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Guard Chains of Command
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Old 23 Jul 2008, 22:22   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Guard Chains of Command

According to Necropolis (Gaunt's Ghosts) Infantry commanders always have chain of command over armoured commanders even if the armour commander is of higher rank. Case in point the General in command of the armoured regiment was under Gaunt's authority even though he was only a colonel and his commissar status had nothing to do with it before anyone brings that up.
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Old 24 Jul 2008, 04:38   #2 (permalink)
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Default Guard Chains of Command

You know, I saw that, and it really bugged me, because it just doesn't make sense. Not trying to bash you here, excellent find, but I'm perturbed at the whole idea of the background.

Lets set up a hypothetical situation. Lt. Anderson is leading his men in a frontal assault on a bunker. Major Brown is leading his tanks on a flanking manuevor (how the hell do you spell this?) after seeing that Colonel Custer's (hehehe) position farther away is being overrun by the enemy. Now, there are no orders anywhere, all comms are down.

Lt. Anderson orders Major Brown to bring his tanks about and begin shelling the bunker, so his men can take it. Brown argues that Custer's Last Stand is about to become a grim reality. However, protocol demands he obeys someone of a far lower rank than him, and after voicing reserved opinion, follows through.
Custer is overrun by Native American's from Outer Space, the planet known as Fallen Timbers is lost forever to the Space Natives, and its all because the armor's commander was forced to obey the infantry commander, who wasn't near as experienced or capable.

Now, I could understand that, in a hypothetical situation where both Anderson and brown were Lieutenants, and there were no orders, that armor should as a rule look to the infantry commander, but a situation were orders are nonexistent would seem rare on largescale offenses. Furthermore, we all know that in the absence of orders we must move forward.

In Necropolis, Gaunt may have had command due to his position, rather than rank. Not sure if the times work out, but he was unofficially given supreme command over the defense of the hive, making the Narmenian armor under his control.

So, an armor commander yielding to infantry commander of lower rank and experience just doesn't make any sense. I remember an old story about an American beach at D-Day, where an armor commander was overeager to deploy his tanks from thier landing craft, that they opened the doors far too early, and the tanks sank in several feet of water. That would make sense, where an infantry officer could order the tanks to hold thier movement and wait.

Its all very confusing, my apoligies, I'm just trying to spark a little debate on whether or not this idea is realistic.

Stankov
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Old 24 Jul 2008, 04:45   #3 (permalink)
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Default Guard Chains of Command

Quote:
Originally Posted by Generalissimo Stankov
You know, I saw that, and it really bugged me, because it just doesn't make sense. Not trying to bash you here, excellent find, but I'm perturbed at the whole idea of the background.
Wasn't Gaunt in command not because he was an infantry officer, but because Grizmund was imprisoned when Gaunt took over?
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Old 24 Jul 2008, 06:32   #4 (permalink)
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Default Guard Chains of Command

Stankov: I never said it made any sense lol, I'm just going on the fluff I know.

Mortis: Gaunt had freed Grizmund by this point. I'd look it up and give you a play by play but I've loaned out most of my GG books to a friend.
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Old 24 Jul 2008, 16:53   #5 (permalink)
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Default Guard Chains of Command

Jordan: Nothing personal here, sorry if it seemed that way. I was just venting in general, not at you. You are right, it doesn't really make much sense.

I believe Gaunt was commander not only because Grizmund was in prison, but also because:
1. He was by far the most experienced Imperial Officer
2. His natural ability sort of overided House Command, and men naturally looked to him.

Its far from an Orthodox situation, so its tough to figure out.

Stankov
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Old 25 Jul 2008, 09:38   #6 (permalink)
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Default Guard Chains of Command

This is starting to wander off on a tangent... so I shall divide it into a new topic.


Now, regarding this arrangement, we don't actually know how far it goes. My assumption, based on the events of Necropolis and the fact the Guard is not totally incompetent, is this;


General Sturm was Supreme Commander of the theatre (and hence classed as "Infantry"). Should he be eliminated, command seniority passes down to the next Infantry commander in the chain, superceeding Armour officers.

This does not occur indefinitely; it is logical to assume that below Colonel Rank, an Officer cannot be expected to have sufficient experience to command a theatre of any large scale. Thus, where Gaunt, Corbec and any other Guard Colonel to fall, command would have passed to Grizmund, and then down through the Armoured Companies.

If, somehow, ever Armour commander of Colonel Rank or higher was slain, Command would have passed to the next Infantry Officer (Major Rawne, for example), and so on.

The reason this assumption seems to work is that Armour is intended to support, and a Colonel is high enough to reasonably command a multi-formation conflict. An average Regiment has around 3,000 men, and will operate with armour and artillery support seconded from other Regiments. This is also part of the reason Infantry has priority; a Colonel cannot operate his regiment if the Leman Russ Squadron insists on doing its own thing!

Below Colonel, officers will not usually have experience in commanding a battle of any major scale. After all, a Captain commands a Company of around 400 men, and at best one or two support units who have been ordered by a higher-up to support him. That's quite a big difference!
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Old 25 Jul 2008, 13:37   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guard Chains of Command

At what rank do you think officers transition from small unit command (Company and below) to commanding a large scale battle? (i.e. what rank do they consider the officer for training?)

And would they be taken out of active duty to receive training?

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Old 25 Jul 2008, 14:50   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guard Chains of Command

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Originally Posted by AfterCresent
At what rank do you think officers transition from small unit command (Company and below) to commanding a large scale battle? (i.e. what rank do they consider the officer for training?)

And would they be taken out of active duty to receive training?
Hmmm...I can't cite precedent from 40k fluff besides Gaunt's 'apprenticeship', but I suppose I can draw a real-world parallel: In my old regiment Lieutenants commanded gun troops (platoons); Captains commanded recce troops (again, platoons, but of a different type); Majors commanded batteries (companies); and a Lieutenant Colonel commanded the regiment. On his immediate staff however there were other officers such as the 2IC (Major) and Adjutant (Captain). The 2IC was technically of the same rank as the battery commanders but essentially superceeded them in the hierarchy. A regimental 2IC would be trained to do the CO's job should he be indisposed/wounded/killed etc. So I guess it was kind of like an apprenticeship of sorts? Perhaps regimental commanding officers to be are simply regimental 2ICs that learn the trade by doing it under the CO's shadow?
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Old 25 Jul 2008, 20:26   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guard Chains of Command

Tom: That seems a bit different from the US system

From what I gather from my family in the service, a typical infantry regiment has a Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel commanding, with a Major or Lt. Col. running battalions, Captains command the company, and 1st and 2nd Lieutenants are heads of the platoons.

Whether or not the differences lie in foreign systems, or the fact you served in artillery, I'm not sure, but the fact that officers of similar rank are subservient to others is similar.

In the US Navy, a ships CO may be a Commander, and his XO (Executive officer, much like an apprentice though with more responsibility and less 'learning&#39 could be a Lt. Cmdr. Now, a Lt. Cmdr. may also be Engineer Watch Officer on board, but he reports to the CO, and thus follows the orders of the XO.

For a third and probably the best example is the USMS, or the Merchant Service. It's not so much a branch of the military, rather, the Coast Guard's regulation of Merchant Mariners. For instance, a Chief Engineer, head of the Engine Room, holds the rank of Captain, USMS. However, the Ship's Master, also the same rank of Captain, has direct and ultimate authority over the Chief Engineer.
So, though my father was the same rank as his deck-top counterpart, he always followed his orders and dictated them to his men in the bilge.

Just thought I'd throw in a few examples I know of.

Stankov
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Old 25 Jul 2008, 20:32   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guard Chains of Command

Stankov, question, have you read Hells Gate by David Weber by any chance?

Just wondering, if you have, then it confirms my suspicions.
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