333.3m per minute) and about 4 minutes to get into firing range. Close, but not impossible for artillery and air support, and Javelin's 14.5 second flight time doesn't seem as bad now. :p (And to pre-empt you, I will continue to reiterate that WW2 tank smoke is ineffective against IIR seekers.)

      You keep harping on /one/J-STARS failure in the Gulf War. That was 24 years ago. Sensors and training have advanced in that time. Again, you are ignoring or unaware that in addition to J-STARS the US Army operates Kiowas in the scout role to provide an organic recce capability to the parent unit (to say nothing of Predators, FACs in scout aircraft, and the shitload of UAVs present, as well as the military intelligence platoon(s) running SIGINT missions). And cav scouts in M3 Bradleys and recon Humvees are a thing. Really, the modern American force has more recce assets available to it than its opposing force. In addition, camoflage and concealmeant work only as long as you're standing still; once you light up your engines and go on the attack, you give up your concealment, you're radiating heat and you can be picked up on IR. And the Fulda Gap isn't as hot as the Iraqi desert...

    32. I'll concede that the Pak 43's dedicated HE round probably has more explosive filler than the 81mm mortar round, but my point, which you've ignored, is that without knowing the actual trajectory of the round and the amount of explosive filler it's difficult to quantify the effects. I'm assuming that the trajectory of the Pak 43's round is going to be flatter than that of the mortar (since it /is/ being fired in direct fire mode), so any miss is going to either fall short or blow past the ATGM crew; meanwhile the mortar round is coming down from high, so even if it misses a direct hit on the ATGM crew it's still going to land in the general area.

      Which I should also note is also an argument for tracked TDs rather than towed AT guns, since the Sprut SD, Centauro and Stryker MGS are protected against artillery shrapnel (as I've said earlier). Albeit the MGS is an assault gun and antitank work is outside of doctrine; that said the L7 105mm gun firing HE at WW2 tanks is still going to fuck them up spectacularly.

      I don't discount the advantages modern AT guns have over ATGMs. That's why those AT guns are mounted in tanks, because that gives them better survivability, maneuverability and crew protection, James. And I believe I've also spoken favorably of the Sprut-SD, which is superior to the towed Sprut-A and Sprut-B by virtue of being carried in a tracked chassis that gives better protection to the crew compared to its towed brethren. It's not a tank, but still quite useful enough, and offers significant advantages over its towed brethren. Your argument with the antitank battalions could work just as well with Apaches or Sprut-SDs or even, hello, ATGM IFVs (which your vaunted Soviet AT battalions used, apart from giving out RPG-7s like candy).

      As for your assertions on muzzle flash and firing signature... this is the Abrams on live fire excercises. Skip to 1:25: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ykceZqxR00

      Also, this is the Sprut-SD, mounting the Russian AT gun I mentioned earlier. Skip to 1:22 for firing. Note the muzzle flash and firing signature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz4WDtF9ias

      And since you took the easy way out by casting aspersions on the modern videos of the WW2 guns I linked, here's a quick video on the Pak 36, Pak 38 and Pak 40, using historical WW2 footage. Watch the whole thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9yecemugWo

      Now, you claim the US Army's lack of SHORAD is a glaring flaw. The reason the US Army has not invested as much effort into SHORAD, compared to the Russians or other nations, is simple: because the USAF has a clear mission of attaining and maintaining air superiority to allow the US Army to operate. Look up AirLand Battle someday. To sum it up, the USAF can bring enough numbers to the fight that it can secure the skies, allowing the US Army to operate unmolested by enemy aircraft. This is why the bulk of the US Army's SHORAD assets are Stinger platforms of some kind, because the primary perceived threat isn't going to be CAS aircraft, but attack helicopters trying to ninja. In contrast, the Soviet Army had zero confidence the Soviet Air Force would be able to secure air superiority, which is why they built a shitload of mobile SAMs and SPAAGs and handed them out generously.

      You also assert the Stinger is less effective than WW2 german SPAAGs. Do note that the Stinger has a range of 8km, vs 2.2km for the 2cm Flakvierling 38 and 4.8km for the 3.7cm Flak 18. While the Bradley Linebackers have been converted to normal Bradleys and the LAV-AD was withdrawn from service, that was due to the needs of the Iraq War. With them in the picture, they can fire on the move and still protect the crew inside, unlike the open-topped SPAAGs you cite. Hell, the Avenger has better cross country mobility than those SPAAGs, and again, can fire on the move while being faster.

      You're also forgetting that Patriot batteries are a thing, btw. :V Mobile long-range SAMs, the shortest range of which is 70km.

    33. You cite CAS aircraft. I've already spoken about US army organic air defense. Now when you sent that huge wave of bombers and ground attack aircraft? They're going to be easy targets for fighters on patrol. Not even talking about F-22s, the teen fighters - hell, Vietnam-era fighters! - would wipe the floor with WW2 aircraft. Remember the USAF's role? Secure air supriority for the Army.

      I'm aware of the Iraqi army's ineptitude, of which there are a great many involved factors and reasons (I've seen one argument advanced that so many Iraqi units hunkered down when attacked because they thought they were under air attack instead of tanks). What you are unaware of is that the Battle of 73 Easting was not just H.R. McMaster running roughshod over the Iraqis. I'm referring to the engagement that was part of the battle, where Captain Joe Sartiano's G Troop fought a fierce six-hour defensive battle. I quote from "Jayhawk! The VII Corps in the Persian Gulf War", by Stephen A. Borque:

      "By 4:40, Captain Joe Sartiano’s G Troop had gained a position on a ridge overlooking a wadi at and parallel to the 73 Easting, north of E Troop. As the Regiment’s northernmost unit, G Troop secured an open flank until the 3rd Armored Division’s cavalry squadron arrived to occupy its own positions along the 70 Easting.

      "Sartiano’s men engaged Iraqi 18th Brigade tanks in defensive positions initially. Very quickly, however, G Troop found itself facing counterattacks by tank units of both the Tawakalna Division and the Iraqi 12th Armored Division. Additionally other Iraqi units attempted to retreat to the north along the wadi and that led them directly into G Troop’s position.

      "By 6:30, the first of several waves of Iraqi T-72 and T-55 tanks advanced into the wadi. Fierce fighting ensued as wave after wave of tanks and infantry charged the troop. Combat became so intense at times that only massed artillery and mortar fires, attack helicopters and Air Force close air support prevented the enemy from closing with G Troop. At one point a Military Intelligence (MI) Platoon from the 2nd ACR's 502nd MI Company had to suspend its signal intelligence operation and return the fire of Iraqi soldiers who exited a burning BMP-1 and continued to attack.

      "During the six-hour battle, the G Troop fire support team called in 720 howitzer and MLRS rounds while using its own mortars continually to turn back attackers at close range. By 9 p.m., G Troop had expended all its TOW missiles and was becoming desperately short on 25mm and 120mm cannon ammunition. To remedy the emergency, Lt Colonel Kobbe sent his tank company, Captain Bruce Tyler’s Company H (“Hawk”), to relieve the troop. By then, G Troop had destroyed “at least two companies of Iraqi armor. Hundreds of Iraqi infantrymen and their lightly armored transporters lay scattered on the wadi floor."

      Hardly a cakewalk for G Troop. :V And that's still a good demonstration of a US army force fighting a defensive battle.

      Lastly, you say:

      "The reason we are butting heads is that we don't view warfare in the same light."

      This is quite the understatement. :p I also find it hilarious that you accuse me of being wedded to orthodox thought when all your paradigms are based on WW2. :p Blessed is the mind too small for doubt, I suppose! :V Also, hilariously, you keep making the mistake of conflating modern with American. I suppose the Russian army is not a modern army, lol. :p

      Well, I think in the balance I've come off the better of this little storm in a teacup you've been having here. :p

  3. Sides, What kind of qualifications do you have? Apart from your right hand, some girly mags and pictures of famous world war II talking heads?

    1. And what do we have here, another anyonymous cocksucker who thinks he can sling insults with the king. I don't even know who the fuck I'm responding to now (since you idiots don't bother to identify yourselves), but I'll assume you are a different person than the other 2.

      Heres some survival advice: The next time you try preaching to me about war and sex, try taking a look at your knuckles. They're white. They ain't hit nothing', just like your penis.

  4. What the hell is this.

    You speak about knowing so much about military affairs, why don't you debate it like a reasonable person over at Spacebattles, instead of running your mouth over on your blog and omitting the facts that any reasonable person would know.

    This debate isn't even worth much of a discussion, this is about common sense more then anything else. A modern army will beat a WWII army, it's as simple as that. We have guided missiles, and you have a misguided intellect.

    Show some common courtesy, and don't blather on about shit that you clearly don't know about, or even give inadvertent messages to actual people who have served in the actual military. Y'know, the kinda person who might actually know more about the gear that they actually use outside of a military scientist.

    So what if you or your work got shit piled on, it's up to you to provide the facts and know what you're on about, otherwise people are going to take the liberty of correcting your mistakes, either liberally, or with the odd rude comment or two. It's up to you to either take in the input and learn and accept new things, or slap it aside and retain your original viewpoint... your original viewpoint that is extremely wrong and even invalid, i might add.

    In conclusion, your viewpoint about WWII beating a modern army is wrong, your attitude is downright shitty, and your factual evidence is going down the drain. Worse still is the way that you selected out your bits of data and omitted others, yeah, you aren't exactly furthering your case here.

    Call us whatever you will, but at least i don't delve into the business of preaching 24-carat shit. Take that as you will.

    Now, either get out there and start 'learning', or continue ranting about like a raving loon, either way, don't start flinging shit because you don't like what people are telling you.

    1. Jesus christ, you guys are even lamer than I thought. 'Come on james, lets go fight in my backyard! I bet your too scared to, nah nah!' The only reason I even subscribed to your lame ass website was so that I could sqaure things up with the four horseman of the fucktard-aclypse. If you have something to say to me, there are two options: Send me a PM on spacebattles.com, or (this is the more suicidal option) come onto this blog and try antagonising me. Under no circumstances will I be lured into the middle of your angry mob: I know your modus operandi, spacebattles.com babies only win arguments through dogpiling.

      'This debate isn't even worth much of a discussion, this is about common sense more then anything else. A modern army will beat a WWII army, it's as simple as that. We have guided missiles, and you have a misguided intellect.'
      Your position is best summarised as: 'I've got jack shit to work with except for intuition, and my own shallow understanding of military affairs.' How about you start listing some reasons why modern armys are so fucking fantastic? Don't just spout off with hardware wankery, try giving some attention to organization, inter-service cooperation, resource allocation, personnel selection, training, etc. You would do well to examine my article on military misconceptions, specifically, the part dealing with combat power. If you can read those 2 paragraphs, then I'll treat you with some respect. http://kesler12-jamesrocket.blogspot.ca/2015/05/misconceptions-about-warfare.html

      'Show some common courtesy, and don't blather on about shit that you clearly don't know about, or even give inadvertent messages to actual people who have served in the actual military. Y'know, the kinda person who might actually know more about the gear that they actually use outside of a military scientist.'
      Another sign of your ignorance: Art is neither war nor science, as comprehensively demonstrated by jim storr. The fact that people can say 'military scientist' with a straight face shows how badly in need the military is for a paradigm shift.

  5. Claiming victory and then fleeing instead of responding to those who criticise you might work on youtube, but not on spacebattles, where you have become a laughingstock.

    1. How the fuck can I be construed as fleeing, goose head? I never entered onto your debate forum, never said that I would, and have no obligation to. The only reason that thread exists is because Dark Voice panicked after I started laying into him during our 1 on 1. He claimed he would give me a beat down, and started trying to debunk my sources.

      All it took was 1 response from me, and Dark Voice realised just how in over his head he was. He pissed off the school bully and ran to you fags for support. So stop trying to run interference for this kid, I am teaching him a valuable lesson. On my site, you have exactly 2 options: Respond to the article above, or put your tail between your legs and get lost.

    2. Well, yanno, you /did/ join SB in order to PM people. That's ipso facto joining the forum. :p And then you came back here with no intent to engage with the people debunking you (of whom a fair number have served, whereas you haven't),

      I do think it's telling that you were mainly going after Dark Voice, the weakest person among all those debunking what you were claiming. Low hanging fruit much?

      Still, casually throwing insults around and accusing people of being both homosexuals and illegally smuggled cigarettes does your credibility no favors. :p I also find it quite funny that you yourself have retreated here, and yet are insisting that people come here to debate you.

      Which, I allow, is excellent tactical posturing on your part, given that if the War Room's posters descended en masse on your little blog here, that'd be a crossboard invasion, which SB's rules forbid. Clever boy! :p

    3. I meant to say thread, but then you knew that. I'm still engaged in a PM debate, in between responding to you, and browsing Mjolnir66s rebuttal. Its not as bad as the crap you lot have posted, but I still found many problems with it. Its quite exhaustive, so I won't have a response for him immediately.

      As for bullying Dark Voice, he said some really stupid shit (and had way too much confidence while saying it), so I had an obligation to rip him a new one. Cherry picking or not, he had it coming.

    4. I think it's rather telling that you self identify as a bully. :p Still, by your own words, I presume you won't mind being ripped a new one yourself, haha.

      Ah, but then I supposed such a towering intellect such as yourself should never be subjected to the same standard he uses on others, haha! :V

  6. Do you actually take yourself seriously?

    I mean, you're attempting to debate the points brought up by posters on SB, but you went about it in literally the worst way possible. Instead of addressing the posters and their arguments directly *on the debate forum that they were posted on*, you retreat to your little fiefdom to snipe and grandstand at the so-called "lolcows" from the safety of a one-man echo chamber.

    This isn't even taking into account just how deeply flawed each of your "refutations" is. If you care to try again, by all means join us. The link is in the first comment in the section.

  7. I would come and address your points here, but the formatting doesn't work here. I don't know why you won't do it here, because exactly the same thing will happen here as elsewhere except it will be harder to read.

    So I'll just say this, you have nothing. You don't understand war beyond a C&C level RTS level. You are a standard armchair general who thinks he knows better than people who have dedicated their lives to warfare, and you really don't. And it shows.

    1. Keep beating your chest, it won't make a difference. There are donkeys who have seen more wars than you, but that doesn't mean they know more about warfare. I'm going through your response now. You are a cut above the others, I admit, but I'll eventually debunk you. The facts are on my side.

  8. Sooooo.... given how we are all unqualified to actually tell you about our jobs.

    What makes you so special that you can tell what? Several active personnel about their rice bowls?

    It's telling how the only thing you have is insults when pressed for your qualifications.

    1. Whats your definition of being qualified, doing a job for a long time, or doing the job properly? Within militarys bureacracys, stagnancy sets in like decay all the time. Civilians support the military with their taxpayer dollars, its in their best interest to know whether they are getting the maximum bang for their buck.

      If there is evidence of complacency and arrogance (which you fools have provided an abundance of), then someone needs to shack things up and get new ideas circulating. If that threatens your fragile little ego, then too bad. The military is not an old boys club closed to outsiders, there must be feedback loops with civilians, or we'll end up with a force as pathetic as the italians.

    2. You are avoiding the question. What makes gives you the authority, the knowledge or if you want to be rough, the street cred to tell other people that their experience doesn't matter one iota? I mean all you do is complain and complain.

      You gonna actually answer the questions or are you just going to spend it trying to run circles and avoiding the questions to your competence. I mean if you are so qualified to dismiss everything we throw at you. I'm pretty sure your qualifications will blow us out of the water. Sad enough, what qualifications you did brag about, being Youtube commenter and Hotshit with a blog isn't exactly what someone puts on a resume of any sorts. So you wanna actually tell us why you can just literally tell us that our experience is worth nothing when compared to yours? Because quite frankly, this is your blog and already, quite a few of us are running rough shod all over you on your own blog even. Sure, we can't as you say dog pile you on your blog, but hey, we can certainly make you look like a child throwing a horrible tantrum, hell it's already working.

      I mean, it's hilarious. The moderator who locked the thread stepped in because he had likened watching us rumble around in the thread as beating down a dyslexic individual.

    3. Come on, this isn't something you need several hours to do. I mean it's just a simple question of competance.

      Quite frankly, I doubt you have anything to say in regards to your qualifications that wouldn't make you look like a smoke stack blowing hot air.

    4. I think you are stuck in the appeal to authority stage. To you, more qualified equals more courses at the military academy. Your definition of 'more qualified' doesn't equal better thinking about war itself, quite the opposite, since military theorists get so stuck inside their own paradigm they can't conceive of contrasting approachs. My only qualifications are that I have been studying warfare since I was 8 or 9 years old, and done so entirely outside of military academys. Inside the military blogosphere, I am something of a rarity. A civilian with enough understanding of history and counter-intuitive analysis to know when military theorists are out of their element. None of this makes sense unless you are familiar with thomas kurhns work, which explains that scientific fields can get bogged down by foundational assumptions that are simply untrue. http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/images/KuhnCycle/KuhnCycle_BasicCycle.png

    5. So, you have no experience beyond what you can get off the internet and off books. Gotcha.

    6. Now who's beating his chest? :p Protip: It's not Mjolnir, and it's not any of us from SB. :p

  9. Replies
    1. Don't think that silly pseudonym will fool me. I track who comes onto my blog, and from where. You are another spacebattles.com baby. Going by the comments that were left on my profile (and the time you commented here), you are either Rufus ShitStain or Blindboy GoatFucker.

      So if you've got something you want to say to me, feel free to speak up. Of course, I'm probably going to respond in a very colorful and ill tempered manner, so maybe you shouldn't :) My ban wears off tomorrow, BTW.

  10. Wow, kiddo. In my 12 years of service, I have rarely seen such a simpleton on military matters.

  11. I just spent 1 hour of my life reading the above posts. My conclusion is, you guys are odd. I was entertained for an hour, now I am done.

  12. Everything you said is true. Its a weird discussion to have, and neither side conducted themselves very well. They trolled me, and I trolled them back. The comment section here is proof of the immaturity. With that said, I still believe that most of the spacebattles.com babies used fraudulent arguments. Wild Goose made specific claims about the AH-64 helicopters being able to massacre a tank formation. Here are some things he never considered:

    First, the apaches TADS sensors cannot reliably DETECT a foliage- or textile-camouflaged vehicle at more than 6 km. If those tanks are carrying haystacks or tree branchs, they should be fine.

    Second, the TADS cannot IDENTIFY a vehicle as friendly, hostile, or civilian at more than 2 to 4 km (depending on circumstances). They can effectively FIRE at that range, but it might be a waste of ammo.

    Third, lock on after launch has never proven to be practical with the hellfire missile, despite unsubstantiated claims about buddy lasing.

    Fourth, in order to take advantage of the hellfires 8 km max range, the launching helicopter would need to fly so high up that it could be targeted by distant 88mm flak guns (which have a very high effective ceiling).

    Fifth, the apaches 30mm cannon can only fire 300 rounds before having to take a ten minute break to allow the gun to cool, and this assumes the gun never jams or malfunctions.

  13. And in case anyone else is still perusing this thread, wondering whether or not Wild Goose had made valid points, I'll put the final nail in the coffin. I originally decided not to publish these comments, but that turned out to be a suckers move. The cats out of the bag now!

    'You keep talking about the smoke screen. No matter how many times you talk about WW2 tank smokescreens, I will continue to repeat: diesel smoke is ineffective against the Imaging Infrared seeker of the Javelin.'
    You know perfectly well that I was discussing the smoke dischargers mounted on the turret. These used an HC mixture of zinc powder and hexachlorethane, NOT diesel smoke. Although it isn't effective against thermal imagers, it can block laser beams and obscure NVGs. All ATGMs rely on lasers for rangefinding.

    'You're also using misleading statistics: combat accuraccy of the Pak 43 at 2000 meters was 43% with PzGr 39/43 APCBC-HE and 47% with Pzgr 40/43 APCR.'
    I was referring to the kwk 36 gun mounted on the tiger 1 tank, NOT to the pak 43 anti-tank gun! Remember, the tank thats leading a panzerkiel and being shot at by those ATGMs? The 88mm kwk 36 does in fact have an accuracy of 50% against a 2.5 x 2 meter target at 2000 meters.

    'I'll concede that the Pak 43's dedicated HE round probably has more explosive filler than the 81mm mortar round, but my point, which you've ignored, is that without knowing the actual trajectory of the round and the amount of explosive filler it's difficult to quantify the effects.'
    Again, thats the kwk 36 we're arguing about, not the pak 43. FYI, the 88mm HE round it used had a filling weight of 1 kg, as compared to the 81mm HE rounds filling weight of 0.68 kg. So my point is actually correct.

    'I'm assuming that the trajectory of the Pak 43's round is going to be flatter than that of the mortar (since it /is/ being fired in direct fire mode), so any miss is going to either fall short or blow past the ATGM crew; meanwhile the mortar round is coming down from high, so even if it misses a direct hit on the ATGM crew it's still going to land in the general area.'
    This is a valid point because a mortar bomb has a parabolic flight path, while a cannon round has an elliptical flight path. Due to the mortars high trajectory and near vertical descent, its bombs will always land in the vicinity of the target, whereas a cannon round can fall short or long.

    'There's nothing stopping the Apaches from using a mix of going high and slow or low and fast or however they want to engage the WW2 tanks.'
    That just tells me you don't know anything about diving or running fires, or the fact that AH-64 pilots are trained to use firing positions for their own safety. Depending upon air temperature (which influences the air density), apaches have a service ceiling of 6.4 km to 5.9 km. Thats when they are 'minimally loaded', IE, not carrying a full payload of 16 hellfires. Whats more, the AH-64s can't actually hover at such a great altitude, they need to move forward at high speed or risk stalling. Using height to get above the ceiling of 20mm and 37mm flak is a fine strategy, but it also exposes the choppers to larger caliber flak.

    'The Apaches also have no hesitation to engage beyond positive identification of the targets to be serviced, as there is no worry of civilian casualties of collateral damage.'
    A very persuasive argument... Until it turns out that the enemy tank you destroyed was a friendly tank, or an expendible decoy meant to sucker gullible pilots. Congrats on wasting an old french truck with a 100 grand missile. That hunk of junk needed to be put out of its misery anyway.

    1. James, you've made many assertions with regard to the Apache's TADS. You don't get to trot your assertions out and then unilaterally declare your victory. Cite your sources. And then while you're at it you might as well see if your assertions still hold up given that 703 Apaches have since been outfitted with Arrowhead, which replaces TADS.

      As for buddy lasing, given that Kiowas have fired Hellfires in Iraq that were lased by Predators, your claim that buddy lasing doesn't work with the Hellfire is bunk.

      Also James, 8 km range doesn't mean you fly 8 km up in a straight line. Ever heard of Pythagoras' theorem?

      And yes, the Apache's gun does need to cool after firing at max sustained rate. ALL automatic weapons need to cool off after sustained firing. That's why you don't fire in max sustained rate but in bursts. Plus well I'm doubtful of the effects firing 30mm HEDP will have on tanks, since penetration is 25mm RHA at 500 meters, but then again you could probably get mobility kills by breaking tracks and or wreck periscopes, optics... but why do that when you have Hellfires? *shrug*

      And no, James, I actually did not know you were referring to the smoke dischargers, as you did not make that clear. It's very tiresome, one year on, to see you "debate" with a presumption of malice.

      Now, let's refer back to FM3-22.37. It instructs the gunner-spotter team to estimate range using a range card. Stadia marks in the CLU are helpfully provided. Thus, the zinc smoke will not affect engagement, because the gunner will use the range card and stadia to estimate the range, sight in with the CLU's IIR sights, aim and fire.

      Let me repeat this again: The Javelin does not use a laser. At all. You may be confused with the US Army's Javelin improvement program, which is aimed at developing a new CLU that will include a laser rangefinder to that range estimation is easier and faster. Again, it bears repeating that lasers play no part in Javelin's guidance.

      I'll concede the Kwk 36 has higher accuracy than the Pak 43 at 2000 meters. That was a typo on my part - I meant to refer to the Kwk 43 gun on the Tiger II. But so what? The same issues that I write the Kwk 43 having will also apply to the Kwk 36, in the context of trying to supress a Javelin team. Do recall your concession on the lower firing signature of Javelin.

      As for how the Apaches engage the tanks, you have several options:

      - They could approach the tank formation at high (relatively) altitude. That high altitude may put them in range of Flak 88 guns but again, at that range the AA crews are going to have issues with target acquisition.
      - They could approach from low altitude. This places them under the firing trajecctory of the Flak 88s (which also can't fire on the move) but allows them to stay out of Ostwind (4.8 km) and Wirbelwind (2.2 km) range, neither of which have the sensors to pick up the Apaches, nor can they fire on the move while escorting a moving tank formation.
      - Or as you said, the Apaches find a nice place to hide, then pop up and salvo Hellfires at the tank formation.

      Note that the Apaches options are somewhat limited because we're artificially having them engage the tanks on their own, instead of combined arms. Point is, there's flexibility in how they can press their attack.

      Recall my words: "Positive identification of targets." Let's not forget that an Abrams has a fairly distinctive shape when compared with German Panzers. Blue Force Tracker is also a thing you know. The Apaches just need to confirm that the area is clear of friendlies and then engage. No such functionality exists for the German side. Now, while your argument of decoy vehicles has some merit, do recall that the assumption is that of Apaches attacking a tank formation on the attack. You don't bring decoy vehicles on the attack with you James. It's quite possible to make a convincing static decoy. It's much harder to make a convincing moving decoy.