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Armor Magazine, July-August 1988

Armor Magazine, July-August 1988

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Seventy years ago this September,
U.S.
tankers
in
French-built anks fought their first armor bat-tle.
ARMOR'S
assistant editor, Bob Rogge, tellsthe story of Colonel George
S.
Patton's 304thTank Brigade and its role
in
the
St.
Mihiel offen-sive of
12
September 1918 and the Meuse-Ar-gonne campaign later the same month. While ourtank size has increased tenfold from about
7
tonearly 70 tons
in
70 years, some things have notchanged that dramatically. Note Patton's logisti-cal problems with transportation and fuel supply,and command, control, and communications.
In
an associated story, MG William
R.
Kraft Jr.traces the saga of
"The Five
of
Hearts,"
one ofthe Renault
FT
1917s that fought
in
those first
U.S.
Armor battles. We follow the tank into thesalients through the words of Sergeant ArthurSnyder, who commanded the Five of Hearts afterhis lieutenant was wounded. General Kraft is theHonorary Colonel of the 66th Armored Regiment,which traces its lineage directly to the 344th TankBattalion, one of the
two
battalions comprisingthe 304th Tank Brigade. The Five of Heartsstands today at Fort Meade, Maryland.
A
British officer
in
World War
I
s credited withsaying, "Most attacks seem to take place atnight, during a rainstorm, uphill, where four map-sheets join." MG Terry Allen's
1
st Infantry Divisionemployed
night
attacks
in
North Africa
in
1943 totake positions near
El
Guettar, which would havebeen difficult to carry
in
daylight because theenemy would spot any movement. The Britishneutralized the Argentinian advantages of openterrain and long field of fire by attacking
in
dark-ness
in
the Falklands
in
1982. There are dozensof historic examples in every war, of large andsmall units achieving surprise through nightoperations. But night attacks require detailedplanning, close coordination, violent execution,and well-trained, disciplined troops. Few wouldargue that we train as much after sundown aswe do during the day. Captain Jim Greer offers asolution in
"By
Night
As
By
Day"
for how to setup night training while minimizing disruption
of
the unit and aggravation for the soldiers.Since 1945, Low Intensity Conflict (LIC), ratherthan conventional frontline combat has been thepredominant armed conflict around
the
world.
In
"Armor in
LIC,"
Major Mike Matheny examinesthe
U.S.
experience with LIC in Vietnam, andhow armor doctrine evolved mostly through trialand error. Despite what we learned, he saysthere is still little written doctrine on how toemploy Armor
in
LIC, which is a company andbattalion commander's fight. In a following ar-ticle, Matheny examines the Soviet experience
in
Afghanistan.First Lieutenant Dennis Verpoorten is a tankand scout platoon observer-controller at the Na-tional Training Center.
In
this role, he has seendozens of platoons
in
the defense. He says
in
"Platoon Defensive Operations"
that they loseto the OPFOR
in
many instances because theplatoons did not fight as a team, and the defen-sive battle turned into a free-for-all. Verpoortenshows how to organize a platoon defensive posi-tion through the use of rangecards, platoon fireplans, and control measures.We think we have a full plate for you. Devour.Enjoy.
-
PJC
By Order of the Secretary of the Army:Official:CARL
E.
VUONOGeneral, United States ArmyChief of Staff
R.
L. DILWORTHBrigadier General, United States ArmyThe Adjutant General
 
The Professional Development Bulletin
of
the Armor BranchPB-
I
7-88-4
(Test)
Editor-in-ChiefMAJOR PATRICK
J.
COONEYManaging Editor
JON
T. CLEMENSCommandantMG THOMAS
H.
TAlT
ARMOR
(ISSN
0004-2420) is publishedbimonthly by the US. Army Armor Center, 4401Vine Grove Road, Fort Knox,
KY
40121.Disclaimer: The information contained inARMOR represents the professional opinions
of
the authors and does not necessarily reflect theofficial Army or TRADOC position, nor does itchange or supersede any informationpresented n other official Army publications.Official distribution
Is
limited to one copy foreach heavy brigade headquarters, armoredcavalry regiment headquarters, armor battalionheadquarters, armored cavalry squadron head-quarters, reconnaissance squadron head-quarters, armored cavalry troop, armorcompany, and motorized brigade headquartersof the United States Army. In addition, Armylibraries, Army and DOD schools,HQDA andMACOM staff agencies with responsibility forarmored, direct fire, ground combat systems,organizations, and the training of personnel forsuch organizations may request
two
copies bysending a military letter to the editor-in-chief.Authorized Content: ARMOR will print onlythose materials for which the
U.S.
Army ArmorCenter has proponency. That proponencyincludes: all armored, direct-fire ground combatsystems that do not serve primarily as infantrycarriers; all weapons used exclusively in thesesystems or by CMF 19-series enlisted soldiers;any miscellaneous items
of
equipment whicharmor and armored cavalry organizations useexclusively; training for all SC
12A,
126, and12C officers and for all CMF-19-series enlistedsoldiers; and information concerning thetraining, logistics, history, and leadership
of
armor and armored cavalry units at thebrigadehegiment level and below, to includeThreat units at those levels.Material may be reprinted, provided credit isgiven to ARMOR and to the author, exceptwhere copyright is indicated.
July-August
1988,
VOI
XCVll
No.
4
Features
9
Armor
in
Low-Intensity Conflictby Major Michael
R.
Matheny
16
By Night as By Dayby Captain James
K.
Greer
20
Platoon Defensive Operationsby First Lieutenant Dennis M. Verpoorten
23
Fort Knox Terrain Matches Europe’s for OPFOR Trainingby Sergeant Larry Redmond
24
The Battlefield Development Simulator System (BDSS)by Captain Robert M. Lynd, Jr.
26
The 304th Tank Brigadeby Robert E. Rogge
35
The Saga of the Five of Heartsby Major General William
R.
Kraft, Jr.
39
The Combat Service Support SituationalTraining Exerciseby Major Glenn
W.
Davis
Departments
2
Letters
6
Commander’s Hatch
7
Driver’s Seat
8
Recognition
Quiz
41
Professional Thoughts
48
The Bustle Rack
51
Recognition Quiz Answers
52
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