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Old 05-23-2023, 02:47 PM
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Question US 5th ID's Summer, 2000 "Raid"

From the 1e Player's Manual:

Quote:
In the spring of the year 2000, the German 3rd Army launched its final offensive against Poland. It was postponed due to late rains—the soldiers were delayed in getting their fields planted. The objective was to clear the Baltic coast of Polish and Soviet forces and thus gain control of the plentiful Baltic fishing and the Vistula River barge traffic.

When the offensive finally got under way it was spearheaded by the U.S. Eleventh Corps, because the U.S. troops were less tied to their garrison areas than were the Germans. The initial drives were successful, with two U.S. divisions breaking loose and conducting deep penetration raids into the enemy rear area. While the 8th Division (Mechanized) headed for the port of Kaliliningrad and a link-up with the Free Latvian Army, the 5th Division (Mechanized) headed southeast toward Lodz. Then, everything started to come apart.
[Emphasis added.]

What do y'all think the writers meant by "raid"? The main objective of III German Army's offensive is explicitly stated in the first paragraph. "Raid", however, suggests more of a hit-and-run type operation, not a seize and hold one.

In my mind, the most logical explanation for 5th ID's part in German III Army's summer offensive (i.e. the afore-mentioned "raid") is to draw Soviet forces away from the Baltic Coast so that other III German Army units can seize and hold it.

In general terms, what do y'all think the objectives of division-sized "raid" in 2000 and beyond would be?

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Old 05-23-2023, 04:29 PM
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I for the life of me can't figure out what the plan was regarding 8th ID... going all the way to Latvia guarantees that they can't return to friendly lines, especially when you look at the disposition of Polish forces around Gdansk and the mouth of the Wisla (from the Intel summary in the box set).

The 5th makes a little more sense, especially when you consider the original plan was to loop around the east side of Lodz and head back to the Baltic Coast. Additionally, if you consider Operation Reset the 5th's raid makes a little more sense.
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Old 05-23-2023, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
I for the life of me can't figure out what the plan was regarding 8th ID... going all the way to Latvia guarantees that they can't return to friendly lines, especially when you look at the disposition of Polish forces around Gdansk and the mouth of the Wisla (from the Intel summary in the box set).
Yeah, the "navigational error" explanation offered in a couple of canonical sources really beggars belief. How does an entire mechanized division (even a grossly understrength one, as most are by 2000) end up over 250km away from their objective due to a "wrong turn"? Kaliningrad Oblast adjoins Polish territory; Latvia, on the other hand, does not. There's a whole other country/SSR (Lithuania) in between!

I'll have to search the forum and see if we already have a thread that tries to make sense out of 8th ID's misadventure. If not, I'll start one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
The 5th makes a little more sense, especially when you consider the original plan was to loop around the east side of Lodz and head back to the Baltic Coast. Additionally, if you consider Operation Reset the 5th's raid makes a little more sense.
Agreed. I mentioned the 5th as an exemplar, based on how 1e canon describes its summer 2000 offensive operations. More broadly speaking, I'm interested in what a "raid" would look like in 2000 and beyond. Raids would seem to be a feature of what "modern" warfare has become by 2000. What would be the objectives of a division-sized raid be, in general, c.2000?

Here are some possibilities, in no particular order:
  • Destroy enemy fuel supplies and distillation equipment
  • Despoil enemy food supplies*
  • Destroy enemy supply depots and production centers
  • Disrupt communications between large enemy cantonments
  • Destroy small, isolated enemy units whenever the opportunity arises
  • Capture EPWs to collect intel
  • Liberate allied POWs
  • Disrupt the enemy's planned operations (aka a spoiling attack)

*This one seems a likely objective, but would have the additional consequence of potentially starving civilians in the AO. This would definitely not win any hearts and minds among the local populace.

What would be the priority for each objective. Did I miss any?

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Old 05-23-2023, 06:07 PM
ToughOmbres ToughOmbres is offline
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Default 5th ID Ops

Unless the entire drive really was a cover for Operation Reset, perhaps the 5th and 8th ID's drives were spoiling attacks to pin and disrupt WP forces in the area.

The push into a (presumably) depleted Kaliningrad enclave would have both symbolic and real benefits. Kaliningrad would presumably still have supplies and spare parts that would be of some use for captured WP equipment (former NVA units in particular). It would also be a blow to Soviet ambitions and morale.
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Old 05-23-2023, 11:36 PM
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I agree some sort of Pact communications & supply sites had to be the target(s) of the 5 MD and 8 MD "raids". A PW camp would be a good one, too.

I've already posted (years ago) my idea that the Polish Free Legions and their allies in NATO high command sold the idea that the Polish armies would collapse or defect, given a large enough NATO push in 2000. That they didn't could be treachery or wishful thinking or a plot of some sort: I leave that to a GM .

Deep raids could be a vital part of such a show of force
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Old 05-24-2023, 08:03 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToughOmbres View Post
Unless the entire drive really was a cover for Operation Reset, perhaps the 5th and 8th ID's drives were spoiling attacks to pin and disrupt WP forces in the area.
Then again, a spoiling attack is no raid. The parameters are quite different.
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Old 05-23-2023, 04:43 PM
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Personally I think at some point before 2000s divisions would end up reorganized a lot, moving support elements from divisions to the corps level to consolidate them. Brigades would start to more resemble WWII style regiments since they'd lack a lot of the combined arms elements after years of rear echelon nuclear strikes.

So I think the book text would be more accurate as "regiments of the 5th ID conduct raids into Poland as a feint to cover German maneuvers on the Baltic coast".
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Old 05-24-2023, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
From the 1e Player's Manual:
In general terms, what do y'all think the objectives of division-sized "raid" in 2000 and beyond would be?

-
Well, the Lodz raid of 5ID was all about capturing a computer device, which enables its users to restart fried electronics, especially large computers needed to govern critical infrastructure, e. g. power plants, rail networks, power distribution networks etc. What the raid into Latvia by 8ID was supposed to accomplish? I think that was never disclosed by GDW.
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Old 05-24-2023, 10:04 AM
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Default Horse Raiding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursus Maior View Post
What the raid into Latvia by 8ID was supposed to accomplish? I think that was never disclosed by GDW.
The only objective mentioned in canon is a link up with Free Latvian forces near Kaliningrad (see below). How the 8th ended up in Latvia is baffling, and never adequately explained, AFAIK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by History Chronology (1e)
"While the 8th Division (Mechanized) headed for the port of Kaliningrad and a link-up with the Free Latvian Army..."
Another potential objective for large unit "raids" in T2k would be the rustling of livestock- in particular, draught and cavalry horses, given the importance of both to the armies of 2000.

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Last edited by Raellus; 05-24-2023 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 05-24-2023, 04:47 PM
ToughOmbres ToughOmbres is offline
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Default 5th ID's drive into Poland

NATO intel could have overestimated the size and operational status of WP forces in the area and decided on a spoiling attack.

Alternatively the 5th could have been sacrificed to act as a magnet for WP forces in order to allow Operation Reset to proceed and allow the 8th ID to slip around and bypass Kaliningrad, leaving the Soviet enclave to "die on the vine." NATO and Free Baltic state forces could then pick it off at their leisure.
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Old 05-30-2023, 02:37 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToughOmbres View Post
NATO intel could have overestimated the size and operational status of WP forces in the area and decided on a spoiling attack.

Alternatively the 5th could have been sacrificed to act as a magnet for WP forces in order to allow Operation Reset to proceed and allow the 8th ID to slip around and bypass Kaliningrad, leaving the Soviet enclave to "die on the vine." NATO and Free Baltic state forces could then pick it off at their leisure.
But Lodz was a clearly defined raid target of Operation Reset due to a certain computer expert, named Dr. Czerwinski and his development of the Modular Computer Chip Surrogate (MMCS). In Free City of Krakow (p. 4-5) the job of 5ID was sketched out as such:

"The final offensive in Poland was launched by the 3rd German Army and the US 11th Corps in the spring of 2000, an attack which was expected to clear the Baltic coast as far as the mouth of the Wisla river of enemy forces. Under cover of this offensive, the Special Forces B Team code-named Strike Zulu had moved off toward the city of Lodz on a mission of its own behind enemy lines. Its movement was masked by the fury of 5th Division's attack."

So basically, 5ID conducted some form of spoiling attack, in order for a SFODB team to make it to Lodz and back. Why this wouldn't be a ODA team augmented by tech expertise is beyond me, but that's what it says.
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Old 05-31-2023, 07:02 PM
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Default ODBs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursus Maior View Post
So basically, 5ID conducted some form of spoiling attack, in order for a SFODB team to make it to Lodz and back. Why this wouldn't be a ODA team augmented by tech expertise is beyond me, but that's what it says.
I’ll take a stab at this:
An ODB is the company equivalent in SF units. A company is made up of six ODAs under an ODB, which is led by a major. The ODB typically provides C2 and support to disperse red ODAs conducting FID and UW missions, but may provide “on the ground” tactical C2 of multiple ODAs conducting DA, CT, or CP-WMD missions or in cases where external units (AR, EN, Infantry, etc) are supporting the mission. One company in every forward deployed battalion (as of 1989 3/7, 1/10, and 1/1) was structured as a Commander’s In-extremis Force (CIF) company. The CIF was structured with a mix of assaulters, snipers, and area study personnel and designed to perform CT and Hostage Rescue missions as well as DA. An example of the the role of the CIF was the 3/7 CIF in Operation Just Cause who conducted multiple raids under the tactical leadership of the company commander against key PDF targets. Currently, the CIF is being replaced by the Hard Target Defeat Companies, which seem to optimized for the DA, CP-WMD role.

How this might play out:
Strike Zulu is built around the CIF from 3/10 SF reinforced with ground mobility assets from the group support battalion, MI assets from the MICO, additional POL, and engineer assets to facilitate mobility. The mission was planned and resourced by EUCOM, with USAEUR and USASOC providing forces using intelligence gained through NSA, NIMA, and DIA (humint) sources. Because of the sensitivity and national interest involved, planning and coordination for the mission was kept in US channels and not shared with the SOF Liaison Elements (SOFLEs) at 3rd German Army or it’s downtrace units.

While the pre-war CIF was an “elite within an elite”, the current CIF has become a best of what’s left. Heavy SF casualties during the course of the war and the commitment of teams sustaining UW efforts throughout the European theater have reduced the numbers of SF qualified personnel. Excess SF personnel have been stripped from across the theater and supplemented with volunteers who attended a watered down in-theater “SF Combat Replacement Course” run by 7th Army Training Command. However, the cohesion and competence of prewar units remains lacking.

The concept of operations (CONOPS) for the mission had the force infiltrating by ground behind 5ID. Once in the Łódź area they would establish a hasty patrol base, conduct final reconnaissance, and execute actions on the objective. After securing the target personnel and equipment, they would collapse the objective and move to a preselected LZ; two MH47s that had been made operational through herculean efforts over the past few months were on ground alert at a FOB near Stettin. The detainees and captured equipment would be evacuated by air, then the remainder of the force would begin a ground exfil behind the screen provided by 5ID. The alternative exfil plan had the entire force exfiltrating by ground if pickup was infeasible. The contingency exfil plan was for the ODB to break into ODA sized teams, abandon excess equipment, and exfiltrate separately to a linkup point on the Oder.

As it happened, the operation went smoothly until the exfiltration phase. 5ID had inflicted plenty of disruption on Polish forces around Łódź, and the force went relatively unnoticed, seizing the objective by surprise with no resistance. The MH47s launched to the LZ, but the trail aircraft (restored by cannibalizing two others) suffered a combining transmission failure while forming up; the second MH47 made a forced landing after incurring damage from German small arms and 20mm fire after overflying a Bundeswher unit who were unaware of the possibility of friendly rotary wing activity. Upon hearing the news from the CJSOTF HQs, the ODB commander made the decision to execute the alternate exfil plan.

The ground exfil swiftly ran into trouble as polish forces were converging on 256th brigade. The force bypassed several polish positions, but their luck ran out within 24 hours, as they encountered a Polish cavalry troop while refueling. The massed fire of the SF GMVs and trucks swiftly overwhelmed the Poles, but not before a messenger got away. Without knowledge of 5IDs situation, but able to see and hear the battle to his west, and with additional polish troops converging from the north, the ODB commander made the decision to abandon some of the heavier equipment and head south towards an area of seemingly less resistance, informing CJSOTF of his plan. He was directed to make his way to Krakow, where a DIA contact could arrange exfiltration of the detainees and equipment…

Last edited by Homer; 05-31-2023 at 10:18 PM.
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