CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Tonight . . .

Monday, November 08, 2004

Tonight . . .

. . . I'll be live-blogging again for at least 3 hours, covering what I can glean from TV news, which is faster updated than print news. I'll cover: The long-promised insurgent strategy post Comparison with the Battle of Hue Address reader comments and offer insight on news, unit movements, unit actions, and sadly, casualties. UPDATE: SecDef about to speak at press conference.


Blogger Bacelic said...

Has the railroad station been taken? Don`t have cable TV available right now so all my info is off the net.

I read somewhere that there were some attempts by Marine amphibious vehicles to cross the Euphrates river today but reportedly came under heavy fire. This would seem to me like a demonstration intended to draw attention from the northern assault that came later in the day. Info about the progress of the assault from the north sketchy so far.

November 8, 2004 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jak0zilla said...

Looks to me as though they went over the train station like a speed bump:

"Some 5,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were massed in the desert on Fallujah's northern edge participating in the assault. Iraqi troops deployed with them took over a nearby train station after the Americans fired on it to drive off fighters."

November 8, 2004 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger KeithJamesMc said...

Comments within the UK 24 hour News Stations seem to think the insurgents tactics will be drawn directly from the Battles for Grozny, Chechyna in 1994 & 2000.

Personally, I can’t see that things will get this bad, but I’m sure the insurgents will be using this battle as a template for success…

See links:

November 8, 2004 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Huan said...

WSJ reports that many Iraqi have deserted their units over the weekend. One unit of 500 lost 255 to desertion. Any thoughts or confirmation of this?

November 8, 2004 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

Just in case you want a satillite map from anywere in the world, you can get it from NIMA (10m resolution, 1kmx 1km). Just type in the Latitude/Longitude . . . .

November 8, 2004 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Mitch H. said...

The article quotes an unnamed NPR embed with the Marines as the source on that. It sounds suspiciously like a description of what happened in April to an undertrained, overstressed Iraqi battalion which got thrown in the deep end without proper preparation during last April's fighting. I'm willing to bet, barring other confirmation, that some sort of "telephone game" error has caused a conditional "last April" to get stripped out of the NPR embed's statement, making a historical reference sound like a report of a new, phantasmic mass-desertion.

November 8, 2004 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

This was just described as an "isolated incident" by someone in the 1MEF. So, I think its current.

November 8, 2004 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

Units I've identified so far:
36th Iraqi Command Battlion. Led assault on hospital. This is a mostly Kurdish unit that took part in Najaf and Sammara fighting.

3/1 marine battalion. Captured building in NW Fallujia

1Cavalry Division units. MSNBC said they were involved in attack into Jolan(NW Fallujia), but Fox said Askari(NE Fallujia).

1st Infantry Division units. Involved in Askari attack

Strykers: Someone reported Strykers were involved. Could be a mistake. Could be real. 1/23reg of the 3bde/2Infantry division was been involved in the fighting in North Babil with the 24MEU in early Oct.

November 8, 2004 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger peterargus said...

Mitch H. is correct. The NPR reporter is Anne Garrels. In a morning report she reported on the desertion from the Iraqi unit attached to the Marine unit she is with (link). Apparently it had attrited greatly over the weekend.

November 8, 2004 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Mitch H. said...

3rd/2nd is out of theatre; if it's Strykers in the theatre, I'd look for the 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, which was their replacement unit. I wouldn't expect them to use the Strykers in an assault like Fallujah - they aren't heavily armored enough, and would be put to better use in controlling LoC and using their superior mobility to cover for the displaced units in the rest of the Triangle. They've got enough of a tangle of units in there already - at least two different Marine regiments, 1st Cav armor, some sort of element from the 1st Infantry, the Iraqi units, the Black Watch - their command structure must look like spagetti as it is.

Do you have a link on that 1MEF quote on the desertion story?

November 8, 2004 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Mitch H. said...

peterargus: well, no, that would mean that I'm wrong, and that she *was* reporting fresh news. That's disturbing. It means that the Iraqi units are just as soft, or even softer, than they were in April.

November 8, 2004 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Mitch H. said...

That unit apparently has a history of losing several hundred effectives every time they send it into battle. Supposedly the 450 which went into action in Sammarah did well, and sustained respectable casualties in the fighting there; one could hope that means that the remaining 250 or 300 will also hang on in Fallujah.

But at the rate they lose people, I have to wonder if the battalion would survive another commitment.

November 8, 2004 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

We should be careful of generalizations. Some Iraqi units will perform extremely well. Some will perform poorly. There are many factor that will determine perfromance. For example:
-36th Commando battalion is performing very well. They are most Kurds, they have had extra training, they probably have good leaders, they have combat experiance.
-Shiite battalions will be pretty enthusisastic to take on the Sunni's but will probably have inexperianced leaders (Saddam made sure few Shiite were ever in positions of power and leadership)
-The hardest to develop will be Sunni battalions for obvious reasons.

November 8, 2004 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

2/2 battalion task force (Ramrods) of the 3rd Bde/1st Infantry Division is in the attack. (Fox news)

November 8, 2004 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Huan said...

back in April the Kurdish battalion did very well. The Shi'a are not up to the same level. Both will be battle tested. I am surprised they do not act to avenge the 49 murdered recruits.

i hope our troops do not rely too much on the iraqi tactically.

November 8, 2004 at 4:33 PM  

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