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Old 09-10-2008, 03:51 AM
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Default 9th ID and the Twilight world

shrike6 07-04-2008, 09:57 PM I find myself quite fascinated with the 9th ID (HTTD). I'm curious about others opinions, if it had been fully equipped (AGS, Hellfire Hum-Vees etc.fielded) would it have seen action in the Gulf War? Would the army have equipped more divisions similar to it?


Matt Wiser 07-04-2008, 10:18 PM Not sure if they would've equipped whole divisions on that line, but forming a light ACR with similar equipment (some have had the 14th ACR being AGS/LAV-25 family equipped) might have been a possiblity, giving XVIII Airborne Corps its own ACR instead of having to "borrow" 3rd ACR from III Corps. The Army may have also considered giving each light infantry division a brigade along similar lines to 9th ID's. M-8s and the LAV family would have been mighty useful in places like Korea and Norway as well as in Iran.


Webstral 07-05-2008, 01:05 AM The fielding of additional units like 9th ID would have depended a good deal on the results of whatever action the 9th saw through 1997. A nay-sayer of the light motorized concept remarked to me that the motorized formation had nearly the same maintenance and logistical requirements as its mechanized counterpart without having the combat power. As with all things, the combat power of a light motorized formation has a great deal to do with context.

After my experience in Iraq, I'm not a fan of the motorized infantry concept as we employed it. The Hum-Vee is a wonderful platform for a with variety of tasks. As a gun truck, the up-armored Hum-Vee has a place in the TO&E of the motorized infantry company. As a personnel carrier, the Hummer just doesn't have the transport capacity. Three trucks have between them a maximum of nine dismounts. Realistically, the number is somewhere between six and nine. Therefore, three trucks are required to put a single rifle squad on the ground.

I spent a good deal of time debating the proper mix of fighting vehicles for a well-rounded motorized infantry platoon. Not surprisingly, my ideas differed from almost everyone else's ideas. Anyone out there shocked?

Before going on, I think it's worthwhile to explain my operating definitions. I see mechanized formations as having tracked personnel carriers and light fighting vehicles along with self-propelled artillery and air defense. Mechanized formations also have a high ratio of tank battalions to mechanized (tracked APC/IFV) infantry battalions. Motorized formations principally use wheeled personnel carriers, towed artillery, and a low ratio of tank battalions to infantry battalions. My definition is by no means authoritative. It’s just how I see it.

A light motorized infantry company—one using only Hummers for transport and fire support—needs to put three rifle platoons on the road. (I’ll leave out the company command and support elements for the moment) We went overseas nearly at full strength. Each platoon had three rifle squads of nine each, plus a weapons squad of seven, plus the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, RTO, and medic. This means thirty-eight men to carry in trucks that seat five. All fractions being rounded up, this means eight Hummer gun trucks per platoon, times three platoons. Putting all three platoons on the road means putting twenty-four gun trucks on the road. This is a considerable maintenance load—especially since the Hummer’s suspension isn’t designed for the additional armor. The newest versions have heavier suspensions, but this only mitigates the problem. Fire support is going to be great. However, with a maximum of three dismounts per truck, each platoon is seriously spaced out along the road. Command and control is going to be difficult in the event of unfavorable developments.

Far better, I think, to put most of the infantry in wheeled APCs. The French VAB or the LAV-300 would be worth considering. A platoon needing to transport forty men could put its men in three wheeled APCs and two Hummer gun trucks (the extra gun platform would be useful). I wouldn’t be opposed to getting rid of the Hummers altogether, except that on patrol in urban areas the Hum-Vee makes interacting with the locals more convenient.

Going a step further, I think the whole concept of how motorized/mechanized infantry/cavalry/armor forces are tasked and organized is in need of updating. I know I have said it before, but I’ll repeat myself a bit in the context of the 9th ID. I favor reorganizing the infantry and armor forces and re-designating them based on the means by which they move and fight. In turn, this kind of re-designation forces us to have a clear concept of how a force is supposed to employed. (Ironically, my idea here is more-or-less in line with the current Army thinking about a brigade-based force in which divisions are conglomerates of different types of brigades, not formations of like brigades.)

At the risk of boring everyone by going into my definitions again, I see the direct fire combat arms (infantry, armor, and the armor sub-set cavalry) moving and fighting in distinct modes.

Grenadiers are infantry who fight without integral vehicle support. The US Army calls these warriors light infantry. Stealth, camouflage, deception, ambush, and skill define their fighting style. When grenadiers have artillery support, they use it; but they can fight without it. Fighting vehicles can offer useful fire support, but their presence entails a change in the modus operendi of the stealth-oriented, ambush-oriented grenadier. Tactically, grenadiers are expected to move on their own two feet, although vehicle support may be useful and desirable under some circumstances. Operationally, grenadiers are dependent upon transportation assets held at brigade level or higher. Friendly transport can provide critical support by relieving the over-burdened American rifleman of some of his gear so he can become a true light infantryman in the mode of the guerilla. (Hummers can do better service here by carrying the packs of the grenadiers than by carrying the grenadiers themselves.)

Cavalry are infantry who fight with integral vehicle support. The cavalry can fight mounted or dismounted, but they are expected to operate with their vehicles. This distinction is no mere technicality. The cavalry trade stealth and the protection of being small targets for mobility and firepower. If grenadiers are rabbits (killer bunnies), then the cavalry are wolves. Fighting with direct vehicle support is such a different way of doing business that I believe light and mechanized fighters represent two distinct brands of infantry that are not readily interchangeable. Additionally, the cavalry should expect to operate with artillery support, whereas the grenadiers should expect to conduct their operations without it. The same goes for heavy engineer support. The grenadiers might get some sappers to blow bridges and employ bangalores, whereas the cavalry will have the support of heavy engineers with their dozers, mines, backhoes, MICLIC, mobile bridges, and so forth. The cavalry can come in light and heavy varieties: light cavalry would move and fight in mostly unarmored or very lightly armored integral transport, and the heavy cavalry would move and fight in APC and IFV.

Dragoons are troops who man the non-APC/IFV fighting vehicles. They are not expected to fight dismounted. Thus, tankers are dragoons. However, so are the crews of armored cars and ATGM-armed Hummers.

It’s not a coincidence that I compare the light infantry to rabbits. Iraq was a real eye-opener for me in a number of ways. I was extremely dissatisfied with the disconnect between my designation as light infantry and the mentality of the Army towards the use of light infantry. We were trained and expected to be used as dismounts, not independent (albeit well-supported) light fighters in any way that was comparable to, say, the NLF of the Vietnam era or the German and Japanese light units of World War II. Reading Poole’s work on Eastern versus Western infantry in the modern era helped me put into words my misgivings about our way of doing business. At the same time, I was introduced to some excellent, if marginalized, work coming out of the Pentagon on the need for highly trained, specialized combat troops whose modes of operation were not nearly as interchangeable as the Army would like. Finally, I read Watership Down for the first time. It occurred to me that rabbits and true light infantry of the modern era live very similar lives. Both are surrounded by larger, stronger predators. In fact, the world seems full of ferocious beasts that want to devour the rabbit and the light rifleman alike. In lapine (the rabbit tongue), all these predators are “elil”—the thousand enemies or simply the Thousand. The elil come across the ground or out of the sky or even from a great distance (men and their guns). The elil are all manner of fighting vehicles, all manner of aerial combat platforms, and all manner of projectors of missiles, rockets, and shells. The best protection is stealth and a ready hole in the ground—for the sheltering ground is the best friend a rabbit or a grenadier has from almost all of the elil. When moving to complete a mission away from his hole, the rabbit and the grenadier employ the cover of the terrain, vegetation, and/or the night. The rabbit and the grenadier both can fight, kill, and survive; however, they must use their cunning and small size to their advantage and to the disadvantage of those who hunt them.

Getting back to the 9th ID, we must ask about the circumstances of the deployment of the motorized formation. The TO&E given in the US Army Vehicle Guide strongly indicates a light motorized formation. So who is this division supposed to fight? Against light infantry in fairly open terrain, 9th ID will perform favorably. Against light infantry in more restricted terrain, 9th ID still might do pretty well. Against a motor-rifle division in terrain suitable for mobile operations, 9th ID might not do so well. 9th ID is essentially a light cavalry/light dragoons formation. Against a heavy cavalry/heavy dragoons formation, which most of the Soviet forces opposing them were, 9th ID would be entering the fight at a disadvantage. Against a grenadier force, 9th ID might or might not do well, depending on a variety of factors.

Since I’m already on my soapbox, I’ll reiterate something I wrote a while back about troops in peacekeeping operations. The combat arms should not be involved in peacekeeping, except as a backstop for the MPs and other sustainment troops. Grenadiers possess highly specialized and highly perishable skills. Without constant practice, grenadiers lose their edge. Worse, they risk becoming demoralized as so many of our guys became. Grenadiers need to be in the field hunting and killing the enemy or back in garrison honing the skills they will need to hunt and kill the enemy. The same is true of the cavalry and the dragoons.

The combat troops of peacekeeping operations are the MPs, who operate as cavalry in the peacekeeping arena. MPs in peacekeeping don’t face the same crew of elil as grenadiers in combat do; therefore, the whole concept of operation is different. Equally as important, the MPs aren’t as oriented towards lethal action as the grenadiers and cavalry. Ambush is antithetical to what the MPs are trying to achieve. The MPs want a highly visible presence. They also want mobility and the option of using APC for cover and fire support against the enemy’s grenadiers (snipers, raiders, etc.). Therefore, MPs operating in rear area security mode are most closely related to light cavalry who spend much or most of their time in dismounted mode.

As I believe I have posted before, the whole package of peacekeeping troops should be organized into civil defense/operational sustainment brigades. Each brigade would have a mix of MPs and heavy engineers on its business end, supported by the standard package of transport, quartermaster, maintenance, etc. for any heavy brigade. The joy of this kind of force is that it can be used on American or foreign soil. In civil defense mode, this kind of brigade can be deployed to the next Katrina or the next disaster anywhere we choose to support an affected nation. In sustainment mode, this kind of brigade can move in after the combat troops have done their thing and moved on. Where necessary, the brigade can be reinforced with a package of combat arms troops, including (or especially) rotary wing assets.

These brigades would almost exclusively be National Guard and Army Reserve formations. I have become convinced that reserve forces cannot maintain an acceptable level of combat readiness with one weekend a month and two weeks a year of training. We should stop trying. The US Army already has phased out combat arms for the Reserves. Which state needs combat arms for its own purposes? MPs can do any of the jobs a state might require for internal security without the need for maintaining reserves of tanks, IFV, heavy artillery, and the like.

Of course, all of this means that Iraq and Afghanistan would involve lengthy and/or repeated call-ups of reservists. I’m not sure how to get around this problem without resorting to mandatory service of some kind or making reserve service a lot more attractive than it is currently.



Raellus 07-05-2008, 03:15 PM That was a lot of food for thought Webstral.

I think the game designers were trying to incorporate (or anticipate) trends in U.S. army doctrine and organization c. '84. when they came up with their concept for the 9th ID.

The idea of a "motorized" light infantry division was probably something spawned by American experience in Grenada and Lebanon and with the anticipation of future "low intensity" conflicts (i.e. "Brushfire Wars") in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and SE Asia. (How right they were!) The thinking was that there are some missions that light infantry (i.e. the 82nd Airborne or 101st Airmobile) were underequiped to handle whereas a heavy, mechanized, or armored division would simply be too heavily equipped to perform quickly and efficiently. Its the fine balance between bringing enough force to bear to accomplish a mission while still practicing the concept of economy of force.

Anyway, the 9th, as envisioned by the T2K designers, was conceived and equipped for just such missions. However, the division instead found itself involved in a full scale, conventional "high intensity" world war. I think the game designers placed them in Iran since some of the terrain there would favor their operations (as opposed to the dense urban centers and woodlands of central Europe).

I think that the army is still trying to figure all of this out. The Stryker Brigades are a prime example of this. They're trying to find a happy medium between light infantry and mechanized infantry. With all of the conflicting reports and differing opinions, it's hard to say whether the concept has been validated but it seems to be working fairly well in the current context.

I also think that the 9th was conceived to give the designers a good reason to include large numbers of nifty FAVs. Probably not, though. They could just stick them in the recon element of pretty much any unit. I dunno.

As for peacekeeping, my Dad, a Korean War vet, remarked that the U.S. should have used units similar to the special constabulary battalions used during the occupation and reconstruction of Japan, where he served on occupation duty before war broke out in Korea, after the U.S. Army had dismantled Iraq's conventional military. They were trained to handle civil disturbances, looting, small scale guerilla actions, etc. All things that the current admin failed to anticipate or believe would occur once Saddam was deposed. As it turned out, our conventional infantry and armored units were not properly trained to deal with those sorts of things. They did the best they could, but the cards were stacked against them. If the U.S. had handled the aftermath of Saddam's fall better, everyone over in Iraq right now would probably be a whole lot better off.

I'm puzzled by your use of the term grenadier to apply to true light infantry. Historically, grenadiers were originally conceived as heavy infantry. Units were composed of the tallest, strongest soldiers since the first hand grenades were heavy iron bombs. Some were eqipped with swords (light infantry were not). After these early grenades fell out of common use, the units retained the honorific title of "grenadier" and continued to be made up of the physically largest soldiers. Many such regiments achieved elite status within their respective armies. Light infantry were either labelled as such or were known by other names such as fusiliers, jagers, etc. In WWII the term grenadier was most closely associated with the German panzergrenadiers which were really mechanized infantry.

This is jut nitpicking, though. You raised a lot of interesting points. Good stuff.


copeab 07-05-2008, 05:46 PM Dragoons are troops who man the non-APC/IFV fighting vehicles. They are not expected to fight dismounted. Thus, tankers are dragoons. However, so are the crews of armored cars and ATGM-armed Hummers.

Err, dragoons are traditionally soldiers who *do* fight dismounted. I think it would be better to invent a new term than to use one opposite it's normal definition.

I also agree that "jager" would be better than "grenadier".



Webstral 07-05-2008, 10:41 PM I can't argue that jaeger isn't quite possibly a better fit for light infantry. I like grenadier better because one of the hallmarks of good light infantry is that they are capable of operations at night without illumination or night vision. Under these conditions, grenades are quite useful in that they don't reveal an exact position. The defenders know the attackers are quite close because grenades are detonating. Quite close isn't good enough for an aimed rifle shot or machine gun burst; though obviously anybody can hose down a general vicinity with great expenditure of ammo. Thus, grenadier. Also, light fighters even the score with AFV using shoulder-fired AT rockets or rocket propelled grenades. And I just like the way "grenadiers" sounds more than I like "fusiliers" or "jaegers".

I just like the term dragoons too much to give it up. However, it might be best for me to switch "cavalry" and "dragoons" in my lexicon. Good spot, Brandon.



thefusilier 07-05-2008, 11:12 PM And I just like the way "grenadiers" sounds more than I like "fusiliers".



simonmark6 07-06-2008, 02:42 AM Fusiliers were originally the troopers that guarded the artillery and powder trains, they were the first troops equipped with flintlocks to reduce the danger of having burning matches around so much explosives. Now, they have lovely fluffy cap badges.

Grenadiers were the big soldiers that were the tallest in the battalion. Each battalion would have a company of light infantry and a company of grenadiers, in the British Army anyway, the light company were picked for intelligence and initiative, the grenadiers for size and courage. Light Inf were scouts and skirmishers, Grenadiers were the shock troops.

Jager sounds perfect for the role of the modern light infantry, but I could also be happy with Panzer Jager, or even Panzer Grenadier, if that's not too WW2.


Webstral 07-06-2008, 12:21 PM HEY!!!

Sorry, dude. The name just works so well for you that I can't bear to see it used by others.

"Grenadiers were the big soldiers that were the tallest in the battalion. Each battalion would have a company of light infantry and a company of grenadiers, in the British Army anyway, the light company were picked for intelligence and initiative, the grenadiers for size and courage. Light Inf were scouts and skirmishers, Grenadiers were the shock troops.

Jager sounds perfect for the role of the modern light infantry, but I could also be happy with Panzer Jager, or even Panzer Grenadier, if that's not too WW2."

Modern grenadiers would have to do some of both, although even within the grenadiers there would be reconnaissance and pathfinder specialists, just as there are scouts for the current incarnation of US Army light infantry. Modern grenadiers would be selected for intelligence and initiative under the belief that strength and courage can be built up with training.

As we are all aware, terminology does not remain inflexible throughout the years. What we call infantry today would be numbered among the missile troops of armies of only a few centuries ago. The only troops who really deserve the moniker “infantry” are those who close for hand-to-hand combat, if we are to be sticklers about terminology. Yet we recognize key similarities between the hastati and the rifleman, even where the two have wildly different equipment, training, and battlefield application.

By the same token, despite the fact that changes in technology have rendered modern MBT virtually unrecognizably distinct weapons vis-Ã*-vis the little tuna cans of the 1920’s, we call both tanks. The USAF has taken on entirely new roles, including cyber warfare. Do we need to change the name to United States Air, Cybernetic Warfare, et al Force? The US Marines now incorporate helicopters into their amphibious warfare scheme. Are they now the US Marine and Airmobile Corps? For that matter, the Marines haven’t made an amphibious landing in how long? Now that they have been fighting for years in western Iraq as more-or-less standard infantry, are we going to change the name to the US Marine and Cavalry Corps? Or what about the Rangers? Modern Rangers have little in common with the original Rangers, either in terms of weaponry, means of deployment, or scheme of operation. We might be able to argue that the modern Rangers remain true to Rogers’ spirit—a proposition with which I would agree. My point, though, is that names and terminology evolve to fit new circumstances. There is a point at which it is small-minded of us to fuss over what we call a thing in lieu of discussing the defining features of the thing.

That much said, Brandon, I’m definitely going to make the switch in my terminology. I’ll call the infantry who fights with vehicle support “dragoons” and the fighting vehicle crews “cavalry”. I’m okay with panzergrenadiers as a name for the infantry who fights in close coordination with fighting vehicles except for a couple of things. The name is a bit too long, a bit too WW2, and a bit too German. None of these aspects by itself is a disqualifier. Taken together, they’re a turn-off for me. That’s not to say the name isn’t accurate or without merit. It’s just a turn-off for me. I’d much rather call our mech infantry “panzergrenadiers” and recognize that they are almost entirely a different kind of infantry than the light fighters than call them “dragoons” and continue to see them as a variation on the common infantry theme.

Getting back to the concept of the grenadier, I believe there is a value to seeing them as shock troops. In WW1, the Germans evolved the idea of the stormtrooper. These troops were intended to use infiltration techniques to get within grenade range of the defenders’ trenches. A grenade bombardment created a hole in the defenses, which the stormtroopers were expected to exploit rapidly using their own initiative and their own sense of the battlefield. Though this is obviously an over-simplification of both the nature of the defensive trench configuration and stormtrooper operations, at the heart is the idea of infantry using stealth to launch a shocking and overwhelming attack against enemy positions that were not readily attacked by the other means of the day. The machine gun, barbed wire, trenches, and indirect fire artillery had rendered daylight frontal assaults by infantry extraordinarily costly, if not futile. The (German) infantry adapted and found ways of closing with the defender that denied the defender the opportunity to use his firepower and clear fields of fire. Machine guns, wire, mines, artillery, and fortifications have lost little or none of their effectiveness vis-Ã*-vis the unprotected rifleman. The advent of AFV, airmobility, CAS, and ever-more-lethal artillery has changed the equation, to be certain. However, the need for the infantry to be able to approach and overwhelm defending infantry within their defensive fortifications without resorting to massive fire support still exists. I can’t say that I have any particular confidence in the methods I was taught by the “experts” or in the American doctrine I have read. Thus the grenadier must be able to make his close approach by means of stealth, hit the enemy with grenades, and overwhelm the survivors in close-quarters combat—all at night, if need be. Naturally, the grenadier must also be prepared to defend his position against a daylight or night attack by enemy light infantry or AFV-supported infantry, too. Alternatively, the modern grenadier must be able to slip away along established routes and, if possible, lure the attackers into ambushes like the Turks did to the Commonwealth troops at Gallipoli. Thus I believe the term “grenadier” describes the modus operendi of the kind of light infantry we need sufficiently to be a good terminology candidate, if not a perfect one.



Gen.Lee 07-06-2008, 06:33 PM I see, you are emphasizing grenadiers, since that is to be their primary weapon, like the WWI stosstruppen, as opposed to riflemen. Not sure I agree, but whatever.

I think an army needs light infantry, trained to fight and patrol on legs, with some vehicle support, in addition to the APC-carried guys. IMO, in counter-guerrilla warfare, patrolling among the populace is one of the critical factors. In non-urban locations, guerrillas try to hide out in terrain that is inaccessible to regular troops, so leg-mobile light fighters are the way to go. In urban locations, foot patrols seem to do a lot for earning the support of locals.

Broadening the role of MPs into pacification or garrison troops is acceptable to me, even making the majority of NG into MPs is not hard to swallow, too. (Anyone remember Bill Mauldin's WW2 word "garritroopers?" "Too far forward to dress up, too far back to get shot at.")

Re: the 9th ID (motorized), I thought that was an '80s test concept, which the designers put into the game, not something the designers came up with on their own. It was "light" in lift needed to get it somewhere, meaning that it had more firepower than the airborne guys, but didn't need as many ship- and plane-loads as a "heavy" division.

Last I paid attention the 2nd ACR had become a CR (no longer armored) as one of the first Stryker brigades. Using motorized cavalry to back up the leg-mobile guys I mention above sounds good to me. They would patrol roads and be reaction forces.

Re: wheeled APCs. Back in the mid- or late-'90s, the Army ran a two-year test of wheeled APCs at Ft. Lewis, IIRC. A friend in the service at the time told me the biggest plus of the LAV that became the Stryker was that after a long road march, the dismounts weren't exhausted and beaten up by the ride! Not an inconsiderable factor, IMO.


Raellus 07-07-2008, 02:11 PM Re: the 9th ID (motorized), I thought that was an '80s test concept, which the designers put into the game, not something the designers came up with on their own. It was "light" in lift needed to get it somewhere, meaning that it had more firepower than the airborne guys, but didn't need as many ship- and plane-loads as a "heavy" division.

Yes, I mispoke. I didn't mean that the designers invented the U.S. Army motorized division, I meant that they took a concept from that time and rolled with it.

The present day conceptual offspring of this concept is the Army's Stryker Brigades.


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Old 01-23-2010, 06:38 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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One of the things about the 9th ID (HTTD) was it was attempt to make division that had more staying power than the 82nd, 101st, and other Light Infantry Divisions of the Army. While it didn't require the transportation need that a Mechanized/Armored Divisions required. In fact, if you look GDW ideas of the Light Infantry Division, and what they actually were organized as.

Each Light Infantry Division had round out brigade in real life, while the GDW decided that one Brigade would be based off the Motorized concept with two Light Motorized Battalion and the Lt Armored Battalion.

As for the FAVs, LAV-25, and LAV-75. All were tested along with HMMWVs as viable vehicles. The FAVs were used in recon role in the Light Infantry units in which in RL they used HMMWV's, in some case the Divisional Cavalry in some of the Armored/Mechanized/Cavalry Divisions had switch from using M3 to HMMWVs due to the smaller height.

There were FAVs found in the military during the Persian Gulf War, but they were three man vehicle not two man, and were used by Special Operation units. They were basically souped up power tubular frame dune buggies that many people were building for personal use. Since 2003 a new vehicle has been used that built for Special Operation units, some were supposed to be tried out with units of the 18th Airborne Corps. With that said, having an entire Battalions of units equipped with these vehicles wouldn't make sense. Still like this vehicles for the scout role since, they remind of another small light recon vehicle that was pressed into so many other roles.

The LAV-75 never was really accepted. The LAV-25 was accepted by the Marine Corps but rejected by the US Army. Somewhere along the line after having some very bad experience on certain peacekeeping mission in an African country. The idea of having vehicle that became the Stryker would be useful, but it still took several more years to pick a vehicle to use.

Then the Light Motorized Infantry Battalion. Yeah this never really made much sense to me since it would take so many to get the number of ground pounders to where you needed them. I do see them being used in conjecture with Strykers, IFVs, and APCs on the limited basis. Not too much of a stretch for Company Commander, Battalion Commander or Brigade Commander to loan units extra HMMWV to transport extra dismounts, yet not degrade a Company overall effective mission. Say use them to replace the fourth vehicle in the Platoon, or if losses had been high enough in Battalion, each Platoon would be down to 2 tracks/Strykers and some HMMWVs for the rest of the Platoon. Then again you may see entire Companies or Platoons with HMMWVs. Once the balloon went up, commanders would try anything to keep units mobile. Actually to have a unit of Infantry larger than Platoon size with exclusively with HMMWV is dangerous to the unit, same with have more than one Platoon, just better of converted a company to Light Infantry and use smaller number of deuce and half to move the unit.

I find it at one point ironic that many of the things that the US Army had tried back in the early 80s until the early 90s with the 9th Infantry Division as a test bed unit and rejected. Now many of the concepts are part of life in the army, and the only Light Infantry units left are the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, and 101st Air Assault Divisions and two separate Airborne Brigades.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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I can see concept of using HMMWV for duty such as the Constable units. These units were in Japan, but they were also on duty in Germany and Austria after the war. If it wasn't for the Federal law that brought the National Guard into existence and having them to have units the mirror the Regular Army. I would tend to believe a couple Brigades of units with MP and heavy Engineer support much like other combat brigade was a type of unit that the US Army need. I believe the Maneuver Enhanced Brigade are close to this.

What we tend to forget is that during the T2K war the Soviets had been at war in China and the Pact forces had gone to China stripping away some their best troops too, then Germany reunification they fought the for another three months.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:08 PM
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The US Army was still exploring these issues during the time between the end of the 9th ID (HTTB) and the formation of the Stryker Brigades. An example is the detailed discussion of how to organize a XM-8 battalion at https://www.knox.army.mil/center/oco...5stanton94.pdf (For convenience I've used the TOE detailed above for the assault gun battalions in the light divisions and 9th ID.)

One factor to keep in mind is the rivalry between the infantry branch and armor branch - the infantry wanted control of the infantry support assault gun, while the armor branch saw anything with tracks, a gun and no infantry inside as its responsibility, and it wasn't interested in an air-deployable vehicle with a gun that couldn't defeat a T-72/80 reliably. So the infantry guys wanted it but were forcing it on a community that didn't - similar to the A-10 in the USAF. With the post-Cold War budget cuts and the lack of any visible threat that required a XM-8/LAV-75 or similar, the project died.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
One factor to keep in mind is the rivalry between the infantry branch and armor branch - the infantry wanted control of the infantry support assault gun, while the armor branch saw anything with tracks, a gun and no infantry inside as its responsibility, and it wasn't interested in an air-deployable vehicle with a gun that couldn't defeat a T-72/80 reliably. So the infantry guys wanted it but were forcing it on a community that didn't - similar to the A-10 in the USAF. With the post-Cold War budget cuts and the lack of any visible threat that required a XM-8/LAV-75 or similar, the project died.
And the Air Force doesn't want the Army to have armed fixed-wing aircraft...if the Army wanted something air-deployable that can reliably defeat T-72s and T-80s, they should have given them the A-10s.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:04 PM
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Legbreaker Legbreaker is offline
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In other words, the US military is a complete mess.

So tell us something we didn't already know...

If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:11 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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It is one of the sad things that the Armor community didn't learn from WWII. The Armored Cavalry Regiments were probably the best all around formation in that several elements came together. Where Infantry and Armor Companies were kept separate at least at administration level even if the Brigade commander believed and did deploy the Battalions in Task Force concepts.

One of the thing that really held things up was that also at the time when many of these discussions were being held the C-5 was the only aircraft that was able to move M1s, even when the C-17 was introduce, the requirement to maintain a Company were huge to drain off cargo space that could be used for other supplies for the formation.

The sad thing is the M8 or LAV75 wouldn't ever work in their Battalion formation. I know in the 82nd Airborne Division the 3-73rd with it 4 Companies usually had one attached to each of the 3 Combat Brigades while the last Company would be used with the ground element of Divisional Cavalry. The ones with 101st Division would be assigned in similar way. Once a they caught up with their Air Assault Battalion individual Companies would join the Brigade they are to support.

As for the Battalions assigned to the 6th, 7th, and 25th Light Infantry Divisions and the 10th Mountain Division. I see the Divisional Commanders having a lot of leeway in their deployments. One train of thought the entire Battalion would be assigned to Brigade with the 2 Light Motorized Battalions. The 2 Motorized Battalion would mix three companies of 2 Light Motorized and 1 Heavy Motorized Platoons. Then each Battalion would transfer one of these mix companies/teams to the Light Armored Battalion while they received Light Armor Company. The Task Force/Battalion Command would then even redo the mix for some interesting combinations of Platoons. Especially if the AT Companies were dispersed to the line companies.

Or they could be much like how they were used in the 82nd and 101st. Where the Divisional Cavalry and each of the three combat Brigades would each have get one Company. What sucks about this option is it take disperses limited resource too thin for the Division.

This would call into question how the two Light motorized Battalions were used if the they did the later. They could pool resource to help motorized a Light Infantry Battalion to have a highly mobile Brigade. With the Motorized Companies mixed again and two sent to the Light Infantry Battalion while they send Company each one or two Light Armor Companies mixed in and Companies remixed.

Or there could be two Brigade with one Motorized Battalion assigned with two Light Infantry Battalions. Along with one Light Armor Company then mix the Companies into some unique combination. This would dilute mobility of resources, but would be useful if the unit was being used to control large areas of the rear. Or the each Brigade would have Motorized/Light Armor Task Force with two Light Infantry Battalions and the 7th Battalion assigned to rear area service protection. Again dilute mobility, but when keep Brigade Commanders ability to have mobile reserve.....

Then again with the new organization of the US Army. With each Brigade have Cavalry with each Brigade having Light Armor Company would make sense, or have Heavy tank Team would make sense.
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