Monday, January 01, 2018

The Chinese Super Heavy Mech Infantry Division...this is my guess on its purpose...

This monster was designed for operations against heavy German fortifications during the late stages of WW2.  It can be assumed that if necessary it would have taken part in heavy urban combat not only in Berlin (had the Army not collapsed) but also in Japan if the much worried about invasion had actually been necessary...

Remember the post I did here?

It covered steps that the Chinese were making to create a Joint Rapid Reaction Force.  It was composed of the usual cast of characters that we would expect to make up any such force.  Airborne, Marines,Air Assault and Special Ops. 

What surprised many, including me was the addition of the 112th Division to the mix.  Why was that?  Because according to the China Defense Blog (if you ain't dialed into what these guys are doing then you're missing out...we're getting an order of battle that must make the CIA and DIA envious) the 112th is classed as a Super Heavy Mech Division.

Why create such a division in the first place and more importantly what is its intended purpose.

I finally hit on something and it should alarm China's neighbors in the Pacific...especially Taiwan.

One caveat before I get to it.

We're operating just off the name.  I've written China Defense Blog a note to see if they could provide us with some fleshed out numbers.  How many Battalions/Brigades of Infantry?  Same with Tanks, Artillery and supporting units.  Does it have extra enabling units like Engineers, PsyOps, Air Defense etc...

But back on task.

I believe the 112th is designed to be the Chinese answer to the urban combat riddle.

Full disclosure.  I've been just short of alarmed by the solution that the USMC appears to be arriving at to fight in Mega Cities.  I personally believe that the fight should be avoided and that there is NO military reason for choosing to fight in that location.  Use precision weapons, MAYBE make quick raids that are reinforced beyond belief but to fight in a city with tens of millions of people?  I'm guessing that we'd be looking at lost battalions.

My belief is that the Chinese have studied urban combat from Chechnya, to Ukraine, to Fallujah and back into antiquity.

It's my belief that instead of trying to go with small units they are forming a dedicated unit to fight in urban areas.  More importantly its my view that they've learned that armor is essential in this type of fight (as well as robust infantry) and they're tailoring a force to make it happen.

Will one division be able to take down an entire city?


Will it be better positioned to support assaults by Marines, Airborne or Air Assault troops on key locations?

You bet your ass.

Imagine this scenario (short and sweet).

The Chinese have run out of strategic patience with the Taiwan issue.  Their leaders decide that the time is right to "take" Taiwan.  What would we see?  Chinese Marines would land and seize Hsinchu City.  They would use airfields in that location as a staging point for further actions on the island.  5th columnists would be activated and would hinder Taiwanese forces from reacting and the massive aerial bombardment along with almost continuous fighter sweeps over the island would essential make the Taiwanese Army/Marines fight from their barracks instead of making the defenders fight to get to the beach.

Airborne troops would land on key objectives in the city (or nearby) and would be supported by air assault troops flying in from ships at sea.  Additional Marines would support those actions by landing directly on river ports in Taipei.

By this time Taiwanese Army/Marines would have somewhat recovered from the initial assault and will seek to make their last stand in the seat of govt...Taipei's city center...the location of the civilian govt, military leadership and the cultural center of the island nation.

Taipei is huge!

It's got a population of just under 3 million people.

This is where the 112th comes into its own.  With the heavy use of PsyOps personnel broadcasting that this is unification and not an invasion, along with previously unknown prominent 5th columnist inside Taiwan that are high ranking politicians/actors/religious leaders, the citizens are warned to stay inside and to not interfere with ongoing Chinese operations.

They are promised that food and water will be provided as soon as the legitimate Chinese govt has taken control and that they should revel in the new found freedom that will be arriving thanks to the Red Dragon's Marines, Paratroops etc...

The 112th using it tank with infantry leapfrogging, doing a bit of bounding overwatch on a lightning strike into the city center are able to bypass or assault various Taiwanese Army/Marine infantry platoons attempting to put up resistance from high rise buildings, the sewer system or even on street level by erecting makeshift barricades and using impromptu IEDs.

The 112th is designed to fight in urban areas.

I expect the approach that the Chinese are taking is to first fleshout the unit with equipment already on hand.  This means that it will be available for action now...not sometime in the future.

But I also believe that we will see special purpose "city fighting" armored vehicles to make an appearance soon.  It's past time for the next generation of Chinese armored fighting vehicles to be hitting the scenes.  By my reckoning the Chinese Light Tank is the first of many such vehicles we'll see over the next couple of years that will make up this new generation.

It is my belief that some "pride" plays will be cut loose.  I'm thinking of the Chinese EFV in this category.  I think that some pure Chinese copy of old Western gear will be finally replaced.  Think of the Chinese HMMWV in this category.  Essentially I expect to see a Chinese version of the Russian T-15 or the Israeli Namer to make an appearance.

I've been the first to accuse the Chinese of stealing intellectual property and to simply copy US/Western formations/tactics/equipment.

This could be the first instance where we're seeing the Chinese study the same materials that we are and coming up with a totally different conclusion. The sad thing?  The solution (if I'm right) that they're arriving at is the similar to what I would have come up with.

Remember my calls for a Reinforced MEU instead of the push for Company Landing Teams (adding additional artillery, Motor T and AAVs)?  Remember my screaming to dump the SPMAGTF-CR and to push for a 4th ship for our MEUs (the MLP would serve in that role)?

The Chinese are going for combined arms teams across the board, regardless of role.  The West is trying to go light and to emphasize air power as the great equalizer.

Someone is right and, someone is wrong.

In this case I'm scared shitless that the Chinese are getting it right.

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