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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.

 

ARTICLES

Overview

 

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 so simple.

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 modern battlefield.

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 believable.

 

RESOURCE LISTINGS

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 Amazon.com.

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 ranks structures.

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 the subject.

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 universe.

 

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