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Which is the most important maneuver arm?

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  • Which is the most important maneuver arm?

    Of the four maneuver arms on the modern battlefield, which do you think has the most combat power? Which plays the most critical role on the modern battlefield? Why?

    Of course, this subject is entirely subjective, but so is everything else we debate around here!
    65
    Infantry
    53.85%
    35
    Artillery
    4.62%
    3
    Armor
    16.92%
    11
    Aviation
    24.62%
    16
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    Infantry.

    I just think they are the most versatile of forces on the field.

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    • #3
      In this day and age aviation is by far. It gives a military force the ability to direct firepower over a far greater range than any other arm of combat.
      http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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      • #4
        That is a difficult question for me to answer. I'm so fixed in the combined arms matrix.

        However, I would have to go with infantry. They are the only force that can take and phyically hold any ground indefinately.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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        • #5
          on defence against overwhelming enemy ground forces: Artillery.
          assaulting urban terrain or holding ground: Infantery
          breaking trough enemy fortified lines: Armor + Infantry
          pissing on enemy forces from above: missiles + planes
          (........ other situations)

          Todays Airforce sure is powerfull but they cant defeat an enemy alone.
          Sure in Irak the weakened Saddams forces but ground troops were still necessary to defeat them.
          In Yugoslavia NATO forces bombed servia troops for weeks but with cease fire the world was amazed to see an almost intact army retreating. The NATO attacks were far less effective because the terrain favored the defender and possibly better trained troops than the Iraquie army were able to fool the attacker with dummies.

          Soooo, evreything depends on terrain, combat situation, wether, the enemy, available information, ....
          Ther just isn''t a BestOf, IMHO
          "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

          Henry Alfred Kissinger

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          • #6
            I choose armor but I actually feel that what makes each great is the support from the other arms.....Isn't that why we call it combined arms.

            _Tim
            "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

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            • #7
              Infantry, the battle field can be filled with tanks and cratered with bombs but whos going to dig in and put up road signs?
              Doesn't read Al Franken, can't watch Al Jazeera, will attack dumbasses. Anyone but Rumsfeld '04.

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              • #8
                My experiance of War.........giving my answer.

                I'm only 23, therfore have not seen much of the world, or heard many of its stories.

                The question asked was what type of Armed Force do I think is the best, All have their strengths and weaknesses. Armour is useless at holding ground or fighting in Urban / Densely wodded Areas, Infantry is by and large poorly equipped, when a British Infantry Officer goes for Basic Training he is told this in his first lesson, '' The basic Infantryman has ten minutes to live on the modern Battlefield''. The Americans have poor Intelligence, they always have done, most of the time they will drop into an enemy division, an area deemed to be non-threatening.

                Artillery supports Infantry and Armour well, but it would be a bit of a problem when the enemy sent its own Armour and Infantry into a direct assault.

                What I have seen of War.

                Falklands war 1982. Although only a young lad the time we went to war with the Argies, I have read up greatly on the subject. The Sea Harrier (then being used operationally fo rthe first time) kept the Argentine Navy at bay, when used from Aircraft Carriers. The R.N.A.F also engaged and shot down many Argentine aircraft, but not enough to stop British ships being destroyed and sunk. However the Helicopters from the Royal Navy Ships did re-supply and re-inforce the British Infantry very well.

                Gulf War 1990. I was just starting Comprehensive when this war broke out, i'd seen pictures of the Iran-Iraq war, i'd seen the Basij boys go into battle on the News. I read the papers too, however the Iraqi conflict with the Coalition was very different, the Iraqis were beaten before the Armoured Hordes of the Coalition swept forward.

                Balkan Conflict 1998. I remember in the newspapers, each had a banner on saying things like '' Britain at War for 12 Days!'' and so on, I read the reports, I saw the news too, the Yugoslavians were defeated by NATO airpower, yes it is true that a very large army got the chance to retreat out of Kosovo, but the use of the Aircraft in warfare is not just to kill and maim Soldiers and innocents alike, as every weapon should be it was used to deter an enemy which had commited atrocities against its own people, it detered Slobodan Milosovic and his Government not to continue a war which would mean the deaths of thousands of people, yes the Tanks rolled in afterwards, yet none of the enemy were there to stop them, which was the overall strategic target for the bombing campaign.

                Afghanistan 2002.For the first time an airforce has dropped food as well as bombs (even tho the food parcels look like un-exploded cluster bombs), however the Taliban / Al Queda forces have been severly demorilised, and i'm sure many are also dead, the so-called Taliban airforce was destroyed in minutes, the Americans are still flying missions over the country, looking for the terrorists, the troops there are not there primarily to fight, but to police the country.

                I suppose if two sides faced eachother in a campaign, then all of the forces would fight together in the combined arms spectrum, however if I could drop a bomb from ten miles up, onto an enemy which has trouble seeing me let alone firing at me, then i'd choose that over Artillery, Armour, or definatly Infantry. However war is a funny thing, and you first have to find your opponent.
                As I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no Evil.

                For I am the meanest mother f***** in the valley.

                George Patton jr.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deltapooh
                  However, I would have to go with infantry. They are the only force that can take and phyically hold any ground indefinately.
                  That's true, but I would like to see the Gulf War re-fought without Allied airpower. Ugly, very ugly...

                  Of course, combined arms is where real combat power is at, but airpower has become the arm of decision on the modern battlefield. 99% of your modern reconnaissance comes from the Air Force and space-based assets (Air Force also). That intelligence information is absolutely critical to success on the modern battlefield. The US Navy no longer has battleships and that type of conventional firepower. The Navy has essentially become an Air Force at sea.

                  Look at all of the wars since Vietnam. Airpower has been the tool of choice. It can move into position and strike before most of the other forces are even finished with deployment preparations. Modern airpower can deliver unbelievable amounts of concentrated firepower while taking virtually no casualties in return. Since war is fundamentally, "a continuation of politics by other means," the advantages it offers can hardly be overstated.

                  All the maneuver arms play a critical role, however, this isn't 1941. The role of infantry has diminished as it isn't always necessarry or even desirable to take and physically hold ground to accomplish a set of objectives. If I go to war tomorrow and I am forced to take only one maneuver arm, aviation wins hands down. Aviation is the only maneuver arm that can operate independently of the others and is doing so all over the world. How long would infantry, armor, or artillery last without the other arms' support?

                  Good debate
                  Editor-in-Chief
                  GameSquad.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Maddog



                    All the maneuver arms play a critical role, however, this isn't 1941. The role of infantry has diminished as it isn't always necessarry or even desirable to take and physically hold ground to accomplish a set of objectives. If I go to war tomorrow and I am forced to take only one maneuver arm, aviation wins hands down. Aviation is the only maneuver arm that can operate independently of the others and is doing so all over the world. How long would infantry, armor, or artillery last without the other arms' support?

                    Good debate
                    It is all very good but the Air Arm is only decesivly effective when the enemy has no airforce to contend with. Imagine a Gulf war were the Iraqi's had the latest Soviet aircraft and pilots that could fly them.

                    _Tim
                    "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

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                    • #11
                      Well, I guess I see your point, but that's like saying the infantry are only decisivly effective when there are no enemy ground units to contend with.

                      In point of fact the Iraqis had a number of Mig 29s and French Mirage aircraft. These are capable weapon systems that have capabilities in the same league with our own aircraft. Having said that, fighter aircraft are only one portion (albeit an important one) of the available air combat power. Things like E3 AWACs, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles), dedicated CAP assests as well as a myriad of essential support elements (KC-130 refuel aircraft) etc, all add up. When these force multipliers all come into play no modern air force to date has been able to hinder the United States' airpower assets for more than a few hours.

                      My point is that there are armies in the world that could give our own army a very rough ride under many circumstances. There are no air forces anywhere that can contend with us for long.
                      Editor-in-Chief
                      GameSquad.com

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                      • #12
                        I think : none of them alone. You can't win a battle with only one of this arms today. Each arm need the support of other weapon systems. The airforce has an important support and recon role, but can't conquer and hold something. Tanks can maneuver fast, but they can't operate well in difficult terrainer, while support by the other arms is essentially for the infantry - and artillery is nothing but a support weapon.
                        Resistance is futile!
                        My little company

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                        • #13
                          There are no air forces anywhere that can contend with us for long.
                          Not yet perhaps, but no guarantee it will stay that way forever.

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                          • #14
                            As always the key to succes is excellent use of combined arms.
                            However, the air arm is now the single most important. It can go almost anywhere in almost any whether. You can't mount a credible modern offensive, if the other side as significant air superiority. This was demonstrated at least as early as 1944, where Allied air power stopped the smaller but superior German armor units from reaching the front in force, and once there, they were under the threat of not only attacks by fighter-bombers, but also from carpet bombing. The bulge could not have been initiated in good weather with even the most remote chance of succes. The same thing occured in the Pacific, with the added demension of the carrier fleets.

                            Today the air power element has improved much more quickly than the others. The thing it does least well is hold ground.
                            Kampfgruppe Vice Kommandir
                            http://www.kampfgruppe.us

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                            • #15
                              I believe in combined arms also. Air power is the key to domination of any theater, but it alone dosn't win battles.

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