Donkey Corps anyone?

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by OldRedCap, Jul 2, 2006.

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    Trenchcoat_Warrior wrote:
    This is not an attempt to drag the well-aired pro and con for women in the front lines but rather the way in which the modern soldier is loaded. The loads carried over distance in the time taken during the yomps and tabbing of the Falklands were awesome. There is some suggestion from casual reading that these weights are gradually becoming commonplace.
    There is some research here from an Australian source as to loads carried by soldiers. The finding that a civilian labourer can effectively carry about 80 pounds is significant.
    We live in a world where almost everything is being made smaller, lighter, more effective and convenient than yesterdays model. I am told that the computer power in my PDA makes Sputnik look like a saucepan lid Frisbee. I used to be a Long Distance Walker and the extremes to which some people went to reduce weight and space take-up were often amusing. Weapons and munitions are becoming more efficient so should be easing the burden.
    So, why are infantry carrying these oppressive weights? Is there a real need or is it because their air resources are insufficient? OK – trained infantry can do it but would they not be more effective going into combat at the end of a yomp/tab if they had humped – say – fifty pounds rather than 150 pounds.
  2. Cheers ORC

    Before anyone enters into an anti-woman polemic (I am not intending to be PC, and before I go on, I'll lay my cards on the table: women should not be allowed into the Inf, not because they are incapable of carrying the loads, although physiologically the majority are not, but because they alter group dynamics. Blokes' problem, not the girls, but since we are a bloke only organisation...)

    Anyway, sensible questions, please don't take the thread downhill.


  3. I know numerous girls who could not lift the wieghts i could lift but could run twice as fast as me for twice as long, i always know girls with more violence than alot of the lads i know, and with more brains and more balls aswell. But i dont think a womans mental or physical capabilites are the problem.
    Ive always been taught the main reason women werent allowed on the front line was because of the mental effect a wounded or struggling woman has on the male mind. Always pondered as to why men and women do the same amount of combat and firearms training in the 12-14 week CMS, if its only really as a precaution should a woman be caught in a combat situation, whereas men could be sent purposly into a combat situation....

    Apologies for spelling.
  4. Afraid the whole 'front line' argument is irrelevant as many girls serve alongside Inf / Armour. The real argument remains the combat effectiveness brought about by an alteration of the group dynamic of all-bloke 'gangs' if you like, ie the section.

    Back on target.
  5. Can I just restate something in my opening query? This is not an attempt to drag the well-aired pro and con for women in the front lines but rather the way in which the modern soldier is loaded.
  7. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    Whilst each individual component may be getting lighter, we seem to get more and more of it. Couple this with the entirely understandable desire for the soldier to carry as much ammunition as he can get away with, and "light scales" becomes a nonsense.

    Personal example is an advance to contact in Iraq. Full scales of ammuninition (plus a bit!), part of the Pl reserve (otherwise the Plt Sgt would not have been able to stand up), 51mm bombs, spare batteries for my radop, 7 litres of water, NBC kit, CWS etc etc etc. Note no luxuries, and only one MRE main meal stuffed into a pocket instead of the 24 hrs rations per usual. Add CBA and helmet and it all got a bit cheeky. I could not say for certain but 60lb plus seems about right. I do not see how any of this will be reduced in the "digital" era, and so the weights will only increase.

    Second hand info, but I understand that the soldiers carrying out the bowman trials are suffering from the weight, and so whilst the digital info is great, the actual impact of the additional kit is significant.

    Sorry, but no suggestion to improve the situation, as I for one would not sacrifice by ammunition and water scalings on the assumption that the supply chain will sort me out if I need it.

  8. Ah - thanks Fingers. Now we are getting somewhere. However, how much of the "120+ lbs essential" doctrine is ever examined? Is this a traditional load? Looking at the illustrations in The Times article about Para ambush in 'ghan, the guys seemed lightly loaded. Is the 120 lbs tied in with the length of the operation/tab/yomp? Thinking back a long way to Malaya in early '50s the SAS were not so SF. If we (SIB) had to go into one of the jungle forts on a job, we were walked in by a SAS patrol. Carrying of anything bulky was ruled out by vegetation. I seem to remember a small pack but much use was made of existing pockets in jacket and trousers. Curry powder, fish paste, rice was stowed in this manner. I was amazed to be issued with condoms but they were for carrying and not for poking. Has anyone explored this shell idea?
  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    The israelis tried women up front but the boys couldn't take it when the girls got hit and the move on principle of being bubbled went to rat sh-it - like most things they can train and prove themselves able but combat is a blokey thing.

    Allthough the russians had some very succesfull all women infantry battalions in ww2 they were effective because they put the germans off so based on that all female units could work - certainly some of the WRAC I came across scared the bejesus out of me :eek:

    I look forward to all female SF units kicking the talibannies out in the near future :)