12 December 2010

Divisions, brigades, fronts, words

From Howard:
  • Kameke's attack on the Rotherberg at Spicheren; Six battalions attacking on a front of 4 km.  Decisively defeated.  An 8-stand Prussian division spread across 16" actually looks OK.  For 4 stands of a Brigade to do that they have to be 5" apart.
  • This brings another question along with it.  Can we better represent German tactical flexibility by letting them either (1) Operate in 4 stand brigades instead of 8 stand divisions (2) allow wider movement to the Germans say in 2-stand "regiment" units - but still operating within the divisional mission.  This would let us get a bit more details in to smaller battles, would it cost too much in the big ones.
  • In a couple of other points in Howard's account of Spicheren, attacks by 6 battalions are mentioned.  This re-enforces the idea that the Brigade is a key tactical layer.

A sidebar about words.  I have been thinking about phrases like "posture" or "intent" for what binds the actions which a division is allowed.  Posture works well for me for the current state, and gets at phrases like "changing from a defensive to an offensive posture"  -- but whatever the current posture, a division would have a mission from the corps commander.  I think this should be concrete and tied to a geographic point; it should dictate the postures that the unit can voluntarily assume and provide a "leash" that ties it to the orders from higher authorities.  And the German leash, in that analogy, should be longer.

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