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Old 07-20-2014   #281
davidbfpo
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I think Jim Storr's book 'The Human face of War' has been mentioned elsewhere; it looks at many modern aspects of modern war, not IIRC the weight of combat kit, certainly command & control. A paperback edition is due out, though not shown here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Human-Face-W.../dp/1847065236

Thanks to JMA for the copy of the BAR article 'Donkeys Led by Lions'. As the BAR is still print only and kept within the UK military, very few outsiders will have seen that.

At a recent presentation a British soldier displayed his kit, he was the Section machine gunner and explained if he laid down he had to helped up so heavy was his load. Asked if it was practical he said no and hinted as much as possible was dumped If the OiC was brave enough and no-one was watching.
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Old 07-20-2014   #282
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If you ask US Army LRS what type of missions they do in Afghanistan, they will give you answer - recce. Overt recce in Hummwees, more like kind of demonstrative overwatch. Only very few units dare to ditch body armour (one mission mentioned in "No Easy Day" - good book) including SOF units. If they go like: "OK donīt wear it, but if you get killed, your family probably gets no money" what you gonna do?

Just for adding a bit of (ironic) fun to this sad thread:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X6HnOA88vw
(end of the video is relevant to our discussed problem)
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Old 07-21-2014   #283
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Wider appreciation for risk aversion and overloading might be developed by ordering that duty wear for HQ personnel include body armour and 24 hours of water. Any such regimen would need to apply without exception.
It would presumably be necessary to enforce aperiodic checks of armour and containers.

The residual difficulty would be finding senior officers prepared to issue such orders.

So return to square one. The starting and restarting point where chiefs lay out unvarnished options and politicians make the decisions which can/should/might be publicised.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #284
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Carl,

This weight issue will not easlily be solved. The rotations are getting shorter and as a result commanders only start to get the idea when they are on the way home.

From a book currently to hand - and a re-read for the umpteenth time we hear 20 year old 2Lt Sidney Jary who learned the lesson early after D-Day (1944) has to convince his new/replacement company commander to allow his platoon - which was to be the forward platoon of the forward company in the attack on the town of Bedburg - to leave the small packs behind so as to allow them to 'move faster'.

From page 102, 18 Platoon by Sidney Jary:

Quote:
I asked Freddie if 18 Platoon could fight without small packs until we had consolidated at Bedburg. If we could leave them on the Company transport with our picks and shovels we could certainly move faster. Freddie had not been with the Company when we had made our rapid advance at Vernonnet and did not understand the advantage that could be gained by very rapid movement in the type of situation which I sensed now existed. After some discussion, he finally agreed and 18 Platoon with considerable relief loaded their small packs into the 15 hundredweight Bedford.
Carl, you will find this book worth the cost or the effort to find a cheaper copy someplace else as this outstanding officer managed, writing some 40 years after the war to explain his wartime experiences better than anyone else I know of. Much of what gets discussed around here were experienced back then and the lessons learned. Annoying that so many youngsters of today - and sadly others too - perfer to talk about issues rather than read to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. We remain a long way from enlightned discussion around here.

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I re-read that article and the thing about it that was even more distressing than the soldiers carrying too much weight was the HQs burdening themselves with so much useless make work that they are approaching the point where they can't function. They sling a lot of trons, the HQ people are all sleep deprived from overwork and mountains of 'product' are produced but they are approaching the point where they can't do what they exist for, guide and assist troops in combat. Napoleon and Grant did that for hundreds of thousands of men with pen and paper.

We are in a bad place.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #285
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Thanks for a good read tip JMA. Prices are insane, however I will try to ask around to borrow the book.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #286
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Try this place, cheapest I know of:

http://www.riflesdirect.com/18-platoon-1053-p.asp


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Thanks for a good read tip JMA. Prices are insane, however I will try to ask around to borrow the book.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #287
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Quote:
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Try this place, cheapest I know of:

http://www.riflesdirect.com/18-platoon-1053-p.asp
Thanks for a link!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Compost View Post
Wider appreciation for risk aversion and overloading might be developed by ordering that duty wear for HQ personnel include body armour and 24 hours of water. Any such regimen would need to apply without exception.
It would presumably be necessary to enforce aperiodic checks of armour and containers.

The residual difficulty would be finding senior officers prepared to issue such orders.

So return to square one. The starting and restarting point where chiefs lay out unvarnished options and politicians make the decisions which can/should/might be publicised.
I am stealing this.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #289
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Default Sidney Jary and a bonus or two

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
From a book currently to hand - and a re-read for the umpteenth time we hear 20 year old 2Lt Sidney Jary who learned the lesson early after D-Day (1944) has to convince his new/replacement company commander to allow his platoon - which was to be the forward platoon of the forward company in the attack on the town of Bedburg - to leave the small packs behind so as to allow them to 'move faster':18 Platoon by Sidney Jary:
I've not this book so wondered about the author. ARSSEE has this from 2008, which refers to other recommended books, only George McDonald Fraser's have I read:
Quote:
Yes I believe Sydney Jary is still very much alive and well. He is a regular contributor to the British Army Review (BAR). The latest issue BAR 144 has an excellent article by him on "Readjustment". This covers the end of the War in Germany and demob, as far as 18 Platoon were concerned. The Platoon have arrived at Wilstedt, North of Bremen, having fought all the way from Normandy to get there. It ends with Sydney leaving his beloved 18 Platoon of the SLI and going back to the Hampshires.

In my humble opinion his book - 18 Platoon, Brigadier ED "Birdie" Smiths - Even The Brave Falter, George MacDonald Frasers - Quartered Safe Out Here and Major Bill Bellamy's - Troop Leader are the best and most human books written about WW2.
Link:http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/thr...platoon.88903/

Sidney Jary is still alive, he retired ten years ago from giving talks to officers cadets @ Sandhurst and is still spritely - from a friend who saw him recently.

In my Google search I found this fasconating extract from Anthony King's 2013 book 'The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (another book I'd missed, after all I've never been a soldier ):http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R...20Jary&f=false

Link to Amazon.uk for this expensive book:http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Combat-S...pr_product_top
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:16 PM. Reason: fix last link, thanks Kiwigrunt
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #290
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Default 1066 to 2014

The Daily Telegraph has a set of photos showing a soldier's kit from 1066 to 2014, mainly those who served in the British Army and the photo is the latest:


From:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/w...?frame=2994181
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #291
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Mark and David, I hate you guys. If I end up destitute, it will be your fault. But at least – if I end up living in a cardboard box – I shall have some nice books in it.

18 Platoon: ordered (been chasing this for years).
The Combat Soldier: still pondering, credit card dangerously within range.
(The Human Face of War: also still pondering.)
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #292
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Sydney Jary MC, is unique because he brings perspective to his narratives. A proven battlefield commander able to translate his experiences into a tool for the enlightenment and education of soldiers, especially young officers to be.

A book that needs to be re-read periodically IMHO as I discover new perspectives with each re-read. A classic.

Herewith an article from him in the J R Army Med Corps in 2000:

Reflections on the Relationship Between the Led and the Leader

Pure magic... don't know about the last paragraph though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I've not this book so wondered about the author. ARSSEE has this from 2008, which refers to other recommended books, only George McDonald Fraser's have I read:

Link:http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/thr...platoon.88903/

Sidney Jary is still alive, he retired ten years ago from giving talks to officers cadets @ Sandhurst and is still spritely - from a friend who saw him recently.

In my Google search I found this fasconating extract from Anthony King's 2013 book 'The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (another book I'd missed, after all I've never been a soldier ):http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R...20Jary&f=false

Link to Amazon.uk for this expensive book:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R...page&q&f=false
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #293
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While some might disagree with aspects of the odd selection, especially when it comes to the older stuff, this is a stunning way to browse through the ages. Great way to present and compare kit through the ages. Kudos to the guy who came up with it and for the Telegraph to feature it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #294
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From the sandals and beret for example there are a number of items which would surely not be taken on four hour foot patrol?

Does anyone have a list of items with individual weights?


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
The Daily Telegraph has a set of photos showing a soldier's kit from 1066 to 2014, mainly those who served in the British Army and the photo is the latest:


From:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/w...?frame=2994181
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #295
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I don't know which is why I am asking, but of how much utility are knee pads? It seems to me, no practical experience have I, that kneeling is sort of a betwixt and between position, it doesn't seem as if you could see and move as good as you could standing and you aren't as stable for shooting and are much more visible than prone. And humans aren't really constructed to kneel for long periods of time.

Like I said, I have no practical experience but everybody seems to have knee pads and I wonder how useful they really are.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
I don't know which is why I am asking, but of how much utility are knee pads? It seems to me, no practical experience have I, that kneeling is sort of a betwixt and between position, it doesn't seem as if you could see and move as good as you could standing and you aren't as stable for shooting and are much more visible than prone. And humans aren't really constructed to kneel for long periods of time.

Like I said, I have no practical experience but everybody seems to have knee pads and I wonder how useful they really are.
Taking a knee on patrol is pretty common, especially in the IED environment. And sometimes microterrain makes it a good idea regardless. Knee pads look (non-PC pejorative), but they're a plus in an urban environment or on other really hard ground. Most of Helmand, not necessary IMO.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
Sydney Jary MC, is unique because he brings perspective to his narratives. A proven battlefield commander able to translate his experiences into a tool for the enlightenment and education of soldiers, especially young officers to be.
JMA, what did you think of Sydney Jary's view on popular opinion versus the reality of men suited for soldiering? I remember he mentioned, towards the end of 18 Platoon, that he would prefer to have poets in his platoon that were philosophically inclined and more capable of enduring hardship and suffering than the aggressive, alpha type that is often associated with infantry and elite infantry units.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BushrangerCZ View Post
If you ask US Army LRS what type of missions they do in Afghanistan, they will give you answer - recce. Overt recce in Hummwees, more like kind of demonstrative overwatch. Only very few units dare to ditch body armour (one mission mentioned in "No Easy Day" - good book) including SOF units. If they go like: "OK donīt wear it, but if you get killed, your family probably gets no money" what you gonna do?
Actually, this is an urban myth. For US military, SGLI pays out no matter the cause of death - suicide, not wearing PPE, etc. However, if he survives the wounds, the unit could court-martial him.

As for kneepads, they help when going prone too, especially in rocky terrain. A sharp hit in the shins is excruciating. The new combat pants with build-in knee pads are awesome and finally solve all the issues about the clunky straps and skiing or skateboarding derivatives with their bulkiness.

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