Monday, May 01, 2017

Rare But Not Gone

Friendly fire may have killed two of our Rangers in Afghanistan recently:

"We are investigating the circumstances of the combat deaths of the two Army Rangers in the beginning of what was an intense three-hour firefight," [Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff] Davis said. "It is possible these Rangers were struck by friendly fire."

That has been an unfortunate fact of life little talked about in warfare. But at least it is less common now.

Although I wonder if that will hold true in a conventional war when speed of action is more necessary than in a counter-insurgency or counter-terrorist environment.

Indeed, Germans in World War II would deliberately risk it by keeping artillery going on enemy positions while their troops advanced on the enemy for longer than a Western army would.

The theory was that friendly fire would be less dangerous than unsuppressed enemy fire as their troops got close to the enemy line.