Why was the Arab nationalist dictator Saddam and his Iraqi army not able to overcome Iran despite superiority in the Iran-Iraq war?

WHY ARAB ARMIES FAILED IN WAR

WHY ARAB ARMIES FAILED IN WAR

Aga H Amin

2014, WHY ARAB ARMIES FAILED IN WAR

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Military History,

Israel Studies,

Leadership,

Arabic,

Israel/Palestine

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This short study is based on directly observing Arab officers on various courses while serving in Pakistan Army and conversations with my father who served as an advisor with both Qaddafi and Saddam Hussain during 1987-2000 with various gaps. Also my uncle who served as ambassador in both Libya and Saudi Arabia and my aunts husband who served as a diplomat in Algeria,Lebanon, Sudan and Egypt and on editorial staff of Saudi Gazette for some ten years.

Asian African armies were miserable failures in Offensive ops while they excelled in defence a simpler op of war (1) ottoman army was total failure in offensive ops against Russia starting 1711 (2) all indian armies were total failure against British east India company except in odd cases like pollilore where Hyder enjoyed overwhelming superiority or in retreat of Kabul brigade where afghans enjoyed massively overwhelming superiority (3) both Pakistan and Indian armies were total failures in all indo pak wars except in one case where the commander major general eftikhar khan was EXCEPTIONAL CASE AND HALF FRENCH BRITISH PERSIAN (4) Indian army was total failure at gadgore on 8 sep 1965 despite 9 to 2 superiority in tanks (5) Pakistan army was total failure at Assal uttar despite 7 to 2 superiority in tanks KEEPING THIS SITUATION IN VIEW IRAQI ARMY FAILURE AGAINST IRAN WAS A FORGONE CONCLUSION (6) IRAQI OFFICERS WERE SELECTED NOT BASED ON COMPETENCE BUT POLITICAL LOYALTY (7) power of defensive weapons has massively increased since 1945 and attack has become a very difficult form of war unless there is OVERWHELMING SUPERIORITY LIKE US ARMY IN IRAQ WARS

When two tank squadrons repulsed a tank division the miracle at gadgor -8th september 1965

When two tank squadrons repulsed a tank division the miracle at gadg…

extract from my book :—-

THE POWER OF DEFENCE IS A RELATIVE AND COMPLEX FACTOR

The Battle of Chamb was a convincing proof that keeping in view comparative equipment resources etc tanks in defence were a much more formidable weapon than in offence. A tank advance even with artillery support was near suicidal when the enemy in front was well entrenched and had sited its defence well. Thus while 11 Cavalry swiftly advanced till Mandiala because no tanks were covering this approach; armour failed to achieve a breakthrough on 04 and 05 December. Some critics condemned this employment of armour; however it was unavoidable. In the first phase wherever tanks were launched there were bound to be casualties and in Chamb due to the dominating ridges the defender was ideally placed. To cause dislocation some attrition in terms of tank casualties was thus inevitable. The Indian commander on the other hand underestimated the power of defence. Thus in the initial discussions before the war General Candeth in his own words advanced the mistaken viewpoint that “Positions west of Tawi were not tactically sound (Refers-Candeth-The Western Front-earlier quoted-page-75). Tactically there was nothing wrong with the Indian positions as amply demonstrated by the performance of Indian 191 Brigade in blocking the advance of four infantry brigades in the first four days of the war. The Indian failure in losing Chamb was entirely a command failure at divisional level and Chamb was not lost by I91 Indian brigade but by 10 Indian Divisional Commander. The tank casualties of 1971 merely hint at a trend in favour of Defence as the stronger form of warfare as witnessed in the limited success of armour attacks even in the 1973 war and in the Iran-Iraq war. The Kuwait war cannot be cited as an example of success of tanks in attack since the contest was one sided.

The dilemma which faced General Eftikhar was that casualties were unavoidable. Someone with some tank squadrons had to move forward and create a dislocation in the Indian defensive posture so as to fix the enemy commanders attention and create conditions which would lead to commitment of reserves finally leading to a situation which offered a vulnerable area through which own armour could breakthrough and paralyse the will of the enemy. The frontal attack on Mandiala and the high tank casualties around Phagla Gurha and Sukhtao Nullah were a pre-requisite for the success later on achieved at Chak Pandit. The relentless attacks of 23 Division in Mandiala area on 04 and 05 December convinced the Indians that the Pakistanis would continue banging their heads against Mandiala. Just like the Indian Armoured Division had done at Chawinda. Thus the sudden appearance of armour at Chak Pandit caused a mental paralysis and the Indians lost the will to fight. General Eftikhar in words of Clausewitz “By strategem made the Indians commit the errors of understanding which at last, flowing into one result, suddenly change the nature of things in his eyes” (Refers-On War earlier quoted-page.274).

Defence is the stronger form of war and it is extremely difficult to dislodge well entrenched soldiers with similar equipment and weapon systems. The only remedy in such a case is dislocating the enemy commanders mental equilibrium by surprise in terms of force ratio and time and space.

The defender lays down the first laws of war, in words of an author he forces the attacker to establish his plan ... But defence is the weaker form of warfare in short conflicts like Indo-Pak wars where resources are few and it is a nearly impossible task to change posture from defence to offence as was the Indian plan/thus after 10 December though 23 Division was greatly exhausted the Indians could not regain what they had lost. Had they taken their main defence on Tawi rather than west of Tawi as Candeth wanted; they may even have lost Pallanwala. Much more strength of will, intellect and courage is required to fight a successful offensive battle. 10 Indian Division’s initial defensive battle was a masterpiece effort in terms of 191 Indian Brigades conduct in facing four advancing Brigades. Where the Indians failed was in terms of the conduct of battle at the divisional level; placing of reserves; launching of timely counterattacks etc etc.

STUPIDITY PAR EXCELLENCE ON BOTH SIDES -KHEM KARAN AND GADGOR Why Indo-Pak Armies Failed in War

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