One of the most difficult military operations (although to be fair, none could be considered truly “easy”), and one I’ve recently been looking at in my armchair studies, is the breaching operation. Requiring firepower and engineering in massive and coordinated amounts, its challenge is emphasized in everything that talks about it. Yet what’s equally interesting is that defending against such an attack requires just as much in the way of perfectly synced combined arms as launching it.
It’s a counterintuitive paradox that fortifications (the official term for preparing them called “survivability” ) are important to manuever war and mobile counterattacks are equally important to positional warfare. For the former, I’ll just say that artillery hasn’t exactly gotten less effective since World War I. For the latter, any position can be eventually reduced and overwhelmed with firepower if the opponent is given the chance.
One thought on “The Breach”
An interesting wrinkle in this thought is that with precision munitions – if you can be found, you can be killed. So in the old days you would soak a defensive area with artillery prior to the breaching operation. Today, you soak the area with ISTAR, destroy any defences you find and then carry on with the breach.
Hence the thought of remaining completely mobile and not fixed to a defencive line (Fuller’s land ships). Time will tell and some pieces of ground will continue to demand defences for whatever reason…