Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The successful siege of Adampan

Mannar7 copy

With Adampan under siege for over 5 months, courtesy of the 3 prongs of 58 division, it was always hard to guess for the Tamil Tigers as to which prong might take the initiative to wrest control of this all important urban area.

The good news came courtesy of 582 brigade on Friday the 9th of May 2008, which around a week earlier made indications that it would advance along the A32 towards PAPPAMODDAI from THIRUKETHISWARAM kovil. Tamil media released a news item on how its defensive units thwarted this 'major thrust' when all the time it was one clever deceptive move by the 58 divisional battle planners.

583 brigade which were pinned down at PALLIKULI for over 2 months made its move bypassing the town and reaching the ADAMPAN town junction via NEDUNKANDAL.The ground work for this move was laid on 22nd of March 2008 when PARAYAKULAM and ILANTHIVAN were brought under Government control.

Meanwhile at the time of posting 581 are involved in wresting control East of the Adampan box which otherwise would leave the Eastern flank open for possible Tamil Tiger counter attack. This move also aids the now captured MADHU sanctuary area.

As I said in my earlier brief

With the ADAMPAN box firmly within its grasp, the SLA has the opportunity of joining the all important A32:

  1. From North of ADAMPAN junction via MULLIKANDAL and MINUKKAN towards PAPPAMODDAI
  2. From North of ANDANKULAM junction via KANNADI and PARAPPUKADANTHAN west
  3. From North of THIRUKETHISWARAM via PAPPAMODAI

Whatever option SLA takes, it will not be welcome news to the Tamil Tigers. With the supply sea routes fast shrinking with its overseas arms network in close scrutiny than never before, it will attempt to defend its sea bases tooth and nail. One such base of particular interest to the SLA is VIDULAITIVU, notorious for its sea smuggling operations conducted to and from TamilNadu safe houses. Unfortunately for the Tamil Tigers this base lies in close proximity to the A32 making any siege against the sea base fall perfectly in line with SLA's long term goals.

52 comments:

The Long-Ranger said...

My apologies for cluttered nature of the supplemented map. There were so many 'moves' in this sector, hence I've done my best to include the major moves. Unlike my detailed briefs, this one was done in haste due to my commitments elsewhere. Time permiting I will answer posed questions. Take Care.

commando said...

As always no questions on your article. But looking at your articles, it seems to me that surrounding the enemy is the best option.
But what disturbs me most is that why other fronts don't use this kind of strategy.
Some questions on that:
1. Aren't there enough resources in other fronts like the mannar front?
2. Is the government giving priority to this front because of its strategic importance?
3. Do we employ our best special force commandos in this region?
4. Are the leaders in region are innovative and brilliant leaders than other fronts?
5. Althogh the terrain is difficult and hostile to friendly forces and enemy has the advantage, they get slowly to their destinations. Why the other fronts are not progressing simmilarly?

Thank you for the interesting article and I would be happy happy for if you could kindly answer my questions. If any of the answers of mine can be advantageous to the enemy bloggers here, i would be satisfied with the other answers.

Strategic said...

Would you be able to point us to where VIDULAITIVU is? I was unable to find it on any map.

Thanks !

TropicalStorm said...

Complete sea-denial will make it absolutely necessary for the LTTe to open a different front before attrition grinds it completely into the dust.
It is very likely that the jaffna front would be the new front.This aspect of the game makes the question earlier raised in this forum; whether E'pass should be taken out or not, a very relavant point of interest. If the E'Pass tiger garrison is neutralized, Jaffna becomes a complete amphibious assault for the tigers. If this happens they'd need to launch with the intention of holding an open beach-head for long against vastly superior forces.
The final battles will definitely become really interesting.

The Long-Ranger said...

Commando,
It is pretty much the same strategy and the speed of each strategy being employed depends on each objective in each scenario. The madhu theatre for example took months to make sure the shrine was not damaged. This is basic siege warfare where results are quite slow. In the case of Adampan and its surroundings the weather played a big part in hampering progress. Since the earlier article I posted in March 08, Adampa should have fallen much much earlier, probably in 3 weeks or so if not for the rains. As I said in that previous brief Adampan tank was defunct, but the lashing heavy rains filled her up making the troops to move around the tank instead of dissecting through it. In the case of Welioya you may have notices its the same JANAKAPURA/KIRI IBBANWEWA in most MOD briefs. This doesn't mean there's NO progress, it just means that the fighting is taking place in each AG division. The North of these border villages are no man's land with dense forest. There are hardly any human habitats, which also means there are NO roads. The only roads are from KOKKUTHUDUVAI to ALAMPIL and to KOLAMUNAI running hugging the coast.

Strategic,

Hope this map helps.
http://cirm-srilanka.org/html/
administrative_map_mannar.html

Tropical Storm,
Agree on the concept of complete sea denial, but I disagree on the concept of a final battle.

C. Coin said...

long-ranger,
thanks for the great article. never had this kind of insight into our forces maneuvers. on the matter of blocking the sea routes, why not ban fishing totally on the shorelines tigers are occupying now? if we did that we could easily stop the smuggling. will the civilians starve if we did that ? i think as long as there is fishing freedom tigers can smuggle anything.

kaatikuddupaan said...

civilians may lose a bit of livelihood in mullatitivu area for a while but it will encourage them to escape to government held areas.


Mannar fishermen ( Pesalai , talaimannar) need to be kept under close scrutiny with intelligence as they are very active smugglers of supplies and people.

Strategic said...

Thanks for the map long-ranger !

cable said...

As always thanks for the detailed explanation and map. real help to discern whats going on in the battle field.

Just one thing thats not quite clear to me you said

" 581 are involved in wresting control East of the Adampan box"

is 581 trying to link up with Adampan or they are already in adampan trying to link up with Madhu area?

if you can clear this up when you have time it will be a great help

Shan said...

Long-Ranger

an avide reader of your blog.

Which of the three options do you think is better than others

take care mate

Renegade! said...

Longranger,

Excellent article-i like Detailed analysis, and you deliver them HOT!!..

Just one thing-If you can analyse the most recent debacle on the same nagarkovil-muhamalai axis, where around 150 SLA were KIA?? AND 4 ARMORED vehicles knocked out???

Rajarata said...

Good post mate ! Can ya discuss the Sea Tigers bases along the Palk straits ?

mboi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mboi said...

here's a crop from my high res sl map. cant upload the whole thing cos its too big. this crop covers all the wanni theatre, from south of vavuniya all the way to point pedro. adampan, periyamadu, pallamadu, vidulaitivu, its all there.

http://img241.imageshack.us/
img241/8199/slmap1os2.jpg

mboi said...

above map is very good in combination with long-ranger's detailed small area maps.

mazeB said...

long ranger thanks for the great article.

in the DBS jayaraj column on the nation he mentions about The old “Beirut trail” what is it ? any details about it.

thanks

Long-Ranger said...

Mazeb,

Beirut trail ARE jungle tracks used by the Tamil Tigers to cross between North and East. For example when the Eastern bastion fell, it was these trails the Tamil Tigers used to cross to the North. This 'Beirut Trail' runs from THOPPIGALA up to PERARU jungles running through Allai-Kantalai, MANIRASAKULAM south, THAMBALAGAMUWA, Trincomalee-Colombo road, Kadawana, Kanniya areas.

Cable,

581 does NOT need to link up with ATTAMPANA since it is just a part of 58 division which is in control of ATTAMPANA. Sine 571 and 572 are concentrating areas North of MADHU, it is of paramount importance to secure the areas adjoining the Madhu sanctuary areas. In nutshell 581 is trying to link areas captured by 57 and 58. Hope this helps :-)

slipknot said...

thanks for your repy

sldf said...

Longranger, E.T. Bailey (historyandwar.blogspot.com) has some interesting points on the toll of current war of attrition as well as the move from an unorthodox strategy to a more conventional onslaught of LTTE. However I do agree with the call for more aggressive military advance from the South and I do not favor the full scale offensive at this stage. The time is not right. However in the long I do also believe the war of attrition can easily tilt in favor of the LTTE and we can lose the initiative. Any thoughts on this?

Sinhalaya said...

Good links for high quality maps.

http://ochaonline.un.org/MapCentre/GeographicMaps/AdministrativeMaps/tabid/2921/Default.aspx

http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/srilanka/catalogue/Catalogues.aspx?CatID=144

Long-Ranger said...

SLDF,

Thanks for the link, but simply I am able to spend only a limited time online. The speed you mention comes at a cost - material and personnel - and that is something the public opposes. The conventional strategy you may have in mind was tested out in operation Jayasikurui which ended with SLA losing even ground it originally held. Offensive formations moving ahead at a rapid rate CAN produce results swiftly, but in a theatre like ours where the Tamil Tigers retreat tactically and then hit the logistics tail, it is quite important to ensure sufficient time is given to holding formations to come up with a formidable defence. Thus far there have been several Tamil Tiger counter attacks against 57 and 58 (surprisingly none for 59) which were repulsed successfully. Similar counter attacks occurred during Jayasikurui times with devastating results to the SLA, but still the operation was carried on due to political pressure completely turning a blind eye to the vulnerability of counter attacks.

Meanwhile 59 are nearing human settlement areas in MULLATIVU district. That is some achievement worth noting.

sldf said...

longranger, thax for the reply. Like to see an article of your current analysis of the battle fronts in weli oya and mannar. If time permits please post one.

Riyaz said...

Long ranger,

If time permits please post an article on the Weli oya sector..

At the moment it seems the busiest, but least known sector.

Renegade! said...

The Long-Ranger

why din't u post a reply to my query regarding an analysis of the latest debacle on the muhamalai front?????..where several 100's of troopers were KIA and MIA.

Long-Ranger said...

Riyaz,

Will do. Currently 591, 592, 593 are moving ahead as 3 prongs with 3 different objectives in mind. With time what those objectives will become public. Be patient :-)

renegade!,
Apologies. But I have already outlined the failure of the strategy. The casualty figures are NOT "several hundreds" of KIA and MIA. And to what I hear no armour was lost. A few were rendered immobile due to tracks being ripped off by anti-personnel mines etc, but they managed to fix them on field. A few experienced damaged optical sights etc. In my opinion the October 11 offensive was far more disatrous than the last one and what distinguishes the last one from the previous was the advancement of the FDL. Still the casualty figures were high for such a small advance, but that is expected in attempting to break a fortified line, which has been continuously re-inforced since the inception of the CFA. On this entire saga one senior officer of SFHQ-J made a good quote to the press "If we are to end this war we have to break out of our lines and kill as much as possible right here before we reach Kilinochchi. If we are to avoid casualties we can always rely on the laid back approach and stay within our FDLs as long as we want".

Long-Ranger said...

One more point to note; With the current world climate on oil and its impact on many third world economies, the coming days and months are crucial to the Sri Lankan conflict. With the public tightening their belts even further, quick results may be expected of the tri-forces.

Renegade! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renegade! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renegade! said...

Long-Ranger

thanks for ur reply, but i beg to differ on the most receny debacle on the nagarkovil FDL's,True, gains were made on advancement of the FDL,but at what cost?.

Moreover, a day or 2 before this disaster,one T-55 MBT was knocked out,as reported by Defnet.Of course,this time,there wasn't any pix to prove that we had lost any armour,as was the case in the last debacle,where around 8-10 IFV/MBT were lost,including one T-55 captured.

Casualties,as reported by both Defnet and Defwire fall into more than 100+ KIA, plus around 50 MIA.

The dilemma we face is large,coz if we want to advance further south,through a narrow channel,it has to be supported by an amphibious assault landing as well,which never happened.astonshingly,both the SLAF and SLN were unaware of this offensive.as a result,many innocent soldiers were mercilessly massacred by arti/mortar fire..may their souls rest in peace..

Long-Ranger said...

Renegade,

War is costly - life and material, but given the demographics of this particular theatre it was always expected. Either way the offender has to face this fact especially when the defender holds a fortified line. I have laid out the difficulties of this particular sector well enough to understand.

That T55 was part of the war gaming process to make final arrangements prior to the offensive.

As I said in a previous post, the key to cracking the Tamil Tigers in this sector is to crack their indirect fire support. Nothing more, nothing less.

Despite the inevitability of the high cost involved, winning this sector presents the quickest route to the Tamil Tiger heartland. Simply because once out of your lines you just have to keep moving without being bogged down. If (a big if) the two divisions managed to link up in time then I am sure we will be discussing totally different matters.

That is whats enticing the SLA command to make moves in this sector. However there are 'other' methods which again I have detailed in my previous briefs. Only time will tell...

bungu said...

Long Ranger,
I am no expert in war or know nothing about military or strategies.

Lets say we make a battalion of 10 tanks, 10 MI 24s, about 1000 elite commandos well equipped and with body amour, couple of KFirs and try to infiltrate in to Wanni.

How far could they go by killing & destroying all enemy targets along the way?

How would LTTE resist such an attack on them?

Long-Ranger said...

Bungu,

The questions you should be asking is:

1. With such firepower what objective are you planning to achieve?

2. With such firepower (and numbers you have included) is it possible to hold onto areas newly captured?

3. Will such firepower seriously dent the Tamil Tigers' fighting capability? I think all the Sri Lankan already know the Tamil Tigers are quite poor in face to face combat. They are masters of indirect combat ie- Mortar/artillery barrages, IED/Anti personnel mines. With such firepower the Tamil Tigers know how to tactically withdraw and inflict casualties by hitting the logistical lines. During Jayasikurui operations the Tamil Tiger counter attack series code named 'Do or Die' successfully severed the link between 53 (offensive division) and 55 (the holding division). That situation is quite a catastrophe. In ancient times Sinhala armies were quite the master of the same tactic against the British. Using bottlenecks such as KADUGANNAWA/BALANA they attacked British logistics supplies severly hampering British offensives towards the hill capital KANDY.

Long-Ranger said...

This is with regards to a discussion that took place in defencewire portal:

With regards to the current strategy, you all are missing one important point. The strategic gain of the Armed forces. It doesn't matter if the Tamil Tigers are holding its elites in reserve, but whether it is reserves or not one thing a new recruit and an elite require are a constant line of ammunition, supplies and logistics. Sans this they can't fight no matter how well trained they are.

As I am sure you all are aware how the current strategy is concentrating on securing coastal areas as the progress is made. The success of such a campaign was seen in the Eastern province. before THOPPIGALA/TRICONAMADU/KANDUKUDICHCHIARU campaign were begun the emphasis was to secure the coastal areas and clip the Tamil Tigers' sea wing seriously affecting its logistical capabilities. Using the Beirut trail it takes days or weeks for logistics to arrive, but the same logistics takes only a matter of hours via sea. How successful the sea route was shown when surrendered Tamil Tiger cadres revealed how sparsely they've been using this 'Beirut Trail'. In the East the same attrition campaign continued with the forces concentrating on the 4-6 sector which comprised of its KATHIRAVELI sea tiger base. There were many other Sea tiger bases and homicide boat launch pads surrounding SUDAIKUDA area in SAMPUR. As I am sure you all are aware these areas were taken under GOSL control before troops began concentrating bases located inland.

I hope this clears things up with regards to the current strategy. It not only dents the Tamil Tigers' much needed logistics, but it also ensures it loses its most vital wing - the Sea Tigers.

bungu said...

Long Ranger,
Thank you for replying.

I was thinking..

1. If you say my battalion could not go more than few kilometers in to Wanni:

It means Tiger forces are too powerful and highly concentrated in that area. It also means we will need much more firepower in terms of man power and logistics.

2. If you say my battalion could go deep in to tiger territory then : we should do it or are there any practical problems?

Since capturing land is no longer considered an important part of current strategy (Correct me if I am wrong) I thought going for a Tiger hunt with group of Knights could be a better option.

For e.g. I would head towards Iranamadu on ground, destroy it then come back.

Long-Ranger said...

From the other portal:

Moshe Dyan,

“Cutting-off LTTE's supply routes is essential to victory. but the LTTE is not going to allow that.”

Of course, the Tamil tigers aren’t going to allow the armed forces to do anything as expected by any known adversary.

“the present strategy has achieved very little in terms of blocking LTTE's access to the sea.”

The whole point of my earlier brief was to point out that given the current time and objectives SLA does not feel the need to specifically hunt down Tiger elites. What I highlighted from my previous brief was that once the coastal belts were secure the inland bases would crumble automatically despite them holding hoards of elites in reserve. One way or another they have to commit their reserves, and till that happens troops will venture ahead cautiously with a firm defence in mind. What’s fascinating with the current set up is there is NO fixed FDL present. It is quite fluid with many FOs and recce teams on the prowl deep within enemy territory. Once a mass movement of Tamil Tigers is detected main force units are on the ready to engage them. The success of the defence has been proven during at least 3 serious counter attack by non-other than Tiger elites were repulsed successfully. The only breach of the defence occurred during Brig. Manawadu’s tenure as 57 commander. Unlike previous Jayasikurui operations where the moving columns had the strenuous task of defending two over stretched flanks from East and West, in securing a coastal belt the defender will defend only one flank.

“tigers value the mulaitivu sea area very much as it is the most secret although it is further to south indian supply routes. without an attack on mulaitivu by SLDFs these cannot be blocked.”

This is misconception. Over 90% of smuggled weapons off Indian safehouses land on the West coast. Few reasons for this and the main among them is NOT the short distance as you have said. The main reason is this sector presents rich fishing grounds, hence using the swarming tactic the Tamil Tigers have been smuggling in small quantities of ammo and landing them along the Western coast. As you are already aware the last LTTE weapons ship was to be intercepted just off MULATIVU was in 2003 and since then all of the vessels were intercepted South East of Mulativu. The reason being heavy patrolling of Ocean assets belonging to Sri Lankan allies. The shallow waters off the Mannar basin also means this area is a level playing field for SLN and the Sea Tigers. Some areas are only 4-5 meters in depth, making only IPCs and arrows capable of patrolling this area. However the seatigers have adapted a lighter Muraj class FACs in these seas armed with 23mm canons. Unlike the 30mm armed Dvoras which constantly patrol the MULATIVU seas, these Muraj craft only have to deal with these IPC armed mainly with twin five zeroes. Unlike the highly manoeuvrable Dvoras, the hull design is not well suited for high speed manoeuvring either.

Long-Ranger said...

From the other portal:

Mr Bailey,

Excellent pointers.

“By Sea, the LTTE was facing a supply crisis with their major blockade runners sunk.”

True, but the then intelligence assessment was that the Tamil Tigers WERE NOT in short of ammunition even if their supplies were affected. As I am sure you are aware during peace talk times the Sea Tigers are said to have unloaded at least 12 ship loads of ammunition. This is during a 4 year span till the hostilities began in 2006. And doing the math you can see 1-2 years of war (plus add in further supplies BEFORE the logistics vessels were intercepted) would not have completely spent the Tamil Tiger ammunition stocks. How true the intelligence assessment regarding Tamil Tiger reserves was highlighted during the November Muhamale offensive.

I fully agree with what you have laid out, however one must bear in mind that pushing the line from Mannar to Welioya Northwards and holding the area captured requires at least 2 EXTRA divisions. This is a MINIMUM. Currently 61 is about to be deployed and it is to specialise as a holding division. With the eastern chapter about to close, the initial plan was to push ahead via Mannar using the then battle hardened Task force 1 (precursor to 58) under Charlie and use the newly deployed 57 as a holding division. But events played out the way it is. The lack of a proper holding division was one of the main reasons for failing the Jayasikurui operation. With the captured vast swathes of land the SLA simply ran out of men to deploy to hold its ground. Less trained men from SLAF, SLN and police were deployed to do the job of a holding division. Little surprise when years worth of gains were lost in a matter of hours.

Long-Ranger said...

Bungu,

I will answer your question later on.

su said...

Moshe said in DN & DW,
"SL is a main stockpiling nation of cluster bombs. if the SL govt. has agreed to destroy cluster bombs it is the dumbest in the world."

but do we really use Cluster bombs in the war fronts?
coz if we do we could have get more of an advantage in the fronts like muhamalai,But I dont think we heard they have been used or that they caused Heavy casualties to the LTTE...
Then again I dont think SL is allowed to get theses bombs..(Correct me if I am wrong)

nishanthe said...

Long Ranger,
Although I am not an active participant in these forums (DN, DW, and SF-3) I am a silent reader from a quite long time. I really enjoy (enlighten) reading your articles and comments. Thank you for the time spending for this worthy cause.

BlackHawk said...

Thank you very much for your very informative posts about the on-going operations.

However, I was wondering whether I could burden you with a few questions?

The first relates to a book written by Victor Ostrovski (a former Israeli Mossad operative) about the Israeli involvement in the SL conflict and his assertion that the clandestine israeli group trained not only the government forces but also provided the LTTE with training and material support. Is there any truth to this?

My second question relates to armament of the IPVs of the SLN. I read with great interest as to why the sea tigers concentrate their smuggling activities to the north western seas due to the shallow waters and the relatively weak SLN presence in the form of the lightly armed IPVs. I was wondering whether inducting the US produced 'Minigun' would help....I have seen these demonstrated and their superior RPMs and the greater accuracy compared to the .50 on board might negate the numerical superiority of the sea tigers in a confrontation in those seas.

Thanks

Shan said...

Long Ranger

can you give a similar insight in to the battle for 14 base

mazeB said...

do you think it will better to open a new front from omanthai?

Long-Ranger said...

[It was a move by the LTTE to conserve a greatly reduced supply. I think that could have been taken advantage of and it wasn’t.]
For how long were the SLA supposed to take advantage of such a scenario? You have to bear in mind that the splash damage of one single HE 120mm/122mm shell can account to at least 8-12 soldiers if it lands in close proximity to them. Hence to account for 100+ casualties as we saw in the MUHAMALE sector technically required around 20 well directed hits from a handful of mortar/arti pads. So to inflict the losses the SLA suffered didn't require that many artillery units. Its accurate to say that even though the LTTE has lost quite a few of its long range artillery assets, there still remains quite a potent threat from its medium/short range assets that need to be taken out before an operation the likes of the previous operations we saw at MUHAMALE.
[What I am proposing is moving up each coast in force.]
I think you have misunderstood me as well. When I said hold the coast I didn’t exactly mean the coast. I meant the general coastal area. Moving Northward JUST along the coast has many disadvantages main among them is the lack of depth of the defences.
As the SLA commander made public last week, the Tamil Tigers are no match to the special jungle infantry of the SLA. Hence they have cleared a 2 mile stretch of forest to emulate the Mannar rice bowl scenario to the North WELIOYA sector to effectively use their indirect fire units. If you are well aware of the Sri Lankan terrain you should know that the coastal areas you mention are open barren land which is pretty much similar to what is found along the KILALY/MUHAMALE/NAGARKOVIL axis. Coastal areas stretch inland on average 4-5Kms and in some areas it is as much as 7Kms. The KILALY/MUHAMALE axis which brought about heavy casualties for the SLA is also interestingly stretched around 7Kms. That is open land. I have clearly highlighted the difference in successes the SLA has enjoyed in jungle warfare and in conventional type assaults in open land in my previous briefs. This fact is also highlighted in the delight of the divisional commanders in the MANNAR sector to see the end of the Mannar rice bowl. Simply put, the open land stretching miles supplemented with soggy paddy fields has been a nightmare.
Until there’s a paradigm shift of tactics thus far employed in the MUHAMALE sector, you will not see similar operations in Southern Wanni.
[I don’t want the entire line from one coast to the next to be pushed up. I can’t even begin to guess how many troops that might require and I am sure the SLA doesn’t have that kind of force available.]
With regards to this, this is what I said “one must bear in mind that pushing the line from Mannar to Welioya Northwards and holding the area captured requires at least 2 EXTRA divisions. This is a MINIMUM.” I am sure you are aware that the deployment of two more extra divisions is already in the public domain. Perhaps I was too revealing. :-)

Long-Ranger said...

Mazeb,

[do you think it will better to open a new front from omanthai?]

Refer to my siege of Adampan map and see for yourself comparing the current SLA positions the dangers posed towards Tamil Tiger enclaves North of the OMANTHAI entry/exit point.

Blackhawk,

[his assertion that the clandestine israeli group trained not only the government forces but also provided the LTTE with training and material support. Is there any truth to this?]

I am not fully aware of this, but however one cannot rule out the possibility. If India did provide materialistic support to the Tamil Tigers in the 1980s and Pakistan’s ISI providing materialistic support in the 1990s, anything is possible. That is sadly the dark face of world politics.

[I was wondering whether inducting the US produced 'Minigun' would help]
The constraints of the IPC I highlighted is a serious concern for the SLN and hence their very capable engineers, I’ve been told are working on upgrading the armament even further with what SLN have already got. This is a good initiative since can save a lot of local currency and ammunition for the upgrade. Let’s just say a certain canon which was the main armament of Dvoras will be ‘recycled’ for the use of the IPC.

Su,

[Then again I dont think SL is allowed to get theses bombs..(Correct me if I am wrong)]
SLAF do have cluster munition and they have indeed used them. Cluster munitions are the weapon of choice to target mobile mortar/artillery units, unlike the low drag Mk80 series iron bombs that are ideal for stationary targets. There are several operational reasons why this weapon is not used frequently enough. One of them is due to heavy casualties it can bring about to the civilian settlements.

Bungu,

[It means Tiger forces are too powerful and highly concentrated in that area. It also means we will need much more firepower in terms of man power and logistics.]
[If you say my battalion could go deep in to tiger territory then : we should do it or are there any practical problems?]
Firepower and logistics is not the issue. SLA has always been superior in that aspect. What you need to understand is, the faster and further we go, it thins out our defences (in new territory) faster as well. Regaining of territory means to secure it. This means the security forces must extend itself with its present resources allowing the Tamil Tigers to fight the war of the flea. For example let’s take the Jaffna peninsula. Since its capture of 1995 SLA has constantly deployed 51, 52, 53, 55 in the peninsula. The security has been rock solid since 1995 and withstood the multi faceted assault in August 2006. Likewise without filling up the newly captured areas in Wanni with holding units it is extremely unwise to forge ahead at a rapid pace. This is to fulfil the principle of defence in depth. To clarify this further, let’s take the other side of the coin: the LTTE. With them fast running out of manpower they are deploying what they got to man their FDLs. With the bulk of cadres manning the FDLs only the Makkal Padei or the people’s force are deployed for route clearing patrols within the Wanni hinterland. This is just the kind of setting where highly trained crack specialforces Rangers thrive in. These men are unleashing the exact war of the flea on the very Tamil Tigers that employed it successfully during the 1990s.
I have stated other constraints for such an endeavour as you propose elsewhere.

Shan,
With time, yes.

bungu said...

Hi Long Ranger, Thank you so much for answering. I think now I understand the situation.

I heard in yesterday news about SLAF destroying a weapons factory of ltte. Don't we have such facilities for us ? Are we producing any weapon locally?

sldf said...

Long Ranger,

Thx for the wonderful update. I think the deployment of task force 2 will further strengthen our Weli Oya front.

"`The army`s aim is to capture Prabhakaran -- who is holed up in a bunker -- alive."

- Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka

I don't agree with his comments. Why is he making silly comments like these?

su said...

:)
its really Nice of you to answer in detal for all those questions..
Bt I think one part was missed whn answering my ques
[coz if we do we could have get more of an advantage in the fronts like muhamalai,But I dont think we heard they have been used or that they caused Heavy casualties to the LTTE...] I dont think there are settlements in the FDL Section in the Muhamalai which has become very hard to get through for the SLDF. So If We HAVE them Why not use in Muhamalai Just before a Ground Movement? As I see Muhamalai is the Ideal place for Cluster Bombs...(I like to have Logical explanation like you always do...)
:)

wijayapala said...

Dear Long Ranger,

"To clarify this further, let’s take the other side of the coin: the LTTE. With them fast running out of manpower they are deploying what they got to man their FDLs. With the bulk of cadres manning the FDLs only the Makkal Padei or the people’s force are deployed for route clearing patrols within the Wanni hinterland."

My understanding is that the civilian "Ellaippadai" (Border Force) is fighting in the FDLs along with newer Tigers. The "Grama Padai" (Village Force) are deployed in the Vanni and the bulk of the LTTE's best fighters (i.e. Leopards) are not at the FDLs.

Defencewire claims that the LTTE's numbers are currently not so low:
http://defencewire.blogspot.com/2008/02/imbalance-of-power.html

Long-Ranger said...

Bungu,

[Are we producing any weapon locally?]

Yes we do. Some percentage of mortar are locally manufactured but it does not meet the overall requirement. Some of SLAF’s low drag iron bombs are locally assembled as well. There are other products as well, which is out of the scope of this portal at this point.

SLDF,
[Why is he making silly comments like these?]

Silly it may sound, but each nation’s commander has to do his part in the nation’s politics as well. I believe not so long ago the Government vowed to hand over the ever elusive Tamil Tiger leader to the Indian Government. Perhaps he was reiterating the Government’s stance despite the obvious practical issues.

Su,

[So If We HAVE them Why not use in Muhamalai Just before a Ground Movement?]

They may have or may have not used this particular weapon in this sector. This is again out of the scope f this portal. I am pretty sure SLAF is in good capable hands and if the target and operational requirements are met they will NOT hesitate to use this weapon. As I said its been used in the past and I don’t see any reason why it will not be the case in the future.

[I dont think there are settlements in the FDL Section in the Muhamalai which has become very hard to get through for the SLDF]

As I have said before, the breaching the Tiger FDL is NOT the issue, but tackling the Tamil Tiger medium range artillery/mortar assets. You need to bear in mind that to strike the KILALY/MUHAMALE axis the Tamil Tigers require only medium range heavy and light mortar units. These can even reach its target from POONERYN. Unlike long range artillery, such mortar units do not produce dust clouds which are visible for any orbiting recon sorties. This is where low flying MIGs/MI24/35 CAS comes into play to engage such units. Any forward movement sans the much needed aircover is suicidal. Which is why it is paramount not to leave JOC out of such a venture. Only time will tell…

Mr. Wijepala,

Welcome to my portal and thank you for your comments. To be honest the roles of civilian militia is interchangeable. I believe they have three wings to the civilian militia or the Makkal padai. There’s a help force or Uthavi Padai, there’s Ellai padai which is border force and grami padai, the village force.

[Defencewire claims that the LTTE's numbers are currently not so low:]

My opinion is you can never guess the number of remaining cadre as long as they have access to the Wanni population. No matter a cadre is trained or not, as long as a civilian carries a gun, he/she is a cadre. This is why the current strategy also involves the leaching of civilians into cleared areas. This is why a considerable amount of resources are spent in the Jaffna peninsula which has distanced the Tamil Tigers from its polity and thus highly valuable resources for its military cadre. This is also where the strategic significance of the Eastern victory despite other ideas by the country’s opposition. The wanni on the other hand is sparsely populated with a limited population base compared to the East and Jaffna.

Shan said...

Thanks Long ranger

I wouldn't ask for obvious reasons but your caliber shows in your writing. depth, optimistic/positive attitude and grasp of the language.

if you thought so, no! iam certainly not patronising,

bungu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bungu said...

Long Ranger,

Thank you once again!

I am just curious to know if LTTE still pose thambimuttus. Do you have any ideas ?
Has any one assessed the threat of hitting civilian air?