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  • Stupid Newbie Question Time!

    OK.

    Let me explain my situation:

    To help various curious yet uninformed people I come in contact with, mostly via various roleplaying games I'm involved in, I'm trying to put together a handy reference guide to various things.

    Mostly I'm done, but for one issue: Military organization. It's a geopolitical-themed game I'm involved in, so this does affect things. Unfortunately, I can find crap for info in a useful format, despite crawling over the official sites (the *.mils and soforth), FAS.org, globalsecurity.org, etc.

    What I'm looking for:

    The REALLY basic stuff of organization. Ranks are a fungible thing that I found. Now, I need stuff like how many soldiers are in an infantry squad, squads to platoon, and up. (Same for any other branches would be helpful, and similar things for each of the services would earn my gratitude.) It's the kinda stuff that falls through the cracks; So basic that nobody explains it, making it hard for anybody who can't enlist (like me, cursed eyes) to find such info. Even more appreciated would be such info for the non-American systems around the world, like the UK/Commonwealth system, the Soviet/Russian system, and any others people know.

    Current (free, realistically; I'm a college student, so I'm broke..) weblinks are fine, email'd docs that you'll allow posted to the web (modified to remove personally-identifying details, of course) are good. Because of the international playerbase and varying English skills of the players, however, I'll have to ask that paper books and similar be avoided: Many people just won't have access to em.

    Other thing that would be handy is prices on various equipment from around the world. I'm looking for the, uh..."sticker price" for equipment. Procurement costs are difficult to figure out, I know, but I've been trying for a long time to discover this sort of stuff. US equipment is easy to find prices on. Other countries' catalogs of equipment? Difficult on a good day, impossible on a bad day.
    ---

    Now, misc notes:

    1. I understand OPSEC. I know also I'm not qualified to determine if anything I've asked for falls under it, so I'm going to hope for the best and hope not. But, I don't know. Please, just tell me if that's the case.

    2. I'm dealing with people who are, in some cases, seriously military-illiterate. I will admit to myself not being much better. Please be kind if these seem like stupid questions. I'm not as stupid as I sound, honest!

    3. I've looked on Yahoo and Google. For months.

  • #2
    I'd start with General Dennis J. Reimer Training and Doctrine Digital Library

    It has a number of declassified US military field manual that will answer most of the questions you raised.

    Focus on the following manuals:

    FM 7-7 (old)
    FM 7-8
    FM 7-10
    FM 7-20

    Opposing forces. These manuals cover Russian tactics used by the US Army to replicate opposing forces in exercises. Many of our opponents still use Russian tactics.

    FM 100-60
    FM 100-61
    FM 100-63

    I'll post more in a bit, watching 44 minutes
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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    • #3
      Sorry the belated reply. Here is some additional information:

      An infantry squad in the US Army numbers between six and eleven. The Six-man squad is common to Mech units assigned Bradley Fighting Vehicles. (That's the most the BFV can hold.) Eleven is the more standard squad common to air assault and other infantry units.

      Again, alot of information can be found at General Dennis. J Reimer Training and Doctrine Digital Library. There are hundreds of manuals available for free.

      The UK and other military groups are less more secretive about their tactics, techniques, and procedures. Most countries develop their own tactics. Yet, NATO forces tend to employ similar doctrine. The same goes for former WARSAW Pact nations, or countries once supported by Russia.

      Visit RAND. Check out their National Security, and International Foriegn Policy sections. These contain e-books that can be downloaded for free (or you can purchase paperback versions). These books can be quite helpful in understanding why countries go to war, and political aspect that surrounds military action.

      http://www.rand.org/

      As for price tags. The best solution is to search the web. Type up the specific vehicle in a search and you should find the price tag.

      Finally, you can ask questions here. If your question deals with politics, war, economy, or other issues that drives man to kill in somekind of organized fashion, you are bound to get responses. We're a secret multi-national, poorly funded, slightly insane think-tank. Few questions are stupid. It's the answers that can border or outrageous.
      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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      • #4
        originally posted by Deltapooh

        Finally, you can ask questions here. If your question deals with politics, war, economy, or other issues that drives man to kill in somekind of organized fashion, you are bound to get responses. We're a secret multi-national, poorly funded, slightly insane think-tank. Few questions are stupid. It's the answers that can border or outrageous.
        Deltapooh, okay, now, I am offended by this statement. I demand a good old-fashioned duel, preferably with words!

        You should know better than expose our secret organization to the whole wide sorry world! I mean, our answers or solutions are supposed to give us an ultimate weapon in conquering the world with, that's right, the words!

        Good cheers,
        Dan
        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

        "Aim small, miss small."

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