Just as you've got all your kit stowed and ready to go off on patrol there's always a Q-type who turns up in the harbour area (or whatever) and says, " Your lads need to take two 81mm rounds each and drop them off as you pass the mortar lines." Yeah, we'll just put them in a spare belt pouch (!). Then he mentions spare radio batteries....
I'm sure there was some Roman centurion making the same complaint 2000 years ago.
Somewhere in the depths of all my military tat, is a copy issued to us of the SOP7 kit list, it must be about 3 feet long, I will dig it out and post it, you new lot think you are having a hard time, spare a thought for the BAOR steel jawed, straight backed defenders of boxhead land.
My experience is that infantry officers don't like contrary opinions from anyone in a corps. They especially don't like it when that corps bod is a NCO/WO. They are truly indoctrinated that they are literally in charge and what they say goes, until you show them that it doesn't and offer a better alternative: Suddenly you become their bezzer and can't shake them off.Things never change, units would try and offload a half a barmine, 200 link or mortars on my team. Infantry officers make very funny faces when you tell them, “no sir, not happening”.
Re. the VC and the Ho Chi Minh trail; it wasnt as simple as each man walking from Hanoi to Saigon, carrying his own grub and weapon. The North set up dedicated way stations all along the trail, so that each person would cover, say, 12 km a day, if they were destined for the South. If not, they simply carried supplies or pushed a reinforced bike along a short portion of the route and offloaded the warload before returning for more. Along the way were field hospitals, rest stations, vehicle parks, gun parks, ammunition stores, ration and water stores, maintenance shops and route repair gangs. All surface movement stopped when enemy aircraft were heard or seen and dedicated camouflage teams worked to keep the cover intact. The North would often move NVA forces by vehicle, especially the combat units, if they could avoid detection from the air, primarily to keep the forces from wearing themselves out by route marching. The Viet Cong were used more as route maintenance troops than fighting troops as the war went on
All true. But the result of this was that Charlie could indeed ‘fight light’.