PDA

View Full Version : Infantry Unit Tactics, Tasks, Weapons, and Organization



Pages : [1] 2

Norfolk
12-19-2007, 05:13 AM
Rex Brynen on the Platoon Weapons Thread made the eminently sensible observation that when we are looking at Squad, Section, and Platoon roles, weapons, and compositions, we should be considering the larger tactical circumstances in which they are operating. Here are Rex's proposals:

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=35341&postcount=32

Distiller
12-19-2007, 07:04 AM
I think the allocation of heavier weapons is determined by logistics requirements, system costs and C2/massing.

Since it lacks oversight the squad should have only direct fire weapons (especially when using the German system) - GPMG, automatic rifle, IWs. I'm not sure about the use of UGLs here. Probably not in regular units.

The platoon can handle the light support weapons that are not always needed - RPG, MGL. Here weapons are still handled by just one man.

Company level adds 80mm mortar and man portable guided missile crews, esp light ATGMs.

Such a setup, btw, probably favours light IW (like MP7) as standard equipment, since the weapons crews can carry those in addition to their main weapons, can support the rifles once their heavy stuff is gone, and are already equipped for missions that do not require their special weapons. Up to company level every man should be able to handle every weapon.


On the issue of APC/IMV/MRAP and IFV weaponry, I'd say for APCs and pure IFVs anti-infantry weapons (30cal, 40mm grenade launcher, &c) only.

But then if you go towards cavalry fighting vehicles/light-to-medium-tanks - all based on IFVs - some 25/30mm autocannon/heavier ATGM combo-turrets, 120mm mortar turrets, 40/57mm autocannon turrets (I think a tank-installed Mk110 could be interesting), SHORAD turrets.

I'm not sure how far into MBT territory a cavalry fighting vehicle should go, but mounting a 120mm gun like on the CV90120 I think is over the top and might lead to wrong tactical utilization.

William F. Owen
12-19-2007, 08:00 AM
My thoughts are as follows,

Company Weapons.

I can see some merit having a company mortar detachment of 2 tubes. To ease company log issues and to enable dismounted ops, I’d stick with 60mm.

The company can probably also operate a Tactical UAV. It has the staff and C2 function that may well make that very useful.

The best fire support weapon for Platoons is, IMO, guided weapons like Javelin, Spike, or even an update of the old M47 Dragon.

APCs.

An essential piece of equipment which no infantry unit should be without, if required.
Need to carry 8 men, so as to get a useful Platoon load out of 4 vehicles.
Remote Weapons Stations are extremely useful, and if they can also fire the same guided weapon that the Platoon uses then that is also extremely useful.
I don’t care if its wheeled or tracked as long as the mobility capability matches the mission requirement and the most commonly encountered threat, so the same goes for the levels of protection.

I think MICVs are better suited to reconnaissance, so that's a different role.

Distiller
12-19-2007, 09:45 AM
Good point about the UAVs.
Didn't think about that while writing, though I'm usually an UAV guy ... :D
But I would not neccessarily integrate an UAV into a company, only give it a data receiver station. Assuming that we talk foot soldiers here only micro/mini-UAVs come into question - they are nice and developing fast, but their capabilities are quite limited so far. And I wouldn't integrate too many non-shooters in too low echelons, also because of ECM/ECCM issues and advanced homing-on-emitter ammo. Of course in the future we're not only talking UAVs, but also UGVs. UAV/UGVs I'd put higher up (battalion level plus), together with ISR assets, like SIGINT. And once they reach autonomy they will filter down through all the echelons, but I'd start with them at battalion level.


Guided missiles on platoon level is not realistic, too expensive. Esp since they are needed only for certain missions. And if organized in fire crews on a higher level they can be distributed downwards if needed, anyways.
Precision-attack capability for squad/platoon level could be realized by targeting capability for PGMMs.


Why only 60mm mortars? The Wehrmacht had quite good experience with the 3-men crew served sGrW34. A lot more punch than 60mm, I think it justifies the higher weight/less rounds ammo. Esp when combined with a MGL at platoon level. To save weapons weight use a short barrel. No need to reach out to 5000M+ in my opinion. How do you ID targets so far out?
(Even though I have to admit that the follow-on to sGrW34, Granatwerfer 37, was designed to reach out to 4500m+; but the reason for that might be non-tactical).


That brings up another question: So squads are seldom fighting beyond 200m. Meaning platoons neither. What should then be the reach of an infantry company? I think 2500 to 3000m is realistic. Opinion?

William F. Owen
12-19-2007, 10:03 AM
Good point about the UAVs.

1. Didn't think about that while writing, though I'm usually an UAV guy ., but I'd start with them at battalion level.

2. Guided missiles on platoon level is not realistic, too expensive.

3. Why only 60mm mortars?

4. So squads are seldom fighting beyond 200m.

1. I'm happy with Coy. Gives the Coy Comd a view of each platoon objective and if the company is working away from the Battle Group, it still has a UAV capability. Also the UAV product gets fed to platoons very quickly. If the UAV is at BG level there is a whole new level of command for stuff to jam up in.

2. Most US Squads have Javelin and did have Dragon. Platoon seems ideal. Spike MR is so capable that it requires a whole new view of Platoon weapons.

3. Having carried 2 x 81mm mortar bombs across Germany, Canada, and Cyprus, I am not a fan unless they are vehicle mounted. Also 60mm mortar ammo can be used in light hand held mortars.

4. I don't think squads seldom fight beyond 200m, to the extent we should limit the capability to that other than to recognise the limit of IWs as concerns marksmanship. I'd want a platoon to hit out 1000m min and 2000m better. Javelin goes to 3,200m IIRC and

Distiller
12-19-2007, 11:21 AM
@ #1: Hm. I see your point. But: Look here, an advanced system.
http://www.rafael.co.il/marketing/SIP_STORAGE/FILES/7/617.pdf
The control station is big as a full-size fridge. No way you can haul that on your back.

@ #2: Since I'm not U.S. I didn't know. You have to be rich to place it on squad level.
The reason I would want to place a Spike-MR on company level, is that I don't want to grow the platoon into a mini-company.
And I mean, how many tanks will you encounter out there that made it through smart stand-off subammo >> fighterbombers >> fast-mover CAS >> a/t-helicopters >> smart artillery rounds, to finally wind up in front of your platoon? And for anti-structure jobs a RPG-style weapon or PGMM seems more cost effective to me.

@ #3: Didn't say it's fun :D. That's why using a MGL at platoon level.

@ #4: Ok, understood - in your platoon 60mm mortars and ATGMs would be capable of doing that.

William F. Owen
12-19-2007, 01:12 PM
@ #1: Hm. I see your point. But: Look here, an advanced system.
http://www.rafael.co.il/marketing/SIP_STORAGE/FILES/7/617.pdf
The control station is big as a full-size fridge. No way you can haul that on your back.

@ #2: Since I'm not U.S. I didn't know. You have to be rich to place it on squad level.
The reason I would want to place a Spike-MR on company level, is that I don't want to grow the platoon into a mini-company.
And I mean, how many tanks will you encounter out there that made it through smart stand-off subammo >> fighterbombers >> fast-mover CAS >> a/t-helicopters >> smart artillery rounds, to finally wind up in front of your platoon? And for anti-structure jobs a RPG-style weapon or PGMM seems more cost effective to me.

@ #3: Didn't say it's fun :D. That's why using a MGL at platoon level.

@ #4: Ok, understood - in your platoon 60mm mortars and ATGMs would be capable of doing that.

1. I know Skylite well. You can carry the control station but not easy. It's best integrated into the Coy CP vehicle. There are lots of these type of UAVs to choose from.

2. How is equipping 1 Fireteam in the Platoon with a Spike MR post and 3 missiles making it into a mini-Coy? Platoon Level Guided weapons are an very valid fire support options. Like I said, my cost preference would be for an updated M47 Dragon and even 9К115-2 Metis-M. -AT-7/13

3. Well if you have an M-32 with Medium Velocity 40mm, then OK, but if I have UGLs in the Fireteams, also with Medium velocity, that's duplication.

Distiller
12-19-2007, 02:12 PM
@ 2: What is the notion behind giving your squad/platoon an ATGM, but leaving the 60mm mortar with the company?
If you group different effectors at a certain level, they should be akin in range and impact (RPG - MGL; mortar - ATGM).
And what do you do with those low echelon (platoon) 3-men special weapons shooter team if you don't need their special capability? A fourth mini-squad? Add one man to each existing squad (Then you might run into group-dynamic and transportation problems)? Or leave them at home? Group them one level higher and you have another full squad.
Plus I wouldn't be comfortable with having just one ATGM team out there.

@ 3: The M-32 is what I have in mind. I have no idea how useful/popular UGLs are. I just think that a single dedicated weapon with one characteristic is enough, not two tactics/ballistics/effects for one man. Plus the MGL shooter is probabaly better with his weapon than a stand-in grenadier.

William F. Owen
12-19-2007, 02:36 PM
@ 2: What is the notion behind giving your squad/platoon an ATGM, but leaving the 60mm mortar with the company?
If you group different effectors at a certain level, they should be akin in range and impact (RPG - MGL; mortar - ATGM).

Assume your 60mm mortar has a 3,200m indirect range. That means two tubes can support any platoon within 2,300m of the base plate position.

ATGM are direct fire weapons so each platoon can have fire support best manifested by weapons teams with ATGMs. There is another aspect here, which is Coy Level Weapons detachments, need extra vehicles. Put the weapons capability in existing groups and you save a lot of bodies, fuel and cost, for good benefit.

Spike can be both direct and indirect, out to 4,000m. However this requires some pretty good C3I work, so not as simple as point and shoot as with Javelin or something similar.

Norfolk
12-19-2007, 03:18 PM
I'm not clear that humping a Javelin at ~50 pounds is a real good idea at Platoon Level. Hauling around the M-2 version of the Carl Gustav at ~30 pounds was fun enough, not including additional ammo or the CG's kit; the M-3 version of the Carl Gustav was only ~20 pounds, but it was a Section-level weapon. A Javelin would be far worse, and a Spike MR not much better. 3-man ATGM crew will only be able to carry a handful of rounds (I just don't comprehend notions of a 2-man Javelin crew with just a pair of missiles - it is almost a case of why bother?); a 4-man crew should be able to carry a full load of 8 rounds per launcher.

Four ATGM Launchers, normally held at Company level might be tactically more practical and more effective anyway, particularly as the Company Commander would retain control and be able to coordinate the fires of his main AT capability. The ATGMs could work in pairs, which is the best tactical usage of them anyway. The UK version of Javelin has a range of 2,500 m and a Tripod and Surveillance System that is better than the dedicated surveillance systems presently in use by Surveillance Dets - big capability jump for Companies. As such, ATGMs held at Company should only be attached out to Platoons when and where the tactical circumstances make it appropriate, such as when close terrain or cover make massing at Coy level impracticle. In detaching Company-level weapons out to Platoons and lower, much of the effect of their massing at Company level is lost; efficiencies are poor returns for loss of fire effects.

The 8 cm mortar is much too heavy for Company level, and it is properly a Battalion-level weapon, and best employed there. Even the 5 cm/51 mm mortar was rather limited in its supply of ammunition, and the 60 mm mortar provides a dramatic leap in range and firepower over it, without imposing an increase in ammo burden that is unbearable at Coy or Platoon level. Only Armoured/Mechanized Infantry have ever been able to use the 8 cm/81 mm mortars at Company level more or less successfully, and they could not be attached out to dismounted Platoons when tactical circumstances required it.

Four 60 mm mortars, normally held at Coy level is best, and to be attached out to Platoons (especially in the Hand-Held Role with Light Baseplate) when tactical circumstances so dictate. With 4 Light Mortars at Coy level and a Mortar Fire Controller (MFC) organic to or attached, a full Mortar Group is available for Company Fire Tasks, and especially for on-the-spot Fire Missions that don't require making any requests to Battalion or above; the Company Commander or the Platoon or Section Commanders can request a full barrage right away and get an almost immediate response to fleeting but useful opportunities.

Medium Machine Guns: Again, 4 at Company level, normally operating in two groups of two guns each, with a Gun Controller, to provide the Company Commander with maximum ability to lay down and coordinate Machine Gun Fires for best effect. Attach MMGs out to Platoons when terrain and cover masks their fires at Company level. Nothing less than a 7.62 mm round; to be honest, I'd like a return to the full-power .30-06 (7.62x63 mm) round that many Machine Guns used to use (and were purposely designed to take full advantage of the .30-06's qualities) - effective out to ~2,700 m rather than 1,800 m.

Automatic Grenade Launchers: Once again, 4 at Company level, with a Gun Controller, and the same rules as before about when to attach out to Platoons, when terrain or cover mask their fires at Company level. The Chinese use a 35 mm AGL at Coy level with 6-15 round drum magazines, and the unloaded weapon weighs the same as an MMG. It likewise has an SF Role just as the MMG does, and its range goes from 600 m in the Light Role to 1, 750 m in the SF Role. The new 40 mm Medium-Power Grenade in Western Service would be an ideal round for a Western counterpart to the PLA's Type 87:

http://www.sinodefence.com/army/crewserved/type87grenade_35mm.asp

A range of 800 m in the Light Role (complementary to the 800 m range of the MMG) is the demonstrated range of the 40 mm Medium Grenade; a Medium AGL based on such a round, with a Tripod for stabilization in the SF role, may achieve rather longer ranges. It would be best for such AGLs to be coordinated with the MMGs just as the Mk 19 GMG and the M-2 HMG are. MGs of course would take the FPF tasks as well as others, while the AGLs (for obvious reasons) would take on Anti-Armour tasks and certain other tasks beyond the FPF.
The M-32 is certainly a useful weapon, but it lacks versatility compared to the Type 87. If the Company possessed a weapon like the Type 87, the M-32 would be redundant; UGLs like the M-203 are quite adequate, and necessary, for dealing with point and area targets by the Squads and Sections, just as LMGs are similarly necessary in Squads and Sections.

Either the M-3 version of the Carl Gustav should be provided to each Squad and Section, or something lighter (~15 pounds) like the RPG should be, for ranges beyond 200 m. Weapons like LAW are useful for individual infantrymen (out to 200 m), but RPGs have proven worthy opponents in the Firefight; our Infantry should not have to face foes whose Squads and Sections use such weapons against us without us being able to respond at least in kind.

I will leave Battalion-level and IFVs for now.

William F. Owen
12-20-2007, 01:42 AM
Javelin: - Is that heavy. Rounds are 35lbs approx and the CLU far lighter. The UK version has a tripod for extended surveillance. Yes it is not light, but look at the capability. The Coy commander merely has to have radio contact with the teams in the Platoons (All informed Coy Net?) to control AT fires. He does not need to physically control them. Spike, with 4,000m fibre optic guidance, changes all the rules, including the need for mortars

Restricted terrain, like urban, forest and jungle means that each Platoon has got to fend for itself to a certain extent. Actually getting a weapon to a point and time in space to attack a fleeting target, is not best enabled by grouping weapons at the Coy level, IMO.

I settled for 2 x 60mm at the Coy level, because you can get the both crews into 1 vehicle. I think what a Stryker Company does with mounted (81mm) and dismounted (60mm) mortars is interesting.

For MMG I'd just issues SF kits to the GPMG teams in the platoons.

AGLs -ala Mk19 or H&K GMG can't be man-packed in an effective way. On RWS on an APC they are excellent, but I'd steer clear of them for dismounted ops. - same is true for .50 guns as well.

There is something else about Coy level weapons. For training and all the other issues they need to grouped into a Coy Level Weapons platoon. - That's a huge increase in costs and manpower. Cost is an issue.

William F. Owen
12-20-2007, 01:53 AM
Nothing less than a 7.62 mm round; to be honest, I'd like a return to the full-power .30-06 (7.62x63 mm) round that many Machine Guns used to use (and were purposely designed to take full advantage of the .30-06's qualities) - effective out to ~2,700 m rather than 1,800 m.


Agreed. The other winner about 7.62mm link, is that if your vehicles have 7.62mm RWS, there is Sh*t loads of ammo swimming about. - which is why the Germans gave their new MICV a 5.56mm co-ax!!! :eek: - you'd expect better from the creators of the Panzer Grenadier myth!

7.62mm in the SF Role is effective far beyond 1,800m. That is just the distance the the SASC in the UK wrote the tables out to. I am trying to use a ballistics program to do a table out to 3,000m, but I am too thinly spread at the moment - and a set of tables out to 3,000m does exist, but I can't find a copy. It was written at the SF Gun Wing at Netheravon in the late 1980's.

SF Gun Wing was interesting. The Wing was also the Close Recce Wing. Same instructors, class rooms etc.

Norfolk
12-20-2007, 03:31 AM
Wilf Owen:
Javelin: - Is that heavy. Rounds are 35lbs approx and the CLU far lighter. The UK version has a tripod for extended surveillance. Yes it is not light, but look at the capability. The Coy commander merely has to have radio contact with the teams in the Platoons (All informed Coy Net?) to control AT fires. He does not need to physically control them. Spike, with 4,000m fibre optic guidance, changes all the rules, including the need for mortars

Restricted terrain, like urban, forest and jungle means that each Platoon has got to fend for itself to a certain extent. Actually getting a weapon to a point and time in space to attack a fleeting target, is not best enabled by grouping weapons at the Coy level, IMO.

I settled for 2 x 60mm at the Coy level, because you can get the both crews into 1 vehicle. I think what a Stryker Company does with mounted (81mm) and dismounted (60mm) mortars is interesting.

For MMG I'd just issues SF kits to the GPMG teams in the platoons.

AGLs -ala Mk19 or H&K GMG can't be man-packed in an effective way. On RWS on an APC they are excellent, but I'd steer clear of them for dismounted ops. - same is true for .50 guns as well.

There is something else about Coy level weapons. For training and all the other issues they need to grouped into a Coy Level Weapons platoon. - That's a huge increase in costs and manpower. Cost is an issue.

Yes, the Javelin is 49 lbs in total (not including Tripod and Surveillance System, then it's what, 66-70 lbs?). But you are so right about the sheer capability that it provides. I just doubt that it, and the other Heavy Weapons of the Infantry Company should be organic to each Infantry Platoon, especially considering the loss of some of their effects and the increased difficulty in supplying them, when dispersing them to the Platoons. I still suspect that the best place, normally, is for them to be at Company level, unless terrain and cover make that impracticle; then attach them out to the Platoons.

We used organic Weapons Dets in The RCR each with a GPMG, Carl G, and 60 mm Mortar, one Weapons Det in each Platoon and Coy HQ. There was a lot of pressure from inside to form Weapons Platoons at Coy level in order to both faciliate training and to achieve better coordination of fires. Those are my chief concerns there. Having four of each type of weapon allows you to displace by Sections, of course, while still keeping the enemy under fire, or to attach a single weapon of each type to each Platoon and Coy HQ when terrain and cover require such detachments.

I was not recommending Mk 19s or even the new H&K GMG at Coy level;) - those are clearly BN-level; I was using the example of the Chinese Type 87 which is similar to a GPMG in weight (12 kg in Light Role, 20 kg with Tripod in SF Role) to propose a similar weapon based on the 40 mm Medium Grenade (not the full-power round used by the Mk 19 et al.). I would not enjoy humping even the H&K GMG over the boons, never mind the old Mk 19.

I must admit that I find the vision you propose of Javelin Teams attached to each Platoon HQ with their Surveillance Systems and all networked together to the Coy OC, to be quite intriguing. That is a concept pregnant with possibilities.

Now, on to IFV armament: it has been proposed that autocannons are a most usefull and effective main armament for IFVs; by contrast, Ken White and I regard that concept with some suspicion. We contend that the main purpose of the IFV is to get a full-size Infantry Squad or Section as close to its objective as practical, and that pretty much anything that detracts from that should be avoided. Of course, we single out the autocannon as such a detractor, as the internal space that it requires takes up a substantial amount of room that otherwise would seat more infantry.

We have proposed that HMGs are best suited for such vehicles; and I have gone further to propose that such vehicles armed with either an HMG or an AGL (ideally an even mix of such vehicles in each Platoon) and perhaps an ATGM launcher slaved to a Surveillance System are the heaviest practical armament for such vehicles.

That said, there is a strong case to be made for the autocannon. First off, is its snap-shot, hard-kill capability, especially against anything short of an MBT head-on. Second, and this apparently was one of the reasons GEN William E. DePuy wanted the 25 mm Bushmaster on the Bradley MICV in the first place, was to provide a potent capability to suppress ATGM crews at range. Now, of course the 25 mm only has a practical range of ~2,000 m, but there are 30-40 mm guns that are claimed effective out to ~4,000 m. That might make them effective suppressive weapons against infantry firing subsonic ATGMs. Thoughts on this?

William F. Owen
12-20-2007, 03:59 AM
Wilf Owen:


1. I must admit that I find the vision you propose of Javelin Teams attached to each Platoon HQ with their Surveillance Systems and all networked together to the Coy OC, to be quite intriguing. That is a concept pregnant with possibilities.

2. : it has been proposed that autocannons are a most usefull and effective main armament for IFVs; by contrast, Ken White and I regard that concept with some suspicion. We contend that the main purpose of the IFV is to get a full-size Infantry Squad or Section as close to its objective as practical, and that pretty much anything that detracts from that should be avoided. Of course, we single out the autocannon as such a detractor, as the internal space that it requires takes up a substantial amount of room that otherwise would seat more infantry.

Thoughts on this?

1. Well it'll be a long and painful pregnancy! That being said, Jav is doing such good work in Helmand, that we may see a change!

2. Agreed. As I said, I think MICVs are Recce Vehicles, or strange hybrids designed by committed. It's possible to have a 35mm or 40mm RWS. Rafael mounted a 35mm GIAT (Nexter) cannon on an old UK FV-432, and no great loss in internal volume. It was very far from perfect but it proved a point. I'd settle for an APC with a combined remote 7.62mm/40mm HV and Javelin/Spike station.

Distiller
12-20-2007, 10:53 AM
Couple of comments:

@ ATGM at platoon level: in a jungle or urban setting you don't need the range of a Javelin. Pure waste of money to use a USD75k+ weapon in a scenario when a RPG can do the job. And again: If you give squad leaders a precision targeting capability you have a lot of anti-tank/-structure capability w/o loading up lower formations with weight and weapons they might seldom need.

@ capabilities of Spike-MR: Very impressive, but no substite for the mortars.

@ MG 7.62 in lower formations: What about that FN Mk.48 at squad level? Doesn't have the range of a long-barrel GPMG, but a lot more punch than a Minimi. Coupled with a weapon like HK417 or the SCAT-HLB you'd have volume and precision.

@ using 35/40mm automatic grenade launchers for foot soldiers: I think for the weight a 60mm mortars delivers more capability. A thing like MGL-140 on platoon level looks more intersting to me.

@ my idea of a 80mm mortar at company level: I still like it, but the fact that you can haul only 50% of ammo compared to 60mm is a very strong point. Nevertheless one should look into the option of a short-barrel 80mm with a, say, 3.5kg grenade.

@ using 30mm+ to suppress ATGM crews: First you have to see them. Hard to do from a APC/IFV. When driving around in vehicles a system like AMOS/NEMOS seems more useful for the suppression job. (Besides hopefully having some kind of helicopter escort around, when you're in that situation -- not small war anymore, I guess).

And a question: What about the individual weapons of MG, mortar and missile teams? Nothing, or pistols, or MP7?

William F. Owen
12-20-2007, 12:41 PM
Couple of comments:

@ ATGM at platoon level: in a jungle or urban setting you don't need the range of a Javelin. Pure waste of money to use a USD75k+ weapon in a scenario when a RPG can do the job.

Javelin was used a lot in Fallujah and in the US it is a Squad Weapon. Jungle is more problematic, but I don't see the need to have one weapon for Jungle and one for Urban. Urban can easily produce 2,000m + engagements, and some areas of jungle can produce long range shoots, especially mountains.

BTW, I live in Bangkok, so urban and jungle is something just outside my back door. ;)

Norfolk
12-20-2007, 02:33 PM
Couple of comments:

@ ATGM at platoon level: in a jungle or urban setting you don't need the range of a Javelin. Pure waste of money to use a USD75k+ weapon in a scenario when a RPG can do the job. And again: If you give squad leaders a precision targeting capability you have a lot of anti-tank/-structure capability w/o loading up lower formations with weight and weapons they might seldom need.

@ capabilities of Spike-MR: Very impressive, but no substite for the mortars.

@ MG 7.62 in lower formations: What about that FN Mk.48 at squad level? Doesn't have the range of a long-barrel GPMG, but a lot more punch than a Minimi. Coupled with a weapon like HK417 or the SCAT-HLB you'd have volume and precision.

@ using 35/40mm automatic grenade launchers for foot soldiers: I think for the weight a 60mm mortars delivers more capability. A thing like MGL-140 on platoon level looks more intersting to me.

@ my idea of a 80mm mortar at company level: I still like it, but the fact that you can haul only 50% of ammo compared to 60mm is a very strong point. Nevertheless one should look into the option of a short-barrel 80mm with a, say, 3.5kg grenade.

@ using 30mm+ to suppress ATGM crews: First you have to see them. Hard to do from a APC/IFV. When driving around in vehicles a system like AMOS/NEMOS seems more useful for the suppression job. (Besides hopefully having some kind of helicopter escort around, when you're in that situation -- not small war anymore, I guess).

And a question: What about the individual weapons of MG, mortar and missile teams? Nothing, or pistols, or MP7?

Interesting points Distiller.:) I would recommend only Pistols for the Gunners themselves, but Carbines or Rifles for the other members of the Crew.

As to Mk 48: FN Herstal is now offering the Minimi in NATO 7.62, and I believe that, like the Mk 48, is has eliminated the Magazine feed to save weight (and improve reliability):

http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm

Go down to New MINIMI TM Lightweight Machine Gun 7.62x51mm and
then click on "click here". Very much agreed Distiller. Take the pain and convert to 7.62mm Minimis. Many, many of the 5.56's are too old or worn out and have to be reaplced anyway. And as you pointed out in an earlier post, 5.56 link is effectively a different ammo, unless you've got lots of time to play with it. A 7.62 Minimi would give Squads and Sections the ability to perform true Fire-and-Movement at Platoon Level, with Squads and Sections alternating with each other in those roles - which 5.56 really doesn't provide, not efffectively anyway, notionally perhaps. And you can punch through a lot of things with 7.62 that 5.56 isn't going to touch. Not to mention, with a 7.62 LMG, you don't need even the appearance of a DM at Squad or Section, you've got the range to do it yourself, and leave the DM's at Platoon level, where they properly belong most of the time anyway. .

I am a big proponent of Mortars, especially at Company and Platoon Level. The ability of a 60 mm Mortar to lay down smoke or suppress a Platoon's objective impresses me; the ability of 4 said Mortars to drop nasty Stonks on the enemy at opportune times impresses me even more. I do not see a medium-weight 35-40 mm AGL as a replacement for Mortars, but as a complement to all the other Company and PLatoon Heavy Weapons. AGLs can get into defilades in a way that MGs cannot (especially at shorter ranges) and they provide a Light Anti-Armour capability that spares the ATGMs for use against the MBTs; furthermore, the use of Medium AGLs lessens the pressure on the Mortars (and especially their ammo supply) for certain Fire Tasks, freeing up the Mortars to concentrate more on Smoke, Illumination, and of course, Stonks, when the opportunity arises.

I rather agree about Spike MR used in the pseudo-indirect fire role: it is a useful capability, but I see it as complementing, not partially replacing, Mortars.

Distiller
12-20-2007, 03:00 PM
The Mk.48 is the 7.62x51 Minimi :D
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/pdf/jul03.pdf


I don't see a A/MGL as replacement for mortars either. I think at platoon level weapons should be handle-able by just one man w/o special preparations before firing (even if others carry the ammo). And I also agree on the need for indirect fire support at the lowest possible echelon. Furthermore I think UGLs are distractive and don't provide real firepower (esp as only one man in the team has it), and as I said before a dedicated A/MGL man is probabaly more provicient with his weapon than a UGL-part-time-grenadier.

You are familiar with the Norinco QLB06 I assume?
http://www.sinodefence.com/army/crewserved/qlb06.asp
An nice alternative to the MGL-140. Interesting stuff out of China. Wonder at what level they integrate that thing.

William F. Owen
12-20-2007, 03:13 PM
The Mk.48 is the 7.62x51 Minimi :D
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/pdf/jul03.pdf


No it's not. The Mk48 looks quite different to the 7.62x51mm Minimi - and was built and developed by FN Herstal, not FN Manufacturing.

Norfolk
12-20-2007, 03:18 PM
You are familiar with the Norinco QLB06 I assume?
http://www.sinodefence.com/army/crewserved/qlb06.asp
An nice alternative to the MGL-140. Interesting stuff out of China. Wonder at what level they integrate that thing.

Oh yes, Distiller, I am. I prefer the Type 87 because of its ability to be used in the SF Role. The QLB06 can only be used in the Light Role. The PLA uses the Type 87 at Company Level I think. The Type 88 5.8 mm LMG was found to be inadequate for Company-level work and pushed down to Platoon.

Norfolk
12-30-2007, 10:50 PM
For the Battalion-level, I propose something more or less along the following lines:

A Weapons Company consisting of a Heavy Machine Gun Platoon, with 8 or 9 40 mm GMGs; a Mortar Platoon with 8-9 81 mm Medium (Foot Infantry) or 120 mm Heavy Mortars (Armoured Infantry); an Anti-Tank Platoon with 16-18 Medium (Foot Infantry) or Heavy (Armoured Infantry) ATGM Launchers; a Pioneer Platoon of 3-4 Sections for Field Engineer Battlefield Tasks; and a Reconnaissance Platoon with 6-8 Recce Teams, and 3-4 Sniper Teams.

Also, in Armoured/Mechanized Infantry Battalions, a Carrier Company of 4 or 5 Carrier Platoons (4-5 APC/MICV/IFV each). This would centralise training and maintenance; each Carrier Platoon may be attached to a given Company on a habitual basis to encourage familiarity and tactical cooperation.

I am concerned however, that wherever possible, even Battalion-level Heavy Weapons should be capable of being man-packed (including in Armoured/Mechanized Infantry Battalions). As such, I view the 120 mm Mortar and the TOW (and like Heavy ATGMs) as something that I would prefer to see organized in their own Companies, and located at Regiment/Brigade level; not to mention that I suspect that they are more effectively used that way most of the time anyway. I would much prefer not to have 120 mm Mortars and TOW-type ATGMs organic to the Infantry Battalion, but rather attached to them from Regimental/Brigade-level.

Rifleman
12-30-2007, 11:17 PM
Artillery and mortar types soundoff: would there be any advantage (or problems) in having a mixed battery of 105 howitzers and 120 mortars? Say a battery of four 105 tubes and four 120 tubes?

Would two types of ammo in the battery be a logistical problem? We have more than one type of small arms ammo in a company now and it doesn't seem to hinder operations.

I was just thinking (dangerous, I know): why to we need a heavy mortar platoon at battalion level at all when battalions have an artillery battery attached? It seems the 120s might fit better there.

Rex Brynen
12-30-2007, 11:29 PM
For the Battalion-level, I propose something more or less along the following lines:

Of course its easy for me to suggest--given that it just takes me a ten second post to throw out the challenge--but it would be very useful (and fun) to pull together all of the discussions on platoon/fireteam organization, platoon weapons, and now battalion weapons into a proposed battalion TO&E (hint, hint, Norfolk).

A couple of modest suggestions for anyone who tries it:

1) Specify not only whether its a light/foot or heavy/mech battalion, but also whose battalion it is. If it is for a non-US force (and I'm including here Canada, Australia, parts of Europe) it may not need to be configured to handle high intensity conflict, but rather a spectrum that runs from fairly permissive (post-Dayton Bosnia) PKOs to Somalia-type humanitarian intervention to Afghanistan-type stabilization missions.

2) Specify the IFV (MICV, APC, whatever). It clearly makes some difference if you're fielding 4 mounted ATGM tubes or zero at platoon level, etc.

3) OK, this is the evil political scientist in me. The quipment has to exist now. Try to make some reasonable assumptions about procurement ;) ...otherwise you'll all want Type III phasers. :D

Norfolk
12-30-2007, 11:38 PM
Artillery and mortar types soundoff: would there be any advantage (or problems) in having a mixed battery of 105 howitzers and 120 mortars? Say a battery of four 105 tubes and four 120 tubes?

Would two types of ammo in the battery be a logistical problem? We have more than one type of small arms ammo in a company now and it doesn't seem to hinder operations.

I was just thinking (dangerous, I know): why to we need a heavy mortar platoon at battalion level at all when battalions have an artillery battery attached? It seems the 120s might fit better there.

Ken would be the perfect man to tell us about this; he bin' there, he dun it, and he'd probably have written the book about, but writing may not have been invented yet back then...;)

It seems kind of doubtful to me Rifleman. I'm no Gunner (my paternal grandfather was though), but it strikes me as just needlessly complicated for an Arty Battery. You'd need two sets of Plotting Tables, maybe even an extra radio set in order to get around the radio logjam for both the guns and the tubes; and maintainence and supply would be complicated. Calibration could be fun too. Survey shouldn't be a problem though, even if GPS weren't available to effectively avoid that "little" detail.

I think the Army tried something somewhat similar (but in separate Batteries, not Platoons/Troops in each Battery) with the Pentomic Division (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/House/House.asp#16.). Didn't work out real well.

Norfolk
12-30-2007, 11:40 PM
Of course its easy for me to suggest--given that it just takes me a ten second post to throw out the challenge--but it would be very useful (and fun) to pull together all of the discussions on platoon/fireteam organization, platoon weapons, and now battalion weapons into a proposed battalion TO&E (hint, hint, Norfolk).

A couple of modest suggestions for anyone who tries it:

1) Specify not only whether its a light/foot or heavy/mech battalion, but also whose battalion it is. If it is for a non-US force (and I'm including here Canada, Australia, parts of Europe) it may not need to be configured to handle high intensity conflict, but rather a spectrum that runs from fairly permissive (post-Dayton Bosnia) PKOs to Somalia-type humanitarian intervention to Afghanistan-type stabilization missions.

2) Specify the IFV (MICV, APC, whatever). It clearly makes some difference if you're fielding 4 mounted ATGM tubes or zero at platoon level, etc.

3) OK, this is the evil political scientist in me. The quipment has to exist now. Try to make some reasonable assumptions about procurement ;) ...otherwise you'll all want Type III phasers. :D

Sah! [Norfolk utters in his best Parade-Square Drill Voice]:D

I will get right on it, Sah!

PS: Does it hurt when you get zapped by a Type III Phaser, or is it over real quick?

Rex Brynen
12-31-2007, 12:02 AM
Sah! [Norfolk utters in his best Parade-Square Drill Voice]:D

I will get right on it, Sah!


Sir? My parents were married, dammit ;)

Uboat509
12-31-2007, 12:23 AM
Artillery and mortar types soundoff: would there be any advantage (or problems) in having a mixed battery of 105 howitzers and 120 mortars? Say a battery of four 105 tubes and four 120 tubes?

Would two types of ammo in the battery be a logistical problem? We have more than one type of small arms ammo in a company now and it doesn't seem to hinder operations.

I was just thinking (dangerous, I know): why to we need a heavy mortar platoon at battalion level at all when battalions have an artillery battery attached? It seems the 120s might fit better there.

The logistic problems of dealing with the different munitions would be a huge pain plus there is huge difference in the FDCs. Most of the infantry battalions I have seen have habitual relationships with external units that support them, ie. artillery, engineers, ADA etc. That frees up the battalion from logistical, administrative and maintenance support of these units but allows them to work together. Furthermore, this allows more flexibility to the brigade commander. If he needs to push more assets to one battalion he can do so without having to pull it out of the other battalions.

SFC W

jcustis
12-31-2007, 12:54 AM
I am concerned however, that wherever possible, even Battalion-level Heavy Weapons should be capable of being man-packed (including in Armoured/Mechanized Infantry Battalions). As such, I view the 120 mm Mortar and the TOW (and like Heavy ATGMs) as something that I would prefer to see organized in their own Companies, and located at Regiment/Brigade level; not to mention that I suspect that they are more effectively used that way most of the time anyway. I would much prefer not to have 120 mm Mortars and TOW-type ATGMs organic to the Infantry Battalion, but rather attached to them from Regimental/Brigade-level.

Speaking of better man-portability, I had a conversation with a retired SgtMaj who is working on the acquisition team to field new 81mm and 60mm tubes, made out of a new composite that not only boasts a greater round count life, but also substantial savings in weight.

In the Marine Corps, we used to have TOWs at the Regimental level, as well as a recce platoon. Those went the way of the dodo starting about 10 years ago, though I don't know the reasoning behind the T/O shift.

In terms of 120mm mortars, they are being tested/fielded at the arty battalion level. I have a buddy who used to be in a battalion thathad received 120s as part of the OT&E phase, and I believe they are going to be a permanent fixture.

Much of the discussion about platoon/coy/battalion heavier weapons cannot be separated from the discussion about the means of coveyance. Among USMC infantry companies, each of the three rifle companies within a battalion must retain the capability to move by small boat, amphibious assault vehicle, helicopter, truckin' it, or on foot. Although the MEUs do have a degree of specialization involved (i.e. one company focuses on small boats, helos, etc.) they all need to retain a baseline of expertise to move via any of the other means. Since basic foot movement remains a core task, we'll probably always see weapon weights as a limiting factor.

If we do actually shift to a true distributed operations framework, that will throw everything I've said aside, but I don't see the Corps completely embracing DO the way the proposals make it out to be.

Norfolk
12-31-2007, 04:48 AM
As per Rex' Request for Proposal, here is the first:

Light Infantry Battalion – Table of Organization and Equipment

Principle Roles:

Forced Entry in Operational-Level Amphibious/Airborne Seize-and-Hold/Interdiction/Raid Operations; Operations in Specific Extreme Environments (Arctic, Mountain, Desert, Deep Jungle, Swamplands); Rapid-Reaction Intervention Operations (including as vanguard of Humanitarian Crisis Relief/Counter-Genocide/SSO Operations for Brief Durations (1-2 Weeks at most). Carries 3-4 Days worth of Supplies within Battalion.

Suitable for Most European and English-Speaking Armies; Commando (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Arms_Commando_Course)-trained (ex. Royal Marines, Belgian Para-Commando Brigade, US Army Rangers).

Headquarters Company –

•Command Section (Battalion CO, Battalion 2i/c, Battalion Staff)
•Command Post (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Regimental SGTMJR, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
•Intelligence Section
•Police Section
•Signals Platoon (including Dispatch Riders on Motorcycles – Yeehaaww!) (http://www.houdini-connections.co.uk/3-ter/ter-images/Army/Motorcycle/DR-today-s.jpg)
•Supply Platoon (Stores, Transport, and POL Sections)
•Maintenance Platoon (including Recovery Section and Mobile Repair Team Section)
•Medical Platoon (including Aid Station)
•Mess Platoon (One Field Kitchen per Company)

Infantry Company – (X3)

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners/Drivers)
oCommand Section
oCommand Post
oCompany Quartermaster

•Rifle Platoon (X3)
oPlatoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Runners/Drivers, 4 Designated Marksmen)
Rifle Section (X4) – 11 men
•Weapons Squad (Section CDR/Grenadier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AG36), LMG (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) Gunner, 2 Riflemen)
•Rifle Squad (Section 2i/c, 6 Riflemen (http://www.fnhusa.com/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF045&gid=FNG007&mid=FNM0113) – 1 w/ RPG-7V2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-7))

•Weapons Platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
Machine Gun Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Gun Controller, 2 Signalers)
•4 Machine Gun Squads (each one 7.62mm MAG-58 (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) and 4 men)
Mortar Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Mortar Fire Controller , 2 Signalers)
•4 Mortar Squads (each one 60 mm M224 (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M224.html) and 4 men)
Anti-Tank Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•4 Anti-Tank Squads (each one MBT-LAW (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/mbt_law/) and 4 men)

Weapons Company –

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•Command Section
•Command Post
•Signals Section
•Company Quartermaster

•Machine Gun Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Machine Gun Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Gun Controllers, 2 Signalers)
2 Machine Gun Squads (each one 40mm GMG (http://www.hkpro.com/gmg.htm) and 5 men)

Mortar Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Mortar Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Mortar Fire Controllers, 2 Signalers)
•2 Mortar Squads (each one 81 mm Mortar (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M252.html), and 6 men)

•Anti-Tank Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Anti-Tank Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•2 Anti-Tank Squads (each one ATGM launcher (http://www.theroyalwelsh.org.uk/2bn/index.php?id=63&pa=58), 5 men)

•Pioneer Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Pioneer (http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/regiment_today/battalions_locations/7rifles/hqcompany/assault_pioneer_platoon/index.htm) Sections (each 11 men, as per Rifle Section)

•Reconnaissance Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Reconnaissance Sections (2 Reconnaissance Squads each of 4 Patrolmen/Surveillance System Operators, one light vehicle (http://www.twenot.nl/landrove.htm) per Squad)
•Sniper Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Signaler, 4 2-man Sniper (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c14-timberwolf.htm) Teams (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c15-lrsw.htm))
-Pathfinder Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 4 4-man Pathfinder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathfinders_(military)) Squads - Scouting and Holding Beachheads, Watercourses, DZ's/LZ's, Mountain Paths, etc.)

Note: Typical Attachments may include Light Tank (http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/7413/sabre.html) Squadron/Company, 105mm Light Gun (http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/aad/aad_lg.htm) Artillery Battery, Field Engineer (http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/ese/ese_cet.htm) Troop/Platoon, Anti-Aircraft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-92_Stinger) Troop/Platoon, etc.

Ken White
12-31-2007, 04:51 AM
Ken would be the perfect man to tell us about this; he bin' there, he dun it, and he'd probably have written the book about, but writing may not have been invented yet back then...;)

Was too. Wore out many a chisel on the stone tablets...


I think the Army tried something somewhat similar (but in separate Batteries, not Platoons/Troops in each Battery) with the Pentomic Division (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/House/House.asp#16.). Didn't work out real well.

Yep, each Battle Group, 4 or 5 BIG rifle Companies, a Hq Co and a Mortar Battery, manned by Artllery people. Said Artillerists HATED it and thought mortars beneath them. It worked okay tactically and they still had the DS 105 Bns in the DivArty. Biggest problem was that the human factors, specifically, full Colonels commanding only 12-1,500 troops instead of a 3K man Regiment or Brigade (that was beneath them...), didn't work out.

I can see no practical value to mixing the 120 / 105. The logistic and FDC problems UBoat509 cited are real and significant. Plus, IMO, the Bn having it's own indirect fire capability with a greater bursting radius if less range than the 105 is a good thing. The Army now trains 11Cs on all three mortars instead of a specific tube and TOEs are being modified so that both 60s and 81s are available at Company level; the tube carried being mission selected. The 120s are all being provided purpose designed trailers to haul 'em so they can go into and out of action more quickly.

Rifleman
12-31-2007, 05:17 AM
The Army now trains 11Cs on all three mortars instead of a specific tube and TOEs are being modified so that both 60s and 81s are available at Company level; the tube carried being mission selected.

Thanks for that. It's encouraging to know the Army is taking that step. I've wondered why mortar sections haven't been using an "arms room concept."

Now, please tell me they went back to three tubes per line company!

Ratzel
12-31-2007, 05:19 AM
I do believe there is need to keep the Bradly with 25MM Cannon to support armour and to do the things that Mech Infantry do. However, I also see a need for an APC that can deliver a whole dismount squad which can also take a lot of abuse.

The Stryker or 113 can deliver a squad, but is limited in survivability. That's why I'd like to see an APC that can take MBT type abuse. Just imagine an Abrams, thats a little bit thinner, and without a turret. This APC would deliver Infantry in very dangerous places. It should have a low profile, and a seating arrangement similar to a BMP. The facing out seating arrangement will allow for more visibility in those very dangerous places. This seating, will also need to be more comfortable. Its not uncommon to be in an APC for 10-15 hours at a time.

The longest I sat in one without getting out was 18 hours. Despite cries from the crew that "all we do is sleep", there is no real sleeping in a Bradly. This new APC will allow soldiers to be rest when possible. Sometimes Mechanized warfare does not allow for soldiers to get out and take a two hour nap under a poncho liner. Instead, hour after hour is spent in the vehicle.

This APC would require a .50 cal or 40MM remote controlled system on top. There would also be visual sensors on top for the squad leaders or PL to view the battlefield with. This vehicle should have some capability to blow holes through walls that allows for the infantry squad to literally step out of the APC into the building.

The company would be configured like a Stryker unit. However, instead of a MGS platoon, it would be supported by a PL of tanks or PL of Brads. Maybe even 2 tanks and 2 Brads?

I realize that the Abrams has a turbo engine, so the challenge lies in building an engine that can carry the kind of armour that a MBT offers. The engine would have to be in the front-due to the infantry-so this may be difficult?

William F. Owen
12-31-2007, 05:28 AM
. That's why I'd like to see an APC that can take MBT type abuse. Just imagine an Abrams, thats a little bit thinner, and without a turret. This APC would deliver Infantry in very dangerous places.

The engine would have to be in the front-due to the infantry-so this may be difficult?

You may want to look at:
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm

It is worth noting that the IDF has always rejected the idea of an MICV, and is set to continue to do so. They make a firm distinction between Infantry and Armour. As I understand it, like Acharitz, Namer, or Namera, - or the Namereem! - will be crewed by Armoured Corps, not infantry

jcustis
12-31-2007, 05:37 AM
You may want to look at:
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm

It is worth noting that the IDF has always rejected the idea of an MICV, and is set to continue to do so. They make a firm distinction between Infantry and Armour. As I understand it, like Acharitz, Namer, or Namera, - or the Namereem! - will be crewed by Armoured Corps, not infantry


I was thinking the same thing. Iwas also about to post a youtube clip on the expeditionary fighting vehicle. I don't know what the armor is rated against, but the ability to carry up to 17 infantrymen has to make some folks here drool, eh? Just two could carry a platoon made of bigger teams, or squads, or whateverwe've reached consensus on...:D

Uboat509
12-31-2007, 08:12 AM
I am not really sure where this would fit in our infantry. It's too heavy to replace the Stryker and probably too light, at least in armament, to replace the Bradley. If you are going to put that much armor on a vehicle, why not give it a heavy gun.


I don't know what the armor is rated against, but the ability to carry up to 17 infantrymen has to make some folks here drool, eh? Just two could carry a platoon made of bigger teams, or squads, or whateverwe've reached consensus on...

I am not so sure. I don't know what the specs are on this thing but 17 men implies that it must be pretty big. Furthermore, anti-armor seems to be progressing faster than armor these days. Hezbollah had some fairly advanced antiarmor weapons that cost the Israelis much more than they had thought. A hypothetical conventional Army that we may face in the future will likely have even better stuff or at least greater quantities. Given that, I'm not sure that loading 17 men into one vehicle with only a machine gun to defend themselves is necessarily the best course of action.

SFC W

William F. Owen
12-31-2007, 08:26 AM
As per Rex' Request for Proposal, here is the first:

Light Infantry Battalion – Table of Organization and Equipment


OK.
@ Is this the deployed OOB or the Garrison OOB?
@ Platoons are 49 men?
@ Rifle Companies are over 200 men? So 25 approx vehicles per Company? The Unit must be close to 200-250 vehicles?

Why the 1980's equipment? Sabre is garbage, as is Land Rover WMIK. This exactly like a very inflated version of the Battalion I grew up in! :(

Ratzel
12-31-2007, 09:48 AM
You may want to look at:
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm

It is worth noting that the IDF has always rejected the idea of an MICV, and is set to continue to do so. They make a firm distinction between Infantry and Armour. As I understand it, like Acharitz, Namer, or Namera, - or the Namereem! - will be crewed by Armoured Corps, not infantry


Thanks for that link. Yes, there's a couple vehicle's here that fit my description well. Also, I always liked the idea APC's being manned by armour people. For some reason, that idea never took off?

jcustis
12-31-2007, 03:45 PM
I am not so sure. I don't know what the specs are on this thing but 17 men implies that it must be pretty big. Furthermore, anti-armor seems to be progressing faster than armor these days. Hezbollah had some fairly advanced antiarmor weapons that cost the Israelis much more than they had thought. A hypothetical conventional Army that we may face in the future will likely have even better stuff or at least greater quantities. Given that, I'm not sure that loading 17 men into one vehicle with only a machine gun to defend themselves is necessarily the best course of action.

It slings a 30mm cannon.

Rex Brynen
12-31-2007, 03:51 PM
This exactly like a very inflated version of the Battalion I grew up in! :(

Wilf:

Why don't you have a go at the same--a full battalion TO&E.

Norfolk
12-31-2007, 04:10 PM
Wilf:

As far as Sabre went, I wanted a Light Tank that a Chinook Medium-Lift Helicopter could transport; as for the Land Rover, well I was out of tactical light vehicle ideas. But this Battalion would have a very great deal less than 200-250 vehicles; each Rifle Platoon, for example would only have a single light vehicle. Battalion HQ would only have about 4 light vehicles, and the Supply Platoon in the Headquarters Company would be likely to have only about 16-20 light vehicles. This Battalion gets to the Battlefield by Amtrac/Landing Craft/Hovercraft/Helicopter/Air-Landing/Parachute, and then it walks. As much as practically possible, this Battalion is to be relatively free of immediate dependence upon vehicles. There is no wheeled vehicle-mounted HMG/AT Troop/Platoon; a Heavy ATGM Platoon (on Wiesel 2 (http://www.bwb.org/01DB022000000001/CurrentBaseLink/W26Z49WK310INFOEN)-type tracked carriers) would be attached from Regiment/Brigade-level when tactically required, and the aforementioned Light Tanks would be attached instead of organic HMG/AGL-armed wheeled vehicles. Wheeled vehicles have trouble with some cross-country and bad-weather conditions; tracked vehicles are rather better.

And you spoiled my surprise (well, no surprise to those who've seen me rave about it here before) for the HAPC for the upcoming Heavy Infantry Battalion with the Namera link.;)

jcustis: As with so many things that the USMC has, the proposed 17-man capacity of the prototype AAAV does indeed make me drool, and profusely at times.

If the Light Infantry Battalion is to be "lightened", reducing the Weapons Company by ~25% is doable, but eliminates its available reserve of firepower.

The weapon for the Designated Marksman is the FN FAL 50.42 (http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FAL) (Australian L2, Canadian C2) Automatic Rifle, but fitted with an ACOG-type sight. The original link was lost. Also, there were supposed to be 2 Mortar Fire Controllers in the Battalion Mortar Platoon, not in each Section! As each Infantry Company has its own MFC, more than 2 at Battalion is superfluous.

Medium Infantry Battalion - Table of Organization and Equipment

Principle Roles:

Long-Duration Holding of Ground/Key Terrain in General War; Clearing and Holding positions in Close Country, as well as Open Country when properly entrenched; Long-Duration Intervention Operations, including Small Wars, COIN, SSO/Humanitarian Crisis Relief/Counter-Genocide Operations. Carries supplies for 6-8 days within Battalion.

The Backbone Unit of any European and English-speaking Army. Can be partially or wholly mounted in APC/MICV/IFVs (attached from Regiment/Brigade/Division) if tactically or operationally required; can also be transported by Landing Craft/Amtrac/Hovercraft/Air-Landing/Helicopter.

Headquarters Company –

•Command Section (Battalion CO, Battalion 2i/c, Battalion Staff)
•Command Post (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Regimental SGTMJR, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
•Intelligence Section
•Police Section
•Signals Platoon (including Dispatch Riders on Motorcycles – Yeehaaww!) (http://www.houdini-connections.co.uk/3-ter/ter-images/Army/Motorcycle/DR-today-s.jpg)
•Supply Platoon (Stores, Transport, and POL Sections)
•Maintenance Platoon (including Recovery Section and Mobile Repair Team Section)
•Medical Platoon (including Aid Station)
•Mess Platoon (One Field Kitchen per Company)

Infantry Company – (X4)

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners/Drivers)
oCommand Section
oCommand Post
oCompany Quartermaster

•Rifle Platoon (X3)
oPlatoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Runners/Drivers, 4 Designated Marksmen (http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FAL))
Rifle Section (X3) – 14 men (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, and one RPG-7V2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-7) per Section)
•Rifle Squad (X3) (Squad CDR/Grenadier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AG36), LMG (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) Gunner, 2 Riflemen (http://www.fnhusa.com/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF045&gid=FNG007&mid=FNM0113))

•Weapons Platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
Machine Gun Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Gun Controller, 2 Signalers)
•4 Machine Gun Squads (each one 7.62mm MAG-58 (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) and 4 men)
Mortar Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Mortar Fire Controller , 2 Signalers)
•4 Mortar Squads (each one 60 mm M224 (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M224.html) and 4 men)
Anti-Tank Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•4 Anti-Tank Squads (each one MBT-LAW (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/mbt_law/) and 4 men)

Weapons Company –

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•Command Section
•Command Post
•Signals Section
•Company Quartermaster

•Machine Gun Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Machine Gun Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Gun Controllers, 2 Signalers)
2 Machine Gun Squads (each one 40mm GMG (http://www.hkpro.com/gmg.htm) and 5 men)

Mortar Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Mortar Fire Controllers, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Mortar Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•2 Mortar Squads (each one 81 mm Mortar (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M252.html), and 6 men)

•Anti-Tank Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Anti-Tank Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•2 Anti-Tank Squads (each one ATGM launcher (http://www.theroyalwelsh.org.uk/2bn/index.php?id=63&pa=58), 5 men)

•Pioneer Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Pioneer (http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/regiment_today/battalions_locations/7rifles/hqcompany/assault_pioneer_platoon/index.htm) Sections (each 14 men, as per Rifle Section)

•Reconnaissance Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Reconnaissance Sections (2 Reconnaissance Squads each of 4 Patrolmen/Surveillance System Operators, one Tactical Light Vehicle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah_MMPV) per Squad)
•Sniper Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Signaler, 4 2-man Sniper (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c14-timberwolf.htm) Teams (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c15-lrsw.htm))

Note:

Typical Attachments may include Tank (MBT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_2)) Troop/Platoon or Squadron/Company, 155mm Towed Medium Gun (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/ufh/) Artillery Battery, Field Engineer Troop/Platoon or Squadron/Company, Anti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-92_Stinger)-Aircraft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-1097_Avenger) Troop/Platoon, Heavy Anti-Tank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-114_Hellfire) Troop/Platoon, and an APC (http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm) Company.

The Rifle Sections are a cross of the USMC Rifle Squad and Tom Odom's proposed Rifle Squad. While the Medium Infantry Battalion is certainly capable of Offensive Operations in Low- and Medium -Intensity War, and in Close Country in High-Intensity War, it is ideal for Defensive Operations - heavy firepower, with organic wheeled transport to move troops and supplies, and large numbers of Infantrymen to absorb Battle Losses; in sum, great Staying Power. The 155mm Medium Artillery, when attached, is lethal to enemy attackers, even causing some difficulty for attacking Armour. Even a Troop/Platoon of MBTs plus a Heavy Anti-Tank Troop/Platoon attached to this Battalion would make for a potent defence.

slapout9
12-31-2007, 04:20 PM
We need some RAV's Redneck Assualt Vehicles... Haul anything you want anywhere you want.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cfnCEvhYI&feature=related

Norfolk
12-31-2007, 05:06 PM
We need some RAV's Redneck Assualt Vehicles... Haul anything you want anywhere you want.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cfnCEvhYI&feature=related

That must be the RAV-Heavy, slap.

Here's the RAV-Medium:

http://www.lilligren.com/Redneck/redneck_attack_truck.htm

and the RAV-Light:

http://www.lilligren.com/Redneck/redneck_gun_buggy.htm

and this is the RAV-Logistics Vehicle:

http://photos1.blogger.com/photoInclude/blogger/6780/3628/1600/Cruzin%20Cooler.jpg

Uboat509
12-31-2007, 05:07 PM
It slings a 30mm cannon.

My bad. All the pictures of it that I have found show it with a remote .50 Cal and a remote 7.62. Can you post a link to some more info on it? I haven't found much on it other than that it is a Merkava chasis.

SFC W

Rifleman
12-31-2007, 07:13 PM
I'll play, because it's fun (Lord only knows what a middle aged cop expects to achieve by doing this! :rolleyes: ), but only at company level, since the further I get from that the more my lack of understanding shines through.

The basic template will be three "line" platoons and a robust weapon's platoon.

Line platoons: preferably, three big USMC style squads of 13 or 14 troops each, with the platoon leader receiving additional attachments from the weapon's platoon; more likely, three or four nine man squads (I'd convert the weapon's squad to a fourth squad) capable of fire or maneuver, but not both.

If we had USMC style squads they really don't need much adjusting as far as organization and equipment goes. But it might be advantageous to consolidate all the LMGs into one fire team and to use true ARs in the other two teams for ease of maneuver in the assault. The USMC tested this and liked it but has not adopted it, or a true AR, at this time. This squad could suppress with two thirds and assault with one third. If it has additional attachments this "squad" is verging on being Wilf Owen's fire team group "platoon."

If we have to go with nine man squads drop the internal fire team organization: one LMG paired with one UGL and seven "carbineers" (I like that term, Norfolk) for the close fight. Two of the carbineers are, of course, the squad leader and his assistant. No ARs in this squad.

The carbineers could be equipped with modern rifle grenades. Good models are now available that are shoot through or bullet trap so we don't have to rely on the old blank cartridge models. This helps eliminate the need for an RPG organic to the squad and increases the carbineer's ability to suppress when the LMG needs to move. The Israelis love them.

Notice we don't have a weapon's squad in the platoon. It's on it's way.

Four big 13 man squads of three teams each and a squad leader in the company weapon's platoon: one long range rifle squad (DMs); one GPMG squad; one anti armor squad; one mortar squad. Each team crews one weapon's system in the GPMG, anti armor, and mortar squads. Each team has two buddy teams of riflemen in the long range rifle squad.

Squads in the weapon's platoon can be held by the company commander or attached out to platoons as needed. Squad leaders in the weapon's platoon are cross trained and capable of advising a line platoon leader on the employment of any weapon in the weapon's platoon so this makes for a modular weapon's squad concept. Employ as pure squads or mix and match teams as needed.

So, first platoon is defending a ridge above a small valley choked with boulders and brush. Not much need for anti armor weapons and little opportunity for effective grazing fire, although a GPMG would still help, but long range riflemen can make the difference here. So that squad leader can take two of his long range rifle teams and one GPMG team and attach out to the first platoon.

Those are my thoughts on a light infantry company. I'm sure some of you will think other options are better. But have I listed anything that would really be tactically unsound or logistically impossible?

Norfolk
12-31-2007, 07:24 PM
Gendarme Battalion - Table of Organization and Equipment

Principle Roles:

Long-Duration Operations Other Than War such as SSO/Humanitarian Relief Operations and Internal Security/Aid to the Civil Power. Carries supplies within Battalion for 6-8 days.

Some Battalions in the Balkans formed 250-man Companies to deal with the Manpower-Intensive Tasks of Peacekeeping Operations there. This Battalion organization is similiar in concept. This is principally a Western European and non-US English-speaking Battalion organization.

Headquarters Company –

•Command Section (Battalion CO, Battalion 2i/c, Battalion Staff)
•Command Post (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Regimental SGTMJR, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
•Intelligence Section
•Police Platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signallers, 2 Drivers)
4 Police Sections
Security Section
Holding Section
Armoured Car (http://www.valcartier.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/poolpdf/e/142_e.pdf) Section (5 vehicles, 3-man crews with Surveillance System; 1st-Line Maintenance provided by Battalion Armoured Car Company)

•Signals Platoon (including Dispatch Riders on Motorcycles – Yeehaaww (http://www.houdini-connections.co.uk/3-ter/ter-images/Army/Motorcycle/DR-today-s.jpg)!)
•Supply Platoon (Stores, Transport (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar_%28vehicle%29), and POL Sections)
•Maintenance Platoon (including 2 Recovery Sections and 2 Mobile Repair Team Sections)
•Medical Platoon (including Aid Station)
•Mess Platoon (One Field Kitchen per Company)

Infantry Company – (X4)

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
oCommand Section
oCommand Post
oCompany Quartermaster

•Rifle Platoon (X4)
oPlatoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Runners/Drivers, 4 Designated Marksmen (http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FAL))
Rifle Section (X4) – 16 men (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, and one RPG-7V2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-7) per Section)
-Weapons Squad (X2) (Squad CDR/Grenadier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AG36), LMG (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) Gunner, 2 Riflemen)
•Rifle Squad (X2) (Squad CDR, 3 Riflemen (http://www.fnhusa.com/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF045&gid=FNG007&mid=FNM0113))

•Weapons Platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
Machine Gun Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Gun Controller, 2 Signalers)
•4 Machine Gun Squads (each one 7.62mm MAG-58 (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) and 4 men)
Mortar Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Mortar Fire Controller , 2 Signalers)
•4 Mortar Squads (each one 60 mm M224 (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M224.html) and 4 men)
Anti-Tank Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•4 Anti-Tank Squads (each one MBT-LAW (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/mbt_law/) and 4 men)

Weapons Company –

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
•Command Section
•Command Post
•Signals Section
•Company Quartermaster

•Pioneer Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Pioneer (http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/regiment_today/battalions_locations/7rifles/hqcompany/assault_pioneer_platoon/index.htm) Sections (each 18 men, as per Rifle Section)
-Plant Section (Light Excavation Equipment, Local Power Generation Equipment, Local Water Purification Systems, etc.)

•Reconnaissance Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners/Drivers)
•4 Reconnaissance Sections (2 Reconnaissance Squads each of 4 Patrolmen/Surveillance System Operators, one Armoured Car (http://www.valcartier.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/poolpdf/e/142_e.pdf) per Section)
•Sniper Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Signaler, 4 2-man Sniper (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c14-timberwolf.htm) Teams)

-Carrier Company (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)

-Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR, 4 Signallers, 4 Clerks, 4 Drivers)
-Carrier Platoon (X5)
-Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signallers)
-Carrier Section (X5) (5 Armoured Cars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stryker) per Section, 3-man Crew per AC)
-Maintenance Section

Note:

This Battalion is not intended for anything but the lowest of Low-Intensity Warfare. It possesses enough firepower to deal with Partisans and Terrorists in most cases, but is more ideally suited to Cordon-and-Search, Surveillance, Riot-Control, and Internal Security missions. The Battalion HQ Company possess a full Police Platoon, rather than just a Section, in order to handle local LE tasks, Traffic Control, Handling and Processing of suspects/prisoners, and Security tasks. The Pioneer Platoon is trained and equipped for limited EOD/UX tasks, as well as capabilities in the way of Light Plant - sufficient to keep things maintained and to provide minor-scale Water Purification and Power Generation on short notice.

Ordinarily a Field Engineer Squadron/Company and specialized EOD Teams would be attached to handle Heavy Plant (especially Heavy excavation equipment for construction of Infrastructure, Water Purification Plant, Power Generation, and Pipeline and Pumping Stations particularly for POL; and full EOD/UX tasks).

Norfolk
12-31-2007, 07:31 PM
Those are my thoughts on a light infantry company. I'm sure some of you will think other options are better. But have I listed anything that would really be tactically unsound or logistically impossible?

Sounds good so far Rifleman; I'd buy it, especially that part about Carbineers. Your Light Infantry Company is Light but can still Fight, and go toe-to-toe with the best of them.

I'd still like to call the DM's Riflemen...are you sure you don't want to call anyone a Jaegar?;):D

slapout9
12-31-2007, 07:51 PM
Link to FM 23-12 The Technique Of Fire For The Rifle Squad. Very Thorough Training if this really happened.


http://ahecwebdds.carlisle.army.mil/awapps/main.jsp?flag=browse&smd=1&awdid=254

slapout9
12-31-2007, 10:44 PM
Here is a better link to the Field Manual. I am unable to edit my previous post.
Thanks Norfolk:)

http://ahecwebdds.carlisle.army.mil/Data/tmp/linearize_objYAsFmXks3WgmXh9DXXTYBjpHeRrj0cS9c6TnW 8ubu8JB0eLkSHHPbFa7SyvJC5iIpr56kGv99_GUBwRj+YuU7O0 fHTYSWe.pdf

William F. Owen
01-01-2008, 02:36 AM
Wilf:

Why don't you have a go at the same--a full battalion TO&E.

Thanks, but it doesn't really help. OOBs don't tell you how the Unit operates, trains or anything about the real world restraints that have to be accounted for.

...but, my work focusses on Sub-units, that can plug into Battle Groups, so all a unit needs to generate is a BG HQ and then a 1-3 Company groups depending on the operations. So you might attach a Company to another Battle Group or your BG HQ has two Tank Squadrons attached to it.

My basic Company Orbat is 3 x 30 man platoons, each with 2 x LRR, 2 x GPMG, and 2 x ATGM like Spike or Javelin.

Carrier Platoon with 16 APCs crewed by 32 men. APCs armed with 7.62mm or HV 40mm TI-RWS, plus ATGM.

9 man Coy HQ, with a man packed UAV, and including a Casualty Evacuation Team (3 men).

Norfolk
01-01-2008, 01:48 PM
My basic Company Orbat is 3 x 30 man platoons, each with 2 x LRR, 2 x GPMG, and 2 x ATGM like Spike or Javelin.

Carrier Platoon with 16 APCs crewed by 32 men. APCs armed with 7.62mm or HV 40mm TI-RWS, plus ATGM.

9 man Coy HQ, with a man packed UAV, and including a Casualty Evacuation Team (3 men).

This Company is superlatively efficient. It appears easy to control, wields heavy firepower especially for a sub-unit of its size, and is quite agile. The 40 mm in the RWS (et al) on the APC is a formidable weapon.

I have questions about it:

1. While Spike may be used in a role somewhat akin to that of a mortar, is it sufficient to replace the Mortar in all its roles? The 60 mm is good for laying down smokescreens quickly, and is useful for illumination to an extent. I am still impressed by its ability to supress with HE an enemy Section or Platoon position in combination with the GPMG and AT Weapons.

2. Battle Losses: In The RCR, we were told that the 8-man Section would suffer 60% casulaties in the first 24 hours of offensive operations; I have never found an offical study that states this. The CTC at Gagetown was responsible for testing these sorts of matters. Either the Melody (http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA225438) article or the Karcher (http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA407058) article (or maybe both) state two general figures for Squad casualties rates: The US Army Infantry School, in an historical analysis of Infantry battle losses, concluded that the Squad typically operates 20-25% below authorized strength; I think it was Melody who mentioned a figure of around 30%, based upon what I am unsure, though Vietnam may have been a factor here.

For Battle Losses, how is this Company designed or intended to cope with casualties, and at what rate?

Once again, a supremely efficient Company structure.

William F. Owen
01-01-2008, 03:12 PM
1. While Spike may be used in a role somewhat akin to that of a mortar, is it sufficient to replace the Mortar in all its roles?

2. Battle Losses: In The RCR, we were told that the 8-man Section would suffer 60% casulaties in the first 24 hours of offensive operations;

@ For Battle Losses, how is this Company designed or intended to cope with casualties, and at what rate?

@ Once again, a supremely efficient Company structure.

1. No, Spike cannot replace mortars but it can do certain jobs better than mortars.

2. Losses purely relate to how you can re-organise to retain some capability. That's the logic. However the psychological effects of casualties are likely to be far more profound. The 30 man platoons can keep re-organising right down to a 5 man team. You don't just wait for sections to get wiped out. You keep re-organising the platoon. That's why principles of organisation are a better bet, IMO, than absolute organisation.

@ Thanks, but it's just one stab at the possible.

Timothy OConnor
01-01-2008, 04:35 PM
You don't just wait for sections to get wiped out. You keep re-organising the platoon. That's why principles of organisation are a better bet, IMO, than absolute organisation.


Perhaps those who have been recently trained as team, squad, and platoon leaders can shed some light on this. Is low level organization seen as a hard and fast rule or a framework for real-time adjustments as needed?

Given real-world small unit strengths when deployed for a few months, what do the actual teams, squads, and platoons look like in Afghanistan and Iraq over time? Size and organization?

Norfolk
01-01-2008, 04:48 PM
Perhaps those who have been recently trained as team, squad, and platoon leaders can shed some light on this. Is low level organization seen as a hard and fast rule or a framework for real-time adjustments as needed?

Given real-world small unit strengths when deployed for a few months, what do the actual teams, squads, and platoons look like in Afghanistan and Iraq over time? Size and organization?

No, of course they are not hard and fast. You start with a basic structure that is optimized to accomplish its tasks while sustaining a certain level of casualties; after it has suffered sufficient losses to prevent it from accomplishing those tasks, or a task arises that requires a reorganization, you just go ahead and do it. Structures, like plans, are a common basis for change, they are not fixed. But it is important to have a solid base from which to adapt to whatever circumstances may arise.

Take for example the USMC Squad in Iraq: right now, the 13-men are doctrinally organized into 3 4-man Fire Teams; but in practice, the demands of Close Quarter Battle have led many of them to reorganize into 2 6-man Fire Teams; 4-man Fire Teams don't have staying power after taking losses, and 2 out of the 4 men are carrying weapons (LMG and UGL) that are hardly handy for CQB. So they reorganize into 2 6-man teams with an LMG, UGL, and 4 Riflemen each. Much better. But you can't do that with the 9-man US Army Squad; you have to break up one Squad in the Platoon and reorganize the other two to accomplish that.

slapout9
01-01-2008, 06:02 PM
All the posts just lead me to believe that we are failing to understand what the Old Fox said (Ken White). There is no right size squad! The right size squad will depend on the mission... the enemy....the terrain....troops you have.....time to figure out the best option. METT-T:wry: Maybe we should just have a basic size for admin purposes but spend more time training squad leaders and squads to be flexible and work together to accomplish the Mission based upon the situation. SBST situation based squad training...Yea I just invented that:eek:


And why I have everybody on the radio here wasn't the concept of a Commando Unit based upon the idea that it had no fixed size? It was expanded and contracted based upon the situation. You UK folks should know if this is correct or not.

Timothy OConnor
01-01-2008, 06:48 PM
Structures, like plans, are a common basis for change, they are not fixed. But it is important to have a solid base from which to adapt to whatever circumstances may arise.


That has always been my understanding. There does seem to be a disconnect bewteen peace-time or standard platoon organization and that used during actual fighting. It seems at times the "solid base" is so theoretical as to be completely distinct from practice and therefore less valuable as a foundation.

Perhaps a modular approach would be more appropriate whether peace time or not. Effectively the rifle platoon would be composed of a number of functional teams (of various and appropriate sizes) and about 3 group leaders which would then be tasked organized by the platoon leader.

It seems to work that way in the real-world anyway but that's not how platoons are organized/train.

To your point about minimum effective team size that's driven by tactical function, so the size of a given functional team would be what ever is most appropriate for the function (an extreme example would be FO/RATELO team of two men vs base-of-fire team vs a team designed for CQB).

It's interesting that peace-time organization often revolves around neat and tidy balanced organizations in perfect multiples while fighting platoons very quickly dispense with such structures.

Why not formalize the informal so that platoons better reflect their real-world operating environment? Has that ever been attempted?

As an aside this problem goes back through history. In the 18th and early 19th centuries armies struggled with disconnects between administrative organization (and even ceremonial organization!) and functional battlefield organization. Such issues have been addressed at higher organizational levels over time (eg 18th century ad hoc brigades and such vs Napoleonic organization). As more functional capabilities are driven to lower tactical organizations we'll likely see a similar evolution at ever lower levels.

Ken White
01-01-2008, 07:01 PM
. . .
It's interesting that peace-time organization often revolves around neat and tidy balanced organizations in perfect multiples while fighting platoons very quickly dispense with such structures.

Why not formalize the informal so that platoons better reflect their real-world operating environment? Has that ever been attempted?

. . .

As slapout noted, the WW II Commandos were organized that way; the 1st Special Service Force effectively operated that way, USSF and SOF essentially operate that way and as you point out, the structural design is essentially a bookkeeping measure and units in combat have always organized anyway they wish to accomplish the mission.

That is likely to continue to be true and it works; why waste a lot of effort trying to create the 'Optimum' organization when, as soon as its committed, someone not privy to the design rationale will modify the organization to suit his mission?

I have not seen every conceivable ad hoc organization of Army and Marine Scout and Rifle Platoons but I have seen hundreds of variations employed in combat. Most all of 'em worked.

jcustis
01-01-2008, 07:16 PM
It's interesting that peace-time organization often revolves around neat and tidy balanced organizations in perfect multiples while fighting platoons very quickly dispense with such structures.

Why not formalize the informal so that platoons better reflect their real-world operating environment? Has that ever been attempted?

Not so sure where we can make the assessment that the garrison structure (at least for squads) is routinely dispensed with when the bullets start flying (or even "quickly") as you put it. There's been a couple references made of anecdotal information concerning Marines shifting during the recent fights of Fallujah and back in Hue, but is this an indicator that it is repeated across the past 50 years of warfighting?

The Israelis fight the way they are structured, right? Across the Marine Corps, we pretty much do the same, but I don't think it is because we default to a new structure because we didn't think about casualties. We restructure into bigger elements as a REACTION to casualties, troops-to-task requirements, etc. It doesn't mean that the original structure wasn't valid and effecient in the first place. If I've got squads that have sustained casualties, yet the squad leaders are still combat effective, I'm not going to subvert one squad under another just because it sustains 4-6 casualties. Now, I may make that understrength squad the duty SBF element (with supporting attachments), but ifI've trained in a multiple of three fighting organization, I'm going to ask for reinforcements or attachments to round me out before I resort to collapsing and consolidating down.

Bottom line, I don't think the "neat and tidy" organizations are a product of peacetime requirements. They are a product of study, application, and a certain degree of forethought. Can some of them be better?...sure, but throughout all of these related threads, I still can't find a convincing argument that re-organization will result in marked increases in performance. We (i.e. US-CAN-UK-ANZAC) have been fairly effective on the real two-way range correct?

William F. Owen
01-02-2008, 01:25 AM
All the posts just lead me to believe that we are failing to understand what the Old Fox said (Ken White). There is no right size squad! The right size squad will depend on the mission... the enemy....the terrain....troops you have.....time to figure..


Well I agree and that was pretty much where I started from. That is why you need principles of organisation - but you also need a basic TOE as a starting point, and weapons as only 25% of what you need to consider.



Perhaps a modular approach would be more appropriate whether peace time or not. Effectively the rifle platoon would be composed of a number of functional teams (of various and appropriate sizes) and about 3 group leaders which would then be tasked organized by the platoon leader.
levels.

I wrote an article on the Fire team Groups a while ago... maybe that could form the basis of something....:wry:

Norfolk
01-02-2008, 05:39 AM
Well, this is my final Infantry Battalion TO&E organization as per Rex' request:

Heavy Infantry Battalion - Table of Organization and Equipment

Principle Roles:

Decisive Offensive Operations, particularly in Open Country, but Close Country as well to a limited extent; Mobile Defensive Operations; Screening and Delaying Operations; ideally suited for General Wars, and to provide Heavy Mobile Reserve in Small Wars. Carries supplies for 6-8 days within Battalion. Suitable for European and English-speaking Armies.

Headquarters Company –

•Command Section (Battalion CO, Battalion 2i/c, Battalion Staff)
•Command Post (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Regimental SGTMJR, 4 Clerks, 4 Runners/Drivers)
•Intelligence Section
•Police Section
•Signals Platoon
•Supply Platoon (Stores, 2 Transport, and POL Sections)
•Maintenance Platoon (including 2 Recovery Sections and 2 Mobile Repair Team Sections)
•Medical Platoon (including Aid Station)
•Mess Platoon (One Field Kitchen per Company)

Infantry Company – (X4)

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners)
oCommand Section
oCommand Post
oCompany Quartermaster

•Rifle Platoon (X3)
oPlatoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Runners, 4 Designated Marksmen (http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FAL))
Rifle Section (X4) – 8 men, due to carrying capacity of Infantry Carrier (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, and one RPG-7V2 per Section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-7))
-Weapons Squad (Section CDR/Grenadier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AG36), LMG (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) Gunner, Rifleman (http://www.fnhusa.com/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF045&gid=FNG007&mid=FNM0113))
•Rifle Squad (Squad CDR, 4 Riflemen)

•Weapons Platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
Machine Gun Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Gun Controller, 2 Signalers)
•4 Machine Gun Squads (each one 7.62mm MAG-58 (http://www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm) and 4 men)
Mortar Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Mortar Fire Controller , 2 Signalers)
•4 Mortar Squads (each one 60 mm M224 (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M224.html) and 4 men)
Anti-Tank Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•4 Anti-Tank Squads (each one MBT-LAW (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/mbt_law/) and 4 men)

Weapons Company –

•Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st Sgt, 4 Signalers, 2 Clerks, 2 Runners)
•Command Section
•Command Post
•Company Quartermaster

•Machine Gun Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
•4 Machine Gun Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Gun Controllers, 2 Signalers)
2 Machine Gun Squads (each one 40mm GMG (http://www.hkpro.com/gmg.htm) and 5 men)

Mortar Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Mortar Fire Controllers, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
•4 Mortar Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•2 Mortar Squads (each one 81 mm Mortar (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/M252.html), and 6 men)

•Anti-Tank Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
•4 Anti-Tank Sections (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, 2 Signalers)
•2 Anti-Tank Squads (each one ATGM (http://www.theroyalwelsh.org.uk/2bn/index.php?id=63&pa=58) launcher, 5 men)

•Pioneer Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
•4 Pioneer (http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/regiment_today/battalions_locations/7rifles/hqcompany/assault_pioneer_platoon/index.htm) Sections (each 8 men, as per Rifle Section)

•Reconnaissance Platoon
•Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c, 2 Signalers, 2 Runners)
•4 Reconnaissance Sections (each of 2 Reconnaissance Squads each of 4 Patrolmen)
-2 Surveillance Sections (each of 3 Reconnaissance Vehicles (http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product.php?prodID=933), each with 3-man crew)
•Sniper Section (Section CDR, Section 2i/c, Signaler, 4 2-man Sniper (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c14-timberwolf.htm) Teams (http://www.sfu.ca/casr/101-rifle-c15-lrsw.htm))

-Carrier Company

-Company HQ (Company CDR, Company 2i/c, Company SGTMJR/1st SGT, Master Gunner, 4 Signallers)
-Command Section
-Command Post
-Company Quartermaster

-Carrier Platoon (X5)
-Platoon HQ (Platoon CDR, Platoon 2i/c)
-Carrier Section (X4)
-Infantry Carrier (http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/armored_personnel_carriers/namera/Namera.htm) (4 per Section, 3-man Crew per Carrier)

Note:

Normally, such a Heavy Battalion would possess such attachments (from Regiment/Brigade/Division) as a Heavy Anti-Tank Troop/Platoon (24 ATGM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-114_Hellfire) launchers on tracked chassis), Anti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-92_Stinger)-Aircraft (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/linebacker/) Troop/Platoon, as well as one or two Tank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_2) Squadron/Company(s), a 155mm Self-Propelled Gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerhaubitze_2000) Battery, and an Armoured Engineer (http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/leo2.htm) Troop/Platoon or in the US case, a Company.

However, for Commonwealth Armies, the Combat Team (http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_vernon/20060629.html) concept also allows for dispensing with the Company Team/Group of mixed Platoons of Armoured/Mechanized Infantry and Tanks in favour of pairing Armoured/Mechanized Infantry Companies with Tank Squadrons/Companies. In this case, a Heavy Infantry Battalion and a Tank Regiment/Battalion (of 4 Tank Squadrons/Companies) would of course normally exchange two of their own Companies/Squadrons for two of the other's, but instead of forming Company Teams from a subsequent cross-attachment of Platoons/Troops between Companies/Squadrons, would simply pair the Infantry Company and the Tank Squadron together.

In this case, such a Heavy Infantry Battalion would consist of two Combat Teams, plus aforementioned attached Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft Platoons/Troops, and 155mm SPG Artillery Battery, Armoured Engineer Squadron, and Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron (all from Brigade/Division). Subsequently, each Combat Team, in addition to its Armoured Infantry Company and Tank Squadron, may have an Armoured Recce Troop and an Armoured Engineer Troop, etc., directly attached. This provides for a faster, heavier striking force than a Company Team, and much more capable of semi-independent operations and striking over longer distances and for greater duration.

Ratzel
01-03-2008, 03:15 AM
Norfolk, I noticed in your Battalion organization you have someone called a "runner." What does this person[s] do?

Ken White
01-03-2008, 03:40 AM
PT person? :D

(Actually he's a messenger to cope with periods of radio silence, comm failure and such. We used to have 'em on the TOE as well. one or two per walking infantry Platoon, two to four per company. They came out post Korea because the Comm equipment had gotten more reliable [true] and our egos said we'd never have to resort to radio silence again 'cause we're so big and good -- or something [myth])

Norfolk
01-03-2008, 04:52 AM
When I was in, the main role of the Runners was to immediately break and run back to Company HQ as soon as Contact or an Ambush took place. The general idea was that hopefully at least one might make it alive to Coy HQ to tell them what had just happened if the Platoon or its Sections for whatever reason could not radio Company HQ. They were, as Ken mentioned, also useful for mantaining radio silence. We also used to tap into landlines to avoid using radio at Company, Battalion, and Brigade levels until we absolutely had to use radio, or because the ruse was up anyway.

Norfolk
02-28-2008, 01:44 AM
Lionel Wigrams' Letter on Lessons of the Sicilian Campaign (http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/Wignam.txt), 16 October, 1943.

Stumbling on this piece sometime last year, I rather imprudently dismissed it as an historical eccentricity. Wilf drew my attention back to it not long ago, and I realized just how careless I had been in ignoring it. This ties well into Wilf's own articles "Patrol-Based Infantry Doctrine" and "Organising Infantry". For that matter, Wilf's own article on Lionel Wigram was just published last month in British Army Review.

In short, without giving away the specific contents of Wigram's letter, the organization and TTP's that Wigram proposed for Infantry Sub-Units and Minor-Units were (and to a certain extent still are) radical and eye-opening. It's reasonably short in length, but may lead to a fair bit of contemplation.:cool:

Kiwigrunt
03-24-2008, 12:58 AM
I have thouroughly enjoyed these threads and associated links. This stuff has interested me for many years.

Here is my proposal for light inf. platoon org.

Platoon HQ Capt.
Pl.sgt.
2x sig.
Weapons squad (6 men) 2x 8.6mm Lapua Magnum rifles (2 pers.)
1x 60mm commando mortar (3 pers.)
1x squad leader
2x section (each 20 men) 1x Lt. with IW
1x section sgt. with IW
3x 6man squad: 1x leader with IW
1x 2ic NCO also no.2 on gun
1x 7.62 Minimi (FNH or Mk48)
1x IW with UGL
2x riflemen with IW
(squad leader leads 4 man rifle group and 2ic
leads gun group)

This gives the platoon 6 rifle squads of 6 pers each, with a total of 6 7.62 LMGs. No 5.56 LMGs or 7.62 GPMGs at platoon level. (kiss)

This section is small enough to chop and change without affecting the 'band of brothers' bonds too much. Everyone knows each other.

When required (and in line with Lionel Wigram's theories) the 3 guns can group under the section sgt. and the 3 4man rifle teams under the Lt.
When 10 men groupings are favorable one squad can split up.
When USMC size 'squads' are needed, regroup into 2-squad teams (plenty of rank available to lead them).
When anti armour or bunker busters are required, hand out something like the Matador in whatever numbers required, or lighter weapons like AT4CS or SMAW-D or even the good old M72 (CS versions under development). Against MBT use the new UK MBT-LAW or Pzf3 IT600. I have also got my eyes on the IMI Shipon. Enough of that for now!

There appears to be a consensus, for many reasons, that for a section to operate independently, it needs to be over 10 strong. And even then it may need additional support. However, the 'standard' platoon of 30 to 50 is too large, and a waste of pers, to commit to section/squad tasks.

I have considered having 3 sections to a platoon but:
-Makes platoon very large and therefore also the company and batalion excessively large. (if we stick with 3+1 all the way up)
-Turns the platoon into a miniature coy and therefore the section into a miniature platoon and that wil totally defeat the purpose.
-Makes the platoon so large that the 'family' bond becomes a nonevent which makes chopping and changing through the squads less attractive.

The big question is, do we use 5,56 lmg's and/or 7.62 gpmg's? It appears that the UK (and I think also US) infantry in the sandbox try their hardest to get as many gimpy's right down to section/squad level as they can. They sometimes operate literally with more mg's than rifles. How to measure to what extent that firepower is truly effective (read Karcher etc.) and to what extent it feeds a perception of (macho?) invulnerability.
5.56 lmg's have replaced (in most army's now) 7.62 gpmg's because of obvious weight issues. If it is however still that important to the troops to maintain 7.62 at lower levels, then how effective is 5.56 next to 7.62 and is there reallly much point in having both side by side?
This is where I propose the 7.62 Minimi. At least the gun itself is an lmg. The ammo however is stil #%^&* heavy. (Ohhh, for the 70's 6mm saw or the 6.5 Grendel, for which my 6 man squad would be best suited.) Using a 7.62 Minimi in a 6 man team sort of averages between what we see happening now with 4man teams with a 5.56 lmg each and a gpmg attached per 2 or so fire teams. Also ammo resup is simplified as 7.62 belts are the same as those used for vehicle mounted gpmg's and tripod mounted sfmg's at coy and batalion level.

Too much rank in my platoon? Rank is not only an appointed level within the hierarchy. It is (to be hoped) also an indication of education and experience. Not all the rankers need to be in charge of a body of troops all the time. Some can be assigned roles like support fire coordination, intel etc.
The platoon commander could for instance pull one or both section Lt's back for these roles and leave the nco's to lead the troops, depending on situ.
Also, having a large section led by higher rank would be in line with USMC DO concepts and the article 'Transformation: Victory rests with small units.' It was this article from which I borrowed the idea of a 2 section platoon. However, I have 3 squads instead of 2 and much smaller. I have created a shift to having a squad halfway between the current fire team and the current section/squad, eliminating the fire team concept as such. So my section is really the smallest org to conduct effective F&M, even after 30% losses. (Or, if things get desperate, combinations of 2 squads) In the article it is already suggested that the platoon (with one of its four squads of 14 as a weapons squad) becomes a pocket coy which, as I mentioned earlier, I want to avoid.

I had better cut this shorter than I intended to. My apologies for this long story, hope I haven't bored anyone.

jcustis
03-24-2008, 02:08 AM
I had better cut this shorter than I intended to. My apologies for this long story, hope I haven't bored anyone.

For a first post, you've definitely struck a chord. Excellent one at that...I just need to digest it a bit.

and outstanding avatar selection by the way. Where by chance did you happen to come across that image?

Kiwigrunt
03-24-2008, 02:35 AM
outstanding avatar selection by the way. Where by chance did you happen to come across that image?

The image is of an unofficial NZ forces armpatch. The official Kiwi is more passive and unarmed.

Norfolk
03-24-2008, 03:33 AM
Now that was an interesting post, one that makes you really think. A pair - Commando-style - of Wigramian "Sections", each composed of three Owen-style "Squads". Light, agile, easy to control, yet very hard hitting - 6 x 7.62m LMGs in a Platoon?!:eek: That's a whole lot of firepower!!!:D Plus the ever-useful 60 mm mortar, a pair of .338 Lapuas, UGLs, and AT weapons carried to taste.

Welcome to Small Wars, KiwiGrunt, and we are rather happy to have you with us.:) Please introduce yourself to the Council members here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=42524#post42524). We are looking forward to seeing more of your posts.

William F. Owen
03-24-2008, 06:14 AM
I am working on Wigram Grouping a lot at the moment, with a a friend of mine in the UK who runs a Regimental training team.

The whole point of Wigram's idea was,

a.) Use with almost any amount of troops found in a platoon, so 18-40.
b.) It used exactly the same method of Manoeuvre as was taught to sections in the 1940/1 "Battlecraft" manual, but applied to the platoon. Wigram had never taught 'section manoeuvre' and his original manual discussed the "section IN the Attack", NOT, the "Section Attack."
c.) The Group contained three complementary elements of, "Reconnaissance" - The Rifle Group, "Suppression-Strike" - the Brens, and "HE-Projection" - The 2-inch mortar.

So a 30 man platoon could be,

Recce Group, = 3 x 5 man teams with IWs and TIWS
Strike Group = 2 x 5 man teams - each team with GPMG
STA team = 1 x 5 man team with 60mm light Mortar (M6-640) and 1 x 8.6mm rifle.

William F. Owen
03-24-2008, 08:36 AM
.

Here is my proposal for light inf. platoon org.

Platoon HQ Capt.
Pl.sgt.
2x sig.
Weapons squad (6 men) 2x 8.6mm Lapua Magnum rifles (2 pers.)
1x 60mm commando mortar (3 pers.)
1x squad leader
2x section (each 20 men) 1x Lt. with IW
1x section sgt. with IW
3x 6man squad: 1x leader with IW
1x 2ic NCO also no.2 on gun
1x 7.62 Minimi (FNH or Mk48)
1x IW with UGL
2x riflemen with IW
(squad leader leads 4 man rifle group and 2ic
leads gun group)



First off, nice effort. My feedback would be,

a.) You may want to look at carried individual loads. Crunch some numbers. I have core data if that helps.

b.) You grouped the 8.6mm LRR with the 60mm! - Excellent idea. I had discussed this with some folks before, as the 60mm really needs a hand held LRF, and that is normally LRR type kit.

c.) IMO, do not split the manoeuvre/function of a 6 man fireteam. Have all of them supporting the Gun, = 3 gun handlers and 3 Ammo carriage and security.

d.) Why have you got dedicated signallers? Does your platoon carry HF sets?

Any ideas of how this set up is actually operated? As per NZ Infantry doctrine?

Kiwigrunt
03-25-2008, 12:47 AM
First off, nice effort. My feedback would be,

a.) You may want to look at carried individual loads. Crunch some numbers. I have core data if that helps.

b.) You grouped the 8.6mm LRR with the 60mm! - Excellent idea. I had discussed this with some folks before, as the 60mm really needs a hand held LRF, and that is normally LRR type kit.

c.) IMO, do not split the manoeuvre/function of a 6 man fireteam. Have all of them supporting the Gun, = 3 gun handlers and 3 Ammo carriage and security.

d.) Why have you got dedicated signallers? Does your platoon carry HF sets?

Any ideas of how this set up is actually operated? As per NZ Infantry doctrine?

First of all, thanks all for such immediate and enthusiastic response. I’m honored.

a) I am aware of weight of 7.62 belt and don't like it (as I touched on in my post). I do indeed love the 5.56 LMG with ability for gunner to carry plenty ammo by his little lonesome. Am aware that 2man gimpy group with no2 carrying an IW gives approx. 15 kg of weapons alone. That is the exact equivalent of the same 2 pers carrying 2 5.56 LMGs. Each of these two 5.56 gunners can carry the same number of rounds as the 7.62 gun group, by themselves, for the same weight penalty. My reason for going 7.62 though is the apparent need for 7.62 at section (or near-section) level.
What we are seeing more frequently now in the sand box, is GPMGs being added to LMGs at section level. Do they really compliment each other at that level or is it a case of not being able to make up our minds as to which caliber to go for?
b) Suppose I got that right without trying! Technology is really starting to catch up here though. (In Civvy Street you can now get LRFs up to about 1200m, the size of a packet of cigarettes.) Mortar team should really have their own. You got me thinking though, should I add a no2 to the 8.6 rifles? Are the Brits doing that with their 8.6 rifles at platoon level?
c) If all 6 men are there only to support the gun, then it is hardly a maneuver unit. It becomes a support unit. Even in ‘old’ gungroup/riflegoup scenario’s the riflemen carried extra belt for the gimpy but the gun group was still only 2 or 3 strong. The rifle group was still just that. In fact, didn’t Wigram propose exactly that (separating the guns from the rifles when needed)?
d) I must admit ignorance here. Coms is an area I have never looked into very much. When I left the army 6 years ago, we were still using Vietnam era PRC-77 sets. Even at section level a rifleman was appointed as radio operator. If technology here has advanced to the point that the platoon commander carries his own radio, I’ll happily sack the sigs. (takes a few pers off a relatively large platoon). Would it not be prudent though to have a sig. baby sitting ‘up hill’ radio traffic while pl.com. concentrates on running the platoon?
e)Not NZ doctrine. NZ doctrine has always been fairly close to UK doctrine, with maybe a personal flavor based on experience in Vietnam. Not sure how things have changed since LAV3 replaced M113. When I joined we actually still operated gungroup/riflegroup principals with our 5.56 weapons, with one C9 LSW per 10 man section. It was not until late 90’s that we were given an additional C9 and 203 to apply fire teams.
As for ‘my’ platoon, I can see advantages with my additional officers and sergeants (read also Tom’s article on transformation) but I can also see plenty of potential for over management and over analyzing and debating rather than decision making (at levels as low as section/platoon.)

Oh dear, another long one…that’s what you get though when asking lot’s of questions. But hey, bring it on. That’s what this is all about isn’t it?

P.S. Is Wilgram's battlecraft manual available on line? Love to read it.

William F. Owen
03-25-2008, 08:26 AM
P.S. Is Wilgram's battlecraft manual available on line? Love to read it.

Sadly not. I know of one surviving copy and it is held in a UK School of Infantry archive. 4 years ago, I got to sit and read it, and was allowed to copy a couple of sections. Last I heard, it had got some bad water damage from being stored in a damp box. I did try to get it made into a .pdf by the Tactical Doctrine Retrieval Cell, but they were "busy."

The nearest document to pure Wigram is the 1942 THE INSTRUCTOR'S HANDBOOK OF FIELDCRAFT AND BATTLE DRILL
http://www.helion.co.uk/product.asp?strParents=7,334&CAT_ID=379&P_ID=13119 - This is a reprint. I have an original ! :wry:

This is actually extremely good and well worth studying if you are interested in Infantry Doctrine.

Cultana
03-26-2008, 02:13 PM
The closest to this “1942 THE INSTRUCTOR'S HANDBOOK OF FIELDCRAFT AND BATTLE DRILL”, that I have is “The Instructors handbook on FIELDCRAFT and BATTLE DRILL 1943”. But that is a reprint with amendment No 1, dated Sept 1943. This is an Australian print of the manual not the British printing.

Actually I was more impressed with the following “Infantry Minor Tactics-1941” an Australian pam. It appears in some areas more orientated for the AMF than the AIF.

The 43 manual seemed to contradict some of the material in the IMT 41 book. Some of the IMT material was reinforced with brig Wooden’s AAR after Milne Bay, Sep 42 so it is a bit hard to make comparisons.

As I scanned both these at something like 150% actual size and about 200 dpi the files are not exactly emailable; 500- 700 MB in size. If wanted it can only go by snail mail.

William F. Owen
03-26-2008, 02:59 PM
The closest to this “1942 THE INSTRUCTOR'S HANDBOOK OF FIELDCRAFT AND BATTLE DRILL”, that I have is “The Instructors handbook on FIELDCRAFT and BATTLE DRILL 1943”. But that is a reprint with amendment No 1, dated Sept 1943. This is an Australian print of the manual not the British printing.

Actually I was more impressed with the following “Infantry Minor Tactics-1941” an Australian pam. It appears in some areas more orientated for the AMF than the AIF.

The 43 manual seemed to contradict some of the material in the IMT 41 book. Some of the IMT material was reinforced with brig Wooden’s AAR after Milne Bay, Sep 42 so it is a bit hard to make comparisons.

As I scanned both these at something like 150% actual size and about 200 dpi the files are not exactly emailable; 500- 700 MB in size. If wanted it can only go by snail mail.

PM sent mate!! Good stuff.

Kiwigrunt
03-30-2008, 01:07 AM
I spent the last few days re-reading this thread and other relevant ones. The depth to which issues have already been discussed is quite amazing (maaaan, this is a time consuming hobby). It is also so easy to fall into repetition and quite unavoidable at the same time.

Norfolk, you beat me to it with the 20 man section in ‘rifle squad composition’ post 156.
It appears we think very much along the same lines.

Wilf, I came across a printout I have had filed for some time and forgot I had, of your article on ‘fire and maneuver effects’. Excellent article and certainly very relevant to the 5.56 versus (or plus) 7.62 conversation.

Combining a few of the older threads into this ‘combined’ thread certainly seems to make sense as you can hardly have for instance above mentioned conversation without immediately effecting things like unit composition.

So, at the risk of being repetitive again, is the concept of suppression really as straight forward as putting any size of rounds down in the direction of the enemy just to keep their heads down. Is the value of suppression not increased (adding shock) if the rounds do more physical damage with regards to crumbling away the cover that the enemy hides behind with associated demoralization and the increased ability to actually kill some enemy in the process? Would this not also increase your momentum and speed with regards to winning the firefight and the following assault?
If this is so, then how much more effective is 7.62 over 5.56? If it is by a factor of more than 2, then maybe the double weight of 7.62 over 5.56 is justified. But how do we measure this?

William F. Owen
03-30-2008, 06:00 AM
@ Norfolk, you beat me to it with the 20 man section in ‘rifle squad composition’ post 156.
It appears we think very much along the same lines.

@ Wilf, I came across a printout I have had filed for some time and forgot I had, of your article on ‘fire and maneuver effects’. Excellent article and certainly very relevant to the 5.56 versus (or plus) 7.62 conversation.

@ Is the value of suppression not increased (adding shock) if the rounds do more physical damage with regards to crumbling away the cover that the enemy hides behind with associated demoralization and the increased ability to actually kill some enemy in the process? Would this not also increase your momentum and speed with regards to winning the firefight and the following assault?


@ So is that a heavy Squad or a light Platoon? What this shows to me is the silliness of focussing on the squad level of organisation.

@ Thank you! Actually I think that my best work - and no one ever reads! It was actually incorporated into the Slovenian Army's infantry manual!

@ Suppression is the lack of action caused by fear of harm. If heavier rounds can degrade cover, then they can increase fear. Anything that increases fear, increases suppression. This is why an 8.6mm Long Range Rifle has such an interesting capability.

- now the rub. It was the US fixation with Squads - plus poor infantry tactical doctrine - which lead to the creation 5.56m belt fed weapons for fire teams. Technically, tactically and doctrinally there is very little to support the case for 5.56mm belt fed weapons. The near ideal mix is 5.56mm in 30 round mags and 7.62mm link for your support weapon.

Norfolk
03-30-2008, 03:56 PM
I spent the last few days re-reading this thread and other relevant ones. The depth to which issues have already been discussed is quite amazing (maaaan, this is a time consuming hobby). It is also so easy to fall into repetition and quite unavoidable at the same time.

Norfolk, you beat me to it with the 20 man section in ‘rifle squad composition’ post 156.
It appears we think very much along the same lines.

Wilf, I came across a printout I have had filed for some time and forgot I had, of your article on ‘fire and maneuver effects’. Excellent article and certainly very relevant to the 5.56 versus (or plus) 7.62 conversation.

Combining a few of the older threads into this ‘combined’ thread certainly seems to make sense as you can hardly have for instance above mentioned conversation without immediately effecting things like unit composition.

So, at the risk of being repetitive again, is the concept of suppression really as straight forward as putting any size of rounds down in the direction of the enemy just to keep their heads down. Is the value of suppression not increased (adding shock) if the rounds do more physical damage with regards to crumbling away the cover that the enemy hides behind with associated demoralization and the increased ability to actually kill some enemy in the process? Would this not also increase your momentum and speed with regards to winning the firefight and the following assault?

If this is so, then how much more effective is 7.62 over 5.56? If it is by a factor of more than 2, then maybe the double weight of 7.62 over 5.56 is justified. But how do we measure this?

Hello KiwiGrunt,:)

I have to admit that, yes, the idea of a 20-man Section (with 3x6-man Squads) originally came from Senator and former US SECNAV James Webb (http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/variouspubs/usmcgazetteflexfire.htm), although he envisioned only a single man in the HQ; Tom Odom's (et al's.) article suggested 2 men in the HQ, with the Commander free to fight the Section and his 2i/c handling the comms and admin (great idea). I think that the 2-Section Platoon does that, restoring Fire and Manoeuvre to the Platoon level, yet remaining flexible enough to adapt and reorganize as necessary to meet the situation at hand, under conditions of some adversity. I also took one of Wilf's Platoon proposals (the 20-man version) to broadly, if not exactly, reinforce the notion (he would broadly disagree on this point, though).

The purpose of the threads on this board have not been to find some "one-size fits all" ideal Squad/Section/Platoon/Company organization, but the organization best suited to adapting to the tactical situation as it changes - METT-T and all that. In other words, we are looking for the "best" basis for change. The Platoon organization that you propose is perhaps the "best" in this regard that I have seen so far. The Canadian Infantry Pam begins with this quote:



"The platoon is, for all purposes, the unit for whose perfection we strive. Because, a perfect platoon means a perfect battalion and brigade or division: and the efficiency of any army corps is to be measured by that of its platoons."

MGen Sir John Monash, from Chapter 1, B-GL-309-003/FT-001, Infantry, Volume 3, The Infantry Section and Platoon in Battle, 1996.

Now, I grew up on the old 1982 Infantry Pam, which differed in some ways (some substantially, in some ways better, in some ways worse) than the 1996 Infantry Pam, but as we can see from Wigram's work, never mind more recent work like Wilf's, that much the same old problems persist, and for many of the usual reasons.

What most strikes me about your proposed Platoon composition, KiwiGrunt, is its 2-Section organization. As the Section you propose has its own 2-man HQ and 3x6-man Squads, it is fully capable of independent missions by itself, or semi-independent tasks during a Platoon mission. As it is a mini-Platoon in effect, with its own full HQ and its own Reserve (whether for Fire Support or for Manoeuvre), it can perform F&M by itself if it has to. Operating as part of the Platoon, the Section can bring to bear a substantial portion of the firepower of a Platoon during a Fire-Fight, and either continue to suppress during the Assault, or handle the Assault all by itself while the other Section and the Platoon Mortar continue to suppress. It also makes the Consolidation a little more secure and easier, as the Assaulting Section possesses considerable firepower and fighting power by itself, while the Covering Section moves up to join it.

There is another advantage to it, its ability to operate dispersed over a relatively wide area in small patrols. That was what struck me most about the German Infantry Group, how it operated not so much as an open-order field formation during the approach, but more so as a Patrol, moving from fire position to fire position using all available cover, and only when in the heat of battle would it rely upon suppression by fire in the absence of any available cover ("Effect over Cover"). Even in the Fire-Fight, normally the German Group would fight with only the Group Commander and his Machine Gun Troop of 3 or 4 men, while the Group 2i/c and the bulk of the Group remained under cover, unless circumstances forced it to be otherwise. Wigram and Wilf have each further developed this, and what you propose KiwiGrunt, potentially takes it a little further.

As each of the 6-man Squads can easily form its own self-contained Patrol, or break down into a pair of 3-man Patrols for reducing sign to the utter minimum possible whilst achieving the greatest practical coverage and dispersion. The 2-Section organization of the Platoon makes coordination much easier; 6x6-man Patrols could get complicated for a Platoon HQ to coordinate, and a dozen 3-man Patrols would be positively nightmarish. As is, a 6-man Patrol is really the largest you can use without sign and control likely becoming a significant problem. 3- or 4-man Patrols, as you know, leave the least trace of their presence, and are the easiest to control. As each Section would coordinate half of the Patrols, the Platoon HQ could concentrate on coordinating the two Sections as a whole with the Platoon Mortar Squad. Tighter control of the Patrols by the Sections could make it easier and faster to coordinate the Squads/Patrols, and especially to mass them for attack or quickly disperse afterwards as necessary; the Platoon may find it rather harder to do so with so many Patrols. I do notice a vaguely passing resemblance to the Patrols Company in a Parachute Battalion here.

As is, KiwiGrunt, your proposed Platoon organization may afford the advantages of both Wigram's and Wilf's ideas, not least by disposing of the almost mechanical formations and drills that Infantry presently are indoctrinated in, and moreover to restore Fire and Manoeuvre to the Platoon level, where it is best handled (usually). And I am very much in agreement with your ideas on Suppression, the 7.62mm round, and the 6.5 mm Grendel as a possible "best" cartridge at Squad level.

Excellent work.:D

Rifleman
03-30-2008, 06:31 PM
Webb articulated his case for the larger fire teams well, but I have to agree with Wilf on this one: 18 man "squads" seem more like small platoons in action, especially if they have additional attachments.

The three fire team USMC squad made a lot of sense in the BAR days of WWII and Korea. It probably took 3 BARs to equal the suppression capability of one MG 42.

The more I read through everyone's posts again the more I think Paul Melody's ideas make sense: the squad can fire; the squad can maneuver; the squad shouldn't try to fire and maneuver (in the sense of enveloping attacks) as a regular practice. At least that seems sensible to me for the 8-10 man squads that most armys have.

US Army light infantry experience in Vietnam bears this out. The squad was usually reduced (by combat attrition) to 6-8 men with one M60, one M79, and a handfull of riflemen. It didn't have enough people to subdivide and conduct enveloping attacks at squad level. SLA Marshall's bright idea of a two team, 11 man squad suppressing with one team and flanking with another didn't cut it for very long.

Is anyone familiar with SOPs for the Vietnam era special projects? I'd like to know if Mike Forces, Mobile Guerrilla Forces, CIDGs, and SOG SLAM/Hatchet units normally used enveloping attacks at squad level or if that was a platoon function.

William F. Owen
03-31-2008, 06:26 AM
"The platoon is, for all purposes, the unit for whose perfection we strive. Because, a perfect platoon means a perfect battalion and brigade or division: and the efficiency of any army corps is to be measured by that of its platoons."

Any chance you have the Canadian PAMs as .pdf's?

Yes, it is all about Platoons. The fixation on the perfect squad is what I call "Error 37" from the UK 1937 Platoon re-organisation.

Once folks lock into Platoon concepts and not section concepts, I get the impression we all seem to come back to same stuff and same approximate numbers.

I am not sure you need a Platoon HQ anymore. I don't think you needed one in 1918 or 1945. Modern radios like PRC-148 make dedicated Signallers/RTO a luxury, and not really relevant. Not having a platoon HQ does streamline a lot of stuff and IMO makes tactical conduct more efficient.

Norfolk
03-31-2008, 10:11 PM
E-mail sent.

Distiller
04-02-2008, 04:46 AM
Was busy + travelling, no time for the board for some time. Good to see some more discussion going on now :)


For my taste by putting the 60mm mortar into the platoon you'd create too large a body of men tasked with indirect fire into a fast acting direct-contact formation.

Does the platoon have the oversight for utilizing a 4000+ yards weapon? I think a MGL would be better suited.

And as long as you don't put six men for each barrel into the mortar section you don't have enough ammo for any meaningful fire in case you have to carry everything on your back.
And loading up the regular riflemen with grenades is also not good, as on contact their job is not to first run back to the mortar section and drop their load, but to instantly try to respond to enemy fire, or go for cover and act as fire directors for indirect fire or CAS.

If you put it at company level the mortar section can be more easily converted to a rifle section in case the mortar is not needed, without "braking up the harmony" of the platoon.

And I'm also not sure about a Lapua as marksman rifle. Might be too heavy, and for sure is a repeater. A 7.62 like the M110 is lighter and a semi-auto which can serve as high precision fire to supplement the high volume fire GPMG.
Again, a Lapua might be too long range for the horizon of a platoon.

Regarding coms I would say a dedicated man could come handy, but only if he has the equipment for some basic ELINT. Otherwise technology provides small enough equipment for miniaturized NavCom to be carried by each troop leader. Troop leaders should also be equipped with a precision engagement targeting device (laser or geo-location transceiver) for CAS and precision indirect-fire ammo.

Wilgram's views are sure interesting (and right), only thing is they are basically incompatible with current U.S.-dominated view of command and control. Giving the individual troops more or less tactical autonomy would be more German.

About section size: Don't forget you really should be able to fit into a IMV, IFV or UH-xx without splitting up the squad/section. Gives up a 8 or 9 men section. And not splitting up for mot/mech/air transport might be more important than the question of X men sections in a Y sections platoon.

All in all I think that concentrating on the platoon as smallest unit is more useful than concentrating on the squad/section. And what exactly would be the benefit of a 2 section platton? Why not go for a 6 section company then?

And not wanting to get into caliber discussion here, but a 6.5 Grendel is quite close to a 7.62 NATO. Might well go for a single caliber then. But also the more AK-47 style 6.8SPC for assault carbines and the 7.62mm NATO for MGs plus DMR should be considered.

William F. Owen
04-02-2008, 06:36 AM
For my taste by putting the 60mm mortar into the platoon you'd create too large a body of men tasked with indirect fire into a fast acting direct-contact formation.

The 60mm mortars concerned are light hand held devices, operated by one man and in the direct fire role. They have been in UK platoons in one shape or another since 1937. 2-inch, 51mm and now 60mm!

http://www.army-technology.com/contractors/artillery/hirtenberger/hirtenberger2.html


And I'm also not sure about a Lapua as marksman rifle. Might be too heavy, and for sure is a repeater. A 7.62 like the M110 is lighter and a semi-auto which can serve as high precision fire to supplement the high volume fire GPMG.
Again, a Lapua might be too long range for the horizon of a platoon.

The 8.6mm isn't just about range. The terminal effect of the round is amazing as is it's AP performance. It would be great to have both the M110 and the LRR, but how many types of ammo do you want to have across the platoon? If we could 5.56mm link for 7.62mm Ball, we might be in business!!


Troop leaders should also be equipped with a precision engagement targeting device (laser or geo-location transceiver) for CAS and precision indirect-fire ammo.
Concur. You can get all this for < 1kg.


Wilgram's views are sure interesting (and right), only thing is they are basically incompatible with current U.S.-dominated view of command and control. Giving the individual troops more or less tactical autonomy would be more German.

WIGRAM. Not as much as you may think. I may be writing something for Infantry Magazine.


About section size: Don't forget you really should be able to fit into a IMV, IFV or UH-xx without splitting up the squad/section. Gives up a 8 or 9 men section. And not splitting up for mot/mech/air transport might be more important than the question of X men sections in a Y sections platoon.
I disagree. This is a hold over from the Cold War. The APC, IMV or UH, is merely a tool. It is subservient to the dismounted organisation. If it is not, then you have Dragoons, Cavalry, Panzer Grenadiers or Recce Troops. If you are true infantry, then the cabs lift you. You don't jam into the cabs. This is not just "nice theory." It's a sound point of doctrine!

Kiwigrunt
04-02-2008, 09:53 AM
An alternative for 2 sections in ‘my’ platoon would be to have this middle management as ‘floaters’ at platoon HQ and have any number of squads assigned to each, mission dependant. This would do away with the 2 sections and really make the 6 x 6 man rifle squads equal. Also makes it easier to assign other tasks to remaining floaters without making them feel that they are being stripped away from their section. I do see a potential though that this would affect the small unit bonds and the true flexibility within the section as described in my first post.

Wilf, in your platoon setup of some 5 or 6 5-man teams (most light, some heavy) how do you envisage the command structure of different combinations of these teams? Also with regards to your remark for not needing a platoon HQ.

Also on the 8.6 rifle, as Wilf touched on by mentioning AP capability, it has reasonable anti materiel capability. Not as spectacular as 12.7 but a lot better than 7.62 and for a rifle little heavier than a 7.62 (gives a mean kick though).

Just another thought, what are your thoughts on including an UAV at platoon level? (Regardless of platoon structure)


Another structure I quite like is that of the Austrian Jagers. The platoon looks a bit like the German platoon in WW2.
The coy has 214 pers and is led (of course) by a command and logistics element. It has 1 heavy weapons platoon with 3 anti-armour sections with 2x Carl Gustav each and one mortar section with 2x 81mm mortar, and a command section.
The 3 Jager platoons each have a command section of 10 including a signaler and 2 snipers (quite a large section, I don’t know what else is in there). Then there are 4 sections of 8, with 1 GPMG MG3 each.
The heavy weapons coy has a 50 man assault pioneer platoon, a mortar platoon with 4x 120mm mortar, a platoon with 4x20mm cannon and an anti-tank platoon with 4x2 Bill2.

These sections are too small for F&M. 2 combinations of 2 of these 8 man sections would be quite doable but then what have you got? 2 half platoons which is not that different from 'my' 2 section platoon.

Kiwigrunt
04-02-2008, 10:08 AM
And not wanting to get into caliber discussion here, but a 6.5 Grendel is quite close to a 7.62 NATO. Might well go for a single caliber then. But also the more AK-47 style 6.8SPC for assault carbines and the 7.62mm NATO for MGs plus DMR should be considered.

This would only increase overall weight carried. 6.5 would replace both 7.62 and 5.56, or maybe even only 7.62, and therefore save weight for near equal performance (and that would need to be tested and proven of course). 6.8SPC cannot replace 7.62 because it does not have the range.

William F. Owen
04-02-2008, 12:04 PM
Wilf, in your platoon setup of some 5 or 6 5-man teams (most light, some heavy) how do you envisage the command structure of different combinations of these teams? Also with regards to your remark for not needing a platoon HQ.

Basically the same as Wigram Grouping. The Platoon Commander leads one light team and commands the other three or four.

Platoon Sergeant leads one weapons teams and command the other two or three. This is exactly the same as operating the platoon as a "multiple" with no HQ.


Also on the 8.6 rifle, as Wilf touched on by mentioning AP capability, it has reasonable anti materiel capability. Not as spectacular as 12.7 but a lot better than 7.62 and for a rifle little heavier than a 7.62 (gives a mean kick though).
12.7mm is a lot heavier alround, more expensive and not as accurate. UK trials showed it to be near 25-30% less likely to hit a target at 1,000m.


Just another thought, what are your thoughts on including an UAV at platoon level? (Regardless of platoon structure)
I have given this considerable thought, for some years. Not a good idea at the platoon level. There is a massive training and expense debt, plus huge C3I issues, of which only some are good. The only exception I can make is if you were operating as a Light Ant-armour company, and the OC had a dedicated UAV Platoon, as part of the screening element. I was a believer in this but having talked to a lot of UAV operators, I am no more!



Another structure I quite like is that of the Austrian Jagers. The platoon looks a bit like the German platoon in WW2.

Excepting your example, what did this look like? 214 bodies is a hell of a lot for a Company. Assuming a vehicle lift of 8 men per cab, this could mean 27-30 vehicles or more per company - and that's too many!

SethB
04-02-2008, 06:08 PM
Wilf, a friend of mine once accompanied Malcolm Cooper of Accuracy International on a demonstration to 10th SFG (A). While there, my friend shot a 4.4 inch group at 1000 yards with an AI AWSM (I believe you call it the L96A1). The M40/M118LR that the Army was using wasn't doing quite so well.

After the demonstration, Malcolm and my friend started shooting prairie dogs in the impact area. A Captain came up and rather angrily denounced their activity. Malcolm asked "Are you quite finished? See, you shouldn't be asking us why we are doing this. You should be asking why your men can't."

That said, the designers of the 6.8 SPC designed a larger cartridge to more effectively bridge the gap between intermediate and rifle cartridges.

The following was written by Gary K. Roberts, a Navy Reserve officer, and who I'm told is partly responsible for the mass issue of heavy OTMs (in 5.56) since the early days of the war. Unfortunately, some data has been omitted because I could not transfer it into this format.


Fortunately, while at USAMU, Cris Murray, one of the co-designers of the 6.8 mm SPC simultaneously developed an¯ assault rifle cartridge, with none of the platform imposed design compromises that limit both the 6.5 mm Grendel and 6.8 mm SPC. This an idealized¯ assault rifle cartridge, the 7 x 46 mm, offers better range and terminal performance than 6.5 mm Grendel, 6.8 mm SPC, or any other common assault rifle cartridges, including 5.45 x 39 mm, 5.56 x 45 mm and 7.62 x 39 mm. Since the 7 x 46 mm is based on the proven Czech military 7.62 x 45 mm cartridge, it has an established record feeding and functioning in both magazine and belt-fed full-auto fire. Likewise, recoil appears manageable and weapons remain controllable in FA fire, just as with the Czech cartridge. In addition, the 7 x 46 mm is optimized for shorter barrels and larger magazines than the heavier, bulkier, and harsher recoiling 7.62 x 51 mm/.308 cartridge. The 7 x 46 mm is truly the best assault rifle cartridge developed to date.

The main problem is that the 7 x 46 mm cartridge OAL is a bit too long to fit into the M4/M16 or other 5.56 mm size weapons/magazines, yet it does not need a receiver/magazine as large as those used by 7.62 x 51 mm/.308 platforms such as the M14, Mk11, M110.

As a result, the 7 x 46 mm requires new weapons--envision a rifle sized a bit larger than the AR15, but smaller than an AR10/SR25.

<Doc inserts ballistic gelatin shot using a 16 inch barrel, muzzle velocity of 2800 fps with a 120 grain bullert>

As you can see, 7 x 46 mm offers outstanding terminal performance very similar to 6.8 mm; 7x46 mm is just a bit better.

Both the 6.8 mm SPC and 7 x 46 mm were conceived and developed entirely by experienced end-users based on identified combat mission needs and end-user requirements as approved by their Commanders. Both the 6.8x43mm and 7x46mm were developed by the same design team at the same time. From day one everyone involved in this effort has acknowledged both cartridges, however, a decision was made to pursue deployment of 6.8mm initially, as it offered a more expeditious solution for improving current combat capability by simple, inexpensive modifications to existing weapons, while 7x46mm required new weapons platforms for optimal performance.

Again, bottom line:

-- 6.8 mm SPC is the best available solution to rapidly upgrade current 5.56 mm weapons.

-- If given a clean slate of paper and substantial development funds, the clear and obvious best cartridge for new design weapons is the 7 x 46 mm, as it offers greater soft tissue terminal performance, better intermediate barrier penetration, and greater maximum range and long distance performance than traditional assault rifle cartridges like the 5.45 x 39 mm, 5.56 mm, 7.62 x 39 mm, as well as the newer 6.5 mm Grendel and 6.8 mm SPC.

Currently no rifle has been designed for the 7x46, although some rifles have been modified as prototypes, using VZ58 magazines. Should the 7x46 become a contender, there is at least one rifle manufacturer that will have the ability to rapid prototype a design, as well as design magazines.

Distiller
04-02-2008, 07:43 PM
The 60mm mortars concerned are light hand held devices, operated by one man and in the direct fire role. They have been in UK platoons in one shape or another since 1937. 2-inch, 51mm and now 60mm!

...

I disagree. This is a hold over from the Cold War. The APC, IMV or UH, is merely a tool. It is subservient to the dismounted organisation. If it is not, then you have Dragoons, Cavalry, Panzer Grenadiers or Recce Troops. If you are true infantry, then the cabs lift you. You don't jam into the cabs. This is not just "nice theory." It's a sound point of doctrine!


@ 60's: MGL sounds like a better solution. Can also fire other than explosives. Seen that parachute-round with the camera? Commando mortars don't carry enough ammo to be worth the hazzle. An MGL can really be used by one, and is fast enough to respond in ambush situations.

@ Vehicles: Agree to disagree (no matter what doctrine says). It's bad enough to assemble troops rapidly from march formation to battle formation without having to find the right guys from vehicles that might drive for cover, &c. Too likely to end up with three SRAAW and no riflemen in the one group and all riflemen without MG in another, and so on. One formation per transport, fully capable of delivering the full spectrum of direct contact weapons - close in weapons (assault carbines), direct fire volume fire (machine gun), indirect fire/shrapnel fire (grenade launcher). And these days you just CAN'T do a concept not compatible with mobility assets.

@ UAVs on platoon level: have the problem that the C2 station is still way too large for a fast moving direct-contact formation. Skylite B for example like a full-size fridge.

@ Austrian Jaegers: Despite the name never designed for maneuver warfare.

William F. Owen
04-02-2008, 08:01 PM
@ 60's: MGL sounds like a better solution. Can also fire other than explosives. Seen that parachute-round with the camera? Commando mortars don't carry enough ammo to be worth the hazzle. An MGL can really be used by one, and is fast enough to respond in ambush situations.[QUOTE]

A 60mm bomb has about 8x the terminal effect of an MGL. An MGL only goes to 400m with low velocity and 800m with medium velocity. 60mm also delivers more flare and smoke. You can still have M203s in the Platoon, so why an MGL? The UK has realised the mistake of getting rid of mortars and are now issuing the M6-640 for Afghanistan.

[QUOTE]@ And these days you just CAN'T do a concept not compatible with mobility assets.

Well if that were the case then all organisation concepts are moot and irrelevant because you have to man vehicles and be panzer grenadiers or Motor Rifle troops, and thus not as effective when dismounted.


@ Austrian Jaegers: Despite the name never designed for maneuver warfare.

I don't believe in manoeuvre warfare. It's a myth based on poor history, and mythology.

Sabre
04-25-2008, 07:25 PM
[QUOTE=Distiller;43836]
Well if that were the case then all organisation concepts are moot and irrelevant because you have to man vehicles and be panzer grenadiers or Motor Rifle troops, and thus not as effective when dismounted.


I think that the point of saying that "these days you can't do an organization that is not compatible with transportation assets" is not to say that the rifle company needs to man the vehicles, or even train with them all of the time, but that it will, very often, find itself deployed in troop carriers, be it trucks, APCs, MRAPs, helicopters, etc, whether it likes it or not. For better or worse, many troop-carriers these days are designed to hold rather less than a 13-man squad (notably, the USMC has troop-carriers that can hold more, but that seems to be the exception). It doesn't even take the chaos of combat, but a vehicle that breaks down just before SP, or a patrol "plan" that becomes more convoluted over the course of a months-long deployment. One way or another, the natural tendency will be for the organization to breakdown along the lines of the vehicle load whenever mounted - again, whether we like it or not.
If one of the primary considerations in the design of a company or platoon is the cohesion of the troopers, then where will one be spending many of those critical moments just before going into action, or while in action, when the support of your mates is most important? Probably with whoever else happens to be in the same troop-carrier. Again, whether we like it or not. May as well formalize the arrangment, to the extent practical.
(That said, I am quite conviced that troop-carriers, even a cannon-armed MICV or HAPC can, and indeed do need to be designed to hold more than 6 or 7 dismounts.)

Sabre
04-25-2008, 07:39 PM
I should add that I am quite relieved to see talk of "better platoons", to see the squad being taken in the context of the whole company and platoon... Instead of trying to do fire & maneuver within the squad, and beefing it up to sustain X% of casualties, since that seems to be merely delaying the inevitable, ultimately.

Logan Hartke
08-25-2008, 03:32 PM
First of all, let me just introduce myself since this is my first post. The reason that I joined this forum is that I found that many people here were discussing some of the same ideas I had been kicking around for a few years, down to individual pieces of equipment. In fact, that's how I found this in the first place. I was searching the web for anything and everything on the QLB06 (again) and noticed that this site was coming up, which it had not when I had originally been searching on it a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I've been putting together a hypothetical small unit modern TO&E for a few years now, and it's been evolving as my ideas do. It started off as a 13-man infantry squad with all 5.56 weapons and tons of attachments at the platoon level, gaining more and more attachments as you went up the chain. At that configuration, my infantry battalions were quickly taking on the look of a panzer division. I didn't realize this until I actually tried to stuff the unit into vehicles and found that I was hitting triple digits before I even started adding support and logistics vehicles. So, I started over.

Well, I won't bore you with all the iterations I went through, so I'll just post images of where the TO&Es currently stand with brief descriptions and will try my best to answer any criticisms or comments that anyone might have with them.

Infantry Tables of Organization and Equipment

Infantry Company TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEInfantryCompany.jpg)
This shows the infantry company down to the fireteams that make up squads and supporting weapons teams.

Infantry Battalion TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEInfantryBattalion.jpg)
This is the full battalion TO&E. You can see, much of it doesn't look too earth-shattering, it's a basic triangular setup, but when you see the actual teams that compose the unit, you should see that it's not as conventional.

Infantry Team Composition (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/InfantryTeams.jpg)

I'll admit, there's some gold-plating here. This isn't a TO&E for the Zimbabwean defence forces. This is aimed a bit more at a more typical Western nation for what it's able to spend on its units. Then again, I'm not buying Javelins, G36s, WA2000s, and XM307s, so it isn't a Star Wars unit, either.

I've got two fireteams of four men each for an eight man squad size. This was determined almost entirely by available personnel carriers. I wasn't interested in the super-expensive USMC EFVs, nor did I want to split my squad up between two vehicles. That was both for cost reasons and for cohesive leadership in combat.

For an example of how such a unit would break down into carrier vehicles, here's the TO&Es of that infantry unit in my Motorized Infantry Battalions.

Motorized Infantry Company TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEMotorizedInfantryCompanyCobra.jpg)

Motorized Infantry Battalion TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEMotorizedInfantryBattalionCobra.jpg)

...and on the other end of the scale, here's the same basic infantry group mounted in the heaviest infantry combat vehicles in my hypothetical military.

Heavy Mechanized Infantry Company TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEHeavyInfantryCompanyNamer.jpg)

Heavy Mechanized Infantry Battalion TO&E (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/TOEHeavyInfantryBattalionNamer.jpg)

The Namer IFVs that they would be mounted in would be armed with the 40mm CTWS (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/WLIP.htm) gun and SPIKE LR (http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/missile_systems/anti-armor/gill_spike/Spike_MR-LR.html) ATGMs on the Rafael's Samson RCWS (http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/small_arms/rcws/RCWS-30.html) turret. That might seem to be pretty heavy armament for infantry support, but--to be honest--it's done as a cost-saving measure. The SPIKEs and such aren't so much to protect the poor infantry from the big bad tanks, they're more a matter of protecting your investment. If you roll onto the battlefield with the big ol' Namer, barreling through artillery barrages and HMG fire to go into a town, the enemy is going to quickly catch on that they need something a bit heavier to deal with you. The RCWS is as much to deal with enemy tanks, IFVs, and ATGMs as it is enemy infantry. That being said, my IFVs are designed to support the infantry they carry, even after they've been dropped off. That's why my mechanized battalions dispense with the battalion-level ATGM teams. When every IFV has them, they're superfluous. It's also cost-saving, because you don't need as many MBTs in your army to escort your infantry into an area that might have two or three T-72s lurking in it.

That being said, I understand and value the role of APCs as opposed to IFVs, too. Where's the line? Well, there's an element of gray area, but for the most part, if the unit is "motorized" then their vehicles are primarily "battle taxis" and shouldn't be hanging out in the front lines most of the time. The infantry are expected to fight a primarily dismounted battle, only occasionally supported by the carrier vehicles (such as for AA or AT support). In the case of "mechanized" units, however, while still expected to fight primarily dismounted, the unit should still be expected to be able to fight "buttoned up" in certain situations. The main difference is that IFVs shouldn't be an uncommon sight on the battlefield supporting dismounted infantry in the case of a mechanized unit as opposed to a motorized unit.

That's enough for one post. I'll add more in subsequent posts. I have infantry battalion and company TO&Es for units equipped with CV90, PARS wheeled vehicles, Marine units, and Airborne units all based around this basic setup if anyone is interested in those, as well.

Logan Hartke

Ken White
08-25-2008, 03:51 PM
I'll look those over in detail. Some good ideas at first blush.

Why not go to this LINK (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=55095#post55095) and scroll up a dozen or so posts to see what others have posted in the way of an introduction and then add a comment on that thread telling us a little about yourself and your background.

Logan Hartke
08-25-2008, 06:39 PM
I'll look those over in detail. Some good ideas at first blush.

Why not go to this LINK (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=55095#post55095) and scroll up a dozen or so posts to see what others have posted in the way of an introduction and then add a comment on that thread telling us a little about yourself and your background.

Will do.

Alright, a bit about the unique bits of equipment. You'll see that much is standard, but that there is one thing that is consistent among all of the weapons. They're very light weight for their class of weapon. I really was on a weight-control program in building up this force. I wanted it to be light and fast, but very hard-hitting. That's why half of my line rifle units are armed with the 7.62mm NATO. They're the primary fire element in a classic fire and maneuver tactic. They're going to be able to lay down the harder-hitting, better-penetrating, more accurate fire, while the 5.56 half is much better suited to suppressing/covering fire, close combat, and house to house, where rate of fire is more important and long-range less so. That said, the 5.56 half is equipped with weapons no less accurate (moreso, in fact) than any current standard Western infantry squad and the 7.62 half has weapons light and controllable enough to do house-clearing and maneuver operations as easily as the 5.56-equipped units currently out there. I'm basically trying to have my cake and eat it too. The weapons are very similar except for the bolt, barrel, and ammunition, allowing weapons to be switched up without the need for much retraining. It also allows for a pretty common pool of spare parts for the small arms. While the unit has three total calibers--which may seem excessive--it's no worse than many units out there today. Almost all squads at this point have 9mm in one form or another, typically pistols, sometimes SMGs. Most Western militaries then use a 5.56mm basis for their assault rifles and either a 7.62mm squad marksman rifle or a 7.62mm machine gun not too far up the line. I have the 4.7mm, the 5.56mm, and the 7.62mm, just in more even proportions than is currently found in modern armies.

I don't have as many ATGMs as some people's TO&Es propose, but that's for a few reasons. First of all, this is just one arm of my hypothetical military. I drew up an air force and armor units, as well, although these are not pertinent here. They are very heavy in anti-armor resources. I'm not one of those airpower advocates foolish enough to believe that nothing larger than a well-camouflaged ATV is going to make it to the front lines in one piece, but at the same time, if a column of twenty T-72s has made it to the front lines intact and is battling my besieged infantry units, then something has gone terribly wrong and either I'm getting attacked by a force with way more tanks to throw around than it should have, or my air force and artillery arms have been thoroughly decimated. Anyway, the ATGM weapons I do have are very capable and even the almost squad-common PzF 3 I am equipping my forces with is multi-role, accurate, and very lethal--even to modern MBTs.

Also, my 120mm mortars can be used in that role in a pinch in most cases. Even if they weren't equipped with the guided 120mm AT mortar rounds, my most common 120mm mortar mount is the NEMO, followed by the AMOS, which can both be used in the direct fire role. Now granted, a 120mm mortar is no Rheinmetall 120mm gun, but a couple of even HE 120mm mortar rounds to the front of a T-72 is going to damage optics and explode ERA at the very least. They do have HEAT rounds for those 120mm mortars in the direct-fire role, too, and those could knock out an MBT.

The fact of the matter is that I believe I won't even be employing most of my AT assets most of the time. That's why most of them are dual-role. My SPIKE teams have 60mm Commando mortars to provide platoon-level 60mm mortar fire (it's assumed they'd be attached and under direct control of the platoon commander) if necessary, whether it be smoke, flares, or HE rounds. They also could serve useful against tanks, as they can lay smoke to cover the withdrawal of ATGM units that have exposed themselves. They wouldn't carry many rounds, but could easily and quickly be resupplied from the company-level mortars.

That brings me to the 60mm mortars I'm using. I've decided to go with the Vektor M6, which gives me a lot more range with hardly any more weight (no more than many 60mm mortars). I've provided them at the company level, which is occasionally a bit high for a 60mm mortar, but the increased range makes them nearly as effective as an 81mm mortar but at much less weight and without the extra caliber floating around my supply chain. I do have four of those tubes, however, three commando mortars, and the 120mm mortars with Battalion. I really want the platoon commanders to stay within visual range of the action and leading the squads up front. I don't need him hunkering in some firepit with his two 60mm tubes calling out orders to his squads over the radio. The company commander is better suited for command of the mortars.

The 4.7mm PDW is so attractive to me because it provides a submachine gun level of firepower in a pistol package, which greatly increases the practical firepower of a unit like mine in jungle or urban environments, even on the move, when many crew-served weapons crews are at their most disadvantaged. The body-armor penetrating potential of the round makes up for its lack of stopping power in this day and age, where Kevlar vests are starting to become as common as the bayonet once was (and far more useful). At first I wasn't interested as no one was using it, but Norway's large purchase of them alleviated those fears enough that I think it's worth it, especially s a carbine-like weapon for more of your service personnel.

Last of the really unique bits is the aforementioned QLB06 35mm grenade launcher. Don't get confused with the MG/AGL teams in my company. Their an either/or deal, not typically both. They don't have the people for it, and they're not both always going to be useful. It will be at the discretion of the commanders as to whether they want their teams using the 7.62mm MG, the 35mm AGL, or a combination of the two.

Anyway, comments and questions are welcome.

Logan Hartke

Rifleman
08-25-2008, 08:25 PM
Welcome Logan,

I understand your fascination with organizational details at the tactical level. I like to mull over things like that myself.

There are several long threads here that will doubtless interest you: the one about rifle squad composition, for starters.

One of the things that came out of that thread was the belief (shared by most, anyway) that the current USMC 13-man squad design is probably the most capable of them all.

Something else that was discussed is that the Army will likely never have enough people for that kind of squad: for better or worse they are stuck with the nine-man squad for the foreseeable future. So, if that's the case, one of the ideas tossed around was should the Army give up the fire team sub-division and go with a squad similar in design to the WWII era German gruppe. Paul Melody had an interesting article that came to that same conclusion (more or less).

Somewhere in that long list of posts are links to Paul Melody's article and another about the WWII era German gruppe.

Oh yeah, Wilf is our board rebel on this issue (gotta love him! :wry:). His view is that the focus should be on the platoon, and that the platoon should be made up of what you might think of as several large fire teams.

reed11b
08-25-2008, 08:46 PM
Your TO&E seems very equipment centered. My experiance in TO&E is that they are either slight variations of current structure (fine-tuning so to speak) or radically differnt and based on unique training and/or command and control concepts (Wilf's is a great example of this). Question is..are there any non equipment related reasons behind your TO&E choices?
Reed

Logan Hartke
08-25-2008, 09:42 PM
One of the things that came out of that thread was the belief (shared by most, anyway) that the current USMC 13-man squad design is probably the most capable of them all.

Something else that was discussed is that the Army will likely never have enough people for that kind of squad: for better or worse they are stuck with the nine-man squad for the foreseeable future. So, if that's the case, one of the ideas tossed around was should the Army give up the fire team sub-division and go with a squad similar in design to the WWII era German gruppe. Paul Melody had an interesting article that came to that same conclusion (more or less).
Trust me, I like the 13-man or so squad, it's just that I hate having to split up a squad to get it from point A to point B. If you're not splitting it up, then you have to pack it into a wheeled vehicle only slightly shorter than a stretch limo (get yourself a nice 10x10 Piranha) or just slightly smaller than a two-story house (EFV). That may not be a problem for the USMC, who likes to go places in landing craft, V-22s, or by foot, but for a real mechanized army, things get a bit more difficult.

I toyed with the idea of using APCs like the FNSS ACV-S, but even then I was having to do things that I didn't want to do with the vehicle. Reduce it to MG only, manned by a squaddie. Store all weapons and ammo on the exterior of the vehicle. Make the squad commander the vehicle commander, etc. I was able to get a 13-man squad, but only by neutering my IFVs, cramming guys in like sardines, and getting Battalions that had more armored personnel carriers than most African armies posses in toto. I had charts and charts of ways I could make it work, laid out on notebook paper and computer documents. I studied the USMC organization up and down. In my dream world where my rocket-pack troopers flew from one combat zone to another, the 13-man squad was ideal. But in the world where an EFV costs as much as a new MiG-29 and a V-22 costs as much as a Eurofighter, the 13-man squad was too much trouble to simply move around the battlefield. I liked it, too. I had a SMAW in each squad, etc. It was nice. In a modern day battle of Rorke's Drift or Krinkelt/Rocherath, it would have cleaned up. But knowing that I couldn't rely on the enemy to meet me on my terms on my prepared battlefield, I had to change it up a bit. I don't think I've lost much in actual effectiveness, however, as may of the pieces that the gold-plated 13-man squad had can be added on an as-needed basis once on the battlefield.


Your TO&E seems very equipment centered. My experiance in TO&E is that they are either slight variations of current structure (fine-tuning so to speak) or radically differnt and based on unique training and/or command and control concepts (Wilf's is a great example of this). Question is..are there any non equipment related reasons behind your TO&E choices?
Reed
That I'll admit to. This is primarily a way for me to envision what the requirements would be for equipping the kind of military I felt would be necessary for the defense of a nation. If you look at it, though, you'll see that there are a few very serious differences in the way this force would be employed compared to most modern militaries. One is the reemergence of the 7.62mm down to the squad. I'm not convinced that a whole squad of 7.62mm is best, however, so there's a mix. This isn't just a matter of one cartridge over another. This is a matter of putting the reach out and touch someone abilities back in the hands of the squaddie (or at least the squad commander), without going right back to the 1950s dilemma of an all 7.62x51mm unit with the supply and weight issues it came with.

There are very few holes in the battalion, where a unit would be terribly vulnerable to a certain type of enemy formation or tactic. Likewise, there are few parts of my structure that would be out of a job in a certain situation. The equipment I've chosen complements my strategy of "waste not, want not". Most of my units are at least dual-purpose and mobile enough to be equally effective on the offensive or defensive, in mounted or dismounted combat.

Much of my TO&E has been influenced by my immense respect for what McNair did to the US Army's organization at the start of WWII. It had a lot of problems, and many lessons were learned. It did, however, "cut the fat", which was its intention from the get-go. In most cases they US Army still ended up with a better TO&E than their opponents, lean as it was. While by no means copying it to a tee, that was my intention, as well. Get a highly-mobile basic building block to work off of, where a certain type of equipment could be replaced or substituted on an as-needed basis without turning the army on its head. An organization that was heavy on firepower, could readily accept whatever attachments necessary to accomplish the mission, yet was highly-standardized and required a relative minimum of support for the capabilities it offered.

I've been soaking up TO&Es from WWII British Commandos to Italian 2+2 Infantry companies to German Panzergrenadiers to Cold War Soviet Motor Rifle Divisions and American Pentomic Divisions to anything modern, from Swiss to Chinese formations. I can't say I have the best setup, by any means, but I've given a good deal of thought to every piece of the TO&E and while influenced from every corner of the globe from the past 60 years, but have copied nothing. I've studied the radical and have even toyed with the radical (6.5mm Grendel ammunition, modern rifle-grenades, UAVs in the squad), but in most cases found that they're radical for a reason.

I think I have been innovative in many ways. I've grown particularly fond of my half 5.56, half 7.62 squad. I also like the inclusion of the commando mortar in the ATGM squads. I've done the kg by kg math for each squad and crew-served weapon member to make sure that nothing I do is totally impractical. My planned reconnaissance units are to be pseudo-elite formations, like the British Recce groups in WWII, although employed far differently. They're a combination of the traditional recce roles and the modern FIST roles into one. Again, it's by no perfect or even revolutionary, but I've tried to come up with an organization that is, if nothing else, effective.


As much time as I have put into this, it's an evolving TO&E. With every book that I read, I make a change to it. My recent reading of "Steeds of Steel (http://www.amazon.com/Steeds-Steel-History-American-Mechanized/dp/product-description/0760333602)" has caused me to place a great emphasis on the combat needs of scout units and having a clear idea of what their role should be after making contact with the enemy. I'm very open to suggestion. My adoption of the next-generation LAWs, some of the 7.62mm firepower, the PzF 3, and the CV90 can all be attributed to suggestions by others after having heard my initial ideas. My current TO&Es wouldn't recognize my initial groups at all. That's why I'm posting them on here, to get some feedback on them, good and bad.

Logan Hartke

Cavguy
08-25-2008, 09:49 PM
I think I have been innovative in many ways. I've grown particularly fond of my half 5.56, half 7.62 squad. I also like the inclusion of the commando mortar in the ATGM squads. I've done the kg by kg math for each squad and crew-served weapon member to make sure that nothing I do is totally impractical.


Disclaimer: I haven't read all of the above yet.

One big consideration is logistics tail. My concern for hybrid ammo squads is that now you have just increased the amount and type of ammo needed to carry and reduced interchangability in organizations. While the "tail" shouldn't wag the dog, we have learned that it does matter. This also applies to too many specialized vehicle types requiring different parts, and too many different weapons. Not to mention you begin to expand your support BN/HHC when you have to add specialized mechanics and technicians to troubleshoot all the different equipment models.

I'm not a big fan of the FCS (yet), but the idea of moving to a vehicle system with 80% parts commonality has huge logistical impacts in a positive way.

Logan Hartke
08-25-2008, 10:09 PM
Disclaimer: I haven't read all of the above yet.

One big consideration is logistics tail. My concern for hybrid ammo squads is that now you have just increased the amount and type of ammo needed to carry and reduced interchangability in organizations. While the "tail" shouldn't wag the dog, we have learned that it does matter.

Actually, that's not going to be the case here. I address that consideration in the first paragraph of this post (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=55271&postcount=92).


This also applies to too many specialized vehicle types requiring different parts, and too many different weapons. Not to mention you begin to expand your support BN/HHC when you have to add specialized mechanics and technicians to troubleshoot all the different equipment models.

I'm not a big fan of the FCS (yet), but the idea of moving to a vehicle system with 80% parts commonality has huge logistical impacts in a positive way.

That's actually interesting that you brought that up. In my TO&E, I have some of the largest number of different vehicle variants of any army structure I've looked at. That having been said, my battalions have some of the fewest unique mechanical components for any mechanized/motorized units that I've looked at. Take my Cobra motorized unit. It has a grand total of something like 25 different vehicle variants in that battalion, yet only two base vehicles, the Cobra and the FMTV family. I try to keep the types of unique spare parts and ammunition being shipped out to a unit down to the absolute minimum, but still getting the job done.

If the logistical aspect of the TO&Es is something you find interesting, I'll have to post some of the Excel sheets that I've made up showing total different vehicle variants, weapons calibers, and chassis types in a battalion.

Logan Hartke

Kiwigrunt
08-26-2008, 05:18 AM
Actually, that's not going to be the case here. I address that consideration in the first paragraph of this post (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=55271&postcount=92).


Hi Logan and welcome. Yeap, some of us just can't get enough of this stuff.

With regards to your ammo, 5.56 loose, 5.56 belt, 7.62 loose, 7.62 belt and 4.6 makes for 5 diferent types of ammo. But you are right in stating that we actually already have that in most modern units, in some shape or form.
Same aplies to 60 mm mortar ammo. M6 long range uses latest generation bombs at approx. 2.4 kg each. Commando mortars are effective enough with lighter weight 'older' generation bombs at around 1.6 kg each (less weight to carry at that level). So again you would be looking at 2 types of ammo.

William F. Owen
08-26-2008, 07:11 AM
Wow...

What a lot to read. Needed two cups of java this AM!

To Logan

All good stuff mate!

Good work. I do like the level of detail, but some critical detail is missing. You preferences are vastly more complex than my own, but it's always excellent to have a starting point on which to base the discussion.

I have the following questions.

a.) What is the rank structure and manning establishment of our organisation?
b.) Who has what radios and what electro-optics?
c.) Any idea as to average carried weights?
and
d.) How do all these folks operate? Can I just strap on current UK or US tactical doctrine and walk out of the door.

Some of your equipment choices are interesting, and quite soundly reasoned, but others leave me a tad confused.

I thing we may have to correspond privately in some detail, so as not to bore the natives rigid!

William F. Owen
08-26-2008, 09:17 AM
A couple of observations based on,



Infantry Team Composition (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/loganov/TOEs/InfantryTeams.jpg)


@ Based on the teams, I work out an infantry platoon at 44 men? That's a bit on the steep side.

@ The infantry squad appears to be a hybrid 2 x fireteam concept, which I don't like and I don't think works. – plus no mention of radios and all the important stuff.

@ Based on the variety of ammunition natures, Platoon (and Coy) re-supply would be a challenge, as would tracking section and platoon ammo states. Loading and scales would also need to be looked at.

@ Why do I want scouts and MG men in a platoon HQ? Where are the Signallers, and FOOs? The Company HQ also has the same problem.

@ Only two medics for a Company?

@ I count at least 3 different types of “sniper” weapons. I am big fan of close precision engagement, but this a bit over the top. Why no 8.6mm? Why M110 and 417?

@ A 3-man MG team may find itself over loaded, if it wants to employ tripods and carry about 1,000 rounds – which is a useful first line scale. I’d scale an M240 team at 3 guys for the light role (500 rounds) and 5 guys for sustained fire. Where are the radios and night vision? There are the same problems with the AGL – which looks an interesting weapon.

@ The Spike MR/LR team will be overloaded. Spike MR needs two men to carry it, and you probably also need a dedicated C3I guy or commander, because you are going to be doing some pretty complex edgy stuff when you are doing LOAL indirect shoots.

@ The Mortar team is good, but needs a radio, and a C3I guy. Who does the FDC? These days, you don't need a dedicated FDC, thanks to PDAs, but someone needs to be commanding and directing the fires.

Logan Hartke
08-26-2008, 12:15 PM
I don't have the time to answer all of these questions in great levels of detail at the moment, but will be able to later today. Short answer for many of the questions, especially those concerning the detail of ranks and of commo equipment, is I don't know. That's part of the reason I came on here. I primarily composed my units from the smallest block up, trying to figure out what they would need to deal with different threats. I've come here to seek advice on shaking up the organization, fleshing out the details, and getting rid of the chaff.

There are goood reasons and thought behind some of what I've done, however, and I'll let you know honestly when I chose one thing because I didn't know better and when I did something because I thought I knew better.

Logan Hartke

William F. Owen
08-26-2008, 01:10 PM
I've come here to seek advice on shaking up the organization, fleshing out the details, and getting rid of the chaff.


Personally, the best I could venture is that your organisations are generally heavy and complex, but a lot more sophisticated than a lot I have seen. A lot of what you have done is very sound but some other aspects are a tad unusual.

EG: - Your Namer Company is 24 x very thirsty Namreem. Does you "Fuel Platoon" of 3 x PARS Tanker, carry enough fuel to re-supply all the vehicles in one go? Does a PARS 10x10 Tanker even exist? I know the boys at FNSS pretty well.

What I can tell you is that there is no right and wrong in this area. I can point to aspects of what you suggest as being less effective or less efficient than other approaches, but loads, logistics, budgets, training, and tactical doctrine all exert huge influences. While in no way denigrating your approach, the TOE is the easy bit.

Logan Hartke
08-26-2008, 06:55 PM
EG: - Your Namer Company is 24 x very thirsty Namreem. Does you "Fuel Platoon" of 3 x PARS Tanker, carry enough fuel to re-supply all the vehicles in one go?
Well, assuming they have a 2500 gallon tank, then I've provided my Namer battalion with refueling assets comparable to a US Abrams tank battalion, and the Abrams is a thirstier vehicle than the Namer. That is actually how I determined the refueling needs of the units. Assuming the Namer has the same fuel capacity as the Merkava 4 (1400 l), then within the company I have the refueler to top everyone off once. That's also why my motorized unit has fewer refuelers. That being said, I was working off a variant of my Merkava unit TO&E, which has fewer Merkavas than this battalion has Namreem. I'll go back through these again and see what the most appropriate number would be.


Does a PARS 10x10 Tanker even exist? I know the boys at FNSS pretty well.
It doesn't currently, although I know it well could. In fact, most of the proposed PARS variants do not yet exist. I am basing my family of wheeled armored vehicles off of the PARS, since I think it's a pretty good design that's highly adaptable. Also, one of its engine options is also used in other vehicles I've chosen. In many of these cases, while the vehicles themselves are different, the powerpacks are the same, so I'm still trying to play close attention to all aspects of the logistics game.

I've done some rough calculations as far as kg weight of the refueling equipment, the tank, and the JP8 itself, and I know that the 10x10 PARS chassis could at least carry the same equipment and fuel as the M978 HEMTT refueler. I wanted something that had at least some level of armor protection and cross-country mobility. Most of all, however, I'm very much trying to keep the parts commonality within a battalion as high as possible. If I can keep from adding a fourth vehicle type to that battalion, I'd like to.

I had a good deal of documentation on the vehicle from GPV on their proposed variants, as well, since it's essentially the same vehicle and they proposed resupply flatbed variants of the vehicle (I'm not even talking about the MTV). You could even use one of those as a basis, although that wouldn't be ideal, it may be cheaper.

You have good contacts at FNSS? I'm not in the defence industry at all, so that's an issue, but sometimes just getting them to respond to my email, let alone the questions therein can be like pulling hen's teeth. They don't have a ton on the PARS and I've got to mostly work off GPV's old stuff (before they changed their site) and I'm then primarily just seeing what weight I have available for payload and then making sure the equipment will fit in the dimensions.

I see that they refer to a PARS 8x8 and an 8x8L. Do you happen to know which of those corresponds to the GPV 8x8x8 Colonel and which corresponds to the 8x8x8 Captain? I assume the Colonel. Do you have more documentation on the PARS than the little bit on their site? I'm going off of some Armada publications on them, too. I know Cat powerplants used to be an option for the GPV, but it sounds like they're currently using Deutz. I presume the Cat still available to potential customers? If so, they'd share the same engine as the heavy end of my FMTV variants (the Cat C9).

A number of my variants are ones proposed by myself, but I don't consider them too far-fetched. For example, I have NEMO variants of the PARS, which I've not heard proposed yet, but I see no obstacle that would prevent it.


What I can tell you is that there is no right and wrong in this area. I can point to aspects of what you suggest as being less effective or less efficient than other approaches, but loads, logistics, budgets, training, and tactical doctrine all exert huge influences. While in no way denigrating your approach, the TOE is the easy bit.
I know this is the relatively easy bit, and I have other aspects thought out, but they're either not pertinent to small wars or they're not yet typed out.

This is only one piece of the hypothetical nation's military I've been throwing together. I have an air force structure and equipment worked out as well, along with a training progression laid out, but I'm just trying to keep within the topic of this forum and thread at the moment.

As I've said before, part of what I'm doing is trying to get some other ideas on how to organize it, equip it, employ it, etc.

Logan Hartke

SWJED
08-26-2008, 10:06 PM
Actually, the way things seem to be shaking out there will come a time in the not so distant future that our forces will be required to be what some now term "multi-spectrum" capable. Buzzword aside, it looks like the DoD will not have the resources to dedicate to overly specialized GPF.

We most likely not see units in any significant numbers dedicated solely to COIN or GPF dedicated solely to training and advising. You can feel it in the air.

So with that I say that all proposed changes in T&O, T&E, and other elements of DOTMLPF will have to take into account that units will have to balance capabilities across the board. Any real significant tilt one way or another might not cut it if the wrong enemy shows up to play.

I haven't been following this invigorating discussion too closely and offer up the above simply as an observation and for consideration.

Norfolk
08-26-2008, 10:44 PM
Actually, the way things seem to be shaking out there will come a time in the not so distant future that our forces will be required to be what some now term "multi-spectrum" capable. Buzzword aside, it looks like the DoD will not have the resources to dedicate to overly specialized GPF.

We most likely not see units in any significant numbers dedicated solely to COIN or GPF dedicated solely to training and advising. You can feel it in the air.

So with that I say that all proposed changes in T&O, T&E, and other elements of DOTMLPF will have to take into account that units will have to balance capabilities across the board. Any real significant tilt one way or another might not cut it if the wrong enemy shows up to play.

I haven't been following this invigorating discussion too closely and offer up the above simply as an observation and for consideration.

In a roundabout sort of way, Dave, you practically seem to be making the case for the Marine way of doing things - which does seem to offer the most flexibility without critically sacrificing fighting power. While the USMC isn't the best model for armoured/mechanized ops (obviously), for pretty much most other things, it does seem to be about the all-around (GPF if you will, but MPF if one must) best anyone has so far come up with. And there is no question that it works.

Tom Odom
08-26-2008, 11:23 PM
In a roundabout sort of way, Dave, you practically seem to be making the case for the Marine way of doing things - which does seem to offer the most flexibility without critically sacrificing fighting power. While the USMC isn't the best model for armoured/mechanized ops (obviously), for pretty much most other things, it does seem to be about the all-around (GPF if you will, but MPF if one must) best anyone has so far come up with. And there is no question that it works.

and that was the motivation in that Mil Review article; to build capabilities and depth necessary to adaptation. Time will tell but Dave you are on the mark regarding the future....

Tom

Norfolk
08-27-2008, 01:13 AM
and that was the motivation in that Mil Review article; to build capabilities and depth necessary to adaptation. Time will tell but Dave you are on the mark regarding the future....

Tom

Love that article, Tom, and keep a print copy of it in the bookshelf next to my bed (Wilf, if you think you are obsessed...:eek:;)). For the benefit of those few lurkers who somehow may have missed it (it's a core, mandatory reading around here), here's the link (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/download/English/MayJun05/odom.pdf).

Rifleman
08-27-2008, 02:33 AM
Logan,

I'd like to throw out a couple of comments for consideration on your proposed eight-man infantry squad and leave the higher levels to those better qualified to comment on them.

If I understand your chart correctly, out of eight men you're showing two machine gunners, two grenadiers, and a squad DM. That leaves the squad leader, his assistant, and the man you have labled as lead scout as the three best suited for clearing. Yes, I'm sure that SAW gunners, grenadiers, and DMs have had to take the lead in clearing rooms, bunkers, and trenches. That doesn't mean it's an ideal role for them.

A small squad like you proposed will probably be fine with one belt fed light machine gun and one grenade launcher. That leaves more riflemen/carbiners for the close fight.

I don't much like the idea of DMs in the infantry squad. At least put them in the platoon's weapons squad. Even better would be a large squad of DMs in the company's weapons platoon. Enough to attach one or two teams out to each platoon, as needed. Or, if needed, the company commander could retain the whole squad at company level as a potent scouting, screening, and skirmishing element. I think they will be better able to do all that if they're organized as a single large squad under a senior staff sergeant in garrison for training.

Logan Hartke
08-27-2008, 03:19 AM
Well, your room-clearing concerns are ones I certainly had, which is also the reason you see some of the pistols and the MP7 in the squad as well. The pistols show up entirely because of the experiences I've had relayed to me from the men that have been serving in Iraq multiple times.

For that reason, every man in the squad has a weapon available to them for that role. Most likely the worst off is the DM, but he could easily use one of the pistols assigned to the squad leader or asst leader. Even the DM, though, has a weapon with a 20" barrel, the same as a standard M16A1, not an impossible weapon to use in buildings.

On the matter of DMs, I know that that's another subject where opinions are divided, but your concept is interesting, especially for training. That being said, I definitely see their value being part of the squad in combat on a permanent basis. You need someone in the squad who is both equipped and trained to make very accurate shots at literally a moment's notice. It's the difference between an enemy gunner in window holding up a squad for 30 seconds or holding them up for 10 minutes.

On that note, however, you earlier stated that you feel that the current USMC squad is the most capable one out there, yet the four-man fireteams--each fireteam with a belt-fed machine gun and a grenade launcher--and the designated marksman can all be found in their organization.

Logan Hartke

Rifleman
08-27-2008, 04:11 AM
On that note, however, you earlier stated that you feel that the current USMC squad is the most capable one out there, yet the four-man fireteams--each fireteam with a belt-fed machine gun and a grenade launcher--and the designated marksman can all be found in their organization.

True, in that I believe the basic squad template has stood the test of time. But let's not forget that it developed in the days of one BAR and three M1 Garands per fire team. Ten basic riflemen in a full strength squad then, not as many today.

Also, the USMC has evidently never been quite comfortable with the M249 in what was originally an automatic rifle role. They have considered adopting a true AR for the fire teams and consolidating the M249s into: one squad per platoon; or, one fire team per squad. Both proposals were tested.

DMs can still live in a DM squad in a company weapons platoon for training and administration in garrison and be available to squad or platoon leaders for operations if needed. And in Army light infantry units, it wouldn't hurt if that company weapons platoon were led by a warrant officer weapons specialist either. Something similar to the USMC gunner program.

But that's another discussion, and besides, it may not be possible to produce that many quality WOs. As I understand it, only the creme de la creme of USMC Gunnery Sergeants and Staff Sergeants become Marine Gunners. But, I thought as long as we're dreaming.....;)

William F. Owen
08-27-2008, 05:24 AM
Well, assuming they have a 2500 gallon tank, then I've provided my Namer battalion with refueling assets comparable to a US Abrams tank battalion, and the Abrams is a thirstier vehicle than the Namer. That is actually how I determined the refueling needs of the units. Assuming the Namer has the same fuel capacity as the Merkava 4 (1400 l), then within the company I have the refueler to top everyone off once. That's also why my motorized unit has fewer refuelers. That being said, I was working off a variant of my Merkava unit TO&E, which has fewer Merkavas than this battalion has Namreem. I'll go back through these again and see what the most appropriate number would be.


Based on the figures I have, a Namer has a tank of 1250, but lets go with 1400.

For 24 vehicles you need, 33,600 litres. This means you need 1,344 25l Jerricans. That requires you have to lift 64 Standard NATO pallets, which means you need 6 trucks with a 8 tonne payload, and assuming each vehicle can carry 12 pallets (figures from UK S4 Planning Handbook).

Probably better to have flat beds and pallets at the Sub-unit F Echelon than a gaggle of big ass tankers on vehicles that do not yet exist- and it's a lot cheaper.

Having a Platoon of 8 trucks, with level 1 armoured cabs at the sub-unit level is not impossible, and being flatbeds, they can carry other stores as well. It is not as efficient as tankers, but it is highly effective!

Plus, if you have all those RCWS 40 plus SPIKE ATGM, you probably need a lot more trucks to carry the ammunition re-supply.

Personally, I would not want Log vehicles at the Sub-unit level. You're dragging around vulnerable wheeled vehicles, that should be residing in the Unit level A1 echelon.

Logan Hartke
08-27-2008, 05:30 AM
Lotsa questions. A few answers.

Let me just address the slew of radio questions right off the bat here. I don't know much about military commo equipment yet. Just because I don't mention it, don't assume it doesn't exist. I just am not yet familiar enough with it to be able to specify what is needed with any level of confidence. Likewise, I don't have much of an idea what is best to use out there, so my choices would likely end up just looking like a copy of what the US Army or British Army or Bundeswehr or IDF uses (because that's all it'd be).


a.) What is the rank structure and manning establishment of our organisation?
The number of men, at least combat personnel, can be determined from what I already have, as you did with my platoon sizes. I've not done so yet, but I plan to when I get some of it a bit more finalized.


b.) Who has what radios and what electro-optics?
I have personnel in the command teams earmarked for that, but that's about as far as I've gone in that regard. To tell the truth, that's the area where I lack the most knowledge, so I have yet to build that portion up.


c.) Any idea as to average carried weights?
Well, it does depend on the soldier in question, as the front line soldiers are carrying more than the rear line folk and some of the support weapons guys are carrying more than your normal squaddie. Anyway, I'd done a bunch of those with an earlier setup, but I've not yet redone the totals since I introduced some of the new, lighter systems like the Mk.48 Mod 0. The only major issue with that is that while it pushes the heavier firepower down to the squads, it also pushes some of the heavier ammunition. As a result, and as a result of the planned tactical employment, the 5.56 guys would carry more grenades, for example, than the 7.62 folk.


d.) How do all these folks operate? Can I just strap on current UK or US tactical doctrine and walk out of the door.
That all goes in a manual I have yet to write.


@ Based on the teams, I work out an infantry platoon at 44 men? That's a bit on the steep side.
It may be a bit on the steep side, but just a bit, honestly. Many platoons organizations run over 40 men.


@ The infantry squad appears to be a hybrid 2 x fireteam concept, which I don't like and I don't think works.

Well, I know I've seen a lot both for and against. It kind of reminds me of the 5.56mm round. It has its limitations, to be sure, but it does work. It's not hard to find opponents to it, however.


@ Based on the variety of ammunition natures, Platoon (and Coy) re-supply would be a challenge, as would tracking section and platoon ammo states. Loading and scales would also need to be looked at.

Again, I don't have any more ammunition types than most militaries, I just have them in a completely different ratio than anyone else out there.


@ Why do I want scouts and MG men in a platoon HQ? Where are the Signallers, and FOOs? The Company HQ also has the same problem.

I wasn't aware that FOOs are normally organized at the platoon or company level. I'm working on the best way to organize them, but after having conversed with a number of FOOs and FISTs on the subject (obviously far more knowledgeable than I am on the subject), they seem to feel that the best place for forward observers is as part of the artillery units, assigned as the units support the forward line units. The exception to this is observers for the battalion mortars, obviously. I also expect the battalion recon units to be able fill that role as well.


@ Only two medics for a Company?

From what I could see, that wasn't too far off what many other militaries have, especially since those medics aren't counting the crews with the ambulances or first-aid facilities assigned to a battalion. The medics are just the first step in the medical units available to a battalion. A wounded soldier would then be gotten onto an ambulance vehicle as quickly as possible (there are enough assigned to a battalion to have at least one per company with a spare available). They would then be delivered to the battalion medical facilities where there would be medical facilites and trained personnel enough that life-saving surgery, initial burn treatment, and stabilization in preparation for longer-distance transport could all be undertaken. The medics should, in most cases, be with the line units, not needing to travel back and forth with patients to the aid station. That's the role of the ambulance units and the medical personnel operating with them.


@ I count at least 3 different types of “sniper” weapons. I am big fan of close precision engagement, but this a bit over the top. Why no 8.6mm? Why M110 and 417?

It depends on what you're really looking at here. The HK416/417 is the standard assault rifle. The weapon being issued to designated marksmen and scout-snipers is merely one variant of that weapon. In fact, with a two minute barrel change and the addition of the sighting system and bipod, any HK417 could become that weapon. As we all know, how a weapon is maintained and the quality of the ammunition used will have a great effect on its accuracy, so it won't be the same, but it's going be very close in combat given a chance to properly zero the weapon.

Why no 8.6mm? Well, not here. The "sniper" teams at the platoon level are not Special Forces sniper teams designed to be operating behind enemy lines or at distances beyond a kilometer. For those sort of missions, a shooter will definitely need something more along the lines of the .338 or even .408--but that's not what I'm looking for. The teams I have here are for the immediate support of the line units. That's also why I chose a weapon with both a silencer and a good rapid-fire capability...without compromising accuracy. The M110 is one of the best in that department. Basically, I chose the M110 for the same reasons and same role the IDF procured the SR25 for--the middle ground between designated marksman rifle and the more dedicated sniper weapons.

The XM500 isn't intended to be "yet another sniper rifle", either. Its employment is very much aimed at the kinds of targets that have often been getting Javelin attention as of late. Targets either too well-protected or concealed to be accurately brought under fire by standard 7.62mm weapons, but may not warrant a weapon originally designed to kill armored 50-ton monsters. Save anti-tank rounds for tanks. There's only one such weapon per company, so I don't imagine that these sorts of targets will be popping up like a game of whack-a-mole most days, but if a week or month of combat results in 50 rounds of well-aimed .50cal fire saving 10 SPIKE missiles, then it's easily earned its place. I don't see that as a totally implausible scenario.


@ A 3-man MG team may find itself over loaded, if it wants to employ tripods and carry about 1,000 rounds – which is a useful first line scale. I’d scale an M240 team at 3 guys for the light role (500 rounds) and 5 guys for sustained fire.

Well, for one thing, using the Mk 48 Mod 0 allows a team to carry 100-200 rounds more than the M240 team at the same weight. Likewise, since the Mk 48 operator can fire that weapon far more readily than any M240 operator, he needs no assualt rifle to lug around with it, adding to the weight savings (by another 100 rounds). A three-man Mk 48 team should be able to manage 700-800 rounds as an M240 team of the same size with no increase in weight.


@ The Spike MR/LR team will be overloaded. Spike MR needs two men to carry it, and you probably also need a dedicated C3I guy or commander, because you are going to be doing some pretty complex edgy stuff when you are doing LOAL indirect shoots.

I planned on having the team operate with just four rounds normally. I honestly just don't see most teams being able to last much beyond that (that's four separate engagements!) before either being hit or resupplied. Also, since the MR and LR systems are completely interchangeable, any MR-equipped team can restock with a few LR rounds from the nearest RCWS-equipped carrier.

Cheers,

Logan Hartke

William F. Owen
08-27-2008, 05:33 AM
I don't much like the idea of DMs in the infantry squad. At least put them in the platoon's weapons squad. Even better would be a large squad of DMs in the company's weapons platoon. Enough to attach one or two teams out to each platoon, as needed. Or, if needed, the company commander could retain the whole squad at company level as a potent scouting, screening, and skirmishing element. I think they will be better able to do all that if they're organized as a single large squad under a senior staff sergeant in garrison for training.

DMs, LRRs or even Snipers are fire supporters so yes, I agree group them at the platoon level in the Fire support squads. FS squads have to have LRF and other toys that the DMs can make good use of, so it makes sense.

The UK has been playing with a Coy Level "Manoeuvre Support Section" comprising snipers and MGs. It's not on establishment but some units do it. As with all the UK does, they've managed to make a virtue out of a necessity. Personally I would make one of my platoons an FS platoon to swing role as and when required.

MattM
08-27-2008, 05:46 AM
With regards to your ammo, 5.56 loose, 5.56 belt, 7.62 loose, 7.62 belt and 4.6 makes for 5 diferent types of ammo. But you are right in stating that we actually already have that in most modern units, in some shape or form.


Totally agree, KiwiGrunt.

The standard US rifle companies load out with over 60 ordnance items (we call unique configurations DODIC items). This includes all the rifle ammo, LMG & MMG ammo, 60 mm, assault weapons, grenades, smoke, pyro, etc. Obviously, BN and BCT carry linearly more ordnance items with increased capabilities.

Thus, there is room to add PDW and 6.X ammo into the log train. This is not nearly as difficult as the batteries, rations, and medical supplies at the BN level.

From the Friendly S-4....

William F. Owen
08-27-2008, 06:21 AM
Lotsa questions. A few answers.
Good effort.

I have personnel in the command teams earmarked for that, but that's about as far as I've gone in that regard. To tell the truth, that's the area where I lack the most knowledge, so I have yet to build that portion up. Well here is a good place to start. We have every level of command from L/Cpl to full Colonel present on this board

introduced some of the new, lighter systems like the Mk.48 Mod 0. You may want to look at the new FN 7.62mm Minimi. Far better option than the Mk.48 Mod 0.

That all goes in a manual I have yet to write. Well I've been writing one for 5 years, so I await with interest! :wry:

It may be a bit on the steep side, but just a bit, honestly. Many platoons organizations run over 40 men.
Very true. The new Australian Platoon is 40, but there is a limit to effective manning and scales, and big flow down effects when it comes to buying extra APCs to carry around the extra bodies. 30 men needs 4 Namer. 40 need 5 Namer. That is an extra platoon across a 4 platoon Company.

Well, I know I've seen a lot both for and against. It kind of reminds me of the 5.56mm round. It has its limitations, to be sure, but it does work. It's not hard to find opponents to it, however.
I respectfully submit it does not work, or at least not work well. I submit that F&M at the section level is a myth.

Again, I don't have any more ammunition types than most militaries, I just have them in a completely different ratio than anyone else out there.
I think you may well have more ammo types, and what is more there is a clear need to reduce the differing number of ammunition types.

I wasn't aware that FOOs are normally organized at the platoon or company level.
You are correct, so you may want to leave spare seat for them in some vehicles, because they certainly travel and operate at the platoon and company level.

From what I could see, that wasn't too far off what many other militaries have, especially since those medics aren't counting the crews with the ambulances or first-aid facilities assigned to a battalion.
Makes sense. You usually have an medical evacuation vehicle at the Company level and they carry the medics

Why no 8.6mm? Well, not here. The "sniper" teams at the platoon level are not Special Forces sniper teams designed to be operating behind enemy lines or at distances beyond a kilometer. For those sort of missions, a shooter will definitely need something more along the lines of the .338 or even .408--but that's not what I'm looking for. The teams I have here are for the immediate support of the line units.
Enemy lines? 8.6mm is now a standard infantry sniper round. The UK has used it at the platoon level and it is about to be the standard sniper round of the all the UK snipers.

... but if a week or month of combat results in 50 rounds of well-aimed .50cal fire saving 10 SPIKE missiles, then it's easily earned its place. I don't see that as a totally implausible scenario.
OK, but SPIKE rounds could be saved by the use of other weapons like AT-4, M72, or even 8.6mm.

A three-man Mk 48 team should be able to manage 700-800 rounds as an M240 team of the same size with no increase in weight.
Concur. The difference in weapon weight is 4.3kg, and 355 rounds of 7.62mm link 4 BIT weighs 4.3kg, so that is correct.

I planned on having the team operate with just four rounds normally. I honestly just don't see most teams being able to last much beyond that (that's four separate engagements!) before either being hit or resupplied. Also, since the MR and LR systems are completely interchangeable, any MR-equipped team can restock with a few LR rounds from the nearest RCWS-equipped carrier.
As I understand it, you want your Spike Team to carry a SPIKE CLU, Tripod, spare batteries, 4 rounds and a 60mm mortar plus ammo?
A Complete Spike system with 2 rounds requires 2 men. That leaves one man to pack a 60mm mortar and some rounds, and why is he even carrying a 60mm mortar anyway?

Hope this helps

William F. Owen
08-27-2008, 06:30 AM
The standard US rifle companies load out with over 60 ordnance items (we call unique configurations DODIC items). This includes all the rifle ammo, LMG & MMG ammo, 60 mm, assault weapons, grenades, smoke, pyro, etc. Obviously, BN and BCT carry linearly more ordnance items with increased capabilities.

Thus, there is room to add PDW and 6.X ammo into the log train. This is not nearly as difficult as the batteries, rations, and medical supplies at the BN level.

From the Friendly S-4....

The Companies may, but how many at the platoon level? The issue is not just numbers. The issue is actually managing the different natures at the platoon level. The bulk of natures expended are small arms ammunition.

EG: If my fire teams just have 5.56mm ball, link, and 9mm, that's three spaces on my log card. Add two more ammo types and that is time and effort spilling into my tactical pause that can probably be better spent on other things.

Personally, I'm pushing for a Platoon that has 5.56mm ball, 7.62mm link, and small quantities of 8.6mm and 9mm.

I am not saying it is impossible, or undoable, but we probably need to look at reducing the number of natures, not increasing it.

JMA
04-29-2010, 06:59 AM
Basically the same as Wigram Grouping. The Platoon Commander leads one light team and commands the other three or four.

Platoon Sergeant leads one weapons teams and command the other two or three. This is exactly the same as operating the platoon as a "multiple" with no HQ.

This is essentially how we operated in Rhodesia. We had multiples of 4 man sticks in a platoon or whatever. Each stick of 4 had a MAG. Don't understand the difference between light teams and weapons teams? With or without machine guns?

JMA
04-29-2010, 07:03 AM
I respectfully submit it does not work, or at least not work well. I submit that F&M at the section level is a myth.

Fire and Movement?

Would you care to expand further please?

William F. Owen
04-29-2010, 08:41 AM
Don't understand the difference between light teams and weapons teams? With or without machine guns?
Basically yes.


Fire and Movement?

Would you care to expand further please?

RE: "I respectfully submit it does not work, or at least not work well. I submit that F&M at the section level is a myth."

One section may be able to do F&M, against ONE position. If there is more than one position to suppress, you need another base of fire, and that needs to be under someone's control to co-ordinate with the team trying to move - which is why most successful F&M against competent opponents seems to take place at the Platoon or even Company level.

JMA
04-30-2010, 01:14 AM
Basically yes.



RE: "I respectfully submit it does not work, or at least not work well. I submit that F&M at the section level is a myth."

One section may be able to do F&M, against ONE position. If there is more than one position to suppress, you need another base of fire, and that needs to be under someone's control to co-ordinate with the team trying to move - which is why most successful F&M against competent opponents seems to take place at the Platoon or even Company level.

OK, consider this.

A company attack with two platoons up with each platoon in turn attacking with two sections up is in effect then four simultaneous section attacks involving section level fire & movement. Each platoon commander is observing their individual two section attacks and have the third section in reserve in case the attacks stall. This while the company commander observes the progress of his two platoons and hold his third platoon in reserve in case either of the platoon actions stall.

So I see it that the sections are not attacking isolation and have an objective and boundaries for each action (with the reserve section passing through to take on the next objective) the command and control is always with the next higher HQ.

Are we on the same page?

William F. Owen
04-30-2010, 03:19 AM
A company attack with two platoons up with each platoon in turn attacking with two sections up is in effect then four simultaneous section attacks involving section level fire & movement. Each platoon commander is observing their individual two section attacks and have the third section in reserve in case the attacks stall. This while the company commander observes the progress of his two platoons and hold his third platoon in reserve in case either of the platoon actions stall.

So I see it that the sections are not attacking isolation and have an objective and boundaries for each action (with the reserve section passing through to take on the next objective) the command and control is always with the next higher HQ.

Are we on the same page?

Well that's exactly how I was trained. IMO, it's grossly simplistic, and a poor starting point. It never worked well in WW2 and markedly failed in the Falklands.

IMO, the section level of command is superfluous as concerns co-ordination of the attack.
Section commanders should do fire control and conduct moves.
Platoon Commanders and Platoon Sergeants should be the lowest level of co-ordination, so F&M occurs a the Platoon level, not the section.
Company commanders organise and control supporting fires.

JMA
04-30-2010, 03:36 AM
Well that's exactly how I was trained. IMO, it's grossly simplistic, and a poor starting point. It never worked well in WW2 and markedly failed in the Falklands.

IMO, the section level of command is superfluous as concerns co-ordination of the attack.
Section commanders should do fire control and conduct moves.
Platoon Commanders and Platoon Sergeants should be the lowest level of co-ordination, so F&M occurs a the Platoon level, not the section.
Company commanders organise and control supporting fires.

I suggest you are moving the command to far forward. We did the reverse by spliting the section in two (basically) and then expected to stick commander (Cpl or L/Cpl) to get on with it. Put in some 4 man attacks where used the gunner to fire us in then he followed at the double. Talking 50-75m here but can't do that with inexperienced troops especially the gunner. I believe once the fire fight has been won you got get to them quickly and put an end to it.

However... I do accept that due to the supporting fire requirement both before and during an attack on a prepared position there will have to be a MFC, FOO, FAC or whatever forward and the need to coordinate and control the position and movement of own forces the platoon cmd/coy cmd may have to move forward to take local control.

Again we are talking different wars, different terrain, different enemies etc. I suggest not to try to make it a hard and fast rule either way.

William F. Owen
04-30-2010, 03:50 AM
Again we are talking different wars, different terrain, different enemies etc. I suggest not to try to make it a hard and fast rule either way.
Concur. This is why I see the ability to group the platoon to the operation and not alter the operation to fit the platoon organisation.

...but, you do have to have a base line of reference, or "default setting" that is as simple and coherent as possible.

JMA
04-30-2010, 04:25 AM
Concur. This is why I see the ability to group the platoon to the operation and not alter the operation to fit the platoon organisation.

...but, you do have to have a base line of reference, or "default setting" that is as simple and coherent as possible.

Has someone produced anything better than the current section and platoon battle drills as a basic foundation?

William F. Owen
04-30-2010, 08:26 AM
Has someone produced anything better than the current section and platoon battle drills as a basic foundation?

As of 2009 There are 6 section battle drills:
a. Preparation.
b. Reaction to effective enemy fire.
c. Locating the enemy.
d. Suppressing the enemy.
e. The attack.
f. Regroup.

The 4 Platoon Drills are
a. Preparation.
b. Reaction to effective enemy fire.
c. The attack.
d. Regroup.

Personally I think we can do better.

Tukhachevskii
08-12-2010, 07:10 PM
Although Rex Brynen set his challenge (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=36444&postcount=23) some time ago I have spent the time since thinking through my proposal and am submitting it here for the consideration of the SWC (be gentle with me I'm a ToE virgin!;)). None of what is proposed here is original (I owe a great deal to two articles in the Marine Corps Gazette written by a Cap. Spricin, Sen. James Webb, the French Type 107 infantry battalion, WILF, Col. Odom, the Regimental Rogue and kiwigrunt among others) but I have spent some considerable time examining the pros and cons of each proposal and formulating a syncretic combination to achieve the best organisation (IMO only).

Conceptual basis of force design: Find, Fix and Finish
I have proceeded from the assumption that platoons and companies are the smallest subunits to which tactical tasks can be assigned. As such they must be combined arms formations which contain sufficient organic firepower to accomplish those tasks. Furthermore, they must be organised in a fashion that enables them to do so effectively/efficiently. Hence, and in accordance with the core functions (F³) my company contains a reconnaissance (recce) platoon, two rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. Recce plt finds and fixes with indirect fires whilst the two rifle platoons manoeuvre to finish (preferably from a flank).

The recce platoon has a HQ team with a 60mm commando mortar (2 men), 2 radio men, a PL armed with an M32 & a P2iC, five recce teams and an RPV team with 4 Puma AE (http://www.avinc.com/downloads/AV_PUMAAE_V10109.pdf) (for instance) UAVs and a GCS. Operates according to infiltration and patrol based techniques. For FIBUA/MOUT recce teams would have UGVs too. Once TiC I envisage one or two teams peeling off to provide flank security/observation. Not too sure about the RPV team attached to Recce plt HQ...got an inkling it should be attached to coy HQ.

The rifle platoons comprise a HQ team and two 20-man sections and operate along Wigram lines. The HQ team comprises a 3 man HQ element, a 2-man 60mm mortar team and a LRR (1 man). Each section has a two man HQ element. One section is a “pure” rifle-grenadier section with three 6 man teams each with an M32 and 5 IW. The other section is the direct fire section with two six man rocket teams and a LMG team. The rocket teams each comprise three two man teams (MPMS (http://defense-update.com/photos/mini_spike.html) gunner and ammo man) with a minimum of five rounds carried between both (15 for each team). The gunners carry pistols as secondary weapons whilst the ammo men all carry IW (or rifle calibre PDWs). The LMG team is similarly organised with light machine gunners carrying pistols as secondaries. In practice the section compositions can be chopped and changed. For constabulary type operations (peace-keeping rather than peace-enforcement) not requiring such overwhelming firepower both rifle platoon’s direct fire sections can be re-rolled as rifle sections to provide more BOG (they’d keep their CLUs for obs purposes). Depending on mission both DF sections can be consolidated into one platoon with the other a pure “rifle-grenadier” platoon (for especially stubborn stains, sorry, I mean targets/strongpoints/bunker complexes/urban block houses). The Rifle-Grenadiers can be liberally sprinkled with LAWS/RPG-27s according to METT-T (don’t fancy the NLAW (http://products.saabgroup.com/pdbwebnew/GetFile.aspx?PathType=ProductFiles&FileType=Files&Id=7997) myself; much too large a weapon- weight and volume wise- for what it offers which may be technologically out of date anyway given current and projected active protection systems such as LEDS (http://www.janes.com/events/exhibitions/eurosatory2008/sections/daily/day2/leds-gathers-momentum.shtml)).

The weapons platoon has a SF section with a two man HQ and two 6-man SF teams (each with two GPMG or M307 (http://world.guns.ru/grenade/gl24-e.htm) should they ever come on line in which case three four man M307 teams). ATGM section with three Javelin (3 men each) and a two man HQ and finally a mortar section with two mortar teams each of four men. The mortar section HQ element doubles as an FDC.

Attachments such a FOOs, Medics, ADA personnel have not been included because I haven’t figured that out yet. It’s not because I’m lazy (being thorough can sometimes be perceived as such) it’s just that I’m still figuring manpower requirements in relation to emerging and near term technologies (http://www.janes.com/events/exhibitions/eurosatory2010/sections/daily/day3/moskito-swarms-across-hal.shtml) especially with regards to FISTs/ COLTs/ FOOS. In this latter respect I am assuming that the Recce platoon teams have personnel trained as FOOs (either the sniper No. 2 or team 2IC) in order to help them accomplish the Find/Fix function. Also, I am assuming that the recce plt HQ can form the core of a specialist CLIC.

Weapons/Equipment:
All troops have combined TI/NVG (http://www.soldiermod.com/volume-2/european-night-vision.html). The M32s are all equipped with the IMI MPRS (http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005smallarms/thursday/guttel.pdf) or STK LV ABMS (http://defense-studies.blogspot.com/2009/05/new-singapore-munition-bursts-onto.html) sight and can thus fire air-burst munitions as well as MV rounds (out to 800m). Recce plt teams and rifle platoon section commanders carry HUNTIR (http://mountainrunner.us/files/MEIHUNTIR.PDF) rounds as standard and can be issued with smaller UGVs (http://www.janes.com/events/exhibitions/eurosatory2010/sections/daily/day4/see-without-being-seen.shtml) (i.e., for FIBUA, trench-clearing, etc.). The MPMS (Multi-Purpose Missile System aka Mini-Spike) CLU also has a useful observation capability ideal for use in FOBs or OPs (as do the Javelin CLUs) whilst I am assuming that FAE and anti-bunker rounds are available/can be developed for it. I would prefer SPIKE MR (at both coy and Bn level) simply because of their NLOS capability (gives one more employment options) but as we (UK) have chosen Javelin that’ll have to do (at Bde level I’d have a 9 launcher Spike LR -25km+ (http://www.janes.com/events/exhibitions/eurosatory2010/sections/daily/day1/longrange-spike-on-show.shtml)- battery in the Artillery battalion but that’s a different thread/site). Gimpys/Jimpys have lightweight tripods and are employed as a section not broken up and attached to plts (though not wholly out of the question). 60mm mortars (as well as the 120mm battalion mortars) all fire PGMMs (of the GPS variety) hopefully easing log demands (but HE is still ubiquitous). I’d like to see 60mm FAE rounds given that they are more lethal than straight HE-Frag (http://www.ramcjournal.com/2001/wounds_of_conflict/dearden.pdf) but I could (more than likely am) wrong about that (I suspect blast overpressure would tie with molten metal fragments at a game of papers, scissors, rock on a summer’s day...on a rainy/humid day however....). For Afpak type operations from FOBs I had envisaged some kind of MULE-T (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/fcs-mule.htm) section accompanying the company but at 2 tonnes (2.5 tons) each for a payload of half that something along the lines of laws of diminishing returns start taking over (for the weight and volume of each MULE-T that would have to be transported intra-theatre wouldn’t you rather have more ammo/food/medical supplies). I’d rather issue each coy with a few Supacat ATMP (http://www.supacat.com/files/pdf/Supacat-ATMP-specification.pdf) from lighter composite materials and power them with solar batteries/small diesel engines converted for vegetable oil or some such (they can be stacked for LAPES or C-130 transport too).

Means of conveyance:

Mechanised Infantry (UK)-
The entire company (+ say a 10 man attachment) of 195 men can be lifted by a “carrier company” of 14/15 APCs of the GPV Captain (http://www.military-today.com/apc/gpv_captain.htm) or iKlwa (http://www.military-today.com/apc/iklwa.htm) variety (2+13/14) armed with nothing heavier than a 40mm GMG with airburst capability) and either a Javelin pod (1-2 rounds) or a 5 round 70mm guided rocket pod (http://www.defensereview.com/northrop-grummanatk-venom-targeting-pod-7-round-gatr-l-precision-guided-laser-guided-2-7570mm-hydra-rocket-pod-combo-for-military-special-operations-specops/) in a RWS. C2 would be as per the (old) UK and Aussie principles (i.e., APC crew are separate from the mounted infantry although organic to the formation). Vehicles’ baseline armour protects from 155mm fragments, mines and 14.5mm HMG rounds. Additional armour can be mounted. Vehicle protection suite would include active protection systems and (in future) electric armour.

Tukhachevskii
08-12-2010, 07:11 PM
Armoured Infantry (UK)-
Entire company (as above with 185 + 10 men attached) carried in a “carrier company” with 17 converted Chally 1 hulls (or similar) to create a Heavy APC (Namer (http://www.military-today.com/apc/namer.htm)/Temsah (http://www.military-today.com/apc/temsah.htm)/BMPV-64 (http://www.military-today.com/apc/bmpv_64.htm)-style) alternatively a stretched CV-90. Each vehicle would be powered by a Europack engine (which frees up a great deal of room within the hull, though it may need extending slightly), have identical armament to the APCs above and carry 2-3 crew plus 12 men. Baseline armour would provide better protection than the APC but with similar provision for up-armouring.

Air-Assault (UK)-
An eight or sixteen bird squadron of EH-101/Mi38s should be able to lift an entire company (8) or two (16). With a Battalion being lifted by two/four such squadrons or fewer numbers of CH-47s escorted by AH. For rapid reaction missions follow on echelons would be airlanded by An-70s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-70) once the Paras had taken Pristina airport...or some such suitable LZ. (An-70s are the missed opportunity of European aviation, could have helped Ukrainian industry whilst providing EU troops with an affordable and capable transport...bloody politicos)

Royal Marines- However they want, not going to argue with them (...or the Paras).

Battalion
A battalion would have four companies, a weapons coy (mortar plt of 8 120mm, SP (http://www.patriahagglunds.fi/pdf/amos.pdf) in mechanised and armoured formations, towed (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/efss.htm) in air-assault and light roles; GMG plt with 9 GMG (or M307); ATGM plt w/ 9 ATGM & a 30 man sniper plt), artillery battery (6 155mm LWH/SPG and a FDC/FOO platoon), combat engineer/pioneer company, a recce platoon and the usual CSS attachments (I say usual, but they are the unheralded decisive enablers). Tank and AH support according to mission/threat/taste.

TAH
08-13-2010, 01:45 PM
Not a big fan of single 60mm at the platoon level. Better to consolidate and task organize as needed. A 4 or 6 gun section in the weapons platoon could fit that bill.

I view recon as a mission not a unit. Would suggest removing your snipers from the recon platoon and adding them over in the weapons platoon. Move the UAV to the Co Hqs. With only one, the Commander needs to be the guy directing it's use.

Given the two wheeled APCs listed will not carry a full section of 20 (14 or 15), suggest re-working the platoon task orgs so that a full squad/section can fit in an APC. Maybe something along the lines of the 13-man squad found in the USMC.

Your organization seems a heavy on the supporting arms/fires role and is left wanting for "Plain Ol Foot Solider" (2 20-man section 40 troops total) whose job is to enter/clear buildings. rooms, trenchs, fortifications etc.

jmm99
08-13-2010, 04:27 PM
However, I was very impressed by Tuki's effort - It will take me a week to go through his hyperlinks. :) It's very easy to sit back and snipe at things negatively; it's much harder to put together something that is positive - right, wrong or indifferent.

The overall TOE (leaving aside modern technology) looks akin in total numbers and platoon structure to a WWII rifle company as of 1 Jan 1945 - e.g., Charlie-1/117-30ID.

1204

Note the 3 1903 sniper rifles (last item in weapons list).

So, congrats to Tuki for daring. ;)

Mike

TAH
08-13-2010, 06:49 PM
Pretty much a standard triangualr infantry Company.

Three platoons of three 9-man rifle squads and a 9-man weapon squad with 2 MMGs and 2 MPMS each.

Weapons Platoon has:

Platoon Hqs of 2
MMG Section of 4 guns with 3-man crews and a 1-man Hqs
ATGM Section of 4 Javelins with 3-man crews and 1-man Hqs
Light Mortar Platoon of 6 60mm (3-man crew each) and 2-man Hqs/FDC
Sniper Section of 5 2-man teams

Fuchs
08-13-2010, 11:11 PM
However, I was very impressed by Tuki's effort - It will take me a week to go through his hyperlinks. :) It's very easy to sit back and snipe at things negatively; it's much harder to put together something that is positive - right, wrong or indifferent.

The overall TOE (leaving aside modern technology) looks akin in total numbers and platoon structure to a WWII rifle company as of 1 Jan 1945 - e.g., Charlie-1/117-30ID.

1204

Note the 3 1903 sniper rifles (last item in weapons list).

So, congrats to Tuki for daring. ;)

Mike

This T&E looks like designed with extremely strong (1 per squad or Plt) support from Shermans in mind.
The extremely weak machine gun armament (comparable to one German full Panzergrenadier squad's worth of machine guns of that time) is telling.
The Garands cannot make up for this - German Panzergrenadiere were at that time supposed to be equipped with assault rifles and automatic rifles as well.

jmm99
08-14-2010, 04:54 AM
Charlie-1/117-30ID often wished it had Shermans. 1 per sqd or even 1 per plt would have been quite a luxury.

As to MGs, the Bn TOE included a HW Coy (D = Dog Coy, for the 1/117):

1208

whose platoons or sections could be parcelled out to the rifle coys (A = Able; B = Baker; C = Charlie). So, the MG situation was not quite what a rifle coy TOE alone shows.

HHC (Headquarters & Hq Coy) in 1/117 also included an AT plt with 3-57mm towed, and what amounted to a sapper-recon plt.

Notwithstanding those additions, I suppose you're right about the relative superiority of the German Panzergrenadiere. But, no one seems to have told Charlie about that.

So, when the 1/117 cut Peiper's supply (and retreat) route at Stavelot, quite a few PzGrs paid the price of assaulting the Bn in failed attempts to open up the road through that little town. See this post, Ratios vs Mission Accomplished (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=102739&postcount=553), for the Stavelot engagement map and a few after-action report snips.

Stavelot was the second time Charlie and 1/117 met Liebstandarte - and held the field at the end. The first engagement was at St.-Bart near Mortain. There, the Bn took very heavy casualties; but Wilf's "relatives" in RAF Typhoons flew in at hedgerow level to provide very close air support and saved the day. The tanks were stopped at the doors of the Bn and Regt HQs.

1209

US tanks played no significant support role to the Bn in either engagement. Regt AT (76mm towed), its 4.2 inch mortars and its Cannon Coy (105s or 155s) did play significant supporting roles in both engagements.

On its way to Malmedy and Stavelot, 30ID was reminded of its destinations by Axis Sally, who called it "Roosevelt's SS". A wise a$$ MAJ colored up a crayon sketch of a new division patch (adding the SS runes and FDR to the existing "XXX"), but for some reason the Powers That Were shelved it:

1210

Ah, if only they had Photoshoppe back then, and a good Powerpoint presentation.

Regards

Mike

Fuchs
08-14-2010, 09:24 AM
Theory (TO&E) and reality were very different in 44/45.
The company looks too dependent on heavy support from other units and attachments in my opinion.

Tukhachevskii
08-14-2010, 10:56 AM
Pretty much a standard triangualr infantry Company.

Three platoons of three 9-man rifle squads and a 9-man weapon squad with 2 MMGs and 2 MPMS each.

Weapons Platoon has:

Platoon Hqs of 2
MMG Section of 4 guns with 3-man crews and a 1-man Hqs
ATGM Section of 4 Javelins with 3-man crews and 1-man Hqs
Light Mortar Platoon of 6 60mm (3-man crew each) and 2-man Hqs/FDC
Sniper Section of 5 2-man teams

6 60mm tubes at coy level seem an aweful lot to my untrained eyes. Who's carring all those rounds (IIRC a fire for effect mission on attacking troops is ...somewhere in the region of ...ok I don't rememebr but I think it's about 30). I know IJN infantry platoons had a mortar or grenade discharger section of three tubes and nine men. The 70mm GAT-r rockets carried by the HAPC and APCs would provide a precision guided artillery round for dismounted troops (esp. the recce plt whom I would envisage being equipped with a miniature laser designator as would team and section leaders) thus obviating the need for the dismounted troopers to carry heavy loads. The 60mm tubes could then concentrate on obscuration, suppression and destructuion missions within the parameters of their design (if you see what I mean)

As regards the recce plt and snipers my concept was to have enough people who are specialists (MOS wise) who can throw their hat into the CoA development process at Coy (HQ) but also to have enough specialists so to facilitate company training during peacetime (snipers, for instance, would be responsible for marksmanship, etc.). Also, I wanted to get the different unit "spirits" working harmoniously. There is a way of looking at the world, call it a weltanschauung if you will, that snipers and recce personelle have that others don't similarly the aggressive close combat "punch you in the gut, spit in your face" spirit of the rifleman would complement the silent but deadly attitude of the recce troops (I know what I'm talking about even if I don't know what I'm writing:p); left hook, right knockout blow. One could even make the argument that we don't need specialised troops just geenrealists who could be given snap training as and when to fulfill specialsied roles (recc one day and ANTI-Tank the nexxt) but that's all down to cost, training and inclination (IMO). Each unit has its own peculiar TTPs (rifle platoons operate more on Wigram principles whereas the Recce plt operations more on "Hutier"/stormtroop dispersed, skirmishing tactics, so to speak). I thought a lot about core functions (F3) and was inspired by Hart's Men in the Dark theory. Do I want my heavy hitters (a rifle plt) to be groping around in the dark when I could have my recce teams infiltrate, observe, call-for-fire, enagge HVT or fleeting targets (sniper and recce training and key skills are virtually identical) while guiding in the rifle plts to the kill; float like a butterfly sting like a ....bitch! (This is strange, the boxing analogies did'nt really occur to me before...even when I read Hart, how's that for odd:D).

As for the total numbers of riflemen I stated in my post that the second section in each plt could be re-roled as riflement (sans launchers but not CLUs). In fact, the recce plt could als be re-org as a line rifle plt for peace-support (not peace-enforcement) ops or constabulary types missions. With regards to the means of conveyance issue I am following the principles laid down/adumbrated by WILF and JTAN135(?) on the Cav platoon thread (don't have the link immediatlely to hand). Thanks to their patience in explaining the operating principles and TTPs of a carrier Plt/Coy/Bn my own confusion regarding MICV/IFV/APC load outs and employment was dispelled. Thanks for the criticism, always good clear the thickets of mine mind with the shears of another Reason (is that J. S. Mill?:D)

Tukhachevskii
08-14-2010, 11:02 AM
Given the two wheeled APCs listed will not carry a full section of 20 (14 or 15), suggest re-working the platoon task orgs so that a full squad/section can fit in an APC. Maybe something along the lines of the 13-man squad found in the USMC.

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=10546&highlight=Cav+platoon

Tukhachevskii
08-14-2010, 11:10 AM
Your organization seems a heavy on the supporting arms/fires role and is left wanting for "Plain Ol Foot Solider" (2 20-man section 40 troops total) whose job is to enter/clear buildings. rooms, trenchs, fortifications etc.

Sure, I can see that but given that in the assault you want a ratio of somewhere between 2-3:1 supporting to assaulting elements I don't think its too much. All I did was delete the idea of three identical sections and just weight one of them with HE projectors and LMGs making them the equivelant, if not an over match, for the two sections that would otherwise have been neded to generate a similar ammount of fire. Nor am I familiar with an entire platoon being ordered to clear a trench...at least a third to a half of them would be need for suppressive fires and to shoot the trench clearing teams in before following them on (if need be). Besides in the UK a rifle platoon is 24 men, or thereabouts, so one of my sections isn't too far off without being overly pumped up on steroids. Once TiC (Troops in contact) on a multi-coy or Bn level operation the recce platoons would more than likely perform some kind of rifle platoon function (but their primary task is small unti- RSTA). The ideas/arguments for the 20 man sections were essentially clinched by Sen. James Webb and kiwigrunt on a post on a different thread. Again, I apologise but I don't have the links immediately to hand (I also apologise for my spelling...had a "rough night";)).

Regards,

T

Tukhachevskii
08-14-2010, 11:15 AM
Move the UAV to the Co Hqs. With only one, the Commander needs to be the guy directing it's use.


Yep, I thought as much tallys with existing doctrine and, much much much more importantly, practice:D As for the UAVs there are four aerial vehicles but only a single GCS; loiter time for the Puma is about 2 hrs IIRC.

Fuchs
08-14-2010, 11:18 AM
related text:


On infantry small unit development

(First a disclaimer: I'm going to write about warfare with opponents who have corrected vision, comparable combat morale and who can aim.)


Some authors claim that a German infantry squad of WW2 typically had 80% of its firepower concentrated in its one machine gun; a MG34 or MG42.
That was probably quite correct, but the carried ammunition and practical rate of fire indicate a slight exaggeration.
The issue was more fundamental than simple mechanical or material statistics, though. A machine gunner has the feeling that he can actually achieve much in battle and has typically a different psychology in effect than most other soldiers have.


Infantry is not all the same - you cannot give a special weapon to just anyone and expect always the same results. Differences are also deeper than mere qualifications and physical fitness or strength.

Some soldiers are aggressive, many are capable if lead well and some are basically carriers, not fighters. The most basic problem for infantry is therefore to identify who belongs to which group and to assign jobs and missions accordingly (and possibly reject the carrier guys).
The aggressive, daring guys who are very difficult to suppress need to become leaders (the smart ones) or operators for the most important weapons (such as a machine gun).


A 80/20 or 70/30 rule of thumb fits to many forms of human activity: 20-30% of the people have 80-70% of the overall effect (Pareto Principle). This is applicable to the spreading of diseases, the work in staffs, the kills of World War fighter pilots, the number of friends on social networking sites, the performance of snipers, the performance of computer gamers, the success in flirting and it's also relevant for infantry combat.
We can dream on in fantasy land and look at a platoon as a small unit of 20-50 equal men, but that's not going to be confirmed in intense combat.

- - - - -

OK, let's say we succeed to assign the most valuable men to the leadership jobs or give them the most powerful weapons. What does this tell us about the others in the platoon or squad?

The readers may not like it, but to be honest; the average assault rifle user will be little more than an ammunition carrier for the main weapons and a rear/flank security man and message relay.

How does this fit to the everyone-a-super-soldier approach of modern Western infantry equipment programs? The average assault rifle user has got some heavy AT weapon, a designated marksman rifle or an underbarrel grenade launcher nowadays. He's so overloaded with his own kit that carrying additional ammunition for a machine gunner or a platoon commando mortar reduces the mobility to that of a four-year old.

The technology-driven approach with a flair of combined arms (accurate single shots, full auto suppressive fires, high trajectory HE projection) down to squad or even fire team level may be a terrible misunderstanding.

To equip everyone with better rifle optics than were available to WW2 snipers isn't going to turn everyone into a super soldier either. The sights may be worth their weight and bulk, but they don't turn cowards or extremely frightened and shaking men into cold-blooded fighters with an overwhelming lethality in a 400 m radius.
Such equipment will still have the greatest effect with the few men who are psychologically best prepared for combat (this may include being simply too dumb or crazy to understand the danger - in fact, smart people rarely turn out to be among the most daring).


It's probably about time that the psychological differences between infantrymen again consciously influence the setup of infantry small units. This ranges from personnel selection over equipment to tactics and TO&Es (tables of organisation and equipment).

Combat in complex, though. It may be a good idea to 'waste' some good weapons on not very good soldiers in order to distract hostiles, to relieve the few over-performers off (suppressive fires) pressure.


Next, we should keep in mind another pressing challenge: The extreme lethality of modern weapons. Forget about the experiences against unskilled paramilitary (or lesser) fighters in recent warfare. The extreme lethality of modern infantry battalion arsenals (up to 120 mm mortars) restricts the infantry small unit repertoire for most actions. Only very high pay-off actions justify very risky tactics. Most often infantry needs to be very cautious in order to preserve itself for important actions (the military view) and a life after the war (the individual's view).

The combination of high lethality and cautious behaviour leads quite naturally to very short yet intense fire fights with (whenever possible) the advantage of surprise, followed by a quick withdrawal and rallying. The latter is necessary in order to avoid being stuck (and fixed) in a protracted fire fight till hostile mortars end it.

This justifies an emphasis on the right weapons (and munitions) for such an action. A salvo of M72 or SARPAC-like weapons, a very high rate of fire for the machine gun (with an appropriate, stable tripod) and the use of command-detonated mines (~Claymores) are possible answers.

Another approach might emphasize stealth and the avoidance of breaking said stealth. A minimised muzzle fire thanks to suppressors and optimised flash hiders, barrel lengths and cartridges as well as the employment of deception tools (fake muzzle fires) are imaginable.

There's also the possibility that both the own and the hostile infantry are very cautious and often stumble into each other at short range. That could be avoided with detached scout pairs and the use of military dogs, but it's still a possibility. Devastating and immediate fires would be important in this case. Hand grenades might become more important in such situations than all electronics combined and independent (re)actions of all soldiers without much leadership would become most important.

Other patterns for dominant forms of infantry combat are imaginable and need to be considered. Every such form might lead to distinct preferences that could shape the ideal infantry small unit TO&E.


Another hugely important factor in 'real', wars of necessity (if not even total wars) is attrition.

Life expectancy drops to very, very sad levels once a man becomes an infantry lieutenant in wartime. It doesn't look substantially better for infantry NCOs.
A serious army needs to be prepared for appalling losses among its leadership. One way to prepare is to have more leaders than necessary (the U.S. way), another one is to overqualify their subordinates (the old German way).
As far as I can tell, the latter is superior because it enables a very quick adaption once losses happen. A decapitated platoon can continue its mission if an NCO takes the lead, while it would need to wait a while till a replacement leader arrives (and that guy would be unknown to the soldiers).
Some of the most effective and consequential small unit actions in military history have been completed by subordinates who took over command after the initial leaders fell.

This is quite a challenge for TO&Es, for you need enough well-suited men for leading, for employment of the main weapons AND as 2nd or 3rd in command. You don't want to rely on your best machine gunner as emergency platoon leader - that would equal a terrible loss of firepower. The 2nd in command should on the one hand not be too close to the 1st in command, but on the other hand you don't want him too far away. For example, he shouldn't be in the assault element if your army's tactic prefers the platoon leader to be with the fire support element.


Psychological capability in combat, the expected nature of infantry combat and attrition should influence our infantry small unit concepts much more than they seemingly did after the Cold War. Gadget-driven concepts of infantry combat and infantry small unit TO&Es have dominated for about 15 years and are still in fashion. This exaggeration needs to be corrected.

Again, it was impossible to cover the topic comprehensively. I limited myself to mention a few rather rarely discussed aspects of infantry small units setups. Maybe I ruined all the future fun of discussing gun calibres and 40mm underbarrel grenade weapons for you, but that's within the limits of the usual risks of reading this blog...

Tukhachevskii
08-14-2010, 11:26 AM
related text:

All good stuff mate...from your blog, no?;) Similar thoughts were swimming around in my head and refused to gel ... but I lacked your particular take on things. Wehter we can have all-purposes troops and train them to be jack off all trades or wether we can make them professionals as a specific MOS (specialsied generalists) is as much of a problem as is C2. Personally I'd prefer having specialised generalists who like the stormtroopers in WWI were so proficient at their tasks could do them in their sleep (let follow on forces/echelons mop up and do the "conventional" WII stuff). And, yes, I know, there's no such thing as "Hutier" tactics (which I why I put it in inverted commas in the previous post) it was just a short-hand way of orienting the discussion.

Fuchs
08-14-2010, 11:37 AM
Yes, it's a quite recent text.
http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-infantry-small-unit-development.html

TAH
08-16-2010, 01:49 PM
6 60mm tubes at coy level seem an aweful lot to my untrained eyes. Who's carring all those rounds (IIRC a fire for effect mission on attacking troops is ...somewhere in the region of ...ok I don't rememebr but I think it's about 30).

One could even make the argument that we don't need specialised troops just geenrealists who could be given snap training as and when to fulfill specialsied roles (recc one day and ANTI-Tank the nexxt) but that's all down to cost, training and inclination (IMO).
D)

Tuk:

My 6-gun 60mm platoon is only 1 tube larger then the total envisioned in you company. Totally agree with you regarding ammo for this weapon. The issue is does someone in the platoon/company actually carry these rounds or are they transported by/on a vehicle. I choose 6 guns because of the greater flexibiity in sub-dividing the platoon, 2 sections of 3, 3 sections of 2, a section of 4 and a section of 2, etc.

DO NOT agree with the idea/concept of "Snap Training". Soldiers/units will only be good at those tasks/skills they train on/practice regularly. Otherwise , they will probably never progress beyond a "novice" level of ability.

JMA
08-16-2010, 03:16 PM
Yes, it's a quite recent text.
http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-infantry-small-unit-development.html

What war are you planning to fight with this organisation?

Ken White
08-16-2010, 04:38 PM
DO NOT agree with the idea/concept of "Snap Training". Soldiers/units will only be good at those tasks/skills they train on/practice regularly. Otherwise , they will probably never progress beyond a "novice" level of ability.that's generally true. The Task, Condition, Standard system is specifically designed to train tasks by rote and repetition. Add to that the facts that we attempt to train people only for their next job -- both enlisted and officer initial entry training produce only a poorly trained, entry level person instead of a competent soldier or leader -- and that the system is structured to produce promotion levels for personnel management and advancement purposes, NOT for effective operations and you're right.

However, discard the terribly flawed BTMS and its allied stifling idiocy for Outcome Based Training and Education, structure ranks and promotion based on effective operating capability requirements and most importantly, properly and thoroughly train people in the basics then snap or swing training is not only possible but desirable. In fact, one need not do all three of those things, change in any one would allow quick switch in units.

The Troops are capable of doing far more than they are allowed to do. However, if that were proven true (as it has been in other times...), then what we're now doing would be exposed as terribly wasteful (which it is), over-ranking a lot of people (which is certainly true...) and underpaying Joe -- as well as exposing a lack of selectivity in who gets to be Joe... :rolleyes:

The terrible crime of risk aversion does not just stifle actions in the combat theaters... :mad:

Fuchs
08-16-2010, 04:57 PM
What war are you planning to fight with this organisation?

It's no organisation, but a text with food for thought.

My focus is on classical Western alliance defence, though.

jmm99
08-16-2010, 06:17 PM
what are the parameters (geographic, constaints, etc.) to the "classical Western alliance defence" as you see it ?

Regards

Mike

Tukhachevskii
08-16-2010, 08:06 PM
Tuk:

My 6-gun 60mm platoon is only 1 tube larger then the total envisioned in you company. Totally agree with you regarding ammo for this weapon. The issue is does someone in the platoon/company actually carry these rounds or are they transported by/on a vehicle. I choose 6 guns because of the greater flexibiity in sub-dividing the platoon, 2 sections of 3, 3 sections of 2, a section of 4 and a section of 2, etc.



Sir,

you are quite right. Struggled with that issue myself and almost settled for three tubes at coy as per the old US rifle coy of the 1960s. But I decided that there were pretty good reasons for the plt ldr to have access to an immediately avaliable 60mm tube to lay down obscurants or HE hence, as per the UK plt, assigned a commando mortar to each plt and two larger baseplated mortars at Coy for some measure of SF. Plt ammunition was envisaged as an immediate UBL of perhaps two rounds per man in the infantry sections with coy mortars having some kind of coy level mobile platform (a la ATMP). I don't envision the troops carry huge ALICE packs or whatever as per Afghanistan. Instead they'd be left in a coy assembly area or on long patrols/infiltrations a couple of ATMP per section (about four per plt) would be assigned for carrying water, ammo and packs and, once TiC, casualties. Personally, I think logistics is the much neglected achilles heel of "transformation" with the exploitation of newer technologies for air transport (via UAV), guided parachute packages etc. being overlooked for the sexier "things that go boom"/easier to sell to Congress/Parliament. But not really thought that through as yet. As per original post MULE-T looks interesting but the relity may be a bigger headache than the problem they're meant to solve (along the lines of Custer's last stand, though, they might come in handy for cover and concealment:D).

Fuchs
08-16-2010, 10:13 PM
what are the parameters (geographic, constaints, etc.) to the "classical Western alliance defence" as you see it ?

Regards

Mike

Well, the Southern flank of Europe can only be seriously threatened by a United Arabs Nation which doesn't exist yet. The only ground warfare necessary in a hot conflict against this super hypothetical opponent would be in Morocco, to secure the Strait of Gibraltar against land-based missiles (air and sea power could be defeated without invasions).

The Eastern flank of Europe can only be seriously threatened by the Russians with Allies. The terrain would be remarkably similar to WW2 Eastern Front except for more settlements and much, much better road network.

The Southeastern Flank (Turkey) is still allied, but it would offer the potential for a extremely high force density ground campaign (plus some Island warfare) if that changed drastically.


Overall, Europe is well secured today (and should reorient its forces to long-term instead of spending on the now and next five years). We should review, invent, innovate, experiment and reorganise. This is the time, we can afford it.

My advice is basically to develop a triad of infantry:
* mechanised infantry (more than we're used to thanks to simple HAPCs & APCs with many seats instead of gold-plated IFV with few seats)
* expert infantry (close to the best regular infantry outfits today, replacing also "door kicker" special forces)
* huge reserve infantry organisation with regionally-based regiments, composed of volunteers most of whom serve only during infantry training and refreshing training exercises. This could provide the quantity for a great continental war at low cost and would help as intro for the regular forces' recruiting.


This framework doesn't dictate any "tactics, tasks, weapons and organisation" below battalion level.


edit: 1,111 posts. Gotta get some sparkling wine.

Rifleman
08-16-2010, 10:31 PM
* expert infantry (close to the best regular infantry outfits today, replacing also "door kicker" special forces)


Less special-this and special-that and more good, solid, "jager-type" light infantry? I'll drink to that.



edit: 1,111 posts. Gotta get some sparkling wine.


Have a hefeweizen.

Fuchs
08-16-2010, 11:13 PM
Here are some excerpts from my file with notes about the expert infantry idea:


special skills:
(especially honed in certain companies whose personnel disperses into all other companies as advisers & trainers in the event of related formation exercises)

parachuting (HALO, HAHO, LA automatic)
arctic warfare (northern Norway training, skiing – res inf and mech inf train with snowshoes only)
alpine warfare (high altitude, climbing)
riverine warfare (boats)
swamp warfare
river crossing (?)
amphibious landing
employment of pack animals
foreign armies doctrine and TO&E knowledge
idea: special skills are available without intensively training all personnel in all skills. This specialisation shall create true experts with basic all-round skills.


To be employed in especially demanding infantry missions, such as

river crossing
mountain warfare (capturing & securing mountain tops/ridges, passes)
air assault (QRF, Raid, coup de main – primarily by parachute because ResInf can be used for helo insertion)
raiding (non-air assault), surprise attacks with limited objectives
+ red team players (OPFOR in exercises)
slow infiltration (Sicker) attacks

The missions don't look like copies of the special skills because I emphasize the maintenance and development of competencies in modern armies. We don't need huge forces right now to secure Europe, but we need to be very competent when that changes.


My great problem with my 'expert infantry' idea is that I've got no good ideas on new infantry tactics. My research and creativity is much more fruitful in regard to the area of armoured reconnaissance/cavalry. I derived some original and unorthodox operational ideas from that one, while my thinking on infantry seems to be obsessed with survivability (which may be right or wrong. I cannot tell that any more - cognitive dissonance and such - you know?).

That's part of the reason why I created a thread about modern infantry theory sources (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=5626) a while ago. I need to absorb more info, for fresh info usually creates new ideas of mine. Historical tactics, infantry FMs from five nations, other 'by the book' tactics and all that 'Infantry 101' stuff were already absorbed.

Rifleman
08-16-2010, 11:52 PM
Fuchs,

Your last post described something akin to the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment or the French 2d Foreign Parachute Regiment. Both are light infantry units with some degree of specialization and skills that not every infantry unit has; yet, neither unit is the type of unit one usually thinks when SOF is mentioned.

Fuchs
08-16-2010, 11:58 PM
...or Royal Marines.

The level of originality is rather disappointing in comparison to some of my other works in progress.

Tukhachevskii
08-17-2010, 10:36 AM
Tuk:

I choose 6 guns because of the greater flexibiity in sub-dividing the platoon, 2 sections of 3, 3 sections of 2, a section of 4 and a section of 2, etc.


...the following thoughts occured to me. Yes flexibility is always a bonus but at a cost. Dispersing the plt into two or three sub-units adds to the command, control, communication problem especially at Coy level where HQ wouldn’t have the resources that a BN HQ would. Given that currently existing command nets are already pushing the boundaries of available bandwidth (etc.) and dispersing the units entails a greater need for coordination and, of course, more radio nets keyed into coy FDC you might actually be trading availability and immediacy for survivability/flexibility. I have read of numerous occasions in Afghanistan when British units have been able to get the “ball rolling” with their plt mortars while waiting for the JTAC/FIST to call in fire thereby developing and “shaping” (ugh!) the situation or fixing the enemy. Having six tubes dispersed or not merely add to the FDC’s calculations (etc.) during the coy fire support planning process and reduces the responsiveness that a smaller number of tubes, grouped together, may afford. It would also, come to think of it, be easier to displace a two tube section to a supplementary or alternate firing site when needed than it would two or three mortar squads at the company level.

With regards ammunition I think two coy level tubes equipped with PGMM would be of greater benefit than 6 (especially given the phenomenal RoF a single mortar can produce- 20 rds/min IIRC)in all but FPF missions requiring copious (why does that word always sound rude to me?) amounts of ammunition and where more tubes would definitely be a plus in terms of frontage as well as volume though I often think frontages and areas are merely ways of ensuring destruction (suppression is a different issue) in the absence of precision capabilities hence the emphasis on PGMM ( just look at Excalibur or GMLRS, but OTOH in a major war with diminished/degraded GPS they may be redundant, in fact, come to think of it, I’m sure I read that a man-portable RF jamming kit was in development somewhere). Don’t think DPICM munitions for 60mm would be feasible. But then again the eight 120mm and six 155mm tubes at Bn should pick up the slack. One also might need greater volume of fire in the defence or the assault which is why I added HE projectors and MPMS (essentially advanced RPGs) which can be better co-ordinated at section/plt level. But I think those with actual experience would be best placed to answer that issue (I don’t know what I’m talking about at the best of times and, thanks to my health, never got the opportunity to get any... experience that is... militarily speaking...oh dear:o)

As an aside I wasn’t advocating “snap training” per se merely suggesting that there may be arguments in favour of it which, as always, Ken White has explained as no else can. In fact, WILF’s platoon groups idea tacitly presupposes such an arrangement anyway from what I can surmise.
Got a feeling I’m rambling now so I’ll end it there.

Fuchs
08-17-2010, 11:00 AM
Mortar ranges have improved a lot during the last decades. Especially long-barrelled mortars can fire very far.

Dedicated 60mm LR models reach out to 4.8 km (TDA) to 6 km (Vector) (with a Norinco model in between).

The dispersion and accuracy may be a problem, but it's nevertheless food for thought.


A pet topic of mine is horizontal fire support; identical (small) units supporting each other, even their neighbour's neighbour. This has important effects on logistics and requires effective (radio) communication, but it's quite interesting as long as you don't assume that all of them get into firefights at once.
Even then it's still an analogy to the artillery's concentration of many artillery batteries on one very short and concentrated strike after another (WW2).

Horizontal fire support has furthermore the advantage that not all mortar bombs come from "the rear". Dispersion is greater in length than in dispersion, so a neighbour unit might be able to shoot at more close hostiles than organic mortars can.


An army that gets horizontal fire support right could save tubes (not necessarily significant quantities of ammunition) in its combat units.

In other words: One 60mm LR mortar per company with established horizontal fire support could offer more fire support than three normal 60mm mortars per company without.

TAH
08-17-2010, 02:01 PM
Sir,



Only on the Weekneds ;)

From a quick net search 60mm rounds weigh between 3 and 4 pounds (1.4 to 2 Kg) each.

1214

From a study done in A-stan back in 2003 the average load for a rifleman is a 63 pound (28.5 Kg) fighting load. His assault load was 96 pounds (43.5 Kg) and had a load of 127 pounds (57.6 Kg) when conducting approach marches.

So. adding a couple of rounds per Solider makes an alreadt bad situation worse.

Who controls the fires of the mortars is up to the Company Commander. He may retain control of all of them, task organize them all down to the platoons for their direct control of a combination.

Agree totally with your comment regarding log/CSS/Sustainment. Our LOCs and our Log Bases are and probably will remain our soft spot.

MULE-Ts looked like a good idea on the surface. But, they were going to be VERY expensive, did not come with an on-board self-protection system to defeat RPGs, would have been vunlerable to mines, IEDs, and Direct-fire. Don't care about lossing the 'Bot. Do care about lossing what it was carrying.

A "Gator" like vehicle is a better idea.

TAH
08-17-2010, 02:09 PM
[QUOTE=Tukhachevskii;105104]...

With regards ammunition I think two coy level tubes equipped with PGMM would be of greater benefit than 6 (especially given the phenomenal RoF a single mortar can produce- 20 rds/min IIRC)in all but FPF missions requiring copious (why does that word always sound rude to me?) amounts of ammunition and where more tubes would definitely be a plus in terms of frontage as well as volume though I often think frontages and areas are merely ways of ensuring destruction (suppression is a different issue) in the absence of precision capabilities hence the emphasis on PGMM


See my earlier comments regarding control of fires. As these are Company-level weapons, control should NEVER go above that level.

Not sure anyone makes or is thinking of making a 60mm PGM. 81mm yes, 120mm yes.

An advantage of a 3-gun section/platoon/unit is that two tubes can be firing HE while the other fires smoke. Or the reverse. With just two guns the effect is too weak.

So, having said all of that, maybe a single platoon of four tubes normally kept as a single unit is a better/alternate solution.

Tukhachevskii
08-17-2010, 03:43 PM
With regards ammunition I think two coy level tubes equipped with PGMM would be of greater benefit than 6 (especially given the phenomenal RoF a single mortar can produce- 20 rds/min IIRC)in all but FPF missions requiring copious (why does that word always sound rude to me?) amounts of ammunition and where more tubes would definitely be a plus in terms of frontage as well as volume though I often think frontages and areas are merely ways of ensuring destruction (suppression is a different issue) in the absence of precision capabilities hence the emphasis on PGMM


See my earlier comments regarding control of fires. As these are Company-level weapons, control should NEVER go above that level.

Not sure anyone makes or is thinking of making a 60mm PGM. 81mm yes, 120mm yes.

1. An advantage of a 3-gun section/platoon/unit is that two tubes can be firing HE while the other fires smoke. Or the reverse. With just two guns the effect is too weak.

2. So, having said all of that, maybe a single platoon of four tubes normally kept as a single unit is a better/alternate solution.

1. I don't think you'd need a tube just for Smoke, all you'd need is to fire three HH, a smoke round and then three more HE (for instance) per tube AFAIK its possible and is done routinely.

2. You might well be right but I'm still concerned about responsiveness. Much easier for plt cdr to turn to his mortarman and order five HE and one smoke than it is to call them in over the net. Beside if coy cdr decides to employ the mrotar section/plt on a HVT the plts may be shorn of valubale fire support at critical moments. Also, say during an assault of a strongpoint, the four/six tubes at coy would be as reponsive to shifting fires as would the plt mortar which eases fire support planning at coy level IMO.

TAH
08-17-2010, 04:06 PM
1. I don't think you'd need a tube just for Smoke, all you'd need is to fire three HH, a smoke round and then three more HE (for instance) per tube AFAIK its possible and is done routinely.

2. You might well be right but I'm still concerned about responsiveness. Much easier for plt cdr to turn to his mortarman and order five HE and one smoke than it is to call them in over the net. Beside if coy cdr decides to employ the mrotar section/plt on a HVT the plts may be shorn of valubale fire support at critical moments. Also, say during an assault of a strongpoint, the four/six tubes at coy would be as reponsive to shifting fires as would the plt mortar which eases fire support planning at coy level IMO.

1. Agree , but a third tube gives the option/flexibility of firing both types of rounds at the same time. Angles.. head of a pin.. dancing... how many :D

2. Don't forget that EVERYTHING in the platoon belongs to the Company Comander. If he needs to, he can/will take: mortars, MGs, fire teams or even whole squads. Same issue applies to the Company from Bn.

JMA
08-17-2010, 05:10 PM
It's no organisation, but a text with food for thought.

My focus is on classical Western alliance defence, though.

Surely you must supply context? What do you do with mortars in the jungle with a closed tree canopy or anti-tank weapons in forests where there are no fields of fire?

Fuchs
08-17-2010, 05:47 PM
Surely you must supply context? What do you do with mortars in the jungle with a closed tree canopy or anti-tank weapons in forests where there are no fields of fire?

Mortars are a prime indirect fire weapon for combat in forests because they can use even small gaps of the foliage thanks to their near-90° maximum elevation.
A look at mortar ranges and actual satellite imagery of European forests furthermore shows that there are always opportunities to set up a mortar in range.

About tanks and forests; flat forests - especially the cultivated kind often seen in Central Europe - are no good obstacle against tanks. The tanks can often either crush the (small) tree or avoid the (large) tree (large trees require much area, thus large gaps between the stems). Woods were a common marshalling area for armoured forces in WW2.
Even if they were a reliable obstacle; every obstacle needs to be defended. Short range anti-tank weapons are very much necessary in forests (not the least to defeat cover).

Besides; to leave some tools in the trucks is the least challenge for infantry.

Kiwigrunt
08-17-2010, 09:46 PM
2. You might well be right but I'm still concerned about responsiveness. Much easier for plt cdr to turn to his mortarman and order five HE and one smoke than it is to call them in over the net. Beside if coy cdr decides to employ the mrotar section/plt on a HVT the plts may be shorn of valubale fire support at critical moments. Also, say during an assault of a strongpoint, the four/six tubes at coy would be as reponsive to shifting fires as would the plt mortar which eases fire support planning at coy level IMO.

You’re talking about two different things here though. A commando mortar at platoon level is for direct fire and does indeed offer great response capability at that level. The tubes at company and battalion level are for stand-off indirect fire. One advantage of having greater numbers of tubes/sections in a battalion mortar platoon is the ability to leapfrog behind a moving battalion, while always keeping one foot on the ground. Increased numbers of 60 mm at company level would offer the same potential, but does the advantage at this level outweigh the weight and manpower penalties?

I think 60 mm mortars at coy level are a half way between, with compromises and capabilities in both directions. Many can be used as ‘commando’ mortars, which is great, but it does go to the immediate detriment of the company level indirect fire support. If you want both all the time, you gotta have both, but you pay.

IMO having some 60s at company is cool; it gives some measure of organic indirect support. But don’t get too exited by trying to make in ‘enough’, coz it never will be. You can’t equip sub units at all levels as if they have to fight the war by themselves. And if they do have to fight their part of the war by themselves (distributed ops), well, battalion might lend them a section of 81s.

Urggggh. All this talk about mortars. Our infantry have no mortars at all!:mad: NONE!!! Kiwi and Canadian infantry are sooooo hard done by, it’s just not fair. And arty never really wanted them in the first place!:(

Tukhachevskii
08-18-2010, 11:05 AM
You’re talking about two different things here though. A commando mortar at platoon level is for direct fire and does indeed offer great response capability at that level. The tubes at company and battalion level are for stand-off indirect fire. One advantage of having greater numbers of tubes/sections in a battalion mortar platoon is the ability to leapfrog behind a moving battalion, while always keeping one foot on the ground. Increased numbers of 60 mm at company level would offer the same potential, but does the advantage at this level outweigh the weight and manpower penalties?

[snip]

IMO having some 60s at company is cool; it gives some measure of organic indirect support. But don’t get too exited by trying to make in ‘enough’, coz it never will be. You can’t equip sub units at all levels as if they have to fight the war by themselves. And if they do have to fight their part of the war by themselves (distributed ops), well, battalion might lend them a section of 81s.

[snip]

So what are your thoughts on Col. Odom's infantry Company (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/download/English/MayJun05/odom.pdf). He, and his collaborators, have two 60mm tubes per weapons squad of each inf plt with 4 81mm and 4 120mm in the company mortar (indirect fires) platoon. Personally, I can't see why you'd want the redundancy with the 81/120 combos. Nor could I figure out for the life of me how two 60mm tubes at plt would be supplied (manpower/ammo wise).

baboon6
08-18-2010, 11:47 AM
Urggggh. All this talk about mortars. Our infantry have no mortars at all!:mad: NONE!!! Kiwi and Canadian infantry are sooooo hard done by, it’s just not fair. And arty never really wanted them in the first place!:(

Don't Canadian infantry still have some (rather old) 60mm mortars with the 81s having being moved to arty?

Infanteer
08-18-2010, 11:41 PM
We do, and they still get used. However, there appears to be no plan to replace them, as some in the Army have seemingly won an argument that a AGL with a digital FCS and fuzes can replace a mortar. :confused:

The 81mm mortars were moved from the Infantry, who wanted them, to the Artillery, who didn't want them. I believe it was a manpower issue, as mortar platoons were rolled into understrength rifle companies.

SethB
08-19-2010, 04:09 AM
Why would anyone want an 81MM mortar in the artillery? It doesn't make sense...

You aren't saving people, just moving the slots? Someone has to crew the tubes.

Kiwigrunt
08-19-2010, 07:16 AM
So what are your thoughts on Col. Odom's infantry Company (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/download/English/MayJun05/odom.pdf). He, and his collaborators, have two 60mm tubes per weapons squad of each inf plt with 4 81mm and 4 120mm in the company mortar (indirect fires) platoon. Personally, I can't see why you'd want the redundancy with the 81/120 combos. Nor could I figure out for the life of me how two 60mm tubes at plt would be supplied (manpower/ammo wise).

I think it is over the top, even if the company was to be fully mechanised. Even for a chunky company like that I would limit it to 2 or 3 81s at the most, and preferably just 60mm long range.
At platoon level, even a large platoon, I would not go beyond 1 or 2 commando mortars. The article mentions light mortars for platoon. I don’t know if that denotes direct fire on indirect fire.

Unless mechanised I would probably restrict it to either one or the other. So either a few 60mm long range at company level (capable of being used in direct fire mode for flexibility) or a commando mortar at platoon level. As you say, the bombs need to be carried.

I also tend to agree with you regards the redundancy of 81/120. That has always puzzled me a bit, even at battalion level. I think it makes more sense to choose either one or the other, which ever one. Keeps things much simpler, including types of ammo (at 3 or 4 different types of bombs for each).
The only exception I can see is an arms room concept where both are available and a mission specific choice is made, but that would have its own complications and I doubt that it would really be worth the trouble.

Kiwigrunt
08-19-2010, 07:20 AM
We do, and they still get used. However, there appears to be no plan to replace them, as some in the Army have seemingly won an argument that a AGL with a digital FCS and fuzes can replace a mortar. :confused:

True, I forgot about your 60s.

Yup, it looks like you’ll be trading your apples for cauliflowers.



The 81mm mortars were moved from the Infantry, who wanted them, to the Artillery, who didn't want them. I believe it was a manpower issue, as mortar platoons were rolled into understrength rifle companies.

Maybe it’s just me, and I am likely to be bias since 81 is what I know, but I just can’t see much utility for a medium 81 outside of an infantry battalion. It is their flexibility, relatively light weight and bulk, and immediate availability to the battalion commander that makes them useful. If the powers that be say we can’t have it there, then just get rid of it. Give arty a few extra guns instead, or 120 mm mortars at minimum (which is what I think will happen here eventually).
I has been suggested (can’t remember where I read it) that arty may be inclined to use ‘their’ 81s to defend their gunlines, and their guns to support infantry. (That may of course have been a bit of infantry propaganda.) To them it always used to be a water pistol, and just because they now own it, doesn’t mean that sentiment will change a great deal.

Tukhachevskii
08-19-2010, 12:43 PM
I also tend to agree with you regards the redundancy of 81/120. That has always puzzled me a bit, even at battalion level. I think it makes more sense to choose either one or the other, which ever one. Keeps things much simpler, including types of ammo (at 3 or 4 different types of bombs for each).The only exception I can see is an arms room concept where both are available and a mission specific choice is made, but that would have its own complications and I doubt that it would really be worth the trouble.

I have the same issue with the stryker 120mm mortar carriers which also carry 60mm for dismounted use (or is that 81mm?). Where's the ammo carried for that? Surely, they have to sacrifce some ammo for 60mm?

Also, I know the USMC has been planing to field composite 120mm/155mm batteries for MAGTF operations with some in the Coprs advocating that the 120mms be organic to the inf bn. What's the deal with that?

TAH
08-19-2010, 01:16 PM
I also tend to agree with you regards the redundancy of 81/120. That has always puzzled me a bit, even at battalion level. I think it makes more sense to choose either one or the other, which ever one. Keeps things much simpler, including types of ammo (at 3 or 4 different types of bombs for each).
The only exception I can see is an arms room concept where both are available and a mission specific choice is made, but that would have its own complications and I doubt that it would really be worth the trouble.

I think the idea behind the mix of 81s and 120s in the Stryker Infantry Battalions are based on a couple of points.

1. The unit's real forte is supposed to be dismounted operations, including Air Assaults. Easier to carry 81s for that role then 120s.

2. 81s have a shorted minimum range and a smaller minimum safe distance then 120s. Means you can drop 81s closer to friendly troops.

Fuchs
08-19-2010, 02:02 PM
2. 81s have a shorted minimum range and a smaller minimum safe distance then 120s. Means you can drop 81s closer to friendly troops.

It depends.
Rheinmetall developed a kind of 120mm shrapnel round that generated armour-piercing fragments forward, apparently with substantial fragmentation to the sides. This was advertised as something that could penetrate APC roofs, but it looks also like an answer to the problem you mentioned.

82redleg
08-19-2010, 11:44 PM
I have the same issue with the stryker 120mm mortar carriers which also carry 60mm for dismounted use (or is that 81mm?). Where's the ammo carried for that? Surely, they have to sacrifce some ammo for 60mm?

Also, I know the USMC has been planing to field composite 120mm/155mm batteries for MAGTF operations with some in the Coprs advocating that the 120mms be organic to the inf bn. What's the deal with that?

The SBCT IN Company mortar sections have 2 mortar carriers, with 2 mounted 120mm and 2 dismountable 60mm. The SBCT IN BN mortar platoons have 4 mortar carriers, with 4 mounted 120mm and 4 dismountable 81mm. The rational behind the arms room concept is that you can mix/match systems based on the mission. Air Assault? Hand carry the 81s/60s. Mounted movement? Bring the heavy stuff.

Generally same idea with the USMC composite batteries. The idea is that a mix of systems will be embarked with the MEU, and the CDR can tailor what he brings ashore based on the mission.

Tukhachevskii
08-20-2010, 12:37 PM
The SBCT IN Company mortar sections have 2 mortar carriers, with 2 mounted 120mm and 2 dismountable 60mm. The SBCT IN BN mortar platoons have 4 mortar carriers, with 4 mounted 120mm and 4 dismountable 81mm. The rational behind the arms room concept is that you can mix/match systems based on the mission. Air Assault? Hand carry the 81s/60s. Mounted movement? Bring the heavy stuff.

Generally same idea with the USMC composite batteries. The idea is that a mix of systems will be embarked with the MEU, and the CDR can tailor what he brings ashore based on the mission.

Do the carriers carry both natures/kinds of ammo? And waht, hypothetically, speaking, if you need everything?:D

IMO arms room is fine for so-called small wars but for a big one you might find yourself short-handed, so to speak.

82redleg
08-21-2010, 03:45 AM
Do the carriers carry both natures/kinds of ammo? And waht, hypothetically, speaking, if you need everything?:D

IMO arms room is fine for so-called small wars but for a big one you might find yourself short-handed, so to speak.

60 x 120mm rds AND 35 x 81mm rds OR 77 x 60mm rds.

If you "need everything", then you fill out your crews will 11Bs, or you man your 120s until you run out of ammo, and then switch to the smaller system.

Remember, the arms room concept didn't reduce the number of crews, it just increased flexibility by adding different options for those crews to man. A 1995 infantry battalion had 4 x 81mm tubes and 6 x 60mm tubes, with 10 crews. A 2010 SBCT IN BN has 4 x 81mm tubes, 6 x 60mm tubes and an additional 10 x 120 tubes with the same 10 crews. A 2010 IBCT IN BN has 4 x 81mm tubes, 6 x 60mm tubes and an additional 4 x 120 tubes with the same 10 crews. I don't see how adding capability can be construed as a problem.

Fuchs
08-21-2010, 07:19 AM
...unless you care about disadvantages, such as logistical problems and increased training requirements (less time for training as defensive infantryman).

82redleg
08-21-2010, 11:20 AM
...unless you care about disadvantages, such as logistical problems and increased training requirements (less time for training as defensive infantryman).

The "logistical problems" are minimal- you have to manage a couple more types of ammunition that are already in the log train anyway. The 120mm is an addition to the Infantry BN, but was already present in the Cavalry, Mech and AR BNs. Not a big deal.

Additional training time is minimal- the fuzes, charges, fire control and crew procedures are all the same. The biggest difference is setting up the bipod/baseplate on the dismounted systems, which were already present when you had a dismountable 120mm mortar, like in the old M1064 mortar carriers.

Fuchs
08-22-2010, 11:26 AM
The French journal "Doctrine" devoted an entire issue to the topic of tactics in context of small wars.

http://www.cdef.terre.defense.gouv.fr/publications/doctrine/doctrine18/version_us/Doctrine18us.pdf

Johannes U
08-22-2010, 03:17 PM
Another structure I quite like is that of the Austrian Jagers. The platoon looks a bit like the German platoon in WW2.
The coy has 214 pers and is led (of course) by a command and logistics element. It has 1 heavy weapons platoon with 3 anti-armour sections with 2x Carl Gustav each and one mortar section with 2x 81mm mortar, and a command section.
The 3 Jager platoons each have a command section of 10 including a signaler and 2 snipers (quite a large section, I don’t know what else is in there). Then there are 4 sections of 8, with 1 GPMG MG3 each.
The heavy weapons coy has a 50 man assault pioneer platoon, a mortar platoon with 4x 120mm mortar, a platoon with 4x20mm cannon and an anti-tank platoon with 4x2 Bill2.

These sections are too small for F&M. 2 combinations of 2 of these 8 man sections would be quite doable but then what have you got? 2 half platoons which is not that different from 'my' 2 section platoon.

I'm new to this website so I thought I'd just respond.

The austrian Jaegerkompanie was restructured in 2005.
It now consists of the following elements:

- command section (CO, 2ic, first seargent, signals nco, 2 sig/drivers, 2 sig/runners)
- supply section (ncos responsible for supply, vehicles, ammunition and weapons, medic ...)
- sniper squad (3 sniper teams ą 3 soldiers - sniper, observer, driver)
- 3 jaeger plts
x command team (plt leader, 2ic, one sig/driver)
x 3 jaeger squads (squad leader, 2ic, 5 riflemen, 1 driver)
x 1 weapons squad (squad leader, 4 soldiers, 1 driver)
x each soldier has a steyr aug; in addition each jaeger squad has one
machine gun (mg74; 7,62x51) and a carl gustav; the weapons squad has
in addition to the steyr aug 2 mg74 and 2 carl gustavs
- 1 AT plt
x command team (plt leader, 2ic, one sig/driver)
x 2 AT squads with each 2 ATGM BILL

All in all, its now around 150 soldiers compared to the old 212 soldiers.
But the old structure came out of the positional defense systems used by the austrian armed forces during the late 70s, 80s and 90s.

The new one is much more flexible although I hope that it will change some more.

Rifleman
08-22-2010, 08:56 PM
The "logistical problems" are minimal- you have to manage a couple more types of ammunition that are already in the log train anyway.

And it doesn't seem like it would be any more difficult than the days when it was 60mm, 81mm, and 4.2".


The 120mm is an addition to the Infantry BN, but was already present in the Cavalry, Mech and AR BNs.


Why didn't infantry battalions have 120mm for a while? They had 4.2" years ago.

82redleg
08-22-2010, 10:42 PM
And it doesn't seem like it would be any more difficult than the days when it was 60mm, 81mm, and 4.2".

Why didn't infantry battalions have 120mm for a while? They had 4.2" years ago.

I didn't know that we ever had 60s, 81s and 4.2s in the same BN. I thought that the standard was 3 x 81s in the company, and 4 or 6 x 4.2s in the BN Mortar Platoon, with the exchange of 81s for 60s on some light MTOES in Vietnam. I'm not sure what the old airborne BNs looked like.

The 3 x 81 mortar platoon in the company was exchanged to a 2 x 60 section in the mid-80s Light Infantry Division MTOEs, and the 4.2s changed to a 4 x 81 platoon (what was that organization called? J Series? AoE?). I'm not sure what the 9th ID (Motorized) looked like at this time- I understand that it changed multiple times the entire time it was HTTB. Infantry battalions had only 81s and 60s from then until the Force XXI experiments in the late 90s, but some (my both battalions I was an FSO for in the 82nd) didn't get the arms room 120s until after GWOT. The arms room concept was tested (by some BNs in 10th and 101st, IIRC), and then formalized with the introduction of the "Modularity" MTOES in 2004-2006 (at least in the active component, although even active we have 2 or maybe 3 BCTs still on legacy LCD XXI MTOEs, but I think they are all heavy, not light).

Rifleman
08-22-2010, 11:20 PM
I didn't know that we ever had 60s, 81s and 4.2s in the same BN.

You're probably right as far as official MTOEs go. But haven't some units task organized all along? I saw a post on another message board and the poster said his unit in Korea had 60s and 81s in the rifle company arms room and 4.2s in the battalion's combat support company.

And I know that rifle companies in Alaska in the early 80s had 90mm RRs in the company weapons platoon but rifle companies at Bragg didn't. As far as I know, the Alaska troopers were the only other unit outside the Ranger Battalions still using 90s at the time.


The 3 x 81 mortar platoon in the company was exchanged to a 2 x 60 section in the mid-80s Light Infantry Division MTOEs, and the 4.2s changed to a 4 x 81 platoon (what was that organization called? J Series? AoE?).

Correct, I remember that one. 3/325 changed when we rotated from Bragg to Vicenza.

82redleg
08-23-2010, 01:46 AM
You're probably right as far as official MTOEs go. But haven't some units task organized all along? I saw a post on another message board and the poster said his unit in Korea had 60s and 81s in the rifle company arms room and 4.2s in the battalion's combat support company.

And I know that rifle companies in Alaska in the early 80s had 90mm RRs in the company weapons platoon but rifle companies at Bragg didn't. As far as I know, the Alaska troopers were the only other unit outside the Ranger Battalions still using 90s at the time.

Correct, I remember that one. 3/325 changed when we rotated from Bragg to Vicenza.

It may have happened, but I have never heard of it. I do know that Korea has often lagged on implementing TOE changes, for whatever reasons (for instance, they never converted to the LCD XXI MTOEs, and retained 4 line companies in their tank/mech BNs until they converted to the modular MTOEs). It would be likely, when converting from 81mm to 60mm in the rifle companies, that the rifle companies retained the 81s, at least for some time, and especially if they recieved their 60s before the MTOE became effective.

I don't know about 90mms, either, but the same thing could have happened- the MTOE authorized Dragons (that's what replaced the RRs, right?), but either hadn't been fielded yet, or there was a delay in turning in the 90s, so the arms room had them both for a while.

Tukhachevskii
08-23-2010, 08:59 AM
I'm new to this website so I thought I'd just respond.

The austrian Jaegerkompanie was restructured in 2005.
It now consists of the following elements:

- command section (CO, 2ic, first seargent, signals nco, 2 sig/drivers, 2 sig/runners)
- supply section (ncos responsible for supply, vehicles, ammunition and weapons, medic ...)
- sniper squad (3 sniper teams ą 3 soldiers - sniper, observer, driver)
- 3 jaeger plts
x command team (plt leader, 2ic, one sig/driver)
x 3 jaeger squads (squad leader, 2ic, 5 riflemen, 1 driver)
x 1 weapons squad (squad leader, 4 soldiers, 1 driver)
x each soldier has a steyr aug; in addition each jaeger squad has one
machine gun (mg74; 7,62x51) and a carl gustav; the weapons squad has
in addition to the steyr aug 2 mg74 and 2 carl gustavs
- 1 AT plt
x command team (plt leader, 2ic, one sig/driver)
x 2 AT squads with each 2 ATGM BILL

All in all, its now around 150 soldiers compared to the old 212 soldiers.
But the old structure came out of the positional defense systems used by the austrian armed forces during the late 70s, 80s and 90s.

The new one is much more flexible although I hope that it will change some more.

Willkommen Johhanes U,

1. So there are no coy level mortars? (Sorry seems to be a theme these past few posts;)

2. If not what fire support can the company call on from Bn?

3. You mentioned "drivers"...what are their vehicles? Pandur II?

4. Five MG74s (www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UPMu0jSUyk) and five CG rcl per plt! Sweet;)

Johannes U
08-23-2010, 05:31 PM
:(
Hello Tukhachevskii

As we say in Austria, you push the knife even deeper into the wound.

1. When the jagerkompanie was restructured, the 81mm mortar section (with two mortars) which existed before, was cut from the TOE.

2. Concerning fire support on the battalion level, either in the HQCoy or in the weapons coy there exists a mortar plt with up to 6 120mm mortars (some jagerbataillone still have in addition (as in the arms room concept) the 81mm mortar in the same plt). This plt has only two (2) FO teams, but every jaeger PL is (or should :p) now trained how to request and adjust fire support.

3. Our units, which go on missions abroad (as in the Kosovo or Afghanistan in 2004) usually have the PANDUR I. We are now buying (or have already bought) a few IVECO LMV (light multirole vehicle), but not enough for all jaegercompanies. The rest has mainly unarmored trucks or jeeps.

4. That is actually one thing I like :D. It is kind of a arms room concept. The jaeger PL can decide whether the squads have to take the MG74 or the Carl Gustav, or both, or none with them.

Greetings

Tukhachevskii
08-23-2010, 08:16 PM
:(
As we say in Austria, you push the knife even deeper into the wound.
1. When the jagerkompanie was restructured, the 81mm mortar section (with two mortars) which existed before, was cut from the TOE.


Johannes, warum?

What was the reasoning for removing the 81mm tubes from the company? Was it down to personell, a change in national force posture (i.e, out-of-area commitments) or a change in doctrine?

Sorry about the wound, I usualy go for the throat or the back:D

p.s. what's the standard issue sniper rifle used by the Austrian army?

Johannes U
08-23-2010, 08:37 PM
or something like that.
As far as I know, the reason was a change in doctrine combined with lack of resources ie money.
But I'll try to find out.
That is by the way the reason why (in my initial post) I wrote of my hope for a further change of the TOE.

The sniper rifle we currently field is the SSG69, a 7,62mm sniper rifle which ranges out to 600m (the fm says 800 but well...).
http://www.steyr-mannlicher.com/index.php?eID=tx_nawsecuredl&u=0&file=uploads/media/STM_Produktblatt_SSG_69_press_01.pdf&t=1282685623&hash=c443ecb7359a00658593b475a56bcafa
The SSG69 is the weapon used by the company sniper squad.

At the moment we also test the steyr .50 sSSG (heavy sniper rifle)
http://www.steyr-mannlicher.com/index.php?eID=tx_nawsecuredl&u=0&file=uploads/media/STM_Produktblatt_HS_.50_press_01.pdf&t=1282685715&hash=24ad7415fda701bed851fb369f1e7b01
The sSSG will be used (if fielded) by the heavy sniper squad in the recce plt of the battalion

Tukhachevskii
08-24-2010, 02:16 PM
or something like that.
As far as I know, the reason was a change in doctrine combined with lack of resources ie money.
But I'll try to find out.
That is by the way the reason why (in my initial post) I wrote of my hope for a further change of the TOE.

The sniper rifle we currently field is the SSG69, a 7,62mm sniper rifle which ranges out to 600m (the fm says 800 but well...).
http://www.steyr-mannlicher.com/index.php?eID=tx_nawsecuredl&u=0&file=uploads/media/STM_Produktblatt_SSG_69_press_01.pdf&t=1282685623&hash=c443ecb7359a00658593b475a56bcafa
The SSG69 is the weapon used by the company sniper squad.

At the moment we also test the steyr .50 sSSG (heavy sniper rifle)
http://www.steyr-mannlicher.com/index.php?eID=tx_nawsecuredl&u=0&file=uploads/media/STM_Produktblatt_HS_.50_press_01.pdf&t=1282685715&hash=24ad7415fda701bed851fb369f1e7b01
The sSSG will be used (if fielded) by the heavy sniper squad in the recce plt of the battalion

Thanks for that, just to give me some context what's the usual structure of a Battalion? For instance, am I right in thinking that the company snipers are organic NOT attached from the Bn recce plt (who are thus separate)? And we know there's a 6 tube 120mm mortar plt.

Also, your first post described the company and your sections/squads ...
...jaeger squads (squad leader, 2ic, 5 riflemen, 1 driver)
...are they 7 men or eight? In other words is the driver "just" a driver or is s/he a member of the section/squad proper? Come to think of it do your Pandur's stay with the dismounted infantry or leave for a laager (or a beer!)?

Although that might be a question best left for the CAV platoon thread.

Johannes U
08-24-2010, 07:48 PM
Thanks for that, just to give me some context what's the usual structure of a Battalion? For instance, am I right in thinking that the company snipers are organic NOT attached from the Bn recce plt (who are thus separate)? And we know there's a 6 tube 120mm mortar plt.
.
1. The "normal" Austrian jagerbataillon looks as follows:
- 1 HHQCoy stabskompanie
x Commander and staff
x transportation plt
x signals plt
x medical plt
x maintenance plt
x recce plt (including the heavy sniper squad)
x heavy mortar plt (6 mortars)
- 3 infCoys Jagerkompanien

The mountain infantry batallions (all in all three in Austria) have in addition a combat support coy:
x AT plt
x heavy mortar plt (instead of the one in the HHQCoy)
x recce plt (insteadt of the one in the HHQCoy)
x support plt (engineer recce, NRBC recce)

2. The sniper squad in the jaegerkompanie is organic to the coy.

3. The driver is part of the squad. This means that in an infantry bn using the Pandur the squad consits of nine (9) soldiers (squad ldr, 2ic, 5 rifle men, driver AND gunner). In an infbn using an unarmored vehicle, it consits of 8 (as above minus the gunner).

4. We try to have the Pandur as close to the dismounted troops as possible. It depends mainly on the enemy AT capabilities.

So as you can see, it's a bit complicated.
But that's why I'm here to learn and maybe things can change again.

COMMAR
08-24-2010, 08:27 PM
Also, I know the USMC has been planing to field composite 120mm/155mm batteries for MAGTF operations with some in the Corps advocating that the 120mms be organic to the inf bn. What's the deal with that?

All the East Coast MEUs have already deployed w/them. 4 M-777 LW155s & 4 EFSS ITV/120mm combos.

As far as making them Organic to the Inf BNs I doubt that'll ever happen.

I can't speak w/authority for HQMC PP&O but a Marine Inf BN is pretty loaded out w/975 Marines & Sailors standard. There's already an 81mm Mortar Plt of about 72 Marines in the Weapons Company & a 60mm Section attached to every Rifle Coys Weapons Plt.

And w/the potential switch to much more Robust Rifle Coys soon w/the ECO/CoLT (Coy Landing Teams) I don't think there be any room for them to be organic.

Keep the responsibility for them, their trucks, & ammo, w/the Arty BNs & FAP'm over for deployment as part of the BLT (BN Landing Tm) then send them back.


But what I did hear was that in A'stan in the more permanent Rifle Plt COPs they've retrained some of the 81s to man stationary 120s in those COPs. I'll try to find 1 of the articles I seen on this..
http://thewarscribe.blogspot.com/2009/03/38-in-afghanistan-using-120-mm-mortar.html

You'll like this one, it involves cheerleaders.
http://www.usmc.mil/unit/iimef/2ndmeb/Pages/NFLcheerleaderspepupMarinesinAfghanistan.aspx
But I think its just been for Field Expediency.

Tukhachevskii
08-25-2010, 11:31 AM
All the East Coast MEUs have already deployed w/them. 4 M-777 LW155s & 4 EFSS ITV/120mm combos (et al).

Ok. But I'm trying to get my head (too big for the miniscule brain contained within it:o) just why this arrangement is deem desirable. Ok, so you've got the 81mm mortar plt in the Bn weapons coy...so why a composite 120mm/155mm battery, why not just a pure battery of 155mm (yes, I know lift and deployment considerations come in to it but, for my money, the idea of a "rapid" reaction force or capability is a mis-nomer. Time is relative). Why not just replace the 81s with 120s (same manpower requirements IIRC)? If its a question of retaining the man-packable requirement then I understand but long range 81s have near identical ranges as 120s (excepting lethality of course). With this set up a MEU has to deal with four different ammunition cailbres (60, 81,120,155) not to mention the different natures. Don't mean to be a, (best French accent) how you say, dunce but it intrigues me is all.

As an aside I don't much care for the recent sprouting of UK "cheerleaders" (I'm a cultural/political conservative:D) but I suppose they do have their uses (in terms of morale, I mean:rolleyes:)

SethB
08-25-2010, 10:57 PM
The EFSS is a rifled mortar. It is very heavy, well over 1,000 pounds. An 81, in contrast, is man portable.

Similarly, the USMC is banking on computer simulations that show that four M777A2s have enough firepower to replace the six that you would find in an older Battery. Whether this has to do with better fire direction, better target location, improved control with DFCS or even better lethality with M795... that I can't say, but all those things have gotten better since the six cannon battery was standardized.

COMMAR
08-26-2010, 12:17 AM
Ok, so you've got the 81mm mortar plt in the Bn weapons coy...so why a composite 120mm/155mm battery, why not just a pure battery of 155mm (yes, I know lift and deployment considerations come in to it but, for my money, the idea of a "rapid" reaction force or capability is a mis-nomer. Time is relative).

You definitely need something in between 81s & 155s. Most Light Infantry opt for the 105mm Howitzer to cover the gap btwn them.

The Brits Para & RM along w/the US Army's Light Units use versions of the L-119/M-119 105s, which can be sling-loaded by Med-Lift Helos or driven off the back of most Heavy's.

The USMC had also previously used 105s in that role, but when they committed to the V-22 they wanted a system that could fill the gap, but also be transported Internally to maximize the V-22s speed & range.

It gives up a little range to the 105, 8km vs 13km, but it makes up for it exponentially in maneuverability & utility, 300mph & virtually rangeless (internally) vs 110mph & maybe 150mi (sling loaded 105).


With this set up a MEU has to deal with four different ammunition cailbres (60, 81,120,155) not to mention the different natures. Don't mean to be a, (best French accent) how you say, dunce but it intrigues me is all.

Not at all, like I said most Light Inf use the 105 where the USMC is using the 120.

It would actually be more to deal w/for those other units. They would have to deal w/the extra size & weight, more moving parts, & the combination of shell & charge with 105 howitzer vice the 120 mortar system.

SethB
08-26-2010, 02:57 AM
The M119A2 has a 19.2Km range with RAP. The Denel G7 has a 40Km range with a VLAP projectile.

The 105 has a drawback in effects, because the 120 has a lot more effect on the target than a standard 105, and the RAP round has even less explosive.

Fundamentally you have to make a choice between range and effect. The angle of fall on a mortar has some advantages, too.

The 155 just has a longer range and slightly better projectile design. The cost is size and weight.

Fuchs
08-26-2010, 09:19 AM
People look too often at the effect of a single round.
105mm HE covers more area with fragments than 155mm HE per pound.

The only real advantages of 155mm are the cargo rounds (bomblets!), less expenditures for fuzes per unit of effect and you can more easily achieve a long range.

155mm's disadvantages are the ceteris paribus greater weapon weight and greater HE danger zone for friendlies.

jcustis
08-26-2010, 12:08 PM
In our current endeavor, 155mm PGMs can be overmatched by rockets and their inherent precision, range, and responsiveness. Excalibur is good, but cannot compete across range.

Sabre
08-29-2010, 08:29 AM
The EFSS is a rifled mortar. It is very heavy, well over 1,000 pounds. An 81, in contrast, is man portable.

Similarly, the USMC is banking on computer simulations that show that four M777A2s have enough firepower to replace the six that you would find in an older Battery. Whether this has to do with better fire direction, better target location, improved control with DFCS or even better lethality with M795... that I can't say, but all those things have gotten better since the six cannon battery was standardized.

I've worked on enough simulations to know that you can basically "simulate" any way you want to achieve the pre-ordained "results" that you have been told to get. Not to disagree or agree with the topic at hand, but I imagine that the simulations were "dialed-down" to reflect more recent experience - I seriously doubt that they took into account the massive firepower used in say, Korea (or, for that matter, even during the Marines drive to Baghdad...)

Personally, given the current conditions, I think eight 81mm and 4 M777 or 120mm is fine, considering that they won't get much of a workout anyway. In the long run, cutting batteries down to 4 from 6 (or to 6 from 8), while at the same time shedding artillery battalions from the OOB like fur from a furry cat on a hot day won't serve us well...

Tukhachevskii
08-29-2010, 06:05 PM
In the long run, cutting batteries down to 4 from 6 (or to 6 from 8), while at the same time shedding artillery battalions from the OOB like fur from a furry cat on a hot day won't serve us well...

When I first heard about "Transformation" I was as excited as when I hear "Transformers" was being turned into a live-action film. Have to say I was dissapointed by both. IMO the U.S. artillery brigade (Like the old Soviet Artillery Division) and Div Regimental Artillery Group) is EXACTLY what the so-called "Transformed" army needs. All that emphasis on ISTAR, long-range precision engagement, etc. and yet you chaps disband the only organisation that didn't need to be disbanded to continue performing its mission:confused:. IMO it would have been better to allocated nothing larger than a battery of 6-8 120mm per manourve (damn it, never can spell that word) Bn. NO artillery spy for the brigade. Instead each 2-5 bde division or UX or whatever its new fancy name is should have been supported by an artillery bde with four 155mm bns (24 guns) and two MLRS Bns (54) AS STANDARD. The Arty bn could be detached to a brigade when necessry as per Div 86. But fire support would be co-ordinated like it used ot be under the Bde HQ not "distributed" throughour the network only to end up with its "signal stregth" eroded (friction is a constant element) and no way to mass fires (which IMO is always a requirement). Now the Russians were well on their way, theroeetically and doctrinally, to just such a "transformed" army with similar bde groups but never, I repeat never, would they, have they or are they considering disbanding their arty bdes... their bemused question would be ....WHY?:confused: They've even upraged their 240mm SPM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S4_Tyulpan) with a laser guided round, in fact, the 240 was used extensivly in FIBUA during the last Chechen conflict and even in the Georgian war. You can't guarentee air-superiority or you'r GPS wont be jammed. Whether or not the force design pendulum swings back in favour of infantry-heavy vs armoured heavy forces is irrelevant. The need for arty is and will always be a constant.

So, why did the US Army disband the arty bde, perhaps the most lethal formation (especially with today's sensors/technology) in its arsenal next to the CAV regts?

SethB
08-29-2010, 09:25 PM
Personally, given the current conditions, I think eight 81mm and 4 M777 or 120mm is fine, considering that they won't get much of a workout anyway. In the long run, cutting batteries down to 4 from 6 (or to 6 from 8), while at the same time shedding artillery battalions from the OOB like fur from a furry cat on a hot day won't serve us well...

Don't discount the HIMARs. With the M30 GMLRS it can deliver almost the same amount of submunitions that a single round from a Battery can, except it does so with significantly more accuracy and with about three times the range. It isn't quite as responsive, but it has some punch.

SethB
08-29-2010, 09:26 PM
So, why did the US Army disband the arty bde, perhaps the most lethal formation (especially with today's sensors/technology) in its arsenal next to the CAV regts?

Each BCT has BN of organic artillery, and we have six FiBs that have 155MM cannons (towed or self propelled) and MLRS or HIMARs launchers.

COMMAR
08-29-2010, 09:33 PM
I seriously doubt that they took into account the massive firepower used in say, Korea (or, for that matter, even during the Marines drive to Baghdad...)

Its not really a matter of the enemy they're facing today.

In the Korean War nor the Push thru Iraq did they have a weapon like the M-777. Its not just a new Light Weight replacement 155. It itself is a Smart Weapon, w/or w/out Excalibur.

Similar to a Self-Prop it has a digital fire control system. Making its rate of fire much faster & far more accurate, meaning you need to fire far less rounds.

Not only that but it knows exactly where it & all the other Guns networked to it are in relation to the enemy & the Battlefield. Making calculations & adjustments in seconds that used to take men minutes, allowing for Guns to operate w/much greater dispersion.

Add to that the Excalibur & you give yourself a Standoff range that's nearly 2x that of the enemy.

The M777 is easily worth at least 2 of the Guns it replaced not to mention any Korean War Era Guns.


Personally, given the current conditions, I think eight 81mm and 4 M777 or 120mm is fine, considering that they won't get much of a workout anyway.

It is correct that the Marine Arty Batts are cutting down from 6 155mm M-777 to 4.

But it is not cutting down fr/6 Arty Pieces to 4. It is actually going up from 6 Pieces to 8; 4 M-777 + 4 EFSS 120mm Mortar Sys. It makes for a more versatile & tailored Fire Support package.

SethB
08-29-2010, 10:01 PM
Much is made of DFCS' ability to shoot to the tenth of a mil, but it isn't the biggest improvement in artillery technology.

On the FDC side we've got AFATDS to calculate more accurate firing solutions than previously possible. We've got digital communications between the gun line and the observer. We've got laser range finders that reduce Target Location Error.

Artillery (and mortars) are more accurate now than ever before. And thanks to M483A1, M795 and other newer munitions, the rounds themselves are more lethal than they were in Korea.

For that matter, a few Batteries of MLRS would have simplified the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The big downside remains the tremendous ammunition consumption of MLRS operations. That is why the goal is to go all GMLRS, thereby reducing ammunition consumption by a significant amount.

Fuchs
08-29-2010, 11:38 PM
Its not really a matter of the enemy they're facing today.

In the Korean War nor the Push thru Iraq did they have a weapon like the M-777. Its not just a new Light Weight replacement 155. It itself is a Smart Weapon, w/or w/out Excalibur.

Similar to a Self-Prop it has a digital fire control system. Making its rate of fire much faster & far more accurate, meaning you need to fire far less rounds.

Not only that but it knows exactly where it & all the other Guns networked to it are in relation to the enemy & the Battlefield. Making calculations & adjustments in seconds that used to take men minutes, allowing for Guns to operate w/much greater dispersion.

Add to that the Excalibur & you give yourself a Standoff range that's nearly 2x that of the enemy.

The M777 is easily worth at least 2 of the Guns it replaced not to mention any Korean War Era Guns.

Does somebody pay you for this advertising or do you really believe all this corporate and army propaganda about this overpriced and glorified gun?


The M777 isn't even close to the average response times of a well-crewed M109 because of its limited traverse.

Excalibur out-rages opponents by factor 2? What opponent, 1960's howitzers?
The published range of Excalibur Block Ib is 40 km. That is the HE-BB range of 155mmL/52 under hot conditions. Both the new Russian and new Chinese SPHs have significantly longer barrels and base range than M777, which was crippled by its weight limit. Their range with BB and RAP is close or better than M777 with Excalibur.

The external ballistics of the M777 are reputed to yield a much inferior dispersion with dumb rounds in comparison to high quality 52cal barrels.

The rate of fire is nothing extraordinary, and thus the gun cannot replace 2 M198 in fire missions that require much ammunition, such as suppression and smoke screen. I doubt that it can replace more than 1.2 M198s in any situation.
Many fire missions cannot be done with "less rounds" at all.

Digital fire control isn't that much faster than manual one unless you compare poor crews with each other.
Ballistic calculations can be done on mobile phones nowadays. Even crews with old MilSpec hardware can easily benefit of this (and such ballistic computers have been common since the 80's, being introduced for the first time for field arty in late WW2).


Let's see the M777 as what it is:
* A towed howitzer (one generation after towed howitzers were deemed not survivable enough in artillery duels)
* with limited traverse and thus at best mediocre response times (two generations after the first towed howitzers with all-round traverse!),
* high personnel requirements (for quick turning beyond the base traverse) and
* a 39cal barrel with obsolete external ballistics.

The only good thing about it is the low weight, but I don't get why this was kept so low because CH-53 can easily lift much more over useful distances and the H-60 can't do under adverse weather conditions (hot) over good distances.

COMMAR
08-29-2010, 11:53 PM
The MLRS is a great system but wouldn't fit in w/the MAGTF's speed or Maneuver Doctrine; the system would need to be Air Mobile.

We do make use of the much lighter truck mounted version of MLRS (HIMARS) but you'd never see it in an Expeditionary maneuver.

SethB
08-30-2010, 12:38 AM
Why not?

HIMARs carries the ATACMS and MLRS families of munitions and is C130 transportable.

ETA: The M777 does have some limitations. There is a need to traverse, but that is hardly slow.

The key advantage that it offers is reliability. An SPH that suffers a mobility breakdown is out of action. A towed piece can be pulled behind another prime mover.

COMMAR
08-30-2010, 12:50 AM
Does somebody pay you for this advertising or do you really believe all this corporate and army propaganda about this overpriced and glorified gun?

The M777 isn't even close to the average response times of a well-crewed M109 because of its limited traverse.

What your not taking into account is nobody fights in Artillery Duels anymore.

The M777 is a system of systems that play their particular role to make up the Fire Support backbone of the MAGTF. The defining role of the MAGTF is to use Speed & Dispersion to rapidly mass fires at the time & place most advantageous to the MAGTF.

There's a reason why I'm not comparing the M777 to or against Self-Props. B/c against a Maneuvering Combined-Arms Enemy S-P's are sitting ducks. And operating within a Maneuvering C-A Unit an S-P would be out paced.

S-P's serve a purpose, sure in its realm its a Beast, especially some of the newer Euro models.. but in an Army. In a Static Conflict, a well matured battlefield w/well established lines, or slowly moving forward behind steady advancing lines, sure.

But in a fast moving Expeditionary Setting against a C-A enemy, it'd get ground up.

With that said, an S-P has no place in a MAGTF, so no need to add it to the discussion, convo triage.


The only good thing about it is the low weight, but I don't get why this was kept so low because CH-53 can easily lift much more over useful distances and the H-60 can't do under adverse weather conditions (hot) over good distances.

For the V-22.

COMMAR
08-30-2010, 01:10 AM
Why not?

HIMARs carries the ATACMS and MLRS families of munitions and is C130 transportable.

It can't be slung. As described above, anything that can't be slung will hamper a Maneuver Force, 110mph vs 45mph.

The CH-53K, coming in the next 5 or so yrs, will have the lift capability; but I don't know if it will be something that they'll want to do.

The ATACMS is a reeaal beast. If you can put that thing on a truck I can't see why you can't fire it off an LCS?

Fuchs
08-30-2010, 11:38 AM
(I) What your not taking into account is nobody fights in Artillery Duels anymore.

(II)The M777 is a system of systems that play their particular role to make up the Fire Support backbone of the MAGTF. The defining role of the MAGTF is to use Speed & Dispersion to rapidly mass fires at the time & place most advantageous to the MAGTF.

(III)There's a reason why I'm not comparing the M777 to or against Self-Props. B/c against a Maneuvering Combined-Arms Enemy S-P's are sitting ducks. And operating within a Maneuvering C-A Unit an S-P would be out paced.

(IV)S-P's serve a purpose, sure in its realm its a Beast, especially some of the newer Euro models.. but in an Army. In a Static Conflict, a well matured battlefield w/well established lines, or slowly moving forward behind steady advancing lines, sure.

(V)But in a fast moving Expeditionary Setting against a C-A enemy, it'd get ground up.

(VI)With that said, an S-P has no place in a MAGTF, so no need to add it to the discussion, convo triage.


(I)
Oh, really? I tell you artillery duels might become as much the centre of arty thinking as they were in the 80's once a Western force faces a true threat instead of beating up some almost defenceless remote country. The sensor and communication technologies have improved and might sense and track hostile artillery quite Star Trek-like.
Why did you mention" stand-off" ad compared with the range of other guns if you didn't think of an arty vs. arty threat??

(II)
"system of systems". You seriously drunk that Kool-Aid. It's a gun made of expensive metals.

"mass fires". Seriously, you cannot "mass fires" with a single arty battery. That term has already a defined meaning, and everybody with understanding of military doctrine and military history should think of something entirely different when he reads "mass fires" than the MAGTF is capable of.
Besides; how does this "mass fires" fit to your earlier focus on Excalibur???
"The defining role of the MAGTF is to (...) mass fires at the time & place most advantageous to the MAGTF."
The snake bites its tail.

(III)
SPHs are sitting ducks compared to a towed howitzer? I've never heard a greater defiance of reality. The M777 can leave its firing position in no less than a minute or two, while SPHs do so in seconds after their last shot.
The M777 is less off-road capable and slower when towed than a SPH and utterly dependent on aerial transportation (and a air situation that allows for the use of rotor aviation!) for any fast movement.
The M777 is the sitting duck.

(IV)
You sure don't understand the potential or history of SPHs. Hint: They were first developed for and deployed by armoured divisions. They were meant for mobile warfare, not for anything associated with slowness. That were the towed guns.

(V)
"Fast-Moving Expeditionary Setting"? Seriously, there has never been an expeditionary setting that beats the operational or advance speed of conventional warfare. The advance to Baghdad in 2003 was about as slow as some of Napoleon's campaigns, for example - a far cry from feats like 300 km in four days as they were achieved against multiple hostile divisions with tanks of 40 km/h top speed and trucks of 60 km/h top speed along only two roads.
I don't see why SPHs which are mobile on their own should have any problems in high-speed ops if well-maintained. Meanwhile, I can easily imagine how a M777 battery waits for helicopters and doesn't get that kind of transportation because of the threats and competing demands (or takes away this rare asset from very important competing demands).

(VI)
Oh, really? MAGTFs have tanks, right? I see absolutely no problem with a self-propelled system in an MAGTF. They're incapable of facing first rate forces without their heavy vehicles in any mission but defence on closed terrain anyway, lacking combined arms qualities. Therefore they could limit themselves to mortars on 100% airborne missions.

SethB
08-30-2010, 12:12 PM
How many guns are required to mass fires and which nations doctrine are you using to define the term?

Fuchs
08-30-2010, 01:38 PM
Massing fires is about focussing the fires of more than one unit (battery).

Interestingly, MC doctrine (FMs) is rarely if ever mentioning "mass fires".

SethB
08-30-2010, 07:29 PM
So in what doctrinal publication will you find mention of massed fires?

In the FM 6-50 I can find references to the best way to mass a PLTs firepower. That is 3-4 cannons.

Fuchs
08-30-2010, 08:23 PM
Staying in that nation, FM 6-30 clearly shows that massing fires is about one battalion of arty or more, in 1-3. A single Bty is shown as non-massed fire example.

(16 July 91 version of FM 6-30)

A battery is the basic firing unit. Splitting up batteries in demibatteries was known for centuries, but a battery is still the basic unit. A basic unit's fire is hardly "massing fires".

Fuchs
08-30-2010, 08:28 PM
The ATACMS is a reeaal beast. If you can put that thing on a truck I can't see why you can't fire it off an LCS?

Because every unguided ammunition would require a high degree of three-axis stabilization that's not existing for HIMARS and because HIMARS has no salt water hardening and MLRS/HIMARS' reloading procedure would not work properly on a ship at medium sea states.
The USN has done preliminary studies and came up with a prohibitively expensive approach for a navalized MLRS.

The German navy and industry recently installed a PzH2000 turret on a warship for testing purposes (keyword "MONARC") and was reminded of the enormous challenges of navalization. The idea was dropped.

SethB
08-30-2010, 08:35 PM
You have doctrinal references to massing the fires of PLTs and two ships (which is 2-4 guns depending on which ships) and you still want to argue the point?

Massing fires means delivering rounds from more than one gun at the same time, as in a TOT or AMC mission.

Fuchs
08-30-2010, 09:53 PM
What do you write about?

The FM6-30 says


(2) Massed Fires. Massing all available fires normally
enables us to inflict maximum effect on a target with a
minimum expenditure of ammunition. It also reduces our
vulnerability to enemy target acquisition (TA) devices.
Failure to mass fires gives the enemy time to react and
seek protection. Figure 1-3 compares massed fire and
successive volley ammunition expenditures to get
equivalent effect. Massed fires of three battalions fining one
round are more effective against soft targets than one
battalion firing the same total number of rounds in
successive volleys. This is because of the minimum time lag
between volley impacts. Massed fires ensure maximum
effect in attacking targets that can easily change their
posture category for example, a soft target (personnel in
the open) can easily become a hard target (personnel with
overhead cover).

Someone who claims that a battery on its own is able to "mass fires" is illegitimately mis-using a "positive" term by applying it inappropriately.
A firing battery of slow-firing howitzers (and M777 is slow-firing in comparison to SPHs of the last 30 years) - even in conjunction with a mortar battery - is not "massing fires".
That's the "normal" amount of fires.
We don't talk about "massing artillery fires" before we've got at least a battalion of artillery ready & in range.

I don't like it at all when people hijack terms to already hype overhyped hardware with inappropriate application of said term. An MEU has a battery of 6 M777. You cannot "mass fires" with that.
Fined terms should not be watered down by inflationary use.

Russian artillery officers would have a potentially fatal laughing attack if they heard this hype about M777s in MC and Airborne service.

It's a low-performance gun, badly crippled by its weight limit and hardly capable of outperforming 30 year old guns coupled with civilian software and PDAs.
I could program a full system of artillery fire control for a whole division based on Visual Basic and IP-capable in a matter of a few weeks or months with my personal programming skills. I know programmers who could do it in a matter of days. It's delusional to become enthusiastic about fire control equipment as 90% solutions are so easily available.

Most importantly, it cannot compensate for the huge shortcomings of the basic gun. That gun is 100% obsolete by modern conventional warfare standards. It's a mere fig leaf in comparison to what's in production for mechanised brigades these days.
Even the mainland Chinese have a SPH that outclasses the M777 (http://www.sinodefence.com/army/artillery/plz05.asp) so much it's not funny.
It does also outclass the Paladin, Braveheart and GCT.

SethB
08-30-2010, 11:23 PM
The DFCS of the M777A2 has two primary advantages. It outclasses the GDU that was previously used to transmit digital fire commands.

It also lays itself. When the fire commands come down (digitally) the gunner simply turns the gun until the screen says laid. Then the weapon is ready to fire.

Thus there is no need for a survey section, aiming circle, collimator, or a GLPS.

Of course, some SPHs do the same. But to suggest that a conventionally sighted weapon is capable of the same speed in occupation or displacement is pure fantasy.

As for massing fires, I've searched through several of the most significant artillery FMs for relevant US doctrine. There are indeed references to Platoon and Battery massed fires.

In fact, the common thread in massing fires is the simultaneous nature of impact and/or function.

Artillery doesn't have to mass fires. Each gun could be allowed to fire as the section chief is able to fire. The downside is that this would provide the target a chance to harden himself, by getting inside a vehicle or into a hole.

The end result is that an FDO can order the battery to fire at his command. Which means each chief will inform him when they are loaded and set on the proper quadrant and deflection/azimuth. Then the FDO orders the PLT/BTRY to fire and all the rounds arrive near simultaneously.

Guess what they are doing.

You can say what you like about Russian artillery. Based on conversations with people that have used it, they are not nearly as advanced as American systems, particularly in fire direction.

May I ask what major artillery school you have graduated from?

82redleg
08-30-2010, 11:51 PM
Massing fires means getting 2 or more firing units to attack the same target.

These firing units are generally batteries or platoons, but I have "massed" 2 demi-platoons- in Afghanistan, we split each firing battery into 3 2-gun "platoons".

The thing that makes it tricky is that, by being in 2 separate locations, you increase the # of variables- massing is an exercise in mathematical elimination of error- getting everyone on a common database. There is not magic to it, just mastery of gunnery.

When I was a LT in the late 90s, we practiced it extensively- massing the BN every time we went to the field (battery based organization, with only 3 firing units, made it not much of a challenge), and practiced passing tactical control of the BN from the BN FDC to the BTRY FDCs, so all 3 of us learned how to control the massing of the BN.

The cannon units did it when I was in Korea (01-03), and my BN at Bragg did it exactly once (OCT 03) that I know of. Of course, with the demise of DIVARTY and the focus on distributed operations (if you're doing FA stuff at all) made massing a BN less of a priority. When I was in command in A-stan in 05-06, I had the only two platoons (one wasn't even from my BTRY) that had overlapping range fans- and we massed them. It took some rehearsing, but it wasn't that difficult. I imagine that, as long as two firing units have overlapping range fans, it is still being practiced. It would be if I were running things.

Ken White
08-31-2010, 02:16 AM
Most importantly, it cannot compensate for the huge shortcomings of the basic gun. That gun is 100% obsolete by modern conventional warfare standards. It's a mere fig leaf in comparison to what's in production for mechanised brigades these days.
Even the mainland Chinese have a SPH that outclasses the M777 (http://www.sinodefence.com/army/artillery/plz05.asp) so much it's not funny.
It does also outclass the Paladin, Braveheart and GCT.Uh, you do know that we're not really that concerned about conventional warfare in the near term, that the thinking is that the mobility of the 777 compensates for capability shortfalls in the roles envisioned for the near term, right? And that we're working on Son of Paladin? That, if necessary, we could even buy or license build some PzH 2000s or rapidly resurrect the Crusader or -- more likely -- FCS NLOS-C?

All of which have their own problems... :wry:

There is no perfect weapon, all are compromises and each accepts certain shortfalls as payment for certain capabilities. The 777 offers mobility for adequate capability in the fire support role for some units. There is no intent for US heavy guys to give up their SPs and there's an upgrade working. LINK (http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/NewsReleases/autoGen_11002019286.html). At least we aren't contemplating buying Caesars...:D

However, the fact that you disagree with the UK, US and Canada on the 777 is noted. :rolleyes:

I'd buy the Archer personally but then, I'm not an Artillerist. Nor do I have to move in assaults from the sea nowadays -- or be supported by a 75mm pack howitzer. Life is better... ;)

Pete
08-31-2010, 03:41 AM
The retired colonel who had once been the chief of Army Medical Department logistics told me that during the 1970s the medical post Fort Detrick, Maryland had to cancel a visit by the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the "Golden Knights," due to a scheduling conflict. He said the next day when the Pack 75mm howitzer in front of the flagpole at post headquarters was fired during the flag-lowering ceremony at Retreat white feathers filled the air and settled slowly to the ground ...

Infanteer
08-31-2010, 04:36 AM
I'll ask some of the gunners I know, but I don't think any of them see the M777 as inferior to other systems they've used (M-119, C1, C3, LG-1).

As for the definition of "massed fires" I dug back into some Canadian History where Canadian gunners ruled the roost. A "Mike" target called for a regimental shoot (about 18 guns). An "Uncle" shoot called for the entire Divisional Artillery to engage a target. A "Victor" target was a Corps level shoot and a "William" target an Army shoot. This was topped off by a "Yoke" target, which was an Army Group Royal Artillery shoot. The latter two shoots were, by the end of the war, seeing over 1,000 guns engage a target area.

Now that's massed fires.

SethB
08-31-2010, 04:54 AM
I read somewhere (probably in the Field Artillery Journal) that the last DIVARTY TOT in combat was in 1944.

If we did that now we would have to use a lot fewer guns to deliver the same amount of firepower. DPICM is about 12 times as effective as HE (or so I am told) and each M30 MLRS contains 404 submunitions, the same amount as 4.5 155 rounds. Oh, and it is GPS guided.

So you may be losing something in sheer amount of firepower, but we still have options, and our forefathers would probably be proud.

As for the superiority of the M777, the only extant towed gun that can come close is probably the Denel G7. Thanks to Ken for pointing that one out. Imagine a M777 but in 105, with a longer range.

William F. Owen
08-31-2010, 05:09 AM
Just my 10 Shekels.

a.) All good armies need good artillery and lots of it. This is not going to change. Massed fires and counter-battery skills are and always will be required.

b.) Like HIMARS, Truck mounted guns are extremely capable. BAE Archer is one example. Israel has put a 52 cal 155 on a HEMTT 8x8. Works very well.

Fuchs
08-31-2010, 10:23 AM
Ken, with all due respect - the U.S.Army has been working on the son of the M109 for a generation. The latest attempt (FCS NLOS-C) included a 39cal barrel, a huge dosage of hype and thoroughly substandard actual performance of the gun.

SethB
08-31-2010, 11:21 AM
NLOS-C used a M777 as the base tube.

Ken White
08-31-2010, 03:34 PM
or tube length -- but the Ammo and the employment... ;)

It's not the equipment, it's how you use it as the Actress said to the Bishop. If the issue is mobility versus range capability, I'm a dumb grunt, I vote for mobility. Mobility contributes to agility, range capability contributes to using that extra yardage and so to minimal movement -- and thus to death...:eek: :wry:

Not much sense in investing heavily in any one type of weapon, buy and try a bunch -- history sort of indicates the 'next war' is highly likely to require something different than the last. :cool:

SethB
08-31-2010, 04:34 PM
Ken, you almost sound like you'd like mortars...

From my perspective the longer range decreases the number of time that you need to displace to support a movement.

In the schoolhouse we simulated an assault in which the mortars were rarely able to support the maneuver element because they couldn't keep up.

That's why these things work best in systems...

TAH
08-31-2010, 04:51 PM
Ken, you almost sound like you'd like mortars...

From my perspective the longer range decreases the number of time that you need to displace to support a movement.

In the schoolhouse we simulated an assault in which the mortars were rarely able to support the maneuver element because they couldn't keep up.

That's why these things work best in systems...

Count me in on mortars.

Great angle of fire for trenchs and streets. Good MINIMUM range and good MINIMUM safe distance.

Why could the mortars not keep up.

1. 81mms or 120mms?

2. A section of 2 or 3 in supporting one company? Make bigger sections (4 is a good number). Allows you to bound sections and still support. Or get battalion to take some of the load.

3. Wrong vehicle platform? Still running around with a 113 Family-of-Vehicle chassis? Pick a better one, Strip the turret off a Brad and you solve a bit of that problem. Or, pick another chassis all togther.

Way back at the beginning, I was cross-aatched as a tanker to a mech Co. One of the best things I liked about it was the ability to get fire support from the company mortar section with only the Co Cdr saying yes or no. Man it was great. :D

SethB
08-31-2010, 05:14 PM
M113s, two vehicle platoon, 120MM mortars.

You can see the issue with displacement and occupation.

If you are going to step up to something newer, the AMOS on a CV-90 chassis can deliver a 14 round TOT. With the M971 (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/m971.htm) DPICM round you can now use mortars against a wider range of threat vehicles. Assuming that that round is successfully developed and we buy it...

ETA: One thing about mortars. I had an instructor tell me that using a VT fuze in a city is a great way to clear off rooftops...

Ken, in preparing this post I saw that you are not a fan of PGMs. Here is my perspective.

For planning purposes, each M30 GMLRS round is assumed to have the same utility as six M26 rounds, except it has over twice the range. Given the logistical requirements of MLRS, I find this metric to be very significant.

Ken White
08-31-2010, 07:47 PM
Excessive confidence in technology can lead to defeat.
Ken, you almost sound like you'd like mortars...I do. They're simple, they work, they take little training and little maintenance -- and they're range limited so they have to move often. In combat, survival means movement (yes even in COIN and FID...). In combat forcing movement also breeds innovation and tactical agility which is better protection than all the Armor in the world.
From my perspective the longer range decreases the number of time that you need to displace to support a movement.Er, I think you just made my point -- limiting the number of times you displace is a killer in this era. That added range breeds a bit of complacency and inertia. Today, any near peer competitor (as opposed to disgruntled insurgents and such) would be able to locate the gun positions in a matter of minutes and plop some counterfire on them. Inertia, lack of movement, is not good...
In the schoolhouse we simulated an assault in which the mortars were rarely able to support the maneuver element because they couldn't keep up.Can't speak to the schoolhouse but I can point out that in combat, the Artillery often moves in Battery echelon and by bounds. In the Infantry an extra mortar in a platoon or section can give you two pairs of tubes that do the same thing (though it can done with a triangular element) -- alternately displace or leapfrog and thereby provide constant support even in rapid movement. Makes no difference if it's on foot or mounted, the Mortars move by the same method. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get an extra mortar. At one time in Korea, several Marine Rifle Companies had four or six 60mms; in Viet Nam all the Cos in my Bn had four 81s (rarely used but handy on a few occasions...). Later, another Bn I served with had six 4.2s, two more than authorized and the Bn Cdr, tasked to provide one 4.2 to Division for 'base camp defense' offered them two of his DS M102s instead. My son's Co in the 82d had and used a totally unauthorized 120mm mortar in Afghanistan on his last trip...:D
That's why these things work best in systems...Understood and agreed -- but all systems are subject to failure, particularly if misused. Systems can also breed inertia and encourage hidebound thinking to let the system do the work. Humans can trump systems...:cool:

Addendum:
Ken, in preparing this post I saw that you are not a fan of PGMs...Not sure whence came that. I'm not Unfriending any PGMs.

I think they're great -- I also know that like all technology, the reliability is not 100% therefor I tend to urge not putting total trust in them to be all things to all people 'cause they'll let you down when you least want them to...

So, no, not true. I am a fan. I'm just not a 'rabid to the exclusion of all else' sort of fan...

Technology is good stuff and I'm in favor of it -- but in the end, I believe that innovative and agile humans can defeat any technology AND I am strongly convinced that having multiple arrows and types of them in the quiver is much better than having just a few with poisoned arrowheads... ;)

P.S.

Metrics do not win fights or wars, people do (that's not an attack, honest -- just a reminder...:wry: )

COMMAR
09-01-2010, 08:08 AM
(I)
Oh, really? I tell you artillery duels might become as much the centre of arty thinking as they were in the 80's once a Western force faces a true threat instead of beating up some almost defenceless remote country. The sensor and communication technologies have improved and might sense and track hostile artillery quite Star Trek-like.
Why did you mention" stand-off" ad compared with the range of other guns if you didn't think of an arty vs. arty threat??

(II)
"system of systems". You seriously drunk that Kool-Aid. It's a gun made of expensive metals.

"mass fires". Seriously, you cannot "mass fires" with a single arty battery. That term has already a defined meaning, and everybody with understanding of military doctrine and military history should think of something entirely different when he reads "mass fires" than the MAGTF is capable of.
Besides; how does this "mass fires" fit to your earlier focus on Excalibur???
"The defining role of the MAGTF is to (...) mass fires at the time & place most advantageous to the MAGTF."
The snake bites its tail.

(III)
SPHs are sitting ducks compared to a towed howitzer? I've never heard a greater defiance of reality. The M777 can leave its firing position in no less than a minute or two, while SPHs do so in seconds after their last shot.
The M777 is less off-road capable and slower when towed than a SPH and utterly dependent on aerial transportation (and a air situation that allows for the use of rotor aviation!) for any fast movement.
The M777 is the sitting duck.

(IV)
You sure don't understand the potential or history of SPHs. Hint: They were first developed for and deployed by armoured divisions. They were meant for mobile warfare, not for anything associated with slowness. That were the towed guns.

(V)
"Fast-Moving Expeditionary Setting"? Seriously, there has never been an expeditionary setting that beats the operational or advance speed of conventional warfare. The advance to Baghdad in 2003 was about as slow as some of Napoleon's campaigns, for example - a far cry from feats like 300 km in four days as they were achieved against multiple hostile divisions with tanks of 40 km/h top speed and trucks of 60 km/h top speed along only two roads.
I don't see why SPHs which are mobile on their own should have any problems in high-speed ops if well-maintained. Meanwhile, I can easily imagine how a M777 battery waits for helicopters and doesn't get that kind of transportation because of the threats and competing demands (or takes away this rare asset from very important competing demands).

(VI)
Oh, really? MAGTFs have tanks, right? I see absolutely no problem with a self-propelled system in an MAGTF. They're incapable of facing first rate forces without their heavy vehicles in any mission but defence on closed terrain anyway, lacking combined arms qualities. Therefore they could limit themselves to mortars on 100% airborne missions.

To pick thru this line by line would be to long & annoying b/c your not going to read it to try & comprehend another view. All your going to do is try & pick thru where you can argue back.

No matter how many times I said that a C-A Maneuver Force, like say a MAGTF, would never line up its Arty to trade rounds; it wouldn't match up any like weapons sys.

Its greatest weapon is speed & spacing and its Combined Arms Nature.

Fighters say styles make fights. When you closely integrate Arty, Gunships, & CAS w/Infantry & each can seamlessly flow fr/Lead to Supported & back the same holds true.

Speed isn't Kuwait to Baghdad but to your next engagement or maneuver point. How quickly can you cover 20, 30, 60km to stretch the enemy & capitalize on a weakness.

Then, I MEF CMDR, CMC GEN Conway told Gen Franks that at anytime during the march to Bagh. if you need, I can disengage & LIFT 1,000 Marines over 100nm in 12hrs or less for any contingency; thats speed & flexibility.

And yes, the MEF did used tanks in OIF, but SP's aren't tanks & OIF was an Invasion a Full Campaign; one that was proceeded by nearly 6mths of build up, hardly Expeditionary.

SPs are a great Weapon System. They serve their purpose in the role they're designed for. But when you need to get your Guns 60km in x-amount of time & hop them again shortly after that then an SP ain't the Gun for you.

It reminds me of the pre-WWII Battleship v Carrier argument.. Until something can be done to Neutralize Airpower, Tailored C-A Unit deployments are the way of the future. SPs will play a huge role depending on the purpose to which your tailoring the force; but thats for an Army not a MAGTF.

This can go on & on back & forth there a so many variables.. but either way I'm done.

Tukhachevskii
09-01-2010, 08:23 AM
Why not?

HIMARs carries the ATACMS and MLRS families of munitions and is C130 transportable.

I think you may have meant LIMAWS (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/limaws/limaws1.html) rather than HIMARS. IMO the best system the British Army NEVER had:mad:

Tukhachevskii
09-01-2010, 08:39 AM
(I)
(III)
SPHs are sitting ducks compared to a towed howitzer? I've never heard a greater defiance of reality. The M777 can leave its firing position in no less than a minute or two, while SPHs do so in seconds after their last shot.
The M777 is less off-road capable and slower when towed than a SPH and utterly dependent on aerial transportation (and a air situation that allows for the use of rotor aviation!) for any fast movement.
The M777 is the sitting duck.

(IV)
You sure don't understand the potential or history of SPHs. Hint: They were first developed for and deployed by armoured divisions. They were meant for mobile warfare, not for anything associated with slowness. That were the towed guns.

Though I agree with you on a number of points, and am a great beliver in the utility and worth of SPH/G, towed artillery is still a useful capability especially when you consider this (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/tna/+/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/TalibanFearThedragon.htm);

A 105mm L118 Light Gun is being used by British gunners to such devastating effect against the Taliban that they have dubbed it the 'Dragon'.

The gun fired its first round in anger from a rocky outcrop in Helmand province in January 2009 and has been busy ever since protecting coalition and Afghan forces.

It sits atop a 40-metre-tall, rocky outcrop which provides an excellent vantage point with an eagle's eye view across a massive swath of territory.

Realising the strategic importance of this lofty location, British gunners hatched a plan to take the fight direct to the enemy. They intended to put a gun weighing over 4,000lbs (1,814kg) at the summit of the rocky cliffs, providing a firing point to provide protection for Forward Operating Base Edinburgh.

Moving the massive gun to the peak was a logistical challenge. The cliff face was riddled with deep cracks that threatened to crumble under the weight of the gun so a plan was devised to move the gun to the foot of the cliffs by helicopter.

Granted the operating envornment in Afghanistan is permissive with regards to these kinds of shenanigans but if it is why not especially if we have the capability? I doubt that SPGs would have the same kind of utiliy in that kind of terrain. Sure, NLOS fire missions could be accomplished as per usual but the Gunner's position was as much psychological as it was military.

Fuchs
09-01-2010, 10:26 AM
It's a nice to have with a 155mm howitzer (can be done with 120mm mortar or 105mm gun as well, though). There's a huge difference between "nice to have for niche purposes" and all-out hyping (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=105800&postcount=198), of course.

SethB
09-01-2010, 01:09 PM
I think you may have meant LIMAWS (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/limaws/limaws1.html) rather than HIMARS. IMO the best system the British Army NEVER had:mad:

HIMARS drivers can let some air out of the front tires and back it into a C130.

http://www.visualintel.net/USAF/Weapon-Systems/C-130/031124-f-0000s-2/635843104_xaATT-S.jpg

Tukhachevskii
09-01-2010, 08:06 PM
but here it is. On the advantages of towed and SP guns from The 1st UK Armoured Division in Iraq (http://sill-www.army.mil/Famag/2004/JAN_FEB_2004/Pages38-44.pdf);

The L118 light gun also proved its worth, particularly when it was lifted along with sufficient ammunition onto the Al Faw peninsula early in the operation, thus freeing AS90s to commence tasks elsewhere. A proper balance of towed (both 105-mm and 155-mm) and self-propelled artillery would appear to be an essential future prerequisite.

COMMAR
09-02-2010, 12:07 AM
(III)
SPHs are sitting ducks compared to a towed howitzer? I've never heard a greater defiance of reality. The M777 can leave its firing position in no less than a minute or two, while SPHs do so in seconds after their last shot.
The M777 is less off-road capable and slower when towed than a SPH and utterly dependent on aerial transportation (and a air situation that allows for the use of rotor aviation!) for any fast movement.
The M777 is the sitting duck.


Though I agree with you on a number of points, and am a great beliver in the utility and worth of SPH/G, towed artillery is still a useful capability especially when you consider this (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/tna/+/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/TalibanFearThedragon.htm);

Agree w/what.. that if you slug it out btwn an SP & a Towed How. the SP wins; of course. But what we were talking about was its place in Combined Arms Team.

Its like this convo is being held in a vacuum, devoid of any Integrated Air Assets, its bonkers. An SP would be a sitting duck b/c if it pokes its head out a C-A Teams it'll get ripped to shreds by a combination of CA Airpower, HENCE COMBINED ARMS.

And if it were in a MAGTF it would slow it down b/c it can't be sling-lifted, 110mph vs 45mph=more speed. Not to the Overall Objective, like say Bagh, but to the Next Objective, then lifted to the Next.

SethB
09-02-2010, 04:30 AM
When doing an air assault, how long does it take to rig and derig a M777?

Ken White
09-02-2010, 05:45 AM
82Redleg, Xenophonand jkm 101 FSO can certainly provide more accurate info than I can.

However, IIRC, most crews rig faster than the 'standard' which for some obscure reason specifies only two people to rig. Don't need the whole crew but four can do it without getting in each other's way. Haven't seen a 777 rigged but the book time is the same for the M198 and I've seen that rigged and gone in about 10 minutes. Derigging depends on whether in combat or not -- if not, the crew has to be careful with the Slings and other gear so it can all be reused. In combat that's frequently not a concern. Derigging can be done in about half the rigging time -- then you can wait for the prime mover...:D

I've seen M102s derigged from an airdrop platform, far more webbing and padding than for sling loading, in a little over five minutes in exercises here in CONUS. Also seen them fired within 5 minutes of landing as a sling load with minimal to no derigging but that was with pretty highly experienced crews (and FOs) in Viet Nam where one could omit steps for effectiveness or speed, little things like survey... :eek:

That probably couldn't be replicated today due to safety restrictions... :wry:

LINK (https://rdl.train.army.mil/soldierPortal/atia/adlsc/view/public/25224-1/FM/4-20.199/chap6.htm). M777 is at the bottom of the page.

82redleg
09-02-2010, 10:38 AM
82Redleg, Xenophonand jkm 101 FSO can certainly provide more accurate info than I can.

Waiting for a response from a couple of buddies that actually used the new-fangled things.

That said, my crews regularly rigged 119s and 198s in less than 10 minutes (what it took to max the section certification test). Looking at the procedures, I can't see why the 777 could take longer.

Sabre
09-12-2010, 02:18 PM
or tube length -- but the Ammo and the employment... ;)

It's not the equipment, it's how you use it as the Actress said to the Bishop. If the issue is mobility versus range capability, I'm a dumb grunt, I vote for mobility. Mobility contributes to agility, range capability contributes to using that extra yardage and so to minimal movement -- and thus to death...:eek: :wry:

Not much sense in investing heavily in any one type of weapon, buy and try a bunch -- history sort of indicates the 'next war' is highly likely to require something different than the last. :cool:

OH MY GOD - That is perhaps only the second time in recent memory that I've heard the adage that "Armies are only good at preparing for the last war". Honestly that should involve getting an award.

Ya know, it's funny, but I heard that plenty in the 80's and 90's, but a great many people seem to have developed some awful short memories these days... Or are just over-eager to jump on the "we're only going to fight insurgencies in the future" bandwagon (and the perhaps concomitant "air power will do it all" bandwagon - a horrifically expensive method of providing fire support)

Sabre
09-12-2010, 02:37 PM
The thing that I can't understand is this opposition to longer range - it's especially weird from the "we can now do more with less" crowd.

If you have to support X number of units spread out over a distance Y, with fire support needs that are infrequent and/or relatively small (not many rounds), but urgent when they do arise (a requirement)...
...then if each battery has a much larger range fan, you could support the requirement with fewer batteries (compared to batteries with smaller range fans). ...and since range fans vary with the square of the range, a 45km piece covers twice the area of a 30km piece.

(And yes, Ken, I do understand that forcing units to always stay "inside the range fan" is a silly idea, but I am working off a requirement, which I *did* define above.)
Besides, even when troops are not limited to operating inside the range fan, all else being equal, would it be better if they did happened to have some long-range tubes to call on, or not?

Moving often isn't precluded by having longer range - you can still move as much as you want. Let's say you wanted to move those 1,000 Marines to 4 different LZ's tonight, that happened to be spread out over 90km - you'd need to move one battery of 45km guns to support that, or two batteries of 30km guns - and you may not have the lift available to move two batteries. Given the requirement defined above, I don't see why 30km range is somehow "better".

The added weight and expense of a longer range gun is relatively negligible - not enough to make a difference - and if for some reason you have a religious objection to longer range guns, well, you don't have to use that extra range. (I'll have to look at the data, but IIRC at 30km, a 45km gun has almost the same accuracy as a 30km gun, which isn't terribly relevant in any case, given PGM.) As a commander, I would vastly prefer to have more capable weapons with the more options that that gives me. If I feel that my arty needs to move around a lot, then I can order them to do so.

Bottom line, I've never felt that intentionally limiting the capability of a weapon, solely to somehow influence the tactical behavior of guys in combat - to curb a bad habit - was a good idea... or even effective, for that matter.

I think that instead, the net effect is to leave commanders and troops between "a rock and a hard place". The lack of available options limits choices to those that are suboptimal.

Reminds me of the rationale behind the company (re)org in the Division 86 studies, that said "the available firepower of the modern company exceeds manageable limits". This was the rationale given for removing the company mortars from mech infantry companies. So instead, de facto, those company commanders were forced to choose between waiting for fire support that they may not get (time that they may not have), or assaulting without any suppressive artillery fires, when those could prove very useful to the assault.

slapout9
09-12-2010, 02:39 PM
82Redleg, Xenophonand jkm 101 FSO can certainly provide more accurate info than I can.

However, IIRC, most crews rig faster than the 'standard' which for some obscure reason specifies only two people to rig. Don't need the whole crew but four can do it without getting in each other's way. Haven't seen a 777 rigged but the book time is the same for the M198 and I've seen that rigged and gone in about 10 minutes. Derigging depends on whether in combat or not -- if not, the crew has to be careful with the Slings and other gear so it can all be reused. In combat that's frequently not a concern. Derigging can be done in about half the rigging time -- then you can wait for the prime mover...:D

I've seen M102s derigged from an airdrop platform, far more webbing and padding than for sling loading, in a little over five minutes in exercises here in CONUS. Also seen them fired within 5 minutes of landing as a sling load with minimal to no derigging but that was with pretty highly experienced crews (and FOs) in Viet Nam where one could omit steps for effectiveness or speed, little things like survey... :eek:

That probably couldn't be replicated today due to safety restrictions... :wry:

LINK (https://rdl.train.army.mil/soldierPortal/atia/adlsc/view/public/25224-1/FM/4-20.199/chap6.htm). M777 is at the bottom of the page.

Absolutely, in my time during an ORTT(operational readiness training test) you not only had to derig but shoot live rounds from the drop zone within a specified period of time. We were Airborne, what are safety restrictions:D sounds like Coast Guard stuff.

Sabre
09-12-2010, 02:45 PM
Agree w/what.. that if you slug it out btwn an SP & a Towed How. the SP wins; of course. But what we were talking about was its place in Combined Arms Team.

Its like this convo is being held in a vacuum, devoid of any Integrated Air Assets, its bonkers. An SP would be a sitting duck b/c if it pokes its head out a C-A Teams it'll get ripped to shreds by a combination of CA Airpower, HENCE COMBINED ARMS.


Bonkers perhaps in the USMC, but certainly not for the US Army - the USAF has its own priorities.
Budget cuts will see to it that airpower isn't something that the Army will be able to count on (does anyone still believe that 2,500 Joint Strike Fighters will be procured???)

Besides, that is the whole point of artillery - fire support that is just so CHEAP (even SP) compared to air power - cheap enough that every ground unit can have its very own fire support, instantly available.

PsJÄÄK Korte
06-22-2011, 06:07 AM
Skimming this thread and looking internet makes me feel inadequate, as finnish army lacks pretty much any machine guns outside infatry squads. Also our direct HE capability is nearly zero, but propably amount of indirect tubes more than makes up that:D. And propably lack of direct HE and MGs is due to nature of terrain and not lack of funding.

Here I show M/05 Jaeger battalion and company compositions to best of my knowledge.
Here is jaeger battalion/05
Battalion HQ
HQ company
HQ-platoon (Don't know its internal make up)
Signals platoon (Don't know its internal make up)
Anti-tank platoon (platoon HQ and 3 anti-tank squads divided into apilas/mbt-law team and spike team)
Recon platoon (platoon HQ and three squads)
(Heavy mortar platoon (if brigade has amos) (3-4 AMOS)
Service platoon (propably similar to infantry company's
(something more propably)
3xinfantry company
3xinfatry platoon
HQ and support platoon
service platoon
(Heavy mortar company (if brigade doesn't have amos)
2-3xmortar platoon (platoon HQ and 3 120mm mortars)
HQ and service platoon
Service Company
Delivery platoon (Don't know its internal make up)
Maintenance platoon (Don't know its internal make up)
Medical platoon (Don't know its internal make up)
(My knowledge ends here) (Don't know its internal make up)

Here is jaeger company m/05
Company HQ (Company CO, 2iC, company fires officer
HQ and support platoon
Platoon HQ( Platoon leader, platoon 2iC, RATELO, medic)
Motorcycle messengers/scout team (3-4 bikes or snow mobiles
Sniper team (4 snipers)
Fire support squad (2x81 mm mortar with crew of 5 and fire direction team with direction officer, fire direction NCO and 2 signallers/RATELO)
Anti-tank squad
2xAnti-tank team (3 anti-tank gunners with APILAS or MBT-LAW. one of the teams is led NCO and other one by private)
Forward observer team (Forward observer officer, forward observer NCO, forward observer aidman(I don´t know good translation for this), RATELO)
3xInfantry platoon
Platoon HQ (Platoon leader, platoon 2iC, RATELO, medic)
3xInfantry squad (squad leader, machine gun buddy pair, anti-tank buddy pair, rifle buddy pair(holds assistant squad leader).
Anti-tank team(3 anti-tank gunners with APILAS or MBT-LAW one of them is NCO)
Forward observer team (Forward observer team (Forward observer officer, forward observer NCO, forward observer aidman(I don´t know good translation for this), RATELO)
Service platoon
Platoon HQ (Don't know its internal make up)
Delivery squad (Don't know its internal make up)
Maintenance squad (Don't know its internal make up)
Medical squad (Don't know its internal make up)
Kitchen squad (Don't know its internal make up)
I wonder how effective these would be in real situation...

JMA
06-22-2011, 06:23 AM
Skimming this thread and looking internet makes me feel inadequate, as finnish army lacks pretty much any machine guns outside infatry squads. Also our direct HE capability is nearly zero, but propably amount of indirect tubes more than makes up that:D. And propably lack of direct HE and MGs is due to nature of terrain and not lack of funding.

Here I show M/05 Jaeger battalion and company compositions to best of my knowledge.

...

I wonder how effective these would be in real situation...

Who do you see your enemy being and how are they organised?

Fuchs
06-22-2011, 06:57 AM
I wonder how effective these would be in real situation...

Looks an awful lot like a late World War 2 TO&E, quite traditional.
# Its AT capability is mostly penny-packed and portable.
# Sniper teams belong to battalion level imho, into a sniper platoon for training and as a pool for the whole battalion.

The really interesting things are hidden behind the TO&E...

PsJÄÄK Korte
06-22-2011, 07:07 AM
Who do you see your enemy being and how are they organised?
I forgot to specify anything. :o
Whaterver Motor infatry/tank divisions/brigades of former Leningrad Military district has as Russia is seen main threat, be it so obscure possiblity. but I am also interested in this battalion would fare in defence missions against, for example battlegroup/brigade sized formation from West Europe (includes Great Britain) or US.

Lets assume that this M/05 battalion is one produced by peacetime Pori Brigade, which means battalion's infatry, anti-tank and recon squads move around in AMVs and other squad types are transported by XA-2xx and XA-18x series vehicles or trucks. Many wheeled death traps.;)

PsJÄÄK Korte
06-22-2011, 07:51 AM
# Sniper teams belong to battalion level imho, into a sniper platoon for training and as a pool for the whole battalion.


For reasons unknown to me, finnish army doesn't have snipers at battalion level or higher, unless you count designated marksman of recon squads.
Maybe it is tradionalism or something. :rolleyes:

Fuchs
06-22-2011, 09:38 AM
For reasons unknown to me, finnish army doesn't have snipers at battalion level or higher, unless you count designated marksman of recon squads.
Maybe it is tradionalism or something. :rolleyes:

Well, sniping was important in 39/40, but that were basically good shots with iron sighted bolt action hunting rifles. They shot at distances well below what snipers understand to be their realm nowadays.

If the Finnish army hadn't Valmet AK-derivative assault rifles, I'd guess that they expect more regular infantry to camo and hunt like Snipers did in WW2.


Btw, I understand that Finnish infantry is quite obsessed with mines, both AT and claymore types?
It kinda reminds me of the military thought between 1900 and 1914; defensive strength was discovered and armies strived to exploit it also in the offence by moving and then expecting (counter-)attacks.
To discover an offensive strength and to apply that one in the defence as well as in offence always looked more convincing to me.


Btw, I remember having seen a basic Jaeger Bde TO&E on an official Finnish website about a year ago. At that time I was negatively surprised at the low survivability of arty/mortars and ATGWs (towed 120mm, TOW).


edit: Google yielded this: http://orbat.com/site/toe/issues/I3/Mod%20-%20FinnJB90.pdf

PsJÄÄK Korte
06-22-2011, 10:57 AM
Well, sniping was important in 39/40, but that were basically good shots with iron sighted bolt action hunting rifles. They shot at distances well below what snipers understand to be their realm nowadays.


Due to terrain, ranges where finnish snipers engage their targets, depending on wether they are armed with dragunov, 7.62 Tkiv 85 (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/7.62_TaK_85) or TRG-42, at ranges between 300-800 meters. I understand that this is shorter than what western snipers usually engage?



Btw, I understand that Finnish infantry is quite obsessed with mines, both AT and claymore types?


On top of head I can think of four types of mine usage.
1.On defence, or when more offensive part of army sets up camp for resting period, each squad of force makes up so called quick mine field. it is made of 10-12 blast AT-mines and it purpose is to stop enemy AFVs so squad/platoon AT-weapons have easiers time hitting them, also to generaly stall their movement and force them to make their "game moves" If there is enough time blast AT-mines are removed and engineer assemble more elaborate minefield
2.Claymores and other AP-mines will be used to protect any permanentish installation.
3. And last I have heard of plans mining roads at certaing intervals and leaving snipers to watch them.

I continue my answers in following post(s).

Fuchs
06-22-2011, 11:09 AM
Sniper combat ranges will likely be much smaller than 800 m on Finnish terrain.

Western snipers intend to snipe at 300-700 metres afaik with anything above being exceptions of little relevance* (not the least because competent, careful infantry will rarely be spotted at more than 300 m for more than a few seconds).

Sniping in forest-dominated terrain should include a lot of shooting through wood cover (not easily possible with 7.62x39) and generally sniping at partially exposed targets (heel, shoulder, helmet) at less than 150 metres.

The one exception for long-range sniping might be shooting over lakes.

------

About mines:

AT mines are very versatile, especially the blast types.
A quick road barrier can be a ladder with several AT mines on it, and with metal bars connecting the mines so that a vehicle driving over the ladder would 100% initiate the charges. This ladder can lay alongside the road for most time and be pulled across it with a line of cord in seconds as a quick barrier (also good for ambushing). This was very popular in WW2 as a countermeasure to surprises by armoured reconnaissance vehicles and vanguards.

AT mines can also be used for demolishing, including opening or destroying buildings as well as making objects useless for an advancing invader.

AT mines can also be used to destroy tanks whose crews have abandoned the vehicle or were killed by HEAT penetrations.

An abundance of AT mines generally forces an element of fear and caution on the enemy whenever he advances (moves).


About AP mines; they can be used well for ambush, counter-pursuit and as a counter to counterattacks. Again, most effect is psychological. They can also slow down a low and help to make AT mine fields more difficult to clear.
I never understood why the German army didn't introduce claymore-type mines. They're still legal even after the mine ban (because of the remote control).


edit:
*: In fact, sniping at longer ranges reminds me of the Italian fighter pilots' fetish for aerobatics. They pretended it was the key art of their trade, but it marginal relevance was known to their predecessors and proved again during the next time the #### had hit the fan.
The application on an anecdotal basis did not change that.

PsJÄÄK Korte
06-22-2011, 01:46 PM
As for attacking and defending.
Finnish army is divided in to two parts: regional/territorial forces and operative forces.
Differences:
Operative:Newer equipment, more military grade motorvehicles, have most AFV, younger reservist, higher professional to reservist ratio, no specified area of operations.
Territorial:Older equipment, mostly civilian vehicles, have some AFVs, fewer carreer soldiers, defined area of operation.

Objective is to use territorial forces to deplete attackers formations, while operative formations are used in well timed (counter-)attacks to destroy or defeat weakened enemy, or atleast this how it is on the paper.


Btw, I remember having seen a basic Jaeger Bde TO&E on an official Finnish website about a year ago. At that time I was negatively surprised at the low survivability of arty/mortars and ATGWs (towed 120mm, TOW).

There are two jaeger brigade 90 left on wartime rosters.
I wonder where he got that information, because when I tried to find info in finnish for JGB90 with cats and dogs I found nothing whist there can be found organizations fo Infantry brigade 80, Jaeger brigade 05, armoured battlegroup, mechanized battlegroup and new territorial battlegroup :confused:

On survivability.
There are plans to replace towed mortar company with AMOS platoon in two southern jaeger brigade 05 and northern Jaeger brigade have their heavy mortars mounted in NA-122 all terrain vehicles.
Maybe it somewhat compensates their (indirect units) immobility and low survivability to use larger and dispersed formations.

Also finland has armoured artillery but not much. two armoured battlegroups have battalion of armoured howitzers and there are some separate selfpropelled artillery groups directly under corps.
At the moment only mounted ATGM system I know of is X number of TOWs mouted on NA-110 ATTV and they are used as corps level anti-tank unit.

Pete
06-22-2011, 04:59 PM
It makes sense to me that the Finnish Army would use reserve or territorial units for defensive operations and the regular units for offensive ones. However, once the situation becomes "fluid" both components would need to be capable of both types of operations. The distinction between the two components of the Army would become blurred once a war really starts going on in earnest. The original assumptions of a war plan would fall all apart under the pressure of events. Adapt, adjust, improvise.

My family once lived near the Baltic Sea, Danzig and Stockholm, but it was two and three centuries ago, a long time ago.