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Australian Army Senior Officers Professional Digest

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  • Australian Army Senior Officers Professional Digest

    click on the SOPD link o the left.

    These digests are very interesting in the sense that a lot of stuff is covered. But it's not the same as the Journal in that articles are posted. What the SOPD does is find articles from a range of Military journals over the world, gives the publication details and then gives a brief synopsis of what the article is talking about.

    While not as useful as the articles themselves, I find the SOPD to be good because it lets me know whether I should bother hunting down an article or not. If I like the synopsis, or feel it has some value to me, I'll try and find the resultant article.

    The downside is that sometimes these articles are only available in print, and while the Army might let me look at them, they won't let me take them home to keep

    judge for yourselves.
    Now listening too;
    - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

  • #2
    In particular, I like Riccardo Cappelli's Italian account of the battle of Fallujah. This is a good example of the SOPDs content.

    Cappelli’s article details the experiences of the Italian forces operating as part of the US-led coalition in Iraq’s southern Dhi Qhar province. The Italians faced the Madhi Army of Muqtada Al Sadr in the city of Nasiriyah. In a battle on 5 April 2004, 600 Italians were attacked by insurgents when their mechanised column came in sight of the
    Euphrates River. The Italians were mounted in a variety of vehicles, including the Centauro armoured reconnaissance vehicle equipped with 105 mm cannon, VCCs (a version of the M113) and soft-skinned VM-90P.

    During the battle, which revolved around the crossing of three bridges, the insurgents fired over 400 RPG rounds. However, the Italian casualties were light due to the poor handling of RPGs by the insurgents, who engaged at distances that did not allow the
    grenades time to arm properly. Many RPGs also failed to detonate due to poor maintenance.

    Throughout the battle the insurgents received a constant flow of reinforcements, ammunition resupply and even used ambulances from the city hospital to take away their wounded. The insurgents were also frequently intermingled with women and children, making target acquisition and discrimination difficult, especially as the Italians lacked any air-reconnaissance assets, such as UAVs. The Italian helicopters were vulnerable to ground fire; therefore the force also lacked any form of air support.

    In the course of the battle, between 0600 and 1500, the Italians expended 30 000 rounds of ammunition—a rate that had required resupply
    five times during the fighting. The final casualties were fifteen Italian dead, with estimates of the insurgent death toll ranging between fifteen and two hundred.

    The lessons learnt from this and other major engagements included the observation by the author that Italy needs to spend more money in order to equip its soldiers to fight in urban environments. The list of equipment needed includes UAVs, more observation devices, tanks, combat helicopters and self-propelled artillery. As Cappelli notes, reducing firepower does not help the peace process: the issue is how the force is used, not its equipment. He also makes the case that the Italians require an armoured personnel carrier with more protection than that provided by the current M113 variant. The experience in Iraq has also underlined the need for an armoured, subsonic aircraft to provide air support in urban operations. In matters of doctrine and standard operating procedures, the Italian forces need to revise their existing practices in the light of their operational experiences in Iraq.

    Finally, the author believes that Italy’s armed forces must launch an information campaign to alert Italian politicians to both the potential and limitations of military forces as an instrument of policy.
    I'm hunting down the MilRev issue as I type
    Now listening too;
    - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.


    • #3
      Thanks Ivan, quite an interesting pub!!
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)


      • #4
        yep have to agree, had a look, great wide-ranged synopses.

        BTW on the particular one about the Italians, why didn't they have their own attack helos around, or have US air support?
        "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
        "Hey, you just made that rule up."

        Heil Dicke Bertha!


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