View Single Post
Old 02-14-2013, 06:32 AM
The Rifleman The Rifleman is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vt
Posts: 128

Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
The impact of the Vietnam War on Europe is always misunderstood. Many of the divisions in West Germany were significantly undermanned and had critical shortages in NCOs and officers. According to the Congressional Records, on average, these units ran as much as 25-30% understrength in the key leadership positions.

Critical communications equipment and spares were stripped to support the Vietnam War, when the AN/PRC-77 radio entered service, it was deployed to SE Asia, US Army Europe maintained PRC-25s for almost three years after their replacement.

Artillery ammunition was removed in such large amounts that there were critical shortages in heavy artillery ammunition. Shortly after the Tet Offensive, stocks of 155mm+ was reduced to less than seven days stocks as part of a rush to restock the heavy usage in Vietnam.

While the National Guard/Army Reserve did enjoy an increase in personnel, many of whom did enlist in order to not see service in Vietnam, their equipment levels, in 1968, was poor. Many NG units were still equipped with WWII/Korean War-era M-1 Garands and M-191A4 machine guns, and this was as late as 1972! The Guard was still operating M-46/47 tanks and was just starting to be equipped with M-48s as the new M-60 tanks were coming into service.

Would the US have been able to maintain a major conflict in SE Asia and stop a Soviet attack into Europe? It's an intresting what if.
Its ALWAYS been like that with national guard equipment during "peacetime" even today. When the Active army had M16A2s, we had their M16A1s. When they had M1 tanks, we had M60A3s. When they started converting to the M1A1, we got their old M1s.

BUT when it comes time for war, this changes. The government has more stuff in storage then any of us could ever imagine. When my national guard unit was deployed in 2004, suddenly all new small arms, machine guns and so on appeared. I agree with many of the comments mentioned above, but I still think you undervalue the role of the national guard in a total war, especially prior to 1993, when the guard was HUGE in manpower, and before the army reserve was decimated.
Reply With Quote