Friday, 11 March 2011
Libya .. not much time left.
Libyan rebels in Ras Lanuf. I emailed a USA friend earlier about the rebels preparations.
The question I asked was based on some BBC reports from Ras Lanuf. Those AA guns there were moved close together and were then surrounded by 4x4s parked all around them. I asked thea retired US Army general if the deployment of those guns was as bad as it looked to me. Parked close together, surrounded by hundreds of boxes of ammo, with civilians milling about, firing the odd burst into the sky for morale. I could see no proper defences at all.
"Defense of AA guns is not so much a "surround by infantry and let them do their job" so much as they are support weapons for the front line troops protecting the airspace dimension. AA guns should be integrated and provide supporting fire for each other with overlapping arcs of fire to maximize potential against aircraft.
The guns are too close and could probably be taken out with one strike. Normally you would want a couple hundred meters separating them to limit damage from artillery fire or one strike taking them out. Normally you would have a chest high sand berm in a u-shape with the open end to the rear to protect from shrapnel and small arms.
As for deployment, what purpose are the guns serving in this location? Is it a strategic crossroads or a likely air avenue of approach? If so placing them for best fire position is paramount. Based upon what I have seen on the news, most weapons have been placed haphazardly and if the Libyan forces were competent the rebels could be easily overrun by a coordinated combined arms assault.
In the hours that I was waiting for this reply the news of the rebels being defeated and falling back from concentrated Gaddafi regime attacks came in. The rebels just aren't trained. They have no air power. They don't appear to have much artillery. And despite everyone in Libya undergoing conscription, they don't seem to have much experience.
I expect that those SAS troops were secretly supposed to be military 'advisers.' If the rebels don't get help very soon, I'm sure they will lose. Ras Lanuf is 2/3 of the way from Tripoli to Benghazi.