Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Libyan No-Fly Zone Is A Job For The Arab League.



The Arab League. Pretty self-explanatory. The Libyan Air Force consists of perhaps a couple of dozen seventies technology Sukhoi Su- 22 ground attack aircraft and some attack helicopters. The Egyptian Air Force has over 200 latest model F-16C & Ds in service. Combine these with a USAF, NATO or even Saudi AWACS flying outside Libya and there will be no Libyan aircraft in the air in a day or so. A couple of dozen Russian made MANPADS supplied to the rebels would be more effective than the ZPU-4s. The Americans and French discovered that quad fifties were excellent against attacking infantry.
On the ground the rebels sorely need tactical advisors (was this what the unlucky SBS team was intended for?), not merely to show them how to defend and attack economically, but also to advise them how to construct IEDs to deny pro-Gadaffi  armour and trucks use of the road "network". A couple of IEDs front and rear of an  approaching column would allow free range for a half dozen Toyota Land Cruisers armed with heavy machine guns and RPGs to make bounce attacks out of the southern flank. Everything needed was learned in the Western Desert Campaign of 1940-43. Even I have read most of it. One lesson is that, except in unihabited parts of the desert, getting rid of insects was just about impossible. Hands had to be held over mugs and mess tins constantly to avoid sharing with a mouthful of flies.

6 comments:

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX A couple of dozen Russian made MANPADS supplied to the rebels...XX

You mean in the same way that supplying Stinger to the Taliban to fight the Russians was a jolly good jape....AT the time?

If the dog bites the hand that feeds it, then it should not be fed.

Brian said...

In the sense that no Western aircraft have been shot down by Stingers, yes. A couple of dozen Gremlins (already in the Libyan arsenal) could easily be chipped and tracked. For extra security, the launch-tube electronics could be time-limited. Plus, such weaponry relies on batteries with a limited shelf-life.
The important thing is to get rid of Gadaffi quickly and ensure favourable relations with his successors.

Thud said...

I have always been interested in the Libyan battlefield and so the present conflict is of great interest. Both sides seem rather raggle taggle and seemed armed with junk (gaddafi was robbed)so perhaps just a little help would tilt the balance,not sure I care though.

Brian said...

I care enough that Libyan oil and gas keeps flowing to us, that Libyans have a decent home to live in but not enough to warrant the bones of a single Grenadier.
The Libyan battles back and forth, O'Connor, Tobruk and Monty have always intrigued me as well because my Grandfather was in the Eighth Army there and in Italy. Have you read Stephen Bungay's book on Second Alamein? Excellent and includes an overview of the campaign as a whole. Why on earth did we invade Italy? Geograph-ically, it's almost designed for defence.

Thud said...

As you mention a great arena for defence especially when combined with a clever German commander such as Von Senger und Etterlin.

Brian said...

Mountains, valleys, rivers, all shaped like a herring's backbone and shortages of everything except plenty of mud and Lucky Strike cigarettes. Cold as well. According to my Grandad going up Italy couldn't have been done without the particular efforts of the London Irish Rifles who took WWI levels of casualties in the process. I read their book and I agree.
Von Senger und Etterlin. Another wasted Rhodes Scholarship.