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Question for the army grunts


twjolson
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I guess 15 years as a grunt qualifies me to answer this. ::):

 

It depends. :lol:

 

1.What's the weather like? Hot? Cold?

2. How physically fit are the troops?

3. What type of terrain are they moving over?

4. Are we going for a forced march or just out for a stroll?

 

When I got my Expert Infantry Badge I marched 12 miles in a little under 3 hours carrying a 35 pound rucksack, plus my weapon and in boots. The terrain was basically flat with a few rolling hills and the road surface was a dirt road.

 

I did more than one 25 mile road march in a single day.

 

A decently conditioned soldier, who's not carrying more than his basic combat load, in 65 degree weather, with all the water he can drink can cover 25-30 miles in a 10-12 hour period on a decently flat road. Moving cross country will cut your movement rate way down and if it's hot or cold those will effect it too. The amount of resupply will determine how far you move too. I never let my soldiers move a step without two full canteens and I would never attempt a road march without a truck hauling water for canteen refills along.

 

The 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment road marched 118 miles from Camp Toccoa GA to Atlanta GA during the period of 1-4 December 1942.

 

There's lots of variables to consider really. ::):

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Also take into consideration the enemy situation. A platoon out for a training march on the back 40 of whichever installation they're at stateside will move faster than a platoon in a combat zone like Iraq where they have to be alert for roadside IEDs, snipers, ambushes, etc etc etc.

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What are you moving twjolson? I think the distance traveled per day depends heavily on what you are moving. I'm guessing that a platoon with just their own kit and supplies for a short while will be moving a lot faster than an entire division or corps that is bringing along stuff to stay for the winter along.

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Logistics wins wars, and soldiers win battles.

 

If the soldier doesn't have what he needs to fight, simply being there isn't much help. Many armies that were better than their opponents have lost because they outsdistanced their supply trains. A platoon is tied to their supplies, as is their company, battalion, and on up. Standard issue isn't designed to hold a modern platoon for that long.

 

Bastogne held out on guts and glory, but would have fallen without resupply by air.

 

Another thing to consider is the era or tech level you're considering.

 

Caesar's troops consistently outmanuvered his enemies by marching up to 30 miles per day AND building a fortified encampment. Most armies of that era didn't have the logistics capability to match that. Add the training of the soldiers once they got to the fight, and you understand why Rome ruled for so long.

 

Modern armies can slog by foot when they need to, but also can have air or ground transport to improve mobility.

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Pre-mechanized armies were also hampered by the need to feed their horses. The number of supply wagons sometimes lead to 'diminishing returns" in which it was neccesary to have a number of wagons, just to carry feed for the already exizting wagons! In poor terrain, where multiple routes of march were inrfequent, the head of the column might start before daylight, march most of the day, and have to make camp early, just to allow the tail to catch up and make camp before darkness.

 

As Spartan said, a lot of variables.

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