Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do's and Dont's.

This is coolbert:

Back to the subject of Vietnam and my own listing of "things" that worked well during that conflict.

Items to include:

* AC-47 gunship.
* Phoenix Program.
* Riverine Task force.
* ACAV. [Armored Cavalry Regiment]

Now with additional listing of "things" that worked in Vietnam from an authority the judgment of which I assure you can be trusted and relied upon. If anyone would know, this man would know.

Items that worked to include:

* "laser guided and television guided bombs, [used] just during the last year of active US involvement, but enough to make a huge difference in the short time they were present."

* "jet drones rather than use RF4s to overfly N. Viet targets." [reconnaissance flights unmanned not endangering pilots.]

* "Gatling gun/Vulcan cannon" [7.62 mm and 20 mm calibers both. The former called mini-guns]

* "Hand held emergency radios--used for rescue but also as back-up radios for small units like Spec Ops"

Also from that very same authority at his suggestion and in his opinion also "a list of things that didn't work": To include:

1. "Gradual Escalation"
2. "Search and destroy"
3. "MacNamara Line"
4. "Civilian decisions running the military" [micro-management at a low level of battlefield decision making]
5. "M-60 machine gun"
6. "F-111" [out of the first six aircraft deployed to theatre, two crashed.]
7. "Missiles to the exclusion of guns on planes" [rapid fire Vulcan cannon added as an afterthought.]
8. "Multi-role aircraft (making the F4 into a jack of all trades, master of none) . . . It wasn't the right time yet to create multi-role aircraft,"

It was often suggested that the entire Vietnam escapade was often seen by the military as merely a chance to try out new weapons, doctrine, theory, tactics, etc. And see how well U.S. gear as in the inventory at the time measured up when compared to the Soviet brand. Vietnam portrayed more as a macro-scale shooting gallery allowing the American combat arms soldier and airman to test his mettle and weaponry under real-world conditions.

The results of which often found to be wanting, lacking in a manner that was disturbing and troublesome. If this "stuff" did not work against the North Vietnamese, how well would it fare against the Soviets? That must have been the question asked over and over!

Other devoted readers to the blog with Vietnam experience can add or subtract from these listings? Opinions and suggestions invited!


1 comment:

Steiner said...

To your list of "Do's", I would add the Linebacker II raids of 1972 (the "Christmas bombings", in the words of America's traitorous press), which achieved in a matter of weeks what seven years of ground engagement couldn't, that is, serious peace negotiations with the Communists.

I think you're too hard on the F-4 and the F-111. Consider that the Phantom replaced the F-105 in the strike role, which was taking unacceptable losses as a result of the inherent folly of sending a single-engine bomber into the most intense AA environment in history. The lives and equipment saved alone justified the switch to the F-4.

The F-111 was the great lost cause of American aerospace in the Cold War. Upon its introduction, it defined what would come to be called the "bleeding edge" of combat technology. It took a few years to sort out (especially the TERCOM), and then it became arguably the most advanced production airframe ever deployed in the pre-stealth era. It should have been the front-line strike aircraft in all service arms for about two decades up to the introduction of the F-117 and B-2, but a miserable debut and USAF/Navy opposition stymied that outcome.

The rest of the world saw the light, though. The swing-wing strike concept inspired the Panavia Tornado and Mig-23, and both aircraft constituted the mainstay of combat fleets in Europe for decades.