Infantry squad fire power 1944 vs. 2004

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 17thfabn, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Easy! Resume bombing, and remine Haiphong! THAT is what brought them to the table willing to TALK in the FIRST place!


    Even if only a "token" response, International law IS based on the fact you make a treaty, you face the consequences if you BREAK it. (What no "diplomat" wants to face, is it's only MILITARY consequences that matter in the end, real or implied...)

    WHAT consequences did Hanoi EVER face for breaking it?

    GRANTED, the US had no stomach for any other involvement, and were torn apart by Watergate,but we should have done SOMETHING. That hurt US prestige for the next couple of years more than Vietnam as a whole! That, and Jimmy Carter, it's a wonder we SURVIVED the 70s.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2006
  2. I'm not saying you're wrong in asserting that is what we SHOULD have done, Polish, only that there was no way that could happen. By 1975 I think the American public and the Congress would have lynched any president who tried to resume bombing over the North, or took any other direct action against NVN. And another point: Since resumption of bombing would not have changed the ultimate outcome, would it have been worth the sacrifice of additional airmen and machines simply to prove a political point?
  3. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    My theory on why we lost in Vietnam

    I believe we lost in Vietnam because it was not important enough to us (US). The regime in the south that we were supporting was seen as no better than the commies in the north. Were we willing to be their another ten years, spend another huge sum of money, and more importantly lose thousands of more service men killed and wounded to keep a corrupt regime in power?
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    That's part of the problem, 17th, but the REAL problem was Johnson, with the FULL agreement and support of the "conventional" military hierachy at the time, going "conventional" in what SHOULD have been just one more "low grade" unconventional war.

    Just like in Greeece, in '46, where we "WON." Just like in Malaysia, at about the SAME time, where the Brits "won." And like Algeria in the 50s, where even the FRENCH "won..." and COUNTLESS other "insurgencies from the late 40s to the 90s where the GOOD side won...on just about EVERY continent of the world!

    And as MUCH as I don't think he should have won the election, and a LOT of his ideas and actions are questionable, I believe if JFK had NOT been assasinated Vietnam would have REMAINED a "Green Beenie" and "advisor" war, and we would have "won" too!


    TOO many WWII vets were in positions of power both in politics and the military that saw ANY war as conventional, and NOTHING could stand up to US!!! Much LESS some slant eyed PEASANTS! When WE have the BOMB, much LESS B-52s!!!


    Granted, the corruption of South Vietnam and the ARVN did NOT help at ALL....


    "Hearts and Minds" operations, with small VOLUNTEER units, COULD have won in Vietnam, but "Search and Destroy" couldn't, even though it came CLOSE.


    And I still hold that against Gerald Ford....LEADERSHIP says screw the polls and public opinion! SOMETIMES the "Masses can be Asses," and our national interests in the FUTURE must be protected, not just the PRESENT...

    The North invaded and conquered the South CONVENTIONALLY. Those columns of T-34s and T-55s in DAYLIGHT on the coastal highways were BEGGING for strikes by A-4s and F-4s from the very carriers the Hueys were landing on (and getting pushed over the side into the South China Sea! :mad: )

    It would have bought us TIME to retreat HONORABLY, as WELL as punish the NVA for breaking the treaty!


    All it took was some STONES. And it just MIGHT have got him elected, INSTEAD of the now Traitor, then merely incompetent, Jimmy Carter...
  5. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Does any one know the composition of Army and Marine infantry squads in Vietnam?

    World War II, infantry:
    Army 12 men, One squad leader , One assistant squad leader, one B.A.R. gunner with browning automatic rifle, one grenadier with 1903 springfield bolt action rifle. All men in the squad had M-1 rifles (ten M-1 rifles) except the B.A.R. gunner and grenadier. (Squad leader was a sergeant, latter in the war a staff sergeant. Assistant squad leader was a corporal, latter in the war sergeant) (Some units were said to have added a second B.A.R. or substituted a M1919A6)

    Marines 14 men, One squad leader, three fire teams four men each, each fire team has one man with B.A.R. other three have M-1 rifles. (not sure what extra mans duties were)

    (The Marine squad is slightly larger but has much more fire power with three automatic weapons vs. only one for the Army squad.)

    Modern U.S. Army Infantry:
    Nine man squad: Squad leader w/M-16, two fire teams with four men. Each fire team has one team leader w/m-16, one basic rifleman w/m-16, one grenadier w/M-203, one S.A.W. gunner with M-249 squad automatic weapon.

    Unsure on Marine rifle squad composition.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Good job, 17th! The only difference is that is the TOE for the "standard" mid to late WWII squad, but equipment varied not only during the year of the war, but also between straight leg, para, Ranger, Engineer, etc...and in the USMC, between Raiders, Paramarines, "Assault" Marine platoons, recon, etc.

    For example, earlier in the war the non-coms MIGHT be carrying 1928A1 Thompsons, and later M1 Thompsons, M3 SMGs, or more probably M1 Carbines...and the Grenadier MIGHT be carrying the M7 Grenade launcher on an M1, or the M8 on a carbine...(They all preferred the Springfield OR the Carbine for the rifle grenade work, because you could fire regular ammo through the grenade launcher, not like the Garand's M7...although the MOST common launcher issued was the M7...)

    And once a unit got "bloodied," there is NO telling how the men would have "equipped themselves" from battlefield "pick-ups" and trading and outright theft! There COULD be many more BARs, for example. (and EVERY US soldier in combat probably had at least ONE pistol, regulations be DAMMED. Either a 1911A1, 1917 Colt/SW, a "commercial" one sent from home, or a "captured" one...)

    And finally, there were a LOT more Springfields in service in various Army units throughout the war than most people realize...Canfield had photos of army units in Italy in late '44 and half the Infantry have 03A3s,,,just like a lot of people don't realize just how important the rifle grenade was to a WWII US squad...most PREFERRED it to a Bazooka, (probably simply because it was easier to hump!) but some accounts claim it was more effective on tanks and pillboxes than the bazooka.

    Plus the Marine squad WOULD have one or two M1897 or M12 "Trench Guns..." plus an attached "Dog Handler" and flamethrower team, after the Marshalls...

    Plus each squad was usually "understrength" to TOE, but actually made "overstrength" through addition of a MMG or Bazooka team from the platoon weapons or HQ squad...
  7. Very true, Polish. My Dad, who was an artilleryman, carried only the Springfield and a .45 Colt pistol. He was never issued the M1.
  8. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Anaconda & the Battle of Robert's Ridge:

    This show is on tonight at 2 a.m. I know that is late, but set your vcr.:)

    This shows a small unit of U.S. Army Rangers batteling a large force in Afghanistan with little out side support.
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