The first weeks fighting between Ethiopian and Tanzanian forces had all the intensity at times of the Eastern Front in WW Two....as fighting developed past Feb 19th, Ethiopian forces were able to more widely begin major offensive operations centered 50-150-km west of Mombasa on the Southern Front and against Masindi and Kampala on the Northern Front.
These operations had a couple objectives: the major Southern Front objective was to take to limited offensive operations and to stabilize the front at pre-war or better boundaries; and, on the Northern Front, to take the offensive in the direction of Masindi, Kampala and Entebbe cities - the 'swinging door' strategy.
Northern Front Operations: On Day-2, Ethiopian forces were prepared to begin operations from Day 1 and proceeded twoards two initial objectives: the Hydro Dam (X:191 Y:119) and Mbale city. Both attacks, including the helo air assault against the Hydro Dam went well and achieved objectives by end of the second days fighting - Mbale City falling on second-half of Day 2.
Southern Front Operations: Tanzanian forces continued to press their attack against Mombasa - including 2 T-62, 1 T-54, 1 AMX VCI (TOW), 2 MT-LB, 1 M-113A1, 1 Timonney, and one Light Infantry battalion. Both sides took casualties but superior artillery forces - and lack thereof within Tanzanian attack forces - ruled the day.
Day 3 (18th) - In northern sector of the Southern Front, Musoma city fell to a mixed artillery and armoured force attack, along with seizure by Ethiopian forces of the Water Works Plant (X: 194 Y: 128). An engineer unit was brought in immediately to begin repairs on the water works plant.
Northern Front operations: A Tanzanian Engineer and BTR-60 unit were holding up clearing operations at the first bridge along the southern Sudan border - our reinforcement operations this distant from the border were not going well and created an imbalanced force of artillery dominated battalions arriving ahead of our tank forces.
[This situation would prevail for a week - and would ultimately result in relief of the Tank Force commander!]
Eventually, the Tanzanian Engineer Bn was destroyed by artillery fires, and the BTR-60 freely retreated into the Congo! A T-54 was sent to the border and evenutally took the BTR under fire and destoyed the unit inside the Congo - concern remained that any crossing of the Congo border would have meant war with the Congo also. [Warning: do be aware that AI does sometimes retreat units across otherwise Neutral country borders...its happened before.]
Southern Front operations: Mombaba: The Tanzanian assault began to stall on Day 3, as an attacking force of 1 T-72S, 1 T-62 went Red Line, while others pressed attacks, including 2 T-72S, 1 T-54, 1 AMX-VCI (TOW) - while one T-62 Bn was outright destroyed by defensive fire.
The result was a slow retreat mounted by the Tanzanians, including 1 T-62, 3 T-54, 2 Timonney, 1 Lt Infantry and 2 PT-76 reconnaissance behicle with heavy damage to the whole force.
Ethiopia was forced to withdraw from the city two B-11 RR Bns for fear of their destructions - one of which was airlifted out by PZL W-3W helicopter transport. Current defenders now comprised: 2 M46 130-mm + 1 D30 122-mm arty, 1 Engineer, 1 Airborne (withdrawing due to damage), with a helo reinforcement of 1 Airborne Elite BN en route.
COMMERCE: The result of operations has resulted in Capture of the following facilities: 1 Hydro Dam, 1 Water Works Facs; 3 Ore Mines and 1 Coal Mine. This is a major economic boost for Ethiopia, which lacked coal and had but one ore mine building when war began.
ELECTIONS: Regional African elections are due in 12-days: 36.1% Citizens Coalition party; 25.8& Democratic; 27.7% Reform and 10.4& Other parties. War does not seem to be hurting political support.
Late Day results: Bridge north of Masinda captured but down; bridge NE of Kampala captured but down;
Military Casualties: Ethiopia: 2,180 Tanzania: 4,864, over 35,000 civilian
EVALUATION OF OPEATIONS:
1. Helicopter Air Assaults: proved more dangerous and damaging than anticipated, especially when getting close to an opponent. Our forces could only use PZL W-3W transport helo but it works well for general trooping and general supply operations, and comes at relatively low cost.
[It's not a UH-60 Blackhawk but if you expect to loose alot of helicopters in bold operations, its worth getting a similar light helo like this and work them into the ground in support of the army.] Two Airborne Bns lost in attempting to secure and hold the power plant on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, due to Tanzanian reinforcement with armoured infantry or engineer unit and one or two defenders who came out of nearby cities.
2. Mi-2 Hoplite - another low tech, low cost helo with AT capability. Try not single unit them on opeations - combine 2-4 air units together, going to the same objective or general area. While not comparable with A.129 or AH-1W Huey Cobra, it performs just about as well as the latter - at lower cost.
3. Timonney AFV - Tanzanian has numerous vehicles of this type but found they did not stand up well against either AT helicopter attacks (Mi-2) or general open field ground operations. They might be best when combined with light infantry or garrison forces in cities....just not up to resisting distant artillery fires or any form of armoured attacks.
DAY 4 (19th) Limited Offensive Operations begun on Southern Front.
First day of general Southern Front offensive operations between Nairobe and Mombasa, to clear the road between the two cities and push back from Mombasa the Tanzanians.
In the Northern Front, Tanzanian cities of Masindi and Kampala were immediate objectives.
Fighting on both fronts went generally well, except with problems that lasted until the 22nd with our tank forces in the north unable to coordinate well in getting across downed bridges, and getting enough Engineer Bns into the area with Bridging mission assigned.
22nd: General fighting continues along all fronts and after three days of intense concentration of artillery along the Nairobe-to-Mombasa port, really heavy losses are being taken by Tanzanian armour and APC vehicles, especially to long-range fires from C.83 MRL and 2S1 SPH units.
Active Army: 249,000 Reserve: 214,363
Ground Battalions: 267 Active; 38 Reserve + under repair.
Air Units: 24 (incl 1 Mig-23, 0.5 Mig-29, 2 Mig-21) - all other helos; 4 Reserve (Mig-23 + 3 helo under repair)
Production: Capacity: 35 Under Production: 18 (limited by MilGds)
Tech Level: 80 (near 81) Mil Eff: 94% Mil Approval: 98%
War Operations Summary:
Kills: 250 Tanzanian units Losses: 18
Casualties: Current Day: 3,107 Tanzanian: 10,325
ELECTION: Political status: Citizens Coalition: 24.9%; Democratic: 26.1%
Reform: 28.4% and Other: 10.6%.
23rd: Tanzanian defenders of Kampala routed and city controlled by Ethiopia.
24th: Entebbe falls to Ethiopian forces. Ethiopian offensive against Shinyanga begins, while Northern Front operations focus on taking Hoima.
25th: Shinyanga and Hoima fall to Ethiopian forces.
First naval battle took place on 24th and 25th, between:
Ethiopia: 3 FABG-5 (Super Dvora), 1 PTG (Osa-II; w/out missiles),
2 PAT PC
Tanzania: 1 Shanghai II patrol craft.
After a running gun battle, the Tanzanian PC was finally sunk, but with
30-40% damage to all FABG-5 craft, and less damage to Osa-II. All returned Mombasa pier.
26th: Active Army: 214,517 Reserve: 215,371.
Active: Ground Bns: 247 Reserve: 54, including Repair category
Air: 21 Active 7 Reserve, including Repair category
Military Eff: 94% Military Approval Rate: 100% (Morale: High
Operational: Kills: 301 bns Losses: 22
WM offers since war with Tanzania was begun by them: 0..zip, nada