This is coolbert:
From a prior blog entry this question was asked:
"And ISIL very quickly will learn how to fire, maintain, aim, hit the target, etc. Employ effectively. This remains to be seen."
Those dozens of American M198 heavy artillery captured by ISIL. ISIL able to employ in an effective manner? Rank amateurs without proper training using sophisticated equipment?
Here from Strategy Page we have the answer:
"Artillery: The Guns Of August In Iraq"
"In June ISIL captured about fifty of those M198 155mm towed howitzers and began looking for someone to operate this stuff. That was not difficult. This was because Sunni Arabs got most of the leadership (officer, senior NCO) and technical (like operating artillery) jobs during the decades of Saddam’s rule. ISIL has a large pool of experienced users of artillery. While most Iraqi artillery was Russian, they also had over a hundred Western 155mm models, like the South African GHN-45. This weapon was not only similar to the M198 but superior in some ways (like longer range). The main reason the U.S. disbanded the Iraqi armed forces after 2003 was the fact that nearly all the key personnel were Sunni Arabs, who had just lost power and access to most of the oil income. That loss of power and privilege made most Sunni Arabs very angry and that’s why to this day most Islamic terrorists in Iraq are Iraqi Sunni Arabs. Thus ISIL knew it had a waiting supply of qualified soldiers who knew how to operate an M198 and many were willing to do it without too much prompting."
"Give us this day our daily artillery round. And many more besides that!"
The "Guns of August" of course the title of the famous book by Barbara Tuchman. Please forgive us Barbara.