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by S.L. A. Marshall

Download Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command fb2, epub

ISBN: 0806132809
Author: S.L. A. Marshall
Language: English
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2000)
Pages: 224
Category: Military
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 757
Size Fb2: 1560 kb
Size ePub: 1456 kb
Size Djvu: 1291 kb
Other formats: lit rtf lrf lit


Common obstacles preventing each level of the command structure from receiving critical information are explored.

Chapter 6, "Fire as the Cure," advances a non-traditional idea that even non-firing soldiers fulfill useful battlefield functions by reducing isolation, maintaining momentum, and holding ground as non-firers are reportedly no more likely to give ground than firers. Common obstacles preventing each level of the command structure from receiving critical information are explored.

In addition, John Douglas Marshall's book recounts S. L. A. Marshall's inscription inside the front cover of his World War I scrapbook, which he dedicated to. .Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command (1947). The Soldier's Load and The Mobility of a Nation (1950). Marshall's inscription inside the front cover of his World War I scrapbook, which he dedicated to a fellow 315th Engineers soldier who was killed in action on November 8, 1918. According to the inscription, the soldier was shot by Germans while the 315th Engineers were taking part in action near Bantheville during the final days of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and Marshall was with him when it happened. The River and the Gauntlet (1951).

Men Against Fire book. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command in Future War. by.

Slam" Marshall was a veteran of World War I and a combat historian during World War II. He startled the military and civilian world in 1947 by announcing that, in an average infantry company, no more than one in four soldiers actually fired their weapons while in contact with the enemy

Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle . His studies during the Korean War showed that the ratio of fire and more than doubled since World War II. Подробне. крыть.

Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. S. Marshall served in World War I and then embarked in a career in journalism. In World War II, he was chief combat historian in the Central Pacific (1943) and chief historian for the European Theater of Operations (1945). He is the author of World War I, Blitzkrieg, Armies on Wheels, The River and the Gauntlet, and Pork Chop Hill.

1 Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command (1947).

Influenced by Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command by . Men Against Fire" appeared on many critics' rankings of the 23 instalments in the Black Mirror series, from best to worst. 3rd – Matt Donnelly and Tim Molloy, TheWrap. 17th – Ed Power, The Telegraph. He startled the military and civilian world in 1947 by announcing that, in an average infantry company, no more than one in four soldiers actually fired their weapons while in contact with the enemy

Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command (S. Marshall)

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S.L.A. "Slam" Marshall was a veteran of World War I and a combat historian during World War II. He startled the military and civilian world in 1947 by announcing that, in an average infantry company, no more than one in four soldiers actually fired their weapons while in contact with the enemy. His contention was based on interviews he conducted immediately after combat in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.

To remedy the gunfire imbalance he proposed changes to infantry training designed to ensure that American soldiers in future wars brought more fire upon the enemy. His studies during the Korean War showed that the ratio of fire and more than doubled since World War II.

Comments:

Trex
During World War II, S.L.A. Marshall was busily engaged in recording the history of the war and had developed a method of capturing data from soldiers within a short time of the conclusion of various battles. As he was doing this, he started realizing that there was a problem with our infantry and the way they were fighting the war. He pulled his thoughts together into this book and excerpts of it were also published as a series of essays that appeared in the "Infantry Journal" in 1947. The problem that he identified was that U.S. Infantry forces were not fighting as coherently as they should have been and consequently were either not winning battles fast enough, or were defeated unnecessarily.

While he called the book "Men Against Fire" the much better title for it is the subtitle of "the Problem of Battle Command." This book is really a call for action on how to train American infantrymen to fight the battle. The book starts out with Marshall's thoughts on why Infantry are the important elements of the Army at this time and likely to be so in the future as well. To put this in context, these words were written in the 1946 and 1947 when many military theorists were supposing that the Nuclear age had ushered in an era where Armies are no longer needed as sending over some bombers or missiles armed with nuclear warheads will finish things off. It is quite interesting to read his thoughts in 2012 as the U.S. is still engaged in Afghanistan and the U.S. Army is just completing a transition from a heavy mechanized force to one that is heavily Infantry-based! What is particularly interesting is that his arguments still resonate and were proven correct in many of the conflicts that took place in the intervening 65 years!

Marshall's main prescriptions are that the way to train and treat the infantryman is to realize that he is human and that, as a human, he needs social clues and the understanding of groups to be able to operate. This is especially true in modern battlefield conditions where the infantryman who's been shot at, finds the nearest little scrap of cover and hides as much of himself as possible. The battlefield is empty as neither side shows themselves. So, why and where should he go? Who and how does he get direction from? Etc. These thoughts are the strongest parts of the book and as a veteran myself, these are the thoughts that ring the truest for me. Marshall has some very practical and eminently sensible suggestions on what the NCO's and officers should be doing in a battle. Those suggestions should be followed closely.

To make his point even stronger, Marshall cites a fantastic statistic. According to him, based on his research with veterans of many battles moments after the battles ended, most infantrymen do not fire their weapons. He actually claims that only about 15% of the infantrymen use their weapons and fire them. When I read this I was very skeptical as it did not seem right to me either logically, or based on my own experiences. To clarify this point, he relates this only to the individual riflemen and points out that and crew-served weapons did not display this problem. There is an introduction to this book that must have been written after Marshall's death as in it this problem is resolved. Marshall made up the statistic. It was never discussed or researched; it was simply made up as a way to shock the readers into paying attention. I suppose Marshall intended this as a pedagogical device, but I know that this one factor alone made me think twice about the rest of the contents of the book and still leaves a bit of a bitter flavor in my mouth - can I really believe what he says?

Leaving aside this problem, what else does Marshall discuss? Well, he suggests several different ways in which leaders need to behave to get action from their troops. Starting with training in more realistic conditions; communicating both front to back and laterally; Making sure that your words are sent along to all your soldiers and understood in the way that they were meant to be; communicating with adjacent units whether or not they are part of the larger unit that you belong to; communicating constantly and loudly; treating your soldiers like human beings; and much more is dealt with in the rest of this relatively slim volume.

If you are thinking of becoming a leader of troops who will become embroiled in a battle, or are already in such a position, this book is a must read. Even if you are not, but are interested in how to lead people, this book will help. I also found many other interesting little tidbits in it that still ring true even though we are almost 70 years removed from its writing. The only one that I will quote here goes like this: "There is something almost fatally quixotic about a nation which professes lofty ideals in its international undertakings and yet disdains to talk patriotism to its citizens, as if this were beneath its dignity." Those are words to remember in 2012, in the United States.
Hellstaff
Excellent, but not a light read.
Use_Death
Col. Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall's, former chief combat historian Central Pacific (1943) and chief historian European Theatre of Operations (1945), 1947 book, Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command, predicted that infantry would be essential in future conflicts despite the era's belief that machine-based warfare and atomic super weapons would render traditional warfare obsolete.

Marshall criticized 1940's doctrine as having adapting 20th century weapons to 18th century tactics and postulated that the most important factor in combat is the volume of lethal fire that can be directed onto the enemy. Thus all movement should be made with the intent of maximizing fire output. Logically, any troop refusing to fire at the enemy reduces the maximum achievable fire output. Marshall called the ratio of firers to non-firers, the Ratio of Fire. Marshall stated only 15 to 25 percent of individual infantry riflemen in close contact with the enemy would actually shoot unless compelled by an officer standing over them. Marshall felt the ratio of fire equation could be maximized by improving unit cohesion and by providing realistic training to educate soldiers on what physical and psychological conditions to expect on the battlefield.

Chapter 1, "The Illusion of Power," highlights the need to integrate infantry into strategic plans. Examples illustrate how shortages in infantry reserves nearly crippled operations in Europe after D-Day. In Chapter 2, "On Future War," Marshall makes a projection as to the nature of future international warfare and mutual destruction. Projections echo the Cold War, but fail thereafter. Modern counterinsurgency roles and pinpoint strike capabilities were beyond Marshall's comprehension.

In Chapter 3, "Man on the Battlefield," Marshall explores battlefield neurosis. Differences between Hollywood's romanticized versions of combat and reality are examined and convincing explanations are offered as to how this affects soldiers fulfilling responsibilities on the battlefield. Chapter 4, "Combat Isolation," offers a powerful description of the phenomenon of battlefield isolation, the psychological experience that occurs when soldiers lose sight contact of comrades while under fire, and its effect on fighting spirit.

In Chapter 5, "Ratio of Fire," Marshall explains the concept of Ratio of Fire... clearly leaving no room for debate as to the importance of maintaining a high ratio of fire. However, Marshall fails to provide any collaborating documentation anywhere in Men Against Fire, to include a single named witness, to substantiate his statistics. Chapter 6, "Fire as the Cure," advances a non-traditional idea that even non-firing soldiers fulfill useful battlefield functions by reducing isolation, maintaining momentum, and holding ground as non-firers are reportedly no more likely to give ground than firers. The presence of non-firers is still demoralizing to enemies.

Chapter 7, "The Multiples of Information," insightfully explores the confusion inherent in military communications. The importance of small unit communications is clearly defined and concise explanations are offered as to why communications laterally disintegrate. Chapter 8, "The Riddle of Command," then explores the relationship between intelligence flowing rearward, and logistics and orders flowing forward. Common obstacles preventing each level of the command structure from receiving critical information are explored.

Chapter 9, "Tactical Cohesion," masterfully describes the familiarization process by which units become experienced in functioning under battle conditions. Verbal communication is stressed as critical in close combat and building unit cohesion. Chapter 10, "Why Men Fight," strongly emphasizes verbal communication as the primary means of initiating action, maintaining discipline and controlling emotion.

Chapter 11, "The Aggressive Will," quantifies the fighting spirit and makes a strong connection between morale and the Army's willingness to provide for soldier welfare. Chapter 12, "Men Under Fire," illustrates how combat morale ebbs and flows. Adaptable leaders must fit the situation and still focus on responsibilities.

Chapter 13, "Footnote to History," stands alone and applauds the decision to chronicle the fighting line as weapons alone are valueless.

Men Against Fire is very insightful. I highly recommend it anyone wanting to comprehend the psychological factors affecting infantry in close combat. Ratio of fire was very controversial in 1947, as it is today. The Army examined the issue and other evidence existed to support Marshall. French Col. Ardant du Picq made similar observations in Battle Studies in 1870 and Civil War battles historically showed disproportionate numbers of misses. The Army made dramatic changes to its training doctrine, adapting Marshall's recommendations.

Modern evidence suggests that Marshall may have indeed invented the specific numbers quoted in his ratio of fire statistics to add credibility to his claim, though evidence suggests he did genuinely seem to believe that the ratio of fire issue was very real.
Kalrajas
SLA Marshall uses his real world military experience to tell a story better than Clancy and almost as good as Harold Coyle.
Drelalak
Fantastic reading.
Gavinranadar
This book illustrates the challenges of leadership in combat, and the fact that winning always requires troops on the ground risking life.
Vareyma
good read
The Classic. Love it or hate it, agree or disagree with it.
But you can't ignore it if you want to understand how people behave under high stress battle conditions.

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