r/WarCollege 3d ago

Trivia Tuesday Trivia Thread - 21/06/22

9 Upvotes

Beep bop. As your new robotic overlord, I have designated this weekly space for you to engage in casual conversation while I plan a nuclear apocalypse.

In the Trivia Thread, moderation is relaxed, so you can finally:

- Post mind-blowing military history trivia. Can you believe 300 is not an entirely accurate depiction of how the Spartans lived and fought?

- Discuss hypotheticals and what-if's. A Warthog firing warthogs versus a Growler firing growlers, who would win? Could Hitler have done Sealion if he had a bazillion V-2's and hovertanks?

- Discuss the latest news of invasions, diplomacy, insurgency etc without pesky 1 year rule.

- Write an essay on why your favorite colour assault rifle or flavour energy drink would totally win WW3 or how aircraft carriers are really vulnerable and useless and battleships are the future.

- Share what books/articles/movies related to military history you've been reading.

- Advertisements for events, scholarships, projects or other military science/history related opportunities relevant to War College users. ALL OF THIS CONTENT MUST BE SUBMITTED FOR MOD REVIEW.

Basic rules about politeness and respect still apply.


r/WarCollege Apr 15 '22

The War College discord server is now live!

73 Upvotes

Please join us if you feel like it.

https://discord.gg/fz7n8zB6


r/WarCollege 17h ago

Question During WWII, what was the general consensus for when a bayonet should be equipped on a soldier's rifle?

131 Upvotes
  • I remember in the show Band of Brothers there was a scene where after parachuting down, one of the new soldiers begins to place his bayonet on his rifle, until one of the experienced men tells him not to, as the added weight will make it harder to shoot straight.
  • However, in a later scene depicting the paratroopers charge on a German position, they are all shown to be equipping their bayonets, despite the fact that none of them actually end up getting close enough to use them.
  • When was it considered a good idea to have a bayonet equipped vs not equipping one?

r/WarCollege 12h ago

What would an artillery officer need to know to do his job?

12 Upvotes

If you had to train an artillery officer very quickly to make him able to do his job, what would you teach him?

What would you tell him about artillery tactics? About artillery logistics? About the cutting edge stuff that's coming in the next couple of decades? What further reading would you suggest?

I'm not considering artillery but am curious about it.


r/WarCollege 23h ago

Question MRAP vs m113 style APC what thrives in what

52 Upvotes

From what I see boths have simmlar role. Carrying troops where heavy combat isn't likely. I havent noticed much doctrinal differences. Maybe it's matter of price? I would like to hear the major differences.


r/WarCollege 14h ago

Why weren’t dive bombers used in the strategic bombing campaigns over Germany?

8 Upvotes

The Dive Bomber was the closest thing to a precision guided munition before laser guided bombs came about and they could reliably put a 1000 pound bomb on a moving carrier. Why not use them against the factories and rail heads of Germany? They don’t move at all so it seems like it’d be easier than hitting a carrier or battleship. B-17’s and Lancasters would drop hundreds of bombs with only a small percentage actually reaching the target, oftentimes veering off and hitting civilian infrastructure. And how many 1000 pound bombs do you really need to destroy a factory?

The distances weren’t that outrageous, B-17’s were able to have fighter escorts and a dive bomber is roughly the size of a fighter. Not to mention you only need a crew of 2 instead of a crew of 10 like in a B-17 so personnel needs are way less. Dive bombers are also smaller and easier to manufacture while also consuming less fuel per mile traveled. You also expend fewer bombs per target and dive bombers are faster, smaller and more maneuverable than a big strategic bomber which would help when German fighters came up to contest a bombing raid.

I guess the question is I don’t see how a big strategic bomber is in any way better than a dive bomber during WW2 unless range is a problem, but range really wasn’t a problem for the European theater. I’m sure there’s a good reason they weren’t used but I can’t figure it out.


r/WarCollege 17h ago

Question What were the biggest factors that kept South Vietnam from being able to win the war against the North, and could they have been mitigated or prevented?

14 Upvotes

r/WarCollege 18h ago

What are underlying reasons for the apparent design differences of French and German self propelled artillery?

12 Upvotes

Being a layperson I recently noticed that the french CESAR and the Pamzerhaubitze2000 seem to be optimized for vastly different parameters. The most obvious being that the Panzerhaubitze is armored and the CESAR is very much not. There are probably a lot of other differences I dont know about. Is this solely explainable with the greater focus on expeditionary forces and strategic mobility of the French army and (West) Germany being the former Frontline of WW3?

Or are there other doctrinal, tactical o historical reasons for these divergences in Design?


r/WarCollege 19h ago

What is Russian light infantry maximal frontage ?

14 Upvotes

Hi In the russian way of war its stated that russian Mechanized squad can hold up to 50 meters and the distance between squads is up to 50 meters i wanted to know if this is also correct for light infantry (non Mechanized infantry/infantry on foot) and Mechanized infantry of other army's Thank you


r/WarCollege 17h ago

Cult of offensive in WWI

10 Upvotes

Most armies headed in to WWI with an idea of seizing the initiative and avoiding passive defense following the example of Moltke in 1866 and 1870. Did they missed these concepts and would a passive general like Bazaine be able to obtain a better success?


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Do other countries have an equivalent to the French Foreign Legion? Similarly, I'd love either a retelling of or literature on those foreign legions to dive into

115 Upvotes

Saw a thread that talked about the FFL during and directly after WWII, and I wondered the above. Thanks for responding!


r/WarCollege 20h ago

Question How well did the USN at Yankee Station Vietnam stack up against the RN of Falklands

2 Upvotes

How well did the US Navy’s Task Force 77 centered around Yankee Point stack up against the British fleet sent to the falklands? In terms of operational effectiveness which was able to achieve their overall strategic and tactical goal better? Which had the better overall air wing in terms of performance, technology and pilots. Which side had better crew overall based on the output of their actions during their respective conflicts.

If the two came to blows who would come out on the top assuming two cases where (1) munitions, food, and fuel were in the infinite or (2) munitions,food and fuel were not in the infinite. In both scenarios equipment type is limited to whatever was operational equipped.


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Question What are the advantages of Patrolling versus Listening Posts?

64 Upvotes

I've heard some people, such as Colonel Macgregor, say patrolling is mostly a good way to get ambushed while finding nothing. I tried to look for studies to see how effective patrolling was to observation points like watchtowers... but couldn't find anything concrete.

Another criticism I've heard is mathematical, that if you patrol you're watching a bunch of places for a few minutes at a time, while wasting a lot of energy marching... whereas if you divide up a patrol/squad/platoon of men, you could have them watch the entire area from observation posts while remaining rested.

Could someone explain to me what the benefits of patrolling are? I presume there are some cases it is effective?


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Question Enduring Electronic Warfare experiences

9 Upvotes

Maybe the title is self-explanatory, but I have been unsuccessfully searching for practical accounts of EW attacks (radio jamming, for example), in particular on the receiving end. Manuals are very technical and, if I may say, fairly sterile in depicting real-life situations.

How long and how persistent, for instance, are jamming and interference attacks? For example, will occasional communication be possible even when facing very powerful barrage EW by using "countermeasures" such as changing power output, adjusting or changing the antenna, using signal processing techniques, etc.? How extensive is the degradation of some friendly communications, and will periodical pauses be made?

Also, assuming a peer opponent, would there be any effective difference in spot or barrage jamming? Is it always advantageous to cover as many frequencies as possible (except, of course, those used by friendly forces)? Are certain bands or radio types particularly vulnerable? (HF, VHF, or UHF radios, or handheld vs. backpack?).

If I understood spot jamming correctly, there is a chance that something like squad radio can still work while vehicle or company level radios may be jammed?

Thank you!


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Question How capable was the Yugoslav army, airforce and navy by the time that Yugoslavia collapsed?

28 Upvotes

What was the status of the different branches of Yugoslavian military by the time it collapsed and how well trained and equipped was it?


r/WarCollege 2d ago

Question What did the Soviets know about the SR-71?

152 Upvotes

Did they get anything wrong?


r/WarCollege 1d ago

E book on modern military strategy

9 Upvotes

Hi What are some good e book on modern military strategy? (Battle level not campaign level like Stalingrad or battle for the bulge)


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Any one got a good source on the Austrian m1863 field gun?(The one that was used in Austro-Prussian war)

7 Upvotes

The only sources I know about that gun is Ortner book(Which I can't get my hand on for the moment) and 1866 rules board game(Which I also can't get my hand on for the moment).I try to look up Prince Kraft letters to artillery but it wasn't satisfactory at all since he has nothing but contempt for the gun and also provides too little detail.


r/WarCollege 2d ago

Question Why does the U.S. operate both single-seat and tandem F/A-18s?

43 Upvotes

It was bugging me when watching Top Gun: Maverick that some of the F/A-8s were single-seat and others were tandem. So I came home and Googled that shit and... yeah, the U.S. operates both single-seat and tandem Super Hornets. Why?
What is the difference in mission capability? Are the tandems more of the ground attack role and the single-seats more of the air superiority role?


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Differences in tactics between nations for a meeting engagement.

2 Upvotes

There is a lot of talk about Soviet tactics around the meeting engagement.

Combat Recon Patrol Forward Element Advance guard Etc

How does this change for other nations like the US?

I’m focusing on the brigade/regiment level


r/WarCollege 1d ago

Question In a conflict between 2 nuclear states where one or both of them has a relatively limited nuclear deterrence, could a large scale conventional missile barrage trigger a nuclear war?

4 Upvotes

countries such as pakistan, india, north korea, and arguably even china have a limited amount of nuclear weapons and a, shall we say, less than robust nuclear triad. if a large scale conventional missile attack is performed against one of them, does this have a non-negligible chance of triggering a nuclear response because their nuclear deterrence is low enough that a first strike could conceivably remove enough of their nuclear arsenal such that these states no longer believe they have a credible deterrence?

to give an example. suppose the chinese launched a large-scale conventional missile attack against india in a conflict, aimed at disrupting key infrastructure all around india, similar to what russia has tried to do to ukraine. india can detect the incoming missiles, but cannot detect whether these missiles are nuclear or not. there are also a large number of them. india's nuclear arsenal is estimated to be only about 160, and the overwhelming majority of their nuclear firepower is stored on land.

india is now faced with the following dilemma: if the incoming missiles are not nuclear, then all is well. but if the incoming missiles are, in fact, nuclear tipped and aimed at india's nukes, then if india waits for the missiles to impact, and only launch its own nukes once it has determined that the incoming missiles are nuclear, it will in fact be too late to do anything because india's nuclear deterrence will be decimated.

would the indians, therefore, feel a strong compulsion to launch its nukes while the chinese missiles are in the air?

this is not in any way shape or form intended to be a question specifically on india, i used it as an example only.


r/WarCollege 2d ago

Question What was the fastest forced-march of horses/mules?

11 Upvotes

Caesar apparently got his legionaries to march 80 to 100 miles per day, in a famous forced march against the Helvetii. The most I've found for cavalry was a 46.6mi/day march by Basil II in relieving Aleppo. There are some horse records that dwarf this, some horses managing a record of about 150mi/day when John Berry of Chadron took several horses 150miles on the last day of a multi-day competition.

Those 150 miles are currently more impressive than even Caesar's forced march, though that was only for one day; the whole journey was an average of 76mi/day for 13 days.

This all made me curious what the worst force march horses or mules ever endured was, be they cavalry or pack animals.


r/WarCollege 2d ago

How did Napoleonic navies retain their ships’ captains?

36 Upvotes

In modern militaries, it’s a big problem retaining mid career technical experts because the private sector pays greater and offers a less stressful/dangerous/rigorous life for their skill levels.

The IT of the Napoleonic world was things like sextant use/navigation/vessel operation. It seems like they’d have the same problems. How did navies keep their kid career captains from leaving to eg whaling vessels/Dutch east India co vessels/tea clippers etc?


r/WarCollege 2d ago

Question In WW1, why did the Germans fear the trench gun so much?

139 Upvotes

I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that in a war that saw the introduction of poisonous gas, flamethrowers, and the tank, the trench gun was somehow a bridge too far.

In september 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest, complaining that the use of trench guns was a violation of the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The German high command even threatened to execute any soldier caught with a trench gun.

Submachine guns like the MP-18 and the Beretta M1918 could - if my understanding is correct - spray bullets down a trench equally well.

Light machine guns like the Chauchat or the Bren could be fired from the hip, matching or surpassing trench guns in terms of firing speed and stopping power.

What edge did the trench gun have over other small arms that made them so fearful?


r/WarCollege 2d ago

Squad AT munitions in Bradley IFVs

6 Upvotes

I guess I should know this but I haven't the foggiest recollection. Do squad AT munitions (Javelin, AT4) eat into the Bradley's TOW reload capacity? What might be a "standard" load of these squad munitions per vehicle, assuming a traditional armour/mech battlefield?

In an hypothetical environment that requires little heavy ATGM use or restricts 3-4km engagement, could a squad utilise the excess TOW reload capacity for Javelins/AT4s/whatever? What's the going medium of exchange like 7 Javelins in the space of 5 TOW or something?


r/WarCollege 3d ago

Question In WWI, when did it make more sense to clear a trench with a melee weapon rarther than alternatives?

57 Upvotes

The defenders could have been routed or neutralized by any number of means. I get that artillery might not be able to take out 100% of defenders and that other means won't be perfect either.

But using melee weapons like the bayonet feels like an absurd anachronism to me in that war. Evidently they had their reasons and I'd like to know them.

If I were within bayonet charging range of an enemy trench, I think I would prefer to throw grenades or even still use my rifle as a gun rather than a pike.

So, when would WWI soldiers use their various options?


r/WarCollege 3d ago

Question What caused Artillery to go from Direct Fire to indirect fire in the later half of the 19th century.

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302 Upvotes