View Full Version : Insightful bits about war

11-04-2009, 08:53 PM
I read last year something of interest, and would like to share it. It (the answer) offers an opportunity for great insights.

The question is:
What is the most reliable method of rallying the scattered and fleeing troops (all ranks) of a broken infantry division ?

Answer (in white; think first!):
(You set up a line of field kitchens in the path of the fleeing troops.)
Source: Eastern Front experiences, '43-'45

11-04-2009, 10:36 PM
climb up a tree and shine a flashlight around.
Of course, I have no idea.
But this reminded me of an anecdote i heard from some Pakistani commandos. In the 65 war, the Pakistani army launched a botched operation against Ambala that included a paradrop by SSG commandos. The commandos landed on a moonless night and promptly got lost. Most of them were rounded up by police and villagers. Only one officer managed to get his troops together and he did so by climbing up a tree and shining a flashlight around and to hell with the element of surprise...

11-05-2009, 03:05 AM
I know I am going to regret trying to answer this, but ignorance makes for a brave fool.

The only thing I can think of is something I read in von Senger's book, where he didn't reinforce people who needed help but waited until he had some kind of strength built up and then made a counterattack.

That is kind of lame but I am curious as to what you are looking for.

11-05-2009, 08:02 AM
Actually I guessed it. On has just think back to a hard, wet, cold in short miserable day out there in the fields. ;)

11-05-2009, 08:20 AM
You can read the answer in the opening text; simply mark/select the whole opening post with your mouse.

11-05-2009, 08:54 AM

Brilliant use of IT. Would fleeing soldiers queue up, or was this where Feldgendarmerie and others asserted discipline? Incidentally this method did not appear in the film 'Cross of Iron'.


11-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Bravo Fuchs! I do regret trying to answer that cause I should have been able to figure it out. Keep up the good work.

11-05-2009, 06:13 PM

Brilliant use of IT. Would fleeing soldiers queue up, or was this where Feldgendarmerie and others asserted discipline? Incidentally this method did not appear in the film 'Cross of Iron'.


Actually, I read about this in a book on the German infantry of WW2.
Even if everything else failed; the troops were drawn to these points by their needs and officers were able to form "Alarmeinheiten" (alarm units; improvised units) from these crowds.

MP is generally not much good against large-scale chaos; it's little more than a traffic control asset in war unless it gets expanded greatly.
Officers are usually meant to rally/steady troops, but WW2 on the Eastern front was way beyond anything ever seen elsewhere. Regiments were at times down to reinforced Coy strength and commanded by Captains - infantry companies commanded by Lieutenants were a common sight.
The Eastern campaign of '41-'45 is so full of extremes that it's extremely rich in lessons.

11-05-2009, 06:15 PM
Cowards will go to Hell (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hkiMxbHNH0BqgpWA2ZG6VD6wVTmAD9BPFA7G5)

A little fear of God goes a long way

The leader of the Pakistani Taliban urged his fighters to stand fast against a military offensive in tribal South Waziristan, warning them in an intercepted message obtained Thursday that cowards will go to hell.

Pakistani forces launched an offensive in mid-October to crush the Taliban in the semiautonomous region along the Afghan border that is believed to be the main stronghold of the militants and their al-Qaida allies.

"Remember this is the commandment of God that once fighting starts with the enemy, you cannot leave the battlefield without permission from your commander, and don't look for excuses to run away from the fighting," Hakimullah Mehsud told his followers in a speech Tuesday broadcast over a wireless radio network. Of those who do run away, he warned, "Such people will go to hell."

11-11-2009, 07:41 PM
Certainly mankind has come up with many ways trying to keep their men fighting on. From food and plunder to death and hell.