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The New Face of War as Azerbaijan Smashes Armenia

A senior air warrior, graduate from the Staff College and a PG in military studies. He is qualified to write on war and allied matters.



We trace the advent of Modern War to the concept of blitzkrieg by which the Wehrmacht overran Poland, France, and a portion of Russia. This was a war heralded by ground forces and hordes of tanks and guns and they cut through the opponent with lightning speed. They were aided in this by the Air Force which created a FAS( Favorable air situation) zone over the tactical battlefield. This concept of war remained until the 21st century. Even the Korean War when the Chinese army massed 100 thousand Troops to sound the death knell of general MacArthur and his ultimate sacking and even as late as the Iran-Iraq war and the US- Iraq war, the concept of the Second World War wherein the tanks spearheaded the assault continued

In this article, I am not going to discuss the historical conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia which is a Christian country and the other a Muslim nation. I am going to discuss the latest revolutionary warfare where the battle took place with drones. Both the Armies never came face to face with each other but the drones were used to deadly effect. The Azerbaijan army used drones that decimated the Armenian which was bewildered.

This ushered in a new concept of warfare and the United States and India have to take cognition of this new phenomenon which I shall now discuss in the succeeding paragraphs


The new concept

As a military historian and I must start by telling the readers that the war in Central Asia between Azerbaijan and Armenia is something that never took place before. Both the countries had about two decades back fought a war in which the Armenian Army had smashed the Azerbaijani Army. This was because they had superior weapons and greater motivation.

Another war between the two countries was always on the cards but over the last two decades, things began to change. Azerbaijan was able to get oil from its oil fields and that added millions of dollars to its economy. The Azerbaijan leadership was aware of the defeat at the hands of Armenia in the last war and this time they decided to follow a new concept. All credit to the Azerbaijan general staff, they were able to think on these lines. Flush with dollars Azerbaijan begin to make purchases of drones. They purchased drones from Turkey and Israel. Both the drones were unmanned but carried lethal weapons. Azerbaijan fielded several different types of drones in the conflict. Among the deadliest have been Bayraktar TB-2 drones supplied by Turkey. They are one-eighth the weight of a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper and cruising at just 80 mph, the TB2 carries four MAM (Turkish for Smart Micro Munition) laser-guided missiles and proved highly effective in combat.

The war commenced on 27 September 20 and initially, the Armenian Army was confident of victory. They had the tanks and field guns and began to bombard the enemy positions. The Azerbaijan Army did not respond in kind but begin to use drones to attract the advancing Armenian Army

These unmanned drones attacked the tanks, soldiers, and guns of the Armenian Army from the air, leading to a piquant situation. The Armenian Army, their tanks, and guns had no defense against the airborne drones which were unmanned. They had no weapon to shoot them down as they came from a great height, controlled by a central control room in Azerbaijan

Tens of these drones attacked the tanks and soldiers who were taken totally by surprise. it was like an attack from an invisible enemy and there was no opponent only unmanned drones. The effect they created was tremendous and thousands of Armenian soldiers and tens of tanks were destroyed and killed. 185 Armenia tanks were captured or destroyed and the casualties of the Army were 7 times that of the Azerbaijan Army. it was a most comprehensive victory and led to a complete decimation of the Armenia forces. One can only say the Armenia Army which relies on Soviet weaponry of the older type with tanks and guns just did not know how to deal with drone attacks. It was like facing an invisible enemy as the enemy never came before the Armenian Army. So comprehensive was the defeat that Armenia had to cede vital territory and sue for peace and there was every possibility that entire Armenia would have been overrun by Azerbaijan but for the intervention of Russia

Last word

This war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has heralded the perfection of a new concept. Both the Armies never came into physical combat with each other and the war was won by Azerbaijan which superior technology alone. This was in the form of the two types of drones that were used. The military think tank has now to think of this new type of warfare where unmanned drones carrying guided bombs attack enemy positions and bring about victory. The importance of this war lies in the fact that now the winner of any war will be the one with greater technological superiority

It does not mean that tanks and infantry will become redundant because we must remember that the tanks and soldiers are required to establish control and hold the ground. This cannot be done by the drone. At the same time, one has to realize that the concept of modern war has undergone a vital change, and the various military specialist which I have spoken to have mentioned that the United States and the other big power who have drones are studying this war with interest.

The photographs which have come out of the battlefield show the complete decimation of the Armenian Army. One can well imagine the plight of the infantryman who is being bombarded from the air by unmanned drones. He had no defense against them. In fact, at the moment If a country can launch a hundred drones in a battle, one may shoot down ten or twenty of them but they would have served a deadly purpose by inflicting unbearable cost of war to the enemy

The Azerbaijan-Armenia War has heralded a new chapter in military warfare and doubtless, the concept of this war will not only be studied by the great powers but also applied. The Chinese are already building hundreds of drones. How good they have to be seen and America already has its Predator drones. All in all this new type of battle herald a definite change in military thinking and methods of defense against drones are now top priority.

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MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 15, 2020:

Thanks Tom for the information

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 14, 2020:

Tom, it is nice that you have mentioned the names of these 2 officers of which I was not aware. India has close relations with Armenia but the victory by Azerbaijan has changed the dynamics of the region. India as drones from Israel but they are very few in numbers and cannot affect a change in a battle scenario. To win a battle you will have to launch hundreds of drones and I think China has that capability.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 14, 2020:

Tom, radio-controlled aircraft have been there for decades and they were used for reconnaissance but the concept of using them for battle was not. India had the experimental 'Choker' but I'm afraid the results were pretty poor. Moreover, the Indian general Rawat stated in his latest military doctrine an assault by infantry supported by armor.I can assure that China is not going to fight India the way Rawat and Narwane think and will rely on technological warfare. They have already laid out fiber optical cables right up to the front line in Ladakh and India is years away with a contract given just last month for the same. Pakistan has been using drones but the Pakistan army is also in a similar thought process as the Indian army, maybe something may change now and they could have Turkish drones as Turkey is close to Pakistan.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 14, 2020:

Recently, Tom, I saw a program by Col Sawhney. India has neglected drones as a tool of warfare and not developed anything. China is a leader and has built hundreds of drones. Indian military led by Gen Rawat is still in WW II age.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 14, 2020:

Tom, the D21 was along range reconnaissance drone designed by Kelly Johson who had also designed the U-2. The V-1 was a good concept but the British could deal with it. Let me have your email

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on November 14, 2020:

John, Thank you for your comment. I have also been taken by surprise by this win and the fact is Soviet/Russia supplied fighters and guns and tanks to Armenia came a cropper.

tom on November 14, 2020:

us supersonic drone d21 failed,v1 german flying bomb drone,but shot down by fighters and flak

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 13, 2020:

I knew that his would be coming but I wasn’t aware that a war had already been fought and won through the use of drones. Thank you for this interesting article MG.

tom on November 13, 2020:

pakistan has italian falco drones ,chinese drones,micro drones used by terrorists,india hs ignored drone threats

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