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In light of the recent debates on doctrine, I'm sure some people are going to perk up and become very interested in the differences of various countries views.

I decided to start a thread (this one) where we can have a civil, objective discussion with the object of not prooving who's doctrine is superior, better, etc.. but rather just identifying the different doctrines and what they weigh heavily on.

I'm sorry I centred out ScoutPL in my other thread, it was not a scholarly method for starting a discussion at any rate. I hope this thread can become what the other thread was doomed to fail at.

As a student and not a proffesor, I'm more interested in asking questions here. However, as an initial contribution I'll point to a link of a relatively recent issue of "Armour" magazine.

Hopefully, knowledgable grogs will chime in here to help make clear the various doctrines of the worlds great armies and help students such as myself avoid confusion and misunderstanding. I know Los and ScoutPL have a lot to contribute, this should be their haven.

May this thread live long and prosper, without the rivalry and the flames. smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Pillar (edited 11-10-2000).]

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Here is a comparison of Command Push/Recon Pull (Soviet/German) and Recon Push (American) reconnaissance doctrine.

This is GREAT stuff. ScoutPL, this article outlines EXACTLY what I was poorly attempting to convey before. I should have referenced this earlier, I'm sorry.

[This message has been edited by Pillar (edited 11-11-2000).]

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Good read, the article by Capt. Kolenda, that is. It both made me shudder a bit at the doctrinal approach our Army seems to have at this date with re to reconnaissance and the implied effect this would likely have at some juncture when live rounds fly versus a well-trained and modern-equipped enemy, as well as offer me at least a bit of inisght into why ScoutPL argues his biases vis-a-vis scouting in the manner he does, both in terms of his battle experience and how this element fits (or does not fit) into the CMBO model.

My ongoing tests continue to depress me with their regular drumbeat of more dead sharpshooters with not much to show for it, which essentially equates to: this simulation simply has no realistic way to model WWII tactical reconnaissance. Hardly feedback to cheer.

Well, I'm off to read those other two links.

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A word of warning:

I'll be damned if this is going to become another thread where everything is compared to CM's capability to model it.

This is about identifying different doctrines and tactical viewpoints. I DON'T want a debate.

I know Tris just said some things that some of you are just ITCHING to respond to (I'm one), but I plea you restrain yourself!

Thank you. (Start another thread if you need be)

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Well, that's fair and I'll abide. Doubt if others will, though. smile.gif

FM 100-5 (if I have that right) is just too long to read tonight. I'm bushed. Tomorrow for sure, though. The first part reads a bit like Clausewitz, not a good sign--looks like heavy going.

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Thanks smile.gif FM 100-5 is the core of the army's doctrine. It is a conceptual framework for warfare, rather than a field guide to getting "Hull down" etc. I like that sort of stuff personally.

It may not all be apparantly applyable to CM, but believe me it is. Also useful if you play any other wargames of larger scope, such as tacops/bct or TOAW...

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From what I've read so far it isn't bad but awful stodgy in style. Of interest, surely, but like I said dry and heavy going in the main. I doubt if many here would make heads or tails of it judging by what I've read of this forum to date.

By the way, I had a ball over at that other site you referenced the other night in your email to me--kind of like reading a digest of my own thoughts from the past 40 years or so, but then I was all Randed out by grade school. smile.gif

This thread ought to have excited interest. I presume it has not for the reason that 1) no one has bothered to follow the provided links, 2) did so but couldn't make heads or tails of that material either, 3) could make heads and tails of the material but found it so contrary to their own preferred notions that they have no intention at all of going public with this new blow to their gross denial or 4) some demented combination of all of the above.

All I know for sure is the most popular type of posting to this greater forum is of the "I love Hetzers!" variety, that and an obnoxious proclivity for flames whenever one's precious opinions are challenged. I like this game a lot, it's quality stuff and the developers should be praised to high heavens, but I am disappointed with the overall caliber (call it the character) of people who frequent this site and actually play CMBO--I speak to the collective here, not every individual, many of whom I have not corresponded with. In the past my experience has been that wargamers conduct themselves in a more mature manner than, say, sports simulationists, but that has not been the case here. This is a knowledgeable crowd in some respects--that is to say, there are some people around here who have knowledge, though plenty who apparently know nothing useful at all, too--but again, what good is that when all it leads to are hurt feelings due to lack of overall intellectual balance? The answer to that one: very little.

So what have you done today? And why the Basque handle?

[This message has been edited by Tris (edited 11-11-2000).]

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While it's true that not everyone on the forum is interested in this level of acedemia, I've found quite a few who are.

Just give them some time, they will find the thread eventually and start contributing their own links.

Remember, most of these guys are very busy people -- some of whom are busy at work researching CM2! smile.gif

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As long as we have this thread to ourselves at the moment . . . do you have Marco's Sherman mods? If so, have you had a problem with the program getting the program to recognize the changes? I ask because I went into "A Walk in Paris" this afternoon just see what the difference of ambience would be with Magua's buildings/pavement--looks good, by the way--and while I was in there decided to play a few turns. The Allied force is French but the tanks are marked American. SO I ran the Free French batch file but the tank markings stayed the same. I went into my BMP directory and sure enough the batch file had successfully swapped out the .BMP files as intended. All I can think of is that the scenario designer mistakenly gave the Free French American tanks.

Any ideas?

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The discussion about the doctrine of various countries/cultures is a very good topic. I've studied the Soviet style quite a bit, trying to employ it in my games.

I feel their approach should gain better results than the past has shown.

Is the art of war a science, that formulas can be applied to, or is it so imperfect this cannot be done?

No plan survives contact with the enemy.

Like I said, this can be a very good discussion...

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First off I'll do you guys a favor (or curse) and post some valauble links that will keep you reading for months if you really are into this stuff.

1. The Center for Army Lessons learned http://call.army.mil/

2. From there you can go to either the FMSO (Foreign Military Studies Office) which has droves of good stuff about how the Russians do things doctrine wise and in real life (you can read the never ending abysmal after action reviews from Afghanistan and Cchechnya as well as all the valauble lessons learned, ignored, forgotten, and learned again. http://call.army.mil/call/fmso/fmso.htm

and http://call.army.mil/call/fmso/fmsopubs/fmsopubs.htm

3.Anyway off the CALL main page go to CALL Products. Scout out all those links (inc. hours of downloadable videos) but in particular see the Combat Training Center pubs and bulletins. The CTC Quarterly bulletins should be read from front to back: http://call.army.mil/call/homepage/ctcbull.htm

4. Off of the FMSO main page is the RED THRUST STAR which is lots of juicy OPFOR ruminations that is right up the alley of these discussions. http://call.army.mil/call/fmso/RED-STAR/RED-STAR.HTM

And there's more info to be gleaned at the 11th ACR website (the OPFOR): http://www.irwin.army.mil/11acr/

This page has some good downlaods on how the OPFOR does things: http://www.irwin.army.mil/11acr/OPFOR/Downloads.htm

Anyway hopefully I'll have time to comment tommorrow I have been living and breathing this stuff for real both here in the US and abroad for 23 years. Enjoy for now.

ANd yes I wish for for CMx when we can work all this out in the modern arena!


[This message has been edited by Los (edited 11-12-2000).]

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There are a number of reasons why I shouldn't get involved in this (it has nothing to do with CM, I know little about armor doctrine, etc.) but I've always had a self control problem so here it goes.

I read the Kolenda article and found it an interesting read but heavily biased, almost to the point of rendering his points ineffective.

Let me start off by saying all of my experience has come from light infantry assignments. All I know about armor/mech operations is from what I've read or heard second hand from others. But I think this also gives me a good "outsider" perspective since US infantry and armor are tied to the same doctrine. First off, Kolenda bases alot of his arguments on the NTC training environment. The whole idea behind NTC is to simulate the worst possible situation an armored unit could find its self in and see how they deal with the pressure and stress. In other words, the units are always attacking into the enemys strength (they are often given very restrictive boundaries which make manuever very limited), they have very little planning/prep time, and they are fighting against an enemy that has fought thousands of engagements on the same terrain, under the same conditions for decades now. Most of his arguments are based on having plenty of time, plenty of room to pursue multiple options, and fighting a rather predictable enemy (which the OPFOR, since it has an innumerable amount of options due to its experience and knowledge of the terrain, is not). Another interesting fact is that in the months following the Gulf War, units rotating through the NTC had a phenomenol success rate. This wasnt correllated to combat experience as much as the amount of training those units had received prior to kicking off the ground war. I would argue that todays problems at the NTC are a factor of reduced budgets and much less training time then one of dictrine. I think taking a good hard look at doctrine through this kaladeiscope may be a little misleading.

Kolenda accuses most commanders of failing to give "mission type orders" to their scout leaders. Instead they give orders to "leave no stone unturned" and to "identify all enemy in zone." Well if thats the way the armor guys do it then they are definately going about it the wrong way. I suspect Kolenda used a couple bad examples to make a generalization, this is of course a personal observation on my part and I realize that. I just cant believe there are that many commanders out there (who went to the same schools as mine) who are abusing their assets like that. I never crossed the LD into enemy teritory without having a firm idea of what my commander wanted me to find out for him. In an attack this would inevitably be a route reconnaissance and an area reconnaissance. I was never given a zone reconaissance since my platoon was just too small to accomplish such a mission in the time provided. Now you may be thinking to yourselves that this is exactly what Kolenda is talking about but its not. When I did a route recon it was only for a few short klicks of the route from the regimental assault position to the battalions objective. The route was of course pre selected, and it was determined that any resistance would be dealt with along the way by the forward elements. But we were usually attacking a small town and it was imperitive that we get to the town as soon as possible and hit as hard as possible, before the enemy could shift forces. In most cases, the plan would be pretty well hashed out before I deployed and I would simply move forward to confirm or deny the assumptions the plan was based on. But, contrary to what Kolenda seems to want you to believe, this plan was not originated in a vacuum. It relied on the entire volume of technological and mechanical recon assets that are available to the army now from satelite imagery to aviation assets (what I would argue fulfill the role of the "forward screen"). Based on the intel available, the terrain, and a knowledge of the enemy's doctrine (which he adheres to, just like we adhere to ours) the commnader can come up with two or three courses of action (sound familiar Pillar?). The most favorable COA is selected, with contingencies that cover the others. The biggest reason for adopting this style is TIME. US doctrine at its simplest can be stated as "hit the enemy before he hits you, and keep hitting him until he falls down and gives up." Because of this units train with very short planning windows. Since this is the case, alot of prebattle tasks have to occur simultaneously. Reconnaissance, resupply, planning, rehearsals, back briefs, all of this occurs from the battalion commander on down to the rifleman in just a few short hours. The impetus here is that in most situations you just defeated an enemy attack or pushed into enemy territory and you want to maintain the initiative. If you can assume some risk by not identifying every single enemy position prior to solidifying your plan in exchange for hitting the enemy before he is properly prepared then you will continue to retain the initiative and come out the winner.

As far as the Fort Hood example is concerned, the only way that attack would have occured the way Kolenda thought it should have occured would be for the commander and staff to have planned it that way. The army works on a one third/two thirds rule. What that means is that each commander is to take only one third of the time available to plan and give the rest of it to his subordintes. So lets say the battalion is given an objective to seize in 36 hours. Sounds like plenty of time right? OK, lets assume the battalion needs at least two hours to seize the objective and six hours to get there. (these are very short times by infantry standards, a little long for mech standards). That means eight hours just for the attack itself. Following the 1/3-2/3 rule the commander has only 9 hours to conduct ALL of his recon, develop a plan, dessiminate it, rehearse it, and get back briefs from his subordinates. The company commander then has 6 hours to develop his plan, dessiminate it, rehearse it and get backbriefs. And so on. This entire process is crucial, by the way, to the "mission orders/commanders intent" concept, since in order for small unit leaders to practice initiative they have to know what's going on. Usaully what happens is the battalion commander has to attend the brigades rehearsal so he uses up more time then he is alloted in the 1/3-2/3 formula and it just roles down hill to the point that the squad leaders know their platoons mission and thats about it, due to lost time. The other option is to adopt the soviet style. Where very few people know what the plan is, or whats happening on the right or the left, and everybody else just roles forward and executes battle drills. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. So that each man will have at least some idea of what is going on and can use his initiative in the heat of battle the US develops its plan rather early and dessiminates it as quickly as possible. All follow up recon is used to confirm/deny assumptions made based on older (though probably just as viable) intel. In order for the Fort Hood commander to make a switch in his attack, while sitting at the LD waiting to cross, would have caused him a lot more problems then he was obviously prepared to risk. Fire support plans, attack routes, timelines, orders of march, all of these and a myriad of others would have to be changed and altered. The result? An uncoordinated attack probably resulting in bigger casualties, despite a hole found in the obstacle belt. Not to mention that a hole in a defense so well prepared may have very well been a trap.

Kolenda's argument for "layered" reconnaissance already takes place. US technology and aviation serve as the finders of the surfaces and gaps. And the ground scouts confirm or deny. To play it out as he described would take a lot more time to prepare and would sacrifice some individual commanders initiative.

Let me end by rehashing my initial comments.

I'm a layman, pretty much, when it comes to armored warfare. But since this is a forum of laymen, by laymen, and for laymen, I hope you'll all take my comments as personal opinion and little else. I'm not trying to say that everyone else is wrong and that I'm right. Hopefully I didnt make any generalizations that will wrankle anyone's feathers. I just wanted to throw out some food for thought. Enjoy!

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I'm really in a rush here (I got two little boys itchingto go outside and play) so forgive me if this is not too terribly complete.

OK here's a few observations from myself. Take em or leave them. Again the usual disclaimer, 23 years Army, most of the first 9 in scouts and the last 14 now on the dark side. (and many rotations at JRTC/NTC at all levels most recently August months rubbing elbows with the DTOC.)

I think the real root of the problem lays not in the recon method or doctrine but in the leadership (and execution) that we see nowadays. (Don't get me wrond I prefer Recon pull and command push, not that either one of those really had anything to do with what Pillar was trying to prove in his CM recon debates.) It is staggering how detailed the plans are for these fights. I can't even get into it but it staggers the mind. It's almost as if every opord must be written in such detail that anyone can just follow the mathematical formula and voila it can't help but go like clockwork, which of course is BS. Three main culprits for this are:

1. ZERO DEFECT Mentality amongst the Officer Corps. If it's not written and in the right format then it's a no go. Checking all the blocks received as much or more attention than the actual performance of the thing. (BTW this is a defect that effects most levels of society including large business also) It make stepping out of the box or going out on a limb a dangerous thing.

2. The lowly scout platoon leader. It's not all officers that listen to their juniors. I mean, you take the scout platoon leader. The scouts are always selected from the best infantryman in the battalion. Then they're sent to various courses and schools depending on what's available at the time. So you have a very high quality unit. The job of scout platoon leader is THE plum assignment in the battalion and is normally given to a hard charging LT who's already had one successful platoon command rotation. But the problem is, He's still a LT. The S-2 is a captain. At least in my days as a scout we had alot of issues with our S-2s. They usually retreated us and our LT like assholes. Due to the nature of the scout platoon, we were kept on the go 24 hours a day, and after about 36-48 hours of that without real rest you become combat ineffective even with drugs. The answer of course is to ensure you have other platoon capable of filling the gap during Sct plt down time, but few bns prepare for that. ANyway back to the LT thing, the way our officer class is structured, it's a rare LT COL that's going to stake his battalion on an LT. (Maybe the scouts should be run like a Captain?)

3. INFORMATION OVERLOAD: There is a staggering amount of information now available to commanders. Did you know that a heavy brigade has nearly 50 UAVs attached? Can you imagine the level of detail that is tracked and assimilated or at least attempted to. We are now at a crossroads in military science (I'll use that term since it's as good as any other). I fact the DOD right now is conducting a detailed study of the command/information interface and ways to improve it at the div/bde/bn level in the high intensity fight. It's not quite a new Manhattan project but it's pretty much a mini version of it in terms of the importance of it's outcome and the resources available to solve the problem once the PHD's figure it out.

Another thing. The OPFOR is successful for two important reasons. They are completely outside of the standard Army rigidity and inculcate a certain culture in their small little clannish way (much to their credit). But there's also a lot of top down pressure off of them. To their credit they put a lot of pressure on themselves. Second, they do NOTHING than but train all the time. They don't have to go to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, Sierra Leone, etc, they don't have to come down on various BS tasking, their mission is to be the OPFOR period. Third they fight on the same piece of terrain over and over again, ten rotations a year (what like 40 battles?) year in and year out. SO much of what they accomplish has more to do with their excellence and their familiarity with the terrain, the situations, and the US forces. Would they perform up to the standard in an unfamiliar situation and unfamiliar terrain? Luckily for us they're better than any real world opponent by a staggering margin. All this stuff is easily mixed up with their supposedly different doctrine.

I would also point out that there is great variance in how units do things and there are plenty of battalions that get it right. There is certainly NOTHING in doctrine that mandates RECON PUSH. In my scout experience we were not given direction to leave "no stone unturned". For chrissakes the attack corridor is what 20 klicks at least. A battalion has maybe 8 scout vehilces. (there's also the BDE Cav TF troop but they usually have counter recon security zone tasks and then there's flank security.) Somebody has got to scout out the attack lanes and NAI's required for command decision.

Another thing is that at NTC there is MUCH less Free play than JRTC. The battalions ar ethere to do very specific things and if the battle doesn't begin shaping up exactly the way the OCs want it they will stop the whole thing and reset everybody. A battalion rotation is like well over 40 million dollars and the bns are there to practice specific tasks. THink of it like this. You are coaching a football team. Contrary to popular belief NTC is not there to have a full game scrimmage against two opposing sides. (though the snuffy's on the ground don't realize this). The US side is there to practice specific things (In football terms I'd say they're there to practics two minute offense, specific plays etc.)

If anyone has ever been fortunate enoughto be inside the "Starwars" building during a fight you'd know what I am saying. On computer simulation screens the movement of every squad and vehicle is tracked It's incredible amazing. You can watch the whole battle as if it's a game. The OCs (BTW that's observer controllers) are there to put the battaklions and brigades in very specific situatins to see how certain things they worked out unfold. And there are numerous pauses to reset and do over if they feel it's necessary. It really is like working ou tbattalion plays. And the whole planning cycle and logistical cycle are excercized is to some extent more important that what ends up happening on the actual battle.

At NTC you are already, as a commander given a situation (much more like a CM scenario than you realize) where the vast majority of this work has already been done regardless of whether you are OPFOR or BLUFOR. I don't expect you snuffys to be aware of how much is being tracked above your level of awareness, (and yes I AM including platoon leaders and company commanders in that term), because all that is part of the macro play of the problem that the division HQ and BDE HQs are given and are tracking.

When a fight at NTC gets ready to happen, they have normally dialed it down to a bde sector, operating in support of a larger play. There is generally a 24-36 hour scouting and clearance phase, which occurs before the main elements engage. IN the disputed sector, both recon and screening forces go out and do their dance along a BROAD front, as they attempt to gain access to or deny access of critical elements of information that are needed to formulate or execute their plans.

Both sides dedicate assets to a broad front and both sides also dedicate assets to a narrow route recon activities to confirm or deny what's happening at and around the NAIs they have designed that will help formulate the execution of their plans.

Instead of focusing on Recon push or recon pull whatever a better focus of teh discussion is on decision point tactics. Here's how the OPFOR puts it all together ona good day. In general the OPFOR draws up their battle plan with various course of action along various avenue of advance (in an attack for example). It's matrix driven, a very small written order with the majority of time spent on rehearsals and having sub commanders understanding the Battlefield vision. Recon-wise, They identify essential elements of information (EEIs) based on Named Areas of Interest (NAI's)just like the US side does. They have their screen, recon and FD looking for the clues they need to decide which route will be the main effort. While they have assets if they're smart covering the whole sector they do not push these forward on a broad front looking for a whole to exploit. They push their assets froward along a number of possible axis's (in essence doing a number of route recons) until the regimental commander has found out which of his course of actions based on enemy dispositions, and reactions) will be the main effort. AT that point, the Forward Detachments (Used to be called the advanced guard) has done it's job and the Regt cdr designates which course of action will be the main effort and now the main body goes to work. At that point the regimental commander (and his recon elements) have done their job and he sits back and lets the battalions fight the battle according to the plan. He concentrates in throwing support to the main effort, making sure they have what they need to get the job done.

Now the OPFOR can in no way allow its recon to be shot up and lost any more than the US does and knows this. They are working in support of the plan and if they're all wiped out at the start then they lose that battle. Any commander has only so many resources and he has so much combat power. Whatever he exposes to destruction through one method takes away his ability to accomplish his mission along in some other way.

As for poast comments about how successful et Soviet methods are (and that they are somehow humane towards their own casualties, well that I don't know. The soviets in WW2 had massive resources to throw at teh problem. Even at the height of their "operational efficiency" in 1945 in the four and change months between Jan and end of Battle of Berlin they suffered nearly a MILLION KIA!!!!! SO I guess if you have millions of men to throw at a problem it's a great strategy.

ANyway I digress, a battalion that goes to NTC/JRTC today and aces the mark can find itself completely different six months later due to personnel rotations. Readiness is a constant thing, and military skill is a perishable skill in ANY Army. Which is why a US mech battalion pulling a year's duty in Bosnia or an Israeli Infantry battalion pulling riot control duty in Rumala will rapidly loose whatever edge they had before they went on the rotation. Also while most units usually get an initial ass kicking at NTC they also bounce back quickly, at least the good once, and make rapid and effective adjustments in subsequent battles. (YMMV of course).

Well that's a scattered bounce around a number of subjects. Gotta run to the park.


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I didn't get around to posting on the other recent "recon" topics connected to ScoutPL, but I'd like to say that for this one, Pillar, I appreciate your setting it up and providing the link to Cpt Kolenda article. This provided a good reference for discussion on the "differences" to "recon doctrine."

And to ScoutPL, that was a stomp-down excellent post you just provided in turn that reminds us effectively how "recon theories" may OR may not mesh with time constraints. I hope to provide my own reply soon.

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In a nutshell, Captain Kolenda argued present US doctrine dictates the plan of attack before infield reconnaissance, hopes its plan is viable if not outright optimal, and uses whatever feedback it receives from its infield reconnaissance effort to develop its pretty-much-set-in-stone plan if it is convenient to that plan, but the plan itself is nevertheless going ahead. And then everyone prays for the best and relies on firepower to carry the day. Present US doctrine, according to Kolenda, also (in practice) argues against any great initiative, in terms of analysis or independent thought, taking place within the context of its infield reconnaissance assets, to the point, given by way of example, of not even noting whether armored assets discovered during reconnaissance were moving or where they might be moving to (in the example cited by Kolenda, this data might well have indicated to planners that the enemy was not postured for assault but was instead obviously arranging itself for an active defense).

What I found most disturbing in Kolenda's article was the apparent limitation (one almost wants to use fallacy here) of such an approach in any situation other than a hasty attack, yet the Ft. Hood example did not seem to be of that description. Was it?

In any event, the Ft. Hood scenario unfolded with unhappy results for the attacker. Was the gap Kolenda mentioned a trap? I considered that and wondered why Kolenda did not at least mention the possibility. Perhaps he felt that that fell out of the scope of his argument in light of knowledge after the event, but I'd have felt easier if he had dealt with it in passing (perhaps footnoted).

But I hear rationalization on your part, too. Your counterargument to Kolenda is riddled with assumption and apology. The method you champion seems to assume if not a beaten then at least a not completely organized enemy position; lack of adequate time for any other more systematic approach is blithely assumed, to the point where you wink at the battalion commander investing time at Brigade while duties press at his own HQ; you acknowledge openly that a plan (with variations possibly in play) has, by doctrine, been committed to prior to this reconnaissance; you furthermore assume that satellite imagery and air reconnaissance assets might somehow provide all the data needed for Battalion to make intelligent decisions in the first place with regard to its plan(s); this in itself assumes (implies) that this data will, for all practical purposes, render infield scout intelligence a sort of after-the-fact luxury, something with which battalion might embellish its otherwise stellar plan with.

There's more, but that's the gist of my take.

Let me ask you a few questions. Don't you suppose that the German doctrine, if indeed it is German doctrine to use recon pull tactics exclusively--I haven't had time to research what the Germans and Soviets are up to or how they affect their own doctrines--all work off the same 24-hour clock the US army must watch? How do the Germans cope with these demands and restrictions of time and still use RP effectively? Why have the Germans chosen a doctrine which you argue to be of minimal special use at best? For that matter, to what degree are other military doctrines more hybrid by nature than the present US Army approach?

You never ask, at least you didn't mention any interest in your argument above--you do not strike me as all that interested to find out, really. I have interest, though, and at least Kolenda has interest to examine other possibilities, to wonder if there might not be a better way.

I don't claim to have wisdom. I do have have questions, and my first question, if I were in the army, would be: why do we have just one doctrine with regard to the effective interface of reconnaissance with higher planning? I would also ask why there is (seems to be) such resistance to the notion that any other doctrine might be superior to ours, even if only in special circumstances. Finally, I would question in principle any doctrine subscribed to which in spirit demands of its practioners simple faith. Faith might move mountains, but I would rather place my trust in a dollar's worth of common sense when it comes to my life on a battlefield.

[This message has been edited by Tris (edited 11-12-2000).]

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Guest machineman

If you think the Russians have all the answers, a interesting book to read is 'Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine'. Written in 1983, when the Russians were still pretty scary. Soviet, American, and the modern German army all get knocked for an over managed and rigid type of warfare, but the Soviets (and Soviet-trained armies such as Iraq and Syria) most of all.

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The attitudes of officers come right back to army training and doctrine.

Years ago I first saw army martinet doctrine in play, the brutish bootcamp technique of screaming at raw recruits as they jump off the trucks on the way in from the processing center. (Does this still happen, by the way, or has sense been driven home?) While other drill sergeants screamed and bullied and yelled for pushups, meanwhile the top kick grinned like some fool as he overlooked all, my instructor, a professional soldier from Louisiana called Pitts, calmly, quietly organized his charges and marched us into the barracks to begin our assimilation into the greater army culture. Pitts' more studied approach continued throughout my bootcamp experience. While other instructors missed no opportunity to act out any manner of histrionics at the expense of the men assigned to their tutorage, Pitts never uttered a harsh word or raised his voice, and yet our platoon scored as high as any other as far as I know.

Of course, one does not necessarily have to raise one's voice to "scream," intimidation comes in many forms, and when los refers to proper procedures with regard to written reports and plans, and to stepping out of the box, I shudder, for I have no doubt there's some of that at work, too. It's what we call being a "good soldier," or if you will a "good little German." While that will allow you to get along within the system, it might well cost you your life out in the field. You tell me which is ultimately more important.

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I'm finding it real hard not fall into our insult/counterinsult method of debate again, but I for one am going to refrain. Go back and read my post again and put as much thought and introspection into it you claim to put in everything else you read.

I think you'll find that I didnt say one doctrine was better then the other and I said repeatedly that I know very little about other doctrinies, not that I wasnt interested in exploring them. I dont know how you came away with the comments about my post that you did. I tried to explain each of my conclusions about the Kolenda articule while at the same time attempting to keep from getting into this mud slinging fest you seem hell bent on. You seem to want to come out fighting. Thats your perogative brother. I just think that pretty soon you're going to be fighting alone.

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"Years ago I first saw army martinet doctrine in play, the brutish bootcamp technique of screaming at raw recruits as they jump off the trucks on the way in from the processing center. (Does this still happen, by the way, or has sense been driven home?)"....Rest of crap snipped.

If a more profound and utterly ridiculous load of horesh*t has ever been posted I'm hard pressed to think of it.

First off for at least 15 years there has been a steady decrease in the quality of basic training recruits based precisely on the fact that boot camp has been dumbed down softened up. Even Marine Corps boot camp is a joke these days. Luckily mopst of this defficiency gets corrected in the manuever units or so we hope.(And yes I spent two years as a drill sergeant, and I was hardly a ballbuster.)

God forbid soldiers should be made to undergo 1% of the stress they will face under normal battlefield conditions. This method of stress inducement seems to have served the Roman Legions fine. It seems to have gotten Wellington's legions through the penninsula and La Haye Sainte in a pinch, it got the German paras through their disastorous ordeal at Crete, it seems to have somehow helped Chuikov's 62d Army survive the cauldron of Stalingrad without cracking, apparently it got the 1st Marine Division out of the Chosin as in intact unit, it seems to have helped the NVA overcome the most harsh difficulties in their long march South on the Ho Chi Mihn Trail. But somehow it offends the sensibilities of one Mister Tris.

"It's what we call being a "good soldier," or

if you will a "good little German." While that will allow you to get along within the system, it might well cost you your life out in the field. You tell me which is ultimately more important."

That's a simple question to answer. "The good little german" as you so snidely put it, is precisely what any half-way competent initial military instruction is trying to arrive at. They're not trying to find or make a new Napolean, Patton, or Rommel in basic training. They're trying to impart bsic military skill and discipline. Later on as the years go by they will receive the instruction and experience and leeway neceessary for them to exercize initiative in an intelligent way. But when it gets down to cutting the mustard and crossing that last hundred yards, it's discipline and obedience of the privates that wins battles and wars. Sorry if this simple principle is so profoundly absent in your understanding of things military.


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I'm finding it real hard not fall into our insult/counterinsult method of debate again, but I for one am going to refrain. Go back and read my post again and put as much thought and introspection into it you claim to put in everything else you read.

I have not meant to insult you ever. If you take (or have taken--which is abundantly clear) insult in something I just wrote then that's on you. What? I write something you don't like and solely for this reason it's by definition an "insult"? I don't think so.

I think you'll find that I didnt say one doctrine was better then the other and I said repeatedly that I know very little about other doctrinies, not that I wasnt interested in exploring them.

I did not accuse you of saying any such thing, but I think it's clear from any number posts of yours that you feel the methodology taught to you by the army, and practiced by you in the field, is superior to alternative approaches. Now I don't find that to be a problem from where I sit, except as it tends to come across, at times, as if you wished to talk down to others who, in your view, apparently, are not as well qualified to judge these things. (And that may well be the case, though the tone of some of your discussion hardly lends itself as an outstanding mechanic for ongoing discussion.)

Even here, right away you are on the defensive. Why? The discussion is about what Kolenda had to say and your attempt to rebut his remarks. How do I personally figure into any of this? I did not write Kolenda's article for him, I did not write yours. My position is is to make heads or tails of the discussion as a reader. I can argue at closer quarters with you, naturally enough, since you are on this forum. Kolenda is not. Should Kolenda appear I'd be happy to discuss his views more closely with him.

But here's the thing, and if I'm not mistaken this is what you choose to take umbrage with: I do feel as though Kolenda's view is entirely more open-minded than your own. He at least sees real and potential problems with the American doctrine and suggests that maybe, just maybe mind you, that the Germans or Soviets (why do we call them Soviets, by the way--aren't they just Russians now?) could have something else worthwhile to say on the matter.

If you have real interest in other doctrines then why don't you research these? If you have researched other doctrines, why do you not buttress your discussions with references to same in an effort to more clearly point out how what you've used in the field would be better on balance? this was, by the way, the exact approach Kolenda took, however flawed his article might have been in other respects.

I dont know how you came away with the comments about my post that you did.

I didn't come away with comments, I came with with impressions. If my impressions are errant it would be more to the point if you made an effort to explain to me how this is so. From there we could more easily get on with the topic at hand productively. Instead, you seem content to cite complaints about me of a personal nature.

I tried to explain each of my conclusions about the Kolenda articule while at the same time attempting to keep from getting into this mud slinging fest you seem hell bent on.

There you go again. Anything of a critical nature I write, as it pertains to you, right away you label this as "mudslinging." Why can't you take this criticism as it is intended, as analysis of thoughts you've bothered to make public?

You tell me this: what possible good could come from a discussion of this sort if the participants were not critical?

You seem to want to come out fighting.

I will offer good advice: instead of statements about the other person it is far better in any discourse to limit yourself to how you feel, what you meant to say, what your motives are. I hope you can see the difference.

The reason why this is a good policy is twofold: first, your method tends to excite the other party because it assigns blame, and second, you are not an authority on what motivates someone else or what someone else thinks, but you very well might be an authority on what motivates you and what you think.

Thats your perogative brother. I just think that pretty soon you're going to be fighting alone.

And finally this. You took the same tone with Pillar, almost the very same words, in a post to that gentleman on another thread. In fact you did it twice to Pillar.

My name is not "brother" and I do not feel as though I have a "fight" with you or anyone else on this board. I might add that I feel as though you are at some effort to browbeat or otherwise intimidate anyone who dares to criticize your ideas or argue with your assessments. The other night you came out of the blue and delivered yourself to the rather snide opinion that I should do better for myself if I took my "pill." And this after a long series of posts different people, back and forth and whatnot, as if I was the only person around "raising his voice."

Well, it is a matter of public record I never called anyone out of name and did not hurl insults at people in the process of stating my opinion on (I will not mention the "ugly" term here) the subject in question at that time. I noticed, however, that there were one or two others who were not at all shy about hurling invective in my direction after I dismissed myself. Would these individuals, by any chance, be the sort of people you are afraid I might divorce myself from in the future with re to intelligent discussion on this board? If so, all I can say is good riddance. There is but a small percentage of people who frequent the BTS site with whom I would care to discuss much of anything for long. Most of what is written on this board is fluff and garbage. In any event, I cannot control who wishes to discuss what with me, I can only control what I wish to discuss, and with whomever.

In the meantime, I have posed, indirectly, some pertinent questions to you. You are not obliged to answer these publicly and I shall take no offense if you choose not to, but they were intelligent questions nevertheless and I would recommend that you at least privately consider the implications of some of what I've written. It isn't as if it's gibberish.

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