War in the Taiwan straight: Tyranny of the sea?

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jessmo112

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 00:57

I am seeing alot of Pro Chinese posting on various media, and message boards discussing a coming conflict between China and Taiwan and her Allies.
I would like to make a post dealing with a comprehensive look at the difficulties of invading Taiwan from multiple perspectives. It is ironic on how many pro Chines posters like to use the Quote "The tyranny of distance" but I would like to point out the fact that distance is irrelevant when regarding TAIWAN in a war setting.
Taiwan has been 100 miles from China since before ancient times, and despite this China is deterred from invasion. The thing that Most Chinese propagandists won't tell you is that the Sea is its own tyrant.

I have discovered that the Seas surrounding Taiwan are treacherous. China cannot Hope to form a beach head with only light forces. They need heavy forces. And the sea conditions are not always cooperative. To make matters worse Taiwan has had 50+ years to build tunnels and dig in. You will have your landing ships constantly bombarded.
There isn't enough suppressive fire on earth to down every artillery piece shoulder fired weapon and cruise missile.
When you finally arrive at the beach you will discover dug in positions tunnels traps, fatal funnels. And when your finally making progress, and face ugly urban combat and house to house fighting. U.S. Marines, and the 8nd airborne show up. To push you back into the sea.
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jessmo112

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 01:11

Sea conditions: here are a few articles dealing with the difficulty of seasonal conditions in the straight.
These issues are not likely a problem if your In a warm ship transiting the straight. Weather becomes a serious problem when your talking about landing men on a beach.

https://cimsec.org/navigating-black-dit ... an-strait/

Seasonal environmental variation has a large impact on the navigability of the strait. The China Coastal Current flows southward in the western part of the strait from a maximum strength in winter months, backed by the northeast monsoon, to its weakest point in the summer. On the eastern side of the strait the northward flowing Kuroshio Branch Current is turned back by the north-east monsoon in the winter after exiting the Penghu Channel, but continues the rest of the year, while reaching its maximum strength in the summer. Each year from July to September, an average of six larger (and, thus, named) tropi
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weasel1962

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 01:12

What has changed is air assault. A few articles last month on the subject. Air assaults makes the seas irrelevant.

In recent years, China has developed more than 10 helo aviation combat brigades, over 1000 helicopters and still growing both in quality and quantity. 2 specialized air assault brigades. A spec-ops brigade in every group army, marines & airborne. And they are training for it. Biggest sign is their improvements in logistics. UAV, transport, LAPES deliveries (Y-20s, Y-9s). This is a real capability only in the last few years.

Global SEAD tech & capability has improved to the extent SAM defenses are now less or ineffective. China doesn't need all defenses down, just a sector for an air corridor. Add that air assaults mean any part of Taiwan becomes vulnerable not just easily identified beaches. That means having to defend the whole of Taiwan instead of focused defenses. That dilutes defending strength.

The biggest difficulty for China has always been kicking the door down. Once the door is down, they can bring superior numbers to bear. Air assault allows that to happen then the rest can come in safer by sea or captured airports.

That's a risk to Taiwan.
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jessmo112

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 01:21

More on the sea here. I'll answer your questions about air shortly.



Unlike Normandy, the coastal terrain here is a defender’s dream come true. Taiwan has only 14 small invasion beaches, and they are bordered by cliffs and urban jungles. Linkou Beach near Taipei provides an illustrative example. Towering directly over the beach is Guanyin Mountain (615 meters). On its right flank is the Linkou Plateau (250 meters), and to its left is Yangming Mountain (1,094 meters). Structures made of steel-reinforced concrete blanket the surrounding valleys. Taiwan gets hits by typhoons and earthquakes all the time, so each building and bridge is designed to withstand severe buffeting.

https://thediplomat.com/2021/05/why-a-t ... ike-d-day/
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jessmo112

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 01:42

weasel1962 wrote:What has changed is air assault. A few articles last month on the subject. Air assaults makes the seas irrelevant.

In recent years, China has developed more than 10 helo aviation combat brigades, over 1000 helicopters and still growing both in quality and quantity. 2 specialized air assault brigades. A spec-ops brigade in every group army, marines & airborne. And they are training for it. Biggest sign is their improvements in logistics. UAV, transport, LAPES deliveries (Y-20s, Y-9s). This is a real capability only in the last few years.

Global SEAD tech & capability has improved to the extent SAM defenses are now less or ineffective. China doesn't need all defenses down, just a sector for an air corridor. Add that air assaults mean any part of Taiwan becomes vulnerable not just easily identified beaches. That means having to defend the whole of Taiwan instead of focused defenses. That dilutes defending strength.

The biggest difficulty for China has always been kicking the door down. Once the door is down, they can bring superior numbers to bear. Air assault allows that to happen then the rest can come in safer by sea or captured airports.

That's a risk to Taiwan.


While this is true, it doesn't take a patriot missile to down a landing chopper.
The Chinese aviation brigades have to deal with a large number of Manpads and chaparral systems. Even after the initial patriot batteries are destroyed.
https://thediplomat.com/2021/05/why-a-t ... ike-d-day/
Here are the issues at hand.

1. The Chines have a limited amount of time to invade before the beach head is interrupted by a U.S or Japanese response.

2. The Chines must deal with the initial patriot batteries and Air Forces before even attempting to cross.
They must have total air Superiority, or suffer mass casualties. Taiwans AD bubble is old, but is a well defended airspace.

3. The amount of men and equipment nessasary will be telegraphed. To conduct the invasion successful you want 3 to one or even 5 to one odds in your favor. If Taiwan can muster reserves you will need 1.2-2 million troops to Tanwans 400k. That is an enormous amount of stuff to coordinate and muster. Unseen.

In short China has to prosecute an air war and invasion in record time. It will take time and sorties just to do the proper BDA on the patriots. The have fancy satellites but how long will those be active during hostilities?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 01:43

Honestly, the odds China could pull off a successful invasion of Taiwan are extremely low. She has little Airlift Capacity and no hope of concealing a massive invasion force. Which, would consist of hundreds of ships and hundreds of thousands of troops. (maybe more)

To successfully invade Taiwan you would need an invasion force bigger than D-Day or Okinawa! Which, were nothing short of "massive".....


That said, a massive invasion of Ukraine by Russian Forces or something similar in the Middle East or Korean Penisula could split Western Forces. Yet, again that would be hard to conceal....

Yet, such a conflict would likely lead to a third world war. Something I don't think any of the participants are interested in.
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weasel1962

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 02:14

jessmo112 wrote:While this is true, it doesn't take a patriot missile to down a landing chopper.
The Chinese aviation brigades have to deal with a large number of Manpads and chaparral systems. Even after the initial patriot batteries are destroyed.
https://thediplomat.com/2021/05/why-a-t ... ike-d-day/

1. The Chines have a limited amount of time to invade before the beach head is interrupted by a U.S or Japanese response.


Agreed. Add Avengers & Stingers to the mix. However, its not fool proof either and the assumption is how much attrition can China take. China will also try to sanitize an area before creating an LZ. Timing will be critical e.g. it takes ~2 mins to offload a helo.

jessmo112 wrote:2. The Chines must deal with the initial patriot batteries and Air Forces before even attempting to cross. They must have total air Superiority, or suffer mass casualties. Taiwans AD bubble is old, but is a well defended airspace.


And that's where Taiwan is vulnerable. Area SAMs need radar illumination. Launchers can be many but radars are much fewer and definitely not stealthy. There are counter strategies which I will not share in a public forum but I don't think the Chinese think this is really an obstacle.

jessmo112 wrote:3. The amount of men and equipment nessasary will be telegraphed. To conduct the invasion successful you want 3 to one or even 5 to one odds in your favor. If Taiwan can muster reserves you will need 1.2-2 million troops to Tanwans 400k. That is an enormous amount of stuff to coordinate and muster. Unseen.


In general, sure. Different perspective once we go into local. 12,500 sq miles (33000 sq km) means a lot of area to defend. Finding a LZ where they have 3-1 or even 5-1 (or even non-existent) local superiority vis defense is not out of the question. 400k or even 2 million Taiwan reserves cannot be everywhere in strength.

jessmo112 wrote:In short China has to prosecute an air war and invasion in record time. It will take time and sorties just to do the proper BDA on the patriots. The have fancy satellites but how long will those be active during hostilities?


It won't be just sats but also UAVs. Loitering UAVs like Harpy works to whack any radar that goes on. The only question is how much time does it need for a helo landing across 100-200km.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Jan 2022, 06:42

I think the biggest question mark is Taiwan's will to fight???


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