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Old 11-15-2015, 09:45 AM   #31
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
They are devoting around 20% of the troops that enter the city to military police duties
I haven't seen numbers in the thread, but from my pitifully few data points, I'd say this is quite generous.

George Washington formed the first US military police force, known as the "Merechaussee Corps", formalizing the process of taking soldiers from combat units into permanent units for the purpose, taking "of every Brigade Four Men". That would be roughly 0.2% of the combat forces. (Though unit sizes weren't very standardized then, and you could find "corps" smaller than other "regiments". I'm assuming an intended org chart of 4x 500-man regiments per brigade.)

I counted 86 MP companies in the active component of the modern US Army, which is around 2.5% of the active force. (There are more MPs in the National Guard, along with more combat troops; I didn't try to count them as well.)

Police numbers across the US range from about 1.8% to 2.5% of the population.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:46 AM   #32
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
How many in an Average Troop Quality unit of TL 2-4 soldiers will seize upon a chance to rob, rape or murder one or more civilians during an assault on a city that was held by the enemy?
During the assault, in the calm after its success, or once command has been re-established? Those are likely to be different, I suspect.

Let's consider looting first, because troops who don't loot are unlikely to commit any other crimes.

During the assault, only the undisciplined will be diverted by the prospect of loot, because leaving loot around as a distraction is the kind of thing desperate defenders are reputed to do as a means of staging ambushes. However, if the loot is good, and also easy to carry - hard cash, hard liquor, and the like - it will be very tempting.

Once the battle is won, almost any troops will take loot that is lying around, and doesn't have to be actively taken from its owners. Units that had a hard fight and significant casualties are more likely to actively rob, because they feel they deserve recompense. At a rough guess, 20% of troops will actively rob.

Once command has been re-established, and the lying-around loot is all gone, robbery will be confined to the actual criminally minded soldiers, who I'd reckon would be about 5%.

Rapists will be a fraction of the robbers; murderers might well be more common than rapists, simply because confrontations over robbery can turn violent fairly easily.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:04 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

I think a key point in this situation is that the city surrendered with relatively little fighting. From what you said, it seems like the port was taken and a counter attack was repulsed, but the PC army marched into the city proper only after it surrendered. If your setting has the same "rules of war" as most of the historical ancient and medieval world, then that would mean there would have been very little in the form of atrocities like rampent murder, looting, and rape. An army marching into a city in good order and occupying it can be controlled (even in the ancient world) as long as the command structure is maintained and soldiers are not simply turned loose.

I would say in this situation you can expect rates of murder, rape, and looting from the PC army commensurate with the normal rates of those crimes committed by the various troop types of the PC army when they are in friendly or neutral territory. As the GM, those rates are up to you because they depend on the specific societies in your game world (there is no one, correct historical rate of such things). Because the PCs in charge of the army are actively trying to reduce these crimes, I would make Influence rolls for the various groups within the army (probably against leadership for the PC commander, with complimentary skill rolls against administration, psychology (applied), etc). And then reduce the rates of these crimes by 5% on a success, ruduced by a further 5% per MOS (and vice versa on a failed roll).

As for what the baseline rates shoud be, as a rule of thumb I would say that for irregular and levy troop types, use twice the rates for that troop type's civlian population of origin (this is not scientific, I don't think any scientific statistics exist for this sort of thing, it simply represents that local populations didn't like having their own armies of this type around so there probably was a significant increase in bad behavior due to their presence). For professional, disciplined troops, I would be the base rate as the same as their civilian population of origin. For pirates I would say at least triple the rates, maybe more. I would say the same for Fanatics and the intolerant, but only against the groups that they oppose.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:43 PM   #34
Pomphis
 
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Police numbers across the US range from about 1.8% to 2.5% of the population.
Are you sure ? I believe western countries are more like 1:400, that is about 0.25%.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:49 PM   #35
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
. . . I'm trying to find ballpark figures for TL2 to TL4 wars. And historians at that time rarely recorded facts about the incidence of rape or murders contrary to official policy.
This covers a lot of ground. Armies of the Thirty Years War [1618-48] were known to be pretty savage in terms of atrocities -- their foes were of the Wrong Religion so torture, murder and other crimes seemed to make God happy. (In the eyes of the atrocity-committers, I should note.)

Two generations later such atrocities were frowned upon in intra-European wars. (They did happen but were against orders and punishable.) In the eighteenth century most wars were for limited objectives -- the gaining of a province or so (see Silesia in the War of the Austrian Succession.) Mass atrocity would not only anger the people you were trying to add to your state but would also cut down on your income. (Killing lots of workers and driving others off does tend to cut down on the GDP.)

That said there were always exceptions. If the defenders of a town refused to surrender under certain conditions (after the creation of a "practicable breach", for example) the common soldiers saw said refusal as justifying the worst possible behavior. See Badajoz, 1812. Even Wellington, known as a pretty fierce disciplinarian, could not restrain his troops from the sack of a friendly (Spanish) town after the French garrison had inflicted incredible casualties on the British assault.

So preventing atrocity depends on several factors, including, but not limited to:

1.) How severe is the punishment for atrocity;

2.) How likely this punishment is (how efficient is the provost marshal & his men {MPs for later ages;})

3.) How much justification the soldiers themselves can find for atrocity (heavy losses, death of a popular commander, lack of pay and food, possibly general anger);

4.) How alike, or different, are the potential victims of atrocity (just like you, or God-cursed blasphemers!)

5.) How important is the maintenance of discipline to the soldiers themselves (if they pride themselves on self-order and discipline vs. various armed mobs -- tell them that mass atrocity is what thugs in uniform do, not the Brigade of Steel).

No one approach is going to guarantee or eliminate atrocity, but an intelligent commander can shift the odds.

Quote:
Very few people truly enjoy war.
There are exceptions. See Patton and Ernst Junger.

Last edited by fredtheobviouspseudonym; 11-15-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:23 PM   #36
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

I thought looting was not just expected or tolerated, but a known reward for victorious armies.

Taking stuff that's "just lying there" is so enticing that we have entrapment laws to stop police from employing it to "create criminals".
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:30 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
...
There are exceptions. See Patton and Ernst Junger.
I would have to qualify the statement to which you replied as, "Few people actively IN war, enjoy it." If few people outside of war enjoyed it, we wouldn't have so damn many.
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:44 PM   #38
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Pomphis View Post
Are you sure ? I believe western countries are more like 1:400, that is about 0.25%.
You're right. I read my sources wrong and slipped a decimal place.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:26 PM   #39
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I thought looting was not just expected or tolerated, but a known reward for victorious armies.

Taking stuff that's "just lying there" is so enticing that we have entrapment laws to stop police from employing it to "create criminals".
It would depend on the rules of a given army. Our army today is to be honest rather prudish about it. Enemy governmental or paragovernmental facilities would seem to be a legitimate target(Easy Company getting drunk on the cellers of Nazi VIPs palaces, Merry and Pippin stealing Saruman's pipeweed, etc, and of course the cliche "my grandfather's luger"). There are several things wrong with looting though. With local civilians leaving them alone is a matter of basic humanitarianism and professionalism. Furthermore, if they are in a conquered country the occupiers have made what amounts to a treaty with the populace to treat them as human beings if they give no resistance. Looting the populace is therefore dishonorable aside from being likely to provoke partisan resistance whereas looting designated targets is different.

Another objection to permitting looting is that it distracts from campaign. For instance a rigorous pursuit may be made impossible if to many troops are bled off by opportunity to loot.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:29 PM   #40
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I haven't seen numbers in the thread, but from my pitifully few data points, I'd say this is quite generous.

George Washington formed the first US military police force, known as the "Merechaussee Corps", formalizing the process of taking soldiers from combat units into permanent units for the purpose, taking "of every Brigade Four Men". That would be roughly 0.2% of the combat forces. (Though unit sizes weren't very standardized then, and you could find "corps" smaller than other "regiments". I'm assuming an intended org chart of 4x 500-man regiments per brigade.)

I counted 86 MP companies in the active component of the modern US Army, which is around 2.5% of the active force. (There are more MPs in the National Guard, along with more combat troops; I didn't try to count them as well.)

Police numbers across the US range from about 1.8% to 2.5% of the population.
Like most civil wars the American Revolution was analogical to an election in it's dependence on public opinion. Even given that Washington was not inclined that way it was good policy.
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