RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Twilight 2000 Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-20-2015, 11:23 AM
Apache6 Apache6 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 211
Default NATO Small Arms production in late stages of Twilight War

In the final years of the Twilight War, the chronic shortage of raw materials required for the production of weapons and ammunition was being felt throughout the front lines. Equipment, uniforms, and weapons were being made with whatever substitute materials that were available, or, as the Germans themselves called it, “Ersatz,” that could be used in manufacturing as part of the vain attempt to sustain the NATO war effort for another day. Even the most sacred of soldier material – ammunition – was also being made out of substitute materials, such as lacquered steel, in order to get the most out of the dwindling stockpiles of copper and zinc. This late-war lacquered steel “Ersatz” ammunition, which was supposed to increase protection from corrosion while reducing the amount of strategic materials, such as copper and zinc, required for manufacturing, was to have detrimental effects to the soldiers on the front lines.

The following is an account of such lacquered steel ammunition being used in the finals battles around Berlin, as told by Gunther Labes, a Panzer Grenadier who was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd “Müncheberg” Panzergrenadier Regiment, Panzer Division “Müncheberg.” Labes, who was assigned as an Assistant Machine Gunner (MG Schütze 2), along with other members of his company (most of whom were formed from other units or stragglers a few days earlier).

“Due to the lack of suitable raw materials, such as copper and zinc, the cartridges for our rifles and machine guns were no longer being made of brass, but of normal steel. The unprotected steel would have normally soon rusted but, the industrial geniuses of Germany had come upon the solution of dipping the cartridges in transparent lacquer to prevent rusting. One would surely be overestimating the intelligence of those responsible for this decision if one accused them of sabotage! At first the lacquer used was quite effective. As conditions continued to worsen “Eratz” lacquer was used in the production of ammunition.

The effect this measure had on fire power of our troops is almost indescribable. The assault rifles and machine guns in general issue among NATO infantry were very accurate and finally machined weapon. As a result of the lacquering of cartridges, the ejection of fired cartridges by the extractors was only seldom possible, When this occurred regularly, it was not very clever to present oneself as a target to the enemy while trying to clear the breech under cover. The rifleman therefore had to go back into cover with his unusable weapon force the empty cartridge out of the breech with his cleaning rod. Sometimes a hard bang of the stock on the bottom of the trench sufficed.

As No. 2 on the machine gun, I also had to use my ramrod on the spare gun barrels as the last cartridge regularly burned fast in the breech after a burst of fire, and consequently the barrel had to be changed after each burst and a fresh belt of ammunition fed in to prepare the next burst.
Looking back, I cannot help thinking that the musketeers of the Thirty Years War with their 17th Century weapons had a faster rate of fire on average and consequently greater firepower than we infantryman of the late 20th Century with our modern automatic weapons, but supplied with lacquered ammunition!”

An ironic twist concerning the NATO forces was that, at the time, they represented the most modern-equipped military units in the world. One can only imagine the frustration of the members of this force, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment which often left them virtually defenseless.

(I've modified this, with no intent to proffit from it) Late-War German Ammunition at the Front 1945, found at: http://www.dererstezug.com/LateWarGermanAmmunition.htm)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-20-2015, 01:25 PM
Apache6 Apache6 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 211
Default 5th Mechanized Div rations WW III

Rations for NATO during WW III:

The purpose of this article is to examine what type of sustenance NATO soldiers ate while on the front lines in WWIII. Instead of giving a broad picture of what combat rations soldiers were supposed to be issued, this article will describe, in the words of Solders, what they actually ate to sustain themselves. To assist in further in narrowing down this topic, this article will focus on one unit during one campaign: the 5th Mechanized Division during their final offensive.

Background
When the veteran 5th Mechanized Division, which had been decimated during earlier Campaign and eventually sent back to Germany to be reformed and rebuilt. The division was rebuilt with returned wounded, recruits from the U.S. Navy, U.S.A.F. as well as Polish volunteers and small contingents of conscripts sent over from the United States. The Divisions combat units were re-equipped to some extent with rebuild combat gear and German produced civilian trucks and Battalion level field kitchen trailers. While individual soldiers were equipped with mess kits.

With the lack of study supply of MREs, one aspect of the division, like the NATO Army in general, that was modified was its ration, or food supply system. For the most part, the Division supplied its brigades with combat rations and meals reverting to the system the Germany Army used in WW II, some fifty years earlier. The food supply system consisted primarily of a battalion field mess section that prepared and cooked hot rations daily, which were then delivered to the front by various means, usually truck but sometimes by horse, bicycle, or foot.

According to orders, NATO soldiers during World War Three were to be served hot meals once a day from their battalion field kitchens. Ideally, while the troops were marching from one mission to another, the unit’s field mess personnel (which included the mess sergeant and his cook’s assistants (often non-combatant camp followers) would start the fires in the mess trailer, so hot water for tea or coffee could be served out, especially during cold weather. Normally, they would be issued their bread ration for the day (a half pound loaf of dark, multi-grain bread), and would draw cheese, jelly or preserves and perhaps hard sausage for their morning meal. The hot coals in trailer would be kept going all day to cook stew for the mid-day meal, normally the largest meal of the day. The evening meal would look much like that of the morning, using the remainder of the bread issue, with perhaps the addition of soup.

Once the rations arrived at the unit, they were quickly doled out to Soldiers detailed to go to the rear to pick them up, with the food usually being deposited into mess kits or canteen cups. Other items, such as chocolate, candy, bread, onions, coffee etc. were placed onto blankets and then rolled up for easier carrying. As one will read in this article, you will see that this system generally failed to deliver the required amount of food to the Soldiers on the front lines, with the result that many of the men went hungry for days at a time. Another factor that determined when or how late combat troops drew their rations was distance – the farther ahead a unit moved as it attacked, the farther away it got from its supply section, including the field kitchen, making the trip for the ration party carrying the food to the front all that much longer. These ration parties often arrived late, if they could find their units, and when they did, the food was often cold.

For emergency use only the units were supplied with individual combat rations. Each man in the division had one MRE issued before the start of the offensive. These were supplemented by German produced iron rations. There simply were not enough on hand to issue individual rations to the troops on a regular basis and the plan was to issuing hot rations daily with the iron rations being reserved for high tempo operations and the MRE being the last resort. As it turned out the NATO food supply system was inadequate to sustain the fighting energy of the troops during this offensive campaign.

Initially each man carried two iron rations. Also, prior to beginning a tactical march or a movement to contact, troops were issued an additional day's issue of iron rations if sufficient numbers were available. In addition to the iron ration, the units sometimes received packages of instant condensed soup and instant coffee.

The iron ration consisted of hardtack crackers and canned meat and was intended to only be consumed when rations could not be provided by the field kitchen. The standard meat portion of the iron ration came packed in a can that measured 3 inches high by 2 ⅝ inches wide. Weighing between 190 and 200 grams net, the can was normally packed with various pork or beef products, including the German version of Spam or corned beef hash. The use of horsemeat was common at the time. The cans were usually not labeled, but issued directly from a box or crate containing 72 cans, which would have had a descriptive paper label glued to the outside. The canned pork “was excellent in both appearance and flavor…packed solidly, with just enough fat to fill the spaces completely.” The canned beef, which came in a similar-sized can, was “of dubious appearance and palatability but could be improved by the addition of salt.”

The cracker portion of the iron ration offered a bit more variety, though its taste often left something to be desired. Depending upon what was available the Soldier would receive half a pound of Hardtack, crisp bread, saltine crackers or occasionally lightly sweetened crackers. The Hardtack was most common and was very hard and dense. It was made from a very low-grade flour, salt and water and had unlimited keeping qualities.” A half pound ration was made up of 6 hardtack crackers in a wax paper sleeve, they were also packed in a cardboard box containing 72 sleeves.

The following are eyewitness accounts, of what the NATO soldiers ate during this campaign:

Sgt Jonath Horst, 2nd Battalion, 52nd Armor, summarized the overall situation of the NATO’s attempts to feed its men during this campaign, including how they were able to survive the campaign, “Our food supplies were unsatisfactory. Other than captured Soviet canned goods and some preserves taken from civilian houses, there was nothing.” Bringing food forward from the Battalion Trains was dangerous because of the threat of Soviet snipers. This led the troops to simply build a fire in a stove or fire to heat their rations.

Lieutenant Stetter, 1st BN, 5th Combat Engineer Battalion, also stated the following about receiving a much-need issue of soup, ““We had our first warm food in ten days, pea soup on which the fat was swimming, for there was plenty of pork fat in the deserted houses. So we ate, no, we gobbled as much of the fatty broth as we could hold; serious digestive disturbances and stomach cramps were to follow two days later.”

WO3 Brach, 2nd BN, 3rd MP Bn (Provisional), had this to say after finally receiving his first NATO rations in days, “When we had reached the foot of the hill, there stood a soldier with a loaf of bread in his hand, cutting off slice after slice, which our men practically tore out of his hand, for we had waited six days for rations, since the supply train could not be brought closer because of enemy fire. And this slice of bread was welcome to us; we were practically starving, and this bread tasted wonderful.”

Major Jones, Cmdr, 1st BN, 9 Armor, commented on what his men were issued, “The food service rolled in the next day, and we finally got warm food again, a welcome change, for in the last few days we had nothing but stale dark rye bread and rancid butter.” He also commented on being re-supplied, with not only rations, but also some sundry items, “The goods the Sustainment Brigade brought along were then distributed to the men of my battalion, numbering 97 men at the time, included cigarettes, German beer (2 1 litter bottles per man), soap, combs, razor blades, and chocolate (one bar/man).” At one point during the campaign, Jones men had to scrounge through the bread bags of Soviet dead and wounded. At another point, specifically after overrunning a Soviet Division outside of Lorcski they had more supplies then they could carry, they halted there for two days until the other Battalions of the Brigade could send trucks to carry away the plunder. The day after they seized the Divison HQ, they feasted barbequing a cow which had been killed in the attack. Days later he remembers his gunner looking out his turret hatch, and asking a dispirited infantrymen “are you hungry?” When he said, “Yes, and how!” He threw him a loaf of thick Soviet Army rye bread.”

Sgt Horsth states that at one point his acting First Sgt advised him to go up the road to the farmhouse; and loot the equipment of the dead men in the stable there. When he came out of the stable he had found a few loafs of bread, three iron rations, plus two packages of hard candies in the packs of the dead, that was all his ten man platoon had for three days.

The one food item that seems to have sustained the 5th was captured rations. Prior to the battle, NATOs was appalled by the quality of Soviet rations. During the battle they very pleased to capture Soviet Rations, as they had nothing else. “In the village (Bettendorf) itself, we appropriated a Soviet food and clothing storehouse in a old trucking company compound. Now for a pleasant change we had enough to eat. Everybody feasted and nobody asked where our field kitchen was.” SFC Brach continued with another account of Warsaw Pact rations, “In Bettendorf the soldiers stuffed their pockets, assault packs and vehicles again with potatioes, onions and cabbage from a the farms supporting a Soviet Motor Rifle Regiments Cantonment. In fact, some of our infantry even rounded up old baby carriages and shopping carts and filled them with food. That evening, after several days, the Battalion field kitchen finally came to supply us with hot food, but nobody was hungry, thanks to the –Soviet rations. Our mess sergeant was annoyed to have to take the watery stew away again.

The NKVD seemed to be equipped with a better quality of food then the standard Soviet infantry and Pvt Friedrich, 1st BN, 9th Armor had something to say about the NKVD Rations, “I discovered a pallet of olive green boxes, about the size of a shoe box in the back of a URAL 375, and I searched them curiously. Out came small brown cartons that I had a hard time opening for they were coated with wax. They each contained a tin of sardines, a tin of peanut butter, dried nuts, cookies, tea, dried fruit bars, cigarettes, and other such things.“ Very value trade items indeed.

During the campaign, many civilians fled their homes to avoid another round of fighting in their area. These abandoned residences became the target of many a hungry soldier looking for something to eat. For several weeks the only food supplies we received came from the houses that the civilians had left, mostly it came from the gardens and orchards (mostly apple), but we found small supplies of preserves, onions, potatoes, and dried and smoked meat.

Carrrying his rations. As far as where or how the individual carried his food, per orders he carried either his one MRE or an iron ration unopened in his combat load usually in the buttpack. Other ration components were stuck in the pockets of his uniform blouse and trousers. He was limited to what he could carry, because he still had to carry his ammunition, grenades, weapon, canteen, and other field equipment, as well as an additional ammunition can or two for the squad M-60 or mortar rounds.

Conclusion
One of the myths of the NATO during the Twilight War was that were a well-equipped war machine with unending numbers of Abrams and Leopard tanks, F-15 Fighters, and legions of well equipped Rangers and Paratroops out for blood. As this short article has proven, the real story is that toward the end of the War the NATO Army could not even keep its own front line combat troops adequately fed during the campaign. As the Battle dragged on, the lack of proper nutrition, made worse by having to live out in the open during an uncharacteristically cold spring, took its physical and mental toll on the average Joe. Tired, hungry, cold, and forced to forage for his food, only a superman could have continued fighting with the same enthusiasm and effectiveness that the 5th Mechanized displayed during the offensive.

Issued Rations: Dark Rye Bread, soup/stew, margarine/butter, 4 Oz of dried meat or fish (at the most). A single MRE and two days’ worth of iron rations.

Captured Rations: Wide variety of generally low quality. Though as stated above some units happened on treasure troves of supplies.

Local Rations: Bread, potatoes, dried meat, dried apples (This source of rations appears to be the rarity rather than the norm).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-20-2015, 01:43 PM
kato13's Avatar
kato13 kato13 is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago, Il USA
Posts: 3,307
Send a message via ICQ to kato13
Default

Nice. keep 'em coming.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-20-2015, 01:45 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 1,974
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache6 View Post
In the final years of the Twilight War, the chronic shortage of raw materials required for the production of weapons and ammunition was being felt throughout the front lines. Equipment, uniforms, and weapons were being made with whatever substitute materials that were available, or, as the Germans themselves called it, “Ersatz,” that could be used in manufacturing as part of the vain attempt to sustain the NATO war effort for another day. Even the most sacred of soldier material – ammunition – was also being made out of substitute materials, such as lacquered steel, in order to get the most out of the dwindling stockpiles of copper and zinc. This late-war lacquered steel “Ersatz” ammunition, which was supposed to increase protection from corrosion while reducing the amount of strategic materials, such as copper and zinc, required for manufacturing, was to have detrimental effects to the soldiers on the front lines.

The following is an account of such lacquered steel ammunition being used in the finals battles around Berlin, as told by Gunther Labes, a Panzer Grenadier who was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd “Müncheberg” Panzergrenadier Regiment, Panzer Division “Müncheberg.” Labes, who was assigned as an Assistant Machine Gunner (MG Schütze 2), along with other members of his company (most of whom were formed from other units or stragglers a few days earlier).

“Due to the lack of suitable raw materials, such as copper and zinc, the cartridges for our rifles and machine guns were no longer being made of brass, but of normal steel. The unprotected steel would have normally soon rusted but, the industrial geniuses of Germany had come upon the solution of dipping the cartridges in transparent lacquer to prevent rusting. One would surely be overestimating the intelligence of those responsible for this decision if one accused them of sabotage! At first the lacquer used was quite effective. As conditions continued to worsen “Eratz” lacquer was used in the production of ammunition.

The effect this measure had on fire power of our troops is almost indescribable. The assault rifles and machine guns in general issue among NATO infantry were very accurate and finally machined weapon. As a result of the lacquering of cartridges, the ejection of fired cartridges by the extractors was only seldom possible, When this occurred regularly, it was not very clever to present oneself as a target to the enemy while trying to clear the breech under cover. The rifleman therefore had to go back into cover with his unusable weapon force the empty cartridge out of the breech with his cleaning rod. Sometimes a hard bang of the stock on the bottom of the trench sufficed.

As No. 2 on the machine gun, I also had to use my ramrod on the spare gun barrels as the last cartridge regularly burned fast in the breech after a burst of fire, and consequently the barrel had to be changed after each burst and a fresh belt of ammunition fed in to prepare the next burst.
Looking back, I cannot help thinking that the musketeers of the Thirty Years War with their 17th Century weapons had a faster rate of fire on average and consequently greater firepower than we infantryman of the late 20th Century with our modern automatic weapons, but supplied with lacquered ammunition!”

An ironic twist concerning the NATO forces was that, at the time, they represented the most modern-equipped military units in the world. One can only imagine the frustration of the members of this force, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment which often left them virtually defenseless.

(I've modified this, with no intent to proffit from it) Late-War German Ammunition at the Front 1945, found at: http://www.dererstezug.com/LateWarGermanAmmunition.htm)
Thats why picking up spent brass cartridges would have mattered so much to avoid using ammo that was doctored like that. One thing to keep in mind is that there would have been A LOT of spent brass around in Germany and Poland to be used - and that with the smaller size of the division by 2000 the ammo supply needed would have been correspondily smaller.

If you look at the canon one reason the Germans switched back to older rifles was that the new ones they had were out of ammo mainly because there wasnt any brass to police and reload
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:12 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marana, AZ
Posts: 2,521
Default

Apache, I like your IC vignettes illustrating the reaction to the lacquered steel ammo and field rations. I think it would be really cool to compile a bunch of similar anectdotes into comprehensive "In Their Own Words" account of the later years of the Twilight War. It seems like a project that would lend itself to an anthology format, with contributions from multiple authors.

One can buy steel-cased cartridges in a few calibers. I've seen it in 7.62x39mm at my local hunting/sporting goods store. I've read that it's pretty hard on weapons' internal working components so I won't try it. The lacquer bit is creative. I can see what you described as being a short-lived experiment, not a systemic replacement of traditional brass casing production. As you described, the proof is in the pudding. As Olefin pointed out, policing up spent brass and reloading it becomes a military cottage industry as the war drags on.
__________________
Dulce bellum inexpertis. - Erasmus
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:32 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 1,974
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Apache, I like your IC vignettes illustrating the reaction to the lacquered steel ammo and field rations. I think it would be really cool to compile a bunch of similar anectdotes into comprehensive "In Their Own Words" account of the later years of the Twilight War. It seems like a project that would lend itself to an anthology format, with contributions from multiple authors.

One can buy steel-cased cartridges in a few calibers. I've seen it in 7.62x39mm at my local hunting/sporting goods store. I've read that it's pretty hard on weapons' internal working components so I won't try it. The lacquer bit is creative. I can see what you described as being a short-lived experiment, not a systemic replacement of traditional brass casing production. As you described, the proof is in the pudding. As Olefin pointed out, policing up spent brass and reloading it becomes a military cottage industry as the war drags on.
Brass cartridges for reloading purposes was practically the same as cash in our campaign - one of our biggest scores was ambushing a small convoy that had in it a truck loaded down with spent cartridges and shell casings - we got a very good deal for them in Krakow
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:41 PM
kato13's Avatar
kato13 kato13 is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago, Il USA
Posts: 3,307
Send a message via ICQ to kato13
Default

The soviets didn't use brass at all for their small arms rounds, correct?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:44 PM
Ironside Ironside is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ipswich, UK.
Posts: 113
Default

These articles are wonderful. If you could write more, they would be much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:54 PM
ArmySGT.'s Avatar
ArmySGT. ArmySGT. is offline
Internet Intellectual
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,412
Default

The fluted actions of the German G3 wouldn't even blink at steel ammunition. The brass isn't reloadable, but extraction isn't a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-20-2015, 03:13 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 1,974
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kato13 View Post
The soviets didn't use brass at all for their small arms rounds, correct?
Soviet 7.62×39mm cartridge originally used a bimetallic steel and copper case and in the early 60's it transitioned to a lacquered steel case

They made a ton of ammo and you had to figure by late in the war they were issuing stuff that may have been in storage for a long time - so the answer is most likely it was lacquered steel but if its old ammo it could have steel and copper
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-20-2015, 04:43 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

I Highly doubt that lacquered cases would ever make it onto a modern battlefield. Heat resistant lacquer would be in short supply while an old substitute (wax) would not. The Soviets have shown that painted steel cases can work very handily in modern actions. Stock AR-15's can use the Wolf brand steel cased ammo without a problem. Lacquered cases were used during WW2; but modern powder and lacquer DON'T mix. A hot wax seal around the bullet crimp would work just as well for sealing out water (rust would be a "non-issue" in the cottage industry reloading plant, they simply wouldn't care) and could be used to seal plastic shotgun shell hulls. The brass cases from fired ammo are pretty hardy and even a "green" brass case can be polished very quickly in a case tumbler. Most rounds can be reloaded between 10 and 12 times providing they weren't loaded to +P pressures (which will reduce case life). Even the harshly "dinged" cases from an H&K "enhanced blowback" roller locking action (MP5, G3, HK33/41, MG3) can usually be salvaged by running them through a 2 piece (inside and outside) resizing die. I would roll a 1d10 for 6 or less for successful resizing of crimped cases.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-20-2015, 06:46 PM
Ancestor Ancestor is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Midwest USA, currently deployed to hotter, dustier place
Posts: 132
Default

Great stuff! I'm stealing this for my upcoming campaign. A couple of thoughts:

1. I loved the addition of soup. One of the things that I think the Army does well is soup. I think this, along with stew, would have been a staple of the 5th ID.

2. Any thoughts on eggs? Another thing the Army does well (look at the line omlette bar at any DFAC). Now, I'm not thinking there's going to be such a thing on at the field kitchen as 5th ID is jumping off on it's raid, BUT, chickens and eggs are fairly easy to keep and eggs are a great source of protein. Now, chickens are succeptible to disease if kept together in large numbers or come in contact with certain migratory waterfowl (which have probably already been shot by locals for food), but to me some type of arrangement such as "protection and tractor maintenance in exchange for some of your eggs" would be a pretty sweet deal for a German or Polish farmer.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-21-2015, 03:39 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancestor View Post
Great stuff! I'm stealing this for my upcoming campaign. A couple of thoughts:

1. I loved the addition of soup. One of the things that I think the Army does well is soup. I think this, along with stew, would have been a staple of the 5th ID.

2. Any thoughts on eggs? Another thing the Army does well (look at the line omlette bar at any DFAC). Now, I'm not thinking there's going to be such a thing on at the field kitchen as 5th ID is jumping off on it's raid, BUT, chickens and eggs are fairly easy to keep and eggs are a great source of protein. Now, chickens are succeptible to disease if kept together in large numbers or come in contact with certain migratory waterfowl (which have probably already been shot by locals for food), but to me some type of arrangement such as "protection and tractor maintenance in exchange for some of your eggs" would be a pretty sweet deal for a German or Polish farmer.
It wouldn't surprise me to see all manner of "livestock" being driven along (as in a cattle drive, NOT in a truck) with the logistics tail. The US Army was forced to open a school for handling pack mules during the most recent deployments. The mules were just the best solution for certain units in Afghanistan. I'm guessing the US (and NATO) would "hire" a bunch of "Civilian Contractors" to handle such livestock in Twilight.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:33 PM
ArmySGT.'s Avatar
ArmySGT. ArmySGT. is offline
Internet Intellectual
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,412
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancestor View Post
Great stuff! I'm stealing this for my upcoming campaign. A couple of thoughts:

1. I loved the addition of soup. One of the things that I think the Army does well is soup. I think this, along with stew, would have been a staple of the 5th ID.

2. Any thoughts on eggs? Another thing the Army does well (look at the line omlette bar at any DFAC). Now, I'm not thinking there's going to be such a thing on at the field kitchen as 5th ID is jumping off on it's raid, BUT, chickens and eggs are fairly easy to keep and eggs are a great source of protein. Now, chickens are succeptible to disease if kept together in large numbers or come in contact with certain migratory waterfowl (which have probably already been shot by locals for food), but to me some type of arrangement such as "protection and tractor maintenance in exchange for some of your eggs" would be a pretty sweet deal for a German or Polish farmer.
Forgetting ducks, turkeys, and geese. Each provides meat, eggs, feathers (down coats), and are higher in fats than most chicken breeds. Rabbits in hutches provide meat and furs for winter clothes. Goats provide meat, fat, milk, and hides. Goats can also two small trailers or pack loads of 20 to 40 lbs. Each also does well on natural forage and doesn't need grains though those would improve final weight. Hogs and Boars don't provide anything except waste disposal until slaughter then it lard, meat, and very tough hide for high wear leather purposes.

The feed requirements for cows, horses, mules, and oxen would be to great a burden for a mobile unit. Only a unit in cantonment could pasture them or stock that much hay and grains..... which would count against ethanol production.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:35 PM
ArmySGT.'s Avatar
ArmySGT. ArmySGT. is offline
Internet Intellectual
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,412
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
It wouldn't surprise me to see all manner of "livestock" being driven along (as in a cattle drive, NOT in a truck) with the logistics tail. The US Army was forced to open a school for handling pack mules during the most recent deployments. The mules were just the best solution for certain units in Afghanistan. I'm guessing the US (and NATO) would "hire" a bunch of "Civilian Contractors" to handle such livestock in Twilight.
Military tractor trailer could pull a commandeerd live stock trailer.... Or use the stake and pallet trailer. There are also refridgerated vans and freezer vans in inventory.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-22-2015, 06:38 PM
Ancestor Ancestor is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Midwest USA, currently deployed to hotter, dustier place
Posts: 132
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
The feed requirements for cows, horses, mules, and oxen would be to great a burden for a mobile unit. Only a unit in cantonment could pasture them or stock that much hay and grains..... which would count against ethanol production.
Great point! There would definitely be competition for resources! I may work that into my game. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-24-2015, 09:44 PM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 517
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Forgetting ducks, turkeys, and geese. Each provides meat, eggs, feathers (down coats), and are higher in fats than most chicken breeds.
Common pigeons produce eggs, meat, and feathers, are extremely common and henceforth available, and can be kept in fairly small compartments; and most importantly, pigeon droppings are incredibly beneficial to soil nutrients and do not require the aging times that other dungs do. I posted on these boards a fair-sized note on urban farming that addressed the benefits of pigeons regarding urban homesteading in Armies of the Night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
The feed requirements for cows, horses, mules, and oxen would be to great a burden for a mobile unit. Only a unit in cantonment could pasture them or stock that much hay and grains..... which would count against ethanol production.
The use of urea from human urine applied to chopped hay, straw, and other less-suitable fodder (corn stalks, etc) can boost the nutrient availability of the material by 20%; this could offset the diversion of grains as cattle feedstock.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-27-2015, 12:13 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
Military tractor trailer could pull a commandeerd live stock trailer.... Or use the stake and pallet trailer. There are also refridgerated vans and freezer vans in inventory.
I would be concerned about the diversion of fuel from combat units for transport of livestock or refrigeration. I think it would be more "resource feasible" to hire civilians to "drive" cattle, sheep, or goats behind the combat units. These animals really don't need feed hay or grain as a food source for short 100km to 150km drives. You just let them graze on the drive. Texas Longhorns and Brahmas can and do survive completely on graze (although they both look anorexic to this former Black Angus herder). These two breeds have another advantage that most milk and beef cattle don't have today. They can birth without assistance (google "Calf Chains" for an education on this). Horses are a very different story. A horse NEEDS grain if it is to do any work for you. Horses without grain will deteriorate very quickly if used for work. This all assumes an orderly/planned movement of a military unit. If a military unit were "moving with a purpose"; I'm betting they'd just "forage" for supplies (much to the distress of the locals).

Last edited by swaghauler; 05-27-2015 at 04:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-27-2015, 01:24 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marana, AZ
Posts: 2,521
Default

I can imagine chicken coops, rabbit hutches, and small pig and goat pens festooning the top decks of military vehicles as they move from laager site to laager site (assuming combat is not expected imminently).
__________________
Dulce bellum inexpertis. - Erasmus
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-29-2015, 05:08 PM
Draq Draq is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: texas
Posts: 328
Default

Another prime example of a franken-gun. Behold the ak/SKS/fal hybrid. http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=54230.0
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-29-2015, 05:12 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draq View Post
Another prime example of a franken-gun. Behold the ak/SKS/fal hybrid. http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=54230.0
Nothing quite like "Field Expedient," functioning "parts guns."
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-29-2015, 05:52 PM
ArmySGT.'s Avatar
ArmySGT. ArmySGT. is offline
Internet Intellectual
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,412
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I would be concerned about the diversion of fuel from combat units for transport of livestock or refrigeration. I think it would be more "resource feasible" to hire civilians to "drive" cattle, sheep, or goats behind the combat units.
To slow to keep up and to vulnerable to opportunists. A desperate hungry man could shoot one cow and there is little you could do about it. A desperate and hungry village could stampede or scatter a herd and take several head for themselves.

This, also cows moving at 10 miles per day are going to be outpaced by unit movements that can be 100 miles away in a single day. That would leave them further vulnerable to bandits.

Last, cattle drives of the American Old West were either from winter to summer graze or to market. That market could be hundreds of miles away, but the cowboy expected only to be on the trail for a few months then home with a good purse.

Civilian cattle drivers in T2K might sign on indefinitely because it does mean they eat. However, can you expect them to cross borders and enter an area that might be hostile to them?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-30-2015, 09:23 AM
Apache6 Apache6 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 211
Default During American Civil War, private Sutllers often followed armies, augmenting rations

A sutler or victualer is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army in the field, in camp, or in quarters. Sutlers sold wares from the back of a wagon or a temporary tent, traveling with an army or to remote military outposts.

These merchants often followed the armies of the American Revolution and the American Civil War to try to sell their merchandise to the soldiers. Generally, the sutlers built their stores within the limits of an army post or just off the defense line, and first needed to receive a license from the Commander prior to construction; they were, by extension, also subject to his regulations.

Sutlers, frequently the only local suppliers of non-military goods, often developed monopolies on simple commodities like tobacco, coffee, or sugar and rose to powerful stature. Since government-issued coinage was scarce during the Civil War, sutlers often conducted transactions using a particular type of Civil War token known as a sutler token.[3]

Sutlers played a major role in the recreation of army men between 1865 and 1890. Sutlers' stores outside of military posts were usually also open to non-military travelers and offered gambling, drinking, and prostitution.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-30-2015, 07:00 PM
FPSlover FPSlover is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 18
Default

Those are a damn fine articles. I may have to use them myself.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-31-2015, 05:01 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
To slow to keep up and to vulnerable to opportunists. A desperate hungry man could shoot one cow and there is little you could do about it. A desperate and hungry village could stampede or scatter a herd and take several head for themselves.

This, also cows moving at 10 miles per day are going to be outpaced by unit movements that can be 100 miles away in a single day. That would leave them further vulnerable to bandits.

Last, cattle drives of the American Old West were either from winter to summer graze or to market. That market could be hundreds of miles away, but the cowboy expected only to be on the trail for a few months then home with a good purse.

Civilian cattle drivers in T2K might sign on indefinitely because it does mean they eat. However, can you expect them to cross borders and enter an area that might be hostile to them?
That is why you would also have your logistics tail (made of mostly ox or horse drawn wagons?) moving with the herd. The few trucks that you would have left in your logistics would be making "runs" to the various units "in need" from your logistics train AS IT MOVED.

Most armored columns using modern fuel can only move about 150 km per load of fuel (with a 24 to 48 hr combat reserve). Units moving on BioDiesel or Ethanol would be hard pressed to move 100km on the same load of fuel. Assuming one move per week on average (the time for a large mobile still to "regenerate" your fuel capacity); The cattle drivers would just "catch up" to the forward element as it was preparing to move again. On a historical note; This is also about the same speed of both Russian and German Supply trains during the later years of WW2.

Another very important element in Logistics would be trains. Diesel Electric trains can easily be converted to run on natural gas and "cracked" coal oil. Their large carrying capacity and speed would make them strategic targets to be taken intact where ever they could be secured. An Army could move it's entire logistics tail in one move. This would allow large movements with full support.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-31-2015, 05:58 PM
Ancestor Ancestor is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Midwest USA, currently deployed to hotter, dustier place
Posts: 132
Default

Between this thread and the book I'm reading ("American By Blood", a Western by Andrew Huebner about three US Cavalry Scouts in the aftermath of Little Bighorn), I felt the need to post recipes for hardtack. Enjoy!
http://www.food.com/recipe/hardtack-109814
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-31-2015, 06:02 PM
Ancestor Ancestor is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Midwest USA, currently deployed to hotter, dustier place
Posts: 132
Default

Just throwing one more element out there - what about salt for preserving beef? Would it not be an advantage to control a salt mine/lick? And even more so for something like black pepper and/or sugar?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-31-2015, 06:44 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 725
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancestor View Post
Just throwing one more element out there - what about salt for preserving beef? Would it not be an advantage to control a salt mine/lick? And even more so for something like black pepper and/or sugar?
Salt would be a staple in food preparation. Smoking meats will only preserve food for a while. Salted beef, pork or fish will last MUCH longer.

Sugar would be important as both a food additive and a fuel. Sugar cane can produce Ethanol with a much higher energy density than corn oil can.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-31-2015, 07:26 PM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Salt would be a staple in food preparation. Smoking meats will only preserve food for a while. Salted beef, pork or fish will last MUCH longer.

Sugar would be important as both a food additive and a fuel. Sugar cane can produce Ethanol with a much higher energy density than corn oil can.
Wiki has this list of significant salt mining sites in Europe: -
Austria - Hallstatt and Salzkammergut.
Bosnia - Tuzla
Bulgaria - Provadiya; and Solnitsata, an ancient town believed by Bulgarian archaeologists to be the oldest in Europe and the site of a salt production facility approximately six millennia ago.
England - The "-wich towns" of Cheshire and Worcestershire.
Germany - Rheinberg, Berchtesgaden
Italy - Racalmuto, Realmonte and Petralia Soprana within the production sites managed by Italkali.
N. Ireland - Kilroot, near Carrickfergus, more than a century old and containing passages whose combined length exceeds 25 km.
Poland - Wieliczka and Bochnia, both established in the mid-13th century and still operating, mostly as museums.
Romania - Slănic (with Salina Veche, Europe's largest salt mine), Cacica, Ocnele Mari, Salina Turda, Târgu Ocna, Ocna Sibiului and Praid.

Wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_mining

This could make for an interesting change of pace, military operations to locate and secure salt mines.

As an aside, in the USA one of the significant salt mining sites is under Detroit, Michigan.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 06-18-2015, 06:51 AM
Anna Elizabeth's Avatar
Anna Elizabeth Anna Elizabeth is offline
BiPolar, Bisexual, Brony
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 62
Default

Does anyone think that soldiers in T2K would buy or make brass catchers for their weapons? Perhaps there is something about brass catchers that would hinder performance, so I don't know.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.