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Soldier's Load Solution

UPDATED 26 May 2010

"Combat Light" Soldier's Load Solution for the 21st century

1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) Director Mike Sparks: after 28+ years of military field experience and having solved the Soldier's load problem for myself back in
1995, I think enough-is-enough! I made this web page after reading the gear debacle in Afghanistan and the Rakkasan 1SG's call for going into combat "Combat Light".

Go to internetarchive.org to see the original presentation: www.reocities.com/usarmyafghangearproblems

Yet, the Soldier's Load Problem is Getting Worse!

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Chart from then Army Major Stephen Tate's brilliant CGSC thesis, "Human Powered Vehicles in Support of Light Infantry Operations"

Accession Number : ADA211795

Title : Human Powered Vehicles in Support of Light Infantry Operations

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis Aug 1988-Jun 1989


Personal Author(s) : Tate, Stephen T.

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Handle / proxy Url : http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA211795 Check NTIS Availability...

Report Date : 02 JUN 1989

Pagination or Media Count : 188

Abstract : This study examines the suitability of using bicycles to enhance the mobility of U.S. light infantry units. Initially the study defines mobility problems encountered
by U.S. light infantry units as a result of force design. The study presents historical examples of previous military cycling operations at the turn of the century, during both
World Wars, and the Vietnam Conflict. The tactical use, mobility, speed, distance, and load carrying capacity of bicycle troops during each of these periods are discussed.
The present use of three bicycle regiments in the Swiss Army is examined. The impact of recent technological improvements in the bicycle industry is examined for
possible military application. Keywords: Bicycle; Light infantry; All-terrain bicycle, Mobility; Soldier's load; Vietnam, Swiss army; Strategy; Tactics; Derailleur; World War II;
Logistics; Military operations.



Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE


Vietnam: Soldiers Overloaded


Today: Soldiers STILL Overloaded

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After 11 years and 1,000+ web pages [www.combatreform.org/aesindex.htm] I guess we haven't been clear enough; so this time we'll try again to define what "Combat
Light" is without pulling any punches and a little help from our dear departed friend, retired Colonel David Hackworth.

First, the planet earth has not changed that much that its not possible to have a solution that works from freezing to 100+ degrees, a "combat light" field living and fighting
capability implying its light enough that you can move fast on your feet at 4-7 mph; with human or electric powered all/extreme terrain bikes that speed can increase to 25
mph. With global warming, when do we ever have winter? YES, you need hard shelters to survive on this planet spinning through space at 66, 000 mph and we propose
we face this reality with our self-sustaining ISO container BattleBox system which should form our forward operating bases overseas and eliminate garrison buildings and
lawn care mentalities here in the U.S. forever. Against cunning, 21st asymmetric-overmatch-seeking enemies who have "home field advantage" of being able to cache
and hide their supplies amongst closed terrain and often sympathetic populace, U.S. forces projecting from CONUS have to carry everything they need to prevail in a fight.
To beat the guerrilla at his own game of mobile, light infantry warfare David Hackworth-style we have to be significantly smarter and tougher than we are now through a
holistic and honest bottom-up approach that leaves no stone unturned to rid every ounce possible from our Soldier's backs and places superior firepower and supplies on
alternate transport platforms.

The following is our immediate solution and its worked for me for well over 10 years now in the field and it can work for YOU so that you can live in the field
COMFORTABLY. The only exception is sub-zero temperature conditions where you must carry a full size sleeping bag and extra layers of insulating clothing. However, if
you have to just stay ALIVE until morning in sub-zero temperatures, the set-up below will do this though you may not be COMFORTABLE.

I realize admitting that you want comfort is not allowed and a curse word ("snivel gear") in the who-has-a-bigger-penis ego-driven U.S. military; but let's stop playing
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games, get the "cat out of the bag" (face unpopular truths), admit that we are human beings with finite load carrying limits (no more than 1/3 of our own weight) and
realize that these bloated rucksacks we see carrying comfort gear in PEACETIME are skewing our training focus and future TA-50 gear design resulting in us not
performing well in actual combat as Afghanistan proved---when our entire focus should be centered on carrying COMBAT ammunition loads with the bare-minimum field
living gear to survive so we can move as fast and as strong as possible. Some have termed this concept "eXtreme Soldiering" to use the vernacular of today.


1. Think Combat Light

ALL Soldiers should go to level "C" SERE training by stopping the BS initiation/harassment games at the end of basic training and incorporating survival training of 3
weeks so Soldiers can have skills to live off land's resources and not have to carry items to artificially create needed capabilities.

ALL Soldiers with laminated SERE cards in their BDU pocket.

Leadership "Combat Light" eXtreme Soldiering ethos:


Decide mobility level to accomplish mission

Reduce un-necessary gear

Organize transport means to carry unit gear

Police the ranks

Unit leaders should in mission planning have a list of the weights IN THEIR MIND'S EYE of all TA-50, weapons and ammo and add up the loads for their various Soldier
assignments and make DRASTIC ADJUSTMENTS ACCORDINGLY. See: www.combatreform.org/combatjump.htm for actual Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for computing
your Soldier's Load and March Speeds.

However, the following general SOP will get you "in the ballpark" for 99% of all situations except for extreme sub-zero arctic conditions.

Natick Labs even made a computer planning software tool similar to DROP called "LES" that strangely never got fielded (go to our combat jump web page for Natick's and
1st TSG (A)'s Microsoft Excel spread sheets):



STATUS: Terminated
UPDATE: August 1998

TITLE: Load Expert System (LES)

SPONSOR: Army Natick RD&E Center

POINT OF CONTACT: Dr. James B. Sampson / 508-233-4698, DSN: 256-4698


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A computer-based expert system that guides unit commanders in determining a Soldier's appropriate combat load for a wide range of load, weather, terrain,
and mission conditions.

LES was developed, in the long term, for use by unit commanders to assist them in the decision-making process of determining a Soldier's combat load. LES is
to be used, in the short term, as a training device for junior commanders. LES will allow the junior commanders to "try out" various load configurations in
different climates, terrain, and mission conditions. These commanders will then be able to receive immediate feedback on their decisions without leaving the
classroom or requiring user troops.

While holding all other mission parameters constant, LES will calculate the maximum load a Soldier should carry, or the maximum velocity he can travel. LES
also determines the Soldier's expected water requirement for the given mission. The commander then enters into a dialogue enabling him to adjust the combat
load or modify other conditions which would lead to successful mission completion. LES then engages the commander in a dialogue designed to modify the
Soldier's load or other conditions over which he has control (e.g., marching speed), in order to achieve a successful mission.


The equipment required for use is an IBM-PC or compatible with hard disk and 640K RAM.


The inputs required include basic information concerning the soldier (height, weight), the expected weather, the terrain, and mission conditions.

LES uses the heat-stress model developed at the Army's Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (ARIEM) to estimate the Soldier's core temperature
and determine the likelihood that he will be able to complete the mission before becoming a heat stress casualty.

The output is a screen display that estimates the likelihood of mission success under given conditions.




The initial prototype is available for others to explore for concept development.


The model continues to evolve, not in general structure, which we believe is correct, but in details and refinements. The model is supported by a variety of
evidence that represents construct, convergent, and concurrent validity. The model has proven to be a rich source of insight in the analysis of complex designs
for avionics architecture.


The Canadian Army is modifying LES for their equipment and mission. Variations of LES have been developed by Dynamics Research Corp, Willmington MA,
using Windows and requiring more memory and a faster processor. LES has been modified for use in Natick's Integrated Unit Simulation System (IUSS).


To obtain, write: U.S. Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center, ATTN: SATNC-YBH (Dr. Sampson), Natick, MA 01760-5020.

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2. Your rucksack is a unit logpack not an individual's "mobile home"


An Air Force Loadmaster and three Australian Army Riggers deploy a helibox and a maxibox load from a C-130J Hercules as part of Exercise Pacific Airlift Rally in



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All rucksacks should carry is ammo, water and food in that order. Empty rucks should be able to be collected at any time and moved by unit transportation (cargo
parachute or CopterBox airdrop) or sent back to be refilled and sent forward with ammo, water and food. If you have to move rucks using your own power, attach "wheels"
to them and tow or push them as all-terrain carts or on all-terrain bikes. See:

www.combatreform.org/atac.htm and www.combatreform.org/atb.htm and www.combatreform.org/rucksack.htm

You do not fire & maneuver with your ruck on your back ("Combat Heavy") nor do you need your ruck to survive indefinitely in the field. Its just a means to move forward
for the human back, a large amount of bulk supplies.

Whenever you get the even empty rucksack off your back---you shed at the very minimum 6 pounds of weight upwards to 100 pounds. This elimination of the 6-10 pound
rucksack "pays" for the following "buttpack environmental field living module". It's very similar to what the German Paratroopers did in WW2. The Germans in WW2 (!)
realized not to ruin foot mobility by humongous gas mask carriers. Notice their "Combat Light" Soldier gear set-up with a SMALL gas mask carrier.

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3. Live Combat Light Package at your buttpack

a. Army standard NSN 8405-01-416-6216 Eco-Tat Lightweight Sleeping Bag Multi-Purpose LWSB-MP (3.0 lbs)

b. Army standard NSN 8405-00-290-0550 Poncho with 550 cords to be a poncho-tent, hood tied into a knot (1.3 lbs)

c. Army standard NSN 7210-00-935-6665 OD Green space casualty blanket (0.6 lbs)

d. Army standard NSN 8415-01-228-1312 ECWCS Gore-Tex jacket (1.5 lbs)


6.4 pounds TOTAL





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That's it.

This is all you need to survive from the elements from freezing to 100+ degrees. Items b-d fit inside your buttpack or inside the Ecotat LWSB Multi-Purpose's stuff sack.
Item a, the LWSB-MP straps on top of the buttpack or directly to your LBE rear and acts as a kidney pad or stuffs inside it. The weight you save by not carrying even the
empty ALICE rucksack (6 pounds) essentially "pays for" the Live Light Package at your buttpack. Why carry 6 pounds of volume when you can carry instead 6 pounds
THAT DOES SOMETHING FOR YOU; ie; allows you to live comfortably (YES!) in the field?

Live "Combat Light" in Closed terrains

If you are moving and it begins to rain, you put on your waterproof, but breathable GT jacket, otherwise you sweat in your brush-breaking BDUs and hopefully dry out by
night's end. GT jacket also acts as windbreak, but must be treated with McNett.com water repellency Revivex treatments to remain effective. The GT jacket extends down
far enough so that only a small part of your legs are uncovered but while you are moving these large muscles are getting hot so they will dry off any rain/dew on
vegetation contacted so the GT pants are not needed.

How can you compress the GT ECWCS jacket so it can fit with the other Combat Light items?

Compress the GT jacket with a clear plastic vacuum bag from www.spacebag.com so it takes only a small part of the space inside your buttpack.

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At night's end and you become stationary; you find two trees or bushes and tie your long poncho-tent cords to stretch them out. Cut branches to act as tent stakes and
mash down into the ground. You now have a rain and wind break; 15 degrees of warmth gained. Unfold mylar blanket shiny side up to reflect your heat back to you (about
15 degrees F) so its not lost to the ground via conductivity and stretch out inside your poncho-tent as a floor.

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Open up Ecotat LWSB-MP, pull over and around yourself; you can keep your boots on if you want---tighten shock cords around your feet above boot soles to keep mud
out from inside your LWSB-MP. Close head shock cords to trap further heat and go to sleep, drying out your BDUs by the morning. Or if the situation is less threatening,
remove your boots and socks and close lower end of LWSB-MP around bare feet for restful sleep. Use GT jacket as extra insulation or pillow for head by stuffing into
unused LWSB stuff sack.

If you are in a 2-man fighting position (square hole in the ground to evade enemy observation/fires) and not on watch, unzip LWSB-MP so its a poncho-liner-like blanket
(but warmer) and open head hole and stick head through it. Curl up and go to sleep but with weapon at the ready. If you have to go into action you are ready to shoulder
weapon and return fire, to include running---you are not caught zipped up in a sleeping bag.

Combat Light in Open Terrains

The only variation is that in open terrains you don't have trees to tie your poncho-tent lengthwise cords to and material to cut stakes from, so you carry 6 tent poles and 6 x
OD green plastic tent stakes---the stakes in your buttpack and the poles tied together into one unit attached to the LWSB-MP's stuff sack or on top of the buttpack.

You live the same as you would in closed terrain except that you erect 3 poles in front and 3 poles in the rear of your poncho-tent to erect it and let the tension from the
stakes pulling on the cords to keep the tent standing.

Other benefits:

If you become a casualty, the mylar space blanket, LWSB-MP available on your person can be placed around you by a Combat LifeSaver so you stay warm to not go into
shock and die. The poncho can be used to drag you like an expedient SKEDCO type MEDEVAC aid for 1 person rescue. Shiny side of mylar casualty blanket can be used
as attention getter for rescues or aircraft recognition/marker panel for Close Air Support.
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4. Hygiene Combat Light

Also in your buttpack would be a VERY SMALL HYGIENE KIT in zip-lock plastic bag:

e. 2 pairs wool socks rolled up with small can foot powder

f. disposable razors with handles cut

g. small travel toothbrush or one with handle cut

h. small bar of soap

However, if the U.S. Army got smart, it would mold on the back of the MRE plastic spoon a toothbrush and rails to accept shaving cartridges (Spork Toothbrush Shaver)
and supply a small packet of multi-use soap Soldiers wouldn't even need to find a "PX in Afghanistan" to obtain/carry the items described above except for the socks/foot

Learn to shave with just water from your canteen cup, until then use soap for lather. In worse case scenario, you can clean teeth with wad of toilet paper from MRE and
rinsing water in mouth.

Quick-Detachable Buttpack to carry the "Combat Light" Module

The following pictures show how you can rig your buttpack so it can be quickly attached or detached from the rear of your ETLBV or LC-2 Load Bearing Equipment (LBE)
fighting load. You would have the option of jumping the buttpack with Combat Light module INSIDE your rucksack so you do not have a bulge at your rear in event of the
likely rear PLF. However, at first opportunity you can in a matter of seconds clip the buttpack to the back of your LBE without fumbling around with flimsy ALICE clips and
shed your rucksack at a cache point or into some form of unit transportation.

Use a buttpack like London Bridge makes with quick-release buckles for easy access when worn at your back

Anchor the female buckles of a pair of Blackhawk sternum straps to the buttpack

Anchor the Blackhawk straps' male ends to the pistol belt on the ETLBV or LC-2 LBE

Route a strap with or without buckles to secure top of buttpack to ETLBV

Use same procedures for LC-2 except route top strap thru the two rear metal snaphook horizontal openings

Of course, you could jump your buttpack attached to your LBE back and at first opportunity stuff the LWSB, poncho-tent, casualty blanket inside or strap them as a unit
inside the LWSB stuff sack on top of the buttpack, leaving space inside for NVGs, a thin inslation layer of clothing like the field jacket liner or Brigade Quartermaster "Bivvy
Wear Packable Thermals" proven recently by British Soldiers in Afghanistan since the current ECWCS insulation layers are too bulky and heavy to be carried along in a
buttpack for staying warm after a long day's march.

Another good, larger buttpack that can be used is the SpecOps Brand "SOB" described on the link below:

Soldier's Optimized Buttpack

Problem: Soldier's have depended on Buttpacks for years. In theory, they are an excellent method of carrying much needed gear low and close to the body.
Problem is, when they are attached to military web gear, it is nearly impossible to access contents without the aid of a buddy, or worse yet - removing your
entire set of web gear. This wastes time and unnecessarily puts the Soldier at risk.

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Solution: S.O.B. - Soldier's Optimized Buttpack. A workhorse built for the modern warrior: the modernization of an old standard: the Buttpack. This S.O.B. has
3 compartments with zippered entry to allow the Soldier instant access to critical gear while on the move. No more straps and flaps to fool with. The need to
remove web gear or ask for assistance is gone. Larger, more rugged than conventional Buttpacks, this S.O.B. means business!

Features and Benefits of the S. O. B. :

Constructed from 1000D Cordura(tm).

Main body compartment has white 'DURA'-panel liner: provides added water resistance and increased visibility of contents.

Multiple gear loops for additional gear attachment points (works well with the X-System from Spec.-Ops. Brand).

No exposed stitching along seams.

Fully seam-taped interior, double needle stitched.

Dual side pockets with grommet drain holes allow the Soldier easy access on the move.

3 zippered compartments: main body compartment has "storm-fly" zipper cover for extra element protection.

4 welded mil.-spec. 'D'-rings for attachment to military web gear.

Carry/hang handle.

Color: Woodland, Olive Drab and Black.

Dimensions: 14" x 11" x 6"; 930 cu. in.

Retail Price - $49.95

Guaranteed for life, MADE IN TEXAS, U. S. A.!

5. Fighting Combat Light

a. One E-tool per every 2-man buddy team because only 1 can dig at a time while the other provides security and it must be on his ETLBV not his rucksack!

E-tools are parachute jumped on the rucksack for safety reasons. When rucksacks are ditched at the cache point or transported by air/ground vehicles the e-tools are
removed and placed inside the buttpack top. Men with e-tools are these with M16/M203 grenade launchers that cannot attach a M9 wire cutter bayonet as currently
configured. Same men also have a Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool type utility device to make up what was lost by not having a M9 WCB.

b. MOPP Gear should be in a modular roll that can be attached to the top of the LWSB-MP or if there is no threat kept with rucksacks which would have individual
name/unit markings so if used as collective LOGPACKS can get the right sized MOPP suit/boots to the right Soldier.

c. Extra BDUs: are un-necessary; one set on your body can easily last 1 week or more. Dry out during the night in your poncho-tent. Even then extra material should be
removed to improve cooling and shoulder sleeve pockets added.

d. Individual Fighting Gear sublimation: the two canteen covers on your ETLBV should be covered, multi-use pouches and the canteens themselves flexible, collapsible so
if they are emptied of water can be stuffed in the buttpack and the pouches used to carry AMMO, grenades etc. for firefights. All M16/M4 magazines with pull cords to clip

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onto a snaplink to not get lost when emptied in a firefight.

See: www.combatreform.org/canteencover.htm

Two field pressure dressings taped to stock of weapon for entrance/exit wounds and to act as "cheek weld" for firing positions. Camel-Bak on your back puts 70 more
ounces of water available on the move, and should have a purification filter so any water source can be used to pump fill the reservoir and the two 1 quart canteens. Night
Vision Goggles or Binos held in chest pouch worn over top of body armor. Every Soldier with red lens small neck chain Photon fingertip-sized flashlight for map reading
and general visibility if needed at night not large, bulky G.I. anglehead flashlights. Natick Stove/Canteen cup in your rucksack for parachute jump, transferred to your LBE
for water boiling/hygiene at first opportunity.

See: www.combatreform.org/hotdrinks.htm

e. Unit Mission Gear sublimation: ropes, radios & batteries, claymores, MG spare barrel bags with tripods, Combat LifeSaver Bags etc. whenever possible are carried on
back of designated Soldier by their own carry straps, avoid requiring the rucksack to carry FIGHTING LOADS; rucksack should be LOGPACK with generic extra supplies,
and even then as a packboard is best configuration to carry heavy dense ammunition. The packboard shelf should be able to carry a wounded Soldier like Kifaru's cargo
chair does.

6. Train Combat Heavy and Combat Light


We need to grow up and start taking war seriously which means every time going to the field carry actual live ammunition so we are carrying realistic loads so we don't
use up rucksack volume with field living comfort gear done badly and having the trust and confidence that we treat our Soldiers like professionals so they return the ammo
at exercise end and not go "postal". If we are not there yet, then we damn well better develop some actually-weighs-the-same-as-live-ammo DUMMY (cannot kill anyone)
AMMO, grenades, bullets, rockets, missiles so we can train realistically as we should fight.

7. Test for Combat Heavy not Sports Illustrated

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The current sports t-shirt, shorts and running shoes APFT should be junked in favor of a 6 mile march for time with full combat equipment; rucksack, LBE, basic load of
ammo, helmet, BDUs, boots. If we can achieve 4 mph with "combat heavy" loads with rucks on our backs, then when we cache the rucks we should be able to go 4-7
mph "Combat Light".


8. Future TA-50 Gear decided by Board of Soldiers not "Council of Colonels"

A "Council of Colonels" meets to decide gear for us grunts for the SEP program to "type classify" (tested to "perfection" to be declared Army kosher) when it should be the
lower-ranking gear gurus who are actually humping (carrying) the machine guns, rockets and mortars from every Army command representing their specific
climes/places/missons. This is why a lot of our gear sucks. Most Colonels I've run into are concerned more with form than function and are not technotactically oriented
enough and candid. SGTs, LTs and CPTs should decide on our new gear from actual try-it-themselves testing.

The expertise of the natural "gear gurus" should be tapped and have them designated as a "Master TA-50 Specialist"---an additional skill identifier (ASI). These gear
experts would go to Natick Labs and be school trained on the proper fit and wear of ALL Army equipment and have field living (Level "C" survival skills) taught to them so
they can advise Commanders that a hot weather desert boot is NOT a mountain boot and how to properly size Soldiers for body armor so a bullet doesn't sneak by and kill
them. The Army's Master TA-50 Specialists would also train the Soldiers in their companies how to wear and maintain their TA-50 as well as be pro-active about getting
better gear. The Army is strangely an organization that goes "camping" yet hasn't trained itself how to "camp". Lay on top the need for combat mobility 4-7 mph which
requires smart loading and constantly improved equipment, its clear that a Soldier from every Company in the Army should go to "gear school" to become a Master TA-50
Expert. To fund this we should cancel the un-needed lav3stryker deathtrap armored car purchases and upgrade superior tracked M113A3 Gavins into "IAVs" for the
IBCTs and Light unit's Delta weapons companies and AT platoons since they can be parachute airdropped and airlanded by Air Force C-130s safely for long distances
and flown by Army CH-47D/F helicopters for short distances and be fully autocannon and RPG protected. Call them tracked IBCTs or "Gavin Brigades".

An Army bureaucrat informs us that Company Commanders can buy with unit funds whatever gear they need for their men from the GSA Catalog and CTA 5900 (not
Army "type classified" but available for purchase: "good enough" using Army funds) but this is something that's not pro-actively done and known about. Have you ever
heard about this? GSA catalog is on CDs Supply Sergeants have so it takes a bit of looking when it should be on the www for all Soldiers to see.

What we need is a Soldier's Board of lower ranking gear experts who will review new gear, get it on the GSA Catalog/CTA 5900 and then publish an annual focused list
throughout the Army encouraging Commanders/units/individuals to buy these items. Apparently its ok for units to fund-raise to build up a unit fund or this purpose, too so
not having the money is not an obstacle. This list of authorized field gear on GSA/CTA 5900 should be placed on the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) secure web site so
any Soldier can see what the Soldier Board recommends they get ASAP.

Every year, every Major Army Division (Airborne, Air Assault, Light, Mechanized, Armored etc.) and separate unit (2nd ACR, 172nd Arctic Brigade, SF, Rangers) has ITS
SOLDIERS select by vote a field gear representative who will travel to Fort Benning, Georgia to decide for the rest of the Army what off-the-shelf Soldier gear to buy and
what gear to develop. Every unit has at least one "gear guru" right for this job; a pro-active Soldier who studied field gear and on his own tinkers and tests what works and
does not. THE CHAIN OF COMMAND DOES NOT SELECT THE GEAR BOARD SOLDIERS. Some out-of-touch Army General does NOT select some political yes-man
to be on the board to keep the troops ill-equiped and "in their place". Some DA civilian with a ponytail going through perpetual mid-life crisis does NOT decide what items
are bought or developed, THE SOLDIERS DECIDE. No "Council of Colonels". Its the individual Soldier's lives that are at stake not some bureaucrat in a comfy office with
one retirement already under his belt longing for the good 'ole days when the equipment they had sucked and everyone liked it. What the Soldier TA-50 Board decides
AUTOMATICALLY become AUTHORIZED Soldier optional wear/use items without the current kill-joy, politically correct "uniform board" having one say in their decisions.
They do a great job keeping everyone miserable and without esperit de corps during garrison hours; the field Soldier's attire should be guided by FUNCTION decided by
the mud-Soldiers. Each year a list of acceptible alternatives will be decided on by the Board for Soldiers to buy/use on their own option. Each year the board will decide
on commensurate with the SEP budget what items will be bought/issued to enhance Soldiers immediately. And each year the board will see what industry and Natick Labs
have "cooking" and provide feedback.


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Next, 3 weeks of Basic Training BS harassment games should be replaced with 3 weeks of in the field survival training by sending trainers to U.S. Army SERE Level "C"
school at Camp MacKall, NC and then having them take-over the last 3 weeks of every cycle's training before graduation. Designated "Master TA-50" gear experts in
every Army Company would also be sent immediately through SERE school and Natick Lab training to advise commanders/units and meet annually to determine the
direction of Army SEP and R&D efforts.

The APFT needs to be changed to a "Combat Heavy" ruckmarch for time and from now on the Soldiers who actually carry gear into battle decide what gear is bought and
how new gear is developed with ruckframes that become all terrain carts and folding human and electric powered bikes fielded in experimental light units as DoD
Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) to quicken those dismount-centric units that will optimized to hold lodgments and move through the most
restricted terrains and not be supplied with a high-technology, stealthy, band-tracked, C4I digitally-connected, air-transportable Air-Mech-Strike armored fighting vehicle
(21st century tanks) that other mounted-centric units acting as shock action suppliers for mobile warfare through less restricted terrains should have.

Rethinking SLA Marshall's The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation (SLAMOAN)

The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation (SLAMOAN) is Marshall's most important book yet its also his most ignored. The book has two main ideas and one
minor one.

Main Ideas

1. Soldier's Loads must be less than 1/3 his body weight so he can fight with the most biomechanical and psychological power on his feet, fear eats away at load-carrying
totals in war

2. The mobility of the nation's war machines makes it possible for the Soldier's Load to be carried by them so he can be light on his feet

Minor Idea

That in event of ammunition resupply being cut-off from the nation-state war machine pipeline, ammo will be shared, taken primarily from the cowards who don't fire their
weapons by those that do.

Of these ideas, SLAM is right on the first idea and wrong on the others. However, even on the first idea, he has failed to fix the American Army and marines Soldier's Load
habits because of entrenched cultural narcissistic mentalities that he did not adequately attack and demolish.

Data versus Ego

SLAM argues in the book that whatever the great captains said about what was vital to carry by the Soldier should be over-ruled by DATA and FACTS drawn from
EXPERIENCES. He misses the mark because its not just the officers who insist on overloading Soldiers because they think we are supermen, the enlistedmen
themselves think they are supermen and it only gets worse once they start to get killed. An air of self-righteous victimhood is taken on by everyone involved. If you
propose less weight be carried YOU ARE ACCUSED OF BEING A WEAKLING "pussy". SLAM also falls short of proposing TANGIBLE SPEED GOALS we need and the
maximum weights for them that are possible. Without SLAM holding the Army to TANGIBLE mobility goals they can dismiss everything he says weight-wise as he's just
being a "pussy", I CAN ROUGH IT (ICRI) syndrome etc. remaining the operative groupthink. So immobile, overloaded Soldiers are what we have today despite SLAM's

SLAMOAN is welcomed by lemming narcissists outfits like the USMC because it foists the lie that all the individual has to do is be a dumbass and subliminate himself into
the organizational "borg" and all his ammunition, food and water needs would be met. According to SLAM, he could and should trust the organization to carry his
rucksack for him by trucks and they will always get through to him. It took me a case of rain-soak-created hypothermia in the USMCR to teach me to not trust ANYONE to
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carry my rucksack holding life/death dependent warmth gear in sub-zero temperatures in Wisconsin. To ASS U ME that some mommy/daddy organization is going to take
care of you in the face of enemy opposition is asinine. LCPL Jason Rother and thousands of others have paid for this naive outlook with their lives.

Disaster at Dien Bien Phu: Where was SLAM in 1954?

SLAM misses the "big picture" of the grand strategy and strategy of war. Nation-state wars are NOT the only form of conflicts, there are sub-national conflicts where THE
IndoChina had to make-do with WW2 left-overs from the Americans to fight a NON-LINEAR war without fixed fronts where there would be "safe" areas in the "rear" to run
wheeled trucks up/down roads to resupply fighting men as SLAM retells again and again in SLAMOAN. SLAM ignores non-linear, sub-national conflicts and his entire
construct to get weight off the individual Soldier collapses.

Thus, the French Paras entered the Dien Bien Phu valley overloaded and were soon cut-off from air resupply by VietMinh anti-aircraft guns. Sharing of ammo between
shooters and cowards did not save them, either. They ran out of ammo. Next, SLAM's model of the lemming infantry "ant" was killed by "raid" artillery smashing its nests
(forward operating bases) . So what was SLAM doing in 1954 when all of this was happening?

He certainly wasn't amending his thinking and his writings which continued to sing the praises of reliving WW2's total war footing inundating troops with supplies on
mythical linear battlefields where they can easily reach them. SLAM contradicts himself constantly by saying tracked amphibious vehicles can carry the Soldier's load so
he's light on his feet then says their development is not important, clearly he's confused since he lists them as needing roads when even in WW2 LVT-4 Alligators were
cross-country mobile to be wherever the infantry wants to go. Thus, SLAM misses the ultimate solution to the Soldier's Load problem: having every Soldier embedded into

So How Do We Solve the Soldier's Load for the Non-Linear Battlefield?

Clearly, SLAM's "killer ants" that infest an area slowly on foot, supplied by "hives" is easily smashed by long-range artillery "fire beetles" since we in the west are not going
to out-ant number Third World Countries in total war mobilization let alone limited wars where civilian life continues unabated. Using the insect kingdom as a model of
efficiency what we need are:

21st Century Ground Army

Killer Bees

Killer Beetles

Killer Super Soldier Ants

Killer Nests

Killer Nest Flyer

Killer Bees

High overhead, the Killer Bees are STOL observation/attack planes owned and operated by the Ground Army that accompany them as they move from
BATTLEBOXaircraft containers towed by the Killer Beetles; portable nests that exploit the ground for protection by burrowing.

Killer Beetles

The Killer Beetles are tracked TANKS that move the Killer Soldier-Worker Ants cross-country to include across water under a protective shell that can also stop and

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burrow to exploit the ground for protection. EVERY Soldier has at the minimum a M113 Gavin light armored track to move him at 60mph on roads and preferably cross-
country with stealth and 30 days of supplies with complete armor protection. While in the FOB, beetles with long-range tube and rocket artillery insure the "hive" isn't
demolished in a replay of the French Paras at Dien Bien Phu and nearly happened to our dumb marines at Khe Sanh.

Killer Super Soldier Ants

First, state our dismounted mobility levels and the maximum weights possible and stick to them. 4-7 mph for 20 miles should be the goal. Next, create self-sufficient troops
that have SERE skills and lightweight equipments that will supply them water and climate-protect them against the earth WITHOUT NEED OF A RUCKSACK. The
rucksack is the individual Soldier mobility killer. Rucksacks should be carried on/in the Killer Beetle M113 Gavins and when they can't on bikes/carts or rolled on their own
wheels. He must be ready to shoot enemy ammo and weapons as captured. We must carry ALL of the ammunition and equipment you'd take to war NOW. Learn to live
"combat light". The rucksack is a "LOGPACK" that can be passed to the FOB for filling up with supplies but not be seen as individually owned and kept. It has wheels to
roll for hands-free towing whenever possible. Non-able bodied, wounded Soldiers can be towed on carts and bikes and SKEDCO plastic sheets. Bikes and carts enable
dismounted and unarmored mounted maneuver away from the Killer Beetles as required.

Killer Nests

The Killer Bee/Killer Beetle/Killer Soldier Ant Force can operate for 30 days using trailer-towed supplies. For long-term operations a hardened FOB "hive" constructed of
ISO container BATTLEBOXes can be linked together in myriad ways to form walled perimeters filled with dirt for hardening, buried underground etc. while holding vast
amounts of supplies and protecting the Killer Bees/Killer Beetles/Killer Soldier Ants themselves. Power from wind and solar as well as water from the ground and/or
ambient air are collected on the Killer Nest pods so only the minimum of fuel and ammunition has to be resupplied in some flow to the hive. There are no huge supply
dumps languishing everywhere; the supplies start life in the Killer Nest pod and travel all the way to the FOB hive for use.

Killer Nest Flyer

To fly the Killer Beetles or Killer Nest modules would be a STOL/ESTOL/VTOL aircraft that would enable 3D maneuver against the enemy, escorted by the Killer Bees in
the air. The Killer Nest Pods are LTG Gavin's KIWI pods concept finally fulfilled.


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Of the two score military books and manuals which I have written, this essay which first appeared in 1949 has had by far the most instructive history and consequence.

I was therefore delighted when the publishers of the new edition agreed with me that its genesis and aftermath must be made part of the story.

The basic theme is elementary and should be beyond argument: No logistical system is sound unless its first principle is enlightened conservation of the power of
the individual fighter.

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The secondary theme, in 1949 a radically new idea, as yet unsupported by incontrovertible scientific proof, is that sustained fear in the male individual is as degenerative
as prolonged fatigue and exhausts body energy no less.

Today, this second proposition is commonly accepted in medical and military circles. As to the first proposition, we are doing better and everyone gives it lip service. But
there remain too many jokers down the line who still haven't gotten the word.

About the evolution of the essay, and as to the course I ran, I am reminded of the Irishman whose horse ran last in a field of sixteen. When the animal finally passed him,
he leaned over the rail and whispered: "Pray, what took you so long?" In July, 1918, I marched with my Regiment to the front on a balmy, starlit night and was astonished
to see the strong men around me virtually collapse under the weight of their packs when we got to the fire zone after an 11-mile approach on a good road. They had been
conditioned to go 20 miles under the same weight in a broiling sun. Then some days

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later, after our bath of fire and burials were done, we shouldered the same packs, marched rearward 32 miles in one day and got to our billets with no sweat, feeling light
as a feather.

I should have seen the lesson then. But to my juvenile mind the experience signified only that it is a lot easier to move away from a battle than to go into one, which any
fool knows. Many years went by. Then in the Pacific War in I early 1944, Major General Archibald V. Arnold gave me a tactical problem to solve. He wished to know why it
was that in the atoll operations, if troops were checked three times by fire, even though they took no losses and had moved not more than a mile, their energy was spent
and they could not assault.

As is fully explained in Men Against Fire, I was able to advance a tactical solution for the problem, though I still could not answer his question. The mystery grew until it
haunted me.

Then after Omaha Beach, as is described in this essay, I dealt with companies whose battle experience had variously gone the whole gamut from utter defeat and mass
panic to preserved order under heavy pressure, and distinguished achievement. When at last my field notes were complete, they said to me that there was one truth
about the nature of fear which men had missed through the ages. Still, I hesitated to speak.

In 1948 I raised the question with my personal friend, Dr. Raymond W. Waggoner, chief of psychiatry at the University of Michigan and a sage in many fields. He was at
first skeptical about the theory and s.aid that the physical effects of fear and fatigue

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might seem to be the same but he believed that the rebound from fear would be more rapid. When I stood on the documentation, he called in some of the biologists. They
rallied to my side of the discussion, one of them saying: "We have been thinking along these lines for some years." After hearing them out, Dr. Waggoner warmed to the
subject, gave me a private lesson in bio-chemistry and imparted the confidence which enabled me to proceed.

Since I am not a scientist, the organic reaction to fear is not a proper part of this statement. Such details do not stay in my mind and those who are interested in them
have a plethora of learned writings to ponder. We simply found out that we were on the right track. After the theory was launched, medical laboratories in several of our
main universities took it under study, and by varying tests proved it to be correct. One of them, I now recall, made its findings by examining men undergoing major dental
surgery, as to the count of male sex hormones excreted through the urine before and after. Still later, during the Korean War, one of the research organizations serving
the Army put scientists into the line to make comparable tests of fighters before and after combat, with general results, as I recall, doubly confirming what had already
been substantially proved.

At about the same time there was a study in the University of Utah for some months to determine how long this truth had been kicking around underfoot; that is to say,
that all of the basic evidence was in the hands of scientists, but none had bothered to add two and two to make four of it. I think these researchers concluded that there
was no excuse for

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ignorance after the year 1890. If that's the wrong I date (or the wrong school) it's because I kept no file on the business, feeling no interest in the experiments.

What is said in the essay concerning optimum loading the Army took seriously. One Army board set up its own test apparatus, complete with treadmill, etc., to measure
human stress under assorted, loads at varying distances. The Quartermaster Climatic Research Laboratory ran other parallel tests and published reports of same which
continued into the late 1950s. The opening paragraph of the first study acknowledged that the research had been stimulated by this essay. From that same writing by Dr.
Farrington Daniels, Jr., M. D. I quote only these words: "It is disturbing to speculate that since 1750 several hundred million men have gone into combat on foot carrying
back loads, while during this time probably less than a hundred men carrying loads have been subjected to scientific study."

Programs were projected for lightening all line items which the infantryman must carry into battle. What came of all this motion in the end I cannot say.

Completed data often may point to the existence of a pressing problem, but within a bureaucracy thousands of minds must be in tune to evolve the technical solution
affording the bettering of a system. As Admiral A. T. Mahan said, this is the great evil.

In Korea, when the scientists were double checking the laboratory data, I was viewing off-and-on the same problem in quite another dimension, and going on to a startling
tentative conclusion. Here was a unique battlefield. With its high, ubiquitous ridges,

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limited foregrounds, climatic extremes and short duration fire fights, Korea gave us the best opportunity to measure combat stress that we will ever know. We took little
advantage of it.

My field notes convinced me that we need to take a fresh look at the recovery interval which follows troop exhaustion. Man is better than we know; his tired body will
rebound quicker than we think.

Take one example. After a wearing approach march and entrenching, two rifle companies went into perimeter on adjoining ridges. They were the same strength; the
positions were about equal. Both units were dog tired. One commander ordered a 100 percent alert. The other put his men in the sacks and with a few of his NCOs kept
watch. Thirty minutes later the Chinese attacked. The first company was routed and driven from its hill immediately. The second bounded from its sleeping bags, fought
like tigers and held the position until finally ordered by battalion to withdraw.

Another incident is described in detail in The River and the Gauntlet. One company of the Wolfhound Regiment was flattened when overrun by a Chinese brigade. The
unit looked utterly spent. The brigade charged on to take position atop a ridge blocking the route of withdrawal for the regiment.

The stricken company, after one hour in the sacks, was ordered to take the ridge. Even before the ascent started, every company officer was felled by fire.

Without a break the survivors swept the slope and carried the crest.

If these episodes mean what they say, then some of our security procedures when in the presence of the

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enemy need to be re-examined. Worn out men cannot fight or think. It is folly to press them beyond endurance when just a little rest will work a miracle of recovery.

A collateral proposition is best illuminated by citations from marine operations. When the 7th Regiment emerged on the Koto-ri plateau in November, 1950, it was met with
bitter cold and the first spark of enemy resistance simultaneously. Returning patrols showed every symptom of men in intense shock.

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Pulse rates were abnormally low. The individuals gibbered, grimaced vaguely and could not articulate.

The puzzled doctors treated the empirically with a heavy shot of grog and bed rest. Eight hours later, they were normal.

On the other hand, the remnants of the 7th Division elements, which 1st marine division brought out over the ice of the Chosin in an heroic exploit, had been enveloped by
the enemy for the greater part of one week. The cold, the privation and the suffering at the hands of the CCF had been extremely harsh throughout. In the case of these
men, Major General Oliver Smith felt that at least 48 hours total rest was essential. At the end of that time, he concluded by personal inspection that the ones which I had
escaped wounds and frostbite could march out with the column from Hagaru-ri and do normal duty.

There is only a suggestion here that the recovery period is in ratio to the duration of the extraordinary, pressure resulting in exhaustion. Appearances are not to be trusted.
The unit knocked out by five hours of marching, digging and hard fighting may look no less down and dispirited than the unit saved after three

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days of envelopment and hand-to-hand combat on a hilltop. It does not follow that what the two require for recovery is at all alike. This subject requires far more attention
than anyone has yet given it. There is more to be learned about man under pressure than we yet know and the areas for, profitable research which remain unexplored are
wide indeed.

One trouble is that we are slow to alter our procedures even after ordeal by fire has shown where they are at fault; this is due to the drag of orthodoxy which is a quite
different thing from tradition. Another difficulty is that the practical lessons that we learn in war and apply under the gun are too often obscured in the pursuit of some other
object under the conditions of peacetime training.

Two anecdotes, both dating from 1956, both bearing directly on the thoughts expressed in this essay underscore my meaning. Israel's Army is exactly as old as is this
small book. Right after publication, that Army translated the book into Hebrew and made its principles a part of operating doctrine for all troop leaders.

In the book Sinai Victory you will find this tale. Israel's general campaign into the Sinai wastes was to begin with a battalion attack on Queisima, not far from the oasis
called Kadesh Barnea in the Bible.

H-hour for the whole campaign was determined by an estimate of when this troop body would close on the position. But the night advance through the dunes and into the
wadis was a killer and the men staggered and stumbled. As the battalion got to within strike range of the target village, the Commander's watch told him that he was still
on time but his eyes saw

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just as clearly that his men were spent. He could not get in touch with the High Command by radio. Even so, he made the decision to postpone for one hour this triggering
assault while his men lay down in the sands in their great coats and slept.

The contrasting episode occurred at about this same time. I had flown via Naples to join the Israeli Army in the Sinai Desert. Over a weekend I was with the Sixth Fleet off
Sicily. On Monday, there was to proceed a two-battalion exercise, an attack by marines on Sardinia, with the Navy doing its part. That Sunday morning, we gathered on
the flagship and with Admirals Walter R Boone and Charles R. (Cat) Brown present, the full-dress briefing prior to attack perforce went as smoothly as a Broadway
musical in its second year.

At the end, Admiral Boone asked: "Any questions, General Marshall?" I said: "Yes, one question. As I get it, the battalion attacking just after dawn gets in landing craft
four miles out. The beach is defended at the waterline by about two companies, working heavy mortars and machine guns, along with small arms. Their bunker line is
along that low-lying ridge 700 yards inland.

The battalion will take that by mid-morning. It will then go on to that first high range, marked 1,500 meters, where the enemy artillery is based. By sunset these same men
are supposed to assemble on the range beyond that one where they meet the battalion coming up from the west coast. Now have you told the troops that if this were war
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they would be doing well if that first line of low ridges were theirs by the end of the day?"

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Boone was startled. He said to the two marine commanders: "Is it true?" They withdrew to consider the question, then returned to say: "We agree with him."

Boone asked: "Then why are we doing it this way?"

Someone replied: "Any smaller plan wouldn't give forces enough of a workout."

I said: "Fair enough. But you have not answered my question. Have you told troops, staff and everyone else that the plan is far over-extended,- that operations would not
have this much reach if men were fighting?"

The answer was: "No".

I said: "That's the hell of it. No one ever does. Out of such plans and exercises in peacetime, when no precautionary words are spoken, we recreate our own myths about
the potential of our human forces. Then when war comes again, men who discovered the bitter truth the hard way are all gone. Voila, we've got to learn all over again."

There is only one way to stop such drifting. Realistic training derives only from continued study of what happens in war. No system can go far wrong if leaders at every
level know what is to be expected of their people under fire and are prepared to raise practical questions when planning staffs overlook elementary precautions. The first
duty of the officer is to challenge whatever seems illusory.

The marine corps has a classic model on which to guide. As the analyst of General Smith's operation in the frozen north, I have long felt that its salient lesson is the
Commander's deliberate conservation of

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his men's powers under utterly adverse conditions. Though the enemy vise steadily tightened, he still rested his troops till he felt they were ready to march and fight. Each
day's movement was regulated by his measure of how far the column could go, short of exhaustion. Of this care, came the big payoff to him and to his people. At Koto-ri,
after the hard day's fight, he felt worn down. Then outside his tent he heard some truckers singing the marine hymn and his heart leaped up. He had earned that great
moment. A more precipitate, but less bold, leader would have started lunging from the hour when Hagaru-ri and Yudam-ni became enveloped and, 1st marine division
would never have come down the mountain to the sea.

S.L.A. Marshall

Brig. Gen. USAR-Ret.

Dherran Dhoun

Birmingham, Michigan

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STRATEGY is the art of the general. And like any other art, it requires patience to work out its basic concepts. But the odd part of it is that among higher commanders that branch of the art most apt to be
treated with a broad stroke, though it calls loudest for the sketching-in of minute details, is the logistics of war.

Since that word has in recent years become a catchall, covering everything pertaining to the administrative and supply establishments, it is necessary that I be exact as to how I use it here. Let us therefore
take the definition of Sir George Colley, who described logistics as "the scientific combination of marches, the calculation of time and distances, and of economy of men's powers." This is much more
satisfying than anything to be found in our own dictionaries.

But when that last phase is included (and it cannot be left out) it precludes that view of logistics which sees it

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only as a game for the G-4s and the mathematicians-a game to be settled with loading tables, slide rules and transportation schedules.

Logistics becomes, in fact, the very core of generalship -the thing that is ever the main idea-to get military forces into a theater of war in superior strength and husband that strength until they shall prevail.
Further than that, I think we can all agree this does not mean numbers of men and weapons solely. For if it did a general would be only a glorified cattle drover, and we would say of him what Col. G. F. R.
Henderson wrote of General Pope: "As a tactician, he was incapable. As a strategist, he lacked imagination. He paid no attention to the physical wants of man or beast" . With the general, as with anyone
under that rank, the very acme of leadership comes of the ability to lift the powers of the average man-in-the-ranks to the highest attainable level and hold them there. It is therefore especially curious that
there is less competent military literature on this subject-the economy of the powers of fighting men-than on any other aspect of war.

In modem armies, more is being written about moral value than in the preceding nineteen centuries. Yet modern works on the art of command have almost nothing to say about the economy of men's
powers. It seems to be taken for granted that the introduction of the machine into warfare is tending to produce automatic solutions of the prevailing problem of how to get more fire out of fewer men. But
that can only be true if men's powers before and during battle are more carefully husbanded than they have ever been. The actual fact is that men in the mass are growing weaker. The general impact of
the machine on all industrial populations is to lower the stamina of the individual and make it less likely that he

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will develop his legs by walking and harden his back and shoulder muscles by manual toil. Until recently the most sturdy and reliable Soldiers were drawn from the agricultural population. Now the drafts are
filled with men from towns and cities, more than half of whom have never taken regular exercise or participated in any group game.

Likewise, the machine has tremendously increased the over-all weight of war. Two hundred years ago an army could go through a campaign with what it carried in its train and on the backs of its Soldiers.
But in the European Theater in the last war, every Soldier had to have back of him some ten tons of materiel. And the field army that had to rely on its organic transport during an extended advance found
itself soon beached high and dry.

So much for change in one direction. The machine has made warfare more ponderous but has also given it greater velocity. In the other direction there has been no change at all. For it is conspicuous
that what the machine has failed to do right up to the present moment is decrease by a single pound the weight the individual has to carry in war. He is still as heavily burdened as the Soldier of 1000 years
B.C. This load is the greatest of all drags upon mobility in combat and I submit that it is not due to unalterable circumstance. It comes mainly of the failure of armies and those who control their doctrine to
look into the problem. [EDITOR: Militaries are populated by weak egomaniacs who don't want to be reminded that they are NOT supermen].

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A decisive decrease in that load is possible, once we recognize that our use of the machine can be accommodated to this end. Failing that, we will not in the future make the best use of our
human material.

Nothing benefits an army, or any part of it, which is not for the good of the individual at the hour he enters battle. For that reason, the whole logistical frame of the Army of the United States should develop
around an

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applied study of the logistical capability of one average American Soldier. That means getting a more accurate measure of his physical and moral limitations, and of the subtle connection between these two
sides of his being. It means rejecting the old dogmatic notion that by military training alone we can transform the American Soldier into a cross between Superman and Buck Rogers. It means
that by first enlightening ourselves, we have the main chance to bring forth the Soldier more enlightened.


GEN. J.F.C. FULLER once said that adherence to dogma has destroyed more armies and lost more battles and lives than anything else in war. I believe this can be proved to the hilt, and that it is
time to shake it.

For in the future, we will not be able to afford any unnecessary expenditure. In the study called Men Against Fire, I dealt somewhat narrowly with the problem of conserving the average man's power on
the battlefield. The main theme was that the reason all movements in minor tactics tend to fall apart is that we have not rooted our tactical thinking in a sound appreciation of how the average American
thinks and reacts when hostile fire comes at him.

But the case as presented there was too limited. It considered man only as a being who can think-who gathers moral strength from his close comrades-who needs every possible encouragement from them
if he is to make clear decisions and take constructive action in the face of enemy fire.

But something should be added. On the field of battle

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man IS not only a thinking animal, he is a beast of burden.

He is given great weights to carry. But unlike the mule, the jeep, or any other carrier, his chief function in war does not begin until the time he delivers that burden to the appointed ground.

It is this distinction which makes all the difference.

For it means that the logistical limits of this human carrier should not be measured in terms of how much cargo he can haul without permanent injury to bone and muscle, but of what he can endure without
critical, and not more than temporary, impairment of his mental and moral powers. If he is to achieve military success and personal survival his superiors must respect not only his intelligence but also the
delicate organization of his nervous system. When they do not do so, they violate the basic principle of war, which is conservation of force. And through their mistaken ideas of mobility they achieve only
its opposite. Almost 150 years ago, Robert Jackson, then inspector general of hospitals in the British Army, put the matter thus simply: To produce united action of bodily power and sympathy of moral
affections is the legitimate object of the tactician." The desired objective could not be stated more clearly today. It is universally recognized that the secret of successful war lies in keeping men in a
condition of mental alertness and physical well-being which insures that they can and will move when given a competent order.

Yes indeed! Everybody is ready to give three cheers for mobility. But when it comes to the application of the principle at the most vital point of all-the back of the soldier going into battle-the modern
commander is just as liable to be wrong about it as the father of the general staff, General Scharnhorst, when he wrote these incredi-

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ble words: "The infantryman should carry an axe in case he may have to break down a door." Scharnhorst did not lack for company. You cannot read far into war without noting that among the great
leaders of the past there has been a besetting blindness toward this subject. Either they have not deemed it worth mentioning among the vital principles of command, or their thoughts about it were badly

Take Marshal Maurice de Saxe for example since his grasp of moral problems was on the whole profound.

About training he wrote eloquent truths like this one, "All the mystery of combat is in the legs and it is to the legs that we should apply ourselves." But when de Saxe turned his thoughts to the problem of
man's powers on the battlefield, he said: "It is needless to fear overloading the infantry Soldier with arms. This will make him more steady."

Making all allowances for the more limited movements during battle and the short killing range of all weapons during the wars of de Saxe's times, it must still be conceded that on this point he sounds like
an ass. Overloading has never steadied any man or made him more courageous. And such dictum runs directly counter to the principles of war and the sound leading of Soldiers. But the words are
dangerous, if only because de Saxe uttered them. We too often ascribe to successful men a godlike infallibility, instead of weighing all things in the light of reason. What the Great Captains

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thought, succeeding generations find it difficult to forget and challenge reluctantly despite an ever-broadening human experience.

We are still troubled by commanders who do not "fear overloading the infantry Soldier with arms." Rare indeed is the high commander who will fight consistently and

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effectively for the opposite. In fact, it is chiefly the high commanders who have laid this curse on the back of the fighting man right down through the ages. The second lieutenants have usually known

Take Frederick the Great. He said that a Soldier should always carry three days' food. Take Napoleon. He said on St. Helena that there are five things a Soldier should never be without, "his musket, his
cartridge box, his knapsack, his provisions for at least four days and his pioneer hatchet." Take Scharnhorst again... He said that a Soldier should carry with him, besides his arms and a three-day supply of
bread, "sixty rounds of ammunition, three spare flints, a priming wire, a sponge, a worm, an instrument for taking the lock to pieces, two shirts, two pairs of stockings, rags to wrap up his feet on a march,
combs, brushes, pipe-clay, black balls, needles and thread." We can forget such details as the "worm" and the "sponge." The point is that what a Soldier is required to carry into battle today is more directly
related to these hoary prescriptions than to any modern surveyor analysis showing what a Soldier is likely to use most in combat-and what weights he could well be spared by a more foresightful
planning for the use of other forms of transport.

In fact, careful research, after first revealing the historic roots of most of these elementary logistical concepts would also enable us to trace their growth right down to the present. But the researcher would
look in vain for proof that they are based upon field data rather than upon a blind adherence to tradition. He would perforce conclude with Bacon that: "The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give
stability to the errors which have

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their foundations in common received notions than to help the search for truth!" Perhaps in Frederick's day it was necessary for a Soldier to carry three days' food in his pack. Maybe when Napoleon was
on the march there was a sound reason for upping that figure from three to four. One can even give Stonewall Jackson the benefit of the doubt for following Frederick's rule-of-thumb during his campaigns
in the Valley. Though observers noted, according to Col. Henderson, that it was the habit of the troops to bolt their three rations as soon as possible and then scrounge around for more.

But why in common sense during World War II did we put infantrymen across defended beaches carrying three full rations in their packs? In other words, nine packages of K rations, weighing roughly
the same number of pounds! We did it time and again in landings where "hot cargo" shipments of food were coming onto the beaches right behind the troops and almost tripping on their heels.

One package would always have been enough-one third of a ration. In fact, we learned by actual survey on battlefield that only some three per cent of the men along the combat line touched any food
at all in the first day's fighting. And that water consumption was only a fifth what it became on the second day and thereafter.

Such is the economy that can be achieved by virtue of a churning stomach. But compared to this reality, we continued until the end of the war to overload our forces with food every time we staged a major
attack. To understand why we did it, we must disregard field data and look into history.

Some centuries ago Frederick had an idea.

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A MORE critical and debatable issue than the amount of rations to be carried is the weight of the fire load, since fire is the mainspring of mobility and men can't shoot with empty guns. Again the historical
roots of the solution are worth remarking.

Outdoing Scharnhorst, von Moltke in his time decided that 200 rounds of ammunition was a more fitting load for the sturdy Prussian. That became the standard requirement for modern armies. Both
sides used it during the Russo-Japanese War, and most armies likewise used it in World War I. So far as may now be learned, no one of any importance saw fit to question whether that figure of 200
rounds had any justification, either in tactics or logistics. In the American Army in France of 1917-18, our commanders usually adhered to-the practice of requiring troops to carry a full ammunition load
during the approach march, even in moving into a "quiet" sector.

And in hot weather the results were brutal. We can write off the general policy with the simple statement that troops usually had to carry ten times as many cartridges as there was any likelihood they
would use.

Following World War I, several general staffs, and particularly the French, gave some thought to the proposal that with the improvement of first-line transport through motorization it had become possible to
relieve the Soldier of carrying his own ammunition reserve. But these good intentions bore no tangible fruit, though in the course of World War I such weapons and equipments as the grenade, trench knife
and gas mask had been added to the Soldier's over-all weight.

When World War II came along, the rule-of-thumb

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laid down almost a century before by Moltke still gave the infantryman blisters around his belly, though meanwhile, owing to changes in civilian transportation, the system of forward supply had undergone a
transformation so revolutionary that it had become almost impossible for the combat line to run out of ammunition. Jeeps and amtracs would run the stuff right up to the company CPs and 0P ring line. And
when they couldn't go fast enough, planes were dropping it there in bundles.

Despite this altered situation there was no relief for the human carrier. True enough, we did not follow the Moltke prescription right down to the last cartridge. But we deviated from it, not primarily to
lighten the Soldier's load but to make room for other types of ammunition.

For example, during the last two years of operations in the Pacific, the rifleman put across a beach generally carried eighty rounds for his M1 or carbine. This special dispensation was simply granted him
that he might the better carry eight hand grenades, or in some cases five.

It was presumed that in the close-in fighting he was likely to meet, five to eight grenades would give him a wider margin of safety than double the amount of his rifle ammunition.

In the event, such calculations were found to have little practical relation to what took place along the line of fire.

When you examined company operations in atoll fighting in detail, it was evident that the Soldier who used grenades at all was almost as rare as the man who fired as many as eighty rounds from his rifle
in anyone day of action.

Which is to say that the load of grenades the line was required to carry did not promote either increased safety or greater firepower. Eight grenades are a particularly cumbersome burden. They weigh
10.48 pounds. Had the grenade load of each man been cut by three-quarters

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(giving him two grenades) it is a reasonable assumption that the over-all and expedient tactical use of that weapon would not have been reduced, and the force so lightened would not have been made
more vulnerable.

With all hands carrying eight grenades, the number of men making any use of that weapon at all was consistently less than six per cent of the total in any general action. Research showed further that the
grenade was rarely put to any practical use in the initial stage of an amphibious attack. This was also true in Europe.

Having been a grenadier in the Army before I became qualified at anything else, I have a natural sentimental fondness for the grenade. In the First World War, I was convinced that the throw as taught
was bad for American practice, and therefore conducted the first experiments that resulted in its change. But at that time I learned that if the weapon is to be employed.... usefully, it must be
understood that a definite penalty IS attached to overestimating its usefulness. That still applies. The high command falls into such an error when it overloads the man. The Soldier himself makes the error-
as we learned in too many cases-when he uses the grenade to clean out the unseen interiors of such places as underground air raid shelters and thick-walled blockhouses, and then takes it for granted the
job is tactically finished.

I agree that there are conditions of terrain, and situations that involve movement through entrenchments or against houses, where the grenade is all but indispensable.

But common sense says also that if it is mobility we want, there is no more justification for loading men with grenades they are not likely to use than to send them forward burdened with so many sticks
and stones. In fact, that might be better, for they would then drop off their ballast at the earliest possible moment.

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This same argument would eliminate altogether any further issuing of the bayonet. That weapon ceased to have any major tactical value at about the time the inaccurate and short-range musket was
displaced by the ride. But we have stubbornly clung to it-partly because of tradition which makes it inevitable that all military habits die a slow death, but chiefly because of the superstition that the bayonet
makes troops fierce and audacious, and therefore more likely to close with the enemy.

I doubt that any combat officer of the last war below field grade would agree that this idea has any merit whatever. Their observations are to be trusted more than the most positive opinions of any senior
commander who has had no recent experience with warfighting.

The bayonet is not a chemical agent the mere possession of it will not make men one whit more intrepid than they are by nature. Nor will any amount of bayonet training have such an effect. All that may
be said of such training is that, like the old Butts Manual, its values derive only from the physical exercise. It conditions the mind only in the degree that it hardens the muscles and improves health.

The bayonet needs now to be re-evaluated by our Army solely on what it represents as an instrument for killing and protection. That should be done in accordance with the record, and without the slightest
sentiment So considered, the bayonet will be as difficult to justify as the type of slingshot with which David slew Goliath. A situation arose during the siege of Brest in August 1944, when the 29 th Infantry
Division found that an improvised slingshot was useful in harassing the enemy. And about all that may be said for the bayonet, ,too, is that there is always a chance of its being used to advantage. But the
record shows that that chance is extremely slight

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In the Pacific fighting of World War II, more men were run through by swords than by bayonets.

In our European fighting there is only one bayonet charge of record. That was the attack by the 3 rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry, at the Pommerague Farm during the advance on Carentan, France,
in June 1944. In that attack three of the enemy were actually killed by American bayonets. It is a small irony, however, that these killings took place about six minutes after the main charge had subsided.
And it is a somewhat larger irony that the one junior officer who actually closed with the bayonet and thrust his weapon home was subsequently relieved because he was not sufficiently bold in leading his


SINCE we are talking about mobility, and how to control the loading of the Soldier toward that end, there is no chapter from our past more instructive than

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our airborne operations of World War II.

In the European Theater, the basic individual ammunition load for the Paratrooper was eighty rounds for his carbine or M1 [Garand], and two hand grenades. When the Paratrooper jumped into Normandy
on June 6, 1944, he also carried these things: 1 rifle and carrier part, 1 English mine. 6 packages of K-ration, 1 impregnated jump suit, 1 complete uniform, 1 steel helmet and liner, 1 knitted cap, 1 change
of underwear, 2 changes of sox, 1 entrenching tool, 1 gas mask, 1 first-aid pack, 1 spoon, 2 gas protective covers, 1 field bag with suspenders, 1 packet of sulfa tablets, 1 escape kit, and a set of toilet

Despite all that weight, the most salient, characteristic in operations by these forces was without "doubt the high mobility of all ranks. That was because" in most of them used common sense. They
jumped heavy but they moved light. Once on the ground, most of them ditched every piece of equipment they considered unnecessary. They did this without order, and often before they had
engaged any of the enemy or joined up with any of their comrades. It was a reflex to a course of training which had stressed that the main thing was to keep going.

The mainspring to the movement of these forces lay in the spirit of the men. They moved and hit like light infantry, and what they achieved in surprise more than compensated for what they lacked in

Further, at every point they pressed the fight hard, and the volume of fire over the whole operation proved to be tactically adequate, though supply remained generally adverse.

The 82 nd and 101st Divisions jumped into one situation where for two days all their elements were engaged by the enemy and only those groups fighting close to Utah Beach had an assured flow of
ammunition. Some

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of the groups got additional ammunition from bundles dropped either by the initial lift or by resupply missions.

But until the airborne front was passed through by the seaborne forces, many of these riflemen were completely dependent on the ammunition they had jumped into Normandy with-eighty rounds and two

Yet in the whole show, covering the five days of operation down to the crossing of the Merderet by the 82 nd and the capture of Carentan by the 101st , there is only one instance of a detachment having to
yield ground temporarily because it ran short of ammunition. That happened at Le Port Bridge near the mouth of the Douve River where for three days 84 men of the 506th Parachute Infantry, under Capt.
Charles G. Sheule, made one of the most courageous stands of the invasion. Their stand had the greatest strategic consequence, since this was the bridgehead where V and VII Corps were to ultimately

In the beginning Shettle's group survived without any loss of morale the temporary embarrassment caused by lack of ammunition. They simply fell back to the near side of the bridge. In the end they
retrieved another ammunition bundle or two and recovered the lost ground.

All that happened to Shettle and his men deserves to be taken at face value. If, act by act, we could weigh out our whole infantry experience from the last war, we would discover a frequent repetition of the
lesson of this small incident.

The moral is that we spend a great part of our time worrying about the wrong things.

Fundamentally there are two reasons for the chronic tendency to load the Soldier down with too much ammunition rather than take the opposite chance.

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No. 1 is the belief that it is good for his battle morale -that he is less likely to fight vigorously if harassed by the thought that his ammunition is running short.

This is a psychological fallacy. Soldiers' minds simply do not work that way.

The willing fighter will spend his last round if convinced that the tactical situation requires it. And he will then look around to see where he can get some mote ammunition.

No. 2 is the equally fallacious belief that ammunition shortages have often been a cause of tactical disarrangement in past wars, and are therefore to be avoided at all costs. It is hard to prove historically
that this is untrue, because the history of all past wars becomes pretty blurred when it attempts to focus on the firing line.

But the closer we look at the details of the fire fight in World War II, the clearer it becomes that in the conditions of modem warfare, defeat because of an ammunition shortage is among the things least
likely to happen.

The mobility of supply and the reticulation of communications make it a minimum hazard. Further, there are always reserves at hand. The Soldier who is always willing and eager to use his weapons has a
reserve in the duty belt of the man next him who will go along into battle but will not fire. Likewise, the hard-pressed unit has an ammunition reserve on one or both of its flanks, since pressure is never
distributed evenly along the length of a front and it is a responsibility of the less heavily engaged to make their supply available to the forces carrying the fight.

Possibly these ideas appear theoretical and impractical.

The fact remains that some of our most creditable operations have been sustained in just this manner. The prin-

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ciple of borrowing and sharing kept the defense alive during the defense of Bastogne. The defense, during the "eight days" of the encirclement, was on short supply for nearly all weapons. And all
concerned knew it.

And though Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe kept banging on VIII Corps' door and repeating that his lines were in danger of being overrun because of his ammunition shortage (a condition gradually eased
by the air resupply missions) there was no operation of the last war in which American troops fought with higher morale and confidence. The marches were not pushed the less forcefully because many
men were weaponless and ammunitionless until they were within a mile or two of the enemy.

The action of the artillery was not less intrepid and decisive because the guns were down to ten or twelve rounds per day. We miss some of the most important implications of Bastogne if we fail to weigh
these facts in proportion and relate them to the largest problems of operating field forces with maximum economy.

To save the bone and muscle of soldiers toward the preservation of their fighting powers is probably as desirable an object as any we can seek to give us greater efficiency in the future.

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But we have scarcely begun to move in that direction.

There is still no general awareness that the human carrier, like his former army mate, the mule, has a logistical limit, which if exceeded, will inevitably cause a loss of supply and mobility, and may produce
complete breakdown.

In fact we have always done better by a mule than by a man. We were careful not to load the mule with more than a third his own weight. And the mule, so far as we know, was never a bundle of nerves.
Unlike man, he never reacted to battle as did Belshazzar to the writing on

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the wall "so that the joints of his loins were loosed and his knees smote one against the other." The problem, and the conditions that call for a modern solution of it, were imaginatively stated to me by Gen.
J.F.C. Fuller in a recent letter: "The Soldier cannot be a fighter and a pack animal at one and the same time, any more than a field piece can be a gun and a supply vehicle combined. The idea is wrong at
the start. Yet it is always being repeated..."

Fundamentally only two great novelties have come out of recent warfare. They are: (1) mechanical vehicles, which relieve the Soldier of equipment hitherto carried by him; (2) air supply, which relieves the
vehicle of the road.....

Machine guns are only quick fire and the atomic bomb is only a big bang-both are new only in quantity power and effect. But the above two novelties are of a new quality altogether so far as supply is
concerned. It was only toward the end of World War II that the possible impact of these developments on future warfare was conclusively revealed."


To REFRESH our minds on certain of the portents of World War II, we might also think back to the beachheads. What is the lasting impression?

A scene of terrible litter, in which waste is even more apparent than confusion. The disorder is heightened by the presence of the dead and the waiting wounded.

The loosely assembled supply dumps while they are forming always look as if a great storm had just passed through.

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But to the eye trained to see through this seeming chaos and note the beginnings of a system, these things are routine. They will be there in any build-up in the face of the enemy. The more dismaying
spectacle is the wastage of personal supply, the vast amount of packs, weapons and ammunition tossed away by troops already moving inland in search of the enemy.

There is nothing new or novel in these sights. You saw the same kind of wastage on the field of World War I, particularly in the Argonne where the pressure was almost unremitting. Eyewitnesses reported
it of Gettysburg, saying, too, that of the thousands of rifle thrown away by Soldiers, by far the greater number had never been fired. Of Cold Harbor, one witness reported:

"Seeing what had been thrown away, I wondered how the battle had been fought." Probably there is no other characteristic more common to all the fields on which armies have contended than this one-
inexplicable waste of essential equipment.

Yet it is strangely the fact that little thought has been directed toward this aspect of war by anyone, other than simply to note that it happens. The omission may be partly due to the circumstance that we
conclude too easily that we cannot control it. At the top, where there are relatively few men who have ever carried sixty-five pounds into combat, there is a disposition to charge off this kind of wastage,
saying that it is part of war's necessary expense, caused largely by the men in the ranks who are duty shirkers by nature.

While there is some substance for this belief, it is still only a segment of a large and more disturbing truth.

So long as we continue to tell troops that mobility is indispensable to success in battle, and preach that "safety lies forward," the most willing man who ever wore a

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Soldier suit will discard a weight he finds he cannot carry under the extraordinary stresses of battle. If, in addition to being willing, he is also intelligent, he will make that decision at once when the moment
arrives that his only alternative is to surrender to his own physical weakness and quit the fight.

But this is one of the hardest decisions the dutiful Soldier is ever called on to make. It is so for the reason that by the time the decision becomes necessary, his physical condition is likely to be such that he
cannot think clearly. Many will say, I know, looking back to their own experience in battle, that troops learned automatically to discard the things they did not need, and that therefore there is no problem.
That may be true. But they only gained this kind of wisdom by hard experience, and it is invariably in the first battle that the greatest damage is done. About three-fourths of World II combat fatigue cases
were broken the first time they went into action.

If those who have thoroughly observed the nature of the battlefield cannot accept the thought that the derelict Soldier is alone the great waster of materiel, then it must follow that the fault lies rearward.

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That the troops are the victims of bad loading and faulty estimates of the relationship of loading to soundness in tactics. When troops do not perform as expected there is always a good reason, and to
charge it to human slothfulness is itself slothful thinking.

There can be true economy of men's powers in war only when command reckons with man as he is and not as it would like him to be.

That, then, is the root of the difficulty. At planning levels there has always been a general ignorance of the

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logistical limits of the human carrier under fire, and of the drag on tactics which comes of weighting him too heavily.


WHAT is needed is a modem cure for a problem as ancient as the history of war. The historical antecedents have been well set forth by the Hygiene Advisory Committee of the British Army, which in the
1920's researched the subject of how soldiers have been loaded through the centuries, and published its findings in a pamphlet called The Load Carried by the Soldier.

J.F.C. Fuller was a member of that commission, and it was from discussing the subject with him at about the time our forces went into Normandy that my attention was first drawn forcibly to the problem.

The work of the commission was scholarly though unimaginative. Other thal1 establishing the direct con-

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nection between the excessive weights men carry in war and the high incidence of heart disease, kidney complaints, ailments of the circulatory system and the lungs, and augmented blood pressure among
veterans, it drew no medical conclusions. It did not trace a connection between overloading and mental and physical collapse in battle. The report was not refreshed by combat data from World War I which
would have contributed to knowledge of the psycho-organic changes occurring in men under fire as the consequence of being too heavily weighted. It is probable that no such information was available to
the British Army, or to any other at that time.

There are many areas of combat knowledge, we have hardly begun to explore, and We are informed least of all about the nature of the combat line. ' But what the commission did show clearly was that
generals in all ages have been no respecters of the limitations of the human animal, either in or out of combat.

In this they have been consistent, from Marcus Aurelius down to Marshal Montgomery. The Roman legionary recruited usually at twenty and selected from the peasantry on a basis of sturdy strength
rather than height, carried eighty pounds on his body when he went marching on the smooth Roman roads.

Though that seems brutal, we should at least add the footnote that 2,000 years after the Legion, the American Army dropped men from Higgins boats and onto the rough deep sands of Normandy carrying
more than, 80 eighty pounds. The French soldier at the time of the Crimean War carried an equipment of seventy-two pounds. The British Redcoats carried eighty pounds when they stormed our Bunker
Hill. At Waterloo British infantrymen carried sixty to seventy pounds, the French about fifty-five.

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Our infantry carried weights comparable to these during World War I. Conditioning soldiers to march with the heavy pack (about sixty pounds) was a training requirement. In combat more rations and
munitions were added and very little of the training load was eliminated, at least by official order.

The commission found that with few exceptions, the armies of the past had honored the principle that lightness of foot in the individual produced buoyancy in the attack more in the breach than the

Philip of Macedon was a notable exception. He achieved his mobility around a light infantry-the hypaspistes.

Oliver Cromwell made his Roundheads fast of foot by reducing their equipment to less than forty pounds. Stonewall Jackson created an infantry which maneuvered fast by keeping the individual
working load to a minimum. His men did not carry extra clothing, overcoats or knapsacks. They marched with rifles, ammunition and enough food to keep going. Each man carried one blanket or rubber
sheet; he slept with a comrade for extra warmth. The cooking was done at a common mess with frying pans and skillets. The skillet handle was spiked so that on the march it could be stuck in a rifle

The commission found that in general, armies through the past 3,000 years have issued equipment to the Soldier averaging between fifty-five and sixty pounds, and have tried to condition him to that
weight by long marching. Finally, it reached the absolute conclusion that not in excess of forty to forty-five pounds was a tolerable load for an average-sized man on a road march. More specifically, It
stated that on the march, for training purposes, the optimum load, including clothing and personal belongings,

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is one-third of body weight. Above that figure the cost of carrying the load rises disproportionately to the actual increment of weight.

These were the main points. However, the commission mildly suggested that there might be a radical difference between the weight-carrying ability of a Soldier on a march, where he is thinking only of
putting one foot in front of the other, and his limits in a fight-where his life depends on his quick wit. It raised an eyebrow at the military thinkers for never having given serious consideration to that

Necessarily then, we must go on beyond the commission's work, if there is to be any better conclusion than that simply because the Romans and Hoplites did it, it is good enough for us today. .

In the material given on page 25 I am following what the British paper says about the weight carried by the Roman legionary. There is reason to think, however, that the British research was in error on this
finding. My friend and colleague, Col. Hugh M. Cole, has checked most of the ancient sources on this subject and has been guided largely by the reasoning and conclusions of Delbrueck, the great German
military historian. Delbrueck worked according to the principle that what the sources said about operations should be challenged if they did not square with "physical possibility"; this means applying to
history the same rule by which we measured the phenomena of the battlefield in Europe and Central Pacific, and which I now say should be applied to all that we do logistically. Delbrueck was well
acquainted with the German test marches of 1896 and what they indicated as to the limits of men's powers. He held that the Roman Legion must have operated within these weight limits, else it would have
been impossible to explain its extraordinary mobility.

Even this was a generous conclusion, since we know now that the Mediterranean man of that period was smaller in weight and in frame than modern man.. Working with a seminar of German officers,
Delbrueck found that many of the classical texts had been misinterpreted, as to what they purported to say about the Legion's weight carrying ability. As one example, Livy's text had been corrupted from
"supply for a few days" to "supply for 30 days" this referring to the rations carried by one man. Al1d again, the much cited single reference to a man load of 80 pounds refers to a specific punishment
march, like the British sand bag drill. By the time he

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had completed his research, Delbrueck had decided that the legionary carried only his arms, an iron ration and a stake, used for fortifying the camp. Such things as hand-mills, cooking utensils,
tentage and entrenching tools were carried in the trains. In other words, it was soundness in logistics, and lightness in the individual, which made the Legion the most mobile force the world has ever

The Roman carried so little excess into battle that he was able to engage in bodily physical combat, man to man, for an entire day. No foot formations since have ever marched as far and fought as many
battles in so short a time as did the veteran legions at the height of Roman power. And the secret of their mobility as a force came of that exquisite combination of discipline and economy which kept the
Roman individual light of foot and united to his comrades.

By a series of calculations which need not be here explained, Colonel Cole has concluded that the individual weights carried within the legions were as follows:

Total for road marching 57.21bs.

Total for approach march 44 lbs.

Tactical load in combat zone 33 Ibs.


AT least one serious attempt was made in the modern British Army to cope with the problem though in the end the effort was wholly frustrated.

When shortly after the close of World War I, Captain B. H. Liddell-Hart was called in to recast the Infantry Training Manual, he felt very strongly about the need for lightening the infantryman's load, and was
given the backing of General Maxse, who had been inspector-general of training in the last year of the war. Hart went to the Small Arms School to work on his doctrine for infantry weapons, and there found
in General Dalby, the assistant commandant, a man who was ardent for the same idea. Many experiments took place, accompanied by demonstrations of what an infantryman, stripped for action like an
athlete, would look like, and how

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quickly he could move. The ranks developed a tremendous enthusiasm for these ideas.

Then unfortunately a slump set in and the question was postponed. To some extent the simultaneous struggle for the development of mobile armored forces tended to obscure the need for making
the foot Soldier more mobile. Leading advocates of tank warfare were inclined to argue that the reform

of infantry equipment did not matter, as tanks would dominate the future battlefield and leave little place for infantry. When in 1925, the new Chief of the Imperial General Staff Designate, General Milne (an
artilleryman by origin) became a convert to armor, he went so far as to say that it would be a waste of time and effort to make the infantry more mobile. Subsequently, Milne began to shy away from armor,
despite the efforts of J.F.C. Fuller to hold him to the mark. In fact, Milne's influence on British theories of warfare appears to be noteworthy only as a depressing example of the chief, who having
reached the top rung of the ladder, is all too ready to forget everything that really counts on the field of war.

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Despite many of the criticisms of Hart, coming mainly from those who between wars bothered to read only partway into his theories, history will credit him with being, in the period between World Wars,
Britain's most indefatigable opponent of the closed military mind. Eventually there was a revival of interest in his idea that infantry had to be given a new mobility. General Campbell (a cavalryman) was in
command at Aldershot. Influenced by Hart's book on W.. T. Sherman, he undertook to carry out tests of how equipment of every kind could

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be lightened-in the division as a whole, as well as in the infantry unit. On his proposal, the General Staff agreed that the training season of 1931 at Aldershot should be devoted to what was called a
"Sherman March," looking to the lightening of the burden of field forces. It produced some startling results, pointing to a general conclusion that all of the combat arms were victims of over-loading.

That autumn the General Staff was moved to order the creation of committees in all principal commands to extend the Aldershot experiments. Hart became a general consultant. All of the reports were
highly progressive and drastic. The most forward-looking came from the Aldershot Committee, where Dalby had moved in as President. Its detailed recommendations brought the total weight of the Soldier's
clothing, arms, ammunition and equipment (including rations and water) down to 31 lbs., 10 oz.

The following year extensive trials were carried out by the Army during the annual maneuvers by formations carrying a much reduced scale of equipment. While the reduction could not be carried quite as
far as had been recommended, because that depended on the manufacture of various new items of equipment, the load was brought down to 34 lbs. in some brigades and to 35 lbs. in others.

When World War II came along, the very practical nature of these experiments and their conclusions became forgotten, and the load started creeping up again, because of abnormal staff pressures and
fears, and the general failure of the Army to lay a sound logistical basis for the reform during the period of peacetime training.

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IF A YOUNG and inexperienced company commander is ignorant about what happens to men so heavily loaded they have no fair chance for movement and survival in combat, he will not ruin the army.
The probability is that he will not even hurt his own company. Some higher-up, with a slightly wiser head, will straighten him out.

But when a staff is ignorant on this subject, then woe to the fighting line! The damage will not be undone, for a price will certainly be paid. This truth was repeatedly proved during World War II. We killed
men unnecessarily because of our faulty appreciation of this.

The staff tended always to load the combat Soldier according to its own view of every possible emergency that might confront him. With every member of a staff trying hard to think of every possible
contingency, and

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No one above the staff enforcing a rigid weight limit to protect the Soldier's back, the loads frequently became unsupportable.

With what results? The excess weights were simply not moved forward, mobile firepower was smothered.

The combat line faltered and sometimes foundered under bangalore torpedoes that were never exploded, gas equipment that was never used and ropes for scaling that might have proved useful had the
battalion landed next to a cliff. The inertia thus begun was increased farther down the line by commanders who permitted their men to be killed with kindness instead of firmly insisting that they make the
weight required for the contest.

These twin evils were subject to control. Our tactical power and general battle efficiency could have been increased had we:

(1) Established an absolute weight limit for men in combat.

(2) Enforced it by a rigid system of inspection.

We did neither. In this one particular, we acted less wisely than the ancient Scots who at Bannockburn went into battle with each fighting man feeling as light as air because his weapon had been carried up
to battle by a porter. (It is of record that the battle turned on this fact.

The English saw the mob of porters moving over Gillies Hill, mistook it for a fresh reinforcing army, and fled the field.

We should take a somewhat more careful look at the detail of this overloading, if only to realize how silly we can get under the press of active operations.

Going to France in World War I, a marine officer was advised to carry along 1 bedding roll, pillow and mattress, 1 clothing roll, 2 blankets, 1 overcoat, 2 blouses winter field, 2 trousers winter field, 2

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breeches winter field, 1 coat sweater, 4 flannel shirts, 2 cravats, 1 small rubber boots, 1 hip rubber boots, 3 pairs shoes with extra laces, 1 high lace leather boots, 3 pair shoes with extra laces, 1 high lace
leather boots, 1 puttees spiral, 1 puttees leather, 1 cap, 1 campaign hat, 2 khaki coats, 2 khaki trousers, 1 canvas leggings, 2 khaki breeches, 12 handkerchiefs olive drab, 2 wrist watches, 1 note book, 2
pajamas woolen, 1 canvas bucket, 1 rubber sponge, 1 thermos bottle unbreakable, 1 nest aluminum cups, 1 poncho, 1 housewife, 3 pillow cases, 4 sheets, 6 socks heavy, 6 socks light, 4 suits underwear
heavy woolen, 6 suits underwear light woolen, 6 suits underwear light summer, 2 garters, 2 belly bands, 1 Romeo slippers, 4-towels face, 2 towels bath, 2 soap face, 2 soap shaving, 2 tooth brushes, 2
toothpaste, 1 raincoat, 1 bathrobe, 1 manicure set, 1 set of brushes, 1 polished mirror, 1 knife, 1 compass, 1 whistle, 1 field glass, 1 leather gloves buckskin, 1 jar tobacco with pipes and water-tight
matchbox, 1 amber glasses, 1 can opener and corkscrew, 1 Elliott ear protector, 1 flashlight with extra batteries. The official memorandum adds somewhat brightly that in addition to FSR, the officer should
carry along whatever books he thinks he might need, But the marines did better as they went along. In Pacific operations throughout World War II, they outstripped the Army in getting down to the bare

When the 153rd Infantry Regiment went staggering ashore against the supposedly Japanese-held base at Kiska in the Aleutians, it was an A-1 exhibit, not of fighting power, but of how the uncontrolled

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of the staff are sometimes permitted to destroy the mobility of fighting bodies. Its load requirements was so extraordinary that members of the Regiment preserved the list that in later years they might
boast of the unusual trials of Soldiers to their disbelieving civilian friends. This was what each man carried:


240 rounds ammo

Flashlight Shirt (w/o tie)



Pack board


trousers Kersey lined

Sleeping bag

Change of clothing

Alaskan field jacket

2 shelter halves

Wire cutters

Helmet, steel

12 cans "C" rations

pole lamp; pins

Waterproof matchbox

Helmet liner


Cook stove

identification panel

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2 cans sterno

Ruck sack

Extra shoes

Long knife

4 chocolate bars

Rifle belt

Entrenching tool

3 signal panels

6 grenades



And just to make things rosey all around and keep this mule train in good spirits, the last item on the list was "Book of Battle Songs." One lieutenant of infantry who went ashore with 153rd pronounced the
only judgment possible on this stupendous piece of folly: "Had the enemy been there with only two machine guns, we would have been repelled; had we landed in a fighting situation, we could not have
advanced one foot." Yet there were also instances in the Pacific war of the American staff officer advocating a bold solution of this problem, and by submitting his reasoning to battle proof, providing an
example which all others can well afford to remember.

Just prior to the invasion of Aitape by Task Force 705, Lieut. Col. H. C. Brookhart loaded himself with every thing which the order had said that the Iine infantryman was to carry during the landing.

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The burden, exclusive of helmet and uniform, weighed approximately 46 pounds. Thus decked out, Brookhart presented himself to the commander, Brig. Gen. Jens Anderson Doe.

"What in hell have you got on?" asked Doe.

"This," replied Brookhart, "is what we say should be in the rifleman's load." "Then for God's sake get rid of part of it!" So instructed, Brookhart cut back the load to include the following items:

change of underwear

light woolen sweater


2 canteens of water

extra socks

aid pack

2/3 of one ration



30 rounds of rifle ammo

He arranged that troops would put into a B-bag these items-mess gear, change of shoes, remainder of ration, clean uniform, change of underwear, change of socks-which would be brought forward by first-
line transports. Toilet articles had been included in the packload. Otherwise, this was all that the line formations carried.

Brookhart kept careful check of the results of this experiment. Looking back at it, he felt that he might have risked halving the ammo load which was hand carried. His check showed that only a minor
number of riflemen had expended as many as 15 rounds on the first day.


IN THE INITIAL ASSAULT waves at Omaha Beachhead there were companies whose men started ashore, each with four cartons of cigarettes in his pack-as

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if the object of operations was trading with the French.

Some never made the shore because of the cigarettes. They dropped into deep holes during the wade-in, or they fell into the tide nicked by a bullet. Then they soaked up so much weight they could not
rise again.

They drowned. Some were carried out to sea but the greater number were cast up on the beach. It impressed the survivors unforgettably that line of dead men along the sands, many of whom had
received but trifling wounds. One man said of this sight: "They looked like wax: I thought of Madame Tussaud's."

There are no final death statistics on Omaha. If any are in time published, they will be at best a rough approximation. No one can say with authority whether more men died directly from enemy fire
than perished because of the excess weight that made them easy victims of the water.

But when I had concluded my work with the survivors of the companies which had landed during the initial Omaha assault, the impression was inescapable that weight and water-directly or indirectly-
were the cause of the greater part of our losses at the beach.

Believing that this was the great lesson of the Omaha operation, and that it was more strongly illuminated there than in other landings during WorId War II because of the decisiveness of that operation and
the numbers engaged, I feel that the tactical facts deserve even closer scrutiny than those questions of higher strategy on which we differed with the British or among ourselves.

The fundamental error was a simple one. We overestimated the physical strength of men in the conditions of combat. This almost cost us the beachhead. Since it is the same kind of mistake that
armies and their com-

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manders have been making for centuries, there is every reason to believe it will happen again.

The mistake can be blamed only in part on the staff.

In war our treatment of any basic problem reflects in large measure our thinking on the same problem during peace. It was so in this case. The general correctives needed could only have been applied by
concrete thinking on the problem well in advance of war.

The root of the trouble lies here. We do lip service to the principle that the aim in logistics is not simply to support and supply the men on the fire line, but to relieve them of all unnecessary strain and
tension. But it is lip service only.

We are reluctant to believe absolutely, that 5,000 relatively fresh fighting men will defeat 15,000 worn-out men in the opposing line any day in the week.

In the hour of decision, the strength of an army cannot be counted in bodies but in the numbers of men who are spiritually willing and physically able to pick up and move on forward fighting.

At Omaha Beachhead our count of such men was extremely low. Certainly fear of death played a part in the paralysis of some of the men who couldn't get over the sands. However, we would be selling
short our own human material, and would once again be guilty of gross ignorance about the underlying causes of terror among men who fight, if we took it for granted that the only reason so many men
collapsed at Omaha was because they had to go through bullet and she]] fire once they hit the shore. To say that they would all have made it had they landed on a dry run exercise doesn't mean a thing.

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ON D-DAY, Capt. Richard F. Bush landed with the assault waves at Omaha Beach. He was a field artilleryman. He went in on the same mission as the late Lieut. Col. "Moon" Mullins, one of the immortals
of that great undertaking. Their task was to prepare the way for the landing of their own guns. But the guns didn't arrive. Again, someone's excess caution defeated the end in view. The guns were to be
brought in on DUKWs. But somebody decided that the DUKWs and their cargo would be vulnerable to fire from the shore. So each DUKW was protected with a rampart of eighteen sandbags.
Between this weight and the roughness of the water, every gun save one was drowned at sea.

SIDEBAR: Americans Refused Hobart's Funnies Engineer Tanks on D-Day


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So it was that Bush and Mullins spent their morning trying to persuade demoralized infantrymen to resume

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their duty. Mullins was killed while trying to lead friendly tanks against German pillboxes punishing the American flanks. There is no braver story in our history than the action of this one man on that
particular morning.

This is what Bush-Mullins's companion-'said of the men among whom he moved: "They lay there motionless and staring into space. They were so thoroughly shocked that they had no consciousness of
what went on, Many had forgotten they had firearms to use. Others who had lost their arms didn't seem to see that there were weapons lying all around them. Some could not hold a weapon after it was
forced into their hands. Others, when told to start cleaning a rifle, simply stared ,as if they had, never heard such an order before. . Their nerves were spent and nothing could be done about them.. The fire
continued to search for them, and if they were hit, they slumped lower into the sands and did not even can out for an aid man." Words almost identical with these were written by Captain Hoenig back
during the Franco-Prussian War. He had seen the rout of the Prussian 38 th Brigade on the field of Mars-la-Tour. It had lost fifty-three per cent of its strength in a few hours. He noted of the survivors that
their eyes stared but saw nothing, and if their ears heard they conveyed no message to the brain. He said of them: "I saw madness in these men, the madness that arises fre»n bodily exhaustion combined
with the most abject terror."

It is unfortunate that such scenes from war are rarely understood in their full significance. Among Soldiers, it is traditional to think of this condition of acute battlefield shock as occurring in a body of men
only after a terrible defeat, when all hope is fled. From such a super-

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ficial conclusion can be drawn no more profitable moral than that in war, as elsewhere, it is prudent always to be on the winning side.

Because there is much more than that to be learned, I turn back to my original notes on the operation, at Omaha Beachhead for values which received only passing notice in the official published account,
although that account was based on these same notes.

This one passage tells a small part of what happened to Company E of the 16 th Infantry, on the morning of June 6, 1944:

Altogether the company lost 105 men during the day.

But of that number, only one man was killed during the advance from the top of the beach inland. Most of the others were lost in the water. Many who were wounded on leaving the boats got only as far as
the edge of the sand. They collapsed there and were overtaken and drowned by the tide, which moved at the pace of a men in a slow walk. In attempting to save some of these men, others were knocked
down by enemy fire, and they too were drowned by the tide. The wounding of a man at the water's edge usually meant his death.

The company line, on leaving the boats, halted just beyond the water, and the men immediately dropped to the sand. Sergeants Fitzsimons, Ellis and Toth, among others, tried to rally the line and get it to
move forward.

They realized, they said, that they were in a death trap and that the only way to save the company was to get it across the beach.

And so the leaders shouted to the men. But on arising they found that they were stopped by their own physical weakness. The three sergeants said that after dragging themselves forward a few steps at a
time, they had to drop because their legs wouldn't support them. They said,

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also, that they and the others would probably have remained inert had not the tide kept moving behind them so that they had to advance to escape being drowned.

Fitzsimons saw two of his men-Privates Walch and Spencer drop onto the sand, and saw their bodies blown into the air again. They had been killed outright by dropping on mines. Such incidents did not
affect the, halting pace of the company. It continued to go forward at the speed of the tide until the high-water mark was reached. There for a time it halted.

Though the company lost more men to the water behind it than to the fire from in front, it required one hour to cross 250 yards of beach.

These facts were established at a company critique which included all surviving witnesses. What went into the record was read to the company for their free comment. It therefore comprises as accurate a
statement as is, within human means. Many of the men were seasoned veterans, already accustomed to the sights and sounds of combat. Without doubt, heavy shock, resulting from unusually hard initial
losses, was partly responsible for their semi-paralyzed advance.

And that is the point! Through research conducted during World War II, our medical service now knows more about the effects of battle shock, and somewhat more of the causes, than men have ever

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known before. But I would point out that this knowledge will never be, of general utility to the Army so long as it is considered a subject primarily of interest to the psychiatrists. What is requisite
is that the branches which deal with tactics become equally well informed about the root causes of shock-instead of remaining satisfied with the narrow view that it occurs in some men "because they don't
know how to take it." Only so can we apply preventive medi

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The heart of the lesson is that all men feel shock in battle in some degree. It will vary from man to man, according to the intensity of each man's fear. And from situation to situation, according to the
measure of success or failure felt by most of those directly concerned. But in one important respect, its consequences do not vary.

In the measure that the man is shocked nervously, and that fear comes uppermost, he becomes physically weak. His body is drained of muscular power and of mental coordination.

For these reasons, every extra pound he carries on his back reduces all of his tactical capabilities.

This being the case, we are moving only through the kindergarten of leadership when we speak of troops becoming "mentally pinned" by a low combat morale. That is, unless we are willing to accept the
other half of it-that they may also become "morally pinned" by the faulty logistics of their superiors.


IT IS ELEMENTARY that there can be no true economy of men's powers on the battlefield unless there is respect for the natural physical limitations of the average individual. But since it appears radical in
that it undercuts the traditional belief that by encouraging men to think brave thoughts we can stimulate them to endeavors they scarcely dream of, some further illustration is required. It is provided by the
experience of Company M, 116th Infantry, on the same day at Omaha Beachhead and in the same phase of the landing.

This company was an outstanding success. It started the day without heavy losses and with the unique ac-

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complishment of getting all of its living members and all their equipment across the beach. The word "unique" means exactly that. No other infantry company at Omaha did that well in this

By nightfall, Company M had completed the deepest advance within the regimental sector. That is the record, and the company needs no apologist. It can stand on what it did.

Company M's boat sections had expected to come ashore under cover of a rifle company. Had the plan worked out, they would have landed on an already-won portion of the beach. But that wasn't the way
it happened. The sections landed dry against a strip of coast still under control by the enemy and vigorously defended by fire from the heights. However, the sections were well collected when they
debarked on the sand; the small boats had brought them in pretty much in line.

That, too, was unique good fortune among the assault forces at Omaha. It reacted on Company M like a moral tonic, largely offsetting rhe shock that came from the unexpected tactical situation. The
company line paused very briefly at the water's edge--a pause not arising from indecision or need to rest the men. It was made so that the line could organize, and its members could look for routes
through the belt of obstacles ahead and study the beaten zones where machine-gun fire (there were six guns on them) was kicking up the sand beyond the belt of obstacles.

The company commander gave the order: "Carry everything to the shingle!" It was repeated from man to man. They started the advance with that intent and they made good.

Losing only a few men, Company M crossed the beach and gained the seawall. The manner of that advance is

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most interesting. They made it crawling. And it took them just ten minutes to get across the narrow beach.

It had taken Company E, 16 th Infantry, one hour, with the men walking only a few steps at a time.

The comparison is unfair because the moral, physical and tactical circumstances were totally unlike. But it is for the very reason that Company M, 116th , had a relatively successful experience in its first
combat engagement, and that it continued to be an exceptionally aggressive unit on until the close of the war, that what its members said of their first advance is like a star shell illuminating an otherwise
dark landscape.

Said Pfc. Hugo de Santis:

"We all knew we were carrying too much weight. It was pinning us down when the situation called for us to bound forward. The equipment had some of us whipped before we started. We would have either

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dropped it at the edge of the beach or remained there with it, if we had not been vigorously led."

Said Lieut. John S. Cooper:

A few of the men were so weak from fear that they found it physically impossible to carry much more than their own weight. So the stronger men took the double risk of returning and helping the weaker
men to move their stuff across the beach."

Said Serg. Bruce Heisley:

"We were all shaky and weak. I was that way though I had not been seasick during the ride in. In fact I didn't know my strength was gone until I hit the beach. I was carrying part of a machine gun.
Normally I could run with it. I wanted to do so now but I found I couldn't even walk with it. I could barely lift it. So I crawled across the sand dragging it with me. I felt ashamed of my Own weakness. But on
looking around, I saw the

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others crawling and dragging the weights which they normally carried."

Said S/Sgt. Thomas B. Turner:

"We were all surprised to find that we had suddenly I gone weak, and we were surprised to discover how much fire men can move through without getting hit. Under fire we learned what we had never
been told-that fear and fatigue are about the same in their effect on an advance."

These were typical of many such statements made by men in the assault forces at Omaha. They help to explain the spectacle of hundreds of infantrymen stranded along the edge of the sands while the
issue was being settled by a few relatively small bands, which continued on to the high ground. The day was won by a small minority of those present, rallied by a few highly inspired leaders, prominent
among them being Brig. Gen. "Dutch" Cota, who was already exploring the far side of the hill when his infantry companies came over the crest.

As for the men who couldn't get started, newspaper correspondents generously described them as "fighting grimly for a narrow strip of beach." By their own accounts, they were not "fighting grimly." They
were dead beat and their formations had become stagnant. The substance of their testimony was that they lacked the physical strength the situation required.


READING the tactical notes from Omaha Beach-head, some might say that they prove only that we had not sufficiently hardened our men for war. But to drop it there makes all exploration of the case

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since these troops were as well trained and conditioned as American troops are ever likely to be in the future. Also, as I have previously pointed out, training has it limits: it can never condition men to
the accomplishment of battle tasks which are in excess of their natural physical capacities.

The real lesson is the one so clearly put by Staff Sergeant Turner: "Fear and fatigue are the same in their effect on an advance." Nothing need be added to that and nothing taken away.

It is an objective statement of one of the most elementary truths of battle. Yet that truth has remained buried for centuries and it remained for an American enlisted man at Omaha Beach to say it for the
first time in unequivocal language.

Whether you measure the matter by the standards of tactics or medicine, the result will be as stated. Fear and fatigue produce an immediate effect which appears to be identical. The man, whether tired or
frightened, suffers a loss of muscular function and has a pervading feeling

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of physical weakness. The reduction of function as the consequence of fear is hence effectively the same as from physical fatigue. These facts, which were to be learned by observation of the forces of the
battlefield, have more recently been confirmed in the laboratory. It can be shown that where there is chronic stress from fear over a considerable period, the physiological changes are comparable to those
of fatigue. There is excessive action of the adrenal medulla and changes in the blood stream and muscle.

During the Central Pacific campaigns, two major generals, Archibald V. Arnold and Ralph C. Smith, were impressed by the phenomenon that if a skirmish line was halted two or three times during an
attack by sudden enemy fire, it became impossible to get any further action from the men, even though none had been hurt. They asked me to determine why. The explanation, though not sensed
clearly at the time, was that the attacking companies were being drained of their muscle power by the repeated impact of sudden fear. The store of glycogen in the muscles of the men was being
burned up from this cause just as surely, though less efficiently, than if they were exhausting themselves in digging a line of entrenchments.

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SIDEBAR: LTG Gavin Creates the Way to Keeping Infantry Attacks Moving: the M113 Armored Personnel Carrrier


No appeal to spiritual forces can reverse these processes except in the measure that the appeal contributes to the relief of fear. It is as vain to believe otherwise as to think that mortals can be trained to
remain absolutely unafraid in the face of death. In battle, whatever wears out the muscles reacts on the mind and whatever impairs the mind drains physical strength.

Tired men take fright more easily.

Frightened men swiftly tire.

The arrest of fear is as essential to the recovery of

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physical vigor by men as is rest to the body which has been spent by hard marching or hard work.

We are therefore dealing with a chain reaction. Half of control during battle comes of the commander's avoiding useless expenditure of the physical resources of his men while taking action to break the
hold of fear. The other half of it comes from sensible preparation beforehand. .

When a man is tossed into combat carrying such weight that his shoulders ache and his knees shake, he has lost his main chance to conquer quickly his early fear, usually his worst. Through losing it, the
probability is lessened that he wiII make a satisfactory early adjustment and become an efficient firer, and the chance is increased that he wiII become either a mental casualty or a combat goldbrick. From
faulty appreciation of the logistical limits of the human carrier come the loss of tactical opportunity and the wastage of good manpower, since it is self-evident that nothing contributes more
to the growth of lasting confidence in the Soldier than having a successful experience his first time out in battle.


BATTLE SHOCK, resulting from an excessive load on the Soldier, is a far greater danger during summer operations than in normal winter operations when the cold is not intense enough to slow the
muscle and chill the bone.

As a man becomes dehydrated during summer fighting, his courage flows out through his pores, along with his muscular strength. He loses his wiII to fight or to take constructive action. And the worst part

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of it is that

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he is not likely to understand that his sudden loss of will power and courage is because his physical strength has been sapped and that it may be within his power to check it.

Reduced to this condition, the Soldier fails to dig a foxhole, even though he knows that he is in danger. The officer fails to properly inspect his position. Troops fail to reconnoiter the
immediate area of their bivouac. Commanders hesitate to give orders and defer important decisions. This is not because the voices of conscience and reason don't tell them they are doing
wrong, but because they lack the will to respond. In this state of slackness, the attitude of men becomes one of general indifference to the possible consequences of inaction.

Through such tests as Task Force Frigid, we have begun to survey the effects of excessively low temperatures upon the tactical efficiency of the average individual. But it has been known for fifty years that
the Soldier's muscle power is seriously impaired by hot weather. Near the close of the nineteenth century, tests were conducted by the "Institute William Frederick" in Germany to measure the effect on
Soldiers carrying various loads under varying conditions of temperature.

It was found that if the weather was brisk, a load of forty-eight pounds could be carried on a 15-mile march by seasoned men of military physique. But in warm weather the same load caused an
impairment of physical powers and the man did not return to a normal state until some time during the day following the march.

When the load was increased to sixty-nine pounds, even when the weather was cool, the man showed pronounced distress. Furthermore, no amount of practice marching with this load made any
change in the man's reactions. He continued always to show distress in about

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the same amount. The conclusion was therefore drawn that it is impossible to condition the average Soldier to marching with this much weight no matter how much training he is given-a finding
which flatly refutes the traditional view that a weight of about sixty-five pounds is a fair and proper load for a Soldier.

During warm weather, under a load of sixty pounds, the man under test began to show physical distress almost immediately, and the loss of physical power, from marching with that weight, was measurable
for several days afterward. This means in effect that even if a man could go into battle with no more nerves than a robot, the carrying of sixty pounds into a prolonged engagement would result
ultimately in physical breakdown.

From the physical findings alone, the Institute concluded that forty-eight pounds per man was the absolute limit under the stress and fatigue of the combat field.

The William Frederick studies, in common with all other scientific inquiries into the physical effects of overloading, had the curious blind spot directing almost no attention to the fact that physical breakdown
is accompanied in ratio by a decline in the mental and moral powers of men. Yet this is of extreme importance operationally, since it means that when mobility is lost because of physically exhausted
troops, defensive protection is lost with it.

That is particularly the case during operations in excessive temperatures. Postwar exercises have shown us that men have zero mobility, and hence zero fighting power when the weather gets fifty degrees
below zero. In hot-weather operations, dehydration is as great a danger to the Soldier. It drains his whole physiological mechanism. When the all-important body salts are reduced to subnormal levels, the
loss reacts directly on the

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nerve system and the brain. An otherwise courageous man may be turned into a creature incapable of making positive decisions or of contending against his own fears.

He is defeated by his own sweat. Anyone who has suffered a slight case of heat prostration can attest to the feeling of helplessness which attends the victim. It becomes almost impossible to string words
together coherently or to force one's self to take the simplest action.

I do not doubt that there has been many a case of apparent cowardice on the battlefield, wherein it was adjudged that the offense called for a firing squad, when what was really needed were a few salt

And if salt can be replaced, why not the other vital elements in body chemistry?

It would seem possible and practical that research could be directed toward the development of substances which might quickly correct the physiological changes from prolonged fear reaction.

Looking at tactics through the eyes of the physician, , Col. Albert P. Clark, Medical Corps, said in 1941: "If I had the opportunity to select personally 5,000 men from the 48,000 in this area, and feed them a
specially prepared diet which included increased vitamin and mineral content, I would have a small army of unbeatable men within six months. They would be men who would fight with rocks and their bare
fists if they lost their weapons." It is a challenging idea-that by better diet control we can build men up physically until they become relatively fear-proof. But if there is substance to it, then it becomes not
too wild a dream to expect that a "fear pill'" may give a Soldier increased mobility in the future-something which while not wholly eliminating fear, will slow down its wearing effect on the muscles.

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AS WITH any other problem in war, it is easier to state the factors than to outline the general means of correction. But at least several primary steps are indicated.

For one, it is necessary for the modern army to break away from the stubborn idea, dating from the Medes and the Persians, that what a Soldier can carry on a hard road march during training is
a fair measure of the load that he can manage efficiently when under fire. It simply isn't so. Once the fighting begins, we are dealing with a different man.

For another, it is necessary that we clear our thinking about what extra weight on the average man's back does to the forces of the battlefield. Von Moltke, that generous fellow who put 200 rounds of
ammunition aboard the Soldier, once remarked that, "An army which marches light will maneuver freely." It is a thought worthy of a

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schoolboy. While true enough, it is still nowhere near enough. If extra weight on the man had only the effect of hampering freedom of movement, we could afford it.

Its real curse on tactics is that it kills fire right at the fire base. It wastes Soldiers who might otherwise be good fighting men. It kills men because it cheats the man of his best means of defense.

The third step is to set up in peacetime a system of absolute control which will make it impossible for any staff, once the firing begins to override common sense simply because it has
overstrained its imagination.

That means training for weight-carrying, but arming for fleetness of foot.

It means having the courage to believe that the Soldier with only five clips in his pocket but spring in his gait is tenfold stronger than the man who is foundered under the weight of ammunition he will never

It means schooling the Soldier until he believes that a toughened back and strong legs will give him his main chance for survival, but at the same time schooling the command and staff to treat those firm
muscles as the Army's most precious combat assets.

There may be an objection that this is easy to say but hard to do. The tremendous increase jn the weight of material carried by the Soldier over any earlier period is a much marked aspect of warfare
today. So why speak of lightening the burden of the Soldier when the tonnage figures rise higher even while you look at them?

The answer is that this has relatively little to do with the problem. We need only take one look at the over-all figures to make it immediately clear that the combat Soldier can carry only a few of the things
he needs to sustain him day after day. Actually the over-all increase in the weight of war has less to do with the overburdening of

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the combat Soldier than a general indifference toward his problem and the failure to afford him additional relief.

The records of the Makin operation, a part of the expedition into the Gilbert Islands in November 1943, have at least one unique entry. So far as I know, it was the only operation by American forces in
World War II which was weighed out to the last pound, and is therefore the only source of a basic logistical figure for one man in combat.

Everything which was carried on the APAs for the immediate use of the battalion landing teams [BLTs], as well as the combat tonnage in the auxiliary craft, the replacement items and thirty days of
maintenance for all services, was tabulated and computed. The total figures were then divided by the number of effectives.

The first set of figures covered materiel aboard the ships carrying the landing teams. It included individual and organizational equipment, organic weapons and vehicles, five units of fire for all weapons, C
and K rations for twelve days, medical supplies for ten days, seven days of gasoline per vehicle on board, and five gallons of water for each man.

When this cargo, all of which was needed to get the BLTs into combat on a reasonable minimum basis, was weighed out, it averaged 523 pounds per man.

On the supply ships were B rations for twenty-four days, five gallons of water per man, thirty days of medical, engineering, quartermaster and signal supply, fifteen days of gasoline per vehicle in the BLTs,
and thirty days of fuel supply for the LVTs, bulldozers and tractors.

When this was added to the base load and averaged, the figure became 1,850 pounds per man.

The expedition was a little light on LVT Alligators and had

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only a few DUKWs. But its strength in armor was greater than that which normally supports an infantry regiment-one battalion had been added. When these weights-the tanks and amphibian craft-were
added to the earlier totals and averaged, the expedition weighed 1,921.99 pounds per man.

Roughly then we can say that it takes one ton of materiel to see one man through a thirty-day campaign. That is considerably less than the usual off-hand estimate.

But it is still such a weighty package that it is evident that what a man is required to carry into battle is not regulated by the necessity for relieving other types of carrier. Jeeps, weasels and alligators, are
landing right' with him, ready to do the heavy work. The fighting man could not even leave the boat or cross the line of departure if he had to carry everything needed to sustain him for one day of

It is this distinction which makes all of the difference between the problem of the modern army and that of the Roman Legion, or for that matter, of the army that fought at San Juan Hill.

In our times, armies have mastered the problem of developing transport which directly feeds the line of fire.

There are instances without number from World War II of jeeps carrying ammunition to men who were under fire at ranges of less than 200 yards, and of Weasels and half-tracks carrying supplies up to the

Probably in the future we will bring forth an even better jeep, with stronger traction and a lower silhouette.


We will also improve the design of our amphibian craft, so that they are sturdier, more fire resistant and possessed of better road qualities.


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But it is less important that we make technical improvements in our combat vehicles than that we commit

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them to the primary task of putting better legs under the Soldier.

None but a lazy mind would be content with the excuse that it is pointless to try to find an accurate answer for the load problem since troops always make such adjustments as are necessary to survival,
once they are committed to combat. That means firstly that we are content to put up with inordinate wastes in our military system. It means secondly that if the dictates of hard circumstances ever compel
us to resort to a sterner discipline among our troops in time of war, simply to save the nation, without having meanwhile set new standards of efficiency in the conservation of our material resources and
human energy, one part of what we are doing will be hopelessly at odds with the rest of it.

Down through the ages, human nature, as it is to he understood under the stress of war, has changed very little. The pages of history, century by century, reveal examples of military forces which were led

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with such consummate boldness combined with blindness, that the ranks were compelled to destroy their reserve of physical strength, in the name of maintaining discipline. Under the threat and example of
extreme punishment, even while moving in the face of the enemy, men will continue to stagger under loads which are altogether destructive of their fighting powers.

In January, 1809, when the British Light Division began its terrible retreat to Corunna, Rifleman Harris was attached in person to the commander, Major i General Robert Craufurd. Nearly all that he wrote
about that unusually impetuous Soldier bespoke his respect and admiration. He said outright that the column survived its ordeal only because Craufurd held it together with a firm rein, and he described in
great detail how squares were formed and men were flogged publicly for small acts of insubordination, even while the force was in contact with the enemy rifle line. But quite unconsciously, he gave witness
to Craufurd's own indiscipline, and its effect on the wasting of the column, in this revealing' passage:

"Our knapsacks were a bitter enemy in this prolonged march. Many a man died, I am convinced, who would have borne up well to the end of the retreat, but for the infernal load we carried on our" backs.
My own knapsack was my bitterest enemy. I felt it press me almost to the earth at times, and more than once felt that I should die under its deadly embrace. The knapsacks, in my opinion, j should have
been abandoned at the very commencement of the retrograde movement. It would have been better to have lost them altogether, if by such

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loss we could have saved the poor fellows who died strapped to them on the road."


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IN War as I Knew It, Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., wrote: "No Soldier should be compelled to walk until he actually enters battle. [From that point forward he should] carry nothing but what he wears, his
ammunition, his rations and his toilet articles. [When the battle is concluded] he should get new uniforms, new everything." These are perfectly practical rules. The only amendment that might strengthen
them would be to add that rations and ammunition should be specified only in the amounts which reason and experience tell us the Soldier is likely to expend in one day. Beyond that, everything should
be committed to first line transport. This includes entrenching tools since twenty heavy and sharp-edged

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spades will give better protection any day to an entire company than 200 of the play shovels carried by Soldiers. If we are dealing with mountain operations or any special situation where first-line transport
will have difficulty getting through it is wiser to assign part of the troops, temporarily to special duty as bearers and carriers, excusing them from fire responsibilities.

If we are ever to have a wholly mobile army-mobile, afoot as well as when motorized on the road-the fighting Soldier should be expected to carry only the minimum of weapons and supplies which will give
him personal protection and enable him to advance against the enemy in the immediate situation. He should not be loaded for tomorrow or the day after. He should not be "given an axe in case he may
have to break down a door." I' It is better to take the chance that Soldiers will sleep cold for a night or two than to risk that they will become exhausted in battle from carrying too heavy a blanket load. It is
wiser to teach them to conserve food, how to live off the countryside, and the importance of equalizing the use of captured enemy stores than it is to take the chance of encumbering them with an
overload of rations. It is sounder to teach them to worry less about personal hygiene and appearance during the hours in which they are fighting for their lives than to weight them down with extra changes
of clothing. It is more prudent to keep them light and thereby assist them to maintain juncture than to overload them with munitions and weapons in anticipation of the dire 1 situations which might develop,
should juncture be broken. Most of our trouble arises from mistaken estimates of

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the minimum need. In training, we are overindulgent of the American Soldier, and when we get ready to mount an operation, we are over-fearful of what may happen to him. The result is that the very
measures which are intended to effect an economy of men's powers help to destroy them By continually taking counsel of our fears, we in fact transfer those fears to the brain of the frontline fighter with
every unnecessary pound which we load on his back.

Since in any great war of the future we will have to travel faster and farther than we have ever gone before, it is a good question whether the standard of individual mobility set by our troops during World
War II will suffice, if we are to be victorious.

The possibilities of the kind of competition we may meet were outlined by Lieut. Gen. Sir Giffard Martel, who was chief of the British Military Mission to Russia during the most critical period of the late war.

He wrote: "The rank and file [of the Red Army] were magnificent from a physical point of view. Much of the equipment which we carry on vehicles accompanying the infantry are carried on the man's back in
Russia. The Russians seem capable of carrying these great loads. They are exceptionally tough.

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Many of them arrived on September 6 and slept on the ground. It was bitterly cold and a little snow had fallen. The men had no blankets. But when we saw them on September 7 they were getting up and
shaking themselves and seemed in good heart. Not a word was said about the cold. Two meals a day seemed to suffice for these troops." This was the discipline to which Russian Soldiers were being
submitted during a training maneuver.

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There is other abundant testimony as to how this extraordinary physical vigor and ability to endure against adverse climate which is to be found in the average Russian individual redounds to the strength of
tactical forces. I have dealt with many German generals who commanded on the Eastern Front.

They said, as did Martel, that the Russian seems to be inured to unusual cold, just as he seems conditioned by nature to living with the forest, and using it in all possible ways to advance his own
fighting and baffle his enemies. One of these generals told I of surrounding a Russian regiment along the Volkhov in the 1941 winter campaign. The Russians were in a small forest. The Germans decided
to starve them out. After 10 days, German patrols found that the enemy resistance had in no wise lessened. Another week passed; a few prisoners had been taken but the, majority of the entrapped
regiment had succeeded in breaking through the German lines in small groups.

The prisoners said that during these weeks the encircled force had subsisted on a few loaves of frozen bread, leaves and pine needles. The weather was 35 degrees below zero. According to the prisoners,
the junior leaders had never even raised the point that this cold and hunger were a sufficient reason for surrender.


GENERAL Eisenhower wrote of his own feeling of shock on hearing Marshal Zhukov say that the Russians did not bother to clear minefields; they marched their infantry across the mined area and took
their losses.

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In 1943, southeast of Kremenchug, the Germans were holding a bridgehead in such strength that they felt certain of holding against the attack which they expected the Russians to loose the following

But by night the enemy fanned out over their rear area and collected hundreds of their own civilians herding them forward at rifle point. When the attack began, this mass was driven forward as a cushion to
absorb the German fire. As they were mowed down, the Russian infantry rolled over them and into the bridgehead.

Said Colonel Joachim Peiper, who had fought through three years on the Eastern Front: "On defense the Russian surpasses any Soldier I know.

Excellent choice of ground, unimaginable diggings combined with good camouflage and unusual depth in the fighting zone are among his characteristics.

Every infantryman carries anti-tank grenades. Snipers are effective up to 800 yards. The infantrymen are tough, persistent and given to weight carrying. In a retreat, they will hand-carry their dead to
obscure casualty figures." Peiper recounted how during the 1941-42 winter, the Russian command published an order decreeing death by the firing squad for any Soldier so careless that he allowed himself
to become frostbitten. Some men suffered this misfortune but were afraid to report it. The Germans came across them in the lines with their hands completely frozen. They were bundled in anything they
could get to keep warmth in their bodies. A nail sticking out between the fingers of

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the right hand enabled them to work the rifle trigger.

The Eisenhower story about the Russian mine-clearing method is topped by Peiper's account of how the Reds dropped sabotage crews behind the German lines during this same winter.

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They were flown over in old double-wing planes. While the planes glided ten feet or so above the snow the troops were pushed from them without anything to cushion the shock.

The greater number were cracked-up and subsequently died of freezing. The survivors carried out the order.

This came from another witness, General Hasso Eccard Manteuffel, who later commanded the Fifth Panzer Army on the Western Front. "Their advance is unlike anything ever seen in operations between
western armies. The Soldier carries a sack on his back with dry crusts and raw vegetables collected on the march. The horses forage where they can. You can't stop them like an ordinary army by cutting
their communications, for you rarely find any supply columns to strike." Maybe that is somewhat of an exaggeration. No doubt the Russian mode of warfare ate on Manteuffel's nerves, just as it did on those
of every other orthodox Soldier who faced the Red Army for very long. But there is no doubt whatever that operating on a minimum subsistence level is one of the prime factors in Soviet military
strength. As in Stonewall Jackson's corps, cooking equipment is of the simplest sort. One large kettle will take care of the needs of 150 men-thick soup for breakfast and a heavy meat stew for supper with
rice and barley. The ration of

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two pounds of black bread per day which the Soldier carries on his back is cooked right at the front in portable ovens. Wherever troops move, they forage, and rations are reduced according to foraging
possibilities. As witness, we have this revealing statement by M. F. Kerner, who served as Quartermaster General of the Czech Corps in the Red Army: "When the Corps was advancing in August, 1944,
there was allocated to it as its September ration some hundreds of acres of standing wheat. This wheat had to be harvested and milled by the local population." As startling as are these World War II
flashbacks of an Army operating as an armed horde, a far more arresting piece of information comes from yet another witness. Brig. Gen. James C. Crockett was United States attache' for intelligence in
Moscow for four years, beginning in 1944. He returned to this country in 1948.

Said Crockett: "The doctrine of the new Russian Army is to get weight off the back of the combat Soldier and put it on transport-any kind of transport that will carry it, even a donkey cart.

This is a main change in operational theory since 1945. The pack-the total weight of it, including all clothing but the great sheep-lined coat-has been reduced to 40 pounds.

When I left Moscow all field exercises were being conducted under this weight. It appears to be the Russian intention to aim at this same maximum for combat."

Though the horde army seems to have learned the hard way, at least it learned.



THE A VERAGE STAFF solution for the problem is to play it safe and load the Soldier with everything he could possibly need.

When you ask a high commander why we haven't found a better way, the only answer you commonly hear is that no real harm is done because, when the battle crisis comes, the Soldier will use his
common sense and discard those items he doesn't immediately need.

I hold that this idea is fallacious and as a basis for staff procedure it can be shown that it is directly counter to the interests of the Army. The absence of reasonable and resolute standards, established
during time of peace, means that our untried troops will have to start every war and every operation overloaded with unnecessary items of gear. They will pay an unnecessary price while they learn through
trial-and-error what it takes to survive on the field of combat.

Even in peace, it is the unremitting obligation of the Army to look toward the possibility of war; in so doing, no goal can be more worthy than to strive to give the combat soldier the finest starting chance.

There may be room for difference of opinion about strategy but there should be none about what should be loaded on a Soldier's back. It should not be necessary to probe from the mistakes of a North

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Africa landing in order to do a little better when going into Sicily. A first battle well conducted, of which it can be observed that the lives of men were given ever sensible safeguard consistent with the
tactical problem. is the certain threshold to continuing fortune. But neither a first nor a last battle will be well conducted if its fundamental planning is

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based upon a false evaluation of the human element. Surely that consideration is uppermost, or should be so, in our whole effort to mould character by means of military training. The more we pound the
ideal of duty idtO men, the less becomes the chance that they will turn intensely practical the moment that danger threatens.

This is particularly true of the (zrst qattle and of the earnest young Soldier who has learntld the rules but not the ways of an army, and who has visions of being stood before a court if he throws away his
pup tent pins. The abandonment of his equipment, or any part thereof, under the pressure of fear must seem to him a flight from duty. For the time being, it is more likely to be the final step in his
demoralization than the initial step toward his moral recovery.

Above all, battle is a test of manhood. When the mind becomes flooded with a fatal doubt of one's ability to do man's work, the doors are opened wide to personal failure. Disregard of this rather elementary
fact was the cause of many of our combat fatigue cases.

The veteran Soldier, on the other hand, becomes a realist after one of two baths of fire. He learns what isn't needed and he is no longer afraid to throw it away. He becomes willing to forage after, and carry
along, those items of supply and fighting gear which are not provided by the tables, but which battle has proved to be highly useful to the unit's welfare and his personal progress. It didn't take the majority
of troops more than twenty-four hours after landing on Normandy to overrule the high command's ideas of the need for gas protective equipment. It didn't take the average man long to discover that the
issue trench knife had less practical value than a common sheath knife. The average young officer quickly learned that it was smart to throwaway the

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abominable issue musette bag and substitute the easier riding light pack. In the school of combat operations, the first great lesson is that the primary duty is to keep going and that one's conduct and
conscience must be squared by this rule.

But there are definite limits to the, realism even of the combat veteran. Being human, he is by nature acquisitive. He hoards his possessions and he is most loath to throwaway anything which he personally
prizes, whether it be a weapon for which he has a sentimental fondness (such as a Luger pistol or Samurai sword) or an undersize sweater knitted by loving hands at home. Looting is a word not unknown
in our Army. Though we still observe an official silence toward it, it is a tactical fact with which to reckon. Some commanders during World War II tended to systematize it, rather than ignore it, and so made
it an incentive to troops.

There may be good moral grounds for doubting that it is possible thus to convert vice into virtue. But scruples aside, one had only to watch some of our regiments on the march to realize that if we are going
to keep soldiers light on their feet in the future, we will have a hard choice to make. Either we will have to take absolute measures - against looting, or else supply the Army with a moving conveyor belt
which will carry this junk to the rear and post it on its way to the hallowed hearth of the American home.

Otherwise, what is likely to happen is best illustrated by the classic tale of Sergeant Bourgoyne, a member of Napoleon's army at Moscow.

When the army quit Moscow on October 19, 1812, Bourgoyne hefted his pack and decided that it was too heavy. So he examined its contents to see what he could discard. According to his Memoirs, he
found "some

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pounds of sugar, some rice, some biscuits, a partly full bottle of liquor, a woman's Chinese dress embroidered in gold and silver, a bit of the cross of Ivan the Great, my own uniform, a woman's large riding
cloak hazel-colored and lined with green velvet, two silver pictures in relief, one representing the judgment of Paris on Mount Ida and the other showing Neptune on a chariot, several Jockets, and a
Russian prince's spittoon set with brilliants." But having found the pack too heavy, Bourgoyne could not get out of his mind the visions of the lovely women in Paris who might be seduced by some of these
objects. So he did not lighten the pack. He went on his way for another month carrying his treasures. Then at the Battle of Krasnoe he lost everything, including his sixteen rounds of ammunition which he
had been unable to fire because the weight of the prince's jewelled spittoon, and the other loot, had made him less than half a man.

There is something of Bourgoyne in the spirit of every Soldier. Maybe some of us have less appetite for plunder.

But in most of us there is the same reluctance to eschew pride of possession in the face of danger. We are rarely willing to strip down to the minimum military and personal essentials-which we must do if
we are to fight and survive.

Under conditions of far greater stress, Maj. Robert K. Whiteley, Medical Corps, noted this trait in human nature as he witnessed the organization of the "Death March" from Mariveles to Camp O'Donnell in
the Philippines on April 10, 1942.

There was virtually no leadership in the camp and each man had to think things out for himself. Most of the men were extremely weak from malaria and dysen-

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tery. They were told at the start that the march would be about 120 miles, and they were warned that those who fell out would be killed on the spot.

Said Whiteley: "I was surprised at the inability of average men to weigh the relative importance of things and discard every object which meant increased danger. Many started out carrying extra blankets,
shirts, drawers and extra shoes. Some carried sewing kits, mirrors, framed pictures, clocks, flashlights and cameras. These weights put many of them in the ditch. They paid, for the mistake with their lives."
They were not the first Soldiers to do this; nor, I fear, will they be the last. In war, every march toward the enemy has essentially the same nature as the event witnessed by Whiteley, and every advance
toward the enemy engages the same possible forfeit. The main chance for life and for successful action comes when that simple fact is recognized by the Soldier and his superiors.


AFTER STUDYING this problem until it had digested nearly everything that history had to say about it, the British Commission which wrote The Load Carried by the Soldier, finally tossed in the sponge and
failed to make any specific recommendations. It concluded with these words: "Everyone agrees that equipment must be lightened. But when it comes to saying what equipment can be dispensed with, there
is endless variety of opinion. Aye, there's the rub." I simply dissent from any such fatal finding as this because I am convinced that the solution is already pointed up in the eminently practical terms of the
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us by all means get at "the rub." There are several fundamental factors that argue for the elimination of excess equipment.

Point No.1: There are the studies made by the Germans, British and others showing that the optimum marching load for the average man is not more than one-third of body weight.

Point No.2: There are the proofs offered in this study (in which I fed the majority of combat men will concur) that men always experience a loss of muscular strength when moving against fire, and that they
will therefore suffer a serious and unnecessary tactical impairment unless they go into battle packing less weight than they were conditioned to march with in training. If there is any lingering doubt that this
loss of muscular strength is actual and acute let us think once more on our own combat experience; how much less exhausting it was to march away from the front than toward it, though there Was no
difference in the load!

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Point No. 3: We have seen that we invariably carry more food, more munitions, more everything into combat than there is any reason to believe we will use.

These three points suggest a formula which is well within our reach, and without engaging in elaborate research on how to lighten the various items of issue.

We can get at it this way: According to the Quartermaster Corps, the average American soldier is 5 feet 8.3 inches tall, and weighs 153.6 pounds. This means that at one-third of body weight, his optimum
load for marching during the training period (including the clothing he wears) is slightly more than fifty-one pounds.

If that load were increased to fifty-five pounds during training marches, he probably wouldn't be hurt. But on the other hand, it would contribute nothing toward toughening him physically. Furthermore, it is
possible to keep within fifty-one pounds and still permit him to carry his combat essentials as well as two blankets and a raincoat. So there is no material justi6cation for raising the load above that level
during training.

But it is still necessary to work toward a lighter requirement for combat. Therefore, I have arbitrarily decided that the maximum combat load for the individual should never be more than four-fifths of the
optimum trailing load. This eighty per cent 6gure has not been proved by any scientific fatigue tests; such tests would prove nothing because they could not simulate the conditions of combat. I grant that
there are many men who would be able to carry more than that. Also, it would undoubtedly turn out that as men became experienced in combat and less susceptible to its nerve-shattering effects, they
would become better conditioned to the carrying of heavier weights when it was required by a field emergency.

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I arrived at the eighty per cent formula because it is within the area of the practical, and equally, because I feel strongly that the establishment of a maximum weight limit rule for combat and the steady
adherence to it is far more important than any scientific debate about a few pounds more or less.

The optimum figure indicated for the working combat load is therefore forty to forty-one pounds per individual.

We can do it, as is shown by the following table of weights. Though we had many variations of combat dress in World War II, according to the climate, the present field uniform strikes a good general
average insofar as weight is concerned.


Undershirt, drawers, socks....0.62

Shirt, flannel ...........1.13

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Trousers, wool.......... 1.69

Jacket, wool.. . . . . 3.02

Cap, 6eld ............................ 0.25

Boots, combat.........4.13

Belt, waist........0.19

Total for the field uniform. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.03

Belt, cartridge 2/48 Rds M-1 ammunition. . . . . .. 2.29

Canteen w/cover and cup, . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2.69

First-aid packet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 0.40

Helmet w/liner ...,......................2.82

Rifle M-1 w/o bayonet, w/sling . . . . . . 10.30

Two (2) Grenades (Fragmentation) .......... 2.62

Light pack w/one (1) K Ration and mess gear.. 7.79


Haversack and carrier. . . . . . . . .. 2.46

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Toilet articles . . . . . . . . .. 0.92

Change of underwear. .. . . . . .. 0.43

Two (2) pairs of socks. . . . . .. 0.38

One (1) K Ration. .. . . . . . .. 2.31

Mess gear. . . . . .. . . . . .. 1.29

Total, field uniform and battle equipment.....39.94

On that figure, I am prepared to stand. One blanket, woolen, OD, would add another four pounds; one raincoat, another three pounds. During initial combat in hot weather, it is better to take a chance
without them than to put that much extra weight on men just as they are about to undergo fire for the first time.

I well recognize that the suggested changes are much easier said than accomplished. To say what the Soldier should carry in battle to be able to fight and to remain mobile is the work of but a few
minutes. But to weigh what has to be done by the Army to make possible such a reform requires consideration of almost every aspect of the Army's policy, including its training doctrine, its procurement
program and its budget.


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Certainly the reform could not be accomplished without a considerable increase in organic motor transport within the tactical unit. And though as a nation we have become motorized to the point
where we have almost forgotten how to use our legs for walking, we have frequently deprived the Army of needed vehicles. And even when the door was wide open, the Army sometimes shorted itself. In
the European Theater during World War II, there was hardly enough motor transport to go around. Sometimes, to remain mobile, we had to imitate Gallieni, and commandeer French taxicabs.

When any great emergency threatened, as during the Ardennes operation, the rear area communications system had to be drained of every available truck in order to get

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our front-line elements moved to the decisive area in time. We were as short of a motor power reserve as we were of an infantry reserve.

But while there may be a ceiling on our ability to provide more motorization, we should remember that an increase of organic transportation does not mean, necessarily, an over-all increase for the general
Army establishment. We can get greater work out of smaller forces when all men who fight are administered on a basis of absolute logistical efficiency. I repeat that 5,000 resolute and physically conditioned
men will hit twice as hard and therefore travel twice as far when they are sent into battle with a reasonable working load as 15,000 men, the majority of whom have been whipped before crossing the
starting line by the weight they are carrying. It is necessary to believe that absolutely. We cannot afford any more spectacles like Omaha Beachhead where we prevailed only because of the superhuman
valor of a relatively few men.

Whenever great masses of troops become demoralized, it is twice as difficult for the bravest among the brave to become self-starters. We should not have to depend on the mathematical possibility that a
few extra-hardy individuals will always be present, and will enable us to avoid tactical stagnation. To do so is to ask too much of the law of averages.


IN CLOSING I would say that we need mobility most of all on the battlefield. Swift and agile movement, rapidity and assurance of thought are the true essentials.

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To get it, we must encourage every means of producing stronger and more accurate fire. Fire is the stuff that wins and there is no substitute for it.

We will not have swift and agile movement, rapidity and assurance of thought-nor even stronger and accurate fire-as long as we cling to the superstition that under danger men can be expected to have
more than their normal powers and that they will outdo their best efforts simply because their lives are at stake. This form of ignorance leads only to needless brutality to our own combat troops-the men we
can least afford to hurt.

To attain the desired end each of us should recall to our minds the American Soldier as we have seen him at his best on the battlefield: on the fields of Brittany in the heat of summer, his sleeves rolled to
the elbow, his shirt front open and his collar rolled in, responding to the primitive urge to strip to the limit because there is a fight ahead; on the atolls of the Pacific, frequently bare to the waist and with his
duty belt almost empty, although the enemy was only a hundred or so yards away; in the Argonne Forest, thirty years ago, throwing his pack and overcoat away despite the wintry cold, because the order
was to go forward and he had learned to travel light.

Our Army was not assured mobility by the development of mechanization and motorization, though many of us mistakenly think so when we point to such achievements in the last war as the campaign of
Western Germany where we put full armies over 600 miles of road in thirty days.

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That was a phenomenal campaign, and I would not minimize it by pointing out that battles are not won on the road unless one is fighting an unequal opponent.

Imperfect though it was in some particulars, the Army of the United States in World War II was still the most

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skillfully fashioned military mechanism of all time; it was more than good enough to merit the continuing confidence of our people. It demonstrated a degree of strategic mobility never before known in
military forces. It mastered the mechanics of its trade.

But the significance of the achievement should not be exaggerated. We must learn to do as well with men as we have with machines. Up to the zone where men come under fire, ninety per cent of the
problem of movement can be solved with the horsepower of our machines. From that line forward, ninety per cent of success depends on wi1l power. The development of tactical mobility is almost wholly in
the realm of the human spirit, since battle remains the freest of all free enterprises. Inwardly the fighting man has not greatly changed since the time of the Greeks and Romans. Whether he moves forward
or hesitates in the moment when his life is at stake is almost wholly dependent on how wen he has been led.

Superior movement on the battlefield is the result of good leadership. The ability to command the loyalties of your men, to learn to think rapidly and resolutely in their behalf while teaching them to do
likewise, and to strive always to avoid wasting their force and, energy so that it may be applied in strength at the vital time and place -that is leadership of the highest possible caliber.

It is difficult for us to nourish this ancient truth while living in a machine civilization. It becomes very easy for us to play with the idea that we can build superior military power out of superlatively good
industrial power.

But if we continue to slight the importance of the human element, that becomes no more possible than it

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was in the days of the handloom and spinning wheel.

The real stuff of fighting mobility is not to be found in the troop carrier, the airplane and the tank. It remains where it has ever been-in the heart, muscle and brain of the average Soldier.

The most perfect tank, airplane or self-propelled gun ever built has no mobile characteristics or offensive power on the battlefield until it comes under the control of a willing man. And willing men do not
arise automatically simply because a nation has learned how to produce more efficient machinery.

The best brains of our scientists and engineers cannot alter these simple facts. Our production lines can turn out materiel until he won't have it, and it still will not have solved the age-old mystery. Mobility
in war will remain in man, in his fundamental loyalty, in the vision and intelligence which enable him to see opportunity and in the sense of duty which compels him to grasp it quickly and efficiently.


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In the first great battle of the modern age of mobility Cambrai in 1917-the British missed their cast for a great victory largely because of the overloading of the Soldier.

When the order came to advance, the British tanks churned forward and cracked the German position. The infantry followed. But after four or five miles, the men collapsed from utter
exhaustion, and the gap between infantry and armor could not be dosed in time to keep the enemy from reorganizing.

The last great battle of the age can be lost in the same way unless there is due regard for the lesson.

Part II


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As to mobility and the relation of the military transport system to it, all concerned with the logistical problem in the European Theater would agree, I believe, that we never had too much power or tonnage
capacity of vehicles from front to rear.

In the early period before the French railroads were ~ running, later during the Ardennes defensive, and later again in the advance through eastern Germany, a large part of our so-called "administrative"
train had to operate far forward under conditions no different than those the organic transportation of divisions in combat had to meet. Rear-area truck companies not only carried all manner of supply to
front-line forces but shifted troops from one tactical situation to another. There was nothing new or novel about this use. We had done the same thing in World War I, though then we depended largely on
French carriers. It is this capacity which gives the transportation of a theater a true flexibility along with general mobility.

Operating conditions in Europe gave emphasis to another important point. The fact that the prospective theater has plenty of good roads must never be taken as a guarantee that Communications Zone
transportation may not undergo a heavy strain. The march of armies soon destroys any but the best road surfaces and this, by slowing up the organic transport, puts unexpected demands on the rear. And
more important still, from the start the enemy attacks the sensitive points of the highway system.

He knocks out bridges, tunnels, causeways, etc., to establish a series of roadblocks and force emergency detours. In wet season or winter this will choke the forward movement of supply if any sizable part
of theater motorization is limited to travel on roads. The worst blocks occur

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of what were once good roads before they were pounded apart by field operations. That was our experience in western Europe during the two World Wars.

The lesson to be drawn from this fact is not that rear transport needs to adopt stronger track-laying vehicles in any part, even to support operations along a general front similar to those which the Third
Army experienced at Metz in 1944. What we had then was in general good enough, even in the largest battle emergencies. But it would be a reckless experiment and an unjustifiable economy to reduce
the standards of performance for rear area overseas transport below the requirements of World War II.


BUT we could most certainly get along with fewer vehicles in the rear area if we would only grasp the situation by its real handle and begin now to set up policies to prevent a prodigal wastage of American
manpower and supply. This was our main vice in the European Theater and in our World War II organization generally. In actual goods we wasted more materiel in western Europe in getting from
Normandy Beach to the Elbe River than the two million men of the original AEF required throughout its operation. The total requirements of the first AEF were several million tons less than the surplus of
the second expedition of 1944-45.

At risk of making my statements too general, I give it as my judgment that such tremendous waste came mainly from two faults in the system. The first is our overindulgent attitude toward our troops; we
seem to feel that their loyalties cannot be commanded unless the Army acts as a pappy to them and puts their creature comforts above all else. The second was a basic weakness in the checks or controls
over the supply demands of the field armies. It is impossible to say which of these evils-and they are still present in the logistical thought of every service-was in the long run the more unmilitary, the more
encumbering and the more extravagant. Both come, however, from the illusion that American resources are practically inexhaustible. That idea of the national wealth, and how we should use it when war
comes, is by no means confined to the armed services. But to the extent that they follow this public fancy, instead of determining a fundamental soundness for their own economy, they sanction the bogging

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down of true mobility under unsupportable weights.

In war, all effort, all policy, should be directed toward speedier delivery of a greater volume of a more efficient fire at the decisive point. Nothing else wins in the end. It is impossible to have an efficient
fighting front when the rear is extravagant and logistically unsound. The consequence of burdening communication lines with mountainous quantities of nonessential materiel can only and must ever be that
less fire is delivered upon the enemy. A lean and strong-going rifleman cannot spring fully armed and ready from the brow of an army that is elsewhere rolling in fat.


OVERLOADING has always been the curse of armies. Today we stagger along under a burden of soft drink machines, mammy singers and lollypops.

In Wellington's time, it was the Soldiers' wives and the regimental women which hindered movement.

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While a prisoner in Spain, Baron Lejuene penned this arresting picture of military impedimenta in his time:

"First came the captain in his scarlet uniform, mounted on a very fine horse and carrying a big open parasol.

Then came his wife in a pretty costume, with a very small straw hat, seated on a mule, holding up an umbrella and caressing a little black and tan King Charles spaniel on her knee, whilst she led by a blue
ribbon a tame goat, which was to supply her night and morning with cream for her, cup of tea.

Beside madam walked an Irish nurse, carrying slung across her shoulder a bassinet made of green silk, in which reposed an infant, the hope of the family.

Behind madam's mule stalked a huge grenadier, the faithful servant of the captain, with his musket over his shoulder, urging on with a stick the longeared steed of his mistress.

Behind him again came a donkey laden with the voluminous baggage of the family, surmounted by a tea-kettle and a cage full of canaries, whilst a jockey or groom in livery brought up the rear, mounted on
a sturdy English horse, with its hide gleaming like polished steel. This groom held a huge posting whip in one hand, the cracking of the lash of which made the donkey mend its pace, and at the same time
kept order among the four or five spaniels and greyhounds which served as scouts to the captain during the march of his small cavalcade." An absurd picture, certainly. But hardly more ridiculous than the
look of the United States Army when it moves abroad loaded with all of the comforts

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and gadgets of home. The absurdity of any unnecessary encumbrance to military movement is less a question of its nature than of its ultimate effect, and the failure of a system to take cognizance of it. In
Wellington's time, it was bassinets, goats and canaries. But in the crisis of the Ardennes Battle, 1944, one requisition received in Washington covering "emergency supplies" for the ETO specified so many
cases of Pond's skin cream, so many gross of brassieres and so many hand organs for religious services.

T. E. Lawrence once wrote that, "the invention of bully beef has modified land war more profoundly than the invention of gunpowder" because "range is more to strategy than force." But somehow
Lawrence missed the main point-that any such advantage pressed to its extreme inevitably recoils against those who possess it. As J.F.C. Fuller wrote me in a letter a while back, "Canning in all of its
many forms has become a vertible danger to military forces, the very reverse of what Lawrence meant." When any improved method is brought forward by the civilian economy, such as a highly mobile
type of refrigerating unit, the military establishment takes it up, irrespective of the factor of increased initial weight, and unmindful of the ultimate cost in load and in dollars through the availing of a more
luxurious standard of field fare. Even in the field, and excepting only at the height of combat, there is not an Army mess that does not put out far more food than Soldiers need for their physical well-being.
This simply reflects the prodigal tendencies elsewhere in our society. The modern military commander is no more likely to adhere to self-denial as a principle which makes for success in warfare than is the
top adminis-

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trator in any other field. He feels that he would be tabbed as a moss-backed reactionary if he were to accept any other motto than ((nothing but the best possible." It was approximately at the time that
Baron Lejeune was expressing his sarcasms concerning the petticoat influence on military movement that the tidal change began in military food supply. Among western armies, the ((canning" of the wife
occurred coincidentally with the very real canning of food.

About 1802, Napoleon offered a substantial prize to anyone who could discovery a way of preserving meat. He was looking for a way to speed up military movement, and his immediate object was to
eliminate the huge herds of cattle which until then had been driven behind the armies to provide beef.

The prize was won by Francois Alpert who invented a glass container not unlike that used by the modern housewife during the canning season. Out of his invention came the canning industry which got a
tremendous boost during the American Civil War. From those techniques which enable us to preserve all manner of foodstuffs for an indefinite period come most of the luxuries and high living standards
which add increasingly to the load of modern military forces while contributing little or nothing to their fighting power.


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IN THIS connection, it should be instructive to take one more look at the Russian. The point has already been made that as an individual, he is phys-

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ically rugged and therefore a great weight carrier.

Nonetheless, he carries no surplus into battle. Except for the black bread in his pack, he takes nothing into combat except weapons, ammunition and that minimum of clothing which will enable him to
survive. At his back is an Army which travels lighter than any army of modern times. True, its field forces have sometimes given foreign observers the feeling that they were heavy laden, but that was
mainly because they packed along so much of the supply that western armies commonly store in their advance depots. This gives them additional operating independence of their rear, which is in itself a
form of mobility.

The fact is that the Soviet Command has always cut its supply requirements to a minimum, refusing to transport anything which might be obtained in the zone of engagement. The Russian Army has almost
no repair shops or maintenance units of its own at the front. It carries along no heavy equipment to provide laundering service in the field. When repairs are needed to keep the Army going, local civilians
are impressed for that service. Women are rounded up from the countryside by riflemen and compelled to do the Army's washing, such as it is. To delouse the clothing of troops, the Russians simply cut the
cover of an empty gasoline drum, make holes in it, put a supply bricks in the bottom of the drum, pour water Into it, kindle a fire underneath, lay the clothing out on iron bars across the top of the drum,
and drape a field blanket over the clothing to keep the steam in.

Whereas the supply discipline of the United States Army is regulated by the pressure to give troops the maximum possible of the comforts which the middle-

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class American has learned to expect, the Russian Army, composed in the main of men who have lived hard in their civilian environment, can operate in war on a minimum subsistence level without making
its people feel abused.

As the Quartermaster General M. F. Kerner has pointed out, this means that the Communists have a relatively simple logistical problem, despite that we commonly think of the transportation of supply as
being the weak link in the Soviet military system.

Many of Kerner's revelations about how they improvise in the supply and technical field are highly significant. He continues: "In my own experience I almost never saw a Russian military truck driver with the
equipment to repair his tires. Hundreds of times I have watched these drivers patch up their punctures with the help of an empty oil can, a piece of crude rubber and the help of a heavy stone from the
roadside. Piercing the upper part of the can, they filled the bottom with gasoline. Then they cleaned the tire tube, laid the crude rubber patch over the hole, and placed the stone on top. By setting fire to
the gasoline, the patch was vulcanized to the tube in ten minutes.

Fuel for the tanks was usually stored in huge cast-iron drums on trailers attached to the tanks and kept rolling along behind.

When a tank was out of order, the troops improvised a repair shop in the forest by felling three trees, trimming their branches, and arranging them crosswise to make a lever for lifting the motor or any
heavy part of the tank. Bridges were made entirely of timber. If the region was wooded, horses and

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oxen from local farms were commandeered to transport the trees; if there were no woods, the nearest wooden structure, whether a private home or a public building, was demolished and used for lumber.

Russian engineers were trained in time of peace to construct wooden bridges, even massive bridges as high as 30 feet, such as those over the Don and Dnieper Rivers. In the exigency of war, these
engineers could put up a bridge with no other tools than axes, hammers and clamps.

Every army has a system of priorities for supplying its fighting troops. But Soviet transportation, controlled entirely from a central office in Moscow, had a system of such sharp penalties inflicted for minor
negligence that a small delay in loading and unloading operations was treated as a serious transgression.

The personnel of all forms of transportation came under the jurisdiction of military tribunals which performed their duties right at the front, often trying and sentencing the offender within 24 hours of his
dereliction. .

Staff training consists, as far as possible, in practice rather than in theory. During the war, military trainees had to study the current battles, analyze the mistakes made, and even visit the front to accustom
themselves to actual combat. All branches of the army, including medical personnel and quartermaster corps underwent this same training.

Little mail was transported to the front. A dilapidated three-to-four ton truck, no longer useful for priority materiel, sufficed to take care of the mail for a whole division. It was generally accepted as a mere
weakness for the Soldier at the front to want news

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of home, and the men were discouraged from writing.

As in all other matters concerning the individual the Russian Soldier's feelings were of no consequence:

Their success with logistics, in sum, is due not to extraordinary skill and efficiency, but rather to an endless ability to forage for themselves, to withstand the onslaught of the elements and to make do with
whatever comes to hand." One German general who had fought the Russians in World War II retained a particularly vivid impression of how this policy of going as far as possible on as little as possible
repeatedly reflected itself in the tactical mobility of the combat command.

Whereas the Czech, who had seen the system work from the inside, expressed what he saw in terms of supply conservation, the German, who had contended against this same system from the outside,
saw what it meant in giving increased range and flexibility to fighting bodies.

This is what he said: "The Russian will not be held back by terrain normally considered impassable. That was where we made some of our early mistakes. Gradually we learned that it was in just such
places that his appearance, and probably his attack, was to be expected. The Russian infantryman could not only overcome terrain difficulties but was able to do so very quickly. Miles of corduroy road
were laid through swamp within a few days. Beaten tracks appeared through forest covered in deep snow. Ten men abreast with arms joined, in ranks 100 deep, prepared these routes in I5-minute relays
of 1000 men each. Following this human snowplow, guns and other heavy weapons were dragged to wherever

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they were needed by other teams of infantrymen. During winter, snow caves which could be heated were built to provide overnight shelter for men and horses. Motorization was reduced to an absolute
minimum, only the lightest vehicles being used. The horses were tough and required little care. The uniforms were suitable but the men were never overclad. Mobility came of the mass of men which
moved all loads, doing the work of machines when machines would no longer work."


WHEN the Torch expedition loaded for North Africa, the troops came with so much dunnage that it was impossible to find space for it aboard some of the ships. The chief transportation officer duly reported
that fact.

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The response of the War Department was to issue an even larger barracks bag. In the Pacific, the men of an expedition were advised what they should carry (which was always ample); but they were not
told, "That's all; you can take nothing else." The ship-to-shore handling of personal baggage was a big problem even in small operations where the main idea was to get ashore with as much surprise as
possible, complete the conquest in the minimum of time, and then re-embark the greater pan of the expedition. The average officer boarded the transport with a full Val-A-Pak and a loaded barracks bag.

A light pack, an extra shirt and a couple of changes of underwear would have served all of his real needs. At the time of landing, whatever he carried in excess of what he needed to maintain himself in a
foxhole usually became some other man's problem. Off Carlos [Ennylobegan] Island, in the MarshaIls, I saw four small boats smashed and sunk on coral reefs trying to get this unnecessary cargo ashore.
One coxswain was badly injured and another barely escaped drowning. That happened on D plus I when the firefight was only beginning. The incident was typical of a general condition. During the last
stage of the war in the Philippines, seasoned combat troops were amused to see replacements arriving laden with three or four barracks bags apiece.

ON the other side of the world, things were no different. In the European Theater, the approaches to Antwerp were at last cleared in the early winter of 1944. The first ships arrived in late November. In the
early shipments came large quantities of cased Coca-Cola. This was at a time when troops were crying for overshoes and winter clothing. Brooms, mops and pails were unloaded

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in oversupply on the Antwerp docks at an hour when the main problem was to sweep the enemy out of his concrete emplacements in the Siegfried Line.

This lack of balance not only deprived the fighting line of necessities; it handicapped the rear in its effort to support combat. The theater piled up stuff until operations were impeded by the surplus. In the
end the tonnage became so high that the handling of it from factory to front line must have cost the United States many combat divisions. And for what result? Depots and dumps grew steadily larger and
more unwieldy. They were so continuously swamped from the rush of stuff arriving that they didn't know what they had, or if they did they couldn't even find it. The consequence was that special missions
would fly back to the United States to plead for more ammunition or more QM supplies. So the depots became still larger and still more unmanageable as still more stuff was shipped, only to be lost again
amid the accumulation.

IF this surfeit can be explained only as the unavoidable military consequence of a unique American prosperity, then it is a fair question whether our present abundance does not nourish the seeds of its own
destruction, and whether we shall not reap that fruit on the day the United States must meet an equal opponent with a better sense of conservation. No doubt our national temperament is partly to blame for
our military squandering. The profligacy of our everyday civilian habits is bound to carry over in some measure into the military establishment and militate against raising the standards of regulating its

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The ear simply cannot register that too much of everything may be entirely too bad for him. For it is a rule of nature that soft handling softens men, and the rule applies not only to the combat line but to the
forces supporting it.

And it is neither economically nor morally sound to make any distinction between front and rear in this respect, or go on the theory that administrative forces need extra advantages to relieve them from

That belief is only a sign that we are slack both in leadership and logistics. To coddle men is to make mollycoddles of them. To give them useful work to do and use intelligence in keeping them at it is to
bring out the best that is in them. So long as men are treated with respect and dignity, they will find and rejoice in a new sense of unity with new companions, and this will become a stronger feeling than
that of missing their old associations. This is the basis of moral integrity in military forces. All ideas bearing on the treatment of troops should be shaped around it.

But we cannot pass the whole buck into the civilian lap so long as most professional soldiers who shape our military policy are content to rock with the grain. The services are not improved by the tendency
to accept with little question outside counsel on all prime matters of service efficiency. There is no substitute for generalship in its real sense. The goal is still to be reached only by contending vigorously for
a system of thought and action that will enable our forces to travel light, hit hard and keep on going. The lack of a fundamental supply discipline in all ranks of all the services causes more friction and
destroys more mobility in the operations of American forces than any other weakness. And it is a chief contributor to our moral weakness.

No Soldier worth his salt is afraid of sleeping cold for a night or two. No good man will become mutinous if he has to go hungry for a day. Not one would collapse of shame if enemy wire ripped out the seat
of his pants and he couldn't get another pair immediately. But you would think that the life of the American nation depended on not letting any of these things happen to a single man in uniform.

When an American goes into battle he should have the best of fighting gear that money can buy-his uniform, his weapons, his equipment for medical protection and his transportation. No one takes issue
with that. But beyond this fundamental requirement is where the waste comes in. In my opinion, the cry that nothing is too good for the American Soldier has been shouted so long that the main problem is
how to make ourselves sound logistically. Revolutionary thinking or not, we can only do this by working to make an army that prides itself on its ruggedness and puts personal strength above personal
comfort. By so doing, the Army could playa main part in turning the nation toward the salvation it appears to be forgetting. At no time in history has any civilization or any form of government successfully
protected itself without toughening its own fibers. Our future course is not likely to prove our own nation an exception.

The dilemma for the Army is obvious. If its ranks are to be filled during peace, it must compete with what civilian life has to offer. But it is also obligated to answer

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THERE is the old stand-by excuse that the tail is wagging the dog. Soldiers complain that we weaken the moral drive of combat forces because of what has to be done to stimulate, or placate, the
supporting establishment. But isn't it possible that it has been partly the dog's fault all along? In World War II the combat formations were wet-nursed through their training periods by service troops. Their
garbage was hauled for them, their areas were policed and their latrines cleaned by someone else-this on the theory that it saved them pre-

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cious time to devote to their weapons and the arts of maneuver. But did it actually make them better and more self-reliant men?

In World War I, though training may have been crude and inefficient in some respects, it at least maintained the dignity of all Soldiers at a common level, irrespective of branch. In World War II, the training
doctrine brought about an almost absolute grade separation between the forces of front and rear. This was done to achieve concentration of effort. But against the possible benefits of that policy, no one
weighed the loss of moral strength to the general establishment which came of the failure to put one idea foremost in the indoctrination of all service troops: "You are a soldier and your final duty is to fight,
and you may well have to." Instead, we tried to inspire the files of the rear by telling them that if they didn't shell peas or lay asphalt by the number, they would let the fighting man down. This was no higher
call than that made to the ranks of union labor in the war plants.

Leadership degenerated into clerkship through a large part of the rear establishments. When these same men were hastily converted into riflemen during the emergency of the 1944-45 winter, many of
them acted as if they had been betrayed by their country. Some cracked up mentally on getting word that they had been drafted for front-line duty, and had to be hospitalized. Combat was as far from their
thinking as a flight to Mars.

squarely whether the terms of the competition do not surely risk the failure of its ultimate military assignment.

General Weygand, called by the French Cabinet to restore the national defenses along the line of the Somme, after the German advance to the Channel in 1940, looked his army over and then reported
back to his political superiors that it was too late, that the policies which the government had sponsored for twenty years had sapped his men of courage. But when he himself had been Chief of Staff before
General Gamelin was, he had not cried out against the moral decline.

Today it may sound like heresy to suggest that the policies established to dangle security in front of the Soldier, and set each man up as a specialist with definitely limited obligations-and the substitution of
civilian theories on personnel management for the traditional military ideals of duty and discipline-also tend to turn the Army further away from any male purpose.
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THE moral wastage that came of spoiling men by a questionable training doctrine was paralleled by the material wastage that resulted from spoiling generals by too much prosperity. The results were
concomitant and reciprocal. There will always be material loss when the

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moral values are neglected. And indifference to the value of property is ever a spur to moral decline. And what we made of ourselves in training was rejected in combat in all particulars. Requisitions from
the front were both sent and accepted without any reference to what the soldier actually needed. Often they were a mere multiplying of the catalog by the numerical strength of the command. The
cancellation of an order by higher authority was almost unheard of. Rarely if ever was anyone taken to task for having too much stuff up front at a regimental or divisional dump. But the waste up there was
in ratio' to the waste in the rear areas; and all because of excessive fears that somebody somewhere would run out of this or that, and the whole Army would then go to pot.

The consequence of this attitude is that there is a drag all along the line from the cantonment to the foxhole.

One or two men get foot trouble because their shoes wear thin in frontline service, or didn't fit in the first place.

Instead of finding out what has been choking the pipeline so that shoes can be made available where needed, we put an extra pair of shoes on every Soldier. And to relieve his aching back he throws them
away. Then he is inspected and found wanting and more shoes are ordered. Shoes pile up till they block the doors to the warehouses and overflow the vans which should be moving ammunition up instead.


WITH the motorization we now have, all supply can

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be pushed to the front far more rapidly than has ever been done before. But this will not be Gone unless we can all begin to convince ourselves that American Soldiers can get along on far less and
be the healthier for it and the better able to advance. Nor is this fundamentally just a problem of proclaiming a doctrine. It is rather one of developing a system of control and a standard of inspection that
will make it work.

It may seem doubtful that the economy I have outlined is within reasonable possibility of attainment, since it would mean that the Army would be aiming at a target that seems now beyond the range of the
nation. But there is at least one favorable sign that the miracle may be wrought if we but address ourselves to it. The two field armies in ETO which had the best records for supply conservation, figured on
a division tonnage basis, were the Third and Seventh. Their averages were lower than the others. The difference between the low and

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high was something like thirty-five tons per division per day compared to seventy tons. And it was not reported of those armies which drew the least, that their troops had suffered any unusual supply
shortage or that their morale was lower. In fact, it remains a point of special pride with ex-Seventh Army men that they were so well supplied.

But it isn't just a matter of what the field armies do.

The rear area must fall in line all the way back. If the fighter has only one pair of shoes, and must face the chance of dying in them, that is reason enough why every other Soldier should have the same
cut. If he is allowed one barracks bag, the man in the rear area should not have two or three. If he is required to save gasoline for essential missions, that should put an end to joy-riding in Com Z. This
may sound as if I am advocating spartanism all around, but it is nothing of the sort. The same steps that make for operational efficiency, and maximum usefulness in the average working individual, are also
the chief preventives of boredom, which is always the excuse offered for furnishing the rear area with bottling plants, dance halls and all the frills of home.

IN 1918, a Soldier bound for France was given an extra toothbrush and safety razor by his government. He got nothing else "for free." There was a candy ration at the front; it averaged one five-cent bar
per man for the whole war. Strong men almost fainted from shock on that one great day when the chocolate was issued, with the mess sergeant standing guard to see that no soldier swiped an extra piece.

Did the American male change so greeady between

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wars that he might have failed in combat but for the stack of goodies in the dugout mess? I don't think so.

He was glad enough to have an occasional candy bar when he could get it. But surfeiting him with candy bars when he was hurting for fresh meat and fresh bread didn't make him a better Soldier or
enhance his appreciation of service efficiency. There were no lollipops in .the early Central Pacific operations. Men fought on K rations, C rations and lukewarm water. Yet morale was as high as I have ever
seen it in the Army. That is the human nature of it. Troops will never miss what they don't expect, and basically, they don't expect much. They will keep on to the limit if they get an even break with other
men along the line. They will become stronger in the measure that their strength is tested.

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IN emphasis I cannot do better than quote what a young American reservist who commanded an infantry battalion in Burma once wrote me in explanation of why his people had continued to prosper:

We went to Burma with both woolen and khaki uniforms. You know which ones we threw away...

Gas masks, mosquito bars and blankets we carried around the world, only to discard them in the first Burmese village.

The jungle hammock was issued but never slept in.

Can you picture an infantryman on perimeter defense worrying about getting into a jungle hammock?

Our uniform was generally a T-shirt, shorts, fatigue pants, socks, shoes and maybe a helmet, maybe not, depending upon the man.

Beer and whiskey were rationed to the 'Calcutta Commandos'

We had none and expected none.

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I never heard one man complain because we had no luxuries. In the situation we faced, all recognized that plain food and ammunition were the priority items.

Our morale was high, though we saw few USO shows, and Special Service could do little for us.

We took pride in doing it the hard way. Those were the greatest days I ever knew in the Army.


AN old saying has it that mobility is a state of mind.

But if we were to let it go at that, we would-be no closer to knowing what state of mind is most conducive to decisive movement against enemy forces. So we must ask:

What did Frederick and Marlborough have in common with the late General Patton?

I maintain that a careful comparison of their campaigns and command systems would reveal at least this common denominator-that they achieved their most brilliant successes by believing that willingness
to take a chance would usually payoff, presupposing a level judgment of the problem. They were not cautious men. Such talents as they could apply to any situation were rarely wasted through any lack of
courage. These commanders transmitted this moral attitude in turn to a determining number of men among their subordinates. That was the really important thing. They were articulate. They expressed
their ideas clearly, confidently and forcefully.

So doing, they supplied dynamic proof that it is always possible to quickly mold the thought and action of many through the force of one man. The lesson is clear that armies in all ages are susceptible to
reform if given a

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clear view of the subject.

Even so, this was only half the secret. In each of these commanders the moral willingness to make a superb gamble was inseparably linked with the determination to eliminate every material impediment to
movement. What they willed they first made possible. The moral and material solutions were reached together. Marlborough's phenomenally rapid marches resulted from innovations in his supply system
which enabled his men to conserve their powers. Frederick, though he talked little of mobility, built a new tactical order upon a reform within the Prussian supply system. He rearranged his depots and
changed his method of provisioning to lighten the load of marching forces. To other generals he said:

"Your first precaution should be to control your own subsistence; then you can undertake anything." In modern war the supply problem is a hundred-fold more complex than anything Frederick knew. The
greater size of armies and the extension of communications have made it so. It might therefore be doubted that there is still today a connection as direct between the general's state of mind and his ability
to mobilize the rear so that he will gain freedom of movement. But the principle is as sound as ever, and the courageous exercise of the will is just as decisive now as it was in the centuries when every
army moved by muscle power. There are two strongly contrasting illustrations of this from Operation Overlord.

GOING into Normandy, First Army was aware that It would take heavy losses in organic fighting equipment such as mortars and machine guns during the first hard struggle to get across the beaches and
establish a base

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inland. This added stress to an already overstrained situation. The logistical establishment in 'England came up with a solution of the problem. It proposed to have the replacement materiel ready on the
south shore of England with airplane carriers standing by to make the haul. But this was a new and untried way, and the staff worried that the stuff might not get there at the hour when it would be needed.
So the plan was rejected and the extra burden of replacement materiel was loaded onto units already sagging under the weight they carried.

Two months later Third Army was awaiting the go signal for the attack into Brittany. On the day before the advance, General Patton was visited by Generals Lord, Stratton and Eyster of Communications
Zone. They wanted to know how he was set as to supply and what he would expect of the rear establishment. He said, "Gentlemen, I've got three days of POL, ammunition and food. That's all we need for
the start. It's up to you back there to get the rest of it up to me." He then outlined the operation as he expected it to develop.

Brittany was to be cut off. One Hank was to turn toward Brest, and the other was to advance on and over the Loire River. In short, he foresaw that his army would he in continuous motion for at least three
weeks. The records show that he made the shot just about as he called it. His critics sometimes say of Patton that he did not know logistics and that this was his handicap. That is at best a negative truth.
What he didn't know about the supply problem never slowed the movement of his armies.

He respected the controlling principle. He would not overload his own forces. He demanded all the support that could be had from those who were in position to help them along. He may have missed a
tree here and there but he kept his eyes on the forest.

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When he got to Verdun in early September, it sometimes happened that the supply planes supporting the Third Army had to hold the air for an hour or so above the scene while engineer troops cleared
away the enemy mines and otherwise tidied up the fields that were to be used for landing strips. This was mobility in the mid-twentieth century.


THERE is nothing original or radical in the proposal that for the good of the state, the moral resolution of military forces is fostered best by turning from dreams of quiet contentment and the easy life to
thought of overcoming of great obstacles. The late Justice Holmes was thinking not only of battle but of what is needed to keep an army fit during peace when he said: "The song for the Soldier is a war
song." If we are speaking of character, then it is perfectly true that whatever goes to build up the man as a civilian goes to build up the man as a Soldier.

At the heart of all sound teaching through the centuries, whether within military institutions or without, has dwelt the simple idea that every vigorous man needs some kind of contest, some realization of
resistance overcome, before he can feel that he is making the best use of his faculties.

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But we can't drop the subject at that point. The parallel does not extend indefinitely. The school of the Soldier is a postgraduate course because the ultimate purpose of any fighting establishment makes a
far sterner requirement of its individuals than is asked of other

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men. Finally, that something which has to be added-the placing of the line of duty above the line of self-interest--is all that distinguishes the Soldier from the civilian.

And if that aspect of military education is slighted for any reason, the nation has lost its main hold on security.

IT is right and natural that in a period of vast changes in weapon power and methods of warfare, new standards of discipline should emerge from the old. The need for a better educated Soldier with a
higher measure of initiative is clear enough. But the best use will not be made of such men unless the military establishment holds fast to those ideals and objectives which differentiate it from the body of
the public. That is easily enough stated, but it is very hard to do. In our times, we have permitted military thinking to become clouded by what social workers, psychiatrists, business counsel, public-relations
advisers and morale experts have to say about what is proper in an army organized according to American standards, meaning the standards which are upheld in American institutions of a quite different
nature. The military leader has become an unhappy worrier, confused and buffeted between rival groups of medicine men, each vending some special magic. He is told that a new order has arisen, that the
rising generation is somehow different, that industrial change has revolutionized the military problem, that how he is presented to the public cuts more ice than what he really is and how he thinks, and that
modern science and business methodology can rub a lamp and come up with the perfect answer to every age-old military problem.

Simply to cut through part of this murk, I suggest that

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the pressure upon the Army in time of war (and in peace) to duplicate all of the comforts, habits and usages of civilian living does not derive mainly from social causes or from what the rank-and-file
demand because of what they have experienced in a different environment. Its mainspring is the commercial research for a profitable market.

From the viewpoint of the businessman, and of his particular friends in political life, the wartime Army is a great business institution, and a shining mark for the sale of any product which can be given even
the pale shadow of a legitimate purpose. They press upon command to accept all manner of things which it would not normally consider. Public sentiment-"nothing is too good for the boys"-moves in the
same direction. That these pressures are hard to resist is well understood by everyone who was familiar with the World War II atmosphere in Washington. That they are ever likely to become less is a
wishful thought hardly sustained by the passage of postwar events. In 1943, one of the lesser poets of the Pentagon expressed his feelings on this subject in the following lines:

You said it, Buddy!

It's a wonderful army,
Today our sons-o-guns
Overwhelmed Messina.

And now excuse me:

I have to study--
Gee how it charms me!
Six easy lessons
On the ocarina.

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The Army had purchased a supply of ocarinas for the amusement of its personnel. Then it had published a booklet of instruction on ocarina playing so that there' would be less chance of the tootler being
pitched on his car into the company street, though I suggest that this last step was an error, for at least the pitch might have toughened the boy.


HOWEVER, the call for a tidal change in our thinking and method of control cannot be effectively answered in terms of a reform within one service only. The evil is rooted partly in the senseless competition
between the armed services in arranging special privileges and comforts for their separate forces when engaged in joint operations. Without contributing vitally to the general morale, it serves to increase
the load of war well beyond safe limits.

Consider what happened all too frequently in Pacific operations during World War II. The Army went ashore relatively light even when setting up a garrison operation. Because of the shortage of shipping
space the men slept on the ground, with a blanket or so and a shelter half; they cut foliage for bedding. This would all have been tolerable if a Navy or Seabee unit had not set up next door with cots for
sleeping, good housing and a ship's store, complete with free beer. (Though it rarely have happened the other way, with the Navy taking the spitty end of the stick, I never heard of it.) The Soldier
compared his own lack of luxury and skinned-down in-

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stallations with the luck of the people next door. The result was the demoralization of the service which felt Itself discriminated against by higher authority, and forced by the country to suffer unnecessary
hardship. In the beginning the Army had stuck to the policy of shipping luxury goods only when there was stowage space beyond that required for essential military cargo. It was soon compelled to depart
from this sound principle and give shipping priority to welfare goods. The load continued to increase as one service vied with another in trying to make its men feel especially favored. That we did not pay
an exorbitant price for this encumbering weight was only because we were meeting an enemy already short of shipping and other resources.

The same thing would happen again in joint operation unless there were established in peacetime a mechanism for standardizing and equalizing the shore arrangements and privileges of the services
wherever they operate together In war. What the Navy does for its men aboard ship is quite another matter; the rule should be equal conditions for all Americans engaged in joint service. Moreover, all
should proceed on the assumption that the more men's minds are pointed toward the main object-the destruction of the enemy-the less will be the cry for lollipops.


BEFORE Grant started after Lee in 1864, he had to clean house on the baggage his Army of the Potomac carried. Sherman did the same thing to Grant's own

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But with the coming of the Age of Motor Vehicles Unlimited, Soldiers began to think that the facts of life had diametrically changed. The possibilities of the new form of transport and of hard-surfaced road
systems appeared to have no limit. The thing to be done was to gear all military concepts, both moral and material, to the speed and capacity of these new chariots. What happened? Only that the pressing
danger of supply shortage which was characteristic of the era when tactics had to be based on the horse was exchanged for the evil of a continuing glut of supply, threatening to super-induce a wholly new
form of military paralysis. Reversing the tale of the hoopsnake, the tail of the army began to swallow the head.

More mobile capacity meant that more supply could go forward more rapidly to troops-or so it seemed. But the end of it was that there were fewer troops in the combat area, and more vehicles had to be
brought in to move greater quantities of supplies to the ever-increasing number of Soldiers cluttering up the rear.

And by the hundreds of thousands these men felt more or less clearly that the duties they were doing, the time they were marking, wasn't even incidental to the prosecution of the war, with the result that
many became unwilling and malcontent.

So Special Services was brought in to relieve these men from boredom. But to make that possible came more troops, more supply, more vehicles to move the supply, more crews to maintain the vehicles-
and still more men to get bored. The net effect was to drain fighting power away from the force as a whole, not only through sapping its moral strength, but assigning tens of thousands of men-enough to
have made a national combat reserve -to unnecessary duties in the rear areas.

Western troops before going after Joe Johnston in the campaign before Atlanta. Until the very recent period of motorization in war, the great tacticians have all known that keeping an army light meant fire
mobility. No one would dispute the elementary point that if a man is over-burdened, he can't move and will soon wear out. Motorization has not changed this quality in man nor has it proved the universal
solvent of the basic fire problem.

During the centuries when supply transport could not move forward even as fast as a man could walk, and the largest vehicle in the regimental train was a horse-drawn cart with perhaps 1 to 2 tons of
cargo, it was clearly to be seen why the' whole army had to travel light if the line was to conserve its fighting powers. There could be no shuttle back and forth, no quick resupply. Battle turned on what
could be carried forward initially. Armies stripped down when they moved to attack. The alternatives were to risk defeat for want of an extra musket or else to founder.

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ON December 1, 1945, near midnight, I stopped to talk to a Negro sentry who was walking post around a mountainous dump of medical supplies at Carentan, France, a few minutes' drive from Utah Beach.
I asked him how long the dump had been there. "Since three weeks after the invasion." How long had he been doing guard duty at this point? "Since three weeks after the invasion." Had anything been
removed from the pile in that time?

"Maybe, but it was so long ago that I've forgotten." And there he was, one poor Soldier who had started walking around a pile of pills and bandages while the war was still within hearing distance. And he
had kept on walking around it for a full year and a half-till long after the guns had at last gone silent on, the plains of Bohemia.

That Soldier was one victim of the system. The other victim was the combat army as a whole. We tacitly admitted that much when the worst clutch of the war came on us-when the German enemy
advanced into the Ardennes. Then we began to repair the manpower deficiencies of the front by finding reinforcements in the manpower surplus of the rear.

Defenders of the system can say this wasn't so. They can say we were suddenly confronted with a desperate situation that required the SOS to make a heroic sacrifice.

But those who have studied carefully and objectively that overstuffed rear will reply that it was far too ponderous all the time.

All this was not the fault of any single general or division of the staff. The SOS was no more to blame for it than the combat army. The two are simply Siamese twins. They may think with different brains
but they pulse with the same bloodstream. And whatever hurts

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the health of one immediately affects the well-being of the other. When the front operates as if no sensible limit its should ever be placed upon its demands, there will always be excessive wastage at the
rear. And the thing works also the other way around. The only difference is that at the rear, the extravagance is of a different kind, and much more obvious.

There is one big reason for a drastic change in our thinking and planning. If war comes again, anyone service may at some time ~ in position to strike the decisive blow. But if the tide were to go against us
as it did late in the last war, only the Army would be in a position to win-or lose.


How to cut the Gordian knot of our supply? Only by a clean stroke. All war is waste and we are by nature earth's most wasteful people. But since all of our other frontiers are gone, the Army should attempt
to lead our people to understand the values that history warns are essential to their preservation. The vast size of the undertaking is plain. It would mean that the Army must contend directly against certain
main currents of our national life instead of submitting to them with little reckoning of the far consequences. But the stakes are higher today than any an army ever confronted.

There is always an outcry for economy in the armed services. But the need is not for dollar-saving but for truly increasing our fighting power even though the cost is somewhat greater.

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True economy within an army means that all of its processes and doctrine are shaped toward the utmost conservation of the powers that fit it far war. Because of political pressures, if for no other reason, it
is exceedingly difficult to reach this ideal state. Paradoxically, it is only when the Army has a truly military posture that its political position becomes invulnerable. Its appeal to the nation is greatest when it
has an assurance of inner strength.

Only by centering our sights on the target can we hope first to bracket and then hit it. A just pride in what the Army has accomplished ever invokes the need to look for improvement. It is time to
despair of an institution when these who serve it, and profess to love it, no longer challenge their own system, or become less critical than these who speak with the valor of ignorance.

THE strength we need, and the objects we should be seeking, are well summed up in words once said by Marshal Foch, "We are net mere numerous but we shall beat you because of our planning; we
shall have greater numbers at the decisive point. By our character, our energy, our knowledge, our use of weapons, we shall succeed in raising our morale and in breaking down yours." In the final balance,
whether it is a man or a nation, a mobile and successful strategy is only the result of character and common sense.

We are motorized as no great power has ever been or is likely to become in our time. Back of this transport is an industrial plant of unrivaled capacity. We have command of the seas. And with these
advantages, we have no need to pile up vast reserves of supply, either during

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war or in advance .of war. Such dead weight is an "Old Man of the Sea" upon our back, strangulating invention and modernization and preventing the efficient assignment of priorities.

In the end, it defeats its own military purpose. For when a supply system operates according to the rule that everywhere there must be mere than enough of everything, the chance greatly diminishes that
command will be able to put its hands on the really vital thing, in sufficient quantity, at a decisive point, in the hour of crisis. Economy of forces operates in the sphere of supply just as relentlessly as it
does if its application to the striking forces.

In the age of total warfare, extravagance in a national concept of war, or in the operations of a national military system, will beget extravagance in the operations of a field division or a rifle squad. Whatever
is manufactured beyond what is likely to be needed, whatever is put into the supply pipeline that might have been eliminated at no cost to the army's hitting power, inevitably decreases the volume of fire
delivered against the enemy-lessens the chance .of victory. Such waste of force is a depreciation of capital which, even should it net lead to defeat, must of necessity be carried as a debit into the peace
that follows war.

The greater becomes the mobility and carrying capacity of an army's transport system, the stronger becomes the necessity for keeping the supply system fluid, for reducing surpluses all along the line from
the factory to the front, and for G-4's learning to sleep without dreaming of disaster because he has no strategic reserve.

IN industry or in military organization, what is the final

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justification for putting more money into an improved transportation system? Simply that it is the best way to forestall the waste that comes of warehousing, stockpiling and deterioration of goods. To
develop yet greater road speed and dependability in military transport serves a valid strategic purpose only in the measure that it enables us to reduce the supply burden. It simply defeats its own ends if it
finally builds up supply volume until it chokes movement and drains the fighting line of needed manpower. Tactical strength depends on fighting power based on freedom to supply the combat troops. But
oversupply will as surely stifle that freedom as overproduction will impair the prosperity of a civilian economy.

Only the materiel moved can be used contributes to success in war. That which remains stored is a gift to the enemy.

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Highly mobile advanced bases, field bases that scarcely need to resort to dumping, ports that measure their capacity in the speed of the turn-around of the carriers in both directions,
maintenance crews as adept with a tommy gun as with a grease gun-these things mean the kind of strategic mobility the future requires.



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It is said that we are entering an era of area warfare, and that at last the old alignments are gone forever.

Fronts may be anywhere; guerrilla warfare will be the normal order. Any link in the communications zone will be in danger of being overrun.

These same prophecies were made prior to World War II. In the event, they proved to be only about half true. On the Eastern Front, the war had essentially these characteristics, not because the
Communists believe in fighting that way, as Walter Lippmann has said, but because of the tremendous expanse of frontiers and the impact of the new weapons on movement and general secur-

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ity. That it did not happen in the West was largely a matter of extension; it was still possible to operate in terms of the flankless front.

IF, however, the war of the future is more like the operations between Germany and Russia as to general deployments and irregular tactics, than like our own operations of World War II, then all I have said
here goes double.

The more fluid the form of war, the more necessary it is for flexibility to be the main characteristic both of the machinery and the training doctrine. That is the logical counter to the increased
range and killing power of today's decisive weapons. As the threat rises against all rear installations, wholly new requirements will be imposed on military organization. And chief among them that
all soldiers be trained for fighting-that the rear be supplied with mobile counteroffensive power-and that the structure of the rear avoid massiveness, and acquire a new mobility.

It has been said further that we will not approach the ideal in strategic mobility until all hitting forces of the ground are made air transportable. There have been weighty recommendations that the Army
proceed toward this end. We can question this on two grounds. First, the character of a national defense is based primarily on what is needed to secure the interior and its outpost line, including overseas
bases. No nation, other than an aggressor pointing toward war at an already predetermined hour, can afford the waste entailed in organizing its whole national military establishment toward the strategy of
intercepting a major enemy force at great distance and decisively beating it down. The second objection is that

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it discounts the one supreme logistical advantage the United States possesses in the power competition-the unchallenged superiority of its sea forces.

These objections aside, however, there is certainly no argument against the proposal that the more air transportable we become, the more necessary it is that we radically reduce the weight of our


This has been but a surface discussion of changes to bring us greater mobility. All are integral 'parts of one general cycle, easily stated but hard to do. To bring them off would call for more inspired sweat
than any reform ever undertaken by any military organization at any time.

Always, in writing about mobility in military forces, there is a strong urge to write of the qualities of mind that are needed in the individual man if he is to be ever ready to get on his horse and go. I have
resisted that temptation mainly because I feel it is starting at the wrong end.

The big need is for a more mobile doctrine handed down from on high. We need a doctrine that will reach into every corner of the military establishment-one that not only sets new objectives for our hitting,
supply and transport forces, but that brings new vitality to the average Soldier's orientation and indoctrination. If we can get that, we can produce more mobile Soldier, and we will not have to be so
introspective about the qualities needed in junior leaders to give troops imagination and self-starting initiative. Better troops are the natural prod-

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uct of a more efficient examination of the nature of men and of searching how to mould that nature to the military object in war. No matter what Napoleon or Foch said about the relation of the material to
the moral forces in war, they need mainly to be considered as one indivisible whole. The efficient conservation of men's powers, from which Hows morale, can come only of an equal efficiency in the use of
all material resources. That is the foundation of national military strength. There must be, too, inspired and imaginative leading. But this vital spark is fanned only when military ideals are put uppermost, and
when ranks are at all times conscious that they are serving within a highly efficient institution.

EVER since the close of World War II, we have pressed research on how to develop greater power in the more decisive weapons. As I see it, this is the lesser of our two problems in the effort to build a
firm security for the United States. The greater is how to develop stronger and more willing power in the man behind the gun.

Should war come again, that would be the point of greatest vulnerability in our defenses. To consider well the steps we could now take might avert the very danger we fear. The well-being of any people
living under a free system comes from the measures they take to keep themselves strong rather than from what they do to weaken their possible enemies.

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There are words already in print that have particular application to this problem.

The people had always concentrated on material questions. They thought that the offensive power of the

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enemy would be broken by the defensive action of new and terrible weapons. They ruined in that way the spirit of their Army. That is what chiefly weighed in the scale. Whatever is done in an
army should always aim at increasing and strengthening its moral power.

That passage may sound like a knell tolled today over the possibilities of a dread tomorrow, but it was penned by Von der Goltz in explaining. why the Germans had beaten the French in 1870. But no
truer words have been said by any of the later prophets. Until the day the push button war last arrives, and war can be won with the pressure of a finger, the last sentence of that quotation is ever the main
line of strength for all military forces.

0NE minor thought suggests itself and it is aimed particularly at those junior officers who have never sampled combat: All of war is a gamble and its chief rewards go to the player who, weighing the odds
carefully as he moves from situation to situation, will not hesitate to plunge when he feels by instinct that his hour has arrived. The commander who follows no better rule than caution and playing his cards
close to his midriff will be nickeled-to-death in combat as certainly as in penny-ante. This is a game not for fools and suckers but for those who have the courage to dare greatly.

Of necessity the military system instills in its officers respect for the high virtues of careful planning and closely reasoned estimates as a basis for decision and action. This is the main stream of all
education preparatory to battle. If any other course were taken, military forces could not even conduct an approach

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march in orderly fashion, and their hopes would be at the mercy of the most impetuous but reckless spirits among them.

But there always comes a time in battle when the most careful planner must also be foremost in willingness to take a superb risk if there is to be inspired leading toward the decisive object at minimum

The finest young battalion and company officers that I have ever known in combat have been men of this type. They were sedulous in planning and preparation. They made their dispositions painstakingly.

They insisted on personal reconnaissance to a point where it nettled their subordinates. Thus they had at all times the feel of their own situation, which is half of the battle. But at the opportune moment
they were ready to shoot the works. This is the essence of real generalship at all levels. It is a quality of the spirit which any man may bring forward in himself, provided that he has become truly the master
of his work. But if he is careless of detail, his spirit will be possessed of a false bravado, rather than a well-placed self-confidence, and he cannot even make the start.

The spirit of thoroughness combined with daring is the mainspring of action in all military forces. A good thing in a general, it is not less good in a leader of a platoon.

Looking back over his whole life in the service, Lieut. Gen. Sir Giffard Martel, Britain's great tank commander, said that he saw only one lesson: "Willingness to take a chance will usually payoff,
presupposing good judgment." That says it in the fewest words. Nothing need be added. Nothing should be taken away.

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Brigadier Desmond Young, the biographer of Marshall Erwin Rommel, found in the latter's operations in World War I, when Rommel was a young captain, leading trench raids and other spectacular
excursions against the Italians on the Isonzo front and the Franco-British forces in Flanders, the identical tactical pattern of the movements which Rommel executed almost 30 years later on a scale one
thousand-fold larger against Wavell and Auchinlech in North Africa.

These minor operations, according to Young, "showed Rommel's readiness to exploit a situation to the limit, regardless of the risk involved; this led him time and again into positions of fantastic danger and
yet enabled him to win every ounce of advantage, especially against an irresolute enemy." Even Winston Churchill paid tribute to Rommel in the following highly significant words: "He, was a splendid
military gambler, dominating his problems of supply and scornful of opposition. . . His ardour and daring inflicted grievous losses upon us." But as Young has already pointed out, what made this general
great was his ingrained habit of bold thinking, his willingness to take a superb chance when he had total command responsibility, because he had proved to himself as a junior officer that this was the
soundest fighting policy.

When these qualities of mind and spirit are conjoint with the exercise of true economy in all supply operations, the result inevitably is mobility in the hitting force.


BACKGROUND: Is the era of the Colonel David Hackworth-style Lightfighter over?

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We are all troubled and saddened by the unexpected passing of the great combat leader and voice for the Soldier, Colonel David Hackworth. To try to make sense of what "Hack" meant to the U.S. Army
Infantry in light of its current weakened state, I went over his old articles in INFANTRY magazine that he had asked me in 1997 to locate at the Fort Benning, Georgia library and send to him. His article
"Lean and Mean" written about the Soldier's load problem in the March-April 1968 issue holds the key to a large part of why we are in such a bad state as we are today in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.



Two hours before an airmobile assault, I assumed command of an airborne infantry battalion in Vietnam. During these two precious hours I issued only one order: "Commanders, examine your
Soldiers' loads. Leave behind everything that is not vital. I want the loads to be stripped to the bare minimum." My new charge, like many rifle battalions in Vietnam, had developed the sloppy
habit of going to battle loaded down like a supply column rather than a column

Page 36 INFANTRY Mar - April 1968

of "lean and mean" fighters. The battalion previously had marched to the sound of the guns with each Soldier staggering under the load of five days C-rations, 600 rounds of M16 ammunition,
four fragmentation grenades, and numerous other items strapped to his equipment and stuffed in a sagging pack.

The main excuse for these enormous loads was: "We'll be free from resupply. Thus, our movement wi11 not be controlled by logistical considerations. At long last the logistical tail won't wag
the tactical dog. By stealth we'll find the enemy and destroy him."

Those who uttered such statements had forgotten what a heavy load does to infantry fighters, or perhaps they had never walked in the jungle with Soldiers, loaded down like beasts of burden;
they had not heard the complaints and bitter curses because of the heavy loads; they had not seen their Soldiers stumble and fall, crashing through the bush like huge, clumsy elephants, beat
down by weight and tropical heat and not alert or even pretending to look for the foe. The only thing they could concentrate on was moving one foot and then the other.

Someone said stealth? A rifle company loaded down like a packtrain of mules sounds like just that stumbling through the bush. It's got as much sneakpower as a big cat with tin cans tied to its
tail stalking a mouse in a dark alley.

DISCUSSION: here Hackworth has caught the essence: if we are burdened carrying too much weight on our bodies we will not be alert nor be able to move fast on our feet to hunt and kill the enemy.
However, we see the seeds of anti-self-sufficiency have also been planted that will grow into full-scale co-dependency as the article progresses; a reliance on external resupply that will doom the Vietnam-
style lightfighter concept in the years to come, precipitating the current crisis in American infantry.


The reader may think: "What a strange order to issue two hours before jumping off. There were so many other really important things to do." A valid comment. Not because it's accurate, but
because it focuses on the nub of the problem-the Soldier's load.

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What the doughfoot carries in a battle has been studied by more boards, written about by more experts, and discussed by more warriors than any other single subject in our business. But in
practice, it is the most abused and neglected area in the infantryman's trade. Everyone pays it lipservice. But few Soldiers see it as a critical problem. So why shouldn't the reader question the
wisdom and timeliness of my order?

Years before, during another war, I had learned what excess weight can do to men's strength. I had seen a squad of men who carried little in battle replace a rifle company-just off the boat-
that--wag loaded down with everything but the kitchen sink and was too spent to fight. This squad of bearded, motley looking fighters saved the so-called fresh company to fight another day,
and then went on to kick the heck out of the better part of a North Korean rifle company.

DISCUSSION: Form vs. Function. Hackworth hints at those most functional will not be the "prettiest". How then could any form of functionality for war survive in a garrison army and marine corps that wants
to look pretty in uniforms via sports PT, spit shines, have nice looking buildings via lawn care and floor polishing and "10-20" standard vehicles when war is a dirty business? Something has to give--and
what we have given up is COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS.

I had seen too many 40-man platoons attack up steep Korean hills only to close in the enemy's position with but ten or so able-bodied fighters while the rest...lay spent and inert along the trail
knocked out of the fight by an overloaded pack. Yes, I had seen too many to be ignorant of the effects a heavy load can I have on a Soldier.

So in the years between wars I read of what Generals Marshall and Fuller had written on the subject of a Soldier's load and I served in the command of a a Soldier who lived by these "Little
Books," one of the finest Soldiers ever to wear crossed rifles. His stricture concerning a Soldier's load was simple, and the men of his battalion carried only a poncho, a canteen cup, and a
spoon. The pack was left behind, but its harness was removed and fixed to the cartridge belt, placing the weight of the ammunition, cut-down entrenching tool, and canteen on the shoulders
and back instead of the waist.

"Lawrence of Arabia" screaming "NO Prisoners!" and change it to RUCKSACKS). Something very bad happens to a human being's mobility when you put a backpack on, even a light one. You simply
cannot bend your torso and run like you can without one on. I'd say the difference is between being able to run in a sprint at up to 20 mph for short bursts, 7 mph for several miles and being at best with a
ruck on to "Airborne shuffle" at 4 mph. The problem here is that Hack like many other Soldier's load writers doesn't get SPECIFIC about what mobility speed they want to achieve.

All else was left behind; shaving kits, extra clothes, messkits, blankets, shelter halves, and other paraphernalia were declared excess baggage. The poncho served as a blanket, tent, litter, raft,
hammock, CP tent, and occasionally as a raincoat.

DISCUSSION: and here is also the FATAL FLAW in Hack's Lightfighter set-up: IT WILL ONLY WORK IN WARM WEATHER CLIMATES ie: Vietnam, Fort Benning, Georgia (hint, hint). If the British had
tried to retake the Falklands in 1982 with just a poncho they would have had hundreds of cold weather casualties. This is also what went wrong with the hackworth Lightfigher construct: as soon as Vietnam
ended and the focused shifted to Fulda Gap in Europe where it RAINS and SNOWS, the no-rucksack-live-only-by-a-poncho idea was discarded quickly. The result was the rucksack stuffed full of comfort
gear went right back on the Soldier's back without any "reality check" of carrying live ammo to restrain him.

The canteen cup doubled as the messkit, and many a gourmet's delight came from that cup: a layer of mashed potatoes, topped with English peas, flattened by a steak and all covered with
vanilla ice cream. The spoon sticking jauntily from the top of the jumpboot became the battalion's trademark, and the Soldiers were proud of it-that big, ugly spoon signalled real foot mobility.

DISCUSSION: and where did all this good food come from? Why RESUPPLY AIRCRAFT of course! This is the ultimate of self-centered light infantry mentality, the rest of the Army will wait on us with hand
and foot. This "manna" from heaven will come at the price of CO-DEPENDENCY upon AIRCRAFT of all things. Anyone who knows anything about the U.S. military knows that it takes an act of god to get
an aviator in an aircraft to appear; this "gift from the heavens" would only last as long as the war was on and a fire was under their asses to deliver, as soon as the war ends the aircraft resupply would
vanish which is the situation we have today---and the rucksack went right back on the infantryman's back.

Our battalion, initially a keen target for Soldier humor, soon proved it could run and march farther, seize its objective sooner, and lose fewer troopers along the way. Other battalions wouldn't
be outdone and so they whittled away at their loads. It wasn't long before our whole division was travelling as light as old Stonewall Jackson's brigade did at Bull Run. Unfortunately this
"revolutionary" lesson learned fell through the cracks, like most lessons learned, only to be relearned on another day by another generation of Soldiers.

DISCUSSION: Hackworth realizes the problem is THE RUCKSACK sort of but at least knows what he wants: alert troops able to run & gun into able.


What are the causes that make the doughfoot a supply animal in Vietnam? Are they complicated and strictly a by-product of counterinsurgency operations, or have they been around since
before Joshua's overloaded Soldiers staggered their way to the top of the walls of Jericho? The following seem to be the main causes:

. Be Prepared Complex. This comes from the very conservative commander who must be prepared for all possible contingencies. He's like a poker player who plays his cards tight -to the vest.
He doesn't win many hands, but he doesn't lose many either. "Better have flame throwers if the enemy's dug in; take along power saws if we have to cut out landing zones; each platoon best
take 10 gallons of gasoline if we find caves; shouldn't we take extra litters if we have to carry our wounded?" The list grows longer for every "if." And once the list has been made out, then all
the "absolutely essential items" are strapped to the fighters' backs.

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DISCUSSION: here Hack is being an blue-collar ignoramus. You can only be cavalier about being prepared if the environment you are in is friendly; the woodlands and jungles of Vietnam are full of water
and vegetation for life to flourish. You could collect water in a stream and shoot animals for food. You could get by with just a poncho. Hack's mocking of the IDEA of being prepared condemns his good no-
rucksack-have-mobility idea to failure the minute you leave the jungles of Vietnam, which is sadly what has happened. We are not talking about having obscure mission gear, we are talking about HAVING

. The S4 Will Fail Attitude. The commander has concluded in advance that the supply system will fail. "Look what happened to Patton. That isn't going to happen to us. We'll just carry a double
basic load of everything. That way we'll never run out and not fall

Mar - April 1968 INFANTRY 37

victim to those bums in the four shop." This attitude results in more items being crammed into packs and sandwiched between axes and powersaws.

DISCUSSION: "Look what happened to the British on the Falklands". They lost helicopters to a ship being sunk and had to carry everything in their rucksacks. THE FACT IS S4 (LOGISTICS) WILL FAIL IN
TIME OF WAR. Its not a given. And Hack is just being narrow-minded here because there ARE ways for a double set of supplies to be carried, they are:

a. Tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles

SLAM talks about these in his book that Hack said he read. He was Hack's mentor for crying out loud! Why no mention of it? I speculate that Hack who never commanded a M113 Gavin mechanized
infantry unit had the typical condescending attitude towards Soldiers in those type of units even though the 25th Light Infantry Division had M113s and swore by them; read Eric Bergerud's "Tropic Lightning,
Tropic Thunder".

b. Pack Mules

c. Carts

d. Bikes

e. Rucks with wheels

. The Packrat Problem. The average Soldier is just as bad about overloading as the eager commander he is his own worst enemy. By nature a Soldier' is a hoarder, and collects additional
ammunition, supplies, and other little extras like five two pound blocks of C-4 to heat his rations. I've seen U.S. Soldiers in Vietnam staggering under a heavy load, but still determinedly
gripping a portable radio. Souvenirs are also a Soldier's vice and he will tote his precious find well after reason tells him to get rid of it. I know of two Soldiers who lugged a forty pound
captured bell for three days through rugged jungle, so that their basecamp could have a "Bell for Adano." Such is the nature of Soldiers: if not loaded down by their commanders, they will find
a way to reduce their mobility and destroy their efficiency by overloading themselves.

. We'll out "G" the "G" Concept. This comes from the idea that if Soldiers have sufficient supplies when introduced into an operational area their locations will not be given away to the enemy
by resupply aircraft.

DISCUSSION: we at the 1st TSG (A) are big proponents of aggressive aircraft resupply, but we are honest: they are noisy and can reveal your location. When Merrill's Marauders were on the run they had
to forgo air resupply at times. And they had pack mules to carry supplies for self-sufficiency, too. The answer is to have OVER-LAPPING supply & transport means, certainly not a blind faith in aircraft
resupply alone as your only umbilical.

Thus, they can outguerrilla the guerrilla, and the fighters are loaded down like 2 1/2-ton trucks, so they "can slip quietly into the guerrilla's lair and fix him." Imagine what a fifty pound lead
weight strapped to an Olympic runner's back would do to his chances of running a four-minute mile? A trackman would refuse such a requirement. He'd say, "To win races I get rid of every
ounce of excess weight." Why shouldn't Infantry fighters "get rid of every ounce of excess weight?" Who has the more important task-to compete for a ribbon or to close with and destroy the

DISCUSSION: here again Hack is being narrow-minded; consider Sparks' DROP guide: Decide mobility level, Reduce un-needed gear, Organize transport and Police the ranks. Hack is not considering that
his supermen could be even more effective if they had HELP in the form of their own supplies moving alongside them via tracks, pack mules, carts, bikes or even wheels on rucks. He is ASS U MING that
the only way you can have extra supplies is by CARRYING THEM ON YOUR BACK. Not true.


Excess weight tires Soldiers; it causes them to become preoccupied with their individual loads rather than staying alert and looking for signs of the enemy. They begin looking at the ground
rather than for tree snipers or for broken twigs on the trail. Scouts miss the enemy's concealed, but tell-tale ambush positions, and soon the unit is being ripped apart by ambushers.

On the battlefield there is another scourge which erodes Soldier's strength: fear; fear that wears out and exhausts the doughfoot's energy. It bends him over and cripples him, and if he is
overloaded to begin with fear will finish him off. The commander who insists upon "bringing everything just in case" will have plenty of "essentials" but few strong fighters and the race may be

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lost before it begins. Fear can never be fully dealt with-although it can be drastically reduced by training which breeds confidence. But a man's load can be dealt with, by a skipper who sees its
importance and says: "Cut the weight, We'll travel light. If we get wet, miss a meal or two; and skip a few creature comforts, so what? We'll be able to fight when called on!"

DISCUSSION: True observation that if you are overloaded you are not alert to stay alive and fight well. However, you will not be fighting anyone if you are fighting for you life because you have hypothermia.
Again, the Vietnam go with a poncho mentality perpetuated by hot, humid Fort Benning, Georgia climate has lulled Hack into over simplifying the gear needed to survive. NOTE no mention of Korea during
the winter in this Hackworth article. You wouldn't last very long in Korea with just a poncho.

Besides being an ineffective jungle fighter, the heavily laden Soldier unwittingly is transformed into an important element of the enemy's supply system. A fragmentation grenade might slip off
his belt. He's tired and kicks it to the side of the trail. A bandoleer of M79 ammo can't be found after a fast search in the the early light of dawn before moving out. "So what! Got plenty, just
leave it." A full can of C-rations can roll from a grounded pack by the defensive position down the hill into a bamboo patch. "I wouldn't walk that far for Mom's apple pie." A canteen can slip
from its owner's hands and sail downstream. "I'm too tired to go after it, Sarge, let's forget it." Comes the morrow and the enemy will have policed it up, for he travels light in the bush-and
lives off what the land and his foe provides.

DISCUSSION: true observation that our stuff falls off and the enemy uses it against us. HOWEVER, is this not because in PEACETIME we do not CARRY REAL AMMUNITION ITEMS so we can discover
what works and doesn't work to keep them from falling off? To "dummy-cord stuff? To maybe come up with a BETTER WAY TO DRINK WATER THAN A CANTEEN IN THE HAND? Its not the QUANTITY
of the gear being carried here its the QUALITY of how its being carried which is slip-shod.


The solution to this problem doesn't rest with the boards or the study groups-though they do develop lighter and better equipment, each year.

DISCUSSION: we as a "study group" (smile) VIOLENTLY disagree here with Hack and his anti-intellectualism. We need no more dumb-ass infantry grunt stupidity. We need lighter and better conceived
equipment that can perform far better than a PONCHO or else Hackworth's "jungle fighter" concept is going to be left in the jungle, which is just about what has happened; it actually died several years later
in Somalia.

The answer is not a dark mystical secret. It's been troubling Soldiers since warfare became a science. A few Soldiers who have searched for a solution, such as Mansfield and Jackson, found
it and did something about it. , Unless we as infantry leaders also do something about it, the boards and study groups will continue to supply lighter equipment, the commanders will continue
to lament loudly about the Soldiers' load, and the infantryman will continue to stumble into battle as overloaded as ever. Is progress our most important product?

DISCUSSION: here Hackworth totally convolutes everything into an unrecognizable mess. He has taken his experiences in warm-weather Vietnam and put himself on a hobby horse/soap box that will not
stand in all climes/places on planet earth. He also ignores the fact that the human body needs a modicum of environmental protection and when inferior clothing/equipment were used in minimalist schemes
in the past like Mansfield/Jackson SOLDIERS DIED. We can ill afford to kill our own Soldiers in a volunteer military fed by a nation at near zero-population growth. If Hack wants infantry leaders to take
charge they need to GET ALL OF THE FACTS ABOUT THE SITUATION FIRST so they lead in the best directions not disastrous ones.

The Infantry leader can solve this dilemma by saying, "I want the loads stripped to a bare minimum," and then check to make sure his order is carried out.

DISCUSSION: true, you need to do the "R" and "P" tasks. But if you do not first "D" DECIDE what level of mobility you require, then "O" ORGANIZE transportation means, and simply plug in "R" & "P" all
you are going to get is rationalizations that "this is the best we can do given the circumstance" ie; the current overloaded mess we are in today. The "bare minimum" will be set as what unimaginatively can
be attained through existing ISSUE equipment and we end up with NCO assholes bearing down on our Soldier's with 100 pounds of gear packing lists because NO ONE SET A TANGIBLE SPEED GOAL
TO OVER-RIDE EVERYTHING AS THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL. Hackworth knows he needs no rucksacks to get his mobility but when push comes to shove he doesn't want to invest intellectually in
the pursuit of better gear to KEEP THE RUCKSACK OFF THE SOLDIER, he will be overcome by events ie; focus on colder climates and his lightfighter ethos will be tossed in the trash can as a "nice thing
to do when in the jungle". What a shame.

Don't give the Soldier's load lip service. Do something about it! Make it your objective to conserve the strength of your fighters. Say to yourself "I'm not going to lose races because my runners
wen: too weighted I down to compete." Demand that your men travel as lightly as possible; examine every item they carry to see if it is needed.

DISCUSSION: her again, Hack doesn't draw a tangible line either in speed or weight and he gives the reader a free pass to overload Soldiers with the vague platitude that they are somehow conserving the
strength of their fighters". SLAM says 40 pounds tops. That's 3 pounds of helmet, 6 pounds of uniform, 4 pounds of boots, 3 pounds of rifle, 10 pounds of ammo, 5 pounds of water/webbing, 2 pounds of
bayonet--which leaves you just 7 pounds to spare----meaning NO RUCKSACK!!!!

This is exactly what we propose with our "Combat Light" load---3 pounds is an Ecotate Light Weight Sleeping Bag, another 4 is either a poncho-tent with stakes/space blanket or an Ecotate tube

Assign the finest captain you have to run your supply shop and tell him to keep you supplied. When landing zones are not available, kick out the supplies into the trees; fly your mortars, .50
caliber machine guns, extra ammunition, claymore mines and trip flares into your defensive position, at dusk, and lift them out in the morning.

When your purpose is stealth, use your imagination. Cache supplies in the jungle like the guerrilla. Bring

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Page 38 INFANTRY Mar - April 1968

in supplies by low altitude parachute drop. Call in a dummy airstrike. Have the fighter aircraft make several firing passes at a nearby point. Then have them drop napalm containers loaded with
supplies. If the enemy is watching, he'll get a good belly laugh at "an airstrike hammering the empty jungle." But you will be resupplied.

DISCUSSION: we'd love to see air resupply available, but FIRST YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE AIRCRAFT. That means they have to be fixed-wing, low-cost and simple so they ACTUALLY FLY unlike
complex and costly medium-to-large helicopters. It means aircrews have to be co-located by trailers with ground forces so they are not off in their own little flyboy world full of excuses why they can't show
up to fight. We'd love to have fighter aircraft drop supplies by wing hardpoint containers, but FIRST YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE CONTAINERS. We cover all of this in our Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade
(NLMB) proposal:



Its dangerous and unrealistic to strip men down of all resupply and have them TOTALLY DEPENDENT--"good Captain" or not on AIR RESUPPLY. Hack is speaking of another time, another era when
"things were available" because people were CAN-DO and the things he was asking them do were simpler. If we want these kinds of things done again we need to find CAN-DO people to replace the can't
dos, and SIMPLIFY what we are doing ie: NLMB. Short of that units to be SELF-SUFFICIENT WITH THEIR OWN SUPPLY MEANS FOR INDEPENDENT OPERATIONS must have Soldiers trained AND
EQUIPPED in classic live-off-the-land SERE skills (water purifiers etc.) as SLAM points out in his book when describing the Russians, PLUS have "help" from other transport means.

Make it SOP that all helicopters entering your area of operation-C and C, medevac, and so on-are prerigged with C-rations, ammunition, and whatever else you need, so that when a casual
visitor comes your way you can also receive supplies. Strip your wounded and sick of all. needed items before evacuation.

Gamble a little. You can't be prepared for everything. It's the bold commander who has carefully figured the odds and is willing to roll the dice who wins in battle. But you will be surprised to
find how light your men can travel, how few rations Soldiers eat in combat, and that a basic load of ammo will do the job in the toughest fight.

You will also find that Soldiers take great pride in austere conditions. "We're lean and mean, not softened by creature comforts. We're the ruggedest band of men in the Army." Soldiers live on
challenges. Dare them to travel light.

DISCUSSION: here is pure light infantry narcissist HOOAH! fantasy. You strip away your supplies, become CO-DEPENDENT upon AIR resupply (sexy and ego gratifying as well as most costly) and run
around beating your chest how tough you are in warm weather. This ill-conceived mixture of a good idea (don't carry a ruck on your back for mobility) while not preparing for the worst (Murphy's Law) by
having back-up means on the "back" of something else: armored tracks, carts, bikes, pack mules etc. is the exact recipe for disaster that finally blew up on October 3, 1993 when Army Delta Force
operators and Rangers inserted into an urban city center and found themselves surrounded and cut-off when their Vietnam successor to the Huey, Blackhawk helicopters were shot down. The U.S. Army
light infantry community attempting to relive the Hackworth-style Vietnam formula (resting on the laurels of others who have gone before) should have been steadily IMPROVING the good aspects of the
junglefighter and discarding the bad parts to create a "FIGHT-ANYWHERE INFANTRYMEN" superior to all other infantries on earth. We continue to fail to do this and we continue to fail on the lethal, non-
linear battlefields because of it.

So Why didn't/hasn't the Army & marines fielded pack-mules?

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Every once in a while, a thoughtful Soldier writes in complaining about the Soldier's load and how it hinders our mobility and enemies like Bin Ladens escape. The article goes into a typical curse-the-
darkness cha-cha-cha and then ends in a vague platitude to cut the Soldier's load. The following article on pack mules and horses was published at the same Vietnam time frame as Colonel Hackworth
was doing the Soldier's Load cha-cha-cha but at least constructively calling on NO MORE RUCKSACKS and a co-dependence on air resupply. The problem with air resupply other than its costly and noisy
resulting in loss of surprise is IT WILL CEASE TO BE AVAILABLE ONCE THE WAR IS OVER AND EVERYONE RETUNS TO THEIR GARRISON BS. Even if air resupply was stealthy, reliable with good
marker devices like balloons, affordable and made available via simple fixed-wing STOL aircraft co-located and owned by ground maneuver units--and we have many proposals to do this; its still also
necessary and BETTER than co-dependence upon air logistics to have moving in conjunction with your "teeth" your own "tail" of supplies in an armored track, carts, bikes, rolling rucksacks or PACK

So why at the height of the Korean and Vietnam WARS did the Army/marines NOT ADAPT and get pack mules like they had in WW2?

We'll let you ponder on that question for a few seconds.

Now for some answers...Ahhhh....the wonders of the digital camera intel "raid" on a military museum...I have discovered I can take pics of entire museum in high resolution than go back slowly and read
every morsel of information by blowing the pictures up.....today we are at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum @ soggy Fort Eustis, Virginia....and our topic today is...


Were we unprepared yet again like we were with tanks and cavalry by dropping everything we had done well in WW2 just 5 short years earlier?


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So what did we use in Korea?

No, not helicopters despite USMC boasts....

we used...


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* Supplies dropped or pushed off on plywood skidboards with no forklift (MHE) slots


* No motorized MHE device (truckbed/ramp + winch, forklift, ANT trailer etc.) to pick-up supplies dropped by plane even if they HAD forklift slots

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* No motorized vehicle to transport supplies

* No human-powered vehicle to move supplies by rolling conveyance (carts, bikes)


* Even the stretchers didn't have wheels.

Roll-Ez company offers them as a clip-on attachment back in the 1980s....

* Water was obviously purified back at a FOB but placed in lots of Soldier-sized water bottles that can't fit into a 1 quart canteen cover securely (no one other than Sparks thought to use bottles that are
shaped like a 1 quart canteen for best interface)


All in all, a complete clusterfuck asking for the enemy to start dropping mortar shells on their fleshy, but "physically fit" narcissist bodies so they can be ripped to shreds and bleed to death for a flag-
covered glorious funeral back in CONUS.

Internet sources for the pic


AP - Fri Jun 23, 12:20 PM ET U.S. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division carry water to their mountain post on a stretcher in south Afghanistan,Thursday, June 22,
2006. U.S. troops had to carry food and water air dropped by plane from the valley floor to the ridge top as part of operations in support of Operation Mountain Thrust. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)


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AP - Fri Jun 23, 11:53 AM ET U.S. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, cajole an Afghan donkey to carry supplies to their mountaintop post in south
Afghanistan,Thursday, June 22, 2006. U.S. troops had to carry food and water, air dropped by plane, from the valley floor to the ridge top as part of operations in support of Operation Mountain Thrust. (AP
Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Obviously there are not enough pack mules to prevent the human chain break bulk cluster fuck from happening. What happens when you are a half-assed outfit (half is being charitable). Maybe if we didn't
play "From Here to Eternity" garrison games all the time the monies saved on not needing lawn mowers would pay for enough pack mules?

Let's hope after Afghanistan ops end the 10th Mountain Division keeps pack mules so we don't have to relearn this lesson again...maybe they can get some Darby ATACS right away, too...

Wheeled trucks STILL SUCK and can't go up steep, rocky terrain and we STILL NEED TRACKED RESUPPLY but we STILL HAVE LIGHT NARCISSISTS who refuse to use tracks so they pass water
bottles up mountains in stretchers using human chains...I guess that makes them pack humans? No, stretcher humans...

So back to Vietnam...

If we had a REAL 10th Mountain Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, it could have pack mules ORGANIC to them and get VERY GOOD at using them trekking up into the Rocky Mountains. If HQDA was
run right, we'd swap the 4th ID (M) from Carson to Drum and the 10th from Drum to Carson. OK, our suspicion is that people at the time like Hackworth didn't think pack mules would be "sexy" enough; ie; it
smacks of being "old fashioned". In other words, Americans are too stuck on their internal combustion engine air and ground craft to use them as SLAM proposes in his book, "The Soldier's Load and the
Mobility of the Nation". OK, fine. Outfit every light infantry unit like the 25th ID did with M113 Gavin tracks. Even get helicopter-transportable light tracks for the 101st. Ooops. It didn't happen then in
Vietnam and we still have "light" infantry foot slogging with 100 pounds of "lightweight" equipment in rucksacks--ie: they did not perpetuate the Hackworth live-with-just-a-poncho formula because it doesn't
work anywhere other than where its hot and the air resupply means are not available. Something even more disgusting is in effect here. Its not that pack mules are "OLD" means and thus disqualified from
infantry use; the "NEW" means of help; tracked armored fighting vehicles and aircraft are rejected too. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE HELP. Army and marine infantry worships itself and doesn't need any
"HELP" from ANYONE or ANYTHING. They don't want "help" from a flyboy dropping supplies to them, can't trust those "pussies", anyway. No, the only person in the light infantry narcissist's mind you can
trust is YOUR OWN BACK. You must carry EVERYTHING and if you are a "man" and not a "pussy" you can do it and not need any help from anyone else. In Army jargon, American light infantry doesn't
want to "combine arms" or be a team player in the fight if it means them losing star billing status. 1st TSG (A) Director Sparks saw this at JRTC at the assault on Shughart-Gordon MOUT site where his
tracks were give a stand-off "support-by-fire" role as the infantry at 3am did the wannabe Rommel/John Poole "infiltration attack" into the enemy's wire and land mines whereupon they quickly died. Had the
armor (tracked tanks) and infantry attacked TOGETHER under the smokescreen of the M58 Humvee chemical unit trucks with Airborne combat engineers in M113A3 Gavins borrowed from us shooting
rocket line charges to clear the obstacles, even a frontalist assault would have worked. Nope. Can't do that. Doesn't give our infantry boys enough of a "work-out".

Another result is these wannabe "Supermen" are waddling around like ducks (with rucks) at 1 mph or less during dismounted movements and the enemy is free to ambush them or run away at will. Just
look at Operation Anaconda to see this spectacle in action. Pack mules could solve this. How do we know this? BECAUSE WE SUPPLIED PACK MULES TO THE AFGHAN MUJIHADEEN TO CARRY
STINGER MANPADS MISSILES THROUGH THE CIA IN THE LAST WAR. So why is it AOK for the Muj to use mules to move around their heavy missiles, mortars and machine guns and we must try to
carry all this weight on our backs? Or worse, we demand a helicopter in FULDA GAP GREEN deliver us right on the tan-colored objective (so we can arrive in style but not have to walk much) where the
enemy is waiting so he can shoot us down because we are too proud and arrogant to admit we don't have GROUND MOBILITY and need HELP on the ground (tracks, bikes, carts, pack-mules etc.)? Sure,
some SF Soldiers used pack mules in the early days of Afghanistan and they've got 18D medics trained to do some pack animal care and have a "secret squirrel" manual on how to do it: FM 31-27, PACK


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However, how many do they OWN and have ready to go NOW? Its sexy as long as you don't have to do it all the time; as you can see some gyrenes have decided to RENT some to carry SOME of their
supplies (they still carry 2 days on their own backs lest someone call them "pussies" etc.).


10th Mountain Division Soldiers with locally procured pack mules; will they continue to use them after the war or go back to slow, foot-slogging and garrison "From Here to Eternity" BS?


Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

August 14, 2005

Humvees Can't Go, So GIs Use Donkeys

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By Daniel Cooney, Associated Press

KANDAGAL, Afghanistan - Frustrated with the limitations of using its Humvee four-wheel-drive vehicles in rugged mountains with few roads, a battalion of U.S. marines has enlisted a mode of
transport used for centuries by Afghan villagers: donkeys.

About 30 of the animals have been rented from farmers to haul food and bottled water to hundreds of Afghan and U.S. troops on a two-week operation to battle militants deep in remote
mountains in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

"With all the smart bombs and the modern stuff in war nowadays, this is the best way for us to resupply our troops there," said Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, commander of 2nd Battalion, 3rd marine
regiment, which is based in Hawaii. "It's also much cheaper for the U.S. taxpayer for us to rent the donkeys than for everything to be air-dropped."

Using aircraft to resupply the forces is also dangerous.

In late June, militants in the area shot down a special-forces Chinook helicopter, killing all 16 troops on board, as it tried to land in one of the many steep-sided, wooded valleys that snake
their way through the mountains.

The operation, which began Friday, is aimed at flushing those fighters out of the valley, and U.S. commanders are nervous about risking other choppers in the process.

From a temporary resupply base in a cornfield at one end of Korengal Valley, where the militants are suspected of hiding, marines with heavy packs on their backs led out lines of donkeys,
each laden with two boxes of water, a box of food rations and a sack of grain.

While each marine carried enough food and water for themselves for two days, the donkeys gave each squad supplies for an extra 48 hours. Once finished, the animals would be led back
to the resupply base to load up again and then return to the mountains.

Before coming to Afghanistan, some of the troops received training in handling donkeys at a training center in California, said Capt. John Moshane.

If we adopted pack-mules PERMANENTLY as an institution, not AD HOC (what if there are no friendly villagers willing to RENT you pack mules?) as described above, new work tasks would have to be
done. Well guess what? SOMETHING HAS TO FUCKING GIVE THEN, HUH? We won't have all this time to screw around mowing lawns, polishing floors, stabbing each other in the back with paperwork,
having classes on "respect" and Army "values" when we are in a snobby, narcissistic culture etc. Pack-Mules would take TIME, time we don't want to spend GETTING COMBAT READY, no we want to
screw off playing garrison Army games and pack-mules would get in the way of that. It would remind us why the taxpayers pay us middle-class wages and we certainly cannot afford this daily reality check.

So the real reason why the institutional U.S. Army and marines reject pack-mules is because both outfits are corrupt and only want to do things that are ego-gratifying with a thin veneer of a pretense that
they are preparing for a future reliving of WW2 in a high-tech way against an easy nation-state patsy but without much of the things that worked back then that lack the sexy appeal--like pack-mules.

1967 Pack Mules: U.S. Army INFANTRY magazine November-December issue


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The success of the Viet Cong in conducting a guerrilla and insurgency action in South Vietnam has been due, in large measure; to his innate ability to move on foot, assisted to
a great degree by the indigenous animals of his surroundings. Both means of movement have served his clandestine operations well in the hills and jungles that characterize his
country. That he has been able to sustain his tactical and logistic efforts so effectively is not only a mark of his ability and skill as a jungle fighter, but also his expediency in the
use of the oldest military transport system known-pack or animal transport. With the aid of such animals as the mule, elephant, water buffalo, and ox, his forte has been those
basic essentials of ground warfare-stealth of movement, surprise, maneuverability, self-sustenance.

Within these areas of comparable skills, we have fallen far short in adopting them to our utmost advantage.

What is urged, therefore, is an updated clarification by the Army of the role of pack or animal transport as the traditional adjunct of ground forces engaged in the kind of war
presently being fought, and the necessary organization and training to implement its employment when and where needed. . The direct or auxiliary employment of pack transport
under any conditions of weather and terrain has long constituted part of our military doctrine. Military litera-

Page 44 INFANTRY Nov - Dec 1967

ture is never without reference to its adaptability in any kind of warfare. Its capabilities, as well as its limitations, have been tested in many campaigns. Its usefulness in
conventional or unconventional and in limited or general war has been stated many times.

Pack transport's greatest asset is its ability to carry the war to the enemy under the most difficult conditions.

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When properly employed it is highly effective; and very often an enemy is hard pressed to detect its presence.

Historically, the employment of pack transport has been justified in every war in which the United States Army has fought. Its usefulness reached its zenith in World War II when
its employment by our forces exceeded that in all of our previous wars put together.

Merrill's Marauders, the Marsmen and the Chindits made extensive use of it in the China-Burma-India theater of operations. Thousands of mules and Asian horses were recruited
by these forces-their primary function: to maintain long supply lines. In Italy, so great was the need for animal transport that General Danford, former Chief of Artillery, was led to
remark, "The Apennines of Italy just shout for pack. . . ." General Mark Clark, who commanded the United States Fifth Army, also envisioned its potential in that rugged country.
Consequently, he requisitioned some 1,300 mules for pack train duty. Heretofore, the only pack train in his army had been that attached to the 3d U.S. Infantry Division, which
had seen service in Sicily and later on the mainland. Campaign records of the Fifth Army also indicate, for example, that much of the high ground to the west and north of the
Volturno River would not have been gained and held by the 34th U.S. Infantry Division had it not been for the support rendered by a hastily recruited pack train attached to that
division. In New Guinea our troops also served with native pack animal units.


Following World War II, pack animals were used by our forces in Korea, and captured Mongolian ponies and mules were utilized to transport material with which to build various
defense barricades across that country during the fall of 1951 and spring of 1952. More than a decade later, Special Forces personnel were to be found patrolling the plains and
jungle-covered highlands of central Vietnam on Asian horses, employing them for pack as well. Elephants also have been recruited for service in the vicinity of Ban Don, near the
Cambodian border. An interesting footnote is that at the start of this war the Vietnamese Army had only one pack company, consisting of 164 horses.

Other nations as well have traditionally pursued a policy of readiness in respect to pack transport, among which have been France, Austria, Italy, Japan, Russia, Turkey, China
and Great Britain. During World War II their armies made extensive use of this mode of transport. All but the German Army were well stocked with animals and prepared to fight
with them, and the Germans were forced to hastily recruited Panje horse, a small but sturdy animal, when their famed Panzer divisions became bogged down by mud and bad
weather during their sweep across the Russian plains in the 1941/1942 campaigns. Some German divisions were reported to have had, at one time, as many as 2,000 horses, with
not a single serviceable motor vehicle available during several critical periods of those campaigns. Then, just prior to the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 many German units and their
equipment were moved under cover of I darkness by improvised animal transport. Even on the Finland front, in the absence of other suitable means of transport, German and
Russian Soldiers were obliged, at times, to utilize reindeers, although primarily in a draft capacity. When used as pack carriers these hardy ruminants were able to carry loads
weighing up to 50 pounds.

In the Far East during World War II, Chinese guerrilla forces relied mainly on pack animals for their transport needs. Mao Tse-tung, who generally is regarded as the leading
exponent of guerrilla fighting, recognized their usefulness in the fighting in the south of China.

All in all, in ten countries where guerrilla and insurgency operations already have taken place in comparatively recent times, five still maintain pack animal units, and three plan to
adopt them again on mobilization. In 44 countries where these operations could develop or are developing, 25 have pack animal units, including some cavalry. In 21 other
countries which are considered as not susceptible to such operations, 13 nonetheless maintain pack animal units. Thus, 43 out of 75 countries have pack animal unit potential-
even in these modern times. The United States, significantly, is not one of the 43.

Collectively, the principal animals available in these countries are the mule, horse, elephant, buffalo, ox, camel, pony, and donkey. To a lesser extent, the yak, llama, bullock, and
carabao are also available, and, in fact, have been used in past campaigns. Even Arctic dogs-the Eskimo or Husky-have been known to carry loads weighing as much as 35
pounds, and may be seen today in use as domestic pack carriers.

Although United States military doctrine always has provided for the employment of pack transport in warfare, its limited, if not non-existent, use in the present conflict has
spurred some activity toward an up-dating of the doctrine to include, specifically, Army requirements in counter-guerrilla and counter-insurgency operations for this and possible
similar wars in the future. This action was initiated by the John F. Kennedy Center for Special Warfare, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, partly in recognition of its own requirements,
but foremost to correct existing deficiencies in planning for the future. Correspondence from officers and enlisted men serving

Nov - Dec 1967 INFANTRY 45

in Vietnam, as well as Thailand and Pakistan, have deplored the lack of pack or animal transport.

The situation today is this: the United States Army has not maintained pack animal transport units; officer and enlisted instructors are virtually non-existent; revised field
manuals, pamphlets and training programs on pack transport subjects are lacking; few Army veterinarians are trained in the duties and techniques of animal procurement or in
servicing them; equipment is unavailable; hardly any officers or enlisted men are actively engaged or versed in animal management.

More profound, perhaps, is the fact that not one mule is listed on the Army rolls. In fact, until very recently, the Army has had only nineteen equines-all horses used mainly for
ceremonial purposes.

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Today's conflicts appear to start as so-called "national liberation wars" or "peoples' struggles". An intensification of the cold war by the application of subversive insurgency has
always been the modus operandi of the communists. Further intensification can lead to increasingly organized guerrilla and insurgency operations, and then to limited war. This
has been the situation in Vietnam. The likelihood of similar situations developing in other parts of the world is already a hard reality. In any of the countries noted as possible
battlegrounds, our forces may be called upon to fight a counter-guerrilla and counter-insurgency operation.

Most of these countries are characterized by rugged, terrain, extremes of weather and poor transportation facilities. Dependence on pack transport is great. Thus, if we are ever
called on to fight in anyone of those countries we should be better prepared in the specialized aspects of this mode of transportation. At the very least, we should maintain a
nucleus of expertness and skills within our military establishment; it would not be remiss to organize and train for service in pack transport, at least on a limited or cadre basis.

Today, we are totally unprepared in the many faceted tactical and logistic characteristics of pack transport in the event we may have to resort to it in any kind of war. To
compound the situation, late reports indicate that no imminent action appears likely regarding the proposals advocated by the Special Forces at Fort Bragg. Under the
circumstances, it is urged that the Army. re-assess the role of pack transport, specifically for use in counter-guerrilla and counter-insurgency operations and with a view toward
the early adoption and implementation of the Center's study. At the very least we should know something of the subject.

Pack and Tracker Dogs

CNN is now repeatedly showing video of an Israeli Sayeret (recon) unit with a German shepherd and a black Labrador; the later has a chest wrap holding two walkie-talkies. Is this to
command the scout/tracker dog what to do to when trying to detect where Hezie-B are hiding?


Israeli special forces, with their llamas, prepare to cross the Israel-Lebanon border west of Avivim, late night August 1, 2006. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (ISRAEL)


1. Learn to live in the field WITHOUT your rucksack using the COMBAT LIGHT METHODS described above; so you can go 4-7 mph

2. Use rucks to carry bulk ammo, water, food ONLY

3. Tow the rucks on their own wheels or on bikes/carts and/or pack mules (they can tow ATACS, too!)

4. Carry rucks on M113 Gavin light tracks

5. For each mission use the D-R-O-P planning steps to insure mobility levels are created

6. Train with actual live or weighted dummy ammo so field living gear doesn't encroach on ammo weights that need to be carried

7. Stop doing ridiculous sports PT in tshirt, shorts and running shoes; wear all your combat gear and make 4-7 mph mobility your goals

EPILOGUE: So why doesn't the U.S. Army and marines do these things to be high quality "Light" infantry? The Curse of (Garrison) Line Infantry: where does it come from?

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We began this web page with the premise that the U.S. Army and marines WANT TO BE GOOD LIGHT INFANTRY. The sad fact is they do not want to be light infantry they want to be LINE
INFANTRY. Using pack mules, bikes, carts, light M113 Gavin tracks etc. would cut into their garrison BS narcisso-ego time. In other words, it would take EFFORT on their part and they would
have to CHANGE THEMSELVES and apply some humility which as we alluded earlier they have none of.

Mark Ash recently asked me (Mike Sparks), where does the U.S. Army's Light infantry divisions come from with their absurd hard-headed refusal to even light mechanize in light to medium
tracked tanks?

Rather than give him the trite "official" answer that they were created in the early 1980s to fit on x amount of C-141A/B Starlifter jet transport sorties to reinforce Europe by fighting in closed
terrain "not passable to tanks" after the Societ tank armies invaded so they had to forgo organic ground vehicles yadda yadda yadda, I have thought long and hard because the question also
applies to all of the USMC infantry units, too.

Here is what I think the actual truth is:

1. Infantry that moves slowly on foot comes from the CIVIL WAR (19th century) to create linear formations to fight set-piece battles in the Napoleonic nation-state vs. nation-state mode.

2. We have LINE infantry because we WANT TO HAVE line infantry.

3. We want line infantry because it is simple and allows us to have GARRISON activities (BS = bull shit).

If we created a MOBILE infantry, the time needed to play GARRISON spit 'n polish, "From Here to Eternity", lawn and building care, parade ground ceremonies would have to be devoted to
our MOBILITY MOUNTS and not self-worship. We want line infantry so we can have GARRISON BS.

We are in the 21st Century with a 19th Century military organization, culture and weak narcissistic egomaniac population. As you will see, the U.S. military has NEVER properly adapted and
exploited the tank (mech) and the airplane. We are two centuries behind already.

Here is how its progressed over time:

1860 Civil War--------------------->WW1-------------------->WW2 1940

Despite creating a MOBILE infantry (Cavalry on horses) to defeat the Indians after the Civil War, we kept the LINE infantry that could advance in lines or entrench into lines, hitting its zenith in
WW1's carnage. "Soldiering" was not that technologically complex and we could stab each other in the back all day long with GARRISON "From Here to Eternity" crap. Everything was shiny
to be visible from a distance and polishing kept the troops busy. The mobile warfare folks in love with the HORSE forgot that it was MOBILITY that counted and refused to mechanize with
machines to get it.

WW2 1941------------------------->Korea-------------------->1960

In the closed terrain of the Pacific, WW1 generals could refight WW1 using air and sea craft to deliver the infantry to the battlefield (parachute and airland airborne and amphibious
operations), where they could then engage in linear Civil War re-enactments. Garrison was safe for post-war games/lifestyle. However, in the exposed, open terrain of Europe, ground forces
needed to move much faster, and WW1 generals used wheeled trucks to "motorize" infantry to try to keep up with tracked tanks and dismount to fight Civil War-WW1 style at every
opportunity, in addition to using air and sea craft. Garrison was safe for post-war games/lifestyle! Contrary to popular mythology, the motorized infantry did not work that well and it was a
dismal failure in Korea against a genuine MOBILE infantry that could go up/down mountains/hills. General Gavin and others began to for the first time really try to make a mobile infantry that
FIGHTS MOBILE not just uses mobility means to get there and then fight without much mobility. The creation of the simple-to-operate, M113 air-transportable, all-tracked, all-terrain, all-
armored, amphibious light tank for the first time in history offered us the possibility of a MOBILE infantry better than the horse. The whole purpose of the M113 was for INFANTRY, particularly
Airborne infantry coming by fixed-wing aircraft, to FIGHT MOBILE, not foot-slog.

However, in the critical year of 1960, with General Gavin retired, the GARRISON Army generals refused to create a mobile infantry; they did not give M113s to the light units, they instead gave
them to the units assigned to follow TANKS, creating a perceived inferior social underclass bogged down in VEHICLE CARE lumped in with the heavier M48/M60 medium tanks. The Garrison
Army was safe to play garrison Army games, and so was the USMC. During WW2, the USMC had used open-topped "amtracks" to hit the beaches, with the advent of aluminum alloy armor,
they could fully enclose the vehicle and use it for MOBILE warfare inland. No-can-do. "The USMC is walking line infantry, we are not going to give up two riflemen; a driver and a track
commander---to move every rifle squad, we're gonna get at least 2 squads in every amtrack to cut down on costs and who's 'goldbricking' and not marching into battle." Enter the post-WW2
enclosed and bloated family of USMC amtracks that continues to the present day---they will only take marines ashore and then they'll walk, even though in every damn war necessity finds the
bloated amtracks being used as defacto inland war APCs with disastrous results.

1961---------------------->Vietnam 1975---------------------------------1980

The helicopter turned out later in Vietnam to be nothing more than a conveyor of troops like the earlier transport plane, sea landing craft and wheeled truck. However, the urgencies of
Vietnam resulted in units that should have had M113s all along, getting them and we created a kick-ass MOBILE infantry that routinely beat the VC and the NVA; the world's best light infantry-

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--by superior all-terrain mobility over soft, muddy terrain and woods and in the face of enemy fire. Operating M113s did NOT make the troops become motor pool "pussies". The M113 Gavins
were so simple to operate folks wrongly assumed that if they were needed they'd be assigned ad hoc and THE PERMANENT ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES NEEDED TO CREATE A MOBILE
INFANTRY WERE NOT DONE. If you wanted to play garrison "From Here to Eternity" games and own/operate M113s you could. The only excuse left was the ego card, and both the "heavy"
tankers and the "light" infantry weighed in.

The WW2 tankers led by Starry with Soviet tank terror on their minds got an American Tiger heavy, defensive, big gun "male" tank to stop them on the Fulda gap. However, they still had
swarms of Soviet infantry to kill in BMPs, and a M113 even with a BMP-killing autocannon would not do (AIFV) for their schemes. They didn't want infantry all over the place doing its own
thing, they wanted just enough infantry to protect THEM and their tanks, so they created a "female" tank with space for a few security guards, the Bradley.

The lightfighters decided they needed a "pure" foot line infantry force using the limited USAF C-141 airlift excuse to create a whole culture of folks doing the garrison BS they wanted to do,
yearning for easy war opportunities which came later in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). There were some smart lightfighters who remembered how well light tanks worked in Vietnam and
kept it going with the 3/73rd Armor BN's M551 Sheridans, using borrowed M113s at places like NTC and JRTC but the MTOEs were never changed to make infantry mobile and have the long-
term use to see new possibilities like "Air-Meching" them by USAF fixed-wing and army rotary-wing aircraft.


Bradley disease kicks in; a 25-33 ton tank that can't fly by C-130 much less helicopters, can't swim, can't go cross-country at will without getting stuck. Eco-nazis on garrison post don't want
any trees and woodpeckers knocked over. Troops in back can't see shit or fight mounted. Infantry flees from Bradley units into the "lightfighter" narcissist orbit. USMC likes the Bradley so
much their new AAAV/EFV amtrack will be arranged just like it. The Lightfighters without mobility gets their asses kicked in Somalia in 1993, but nothing changes. TF Hawk airlanding of heavy
M1s and medium M2s is a clusterfuck and embarrrassment, so Shinseki rather than do the right and best thing, which would be supply the infantry M113 Gavin tracks, saves institutional face
by pitching thinly armored trucks (LAV-III/"Strykers") aka motorized infantry as the Army's salvation for sub-national conflicts. Garrison line Infantry loves the high road speed, comfortable
ride wheeled trucks because they think they will not have to spend much time on them and are then free to play their garrison BS games with gusto. No more Bradley second-class
citizenship in back. Problem is that its no better than road-bound motorized TF Smith in Korea in 1950 asking to happen all over again. A future daily road ambush disaster awaits in Iraq, it
happens and nothing changes.

The root cause of all of this is GARRISON.

The desire to have 19th century trappings of rank, privilege, barracks, lawns, parades, saluting, look-at-me-shoot, look-at-me-slowly-march, me-me-me narcissism; all of this chokes out ANY
technotactical excellence.

If we do not fix this, and get rid of the 19th century military, America will not make it into the 22nd century. Maybe you are fat and happy with the way things are and the garrison BS. You
think its AOK every time we go to war its always a "gee-this-is-a-new-thing-to-me" and the learning curve is measured in dead Americans in flag-draped coffins. You want to ride to the
battle, have this event completely erased since its not important and focus ALL THE ATTENTION ON YOU, THE INFANTRYMAN. You have "arrived" and will now do your Civil War/WW2 re-
enactment. But the one thing you better not try to do is foist yourself as a "hero" and a "patriot" or a military "professional", since you are neither. Garrison piece-of-shit is what you are and
chose to be, Mr. Line Infantry.

We need a MOBILE INFANTRY if we want to defeat enemies today that are more mobile than us; its long overdue. The plains Indians could do it with 19th century technology. See excerpt
Dave Reeder found below. Its high time that our light infantry get the M113 Gavin light tanks needed to do 3D maneuver warfare over and through closed terrain to help our heavy forces in
heavier tanks doing 2D maneuver warfare over open terrain. If we don't fix this and soon, forces like Hezbollah will not be just a nuisance to the Israelis in rocky southern Lebanon.

From The Prairie Traveler, Capt. Randolph B. Marcy, 5Th Infantry, Chapter 6, 1859


The military system, as taught and practiced in our army up to the time of the Mexican war, was, without doubt, efficient and well adapted to the art of war among civilized
nations. This system was designed for the operations of armies acting in populated districts, furnishing ample resources, and against an enemy who was tangible, and made use
of a similar system. [EDITOR: nation-state war]

The vast expanse of desert territory that has been annexed to our domain within the last few years is peopled by numerous tribes of marauding and erratic savages, who are
mounted upon fleet and hardy horses, making war the business and pastime of their lives, and acknowledging none of the ameliorating conventionalities of civilized warfare.
Their tactics are such as to render the old system almost wholly impotent. [EDITOR: sub-national conflict by people who have no civilian "life", they live for violence; sounds like
Hezbollah today]

To act against an enemy who is here to-day and there to-morrow; who at one time stampedes a herd of mules upon the head waters of the Arkansas, and when next heard from
is in the very heart of the populated districts of Mexico, laying waste haciendas, and carrying devastation, rapine, and murder in his steps; who is every where without being any
where; who assembles at the moment of combat, and vanishes whenever fortune turns against him; who leaves his women and children far distant from the theater of hostilities,
and has neither towns or magazines to defend, nor lines of retreat to cover; who derives his commissariat from the country he operates in, and is not encumbered with baggage

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wagons or pack-trains; who comes into action only when it suits his purposes, and never without the advantage of numbers or position-with such an enemy the strategic science
of civilized nations loses much of its importance, and finds but rarely, and only in peculiar localities, an opportunity to be put in practice.

Our little army, scattered as it has been over the vast area of our possessions, in small garrisons [FOBs] of one or two companies each, has seldom been in a situation to act
successfully on the offensive against large numbers of these marauders, and has often been condemned to hold itself almost exclusively upon the defensive. The morale of the
troops must thereby necessarily be seriously impaired, and the confidence of the savages correspondingly augmented. The system of small garrisons has a tendency to
disorganize the troops in proportion as they are scattered, and renders them correspondingly inefficient. The same results have been observed by the French army in Algeria,
where, in 1845, their troops were, like ours, disseminated over a vast space, and broken up into small detachments stationed in numerous intrenched posts. Upon the sudden
appearance of Abd el Kader in the plain of Mitidja, they were defeated with serious losses, and were from day-to-day obliged to abandon these useless stations, with all the
supplies they contained. A French writer, in discussing this subject, says:

"We have now abandoned the fatal idea of defending Algeria by small intrenched posts. In studying the character of the war, the nature of the men who are to oppose us, and of
the country in which we are to operate, we must be convinced of the danger of admitting any other system of fortification than that which is to receive our grand depots, our
magazines, and to serve as places to recruit and rest our troops when exhausted by long, expeditionary movements.

"These fortifications should be established in the midst of the centers of action, so as to command the principal routes, and serve as pivots to expeditionary columns. [EDITOR:
only have the minimum necessary FOBs that are operationally located to have maximum effect]

"We owe our success to a system of war which has its proofs in twice changing our relations with the Arabs. This system consists altogether in the great mobility we have given
to our troops. Instead of disseminating our Soldiers with the vain hope of protecting our frontiers with a line of small posts, we have concentrated them, to have them at all times
ready for emergencies, and since then the fortune of the Arabs has waned, and we have marched from victory-to-victory. [EDITOR: Quick Reaction Forces]

"This system, which has thus far succeeded, ought to succeed always, and to conduct us, God willing, to the peaceful possession of the country."

In reading a treatise upon war as it is practiced by the French in Algeria, by Colonel A. Laure, of the 2d Algerian Tirailleurs, published in Paris in 1858, I was struck with the
remarkable similarity between the habits of the Arabs and those of the wandering tribes that inhabit our Western prairies. Their manner of making war is almost precisely the
same, and a successful system of strategic operations for one will, in my opinion, apply to the other.

As the Turks have been more successful than the French in their military operations against the Arab tribes, it may not be altogether uninteresting to inquire by what means
these inferior Soldiers have accomplished the best results. [EDITOR: just like ARVN were able to get good results in M113 Gavins]

The author above mentioned, in speaking upon this subject, says:

"In these latter days the world is occupied with the organization of mounted infantry, according to the example of the Turks, where, in the most successful experiments that have
been made, the mule carries the foot-Soldier.

"The Turkish Soldier mounts his mule, puts his provisions upon one side and his accoutrements upon the other, and, thus equipped, sets out upon long marches, traveling day
and night, and only reposing occasionally in bivouac. Arrived near the place of operations (as near the break of day as possible), the Turks dismount in the most profound
silence, and pass in succession the bridle of one mule through that of another in such a manner that a single man is sufficient to hold forty or fifty of them by retaining the last
bridle, which secures all the others; they then examine their arms, and are ready to commence their work. The chief gives his last orders, posts his guides, and they make the
attack, surprise the enemy, generally asleep, and carry the position without resistance. The operation terminated, they hasten to beat a retreat, to prevent the neighboring tribes
from assembling, and thus avoid a [decisive] combat. [EDITOR: fight way out with mobility before enemies can converge like they did to Delta/Rangers on October 3, 1993 in

"The Turks had only three thousand mounted men and ten thousand infantry in Algeria, yet these thirteen thousand men sufficed to conquer the same obstacles which have
arrested us for twenty-six years, notwithstanding the advantage we had of an army which was successively re-enforced until it amounted to a hundred thousand.

"Why not imitate the Turks, then, mount our infantry upon mules, and reduce the strength of our army?

"The response is very simple:

"The Turks are Turks-that is to say, Mussulmans-and indigenous to the country; the Turks speak the Arabic language; the Days of Algiers had less country to guard than we, and
they care very little about retaining possession of it. They are satisfied to receive a part of its revenues. They were not permanent; their dominion was held by a thread. The Arab
dwells in tents; his magazines are in caves. When he starts upon a war expedition, he folds his tent, drives far away his beasts of burden, which transport his effects, and only
carries with him his horse and arms. Thus equipped, he goes every where; nothing arrests him; and often, when we believe him twenty leagues distant, he is in ambush at
precisely rifle range from the flanks of his enemy.

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"It may be thought the union of contingents might retard their movements, but this is not so. The Arabs, whether they number ten or a hundred thousand, move with equal
facility. They go where they wish and as they wish upon a campaign; the place of rendezvous merely is indicated, and they arrive there.

"What calculations can be made against such an organization as this?

"Strategy evidently loses its advantages against such enemies; a general can only make conjectures; he marches to find the Arabs, and finds them not; then, again, when he
least expects it, he suddenly encounters them.

"When the Arab despairs of success in battle, he places his sole reliance upon the speed of his horse to escape destruction; and as he is always in a country where he can make
his camp beside a little water, he travels until he has placed a safe distance between himself and his enemy."

No people probably on the face of the earth are more ambitious of martial fame, or entertain a higher appreciation for the deeds of a daring and successful warrior, than the North
American savages. The attainment of such reputation is the paramount and absorbing object of their lives; all their aspirations for distinction invariably take this channel of
expression. A young man is never considered worthy to occupy a seat in council until he has encountered an enemy in battle; and he who can count the greatest number of
scalps is the most highly honored by his tribe. This idea is inculcated from their earliest infancy. It is not surprising, therefore, that, with such weighty inducements before him,
the young man who, as yet, has gained no renown as a brave or warrior, should be less discriminate in his attacks than older men who have already acquired a name. The young
braves should, therefore, be closely watched when encountered on the Plains. [EDITOR; career-ism and Achilles-style narcissistic existentialism, Indian-style]

From The Prairie Traveler, Capt. Randolph B. Marcy, 5Th Infantry, Chapter 7, 1859 offers suggestions to improve U.S. tactics:

By making short excursions about the country they acquire a knowledge of it, become inured to fatigue, learn the art of bivouacking, trailing, etc., etc., all of which will be found
serviceable in border warfare; and, even if they should perchance now and then miss some of the minor routine duties of the garrison, the benefits they would derive from
hunting would, in my opinion, more than counterbalance its effects. Under the old regime it was thought that drills, dress-parades, and guard-mountings comprehended the sum
total of the Soldier's education, but the experience of the last ten years has taught us that these are only the rudiments, and that to combat successfully with Indians we must
receive instruction from them, study their tactics, and, where they suit our purposes, copy from them. [EDITOR: obvious condemnation of garrison mentality in favor of head-on
adaptation to defeat the enemy; like many similar calls, it may be heeded but only with expectation that when Indian problem is over, return to garrison will ensue]

The union of discipline with the individuality, self-reliance and rapidity of locomotion of the savage is what we should aim at. This will be the tendency of the course indicated,
and it is conceived by the writer that an army composed of well-disciplined hunters will be the most efficient of all others against the only enemy we have to encounter within the
limits of our vast possessions. [EDITOR: you crazy? The narcissistic garrison egomaniacs will have none of this "self-reliance"!!! STAY-IN-YOUR-LANE!!!]

I find some pertinent remarks upon this subject in a very sensible essay by "a late captain of infantry" (U. S.). He says:

"It is conceived that scattered bands of mounted hunters, with the speed of a horse and the watchfulness of a wolf or antelope, whose faculties are sharpened by their
necessities; who, when they get short of provisions, separate and look for something to eat, and find it in the water, in the ground, or on the surface; whose bill of fare ranges
from grass-seed, nuts, roots, grasshoppers, lizards, and rattlesnakes up to the antelope, deer, elk, bear, and buffalo, and who have a continent to roam over, will be neither
surprised, caught, conquered, overawed, or reduced to famine by a rumbling, bugle blowing, drum-beating town passing through their country on wheels at the speed of a loaded
wagon. [EDITOR: sounds like a Stryker "wagon"]

"If the Indians are in the path and do not wish to be seen, they cross a ridge, and the town moves on, ignorant whether there are fifty Indians within a mile or no Indian within fifty
miles. If the Indians wish to see, they return to the crest of the ridge, crawl up to the edge, pull up a bunch of grass by the roots, and look through or under it at the procession."

Let's be brutally honest, shall we?

Where is the constructive effort to be good at warfighting in the garrison Army and marines?

U.S. military is not "AMATEUR hour"; amateur implies at least we are TRYING; we are not trying; U.S. military is PHONY.

Air Force & Navy when they fly aircraft and sail ships are kept somewhat honest and combat capable because if they at any second fail they can be dead falling from the sky or in the water
where man really doesn't live. To warfight they need to actively operate air/sea platforms.

In contrast in land combat, man lives on land; he does not need a platform to exist on land that automatically has a war function. He is under no compulsion to be combat ready even by
platform default. Man can die on land from EXPOSURE however, and since he lives on land all the time for a peaceful, civilian life his answer to this is FIXED BUILDING SHELTER. Since man
has a civilian existence means that has no military platform utility, both the Army and marines have been corrupted by building and lawn care as convenient excuses/time wasters by people
who are phonies who do not want to be combat ready, they want to be phony narcissist snobs and extended adolescents paid middle-class wages.

Actives: wake up each morning sleep-deprived, roll call troop formation, do non-sense sports PT, then breakfast, some more troop formations, "leaders" meetings, document-everything-with-

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perfect-paperwork via desktop computers, Mondays wasted in motor pool doing PMCS on tactically unsound Humvee SUV trucks, Tuesday/Wednesdays building and lawn care, Thursday
meetings, Friday paperwork. WHERE IS THE TIME TO DO ACTIVE WARFIGHTING EXCELLENCE? The entire daily and weekly routine established by the narcissist egomaniacs to baby sit the
economic weak co-dependants is geared around BULLSHIT (lawn and building care) not active thinking cat vs. mouse warfighting.


Reserves: one weekend a month they arrive and waste Saturday and Sunday with roll call formation, sports PT then lunch, then yadda yadda meetings, then time to go home for the day. Two
weeks in summer is fun time away from wife and kids.


1. Get rid of static buildings: force ground troops to every day do combat things by making them live every day in tactically-sound, portable, fortifiable "Battle Boxes" THERE IS NO
GARRISON. There is only the FIELD.


2. Make Reserves go to war for 24 hours each month


3. Get rid of phony narcissists and economic bennie boomers and replace with warfighter enthusiasts


4. Cat & Mouse Warfighting Experimentation Needed


Once we cut out all the BULLSHIT we will face the tools we have in front of us and start grappling with how we will use them in war and how to better use them by ACTIVE THOUGHT. Force
everyone to FACE THE TOOLS THEY HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM their minds will be forced to THINK about what it is they have. FORCE THEM TO BE IN A WAR SETTING AND THEIR MINDS
WILL PONDER hey, what if I left on foot over there to patrol and an enemy sapper team is already there?

The same intellectual development and innovation that I undertake will happen with the troops, what we call FIELD CRAFT. How can you have FIELDcraft when you are NOT IN THE FIELD but
in garrison doing LAWN CARE?

A few examples:

Drive vehicles and lay smoke screens with OPFOR to perfect what it takes to evade optical weapons engagement

Off-road, x-country driving of TRACKED armored fighting vehicles to avoid roadside bombs/RPG ambushes

Finding out how to hide vehicles from thermal imagery

Shoot actual soft nose RPGs at vehicles and practice evading them

Actual hardening of combat vehicles and loading arragements perfected not static BS "this is the SOP we've always used so go back to sleep"

5. Create Mobile units able to prevail on the Non-Linear Battlefield


An Army Colonel and combat veteran writes:

"You have to think terrain even in non-linear warfare, all of Iraq much like all of Vietnam is not the same.

By the way, the idea of the dogs on patrols is excellent. They should add K9s the support platoon of all CA units, perhaps 2 per platoon, specifically for bomb-Haji sniffing. Really good idea.

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The real problem, the one I see over and over and over again is a decided lack of inspiration and an over-reliance on junior and experienced Soldiers to provide the leadership oversight the
Army needs. It is all leadership and you can't do leadership from the rear.

If you go to Gettysburg you will find inverted cannons all over the battlefield representing the place where a general officer fell. There are a lot of them because at that time generals had to be
on the field to lead. Well today they have convinced themselves that they can lead with BFT and UAVs and all manner of what have you, often from air conditioned places in Qatar (which is
pronounced Ka'tar as well as Cutter as any Qatari will tell you, to deflate the pseudo-encultured in the crowd). This is folly.

ALL general officers if they have any reason to be in the theater need to be IN the theater. Period. No more spending long days in the FOB, at least 1-2 times a week ALL generals need to be
out on convoys, in the villages, with patrols, observing and learning. Period.

They do not do it. They spend their days surrounded by the PSDs and hopping via helicopter from point to point. Well that is terrible leadership. Simply getting on the terrain and seeing the
land and the people up close and personal is everything not to mention figuring out how jacked up some weapons and vehicle applications would be. It was by being on the ground that I
realized that we needed UAV or 58D support for one OP because it was flat out impossible to do the mission without aerial support even though higher had tasked just that, because they had
never been on the ground.

Our junior S2 didn't know how to request a tasker and I was able to explain how to do it. He got his recon runs and found a bunch of stuff. That illustrates the problem, lack of leadership
because of lack of mentoring. An S2 shouldn't have to rely on the wisdom of a combat support officer to make up for deficiencies in his Combat arms leadership.

That is the crux. Thinking outside the box about what the inside of the box looks like and how to apply the right forces in the right methods.

That and perhaps 150 Cessna 172s to continuously patrol the MSRs day and night and keep Haji from planting bombs in the dark of night on long lonely stretches of unpatrolled highway.
Heck that is how the California Highway Patrol catches speeders. $18,000,000 or 6 Stryker's worth would get us the airplanes and they can run on straight gas if need be which is plentiful in




Former IDF officer and combat veteran, Theodore Lapkin writes:


I am a former Israeli infantry officer with combat experience from Lebanon during the 80s. Since the late 70s, the IDF has been using an excellent webbing system that has been constantly
refined and improved. Its latest iteration is the "assaultvest." It is a one piece system with enough capacity for ammunition, grenades, water, and the light load (light sleeping
bag+spaceblanket) that you recommend.

You can see this Israeli assault vest at:


or at


It comes in a variety of formats, including rifleman, M240/M249 gunner, medic, EOD. I would argue that this is the finest, most durable, most comfortable and most effective TA-50 load
carrying system out there today. The Israelis wear it over their body armor, and it would easily fit over the Interceptor vest. The US Army would be very well served if they adopted it instead
of the MOLLE-2 crap they are issued.

There is no need for a ruck, which is why IDF infantry don't carry them. They instead carry ammunition for platoon crew served weapons (7.62 rounds for M-240 [called the MAG-58 in the IDF],
AT-4s, etc...) The Israeli infantryman is just as much a beast of burden as the US grunt, but almost all of that weight consists of weapons and ammunition.

BTW, the Israeli infantry don't carry tripods for its M-240s. The prefer, instead, to use that weight to carry additional rounds, and they fire from the gun's integral bipod, instead.

Best wishes,

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Ted Lapkin"

-----Original Message-----

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

To: dynmicpara@aol.com

Sent: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 12:36 am

Subject: New ideas for infantry


Here is something that you may find interesting.

Below to the far left will be the new ROK Army body armor.

Below is the ROK Army LBV, rucksack, and the new sleep system.

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The rucksack is used as a floatation device. The sleep system can be used as a shelter and as a stretcher.

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However the real innovation is that the sleep system is a combined tent and sleeping bag. Completely water proof and can be used to keep Soldiers warm and dry when in the prone position.

It looks like something that was taken directly out of the Airborne Equipment Shop.


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Private Murphy's View

Want Murphy in your pocket?


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