The Minute Book
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Japanese Army Rations, 1944
Topic: Army Rations

Japanese Army Rations, 1944

Soldier's Guide to the Japanese Army, Military Intelligence Service, November 1944

…when the Japanese soldier gets nothing to eat he becomes just as hungry and dejected as any other soldier.

There has been much misunderstanding of the food situation in the Japanese Army. Myths have sprung up concerning the ability of the Japanese soldier to subsist on extremely small quantities of food, and it has been popularly believed that he eats little save rice while in the field.

As a matter of fact, when the Japanese soldier gets nothing to eat he becomes just as hungry and dejected as any other soldier. He likes adequate meals at regular times and appreciates variety. Inadequate rations bring their full quota of complaints and exercise a depressing influence on individual and unit morale in the Japanese Army. One Japanese soldier plaintively records in his diary, "If I eat tonight, I may not be able to eat tomorrow. It is indeed a painful experience to be hungry. At the present time all officers, even though there is such a scarcity of food, eat relatively well. The condition is one in which the majority starves." Another complains about the monotony of the rations: "The never-changing soup for the morning meal. Only two meals today—army biscuits to gnaw at in the morning and miso soup with watermelon in the evening. Also had some salt beef."

The Japanese field ration is adequate and reasonably tasty; most of its components, after proper inspection, can be eaten by Allied troops. Rice is the stable part of the ration, comparable with bread or biscuit in other armies. Naturally, the Japanese soldier would no more be satisfied with a ration consisting exclusively of rice than an Allied soldier would with bread alone.

The rice, which is cooked dry to the consistency of a sticky mass to facilitate eating with chopsticks, may be either the polished or unpolished variety.

Ordinarily the polished type is used, since it can be kept in the cooked state longer. To ward off beri beri some barley may be mixed with the rice, but this mixture is not overly popular. Instead, the rice usually is cooked with a few pickled plums which not only afford protection against beri beri but also act as a laxative to counteract the constipating effect of rice. To make the rice more palatable, it prdinarily is seasoned with soy-bean sauce or the equivalent powder known as miso. Both the sauce (shoyu) and the miso are prepared from soy-bean seeds, to which malt and salt are added. The resultant products have a flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce and are much like the soy sauce found in all U.S. Chinese restaurants.

Other favored foods are pickled radishes; dried, tinned, or pickled octopus, which would be roughly comparable.with canned-salmon or herring in other armies; dried bread (hard-baked wheaten cakes), and vegetables. Preserved foods include dried and compressed fish—salmon or bonito which must be soaked and salted to make it palatable; pickled plums, compressed barley or rice- cakes, canned oranges and tangerines, and powdered tea leaves. Dehydrated vegetables, especially beans, peas, cabbage, horse-radish; slices of ginger; salted plum cake; canned beef; canned cooked whale meat; confections, and vitamin tablets often are included in ration issues. The ration is not standardized and ordinarily varies from 2 1/2 to 4 pounds per day for the standard field ration. The ration is calculated in two forms, the normal (fresh) and the special (preserved), depending upon the availability of fresh foods. Quantities also are graduated according to three categories of issues: the basic or full issue distributed when transport is adequate; the issue when transport is difficult; and the third and least quantity, issued when transport is very difficult.

There are two emergency rations. The "A" ration consists of about 1 pound 13 ounces of rice, 5 ounces of canned fish or meat, and a little miso and sugar. The "B" ration consists of "hard tack". This comprises three muslin bags of small oval biscuits; each bag contains a half-pound biscuit for one meal. This ration may only be eaten on orders of an officer. A compressed ration is also available for emergency use. It is made up of a cellophane packet containing cooked rice, pickled plums, dried fish, salt, and sugar.

An iron ration is issued only to parachutists. Weighing half a pound, this ration consists of wafer-like biscuits made of ground rice and flavored with sesame seed, and an extract made from mussel flesh, dried plums, preserved ginger, crushed soy beans, and mori (a form of dried seaweed).

An emergency air-crew ration found in New Guinea contained 20 ounces of unpolished rice, puffed wheat; biscuits, dried fish, two small bottles of concentrated wine (35 percent alcohol), candy, large salt tablets, and a water-purifier kit. The entire kit was packed in five transparent water-proof bags. On Bougainville a "Polished Rice Combination Case" was found which contained 40 portions, mostly rice, loose-packed in an air-tight tin case enclosed in a wooden crate. This, in addition to the rice, contained miso paste, vitamin-B concentrate, vitamin A and D tablets, powdered tea (vitamin C), fuel, and matches. These ingredients were packed in 3-ounce cans, with one can intended apparently for every two portions of rice.

Every opportunity is utilized to augment the normal ration issue. Fishing, gardening, and purchases from natives frequently afford welcome additions to the daily diet as well as variety. Foraging, both organized and unorganized, also is resorted to if the country is sufficiently well stocked to make such enterprise profitable. The Japanese soldier is very fond of confections, and these he may secure in the "Comfort Bags" sent by relatives and friends at home.

The transport of rations naturally varies with the terrain, the nature of the military operations, the availability of local food sources, and other factors. In New Guinea emergency rations sufficient for 12 days were carried by a battalion of 700. Each man carried a three-day supply of "fresh" food and a four-day supply of "preserved", with the reminder, aggregating 2.98 tons, carried in the battalion train. In another instance an infantry regiment carried rations for ten days, with four days calculated on an emergency basis. But the Japanese have made matches with only a five-day supply. Packaging was quite inferior in the early days of the war, and much canned and dehydrated food was lost as a result of this deficiency. Considerable improvement has been noted, however, in recent operations.

Army Ration Scales

Ration ItemNormal or Fresh ScaleSpecial or Preserved Scale
[Figures are ounces except where otherwise indicated]
Rice, or rice and barley28 
Compressed rice 20
Fresh meat or fish7.4 
Canned meat or fish 5.3
vegetables 4.2
plum 1.6
Shoyu (saure)1.7 
Powdered miso 1.1
Bean paste2.6 
Total4 lb.2 lb. 2 oz.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 28 September 2015

Dark Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Dark Leadership

Dark Leadership in the Ranks: How the U.S. Armed Forces Can Address Narcissism and Toxic Leadership, by David J. Boisselle and Jeanne McDonnell, 2014

"At one point or another in your career, you will work for a jackass, because we all have. People who are terrible to their subordinates may be perfectly civil and respectful up the chain of command." – Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [speaking to] West Point cadets.

Retired Army Lt. General Walter Ulmer served as the chief executive officer for the Center for Creative Leadership and has written about the problem of toxic leadership in the Army. Additionally, he compiled the following observations which toxic leaders frequently display:

  • They rarely take blame or share glory.
  • They are not toxic all the time, or to all people.
  • They are rarely if ever toxic when in the company of "the boss."
  • They sometimes have good ideas and accomplish good things.
  • They can be charming when the occasion fits.
  • They are frequently described as extremely bright and hard-working.
  • They often have a coterie of devoted "fans" who keep appearing on their staffs.
  • Most have been seen as toxic by subordinates since early in their career.
  • Their boss either does not know or pretends not to know, and almost never records, their abuse of subordinates.

Through interviews, surveys, literature, as well as reviews of numerous real-life cases, General Ulmer summarized that "Toxic leaders are individuals whose behavior appears driven by self-centered careerism at the expense of their subordinates and unit, and whose style is characterized by abusive and dictatorial behavior that promotes an unhealthy organizational climate." It is interesting to note that the first part of General Ulmer's definition noted toxic leaders are "driven by self-centered careerism." This supports studies of toxic leadership completed by retired Army veterans Joe Doty and Jeff Fenlason which found most, if not all, toxic leaders suffer from narcissism.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Court Martial of Thomas Tole
Topic: Discipline

The Court Martial of Thomas Tole

Extraordinary and Disgraceful Treachery

The Glasgow Herald, 24 September 1958

London, Sep. 22.—A worthless scoundrel, who deserted to the enemy from the English ranks when before Sebastopol, and by his treachery caused the slaughter of a number of his comrades, has just been captured, and awaits sentence of a court-martial. On the 22d of March, 1855, the 7th Regiment of Fusiliers were performing trench duty, when two of the men, Private Thomas Tole, and a companion named Moore, left the lines under pretence of searching for fuel, and instead of returning, went over to the enemy. The treacherous information they gave of the position of the company they had deserted from, proved a guide to the Russians, who, making a determined attack upon them the same night, killed Captain the Hon. Cavendish Brown and thirty men. Tole was not given up with the exchange of prisoners at the end of the war, but went to St. Petersburg. Desiring, subsequently, to return to England, he contrived to obtain a passport, and has been for some time in York. More recently he took up his quarters in old Mount Street, Manchester. Several months ago, Mr. Leary, superintendent of the B division, had him taken into custody on suspicion of being guilty of this heinous and disgraceful offence, but the evidence failed to prove his desertion. Later correspondence with the commanding officer, however, led to the production of witnesses who could speak more positively; and on Monday Tole was again placed before the city magistrate, when two of his former comrades in the same company, to whom he was personally known, gave evidence regarding his going over to the enemy, and he was ordered to be delivered over to the military authorities. Tole is a native of Ireland, and 24 years of age. A man of the same regiment, named Dennis Cleary, who was wounded, and has since received his discharge, is now a police officer in the B division. Tole states that his companions, Moore, died in two days after they joined the Russians. (Manchester Examiner)

elipsis graphic

General Court Martial on the Deserter to the Russians

The Glasgow Herald, 29 November 1958

Chatham, Nov. 26.—This morning, at eleven o'clock, a general court martial assembled at this garrison, by command of the Duke of Cambridge, for the trial of Private Thomas Tole, of the 1st battalion 7th Royal Fusiliers, who, when stationed in the Crimea with his regiment, in the early part of 1855, deserted to the Russian army. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles E. Fairtlough, commanding the 3d battalion, was president.

The prisoner on being brought into the room appeared very pale, but this, perhaps, arose from the lengthened period he has been in confinement, He appears to be about 26 years of age.

The Deputy Judge-Advocate read over the charge to the prisoner as follows:—"For having, in the month of January, 1855, when in the service of her Majesty, and with the army in the field in the Crimea, deserted and gone over to the enemy."

The prisoner, on being called upon, pleaded "Not Guilty."

All the witnesses were then ordered out of court, and the following evidence was afterward taken:—

Sergeant James Osmotherly, 7th Royal Fusiliers, said he belonged to the same company as the prisoner, and was in the same tent with him during the time the 7th Fusiliers were in the Crimea. In the month of January, 1855, the prisoner was one day warned for fatigue duty of Sergeant Ball, and was ordered, with another man, to go out and search for fuel. Prisoner was away between two and three hours when he was reported absent. The colonel ordered witness, Sergeant Ball, and another man to go out and see if they could find him. They first went over to Inkermann, and then passed round to the White House ravine, where the British picket was stationed. They inquired of the picket if they had seen any man go down after fuel, when they received the answer that they had, but that they did not know whether he came back again. Witness never saw prisoner again until he saw him a prisoner at Chatham.

By the Prosecutor—The men at that time were allowed to go for fuel in advance of the White House picket. Witness should say the White House picket was about 100 yards from the Russian picket, but he was not confident as to the distance, as advanced pickets were thrown out at night.

The prisoner declined asking this witness any questions.

Private George Hines, 7th Fusiliers, and other witnesses gave similar testimony.

Joseph Hurst, a police constable, of the Manchester police force, said he apprehended the prisoner in a beerhouse in that city of the 18th of September, on suspicion of being a deserter from the 7th Fusiliers.

The President (to the prisoner)—Have you any statement you wish to address to the Court?

Prisoner said he had, and proceeded to address the court as follows:—On the 17th of January, 1855, my company was warned for night duty, and on the morning of the 18th the picket came and relieved us, and we were marched to our tent. I had not time to file my firelock when another man and myself were ordered on wood fatigue. We went to try and get a few roots to boil our breakfast with, when two Russian officers came up to us and asked us what we were doing. We told them we were on fatigue, gathering wood. They asked us if we would go with them to take a wounded man in, and we consented to accompany them. They took us down into Inkermann, when, as we were going along, I told my comrade that we had better make a stand, as we were going too far, and try and get home. The officers then drew their swords, on which we wrestled with them, but having no arms, we were obliged to give in. I was wounded in the left arm. I was then marched into Sebastopol a prisoner.

The finding will not be known until it has been forwarded, together with all the evidence and the prisoner's defence, to the Duke of Cambridge for the approval of his Royal Highness.

elipsis graphic

The Annals of Our Time: A Diurnal of Events, Social and Political, Home and Foreign, from the Accession of Queen Victoria

June 20, 1837, Volume 1, By Joseph Irving, Macmillan and Company, 1871

26 November 1858.—At a court martial at Chatham, Private Thomas Tole, late of the 1st battalion 7th Royal Fusiliers, was found guilty of deserting to the Russians from the army before Sebastopol. He was sentenced to penal servitude for life.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 26 September 2015

Vietnam; Combat Tips (1967)
Topic: Drill and Training

Lessons Learned, Vietnam; Combat Tips (1967)

FMFRP 12-41; Professional Knowledge Gained from Operational Experience in Vietnam, 1967, U.S. Marine Corps, 1989

  • Ensure separation of communication capabilities so the probability of incoming rounds destroying all communications is reduced to a minimum.
  • The second in command at all echelons should be prepared to assume command under most adverse conditions; he should be positioned so the odds of his becoming a casualty day or night at the same time as the commander are minimized.
  • Be continuously alert to enemy tactics of trying to separate a unit, a point or a rear element from the main force or body.
  • Rehearse every, repeat every, combat patrol or contemplated offensive whenever possible.
  • Provide every patrol with the capability of calling in supporting fire.
  • If taken under mortar or artillery fire, prepare to return fire within 30 seconds. This capability requires at a minimum:
    • Mortar positions that can be occupied while under fire.
    • All personnel being capable of determining direction from which mortars are being fired (crater analysis) and a reporting procedure for passing on such information immediately.
  • Platoon commanders and company commanders should always be in a position to control and maneuver all of their units and supporting arms. For example, a platoon commander who acts as squad leader or a point, is not a platoon commander.
  • When halted for any period of time, dig in, improve holes, and cut into the sides of holes so VT can be called in on the position if such action becomes necessary.
  • When a Marine hits the deck, he should immediately roll to either the left or right to confuse the enemy as to his exact position.
  • When a unit halts at night, a change of position should be made during first hours of darkness.
  • When patrol bases are employed, prepare alternate positions. Avoid staying in one position more than one night.
  • Never occupy old positions (friendly or enemy).
  • Emphasize to Marines that stopping to render first aid while in the attack will only result in more casualties through loss of firepower and momentum.
  • No area, regardless of past activities, can be considered safe from possible enemy attack.
  • Communications have always been a lucrative source of intelligence. No matter what method of communication is used, except runners, we must assume that the enemy is listening. Don't shackle known enemy locations. Don't disclose frequencies and call signs. Don't discuss/disclose friendly locations and scheme of maneuver. Conduct comprehensive communications security training especially at the company level.
  • Learn all you can about the customs of the people.
  • Never sacrifice security for speed.
  • Practice fire discipline—shoot accurately and follow fire commands quickly. Fire at suspected enemy positions but don't squander your ammunition.
  • Listen to suggestions from others and adopt them if they are sound.
  • Use frag orders when the situation permits.
  • Don't overwhelm men with the "Big Picture."
  • Keep abreast of the tactical situation and keep your men informed.
  • Set the example.
  • Protect ammunition from deterioration. Use radio battery plastic covers and fuze cans for this purpose.
  • Move through jungle in multiple columns with all-around security using connecting files.
  • Move on concealed routes whenever possible.
  • Practice use of the compass, pacing and terrain orientation on all movements.
  • Use arm and hand or any other silent signals whenever possible.
  • Practice fire discipline.
  • Keep weapons immediately available for use. Maintain contact with the enemy once it is gained.
  • Test fire weapons before each operation.
  • Consider combat efficiency over personal comfort.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 25 September 2015

Basic Philosophy of Soldiering
Topic: Leadership

Colonel Glover Johns
Basic Philosophy of Soldiering


Col. Glover S. Johns Jr.

1.     Strive to do small things well.

2.      Be a doer and a self-starter—aggressiveness and initiative are two most admired qualities in a leader—but you must also put your feet up and THINK.

3.      Strive for self-improvement through constant self-evaluation.

4.      Never be satisfied. Ask of any project, How can it be done better?

5.      Don't over-inspect or over-supervise. Allow your leaders to make mistakes in training, so they can profit from the errors and not make them in combat.

6.      Keep the troops informed; telling them "what, how, and why" builds their confidence.

7.      The harder the training, the more troops will brag.

8.      Enthusiasm, fairness, and moral and physical courage - four of the most important aspects of leadership.

9.      Showmanship—a vital technique of leadership.

10.      The ability to speak and write well-two essential tools of leadership.

11.      There is a salient difference between profanity and obscenity; while a leader employs profanity (tempered with discretion), he never uses obscenities.

12.      Have consideration for others.

13.      Yelling detracts from your dignity; take men aside to counsel them.

14.      Understand and use judgement; know when to stop fighting for something you believe is right. Discuss and argue your point of view until a decision is made, and then support the decision wholeheartedly.

15.      Stay ahead of your boss.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Soviet Military Oath
Topic: Discipline

The Soviet Military Oath

FM 100-2-3&38212;The Soviet Army; Troops, Oraganization, and Equipoment, June 1991

The military oath

I, (name), a citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, by joining the ranks of the armed forces; take an oath and solemnly swear to be an upright, brave, disciplined, vigilant soldier, to strictly preserve military and government secrets, and to execute without, contradiction, all military regulations and orders of commanders and superiors. I swear to learn conscientiously the trade of war, to protect with all means the military and peoples' property, and to be devoted to my people, my Soviet homeland, and the Soviet Government to my last breath. I will always be ready to report, by order of the Soviet Government, as a soldier of the armed forces for the defense of my homeland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I swear to defend it bravely and wisely with all my strength and in honor, without sparing my blood and without regard for my life to achieve a complete victory over the enemy. Should I break my solemn oath, may severe penalties of the Soviet Law, the overall hatred, and the contempt of the working masses strike me.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 23 September 2015

10 Diseases of Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Richard Holmes'
'10 Diseases of Leadership'

A Sandhurst Guide, Pilot version, Easter 2012

Brigadier Edward Richard Holmes, CBE, TD, JP
(29 Mar 1946 – 30 Apr 2011

1.     Lack of moral courage. In the military physical courage is often supported by the sense of team and shared commitment to a specific task. Moral courage is often a far lonelier position and so that much harder to undertake in practice.

2.     Failure to recognize that opposition can be loyal. Encourage constructive dissent rather than have destructive consent.

3.     Consent and evade. Do not consent to a plan that you do not agree with then evade its implications by doing something different without telling your commander.

4.     There is a need to know and you don't need to know. Some people use information and access to it to reinforce their leadership position.

5.     Don't bother me with the facts I've already made up my mind. There is always a point where the detail of a plan is confi rmed, after which there is a tendency to ignore any new information that might suggest a change to that plan is required. The British as a people have a greater tendency than most to succumb to this.

6.     The quest for the 100% solution. A good plan in time is better than a great plan too late.

7.     Equating the quality of the advice with the rank of the person providing it. Wisdom and insight are not linked inextricably to rank and experience.

8.     I'm too busy to win. Failure to exploit opportunities that arise by being focused on routine work.

9.     I can do your job too. Avoid the temptation to slip back into your old comfort zones. It will smother subordinates.

10.     Big man, cold shadow. Consider the effect of your presence and involvement in a task. Will it help or hinder?

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Futility of the First World War
Topic: CEF

The Futility of the First World War

Trench Warfare, 1850–1950, Anthony Saunders, 2010

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

The popular view that the First World War epitomized the 'futility' of war, that it embodied the stupidity of obstinate generals who willfully sacrificed their men and that the horrors of trench warfare could have been avoided, is one that is very resistant to any evidence to the contrary. Indeed the notion that the First World War, the Great War, the war to End all Wars, was an aberration in which warfare descended into a kind of madness in which men were slaughtered in their thousands for a few square yards of ground is a view derived not so much from the actuality of what happened but from popularist versions of it fostered by memoirs published ten years after the war. Not least among those who claimed that the war had been generaled by the incompetent, but fought by heroes, was David Lloyd George, who fostered the view that so many deaths had not only been unnecessary but avoidable had the generals, Haig in particular, paid heed to his wise council. In the face of such 'evidence', it has always been very difficult to disprove such 'truths' as unnecessary sacrifice and futility. The anti-war sentiment is very much a British issue, however. The French, for example, do not hold such iews even though they suffered many more casualties than the British. The First World War was far from futile and the very antithesis of an aberration in military affairs.

There is no question that the First World War was unlike any previous war. Its scale and its intensity, the industrialized totality of the war and the four-year mutual stalemate that existed along the Western Front, the principal focus of the wart made the First World War unique in the history of warfare. However, unique does not equate with aberrant any more than stalemate equated with stasis. Indeed not only was the stalemate on the Western Front entirely predictable, although not while working to prevent each other from attaining that mobility, ensured that the Western Front was constantly changing. The dynamics of this process of change were complex but, by 1917, effective solutions to stalemate were being developed. By the spring of 1918, a new form of warfare had evolved. The nature of warfare was fundamentally altered by the need to overcome the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front. So profound were these changes that they formed the basis of the tactical doctrines employed in most armies across the world thereafter. It is a simple truth that this could not have occurred had the generals been quite so stupid and the fighting quite so pointless as the myth of the futility of the First World War dictates.

Predictable though the stalemate of the Western Front might have been, there is a gulf of difference between foreseeable and avoidable. While it is true that no army went to war in 1914 with the intention of remaining entrenched for four years, neither was any army trained to avoid this happening.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 21 September 2015

G.O.C. Inspection
Topic: Drill and Training

G.O.C. Inspection

'Worthy'; A Biography of Major-General F.F. Worthington, C.B., M.C., M.M., Larry Worthington, 1961

The G.O.C.'s first inspection included the motor transport repair depots, and it was no cursory glance at immobile vehicles. Red tabs and all, Worthy wriggled under the machines to check their over-all condition, and the transport officer must needs crawl after him. On the first occasion the officer tried to avoid it by bending double and peering respectfully at his general below.

"Get under this damn thing, Major!" said the G.O.C. irascibly. "How in hell can I show you from there!"

So the major had to crawl under and lie on his back too while the General indicated the trouble spots where daily neglect took its toll. It was possibly the first time that officer had ever inspected an army vehicle from that angle, but certainly not the last. The impact on the men was terrific and they loved it. It made the G.O.C. human and efficient, for there is nothing a soldier likes better than to be led by a man who knows and appreciates the men's jobs.

Worthy on inspection was something to see, but those in the happy position of observers were the only ones to fully appreciate it.

Proceeding down the line, head thrust forward, a piercing and discerning eye taking in every detail, he would stop at every third or fourth man. He might ask the man's name, his home town, his employment before enlisting, or say, "Do you like your job?" or more embarrassing still, "Do you think you're well turned out?" Again, he might order a rifle into the "inspect arms" position and pull down the muzzle to check it, or have a man remove and unpack his kit. Men often used wire frames inside their packs to square them up, greatly simplifying kit-packing, but after one or two inspections there was a marked decline in wire frames and an increase in properly packed kits.

The inspection of the rear of the file was even more nerveracking for they couldn't see what was going on. A soldier was more than likely to be told to bend his knee and raise a boot sole for inspection. Invariably the boots of the chosen soldier were in need of repair. It happened so often that rumours of X-ray eyes circulated, but Worthy had a secret formula for spotting worn soles and his ability to pick the equipment that was in poor condition amounted to genius.

Nor were the officers spared. One dental officer, ordered to draw his pistol and point it at the eye of his Commander, trembled so that his field of fire could have killed a platoon.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Six Rules of Soldiering
Topic: Military Theory

The Six Rules of Soldiering

Martin van Creveld, Fighting Power; German and US Army Performance, 1939-1945, referencing a German training manual "Heeres Dienstvorschrift 300 - Truppenfuhrung" (Army Manual 300 - Command of Troops, 1936)

1.     Develop individual initiative and responsibility.

2.     Never follow orders blindly.

3.     Develop proper discipline.

4.     Develop primary groups.

5.     Develop an unremitting attack philosophy.

6.     "The Golden Rule" — It is better to do something wrong but decisive, than to wait for orders which may never arrive.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Soldiers Load; Australia
Topic: Soldiers' Load

The Soldiers Load; Australia

A Review of the Soldier's Equipment Burden, Chris Brady, Derrek Lush and Tom Chapman; Land Operations Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, 2011

Content of Load Carriage Ensemble (LCE)

All infantrymen were asked to describe the total number and volume of different items in their LCE. Some of these items were not present during the interview but the soldiers said there was little variation between missions for these items. As is typical, all soldiers had equipment packed for 72 hour operations.

It should be noted that since this data collection was carried out in 2006 some items that were not on SOP lists are now Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) and are issued to soldiers.

2.5.1 Amount of Water

The majority of soldiers carried two litres of water in their webbing (or Camelback™) and eight litres in their packs. There was some variation in this, with some carrying more. The total weight of 10 litres of water is 10 kilograms, plus the weight of the various water storage containers.

2.5.2 Amount of Ammunition

Typically F89 Gunners carried 800 linked rounds, of which 500 was carried on their webbing, the rest given to another soldier to carry or (occasionally) in their packs. Total weight of 800 linked rounds is 10.8 kilograms.

The most common volume of rounds carried by those using the F88 rifle was 210 rounds (seven magazines). A few Section Commanders plus others carried from one to seven additional magazines. All ammunition (except perhaps those carrying large additions) was carried in webbing. Total weight of 210 rounds is 3.5 kilograms.

2.5.3 Amount of Rations

The average amount of rations carried was 3 days' worth. The majority of soldiers broke down their ration packs. Typically only one meal and/or snacks was stored in the soldier's webbing, the rest was in the pack. When the ration packs are broken down some items are normally discarded (Forbes-Ewan, 2001). The items discarded are usually done so because the soldier did not want to eat them, and not specifically because they were considered too heavy. Combat rations typically weighs 1.8 kg per soldier per day when complete. Patrol rations (a.k.a. 'dehyd' rations) typically weigh 1.1 kg per soldier per day when complete.

Note that water must be carried in addition to the patrol rations to re-hydrate them. Total weight for three days of combat rations is 5.4 kilograms.

2.5.4 Issued but not Carried

All soldiers' loads are determined by a unit SOP list. Soldiers in this study were asked if there was any equipment on their SOP list that they regularly did not carry with them, and why. There was only a small amount of kit from the SOP list not packed (Table 6). The bayonet cannot be used by soldiers with the underslung GLA, so they do not carry it with them. Many soldiers do not carry their mess kit, since most rationed food can been prepared and eaten without it. Quite a number of soldiers reported not carrying their issued sleeping bag. If the weather is warm then no cold weather kit was packed. Often no spare uniform is packed if the soldier is to be away for only 72 hours.

2.5.5 Alternative Version of Issued Kit

Soldiers were asked if they replaced GFE with their own personally procured items. Table 7 has a list of all reported non-GFE carried. Many soldiers did not carry the issued sleeping bag because it was considered bulky and heavy. The preferred alternative was the Merlin Softie™ series of sleeping bags, which was considerably smaller and lighter, and reportedly offered the same (if not better) heat insulation.

Some used non-issued versions of the raincoats, though no reason was given for this. Many soldiers also used a Maglite™-brand torch instead of the issued utility torch. The Maglite was supposedly brighter, lighter and smaller than the issued torch. Many soldiers carried a Leatherman™ or some other utility knife. Ka-bar™ knives were often carried also.

2.5.6 Additional Kit Carried

Many infantrymen carried additional equipment; kit that is not on the SOP list. The most common was the bivvy bag, which is a weather-proof outer to the sleeping bag. Camelbacks were also used by the majority of soldiers. Some also carried umbrellas, gas bottles and burners for added comfort when in the bush.

Table 6: List of reported equipment not carried (left), replaced (middle), and in-addition to the SOP list (right)

Issued but not CarriedAlternative Version of GFEAdditional Kit Carried
BayonetCam cream (alt type)Bivvy bag
Cold Weather UniformGun oil bottle (larger)Caribena
Pan Mess KitKnife (combat)Gas bottle & burner
Sleeping BagKnife (utility)Pegs
Spare uniformMozzie RepellentTorch (head light)
Softie sleeping bag (Merlin)Plastic Entrenching Tool

Some items were listed by soldiers as personal equipment but are now (or are soon to be) issued items. These include the Camelback and any additional water bladders, the Silva compass, the large (2 litre) water bottles and Maglite torches.

2.5.7 The Current Load

This report is not aiming to prove there is a soldier load carriage problem. The problem is so prevalent that no further proof is considered necessary; and previous studies have addressed this issue sufficiently (Knapik 2004; Allen & Vanderpeer 2007). Whilst there is no need to exhaustively list measured weights, and since the load distribution varies between Battalions, Platoons, and even soldiers, it will be useful to determine the average current weight for issues discussed in this report.

The weight of the equipment the infantryman must carry often exceeds 50 kg, but this has not always been the case. Knapik et al. (2004) reviewed data on the weights carried by soldiers throughout history. It is clear that the modern dismounted infantryman must carry a weight greater than soldiers in past conflicts. Part of this increased weight is because there is reduced auxiliary transport so the soldier must carry their own equipment. In fact, a key advantage of the dismounted infantry is that they can penetrate where support vehicles can't follow.

Load weight has also increased as the capability of the soldier has increased; the soldier can now do more by utilising new equipment previous generations of soldiers did not have access to. However, it is likely that the equipment burden has now increased to the point where capability is compromised. As Paulson (2006 p.81) notes; 'the weights carried at the moment are incongruent with the notion of manoeuvre warfare'.

Numerous studies have reported the weight carried by soldiers from various countries in different conflicts. The results of this survey are compared to previous studies in Table 7. It is important to acknowledge that the weights carried changes over time as food is consumed, water drunk and ammunition used (especially during training). As such a full load does not remain full for long and weights quoted are often full loads.

Table 7: The Weight (in kg) of Soldier Equipment by survey

Load-outDescriptionDuration wornSOP (2)Land 125 SOP (3)Survey (4)
Light PatrolWebbing Only8 hr24.938.3
Patrol OrderWebbing & Day Pack8-24 hr37.734.748.1
Marching OrderWebbing & Field Pack24-72 hr60.2.9.346.057.0

*averaged over the section
(2) – 2 litres of water for patrol order. 4 litres of Marching order (though 3 days rations and ammo).
(3) – 8 litres of water for marching order. 4 litres for patrol order. 2 litres for light patrol order. From the Land 125-01-02 (MAR 02).
(4) – Includes typical load: Pack webbing and contents. 10 litres water, 3 days rations, front line ammo & weapon Excludes section and platoon level equipment: radios, med kits, batteries, GPS, binoculars & NVG.

In summary, although there is some difference between soldier roles and operations, in general it is likely that 55 kg is typical.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 August 2015 10:21 PM EDT
Friday, 18 September 2015

Selfless Commitment
Topic: British Army

Selfless Commitment

Values and Standards of the British Army, January 2008

The British Army is structured and trained for operations, not for the convenience of administration in barracks. On joining the Army soldiers accept a commitment to serve whenever and wherever they are needed, whatever the difficulties or dangers may be. Such commitment imposes certain limitations on individual freedom, and requires a degree of self-sacrifice. Ultimately it may require soldiers to lay down their lives. Implicitly it requires those in positions of authority to discharge in full their moral responsibilities to subordinates. Selfless commitment is reflected in the wording of the Oath of Allegiance which is taken on attestation. In it, soldiers agree to subordinate their own interests to those of the unit, Army and Nation, as represented by the Crown:

"I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."

(Those who do not believe in God "Solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm.")

Irrespective of private beliefs, this Oath embodies the context within which the British Army fights and operates. It expresses the loyalty of every soldier to the Sovereign as Head of State. These relationships find expression in the Colours, Standards and other emblems of Regimental and Corps spirit, which derive from the Sovereign. Personal commitment is the foundation of military service. Soldiers must be prepared to serve whenever and wherever required and to do their best at all times. This means putting the needs of the mission and of the team before personal interests.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 17 September 2015

US Army Ration 1830s
Topic: Army Rations

US Army Ration 1830s

A Short History of the US Army Noncommissioned Officer, L.R. Arms

Daily rations during the 1830's included:—

  • beef (1 ¼ lbs) or pork (¾ lbs);
  • flour or bread (18 ounces);
  • whiskey, rum, or other liquor (¼ pint);
  • vinegar (4 quarts per 100 men);
  • soap (4 lbs per 100 men);
  • salt (two quarts per 100 men); and
  • candles (1 ½ lbs per 100 men).

The liquor ration was eliminated in 1832 and replaced with four pounds of coffee and eight pounds of sugar per 100 men.

The lack of vegetables in the daily ration often proved disastrous at frontier posts. During the winter months scurvy struck posts and the only relief was to trade local Indians whiskey for vegetables. This trade, though illegal, saved more than one post from the ravages of scurvy. When coffee replaced whiskey, the Army had little to trade to attain the needed vegetables, as Indians would rarely trade vegetables for coffee. (For prevention of scurvy, beans were introduced into the daily ration in the 1840's.)

Post gardens provided another source of nutrition outside the daily rations. In an effort to lower the cost of sustaining an Army, gardens were used to grow vegetables. Enlisted men planted, hoed, and watered the gardens as fatigue duty. At other posts, in addition to gardens, herds of cattle were maintained. Many commanders and enlisted men disapproved of such duty, regarding it as unmilitary.

Considered by many to be more military, and assisting in supplementing the daily ration, hunting proved popular on the frontier. One commander went so far as to declare that the Army would save a great deal of money and train its troops if soldiers were organized into hunting parties, instead of spending endless hours on fatigue duty.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Qualities of the Leader
Topic: Leadership

Qualities of the Leader

Leadership, Courtesy and Drill, War Department, Washington, February 1946

Ridicule, sarcasm, and insulting remarks create resentment and should never be employed. Surliness and uncontrolled anger indicate lack of poise and selfcontrol, often concealing inability and lack of knowledge.


A leader is self-confident and commands his subordinates. He is not arrogant, nor does he look down upon subordinates as inferiors lacking in intelligence, in self-respect, or in the desire to do their share. The leader must possess the soldierly qualities of obedience, loyalty, neat8ness, precision, self-control, endurance, courage, and coolness in the face of danger in a sufficiently high degree to be a fitting example to his men. Mutual respect and loyalty are essential in a team.


Successful practical experience gives the leader confidence in himself and inspires it in his men. Intelligence and knowledge derived from the experience of others may serve as substitutes initially, but handling men is an art developed through experience. It is the duty of all leaders to afford their subordinates opportunities to practice leadership, and to encourage suboirdinate leaders to solve their own problems by giving them maximum responsibility for their units, subject only to necessary supervision. Inexperienced leaders may ask the advice of their superiors, experienced subordinates, and other experienced leaders, but they should not depend on others to make their decisions for them. The decisions and the responsibility should be theirs alone.

Relationship With Subordinates.

a.     The leader should adopt a sensible and natural attitude in dealing with his subordinates. It is always a grave mistake for a leader to try to gain popularity by undue familiarity, coddling, or currying favor, because it is an inescapable fact that intimate association between leaders and those they lead tends to destroy discipline and lower prestige. In the interests of good discipline, officers are required to wear a distinctive uniform, to live apart from the men, and to confine their social contacts in the Army to other officers. This age-old distinction prevails in all armies. Enlisted men understand and appreciate the reasons and necessities which prevent undue familiarity with their leaders and have little but contempt for the officer or soldier who, forgetting his own place, deliberately crosses the dividing line reserved for the other. The wise leader will walk the thin line between friendship and familiarity, and at the same time be parent, brother, and father-confessor to his men. It has been said that "a good leader has the patience of Job, the loyalty of Jonathan, and Martha's willingness to serve." However, this is never a one-sided relationship, because experience has shown that if the leader will take care of his men, they'll take care of him.

b.     It is important that a commander keep himself accessible at all times to the men of his unit. Thoughtful consideration must be given to complaints. The man who makes a complaint thinks he has suffered an injustice. If he has, the-fault should be remedied; if not, his faulty impressions should be corrected at once. In this way no grievances, real or imaginary, will be allowed to develop.

Decisiveness, Initiative, Resourcefulness.

a.     The unexpected is always a test of leadership. The ability to grasp the facts in a situation quickly and to initiate prompt intelligent action is invaluable. A clear understanding of the objective to be attained will usually guide a leader to a sound decision.

b.     Decisiveness is of great importance. Indecision, or hasty decisions which must be changed, destroy confidence. Stubborn adherence to faulty decisions creates resentment, while frank admission of error with prompt corrective action inspires respect and confidence.

c.     In some situations, action may be necessary which is beyond the scope of the leader's authority or contrary to his orders. In such circumstances, he reports the situation to his superior with his recommendations, or, when the urgency warrants it, takes action himself and reports his actions to his superior as soon as possible. Soldiers unite quickly behind 'a leader who meets a new and unexpected situation with prompt action.

d.     New situations and absence of means due to enemy action or other cause demand resourcefulness in a leader. Military supply, organization, and training are designed to meet all normally expected situations, but sometimes fail under combat conditions. Inactivity or passive acceptance of an unsatisfactory situation because of lack of normal means or ways of dealing with it are never justified.


Thoughtfulness includes the forethought essential to planning and such qualities in relations with others as courtesy, consideration, sympathy, and understanding.

a.     Proper planning is essential to the success of any mission, whether in training or in combat. The welfare of the men is an important element in all plans, second only to the accomplishment of the mission.

b.     Courtesy is discussed in chapter 3.

c.     A leader's consideration for his men, like the spirit of obedience, is ever present. It reveals itself in 'many little ways, such as letting them be at ease during explanations at drill, insuring that they get hot meals on marches or in combat, taking advantage of lulls to let them rest or sleep, commending work well done, and understanding and discussing with them their points of view and their individual problems.

d.     Sympathy should be intelligent. It should not encourage men to shirk, feel sorry for themselves, or rebel. It should not produce that familiarity which breeds contempt or lack of respect. It should not blind the leader or his men to the realization that orders must be obeyed even when the reasons for them are not understood, that hardships are to be expected and must be endured, and that the impossible may have to be attempted and achieved.

Justice and Impartiality

a.     Everyone resents injustice and favoritism. In assigning duties, recognizing merit, granting privileges, or awarding punishment, the leader must be just and impartial. He must be accessible, willing to listen to and investigate complaints, and prompt in taking corrective action when necessary.

b.     Commendation is more effective than criticism, but indiscriminate praise reduces the value of commendation, and failure to point out faults is unjust. An incompetent subordinate should be removed, but the leader should not condemn him until he has pointed out his errors to him and given him a chance to correct them, unless it is clearly obvious that to do otherwise would threaten the success of a unit's mission.

c.     To accept slipshod performance as satisfactory is to court disaster in battle. Likewise, to accept willing, competent performance without recognizing it with commendation or other reward is a serious neglect that ultimately produces discouragement and destroys that willingness which is an essential element of obedience.

Additional Qualities

a.     There are other positive qualities which create respect. These are honesty, truthfulness, decency, dependability, and sincerity. Possession of these create self-reliance and engender self-respect. Many attributes, such as sincerity, enthusiasm, friendliness, and good humor, are invaluable to a leader; these should be natural and not forced or exaggerated. If not inherent, they can be acquired over a period of time by observation of others and thoughtful application of the results of this observation to one's needs.

b.     Dissolute habits must be avoided and undesirable traits of character must be corrected. Immorality, obscenity, drunkenness, gambling, and continued indebtedness undermine morale fiber and destroy the will as well as being outward indications of self-degradation. Ridicule, sarcasm, and insulting remarks create resentment and should never be employed. Surliness and uncontrolled anger indicate lack of poise and self-control, often concealing inability and lack of knowledge.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 September 2015 12:08 AM EDT
Tuesday, 15 September 2015

British Operational Rations
Topic: Army Rations

British Operational Rations

Excerpted from Operational Ration Packs of the British Armed Forces, Defence Food Services (DFS) Defence Equipment and Support, Bristol

24 Hour Operational Ration Pack (ORP)

The 24 Hr GP [General Purpose ration] is currently available in one of 20 menus. These menus are mixed 10 to a box, with box A containing menus 1-10, and box B menus 11-20. These are then mixed on the pallet with an equal number of box A and B. In this way the maximum number of menus is made available to the end user. Menus are changed frequently to ensure maximum choice to the end user and to prevent menu fatigue. The 24 Hr rations have a number of variants that are designed to meet the religious and cultural requirements of the modern, diverse nature of the British Military. All of these variants are based on the standard 24 Hr GP, and are suitable for consumption by everyone. They are designed for the British Serviceman and woman. Seen side by side, the variants would be very difficult to tell apart from the GP. They are based on the same macro and micro nutrient requirements and go through the same FSP process. The variants have 10 menus per outer carton and are comprised of Vegetarian, Halal, Sikh/Hindu and Kosher.

10 Man ORP

The 10 Man ORP is designed primarily for use by military chefs in a field kitchen, with one box (10 rations) feeding 10 men for one day. This ration is used once any warfighting phase has passed and when the tactical situation allows the deployment of a field kitchen. They are also suitable for use by the novice or “hobby chef”. The components should be used according to the instructions on each packet/sachet/tin. Various guides exist to enable the chef to make the most from the contents of the box, flexibility in use being the key to the production of a variety of tasty meals. Each box of 10 rations is designed to enable a two course breakfast, lunch and three course dinner to be made, as well as various drinks, both hot and cold. In use, the pouches, cans etc should be heated until piping hot, opened, and the contents within 90 minutes and disposed of if not used within this time. In the absence of adequate refrigeration, care should be taken not to store the components in direct sunlight, and especially when opened.

Currently there are 5 main menus and although there are no specific ethnic varieties available, there are sufficient vegetarian components within the menus to produce a vegetarian option if required. Each box comes with a range of basic raw materials, a chef's pack containing flour, yeast, spices and other condiments etc and a number of hot and cold drink choices.

24 Hour Jungle Ration

The 24 Hour Jungle ration is based on the standard 24 Hr ration with additional supplements and a Flameless Ration Heater (FRH). The Jungle ration is designed for use by the SF and other specialist units and is not usually available for general consumption. Currently it provides a minimum of 4,500 kcal per day.

Cold Climate Ration

The Cold Climate Ration (CCR) is a specialist and lightweight, high calorie 24 Hr ration designed for use by troops above the snow line or in the high Arctic. It comprises mainly dehydrated main meals with a range of snacks designed to be eaten on the go. The CCR ration provides a minimum of 5,500 Kcals per ration and currently 8 menu choices are available, mixed per outer.

12 Hour ORP

The 12 Hr ORP is a lightweight ration designed for patrolling for durations from 4 – 12 hours. It comes complete with a FRH thus dispensing with the requirement for an additional heating source. In addition to a main meal in a retort pouch, it also contains a number of snack items and drink powders, but NO hot beverage items. Due to its utility in fulfilling a number of requirements, e.g. for drivers, remote guard posts etc, and its ambient shelf stable nature, it is available to any unit worldwide where this type of operational ration is required. It is also useful in meeting a nutrition gap where the daily energy expenditure is expected to be in excess of 6,000 Kcals, e.g. arduous training.

The 12 Hr ration provides a minimum of 2,000 Kcals per ration and currently 10 menu choices are available including one vegetarian.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 14 September 2015

The C.F.A. at the Somme
Topic: CEF

The C.F.A. at the Somme

Contributed by Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, Ottawa, Canadian Army Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1964.

The 13th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, disembarked at Le Havre on September 14, 1915, and for the next twelve months manned their guns in the misery of the mud of the Ypres Salient, and fought at St. Eloi, Sanctuary Wood and Hooge. Early in September, 1916, they moved with the 2nd Canadian Division to the Somme. Their arrival there is described in GunFire, the history of the 4th Brigade, C.F.A.: During the last day's march into the Somme, Driver George Wisheart, 13th Battery, was leading driver of the leading gun of the leading Battery of the leading Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Divisional Artillery, and mighty proud old George was of that fact. The Battery was halted in a small village where a certain British Battalion was billeted; and where troops are billeted it is customary to find a Regimental Padre. Down the village street came the British Padre and, with the best of intentions, but nevertheless somewhat too dignified an air, enquired of George, "What Division are you, my man?" "Second Canadians, sorr!" George answered. "Ah yes! Where are you going, my man?" "To the Somme, sorr." "Ah indeed!", and glancing along the line of well kept horses, burnished brass, and shining leather, and taking us for new troops, the Padre further remarked: "I suppose you're going in to your baptism of fire?" Old George stiffened as he thought of the past twelve months up in the Salient, and with stinging voice replied: "Baptism is it, sorr? Not by a damn sight! It's our bloody golden wedding!"

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 13 September 2015

Toxic Leadership (Ulmer)
Topic: Leadership

Toxic Leadership

Toxic Leadership: What Are We Talking About?, by LTG Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. (US ARmy Retired), ARMY, June 2012.

The U.S. Army War College study, "Leadership Lessons at Division Command Level-2010: A Review of Division Commander Leader Behaviors and Organizational Climates in Selected Army Divisions after Nine Years of War," surveyed and interviewed 183 officers from four divisions just returning from deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. The study summarized officer views of toxic leaders as "self-serving, arrogant, volatile, and opinionated to the point of being organizationally dysfunctional … very persuasive, responsive, and accommodating to their seniors." In those interviews, the report continued, "it seemed clear that officers were not describing the 'tough but fair,' or even the 'oversupervisor,' or the 'not really good with people,' or even the 'rarely takes tactical initiative.'" These officers' perceptions make a discernible, important distinction between tough and toxic. An assessment of a leader as inferior or even unsatisfactory based on decision-making inadequacies, clumsy interpersonal skills or lack of drive did not automatically label him as toxic. It is also possible to "make tough, sound decisions on time," "see the big picture [and] provide context and perspective," and "get out of the headquarters and visit the troops"—the top behaviors of a highly regarded senior leader as reported in a 2004 division commander study—and still be conspicuously toxic as judged by a majority of subordinates. In other words, while all toxic officers are ultimately poor leaders, not all poor leaders are toxic. The forthcoming version of Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership notes, "Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization and mission performance." A recent study on ethical behavior by the Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic, "ACPME Technical Report 2010-01: MNF-I Excellence in Character and Ethical Leadership (EXCEL) Study," stated, "The Army should develop leaders who understand the line between being firm … and being abusive; and identify and separate those found to be abusive." Identify and separate are the important words.

A proposed definition: Toxic leaders are individuals whose behavior appears driven by self-centered careerism at the expense of their subordinates and unit, and whose style is characterized by abusive and dictatorial behavior that promotes an unhealthy organizational climate. Other observations about toxic leaders from surveys, interviews and literature—most derived from research and discussions about senior leaders or managers—are:

  • They rarely take blame or share glory.
  • They are not toxic all the time, or to all people.
  • They are rarely if ever toxic when in the company of "the boss."
  • They sometimes have good ideas and accomplish good things.
  • They can be charming when the occasion fits.
  • They are frequently described as extremely bright and hard-working.
  • They often have a coterie of devoted "fans" who keep appearing on their staffs.
  • Most have been seen as toxic by subordinates since early in their career.
  • Their boss either does not know or pretends not to know, and almost never records, their abuse of subordinates.

elipsis graphic

Two of the categories used in data collected from selected CGSC and War College student samples during 1996–2010Estimates in population
Essentially transformational: Inspirational, encouraging, puts mission and troops first; coaches, builds teams and a healthy climate; sets high standards for self and others; generates and reciprocates trust.30–50 percent
Essentially toxic: Alienates and abuses subordinates; creates a hostile climate; often rules by fear; rejects bad news; seen as self-serving and arrogant; is skillful in upward relationships; usually bright, energetic and technically competent.8–10 percent

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 13 September 2015 12:08 AM EDT
Saturday, 12 September 2015

How to Overcome Nervous Troubles (1920)
Topic: Taking Advantage

How to Overcome Nervous Troubles

A Returned Soldier Tells How he Regained Health and Strength

The Carp Review and Carleton County Advertiser, Carp, Ont., 15 July 1920

Nervous troubles of all kinds, particularly nervous debility, work a remarkable transformation in the patient. The change is both physical and mental. The sufferer loses weight and strength, and frequently becomes irritable and fault finding. Troubles that were thrown off without any difficulty assume exaggerated proportions. Other symptoms of this nervous condition are poor appetite, headaches, exhaustion after little effort, and frequently distress after meals.

The cause of this debility is generally starved nerves. The blood which gives the nervous system its food and power to work efficiently has become thin and weak, and until the blood regains its tone and strength there can be no improvement in the condition of the nerves. In cases of this kind Dr. Williams Pink Pills will be found to be the very best medicine. They make rich, red blood which feeds and strengthens the starved nerves, and in this way restores the sufferer to full health and strength.

Proof of this is found in the case of Mr. Fred Sander, London, Ont., who says:

"While on service with the Imperial forces in Africa. I completely lost my health through continual hardship and shock. I was sent back to the base hospital suffering, so the doctor said, from nervous debility. After spending some time in the hospital I was invalided back to England as unfit for further service. After spending a long time in Netley Hospital, I was given my discharge, but was still a weak and nervous wreck, absolutely unfit for work. I have neither the strength nor ambition to do anything. In London I doctored for three or four months with a civilian doctor, who finally advised a change of climate. I was terribly nervous, suffered from sleeplessness, smothering and sinking spells, and pains in the heart; my hands and feet were always cold and clammy. At this time I decided to come to Canada, and shortly after reaching this country was advised to try Dr. Williams Pink Pills. After I had taken the pills for some weeks I found myself improving. I continued using the pills for several months with the result that they fully restored my health. My nerves are now as steady as a rock; my appetite the best, and my eyes and skin, which had turned yellowish, are clear and healthy looking. I feel like a new man in every way, and fit for anything, I have since recommended the pills to several friends, and know of several cases where they were beneficial in the influenza epidemic. I am of the opinion that should any of my returned soldier comrades use Dr. Williams Pink Pills, for shell shock, they would be a great help to them."

You can get Dr. Williams Pink Pills through any dealer in medicine or by mail, post paid, at 50 cents a box or six boxes for $2.50 from The Dr. Williams Medicine Co., Brockville.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 11 September 2015

German Army; Rations in Winter (1943)
Topic: Army Rations

German Army; Rations in Winter (1943)

German Winter Warfare, Military Intelligence Division, Washington, December 1943


All commanders and all units concerned with rations should always be conscious of the fact that they have the very responsible task of keeping their troops healthy. In the winter the troops should receive warm food and hot drinks more often than in summer. Hot soups should be served frequently with breakfast and supper. Always have hot water ready for preparing warm drinks. The colder the weather, the more fat should be included in the food. Food, especially cold cuts, must not be served if its temperature is under 50 degrees F. Cold easily causes deterioration or reduction of nutritive value; therefore, special attention should be given to the transportation, storage, and care of food which is susceptible to cold.

Alcoholic drinks should be issued only at night in bivouacs. Rumn should not be given unless it is mixed with hot drinks, such as tea. If liquors like cognac and vodka are issued, care must be taken that some soldiers do not receive more than their regular share either as a gift from other soldiers or by trading.

If it is anticipated that serving from field kitchens will not be possible, powdered coffee, tea, and other rations should be issued in advance to enable the soldiers to prepare their own hot drinks and hot food. To prevent overloading the men, however, only essential rations should be issued. Otherwise they will throw away whatever seems to be superfluous at that moment. Every man must know how to cook and should be given opportunities to practice cooking. Patrols and raiding parties should receive rations which are light and do not occupy much space.

Field Rations In Extreme Weather

In extremely cold weather, the following rations are especially suitable for the field kitchen: frozen and canned meat; hard salami; bacon; smoked meat; fresh vegetables, including beans and peas; spaghetti; macaroni; noodles; frozen potatoes; and frozen vegetables. Food which has a high water content should not be taken along.

Hot drinks should be issued. If the soldier cannot be fed from the field kitchen, he should be issued the following provisions:

(1)     Bread ready for consumption and with some sort of spread on it. The men should wrap it in paper if possible and carry it in their pockets to protect it against the cold.
(2)     Cracked wheat bread.
(3)     Dried and baked fruits.
(4)     Candies.
(5)     Chocolates.

Drinks carried in the canteen will stay warm to some extent only if the canteen is well wrapped and then placed inside the bread bag or pack. If the canteen is carried outside on the bread bag, the contents will soon freeze. Never permit soldiers to eat snow to quench their thirst, or to drink cold water on an empty stomach. Snow water should be drunk only after it has been boiled. (Caution!)

Emergency Rations

WVhen on reconnaissance or isolated sentry duty, a soldier is often forced to be economical with his food. The following suggestions on how to make provisions last are based on Russian recommendations for emergency foods for guerrillas, stragglers, etc.

a.     Frozen Meats

The simplest way to keep meat in winter is to let it freeze. Before being boiled or fried, it should be thawed over the range. If quick cooking is necessary, cut the frozen meat into little pieces and place them on the lid of the mess kit, after adding fat and a little salt. Keep the meat over the fire until a sample is at least tolerably tasty. During the thaw period, thawed meat will easily spoil. To prevent this, cut the meat into thin slices, dry them on a piece of sheet iron over a stove, and sprinkle them with salt. Meat thus cured will keep reasonably long.

b.     Raw Fish

Cut the frozen fish into thin flakes, or, preferably, scrape the fish with a knife instead of cutting it, so that thin shavings are formed. If need be, it can be consumed without cooking.

c.     Food from the Woods

The red bilberry grows in pine woods beneath the snow. Cranberries are found in mossy bogs. Fir cones and pine cones, when held over a fire, will open and yield nourishing seeds. Yellow tree moss is poisonous. Other tree mosses, especially Iceland moss (steel gray), become edible after several hours of cooking. The rushes which grow on the banks of rivers and lakes have root ends which can be eaten when boiled or baked. Wild apples or bitter fruits, like those of the mountain ash, become sweet after freezing.

d.     Sawdust Flour

Flour rations can be stretched by adding sawdust flour, made preferably from the pine tree, but birch bark may also be used. For this purpose, carefully cut the outer layer of the bark from a young tree. Make two ring-shaped incisions in the inner layer of bark, about a yard apart, and vertical cuts between them. Then carefully lift off segments of the inner bark with a sharp knife, cut them into small pieces, and boil them, changing the water several times to eliminate the taste of tar. Next, dry the pieces until they are not quite brittle. Finally, mash and pulverize the pieces in the hand.

Usually sawdust flour is mixed with rye flour in a proportion of 25 to 100 or even 50 to 100. It is stirred into the dough with water added. Sour milk may also be added. The dough is rolled out very thin, and small flat cakes are baked.

e.     Baking Bread in Mess Kit

Bread can be baked in the mess kit in hot ashes. This method is employed only when other bread cannot be obtained. The simplest and quickest way is to use baking powder. The ingredients are two mess-kit covers full of rye or wheat flour (about 540 grams, or 1 pound 3 ounces); one mess-kit cover about half full of cold water; one-half ounce of baking powder; and one-half teaspoon of salt, if it is available. Mix the ingredients slowly, add cold water, and knead the dough until it becomes medium stiff. This dough is shaped into a roll the length of the mess kit. Roll the loaf in flour and place it in the mess kit. Close the mess kit with its cover, and put it under embers and hot ashes, baking the dough for about 1 1/2 hours.

Effect of Cold Weather on Food

The following articles of food will not spoil or at least will not deteriorate materially in extreme cold: bread; meat and meat products of all kinds, including canned meat; canned and fresh fish; fats; dried beans and peas; dried vegetables; dried fruit; macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, and other grain products; rice; coffee; tea; sugar; salt; spices; and dehydrated foods.

Canned vegetables; mixed fruit preserves which have been prepared in water or in their own juice, as well as sauerkraut and beans in cans or barrels; marmalade; and honey freeze easily but generally do not deteriorate. They should not be stored where the temperature is below the freezing point. Milk, fruit juices, mineral waters, wine, beer, and liquor in bottles or barrels should be protected against freezing; otherwise the bottles and barrels may break. Red wine will not keep in cold temperatures. Potatoes become sweet when frozen and their palatability is thereby affected. Both hard and soft cheeses lose flavor, dry out, and crumble after they are thawed out.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 10 September 2015

Soviet Operational and Tactical Principles

Soviet Operational and Tactical Principles

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

The offensive is the basic form of combat action. Only by a resolute offense conducted at a high tempo and to great depth is total destruction of the enemy achieved.

Combat maneuver units must be mobile and capable of rapid movement.

Fire support, command and control, and logistics must be as mobile as maneuver units.

Conduct thorough and continuous reconnais- sance. Find the enemy's weak points.

Perform a thorough estimate of the situation and make timely, analytical decisions. Be realistic. Consider the mission, enemy, your own combat power, terrain. weather and light conditions, and time.

Prepare and plan extensively and in detail.

The planning and conduct of an operation must involve the full coordination and coopera- tion of all commanders involved.

There must be unity of command, a single commander for any operation.

Fully orchestrate all available combat mea~s in a coordinated, cooperative, combined arms effort.

Deceive the enemy. Attack from an unexpected direction at an unexpected time. Use terrain and weather to your advantage.

Strike early with great force. Constantly strive to preempt and dominate the enemy.

Attack the enemy violently and simultaneously throughout his depth. Carry the battle to the enemy rear with swift penetrations by maneuver units, fires, aviation, airborne and heliborne assaults. and by unconventional warfare means.

Be bold and decisive. Seize and hold the initiative.

Prosecute an operation relentlessly, without pause, under all conditions of visibility or NBC contam ination.

Keep the enemy under constant pressure and off balance. Do not allow him to react effectively.

Fully exploit the effects of nuclear or chemical strikes with deep attacks by all available forces.

Whenever possible achieve mass by concen- trated, massed nuclear or nonnuclear fires 2-4 rather than by massing maneuver forces.

If maneuver forces must be massed, do so rapidly. Disperse them as soon as possible after the task has been achieved.

Maneuver first with firepower. Firepower is maneuver.

Maneuver forces should attack the weakest points in enemy defenses. If necessary, create weak points or holes with nuclear or nonnuclear fires. Bypass enemy strongpoints to strike deeply into his rear.

Avoid frontal attacks. Whenever possible strike the enemy in the flanks or rear.

Maintain security of your own flanks and rear.

Maintain sufficient follow-on force to assure achievement of the mission and to deal with contingencies.

Maintain uninterrupted combat support.

Maintain effective, continuous command, control, and communications. Loss of communications leads to loss of control and defeat. Maintain redundant communications at higher levels. Rely on audio and visual signals and well-rehearsed battle drills at lower levels.

Staffs at every level must have the equipment and skills necessary to collect and analyze information quickly and to develop and dissemi- nate orders rapidly based on the commander's decision.

Employ radioelectronic combat to deprive the enemy of effective command and control of his combat forces.

Adhere to the spirit and letter of a plan. If the plan fails, use initiative to accomplish the mission.

Be prepared to react effectively to a rapidly changing battlefield. Develop procedures to deal with numerous contingencies.

Think quickly and be decisive and resourceful in accomplishing the mission.

Conserve fighting strength through the use of combat vehicles with collective NBC protection, dispersal of forces, minimum combat power necessary to accomplish a task, the use of captured enemy equipment, and effective logistics.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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