The Heavy OPFOR Organizational presents a self-proclaimed “composite” example of an infantry division, in contrast to its explicitly Soviet/Russian styled motor rifle and tank formations. Fittingly, this serves as an example of the “classic” triangular division found by many countries since World War II.
After World War II, with armor becoming more common, the classical formation of an infantry-heavy division tends to involve the following:
Three subunits under the division, almost always called regiments or brigades.
A mobile element (tanks, or in extreme cases, cavalry) with a separate headquarters from the three subunits. This is designed to be attached to/distributed among the lower formations, but is still there.
There are of course many idiosyncrasies depending on doctrine and equipment, particularly in the composition of the subunits. This particular formation has a “light assault battalion”, likely inspired by North Korean light infantry formations. But this nonetheless stands as a general rule of thumb to use should one not know the composition of a land formation.
On offense, the mobile element will tend to be deployed forward. Whether it’s as a whole or divided among the subunits depends on circumstances. On defense, it will generally be held back to serve as a reserve for counterattacks.
Most relevant to Command is the status of air defense weapons. Regiments/brigades will tend to have lighter air defense systems (think MANPADS/lighter AAA) that cover their own forces. At division level would generally be heavier systems (this particular Heavy OPFOR one has SA-8 SAMs and S-60 AA guns) that will be deployed to cover the most important parts.
Here, I’m not talking about books dealing with unconventional warfare. I’m talking about military fiction books that have unconventional premises from the usual popular technothriller topics. And in my long history of reading and reviewing such books, I’ve found more than a few. Some of the most out-there include:
Dark Rose by Mike Lunnon-Wood. A Libyan/Palestinian alliance invades and conquers Ireland to serve as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Israel, and the resistance to them includes a revived High Queen of Tara.
The Seventh Carrier series by Peter Albano. A secretly built Shinano-class aircraft carrier got stuck in ice for decades, with its crew somehow surviving and aging. It thawed out, attacked Pearl Harbor anyway, and then became a prized weapon in the next major war as a haywire killer-satellite network destroyed any aircraft with jet engines.
World War III: The Beginning by Joel Fulgham. An American submarine stands against a new pan-Middle Eastern state-that has managed to build and field more aircraft carriers than the US Navy.
Flashpoint Quebec by Michael Karpovage. Here the US Army faces its deadliest threat-French-Canadian rebels!
The Red Line by Walt Gragg. This would be a conventional Russo-American World War III if not for the backstory, which uses an incredible number of contrivances to get the borders turned back to 1980s ones before the first shots are fired.
Two early 1990s exercise books give examples of fictional air and naval forces that aren’t simply the most advanced enemies possible. The countries are in the British Generic Enemy-ROWEN and American Light OPFOR manuals.
The GENFORCE ROWEN air force has a sample order of battle attached, and it consists of:
Three fighter/ground attack wings, each composed of three squadrons, totaling 60 “Mirages”, 45 F-4 Phantoms, and 54 Su-25s.
One interceptor wing of 30 MiG-29s and 30 Su-27s.
One training wing of 25 Hawks and 25 L-39s
Various niche squadrons, including a bomber one (8 Su-24s and 8 Tu-16s), a recon one (14 Mirage F1s), and a transport one (24 transports of various sizes)
The Light OPFOR is left deliberately vague, but it offers a sample of individual units:
Interceptor regiments of three squadrons, totally 36 or 48 aircraft. Aircraft are MiG-21s or 23s, with a possible sprinkling of 31s(!)
Ground attack regiments of Su-17s, 24s, or 25s, of either 24 or 48 aircraft total
Fighter-Bomber regiments of MiG-21s/23BNs/Su-24s, with a similar size as the aviation ones.
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The ROWEN Navy is listed as having:
3 submarines, two Kilos and a Daphne
7 large warships, 2 Leanders, 2 D’estienne D’Orves, and three Konis.
16 patrol boats, 4 TNC-45s and 12 small gunboats.
Likewise, the sample Light OPFOR navies include:
Squadrons of eight Komar or Osa missile boats apiece.
Squadrons with the same number of torpedo boats.
Amphibious squadrons of up to eight Polnochny landing ships
Blue-water squadrons of six Koni frigates or Foxtrot submarines apiece.