Bint Jbail casualty analysis

For those of you following the earlier post’s comments, NPR says IDF reports 40 Hizballah killed.

That’s 22 wounded and 9 killed IDF, an unknown number HA wounded and 40 killed.

That’s 4 to 1, when the 4 are already in ambush positions, and one can assume at least 20 shooters in the initial ambush.

Strategically, HA can absorb losses at that level.  It has manpower to burn at this point.

Tactically, 4 to 1 with a three-side city ambush? That’s bad.  In fact, that’s embarrassing.  What this tells me, combined with the relatively high numbers of wounded-but-not-killed, is that Hizballah is falling back on the perennial Military-Arab notion of “front sight?  What’s that?”  Better quality of shooting would have resulted in a much higher IDF fatality rate even with the new medical equipment (don’t know if they have it, but it’s a reasonably safe bet), b/c it’s “known” that there was no meaningful medivac in this furball for a ridiculously long time.

In other words, Hizballah may still be the best Arab army on the block, and have a great combination of equipment and morale… but it’s still an Arab army, and still apparently running on the age-old “we have troops to burn” theory where only the officers count for squat.

Interesting counterpoint:  when the guys in Iraq got together to celebrate being in charge of their own province, all the traditional guys came up from the Tribes to celebrate… and the documentary pictures in the NYT showed not ONE AK47 or variant.  Each and every single one of these guys had a Mosin-Nagant or similar type long-barreled bolt-action rifle.  Mentally and culturally, there is a huge difference between the man who carries the former weapon, and the man who carries the latter.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike

     /  July 27, 2006

    Ah, much better. Thanks for the data. Militarily speaking, you have a 3 or 4 to ratio of wounded for every one fatality, so we can make a rough guess that the Hez has between 100 to 150 wounded (wounds varying from make your peace, you are wormfood in 5 minutes, to the light stuff). Now, the ratio can be skewed depending on who you are fighting, where you are fighting and so on. But we can make some rough estimates. The fighting was in a urban environment, which is the meat grinder of warfare (only WWII trench fighting, and some of the jungle fighting in WWII, and Vietnam type areas are as bad or maybe worse), and the IDF were attacking a fortified position, and uphill (this town was on a hill if I am not mistaken), and the IDF doesn’t have as many of the new GPS guided muntions the US is using in Afganistan and Iraq, so the indirect fire support may not have been as close as one could hope for. But the IDF did have indirect fire support from something heavier than a mortar, and tank support, and air support, and has a great understanding of combined arms tactics. The Hez was dug into prepared positions, in an area they knew well and had had 10 years to set up plans and defenses, on a hill. But no fire support heavier than a mortar (those big missiles are not used at this tactical level of fighting, to inaccurate), no tanks, no air support, no night vision, and second rate training from Iranian Revolutionary guards (drawing from the Iran-Iraq War experience, so its nearly 20 years out of date, and has never been tested in a standup fight. Works if you are a guerrilla fighter, not so much the other way).

    In short, the IDF stacked these morons. Loosing 40 troops when you are dug in and doing the ambushing? And only killing 9? That is embarassing. Any first rate army in the world would fire the unit commander for bollocking a simple ambush that badly. What we are seeing in the press is just like Mogliadeshu (sorry about the spelling) Somilia (aka Black Hawk Down). US looses 18 men, mission successful, and kills between 800 to 1000 enemy militia. But because the press is full of idiots who don’t have a clue about how militaries actually conduct operations, and can’t seem to get the point that people die in war no matter how well trained or equipped they are, suddenly we lost and we abandon the mission and Somilia to 15 years of anarchy. The IDF, though, isn’t going to cave into CNN like Clinton did, and since the proportion of Israeli citizens who have had military experience is so high, I don’t expect CNN’s screeching to have any effect.

    Kick them in the teeth IDF.

    Reply
  2. With the exception of the (significant) difference in support, you could almost not engineer a test-case battle more favorable to Hezbollah, unless you took away the Israelis’ rifles and gave them barbeque forks.

    And if the Iranians are the ones who also trained up the Mahdi Boyz, we know what their mortar fire is worth, too.

    Reply

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