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Ricks Napkin Challenge- The Infantry Section and Platoon

markppcli

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I wouldn't agree with that. The "fire team" approach waters down the ability of the section to lay down serious suppression. What's worse, we equip the fireteam with a Light Machine Gun, and then employ it as an automatic rifle, making it one of the least effective tools in the section. Soldiers are the least effective when trying to bound and engage the enemy at the same time due to the cumulative effects of trying to conduct a physically demanding activity (bounding) while also firing a weapon while also dealing with the physiological effects of incoming enemy fire.

While I agree in the sense of a frontal, section flanking are still doctrinal; just not focused on or really taught unfortunately. Unless you’re a Vandoo that is. The assault groups simply split but I probably don’t need to tell you that.
The "fire team" concept is built off this silly belief that conducting alternating bounds across wide open fields to take out a lone two person trench is a viable tactical approach for sections (a scar from 1940s battle drill). Experience in battle shows that even the smallest tactical elements need to establish a sturdy base of fire, capable of suppression, so that a small element can move quickly to assault.

Do you mean in the Canadian context? USMC was using fire teams in Nicaragua and they were formally integrated before WW2.
Here's a good throwback article demonstrating how poor our section organization and doctrine actually is:


I agree that the “bowling lane” approach to section ranges / training stifles the development of section commanders and NCOs in general. As above though the section flanking is “in the books,” but apparently only the French read it.

I’d be curious where you sit on how a section ought to be organized ?
 

Kirkhill

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1653062057452.png

Just a note -

The new USMC squad fire teams are not identical. One team carries the Carl G for multi-purpose direct fire support and another carries the DMR for precision targeting.

All teams have an independent 40mm GL. And every rifleman is armed with an Automatic Rifle. There are no "machine guns" until you get to the Company Weapons Platoon.
 

ArmyRick

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View attachment 70866

Just a note -

The new USMC squad fire teams are not identical. One team carries the Carl G for multi-purpose direct fire support and another carries the DMR for precision targeting.

All teams have an independent 40mm GL. And every rifleman is armed with an Automatic Rifle. There are no "machine guns" until you get to the Company Weapons Platoon.
USMC Have always run large squads (sections). They call a fire team, we call an assault group. I have seen their new Squad structure and I get where they are going.

With larger numbers like this, it gives the section/squad a greater ability to operate dispersed or on their own (depending on their mission of course).
 

KevinB

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Most dismount units will with experience relegate/realign the LMG’s to fire base work - especially in complex terrain. Having a LMG gunner entering houses/buildings isn’t ideal - but can be fed in if needed to provide fire support (you run into a hardened room - and are trying to pull folks out under fire)


The problem with discussions and practice of ‘winning the firefight’ aspect and fire and movement - is sometimes you will suppress the enemy- sometimes you won’t - some of those times you don’t you simply need to move as you are in a bad spot, and trying to ‘win the fire fight’ is just going to rack up casualties.

I have a healthy respect for the 25mm cannon to support - and if it is a viable option (Mech unit - and it’s not burning) it obviously can be used to suppress enemy positions.
It’s usefulness decreases in some positions up close because it can’t either depress the cannon or elevate it enough (admittedly it’s got impressive elevation) to conduct direct support.

Flexibility is needed at all levels, as no situation will be the same (except training generally) and junior leaders need to be ready to shift their troops to the most effective organization as possible - and do so quickly.
 

Infanteer

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Do you mean in the Canadian context?

Yes. In the Canadian context. We moved away from an "asymmetric section" that we used for six decades to a "symmetric approach" that mimicked the American Army. I'm not convinced it was the right decision.

I’d be curious where you sit on how a section ought to be organized ?

I alluded to this before, but number really isn't important. I'd offer that first principles are, so here is my guess at first principles:

  1. Infanteers don't do things as individuals, but as teams. The fundamental building block is a team/group/detachment/brick (call it whatever you want) of 3-6 infanteers. A section is a group of teams. Multiple observations in combat support this; dismounted infanteers will tend to move in little gaggles from a good position of fire to another good position of fire.
  2. For Canada, each team is controlled by a junior NCO (MCpl). Each section is controlled by a senior NCO (Sgt). A Sgt can also command his or her own team as well as the section as a whole.
  3. A team can be assigned one "thing" to do; these "things" are broadly defined by the core functions of Find, Fix, Strike. In a rifle platoon (and even company), I'd argue there are two things a team could do - support (engage with crew served weapon) or assault (close with an enemy/protect the crew served weapon. So a section, platoon, and company is composed of a variety of assault and support teams.
  4. History tells us that shock wins engagements, shock comes from neutralization, and neutralization comes from the suppressive and destructive power of crew served weapons. Crew served weapons also have the advantage of encouraging participation of those who would otherwise be non-firers; repeated observations (beyond S.L.A. Marshall) have demonstrated that some soldiers simply bow out of engagements due to the psychological effect of battle. A crew served weapon, requiring a team to operate, reinforces participation. A crew-served weapon is more than the sum of its parts, and is at the core of Infantry effectiveness.
  5. History tells us that assault elements are not generally required to be too large. Tactical case studies continuously indicate that high ratios of support:assault elements tend to be the most successful (in Rommel's case in WWI, 8:1 support:assault was not uncommon). Support elements suppress and neutralize enemy, and assault teams clean up and secure.
  6. In the attack, support elements "fire in" assault elements. In the defence, assault elements provide protection to support elements that do all the killing.
  7. Only in specific cases would sections, and even platoons, operate on their own, so when you organize a section, you should consider how it would be used within the context of a platoon. Likewise, when you organization a platoon, you should consider how it would be used in the context of a company.
Based on these first principles, I'd argue that a section should be able to find, fix, and strike. A section with an assault team and a support team can find with either (usually just by spotting something), fix with a support team, and strike with the assault team. It is, as I mentioned above, difficult to conceive of a situation where a section is taking a single objective completely on its own. So the platoon has to be able to configure its sections and teams to find, fix, and strike. As mentioned above, the ratios for doing this are not equal, so most of the platoon can be fixing while a small element strikes. The same phenomenon exists for a company; as there is rarely a lone enemy squad wandering around waiting to fight, in isolation, with a platoon.

So, how does the Canadian Army organize its sections? In the mechanized context, let's keep our restraint of 7-seats in a LAV, as there is little point to sweeping this away for some other platform if you want to have a concept that is actually useful for us today. This gives us a 7-pers section. 1x Sgt (Sect Comd) composed of an assault team and a support team. The assault team is three soldiers with rifles (perhaps one with a grenade launcher), while the support team is a two-person weapons team led by a MCpl (Sect 2iC). The weapons team can be equipped with a GPMG or a Carl G (mission dependent), which to me are the mainstays of the infantry platoon - the GPMG for the sustained suppressive power, and the Carl G for its neutralization power in a close fight. The Sgt, if he or she wishes, can take command of the support team and send the 2iC with the assault team, and could also kick the grenadier over to the support team. Flexibility is the key.

Now pair this up with a LAV 6. This team dismounts and gets behind the LAV or (even better) a tank. They "handrail" the vehicle into a suitable position relative to their objective, providing protection to the vehicle that possesses a preponderance of firepower. The support team breaks off to a position of fire, and the assault team cleans up. Note that even in a mechanized organization, terrain may not permit intimate support, so sections and platoons require a degree of independence - even though a LAV or tank could provide all the suppressive fires required, it shouldn't be expected to.

We can't design sections without considering platoons. A Canadian platoon could be 21 pers (3 veh), 28 pers (4 veh), or 35 pers (5 veh). I think we are fine with our four vehicle loadout, so lets stick with 28 pers. Three sections as organized above, with a small HQ (a platoon commander, his or her signaller, and a platoon 2IC) and a Platoon support team; this team can consist of a MCpl comd, a platoon designated marksman, and two-pers with a crew served weapon (GPMG or Carl G, perhaps even a MRAAW - Spike or Javelin - that is carried in the HQ LAV). Again, flexibility is the key. Tactically, the most basic configurations on the attack would see the Pl Comd can mass his or her 4x support teams under the Pl 2IC to fire in 2-3 assault elements that he or she leads and, in the defence, would have the Coy Comd site the 4x support teams of each platoon, and the Pl Comd emplace the 3 assault teams in positions that provide protection to those hardened bases of fire.

Moving away from a mechanized setting and looking at light infantry (which we define as "vehicle agnostic"), I wouldn't go much larger as I think fitting a platoon into a Chinook (max 33-pers in seats) is a useful guide to apply. I'm not going to split hairs and say 32 is better than 28, but I'd offer that there is a certain elegance with simply keeping the same organization throughout. Since a Light Company does not have the firepower of the LAVs, it should have a Weapons Platoon, which we now have in the CA LIBs, to supplement the Rifle Platoons. A Weapons Platoon is simply a bunch of sections composed of support teams.

Note: history also teaches us that in a conventional war with a regular adversary, infantry sections and platoons will take casualties and generally always operate with less people than the book says. This is one reason why arguing over "6 versus 8 versus 12" is so silly and pointless; you won't have any of those numbers after crossing the LD! In the face of this reality, Section and Platoon commanders need to always remember principle (4) and to keep those crew-served weapons manned. I can think of a bunch of different ways a platoon of 19 organizes itself on week two of a war because it has taken casualties in the preceding days.
 
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markppcli

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Yes. In the Canadian context. We moved away from an "asymmetric section" that we used for six decades to a "symmetric approach" that mimicked the American Army. I'm not convinced it was the right decision.



I alluded to this before, but number really isn't important. I'd offer that first principles are, so here is my guess at first principles:

  1. Infanteers don't do things as individuals, but as teams. The fundamental building block is a team/group/detachment/brick (call it whatever you want) of 3-6 infanteers. A section is a group of teams. Multiple observations in combat support this; dismounted infanteers will tend to move in little gaggles from a good position of fire to another good position of fire.
  2. For Canada, each team is controlled by a junior NCO (MCpl). Each section is controlled by a senior NCO (Sgt). A Sgt can also command his or her own team as well as the section as a whole.
  3. A team can be assigned one "thing" to do; these "things" are broadly defined by the core functions of Find, Fix, Strike. In a rifle platoon (and even company), I'd argue there are two things a team could do - support (engage with crew served weapon) or assault (close with an enemy/protect the crew served weapon. So a section, platoon, and company is composed of a variety of assault and support teams.
  4. History tells us that shock wins engagements, shock comes from neutralization, and neutralization comes from the suppressive and destructive power of crew served weapons. Crew served weapons also have the advantage of encouraging participation of those who would otherwise be non-firers; repeated observations (beyond S.L.A. Marshall) have demonstrated that some soldiers simply bow out of engagements due to the psychological effect of battle. A crew served weapon, requiring a team to operate, reinforces participation. A crew-served weapon is more than the sum of its parts, and is at the core of Infantry effectiveness.
  5. History tells us that assault elements are not generally required to be too large. Tactical case studies continuously indicate that high ratios of support:assault elements tend to be the most successful (in Rommel's case in WWI, 8:1 support:assault was not uncommon). Support elements suppress and neutralize enemy, and assault teams clean up and secure.
  6. In the attack, support elements "fire in" assault elements. In the defence, assault elements provide protection to support elements that do all the killing.
  7. Only in specific cases would sections, and even platoons, operate on their own, so when you organize a section, you should consider how it would be used within the context of a platoon. Likewise, when you organization a platoon, you should consider how it would be used in the context of a company.
Based on these first principles, I'd argue that a section should be able to find, fix, and strike. A section with an assault team and a support team can find with either (usually just by spotting something), fix with a support team, and strike with the assault team. It is, as I mentioned above, difficult to conceive of a situation where a section is taking a single objective completely on its own. So the platoon has to be able to configure its sections and teams to find, fix, and strike. As mentioned above, the ratios for doing this are not equal, so most of the platoon can be fixing while a small element strikes. The same phenomenon exists for a company; as there is rarely a lone enemy squad wandering around waiting to fight, in isolation, with a platoon.

So, how does the Canadian Army organize its sections? In the mechanized context, let's keep our restraint of 7-seats in a LAV, as there is little point to sweeping this away for some other platform if you want to have a concept that is actually useful for us today. This gives us a 7-pers section. 1x Sgt (Sect Comd) composed of an assault team and a support team. The assault team is three soldiers with rifles (perhaps one with a grenade launcher), while the support team is a two-person weapons team led by a MCpl (Sect 2iC). The weapons team can be equipped with a GPMG or a Carl G (mission dependent), which to me are the mainstays of the infantry platoon - the GPMG for the sustained suppressive power, and the Carl G for its neutralization power in a close fight. The Sgt, if he or she wishes, can take command of the support team and send the 2iC with the assault team, and could also kick the grenadier over to the support team. Flexibility is the key.

Now pair this up with a LAV 6. This team dismounts and gets behind the LAV or (even better) a tank. They "handrail" the vehicle into a suitable position relative to their objective, providing protection to the vehicle that possesses a preponderance of firepower. The support team breaks off to a position of fire, and the assault team cleans up. Note that even in a mechanized organization, terrain may not permit intimate support, so sections and platoons require a degree of independence - even though a LAV or tank could provide all the suppressive fires required, it shouldn't be expected to.

We can't design sections without considering platoons. A Canadian platoon could be 21 pers (3 veh), 28 pers (4 veh), or 35 pers (5 veh). I think we are fine with our four vehicle loadout, so lets stick with 28 pers. Three sections as organized above, with a small HQ (a platoon commander, his or her signaller, and a platoon 2IC) and a Platoon support team; this team can consist of a MCpl comd, a platoon designated marksman, and two-pers with a crew served weapon (GPMG or Carl G, perhaps even a MRAAW - Spike or Javelin - that is carried in the HQ LAV). Again, flexibility is the key. Tactically, the most basic configurations on the attack would see the Pl Comd can mass his or her 4x support teams under the Pl 2IC to fire in 2-3 assault elements that he or she leads and, in the defence, would have the Coy Comd site the 4x support teams of each platoon, and the Pl Comd emplace the 3 assault teams in positions that provide protection to those hardened bases of fire.

Moving away from a mechanized setting and looking at light infantry (which we define as "vehicle agnostic"), I wouldn't go much larger as I think fitting a platoon into a Chinook (max 33-pers in seats) is a useful guide to apply. I'm not going to split hairs and say 32 is better than 28, but I'd offer that there is a certain elegance with simply keeping the same organization throughout. Since a Light Company does not have the firepower of the LAVs, it should have a Weapons Platoon, which we now have in the CA LIBs, to supplement the Rifle Platoons. A Weapons Platoon is simply a bunch of sections composed of support teams.

Note: history also teaches us that in a conventional war with a regular adversary, infantry sections and platoons will take casualties and generally always operate with less people than the book says. This is one reason why arguing over "6 versus 8 versus 12" is so silly and pointless; you won't have any of those numbers after crossing the LD! In the face of this reality, Section and Platoon commanders need to always remember principle (4); keep those crew-served weapons manned. I can think of a bunch of different ways a platoon of 19 organizes itself on week two of a war because it has taken casualties in the preceding days.
brilliant, thank you very much for that
 

KevinB

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@Good2Golf can give a better idea of what a hook can carry - but I’m pretty sure I remember sitting on my ruck with seats folded with over 40 folks with me.

I’m not a fan of troops seat in Hooks or Blackhawks other then admin moves as they cause a lot of issues trying to egress under fire.

I’d argue the effectiveness of your assault team varies significantly with skills and experience. The more experienced and highly trained ones assault force the more bang for the buck they offer.

The CA section has no support weapons in a crew served sense. The C9 LMG is still an individual weapon and doesn’t have an Assistant Gunner or Gun Commander directly with them - secondly most vehicle mounted ‘crew served’ weapons are solo gunned - in the same way most SOF units run a solo gunner for a GPMG.

I agree that ‘support weapons’ need to have priority manning - another one of the reasons I hate weapon mounted grenades launchers - it makes recovery and manning of the GL more problematic - and why bandoliers should be used so they can be easily unclipped unlike best mounted pouches.

The issue with ammo storage comes up with retrieving belts/boxes from the LMG gunners. If one doesn’t have some sort of small pack (with space) one is usually left to ‘Pancho Villa’ draping hastily pulled belts out of belt boxes - and bulkier ammunition is a bigger problem.
 

Good2Golf

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@KevinB, I’d agree - with combat loads I would keep the seats up, then you could get a solid platoon’s worth of guys in heavy order, and some room to spare. Sealtbelts on the floor rings if need be. That gives flex to cross load anything if you have to execute the bump plan for amy reason.
 

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I seem to recall a Chinook in the Falklands taking upwards of 80+ paras somewhere - standing room only. Seats or no seats, I've been in the back of a CH-47 with 30-fully loaded troops, and it is packed. Would be perfectly fine using that as a realistic (and useful) planning figure.
 

ArmyRick

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When I was a young Patricia, I remember being a #2 on the C6. Brutal humping spare ammo (plus tripod) but having 2 guys on a C6 plus a weapons det commander makes the weapon SO much more useful. Not mention, using the C6 in SF role is drastically different than light role (think deliberate attacks, defensive or a prolonged hasty attack, giving crew time to set it up).
The 84mm Carl G is a rockstar and when I was in it seemed people were usually only aware of the HEAT RAP and HEDP round (there is a ton of variety on the rounds on the SAAB page). It was undervalued by many in my day and was usually relegated to the anti-armour role. When its structure destruction and obstacle clearing ability was way under employed or even thought of. Has anyone ever used the Carl G in A-stan against enemy in the open or behind cover that can speak on its effectiveness?

Losing the 60mm Mortar was one of Canada's biggest legacy mistakes in my opinion. When we gave up the M19, we should have gotten the M224. AS a mortarman, I appreciate the effects and capabilities of both the 60mm and 81mm. They are combat rockstars IMO.

@Infanteer , when we think about the importance of fire base/suppression role, do you think light platoons would be better served with an entire section in the platoon of support weapons? So in our standard configuration of 3 sections, a fire support section (C6s, 84, maybe 60mm properly manned) and 2 assault sections?

I only made it to the lowly rank of WO in the infantry (DP4 qualified but never promoted to MWO, another story though), and I remember on 3B, one of the coolest things is as you developed reasonable COAs, you could re-org the platoon as you saw fit for the mission.
 

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@Infanteer , when we think about the importance of fire base/suppression role, do you think light platoons would be better served with an entire section in the platoon of support weapons? So in our standard configuration of 3 sections, a fire support section (C6s, 84, maybe 60mm properly manned) and 2 assault sections?

The answer is "it depends." What is the platoon doing? Where is the rest of the company? What is the objective? What type of terrain is the engagement occurring on?

Flexibility is key, and part of flexibility is the ability to scale the functions of "fix" and "strike" accordingly. I'm more for giving each echelon a balance of "support" and "assault" teams as opposed to zeroing in on a ratio/alignment at a specific echelon, and an "assault section" takes away that section commander's ability to set his or her own base of fire if needed. If a platoon commander needs to establish a base of support, he or she can simply pull the appropriate amount of teams in (4 by my napkin organization above) and send them to the point or two under a Sgt or the Pl 2IC. Perhaps the company commander wants to mass a certain number of those teams for a company firebase?

I always thought David Kilcullen was a better tactical writer than military theorist. His article on infantry close combat in the AAJ is a great read to understand that the fight is one of a series of "points", rather than moving "lines." The section, platoon, and company commanders should be thinking "which points do I need to occupy to win this engagement?" This helps us visualize how the team is the basis for how the infantry fights and wins.


And re: 60mm mortar, I always though it was a goofy weapon for the Platoon - a lone mortar, manned by one or two soldiers who probably weren't very proficient with it. If we were to reinvest in a light mortar, I'd want to see two or three in a section as a company resource, under a couple NCOs and some ammo bearers, so that it would constitute an actual indirect capability. That being said, I think its far more important that the company and lower level has real direct fire capability, such as improved rounds for the 84mm, an ATGM of some sort, a trained Designated Marksman, and a useful grenade launcher (an not an under-barrel paperweight, as @KevinB mentioned).
 
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ArmyRick

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The answer is "it depends." What is the platoon doing? Where is the rest of the company? What is the objective? What type of terrain is the engagement occurring on?

Flexibility is key, and part of flexibility is the ability to scale the functions of "fix" and "strike" accordingly. I'm more for giving each echelon a balance of "support" and "assault" teams as opposed to zeroing in on a ratio/alignment at a specific echelon, and an "assault section" takes away that section commander's ability to set his or her own base of fire if needed. If a platoon commander needs to establish a base of support, he or she can simply pull the appropriate amount of teams in (4 by my napkin organization above) and send them to the point or two under a Sgt or the Pl 2IC. Perhaps the company commander wants to mass a certain number of those teams for a company firebase?

I always though David Kilcullen was a better tactical writer than military theorist. His article on infantry close combat in the AAJ is a great read to understand that the fight is one of a series of "points", rather than moving "lines." The section, platoon, and company commanders should be thinking "which points do I need to occupy to win this engagement?" This helps us visualize how the team is the basis for how the infantry fights and wins.


And re: 60mm mortar, I always though it was a goofy weapon for the Platoon - a lone mortar, manned by one or two soldiers who probably weren't very proficient with it. If we were to reinvest in a light mortar, I'd want to see two or three in a section as a company resource, under a couple NCOs and some ammo bearers, so that it would constitute an actual indirect capability. That being said, I think its far more important that the company and lower level has real direct fire capability, such as improved rounds for the 84mm, an ATGM of some sort, a trained Designated Marksman, and a useful grenade launcher (an not an under-barrel paperweight, as @KevinB mentioned).
As a mortarman, I totally get what you think about the 60mm at PL level. Why I really like it is in its light role it is the most far reaching "grenade launcher" in the platoon. Well trained enemy
 

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@Infanteer totally agree on the 60mm
The only time I think it’s viable at the Platoon level is in dispersed positions (like a Platoon house COP) and then more than 1 is wanted/needed anyway. I think a Coy Mortar Det with 3-4 is much more effective than 1/pl.


As far a Light Infantry Platoon goes - I’d prefer 2x GPMG each with Assistance Gunner - under the Wpn Det Cdr.

I really like 5.56mm, but it’s not the greatest round for tearing through things, that is where 7.62 NATO really shines.

To me to the Carl G is an anti-structure system - with an anti-armor secondary role. But I’d rather give troops a bunch of AT-4 for that - and save the Armor Defense Role for a Javelin - as the LW CLU is a fantastic thermal imager in its own right.


The current EO systems for the M320 or M32 Grenade launchers allow for exceptional accuracy out to max range (and have a range finder) - with medium velocity rounds you have a 700m range band. Which for a ‘direct fire’ system should be good enough for the Section and Platoon on the move.
Defensive positions should be sited are part of the Bn and Coy plan - and a 3-4 M224 det can reach ~3,800m so having a Coy 60mm det makes sense to me.

Dispersed Platoon/Section positions should be an anomaly/ and supported as needed with higher level assets.
 

daftandbarmy

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@Good2Golf can give a better idea of what a hook can carry - but I’m pretty sure I remember sitting on my ruck with seats folded with over 40 folks with me.

I’m not a fan of troops seat in Hooks or Blackhawks other then admin moves as they cause a lot of issues trying to egress under fire.

I’d argue the effectiveness of your assault team varies significantly with skills and experience. The more experienced and highly trained ones assault force the more bang for the buck they offer.

The CA section has no support weapons in a crew served sense. The C9 LMG is still an individual weapon and doesn’t have an Assistant Gunner or Gun Commander directly with them - secondly most vehicle mounted ‘crew served’ weapons are solo gunned - in the same way most SOF units run a solo gunner for a GPMG.

I agree that ‘support weapons’ need to have priority manning - another one of the reasons I hate weapon mounted grenades launchers - it makes recovery and manning of the GL more problematic - and why bandoliers should be used so they can be easily unclipped unlike best mounted pouches.

The issue with ammo storage comes up with retrieving belts/boxes from the LMG gunners. If one doesn’t have some sort of small pack (with space) one is usually left to ‘Pancho Villa’ draping hastily pulled belts out of belt boxes - and bulkier ammunition is a bigger problem.

2 x GPMGs per section was a good option, as I recall, as proven in the Falklands War.

Too heavy for you? Get stronger or get killed ;)


1653151119478.png
 

KevinB

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2 x GPMGs per section was a good option, as I recall.

Too heavy for you? Get stronger or get killed ;)


View attachment 70907
The problem with 2 GPMG / section into todays environment is the individual load of the soldier has vastly increased due to PPE, Light Infantry isn’t anywhere near as Light as it was in the 50-90’s due to ballistic protection.

One needs a much lighter GPMG to retain mobility without vehicles.

The Mk48/7.62mm Minimi isn’t a GPMG it’s just a LMG in 7.62mm NATO and not nearly as effective in the light role for fire support and cannot be effective used in the SF role.
 

Infanteer

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I would rather have 1 GPMG with a loader so it is employed properly as opposed to two guys using a GPMG as an LMG.

I really like 5.56mm, but it’s not the greatest round for tearing through things, that is where 7.62 NATO really shines.

Agree. The Minimi tends to make noise, while the GPMG actually provides suppressive effect. I've seen both OA and anecdotal evidence to suggest that the C6 is far more effective than the C9 as a machine gun.

To me to the Carl G is an anti-structure system - with an anti-armor secondary role. But I’d rather give troops a bunch of AT-4 for that - and save the Armor Defense Role for a Javelin - as the LW CLU is a fantastic thermal imager in its own right.

Agreed. I see a support team having a Carl G to pummel an objective with a few rounds to achieve a neutralizing effect. If it can kill a tank (which we saw in Ukraine) if required is just a bonus.

The current EO systems for the M320 or M32 Grenade launchers allow for exceptional accuracy out to max range (and have a range finder) - with medium velocity rounds you have a 700m range band.
Ack. I've always been a fan of a dedicated grenadier that can either be pushed to support or assault element as required.
 

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Playing around with the Weapons Det concept for a long while now my sense is that the C2A1 sight was the primary weapon of the Weapons Det.

I also think we got the wrong idea of utilizing the Weapons Det. Because it travelled with the Platoon we tended to see it as a Platoon resource. The origins of Battlegroupitis? But the Coy OC decided which weapons were to be manned and how they were to be sited and even what ammunition was to be carried - how much, what type.

The C2A1 sight was designed to supply indirect fire from MGs and Mortars. It effectively meant that they OC had a fourth manoeuvre element to supply a firm base of fire.

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With 4 Weapons Dets in the Company of 5 men the OC had enough bodies to man 4 MGs in the SF role AND 3 or 4 Mortars on Bipods.


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The 4 Carl Gustavs in the Coy could either be carried by the Weapons Dets or distributed to sections in the Platoons.


We've noted that there used to be something called the Machine Gun Battalion held at Brigade or Division level that was equipped with Vickers MGs and 4.2" Mortars in a 3:1 Ratio. These infantry battalions were to thicken up the Sustained Fire Base.

With his 4 C2A1 equipped Weapons Dets the OC effectively had his own, lighter, version of the MG Battalion on call.

Perhaps the error was letting the Det come to be seen as a Platoon Det rather than a Coy Det simply because is travelled with the Platoon HQs. After all the Platoon HQ had room in their vehicles. 4 less vehicles to buy and drive.

From the DND website:

The 60mm-mortar is an indirect fire support weapon used primarily by the infantry. The weapon is fielded in two configurations, the handheld version using the M1 base plate and the more accurate version with the M5 mount consisting of a base plate, bipod and C2A1 sight. A two person mortar crew can carry the weapon and several rounds of ammunition over long distances. Additional ammunition is normally carried in a vehicle or by the remainder of the infantry platoon. A tactical advantage of the mortar is its high trajectory, which allows the mortar to be fired from behind high cover, the suppression of targets behind high cover and the firing of the mortar over the heads of friendly troops without endangering them.

 

Infanteer

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Playing around with the Weapons Det concept for a long while now my sense is that the C2A1 sight was the primary weapon of the Weapons Det.
....
The C2A1 sight was designed to supply indirect fire....
What is the historical rate of casualty generation by a C2A1 sight against infantry either dug in or in the open aa compared to a machine gun or a mortar?
 

Kirkhill

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What is the historical rate of casualty generation of the MBT ....compared to its main armament or its co-ax?

System.


Pedant 😁
 

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The C2A1 allowed for common training and common control of both mg and mortar teams.
 
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