Posted on Oct 16, 2018
CH (MAJ) William Beaver
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Simple question: What’s the best military Staff Ride you’ve ever been on? Why was it the best?
Posted in these groups: StaffAe5debb6 TravelF3af5240 Military History
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Responses: 4
LTC Jason Mackay
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We did TF Smith and the sequel battle, the Battle of Pyongtaek on the same day. It was awesome. I had the second battle while TF Smith north of Osan is marked and documented, Pyongtaek was not. We gained permission from the farm owners to be on property. When we did the recon our CSM and translator asked the Farmer's wife how long they had been on the farm. She wrote 1949 in the dirt...she was there that day.

I had to match battle sketches up with terrain on a modern 1:50000 and get grids. The thing I found most interesting after reading the accounts, was seeing how crappy the Battalion was layed in. You couldn't see really anything. They had a bridge they were supposed to cover.

TF Smith was not the disaster it's are out to be, at least tactically. A rump IN BN TF held off an Armored Brigade with supporting infantry for 7 hrs with hardly any antiarmor capability (6x 105mm Howitzers that took half of PACOMs anti armor rounds, that would be 6 each rounds). They withdrew nearly intact and in good order. Strategically it was a disaster as we were unprepared after just finished whooping the world's butt in WWII. TF Smith had done combined arms training, including live fire, up through the Company level. They were training often.

1-34 IN occupied two hills straddling the route they were to block. Most of the unit were drafted into occupation duty. They didn't really train beyond some PT and organized sports. The first rounds went off and the return fire came from WWII veterans. Some how the order to displace came and became retreat. Soldiers ditched their equipment and ran for Taejon. Wounded were abandoned. Crew served weapons and other heavy weapons were abandoned. Several NCOs went back to find people and equipment and were never seen again. They disintegrated and straggled back to Taejon for days.
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
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Edited 4 y ago
While attached to HQ III Corps (Forward) in Maastricht, The Netherlands, we went on a staff ride to study the capture of the Belgian Fort Eben-Emael by the Germans on May 10, 1940. It was the best staff ride I have been on. We took the standard tourist tour of the fort and then included it in our OPD staff ride, which included a study of the battle for the fort and the surrounding forts and area. What is so interesting and important about this staff ride is better said by the writers at warfarehistorynetwork.com:

"The capture of Fort Eben-Emael is renowned for a number of military firsts. It was the world’s first gliderborne attack, where specially trained glidermen were inserted into an enemy’s defensive position. It was the first time that hollow shape-charge explosives were used to breach steel and concrete fortifications that were considered impregnable. And the attack on Eben-Emael (and the adjacent Albert Canal bridges) also marked the first use of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg tactics. This bold action changed the way military strategists would prosecute war in the future, and it still heavily influences military planning today." (warfarehistorynetwork.com)

If you ever get a chance to go to Fort Eban-Emael I highly recommend that you take the tour, go beyond that, and give yourself a self guided staff ride of the battle.
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LTC Stephan Porter
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WW II Italian campaign

Followed closely by Normandy the second time!
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