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Old 05-06-2009, 09:49 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Default The look of the Armies of NATO in 2000

After looking at the progress of the War on Terror. I have been wondering, if the Divisions in NATO would resemble anything that GDW had thought. You would find more than few units foreigners in the ranks. I can see German Brigade assigned to UK and US Division and US brigade assigned to German Divisions.

Especially with reading the reports and seeing how that since the start of the War, many units have rarely deployed above Brigade levels where they haven't been heavily cross-attachment with other units. And since the 2nd or 3rd rotation of troops, a rarely a Division will deploy together. What happens is Division HQ will take command if they are lucky two of their own Brigades and then have other Brigades attached. Also during the time between the old system and new Unit of Action organization, was interesting to see how they would used various Brigade commands with attachments and detachments to keep up with the various deployments.

I mean I can see let's say the 8th Mechanized Division could have one of it 3 BCTs, while it would have Brigade from say the 5th Mechanized and 1st Cavalry who had been attached to it, during the time of activity to enable a Divisions and Corps to keep moving forward. Even that Brigade may have a Battalion/Task Force from the other 2 Brigades before they were left in place to re-organize. Much like toward the part in Team Yankee when the team is taken from the remains of the Mechanized Task Force and returned to it parent Battalion, because the Team was an asset that had offensive capabilities.

Also shortly after the start of the war, you would see Brigade having their supporting units from Division being assigned on the fix basis as the Brigade move around as need.

I don't really see many of the Brigade who were moved from different Division to other being returned after things slowed down, due for various reasons. Also I can see the Brigades being attached to Divisions of Nationalities a lot more too. With all the going back and forth, you would need to move units where they were needed, and not worry too much who was in command of the Division they were fighting with. Granted for the first three years they would return the Brigade back to their National Army as soon as possible, but by late 1998 and on it would be more of strain to move them back.

Also very early in the War, I can see the Armor and Mechanized Battalions being reduced from 4 Companies to 3 Companies due to shortages in both manpower and equipment. With some Armor/Mechanized Platoons and Companies that were converted to something along the lines of Light Motorized organization, much like they had to do in Iraq for patrols.

Also, I can see many of the Light Infantry organizations pooling vehicles to motorize a Company or Battalion for mobility, one has to remember in RL the armored and motorized Battalions of the Light Infantry Division were just paper dreams and rarely did they have more than 2 BCTs. In fact, rarely were the Divisions that were based in the CONUS were fully staff, even if they had been authorized to have been a full strength division on paper. Even those overseas weren't near full strength. It was one of the reason why during Operation Desert Storm, you can find units from almost every Division in those who took part of it. Those who didn't have men on the front line, had men who were kept in the rear as a pool for replacements.

Also I can see by 2000 the Armored Cavalry Regiment based in Europe going from a Corps asset that does screening and recon work, to be just another combat brigade.

Yes, I believe most of this will take place by 1999. At which time transfers of anything will slow down to next to nothing, due to Divisional and Corps Commanders not willing to lose combat power. More than likely a Corps will pool together several Brigades much like we seen happen the last couple years into one or two Division size units for limited offensive. I don't really see many Commanders at any level wanting to move far from their current areas and crops. They will leave sizable force to babysit their support base, just in case things go shit. These units would only catch up to those forward if and only if they could secure an area and crops to support the entire command.

Just some thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2009, 02:57 AM
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I've always thought that Divisions maintaining full cohesion was a little unrealistic, but I attributed it to them swapping back brigades when they were nearby. After the nukes I can see redesignition or any assigned brigades to match their current parent division..

From a game perspective only National Guard Brigades would be distinguishable as they would have a disproportionate number of soldiers form a single state.

I don't see international swapped brigades lasting as long as the intra-national swaps. Cultural and Language barriers would lead units back to a common parent.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:43 AM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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I really don't think as many National Guard Divisional HQs, would of made it to Germany. Anything the members of these HQs would be sent as specialist replacements to Divisional HQs that were already on the ground.

As for re-flagging units, I don't really see this. Once you re-flag unit you take away any battle honor the unit may have won, and give them others they may not be due.

As for the cultural/language issue, yes, units that had been cross attached due to national interest would be returned as soon as possible. Yet, for many years they had existed in real life, due to the fact that many allies have dwindle their military force, even during the Cold War.

After 1998, most divisional and corps levels service would of started to migrate to Brigade levels. Let's face the facts, many operation conducted by the US Army since WWII, with the exception of those in Korea and Vietnam, many of them that required more than Brigade, but less than Corps were done piecemeal. A Brigade from this unit, and from that unit, and support from others would be cobbled together for Operations. Operation Just Cause is a good example, other are the cobbling together of 1st Cavalry, 24th Mechanized, and the Division drawn from Europe where Brigade and even Battalions of other Divisions were used to make complete Divisions.

Then again I had issue with the way they had deployed many Divisions from the US too. The 24th Mechanized Division would of probably went to Europe, even though it was/had been assigned as the heavy unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps, it had also been active in many exercise where it would deployed to Europe too. Then the 6th Light Infantry Division be drawn out of Alaska, in a time when war with the Soviet Union was being conducted and sent to Germany.

Also the 194th Armored and 197th Mechanized Brigades would have either sent personnel as replacements to Europe, or more likely, be used to stand up new Division at Benning and Knox. The 197th in real live, was used in Operation Desert Shield/Storm was assigned to the 24th Mechanized Division and after the war took over the duties of its National Guard round-out Brigade. The 194th probably would of served the same purpose to an element of the III Corps since most of those Divisions had round out Brigades.

With the III Corps is very interesting too. Two Divisions had forward deployed Brigade, and three Divisions had round out Brigades. All state side elements only had two combat brigades in the US, so two Division would be made full once they land. So leaving one Divisional HQ and it support units in the States to help build a new Division wouldn't be far fetch. It Brigades sent to Europe in place of the round-out Brigades that the other two Divisions of the Corps would be relying on. Using the 194th, 197th, and a brigade from the 24th, you could have all of the III Corps moved to Europe. There are lot of possibilities, and if you left the 24th at it base minus one Brigade sent to Europe to rebuild and hence it in the Middle East as canon.

Then lack of mention of the SEATF, granted be little more than over size Battalion, it was based in Italy at the outset of the war. If it stayed in Europe, was it attached to some other unit?

Just some thoughts.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
I really don't think as many National Guard Divisional HQs, would of made it to Germany. Anything the members of these HQs would be sent as specialist replacements to Divisional HQs that were already on the ground.
I did not mean divisional HQ. I meant that in general other that where people might have been stationed for a couple years, regular army brigades would from a gaming perspective be interchangeable. I don't think 1st brigade 5th Mechanized would culturally be different 3rd Brigade 1st Armored. 256th Mechanized Brigade Might have a recognizable cultural characteristic as up to 35% of it's remaining personnel (assuming lots of causality replacements) would be from Louisiana.

I do feel a majority of late reinforcements to Europe would be from the East cost also effecting the culture of American units..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
As for re-flagging units, I don't really see this. Once you re-flag unit you take away any battle honor the unit may have won, and give them others they may not be due.
Brigades are so small at this point (post nukes) I feel that the Divisional history might supersede the Brigade's.

I agree with most of your other points. I think the DC groups realization, that GDW had a Vietnam based perspective on deployments, is accurate. That effected much of how they wrote their unit histories.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
I really don't think as many National Guard Divisional HQs, would of made it to Germany. Anything the members of these HQs would be sent as specialist replacements to Divisional HQs that were already on the ground.
A good number of units were deploying well before any combat started. Would there really be a need for so many replacements at the HQ level at this point?
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:22 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusilier
A good number of units were deploying well before any combat started. Would there really be a need for so many replacements at the HQ level at this point?
Well for the build up for Operation Desert Shield/Storm could be used a template on how things would go for the build up in 1995/1996. Granted many units that had been in the US that were slated for Germany were already in country, but the 1st Cavalry, 5th Mechanized, and 4th Mechanized would still be waiting for their Round Out units training. Same with the 24th Mechanized as it was held in GA.

Many of the round units were so far from being deployable, that still had months of training to at the start of the ground offensive. Even today during operations, many of the National Guards and Reserves unit that are called up, get upward to year + training before they actually deployed. Some food for thought.

One of the few things they did get right, was they lulls in fighting that would happen, because both sides would have to have time to regenerate units.

By 1999 and 2000 granted most Brigade would be little more than over-sized battalions, but many leaders would recognized the moral factor too. One of the inherit detractors of the Soviet system in which units that have been spent due to combat are merged with survivors of other units. I am not saying some flag would be cased, but this would be kept min. I mean once a Battalion is less than platoon, or a Brigade down to Company Strength then they would be used as replacements.

As for divisional hqs replacement, one has to remember that this war unlike anything that has been seen in the last several years by the many in NATO. The enemy will have fighters and bomber who will have intention in taking out tactical HQs from divisional level on up. Many would maintain a main CP, and probable for couple year two smaller ones. With one in the process of moving all of the time. The main would be the one where all orders will be issued from, but the other two would be there in-case something happens. The front will be very fluid, and one of the things many of the novels on a potential WWIII all have a HQ being overrun during it. This process would be repeated onwards down to Battalion level.

At Company level there isn't much staff, the best they would be able to do is split the command element into two if they were that worried. Same with Platoon level, split into two elements. Then again by 2000 most platoons are squads and most companies are platoons. I can see why they hang onto their titles of units, for holding out hope in getting replacement, but even by 2000 it apparent their aren't any one the way.
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
As for divisional hqs replacement, one has to remember that this war unlike anything that has been seen in the last several years by the many in NATO. The enemy will have fighters and bomber who will have intention in taking out tactical HQs from divisional level on up. Many would maintain a main CP, and probable for couple year two smaller ones. With one in the process of moving all of the time. The main would be the one where all orders will be issued from, but the other two would be there in-case something happens. The front will be very fluid, and one of the things many of the novels on a potential WWIII all have a HQ being overrun during it. This process would be repeated onwards down to Battalion level.
I would agree comparisons to a twilight war scenario and the deployments to the Middle East over the past 20 years are essentially flawed because of unchallenged strategic superiority of Western forces. In the twilight war, especially after the nuclear exchange of 1997, the idea of a secure logistic base would be shattered.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Turboswede
I would agree comparisons to a twilight war scenario and the deployments to the Middle East over the past 20 years are essentially flawed because of unchallenged strategic superiority of Western forces. In the twilight war, especially after the nuclear exchange of 1997, the idea of a secure logistic base would be shattered.
That's a good point -- priority targets for missiles and air strikes under Soviet doctrine include to a large degree air bases and long, straight, wide roadways.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:31 PM
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I like the idea of “local recruitment”. I am sure it would be avoided through 1996-1997, but once the road and rail networks were destroyed it would be a waste of effort to integrate stragglers back into national units if there were none available in the immediate area. If you think about the allies operations during the Normandy invasion it was not uncommon to find a raiding unit behind the German lines made up of US Airborne troops, British Paras and French resistance fighters and an interpreter from the free French forces.

Of course once the invasion was resolved and the allied bridgehead established, the old units would be reformed. During the Twilight War I doubt there would be much time for reorganization. If a US unit came across a lone SAS commando or German Jager, I think that they might be integrated into the US unit if the nearest British or German HQ were over (say) 150km away, that’s a long walk.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:52 AM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboswede
I like the idea of “local recruitment”. I am sure it would be avoided through 1996-1997, but once the road and rail networks were destroyed it would be a waste of effort to integrate stragglers back into national units if there were none available in the immediate area. If you think about the allies operations during the Normandy invasion it was not uncommon to find a raiding unit behind the German lines made up of US Airborne troops, British Paras and French resistance fighters and an interpreter from the free French forces.

Of course once the invasion was resolved and the allied bridgehead established, the old units would be reformed. During the Twilight War I doubt there would be much time for reorganization. If a US unit came across a lone SAS commando or German Jager, I think that they might be integrated into the US unit if the nearest British or German HQ were over (say) 150km away, that’s a long walk.
Well this much as was part of the state of units as much. Many had pick allied troops here and there. Also others in the West at least had started to recruit locals too, which is another reason why some units were refusing to move on costly offensives in 1999 and 2000. They didn't want to alienate their recruitment base, but then again that another story in itself.
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