sábado, 30 de outubro de 2010

Guess what is in the Box

Can anyone guess what is in the blue box?
I can only say - look at the left corner of the box image. Is it a bird, a plane, no its...???


If you want to see what its contents, stay tunned and wait for upcoming posts.


sexta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2010

WWII D DAY Series nº 4 - by Carlos Briz

(Churchill AVRE & Crocodile)

The LCT's just keep coming! The Germans do not stand a chance with the guys from the 79th Armoured Division!

(Churchill Fascine & Carpet Layer)

This LTC IV is going to have some trouble carrying all that heavy duty cargo...
The Royal Engineers made good use of this particular stuff.

(Armoured Bulldozer)

This piece of equipement had to be bullet proof for the job in hand. This modified Caterpillar D7 bulldozer was important to clear the beaches of obstacles and allow for the swift download of men and materiel.

There are more Major General Percy Hobart pets coming up!


quinta-feira, 28 de outubro de 2010

WWII D DAY Series nº 3 - by Carlos Briz

(Sherman Duplex Drive)

Speaking of candy, come and get some more of it! (for your eyes only, of course...).

(Churchill Bridge & ARK)

Where did you get this LCI, Carlos? Or is it scratch built ?

(Sherman Crab Flail & Dozer Blade)

Your modelling output brings shame to all of us! 
You really should even things up, by painting some of your friends stuff...


quarta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2010

The One Day Campaign - Battle Report! (2)

(Tables 5 & 6)
Well, wonders really never cease. More photos were taken, after all, from this event and here you have them.
Here you can see Victor Hugo on the left and JMM on the right, full of concentration before delivering the final attack with his armoured forces.

(Tables 3 & 4)
On the left side of this pic you can see PC trying to convince his opponent to let him try another die rol, since a result of "1" was not  allowed by the rules. On the right side, you can see Victor Hugo, again...

Here we have JMM in battle against Filipe Martins. JMM, in his usual way, is complaining about something and Filipe is saying that that was not his fault.

In this pic we have PC trying to point his way to victory. And, once again, we can see Victor in his concentrated self (and ubiquitous way...), trying to figure out what went wrong with that die roll.


The One Day Campaign - Battle Report!

Jerboa knew full well that there was a risk involved in the invitation of the Brigada Tripeira combat team to participate in the One Day Campaign tournament, scheduled for the last weekend.
And events proved him right!
Our 3 hour drive to Lisbon gave us a lot of time to plan the game strategy and even allowed for some target practice by our panzer units.
The result: we swept through the tournament like the Northern Horde of old, conquering the available prize.

By the way: Jerboa, we are still waiting for you to send us the prize, since due to some unpredictable twist of fate you did not have it with you at the time.
There is no problem, we trust you on that.
But you should know there is a interest rate involved: you have to "pay" a class 3 AFV for every month delay in sending the prize.

As usual, the games were held in a spirit of fair play and everybody had a good time. Each player performed three games within the six available scenarios, playing alternately with an army from the Axis and Allied. From the Axis side all the players chose the Germans, on the Allied side there were English, Soviet, French and USA armies.

Enough small talk - here are some pics from the event:

Table 2 - Across the River
In this scenario, there was the possibility for one of the players to do a thing called "ambush at will", that translates more or less as the possibility given to the player to reveal his (outnumbered) ambushed units when and where it suited him. JF learned the hard way that this was a very tough scenario.

Table 1 - Total Engagement
PC had a very enjoyable game in this table with Filipe Martins, who is a very tough opponent. Fortunately, justice was served with a victory, in the end, by PC ;-)
You can clearly see that the hand in the lower right corner of this pic belongs to PC...

Table 3 - Hill 122
We must apologise for the number and the quality of the photos; in our defense we can say that they are exclusive and unique photos, taken at the risk of life and limb, with a hidden camera, while our opponents were not looking.

Finnaly, the Brigada Tripeira combat team would like to thank the organizers of this outstanding wargames event, particularly Jerboa, Pargana and the Myrdinn Magic store owner for providing the space, and to all our good friends from the south that attended, for the excellent time we had (and for the prize...).

"until the next round... "


terça-feira, 26 de outubro de 2010

WWII D DAY Series nº 2 - by Carlos Briz


Here is more eye candy from the Brigada Tripeira Blog! (courtesy, of course, of Carlos Briz)

 (The M7 Priest)

I love this one here.

(Popular Vehicle)

The torpedo boat combines awfully well with the M8 Greyhound!

Carlos's little dioramas capture with acuracy what I imagine could be the crowded situation of a boarding pier, during the days of the Normady invasion.

Carlos: if one of these days you set your mind on doing some charity work, let me know about it. I have dozens of WW II (1/72 scale) models (boxed up and stored...somewhere) that need a good paint job.


segunda-feira, 25 de outubro de 2010

WWII D DAY Series nº 1 - by Carlos Briz

 (Sherman Calliope)

We are starting another Series of outstanding pics, fresh from Carlos Briz treasure chest.

I have to say that most pics do not do justice to Carlos wonderful art-work, who we had the pleasure to meet for the first time last weekend in Lisbon.

He brought some of his stuff over and everybody could realize that most of the details of the models and the fine painting details are not clearly captured by the camera - in spite of that, the result is still great!

Thanks for your trouble Carlos, and congrats once again for your fantastic art-work!

 (DUKW "Donald Duck")

(Higgins Boat)

If Carlos is interested in putting up with us, maybe early next year we could organize a trip to his place, and take a good look at all the priceless stuff he has lying around there.

In that case, I must remember to bring along the same "drool napkin" that I usually take with me when I go to Coimbra to visit Peixoto's outstanding model collection.


sexta-feira, 22 de outubro de 2010


Mais uma série de fotos do tema “WWII LOCOMOTIVES & WAR”, dos dioramas ferroviários genialmente concebidos pelo amigo Carlos Briz.

Deliciem-se então com as imagens, são de ficar sem fôlego…

quinta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2010

Character Series nº 6 - William Warre

(Part II)
There is one thing that I simply have to share with the world: JMM has just announced that he was not available anymore to participate in that wonderful competition “guess-the-name-of-the-next-Character”, which I always launch at the end of story of each Character.
He mumbled something about a “quitting when I am ahead” thing, implying that the risk of having to paint some of my DBA armies, in case of losing a challenge, was too much for him to handle. I think he even mentioned he was having trouble sleeping at night because of that.

Well JMM, I really do not know how to qualify your attitude. However, I think the word “pussy” might be a good adjective for that purpose, but I cannot be completely sure about it since I still have some limitations in the English language and all...

On with the story on good old WW!

Those of you that took the trouble to read my last post know that WW was born right here in Portugal, in the city of Porto, where he spent his childhood.
Even in the early XIX century there were already a considerable number of British citizens living in Porto, mainly involved in the Port wine trade. As many of you know, between Great Britain and Portugal exists a very old political alliance, signed in London on 16th June 1373. The Treaty of London (renewed by the Treaty of Windsor, in 1386) is the world’s oldest active treaty between two sovereign nations.
 I think there must be something of a genetic nature that justifies the easy and good relationships that usually develop between the Portuguese and the British. I can sure vouch for that, from personal experience.
Maybe that was one of the reasons why such a fruitful cooperation developed between the British and the Portuguese armies, from 1809 onwards and until the end of the Peninsular War.

WW was present at the combat of Roliça and the Battle of Vimeiro. One of his letters is dated August 22nd 1808, from the village of Vimeiro. As usual in such situations, when WW noticed some of his ADC friends shot dead in front of him, he began to think that war was not all fun and games, after all. He dedicates a few words in his letters to what he perceives as undue cruelty towards any French soldier caught off-guard, wounded or straggled or against French sympathizers, on the part of the Portuguese peasantry. However, that opinion is somewhat abated when he comes into contact with some of the random acts of savagery and ravages perpetrated by the French occupation forces.

After a serious illness (enteric fever) suffered after the battle of Vimeiro and a period of convalescence, WW was transferred to the staff of major-general Beresford, soon to be appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese army, since, on top of his obvious martial expertise, he understood and spoke fluent Portuguese.
Another sure sign that WW had friends in high places.
Our hero also went through the very hard retreat to Coruna led by General Moore and participated in the subsequent Battle. He and Beresford were among the last to enter the boats, on the 18th January 1809, with England as destination after that disastrous campaign. In this campaign WW had to learn the hard way the meaning of the life of a soldier, with all the death and cruelty attached to it.
Witnessing the sufferings of his fellow comrades somewhat dented his sympathy for those of the enemy soldiers. Remember that by now WW was a veteran with two campaigns behind him

In early March that same year, Beresford was back in Lisbon, with the above mentioned nomination in his pocket and with good old WW still tagging along as his ADC.
This story of WW was also a surprise for me regarding the fact that I did not know he had played such a preeminent part in reorganization of the Portuguese army, by the way of translating drill books or visiting and inspecting several units in formation. We in the re-enacting business use an infantry drill manual that is the exact translation of the one used at the time by the British army, and I was very surprised to know that it was in fact WW who had translated it to the Portuguese language.
WW complains a lot (in his letters) how this part of his work was never given the proper and due amount of appreciation by his superiors. In his mind, at least a medal would be in good order, but he had no such luck in that matter.

In that same month, WW was as much distressed to know about the arrival of Soult’s army at the city of Porto (conquered in 29 March 1809), as he was regarding the fate of his father’s wine reserves, extant in the Lodges located in Vila Nova de Gaia (on the other side of the Douro river).

And my next post you will know what a poor old son of a good old wine merchant had to do to make ends meet.


segunda-feira, 18 de outubro de 2010

Congresso Internacional Comemorativo da Batalha do Bussaco

Aqui fica mais um evento a não perder: O Congresso Internacional Comemorativo da Batalha do Bussaco irá realizar-se nos próximos dias 29, 30 e 31 de Outubro do corrente ano, na Mealhada.

Trata-se de mais uma iniciativa patrocinada pelo Munícipio da Mealhada, cuja meritória agenda cultural muito tem contribuído para assinalar devidamente a importância e reflexos da chamada Terceira Invasão Francesa, em geral, e da Batalha do Bussaco, em particular, no concelho da Mealhada e não só.

Para mais informações é só visitar o seguinte sítio:


sexta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2010

The One Day Campaign - Ambush Blitz (Lisbon, 24th October 2010)

The armor-piercing and HE shells are already stored; the ammo pouches are full; the tanks are fueled and ready. 

That's right guys, everything is set for the expedition of the Brigada Tripeira combat team to Lisbon, on the 24th October, to take part in the outstanding wargames event organized by His Eminence (aka Jerboa), who is also the guru of the Portuguese wargames community.

This event is scheduled to take place in one single day but without fixed round numbers or game length. Each player can play as many games as he is willing and able, during the period of the campaign, in a previously organized 6 game grids.

In this pic we can see Jerboa pointing in the direction of JMM during an Ambush Blitz game, obviously saying that it is always JMM's fault when things do not turn out according to plan.

We are always sure to experience a good time when we visit our good friends in Lisbon to participate in this kind of events and we are looking forward to it.

By the way, given my generous and some even say philanthropic nature, I am going to place a challenge here, to the fine followers of our Blog from Australia: if any of you guys are able to show up in Lisbon to watch this event or just to say hello to the players, I will personally guarantee that you will be entitled to share our lavish lunch. You just have to mention this offer made in the Brigada Tripeira Blog - I hope you still have time  to book a flight ;-)
The event will take place in Myrdinn's Magic store, near the swimming pool complex of the Restelo football Stadium, obviously in Lisbon.

The Ambush Blitz rules are available for purchase in:


quinta-feira, 14 de outubro de 2010


A saga continua, com os excelentes dioramas construídos pelo Carlos Briz, cujos cenários captam de uma forma genial o ambiente ferroviário caracteristico da WWII.
Também é de realçar a mistura equilibrada de figuras e veículos de vários fabricantes de 10/12mm e da escala 1/144, e que só os entendidos conseguem detectar as diferenças entre os vários modelos.
A magia do Carlos continua em futuros posts, continuem atentos!

quarta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2010

Character Series nº 6 - William Warre

(Part I)

I am sure JMM is gloating, somewhere out there, regarding the fact that he was able to guess the name of the present Character, in this outstanding Series. There can only be one explanation: JMM asked his friends in the military intelligence department to help him with this. There is no other possible explanation.
However, things are going to change around here, regarding the “guess-the-name-of-the-next-Character” business.
No more Mr. Nice Guy.
My next Character’s name will be so hard to guess that I can almost say for sure that the available prize will be mine for the taking. Just you wait and see!
I came across the story of this fine fellow William Warre (from now on referred to as WW) in an unusual way. As some of you know, I devote some of my spare time to re-enactment in the Napoleonic period. Well, back in 2009 when I was working (pro bono) in the organization of the Bicentennial of the Battle of Porto (12th May 1809-2009) I came in contact with a Director of the Symington Family Estates, that was kind enough to mention the existence of this book about WW, that I did not know the first thing about.
He was also generous enough as to offer me a copy of that same book, and this is what made it possible for me to (once again) make a wonderful history post in this elevated and cultured web space.

This fine book mostly amounts to a collection of letters from WW to several of his family members, where he describes his daily life while serving in the British army stationed in Portugal and Spain, during the Peninsular War (1807-1814) although the period covered by his letters ranges only from 1808 to 1812.


WW was born in the city of Porto (Portugal) on 15 April 1784, and spent most of his childhood there. To those of you that do not know, the city of Porto was (and is...), arguably, one of the finest cities in the world.
As a matter of fact, it is from this city that most of the guys of the Brigada Tripeira group are from.
Because of that, WW had a profound knowledge of the Portuguese language, which he would find very useful later on. His family was very well established in the business of Port wine, and was quite wealthy because of that.

After a prank in his family office (WW glued the pigtail of an elderly office clerk, that was enjoying a post-prandial slumber, with wax to a desk), whose humorous nature was not quite understood by his father, WW was sent to Bonn to learn languages and prepare to join the British army – the natural (it seems...) destination at the time for those who were not interested in that boring thing called work.

By August 1805 (at the fine age of 21) WW already held the rank of Captain in the 23rd Regiment of Dragoons.
This could have been due to an extensive experience in war or to outstanding bravery feats shown if the field of honour, but it was not.
It was due to that fine and proven system called the Purchase of Officer’s Commissions  extant in the British army (only abolished in 1871), that WW was able to attain such a prestigious and important position, given his tender years and absolute lack of real combat experience.

However, WW would prove soon enough that he was not afraid to visit the place where the bullets meet the meat, in battle.

In the year 1808 he was back in Portugal as ADC to Major General Sir Ronald Craufurd Ferguson, hoping to have some jolly good fun in war.

If all goes well, next week you might just be fortunate enough to know more about this.


terça-feira, 12 de outubro de 2010


Caros Tripeiros

A pancada dos comboios e do modelismo começaram em simultâneo, por influência de um muito jeitoso tio materno, teria eu uns dez anos. Aos doze, depois de concluir o então 2º ano do liceu pus as mãos numa colecção que ele deixou á minha avó com as instruções de mo entregar se cumprisse aquela tarefa liceal. O comboio em questão era em escala HO (1/87) e como podem calcular, para um miúdo de 12 anos sem dinheiro, tinha muito tempo para sonhar, pelo que foram germinando as sementes para o viria a ser o futuro. Igualmente comecei a construir uns aviões da Airfix em escala 1/72, pintados com guache, era o que tinha disponível.

Depois de muitos sonhos e de alguns presentes de comboios e kits que fui construindo até aos 18 anos, melhorando a técnica e usando já tintas Humbrol e Revell, fui-me deparando com um problema sério, a falta de espaço, assim, numa ida ao Carossel ( hoje Quitécnica ) conheci o Toni, e com ele descobri a escala N (1/160), a forma de me ver livre da escala HO e arrancar com a escala mais pequena.

Fui então coleccionando vagões (as locomotivas eram muito caras para mim) e juntei ao longo de 25 anos cerca de 1300.
Quando finalmente passei a ter algum dinheiro disponível, depois de constituir família, construi, ao longo de sete anos (acabei em 2000), um layout para poder por a circular a tralha que tinha e foi, a partir de aí, depois de me cansar a limpar as vias para que tudo funcionasse, que descobri o que realmente gostava de fazer : o modelismo.

Com o layout concluído (hoje um enorme diorama pois grande parte das coisas não funciona) deparei-me com um problema, o que fazer agora?
Então, depois de algumas semanas de “depressão” percebi finalmente o que queria fazer: os dioramas estáticos, com peças soltas da colecção e montes de spare-parts de casa, figuras e veiculos.
Comecei pelos civis europeus, passei ao civis americanos e num click mental porque não alguns militares?
Entrei num frenesim á procura de fotos que pudessem servir de inspiração e fabricantes de material compatíveis com a escala N e assim descobri um mundo do qual ainda não saí e não espero sair nos próximos anos.
Construi então dioramas retratando o mais possível, com alguma dose de fantasia á mistura pois fotos de comboios militares são raras e classificadas como Top-secret, as cenas de conflitos onde os comboios tiveram importância militar, como a Guerra da Crimeia (1º conflito com uso de comboios), Guerra Civil Americana, Guerra Franco-Prussiana, Crise do Sudão, Guerra dos Boers, Grande Guerra, Guerra Civil Russa, Guerra Civil de Espanha, 2º Guerra Mundial e alguns dos conflitos do pós-guerra.

Para concluir, recordando uma conversa com um respeitoso modelista de setenta e picos anos, me disse que, em novo, tinha tempo e não tinha dinheiro para alimentar o vicio, depois em adulto passou a ter dinheiro mas não tinha tempo para o mesmo e finalmente depois de reformado, passou a ter tempo e dinheiro mas não lhe ……… apetecia fazer nada, o que caros amigos é um verdadeiro problema, pelo que todo o tempo que tenho disponível é aproveitado ao máximo pois, aos 53 anos, não sei quando vai deixar de me ……. apetecer.

Um grande abraço a todos desde Lisboa
Carlos Briz

sexta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2010

Character Series nº 5 - James R. McDonough

(Part III)
Wonders never cease to happen and all of you are first hand witnesses of that fact right here and now. Here we have another scheduled post  - that appeared on schedule!
Can you think of a better wonder than this one ? (you do not have to answer this...).

In the words of Paulus Renatus Vegetius “Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of discipline”.
Is it not strange that thoughts such as this one, thousands of years old, are many times proven applicable in the present? I mean, here I am writing about something related to military matters but examples such as this one are very common in practically any human endeavour or behaviour, of a personal or professional nature.
It makes a guy wonder, this being true, about the reason why sometimes it seems so difficult and takes so much time to achieve positive things in the field of human evolution.

Well, in JM’s case, the only positive thing he was interested on achieving was the swift and effective elimination of the threat posed by guys on the other side of the (political…) trench that had exactly the same purpose
When JM arrived in Vietnam he had already 5 years of military training behind him. He went through West Point, Airborne School, Ranger School and Jungle Warfare School – the very best the US Army had to offer at the time to a young lieutenant on the brink of going to war.

(Follow the Leader)

The need for leadership and military discipline in combat is a well established principle. The difficult part is to establish it in the field, as JM found out on his arrival. His solution for the matter was pretty simple: he established his authority by checking and regulating every single part of the daily routine of the platoon.
From health habits (sanitary installation free from the enemy and disease, mess equipment kept clean, shaving and washing on a regular basis, balanced diet) to tactical aspects (defence, offence, patrolling, ambushing, weapons employment, weapons maintenance, setting mines, uncovering mines, handling prisoners, planning indirect fire support, first aid, map reading, night movement, stream crossing) ending in security requirements (men on alert must stay awake; radios monitored and kept dry and supplied with fresh batteries, proper communications procedures observed, codes not compromised, combat positions constantly improved, claymore mines - seven hundred steel miniballs compressed into C-4 explosive - checked and camouflaged; trenches deepened, artillery fires registered) JM took to himself to supervise of every single thing, directly or by the way of his squad leaders.

And that was his way to let everybody know who was in charge of things from that point on. It worked.

However important, the above mentioned aspects are never enough if a guy wants to achieve a positive leadership in the face of the enemy. In that field, the leader of a small combat unit must show something else to his men: guts.

Well, JM had plenty of that to go around, as the reader of his fine book can very well deduct from his actions, before and during combat situations.

(Patrol Duty)

This was truly a tough job: going on patrol. In my last post I mentioned the gear the troopers took with them when going out on a tour around the jungle on that part of Vietnam. An elusive, ruthless and often unseen enemy and countless booby traps was what waited them every step of the way. The risk of serious injury or sudden death was constant. One can understand the fact that a soldier could endure this kind of stress for a few days or even a few weeks.
However, enduring this kind of situation for months at a time certainly demanded an above average amount of stamina from those guys, that also had to face an enemy hardened to the rigours and climate that wore down the American soldier

And JM is full of praise for the American G.I., the kind of guys labelled back home as “lowly infantrymen”.
He recounts several moments when, the same soldiers that were called “baby killers” by some of their countrymen, risked their lives to save those of the civilians they were there to protect.
Another aspect underlined by JM is how willingly those troopers did their job, whenever he asked them, by the way of leaving protected and covered firing positions to face the fire of enemy automatic weapons – because that was just what had to be done.
Truth be said that the average reader (like myself) gets the impression that JM got a lot out of his soldiers just because he put out a lot himself to his unit.
Unlike his predecessor, this guy was not the “go on ahead, I will join you later” type. No way, his style was more like “I will go first and you follow me” type – the mark of a true combat leader.

And once again, as you have seen in the post about Ernst Jünger, this guy here had also moments were he became literally scared to death…of dying. That’s right; this is one of the things that are also common throughout the ages: a soldier, any soldier, is scared to die and has moments of doubt and weakness, and often struggles to overcome them.

JM speaks also frankly about his moments of weakness, and this fact only brings added authenticity to his story, and marks his Character. And we only feel sorry about the unfortunate political and social situation he was called on to do his job.

And now we arrived at the final words in this awesome post, in this no less awesome Series.

It is time for you to guess the name of my next Character. And, yes, even JMM is allowed to enter this tremendous new challenge (because I am sure he has no chance at all to win!).
In fact, I am so certain that no one will guess it’s name that I am prepared to offer an outstanding prize to the winner: a copy of the book “Emperor: The Gates of Rome”, by Conn Iggulden.
My next Character’s name starts with a “W” and ends with a “W”. He was British and fought in Wellington’s army, during the Peninsular War (1807-1814)

By the way: JMM if you or nobody else gets this right, you will have to paint my DBA Crusader army. You have to agree this is only fair, given the prize I am offering.

There is no escape for you now! YES!


sexta-feira, 1 de outubro de 2010

Character Series nº 5 - James R. McDonough

(Part II)

With a mere glance at the comment box of my last post in this (wonderful…) Series, all of you will surely notice that nobody took the trouble to enlighten us regarding the significance of the initial “R” in JM’s name. I guess we all must remain ignorant about that. This is also a sure sign about how far and wide this Series reaches and the interest it awakens. It is very rewarding to notice this.

Looking on the bright side of things, I also noticed that until now I did not receive any court order restraining me from continuing this profound digression into JM’s fine book. This is also very encouraging.

(The Mission)

JM’s mission started in the middle of 1970 and was still a part of the so-called “Strategic Hamlet Program”. In broad terms, this program consisted in the creation of a number of rural villages, consolidated and reshaped in order to create a defensible perimeter. In JM’s case it was the village of Truong Lam (mentioned in my last post).
This (not-so-strategic) program was implemented in the early 1960’s and by 1970 was already a proven failure. The original objective behind this initiative was to avoid the contact between the rural peasant population and the communist insurgents (Viet Cong), by the way of placing them (the peasants) in fortified villages. Among other things, this program was expected to result in the removal or reduction of recruits available to the insurgents and the elimination of the possibility of the peasants providing any kind of logistical support to the insurgency.
The unforeseen result was that the rural population of Vietnam involved in this project not only increasingly hated the South Vietnamese Government because of this program (and the string of corruption and injustices attached to it), but also increased its sympathy for the communist insurgents.

The British, in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), did a better job and achieved better results in implementing a similar program, with however very unfortunate results among the civilian population.

But these sort of political concerns were not JM’s problem.
This guy was a foot soldier, and as with all foot soldiers throughout the ages (in the immortal words of Lord Tennyson): 
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die

Therefore, JM’s job was to lead a platoon whose mission was to protect that village – regardless of the fact that maybe the peasants did not really want that kind of protection, given the kind of attention it attracted on the part the Viet Cong. In fact, many of those same peasants had one or more close relatives fighting for the Viet Cong.

Well, within 48 hours of his arrival, JM stepped on a booby trap, during his third combat patrol, and was sent to a Hospital. That was not too bad, since many guys did not even manage to resist the first 24 hours without being hit, after their arrival at their outpost in Vietnam.

The most important part of the daily routine of a combat platoon in a similar situation consisted in executing regular patrols through the countryside, in order to disrupt or intercept the movements and actions of the local insurgents. Any platoon that neglected that particular mission and let itself be pinned down in a defensive posture had a fair chance of being wiped out with zero warning – as many were in similar situations, be it South Vietnamese Army or US Army units.
As always in war, taking the initiative was crucial.
Therefore, aggressive patrols were mandatory and JM enforced them and joined them as often as he could – after his return from the hospital.

The patrols were usually made by one of the squads of the platoon. Leaving their rucksack in camp, each soldier carried his personal equipment, that included the flak jacket, ammunition for his basic weapon, normally the M-16 rifle (on average, 25 magazines with 18 rounds each), fragmentation and smoke grenades, light antitank weapons (the noise they made had a psychological impact on the Viet Cong, forcing them to break contact in an ambush), the army issue bayonet or a personal knife. When the M-60 machine gun went for the ride, links of ammunition were broken down among squad members.

Going on a combat patrol in Vietnam – an easier said than done situation.

You will know more about it next Friday.