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Will there ever be another massive tank battle?
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notageek
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:48 am    Post subject: Will there ever be another massive tank battle? Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23137492

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It's 70 years since Kursk, the largest ever tank battle. Will there ever be another battle involving thousands of tanks on each side or has armoured warfare had its day?

Before dawn on 5 July 1943 explosions lit up the Russian sky and the earth shook to a huge bombardment. As the sun rose, waves of German panzers began rolling across fields of sunflowers and wheat. The greatest tank battle in history was underway.

The Battle of Kursk pitted almost 3,000 German tanks against more than double that number of Soviet heavy armour.

Hitler delayed the offensive - codenamed Operation Citadel - to wait for the arrival of the new Panther. It gave the Russians plenty of time to dig formidable defences and concentrate their own armoured units.

Antony Beevor, author of The Second World War, describes the battle as a "slogging match".

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but such a thing was unlikely even then. War is fought by combined arms, not single weapon systems. People have been declaring cavalry tactics obsolete for 4,500 years, yet somehow we are still using them. Exactly what a tank is will change, but the combination of mobility, firepower, and shock effect remain decisive in many battles, and aircraft, missiles, and frickin' lasers can't seize terrain. Also, recent history offers no useful lessons in full-scale warfare.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent history seems to point towards the effectiveness of maneuver warfare as opposed to attrition. Hence, getting the tanks from point A to point B faster instead of having more of them.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
People have been declaring cavalry tactics obsolete for 4,500 years
Was not cavalry heavily reliant on horses? What do they use now such that the tactics are still used?


wswartzendruber wrote:
Recent history seems to point towards the effectiveness of maneuver warfare as opposed to attrition. Hence, getting the tanks from point A to point B faster instead of having more of them.
++

I think the Discovery Channel had an episode about tanks, and that seemed to be the primary take away on tanks in warfare.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
People have been declaring cavalry tactics obsolete for 4,500 years
Was not cavalry heavily reliant on horses? What do they use now such that the tactics are still used?

Tanks and helicopters. In some cavalry roles, such as reconnaissance and screening, lighter armored vehicles and helicopters now play more of a role, but the basic need to be able to decisively (i.e., before they can respond) outflank, encircle, penetrate, and overrun the enemy (also cavalry tactics), are fulfilled by tanks and will be for the foreseeable future.

Attack helicopters can partially do some of these things, and they are often used to support offensives maneuver. However, the strategic, operational, or tactical situation often requires taking control of terrain. Helicopters can't do that because of their obvious vulnerabilities. One cavalry role that attack helicopters are particularly good at is exploiting the enemy's rear area (because they don't get trapped behind enemy lines as easily).

Tanks, despite being far more mobile on all kinds of terrain than most people believe, cannot operate in swamps, and in mountainous terrain are restricted to trails, roads, ridges, and valleys. In those scenarios, commanders still use cavalry tactics, but must replace tanks with mobile infantry combined with some combination of overwhelming fires. This is what the "Air Cavalry" was developed to do in Vietnam. Both air mobile and air assault infantry can fulfilled this role, but once they are in position, their only key advantage is terrain and the initial surprise, so they can't be used like cavalry in an ongoing sense. They are best used to deny key terrain, hold the shoulders of a penetration, reinforce an encirclement, react to a penetration, and that sort of thing (all historically cavalry roles, because of the maneuver and terrain control, but not being dependent upon the ability to continue to move rapidly or to deliver massive volumes of direct fire). In fact, mobile infantry are better at some of these roles because infantry can hold terrain better than anything else. Some aspects of offense are really a defense in motion; some aspects of defense are offense in motion.

Cavalry tactics are about moving rapidly to hit the enemy hard before he can react, or preventing him from doing the same to you. In the situations where the focus is on terrain (as opposed to attrition or target destruction, which artillery and aircraft are well suited to), tanks, employed as part of a combined arms force, remain highly useful.

Maybe someday cavalry tactics will be carried out by armored hovercraft, Transformer-like "mecha", or even nanobot swarms, but for now the best weapon is for most of that need is tanks. A very specific set of circumstances would have to exist for another tank battle of that scale to occur. It was a world war, remember.
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Last edited by Bones McCracker on Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

YES, there will be one...


Just not here on Teegeeack.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't bet my life savings on it. The Egyptian military just pulled off a coup d'etat. Most of it's senior officers grew up masturbating to the idea of invading Israel. The last major tank battle wasn't Kursk; it was in the Sinai.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason German army lost in east (as tfa says) and in west were due to air superiority.

The allied bombers made pulp of the formidable German tanks.

Sure, if neither side is able to gain air superiority, then a tank battle seems more likely.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

notageek wrote:
The reason German army lost in east (as tfa says) and in west were due to air superiority.

The allied bombers made pulp of the formidable German tanks.

Sure, if neither side is able to gain air superiority, then a tank battle seems more likely.

Every weapon system has things designed to kill it. That includes bombers and fighters. A lot of fapping has been engaged in over "Air Superiority" because it was a new twist. In reality, strategists and tacticians now understand it as just another part of the three-dimensional, combined arms battle space.

There are moments in time where new weapons enjoy an unmatched advantage. These do not chisel in stone new strategic and tactical principles for all time.

The reason Germany lost was not air superiority. The reason Germany lost is because they had a stronger coalition against them, including strategically positioned and tough Britain, the too far away, resource-rich, and industrially strong United States, and the vast, resource-rich and tenacious Soviet Union.

They lost because they bet on a quick victory but didn't get it, and instead got ganged up on by enemies they didn't plan on fighting, and got chewed up from two directions until they then ran out of men and materiel.
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Last edited by Bones McCracker on Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, essentially what you're saying is bombers are tanks of the 21st century. Since they serve the same purpose, better.

Got it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're trolling is too transparent. :?

I talked about the role of aircraft earlier. Aircraft can't control terrain.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, is it a complement if I say your trolling isn't?

I just exaggerated, a little, what you just said.
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