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Old 05-03-2009, 12:32 PM
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Question Ormo

I've got a couple of questions about the ORMO and other "unofficial" Polish militias. The v1.0 source material makes little mention of the ORMO's weapons, equipment, and composition; it's all just kind of taken for granted.

It seems to me that there are really two ORMOs, an official State-sponsored ORMO, and various makeshift, State-sanctioned local militias that use the ORMO title. In the canon, ORMO seems to have become a blanket term for most kinds of Polish militias.

Doing some research, the real-world ORMO was a Interior Ministry internal security force and not really a militia, per se.

So, it would seem that in the T2K world, the Polish government rapidly expanded the ORMO to become, in effect, a civil defense force while the internal security role became the exclusive responsibility of the ZOMO (IRL, the motorized arm of the internal security service. They also served as riot police.)

So, how would State-santioned ORMO forces be equipped in the T2K world? I've always assumed they were issued with surplus AKMs, especially since the Polish army started to convert to a locally manufactured version of the AK-74 known as the Pz 88 Tantal in the early '90s, IRL. What about uniforms then? Were they issured proper uniforms (likely surplus) or did they just wear their own outdoors stuff? Were they issued weapons heavier than LMGs?

How big would they really be? Wouldn't most of Poland's able-bodied male population have been drafted into the conventional army? That would leave mildly disabled veterans, middle-aged men, and teenagers for the ORMO.

What sized settlements would have an official, state-sponsored ORMO?

As for unofficial ORMO (i.e. makeshift town militias), I've always assumed that they just have to make due with whatever they can get their hands on.

What are your thoughts? How have you used ORMO in your campaigns? Is there any good source material out there, offical or home-brewed, concerning T2K ORMO weapons, equipment, uniforms, and internal organization?
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:09 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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They would be mixture of hand me downs.

Probably see lot of AKMs and AK-47s along with RPKs. Of course some AK-74s, and AKMRs, along with the RPK-74 would filter in. After that anything else left in the armory or hunting weapons of the unofficial militias.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:58 PM
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Raellus-

A load of thoughts:

first, the RL Polish internal armed forces are listed http://forum.juhlin.com/showpost.php?p=5640&postcount=7 . I quickly stopped trying to sort them all out and figured (maybe optimistically) that with NATO troops tearing across the country they would be thrown under a single commander, which GDW for convenience called the ORMO, (with the exception of some ZOMO units, which are left separate in line with their treatment in Black Madonna). For purposes of wargaming out the battle of Poland, I put a division of internal troops in Warsaw (14 infantry battalions, 2 T-55 battalions, some engineers (civilian construction equipment) and some 76mm guns), a brigade (6-8 infantry battalions, some engineers, some 76mm field guns and a battalion or 2 of obsolete tanks, such as the T-55s manned by cadets that fought in the Battle of Czestakowa) in major cities (over 500,000 prewar) and a regiment in smaller cities (250-500,000).

As for what could be sustained, some more figures. The prewar Polish Army is 15 divisions, 8 of which are Category A. The remaining divisions can be brought up to full strength by retaining one conscript class - 1/4 of the enlisted force. So effectively at that point the Polish state has called on its youth from ages 18-20.5. Then there are 5 mobilization-only divisions. These would require another one third of the enlisted force, which we'll call the previous year's entire class of demobilized conscripts - those from 18-21.5 years old. If you figure 100% casualties, not unrealistic given the intensity of the battles across Poland, you'll need another 4 year's worth of youth - those from age 18-25.5 are now committed. (Now, finding officers, NCOs and equipment would be a problem, a big problem, which a large cadre of retired colonels isn't really going to help, but at least they're troops!). Or to put it another way, assuming that each division is 20,000 troops (and Polish divisions were smaller than an equivalent Soviet one, but figure higher-level overhead), the 20 divisions of the Polish Army would require 400,000 troops, out of a Polish population of nearly 40 million, or 1% of the population! So there's lots of room for more troops, even if you double the number of troops in the divisions. Again, how many could be called up, trained, equipped and led before Advent Crown is an answer that can at best be guessed at.

On the individual level, by 2000 I'd say almost anything goes. The conventional war marched across Poland twice, leaving a detrius of small arms and equipment from around the world behind. Whatever uniforms were issued are only fragments. What they had in 1997, I'd say is a mix of old stuff. The Polish Army was transitioning to a new camo uniform in the late '80s/early 90's, so the old raindrop pattern http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...stary.wzor.jpg would be available for mobilization-only and ORMO troops. Looking at what has arrived in the surplus market in the US over the past 15 or so years from Poland, I'd say small arms would be AKs in 7.62, Mosin-Nagants and Mausers, both captured from the Germans in 1945 and pre-war production. Poland never produced a copy of the SKS (although some were bought from the USSR and are still in use for ceremonial purposes), so they would be relatively rare. In addition, if the USSR equipped units of various kinds in the summer of 1997 (a repeat of the Polish army in exile on the Eastern Front in WWII), they could have a variety of old Soviet guns (including SVTs and the mountains of Mosins) and captured weapons (from WWII up to weapons captured from the Chinese in 1995 and 1996).

In a more specific T2k context, I haven't seen anything much beyond the v1 canon. I think Free City of Krakow's description of the ORMO is by far the most detailed, but Krakow's is also IMHO quite unique and well organized - many more would more resemble the local militias in Warsaw...
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:53 AM
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Regardless of what ORMO means IRL, I've always seen them as not much more than the local militia. The vast majority of their manpower drawn from the civilian population, and if they're lucky, trained in obsolete tactics by a retired veteran of a previous war and armed with whatever they've been able to lay their hands on (primarily hunting rifles, shotguns home made melee and missile weapons and the odd scrounged military small arm).

Any organised ORMO forces would have been stripped of manpower and decent equipment during the war by both sides. NATO to disarm a potentially hostile population during their offensives through Poland and later to deny the Pact forces during their retreat. Later the Pact would conscript able bodied men and women to replace losses as well as any weapons and especially ammunition.

No army in history (as far as I can recall) has ever knowingly left weapons in the hands of the civilian population. You just never know who is an enemy sympathiser or guerilla, partisan, or member of the resistance. Why would WWIII be any different, especially as the war dragged on and supplies grew scarcer?
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:19 PM
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I agree with the sentiment that there would be a wide range, particularly as these forces became more and more remote from any pre-war ORMO.

They could certainly be reduced to a couple of civilians with hunting weapons and many would. They could also find themselves substantially augmented by units of one military or another that elected to stay in town and provide for the defence of the area in return for food and a safe haven. The ORMOs of Krakow and Silesia were formed around Polish divisions which mutinied en masse, but there is no reason that platoon or company sized units wouldn't end up as the security force for smaller settlements. They could be units separated from larger commands, that found themselves unable or unwilling to move out when ordered or that won the good graces of a locality fighting a rival force or marauders.

The canon is full of divisions that disintegrated to become marauder bands, but others would have found slightly more honorable work. These military cadres could be augmented with part time citizen militias made up of veterans, small deserter groups, former police officers and even tradespeople and become fairly effective defensive forces.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
They would be mixture of hand me downs.

Probably see lot of AKMs and AK-47s along with RPKs. Of course some AK-74s, and AKMRs, along with the RPK-74 would filter in. After that anything else left in the armory or hunting weapons of the unofficial militias.

Just some thoughts.
Don't forget the SKS. They'd be quite common among militia units in Poland as well.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:53 PM
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OK. It seems we're mostly on the same page about ORMO gear.

I just don't like how the GDW folks use ORMO as a blanket term for all Polish militias.

I guess it's fairly logical that decent sized cities would have an official, gov. sanctioned and supplied ORMO while towns and villages would probably either be assigned ORMO detachments from nearby cities or have to create their own militias from scratch, depending on the local circumstances.

I wish the GDW folks would have used the term ORMO to refer solely to official and semi-official government sponsored militias. "Militia" should be used to denote groups that weren't set up by the state (i.e. impromptu local groups responding to local civil defense needs). I see it differentiated a couple of times in the canon but it's not consistent throughout.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:52 PM
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I understand what you are saying Raellus but in T2K I think it a reasonable possibility that the Polish people themselves might use ORMO as a generic term for militias of all kinds. Thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I understand what you are saying Raellus but in T2K I think it a reasonable possibility that the Polish people themselves might use ORMO as a generic term for militias of all kinds. Thoughts?
This is when I miss a few users from our old home. Deval could have answered this one for us. I'll spend a little time looking for an email for him tonight.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I understand what you are saying Raellus but in T2K I think it a reasonable possibility that the Polish people themselves might use ORMO as a generic term for militias of all kinds. Thoughts?
Good point. And I guess the ambiguity could work in a GM's favor as the players never know whether the "ORMO" in the next town is loyal to the state government or not. Smaller militias might also benefit from this ambiguity as well.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:30 PM
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That's basically the way I've always played it - a generic term that could mean just about anything, just to keep players off balance.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
That's basically the way I've always played it - a generic term that could mean just about anything, just to keep players off balance.
Like "boogeyman." Though that's more how I'd use "Spetsnaz" in the games I ran before I went on active duty.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:56 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Yes the SKS, I tend to forget that weapon. One of the things is depending if the town were close where any heavy fighting took place. The militias could be armed with almost anything. Much like in and around Warsaw the militias had a mix of civilian weapons and NATO weapons equip squads as well the Pact.

As people pointed out many of these local forces will be supplemented by various small units who for what every reason have become separated from their parent units. From the size of fire team/squad on up. Remember many times, the ORMO that being supplemented might not trust the Regulars, but after awhile they co-exists.

As it is there were some signs of the even marauders bands settling down here and there. Even they had grown tired of the fighting and roaming all of the time. There will be roaming bands of mercenaries/marauders, but many of larger and smaller bands will start settling down for two reasons. 1. The larger bands realize they need to settle down and grow crops as food becomes more scarce. 2. For the smaller bands, they are looking at banding together with anyone else for their survival.

There will still be Company size bands roaming for years to come. They are too big to move into to small village and not starve, and too small to move in and not meet resistance from a town that could support them. Beside that many Cities and communities and mad men would be willing to trade food and supplies to bands for their service. They will be like the mercenaries of Middle Ages that roam Europe at times.

Just some thoughts.
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