Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Danish doctrine

By the way - my last posting just reminded me: could any of those buddies (if they check in on the blog from time to time) help me get hold of a consistent presentation of what is the Danish military doctrine? (Pssst, Valde!)

Or perhaps help me track down the Danish Governments political doctrine for use of war (recently shifted to the "fast in-fast out" doctrine...)? (Psssst, all you other guys reading danish newspapers).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it all depends. What exactly do you mean by military doctrine? It's all a question of levels, really - from bottom to the top these are the technical level (UK term only) the tactical level, the operational level, the strategic level and the political level. (There are those who argue that the strategic and political levels are strictly interlinked, and cannot really be thought of as two seperate things)

Of course, what you're after is either the strategic or political levels of doctrine. These are certainly also the most interesting ones, as our tactical and operational levels of doctrine hardly differs from those of other western democracies (with the notable exception of the USA, mainly because of the dronebased, unmanned weapon systems at their disposal)

However, as you are aware, our political doctrine is in the process of shifting from a defensive stance originating from the Cold War-era to a much more agressive one. This reflects itself in three ways among the armed forces. These are: order of battle, tactical and operational levels of doctrine and equipment.

Concerning the order of battle, the most obvious change recently mede has been the abolishment of conscripted soldiers. All who receive combat training are now professionals. This means a dramatic cut in the actual number of soldiers; which, in turn, has provoked the formation of a single fully manned, fully equipped Brigade (BDE), henceforth known as 1 Danish BDE. This is supplemented by a second brigade consisting of reservists, manny of whom are former members of the Danish Reaction Brigade, domestically known as Danske Internationale Brigade (DIB)

A third brigade consists of HQ elements exclusively. Among these are units trained in Electronic Warfare (EW), NBC specialists and Jægerkorpset (the Danish equivalent of Special Air Service)

Thus, a dramatic shift in Danish order of battle is in proces. Just one year ago, the 1st Danish Division (DDIV) consisted of three fully manned Infantry Brigades with their full complement of armour and artillery.

As mentioned, the new 1 Danish BDE will consist of professional soldiers exclusively. These will receive the best equipment allowed by Danish military funding. To summarize, this means: A full armoured Battalion of Leopard 2 MBT's, three armoured Infantry Battalions equipped the new CV-90 IFV (produced in Sweden) each with a single Leopard 2 MBT squadron.

The reservist Battalions of the 2nd Danish BDE will consist of armoured infantry exclusively.

These fighting formations will have in support an, as of yet, unknown number of artillery battalions. The aging self-portable 155mm howitzer M-109 (Produced in the USA, bought by the Danish army in 1964) will become Divisional artillery, ie only be used if absolutely necessary. The recently bought MLRS Rocket Launcher will be sold for scrap, as its range vs precision has been deeemed excessive when compared to the proposed speed of advance in offensive operations (interesting that such a major decision has been made in appreciation of offensive capability) The main artillery piece is yet to be decided upon; but much points to a motorized, semi-towed howitzer with fully integrated GPS and automatic change of munitions, depending on type of target and desired effect. An interesting ambition of the Army high command is for the new artillry to be capable of sustained, automatic firing.

Another indication of the new, offensive sentiment among the commanders of the Danish Army is the acquisition of the SCORPION minelayer (produced in Germany) for the engineer troops. This allows for the rapid deployment of minefields, eg. in the role of securing the flanks of an armoured attacking column.

Finally, the acquisition of an armed transport helicopters squadron allows for the airmobile deployment of one company of infantrymen (150 men, give or take) Exactly how this will be done during offensive operations is hard to imagine, as there are no combat helicopters in support of this transport squadron.

In general, it can be said that Danish doctrine is shifting from a dominantly defensive stance to a much more agressive one. Obviously, the need for mechanized capability has been identified, not least so during the war in Iraq 2003. Among officers of the Danish Army, counting the author of this comment, it is widely wished to be able to attack alongside US and UK forces. Whether this is a realistic ambition, I do not know - but I strongly doubt that Danish offensive capability will ever match that of the USA, mainly because of the level of integration of such technologies as those allowed by the highly developed Net-Centric warfare in the US armed forces. To match the offensive capability of the UK forces is a much more realistic ambition - but one can argue that the offensive sentiment needed to gain and keep initiative during operations is much more difficult to inflict upon the Danish rifleman than it is upon the British one.

Please, write if you need clarification of something - I'd love to help as best I can.


29/10/04 13:46

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll get hold of a copy of the Danish army field manual for you. It's rather exhaustive; it comes in three volumes, but I'm quite sure it contains the information you're looking for. It contains everything from the principles adopted by Tzun Tzu and Clausewitz to the actual guidelines for conduct of modern, amoured warfare - in its Danish context.


29/10/04 14:32

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to my last comment.. It should have said "armoured", not "amoured". Sort of distorts the message, ey?


29/10/04 15:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see the Aeroe (Ærø) Division mentioned any where?


1/11/04 12:33


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