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Fuchs
11-01-2012, 07:19 PM
A year or two ago some dude on the internet decided to invite others to help him make a list of 100 items.
He wanted to kind of return to simplicity and thus wanted to reduce his possessions to 100 items, underwear not counted.

He got lots of suggestions for what's really necessary.
_________________________

I personally am tired of threads discussing the perpetual problem of soldier overload.
Let's do a different one for a change.


Let's equip a rifleman (85 kg body weight) for a fight that might involve fighting in woods and villages (opposition by small arms, hand grenades, man-portable AT weapons and mortars expected). Moderate climate, spring, probability or rain is 30% per day.
He is supposed to carry 5 kg of hardware for others (ammo, batteries or whatever - I know 5 kg is not much).

His carried weight (including the 5 kg and clothes!) should not exceed 30% of his body weight for good enough agility and endurance. That's 25.5 kg or 56.1 lbs.



Must-have items, for an easier start:

(1) jacket and clothes behind
(2) trouser and clothes behind
(3) boots and socks
(4) carbine/rifle with iron sights, accessories are up for debate
(5) Minimum magazine capacity (loaded) 60 rds. More is up for debate.
(6) emergency ration one day (may be a simple chocolate bar, of course)
(7) filled small canteen
(8) individual bandages for own consumption
(9) dog tags
(10) some means to open emergency ration (small pocket knife, for example)
(11) a single hand grenade (may be a small defensive one)
(12) (5 kg for others, including the necessary containers)


Let the games begin.
I suppose a specific discussion and probably a search for more lightweight equipment alternatives might actually yield some insight, for a change. Maybe someone from one of the ubiquitous "tactical" equipment suppliers suggests something as well.

Fuchs
11-03-2012, 07:29 PM
OK, I get it. I was too subtle.

Yes, my messages often have a subtlety - most of the time I try to push other's thoughts in another direction than the verbatim text suggests.


This time I did not care about some lightweight pants, ideal canteen size and all the other hardware.

It was instead a provocation tog et others to bring their personal preferences to the table. The compiling of such an equipment list was meant to lure out anecdotes, personal opinions about relative importance, different philosophies about how to conduct small unit actions and the like.


Too bad nobody wants to play with me this time. ;)

Sooner or later I'll lure you guys out of your safe havens anyway. Resistance is futile. :D

carl
11-04-2012, 01:21 AM
I don't know if I'm qualified to play and maybe this isn't what you are looking for but how about a blanket instead of a jacket?

Bill Moore
11-04-2012, 03:58 AM
Is it a only a 24-48 hour patrol, or an extended patrol in excess of 48 hours?

If it is a combat patrol (the intent is to make contact with the enemy, raid, ambush, movement to contact) then I would offer your proposed ammunition load is way too light. If it is recon patrol and your intent is not to engage the enemy you can go lighter.

If the terrain allows you to refill your canteens in streams, lakes, mud puddles, etc., then two one quart canteens should suffice. Use water purification pills and lets move past this pampering where our guys have to have bottled water.

If it is a day patrol, a couple of energy bars is enough chow. Climate will determine the amount of clothes needed, but a dry t-shirt and dry pair of socks can come in handy if there is a big temp drop between day and night. We used to move during the day only wearing our jacket/camaflauge shirt with no t-shirt, then if we settled down for the night we put on our dry t-shirt underneath our wet jacket to stay reasonably warm. Situation dictates, but we didn't carry the kitchen sink with us. If you switch socks out at night, you rinse your old out in a stream an hang them on your ruck to dry and repeatedly swap them out. We even used to cut our tooth brush in half to minimize weight and bulk. Sounds execessive but a hundred pounds of light weight gear is still a hundred pounds. Individuals carried their own med stuff to a point, but the medic still had to carry a med kit complete with IVs, chest tubes, hemostats, blades, etc. for more extensive injuries, especially if evac of the wounded could be delayed.

Communications kit is often a problem, how many radios, and how many spare batteries? It can add up quick.

Body armor and other protective kit is a huge problem, and I agree we are more effective without it, but not necessarily safer. The argument will be we want our soldiers to have maximum protection. If your goal is protect your soldiers instead of enabling to fight then it is a valid argument, otherwise it is pretty lame.

Someday in the future I hope we can send out lightly equipped patrols that have a maneuver advantage over our adversaries, but the current mindset in the military won't accept that risk.

If soldiers were allowed to determine what they needed for each mission instead of having it mandated you would see the load rapidly reduce in weight. Micromanagement is our biggest weakness in the military.

Another major problem we have is the mindset that PACE created. When I first came we focused on primary and alternate means if the primary failed, but now we what if ourselves to death with having a primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency piece of kit for comms. Great I have four freaking means to make comms, but I have hundred pound rucksack and I'm not going to be maneuvering very effectively with it.

jcustis
11-04-2012, 08:22 PM
I agree with Bill's line of query. The mission and operating environment (conditions) absolutely have to be spelled out in order to come to a comprehensive recommendation. If we work from the frame of reference of knowing the weather, then those two elements are just as important.

Without that knowledge, this would be an exercise in a lot of "what if".

Fuchs
11-04-2012, 08:35 PM
I disagree.
For example, one might write "rations and water filter for three days: *** grams" and write that it's good practice to support infantry on longer missions, not the least because they might easily run out of ammo within hours, well short of three days.

Simply don't assume the ultra-risk-averse attitude that all eventualities need to be known or even prepared for. Competent soldiers are supposed to improvise if #### hits the fan. Loadouts only need to cover the probable needs.


I see, it's the first conflict of philosophies and background-driven attitudes.


Fight, woods, villages, spring in moderate climate, maybe rain, 5 kg carried for others - go!


By the way; maybe some day I will get behind the anglophone obsession with patrolling infantry. You can read a randomly selected 10,000 pages of German military literature and field manuals and are most unlikely to read more than two or three paragraphs about infantry patrols.

JMA
11-04-2012, 08:40 PM
By the way; maybe some day I will get behind the anglophone obsession with patrolling infantry. You can read a randomly selected 10,000 pages of German military literature and field manuals and are most unlikely to read more than two or three paragraphs about infantry patrols.

So now you know where the Germans got it wrong.

Fuchs
11-04-2012, 09:02 PM
So now you know where the Germans got it wrong.

Patrol focus versus Stotrupp focus. Guess who won.
Answer. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Crete)

Distiller
12-01-2012, 12:27 PM
That's a topic with a strong cultural angle. Look at Soviet infantry during WW2, or the Viet Cong. Handful of semitchki or rice, kanteen-like thing, gun (or not) with a little bit of ammo. No way any Western troops would run around like that.


Let's try it, graded VITAL > USEFUL > NICE TO HAVE:

(1) -- Stay warm, stay dry, stay fed and watered, stay healthy, on a level that allows you to maintain operational effectiveness.

(2a) -- Basic Personal Field Tools (knife, spade, multitool, canteen - whatever needed to assists in achieving (1), can vary widely with ops environ)

(2b) -- Basic Personal Medkit (generally oriented towards covering small lesions as they happen every day to keep them from getting sore, but also a wound closure kit to stop a bleeding long enough till a medic arrives)

(2c) -- Smartphone. Not as absurd as it sounds. Even when not used as a com device it still is very useful.

(3) -- Optional special mobility equiment (e.g. skis, or snow shoes, or mountaineering equipment)

(4) -- Weapon. Can be all kind of things. Maybe better called "Offensive Mission Equipment". Can be a laser designator, can be a barrel and extra ammo for the machine gun. Can be a rugged notebook with some EW or cyber magic. Not limited to an assault carbine.

(5) -- Optional mission equipment: Navigation + Communication (as far as not provided by smartphone), Night Vision Equipment, NBC Equipment

(6) -- Optional special load carrying equipment (e.g. a hiking trailer)

(10) -- Optional armor

Bill Moore
12-01-2012, 06:43 PM
Posted by Distiller


That's a topic with a strong cultural angle. Look at Soviet infantry during WW2, or the Viet Cong. Handful of semitchki or rice, kanteen-like thing, gun (or not) with a little bit of ammo. No way any Western troops would run around like that.

Of course we could and we have; just not in recent years. You have to put it in context, if we were fighting in the U.S. against an occupying power we would become the guerrilla army and be able to live off the land the goodwill (or coerced will) of the people to support us.

Don't confuse today's industrial Army with what we could be, Americans are as hard as any other nationality when they need to be.

We go heavy today due to risk adverse leaders and the mindset that if it is available we ought to carry it with us because you never know. In a different scenario the risk adverse leaders would be privates and we wouldn't have the kit to carry with us even we wanted to.

jcustis
12-02-2012, 05:18 AM
I disagree.
For example, one might write "rations and water filter for three days: *** grams" and write that it's good practice to support infantry on longer missions, not the least because they might easily run out of ammo within hours, well short of three days.

Simply don't assume the ultra-risk-averse attitude that all eventualities need to be known or even prepared for. Competent soldiers are supposed to improvise if #### hits the fan. Loadouts only need to cover the probable needs.


I see, it's the first conflict of philosophies and background-driven attitudes.


Fight, woods, villages, spring in moderate climate, maybe rain, 5 kg carried for others - go!


By the way; maybe some day I will get behind the anglophone obsession with patrolling infantry. You can read a randomly selected 10,000 pages of German military literature and field manuals and are most unlikely to read more than two or three paragraphs about infantry patrols.

I still firmly believe we'd need to define the conditions and other factors (such a mechanized versus dismounted light infantry) or means of resupply, to be able perform some realistic analysis, but let's go ahead and assume he is a member of a company conducting a movement to contact in mixed terrain environment including small villages/towns, with resupply expected within 24 hrs of request, and can have his existence load brought up when resupply arrives.


Must-have items, for an easier start:

(1) jacket and clothes behind
(2) trouser and clothes behind
(3) boots and socks [one spare pair socks]
(4) carbine/rifle with iron sights, accessories are up for debate [should have a magnified optic and an infrared designator, minimum]
(5) Minimum magazine capacity (loaded) 60 rds. More is up for debate. [minimum 140 rds]
(6) emergency ration one day (may be a simple chocolate bar, of course)
(7) filled small canteen [should be minimum 100 oz hydration bladder]
(8) individual bandages for own consumption
(9) dog tags
(10) some means to open emergency ration (small pocket knife, for example)
(11) a single hand grenade (may be a small defensive one)
(12) (5 kg for others, including the necessary containers)

Additions to this basic loadout are:

-Assault pack or hydration carrier of at least 20L capacity. This would serve as the means to carry the other 5kg of additional equipment. It would also hold a mortar round and one of the following: 200 rounds of belted ammunition, anti-personnel mine, extra batteries, or some command and control/surveillance tool component (think micro UAV controller)
-Plate carrier for a front only protective plate, rated to 7.62x39, vice the 7.62x54R we currently use
-Night optic device
-One entrenching tool per team of four men (perhaps two)
-15m paracord (a million uses)
-3-5m riggers tape (a million uses)
-weapons cleaning kit

Fuchs
12-02-2012, 11:18 AM
Few countries consider Claymore-type AP mines even only necessary enough for having them in their inventory. We should treat the 5 kg carried for the small unit as a black box, though.

Cleaning -while a personal responsibility with NCO oversight- does not require an individual kit.

Interesting; nobody mentioned a helmet yet, not even only a camo boonie with kevlar insert (protective function unsatisfactory, yet not completely absent).


We're still nowhere near the usual loads.

jcustis
12-02-2012, 03:34 PM
A helmet was an ommission. I missed that it wasn't on the original list.

Even if they are only a few components in the kit, individual cleaning is indeed a required capability. I do not expect someone to help me remove a stuck casing, and even a quick brush down of the chamber and reapplication of lube during consolidation, post-attack. I'm not talking about scrubbing rust from thr outside of barrels when I refer to cleaning, and I don't want someone exposing themselves to hand a cleaning kit around. It's an inefficient waste of time.


We're still nowhere near the usual loads.

Please clarify what you mean. What usual loads? Which country's forces?

Ken White
12-02-2012, 04:16 PM
Cleaning -while a personal responsibility with NCO oversight- does not require an individual kit.What you wrote is accurate but it is subject to misinterpretation IMO.

The way it's seen by too many senior uniformed people -- Officer and NCO -- is that old saw "An organization does well onlt those things the Boss checks." That's a dangerous statement. It is indicative of a terribly flawed approach which actually relieves the individual of responsibility, is subject to misapplication, charges NCOs to 'supervise' or oversee a function in a manner that leads to oversupervision and micromanagement and which far from least important and in this particular case, causes troops to over-clean / over-maintain their weapons and equipment. Far more military small arms are ruined by excessive maintenance than by over use...

The individual has to be charged with and held responsible for all his own equipment and NCOs should check -- minimally -- only sporadically and somewhat superficially. In good units, this is the norm and the good NCOs simply keep an eye on their people and know who's taking care of their gear and who is not. Individual equipment checks and maintenance at all lulls and halts are vitally important habits.

Any suggestion that implies supervision is a key attribute will be misinterpreted to segue into micro management.

Fuchs
12-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Micromanagement is by definition impossible if the NCO meets all his duties with adequate time effort each.
To micromanage means to spend much time on one or few things, which equals neglect of others because there's so much to do.

This is especially true if said NCO is forced by his supervisor to not exhaust himself (enough sleep on campaign), which is necessary because an exhausted NCO cannot lead by example any more.

Ken White
12-03-2012, 03:38 AM
To micromanage means to spend much time on one or few things, which equals neglect of others because there's so much to do.In US parlance, to micromanage generally involves excessive 'supervision' and failure to trust subordinates. Whether one task or a number, the degree of generally superfluous meddling is the issue.The US problem with micromanagement is, as someone stated elsewhere, generally at the Field Grade and above level. The Generals learned to do it in Korea after the line stabilized and they had little to do; Viet Nam merely made it worse and the current 'wars' have continued that. I recall someone in Afghanistan back in 2005 telling me that one operation required the approval of five General Officers and I'm sure that's worse today...
This is especially true if said NCO is forced by his supervisor to not exhaust himself (enough sleep on campaign), which is necessary because an exhausted NCO cannot lead by example any more.True -- and a recurring US problem induced by our five day a week, forty hours of work mentality. While that 40 hours is rarely more than a floor in the Armed forces; how productive the usually extra 20 plus hours a week in garrison or on base are happens to be a separate question...

We're focused on short term efforts and the normal routine of four five days of field training a couple of weeks a month is not helpful. Everyone can stay awake for most of that so no one sets up rest and sleep plans...

Fuchs
12-03-2012, 10:40 AM
We're focused on short term efforts and the normal routine of four five days of field training a couple of weeks a month is not helpful. Everyone can stay awake for most of that so no one sets up rest and sleep plans...

Reminds me of reports how company leaders inadvertently fell asleep in ODS and OIF on the fourth and fifth day, exhausted by not having had enough sleep.

Also reminds me of post-WW2 opinions that infantry and other combat troops should not use a garrison during their training phase, but live in woods for the duration of their training (this may be influenced by German early WW2 training shortages which were caused by a lack of garrisons for the training of more recruits, though).


It doesn't help regarding the weight problem, though.

Firn
12-03-2012, 08:18 PM
- A knife: Something this (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Hunter-Olive-53642/dp/B000687AWC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1354563465&sr=8-4&keywords=Hunter+knife+victorinox) should be standard as long as the same person doesn't already a multi-tool (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Swisstool-Spirit-Nylon/dp/B001ET6ACS/ref=pd_sbs_sg_8). Oh it already is (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-One-Hand-Trekker-German-Multi-Tool/dp/B001B197RE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_3)... ;)

I'm a bit surprised that the German version has no tweezers, as they come in handy (not so toothpick) and no hole in the awl. I would miss the small gut hook which works very well on not too fat and strong game and to quickly cut cord and all sorts of binding material. The long blade is lockable and serrated in the right place, strangely some put the serration exactly where you want a normal edge to do fine work like carving. The long wood saw works well. A scissor could be more useful then the can opener but as so much this depends. Red might be the better colour choice even in military service.

Got my first personal Swiss knife at the age of 6 and never looked back. Multitools are much heavier and could be shared.

Fuchs
12-03-2012, 08:35 PM
I had a primitive Luftwaffe 'Swiss Officer'-style knife by comparison, but hat was back in the 90's before the world suddenly began to gadget-up everything.

Funny; with all the Pedantry, they forgot to take back said knife in the chaos of my last day in office. They checked the list without getting it. A comrade of mine had to hand it back. Still got it - as a kind of prize.

Related: Brace yourself for an awesome multi tool (http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2010/08/roman-multi-tool.html)
___________

I did mention a ballistic boonie hat (don't think such a thing exists, though):
Does anybody know the weight of a state of the art ballistic helmet with coverage and protection of a 80's helmet and the NVG interface in front? Today's helmets are rated up to NIJ class II, which is in the corresponding German system 2 levels above mere fragment protection of old - necessarily with higher weight per area.

ganulv
12-04-2012, 03:49 AM
- A knife: Something this (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Hunter-Olive-53642/dp/B000687AWC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1354563465&sr=8-4&keywords=Hunter+knife+victorinox) should be standard as long as the same person doesn't already a multi-tool (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Swisstool-Spirit-Nylon/dp/B001ET6ACS/ref=pd_sbs_sg_8). Oh it already is (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-One-Hand-Trekker-German-Multi-Tool/dp/B001B197RE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_3)... ;)
I know the object of the exercise is getting the weight down, but as knifes go I believe that a folder is secondary to a fixed blade. That is, if you are going to have only one of the two, you should ditch the folder and its weight rather than the other way around.

Firn
12-04-2012, 05:19 PM
I know the object of the exercise is getting the weight down, but as knifes go I believe that a folder is secondary to a fixed blade. That is, if you are going to have only one of the two, you should ditch the folder and its weight rather than the other way around.

Fair enough. I'm used to folders like the Victorinox Hunter knife which combine tools of sterling quality and design in a light package of the right dimensions. I carry it pretty much daily and can understand why countries like Germany and Switzerland selected it a similar one as their standard issue knife. But a fixed, not too big blade certainly also has it's merits.

As usually it is all about using a sensible combination of tools. Personally I arguably never saw the use of a big knife as I mostly used/use a Roncola (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roncola_(attrezzo))/Billhook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billhook)/Hippe (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippe_(Werkzeug)) for the lighter woodstuff or an axe for the heavier stuff. The latter is arguably the more versatile. From skinning and partitioning game, hammering and all sorts of woodwork a universal axe with a lenght of a bit over half a meter does it all. A claw at the back is nice, Saturday I helped to reroof the house of my paternal grandmother and did most of the work with an old carpenter's axe with a claw. Arguably nothing as simple and light is better at getting nails out of lumber.

All in all it depends pretty much on the task ahead but an decent axe per squad/stick might be a sensible thing to carry under various circumstances in certain environments. Knowing when and where is the difficult part. ;)

WarPorcus
12-07-2012, 05:12 AM
It's been said before that METT-TC drives the gear, and I'm a strong believer in that. In our perspective (well back in my Army days), Western soldiers tend to overburden themselves with all kinds of things that we wouldn't even consider carrying.

The USMC contingent training with our Marine Corps, for instance, carry twice the load of our Marines when operating in the jungle environment. Now I've never personally cross-trained with US elements but the anecdotal stories my Marine buddies told me were almost all similar: US Marines are big, strong fellows. But damn...they carry a lot of ####! At the end of the day, we're faster.

For us, who almost exclusively operate either in jungles and/or rural/semi-urban/urban areas, its simpler.

In the jungle we'd have:

On the 1st/2nd line:

- Rifle (with RDS for some units. Magnified optics are carried to be used handheld).

- Ammunition (again METT-TC. But for routine border patrols, say, we carry 4 mags. More than enough even if we get into skirmishes with rebels/criminals. Fire discipline is key).

- 2 frags per person. 2/3 smoke per fire team (2 signaling, one the thick white concealment type)

- Some food/MRE (usually stripped. In the thigh pockets)

- Survival kit (snares, fish-hooks, fishing line, etc. You know the drill)

- First Aid Kit (both a small one on the belt, and a somewhat larger one on the LBE/Vest/Chest rig (some units)

- Landnav stuff.

- Personal comms (again, some units)

- Knives. Its plural because we usually carry 2: A small one (folder or fixed) for everyday use (sometimes this is a bayonet), and a machete (very useful in the jungle)

As you can see, this is minimum. You'll note that there is no armor/helmet in the list. Wearing armor and helmet - even if its only a plate carrier - in a hot, humid, wet and closed in environment sucks. It kills SA. It exhausts you before you can do anything. It dehydrates you faster. Heaven help you if you trip and fall into a muddy swamp (happens more than you think). We found that armor in that environment makes Soldiers lazier - because of the exhaustion. You can't move as quietly, you can't hide as quickly.

Of course we also carry rucksacks (like a medium ALICE type) with the rest of the stuff we have to carry like spare clothes, ponchos/shelter halfs, hammocks, more food, small stoves and mission essential equipment, but the basic individual kit is the list above.

Firn
12-10-2012, 05:31 PM
- Binoculars, 1 per stick if it suites METT-TC

7-8.5x42 are IMHO the best allrounder. Binos such as this Swaro (http://www.swarovskioptik.com/en/products/binoculars-el-42-swarovision) I carry are fantastic but pricey. Of course there are other excellent (German) companies with great products but also more moderately priced products like those made recently by Meopta are surprisingly good. A MIL-scale can be of use.

Smaller binos are often very light but suffer under low-light conditions and are less steady although more then enough in a stable postion. Bigger ones like the mighty 56er are great when there is little light but are bulky, heavy and have only a true edge over the allrounders when NV is in any case better.

ganulv
12-10-2012, 06:11 PM
You'll note that there is no armor/helmet in the list. Wearing armor and helmet - even if its only a plate carrier - in a hot, humid, wet and closed in environment sucks. It kills SA. It exhausts you before you can do anything. It dehydrates you faster. Heaven help you if you trip and fall into a muddy swamp (happens more than you think). We found that armor in that environment makes Soldiers lazier - because of the exhaustion. You can't move as quietly, you can't hide as quickly.
Just curious, but what is on the books in the U.S. Army and USMC as far as body armor and jungle operations?

Fuchs
12-10-2012, 07:30 PM
It's been said before that METT-TC drives the gear, and I'm a strong believer in that. In our perspective (well back in my Army days), Western soldiers tend to overburden themselves with all kinds of things that we wouldn't even consider carrying.


As far as I know this isn't really a "Western"-only thing.
Troops from India and Singapore appear to have quite hefty individual loads in similar terrain at times as well.


Just curious, but what is on the books in the U.S. Army and USMC as far as body armor and jungle operations?

They specialised on beating up people in less humid areas lately, thanks to the Vietnamese people.
The last official U.S. Armed Services book on warfare in jungle areas is afaik now three decades old:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/90-5/index.html

It's thus very possible (as far as I know) that there's don't have a textbook answer to your question.

Ken White
12-11-2012, 07:37 AM
Just curious, but what is on the books in the U.S. Army and USMC as far as body armor and jungle operations?What most know is that wearing protective gear in a hot, humid forest is bound to lead to excessive and unsustainable heat casualties.

No personal armor for ground troops in WW II. It did exist by the time of Korea. Not jungle but quite hot and humid in the summer. By 1952 after the line stabilized, wear was mostly mandatory but exceptions were made for Patrols and units with close combat potential -- things generally not done in Afghanistan and Iraq which have their own climate problems but also get quite warm in the summer.

As flawed as was the leadership in the past in Viet Nam it still had enough sense to not insist upon -- but to allow under some circumstances -- the wearing of vests and also to allow for some elements in most circumstances the wearing of soft hats instead of helmets (in both cases with minor excursions both ways).

Whether the senior 'leadership' of the time in the future will acknowledge the heat casualty reality is not known. :wry:

Fuchs:
They specialised on beating up people in less humid areas lately, thanks to the Vietnamese people.You got that a bit wrong, as you do on occasion...

It was US Politicians, not the Vietnamese people...

We're not allowed to beat up on people. We weren't allowed to in Viet Nam and have not been allowed to since. We are allowed, even wrongly encouraged, to tussle with them but we are not and were not allowed to beat up on 'em. Specifically precluded from doing so, in fact... :rolleyes:

Fuchs
12-11-2012, 04:00 PM
Fuchs:You got that a bit wrong, as you do on occasion...

It was US Politicians, not the Vietnamese people...

We're not allowed to beat up on people. We weren't allowed to in Viet Nam and have not been allowed to since. We are allowed, even wrongly encouraged, to tussle with them but we are not and were not allowed to beat up on 'em. Specifically precluded from doing so, in fact... :rolleyes:

It was the politicians, sure - but you didn't get what I wrote and thus you got me wrong. :D I wasn't writing as literally as you assumed.

The politicians and thus the nation as a whole specialised on beating up people in less humid areas.
This was no doubt triggered by the Vietnamese ascension to the throne of stubbornness previously shared by the British and Russians.

Ken White
12-11-2012, 08:28 PM
It was the politicians, sure - but you didn't get what I wrote and thus you got me wrong. :D I wasn't writing as literally as you assumed.

The politicians and thus the nation as a whole specialised on beating up people in less humid areas.
This was no doubt triggered by the Vietnamese ascension to the throne of stubbornness previously shared by the British and Russians.Take your pick of Politicians, either the dumb crowd that sent us there in the first place (both batches, both efforts...) or the two different batches that hamstrung the ongoing effort and would not allow us to beat up on anyone. Or even the other two batches who oversaw the end of the effort...

None of that excuses the Army for doing a poor job, BTW.

Stubbornness wasn't the issue though it contributed. Political and strategic failures were the principal problems and those errors were not rectified by less than decent tactical performance at the national (in South Viet Nam by the US Command) level. The Troops, the USAF and USN did the best they could with one hand tied.

My comment was and is that we aren't and weren't allowed to really beat up on anybody, we're just told to engage them fruitlessly and at far less than even decent, much less maximum, effort. :mad:

Fuchs
12-11-2012, 09:36 PM
No, you didn't get it at all.

The question was about doctrine (or so I understood it), and I replied in part (with the 'beat up' comment) with a reference to the political situation.

The 'beat up' thing wasn't meant tactically, but foreign policy-wise.
Don't tell me destroying a regime, destroying its state and hunting the former dictator down and hang him doesn't qualify as 'beat up' in the political arena.
I wasn't writing about whether U.S. politicians allowed anyone to beat up others; I was writing about them doing it themselves on their level.
Granted, I didn't explain it, but just dished out a quick comment.
_________

Concerning stubbornness; compare the qty of ordnance which rained on Germany in 1940-1945 with the qty which rained on North Vietnam...
Stubbornness wasn't just a contribution - that's vast understatement - it was the indispensable component.

Ken White
12-11-2012, 11:07 PM
No, you didn't get it at all...Don't tell me destroying a regime, destroying its state and hunting the former dictator down and hang him doesn't qualify as 'beat up' in the political arena.In my view, that would depend on how well one did the job or was allowed to do it. We did a lousy job of it in part because we weren't allowed / did not choose / to do better. I understood what you meant, just don't fully agree. ;)
Concerning stubbornness; compare the qty of ordnance which rained on Germany in 1940-1945 with the qty which rained on North Vietnam...A marginal comparison on several levels IMO. Regardless the amounts were broadly ineffective in both cases.

Stubbornness wasn't just a contribution - that's vast understatement - it was the indispensable component.I would say stupidity (ours) was the indispensible component in view of the effort and the result. There's no question that the stubbornness effectively used that stupidity for their aims but lacking our idiocy stubbornness wouldn't have occurred or had an effect. Can't say that about our foolishness...

We're quibbling over little and really are broadly in agreement. :wry:

ganulv
12-13-2012, 12:55 AM
I wrote a piece (http://www.snowshoemag.com/2012/12/11/planning-for-the-worst-the-list/) for my online writing gig a few weeks back which was published (is correct to say that something born-digital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born-digital) was published? :confused:) yesterday. Ken White's fingerprints are on it here and there! The piece is civilian- and winter-specific, but possibly of interest to those contributing to and following this thread. Corrections and/or addenda are welcomed and in fact encouraged!

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Planning for the worst: the list (http://www.snowshoemag.com/2012/12/11/planning-for-the-worst-the-list/) | Snowshoe Magazine (http://www.snowshoemag.com/)

Hope for the best but always plan for the worst. This attitude is especially important during winter outdoor activities. After an unplanned summerís night spent miles from the trailhead will leave you will may be hungry and mosquito-bitten, but after and unplanned winterís night twenty-five feet from the shelter you couldnít see you may not be at all. Ergo the following list.