RANGER AGAINST WAR: Poor Man's Artillery <

Friday, February 27, 2009

Poor Man's Artillery

--Incoherent Recession, Parvez Taz

Take every shortcut you can find
--Hints from Heloise

The Week magazine ran an overview on improvised explosive devices, "IEDs: The Poor Man's Artillery," explaining their lethality and spectacular success.

Having trained in unconventional and guerrilla warfare [UW/GW], Ranger believes that IED's are better than artillery (sorry, FDChief.) The reasoning:

  • Unexpended, out-of-date and generally crummy stuff can be converted into a smashing explosive device
  • IED's are generally command-detonated, so in effect are more accurate than artillery. You can't put counter battery fire on an IED since it is unattended
  • A well-trained gunnery crew and an expensive howitzer is not required
  • IED's are easily hidden and are man-portable. They are flexible in use and employment
  • Every attack can be variants on a theme, and so are difficult to counter
  • They aid recruitment, funding and morale of the bombers
  • Best of all: You do not have to deal with artillery men, nor do you have to clean any guns



Blogger Old Bogus said...

"You do not have to deal with artillery men" Whatever this may mean. :)

By equating EIDs to artillery, this seems to make it less of a terrorist weapon and more of soldier's weapon. Did I get the wrong message?

Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 1:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Old Bogus.
Ied's are not the sole realm of terrorists.Everyone with old SF training is adept and skilled using this technique.The OSS used this extensively in WW2.
Terrorists are not soldiers ,but insurgents use this technique also.An IED is not a signature of Terrorism.
I do not accept the notion that military violence is any more legitimate than Insurgent/guerilla or terrorist violence.As I often point out- our western disconnect with Terrorism is that we accept the notion that states have a monopoly on the use of violence.Terrorism shows us this ain't necessarily so.


Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

improvisation from materials at hand is an old SF standby. if you use shit that you find lying around (unexploded shells, bombs, all that stuff are great detrius of war to exploit) that's that much weight you didn't have to hump. often, at least in vietnam, we were working with local folks who didn't have much other stuff to work with. of course they had the wealth of experience gathered from generations of fighting modern, mechanized armies with exactly what they could loot and improvise.

i became something of an artist with foogas..

wonderful stuff that. can aboslutely put the damdam down around a fuel dump.

Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 5:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


You touch the exact purpose of SF/OSS type ops. You go into an AO without significant support and operate as guerrillas.
The Soviet partisans and British SOE/Merrills Maurauders/Wingates Chindits and OSS are all excellent examples.

All special operators and guerrillas share common traits. Poor logistics, often unpredictable, precludes using captured material.

We actually made our own homemade napalm and foo gas in Sfoc.
So it's best not to piss me off :)


Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 6:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

With the caveat that I will hang around south of the DMZ in Korea, since there's nothing like a conventional multidivisional armored infantry attack to make artillery look attractive, I will be the first to agree that artillery in a guerilla war is like having a big expensive hammer when you're building a thatch hut. It slows you own and there's really nothing to swing it at that won't do more harm than good. For the war of the flea, the booby-trap and the improvised mine (which is what these are - I really hate the term "IED" beecause of the implication that theyare some sort of gee-whiz 21st Century innovation hat we couldn't ever have anticipated) are the explsive equivalent of John Paul Vann's saying that the best weapon for fighting G's was a knife. The command-detonated mine is the knife of explosives.

And the thing that the idiot fucking neoconservatives and great power imperialists don't seem to get is that the combination of the homemade explosive device and the cheap assault rifle have made imperialism too expensive a game for the northern hemisphere powers, with their low birth rate and expensive war machines to ply for long. You can't do a Plassey or an Omdurman any more and expect that to flatten the wogs and niggers for ten generations.

The most high-value traget for the poor man's artillery may well have been the imperial dreams of the old white men in Washington and London...

Monday, March 2, 2009 at 8:59:00 AM GMT-5  

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