Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Desert Warfare is combat in deserts. In desert warfare the elements can sometimes be more dangerous than the actual enemy. The desert terrain is the second most inhospitable to troops following a cold environment.
Properties and tactics of desert warfare
One of the few times desert warfare can be desirable is against foreign armies that are not familiar with the area. Knowing how to navigate in the desert is the desert fighter's best advantage. Maps and intelligence personnel can not prepare a force for terrains such as small hills, rivers, and wells. There are two ways to fight in the desert, like all environments, guerrilla warfare and conventional warfare. The successful defender or attacker will need to know how to maneuver around in this environment and use it as advantage.
From a small hilltop or a hole in the ground, one man with a scoped rifle can cause heavy casualties on the most professional of armies because of the lack of cover in the desert, which allows for clear vision of the enemy. A good sniper can be a major danger to an opposing army in desert terrain. The professional army is well trained and will be looking for the sniper, but one shot from a sniper is all that is needed to kill someone, and it will surprise the troops, rendering them unable to respond. However, a second shot may give away the sniper's position. The sniper's advantage of little cover in the desert is also his disadvantage because the enemy will be looking for where a sniper would hide, and there are not many choices. Another reason to keep snipers is that they can keep an enemy from getting water as well as destroy their water supply. A small force can defeat a larger, but thirstier force.
There are many enemies to the desert fighter. These include aircrafts, and tanks, which can be extremely menacing to desert guerrillas because there is little way to equal such force, and there are little places to hide from them In the desert environment where there is little obstruction except lack of water and brutal heat. Another lethal enemy, which is both friend and foe, is the landmine, a most deadly device and underrated in its importance. Despite questions of morality and an ongoing international ban, they are still produced and still used in war. While civilized countries are reluctant to use the land mine in any thing other than a Demillitarized zone such as used in Korea. Landmines are used very often by poor countries in desert war. The reason is this, while the mine is very destructive soldiers are trained to trace their steps back through a minefield. The main goal of the mine is to deny mobillity to the enemy, to deny land that was more it's invention more than anything else. It was designed originally in an era where you had to cross into enemy trenches or break his formation and disclipline to win. This was beneficial to trench war and the mobile war of the day. Modern armies still find it useful today as mobillity is the most important part of mechanized war. The mine is useful to slow the enemy down so you can counterattack, defend, or stop the enemy from counterattacking. Many people say use of the mine is not right, it is an indiscriminate killer and can remain silent for many years. It also can frighten farmers to not farm their land beacuse they are to afraid to farm their land. They also say in countries where starvation or poverty is rampant or there is little arable land, they need as much land as they can get. Some people argue against these humanitarian ideals citing things like, the mine is a strategic weapon which gives one the advantage on the battlefield. And what's the difference between mines and artillery shells and aerial bombs whose duds can remain silent and deadly for quite some time. Also, the concept that mines aren't really that much of the issue in a world awash in guns from the arms trade and the idea that war is killing and killing is war some say what's the point of fighting the mine trade when it will just continue. Other ideas include the ideas that deadly mines aren't the problem after war it's economic aftermath that claims lives. Others say that war in the world is not the real problem it is world poverty and hunger not caused by war but by social conditions that are hard to fix that claim hundreds of millions of lives and disabling conditions caused by certain types of malnutrition that claims more.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details