Featured Battle Tactics 1 - Hammer and Anvil

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by jhungary, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. jhungary

    jhungary MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,300
    Ratings:
    +279 / 7,709 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    Australia
    I am starting this thread on my break hoping to create some interest in Tactical Discussion, I may not be here to update this thread as I am going back to school after summer holiday in Australia ended in Jan 30. I am going to write maybe one more artice on Miltiary Tactics and be sticking around before Jan 20 then I am going to disappear from this forum again

    I hope that member such as @AUSTERLITZ or @Levina or @PARIKRAMA can update this thread and keep the tactical discussion open for everyone. Meanwhile if you have any question, i'll be around to answer them before Jan 20, afterward. I am sorry, but maybe someone else can help you

    So, without further ado, here is the first article.

    Battle Tactics 1 - Hammer and Anvil

    anvilandhammer7qx_id1366704596_258017.png

    Introduction

    Hammer and Anvil is a classical military tactics, it was used extensively by Alexander the Great during his conquest for half of the known world. Some historian even said it was Alexander the great who created this tactics, tho it's quite doubtful this is the case.

    Hammer and Anvil is such a good tactics, even with weapon and engagement changed over time, we can still see its usage by modern military today, and one thing we cannot doubt is that it was hammer and anvil tactic that give birth to a lot of modern military tactics. either from trying to counter it or from modifying it usage over the time.

    As such, this tactic deserve to talk about in this battle tactics corner. And it is our number one article.

    Background History

    Although no one can be certain when exactly is Hammer and Anvil tactics is created, some credited Alexander the Great, no one can be certain when did this tactics was first used in any military conflict. Chances are it was already used either by mean or by accident long before 350BC (bear in mind the earliest record for cavalry is at around 450 to 500 BC.)

    However, one thing can be sure is that this tactics is made famous from Alexander the great during his conquer of half the known world.

    When Alexander use it, he uses with his companion cavalry match up with heavy or light infantry to act as the Hammer and Anvil effect. It was used quite extensively as a part of his conquering campaign

    In a historical sense, hammer and anvil were used numerous time and it's one of the old pillar of military tactics, even with time changed, with the advance weaponry, the hammer and anvil continue to be employed in theatre of war

    How does it works?

    In short, Hammer and Anvil worked by pinning your enemy, usually less mobile with your own infantry, then using a faster force to envelope your less mobile enemy from behind, thus pinning or hammering your enemy into the anvil (your own infantry) for the slaughter.

    By passing or sandwiching your enemy between your lighter but faster force and your heavy and bulkier force, you can, as we say, chop them in the front and stab them in the back, and basically surrounding your enemy from all side, it will force them to fight inn two front, also, by enveloping your enemy, you also cut off their supply.

    Easy enough to say, in reality, the success of an Hammer and Anvil tactics would require a number of factors.

    1.) Geographic factors - Geographic factors works both ways, meaning it will work for or against both you and your enemy. Putting your enemy in a harsh terrain would ensure disengagement impossible for your slower enemy, however, same terrain will also work against your own fast troop. Theoretically, the best terrain for a Hammer and Anvil tactics is with river or ocean on one side of your enemy, and slope or flatland on the other

    2.) Speed - The speed of your fast unit will need to be able to cover the gap between your enemy and their escape route, if your enemy can pull back and disengage before your fast unit converging on their retreat, then this will become a moot point.

    However, moving too fast would present another problem, moving too fast would mean your enemy have time to prepare a two front war with your slower unit and your larger unit.

    3.) Number and Strength - You need to have strength and number in both your hammer and anvil, your hammer can be of a smaller force, but your anvil must be able to absorb the blow from your enemy. Otherwise, when you hammer your enemy toward the anvil (your infantry), if there are too litter infantry to hold the line, what you basically do is simply hammer your enemy from behind and they broke your line and move forward.

    In another words, your anvil must be strong enough, and good enough to take on the grind.

    Tactical Consideration

    For Hammer and Anvil tactics, there are two distinct considerations for this tactic

    1.) Speed is the key, quick in, quick out, make sure your enemy cannot envelope your group, or in modern sense, bring artillery on top of you to bring down your attacks.

    In extreme case, your enemy could actually be setting up a trap for you to engage a smaller force, scarified that smaller force and win a local engagement with you with tactical air support or artillery support. Or they will simply roll you over with a bigger force

    2.) Anchoring the Hammer and Anvil, although a double Hammer and Anvil do exist (the one which you use cavalry on both side and roll up your enemy on both left and right flank), the anchor point of your tactics should be carefully chosen, the end goal is you want to roll up your enemy from behind, meaning you will need to anchor your infantry and your fast unit (in this case cavalry) to close a circle. otherwise you are routing your enemy, but not feeding them into your infantry grinder.

    Counter Tactics

    In some way, this tactics cannot be stopped once it started. But there are several thing you can do to push this tactics if you are in one.

    1.) Using your fast troop to engage the hammer. Very old tactics, not quite useful today, but worked well in the old days, what you simply do is to crash your own cavalry (If you have them) into the hammer paths, and if you can destroy or disrupt the hammer blow, you will force your enemy back into a grinding war.

    And because it usually mean your enemy have inferior number or strength (otherwise they would simply do a head on attack) Which mean you can usually crashed the anvil and break out.

    2.) Using your own fast troop as a hammer. If terrain allowed (therefore this is such an important requirement for this tactics), you can simply replicate your enemy by launching your own hammer and anvil attacks, that way, we can see who break first and who break first, loses.

    3.) More modern technique would call for a defensive approach with air/land/sea interdiction. It will be harder for modern warfare to pull off such a tactics, one thing is the advancement of secondary bombardment. Today, unlike ancient time, troop can be interdicted with ranged weaponry (such as Howitzer or Artillery) and the approach can be mined so the fast unit (such as tank) could be bogged down by defensive measure, as speed is the key, this will work against the tactic'

    While most people believe a refused flank can help with defending the Hammer and Anvil tactics, this have proven in battle of Cannae as false, the hammer can simply stretch to a point it can still roll up your flank, and because the cavalry is mobile, they can simply go around your refused flank and attack you from the rear.

    Case Studies

    Battle of Gaugamela - October 1, 330 BC

    Battle_of_Gaugamela,_331_BC_-_Opening_movements.png


    The prime example for Alexander the Great with his companion cavalry using the Hammer and Anvil Tactic to destroy the Persian left flank.

    Alexander, with his 47,000 troop, engaging a large Persian force led by King Darius III numbered from 60,000 to 90,000 troop and cavalry.

    Holding the main Macedonian line is 30,000 heavy pike man of the Alexander Phalanx formation, with 9,000 supporting light infantry, and 7,000 companion cavalry, Alexander the Great laid out his battle line with a double refused flank formation looks like a Trapezium Shape. With both Cavalry unit on the side, arch back 45 degrees, and the main Phalanx on the center battle line, back up with light infantry and reserves.

    Darius spread his force in a straight line, with both cavalry and chariot on the side, infantry in the center.

    The battle open with Darius engaging both flank on Alexander's line in a cavalry battle, meanwhile the charging Persian engage the phalanx formation in the center. The last bit of the puzzle is for Darius to use his chariots onto Alexander command line, which in turn opening up a gap for Alexander to charge thru. While the chariot attack was either intercepted or rendered harmless by opening up the Macedonian rank and let the chariot harmlessly passed.

    Battle_gaugamela_decisive.png

    Seizing the gap with the confused Persian cavalry and chariot, Alexander charged thru the gap with his companion cavalry, using his reserve phalanx to hold down the Persian cavalry attacks..

    After smashing into the Persian infantry line, Alexander return and engage the Persian line from behind, thus, hammering the Persian front line into Alexander's own Phalanx formation.

    At this stage, both Persian center and left flanks collapsed, and king Darius escaped, only the Persian right and center right remain as a viable force, which threaten to roll over Alexander's own left flank, eventually Alexander own force reinforced their left flank and repelled the Persian attacks. But not before some Persian troop broke thru and looting Alexander's camp.

    The overall battle is a success, with Alexander force being in a 2 on 1 long way (8/90,000 Persian v 47,000 Macedonian) and in particular, Persian cavalry outnumber Alexander's cavalry 2 or 3 to 1. The clever use of Hammer and Anvil save the day for Alexander

    Battle of Cannae - August 2, 216 BC

    Battle_of_Cannae,_215_BC_-_Initial_Roman_attack.png


    Battle of Cannae is fought between Roman Empire and Carthage on Cannae, modern day southern Italy.

    Carthaginian force numbered in 57,000 while Roman send out 8 Legions (instead of the usual 4) numbering between 50,000 o 60,000 (with high estimate to 80,000) troops. Mostly foot soldier, with roman fighting technique, these force would have been heavily armed and more importantly, heavily armored.

    The Carthaginian position their troop in two reverse echelon, resembling a triangle. With the African infantry and Spanish cavalry in the center flanked by Spanish and Numidian cavalry on the flank.

    The Roman have their usual legion march formation, packing their troop in a tight rectangular shape and march with discipline

    With both side march into each other, Roman held their formation while the Carthage change his formation with and extended convex shape resembling a slight half oval or semicircle (depending on which source you read) but in all, the Carthage line draw back at the center, with the Spanish cavalry prepare to break rank. This shape also give the Carthage a longer line which best to absorb the initial roman smash because of the shape.

    Battle_cannae_destruction.png

    Battle started with both Carthage flank attack both Roman cavalry, routing the Roman cavalry early on in the battle, leave behind the Roman infantry, early in the battle, with the Roman infantry engaging the Carthage infantry in the middle, the Carthage pull back the center to stretch the line and absorb the shock from the Roman, as the line stretch longer and curvier, the Roman rooted deep into the Carthage rank, but at this point, Hannibal order the Libyan infantry, which is heavy pike man, to engage and roll up both flank of Roman rank, which is now deep inside the Carthage line. to round up the attack, the Spanish cavalry then roll to the back of the Roman Legions and completely surrounded the Romans.

    Both African infantry and Spanish cavalry then hammer the Roman into the Carthage main line, which comprise of mostly Gaul and Iberian infantry, which is fierce hand to hand fighter.

    As such, the Roman cannot chew thru the Iberian and Gaul line and at the same time being hammered in the back, and the attack fall apart. estimated 40,000 roman (or 6 Legions) decimated in this battle, and Carthage win the battle with an overall 2 to 1 odds.

    Battle of Baghdad - April 3 - 12, 2003 AD

    One of the battle I have actually fought myself, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, the US military prepared a two front war headed by a mixed British and US Marine on the southern route, and US 3d Infantry division on the western route, this is the latest known example of Hammer and Anvil being use in modern warfare.

    20_18749.jpg

    US Marine and the British force, numbering about 18,000 ill attack town after town thru Barsa, Qul'at, al-Kut and then onto Baghdad to the south, on the other hand, US 3d ID will attack along a Western route, smashing thru Nasiriya, Najaf, Karbala and then hook right into Baghdad from the West.

    While the majority of Iraqi Republic guard will fight along the line of the US Marine and the British force, majority of them will ten be trapped between the US Marine to the south and the US 3d Infantry to the west, also with 173rd Airborne brigade airdropped to tikrit North of Baghdad, cutting off the Republic guard retreat.

    In all, the US will have 30,000 soldier amongst the 1st Marine Division, 3rd infantry division, 173 independent airborne brigade and the British force. Facing off 50,000 Iraqi republic guard littered around both US forces objective.

    MarketSaw_02 Oct. 29 15.23.jpg

    US Marine tasked to take both Al-Kut and Nasiriya with minor casualty. while the US 3rd Infantry took Najaf and Karbala and move onto the Baghdad International in the West, from there, they used the BIA as the forward base and attack Baghdad from North West, where the Marine is approaching from the south, while the 3rd Infantry battle on the West and secure 3 ring road around the City of Baghdad, taking objective Moe, Larry and Curley from south west to north west, and taking Objective Diane.

    fig193fc.jpg

    The job of 64th Armored Regiment of the 3d ID is to force the Iraqi republic guard out of their position and move south by cutting from South West to North, and force them onto the Marine line, by which time, have established road block to the south of the city.

    Rounding out the battle, the US loses at about 34 KIA with 5-600 WIA of their 30,000 troop, Iraqi suffered 2500+ KIA in the fight and unknown number of WIA, this has been contributed to the hammer and anvil effect started by the tanks of 3d ID.

    Author : Gary Locke, BA International Affair CU Boulder, MPhil Strategic Studies, Australian National University, Captain US Army, 3d Infantry Division

    All Right Reserved, do not copy or redirect this article without author permission
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 13
    • Positive Rating Positive Rating x 4
  2. jhungary

    jhungary MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,300
    Ratings:
    +279 / 7,709 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    Australia
  3. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    14,276
    Ratings:
    +59 / 34,297 / -0
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    United Arab Emirates
    Good to see you back Gary.

    I recognise this battle tactic, it definitely has been one of the most effective battle strategies. Battle of Baghdad,2003,proves that hammer and anvil tactic works in the modern day battles too.

    In Indian context, a battle fought between Aurangzeb and Sambhaji's forces, used hammer and anvil but was effectively countered by the latter's forces.
    The year was 1683,when Aurangzeb (a Mughal emperor) decided to take over the western province of Maharashtra, which was then ruled by Sambhaji (son of the legendary king Shivaji).
    Aurangzeb planned to send his 2 princes, Azam Shah and Shah Alam, to north and south respectively, to encircle the enemy and attack.
    Everything went as planned.
    But it was Shah Alam,marching south, who was the weaker link of the two, so the Marathas decided to take him down first. Marathas were known to use guerilla tactics, and since they were conversant with the territory, very rarely did the enemies succeed.
    Shah Alam's army supply chains were ransacked and his army was left to starve. Aurangzeb had to finally dispatch
    one of his minsters to rescue his prince. The plan was dropped.

    You_Doodle+_2016-12-30T02_35_54Z.jpg

    Hand marked in orange and blue are Mughal army's planned movement.

    The Mughal emperor didn't give up. Till 1687,Mughals and Marathas came face to face on many ocasssions,but nothing worked against the Marathas.
    Finally, Sambhaji was captured after being spied upon by a friendly clan.
    Since Mughal emperor had been humiliated by Sambhaji, Aurangzeb ensured that Sambhaji was tortured to death.
    By no means Marathas and Mughals can be considered equals. The Mughal army was a behemoth compared to the Maratha army. But Marathas resisted Mughals successfully with their guerilla tactics. Three decades and several battles later Aurangzeb dropped his plan to capture the western province.

    All the best.

    Thanks for the tag. :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  4. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,252
    Ratings:
    +162 / 7,914 / -0
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    Philip of Macedon instituted this as the standard battle tactic of the macedonian army,with the phalanx as the anvil and the companion cavalry as the hammer.Hammer and anvil is mostly a broad term for a combined pin and kill attack with 2 parts of your army which cane be done done by a flank attack or a single/double envelopment.David Chandler i think developed the concept of 7 classic battle maneuvres(except ambush) -

    1.Single flank envelopment
    2.Double envelopment
    3.Oblique order
    4.Penetration of centre
    5.Defensive offense
    6.Feigned retreat
    7.Indirect approach(strategic envelopment)

    Napoleon who revolutionized strategy(operational level) used the indirect appraoch maneuver and the central position move.He also used a 3rd strategic penetration move but the germans later expanded it and combined it with their schwerpunkt concept and double envelopment(on a strategic scale) to create the keil und kessel(wedge and cauldron) which became the staple of their 'blitzkrieg' style.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 10
  5. Tipu7

    Tipu7 SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,910
    Ratings:
    +34 / 8,290 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Nice piece of writing...................
    Book Marking.
    Good to have you back @jhungary :cheers:
     
  6. indiatester

    indiatester SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,604 / -1
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
  7. somebozo

    somebozo ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    16,244
    Ratings:
    +6 / 16,025 / -8
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    I love this thread!
     
  8. thebaj

    thebaj FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Ratings:
    +0 / 22 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    If I am not mistaken, the most recent use of Hammer and Anvil tactics came when Pakistan Army's special forces and airborne infantry was used to create the hammer effect by being dropped behind enemy lines and advancing down on enemy from higher ground from North-East through Peochar and from North-West through Khwazakhela and mobile infantry was used to create the anvil effect by pushing north towards Mingora. This enabled them to surround terrorists and while air strikes and aviation support pinned the Ts down, troops were able to converge on target eliminating the enemy. [​IMG]
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 8
  9. LeGenD

    LeGenD SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,251
    Ratings:
    +4 / 2,364 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Very informative. :)
     
  10. Slav Defence

    Slav Defence THINK TANK VICE CHAIRMAN: ANALYST

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,442
    Ratings:
    +87 / 12,788 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Due to high quality discussion and article's content thread has been set as "Featured"


    Excellent attempt @jhungary.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,252
    Ratings:
    +162 / 7,914 / -0
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    An example


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    5. FALL GELB 1940 :INDIRECT APPROACH + PENETRATION OF THE CENTER

    Probably the classic maneuvre campaign of modern military history .The french plan relied on a Defensive offense which failed.Exhaust the enemy on he impenetrable Maginot line and a series of river line defensive fronts stretching from france into Belgium,build up resources and eventually go on the offensive -in a repeat of what had worked in world war one.The french expected a repeat of 1914 german schliffen plan,which envisaged a huge hook maneuver invading through the low countries and sweeping into france from the coast and behind Paris which almost succeeded.As the first map shows the deployment of forces,this time the main effort was to be in the centre led by Rundstedt's Army group A and spearheaded by Kleist's Panzer Group (containing 7 out of 10 of germany's panzer divisions).The Northern army group B under Von bock would invade the low countries(Belgium and Netherlands) serving as bait -this would entice the bulk of the french reserves to be shifted northward to meet this attack -an apparent repeatation of 1914.Meanwhile the main weight of the german assault would fall on the denuded french centre through the ardennes forest-held as impassable for tanks.

    Map 2 shows the advance of Army group B in Belgium and Netherlands prompting a premature deployment of his main reserves towards this front by Gamelin in order to link up with the retreating belgian and dutch armies .Then suddenly on May 14 with the german panzer breakthrough at Sedan in the lightly held ardennes sector the main weight of german forces is revealed.French High command gives a desperate
    order recalling its reserves(see french reverse arrow) but its too late as the allies are now about to be caught between the advancing germans of Army group B in the north and Guderian's panzers racing to the french coast about to cut them off from all communications and supplies with france itself.The retreat order causes large chaos on top.

    Map 3 shows German panzers reach the coast cutting of the best part of the french army and british expeditionary force in what is called the Flanders pocket.This is a superb execution of the Indirect appraoch maneuvre.The secondary force (Army group B) attracted the attention of the main enemy army while using the terrain cover of the Ardennes forest Army group B of Rundstedt severed the enemy's main Line of Communications.

    Map 4 shows the liquidation of the Flanders pocket culminating at Dunkirk.Holding forces meanwhile fend off allied attempts to resestablish links with the pocket.After the destruction of the best part of the allied forces,german forces reorganized and redeployed.Map 5 and 6 shows the last phase of the campaign,a conventional broad front attack against the remnant of the french army .The french in this phase fought stubbornly but were faced with impossible odds having lost the bulk of their men and material in the flanders pocket.

    This campaign can also be seen as an penetration of the centre(strategic scale) example.Army group C kept french forces behind the maginot line in place,Army group B drove back the allied left (belgians and dutch) and served as bait for the main french reserves.The weakened french centre then penetrated and the entire allied defnsive system split in 2 by the main german attack by Army group A.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  12. jhungary

    jhungary MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,300
    Ratings:
    +279 / 7,709 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    Australia
    can't find any information on the battle you mentioned, the only information I have found is the Mughal–Maratha Wars in general ,and most of them are either wikipedia, or copy from wikipedia....

    from your description and the mapping laid out, it looks more like a double envelopment to me (or pincer move) Pincer move is to pinch the enemy in place, hammer and anvil is to stuck out the enemy from their defensive/offensive position so you can kill him with your line.

    But then I may be wrong, as I got no material to go on.............

    lol, thanks, I may need your help on my Research paper tho, that is for my MPhil degree and I am writing a thesis on How Operational Objective affect Strategic Decision making.

    I need someone to proof read my shit.......But that thesis is 40,000 + word long, so I don't know if you are interested.

    Hammer and Anvil can be said basically as a tactics that you somehow achieve a total encirclement in the end, usually by pinning the infantry or less mobile unit from the front, then out flank them using a faster unit to the back, sometime if the battle line allow, a flanking move may also be use to roll up your enemy flank before sealing the couldron.

    The key is to out manuover your enemy by using a faster force to "jump" your enemy from behind, it used to be cavalry duing the classical period, but today this goes to armored and more importantly helicopter assault. Hammer and Anvil is the perferred tactic for US during Vietnam war,

    The different between a flanking move (either single or pincer) and hammer and anvil is thathow do you anchor the flank (the hammer) in response to the anvil, to be albe to hammer your enemy into your anvil, you will need to anchor your troop to push (hence toward your own troop) instead of roll up your enemy's back or flank (Peripendicular to your enemy).

    Russian called this manuover sword and shield...

    And co-incidentally, I have planned my next article I will talk about the ambush tactics...

    thank you

    Thank you, as I said, helicopter assault goes hand in hand with hammer and anvil, US forces used Hammer and Anvil primary to hammer out the vietnamese both by APC or Heliborn assault, you will find a lot of example of Hammer and Anvil in vietnam war.

    Thank you, please contribute your thought about the topic or any other tactics.

    I think this is a Double Envelopment instead of Hammer and Anvil. In hammer and Anvil, you pivot your hammer and drive the enemy toward your anvil, thus, the hammer need to be quick and it need to be anchor toward your anvil. In a flanking move, you push both your pincer to the side away from the base of fire. That way you can achieve a giv-or-take 90 degree kill angle (or Enfilade) on your enemy and roll up your enemy that way, the fact that you said your mobile infantry move north suggest this is a pincer instead of a hammer and anvil, becasue if that is the latter case, your infantry won't move. As the anvil part is the one that absorb the enemy blows.

    But then not knowing much of the detail, I could be wrong..........just that it seems like this is a pincer move from what you are describing with respect to my own experience

    Well, got a few days free from school works and works, and sick and tired of playing computer games, decided to hang back here for a while

    Then I saw nothing had changed and decided to start something meaningful instead. But then I am going to be here until 20th, then it'sa combination of library time, work, and research.....

    Can you make this thread sticky for the future purpose, I am going to put 1 may be 2 (if I had time) more article and hoping other people can fill this thread with meaningful information.

    very good example.

    Would have give you a positive rating, but someone disabled my rating panel. I cannot give thanks, positive or negative on anyone anymore :) bummer
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  13. قناص

    قناص SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Messages:
    2,814
    Ratings:
    +14 / 3,620 / -8
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    @jhungary ,thanks Mr Gray
    I think most of times this tactics is effective due to strong psychological effect of facing enemy from front and back and all escape routes block,closing of retreating lines or occupation of regrouping grounds by enemies actually breaks fighting will of enemy soldiers in no time,in such case there over all fighting capabilities are reduced.
    I will be thankful if you will put forward an Example when well laid Hammer and Anvil tactics was broken down by counter maneuvers.
     
  14. jhungary

    jhungary MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,300
    Ratings:
    +279 / 7,709 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    Australia
    The only case I remember for a well laid Hammer and Anvil blow that went to hell is in Vietnam War, during Operation Lam Son 719.

    The original warplan call for a Mobile Infantry Strike along route 9 into Cambodia. Then a series of Air Assualt will be launch NVA/VC firebase along Route 9 and forcing them to route 9 and be wipe out by the main line of Infantry in route 9.

    The plan went to shit when the VC/NVA know the ARVN is coming (A short work on intel where the North realise the troop and material build up, also by northern sympathiser) , they have positioned AA and SAM along these firebase to shoot down the helicopter assault force, then they bring heavy artillery along thsee strong point to pound the ARVN position day and night, and that is all because the plan have been saw throught by the North Vietnamese command and the South did not have a contingency plan in place, and when they were hit by an ambush, they lose their best troop and did not know how to react.

    That also let the South Vietnamese realise one thing, That is their best troop is not matching the Northern Best troop, and that is a demoralising blow
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. A.P. Richelieu

    A.P. Richelieu SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,786
    Ratings:
    +7 / 1,816 / -0
    Country:
    Sweden
    Location:
    Sweden
    The favourite example of (7) beeing the Ulm campaign.

    From Wiki: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ulm

    [​IMG]
    Mack surrenders to Napoleon at Ulm by Paul-Émile Boutigny
    On 14 October, Ney crushed Riesch's small corps at the Battle of Elchingen and chased its survivors back into Ulm. Murat detected Werneck's force and raced in pursuit with his cavalry. Over the next few days, Werneck's corps was overwhelmed in a series of actions at Langenau, Herbrechtingen, Nördlingen, and Neresheim. On 18 October he surrendered the remainder of his troops. Only Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este and a few other generals escaped to Bohemia with about 1,200 cavalry. Meanwhile, Soult secured the surrender of 4,600 Austrians at Memmingen and swung north to box in Mack from the south. Jellacic slipped past Soult and escaped to the south only to be hunted down and captured in the Capitulation of Dornbirn in mid-November by Pierre Augereau's late-arriving VII Corps. By 16 October, Napoleon had surrounded Mack's entire army at Ulm, and three days later Mack surrendered with 25,000 men, 18 generals, 65 guns, and 40 standards.

    Some 20,000 escaped, 10,000 were killed or wounded, and the rest made prisoner. About 500 French were killed and 1,000 wounded, a low number for such a decisive battle. In less than 15 days the Grande Armée neutralized 60,000 Austrians and 30 generals. At the surrender (known as the Convention of Ulm), Mack offered his sword and presented himself to Napoleon as, "the unfortunate General Mack."[2][3][4] Bonaparte smiled and replied, "I give back to the unfortunate General his sword and his freedom, along with my regards to give to his Emperor."[citation needed] Francis II was not as kind, however. Mack was court-martialed and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.