Project PAYNE and the amount of kit carried by the Infantry

Agree on hard routine. There was a short on (I think) Forces TV not too long back about the Paras practicing harbour areas. Standard fare back in the 80s but described on film as something that wasn't used much these days and is/was having to be gone over.

No disrespect to the guys actually doing it, more a reflection of what's been done more recently. And, having said it, I'm not rushing to show how them it's done. The shell scrapes I occupy these days come with light switches, running water, a thermostat...

This is another interesting debate, though. Kit isn't based on benevolence but on the recognition that an individual who is warm and dry/not overheating functions better.*

Would the guys of yesteryear have that kit if they could? Hell, yes. Could they and the guys of today function without it? If they had to.

The difference is how much they/they're carried/are carrying into the assault. You're back to bullets and water.



*A good side-effect of H&S legislation is adequate kit. PPE is rather more, I'd suggest, a political decision.

Just as a throw-in, two conversations I've had with earnestly clued up blokes may provide food for thought.

At Vindolanda (sp?) Roman fort, there are in-character guides/actors who demonstrate various aspects of Roman life. The squaddie, oops, Legionary, and I had a long talk. He was encyclopedic in his knowledge.

The relevant parts of this thread are that the Romans, who basically did it all on foot, had remarkably similar fitness standards and tests to ours, with something suspiciously like a CFT. They fought with the 1st Century equivalent of CEFO, weighing around 30kg for everything, head to toe.

Wagons, a sort of horse powered Bren carrier, hauled the kitchen sink.

At the Royal Armouries, a Revolutionary War "live exhibit " had a similar tale about the 18th C British Infantry.

Given that, nutrition aside, the species hasn't changed (ie a time machine would give us interchange ability with Romans or General Wolfe's guys), presumably the balance was always "how much can a fit, healthy 20-something carry for an indefinite number of days, and what does he need, in priority order, to fill that weight?"

My own inf. experience is very modest, but I recall exercise loads being 100lb+, and you just can't realistically scamper around with that on, even before you get Army Knees and a beer belly.

Talking to my WW2 veteran Grandad (RE bridging unit, in the line as infantry on several occasions) they never carried anything remotely like that. Well, on occasion they were running about with bits of Bailey bridge on their shoulders but apparently you don't notice the weight when there's a couple of dozen Herman Göring division geezers popping away.
 
The relevant parts of this thread are that the Romans, who basically did it all on foot, had remarkably similar fitness standards and tests to ours, with something suspiciously like a CFT. They fought with the 1st Century equivalent of CEFO, weighing around 30kg for everything, head to toe.

Wagons, a sort of horse powered Bren carrier, hauled the kitchen sink.
Marching orders for Romans was about 40kg iirc. Unless they had enough carts, in which case they ditched as much as possible.

at one point, but can't find a reference, I believe every 8-10 fighting soldiers had two helpers who put up tents, cooked, etc. In action, the helpers protected the g4 column and brought up food, wat er, spears, etc.

Separate logs chains brought up the big ballots spears and the like.

it would be like having 6-8 pioneers/drivers attached to every modern pl with a quad bike and trailer each or supacat between two.

Or for every bn's 270 bayonets (3 coys of 3 pls of 30 men) there's dedicated g4 support of 54-72 blokes.

Excluding fire support, etc. Who would have their own set up and g4. And there is still a legion's/bn's pioneer troops, my sect, and qm's department on top of that.

Sort of puts the current set up of each coy having two wheezy storemen for each coy in the shade.
 
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Marching orders for Romans was about 40kg iirc. Unless they had enough carts, in which case they ditched as much as possible.

at one point, but can't find a reference, I believe every 8-10 fighting soldiers had two helpers who put up tents, cooked, etc. In action, the helpers protected the g4 column and brought up food, wat er, spears, etc.

Separate logs chains brought up the big ballots spears and the like.

it would be like having 6-8 pioneers/drivers attached to every modern pl with a quad bike and trailer each or supacat between two.

Or for every bn's 270 bayonets (3 coys of 3 pls of 30 men) there's dedicated g4 support of 54-72 blokes.

Excluding fire support, etc. Who would have their own set up and g4. And there is still a legion's/bn's pioneer troops, my sect, and qm's department on top of that.

Sort of puts the current set up of each coy having two wheezy storemen each in the shade.

TA job there, nailed. If Rees-Mogg was Defence this would be policy in 90 seconds flat.

Call it "Combat Support Specialist"


All the crappy jobs used to have "combat" in the title, made them sound cool.

"Combat Signalman" - stag on.

"Combat Powerman" - top the genny up, fella.

"Combat Driver" - yeah, like, a driver.

"Combat Lineman" - liney.
 
Just as a throw-in, two conversations I've had with earnestly clued up blokes may provide food for thought.

At Vindolanda (sp?) Roman fort, there are in-character guides/actors who demonstrate various aspects of Roman life. The squaddie, oops, Legionary, and I had a long talk. He was encyclopedic in his knowledge.

The relevant parts of this thread are that the Romans, who basically did it all on foot, had remarkably similar fitness standards and tests to ours, with something suspiciously like a CFT. They fought with the 1st Century equivalent of CEFO, weighing around 30kg for everything, head to toe.

Wagons, a sort of horse powered Bren carrier, hauled the kitchen sink.

At the Royal Armouries, a Revolutionary War "live exhibit " had a similar tale about the 18th C British Infantry.

Given that, nutrition aside, the species hasn't changed (ie a time machine would give us interchange ability with Romans or General Wolfe's guys), presumably the balance was always "how much can a fit, healthy 20-something carry for an indefinite number of days, and what does he need, in priority order, to fill that weight?"

My own inf. experience is very modest, but I recall exercise loads being 100lb+, and you just can't realistically scamper around with that on, even before you get Army Knees and a beer belly.

Talking to my WW2 veteran Grandad (RE bridging unit, in the line as infantry on several occasions) they never carried anything remotely like that. Well, on occasion they were running about with bits of Bailey bridge on their shoulders but apparently you don't notice the weight when there's a couple of dozen Herman Göring division geezers popping away.
I was always a bit puzzled by the statement that every night when they halted they set up a full blown camp, a 'marching camp', i.e. stakes on the perimeter, ditch, tents in nice neat order. The time taken to do that must have been immense. An FOB every day. However looking into it, some writers suggest that it is a mthod of advancement, leapfrogging if you like.
 
I was always a bit puzzled by the statement that every night when they halted they set up a full blown camp, a 'marching camp', i.e. stakes on the perimeter, ditch, tents in nice neat order. The time taken to do that must have been immense. An FOB every day. However looking into it, some writers suggest that it is a mthod of advancement, leapfrogging if you like.
Think also though that back in the time just because you were marching somewhere didn't mean you were being detected. It's easy for a bunch of blokes to rock up and set up a camp before anyone knows if there's no airborne observation or forward recce from the defenders. Even if there were, by the time the news is communicated back, the Romans could already have occupied the camp by the time a suitably sized response could be mustered, much less on the scene.
 
Think also though that back in the time just because you were marching somewhere didn't mean you were being detected. It's easy for a bunch of blokes to rock up and set up a camp before anyone knows if there's no airborne observation or forward recce from the defenders. Even if there were, by the time the news is communicated back, the Romans could already have occupied the camp by the time a suitably sized response could be mustered, much less on the scene.
However, when it went wrong it went wrong big style. As shown in AD 9 by the massacre of three legions under Varus in the Teutoburger Wald (near modern day Osnabreuck) by German tribesmen led by Arminius. Apparently, they were shadowed all the way.

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Marching orders for Romans was about 40kg iirc. Unless they had enough carts, in which case they ditched as much as possible.

at one point, but can't find a reference, I believe every 8-10 fighting soldiers had two helpers who put up tents, cooked, etc. In action, the helpers protected the g4 column and brought up food, wat er, spears, etc.

Separate logs chains brought up the big ballots spears and the like.

it would be like having 6-8 pioneers/drivers attached to every modern pl with a quad bike and trailer each or supacat between two.

Or for every bn's 270 bayonets (3 coys of 3 pls of 30 men) there's dedicated g4 support of 54-72 blokes.

Excluding fire support, etc. Who would have their own set up and g4. And there is still a legion's/bn's pioneer troops, my sect, and qm's department on top of that.

Sort of puts the current set up of each coy having two wheezy storemen for each coy in the shade.
The 'helpers' were slaves. Maybe that's the answer!
 
However, when it went wrong it went wrong big style. As shown in AD 9 by the massacre of three legions under Varus in the Teutoburger Wald (near modern day Osnabreuck) by German tribesmen led by Arminius. Apparently, they were shadowed all the way.

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Good old Herman. :-D

Must go back to the Denkmal some day.
 
However, when it went wrong it went wrong big style. As shown in AD 9 by the massacre of three legions under Varus in the Teutoburger Wald (near modern day Osnabreuck) by German tribesmen led by Arminius. Apparently, they were shadowed all the way.

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Kalkreise Site found by Tony Clunn RAMC att RTR at the time
Tony Clunn - Wikipedia

Google Maps
 
More so now than ever before, given the time required to build any of our kit and the strategic reach of near-peer armies. We won't have the opportunity to let an expeditionary force get spanked then spend a couple of years building new kit; the kit can't be built that fast and the enemy will be able reach wherever they want without much challenge. The kit we have at the start is the kit we're using for the entire thing, unless it somehow descends into a kind of lengthy low-tech brawl. Your point about training for reality is therefore made too softly in my view - we either train for reality or we WILL lose a future near-peer war.
Really?

In a war against a near peer (let’s write a list of adversaries) it is not going to be a war of survival?

Because I can’t think of many 20th century near peer conflicts that weren’t.

And I don’t include the FI because they weren’t near peer once the RN got down there.
 
Everything has changed in a chronological order. The social impact of losing the heavy stuff has to be considered now. Dropping body armour spec isn’t going to help recruiting, I can see the headlines now.
And we agree on that. I am guessing that one of the drivers behind the Sennybridge trials was to provide an independent and robust case to justify (including to ministers and courts) scaling back from a HERRICK level scale of PPE if required for future operations. The then CGS gave a number of keynote speeches on that theme at the time.
 
Really?

In a war against a near peer (let’s write a list of adversaries) it is not going to be a war of survival?

Because I can’t think of many 20th century near peer conflicts that weren’t.

And I don’t include the FI because they weren’t near peer once the RN got down there.
They weren't peers when it was just NP8901 (67 men) vs 600+ argies.

The Argentines were just lucky the Brits decided to have a proper war, so ordered the lads to stand down.
 

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