Future War And The 24th Marine Motorcycle Regiment CSC 1988 SUBJECT AREA Warfighting AUTHOR: Young, David J., Major, U.S. Marine Corps TITLE: Future War and the 24th Marine Motorcycle Regiment DATE: 5 April 1988 This is a story about, in part, the 24th Marines in the future. Popularly known as a motorcycle regiment, but not officially so named, the paper culminates with an evaluation of the combat employment of the regiment in World War III. The paper follows several converging story lines, some fact, some speculation, and some fiction. These story lines are briefly outlined as follows. The use of a motorcycle as a military vehicle is chronicled. It was present during World War I, reached its zenith in World War II and virtually disappeared thereafter, much as the horse and bicycle disappeared from modern armies. One of the manufacturers of the military motorcycle was Harley-Davidson. The Company's contribution to war efforts in World War I and World War II is documented. The late 1980's and early 1990's saw the emergence of new anti-armor and anti-aircraft missile technology. The Marine Corps, which had reorganized the 4th Marine Division into three regiments with different geographic capabilities, employed the new weapons' technology with the 24th Marines. The Regiment was designed to fight in desert environments and in a Western European scenario. Its Marines carried the majority of their combat power on Harleys. The reasons for the start of World War III as seen by two writers of popular fiction will be acknowledged. The 'real' start of the war will be briefly explained. Finally, the 24th Marines are called up to active duty to reinforce allied forces in Western Europe. There, the motorcyclists of the 24th Marines are successfully employed in a variety of missions until the war's surprising end. The paper hopes to be informative and entertaining. Rather than strongly advocating a particular point of view, it asks the reader to envision how he or she would deal with contemporary Marine Corps issues such as a changing world, budgetary constraints, new technologies, reorganization, etc. Table of Contents Chapter Title Page Introduction 2 1. The Beginning of World War III 5 2. The Military Motorcycle 16 3. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company 33 4. The Marine Corps Reserve 46 5. The 24th Marines in Combat 53 6. The End of the War 73 7. After Action Report 79 8. Summary 87 Annex A - Chronology of Events 89 Annex B - Area of Operations 91 Annex C - Table of Organization 92 Endnotes 93 Bibliography 97 Introduction As a new millennium approaches, it is the hopeful opinion of most Americans that the world is now a safer place. Whether it's truly safer or not will be for future generations to decide. The recent world war has changed our global perspectives. It is doubtful that the superpower confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union that characterized the latter half of the twentieth century will ever occur again. The influence of the main belligerents of World War III has been circumscribed in a world with many equals now, not just two. Since the war's end, much has been written about the political, economic, social and military causes. As to the actual conduct of the war, there is a fair amount of analysis on how it was fought strategically. On the tactical level however, especially at regimental sized units and below, there is something of a void at present. The void I speak of is one of quality, not quantity. Because the destruction was, so great in men and material among the warring armies, many units either ceased to exist or were reconstituted many times. With many records destroyed or not even created, the military archives are just now being constructed from the accounts of those who survived. When a nation doesn't win a war in the strategic sense, there is an understandable reluctance on the part of the people to deal with that failure. On the other hand, because it can be said that the war wasn't lost, Americans are just now showing an interest in learning about some of the victories that were achieved tactically. The recent book, Letters from the 24th Marine Motorcycle Regiment, has captured the public's imagination. It is a vivid account of the summer war. The uncensored letters from members of the regiment to their friends and relatives provide an emotional backdrop to combat on the personal and small unit level. It is about men and machines that are a part of two quintessential American identities, Marines and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It tells the story of the new 'aces' of modern conventional warfare. Some of what you will read is presented here with permission of the author. As for the rest, I will attempt to provide the genesis of 'Letters': how the war started; a background of the motorcycle in the military, with an emphasis on the Harley-Davidson Motor Company; why the 24th Marines had motorcycles; and how the 24th Marines were administratively organized. Finally, I will discuss the tactical employment of the regiment and the political developments that led to the end of World War III. It should be noted that the 24th Marine Motorcycle Regiment is actually a misnomer. While the motorcycle was the predominant form of transportation for the regiment, its proper name was simply the 24th Marine Regiment. Quantico, Virginia June 3, 1999 Chapter 1 The Beginning of World War III The readers of popular fiction or the military enthusiast may have read accounts about how a future World War III started. Between the mid-1970's and 1980's, the military, social, and economic competition between the United States and the Soviet Union was portrayed by novelists as leading to the third great war of the 20th century. In Red Storm Rising, one of the best selling books from Tom Clancy published in 1986, disenchanted Muslims sabotaged the Soviet Union's newest and biggest POL refinery in Western Siberia. The resulting fire completely destroyed the refinery and the well tops in the adjacent oil field. The thirteen member Politburo was briefed that 34% of the country's total crude oil production would be lost for a minimum period of one year and perhaps as long as three years. While the refinery represented only 14% of the country's refining capacity, the Nizhnevartovsk complex processed 'light' crude oil. That oil was relatively easy to refine and thus contained disproportionate amounts of the most valuable fractions, i.e., gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel. The losses for these distillates as a percentage of total Soviet production was 44%, 48% and 50% respectively. The loss was described to the Politburo as "disaster of unprecedented scale for our economy."1 This disaster was not just a single event, but an unfortunate combination of other economic, social, and political factors. There was already a crude oil shortfall of thirty-two million tons annually. Coal production was 16% below plan and getting worse. While gas production was improving, much of the output was going to Western Europe to earn foreign currency, which in turn was used to purchase foreign oil and grain. The total crude oil shortfall after the fire was projected to cause a thirty-fold increase in imported oil. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union could barely afford a doubling of foreign oil purchases because of low currency reserves. In the Politburo, the practical effect of the disaster was presented in bleak terms by the Defense Minister: two hundred fifty million citizens, hungry and in the dark, the Red Army, ministry of Interior, and KGB with restricted fuel supplies. The NATO alliance would learn of the crisis and politically exploit it. The existence of the state was threatened. The Politburo decided that the only way the Party could survive was to invade the Persian Gulf, specifically Iran and Iraq, and seize their oil fields. Since these fields supplied significant amounts of crude oil to Western Europe and Japan, the Politburo feared a nuclear response from the United States. To avoid this, they decided that NATO had to be eliminated as a political and military force. Red Storm was the method of elimination: the code name for a mechanized attack. The plan called for strategic surprise using conventional weapons only. It would be a short campaign thrusting into West Germany and the Low Countries. The Soviet leadership felt if mobilization of NATO could be delayed seven days, the campaign would achieve its objectives in two or three weeks and NATO would be forced into peace negotiations on unfavorable terms. Red Storm Rising was a 1986 World War III scenario caused by an oil shortage. A 1985 conflict was envisioned by Sir John Hackett in his books, The Third World War August 1985 and The Third World War: The Untold Story. Sir John, a soldier and military scholar from Great Britain, also described a war between the Warsaw Pact and the NATO nations. The instigator was again the Soviet Union. It was faced with many internal and external problems. Poland was diverging from the Soviet communist model. East Germany was seeking a greater political role in Warsaw Pact affairs proportionate to its economic superiority in Eastern Europe. There was a growth of nationalism in the Soviet Asian republics and tbe USSR was also faced with its third consecutive disastrous grain harvest. Essentially, "there had long been a growing awareness among the rulers of the USSR of increasing strains within the Warsaw Pact, and within the Soviet Union itself, which could hardly be contained without a signal military victory over the capitalist West. There had also been, among the top people in the regime, a very real fear of West Germany."2 In 1984, discussions were held in the Politburo regarding the political situation in Europe. Both the KGB and the Soviet Army General Staff (GRU) concluded for different reasons that Western Europe was dying of social decay. The KGB believed that strong trade unions, labor unrest and massive unemployment, compounded by government inaction, was leading to industrial anarchy. The GRU believed the decay lay in the spread of neutralist and pacifist attitudes. Western Europe did not want to defend itself. With the aforementioned problems within the Soviet Union and its client states, the political situation in Western Europe presented itself as the classic "window of opportunity" in the military sense. Attack and neutralize an unprepared enemy while at the same time solidifying control over unruly allies. If the opportunity was lost, it might never appear again. The war was staged. The Kremlin plan called for an attack on West Germany by conventional and chemical means and the selective bombing of port facilities in other European countries. Warsaw Pact forces were to consolidate along the Rhine within ten days and negotiate a cease fire with the United States from a position of strength. To precipitate this invasion and make it appear politically justified, the Soviets first occupied the Slovenia region of Yugoslavia. This incursion was opposed by American forces from Italy. The Soviets had anticipated the response and deemed it an attack on a peace loving socialist nation. They followed with their full scale "defensive action" against NATO for which they had been fully prepared and mobilized. These popular books by Clancy and Hackett presented a perspective that was widely believed by the western democracies; the Soviet Union would be the aggressor in the next world war. Who actually started the Third World War is still being debated. It did not begin in 1985 or 1986. It started in 1995. In retrospect it was a war between two aged and overcommitted superpowers trying to restore their youthful vigor. How and why it started is one of the great ironies of modern history. The period between 1988 and 1995 was an era of increasing optimism between the Soviet Union and the United States. In 1988 the United States Senate ratified the U.S.- Soviet treaty eliminating Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces. In 1988 the Soviet Union began withdrawing its combat forces from Afghanistan in a kind of "peace with honor" retirement similar to the United States' withdrawal from South Vietnam in the early 1970's. Regular summits were held regarding the reduction of strategic nuclear arsenals and in 1993 the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-2) was signed. It called for a 10% reduction in strategic nuclear warheads and it was widely expected that subsequent treaties would be signed reducing the nuclear arsenals in stages by at least an additional 40%. Also, in 1993, an agreement in principal was recognized between the United States and the Soviet Union on Conventional Arms Reductions. Although not reduced to treaty form, the countries agreed to reduce their conventional forces in Europe by a modest 5%. The withdrawals began in June 1994. Again, expectations were high that a formalized treaty would recognize further permanent reductions. Although American-Soviet relations were arguably better than at any point since World War II, the two adversaries were insecure. Both countries saw their political and economic influence waning in central Europe. There was serious political unrest in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and East Germany as those countries seemed bent on determining their own version of a communist state. In Western Europe, the negotiated troop withdrawal was seen as de facto recognition of changing U.S. strategic priorities and increased nationalism in the NATO alliance countries. America was turning its attention to the growing economic importance of the western Pacific and South America, and countries such as Spain, Turkey, and Greece had gradually reduced the American military presence because of internal political pressures. It all seemed manageable, though. In fact, the superpowers had greatly increased their social and cultural ties to a level unknown in the cold-war period. One of the many cultural exchange programs involved a series of events which would culminate in the 50th anniversary of the founding of the modern Polish and East German States in 1997 and 1999, respectively. There were a number of events scheduled for 1995 and, as far as Americans were concerned, the biggest revolved around the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee in the United States, and Gdansk, Poland and Rostock in the German Democratic Republic. Both Chicago and Milwaukee had sizable populations of Polish and German immigrant descendants. After some lengthy negotiations between all interested parties they decided that cultural ties could be enhanced by the simultaneous port call visits of American, Polish and East German warships. On April 15, 1995, East German and Polish frigates would be separately escorted to Chicago and Milwaukee with reciprocal arrangements for an American frigate and an LST in Gdansk and Rostock respectively. After a one week stay the warships would change ports. The port calls began as tremendous successes. Tragically, however, despite the extraordinary security precautions, on the evening of 20 April a light plane laden with explosives was flown into the side of the East German warship anchored in Lake Michigan near Chicago. The frigate promptly sank. Although an anti-communist group of Christian fundamentalists opposed to rapprochement with the Soviet Union and its allies quickly took creidt for the attack, it was an international incident of the first magnitude. The sight of the frigate superstructure jutting above the waves of Lake Michigan in full view of the commuters along Lake Shore Drive and the workers in the downtown highrises was a powerful vision for the world press -- many of whom had been covering the goodwill visits in the American cities. While there was minimal loss of life because most of the crew was staying with American families in the Chicago area, the political damage was irreparable. On the 21st of April, Polish and East German naval forces boarded and seized the American ships. Although the U.S. government guaranteed compensation for the loss and safe passage for the remaining Polish frigate into international waters, the situation quickly deteriorated. NATO and Warsaw Pact forces were put on an increased alert status. On 25 April, the East German government declared that the U.S. sailors would be put on trial for espionage. On 26 April the Polish frigate, by this time near the Saint Lawrence Seaway, was escorted to Rochester, New York. The U.S. government declared that the East German and Polish sailors would be turned over to the International Red Cross unless they requested political asylum. It was hoped that this move would secure the release of the American ships and crews. If an agreement could be reached, a Polish crew could then be flown to the United States to return the warship. Negotiations fell apart when a majority of the crews reportedly requested political asylum. The U.S. government couldn't immediately resolve the classical dilemma: should the sailors be returned to their respective countries against their will or should they be granted political protection? On 1 May, East Germany, acting in concert with Soviet army forces, cutoff ground access to West Berlin. On 2 May a West German C-130 carrying American and British MP's was shot down on its approach to the Templehof airport in West Berlin and on 3 May the West Germans shot down an East German MIG-29, claiming the pilot had violated West German airspace. In another unfortunate turn of events, the pilot who was captured after bailing out turned out to be a major in the Soviet Air Force. The Soviet Union, United States and their allies began mobilizing in early May. The 24th Marine Regiment was one of the first reserve units called up to active duty. They reported to aerial ports of embarkation on the 19th of May and by the 26th all the regiments' Marines and most of its equipment was staged in the vicinity of Hannover, West Germany. Although the aggrieved parties tried to diffuse the situation in the United Nations during May, there were two ominous developments. Opposing forces, including units airlifted from the United States began moving closer to the East German/West German border. At the border there was sporadic combat. While ground troops were firing at each other in a realtively harmless fashion, patrol aircraft became increasingly aggressive and launched their missiles deeper into the sovereign airspace of their quarry. On May 31st, the war began in earnest with almost simultaneous air strikes and massive artillery barrages along both sides of the border. The 24th Marines and their motorcycles were initially employed as part of a strategic reserve. Their mobility and antiarmor/antiaircraft weapons were to be used to blunt any armor breakthrough in their sector. Why the 24th Marines and their Harley-Davidson motorcycles were among the first reserve forces airlifted to West Germany is a fascinating story that combined history, economics, politics, and the changing U.S. military establishinent. First, an historical perspective of the motorcycle and its employment in warfare. Chapter 2 The Military Motorcycle Until the beginning of the 20th century, the modern armies of the age relied on two major means of transport for its men and equipment: horse and foot-power (walking and pedaling), and from the mid-19th Century a newer element, the railroad. The development of the gasoline fed internal combustion engines opened the possibility of a fourth alternative - motor transport. The Europeans led the development in a proliferation of military uses for the motor: omnibus, lorry, passenger vehicle, tricycle, motor- driven bicycle, motorcycle, etc. In the case of the motorcycle, its potential had been sufficiently intriguing by 1904 to be the subject of an arti- cle in The Journal of the Royal United Service Institution. The article, entitled "Motor Cycles for Military Purposes" was written by a British Lieutenant H.G. de Watteville, R.G.A., who noted that his "impressions (were) acquired while riding a motor bicycle during the past year over some 4,000 miles, more than half of which were ridden in direct connection with military duties, in all weathers, and over a variety of road."1 The article contained many insights and comments about the development of the motorcycle for military purposes and is quoted below: "The modern motor cycle has reached a sufficiently advanced stage in its development to admit of its being seriously considered as a military machine. The motor car has already been recognized in every European Army, and has figured at all Continental maneuvers of the last three years. The motor cycle, however, is of younger growth, and its application to military uses has been extremely tentative usage, and is only of very recent date. The car and the cycle should not be classed together as one type of vehicle; but they rather form two very distinct groups of one class ... The motor driver on the cycle remains first and foremost a soldier, on the car he is a mechanician doing military work. The singular feature of the motor cycle of today is its extraordinary simplicity. Not withstanding an appearance of complexity, it is wondrously easy for a man of average intelligence to learn the tricks of the cycle, and to become an expert motor cyclist in a very short period ... The motor cycle can go wherever the car can go; and moreover, instantly turn in a narrow footpath or on a road occupied by troops; it can go on footpath, across grass, through narrow gaps ... The cycle burns far less petrol -- its daily supply will only take the average car some twenty or thirty miles. The cycle can quickly be concealed behind bushes and hedges ... spare parts are few and extremely simple. In even moderately skilled hands the motorcycle of today has been amply proved to be a reliable machine. In France, Germany, and Austria it has now been decided to form regular motor cycle sections after the experiments that were carried out during the last two or three years' maneuvers. Germany has drawn up a most minute specification of the machines that are to be manufactured for military use. Austria is sending picked non-commissioned officers and men for instruction to the various manufacturies of motors in that country. In England little has hitherto been done outside the Motor Volunteer Corps, and a few sporadic instances where privately owned machines have been used on duty .... A few Royal Engineers have taken to them for telegraph and other duties. At a recent signaling course at Aldershot, a so-called motor cycle section was formed among the officers. The motorists worked together very well, and the machines never failed to bring their riders punctually to the appointed stations. In this connection it is worth noting that it is easier for the motorist to reach his destination fresh for a long message on the large flag, or with a steady touch for the heliograph, than it is for the pedal cyclist who comes up to the top of a hill fatigued and with a shaky hand after a fast spell... This sort of dispatch riding cannot be said to have tried the riders as hardly as the machines, and the maneuvers actually have not demonstrated anything more than the enormous possibilities in the utilization of motor cyclists in place of ordinary cyclists or of mounted orderlies. The duties of motor cyclist should extend beyond this; in fact they might be classed under five headings as follows: a. Communication, i.e., orderly duties b. Scouting and intelligence work c. As cyclist sections in action d. Special work, such as signaling, Royal Engineer duties e. Machine guns and forecars The last two headings (machine guns and forecars) entail the use of tricycles and quadricycles."2 Lieutenant de Watteville went on to make some perceptive comment on the five headings he described. Some of the more relevant to the first four categories are as follows: a. Communication - "The maneuvers amply proved the utility of motor cycles for this duty. The motorists often worked ten to twelve hours a day, in some cases even up to twenty hours out of twenty-four without mishap or undue fatigue. This is a record of work which, taking into consideration distances alone, could not be equaled by twice the number of [by] cyclist orderlies, or by three times the number of horsemen. Yet nothing has been said about the pace. The speed of the motor cycle may over all roads be roughly estimated at double that of the pedal list, or two and a half times that of the horseman, for all but short distances. The motor cycle is an ideal mount for an orderly for long distances."3 b. Scouting and Intelligence - "This offers a tempting field for speculation, since the motor is in this respect as yet untried in the field. If it be granted that great speed and capacity for long distances are of use for these purposes of warfare, then it must be admitted that the motor cycle would be of great utility to the scout. A detour of 40 or 50 miles even is perfectly possible, while still allowing the motor every chance of a speedy and safe return. On a risky undertaking, it has in its favor the advantages of a 25 miles per hour speed, and of offering a far smaller vulnerable area than the horseman.... The motor cyclist is well fitted for acting singly. He can leave his machine, use his field glasses, and be on the move again in a few seconds at almost the best speed of his motor. If need be, he can hide it, and reconnoiter on foot. Absence of fatigue, in spite of long distances and long hours, is a weighty consideration on such work."4 c. In Action - "If the motor cyclist can be used singly as a combatant, there is no reason why they should not be used in small bodies. On the tactical use of motor cycle sections in action, it is not within the scope of this article to venture an opinion. But certain considerations under this heading are clear enough. A number of motor cyclists, not exceeding 30, could be easily controlled by one man on the road, provided the motorists were all thoroughly capable of regulating their speed the instant it is required .... The motor cycle will take a fair amount of weight over and above its rider. A rifle and ammunition could be easily carried, besides some kit. The only question is how to store it on the frame, since there is little room left on the machine. The rifle might be carried vertically along the front fork and steering head. For orderly work and scouting, a repeating pistol, held in a clip on the handlebar, would seem to be a better weapon. Forty or fifty pounds should not be exceeded as the weight for rifle and equipment."5 d. Signaling - "There are a number of other uses to which the military motor cycle might be put. Amongst these there seems to be an attractive opportunity of combining motoring with signaling. Mounted signalers are already in existence, and of proved utility. The speed of the motor, together with the absence of fatigue experienced by the rider, would permit the rapid establishment of an efficient line of communication. ...Motor cycles might further be most profitably employed by supply officers, by officers visiting a line of outposts, and on other such work; also by officers employed on duties which preclude the use of orderlies, and at the same time require the utmost dispatch in their performance."6 The author, while being an obvious enthusiast of the motorcycle, also recognized its limitations at that time. He noted that the machines had maintenance problems, were noisy, had a hill climbing capacity of only twelve degrees with a two and one half horsepower motor, and were restricted by rough terrain and inclement weather. There were also limiting human factors, such as difficulty in hearing signals and sounds, limited observation while moving, and the ease of losing directions while speeding along, especially at night. He recommended various improvements to the motorcycle and concluded by noting that "The motor cycle is as yet very young; but experience has already shown that it is a reliable machine if properly attended to and carefully managed. Given a sufficiency of petrol and electricity, the skilled rider need fear little from anything but punctures, and even these are not as common as many people would imagine. If a total disablement should happen, which is really a very rare occurrence, it chiefly takes place with a neglected motor or in the hands of a novice... Should motors be adopted, doubtless new factors in warfare will arise; barbed wire across roads, etc. Meanwhile the best that can be done is to experiment with these machines wherever possible. An accurate opinion of their use in war cannot be yet formulated; but much can be learnt by peace exercises."7 A decade after this article was written, the motorcycle was one of the nascent vehicles of World War I. Because the war quickly settled into a protracted battle of trench warfare with relatively static front lines, the motorcycle was used primarily for communications. Its use as either an offensive weapon or a fast moving reconnaissance platform was stifled by the general absence of tactical mobility and the reliance on aircraft for mobile observation. In the post World War I period, Germany prepared to fight the next war. General Guderian and other German military strategists refined their tactics, including the offensive doctrine of lightning attack by a concerted effort of aircraft, mechanized infantry and tanks (Blitzkrieg). However, despite Germany's industrialized state, these forces were still a minority within the German Army. The doctrine, organization, and equipment of German armored and mechanized divisions was generally known in military circles in the late 1930's although its effectiveness had not yet been demonstrated. For example, a 14,000 man armored division consisted of a headquarters, reconnaissance group, tank brigade, motorized rifle brigade, motorized artillery battalion, engineer battalion, antitank battalion and signal battalion. The motorcycle was an integral part of the armored division. The reconnaissance group contained in part a motorcycle company composed of three platoons (each equipped with three light machine guns) and one section with four heavy machine guns. The rifle brigade contained a motorcycle battalion, composed of three rifle companies with nine light machine guns each and one machine gun company with twelve heavy machine guns. It is interesting to note that the armored division contained approximately 1,000 vehicles, including motorcycles, 500 tanks and armored cars, and twenty-four pieces of artillery. On the road the total number would form a tactical column 62.5 miles long.8 The relatively small American Army at the time could only look on in envy at its German counterpart. Numerous articles in professional journals advocated a modernization of almost every aspect of the Army. Typical is a 1938 article which appeared in the Infantry Journal entitled "Military Motorcycles." As "Captain Wheeling" wrote that year: "Combat troops need a small, light, efficient cross-country motor vehicle which can, to some extent, replace the horse. In several armies, notably the German and Italian the motorcycle has satisfactorily met this need... But in general, those who have had considerable experience with motorcycles in our service credit them with little military value. This viewpoint is almost entirely due to the fact that we have never had a dependable army motorcycle. The American machine's performance on bad roads and in cross-country tests has been almost universally unsatisfactory. On the other hand, European armies have found the motorcycle a useful adjunct to combat troops, possibly because the foreign machine has kept pace with the advances in the general automotive field ... With the lessons of the World War in mind, the Germans instituted an improvement program after the war, and there has been no let up in their efforts to improve design and construction ... the German high command has great faith in the motorcycle and its ability to make itself tactically useful. Here are a few of the motorcycle's advantages that foreign observers consider significant. 1. As a cross country vehicle it is far superior to the passenger car or truck. The Germans say that the motorcycle can go practically anywhere a man can go. So enthusiastic are they over its mobility that entire battalions are equipped with motorcycles as the principal means of support. The Germans feel that in the motorcycle they have found a satisfactory substitute for the horse. 2. Motorcycles can operate independently and unobserved. They may be employed for reconnais- sance, screening, or in the service of security. 3. The ease and rapidity with which a motorcycle unit can be handled facilitates the dispersion of large units into small groups for cover and concealment. 4. The motorcycle's small size makes it a comparatively easy vehicle to park under cover. 5. Although a motorcycle column is longer than a truck column of comparable fighting power, it compensates for the disadvantage by superior speed and mobility. The general distrust of motorcycles in our army may be attributed mainly to the mechanical unreliability of the makes now in use."9 The article goes on to discuss the effectiveness of the German BMW and then concluded by noting: "The military importance of a motorcycle of small size, high speed, light weight, and reliability justifies an intensive effort on our part to secure a suitable motorcycle for our service."10 It is worth noting that in 1938 the German and American armies were fundamentally different. The German Army was much more prepared for war. The American Army was a peace time organization with many understrength or cadred units. A large standing army did not exist. It should also be mentioned that the popular notion of the German Army as highly mechanized and motorized is somewhat misleading. While it was certainly more mobile than its European and American counterparts it still relied on traditional infantry for the majority of the fighting and most of its transport was still drawn by horse. In fact, the most common labor- saving devices for the basic infantry were not trucks or armored vehicles. They were bicycles and horses. While exact comparisons between the German and American armies were difficult to make during 1938 because of their differing states of preparedness for war, it is interesting to note that an American cavalry regiment of the era contained only eight motorcycles: three solos and five with sidecar.11 Once war came to Europe in 1939, the American military observed in fascination. The German victory over Poland in September and the two month victory over France in May and June of 1940 provided the impetus for a radical change in the size and composition of the American Army. The organization and equipment of the German Army was used as a model for change. In 1940 the U.S. Army received the authorization to increase its regular strength by 375,000. With increased size and appropriations, the Army began to evaluate as quickly as possible its own ability to fight Blitzkrieg type warfare. Blitzkrieg was a combined arms attack linked by communi- cations. The Blitzkrieg technique followed certain well defined successive steps: 1. An air attack on all enemy aviation and airports. 2. An air attack on all railroad junctions and stations, barracks, depots, bridges, and motor convoys on roads -- everything used for mobilization and concentration. 3. Artillery barrage, air attack on enemy batteries and trenches, and assault by regular infantry to open the way for Blitzkrieg troops. In general, the infantry divisions attacked on broad fronts and bore the brunt of the fighting. 4. The light mechanized and motorized divisions were employed on cavalry missions, both by exploiting breakthroughs and by attacks around the flanks to gain to enemy rear area. They disrupted communications, prevented delaying tactics and denied the retreat to final defensive positions. These divisions were led by motorcycle infantry with machine guns, armored cars, light tanks, and truck and horse-drawn artillery. 5. The final step was the introduction of the heavy mechanized (Panzer) divisions with their medium tanks, motorized infantry, artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft artillery, and engineers. These mechanized divisions were led by motorized reconnaissance battalions. When anti-tank barriers were encountered, the motorcycle company supported by infantry howitzers cleared the advance for armored vehicles. In the pursuit battle, the primary requisite was speed in combination with enough combat power to overcome whatever minor resistance rear guards might put up. The elements that produced the best results were light speedy tanks armed with machine guns, armored cars, and motorcycle infantry where the terrain permitted their use. The Blitzkrieg troops did not attempt to engage in knock-down drag-out combats. Instead they went around the flanks, leaving the job to the regular divisions which came plodding along in the rear.12 By the summer of 1940, the U.S. Army was experimenting with new organizations and new equipment in their field maneuvers. The new armored corps (two armored divisions), about half again as large as a Panzer division, had over 19,000 personnel, 1017 trucks, 588 scout cars, 56 passenger cars, 574 light tanks, 220 medium tanks, 402 motor tricycles and 816 motorcycles.13 The nine Army infantry divisions were also authorized a cavalry reconnaissance troop composed chiefly of scout cars and motorcycles. The increased use of the motorcycle in 1940 maneuvers received some mixed reviews in the Army's Cavalry Journal. The 6th Cavalry evaluated a motorcycle troop of 40 motorcycles with side cars and 41 solo motorcycles on maneuvers in Georgia and Louisiana. While there were only two burned out engines, it was apparent that at least 30 or 40 more engines would require rebuilding. The article concluded that "motorcycles in their present state of development are entirely unsuited for military purposes, except for use in messenger work, traffic control and the like. Even for these uses they should be radically redesigned.14 The 22nd Cavalry participated during the same period in exercises in northern New York. Although the after action report did not comment on the reliability of its motorcycles, the cycles did receive a back-handed compliment in one of the exercise lessons learned. "The futility of placing main reliance on radio communications. Utilization of scout cars and motorcycles, so far as available, for securing information and transmitting orders and messages, proved the dependability and speed of transmission of this form of communication."15 Apparently by early 1941, at least some of the mechanical difficulties and employment possibilities of the motorcycle had been addressed. Again, in Cavalry, an officer from the 6th Cavalry, Captain C.P. Bixel, wrote about the motorcycle troop. It now consisted of 181 personnel equipped in part with 64 motorcycles. "The motorcycle troop has only been in existence for one year. Its equipment, organization and tactical doctrine have been highly experimental... The motorcycle troop should not be broken down into small groups attached to other units for use as messengers. The motorcycle troop is a combat unit, a fast moving reserve of fire power capable of being moved great distances in an incredibly short time. It is the only unit in the mechanized squadron capable of carrying on dismounted combat. It is in effect a horse troop mounted on motorcycles instead of horses, and possess a great many of its capabilities when dismounted ... As a reconnaissance agency in itself the motorcycle troop is not believed to be as efficacious as other organizations of the regiment and can better be employed on the missions for which its means suit it. However, the use of motorcycles in limited numbers for reconnaissance of trails and secondary roads over which scout cars cannot go due to narrowness of the trails or weakness of bridges and culverts has some merit. A regimental mission of delay, opens up a wide field for the employment of the motorcycle troop. With anti-tank guns attached, it is an effective unit for the establishment of road blocks... it can remain on any given position until the last and still get away provided terrain is suitable... acting under the regimental commander as a harassing force against the hostile flanks and rear while other units delay the heads of columns it is believed most valuable. Its great mobility and considerable firepower make it a valuable force if employed in this manner. For security reasons the troop has reasonable capabilities. Its flexibility makes it suitable for furnishing the advance guard, rear guard or flank guard for the regiment when required. To sum up - the motorcycle troop, unique in our army, has been tested for a year. Some of its equipment appears to be adequate, some inadequate. It is basically a body of firepower -- fast moving on roads -- approaching the mobility of the foot soldier cross country. It replaces nothing, but with possible changes in equipment seems destined to take its own place in the combat team."16 An interesting evaluation of the mechanical problems of American motorcycles is found in the book, The Harley- Davidson Motor Company. The author claimed the following: "Some how, in 1941, sidecar equipped Indians (the Indian Motorcycle Co.) wound up in Louisiana for a series of tests in swampy, tropical conditions. The inability of these machines to function hastened the development of another all-terrain vehicle, the jeep."17 Following some of these generalized observations about the motorcycle and its employment, subsequent articles, although infrequent, were more specific in content. A 1941 Cavalry article, entitled "Mounting Trooper's Individual Equipment on Solo Motorcycles," described a modification of the McClellan saddle so that the trooper could use it to carry his shelter half, raincoat, wool blanket, one tent pole and five tent pins in his roll; his mess kit, flashlight, canteen, tools, and dry rations in the saddlebag.18 Another 1941 Cavalry article, "Motorcycle Platoon in the Dismounted Attack," detailed the attack of a roadblock or other isolated point of resistance.19 In 1942 Cavalry published "Motorcycle Ambulance," which described a make-shift frame which was used by trucks to transport disabled motorcycles.20 By 1943, the use of the motorcycle had become sufficiently institutionalized that two articles appeared about motorcycle training at the Motorcycle Department Cavalry Replacement Training Center, Armored Force School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. The prospective cyclist received three weeks of basic training, followed by nine weeks of instruction in the Motors Department broken down as follows: Preliminary Phase - three weeks; safety, assembly, nomenclature, maintenance Advanced Phase - three weeks; ride more difficult terrain, map reading, scouting, bridge and road reconnaissance, camouflage, demolitions, patrolling Tactical Phase - three weeks; field exercises, all-day problems, maneuvers The author of one article noted, "One constant task faced by the officers and cadre of this division (Cavalry Replacement Training Center), is the problem of overcoming original fear of the motorcycle, common with many men. The only way to do this is to make the man ride."21 While some in the military saw great potential for the motorcycle in a variety of tactical missions, the motorcycle's reliability was questionable. With a small standing army between the first and second World Wars, the active forces could ill-afford motorcycle testing and evaluation to improve field performance. Consequently, American manufacturers were accustomed to meeting the needs of their civilian and law enforcement clientele whose quality and reliability concerns were far different than those of the military. Motorcycles were constructed primarily for on-road use and were supported by the local dealership network. While various forms of off-road motorcycle competition were common, the cycles were specially modified production models. If they were more durable, little thought was given to potential military applications in this country. The pre-eminent manufacturer of American military motorcycles throughout this century has been the Harley- Davidson Motor Company. The next chapter discusses the Company's production of cycles for World Wars I and II, and the technological and political developments which led to the "Harley" which was to be fielded by the Marine Corps in world War III. Chapter 3 The Harley-Davidson Motor Company According to the book, The Harley-Davidson Motor Compa- ny, An Official Eighty-Year History, the Company built its first motorcycle in 1903 in Milwaukee. It had a DeDeon type single cylinder, three horsepower engine. Supposedly, this design was passed along to the founders of the company by a German immigrant who was familiar with the French designed motor. From a single bike in 1903, two in 1904, eight in 1905, 50 in 1906 and 150 in 1907, the Company grew rapidly so that in 1914, its production was over 16,000 cycles annually. The first use of a Harley-Davidson in what might be called a combat environment occurred in 1916. While Europe was at war, the United States was conducting a punitive expedition into northern Mexico in an attempt to catch Pancho Villa. The New Mexico Military Institute, the Springfield Armory and Harley-Davidson engineers jointly developed a motorcycle with machine gun equipped sidecar. A few of these machines were driven into Mexico by the Army's first Aero Squadron. Their utility was described in the following manner: "When machine guns were carried on mules in the old way, from two to four minutes were required to set up and begin firing. The motorcycle machine gun permits instant firing from the sidecar and when it is desired to set up separately, firing can be started within 50 seconds from the command to halt when the rate of fire is 480 shots per minute."1 At the same time, of course, World War I was at its mid- point. Shortly thereafter, the Company began motorcycle production for the War Department. Virtually all the Harley- Davidson's were of the sidecar variety. An Official Eighty- Year History notes, "The first glimpse of Harley-Davidson's by World War I soldiers may have been the line of bikes that gave rides to the wounded at various hospitals in England prior to the United States entry into the war. Once war was declared (by the U.S.), the cycles were shipped with all other vehicles, though they were used primarily for messenger service rather than in actual combat... as many as 7,000 Harley-Davidsons found their way to France. War Department records show that 26,486 Harley- Davidsons were ordered through November 1, 1918, and that a total of 20,007 Indians and Harley- Davidsons were shipped overseas."2 In conjunction with their production, the Company converted its dealership service school into a school for mechanics. "Beginning in July 1917, groups of thirty enlisted men spent three weeks in Milwaukee, learning how to maintain the thousands of Harleys seeing service in France and to greater extent at Army camps through- out the United States. More than 300 enlisted repairmen were put through the service school in the sixteen months before the World War I armistice was signed in November, 1918. Most of the instant mechanics never made it to France, primarily because the United States was not fully mobilized when peace came. At war's end, Harley-Davidson did not need to convert to peace time production - the cycles it had furnished the military were no different from the Harley-Davidsons available in approximately 1,000 dealerships throughout the United States. The most visible indication that Harley-Davidson had been to war was the olive paint job, which lasted with minor variations into the thirties."3 Following World War I, production of cycles expressly for the military tapered off. Beside the general public, sales were targeted on police jurisdictions. Company literature prominently featured such slogans as "Harley- Davidson will curb this tragic traffic slaughter"4 in response to the attendant problems of passenger vehicles. It wasn't until 1937 that the army again started showing an interest in the capabilities of Harley-Davidson. Perhaps the tactics and equipment used in the Spanish Civil War and political developments in Europe prompted the military to review the preparedness of American industry. In that year "the Army came in ... to look over the civilian service school and equipment, making sure everything was ready."5 Company officials were busy also. Following the German conquest of Poland in September 1939, two of the Company's founders, William S. Harley and Walter Davidson, traveled to Camp Holabird, Maryland. In their October 1939 visit, the army expressed an interest in a shaft-drive, three wheel vehicle for sandy and mucky terrain. Two other companies, Indian and Delco, were also invited to develop prototypes. Although this three wheel project was dropped, Harley- Davidson received an order for 1,000 two wheel shaft-driven cycles. These were essentially copies of German BMW's that featured the shaft-drive technology. Harley-Davidson cycles, as well as those of other American manufacturers at the time, were chain driven. The designation of this production cycle was the Model XA-solo. Following the quick German conquest of France in May/June 1940, the Army began to quickly evaluate the equipment and tactics of the German Army. Harley-Davidson delivered modified production cycles to Fort Knox, Kentucky for evaluation of military potential. Since the motorcycle was an integral part of German mechanized, motorized, and infantry divisions, U.S. Army maneuvers in 1940 and 1941 evaluated the employment, durability and design of solo motorcycles, solo with sidecar, and tricycles. Eventually the Company was contracted to produce a solo motorcycle which became known as the WLA. "Although the WLA varied minutely from one defense contract to another, it generally differed form the civilian machine in only five ways: - A more substantial luggage rack was installed on the rear fender (designed to carry a forty pound radio) - A scabbard for a Thompson machine gun or a rifle ran parallel to the right front fork - Blackout lights front and rear were standard - Oil, spark plug, and speed recommendations were listed on a metal plate attached to the gasoline tank, between the instruments and the seat - A skid plate was attached to the crankcase Every armored division listed 540 cycles in its complement of vehicles."6 The WLA which saw service in U.S. armored divisions was produced in quantity. Production of the cycle from 1942-45 totaled 88,000, plus spare parts for an additional 30,000. Of this total 20,00 were shipped to Canada for use by its armed forces and several thousand were sent to the Soviet Union. During these war years, the Company again ran a school for service mechanics. The school trained 50 mechanics every four weeks. For its overall contribution to the war effort Harley- Davidson received Army-Navy "E" awards in 1943 and 1945. Following World War II, Harley-Davidson's production of motorcycles for the military virtually ceased. Neither the Korean nor Vietnam wars saw much use of motorcycles. The only purchase of cycles during those eras were some 400 Sportsters for use by military police and shore patrol units. In the early 1980's, both the Army and Marine Corps again showed some interest in the motorcycle. The following is an example of the proposed military application during that era. The information was contained in a final report prepared by the Marine Corps in 1986 which evaluated a military motorcycle. "The Marine Corps identified a requirement for a military motorcycle and in September, 1981, the Marine Corps completed testing to determine suitability. In August 1982 the Commandant of the Marine Corps decided that rather than pursuing an independent procurement effort, to express interest in the United States Army motorcycle program. During fiscal years 1984-85 the U.S. Army program was delayed as a result of funding constraints. Headquarters Marine Corps decided to procure off- the-shelf commercial motorcycles. This is an interim item of equipment which will satisfy an existing requirement until the U.S. Army Joint Military Standard Motorcycle Program comes on line in fiscal years 1988-89. The Marine Corps Motorcycle is a lightweight motorcycle which will provide cross country mobility and essential service to combat service, combat service support, and command elements by providing an alternate means of transporting messages, documents and light cargo. Secondary missions may include transportation for forward observers, military police, and reconnaissance personnel."7 Some of the technical specifications for the cycle were as follows: - between 240-250cc - luggage rack or second seat capable of transporting an additional person for short distances or a means of trans- porting fifty pounds of equipment or cargo - detachable document carrying case - ascend a 60% continuous grade on a smooth, dry surface road with transmission in low gear - maintain a speed of not less than 55 mph with transmission in high speed range - fuel tank capacity sufficient to provide a maximum range of 100 miles with rated gross vehicle weight when operated on secondary roads at an average speed of 25 mph and have an additional 25 miles reserve capacity. There was speculation at the time that the Army alone would purchase 6,000-7,000 cycles. Procurement, however, was delayed for several reasons. The first was funding. The growth in the Department of Defense Budget slowed significantly starting in fiscal year 1988, and the Army's motorcycle program was not a high priority item. The most important reason for the delay, however, was political. The Army had planned to purchase the cycles from a Japanese manufacturer since the Japanese built the dual purpose (on- road, off-road) cycles in the power range the Army wanted. At this time, Harley-Davidson was the only remaining American manufacturer of motorcycles, and it had ceased production of off-the-road vehicles in 1978 to concentrate on its forte - street cycles of 750cc and larger. The thought of a Japanese motorcycle in the service with the Army and Marine Corps was an anathema to the members of Congress from Wisconsin. Although the Japanese offered to build a plant in Wisconsin to manufacture the motorcycles, an influential member of the House Armed Services Committee blocked the Army's program until it could be agreed upon to use an American manufacturer, i.e., Harley-Davidson. Following the inauguration of a Democratic President in 1989, and some restrictive trade legislation that followed, Harley-Davidson was awarded a contract in 1990 to build a 320cc motorcycle for military use. Delivery of the motorcycles began in 1992. It is ironic to note that the motorcycles were assembled in the Harley-Davidson plant in York, Pennsylvania (although the engines and transmissions were made at the Milwaukee plant). It surprised many observers to see the motorcycle back in military service, albeit not in great numbers. After all, the decline of the motorcycle had been due in part to the advance of technology. During the first and second world wars, the motorcycle had been used primarily for two functions: message delivery and reconnaissance. The advent of more reliable means of communication and observation forced the motorcycle aside. The development of more efficient means of troop transportation in armored vehicles, helicopters and the like also contributed to the cycles demise. It appeared destined to share the same fate as the horse and the bicycle in the modern military-extinction. However, it wasn't the technology of the motorcycle that brought it back. It had changed little other than in reliability. What resurrected the motorcycle was changing technologies in other fields. The greatest change was in computer technology. The micro chip had many military applications, including its use as a controlling mechanism for the guidance of missiles, bombs, and other ordnance. There were also improvements in the field of explosives technology. The combination of the development in these fields and others had the effect of making weapons smaller, lighter, more accurate, and more lethal at greater ranges. Whereas in World War II an anti-tank weapon was commonly a small artillery piece moved about by truck or horse, the anti-tank weapons being developed in the 1980's were infinitely more sophisticated and versatile. The following examples are typical of the anti-tank technology trends pursued in the late 1980's as reported by military oriented publications of that era. From the January 18, 1988, Navy Times. Navy, DoD Seek Proposal for Antitank Killer. "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC) are seeking parallel efforts to develop rifle- launched and tube-launched versions of a light weight anti-tank weapon able to destroy modern Soviet battle tanks at close range. In the search for a Short Range Anti-tank Weapon (SRAW), DoD is calling for industry to submit bids by January 29, for proposals to develop tank-killing missiles by the early 1990's. DARPA and NSWC officials envision a missile light enough for one Marine to carry, yet powerful enough to blast through the latest Soviet armor. Pentagon documents describing the SRAW program say the effort stems, in part, from new initiatives in chemical energy warhead research demonstrating the potential to 'significantly increase the lethality of chemical energy anti-tank missiles and projectiles.' The chemical energy research is part of an extension joint effort of DARPA, the Army and the Marine Corps to study ways to strengthen U.S. armor and armor penetrators. U.S. companies and foreign firms with U.S. partners are invited to submit any combination of technologies, 'to achieve the desired objectives of the integrated weapon system...' DARPA, the Defense Department's independent research organization, explores advances technologies and potential military applications. The NSWC, located in Dahlgren, Virginia, does similar research to meet Navy and Marine Corps needs... The Marine Corps has a written requirement for the light weight anti-armor weapon... If the technology is successfully demonstrated, the Marine Corps would consider paying for the program when it enters full-scale development around 1992 ... The Marines think the goal of designing a 20 pound anti-armor weapon is achievable. A key feature of the SRAW will be its ability to penetrate modern Soviet battle tanks such as the T-64 and T-80 which have been fitted with reactive armor, a material with an explosive charge that detonates when struck by missiles or projectiles ... by blowing the enemy round outward, reactive armor is designed to halt the momentum of the missile, thus protecting the interior of the tank. Reactive armor can defeat many of the shaped-charge warheads common on Western anti-armor missiles by preventing the formation of the explosives on the tank's exterior... The weight of the tube-launched missile is limited to twenty pounds while the rifle fired version designed for use with standatd infantry rifles is limited to fifteen pounds. In contrast to the maximum weight listed, program documents say the desired weight of each of the weapons is five pounds below the ceiling, or 15 pounds for the tube-launched missile and ten pounds for the rifle- fired version, not including the weight of the rifled. The SRAW development work is divided into three segments. The first phase will last six months and will include detailed designs of the missile, projectile, launcher and guidance unit. Phase two is a fifteen month program to demonstrate some of the technical concepts that pose a higher risk, manufacture and test hardware components, update designs and provide initial cost estimates. The final phase of the anti-tank program is scheduled to last fifteen months and culminate in a shoot-off among the competitors. During this period, industry contenders build a prototype of the projectiles or missiles and the launcher."8 Along similar lines at the same time, the following excerpt appeared in the 1987-88 Jane's Infantry Weapons entitled Ford Saber Dual Purpose Missile. "This is a shoulder-fired, dual-purpose (anti- aircraft and anti-tank) missile system currently under development. It consists of three elements: missile launcher assembly and a reusable guidance unit which can be quickly attached to the launcher assembly. The missile is a single body/tail configuration which is attitude stabilized about all three axes. It is ejected from the launcher at low speed to minimize flashback and noise, and the flight motor ignites after the missile has traveled a short distance from the launcher. The launch and inflight signature is very low, making it extremely difficult to detect from the air or by adjacent ground troops. Guidance is performed by the guidance unit which incorporates a stabilized sight-line for target tracking and a laser guidance beam projector which provides guidance data to the missile receiver. The system has inherently low susceptibility to countermeasures .... The missile can be produced at low cost since it does not require a seeker... Saber is designed for the defeat of all types of subsonic air threats; the quick-reaction point-and-shoot characteristic is particularly effective against high speed incoming and pop-up targets, since there is no delay while a seeker locks on. The missile can be configured with a fuze/warhead combination that is optional for either the air defense or anti-armor role."9 By 1992, a consortium of AT&T and Singer began production for the Marine Corps, of a portable anti-tank, anti-aircraft missile. Its key components were an enhanced chemical energy warhead, a thermal imaging sighting mechanism and a guidance unit which used a carbon dioxide pulse laser. The weapon, known in defense industry jargon as the Jointly Developed Anti-Armor Weapon System, nicknamed JAWS, came in several sizes depending on the volume of propellant needed for increased ranges. In its anti-aircraft role it was effectively limited to targeting helicopters. The heaviest JAWS weighed eighteen pounds and had a range of 1200 meters. This was the model carried on the Marine Harleys. The combat load was six JAWS fastened-on a special A-frame over the rear axle in two three weapon pods- - one on each side of the wheel. The JAWS and Harleys turned out to be a complimentary mix of "new" and "old" technology: a weapon and a weapon platform. Although the two weren't designed with each other in mind, an unlikely catalyst brought them together in lethal fashion: the reorganization of the Marine Corps Reserve. Chapter 4 The Marine Corps Reserve The late 1980's and early 1990's saw a dramatic change in the organization of the Marine Corps' active and reserve forces. The change was caused by the convergence of three factors: the nature of American warfare in the last half of the 20th century, the changing distribution of the United States budget, and the identity of the Marine Corps as influenced by a succession of Marine Commandants. The conflicts since World War II were increasingly off center stage. Rather than the great land battles of Europe, the wars of the superpowers were being fought on the periphery, in so-called third world countries. Korea, South Vietnam and Afghanistan were the most protracted and better known. Since Vietnam, however, American combat forces, and in particular, the Marine Corps, found itself preoccupied with planning for what was called low intensity conflicts. The Marines found themselves in places like Lebanon, Grenada, Haiti and the Persian Gulf. Their missions were variously called peace keeping, military presence, noncombatant evacuation operations and the like. Each of them, however, called for the introduction of relatively small numbers of forces from Marine battalions which were continually afloat in naval shipping in various parts of the world. At the same time, the Department of Defense budget declined slightly in real dollars as a percentage of the gross national products. This caused all the armed forces to look closely at the cost of developing weapons systems, the size of the active duty structure, and the composition of the reserve forces. The Marine Corps found itself faced with some tough choices. Over the years it had begun to resemble a lightly armored Army force with its own air force. It had fighter- attack and ground support jet aircraft, troop transport and attack helicopters, and some limited numbers of propeller driven transport aircraft. Its main battle tank was the same as that used by the Army and a number of artillery battalions used the heavy guns commonly found in the Army. It was even envisioned that in the event of a war in Europe, the Marine Corps would deploy its forces to Norway to protect NATO's northern flank. While the Marine Corps prepared diligently for its varied missions, they weren't stationed any place where war was likely. Marines had to get there by Navy shipping or Air Force transport, or a combination of both. While this was satisfactory for a low intensity conflict, it was apparent that if forces were needed in some place like Europe, the Army would be given the highest priority to move its bulky divisions by sea and air. If the war lasted long enough, the Marine Corps could get there in due course. The Army trained for protracted land battle, the Marine Corps did not. It amounted to something of an identity crisis for the Marine Corps: not heavy enough to fight a 'big' war, yet too heavy to fight a 'small' war efficiently. Faced with the dilemmas in the areas of structure, size, money, and missions, the leadership of the Marine Corps made some fortuitous decisions, at least in retrospect, which earned the Corps a prominent place on the battlefield in the Third World War. Several of these decisions affected the Marine Corps Reserve and, ultimately, its 24th Marine Regiment. Doctrinally, in the late 1980's, the Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy, was composed of land combat forces, service forces, and aviation forces. These forces, called the operating forces, were composed primarily of Fleet Marine Forces which in total consisted of the following active service regular forces: three divisions (ground troops), three aircraft wings (aviation), and three force service support groups (logistics). The Marine Corps structure also contained a Reserve Division/Wing Team consisting of a reinforced division, aircraft wing and a force service support group. Its mission in general was to provide trained units and qualified individuals to be available for active duty in time of war or national emergency, and such other times as the national security might require. Its specific mission was to provide trained ground and air units available for mobilization. The mobilization of reserves occurred in three different ways. 1. Reinforce active commands with selected reserve combat and combat service support units such as self- propelled artillery, tanks, amphibious vehicles, and air defense and aircraft squadrons to provide a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). 2. Augment active forces with selected reserve units as needed to bring reduced strength and/or cadred active units to wartime strength. Examples were rifle, communication, and reconnaissance companies; and assorted combat support/service elements . 3. Provide a MAGTF. The command structure and units available provided balanced air-ground teams for service with the fleets or to reinforce already committed Marine Amphibious Forces.1 It was expected that reserve units would have the capability to meet its augmentation and reinforcement requirements early in a conflict. To better meet its mission of reinforcement, the three infantry regiments in the 4th Marine Division were reorganized to train and equip for a specific climatic/geographical threat environment. The 23rd Marines was designated a jungle regiment, the 24th Marines was designated a desert regiment, and the 25th Marines became an alpine regiment. While these reserve regiments had not necessarily been mirror images of their active force counterparts, their new organizations became part of an extensive change in the employment philosophy of the Marine Corps. The active forces concentrated on the traditional roles of the Marine Corps: 1. To serve with the fleet in the seizure and defense of advanced naval bases and in the conduct of such land operations as essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign. 2. To develop those phases of amphibious operations which pertained to the tactics, techniques, and equipment employed by anphibious troops.2 Since the seizure of advanced naval bases could occur in any kind of terrain, the role of the reserve regiments was easily identified: to form a pool of highly trained Marines who could be quickly called upon to provide expertise in the appropriate climatic conditions during any subsequent land operations. As noted, the 24th Marines were designated a desert regiment. Their primary weapons platform was the high tech JAWS carried by the low-tech Harley. It was expected that they would be most effective as a fast moving anti-tank force. The regiment also had a secondary mission: to train in an urban environment, such as one might find in Europe or other heavily populated and developed areas. The 24th Marine took great pride in their motorcycles and their unique nature. Each battalion designed a logo and insignia which was subsequently approved by the Secretary of the Navy in 1993. The battalion designations were as follows: 1st Battalion, 24th Marines - The Knuckleheads 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines - Low Riders 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines - Fat Bobs When choosing their nicknames, the regimental headquarters suggested that each battalion design a logo which in some way related to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The "Knucklehead" was a 74 cubic inch engine introduced by the Company in 1941. "Low Rider" was a 1977 model, popularly associated with motorcycle gangs. "Fat Bob" was a 1980 model which got its name from its bobbed rear fender. The latter two nicknames were registered trademarks of Harley-Davidson which the Company allowed the Marines to use. In early 1995, the furthest thing from the minds of the 24th Marines was combat. There were probably some fleeting thoughts of preparation for summer drills but the preoccupations were the normal springtime concerns: baseball, the opening of fishing season, warm weather, home repairs, and family vacations. No one could have possibly foreseen the mobilization call on 6 May and the deployment to West Germany which followed. In less than a month's time the Marines and Sailors went from the security blanket of close communication with family and friends to the uncertainty of notes and letters to distant loved-ones when time permitted. Chapter 5 The 24th Marines in Combat Editor's note: The Regimental Chaplain, Commander Richard Hill, USNR, dated the following letter 8 July, 1995. Now semi-retired, his "congregation" is the patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago. Dearest Margaret, Nothing in my ministry to Sailors and Marines over these last fifteen years could have prepared me for what I have seen, and smelled, and heard, and touched in the last six weeks. The extent of death, destruction and misery numbs the senses. It is as if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have become our constant companions. An ordinary death is an extraordinary event. To die in a mundane accident seems to be the tragic loss of life. The other forms of dying: shooting, exploding, crushing, burning and a dozen other traumas, seem more necessary than tragic. We need all our Marines so they can go into battle. I had never doubted there was a God until now. My faith was tested. After much praying my doubts have vanished, but my belief has a different basis. Amid this devastation lies the fundamental truth about the existence of God and his relationship to Man. While God is perfect, He creates imperfection. It couldn't be otherwise. Had He created man as a perfect image we would Gods ourselves. While it is abundantly clear in this landscape that our imperfection is a curse, our imperfection is our greatest blessing. We can still aspire to be God-like. So much for my self-doubts and the short sermon. There is hope. I have a new enlisted assistant. He will take the place of Private Carson who was seriously wounded a week ago. Our position was nearly overrun. Our regiment helped stop a Russian advance and he was injured by artillery fire. I think he is going to make it. I hope I can say the same for the rest of us. Our movement has been in every direction except East. How are the children? I think the dearest possession I have now is the picture of you and the children... Pray for the end of this All my love, Richard Defensive Operations The Marines were in an uncomfortable position. They were not on the offense and they were not part of a Marine command. With the exception of a few specialized units, they were the only Marine Corps unit of any size deployed to central Europe at that time. There had been two battalion- sized Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) aboard naval shipping prior to the outbreak of hostilities but they had been diverted to the north Atlantic area when the U.S. warships were seized in Poland and East Germany. The MEU's had subsequently deployed to Norway. The 24th Marines found themselves as part of the 10th (US) Corps, which in turn constituted the reserve of Allied Forces Central. There was some confusion as to how to best employ the regiment and it was eventually decided to attach each of the battalions to a 10th Corps division: the 52d Infantry Division (Mechanized); the 54th Infantry Division (Mechanized); and the 14 Panzers. The Corps commander, Lieutenant General Thompson, later remarked, "I inspected the regiment on a soccer field near Hannover. They were in full battle dress, straddling their motorcycles. With their black machines, camouflaged uniforms, and black helmets with the dark visor down they looked like a swarm of mutant insects. As I approached the formation, the commanding officer called the regiment to attention. With that the Marines started their cycles and pulled them up on their rear wheels, all the while revving the engines. The noise actually sent a shiver down my spine. I had a sudden image of them riding straight to hell. I just hoped that was near Moscow somewhere." During the first month of the war, the belligerents tried to obtain air superiority for their respective ground Forces. Due to the sudden outbreak or war, both sides were relatively unprepared for mobilization and the deployment of their armies. Air forces on each side were the most combat ready of any of the strategic forces. Consequently, the first phase of the war was primarily an air battle. Both sides attempted to disrupt lines of communication and combat formations, destroy command and control facilities and logistics bases, and neutralize each other's air combat power. Both NATO and Warsaw Pact forces had one singular success in these efforts. The numbers of destroyed, damaged and ineffective for maintenance aircraft reached staggering proportions. The skills of the individual pilots and the tactics of aircraft formations were largely negated by technology. Antiaircraft missiles, whether hand held, vehicle mounted, or air delivered were extremely effective. Losses were in the thousands. It was no glamour war for the air force of either side. As a consequence of the mutual losses, only localized air superiority could be achieved. Much of the remaining air assets were used to protect vital installations and to escort mobilized troops to the theater of operations. By the end of June there was little impediment to either side in positioning their ground combat formations. The "air" had been temporarily removed from the expected air-land battle. Without the aircraft assets at the front lines, the battle was shaping up as protracted land warfare. Rather than the carefully orchestrated ballet of combined arms, maneuver warfare, blitzkrieg type tactics and the like, it appeared it might become a wrestling match between two heavyweights. The Warsaw Pact saw the situation emerging as advantageous to their forces. With the air forces of both sides effectively neutralized, the top Soviet military commanders believed they held a strategic and operational advantage because of their overwhelming numerical superiority in armor and artillery, plus their ability to quickly move their mechanized and motorized forces. By the end of June and early July they began to exploit these advantages. The Soviet's basic principle of land warfare was violent, sustained, and deep offensive action. Mechanized and armored formations, supported by air action and artillery, were to seize the initiative, penetrate the enemy's defenses, and drive deeply and decisively into the enemy's rear area.1 The essence of the attack and final assault was combined arms cooperation based on the close and uninterrupted interaction of all forces to best exploit their capabilities. The Soviets believed the tank was the major ground force weapon. It was the keystone of combined arms cooperation in the attack. Concern for the enemy anti-tank threat was the dominating factor in coordinating the combined arms effort.2 In late June the Soviet's 28th Combined Arms Army began massing west of Magdeburg for an attack towards Hannover. It was to be a classic assault by the Army's five maneuver divisions. They would begin a frontal attack and use selected regiments to exploit open enemy flanks, gaps, and breaches. With maneuver room the regiments would begin deep envelopments on division objectives. It was the simple tactical application of their offensive doctrine. When a first echelon regiment's battalions had achieved a major penetration, the area of penetration would be widened for exploitation by second echelon forces.3 The division second echelon or combined arms reserve would ideally be committed upon the achievement of the division's immediate objective. This commitment had to take place before the momentum of the advance decreased.4 Intensified reconnaissance, artillery and air strikes, and rapid ground attacks would be employed to locate and destroy enemy reserves.5 Assuming the division commander committed his second echelon or reserve on the axis of the most successful penetration and the attack continued successfully, the break-through could be developed further by the parent army's commitment of follow-on forces. Additional divisions could be deployed on a widening and ever deepening rapid penetration and exploitation.6 The attack would achieve an operational breakthrough. Although the preferred method of Soviet attack was an attack from the march, their attack from a position in direct contact did have some advantages.7 It allowed more thorough study of terrain and NATO force dispositions; it permitted a more refined organization of battle; and it was easier to coordinate fire and maneuver.8 The attack commenced at 0400, 29 June. By the next day it was obvious to the commander of the 28th Combined Arms Army that things were going well. Although he had received only a small fraction of the aviation requirements he thought prudent, the similar lack of opposing aviation negated the disadvantage. Elements of the 7th Guards Tank Division and the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division had achieved breakthroughs and were already engaged with units suspected of being NATO reserves of the 10th (US) Corps. The battalions of the 24th Marines, attached to their respective NATO divisions, were deployed near the rear boundaries of front-line units. In general they had the mission to assist in sector defense. For the motorcycle Marines it was an ideal mission. The mobility of the cycles allowed them to respond to areas of breakthrough and deploy in width or depth as the situation required. Within unit formations the motorcycles were employed in fire teams of four motorcycles each. Besides personal weapons two cycles carried a full complement of six JAWS each. The other two cyclists composed a light machine-gun team to provide suppressive fire in case dismounted troops accompanied the most likely targets for the JAWS gunners: tanks and light armored vehicles. The machine gun team also carried extra JAWS rounds and everyone carried a variety of smoke rounds. The smoke could be launched by rifle or dropped individually to screen movement from position to position. While in the reserve area east of Hannover, the Marines had rehearsed extensively for day and night operations. The terrain was advantageous to their employment. There was an extensive system of primary and secondary roads which could be used for high speed ingress and egress. Cover and concealment were also excellent. There were numerous wooded areas and ample man-made structures for convenient hiding spots. The cyclists familiarized themselves with the key terrain and obstacles, and prepared firing positions in depth along likely avenues of approach. The weather was an unknown factor. Rain, in particular, could limit mobility. However, if and when an attack came, the Marines expected to be able to fire and move repeatedly. The tactics and weapons were tested in earnest on 30 June. In the early morning darkness, the first thermal images of Soviet tanks, BRDM's, and personnel carriers appeared on the sights of the Marines anti-tank weapons. What happened then can best be described by a sequence of conversations that appeared in Red Storm Rising but could have just as easily been said by the commander of the 28th Combined Arms Army. "Every time we break through," Major Sergetov (the aide to General Alexseyev) observed quietly, "they slow us down and counterattack. This was not supposed to happen." "A splendid observation!" Alexseyev (Deputy CINC, Western Theater) snarled, then regained his temper. "We expected that a breakthrough would have the same effect as in the last war against the Germans. The problem is these new light anti-tank missiles. Three men and a jeep... can race along the road set up, fire one or two missiles, be gone before we can react, then repeat the process a few hundred meters away. Defensive fire power was never so strong before, and we failed to appreciate how effectively a handful of rear guard troops can slow down an advancing column. Our security is based on movement... a mobile force under these conditions cannot afford to be slowed down. A simple breakthrough is not enough! We must blast a massive hole in their front and race at least twenty kilometers to be free of these roving missile crews. Only then can we switch over to mobile doctrine." "You say we cannot win?" "I say what I did four months ago and I was correct: this campaign of ours has become a war of attrition. For the moment, technology has defeated the military art, ours and theirs. What we're doing now is seeing who runs out of men and arms first."9 Later, Major Sergetov remarked to his father, a minister at the Kremlin: "But the worst thing of all are their anti- tank missiles -- you know, just like ours, and these missiles work all too well... Three men in a wheeled vehicle. One driver, one gunner, one loader. They hide behind a tree at a turn in the road and wait. Our column comes into view and they fire from a range of -- say two kilometers. They're trained to go for the command tank -- the one with the radio antenna up. As often as not the first warning we have is when the first weapon hits. They fire one more and kill another tank, then race away before we can call down artillery fire. Five minutes later, from another spot, it happes again. It's eating us up."10 In much the same manner, the motorcycle Marines engaged the Soviet vehicles. Their weapons and tactics were effective, and they helped stop several penetrations along the front. They weren't alone, of course. In the overall scheme of things, the regiment was a very small piece of the puzzle. Its Army friends and German allies were just as responsible, perhaps more so, in preventing the introduction of follow-on forces which could have widened and exploited the initial breakthroughs by the 7th Guards Tank Division and the 27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division. By the middle of July, NATO forces were on an offensive of their own. For the American public the offensive spirit was embodied in the 24th Marines. The regiments' notoriety had a life of its own. The making of a legend happened somewhat by accident. After a lull in the Soviet offensive operations of late June and early July, a writer for the an Wisconsin State Journal filed a story for the Madison paper about the local men from Delta Company, 2d Battalion, 24th Marines. In it he described-how the "Low Riders" were proudly fighting on Harley-Davidsons. After each action, the Marines were keeping score by painting small tanks, trucks, and personnel carriers on the gas tanks of their Harleys, much in the same way as fighter pilots of the last great war recorded their kills on the sides of their fighters. The story was picked up by wire services across the country. It wasn't long before camera crews were on hand to dutifully put the Marines and their cycles on film. It made great copy. Marines (reservists at that), Harley-Davidson motorcycles, evidence of success: it had the aura of a gun fighter notching his belt after a shoot-out at high noon. It was a human story. While the tanks and jets had their share of success, there was an impersonal quality about the way they carried out their deadly business. For their part, the Marines did little to dispel any myths. Their natural braggadocio not only made great copy, it made great viewing. The new 'aces' of modern warfare were born. Editor's Note: The following letter was dated 18 July, 1995. The writer is Corporal Rickey Hunter, originally a member of Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines. This letter to his brother is the last his family received. Corporal Hunter was reported missing in action on 23 July. Dear Mike, How'd you like to trade places with me? Everyone thought when we left St. Louis on those C-5's the most dangerous part of the trip would be liberty in Germany somewhere. We thought this was just another screw-up by the politicians and we would be back home in a week or two sucking up some Budweiser at a Mets-Cardinal baseball game! Not only was that wrong, but I thought I'd get to pound away on a typewriter or something like that. Wrong again. At least not dead wrong-yet. No sooner than we got here and I was put on a cycle like the rest of the grunts. I feel like I'm an official Fat Bob now. Fat Bobs, -- can you believe it? Everyone runs around asking if you've seen Bob. When we hear that we try to stick out our gut as far as we can. The Army guys think we're pretty bizarre. They're right. Anyway, if you want to know the truth, its bad over here. Our losses are pretty heavy already. Jessie and Alan are missing but that's the way it is. We go out, shoot and move, shoot and move -- go back and reload and head out again. When its all over there's always some missing -- they just disappear. So much for the bad news. You can tell the guys back home I'm an ace. I know I got at least five. When that happens we paint an ace of spades on our helmet. If the ammo holds out at the rate I'm going maybe I'll have a full house soon (that's five aces for some reason). As for good news I do have some jokes for you. Here goes -- they all relate to food -- don't ask me why. How many different kinds of tank crews are there? Two - original recipe and crispy. Why are hamburgers and tanks alike? They both lose weight during cooking. What do crewmen and french fries have in common? Both are placed in a tank and deep fat fried. Better to be blown away than burned away I say. Well, rumor is we're going to see some more Marines from the States soon and attack in a different direction. Don't tell Mom the crispy-critter jokes -- Dad might savor them though. This Bud's for you brother! Semper Fi Rickey Offensive Operations On the 2d of August the 24th Marines were officially detached from the 10th (US) Corps to join the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). The 4th MEB, nominally assigned the mission to reinforce NATO's northern flank in Norway, had just made an amphibious landing in West Germany in the vicinity of Bremerhaven. It was the intent of the 4th MEB, as part of a combined NATO force, to drive north and east of Hamburg along the East German coast. Presuming there was sufficient amphibious lift capability and sea lines of communications stayed open along the approaches to the Baltic Sea, the 4th MEB would conduct a series of landings along the East German and Polish coasts or move overland to seize port facilities and landing sites. Both strategies would accommodate the introduction of additional follow-on forces at advanced naval bases. The 24th Marines were happy to be back in the Marine Corps fold. At Bremerhaven they had a chance to catch some well deserved rest and perform much needed maintenance on their cycles. There were even additional reservists to be used as individual replacements, and some cycles and spare parts had been flown in. The men and equipment didn't fill all the holes but the regiment was flushed with success and anxious to show some offensive spirit to the newly arrived expeditionary leathernecks. Again, the battalions of the 24th Marines were attached out, this time as part of the three maneuver elements of the brigade: the 2d Marine Regiment, the 8th Marine Regiment, and Task Force Super Glide. Super Glide was a mechanized task force of a U.S. Army tank battalion and two infantry companies mounted in Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, the 2d Marine Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Battalion with their organic infantry, a self-propelled artillery battalion, and 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines. Opposing the 4th MEB were elements of the 10th Combined Arms Army. Corporal Hunter was part of the Super Glide Task Force. He and his fellow "Fat Bobs" soon found out how different and how dangerous it was to be on the offensive. The Super Glide Task Force was frequently the lead element of the 4th MEB while the 2d and 8th Marine Regiments were held in reserve to exploit the tactical situation. With Warsaw Pact forces in northeast West Germany conducting a strategic withdrawal to more defensible positions, the Task Force used its maneuver ability to exploit the tactical situation. Typically, the Task Force advanced to locate enemy forces and rapidly develop the situation for the main body. Their advance often resulted in a meeting engagement which was a combat action which occurred when the moving Task Force, incompletely deployed for battle, engaged the enemy at an unexpected time and place.11 The Task Force commander then had to quickly determine whether he would bypass the enemy or conduct a hasty attack. If the latter, the Task Force commander deployed and attacked quickly to gain the upper hand and to keep the enemy from organizing resistance.12 The speed of attack offset a lack of thorough preparation. As the attack developed, the Task Force commander, relying on his own evaluation or orders from higher headquarters, then conducted either a battle of exploitation or one of pursuit. In exploitation, the Task Force drove swiftly for deep objectives, seized or destroyed command posts, severed escape routes, and struck at reserves, artillery, and combat support units to prevent the enemy force from reorganizing an effective defense or from conducting an orderly withdrawal. The key to success was speed, as any delay afforded the enemy the opportunity to regroup and mount counterattacks or to establish delaying positions in depth. The psychological effect of exploitation created confusion and apprehension.13 In pursuit, the objective was to completely destroy an enemy force which had lost its ability to defend or delay in an organized fashion. Unlike exploitation, in which the objective was the destruction of the enemy support systems, the objective of pursuit was the destruction of the enemy force. In the conduct of a pursuit, relentless pressure was directed against the retreating enemy while enveloping forces severed the lines of escape. 14 The various tactical maneuvers of a hasty attack, bypass, exploitation and pursuit were not mutually exclusive terms. Rather, all were often elements in a single battle. The participation of Task Force Super Glide in the Battle of Rostock, 26-31 August, 1995, is illustrative. The Task Force was advancing east towards Wismar in East Germany when it made contact with elements of the Soviet 128th Motorized Rifle Division, holding key terrain near the junction of highways 106 and 105. Estimating that it was a regimental sized force, the Task Force commander believed a quick attack would be successful but the MEB commanding general instructed him to bypass Wismar to the south and then swing north to pursue enemy forces withdrawing east along highway 105 towards Rostock. While the 8th Marines enveloped the Wismar resistance, the Task Force continued along 105 and fought a pursuit battle for the next two days. It was then ordered to the east of Rostock where, for the next three days, it fought a battle of exploitation. The Task Force blocked escape routes leading from the city on highways 103, 105, 108, and 110, and attacked command and control facilities and logistics concentrations in and around the city and port. As this phase of the battle progressed, the 2d Marine Regiment was lifted by helicopter west of Rostock to eventually link up with the Task Force and encircle the remaining enemy left in the city. For the motorcycle Marines of the Task Force, the enthusiasm of the advance was tempered by the high number of casualties. The Marines frequently became victims of one of their greatest assets - speed. Attacks were conducted while on the move and the cyclists often raced ahead to reconnoiter the area and seek targets of opportunity. While effective in these roles, the small dispersed fireteams and single and paired cyclists often fell easy prey to small enemy units and individuals of the retreating Warsaw Pact forces. The same kind of defensive tactics that the Marines used near Hannover were equally as effective for the other side while the cyclists were on the attack. Unless they were disabled, it was unusual to find a motorcycle after a battle. Frequently, ropes were laid across the road and as a cyclist approached they were pulled taut to either clothes line the rider or spill the cycle and accomplish the same thing. The Marines were frequently left simply dazed or injured on the road while the enemy retrieved the cycle and rode off. A captured prisoner described the technique in the following manner. "We hid the rope with dirt or debris as best we could. The riders were seldom alone but they were usually dispersed in line by a considerable distance. We waited for the last rider to spring our trap. With the rider dispatched, we retrieved the motorcycle. We rarely shot the Marines. Shooting them while mounted involved a great risk of damaging the cycle. Shooting them dismounted risked alerting the others. It just wasn't necessary." While a captured cycle could be used as as rapid means for one or two soldiers to rejoin their unit, few cycles were recaptured. They were mostly retrieved from civilians if at all. The soldiers usually drove them to what they thought was a safe area and traded them for whatever their greatest need was at the time. The loss of Marines and their cycles, frequently in "one's and two's," was rapidly thinning the ranks. Offensive combat was expensive in men and material. Had sustained combat lasted much beyond the battle for Rostock, it is questionable whether the 24th Marine Regiment could have maintained its combat capability without an extended period to replenish its depleted assets. Fortunately for those doing the fighting and those caught between the armies, the war was quickly coming to a surprising conclusion. Chapter 6 The End of the War Editor's Note: The next letter was written by Staff Sergeant David Schmidt of "Charlie" Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines. On September 20, 1995, he wrote his father in East Lansing, Michigan. Staff Sergeant Schmidt is now a student at Michigan State University. Dear Dad, We've been here in Rostock, East Germany, for the past three weeks. I guess it's a combination of things -- weather, replacements, rest, evacuation of the dead and wounded, refugees, POW's. The fighting is only a small part of our job. By comparison, the rest is confusion. A couple of things of note. Last time I wrote I was a Corporal, I'm now a Staff Sergeant in charge of a platoon. I'm not sure if it's deserved or not. The most important factor in getting promoted is staying alive. If I survive a couple more months I'll probably be an officer! There's a sad sight in the harbor here -- as if there weren't plenty to go around. The USS Manitowoc, the ship that was involved in the start of this war, was scuttled to block the entrance to the port. It's ironic. It was here for goodwill and now we're spreading a little "goodwill" of our own. I don't know where we're headed next. We understand both sides have been using chemical weapons to the south of us. None in this area, thank God! We hear the United Nations is getting involved in a truce and there is talk of a cease fire. Mostly rumor I guess. Do you know what's going on? The truth is hard to find around here. Hope to see you soon. Your son, David In fact, there was something going on but it wasn't a United Nations sponsored truce or a cease fire arranged by the combatants. Early on, it was clear that the UN was ineffective. Although a majority of the nations worked for a negotiated settlement of some kind prior to and after the war started, many of the key NATO and Warsaw Pact nations were using the UN for propaganda purpose. It was not a forum for peace and reason. Rather, it was a forum for excuses and recriminations. Because of the UN's impotence, several nations informally organized an association called Nations for Peace (NFP). The initial members were China, India, and Brazil. By the end of June, the fledgling organization was meeting regularly in New Dehli. The membership, their attention focused by the expanding war, had one basic item on their agenda -- what could they do to prevent the war from escalating into a nuclear exchange? During July, the membership grew in prestige and diversity as Sweden, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, Vietnam, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Australia and New Zealand joined. The seriousness of the NFP agenda was underscored by the fact that nations put aside their long standing differences to work towards an end to the conflict. Eventually, the NFP membership encompassed most of the original UN countries, less those at war. As the July/August NATO offensive advanced into East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the NFP feared the worst. This fear drove the formulation of what became known as the "Manifesto for Peace." The document and its contents were debated and agreed to in private so that, by early September, the NFP countries were ready to exert their influence. The Manifesto, in phase one, contained seven initial provisions for the signatory nations to execute sequentially as circumstances dictated: 1. A declaration of neutrality. 2. The elimination of all exports and imports to and from belligerent nations. 3. The freezing of all economic assets held by belligerent nations in member financial institutions. 4. The nationalization of all business interests in the NFP countries owned by belligerent nations. 5. The revocation of existing agreements covering land basing, ship repair and port facilities, over-flight rights, and intelligence gathering facilities for belligerent nations. 6. The extension of national boundaries recognizing a seaward zone of sovereignty of 100 nautical miles. 7. The immediate removal of all personnel and military equipment of belligerent nations from NFP member nations. With a great deal of publicity, the first step of the plan was announced and implemented on 12 September. The next steps were announced one at a time over the next six days. The reaction from NATO and Warsaw Pact countries was perhaps predictably nonplused. They refused to believe that the NFP countries would actually cause them significant economic or military damage since the war was substantially confined to central Europe. When chemical agents were used for the first time by both sides in East Germany and Czechoslovakia during the third week of September, the NATO offensive was stopped. More importantly, however, it raised the specter that a nuclear exchange was now a real possibility. The resultant civilian casualties and a lull in the fighting gave impetus to the NFP to execute phase two of their Manifesto. On the 29th of September, Vietnam seized Soviet military assets at Camh Ranh Bay and elsewhere and Japan did likewise to American assets on their soil. With the warring sides perplexed over the rapid, new diplomatic developments and the growing prestige of the NFP in the eyes of world opinion, the NFP played their final card. On the third of October, elements of the Swedish Air Force flew north to the Kola Peninsula and south to West Germany and harmlessly dropped some bombs near Warsaw Pact and NATO port facilities. As soon as the aircraft returned, the NFP announced that its member nations were willing to enter the war as a third belligerent, against both the other factions. This development carried great risks for both NATO and the Warsaw Pact and underscored how serious the NFP nations viewed events in Central Europe. NATO, and in particular the United States, faced the loss of naval superiority and a rising tide of public opinion against the war. The Soviet Union faced the real possibility of a second front against China, while its influence on other Warsaw Pack nations was waning because of the chemical attacks on their soil. What quickly followed, of course, was the NFP supervised cease-fire on the 21st of October and the negotiated peace which subsequently followed. United States forces were withdrawn from Europe and Soviet forces withdrew to their own border. Following this disengagement the countries of Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Romania declared their neutrality. Thus, the NFP, perceiving global survival the issue, exerted the necessary political will to diffuse the war and change the world. CHAPTER 7 AFTER ACTION REPORT As in any endeavor that involved combat, there are "lessons learned." The after action report, or command chronology, of the 24th Marines is a military document that contains the experience, insight, and observation of the commander and his staff who were actually on the scene. Some key points from the "lessons learned" by the 24th Marines are presented below. The words of the regimental commanding officer have been paraphrased. If any word or concept characterized the regiment's participation in the war, it might very well be serendipity, "the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for." We were called up to active duty on 6 May. The division commander and I had talked periodically on the phone about that possibility, but we were both of the opinion that the likelihood of a call-up was remote. A political settlement would diffuse the situation. On the other hand, we also agreed that a call-up would provide a much needed test of what we perceived was a critical weak link in the one combat capability which is rarely effectively tested and evaluated -- mobilization. The mobilization problems were threefold: would a political decision to mobilize be made soon enough to allow us the needed time to get ready? Were our own mobilization plans adequate? Would we be able to get there once mobilized? I really only had to concern myself with the question of our own plans. The answers to the other questions were beyond my control. Was the mobilization successful? The answer is a qualified yes. The entire regiment and most of its equipment made it to West Germany in three weeks. That was surprising speed as far as I was concerned. The biggest challenge was to overcome inertia. Initially no one really believed we would go. When it became obvious we were going, we had to devote all our energy to the logistics details. The myriad of remaining administrative matters were largely ignored. We rationalized that we would sort it all out when we had the time. We literally had no other choice. I was in Germany with an advance party on the 13th of May. My battalion commanders told me that the actual embarkation had a circus atmosphere about it. They half expected that the Marines would debark the planes with an assortment of wives, children, pets, and briefcases full of office work still with them. I'm exaggerating of course, but I always had my doubts that the entire regiment would join me. Once it became apparent we would all make it, I was preoccupied with my foremost concern -- combat readiness. Again, the problem was multi-faceted. Had we trained for the right war? Would our motorcycles and anti-armor weapons be effective? Could untested reserves fight in unfamiliar surroundings? Our training worried me the most. The regiment had been designated as part of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force and had periodically participated in battalion sized strength in joint exercises along the east coast with active duty units. However, the preponderance of our training had been done at 29 Palms and environs like it. We thought our most likely employment would be in the middle east or southwest Asia. The questions of whether our weapons and tactics would be effective and could we fight effectively are addressed elsewhere in this report. Our initial employment as part of the 10th (U.S.) Corps reserve of Allied Forces Central was one of those fortuitous decisions, which, I believe, was in great measure responsible for our survival as a combat unit throughout the war. We were best suited for defensive operations. Although I personally disagreed when my battalions were attached to other 10th Corps divisions, our defensive role gave us some time to train and rehearse. Had we been in the front lines, we might have been overrun in the first onslaught. When the actual combat started, I'd like to say that our success was due to the simple fact that we were Marines. Although that is part of it, we had unexpected help. Most of my Marines were from the midwest. Although there was the normal grumbling among the troops, when it became clear that we would fight, the Marines seemed to have a special spirit because the war had "started" in their backyard. After the first shot was fired, morale was never a problem. If anything, the Marines were too aggressive, especially in offensive operations. The other unexpected surprise was in the effectiveness of our motorcycles and the JAWS anti-armor weapons. It is my observation that the battlefield was not dominated by airplanes, tanks, and personnel carriers. It mattered little how big or how fast they were. They could be easily seen or detected and destroyed. The individual soldier in many respects was safest when on foot. The ultimate in foot mobility, as far as I was concerned, was having a Marine on a motorcycle. In fact, as the war progressed, the Marines literally had to sleep with their cycles to protect them. It seemed that the ultimate war trophy, for friend and foe alike, was a Harley-Davidson. In combination with the JAWS, which turned out to be extremely reliable, it was a deadly combination of speed, accuracy, lethality and mobility. It was a unique "system." Neither side had a real counterpart. A little bit about offensive operations. As I mentioned, over aggressiveness was a problem. With a subdued air battle, my Marines were occasionally the fastest movers on the battlefield. With the extensive road network in central Europe, it was all too easy for units and individuals to sprint ahead, hoping to surprise an armored vehicle for the kill. When the Marines did this, they became targets for rear guards and stragglers. We had our greatest number of casualties while attacking. At one point I became so frustrated that I considered ordering my Marines to remove all the tank, helicopter, truck and personnel carrier insignia they were painting on their cycles. I thought that unit cohesion had broken down in favor of individual goals. Who would be the biggest "Ace" of the war? I felt responsible for the problem because it was a good morale booster that I let get out of hand. When the first stories appeared about the new aces of warfare, I had encouraged the media coverage. It was too successful. It sometimes seemed as if there were a hundred correspondents following us around on their own cycles with mini cameras. I eventually decided not to order the removal of the decals, but it was because we were back in defensive positions at the end of the war. I regret that the situation existed. I think it cost needless loss of life. Such is the burden of command. While I have discussed some of the generalities of the war, let me mention some of the specific problems we encountered that should be corrected in the future. Administration. Next to training, mobilization is probably the most important combat multiplier for a reserve unit. We were lucky. In May we were in the midst of preparing for summer exercises, so we were as administratively ready as we could have been. As it was, we had to ignore everything just to get our Marines to the airports. If it had been another time of the year we might have stayed at home. No notice call-ups should be one of the commanders top priorities. Communications/Intelligence. I have lumped these two together because for us the problems were inseparable. For a similarly equipped regiment in the future, I believe each Marine needs a multi-channel radio built into his cycle and helmet. We could really only effectively communicate down to the platoon level. Critical intelligence was usually obtained only while in combat. Had we had the means of communicating through the chain of command to the individual Marine, we would have been much more successful. The Marines and their motorcycles are a mobile weapons platform just like an aircraft. Without a means of telling them exactly where to go, their effectiveness is diminished. Individual radios have to be part of the "system." Operations. Doctrinally, you could say the combat employment of the cycle is at a similar stage of development to that of the airplane after World War I. It needs some innovative thought, especially in offensive operations. Some of my recommendations in the areas of communications and logistics, if adopted, will drive these doctrinal considerations. If you grant that we were successful, our euphoria needs to be tempered. The motorcycle is still but one part of combined arms. It worked in Europe in the summer but will it work in other climes and places against other enemies? Logistics. Our motorcycles and anti-armor weapons were durable and effective. Need I say more? Well, yes. I think it is clear, that to the limit of technology, we need lighter weapons with a greater range so we can increase our combat load. Again, luck was with us in logistics. Our motorcycles and the heavier (greater range) JAWS they carried were somewhat unique. Our supply of replacement cycles, spare parts, and the weapons held up because we had little competition. We were the sole end-user. This might not be the case next time. If you have quality, quantity becomes critical. As for new pieces of equipment, I have already mentioned the radios. That should be the first priority. The other piece of gear I put in the "must have" category is a night vision visor. The motorcycle helmet needs, to be completely redesigned. I think it is technically feasible to incorporate protection, communications, and night vision capability into a light weight helmet. It could probably even have some filters that would enhance rider survivability in a chemical/biological environment. I mentioned serendipity earlier. Let me explain. Certainly, the war and our participation was neither sought for, nor expected. What we found was unexpected success on a battlefield we least expected to fight on. CHAPTER 8 SUMMARY Success is difficult to define. Sometimes it is the final score with a clear victor. Other times the victory is phyrric; the battle is won but the war is lost. Often the participants have long since left the stage and the critics and historians decide who the successful actor was. World War III was unique because both combatants "lost." With no winning side, it has been easier for military historians to objectively view the war. On the operational level, each side had notable victories in which personality, tactics, equipment, or luck played key roles. The 24th Marines are a fascinating subject of study because one can look at them and ask some interesting questions about what might have been their fate had decisions made a decade ago been different. How should the reserves be organized? How should they be equipped? Do they have any relevance other than providing the structure in the case of general mobilization? How should they train? Can they be a force in readiness in an environment in which low intensity in the expected norm of conflict? Does the nation have enough resources to fully prepare for all levels of conflict? Are we spending our money wisely? How can the military demonstrate value for the money it spends? Is relative peace and security demonstration enough? Will technology defeat the military art? What technology is appropriate? Will weapons become so reliable, so accurate, so fast, or so deadly, that the relative small size of individual soldiers is their greatest protection? Is the motorcycle relevant again to the military? Might it be a form of cheap transportation which brings the ultimate in mobility to the individual soldier and his weapons? Is it a cheap weapons system in comparison to the expensive tanks and other armored vehicles? Are our leaders making the right decisions? What is determining the decisions? Money? Technology? Strategy? Tactics? Politics? Assumptions based on unsubstantiated beliefs? What input do you have? There are many questions and the answers to some may be elusive. I hope the 24th Marine Motorcycle Regiment and its future war have raised a few of those questions, and at the same time been informative and entertaining. Annex A - Chronology of Events 1992 - Delivery of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the 24th Marines begins. 1993 - START-2 signed - a further reduction in nuclear arsenals. 1994 - The United States and Soviet Union begin reducing conventional forces in central Europe. 15 Apr 1995 - Goodwill port visits begin in Chicago, Milwaukee, Rostock and Gdansk. 20 Apr - East German frigate sunk in Lake Michigan near Chicago. 21 Apr - American vessels and crews seized in Rostock and Gdansk. 25 Apr - East Germany declares its intention of trying U.S. sailors for espionage. 1 May - Ground access to West Berlin cut off by Warsaw Pact forces. 2 May - West German C-130 shot down on flight to West Berlin. 3 May - West Germany shoots down an East German MIG-29. 6 May - Mobilization call for 24th Marines. 19 May - 24th Marines report to aerial ports of embarkation. 26 May - 24th Marines assembled near Hannover, West Germany -- assigned to 10th (US) Corps, the reserve of Allied Forces Central. 31 May - The War begins. June - The Nations for Peace organize. 29 June - 28th Combined Arms Army attacks near Hannover. 30 June - 24th Marines fully engaged in combat. mid July - NATO offensive begins. 2 Aug - 24th Marines detached from 10th (US) Corps to join 4th MEB. 26-31 Aug - The battle for Rostock between the 4th MEB and elements of the 10th Combined Arms Army. 12 Sep - Phase One of the NFP's Manifesto for Peace initiated. 3d week Sep - Chemical agents used for the first time. 29 Sep - Phase Two of the Manifesto for Peace initiated. 3 Oct - Swedish Air Force bombs NATO and Warsaw Pact facilities. The NFP declares its willingness to enter the war as a third belligerent - against both sides. 21 Oct - NFP supervised cease fire leads to negotiated peace. Click here to view images ENDNOTES Chapter 1, The Beginning of World War III 1Tom Clancy. Red Storm Rising. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1986), p.25. 2General Sir John Hackett (et al). The Third World War: August 1985. (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), p. 311. Chapter 2, The Military Motorcycle 1Lieutenant H.G. de Watteville, R.G.A., "Motor Cycles for Military Purposes," The Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, Vol. XLVIII, March, 1904, p.254. 2Ibid., pp.245-246. 3Ibid., pp.246-247. 4Ibid., pp.248. 5Ibid., pp.248. 6Ibid., pp.249. 7Ibid., pp.253-254. 8"The German Armored Divisions," Military Review, March, 1938, p.226. - from a translation of portions of the book Achtung Panzer by General Heinz Guderain. 9Captain Wheeling, "Military Motorcycles," Infantry Journal, May/June, 1938, p.240. 10Ibid. p.240. 11Captain H.H.D. Heiberg, "Care and Maintenance of Motor VEhicles of the Cavalry Regiment", Cavalry Journal, March/April, 1938, p.126/ 12Lieutenant Colonel A.T. McAnsh, "The New German Army Showing Organization of Panzer Divisions," Cavalry Journal, July/August, 1940, pp.307-314. 13"The Armored Corps," Infantry Journal, September- October, 1940, pp.436-441. 14Lieutenant W.B. Fraser, "Motorcycle Maintenance Problems," Cavalry Journal, September/October, 1940, pp.450- 453. 15Major General E.J. Stackpole, Jr., "22nd Cavalry in First Army Maneuvers 1940," Cavalry Journal, September/October, 1940, p.449. 16Captain C.P. Bixel, "Cavalry Motorcycle Troop," Cavalry Journal, January/February, 1941, pp.52-55. 17David K. Wright. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company: An Official Eighty-Year History. (Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International Publishers and Wholesalers, Inc., 1983), p.110 18Lieutenant W.J. Davis, "Mounting Trooper's Individual Equipment on Solo Motorcycles," Cavalry Journal, May/June 1941, pp.80-81. 19Lieutenant T.E. Matlack, "Motorcycle Platoon in the Dismounted Attack," Cavalry Journal, July/August 1941, pp.86- 87. 20"Motorcycle Ambulance," Cavalry Journal, March-April 1942, pp.75-76. 21Lieutenant L.C. Alexander, "Motorcycle Training," Cavalry Journal, March/April, 1943, pp.74-75. Chapter 3, The Harley-Davidson Motor Company 1David K. Wright. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company: An Official Eighty-Year History. (Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International Publishers and Wholesalers, Inc., 1983), p.98. 2Ibid. p.99. 3Ibid p.100. 4Ibid. p.102. 5Ibid. p.lO5. 6Ibid. p.108-109. 7First Article Test of Motorcycle, Utility, 2 Wheel (MCM); Final Report of, (Motor Transport Branch, Mobility and Logistics Division, Development Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, January 1986), P.1. 8D. Polsky, "Navy, DoD Seek Proposal for Antitank Killer," Navy Times, January 18, 1988, p.31. 9Jane's Infantry Weapons 1987-88. (New York: Janes Publishing Inc.), p.704. Chapter 4, The Marine Corps Reserve 1Fleet Marine Force. (Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, June 1987), p.8-4. 2Ibid. p.1-3. Chapter 5, The 24th Marines in Combat 1The Soviet Army: Operations and Tactics, FM 100-2-1. (Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., 16 July, 1984), p.1-1. 2Ibid. p.5-7. 3Ibid. p.5-28. 4Ibid. p.5-29. 5Ibid. p.5-29. 6Ibid. p.5-29. 7Ibid. p.5-13. 8Ibid. p.5-13. 9Tom Clancy. Red Storm Rising. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1986), p.428. 10Ibid. p.435. 11Marine Light Armor Employment OH 6-6. (Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, September 1985), p.5-2-5-3. 12Ibid. p.5-3. 13Ibid. p.5-3 14Ibid. p.5-4. BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Clancy, Tom, Red Storm Rising. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1986. The reasons for the start of World War III chronicled - primarily driven by a shortage of oil in the Soviet Union after a huge POL refinery is sabotaged. Describes in detail the air, land, and sea battles which follow and events leading to the end of the war. Hackett (et al), Sir John. The Third World War: August 1985. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1978. Reasons for the start of World War III detailed - influenced by access to oil and political developments in central Europe. Lays the political, economic, and social framework which lead to the war. Hackett, Sir John. The Third World War: The Untold Story. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1982. A sequel to the previous book. Goes into detail about the military conduct of the war at sea, in the air and on land. The primary emphasis is the ground war.in central Europe and developments in the Politburo which weren't 'known' when the first book was written. Wright, David K. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company: An Official Eighty-Year History. Oceola Wisconsin: Motorbooks International Publishers and Wholesalers, Inc., 1983. Details the history of the company: key figures, production, sport racing, civilian and military markets, etc. Articles Alexander, L.C. "Motorcycle Training." Cavalry Journal, March-April 1943, pp.74-75. Describes training phases at the Motorcycle Department Cavalry Training Center, Ft. Knox, KY. Bixel, C.P. "Cavalry Motorcycle Troop.' Cavalry Journal, January-February 1941, pp.52-55. Discusses equipment, organization and doctrine of the motorcycle troop in the 6th Cavalry reconnaissance regiment - motorcycle troop in existence one year at the time. Clow, K.G. "Traffic Control for Military Marches." Cavalry Journal, January-February 1941, pp.60-61. Explains the uses of the motorcycle in traffic control for a regimental column during administrative marches. Davies, W.T. "Mounting Trooper's Individual Equipment on Solo Motorcycles." Cavalry Journal, May-June 1941, pp. 80-81. Discusses a modification of the McClellan saddle so it will fit on a motorcycle - in this case, one of the twelve Indian Model 640's in the Sixth Reconnaissance Troop to which the author belonged. de Watteville, H.G. "Motor Cycles for Military Purposes." The Journal of the Royal United Service Institute, March 1904, pp.245-254. An early evaluation of the potential of the motorcycle as a military vehicle. Fraser, W.B. "Motorcycle Maintenance Problem." Cavalry Journal, September-October 1940, pp.450-453. Evaluation of 81 motorcycles used by the motorcycle troop of the 6th Cavalry in 1940 maneuvers in Georgia and Louisiana. Haber, R.E. "Marines Pop Wheelies." Marine Corps Gazette, July 1979, pp.23-24. The experimental use of motorcycle messengers in combined arms exercises at the 29 Palms, CA, Combat Center. Heiberg, H.H.D. "Care and Maintenance of Motor Vehicles of the Cavalry Regiment (Horse)." Cavalry Journal, March- April 1938, pp.126-130. Discusses maintenance of the vehicles contained in the June 1, 1937, table of basic allowances for a cavalry regiment. Herr, J.K. "Notes from the Chief of Cavalry." Cavalry Journal, July-August 1940, pp.322-323. Contains the table of organization and equipment for the four regimental cavalry troops of the 1st Cavalry Division. Matlack, T.E. "Motorcycle Platoon in Dismounted Attack." Cavalry Journal, July-August 1941, pp.86-87. A description of a motorcycle troop attacking a road block or other isolated point of resistance. McAnsh, A.T. "The New German Army Showing Organization. of Panzer Divisions." Cavalry Journal, July-August 1940, pp. 307-314. Organization and tactics of the German Army as evaluated early in the war - an emphasis on blitzkrieg. Polsky, D. "Navy, DoD Seek Proposal for Antitank Killer." Navy Times, January 18, 1988, pp.24,31. Research and development for a lightweight antitank weapon able to destroy modern Soviet battle tanks at close range being examined by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Naval Surface Weapons Center. Richardson, R.C. "The Wider Role of Cavalry." Cavalry Journal, January-February 1941, pp. 4-5. Notes that mechanization by the cavalry provides the commander an extraordinary means of surprise warfare to accomplish his mission. Robinson, C.R. "The Motorcycle in March Control." Cavalry Journal, March-April 1940, pp.52-53. The use of the motorcycle by the 106th Cavalry on an 800 mile march from Illinois to Camp Livingston, LA. Speidel, W.H. "Guerrilla Warfare and Motorization." Military Review, December 1939, pp.55-57. Condensed from 18 Nov., 1938 article in Military- Wochenblatt by LtCol Braun. Chinese irregulars fighting the Japanese. Advocates motorized troops for the partisan's, including motorcyclists equipped with machine guns and demolitions for long range missions. Stackpole, E.J. Jr. "22nd Cavalry Division in First Army Maneuvers 1940." Cavalry Journal, September-October 1940, p.448-449. 1940 maneuvers in northern New York including a number of lessons learned. Walsh, B.A. "Motorcycle Endurance Run." Cavalry Journal, May-June 1943, p.85. An extra-curricular endurance run for the soldiers at the Motorcycle Department, Armored Force School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. One hundred five riders negotiate a 61 mile course on secondary roads - in the rain and mud. Wheeling. "Military Motorcycles." Infantry Journal, May- June 1938, pp.240-241. "Captain Wheeling is the pseudonym of a captain of Field Artillery who spends his spare time investigating the wartime potentialities of the motorcycle. He contends that in this field the United States is not keeping up with the Joneses" -- so says the 'Meet the Authors' section of this issue. Advocates the development of a reliable motorcycle for the army. Notes that the European armies have overcome the mechanical problems and find it a tactically useful vehicle. "Ford Saber Dual Purpose Missile." Jane's Infantry Weapons 1987-88, 1987, p.704 Review of infantry weapons from around the world - fielded, still in production and under development. "Motorcycle Ambulance." Cavalry Journal, March-April 1942, pp. 75-76. During maneuvers in Louisiana in 1941, soldiers make an improvised carrier to tow disabled motorcycles. "The Armored Corps." Infantry Journal. September-October 1940, p.436-441. Details the organization and equipment of an armored corps. "Motorcycles Go to War." Scientific American, April 1928, p.345. Military applications of the motorcycle and sidecar in the French Army in the late 1920's. Examples: Sidecar supplanted by a tank for the transport of aviation gas; machine-gun-equipped motorcycle for defense/attack against low flying enemy aircraft; communications cycle which lays wire from a reel on the rear of the cycle and has a battery/telephone hookup in the sidecar; motorcycle configured as a sending and receiving wireless station; an armed and armored cycle with sidecar; special rafting equipment carried in sidecars to be inflated to carry the cycled across bodies of water. "The German Armored Divisions." Military Review, March 1938, p.226 - from a translation of portions of the book Achtung Panzer by Heinz Guderain. u.s. Government Publications First Article Test Report of Motorcycle, Utility, 2 Wheel (MCM); Final Report of. Report No. 1642-C. Motor Transport Branch, Mobility and Logistics Division, Development Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, VA. January 1986. Test data, test criteria, deficiencies and suggested improvements in determining the suitability of fielding a Marine Corps motorcycle. Fleet Marine Force. Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, VA. June 1987. An instructional publication intended to be used in conjunction with current Marine Corps Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment. Serves as a guide and ready reference for commanding officers and staff personnel. The German Motorized Infantry Regiment. Military Intelligence Serviced War Department. Washington, D.C., October 17, 1942). A translation of a captured German field manual on the tactics of the motorized infantry regiment and battalion when used as part of the German armored division. Marine Light Armor Employment. Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, VA, September 1985. An operational handbook to provide concepts, procedures, and terminology for employment of the light armored vehicles battalion. It represents a starting point from which formal doctrine and procedures can be developed based on operational testing and actual unit experience. The Soviet Army: Operations and Tactics, FM 100-2-1. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., 16 July, 1984. The most current and definitive source of unclassified information on Soviet operations and tactics and their interaction with other services in combined arms warfare.
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