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Old 18-07-21, 01:14
Lang Lang is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 1,557

Thanks Mike

All a bit convoluted.

As we know they can issue as many instructions as they like and many researchers have these as verified evidence of something happening or not happening. Real life does not work like that particularly in something as large, complex and diverse as military organisations even in a peacetime setting let alone a wartime setting in a "remote" area.

I am not questioning your records and instruction evidence and no doubt in the Order of Battle all those North Force changes appeared. How many of the minor details (such as vehicle markings) actually reached fruition at minor unit level would be interesting, but now impossible, to calculate. Minor units being given new command structures often to this day continue to work to and under other units for convenience or proximity.

Almost every time units do things together the system changes and we have all the varying degrees of command, Under Command, Under Command for Administration, In Direct Support, In Support, On Call.

The status of units changes constantly according to the situation and there is no time limit on any of the command relationships which can have an end-by date or in many cases are almost permanent*arrangements and the sub-units hardly know their Order of Battle command structure.

As I said, your record research, as usual, is exemplary but I think it gives people who have not been in the system a false sense of order and efficiency. This is particularly so in the Northern Territory during WW2 with units spread over vast distances comprised of AIF, AMF , Militia plus the input of Dutch, American (and even a Canadian Signal Unit), RAAF, USAAF plus US and Australian Navy all trying to suck off the same supply teat.

Photo evidence is really interesting. Someone trying to prove something (say markings or truck type) will find a photo of a vehicle of the correct type or markings in a group and shout "proof" while ignoring the other 40 photos of vehicles on the same operation with different types or wrong or missing markings.

Armies are made up of people, no supply chain is perfect and nothing stays constant for more than 10 seconds. I absolutely bet the Coldstream Guards on a Trooping*the Colour Parade, despite regulations, tradition and discipline, will have a few people with their boot laces tied crossed instead of straight, strap on their rifle buckled wrongly or still wearing a watch when told to remove them.

This non-conformity extends past individuals to whole major units, not for rebellion but for convenience and efficiency to cater for the current situation including supply problems, undermanning and spontaneous decisions to take advantage of an evolving situation.

Whole point of my argument is historic regulations and instructions are only pointers to history they are not written in stone proof. On many occasions (probably most) military instructions are wish-lists. They must be used in the full knowledge there are ALWAYS real world factors that preclude absolute 100% implementation, 100% of the time.

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