Another instance of map not territory.

Expand full comment
Jul 21, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

Never been in uniform, so I only know about these things from books and personal anecdote. But it seems odd that doctrine would not be structured with a modicum of flexibility, at least to the extent of taking the enemy's responsive capabilities into consideration. Siting water cooled, crew-served machine guns on a forward slope against, say, an enemy equipped with assegais and knobkerries is one thing, siting the descendants of such machine guns in full view of an enemy with modern artillery seems crazy to the non-specialist. Are not all such decisions regarding the employment of weapons necessarily situation-specific -- and more particularly, enemy-specific? How can they not be?

Expand full comment

If you liked this article, you may be interested in a much longer piece on the subject published by Pacem magazine some years ago.

This link will take you to a copy of the piece stored on the website of Pacem magazine.


This link will take you to the copy of the same article on file at the Military Learning Library


Expand full comment

This brings to mind the stupidity of the 8th Air Force daylight bombing campaign planners who relied on bomber defensive weaponry to get the bombers through to target. This didn't work and hundred if not thousands of crew members were lost to the lethality of the Luftwaffe.

This could have all been prevented had the planners used some ingenuity and applied the concept of escort, which was available with the early P38 models that could travel long ranges.

However, so convinced were these planners that they kept sending bombers out without escorts only to be continually maimed and destroyed in the air.

I suspect that near mutiny among aircraft had to occur before the planners would give up on their hopes of an invincible bomber formation that could get to target on its own...

Expand full comment