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Re: [SG2] [DS2] A list of questions on TOE and logistics

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 20:37:46 -0500
Subject: Re: [SG2] [DS2] A list of questions on TOE and logistics

Adrian spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> >3. In a modern setting, IFV crew are 
> >	A) part of the infantry unit they transport (each vehicle crew
> >	of a squad
> >	B) part of the infantry unit they transport as a separate
> >	platoon
> >	C) really not part of their unit, rather part of an attached 
> >	armoured unit under another OIC
> >
> Could be any one of these three - all are presently used in various
> militaries.	 One possibility you didn't mention is that the IFV crew
> could be attached as part of the infantry unit they transport, but not
> of a squad ie:  a platoon has, say for IFV's with a crew of 3 and
> 8 infantiers.  The 12 IFV crew could be administratively part of the
> platoon, but are not attached to a particular squad.

That was sort of what I meant with B. 

> >	D) How many in an inf Division? (attached to Division?)
> Lots - depends on the division.  The 10th Light (Mountain) Infantry
> Division at Fort Drum, New York is, I believe, under 10,000 total
> (more like 8,500 I think).  The big mechanized divisions might have as
> as 18,000.  Heavier divisions, (like a US Mech Inf), need a LOT more
> support strength.  Figure a brigade size support component or larger. 
> is not uncommon for the support personnel to equal or outnumber the
> fighting personnel in these large formations.  Not in a battalion or
> company or platoon, but generally these are not designed for truely
> "independent" operations.  In Canadian doctrine, the Brigade is the
> smallest unit capable of sustained "independent" operations normally,
> even then a brigade (unless set up differently ahead of time) is
> only capable or sustaining operations for a few days, maybe a week -
> particularly at high-tempo operational levels.  A battalion may carry
> and ammo for up to 3 days unsupported, but does not have much reserve,
> especially with the more technical stuff like big spare parts...  For
> really independent operations, you need the resources of a division or
> corps (like the big workshop facilities needed to change a tank
> etc. - you can't have those units at the Brigade or Battalion level
> they are too big, static, etc.)

Except I'd say that in the future, with transport costs, training 
costs, the vast distances of space and vast areas to cover, you are 
more likely to have Battalions appearing as a 'battle group' and 
Companies being independently deployed as not that uncommon. Of 
course I mean on colonies... not the Inner areas or the Core. 
Therefore I think one has to consider the impact of having fully 
autonimous formations of smaller sizes and what that means to their 
support requirements. (My point is, having one ship drop into an 
area with even a small company combat formation is unlikely - it 
takes a big ship to move the company, and another several to move the 
assets that let them support independent ops - hence it's probably a 
fleet action in any reckoning..... and that is to deploy a company! 
Deploying a Brigade or Division... WOW!!!)
> My uncle was a REME Gunfitter (Royal Electrical and Mechanical
> in the late 50's and through the 60's.  He was assigned at various
times to
> field workshops which were small repair units equipped with machine
> (lathes, mills, etc) which operated out of trucks in the field and
> provide a surprising level of maintenance to a relatively small unit. 
> could deploy a field workshop at the Battalion Battle Group level, but
> isn't usually done.  One place it is - I believe 45 Commando of the
> Marines has an attached REME workshops unit - this is a reinforced
> battalion designed for sustained independent operations - but even
then it
> would rely greatly on fleet support...

My point exactly.... this is the type of unit that needs to be 
deployed at a lower level to support independent operations. 
> <Incidentally and completely unrelated, my uncle discovered early on
in his
> career that the British Army paid bonuses for shooting ability - the
> you shot, the better you were paid.  This was to encourage soldierly
> and marksmanship among ALL army members - kind of makes sense I guess.
> Anyway, he wanted the extra cash so spent a lot of time perfecting his
> skills, as was consistantly rated at the highest level of
> The extra money was nice, but the downside to this was that as an
> experienced NCO (he was eventually a Sergeant, and even as a REME he
> expected to be fully proficient as an infantry leader) who was also a
> marksman, whenever the British Army had to go off to some far away
> and fight, it was guys like him who were taken along to provide
> and technical support.  So he ended up fighting in Aden, Borneo (or
> - I forget which, maybe both) etc.  He did stuff like servicing
weapons at
> SAS jungle camps (he was actually asked to join the SAS, but they
> get him to jump out of airplanes, so he never did...).

Should have joined the SBS. 

  At one point he was
> put in charge of a patrol of Gurkhas (I think they rotated the NCO's
> units like the REMEs into infantry postings to keep up their combat
> - he told me he never realized that a proper traditional Kukri set was
> actually two knives.	They used the big one, which we are familiar
> for hunting, stalking sentries, etc, and the little one was a skinning
> knife.

Yep. I lived with a lady whose husband had been an officer for the 
Ghurkas, before he became bodygaurd to King Farouk. (British Army). 
Her son was a Sergeant in the SAS. I've heard about the Ghurkas that 
have competed at the Canadian Army Infantry Competitions as 
guests.... remind me NEVER to mess with anyone who can do the things 
I heard them do....

  The gurkhas were never taken prisoner (they wouldn't surrender and
> very rarely would stop fighting enough to be captures) and didn't take
> friendly attitude to the communist insurgents (terrorists?? depends on
> which side you were on, I guess) who they captured.  He found out how
> used the skinning knives when the gurkha unit he was with captured
> prisoners...	Stuff they don't talk about in the history books.

My Grandad (Highland Light Infantry, WWI) reported that they actually 
had to send Ghurkas out of his area of the lines. They used to put 
the big Kukri in their teeth, crawl out into NoMan's land at night, 
come back with ....ears!.... and string them around their necks 
(counting). It didn't gross them out, but the smell was causing 
problems with other units they were working with. 

   He did
> have a lot or admiration for the Gurkhas - once when stationed in Hong
> patrolling along the mainland border with China, his section was
> down at the vast Chinese army encampments just outside the Hong Kong
> border.  There were thousands of Chinese troops, and his eight
> The senior Gurkha (a corporal) took a look, smiled, and said "OK. 
> odds.">

Crazy, tough, fearless little buggers. And tough as nails. Hard to 
get in to be a Ghurka, and a special kind of honour involved. I think 
they are a great military unit (NAC would still have them I imagine 
or else they'd be the worlds highest priced Mercenaries) and hope 
someone casts a squad someday.... :) I think for some enemies, they 
might inspire TERROR as per Stargrunt rules. 

Ayo Ghurkali!

Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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