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Smaller NATO Armies Of The 1980s


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According to Johnson's '89 site some NG units were still using the Duster for AA  :o . When was the last year that these were used?

256225[/snapback]

 

 

what about using the Duster for Urban ops

 

WRW

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Stuart (or others) --

 

Have you got an updated UK OOB for 1989? I'm just finishing up an air OOB using the RAF's squadron histories, but have not yet begun to work on the land forces.

 

Redbeard --

 

Did Danish units, particularly battalion, have honorific names or just numbers?

 

Thanks

 

Pat

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Stuart (or others) --

 

Have you got an updated UK OOB for 1989?  I'm just finishing up an air OOB using the RAF's squadron histories, but have not yet begun to work on the land forces.

 

Redbeard --

 

Did Danish units, particularly battalion, have honorific names or just numbers?

 

Thanks

 

Pat

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Inf. and Tank (called Combat Troops - black berets) battalions were numbered in reference to their regiment. So the 2nd battalion of the Sjællandske Livregiment (Zealand Life Regimant) would be called II/SLR. Arty btns would be numbered in arabic numbers from 1 to 33 but with a few vacant numbers (like the 4th being the by 1970's disbanded Zealand Honest John btn.). Old Cavalry regiments like the Jutland Dragoons or Guard Hussars raised both infantry and tanks units as did old infantry regiments. Arty, Engineer and Train regiments raised only respective units and were called Combat Support Troops (green berets).

 

Regiments were/are only training units and have no tactical role. A Brigade might have battalions from more than one regiment. As a main rule the I and II btn were manned by mainly enlisted men, while the III and upwards were mainly conscripts.

 

Regards

 

Steffen Redbeard

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Inf. and Tank (called Combat Troops - black berets) battalions were numbered in reference to their regiment. So the 2nd battalion of the Sjællandske Livregiment (Zealand Life Regimant) would be called II/SLR. Arty btns would be numbered in arabic numbers from 1 to 33 but with a few vacant numbers (like the 4th being the by 1970's disbanded Zealand Honest John btn.).  Old Cavalry regiments like the Jutland Dragoons or Guard Hussars raised both infantry and tanks units as did old infantry regiments. Arty, Engineer and Train regiments raised only respective units and were called Combat Support Troops (green berets).

 

Regiments were/are only training units and have no tactical role. A Brigade might have battalions from more than one regiment. As a main rule the I and II btn were manned by mainly enlisted men, while the III and upwards were mainly conscripts.

 

Regards

 

Steffen Redbeard

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Excellent, thanks. One more question, while I have your attention -- how often were Danish reservists given refresher training, and what sort of training was it? (equipment familiarization, unit maneuvers, etc)

 

Thanks

 

Pat

Edited by PCallahan
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On the Royal Danish Army I have some supplements/corrections:

 

All infantry battalions should have 4 120 mm mortars (in one platoon at btn level) and 6-10 81mm mortars in sections of two mortars each, one section with each inf. company.

 

Both Jutland Division and the Zealand command had Divisional/Corps artillery. On Zealand it was 18 155mm how (2. Arty Btn.), 18 155mm guns (32. Arty Btn.) and 4 203mm how (17. Heavy Bty) plus target acquisition (term?) bty. In Jutland I haven't got detailed info, but of similar size.

 

The arty btn's attached to the Zealand battle groups should be 18-24 105mm how each (16th, 22nd, 21st and 14th Arty Btn. respectively). Went from 3 6 piece to 3 8 piece bty's in mid 80's but 14th Arty Btn. had four 6 piece bty's.

 

Only the inf. btn's attached to 4th Battle Group should be motorised, the others really were static coastal defence. They did have mobilised civilian motor pool but only to get from mobilisation area to deployment zone at the coast and were not trained for mobile warfare (but well prepared to digg in, kill and die...). Each inf. btn. in the Battle Groups usually had 5-6 inf. coy's plus the HQ coy, but the 6th Coy often was a so called Rifle Coy only armed with M1 Garand Rifles (!).

 

The Centurions in the Zealand Bde's were 105mm armed (upgraded Mrk something).

 

The Centurion Tank Coy's attached to the Battle Groups had 20 pdr. guns and were designated TD sqn's. An M10 Achilles Sqn's was kept at Funen Mob. depots into the 80's.

 

I believe the Redeyes had been replaced by Stingers in the late 80's.

 

The Local defence force did not have 7 extra Inf. Brigades but a number of independent inf. btn's and bty's plus personel replacement depots.

 

The air force had its own Home Guard manning hundreds of observation posts with aircraft recognition experts - usually middle aged non-martial looking Gents and Ladies but capable of recognising the type just by the sound. All in all the Home Guard (Army, Navy and AF) with a total strength by late 80's of 70.000+ should not be underestimated as a hell raiser. Each Home Guard member had uniform, equipment, weapon and ammo at home and could be mobilised in a matter of minutes.

 

Regards

 

Steffen Redbeard

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Not noted in the OB but circa 1989 US 9ID (Mtz) NATO mission was attachment to COMLANDJUT - Deploy to area N of the Kiel Canal. Expected/possible movement of Mtz Bdes by air into N. Germany (Hamburg as I recall).

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Excellent, thanks.  One more question, while I have your attention -- how often were Danish reservists given refresher training, and what sort of training was it? (equipment familiarization, unit maneuvers, etc)

 

Thanks

 

Pat

256418[/snapback]

 

 

Officers (of the reserve) would train regulary, a usual contract would demand at least three weeks of service annually incl. one or two key personell (signalmen, drivers, staff helpers etc.) excercises each year. Larger mobilisation excersises where the complete battalion was called up usually were with a few years interval. Most men would have served inside a handful of years, but occassionally you had an "old" bloke in his mid 30's wondering what on earth he had done to be called up again.

 

Officer training would usualy be preparing mobilisation plans, recon. and lectures etc. (plus not at least spending the night at the bar in the off. mess). With key personel called up staff excersises in the terrain (manning only radio vehicles) were held and focussing mainly on tactical issues. Mobilisation excises of course was the chance to have your complete unit work up, and I have not yet in my civilian excecutive career met anything as challenging in almost any aspect of leadership. The usual experience was total chaos in the first hours. With some skills and good luck you could have it look neat, but it still was chaos. But then, after leaving the depot, things started slowly to get into line. After 24 hours the unit would be functional and after a few days of field excersise/unit manoeuvre it would be as good or better than enlisted units. Mobilisation excersises in arty units would usually end in a live firing (IIRC usually around 100 shells pr. piece in 105mm units).

 

As a general rule the men would be called up in the same unit they had served in during conscription service but there were exceptions, especially among key personell, who could be called up several times and in many different types of units.

 

The regiments would usually have one battallion do conscript service each year, meaning that in a "standard" five battalion regt. the battalions would refresh personell each fifth year. So each conscript would usually experience one or two mobilisation excecises. After that some would stay as key personell and the rest be designated to personell replacement depots (no peacetime call up). In my arty regt., which in the 80's raised 9-10 battalions plus independent btys, personell often had a first term in units designated to the brigades or Corps arty (155mm), and then a term in a unit designated to the Battle Groups (105mm).

 

Home Guard men were obliged to do 24 hours of service each year. Some would do less, but others a lot more (in excess of 1000 hours!) and with near SF quality.

 

Regards

 

Steffen Redbeard

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Officers (of the reserve) would train regulary, a usual contract would demand at least three weeks of service annually incl. one or two key personell (signalmen, drivers, staff helpers etc.) excercises each year. Larger mobilisation excersises where the complete battalion was called up usually were with a few years interval. Most men would have served inside a handful of years, but occassionally you had an "old" bloke in his mid 30's wondering what on earth he had done to be called up again.

 

Officer training would usualy be preparing mobilisation plans, recon. and lectures etc. (plus not at least spending the night at the bar in the off. mess). With key personel called up staff excersises in the terrain (manning only radio vehicles) were held and focussing mainly on tactical issues. Mobilisation excises of course was the chance to have your complete unit work up, and I have not yet in my civilian excecutive career met anything as challenging in almost any aspect of leadership. The usual experience was total chaos in the first hours. With some skills and good luck you could have it look neat, but it still was chaos. But then, after leaving the depot, things started slowly to get into line. After 24 hours the unit would be functional and after a few days of field excersise/unit manoeuvre it would be as good or better than enlisted units. Mobilisation excersises in arty units would usually end in a live firing (IIRC usually around 100 shells pr. piece in 105mm units).

 

As a general rule the men would be called up in the same unit they had served in during conscription service but there were exceptions, especially among key personell, who could be called up several times and in many different types of units.

 

The regiments would usually have one battallion do conscript service each year, meaning that in a "standard" five battalion regt. the battalions would refresh personell each fifth year. So each conscript would usually experience one or two mobilisation excecises. After that some would stay as key personell and the rest be designated to personell replacement depots (no peacetime call up). In my arty regt., which in the 80's raised 9-10 battalions plus independent btys, personell often had a first term in units designated to the brigades or Corps arty (155mm), and then a term in a unit designated to the Battle Groups (105mm).

 

Home Guard men were obliged to do 24 hours of service each year. Some would do less, but others a lot more (in excess of 1000 hours!) and with near SF quality.

 

Regards

 

Steffen Redbeard

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Thanks, Steffen -- this is fantastic info. I have taken a far greater interest in the running of reserve systems since reading an interesting book on 1940 that including an analysis of the negative impact of the French reserve system on unit cohesion.

 

Pat Callahan

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This might be of some use:

 

Andy Johnson's NATO OOB 1989

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For the Canadian units:

 

At the beginning Mr Johnson mentions the "Canadian Royal Army" and the "Canadian Royal Air Force". In accoradance with British tradition. the Army as a whole was never "Royal", and the Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to exist along with the RCN when the Canadian Forces were unified in 1968. Canadian Army and Canadian Air Force were appropriate usage in 1989 (and still are).

 

Canada based armoured regiments had two squadrons of about eighteen Cougars, and a recce squadron of Lynxes. I think they were running three, seven-car troops per recce squadron at the time with two in the SHQ for a total of twenty-three. This agrees with Armies of NATO's Central Front which says twenty-four.

 

The Germany based armoured regiment had fifty-nine* Leopard C1 in three squadrons of nineteen plus two in the RHQ and a recce squadron of Lynxes. In the early eighties, at least, only two of the tank squadrons were manned. Simlarly, only three of four artillery batteries were manned. Those soldiers reamained in CAnada and were to fly over if needed. A further squadron of tanks, manned by the soldiers who would fly over, was in CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick. I understand that some Cougars did get sent to Germany for trials, but I don't know how many or how long they stayed. Apparentlym, they weren't considered a success. They were larger than we prefered, the six-wheeled AVGP was not mobile enough (the eight-wheeled LAV's were much better), and it was thought that the 76 mm was not as good as a auto-cannon.

 

Most of the reserve units noted are nominal battalions, but actually had only one trained company (usually under strength). Of the nineteen armoured "battalions", twelve were armoured and the rest reccce. The armoured regiments had four Cougars each, though in Ontario, at least, they were pooled so units could train as squadrons. The recce regiemtns were equipped with Iltis jeeps.

 

If you can find a copy of Armies of NATO's Central Front by David C. Isby and Charles Kamps Jr. ISBN 0 7106 0 341 X, I find it seems fairly accurate for the CF ORBAT and equipment as of the early/mid eighties. I believe it improved slightly by the late eighties, but not by too much.

 

* Corrected from seventy-eight. Thanks Pat!

Edited by R011
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For the Canadian units:

 

At the beginning Mr Johnson mentions the "Canadian Royal Army" and the "Canadian Royal Air Force".  In accoradance with British tradition. the Army as a whole was never "Royal", and the Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to exist along with the RCN when the Canadian Forces were unified in 1968.  Canadian Army and Canadian Air Force were appropriate usage in 1989 (and still are).

 

Canada based armoured regiments had two squadrons of about eighteen Cougars, and a recce squadron of Lynxes.  I think they were running three, seven-car troops per recce squadron at the time with two in the SHQ for a total of twenty-three. This agrees with Armies of NATO's Central Front which says twenty-four.

 

The Germany based armoured regiment had seventy-eight Leopard C1 in three squadrons of nineteen plus two in the RHQ and a recce squadron of Lynxes.  In the early eighties, at least, only two of the tank squadrons were manned.  Simlarly, only three of four artillery batteries were manned.  Those soldiers reamained in CAnada and were to fly over if needed.  A further squadron of tanks, manned by the soldiers who would fly over, was in CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.  I understand that some Cougars did get sent to Germany for trials, but I don't know how many or how long they stayed.  Apparentlym, they weren't considered a success.  They were larger than we prefered, the six-wheeled AVGP was not mobile enough (the eight-wheeled LAV's were much better), and it was thought that the 76 mm was not as good as a auto-cannon.

 

 

If you can find a copy of Armies of NATO's Central Front by David C. Isby and Charles Kamps Jr. ISBN 0 7106 0 341 X, I find it seems fairly accurate for the CF ORBAT and equipment as of the early/mid eighties.  I believe it improved slightly by the late eighties, but not by too much.

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Thanks R011 -- that's good to know, since I have the book (most useful publication)

 

My understanding is that the Canadian forces in the late 1980s underwent the following changes:

In Europe, 18 M150 were replaced by M901 in Battalion AT Platoon (by 18?)

Additionally manning was added to bring 3rd armoured squadron and the 4th artillery battery up to full strength.

All combat aircraft but CF18s were phased out by 1989

 

Thanks

Edited by PCallahan
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For the Canadian units:

 

The Germany based armoured regiment had seventy-eight Leopard C1 in three squadrons of nineteen plus two in the RHQ and a recce squadron of Lynxes.

 

256537[/snapback]

 

Should that be four squadrons (4x19 + 2) or three (3 x 19 + 2)?

 

Thanks

 

Pat

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In Europe, 18 M150 were replaced by M901 in Battalion AT Platoon (by 18?)

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AIUI, they weren't M901, but M113 TUA - a similar concept but a different turret. Eighteen sounds about right to me, I think it's what we have currently.

 

As for Central Front, I found one incorrect photo caption: the "Dodge 3/4 ton" in one photo is a Chevrolet 1-1/4 ton, and another picturing a US soldier firing an M72 that might give the imnpression he's Canadian, a minor error about a regimental title (the 48th Highlanders number does not date from WWI, but from the pre-war regimental number system). I also question at least one fo the figures in one of the illustrated formation ORBAT's. They have the armoured recce troop with six vehicles. In my experince, troops were always organized as either five or seven car troops (two or three patrols of two plus a troop leader). I didn't serve in Germany, so I suppose they could have had the troop leader double as a patrol commander as well, and internal organizations could be changed by unit commanders.

 

I wouldn't take it as absolute gospel, but it's closer than any other open source I've seen, and won't mislead you too badly.

Edited by R011
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Should that be four squadrons (4x19 + 2) or three (3 x 19 + 2)?

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Three squadrons of nineteen plus two in the RHQ for as total of 59.

 

Per squadron: four troops of four, the Officer Commanding the squadron, the Battle Captain, and a dozer tank. There was also a Leopard ARV per squadron, a Lynx for a liasion officer, five or six M113A1 APC's, and four or five M548A1.

Edited by R011
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Since you are using Andy's format, many moons ago I put together this OOB of the Spanish Armed Forces:

 

KINGDOM OF SPAIN

 

Retac --

 

This is excellent. I have several questions, however, all kind of random:

 

I am working on incorporating this into my revised Johnson OOB -- Should I use RETAC or the name that appears on this OOB elsewhere?

 

Additionally, are there reserve units (such as the old regional BRIDOTs IIRC)? How is the reserve system structured?

 

Were the overseas garrisons (including the Balearic and Canarias) at all designed for deployment or were they to be left in place?

 

Did the Air Force have any anti-aircraft units, particularly missile?

 

Any idea how the Legion would have deployed?

 

Thanks,

 

Pat

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Retac --

 

This is excellent.  I have several questions, however, all kind of random:

 

I am working on incorporating this into my revised Johnson OOB -- Should I use RETAC or the name that appears on this OOB elsewhere?

 

Additionally, are there reserve units (such as the old regional BRIDOTs IIRC)?  How is the reserve system structured?

 

Were the overseas garrisons (including the Balearic and Canarias) at all designed for deployment or were they to be left in place?

 

Did the Air Force have any anti-aircraft units, particularly missile?

 

Any idea how the Legion would have deployed?

 

Thanks,

 

Pat

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1) Whichever you want, both are one and the same, me.

2) Once the Bridots were done away with, nothing replaced them. I suppose in case of war reserves will be used to bring units up to strength. As an example, my company never was above 75% strength in the 9 months I served, the lowest level being about 50%

3) The island garrisons weren't meant to be deployed, they were issued with the oldest equipment available (Reo trucks, M40 recoiless rifles, etc.) and only exercised in deploying away every couple of years or so, sending a battalion to San Gregorio, near Saragossa.

4) The Legion was to be used mainly in the defence of Africa or the Canaries, with Tercios deployed in Ceuta, Melilla and Fuerteventura. An additional Tercio was deployed in Ronda, providing a light infantry reserve for use anywhere composed of an Special forces battalion and an airmobile battalion (called Banderas in Legion verbatim). In the early 80s this Tercio had been motorised with BMR and in the 90s all BMR-600 were sent to the new Legion Brigade.

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RETAC, don't forget that III Tercio [2 Banderas] was transferred from Fuerteventura to form the basis of the Legion Bde. IV Tercio remains at Ronda [lucky devils!] with no Banderas under operational control, since X belongs to the BRILEG and BOEL to the FAR.

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As for the Air Farce, as far as I know the only SAMs they got are the Mistral which was bought in the 90s, if any. I am not really sure.

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Uh, I think Mistral is in the army and it also has I-HAWK?

 

[edit to add, they finally broke from the LW model here]

Edited by Ken Estes
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RETAC, don't forget that III Tercio [2 Banderas] was transferred from Fuerteventura to form the basis of the Legion Bde. IV Tercio remains at Ronda [lucky devils!] with no Banderas under operational control, since X belongs to the BRILEG and BOEL to the FAR.

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Noted, however, the BOEL ended up in the MOE (Mando de Operaciones Especiales, Special Ops Command) as the XIX GOE "Maderal Oleaga", and from there to the FAR.

 

The Air Force operates twin Mistral launchers (the Atlas) in the EADA (Escuadron de Apoyo al Despliegue Aereo, Air Deployment Support Squadron), but this unit was created in the 90s. The other Air Force combat unit is the EZAPAC (Escuadrilla de Zapadores Paracaidistas, Paratroop Sapper Squadron, a pathfinder unit). All other SAMs belong to the Army.

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Uh, I think Mistral is in the army and it also has I-HAWK?

 

They bought NASAMS II a couple of years ago in exchange for choosing some Spanish designed warships.

 

http://www.kongsberg.com/eng/kda/products/Aircraft/NASAMS/

 

http://www.gbad.org/gbad/news_archive/art_20051029.html

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Noted, however, the BOEL ended up in the MOE (Mando de Operaciones Especiales, Special Ops Command) as the XIX GOE "Maderal Oleaga", and from there to the FAR.

 

 

257502[/snapback]

Yes that was a nice piece of lineage work; you will remember they thought of calling BOEL the XIII Bandera, but it was never made official and XIX makes it the next in progression after the 18 ones raised in the civil war.

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They bought NASAMS II a couple of years ago in exchange for choosing some Spanish designed warships.

 

http://www.kongsberg.com/eng/kda/products/Aircraft/NASAMS/

 

http://www.gbad.org/gbad/news_archive/art_20051029.html

257552[/snapback]

 

Those went to the Army too, they are deployed in the Canaries.

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Yes that was a nice piece of lineage work; you will remember they thought of calling BOEL the XIII Bandera, but it was never made official and XIX makes it the next in progression after the 18 ones raised in the civil war.

257564[/snapback]

 

Didn't know that. Thanks.

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OK --

 

One more question for our Canadian members --

 

Would I be correct in thinkin that around 1989, the only Canadian-based Leo C1 unit would have been a squadron at Gagetown?

 

Thanks

 

Pat

 

PS I am working to incorporate all recommended changes plus a bit of other research in an amended first draft, which I will post here in the next few days.

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