CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Why snap analysis is a bad idea . . .

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Why snap analysis is a bad idea . . .

Thanks to Alert Reader "tbedilion" (Tod) for pointing out that the NYTimes has just posted a graphic on the location of the hospital. The hospital is located at the bend of the Euphrates River north of the two bridges seized. Go to The New York Times and click on the graphic under the top story. I can't link to it. Also, don't know the scale, but Fallujah looks to be about 15 square miles, and the NW portion to be about a quarter or a fifth of that. This graphic tells me I was off on which two bridges were seized. They are both shooting off the western side of the city. Looks like I had my eye on one of these, but also a railroad bridge earlier. The NYTimes does report though that thousands of US forces are "moving to a point north of Fallujah." The US can use the hospital site to position artillery units to cover a great swath of the NW portion of the city where insurgents are thought to be concentrated. Furthermore, the Main Bridge, the southernmost of the two, is on the major highway that leads right through downtown. We are isolating the northwest portion of the city. A highway is good for us. It is a clear dividing line for our forces to use, it is open, which favors us, and we can traffic freely across it in armored vehicles. Expect that highway to be eventually used as an interior line of communcation. It also intersects with the smaller road that feeds out of the northern bridge. Quick rundown on the urban landscape of major Iraqi cities. They don't have anything like sprawl, as we imagine a city here in the US. There is no strip development. It's almost as though a line is drawn on the deck where the city ends and farmland begins. And up to that line, populations are very dense. So we have two large coaltion forces converging on the northwest part of the city. As reports start to increase, detailing the next stage of this phase, keep in mind that our combat forces can't face each other -- this will cause friendly fire, of course. Instead, if isolating this part of the city and then invading, they'll move at angles, or one will stay in place. Note the title of the graphic, "No Escape to the West." Ahem. I called this about five days ago.

6 Comments:

Blogger carlee said...

I'll share a couple of links:

1) Satllite Picture of Fallujah
http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/qb/al_fallujah_sep15_2002_dg.jpg

2) A Marine Situational map in Mid-April before the engagement was called off
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,121966,00.jpg

November 7, 2004 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

Interesting idea, Chester. I'll keep bopping in....

November 7, 2004 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Bacelic said...

I think one thing is obvious. The insurgents are holding the eastern bank, the marines the other. To claim those bridges are secure is foolish. They have those bridges under overlapping fields of fire and direct obervation. I mean, there are some very experienced senior Iraqi officers in Fallujah. They are not stupid. I would be surprised if those bridges aren`t prepared for demolition. Anyway, I consider these activities only a demonstration. To attack across the Euphrates river would be quite unusual, and somewhat risky, but possible since I suspect defenders would not expect an attack from the side of the river.

November 7, 2004 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger chthus said...

One more:

http://gallery.colofinder.net/iraq-quickbird/fallujah_map?full=1

Hospitals and other various locales marked on this one.

November 7, 2004 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger M said...

Being only a former Marine NCO, and currently a Police Officer, I know little about large scale tactical planning, and even less about the topography of Falluja.

I do know this though: One of the main things you can do in any situation is keep your opponent off guard. Although these maniacs certaily have more of a will to die, they do not share the resources, manpower, or skills that our Marines and Soldiers have. With these resources, we can keep them off-guard. Let's not forgot the one component that has not been talked about: Special Ops. I am sure they are already in and poking around. Our Spec Ops is not a panacea, but is one of the things that keeps us on top.

Now, as for the city, I do believe this will be as bloody as Hue City (1968). I hope not, and I hope once we take the fight to these guys hard, they will crumble. But they have been preparing for months as we have.

In my opinion, the greatest tool the "insurgents" have is their general willingness to die. Sort of makes Pattons old line about "making the other sonofabitch dies for his country" obsolute for this engagement since the other sonofabitch does not care about dying. I guess that is where the superiority of the Marine rifleman comes in. Interlocking fields of fire, fire discipline, and our favorite here: One shot, one kill!

So I guess I see it this way. One questions to be answered in this new modern Jihad based warfare is this: What will win out? Someone's willingness to die for Allah, or a young Marines desire to come go home alive?

November 7, 2004 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger SPC said...

direct link to the ny times imagepage

November 8, 2004 at 2:43 AM  

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