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The organised chaos in modern warfare

1. Switzerland and the asymmetrical warfare
In the last 10 years, some wars were lead world-wide with high technological weapons. Sensational pictures were shown in the television. But what was really behind all this?
A super power with nearly unlimited possibilities on the one hand and on the other hand countries with only limited resources. What does the super power USA need in order to lead a war successfully? It needs an opponent, whose army and weapon systems are visible. Only then is there a sense in using high technological weapons. The weapons can also be camouflaged and therefore become invisible to the opponent. However, there is a time when they have to be moved and employed and through this they become visible and vulnerable.
Switzerland plays with its own figures in the world-wide chess game of the military. But we are not in the position to defend our country successfully with our present army. Switzerland cannot afford to purchase high technological weapons in sufficient quantities.

2. Current war regions
In both Golf wars, the Americans had the possibility to demonstrate their high technological weapons to the Iraqis and the rest of the world. This was only possible, because the Iraqis had raised their troops according to common doctrine.
We are dealing here with a kind of chess game. Both have an equal number of figures and play according to the common rules.
The result was not a big surprise apart from the short war period. In Kosovo, the limits of high technological weapons became obvious to everyone. The Serbs had been well camouflaged and they did no longer move in general.
The Serbs in the Kosovo were opposed by badly armed forces, who were in possession of simple infantry weapons and first of all had to organise themselves. With the passing of each day, the UCK became stronger. Which lessons can be drawn from this and applied to Switzerland?

3. Possible scenario
Which could be the actual war targets for a Swiss enemy? At the present moment these are the traffic axes. These through axes are of great importance for the economy of Europe.
If, for whatever reason, a power wants to take over these axes, they have to occupy Switzerland. On the basis of this scenario we can judge the present Swiss Army.

4. Swiss Army
Our army was massively equipped after the Second World War and has been improved in quality continuously. After the end of the Cold War, the enlisted men have been reduced increasingly. Modern weapons are also purchased in increasingly smaller quantities. There is not enough money available in order to equip a large army with modern weapons.
We adjust a super power army to our needs. It is obvious that we do not have the same chess figures in the large chess game in order to resist a possible opponent.
It has been discussed for quite some time that in case of war we shall resist. Nobody quite knows what we are talking about.
Furthermore, a conventional war would destroy our army and lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of our country.

5. An alternative concept
The aim of my reflections is the exploitation of the opponents' weaknesses. Highly mechanised armies need a mechanised opponent, in order to destroy troop gatherings, material and ammunition depots with their weapon systems. A tank cannot be used against one single rifleman!
In my concept the fight of the army takes a different course. Depending on how an opponent wants to attack Switzerland, some parts of the army will defend areas which play an important role in the momentary situation. In those regions the battle can lead to success. But the retreat into the mountain region is only a matter of time.
The army can also commence the retreat as a whole into the mountain region without a battle having taken place. In the mountain region only those troops, which are necessary for the defence will still be equipped with weapons. The rest, which is no longer necessary, will be released with weapons and ammunition and is available to serve in the resistance army.

6. Clear definition
An opponent has to occupy the country, if he wants to rule over the axes. Therefore, he has to station troops at all the important locations and must observe the axes. His troops and material make him vulnerable.
How should the opponent behave, if he does not find an army, but is opposed at the same time by a large part of the population who is armed and capable to cause casualties through needles pricking. (The necessary war material is stored and available.)
The opponent will not find any location in Switzerland where he can feel secure!
The occupying power will react with searches, arrests, methods of repression etc. The hatred for the intruders could still get greater. This situation is ideal for my concept.

7. The example of Langnau am Albis
Langnau am Albis is a typical, average Swiss village. 6680 inhabitants on a surface area of 8.66 square kilometres situated along a small chain of mountains. The lowest point is 460 meters above sea level and the highest point is 850 meters above sea level. The village is situated 10 km from Zürich at the main axis in direction of Luzern Gotthard. Another important road is the path crossing over the Albis into the Säuliamt. Langnau a/A has approx. 30 – 40 recruits per year. 25 – 30 of them visit the school of recruits. 20 – 25 of them finish the basic training. 3 – 4 go to further training and finish the under officers' school and 1 – 3 from them the officers' school. With 10 years of service, Langnau has approximately 200 – 250 active members in the army. They are first of all assigned to units for 6 – 7 years and they repeat their yearly refresher course. Afterwards they are assigned to the army reserve for 3 – 4 years. If one adds together all the former army members up to the age of 50, who have had at least the basic training, Langnau has at least 500 more former soldiers, under officers as well as officers. Out of this potential is built the resistance army.
From the 200 – 250 active army members, perhaps 20 – 30 are in service in the mountain region. The rest and all the former members form the basis of the resistance army. These are approximately 700 army members, but they do not include the specialists for the MG 51, Dragon, MK 19, M 82 Barretts and Stinger. They are trained, equipped and employed independently from the resistance army. They live amongst us, discreetly and it is not well known what they exactly do and which weapons they use. They are part of the resistance army. There must still be approx. 600 men available. One can also assume that in the village approx. 600 more men and women are ready to enlist in the resistance army. These 1200 women/men are trained to use assault rifles, Panzerfaust and directional fragmentation devices (dfd) known as Claymore mines by officers and under officers who are living in the village. The training is taking place in the village at realistic locations. At the same time weapons and the relevant ammunition is delivered in large quantities. The delivered material is distributed and well hidden, so that the opponent cannot find it. It must be possible in a village to train people in a very short period of time to use these 3 weapons, because the army requires only 1 to 2 months to achieve a training level where the army is ready for combat. As a standard procedure only the attack and ambush is practised.
A village organisation has to be created which organises everything, so that the training can be carried out efficiently. In case of war the organisation can be dissolved. The resistance warfare should neither be lead nor obstructed by a hierarchy. The resistance fighters can already make teams in the training phase and organise themselves according to their own criteria. There are no fixed structures. The creativity must be given the greatest possible free play. The advantage of this idea is the large motivation of the people for the fight, because they have to defend their personal belongings. Furthermore they are well acquainted with the village localities. They also do no longer need a lot of preparations, because they have already practised individual situations several times during their training. 1200 trained and armed resistance fighters are never in action at the same time and there is always a large percentage of fighters available, who can start an action at any time according to their own will. A military infrastructure is not set up. We are not using military vehicles, because we do not need them. The civilian field supplies all the logistics which is used. The wounded are taken to the nearby hospitals. The transports are carried out by civilian rescue forces. There are no Prisoners of War. Opponents who surrender are disarmed and released. In short, the war is lead out of the civilian everyday life. This makes it difficult for the opponent to judge the situation. In each village the fight can be organised in a different way.

8. Arming and Employment tactics
The lower level of the resistance army is called the short range (up to 250 meters). It results out of the employment area. The villages and cities seldom offer open spaces with employment distances above 250 meters, because they are generally heavily built up. The Panzerfaust can be employed against vehicles and the assault rifles and dfd against soldiers during attacks in heavily built up areas. Dfd can also be used against vehicles. The group leader decides what means he wishes to use and how. There are no preparations necessary for the employment of these weapons. There is neither positioning nor fire support necessary.
There is no limit set for the individual creativity of the group or troop leaders. After a firing attack on a vehicle or on a location prepared with dfds can immediately follow an ambush. The troops of the opponent, who come to the rescue of their people, can be attacked repeatedly with these means.
The fight can take place during the day or at night.
Under these pre-requirements, one can assume that an opponent will not enter villages or cities very often. We can assume that he will look for locations where he can protect himself easily against short range weapons.
The middle level is called the middle range (250 meters up to 800 meters). I use the following weapons for the middle range: The Dragon against armoured vehicles and the MG 51 against people.
These weapons are only used by soldiers, who went to the military schools and who have had the required training. The two fighting methods as previously are used: The attack and the ambush. Here we shall find again only small groups, approx. 4 to 8 people. The groups must be mobile, using motorbikes or bicycles so that everybody can disappear quickly in various directions.
As the last level at the ground I organise the upper range (800 meters up to 1500 meters). The upper range is necessary, because there are areas in the middle region which cannot be defended with the weapons of the middle range. The arming of the upper range is relatively simple. It consists of the 40 mm Machine gun MK 19 and M 82 Cal. .50 from Barretts. (Both weapons have not yet been introduced in the army.) I have no intention to destroy the opponent with attacks and ambushes at this range, however I only want to intimidate him and make him insecure. He has to reckon with casualties at every range and can no longer move unprotected over large distances.
The last and at the same time fourth level is the lower air space. In order to create even more insecurity amongst the ranks of the opponent, it is important to secure the lower air space. The Stinger Teams, who are still in service in the army, can also be useful in my concept. They live in a village as normal civilians with the slight alteration of using civilian vehicles and they are not obvious. Co-ordination with the organisation in the village is not necessary.
I like to talk about the three grades at the ground. They are not all equally large. One can best compare them with a pyramid. The lower part with its base is the largest or called the short range. The middle part, which is already a lot smaller, is called the middle range. The upper part, which is the tip and is staffed with only a few people, is called the upper range.
A distribution according to percentage is very difficult,
therefore my estimation is as follows:
Short range      85 %    bis    90 %
Middle range      5 %    bis    10 %
Upper range      2 %    bis    5 %

Approximate arming for Langnau:
Short range
As basic arming 1200 assault rifles are necessary for 1200 armed people in Langnau. Approximately 20 % of the inhabitants of the village are therefore armed. 100 firing units with each 4 Panzerfäusten and 200 directional fragmentation devices are easily set up and ready.
Middle range
For Langnau this means 60 men.
10 firing units with each 4 Dragon Anti Tank Guided Missiles are set up and ready.
5 of the MG 51 are also ready for action.
Upper range
For Langnau this means 20 men.
They are equipped with 3 MK 19 and 3 M 82 Cal. .50 from Barretts.
Presupposing that the whole population of Switzerland is equipped at the same scale as we find in Langnau, it results in the following numbers:
Assault rifles      1'500'000   pieces
Firing units Panzerfaust      100'000   pieces
Dfd light      150'000   pieces
Firing units Dragon      10'000   pieces
MG 51      5'000   pieces
MK 19      3'000   pieces
M 82      3'000   pieces

9. Examples of combat actions

Short range
Example 1: A mecanised reconnaissance section tries to reconnoitre the village on a main axis with four Armoured Personal Carriers (APC) and additional vehicles. The front vehicles are blasted and destroyed with Panzerfaust within the village. The rest of the reconnaissance section will now try to rescue its injured people out of the village. Thereby further possibilities arise in order to destroy the rest of the troop during prepared actions. A battle is resulting out of a respective situation. The defenders must be flexible and must adapt to the individual possibilities. One has to take into consideration, that one does not start the action with too many people and that one only employs as many people as necessary. The leadership in the village decides, if one uses every possibility in order to engage in a fight. It is important in the short range that one keeps to the shortest distances! One can thereby take the possibility from the opponent to keep away the defenders by means of artillery employment. Everything is linked as close as possible during the battle! Which country has an adequate number of attack helicopters available, that could be a threat?
Example 2: An important crossing in the village is secured and observed by APCs. If the situation is advantageous, an attack is carried out with Panzerfäusten on the military traffic. The extended area at the attack location is slightly contaminated with dfds. The retreat with the Panzerfaust team is performed in the village and the retreat path is also contaminated with dfds. In this way it is possible to target a pursuer several times.
Middle range
Example 1: Crossing guarded with APCs and Main Battle Tank (MBT): An attack is carried out onto the vehicles with two Dragons and afterwards the attacker disappears immediately.
Example 2: Guarded supply location: Attack on arriving or departing vehicles with Dragon or Mg 51 and afterwards the attacker disappears immediately.
Upper range
Example 1: An important guarded crossing in open territory. A relatively insecure location for an opponent, because it is exposed to all sides. Firing attack from the upper range with the MK 19 or with the M82.
It is not the aim to destroy the opponent, yet to cause casualties amongst him with a firing attack for a few seconds or 1 to 2 shots. First and foremost one wishes to demonstrate that there is no safe location for the opponent.

10. The mountain region
All the necessary weapons and ammunitions are stored and produced in the mountain region. All the installations are located below ground, which is partially already the case nowadays. The North-South axes, which are crossing the mountain region, are effectively interrupted. With the help of these guidelines, the size of the mountain region can be determined.
Air landings in the mountain region are possible and can be expected. It is only the question, if this makes sense because it might not be possible to create a land connection.
I want to emphasise again, that the mountain region must be as small as possible, so that the opponent has to keep a lot of land and a lot of people under his control.

11. New supplies
The depots are filled and one has the desired quantity of weapons and ammunition available. The material is decentralised and stored in the whole country, but mainly in the mountain region. In case of a crisis, the material is moved closer to the user in a first phase. It is delivered to the villages. The assault rifles with its ammunition are distributed amongst the population. The necessary Panzerfaust and dfd light, which are required for the training, are also handed out.
If the threat is acute and if one has to consider that it could start within a few days, everything is distributed to the employment forces. The weapons and the ammunition for the short range are delivered in a shell package, so that they are sufficiently protected against water and dirt. Through this the safe hiding becomes easier. One can bury the weapons, sink them in the water and otherwise can do something else with them.
I am aware of the fact, that an opponent can find out a lot with systematic search. But I doubt that he has sufficient time and people available in order to dig up Switzerland.
The weapons and the ammunition for the middle and upper range are also distributed to the teams and hidden by the people according to their orders.
Supply from the production points and storage out of the mountain region is obtainable. The transportation is surely not simple, but all the weapons and the relevant ammunition can be carried by grown-ups and due to this there are no limits for the transportation possibilities. At the most, when the enemy lines have to be infiltrated. In our region and with our knowledge this should be possible despite it.
Since a large amount of weapons has been delivered in the beginning, it will take some time before a new supply is necessary.

12. Possible event of war
In case Switzerland is occupied, the weapons and the ammunition have been distributed, the population has been trained and the defence organised, this should be accepted without resistance. The only points where resistance and battles may occur are the passes into the mountain region. The rest has to be left to the opponent non-destroyed, if possible.
In this presupposed scenario, sections of the regular army with all of their materials, weapons and ammunition have retreated into the mountain region. For defending the mountain region only a small section is necessary and has to be kept armed. The rest is being released with weapons and ammunition. These so called civilians are now able to enlist in the resistance army and can take part in the battle.
Just as in Kosovo and in other similar wars, does this procedure only last a few days until the opponent is ready.
According to the individual situation, the war is opened mutually or if this is not possible it is started immediately individually. If the fight starts at one point, one can count on the fact that fights will spread shortly all over the country. Co-ordinates are unnecessary between cities and villages. In such a war, where finally the whole population can attack the opponent, one can count on many and long fights.

13. Principles




Under no circumstance must the population leave their region.




The whole population must be looked upon as an armed unity.




It operates independently and does not obey a leadership.




The only co-ordination is triggering the war actions.




The organisation of the villages and cities must be sufficiently prepared, so that the fighting order can be carried out even without the local leadership.




Military leadership and civilian leadership must co-ordinate with one another.




The final aim is the driving out of the opponent.

14. Rules for combat methods




There are only two fighting methods: Ambush and attack.




At the short range one must aim for a close encounter with the opponent.




The fight is not restricted by rules.




The opponent is fought with all possible and available means.




The fight is lead with a lot of initiative by the individual.

15. Final thoughts
With my warfare doctrine, it should also be possible to keep the destruction of the country in limits. An opponent is not able to use his air force and artillery effectively. He can only use his tank troop and mechanised infantry.
The traditional foot infantry does no longer exist anywhere. When cleaning out the villages, he will discover quickly that he does not have enough soldiers. He will be unable to locate the opponent.
There is no limit to the fantasy and creativity during warfare. The aim of our new army is the preservation of freedom in Switzerland and its independence.

© Ernst Frieden, Langnau am Albis, July 2003