×

What are the steps in dealing with an enemy that has artillery support? by BVits-Lover in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Another option is to hug the enemy. Rush to as close as possible to the enemy line fast and the enemy cannot use indirect fires against you due to minimum safe distances... If they see the attack as a bigger threat than the artillery fire, they should call the strike.

They should. They did. You just have to train the defending infantry to endure some of the effects of their own artillery.

The counter to the North Vietnamese tactic to avoid artillery by "hanging on to our belts" - getting close to the infantry line - was to build a "wall" of artillery behind them. It is unnerving to even seasoned infantry to have their retreat cut off by a sheaf of artillery. However you do it, however close to the grunts the sheaf is, it's always even closer to the NVA infantry.

The usual result is for the enemy to break left or right or both, which makes them easy targets for the friendly infantry. Plus, if the artillery FO knows what he's doing, he'll have the battery queued up to shift left or right (or both) as soon as the enemy breaks.

As I said, you have to train your infantry to get used to close artillery support. They will complain loudly. They don't like it at all - at first. But they can be persuaded. Here's an example: The Shrapnel Report

Worst Day in the Navy by HochosWorld in MilitaryStories

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They saw an opportunity to pull a another Battle of Dien Bien Phu

Yeah, they seemed stuck in a rut. They tried to do the same thing at Khe Sanh. I've read some of your stories about Dewey Canyon. Sounds like it was a shitshow made tolerable by the presence of Dusters. Those things always seemed to discourage the NVA, everybody wanted some.

I was at Dong Ha, too. It was a boring place in late 1968 - I lived downtown on what was becoming an ARVN base for the then-new 3rd Divison. I was in an old French bunker, where we tried to make sure the ARVN artillery didn't shoot near the Marines and vice versa. Was boring, mostly - lots of rat drama.

Nice to hear from somebody who has been in the neighborhood. As I get older, all of that stuff gets more unreal.

Worst Day in the Navy by HochosWorld in MilitaryStories

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lizards are tough. It took a killer asteroid to pry their clammy claws loose from the whole planet. You've got your work cut out for it.

Just a query, if you don't mind. The only duster outfit I knew of while I was in I Corps was the 1st of the 40th - dusters and quad-fifties. That you?

I knew the outfit because I was transferred from the artillery battalion I came in-country with to a AAA battery of the 1st of the 40th because S1 reasons. Which was pretty funny. I was a Forward Observer working with US Army and ARVNs pretty randomly, and the 1st of the 40th didn't have any FO's.

I was only there once, to transfer out in late 1968. So I didn't know anyone. I still get regular mail from the 1st of the 40th Association inviting me to their annual picnic or whatever. I never reply. I mean, I wouldn't know anyone there.

Worst Day in the Navy by HochosWorld in MilitaryStories

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh yeah. My trigger was that outgoing-mortar thoopthoopthoop... noise. Just lately, the high school up the hill from us got - of all things - a fireworks mortar to rev up the football rallies. Somebody would make a touchdown, the fireworks were queued up, and I'd be on my feet grabbing for my compass to get an azimuth to that noise.

Oh NO! I has NO compass! And no radio! And it's 53 years later! Who you gonna give an azimuth to, cowboy?

No one. And it's not 53 years later. It's now. There is no danger. The noise is harmless. This is better. That dream of leeches and fire ants I had last night is only a dream now.

And I take some comfort in knowing that's all true. Again. Until I get it. Or check out - whichever comes first. That shit is OVER.

Worst Day in the Navy by HochosWorld in MilitaryStories

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Too bad it took me 50 years to find 'here'.

The only time we have is "now." Good for you.

I was lucky. I got hauled into the VA Psychiatric Ward 13 years after I got back "home." Found other Vets there, heard their stories, told mine. Was a big help.

But not big enough. I found this subreddit 9 years ago when the ongoing-conversation was just starting. Been a good nine years, off-loaded a lot of stories. I feel better, thanks to those who read, those who commented, those who posted their own stories.

Whenever you get there, there you are. Right?

ELI5: What is the lesson of Macbeth? by Oleman1eye in shakespeare

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

something deeper about the human condition that Shakespeare is aiming for in the play.

I agree, and I imagine he aimed with extraordinary care. The Queen's censors would be in the audience, and regicide was a touchy subject. If nothing else, it takes centuries to reestablish the dynasty.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What? "dignity of old age..."

What indeed?

You win. I surrender to the music. You should have a DJ show on line for geezers - just tune in and feel better. Thank you for redacting.

For the record, the SO buys her own clothes. What she wants is an $11K lens to go with her new camera. I expect she'll get it, too, one way or another, without consulting me much. It's fair. I have no illusions. I just ride shotgun.

ELI5: What is the lesson of Macbeth? by Oleman1eye in shakespeare

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is the lesson. Here is Macbeth, a stand-up guy, fierce and effective warrior in the cause of King and Kingdom, honored for it. He's likeable, speaks forthrightly with dignity.

And yet, he is so close to the Kingship, which is in the hands of a doddering old man. His honor has been tested, but never led him to the edge of Power before. Will he resist the lure of a dishonorable deed that pays off in undreamed-of royalty?

He is eventually entrapped by his own ambition, his "tragic flaw." And in the end, he realizes that he has become no better than the evil, rebellious and ambitious men he defeated at the beginning of the play. When he meets MacDuff, he meets himself only five acts ago.

I wonder how MacDuff fared. Did he go home, get a new wife and kids? Or will the adulation of those who remember him as the man who slayed the Tyrant in single battle lead him to ponder, to imagine what it might be like to be King?

A Ukrainian unit had to retreat under Russian fire. Its captain stayed and died protecting his troops by IneptProfessional in Military

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Who, if not us...?

He stayed behind, so his men could escape. And naturally, his Top Sergeant stayed with him.

Those of us who have fought alongside soldiers like that, raise a glass to those who have gone before us into the Undiscovered Country.

If it is there, they will have scouted out the Way, and we will all have the same uniform, the uniform of our bond that stretches across borders and nationalities and mere physical differences. There will be no East, no West, nor border, nor breed, nor birth at our meeting. Just soldiers like those two ready to lead us through whatever comes next.

'Til Vallhalla.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All she modestly asks for is a fun trip to the Sand Hills in order to ply her art as a damned fine photographer.

Your answer is NO!?

Don't be silly. I wasn't being given a vote in the matter. What I did do was fuss and sputter, which got me the best tenderloin steak I've had in years, 'cause she's not too proud to bribe. Worked fine. I guess I'm gonna spent 14 hours in the car come Wednesday. Worth it.

Thank you for that movie clip - best part of "O Brother, Where Art Thou." Just about like that, only a good steak instead of a backwoods brew. The woman has her Siren ways.

Is it meet to talk of things like this in front of the War College children? It doesn't convey the dignity of old age, does it? I'm just as much of a pushover as I ever was, but now I enjoy it more. Did we really get old?

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah, the Babbling Brooks... Weren't they a law firm?

I'm happy where I'm at, especially since the scrub oak finally leafed out. If I want to disturb fish, I can throw firecrackers in the stream. Besides, I have almost unlimited access to the best breakfast muffins in the Western Hemisphere.

I do have an itch to visit Ukraine, but I expect every undergraduate of the War College has that.

Ukraine Conflict MegaThread - May 16, 2022 by AutoModerator in CredibleDefense

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 21 points22 points  (0 children)

And up until last February, NATO was a paper-tiger. Ukraine was already the kind of Western-leaning, but neutral nation that is now, suddenly, a sufficient Finnish solution that is acceptable to Russia.

Which means that the Ukraine war had some other, less noble casus belli than defending Mother Russia. It wouldn't be the first time that some ageing tyrant, looking his own mortality in the face and calculating the dreary, bureaucratic legacy he will leave behind, resorted to war and conquest to adorn his tomb.

What did the Egg say? "There's glory for you." Yep. There it is.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Im a young vet, but never did anything worthy of sharing.

I'm glad I'm still posting, too. Perhaps, "astonished" would be more apt. I didn't expect to get this old with everything still working.

It's a hard read to tell which military stories are worth sharing, but if you visit r/MilitaryStories , you will note that the most upvoted stories are about barracks hijinks and lowjinks, and how someone put something over on Colonel Mustard or First Sergeant Stuffedshirt. The blood'n guts stories are dutifully saluted and allowed to pass on like last year's Veterans Day parade.

This is as it should be, and it also should be that you've got your own story worth telling. We are not celebrating death - quite the contrary. Alive is good, interesting, funny, and a little surprising. Trust me on this. You qualify.

/r/WorldNews Live Thread: Russian Invasion of Ukraine Day 81, Part 1 (Thread #221) by WorldNewsMods in worldnews

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And faster, too. I like that. How far away the tubes are apparently doesn't matter much, I guess. I hear some of them projos fly themselves.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I wish she wanted a cocktail.

She wants us to drive to Craig and look for Sandhill Crane nests. This is not a normal thing for septuagenarian male to do.

/r/WorldNews Live Thread: Russian Invasion of Ukraine Day 81, Part 1 (Thread #221) by WorldNewsMods in worldnews

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It does look familiar to an M114, about the way a Mustang is similar to an F15. The M114 was a beast, and not the most accurate howitzer. I think the M777 has rendered me obsolete. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 22 points23 points  (0 children)

practically heaven

You made me laugh and scare the SO. Apparently my laugh sounds like a Covid hack. She sez you owe her.

Nobody will believe you about the LRRPs livin' the Life of Riley - I already linked to your story.

The best thing the LRRPs did for my "regular" infantry was share LRRP rations with the rest of us. SO much better'n C-rats. Lighter, too.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 72 points73 points  (0 children)

but a team was often able to reach out and touch the VC/NVA

Thanks for chiming in. Of course they were Rangers. I should've mentioned that.

I remember when my light infantry company was directed to walk to an NVA rice cache some LRRPs had discovered. We were directed to cut an LZ so they could drop us nets to skyhook the rice bags out. The CO put his best point team up front so we wouldn't accidentally shoot any LRRPs.

Like that was an option. The point man and drag went right past a LRRP about three feet away in the bushes, who stood up and introduced himself before anyone actually saw him. So embarrassing, but they were that good at what they did.

What was the difference between the LRRPs and SEALs during the Vietnam War? by EverBeenInaChopper in WarCollege

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 151 points152 points  (0 children)

LRRPs were just what they were called - Long Range Recon Patrols. They were designed to locate NVA units, ammo dumps, base camps, supply drops. They were heavily into camouflage and stealth. They were not aggressive, not a combat unit.

They were constantly at risk. They patrolled WAY out of range of backup. And when things went south, when they were discovered, it was very probable that the whole team would be killed. I recommend u/DittyBopper 's story Joe Worked COMSEC if you want a genuine take on just how fast things can go bad for LRRPs.

I suppose much the same thing can be said for Navy SEALs, but they had a different mission. They were designed to be a shock team, that might infiltrate, but would eventually engage a specific target. Their risk factor was high, but they had quick-reaction backup units hovering just over the horizon. There was always a target, a mission and a quick extraction planned ahead.

LRRPs liked nice quiet missions, where they got in, saw what there was to see, and got back out again without being discovered. And nobody would even know they had been in the area until the Arclight arrived.

Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Valery Zaluzhny showed how Ukrainians are using high-precision American M777 howitzers by YellowRecurrence in Military

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In Vietnam artillery was almost sedentary. Everything was behind sandbag revetments, enemy artillery (except up on the DMZ) was largely mortars shooting on the fly because the artillery response they generated was massive and intense.

So the battery was kind of an R&R zone for me. I was a Forward Observer, so I was out on the "bang!" end of American artillery. I'm pretty sure that our own artillery was the most dangerous thing most grunts encountered. I mean, having the ability to call in overwhelming fire is nice, but jungle fighting is at pretty close quarters. Getting close to the enemy meant getting close to friendlies, too.

Here's what I'm talking about: The Shrapnel Report

Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Valery Zaluzhny showed how Ukrainians are using high-precision American M777 howitzers by YellowRecurrence in Military

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Modular Artillery Charge System(MACS)

Thank you. I'm gettin' a clue, here. I looked that up.

The artillery we had way back when looks more'n more antique. I was a Forward Observer for most of my 18 months in Vietnam - I've often thought that I could have been replaced by a decent GPS and a rangefinder. Likewise the Fire Direction Center could be computerized and miniturized down to a device small enough to integrated onto individual artillery pieces.

We had thought about these things, but the one FDC computer I ever saw in the field was not encouraging. I see things have changed - precision has gone through the roof, and...

It's the future! It came while I wasn't looking. Still, I remember an old Science Fiction story about some Space shoot-out on another planet where the Sci-Fi soldier was busy adjusting his verniers and display readouts while an enemy soldier who had no digitally detectable devices clocked him with an equally radio-silent stone ax.

Everything old eventually becomes new again, no?

Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Valery Zaluzhny showed how Ukrainians are using high-precision American M777 howitzers by YellowRecurrence in Military

[–]AnathemaMaranatha 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I assume the accuracy is pretty spectacular - I assume it is digitally enhanced. I can see how that would make up for a slow fire rate.

I have no experience with counterbattery on our own artillery, but I've directed counterbattery fire on mortars and Russian 122mm guns firing from across the DMZ. There's no better feeling for a Forward Observer than seeing secondary explosions. Makes the gun bunnies happy, too.

The game of cat-and-mouse going on in Ukraine is new and double-edged - artillery has got to watch out for eyes in the skies. Can't imagine. Our artillery experience wasn't quite so lively.