Wartime challenges not related to "winning"

  • guarding, processing, transporting and supporting prisoners of war
  • managing refugee traffic on roads
  • marking buildings (with red crosses etc), visible not only in visual spectrum but also on imaging infrared and radar imagery - and communicating the locations to the opposing forces
  • transporting, processing, housing and generally supporting refugees
  • repair of electrical networks and powerplants
  • repair of railway signals and actual rail networks
  • repair or replacement of bridges
  • salvaging ships and boats that were sunk or grounded in ports, in rivers, in canals and generally in maritime traffic lanes
  • clearing of minefields and unexploded ordnance in general (and confirming that suspected areas are safe)
  • rearranging trade (natural gas supply, food products, electrical power trade and direction etc.)
  • evacuating nationals from countries that suddenly became too risky (because more or less allied with the "enemy")
  • emptying or disabling gas stations in our "rear area" to deprive hostile raiding and deep reconnaissance forces of free fuel supply
  • inspecting possibly sabotaged infrastructure and fuel stocks
...and many more. The above list as what I came up with at the speed of my typing (6 finger system).

I have a hunch that we aren't really prepared for all of the above, that we neglected these things albeit no doubt the German Bundeswehr, Rotes Kreuz and THW have some obscure and likely not up-to-dated plans to do at least some of these things.



  1. In Finland goverment, local authoroties and companies are demanded by the readiness law to prepare operating under large disasters and war situation. The plans are regularly updated and inspected by goverment officials and joint training and exercises are held. The law covers all that you listed that fall under civilian authoroties and the rest would be up to the FDF to handle.

    You can try translatin this through google https://fi.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valmiuslaki

    1. ... and the Bundeswehr is required to defend Germany and NATO, while the THW has many disaster response jobs.

      The question is whether preparations are really thorough - and more importantly, are enough people aware of the challenges?

      There were no sanctions for poor preparations for 70+ years in a row. Imagine a company having offered one specific service for 70 years in a row and nobody ever bought it. Would they really be ready to meet the standing promise of providing that services within 12 hrs of an order?
      I suppose that's not how it works. It would not be human.

    2. An analogy:

      I was thoroughly unimpressed by the taxiway/runway repair preparations on a certain airbase. Every officer knew that taxiways and runways might be bombed and would need quick repair, and there were some preparations (decades old) - but the ability to actually repair the taxiways and runways in a timely fashion was nonexistent.

      In fact, they didn't even only possess any accurate map of the concrete lab surfaces, being unaware of what sizes of concrete slabs are there at all.

      Hint: The stored replacement concrete slabs did not fit all that well and there were almost no tool for cutting them.

      Such is the outcome of people not being serious about preparing for bad contingencies, but rather paying lip service to "readiness".
      BTW, that wing got a lot of "excellent" marks at the NATO TACEVAL.

      And that's but one of many stories, some were brazenly Potemkin village-style!