** THIS PAGE IS CONSTANTLY UNDER
Links should be valid but may not be
The purpose of this resource is to give the amateur some idea of what goes on during
combat and it is to provide professionals with resources to flavor their own writing. It
will include rank structures for different militaries and help spice up stories.
As a former US Marine Corps Infantry Squad Leader I was a fanatic about learning
tactics and techniques, since I got out of the Marines this has not changed. I realize
that many professionals have different experiences but I believe that the majority will
agree with me. In some cases my memory is somewhat spotty. I appreciate all comments.
A lot of this information deals with the way things work today. This is because like
everything else, the military evolves. In order to write about the future you should have
some idea of how things work today, otherwise your writing will be like someone writing
about wooden ships with cloth sails flying through outer space. Two hundred years ago that
might have believable because people didn't know any better, today there is no excuse for
not doing at least basic research.
Below is an index to help you find certain articles I have written. I am in the process
of writing and rewriting them so please check back often. I will also be adding articles
frequently so check back. Some articles are complete, some aren't. I'm sorry about the
lack of visual window dressing but I haven't gotten around to finding some yet. It is
mostly a lot of text. Tactics does have some illustrations. I still need to index some of
the articles so hang tough. It is an ongoing process. I write the articles on a third rate
Mickey Mouse electronic notebook. Converting it from that to this is no fun.
Billets: What are different positions in a military
organization and what do they do.
Combat Operations: Talks about patrols, offensive
operations and defensive operations.
Combined Arms: Gives the amateur an idea of how
different weapons systems compliment each other.
Communications: This is what helps dispel the fog of war. It
is a critical and often overlooked aspect of war. The side with the most effective
communications is more likely to win
Covering Fire: This is a critical aspect of fire fights.
Defensive Operations: What makes a defense more
than just some bunkers, trenches, holes. The methods behind the madness.
Drones and Robots: Many writers do not take into
account the usefulness of drones. Today the military uses drones or remote piloted craft
for a variety of purposes and it is very unlikely the military will stop.
Electronics: Electronics are changing the face of the
battlefield forever. Here is a brief article on how.
Evolution of Warfare: Warfare has changed a great deal
since primitive fighters were armed with sticks and stones. This will help you understand
what has changed and where it is going.
Firefight Dynamics: Firefights are more than just
thugs throwing bullets at each other hoping for a kill. This will help you understand the
finer points of a firefight - forget the movies.
Future of the Infantry Article 1 - Article
2. This is one article on the future of Infantry in modern combat
Grenade Launchers: A very important weapon in
infantry units. There are specific techniques and tactics they use.
Killing: The psychology and realities about killing your
fellow man in war. Includes battle fatigue and pschological illnesses.
Logistics: One of the most important aspects of fighting a
war that writers often underplay or overlook. Logistics affects everything from the guy in
the trenches to the high commander.
Machine Guns: There are specialized tactics employed by
machine gunners. Movie watchers have absolutely no clue as to how the real world works
Martial Arts: Hand to hand combat training is not obsolete.
Here's a look at why.
Military Organization: This is about how military units
are organized and some of the whys.
Mortars: This is every infantryman's friend and nightmare. A
critical, often overlooked aspect of warfare that has been present on the battlefield (but
rarely the movies) since World War One.
National Policy: A lot of things can affect a war and
a Nation's desire to wage it. This will help explain things from the high commands
perspective. It also will have an effect on the soldier in the trenches
Not Getting Shot: Sounds simple, it's not.
Offensive Operations: What makes an
attack more than just a bunch of soldiers with bayonets running and shooting at each
other. The methods behind the madness.
Patrolling: This is an article about the art of patrolling.
This will give you some idea of the amount of planning that goes into something that seems
Rates of Fire: There is a secret to real world fire fights that
they make no mention of in the movies. Ammo doesn't last forever.
Rocket Launchers: An integral part of infantry formations.
Like a machine gun there are special techniques and tactics used with Rocket Launchers.
Snipers: This article is about the role of the sniper on the
Special Operations: What is it all about. The
methods behind the madness.
Tactics: A crash course in infantry individual, battle team,
fire team, squad, platoon and company tactics
Tanks: These are not the unstoppable behomoths of the
battlefield. More and more units are getting into the tank killing business. It is really
not that hard, just scary.
Trooper of the Future: Many things are changing the war, not
just planes and tanks but with infantry. This might help you avoid writing something that
is already obsolete.
The Individual: This is about the death and fear.
Types of War: This is an attempt to explain the difference
between Attrition War, Maneuver War and Revolutionary War.
War Theatre: Every war is different for a great many
reasons. This will help you visualize the social environment and make the conflict more
These articles are designed to help you over
writer's block. In addition I will be adding rank structures for different militaries and
organizations and links to web sites with good info.
Recommended Books: Here are some books I enjoy. I'll be adding
descriptions and details when I get the time. Click on the link to get them from
Links: This are some great links for research on current
military organizations and technology
Designing Militaries: When 'designing' a military here are
some things to consider. This might help you add 'spice' to some generic type military.
Insertion and Extraction: Warriors can't
fight if they can't get to the battlefield. Here is a list of current and futuristic
methods for warriors to enter the battle area.
Members Duties/Billets: This might help you round out that
special operation or bridge crew.
Mission Complications: Some monkey wrenches that
frequently get thrown into the works making a difficult mission near impossible.
Munitions: The biggest killer in a war is the bombs,
explosives and other weapons of mass destruction. Here is a listing of current day
munitions and futuristic ones. It is by no means complete.
Ranks: This is a comparison of ranks from different nations.
This continues to be updated as I gather information about different countries and their
Sensors: This is a listing of different methods to detect
someone or something. It is by no means complete but should help to get you thinking about
Ship Types and Classes: This is a listing of
different ships, both waterborne and space born and may help you understand the
differences and abilities
Styles of Martial Arts: This is an incomplete list that gives
a brief run down on the different types of Martial Arts that might help a writer choose a
style for his character.
Targets and Objectives: "Attack that Hill
because the enemy is there" is so cliche it is pathetic. Here is a listing of viable
military targets, both present and futuristic. It is by no means complete.
Weaponry: This is a list of weapons and their capabilities.
It is by no means complete but it might help to understand and 'design' weapons for your