The migraines have been co-operating lately, so I’ve been much more physically active. And then yesterday I wrenched my back vacuuming the house. So today is going to be a take it easy, catch up on my reading and so on.
At the moment, I’m reading an article from Global Security, The Battle of Grozny: Deadly Classroom for Urban Combat. This is an older article (1999) and was originally published in the US Army War College’s quarterly journal, Parameters.
There’s a lot of good stuff on the basic concepts of fighting in an urban area in this article. Obviously, it’s meant to educate the government forces, but an intelligent person could draw many ideas that will apply to the non-government side of things. It’s worth reading and saving a copy.
However, one thing in it really hit me.
Finally, a lesson learned by medical personnel and participants was the psychological stress of urban combat. Like the war in Afghanistan, the Chechen conflict produced severe cases of combat stress and psychological trauma. A psychologically well-prepared and trained Russian force was not available during the initial fight for Grozny. As a result, Russian commanders began establishing a reserve force only a few hundred meters away from the main force during the fighting. This reserve acted as a relief force that replaced the main force when it became psychologically spent. This usually occurred after about three hours of house and booby-trap clearing, which were the most stress-inducing activities other than clearing obstacles during the most intense days of the fight. A recent article about Chechnya noted that younger members of the native population there are also having serious troubles with stress-induced injuries from the war. One physician in Grozny, speaking about the children, noted: “They have become more aggressive, nervous, cruel. They have no respect for elders. They’re dangerous to be around. They have psychological illnesses, terrible illnesses. Some can solve problems only with a gun.”
Read the quote from the physician in Grozny a couple of times. Does this remind you of anything in the news today, like say, Chicago or most other large metro areas?
For those of you in stuck a metro area, or those in the suburbs of a large metro area, this is something to consider. If things devolve and the gangs come calling, this is who you’re dealing with. And in dealing with them, you run a substantial risk of turning into another version of them. Note the mitigation method used by the Russians, establishing reserve forces and swapping out the door kickers on a regular and frequent basis.
Forward Observer pushes the importance of having an up-to-date area intelligence snapshot of your area. Western Rifle Shooters have been putting up links to all sorts of useful articles on the skills and training you’ll need to see yourself and those important to you through any Dark Ages-like event. Let’s hope we don’t need those things for their intended purposes, but are you willing to risk not to knowing them in today’s environment?