Home » Direct Support Artillery for the Defensive Battle: Is It an Outmoded Concept? by Henry S Scharpenberg
Direct Support Artillery for the Defensive Battle: Is It an Outmoded Concept? Henry S Scharpenberg

Direct Support Artillery for the Defensive Battle: Is It an Outmoded Concept?

Henry S Scharpenberg

Published October 26th 2012
ISBN : 9781286865590
Paperback
50 pages
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 About the Book 

Doctrinally, artillery in the defense is allocated to maneuver units to lend the weight of its fires to the direct fire battle. In the direct support mission, its ability to mass fires is limited by habitual associations that allocate at least oneMoreDoctrinally, artillery in the defense is allocated to maneuver units to lend the weight of its fires to the direct fire battle. In the direct support mission, its ability to mass fires is limited by habitual associations that allocate at least one artillery battalion to each committed maneuver brigade. The range of its effectiveness is constrained to the ability of the brigade to acquire and develop targets, normally 3-5 kilometers. A better solution might be upgrade battalion mortar platoons with weapons capable of firing armor-defeating improved conventional munitions and assign them the mission of providing suppressive fires for the brigade- thereby making available the traditionally direct support battalions to fire under division control. This would capitalize upon the superior targeting and intelligence capabilities at division to defeat an enemy who echelons his forces in order to destroy a defender with mass and momentum at a time and place of the attackers choosing. This monograph will examine the feasibility of such a proposal. An examination of Soviet doctrine and vulnerabilities concludes specific opportunities for disruption of offensive momentum and destruction of attacking forces are presented. U.S. intelligence acquisition and target development capabilities at division level, however, greatly exceed those available to the maneuver brigade commanders. Doctrine allocates the majority of divisional indirect fire assets to the brigade close-in battle. The result is that the level of command in the division with the greatest allocation of indirect fire assets is not able to locate and engage targets early enough to prevent their mass and momentum from being felt at the FLOT. Ballistic characteristics of indirect fire systems, moreover, limit their ability to provide a target effect greater than suppression once the target becomes dispersed. The study concludes that upgrading heavy mortar platoons organic to maneuver battalions will collectively provide