HQ issues



Feel free to click on this satellite image and look at the bigger version. Do you recognise something odd, something out of place?
I can spot military training grounds in Germany easily on such satellite imagery because it’s always the most atypical terrain, with the fewest features. In this case the left green woodland + couple roads + yellow meadows is such a training ground, about 1.5 by 1.5 km large. The fields have identical colours unlike agricultural fields with their crop rotation.  There’s always woodland and practically never anything resembling a village or at least some remote farm houses.
Generations of German army troops (and allied troops stationed in Germany) have been conditioned to think of this kind of terrain being the terrain in which the army has to function. Talk about operations in urban terrain are just that – talk.
One of the consequences is that the idea of a headquarter (brigade, division, corps level) in modern NATO is a very weird idea. Military history shows that hotels and large upper class mansions were the most typical headquarter locations in actual war. The German army had to be a bit less predictable on the Eastern Front for a shortage of such buildings and because some of the only such buildings were mined with huge basement explosives and days-long mechanical fuses by the Soviets. Still, according to military history a headquarter in shape of a couple tents has been most uncommon between the early Imperial Roman army and 1980’s NATO. Container-tent hybrid HQ (and field hospital) complexes are a fairly new invention.

Now if the Russo-Ukrainian War has shown anything, it is that (as with the German army of 1944/45) hiding is of utmost importance. A dectected munitions dump at 30 km ‘depth’ is a gone munitions dump. An identified HQ is a shelled HQ (and a couple news reports about yet another general dead). A container-tent complex is guaranteed to be such a mess. I just picked this brochure up:

My scanner produced a moirĂ© pattern as if it was 25 years old. It’s more like 10 years old.

I don’t blame the company for devising such a thing. They develop to eed demand. The demand is stupid, the idea of and thus requirements for HQ/CP equipment are bollocks IMO.

The ideal HQ/CP equipment brigade and/to corps is in my opinion a bunch of cases and folding furniture that can be moved by stairs-capable sack barrows into a building. The process would be as follows
  • a MP patrol (MP acting as HQ security anyway) finds a suitable shop or school building or storehouse 500 square meters or bigger
  • radio emitters are set up 1…2 km away and connected by fibre optic to the site
  • diesel power generators are set up inside buildings with flexible tubes for air intake and exhaust
  • HQ (small) unit arrives, unloads stuff, pushes away previously existing stuff that would be in the way
  • LED lights installed and connected to power
  • furniture unfolded
  • electronics connected to power cables
  • most data communication by bluetooth, reduced by some cables
  • local radio receivers installed (passive, thus no need for spacing)
  • the driver crews relocate all motor vehicles by least 2 km and hide
  • HQ is ready for the job
No containers, no tents. You could not possibly have such an idea of a headquarter if you stick to an exercise experience of “woodland and meadows, no buildings”, of course.
For a completely different take see this:

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