The Strategypage is a comprehensive summary of military news and affairs.
November 24, 2017
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


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The Regiment by John Dalmas


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The Sharp End (The Hammer's Slammers) by David Drake


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Bolo Brigade by Keith Laumer (Creator), William H., Jr. Keith

Discussion Boards on Military Science Fiction

Military Science Fiction and the Army Transformation
Michael K. Robel

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Part II
Falkenberg’s Legion and Hammer’s Slammers

Falkenberg’s Legion

Synopsis

Falkenberg’s Legion (Figure 2) is a mercenary light infantry unit formed from a deactivated Marine unit of the “Codominium.” The “Codominium” is a world government that evolved in the late 20th century/early 21st century dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union. Mankind has discovered the ability to travel faster than light and make electromagnetic shielding. There are no extraterrestrial forms of life discovered yet, so military action is against other humans that have rebelled against the central government or against their planetary governments. The Codominium haphazardly enforces the laws of war if central interests are threatened.

Technological Innovations

The Legion has no technological innovation; any soldier would recognize its weaponry. It has a few esoteric organizations such as an anti-satellite detachment in its Weapons Battalion.

The Legion is linked via satellite and other communications links so commanders can have instant updates with troops in the field. Subordinate commanders fight their unit, while Falkenberg provides additional support to them as needed, instead of micromanaging squads and platoons.

Figure 2 Falkenberg's Legion

Unit Organization and Employment

The regiment is conventionally organized. The basic unit is the maniple, an NCO and 4 soldiers. It has an aviation unit, although man portable air defense and anti-tank missiles make risking aircraft in direct combat too dangerous. It can fire Anti-Satellite Missiles as well as launch its own reconnaissance satellites. The 5th Battalion Task Force has been cloned from the Legion so the unit can undertake two operations at once.

The Legion has two company-sized reconnaissance units: a conventional cavalry unit and a Special Air Service unit. The Legion employs its recon units to find and fix the enemy with long-range precision fires and then maneuvers the rest of the Legion to fight and finish the enemy. This approach serves to “keep the enemy off balance, so that one regiment can do the work of five.”

The regiment provides its own support. Force protection is important because, after all, if the Legion (as with all mercenary units) is destroyed, it no longer has anything to sell.

In some ways, particularly with its reconnaissance elements, it resembles a light infantry version of the Interim Brigade Combat Team. (http://strategypage.com/articles/ibct_files/default.asp)

Personnel System

The Legion conducts its own recruiting, training, and sustainment operations and is composed of long service soldiers. The pay scale is based upon a soldier’s position rather than his rank. To replenish losses, it recruits among the client’s population or from its defeated enemies. The Legion has both male and female soldiers.

Throughout most of the series, the Legion has no base world, so it brings its dependents with it. They are integrated into the Legion base camp and provide some logistical, training, and self-defense functions.

Hammer’s Slammers

Synopsis

David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers (Figure 3) is a clone of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (http://www.irwin.army.mil/11acr/default.htm) and is based on his experiences in Viet Nam. It was formed to put down an insurgency on a “resource” planet. After winning the war, the home government attempted to dismantle the unit, but the Slammers evade this and begin a career of mercenary operations throughout known space. A bonding agency enforces the various laws of war.

Technological Innovations

The Slammers are equipped with massive fusion powered air cushion vehicles with “Power Guns”. Infantry have powered “sleds” that enable them to keep up with the tanks. Power guns are directed energy (DE) weapons using a small cartridge instead of a more conventional laser with a large power source and range in size from pistols to 200 mm main guns with nearly unlimited range. The Army currently uses low power, eye safe lasers in training, laser range finders, targeting lasers, and has tested a laser system to detect and destroy fire control optics. The Air Force is fielding an anti-ballistic missile chemical laser carried in a modified 747 (http://fas.org/spp/starwars/program/abl.htm) and a laser is being considered for the F-35 Joint Strike fighter (http://strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/default.asp?target=htairw). It seems only a matter of time before lasers are mounted in armored vehicles.

The regiment provides its own support, although fusion power and the small size of the power gun cartridges free it of much of the logistical burden of the current day. The DE weaponry makes it certain death to fly aircraft in combat and also provides a counter-artillery weapon. The Army currently fields an anti-mortar system called “Shortstop” that offers some protection against indirect fires. (http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/an-vlq-9.htm)

Unit Organization and Employment

The Regiment’s main combat force is organized as in Figure 3 with three battalion headquarters, 4 tank companies, 8 combat car companies, 4 infantry companies, and 3 artillery batteries. The companies can be controlled by regiment, by the battalion headquarters, or grouped into small task forces commanded by the senior company commander. Each headquarters and vehicle is linked with the others, so any vehicle can call up any other vehicle’s view on either a TV or a map view, much like the M1A2D. The CP can assume control of the regiment’s weapons to provide air or artillery defense.

The regiment has a support structure similar to an ACR or separate armor brigade, with the addition of a training battalion. It does not have a home world (until late in the series) and dependents are not mentioned. A “Recreation / Field Services Company” is provided to appeal to the soldiers off duty entertainments.

Hammer believes the mobility of the unit is more important than its firepower and you frequently read of the Slammers “marching divided, fighting united.” Hammer also keeps out of his subordinates business and lets them fight their own fight; ensuring they have the proper support.

Personnel System

The Slammers recruit both on and off planet. Like Falkenberg’s Legion, both sexes are recruited for combat positions.

The training battalion is equipped with a significant number of combat vehicles and functions as a Weapon System Replacement Organization (WSRO) providing either individual replacements or complete crews. It also provides a security or labor force for the regiment.

Soldiers may move from unit to unit with the Slammers – one character starts in Combat Cars and quickly decides tanks are the place for him – is eventually commissioned and rises to be the Regimental XO. Officers generally appear to be promoted from within.

Figure 3 Hammer Slammers

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Discussion Boards on Military Science Fiction

The Latest Comment On This Topic:
From: Yimmy 7/28/2014 7:48:00 PM
Subject:
In 2004 mike_golf said the American Army in WWII became the largest volunteer army the world has ever seen.

This was in fact the British Indian Army of WWII.

Aimless comment of the night.....
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