The Minute Book
Thursday, 3 September 2015

VC Supply Caches
Topic: The Field of Battle

Summary of Salient Points Learned With Respect to VC Supply Caches

Viet Cong Base Camps and Supply Caches; Counter Insurgency Lessons learned No. 68., July 1968

a.     The use of information provided by PWs and Hoi Chanhs can materially assist units in locating caches. Information provided by such people must always be considered and, whenever possible, exploited to the utmost.

b.     The VC use natural and man made anthills as caches for weapons and munitions.

c.     Caches are more easily identified if units recognize the key protective measures used by the VC.

d.     Flocks of birds are a frequent indicator of the proximity of rice caches.

e.     Analysis of the disposition of booby traps in an area can lead to the discovery of valuable VC stores and material.

f.     When searching for caches, operations should be methodical, deliberate and thorough.

g.     Operational planning must include methods of extracting rice or destroying it in place.

h.     Rice caches can normally be effectively scattered by the use of cratering charges and effectively contaminated with CS.

i.     Rice caches are infrequently booby trapped.

j.     The VC frequently place grenade type booby traps inside bags of rice. Therefore, all rice bags should be sanitized by EOD and Engineer personnel prior to handling. (see Fig. 6)

k.     Engineer bulldozers cab be effectively utilized in the destruc­tion of rice caches by pushing them into rivers or constructing suitable LZs close to the caches to allow evacuation by air.

l.     Caches are usually well concealed, located in the proximity of transportation routes, and are not placed in any discernible patterns.

m.     Extraction of rice caches are ideal missions for RVNAF's organic transportation units and Province/District Headquarters in carrying out Civic Action Programs.

n.     Nipa palm trees have been used by the VC to store equipment. The foliage of these trees offers excellent concealment for caches.

o.     Medical supplies should be evacuated through intelligence chan­nels rather than being destroyed in place.

p.     The use of probes and mine detectors in locating buried caches has proven to be effective.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Character
Topic: Leadership

Character

ARDP 6-22—Army Leadership, Headquarters Department of the Army, Wahington, August 2012

Foundations of Army Leadership Character

Character, comprised of a person's moral and ethical qualities, helps determine what is right and gives a leader motivation to do what is appropriate, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. An informed ethical conscience consistent with the Army Values strengthens leaders to make the right choices when faced with tough issues. Army leaders must embody these values and inspire others to do the same.

Character is essential to successful leadership. It determines who people are, how they act, helps determine right from wrong, and choose what is right. Elements internal and central to a leader's core are:—

  • Army Values.
  • Empathy.
  • Warrior Ethos and Service Ethos.
  • Discipline.

Army Values

Soldiers and Army Civilians enter the Army with personal values developed in childhood and nurtured over years of personal experience. By taking an oath to serve the nation and the institution, one agrees to live and act by a new set of values—Army Values. The Army Values consist of the principles, standards, and qualities considered essential for successful Army leaders. They are fundamental to helping Soldiers and Army Civilians make the right decision in any situation. Teaching values is an important leader responsibility by creating a common understanding of the Army Values and expected standards.

The Army recognizes seven values that all Army members must develop. When read in sequence, the first letters of the Army Values form the acronym "LDRSHIP":—

  • Loyalty.
  • Duty.
  • Respect.
  • Selfless service.
  • Honor.
  • Integrity.
  • Personal courage.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Classification of Officers
Topic: Officers

Classification of Officers

The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery, 1958

Up to this point in my career [January 1920] I had received no training in the theory of my profession; I had behind me the practical experience of four years of active service in the field, but no theoretical study as a background to that experience. I had read somewhere the remarks of Frederick the Great when speaking about officers who relied only on their practical experience and who neglected to study; he is supposed to have said that he had in his Army two mules who had been through forty campaigns, but they were still mules.

I had also heard of a German general who delivered himself of the following all-embracing classification about officers, presumably those of the German Army. I understand that he said this:

"I divide my officers into four classes: the clever, the stupid, the industrious and the lazy. Every officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for high staff appointments; use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fitted for the highest command; he has the temperament and the requisite nerve to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a danger and must be removed immediately."

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 July 2015 6:08 PM EDT
Monday, 31 August 2015

US Army Rations, 1913
Topic: Army Rations

US Army Rations, 1913

Field Service Regulations, United States Army, 1913

The Army Regulations prescribe the following rations, the commander determining the kind appropriate for the service to be performed, except that the use of the haversack ration is enjoined for troops operating beyond the advance depots:

  • Garrison ration. — For troops in garrison and permanent camps; also for use in time of war except for troops beyond the advance depots.
  • Haversack ration. — For troops beyond the advance depots.
  • Filipino ration. — For Philippine Scouts.
  • Emergency ration. — For troops in active campaign for use in cases of emergency.

Haversack Ration

 Ounces
Bacon12
or canned meat16
Hard bread16
Coffee, roasted and ground1.12
Sugar2.4
Salt.16

Emergency Ration.

The emergency ration is a preparation of food compressed into cakes and packed in sealed tin. It is furnished in addition to the regular ration, but is not opened except by order of an officer or in extremity, nor used when regular rations are obtainable.

In addition to the regular rations, commanders, may authorize the issue, within limits prescribed in Army Regulations, of certain articles, such as soap, candles, and matches.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 30 August 2015

German Infantry Notes; Instructions for Combat (1918)

German Infantry Notes; Instructions for Combat

Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918 (Translation of an order of the Fourteenth German division, June 18, in sector south of the Aisne From French Third Army Bulletin, July 3, 1918).

(a)     General Remarks.

1.     Hold the first line of resistance against every hostile attack.

2.     Our activity must constantly keep the enemy on the alert, inflict losses on him by every means possible and render his supply service as difficult as is within our power. The enemy must be worn out and his fighting strength exhausted as quickly as possible. On the other hand it is necessary, without sacrificing the security of our defense, to save our own troops as much as possible, protect them against losses, maintain their offensive power, and if possible, increase it. The troops must be imbued with the idea of their absolute superiority over the enemy. Everything should be done to supply and shelter the troops.

3.     The new French gas renders a still stricter gas discipline necessary. Non-commissioned officers must keep constantly on the watch. Our troops must know that our mask affords full protection if adjusted in time.

4.     All possible information regarding the enemy and particularly regarding the units in front of us, on his defensive organizations, on the artillery and trench mortar emplacements, must be obtained.

(b)     Infantry.

The advanced line must be held with as small a garrison as possible. Troops willbe distributed to a very great depth.

The troops must be instructed in their duties at the various posts in the advanced zone.

Automatic rifles, trench mortars and rifle grenades must be very largely used in order to force the enemy, who is in a position very much inferior to ours, to keep below the surface of the ground.

Patrols willbe very active. Particular care will be exercised in choosing the patrolling party, so as to avoid losses in prisoners. Every opportunity for taking prisoners will be seized.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 29 August 2015

Toxic Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Toxic Leadership

Toxic Leadership, Colonel George E. Reed, U.S. Army
Military Review – July–August 2004

In 2003, 20 [U.S. Army War College] students focused on the topic of command climate and leaders' roles in shaping it. The students provided a well-considered description of toxic leaders:

"Destructive leaders are focused on visible short-term mission accomplishment. They provide superiors with impressive, articulate presentations and enthusiastic responses to missions. But, they are unconcerned about, or oblivious to, staff or troop morale and/or climate. They are seen by the majority of subordinates as arrogant, self-serving, inflexible, and petty."

A loud, decisive, demanding leader is not necessarily toxic. A leader with a soft voice and façade of sincerity can also be toxic. In the end, it is not one specific behavior that deems one toxic; it is the cumulative effect of demotivational behavior on unit morale and climate over time that tells the tale. Toxic leaders might be highly competent and effective in a short-sighted sense, but they contribute to an unhealthy command climate with ramifications extending far beyond their tenure. Three key elements of the toxic leader syndrome are:—

1.     An apparent lack of concern for the wellbeing of subordinates.

2.     A personality or interpersonal technique that negatively affects organizational climate.

3.     A conviction by subordinates that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest.

elipsis graphic

Toxic leadership, like leadership in general, is more easily described than defined, but terms like selfaggrandizing, petty, abusive, indifferent to unit climate, and interpersonally malicious seem to capture the concept. A toxic leader is poison to the unit—an insidious, slow-acting poison that complicates diagnosis and the application of an antidote. Large and complex organizations like the military should look for the phenomenon since culture and organizational policies might inadvertently combine to perpetuate it.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 28 August 2015

Training of Infantry, 1918
Topic: Drill and Training

The Infantry

Fundamental Principles and General Directions Governing the Training of Infantry.

Training Circular No. 5, Infantry Training; [US] Army War College, August, 1918.

10. (a)     Discipline. Modern war as now carried on in Europe, requires of infantry the greatest discipline obtainable. The failure of men to carry out their orders implicitly in an attack means unnecessary heavy losses, if not absolute failure. It is found that only thoroughly disciplined troops can carry out a modern attack where every step must be taken in accordance with: a careful schedule. The first great step then in fitting infantry troops for service abroad is to inculcate this spirit of discipline.

This can be done:

(1)     By every officer setting a proper example for those below him in rank of promptly and cheerfully obeying orders and regulations, by a careful and exact performance of every duty and by exacting the same of all subordinates.

(2)     Dress and military courtesies: If men are allowed to be sloppy and untidy in dress, slipshod and careless about rendering courtesies, the military spirit is lost and the command remains undisciplined.

(3)     Precision and snap in drill: This must be insisted on. Movements must be executed exactly as prescribed. For example, in executing right front into line from column of squads, it must be insisted that the corporal so conduct his squad that it comes exactly to its place without closing in after halting; that the command halt is given as a foot strikes the ground; that pieces all come down together, etc. All other movements must be executed with the same precision,.

Never allow a movement to drag; "snap" is necessary; increase rather than decrease the cadence. Most close order drill is for disciplinary purposes. If done with precision and snap the object is attained; if not, the more you have of it the worse the command. Men become confirmed in doing things only approximately as told.

(4)     Leaders must know their work. There must be no hesitation, commands must be given correctly and with snap. Leaders must treat all subordinates with courtesy, correct reasonable mistakes without harshness, give clear and reasonable explanations, show men how. When men fail through persistent carelessness, inattention or willfulness, then use as drastic measures as necessary. Leaders must insist that all subordinates do their work properly, but they must set the example themselves.

(5)     Cultivate esprit de corps, pride in the organization, and in the subdivisions even to the smallest. Competitive contests between smaller units are of great advantage.

(b)     The ultimate object of all instruction being field service efficiency, field maneuvers and field firing should be considered as the culmination of previous training and the test of its thor­oughness.

(c)     The efficiency of the squad, including its leader, is the basis of efficiency and this efficiency in turn depends on the thoroughness of the training of individual members of this unit.

(d)     The efficiency of every command depends on the effi­ciency of the units or teams composing it. As each team in a large command must be under the direct control of its immediate chief, it is evident that such chief should have all possible charge of the instruction of his team. (Footnoted — 1 Officers must, however, because of the inexperience of the great majority attention to individual of the noncommissioned officers, give personal instruction and to that of the squad and platoon, in order that the train­ing may proceed along right lines and due progress be made.) Authority and responsi­bility should exist in equal degree. From such a system there should result not only suitable instruction of the, team, but also comradeship among the individual members, pride in the team as a unit and that confidence and habit of command on the part of the leader so necessary to efficient leadership.

(e)     Drill movements are of two general classes—first, drills of precision and, second, maneuver and combat exercises.

The precise movements of the manual of arms and close-order, drillare not for the purpose of teaching men how to get about on the battle field. They will hardly be used there at all. One of the principal objects is to train the soldiers' minds and bodies to habits of precise, unhesitating obedience to the will of the leader, so that in the stress of battle they will obey without con­scious effort, mechanically, automatically, as the easiest and most natural line of action.

Maneuver and combat exercises are intended for instruction in the proper handling of troops in campaign and on the battle field. There should be rigid adherence to orders and instructions. It is hardly possible properly to conduct a drill or exercise without special forethought and preparation for that particular drillor exercise. After each drill or exercise the specific work for the next one should be announced, so that leaders may have time to prepare themselves.

The drill or exercise should be made interesting, not only by variety, which is necessary in order not to exhaust the soldier's attention by straining it too long on ofie subject, but also by comments on the part of leaders, continued throughout the drill and directed toward those elements whose performance is un­usually good or bad.

(f)     There must be a definite and progressive plan and schedule of instruction. Every course of instruction should embrace certain definitely prescribed subjects and be for a definite period in order to unify instruction, prevent unnecessary repetition and use the available time to the best advantage. On the completion of the prescribed course of theoretical instruction all study should not cease, but sufficient post-graduate work should follow to broaden the student's professional horizon and keep him in touch. with new methods and ideas.

(g)     Officers and non-commissioned officers of each grade should be competent to take up the duties of the next higher grade. Military efficiency can only be attained through competent and instructed officers arid non-commissioned officers.

(h)     Lectures are valuable aids in military training. Those to enlisted men should be about one-half hour long; to officers they may be longer. The number of lectures on any particular subject will depend upon its nature. They should be delivered by those specially qualified on the particular subjects. The lecture meetings should be as informal as is consistent with discipline,' questions and discussions should be arranged. The appropriate use of maps, diagrams and illustrations, including moving pictures, is advantageous.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 August 2015

Clothing, Necessaries, and Badges of Non-Effectives
Topic: The Field of Battle

1617—Disposal of Clothing and Necessaries and Badges of Non-Effectives:—(B)

Extracts from Volumes 5 and 6 of Canadian Army Routine Orders, R.Os. 1541 to 2755, 31 Dec 1942

DEATH

The following articles may be used in conjunction with the burial of deceased soldiers who have died whilst serving:—

  • Battle Dress:—
    • Blouse.
    • Trousers, pair.
  • Underwear.
  • Shirt.
  • Socks.
  • Badges.

The above items will be struck off the individual M.F.C. 800 but will not be brought back to the Unit's ledger charge and again written off. A note should, however, be made on the M.F.C. 800 against these items to the effect that they were buried with the deceased soldier.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Use of Tanks in Germany
Topic: CEF

Tank Notes — Use of Tanks in Germany.

Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918 (From French Military Advisory Mission Bulletin).

The Germans are said to have stopped the tanks at Cambrai in the following way: The rifle and artillery fire compelled the infantry waves to remain in place; the advancing tanks were easily attacked with grenades (concentrated charges) and with small arms (S. R. M. bullets), once they were cut off, batteries also took part in their destruction.

As a result of this experience the Germans are said to have drawn the following conclusions on the subject of the organization and use of their tanks:

1.     Necessity of having more rapid tanks (a good many sources indicate speeds averaging 8 kilometers on hilly ground).

2.     The tanks advance in quincunxes, in zig-zags.

3.     The tanks are protected in the front and on the flanks by the infantry sturmtrupps marching on each side at 150 to 200 meter intervals.

4.     For training purposes there is a "Tankschule" in Germany and also vast manoeuvering grounds, one of which is in the neighborhood of Montmedy.

Description.

The tank is torpedo shaped. It weighs 10 tons and measures about 8 meters in length, 3 meters in width and about 2.5 meters in height. It resembles the British tanks, except in the matter of "bandages." The tank was completely protected by armored plating. The loop holes could be closed by means of shutters which, according to the prisoners, hermetically seal the openings against gas. The tank can turn rather easily.

Armament.

(a)     A rapid fire 5 cm. gun, on a pivot, with a periscopic sight. The gun has an angle of elevation of 60 degrees. An illuminating shell, which lights up the terrain in front for three minutes, is said to be used for night action. The gun also fires gas shells.

(b)     Four machine guns, one on each side, one in the front and one in the rear. The two last have an angle of elevation of 50 degrees.

(c)     Flame projectors, to be used in place of the machine guns in case of an obstinate resistance. The flame was projected a distance of 60 meters. It was produced by a mixture of tar and an exceedingly inflammable matter called "carbolineum," expelled by oxygen under high pressure.

Engine.

The 8-cylinder 250 horsepower engine was mounted in an interior compartment. A light producing dynamo was driven by the closed engine. The tank is said to be capable of 15 km. (?) per hour on flat terrain.

Personnel.

The personnel of a tank includes 2 drivers, 2 gunners, 4 machine gunners and 2 extra men, all under the orders of a junior engineer officer. The personnel all wear fire-proof clothing.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Japanese Paratroop Rations, 1944
Topic: Army Rations

Japanese Paratroop Rations, 1944

Japanese Patachute Troops, Special Series, No. 32, MID 461, [US] Military Intelligence Division, 1 July 1945

Sources do not often distinguish between Japanese Army and Navy paratroop rations. It is believed that the Japanese initially planned an ordinary 3-day ration to be carried in the haversack of each paratrooper. These rations provided an adequate diet and consisted of 2 ¼ pounds of rice, two tins of canned fish, two tins of canned meat, and 1 ounce of tea, Chocolate is also known to have been carried by some paratroopers; while glucose sweets, cigarettes, minor medical supplies (iodine, bandages, etc.), and a flask of rum were carried by parachutists in the Netherlands East Indies.

Regulations issued as late as August 1944, however, provide that a 2-day ration is to be carried by each paratrooper during descent. It is reasonable to assume that ration components are similar te the earlier issue.

In addition, paratroopers were to carry "iron" rations. These were in wafer form, consisting of ground rice and wheat with some sesame. To supplement the wafer, paratroopers were fed extract of mussel flesh, dried plums, preserved ginger, crushed bean meal, and mori (made of dried seaweed which contains alkaline substance, soda, and iodine). One meal weighed 200 grams (7 ounces). The Japanese claim that these rations, by test, have withstood the climatic conditions of Malaya, the East Indies, the Philippine Islands, China, Manchuria, and Siberia.

Japanese parachutists dropped in Hunan Province of China in the summer of 1944 were reported to have carried a small bamboo box containing about 1.36 pounds of white "flour." This specially-prepared flour, when mixed with either hot or cold water, changes to a sweet paste which is used as a staple food. One 1.36-pound unit of "flour" provided sufficient food for one man for a period of 1 week.

For water, each paratrooper probably still carries the regular canteen. It is reported "water sausages" also have been used. These appear to be a water-filled length of a tough cellophane-like substance tied into short lengths. These are bitten into as needed and the contents drunk. In use, they are supposed to be carried either in pockets or slung around the neck. Small tubular filters, presumably for drinking water from untested sources, may also be carried.

The Frontenac Times


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 24 August 2015

Raids and Their Objects
Topic: CEF

Raids and Their Objects

"Stand To" A Diary of the Trenches, 1915-18, Captain F.C. Hitchcock, M.C., F.R.Hist.S., 1937

Although this article isn't specifically about the CEF, it has been tagged as such to keep it with other First World War material.

Up to this date, raids had been a great form of midnight activity employed by the British and Germans since the middle of 1916. Raids consisted of a brief attack with some special object on a section of the opposing trench, and were usually carried out by a small party of men under an officer. The character of these operations, the preparation of a passage through our own and the enemy's wire, the crossing of the open ground unseen, the penetration of the enemy's line, the hand-to-hand fighting in the darkness, and the uncertainty as to the strength of the opposing forces—gave peculiar scope to gallantry, dash, and quickness of decision by the troops engaged.

The objects of these expeditions can be described as fourfold:

I.     To gain prisoners and, therefore, to obtain information by identification.

II.     To inflict loss and lower the opponent's morale, a form of terrorism, and to kill as many of the enemy as possible, before beating a retreat; also to destroy his dug-outs and mine-shafts.

III.     To get junior regimental officers accustomed to handling men in the open and give them scope for using their initiative.

IV.     To blood all ranks into the offensive spirit and quicken their wits after months of stagnant trench warfare.

Such enterprises became a characteristic of trench routine.

After a time these raids became unpopular with regimental officers and the rank and file, for there grew up a feeling that sometimes these expeditions to the enemy trenches owed their origin to rivalry between organisations higher than battalions.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 23 August 2015

Leather Medals
Topic: British Army

Leather Medals

Sergeant-Major Timothy Gowing, Voice from the Ranks; A Personal Narrative of the Crimean Campaign by a Sergeant of the Royal Fusiliers, edited by Kenneth Fenwick, 1954

October 29th

Well, I've got back to camp again. We have had a rough twenty-four hours of it; it rained nearly the whole time. The enemy kept pitching shell into us nearly all night, and it took us all our time to dodge their Whistling Dicks (huge shell), as our men have named them. We were standing nearly up to our knees in mud and water, like a lot of drowned rats, nearly all night; the cold, bleak wind cutting through our thin clothing (that now is getting very thin and full of holes, and nothing to mend it with). This is ten times worse than all the fighting.

We have not one ounce too much to eat and, altogether, there is a dull prospect before us. But our men keep their spirits up well, although we are nearly worked to death night and day. We cannot move without sinking nearly to our ankles in mud. The tents we have to sleep in are full of holes, and there is nothing but mud to lie down in, or scrape it away with our hands the best we can—and soaked to the skin from morning to night (so much for honour and glory)! I suppose we shall have leather medals for this one day—I mean those who have the good fortune to escape the shot and shell of the enemy and the pestilence that surrounds us.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 22 August 2015

Soviet Principles of Military Art; 1984
Topic: Military Theory

Soviet Principles of Military Art

FM 100-2-1—The Soviet Army; Troops, Operations and Tactics, July 1984

Soviet military theorists consider the following points to be the general principles of military art. They do not represent any special revelation of truth or radical departure from traditional military thought. However, by their emphasis on these particular points, Soviet military leaders reveal the character of their military thinking and predict the basic characteristics of future Soviet military operations.

According to the Soviets, their armed forces must:

  • Be fully prepared to accomplish the mission regardless of the conditions under which war begins or must be conducted.
  • Achieve surprise whenever possible. Military operations must be characterized by decisiveness and aggressiveness. Forces must strive continuously to seize and to hold the initiative.
  • Make full use of all available military assets and capabilities to achieve victory.
  • Insure that major formations and units of all services, branches, and arms effect thorough and continuous coordination.
  • Select the principal enemy objective to be seized and the best routes for attacking it. Make a decisive concentration of combat power at the correct time.
  • Maintain continuous and reliable command and control.
  • Be determined and decisive in achieving the assigned mission.
  • Maintain complete security of combat operations.
  • Reconstitute reserves and restore combat effectiveness as quickly as possible.

These are general principles that apply to all three levels of military art: strategy, operations, and tactics. At each of these levels, there are more specific, detailed principles.

Soviet military thought subscribes to certain "laws of war" at the strategic level, and "principles of operational art and tactics" which apply to the actual conduct of combat.

The Laws of War

First Law: The course and outcome of war waged with unlimited employment of all means of conflict depends primarily on the correlation of available, strictly military combatants at the beginning of war…
Second Law: The course and outcome of war depend on the correlation of the military potentials of the combatants.
Third Law: (The) course and outcome (of war) depend on its political content.
Fourth Law: The course and outcome of war depend on the correlation of moral-political and psychological capabilities of the peoples and armies of the combatants.

Marshal Sokolovsky
Military Strategy

In simpler terms, these laws mean the following:

  • First Law: Be prepared. Prepare in peacetime for the next war. Forces-in-being are the decisive factors. The side with the most and best troops and equipment at the start of war will win the war.
  • Second Law: The side which can best sustain a protracted war will win the war.
  • Third Law: The higher the political stakes of a war, the longer and more violent it will be.
  • Fourth Law: War aims must be seen as just. Modem war cannot be waged without public support.

Soviet planning and preparation for war reflect a dominant feeling that war is inevitable. This is not to say that the USSR wants war, but that it is preparing for it continuously.

The Soviet state is autocratic, militarized, and centralized. Its political and economic systems give priority to military requirements. The state allocates resources and directs production for preparation and maintenance of a war footing.

The preparation of a nation for war is accomplished along three main lines:

  • the preparation of the armed forces,
  • the preparation of the national economy,
  • and the preparation of the population.
  • The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 21 August 2015

Brief History of Wolseley Barracks
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

A Brief History of Wolseley Barracks

Canadian Forces Base London
(Undated document, last date in document is 1963. All details are as presented in original and may require confirmation from additional sources.)

1840. — Groups were stationed in what is now Victoria Park. They were quartered in a log barracks named "TECUMSEH" after the famous Indian Chief.

1873. — Tecumseh Log Barracks burned to the ground.

1886.

(1)     The City of London traded the present site of Wolseley Barracks and small surrounding area for the Ordnance property in Victoria Park. The area at Oxford and Adelaide Streets was then outside the city limits in the area known as Carling Heights, RCE records indicate that $1.00 was charged in consideration for the exchange of Victoria Park and Carling Heights properties in which 55 acres of land were involved.

(2)     Construction of "A" Block, which as known as the Infantry School Building started, along with the following buildings:

(a)     Stables, which have now been torn down.

(b)     Picquet Hut for guarding the stable and RCE, RCASC Compound and the Infantry School Building which has since been torn down.

(c)     Building "T", which may originally have been built as an RCOC Depot.

(d)     Two million bricks were used in the construction of "A" Block. The bricks were made in close proximity to the barracks site. RCE records indicate that the cost of the Infantry Scbool Building was $77,300.

1888.

(1)     The buildings, begun in l886, were completed and the new barracks was then termed "Infantry School London, Ontario" (extracted from old General Orders). The first troops to occuppy the barracks were "D" Company, Infantry School Corps, commanded by Lt.-Col. Henry Smith.

(2)     Service units in the barrack area included Engineers, Service Corps, and Ordnance. Married quarters were provided in the Block.

1889. — An additional 26 acres were purchased from the City of London by the Militia and Defence Ministry. Total cost was $25,000

1894. — The Barracks was renamed "Wolseley Barracks" in honour of Viscount Wolseley.

1914-18. — Litttle change took place in the barracks until the First World War. Some buildings of a semi-temporary nature were constructed, but the majority of the troops were under canvas in the area of Gloucestershire Hall, known as "The Flats." Another building named Tecumseh Barracks was built in this area during the period.

1923. — HQ and "C" Company, RCR, occupted Tecumseh Barracks from 7 Dec 1920 to Apr 1923. This barracks burned down.

1930. — Building "U", near the McMahen St. Gate, was built.

1936. — The Royal School Building was completed at a cost of $36,000.

1938. — The last horses used by RCASC were retired and mechanical transport appeared in Wolseley Barracks.

NOTE: The riding ring for exercising the horses ridden by the Area Commander, the CO and the Adjutant of The RCR, was in the area where the present Victoria building is located.

1959-45. — Many buildings of wartime construction ("H" Huts) sprang up and were used after the war by both tthe Regulars and Militia. They were gradually torn down to make room for new buildings, or as no longer required, until in November 1963 only three or four remained.

1952-57. — The completion of a six million dollar expansion project, which changed the face of the barracks to its present shape. RCE records show a cost of $6,918,974.


(Image from The regimental journal of The RCR.)

Origin of the named used for buildings was from associations of The RCR, rather than from Royalty or Governors-General:

(1)     No. 1 Barrack Block — MacKenzie Building. From Thomas MacKenzie, the first man to enlist in the RCR, 7 Jan 84.

(2)     No. 2 Barrack Block — Wellington Block. Taken from Wellington Barracks, Halifax, which The RCR occupied from 1904 to 1940.

(3)     No. 3 Barrack Block — Stanley Block. Taken from Stanley Barracks, Toronto, which The RCR occupied from 1899 to 1940.

(4)     No. 4 Barrack Block — Tecumseh Block. After the Old Tecumseh Barracks, London, which The RCR occupied from 1920 to 1923.

(5)     No. 5 Barrack Block — St. Jean Block. Taken from the original location of "B" Company, The Infantry Corps School, in 1884 at St. Jean, PQ.

(6)     Lecture Training Building — Glacis Building. Taken from Glacis Barracks, Halifax, which the RCR occupied from 1900 to 1904.

(7)     Gymnasium — Gloucestershire Hall. From the RCR allied regiment of the British Army.

(8)     Adminsitration Building — Victoria Building. From Victoria Barracks, Petawawa; RCR from 1948 to 1954.

(9)     No. 1 Mess Hall — New Fort Hall. Taken from New Fort Barracks, Toronto, The RCR Barracks from 1884 to 1898.

(10)     No. 2 Mess Hall — Prince of Wales. Taken from the Prince of Wales Barracks, Montreal, The RCR Barracks from 1920 to 1924.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 August 2015 12:02 AM EDT
Thursday, 20 August 2015

MOS SOLDIER
Topic: US Armed Forces

MOS SOLDIER

(Military Occupational Specialty)

Department of the Army, April 1962, [US Army] Infantry, Vol. 52, No. 5, September-October 1962.

 

He is a patriot, is highly motivated and has integrity.

He has imagination and initiative.

He has a willing spirit and will never give up.

He has normal human fears but stays and fights.

He willingly endures hardship in war and peace.

He understands his job and his weapons.

He is versatile and can do more than one thing well.

He is a team player and, as such, understands the necessity for discipline.

He promptly and willingly assumes the responsibility of leadership.

He places country before self.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Officers' Dress in Combat
Topic: Officers

Officers' Dress in Combat

Gallant Gentlemen; a portrait of the British Officer 1600-1956, E.S. Turner, 1956

In a far-off Indian campaign a young officer, before the attack was due to be launched, took off his epaulettes and the plate and feather from his cap, so that, in Shipp's view, he looked like 'a discharged pensioner.' Asked why he had taken this 'imprudent and improper course' he replied that he hoped the enemy might be unable to distinguish him from a private. This young officer 'never re-established his former character' and had to leave the regiment.

But in a day of increased fire-power and deadly sniping [WWI] the idea began to gain ground that an attack might be likelier to succeed if the officer in command of it had more than a two-seconds chance of survival. Hence the transfer of 'pips' from cuff to shoulder and the wearing of ordinary soldiers' tunics. Hence, also, the decline of the vogue for light riding breeches, which had singled out scores of subalterns for a priority death. The officer's courage was never higher, but any tradition which served to squander it deserved to go under, unregretted.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tank Characteristics (1917)
Topic: CEF

Characteristics of the Various Types of Fighting Tanks.

Instructions for the Training of the Tank Corps in France, Reprint of a Pamphlet issued by Headquarters, Tank Corps, December 1, 1917, Bitish Army; [US} War Plans Division, July, 1918

(See Appendix A).

(a) Mark V. (Heavy). The characteristics of this type of tank are similar to those of the Mark IV., but its mobility is considerably greater, not only on account of the increased speed of the machine, but also on account of the greater ease with which it can be driven. The pace of the Mark IV. varied from half a mile to 4 miles an hour, according to the nature and condition of the ground. Its average rate of progress when fighting under favorable conditions was about 2 miles an hour. Although the actual speed of the Mark V. is not much greater than that of the Mark IV., this type of tank is so much easier to maneuver that the actual difference between its rate of progress in the field and that of the Mark IV. is really very considerable. It may be taken that in daylight the Mark V. can travel 1,300 yards across undulating country in the same time that the Mark IV. could travel 700 yards, and over hilly or broken country 1,800 yards as against 700 yards. By night the Mark V. can travel 1,800 yards across country in the same time as the Mark IV. could travel 700 yards.

The Mark V. can cross trenches from 9 to 10 feet wide, can surmount a perpendicular obstacle 4 feet high and move up and down a slope of 1 in 2. It cannot be depended upon to cross ground which tas been heavily shelled or is in a sodden condition. Wire, however, presents no obstacle to it, and it can pass with ease through thick hedges and woods if the trees are small.

The Mark V. is noisier than the Mark IV.and when in movement can be heard within a radius of 500 yards, unless the noise is covered. This can be done by artillery and machine gun fire or by low-flying aero planes.

The facility with which the Mark V. can be handled increases its defensive strength against artillery fire, because it can maneuvre more rapidly and thus not present so easy a target to the enemy's guns. Its fire power is considerably greater than that of the Mark IV. because the field of view obtained from it is more extensive.

It is essentially an offensive weapon and in defense every advantage should be taken of its mobility for counter attack.

(b) Mark V., One Star. This is a larger tank than the Mark V. and is slightly less mobile and easy to handle. It can be used to carry forward supplies and to bring back wounded. Ithas a greater trench-spanning power than the Mark V. As a weapon of offense, there fore, the Mark V., one star tank, should mainly be employed to attack the enemy's trenches.

(c) Medium "A" Tank (Whippet). The great mobility and radius of action of this type of tank makes it especially useful in open warfare. It is only armed with machine guns and its offensive power is consequently limited. It can be used to attack infantry and transport, but not as a tank destroyer.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 17 August 2015

RCAF Beginnings
Topic: RCAF

RCAF Beginnings

In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964

In November 1918 Canada had no air force. But she had airmen. Many thousands of Canadians enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service; the official figure of nearly 23,000 is far short of those who actually served. A thousand Canadian officers were killed in aerial action. Ten of twenty-seven leading "aces" (officially, pilots with five or more enemy planes shot down) were Canadians, including the renowned Major W. A. "Billy" Bishop who alone destroyed seventy-two German aircraft in combat. So substantial was the Canadian contribution to Allied air power, and so distinguished the record of Canadian airmen, that there were in process of formation as the Great War ended two identifiably Canadian air units. One of these was organized, at the suggestion of the Admiralty, by the Department of the Naval Service in June 1918, for coastal patrol and escort duty. A Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was authorized by the Canadian Government in September 1918, and training of recruits begun both in the United Kingdom and in the United States; but it was disbanded on 5 December 1918 "for the time being"—though "for the time being" proved to be a generation. [Robert Laird Borden: His Memoirs (Toronto, 1938), vol. II, p. 841]

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 August 2015

FOOD
Topic: Army Rations

FOOD

The Army Blue Book, The US Army Yearbook (Editor; Tom Compere), Volume 1, 1961

Washington, 3 Oct 1959

A ten-year survey of soldier preferences on some 400 food items in the military feeding system, published by the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute for the Armed Forces, revealed the following likes and dislikes of 30,000 enlisted men.

LIKED FOODS: Fresh milk, hot rolls, hot biscuits, strawberry shortcake, grilled steak, ice cream, ice cream sundaes, fried chicken, french fried potatoes, and roast turkey.

LEAST LIKED FOODS: Mashed turnips, broccoli, baked hubbard squash, fried parsnips, creamed asparagus, cabbage baked with cheese, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, ice coffee, cauliflower with cheese sauce, and candied parsnips.

The soldiers' food preferences will exert a growing influence on the type and quantities of certain foods purchased by the Quartermaster Corps, the Department of the Army Announced.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 15 August 2015

Ordinary day in billets
Topic: British Army

Ordinary day in billets

"Stand To" A Diary of the Trenches, 1915-18, Captain F.C. Hitchcock, M.C., F.R.Hist.S., 1937

1st November.

Ordinary day in billets. Orders circulated to companies for the relief of the 1st North Staffords in the front line at the "Mound of Death" on the morrow. Company commanders went off on reconnaissance and returned at night with a bad account of our new line. For the past month the area round the ruins of St. Eloi had witnessed much fighting. Three mines had been exploded, and there was the usual scrapping for possession of the craters.

Our Division expected an attack, and we were detailed to hold the position. Platoon commanders were given maps, and were told to explain the situation to the men. It was during this so-called rest, which was in reality one long endless fatigue, that Headquarters issued orders that owing to the unsavoury tone in the word "fatigue" in future the term "working party" must be used.

It was pointed out that these working parties performed most important work, and that there was as much honour and glory in a "fatigue" party as there was in being the attacking troops. We were ordered to read this out on parade. I did so, and when I had finished one "old tough" was overheard to remark: "Begorra, ye can change the bloody name but the fatigue is still there."

The word "mine" was also scrapped, "sap" being substituted, owing, they said, to the Huns getting to know about our mining activity. There was a rumour afloat that it was the intention of the Higher Command to stop the rum issue and give hot coffee in lieu. Fortunately nothing materialised in this direction and we all breathed in peace once more.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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