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Military History of Swarming: 

Military History of Swarming January 13, 2003 Sean J.A. Edwards National Ground Intelligence Center Email – JWICS: fredwsa@ngic.ic.gov, NIPRNET: fredwsa@ngic.army.mil Phone - DSN: 521-7577, Commercial: (434) 980-7577

Slide2: 

General Types of Swarming General Type Example Social Biological Police/Fire Departments Terrorist Military Bees, wolves Smart mobs, “Critical Mass,” cell phone-based social groups Horse archers, U-boat “wolfpacks,” Spitfires defending Britain Al-Qaida cells Response to bank robberies, fires

Military Swarming: 

Military Swarming Basic characteristics Attrition based - light swarm units avoid close combat Attacks designed to disrupt cohesion of adversary More fluid with common tactics being feigned withdrawal, ambush, feint, ruse, infiltration Similar to double envelopment but not the same sustained pulsing, not sustained close combat Not a siege, involves maneuver Definition: “Swarming occurs when the scheme of maneuver is a convergent attack of several semi-autonomous (or autonomous) units on a target”

Difference Between Swarming and Guerrilla Tactics: 

Difference Between Swarming and Guerrilla Tactics Swarming Several or more units Sustainable pulsing Dispersed, non-linear Guerrilla tactics Only a few units involved 1 raid or ambush only Dispersed, non-linear

What Can the Past Tell Us?: 

What Can the Past Tell Us? When did swarming work and when did it fail? Are there any "dominant factors" which appear most frequently across many cases? How do swarmers do against non-swarmers? Does swarming work more frequently on offense rather than defense? Does swarming success vary according to terrain? How did swarmers satisfy their logistical requirements?

Slide6: 

Scythians vs. Macedonians, Central Asian campaign, 329 - 327 BC Parthians vs. Romans, Carrhae, 53 BC Seljuk Turks vs. Byzantines, Manzikert, 1071 Seljuk Turks vs. Crusaders, Dorylaeum, 1097 Mongols vs. Eastern Europeans, Liegnitz, 1241 Woodland Indians vs. US Army, St. Clair’s Defeat, 1791 Napoleonic Corps vs. Austrians, Ulm Campaign, 1805 Boers vs. British, Majuba Hill, 1881 U-boats vs. British convoys, Atlantic, 1939 – 1945 Somalis vs. US Commandos, Mogadishu, 1993 Historical Cases Completed

Slide7: 

Two Types of Tactical Swarming “Massed Swarm” (Eurasian horse archers) “Dispersed Swarm” (Somali Militia)

Example of Massed Swarming – Arsuf, 1191: 

Example of Massed Swarming – Arsuf, 1191 “they are like tiresome flies which you can flap away for a moment, but which come back the instant you have stopped hitting at them” Classic “Marching” battle Elusiveness based on Turkish horse archer Excellent leaders on both sides Conventional Crusader army adopts combined-arms box formation Crusader cohesion never disrupted

Slide9: 

Mongols Manchus Seljuk Turks Scythians Huns Avars Parthians Sarmatians Nomadic Swarmers from Central Asia

Example of Dispersed Swarming – Mogadishu, 1993: 

Example of Dispersed Swarming – Mogadishu, 1993 Command and Control: Burning tires Runners Cell phones Megaphones Smoke from crash sites Sound of firefights Elusiveness based on: Urban terrain Noncombatants Home turf Roadblocks, narrow alleys equalized mobility

Slide11: 

Basic Pattern Analysis Situational awareness Elusiveness (mobility or concealment) Standoff firepower Woodland Indians Napoleonic Corps Somalis Boers U-boat (1939-42) Seljuk Turks I Mongols Scythians Parthians Seljuk Turks II Countermeasures: negation

Slide12: 

Feigned retreats and ambushes are common swarm tactics Swarming strategy usually based on attrition – knockout blows rare Common problems are strongpoint reduction, fratricide Logistics a constraint Mongol toumens could not find enough forage in Germany or Syria Terrain often key to elusiveness Heavy woodlands, urban areas, ocean, grasslands Conclusions from Preliminary Research

Modern Concerns: 

Modern Concerns Dependence on reliable communications Bandwidth concerns Electromagnetic threats include EW, EMP Terrain restrictions Logistics – swarming has never been done solely with ground vehicles? Minefields Unit morale

Why is Swarming Relevant?: 

Why is Swarming Relevant? Natural for future battlefield environment Greater dispersion Nonlinear Command and control networked, decentralized Small autonomous units operating independently Greater reliance on aerospace firepower Potential for “medium” rapid reaction forces who must avoid direct fire battles use standoff fires as much as possible rely on elusiveness for survivability How do LAVs fight tanks?

The Trend in Lethality: 

400 BC 200 BC 1000 1200 1100 100 BC 300 BC 1400 1300 1600 1500 1800 1700 2000 1900 Theoretical Killing Capacity per hour 20 50 100 500 1000 5000 10K 10M 1000K 500K 100K Hand-to-Hand Weapons Sarissa Sword Gladius Smoothbore cannons 18th Century 12-pounder 17th Century 12-pounder 16th Century 12-pounder Smoothbore small arms Flintlock Rifled small arms Minie Rifle Machine gun Rifled artillery 155mm Long Tom WW2 tank Tank French 75mm Fighter-bombers The Trend in Lethality

Historical Trend in Area per Soldier: 

Historical Trend in Area per Soldier Antiquity – 10 sq. meters per man Gulf War – 426,000 meters per man

Slide17: 

Linear Non-linear “phases” Non-linearity Dispersion Swarming Low High Low High Non-linearity and Dispersion

Concluding Remarks : 

Concluding Remarks Given historical trends in dispersion, weapon lethality, and nonlinearity, swarming seems a natural fit Potential operational concept for rapid reaction missions (“Halt” scenario) Rapidly deployable joint forces will need to be elusive when “halting” heavy armor threats Understanding swarming will also help to counter adversarial swarming

Backup Slides : 

Backup Slides Backup

October 17, 1805. Capitulation of Ulm: 

October 17, 1805. Capitulation of Ulm

Slide21: 

Magyars vs. Germans, Lechfeld, 955 Seljuk Turks vs. Crusaders, Hattin, 1187 Seljuk Turks vs. Crusaders, Arsuf, 1191 Mamluks vs. Mongols, Ayn Jalut, 1260 Conquistadors vs. Aztecs, Mexico city, 1520 English Navy vs. Spanish Armada, 1588 Patriot Militia vs. British, Lexington and Concord, 1775 Zulus vs. British, Isandhlwana, 1879 Chechens vs. Russians, Grozny, 1994,1999 Cases in Progress

Slide22: 

Historical Cases Examined

Backup Slides : 

Backup Slides Backup - linearity

Linearity and Land Warfare: 

Linearity and Land Warfare Linear armies conduct offensive operations on a continuous front in one direction at the tactical-operational level Armies and tactical formations have become more linear in order to: Maximize combat power Reduce their vulnerability to incoming missiles Decrease fratricide Ease command and control Flank or avoid being flanked In general, tactical deployment has evolved from dense phalanxes, maniples, and tercios to thinner and longer lines

Non-Linearity vs. Linearity: 

Non-Linearity vs. Linearity Non-linear warfare: Maneuver-based Multi-directional fighting No stable front, flanks, and rear Units are dispersed and relatively more independent Linear warfare Attrition-based Siege like Methodical Units heavier, slower, rely on stable supply

Linear versus Non-Linear Tactics: 

Linear versus Non-Linear Tactics X X Phase Line Charlie X Linear Non-Linear II II II II II II II II II units on line units converging fluid approach close combat stand-off avenue of approach 100 km

Linear versus Non-Linear Operational Art: 

Linear versus Non-Linear Operational Art seaport airfield X X Phase Line Alpha Phase Line Bravo Phase Line Charlie X X X seaport X X X X Avenue of Approach Line of Contact Linear Non-Linear X X 100 km

The Linear Roman Legion: 

The Linear Roman Legion Hastati Principes Triarii 1200’ 250’ Maniples of 120 men Maniples of 60 men 120 men total 12 man front 10 man depth 60 men 6 man front 10 man depth Each maniple consisted of 2 centuries 1 Triarri maniple 250’ 60 men 60 men Centuries can fill in the gaps

17th and 18th Century Linear Formations : 

17th and 18th Century Linear Formations Prussian Processional March Platoons of the second line Platoons of the first line Direction of march Individual platoons French Battalion of Column-of-Divisions

Linear Control Measures Today: 

Linear Control Measures Today XX XX PL FEBA FSCL ACA CFL Delta ZF-2 ZF-1 RFL XX X X X II II II X

Non-Linearity in Military History: 

Non-Linearity in Military History Swarming operations Guerrilla and partisan operations Airborne, airmobile, and special operations 20th Century maneuver warfare - has introduced non-linear “phases” Hutier tactics Blitzkrieg Soviet Deep Operation theory Operational Maneuver Groups (OMGs) AirLand Battle

Infiltration Tactics from the First World War: 

Infiltration Tactics from the First World War 2) Storm troops infiltrate and by pass 3) Support troops mop up centers of resistance 1) Hurricane artillery barrage preparation of poisonous gas, smoke and high explosive shell 4) Regular infantry troops and reserves clear trenches, relieve storm units

Blitzkrieg in the Second World War: 

Blitzkrieg in the Second World War Linear defensive front Penetration Exploitation Penetration Encirclement

Maneuver Warfare and Non-linearity: 

Maneuver Warfare and Non-linearity 1) Initial assault 2) Breakthrough and exploitation 3) Eventual reestablishment of defensive line in the rear Non-linear phase

Soviet “Deep Battle” in the Second World War: 

Soviet “Deep Battle” in the Second World War

Backup Slides : 

Backup Slides Backup - Lethality, dispersion

Technology and Weapon Lethality: 

Technology and Weapon Lethality Impact of weapon technology usually only felt after a period of assimilation Weapon lethality remained relatively flat throughout history Artillery became the king of lethality in late 19th century Breech-loading, rifling, recoil-systems, smokeless powder, and high explosive shells “Technology of technology” systematizes weapon development by the end of WW2 Air-delivered, precision guided munitions (PGMs) in the late 20th century rendered concentrations of vehicles vulnerable Cluster, top-attack, self guiding IR, MW, GPS sensors

Slide38: 

The Trend in Dispersion

Timeline of Gunpowder Weapons : 

Timeline of Gunpowder Weapons

Timeline of Gunpowder Weapons II: 

Timeline of Gunpowder Weapons II

Quantifying Theoretical Lethality: 

Quantifying Theoretical Lethality If one assumes that lethality is the inherent capability of a given weapon to kill personnel or make material ineffective in one hour, where capability includes range, rate of fire, accuracy, radius of effects, and battlefield mobility, then quantitative measures can be computed to compare dissimilar weapons Weapon Killing Capacity Sword 20 Javelin 18 Simple bow 20 Longbow 34 Crossbow 32 Arquebus 10 16th C. 12-pounder cannon 43 17th C. matchlock musket 19 17th Century 12-pounder cannon 229 18th Century flintlock musket 47 18th Century 12-pounder cannon 3,970 Weapon Killing Capacity Minie rifle, muzzle-loading 154 Late 19th Century breech-loading rifle 229 Sprinfield Model 1903 rifle (magazine) 778 WW1 machine gun 12,730 French 75mm gun 340,000 WW1 fighter-bomber 229,200 WW2 machine gun 17,980 US 155mm M2 "Long Tom" gun 533,000 WW2 medium tank 2,203,000 WW2 fighter-bomber 3,037,900

Ancillary Technology: 

Ancillary Technology Command Year Ox, mule, horse Logistics and Mobility General Advances 1850s Internal combustion engine Steam engine Radio effective Telegraph Quality cheap steel 1840 Field telephone Portable timekeeping pieces Late 1600s Horse drawn cart/horse collar 1769 1887 Radar effective 1940 1944 Motor truck and tanks effective Military maps with contour lines Late 1700s 1200 More surfaced roads Antiquity Late 1800s 1914 Aerial photography

Categories of Non-Linearity and Dispersion: 

Non-linearity Dispersion Traditional Linear Linear with dispersed units Non-linear dispersed Non-linear 1. 2. 3. 4. Categories of Non-Linearity and Dispersion

Summary of Land Warfare Trends: 

Summary of Land Warfare Trends Command Examples 18th Century musket infantry Linearity Dispersion WW1 Storm troops using hutier tactics WW2 Panzer Divisions Very linear, single front, units contiguous, attacks in waves, tactics sequential Nonlinear phases with multiple fronts, attacks in spearheads, bypass strong points encirclements, more mixing of enemy and friendly units Decentralized, use of mission order, reactive, high initiative, high articulation Centralized, methodical, deliberate, preplanned, hierarchical, low articulation Low dispersion, high density, shoulder-to-shoulder, files of men WW1 trench warfare More dispersion, squads of men, open order formations Roman legion Future forces? Longer non-linear phases? Non-hierarchical, networked? Highly dispersed, maneuver by fire, pulsing? OMGs, AirLand Battle

Slide45: 

Backup - tactics

Tactics and Operational Art Based on Logistics: 

Tactics and Operational Art Based on Logistics Tactics have evolved to cut or threaten vulnerable supply lines Turning movements Encirclements Encirclement Turning Movement

Slide47: 

Feigned Withdrawal

Slide48: 

Tactics I

Slide49: 

Turning Movement Tactics II

Slide50: 

Backup - Logistics

History of Logistics: 

History of Logistics Roman legion required 1,000 pack animals for transport and 12.5 oxen, 120 sheep, or 38 pigs for food every day Introduction of rapid firing small arms and artillery in the late 19th C. both increased demand and changed its nature The Allies in one month of WW1 fired off 2x ammunition used by the North in the entire four years of the Civil War Food, firewood, and fodder are 99% of supplies in 1870, only 8% in 1940 Transportation technology has played major role Baggage animal, surfaced roads, horse drawn cart, locomotive, motor truck, future tilt rotor? The locomotive is the great logistical turning point Allowed increase in size and mechanization of armies Railways became “bones of strategy” Motor trucks allow operational penetrations up to 3-400 miles from railhead in WW2

Slide52: 

Backup - Dissertation

The Army’s Strategic Dilemma: 

The Army’s Strategic Dilemma Deployment of rapid reaction forces in the first several weeks of a crisis that is survivable against heavy force Kosovo (1999) and the Persian Gulf War (1990) are two examples 389 C-130s Heavy forces not air deployable Light forces not survivable Yes No 0.10 tons 40 tons 70 tons

The Army’s Answer: Future Rapid Reaction Forces: 

The Army’s Answer: Future Rapid Reaction Forces Medium forces on the way 20 tons or less Transportable by C-130 Globally deployable 96 hours after wheels up Interim force with LAVIII, MGS Objective force with Future Combat System Cannot face most enemy armor so we need new operational concepts Army transformation motivated in part by what we think future war will be like 2000 02 03 c. 2012 c. 2025 Start IBCT IOC IBCT R&D Plan Design Objective Force complete transformation -- R&D -- --fielding -- Expand Interim Force Transform into Objective Force

Our Problem: How Do Medium Forces Fight?: 

Our Problem: How Do Medium Forces Fight? To survive and be effective, rapid reaction medium units must: avoid direct fire battles use standoff fires as much as possible rely on elusiveness for survivability But: The Army does not have the operational concept to do this How do these fight these? Spam in a can?

The Need for Rapid Reaction Force: 

The Need for Rapid Reaction Force Halt the enemy when he invades allied territory Other time sensitive missions like stopping ethnic cleansing Counter enemy anti-access strategies (airland inside) Deter aggression

Related Research in Enhancing Rapid Reaction Forces: 

Related Research in Enhancing Rapid Reaction Forces Arroyo Center – high level simulation has focused on enhancing air-deployable forces so they can defeat enemy mechanized forces Defensive posture Tried making light forces lighter or heavier, introduced medium force Combination of remote indirect systems and organic fire works best Project Air Force (PAF) - seeking ways to enhance air power’s ability to engage elusive ground targets “Enhancing Aerospace Operations Against Elusive Ground Targets” (2001)

The Solution Must Be Joint: 

The Solution Must Be Joint The future environment and the nature of medium forces calls for a joint solution Medium ground forces needs airpower to provide the offensive punch (the “hammer”) Air forces need a maneuverable ground element to act: As the “anvil” to flush out elusive targets and force them to mass or move As forward air controllers

Dissertation Objective: 

Dissertation Objective Outline operational concepts based on swarming for two scenarios: Initial halt campaign: a light/medium ground force uses swarming to stop enemy mechanized forces Dispersed operations: a light/medium ground force uses swarming against adaptive enemies who have dispersed

Methodology: 

Methodology Complete historical research: add 30-50 more historical cases to a database and examine them for patterns and insights Model dispersed nonlinear operations Combine insights and provide a framework for two operational concepts based on swarming

I. Qualitative Methods: 

I. Qualitative Methods Gather data on 40 cases Identify dominant factors and constraints Draw inferences, eliminate hypotheses, pattern-match, make analytic generalizations Use the Qualitative Comparative Method (by Charles Ragin) Place binary data in truth tables and build a boolean equation

II. Modeling: 

II. Modeling Most models tend to emphasize attrition warfare and linear operations along well-defined front lines (based on Lanchester equations) EINSTein is a simple agent-based model that assumes land combat is a complex adaptive system Highlights SOPs and contingency plans when units lose situational awareness Allows tradeoffs between centralized and decentralized command and control structures Models network verse network conflicts when units are autonomous (more applicable to 2nd scenario) Explore swarming tactics (like creating a golden bridge, feigned withdrawals, the half moon)

III. Create Operational Concepts: 

III. Create Operational Concepts Combine data and insights from earlier phases Formulate hypotheses, establish parameter values from qualitative data for input to computer simulations Considering tradeoffs in: Schemes of maneuver Tactics, formations Command, control, and communications Behavioral rules, SOPs Sensor and weapon range Coordination of aerospace and ground elements Constraints (terrain, mission) Address concerns such as destruction in detail, fratricide, unit cohesion, dependence on communications, logistics, minefields

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