Military Review

Not serious about serious: "Murphy's Laws about War"

Not serious about serious: "Murphy's Laws about War"Armed forces are one of the key elements of any state. At the same time, it is a very important social institution of society, which in one way or another covers almost every person, every family, every team. Someone served or served himself, someone is a member of the family of a soldier, someone will serve (sometimes voluntarily, and sometimes - and without special desire). But the whole society worries about its soldiers, shedding blood where they were sent by the government. Many state, public, educational and medical institutions "work" for the armed forces. The whole sphere of the economy is called the military-industrial complex. Science "serves" the needs of the military in new technologies.

In any society, there is what in the United States is called "military culture" or "military environment", which is understood as the socio-cultural environment in which people in military uniform and all those who are closely associated with them live and serve or work.

This environment has its own principles and norms of relationships, its own language and jargon, its own customs and traditions, its own incomparable humor. So, to any fighter from the composition of the “green berets” forces there are three humorous rules of special forces: “First of all, always look cool; secondly, always know where you are; thirdly, if you cannot remember where you are, try to at least look cool. ”

One can hardly know and understand the military environment from reference books or military regulations. Army humor is most often oral creativity, which is not always recorded in print.

What does all this have to do with the development of military theory in the modern United States?

New ideas and concepts are born in the heads of people - colonels and majors, generals and rank and file, civilian professors and military experts who live and create in the military environment, communicate and exchange opinions with each other, get exactly their inspiration in it.

But no matter how deep and serious the creative delights of military geniuses and prophets, they cannot do without army humor. There are sometimes more thoughts in a catch phrase or aphorism than in a thick battle statute ...

Many of these thoughts were included in the so-called unwritten code of “Murphy's Laws on War”. Most of these “laws” are universal, acting not only in the US armed forces, but also in other armies and other countries. This once again confirms the idea that regardless of the socio-political system, the degree of economic development of the country, the army is everywhere an army. In any military system, somewhere as a joke, but somewhere seriously, they are traditionally scolded by commissaries, they are unflattering about generals and do not believe in the talents and abilities of their own command. There are a lot of “Murphy's laws” about war, but perhaps the most striking of them are the following:

· If there is nothing around you but the enemy, you are at war.

· When you have achieved superiority in the air - do not forget to notify the enemy.

· If something seems nonsense, but it works, then it is not nonsense.

· Stay out of the way - it attracts fire.

· If our attack goes like clockwork, then this is an ambush.

· No combat plan can withstand the first combat encounter.

· Parts with combat experience, as a rule, do not pass inspection.

· Successfully passed inspection parts, as a rule, lose the battle.

· If the enemy is within reach of your fire, then you are also in his fire zone.

· The distracting actions of the enemy, which you ignore, is precisely his main attack.

· Whatever you do can lead you to death, including not doing anything.

· Professional is predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

· Try not to look important; the enemy may have a shortage of ammunition and he will not spend a bullet on you.

· The enemy always attacks in two cases: when he is ready and when you are not ready.

· The 5 seconds fuse always explodes through 3.

· Important things are always simple, and simple things are always hard to understand.

· The easy way is always mined.

· Actions in a group are necessary: ​​they substitute others as targets for the enemy.

· More precisely, the fire of the enemy can only be their own fire.

· Parts that must work together cannot be delivered to the front together.

· The radio station fails when you need fire support.

· Radar usually fails at night or in poor visibility conditions, but especially at night in bad weather.

· Military intelligence is a contradictory phrase.

· The weather is never neutral.

· The motto of the air defense: shoot them all down, and sort your own and the enemy on the ground.

· Mines are weapon equal opportunity.

· The B-52 strategic bomber is the ultimate weapon of immediate support.

· What you need right now is missing.

· When you don’t know what to do, empty the whole rifle magazine.

· The battle always takes place on the terrain between two adjacent sheets of the map.

· If you are able to keep your head in a situation where everyone around them has lost their heads, you are likely to misjudge the situation.

· If you have lost contact with your opponent, look back.

· There is nothing worse in a combat zone than an officer with a map.

· The clothing service has only two sizes: very small and very large.

· There is no greater buzz when someone shoots you, but misses.

Are Murphy's “laws” abstract with reference to the military sphere?

After the end of hostilities in Iraq in 2003, some of the combat and reporting documents of the American command, which once again confirmed the depth of army humor, became public.

28 November 2003, the Associated Press published an article entitled “The whole situation turned into utter chaos ...”. It stated that the rear support system of the American 3 Infantry Division, both during and after the hostilities, could not function normally. So, the division was brought into battle in conditions when it had incomplete ammunition. The combat units did not receive the requested ammunition either during the operation, which lasted 21 day, or after it. Applications for the replenishment of ammunition stocks passed all instances, were approved by the command, but not executed.

A similar situation prevailed in the 3rd Infantry Division and with spare parts for armored vehicles. Within a month after the end of the military operation, the rear services of the division could not provide the necessary spare parts for tanks Abrams and the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Commenting on this, V. O'Reilly writes: “The fact that the richest and most powerful country in the world cannot provide its combat units properly, despite the presence of its bases in friendly neighboring countries, is more than a shame. This is a charge of indifference and incompetence. It deserves the most serious military punishment. But those who were responsible for this were promoted ... ”.

Murphy's principles of logistical support worked ...

The experience of the war in Iraq once again convinced the American command of the correctness of the “Murphy laws” that the enemy should not be underestimated. In this regard, for example, in a report to the US Congress, V. O'Reilly writes:

“Despite the unprecedented number of electronic intelligence devices, the ability to achieve tactical surprise is not too different from what it was two centuries ago. Enemies still jump out of the bushes or because of the rocks ... Our enemies are not only resourceful, but also, apparently, are learning and adapting to new realities much faster than us. This becomes all the more obvious at the tactical level.

Our opponents, in general, are not fools. In close combat, especially in small groups, they retain the ability to attack from ambushes, act suddenly, kill and maim, and generally do something unexpected. ”

The famous maxim that the phrase "military intelligence" itself contains a contradiction, was also confirmed during the war in Iraq. “You spent so much and got so little,” one of the Israeli generals said of the successes of American intelligence. According to V. Oureili, the United States "spends more on exploration than the gross national product of many countries in the world." The exact cost figures for these goals are secret, but even by understated American estimates, they are at least 35 billion. For all that, according to O'Reilly, "Iraq-II can hardly be considered a success of intelligence."

As an analogy, he cites an old English joke about a priest, who stopped for the night at his friend's house. For breakfast, the owner gave the priest a rotten egg and wondered if it was cooked well. The well-educated priest replied, "Well in some places." That’s how, according to the American specialist, it is possible to characterize the success of intelligence activities on the eve and during the military operation in the Persian Gulf. “Iraq,” O'Reilly notes, “is the place where we should not have had any problems with intelligence. But we had them. Ironically, but Iraq, like no other place in the world, we could and should have known from the intelligence point of view like our own five fingers before the invasion. ”

PS In my opinion, the Russian saying perfectly fits: "make a fool to pray to God - he will break his forehead."
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  1. Black Colonel
    Black Colonel 15 August 2012 19: 08
    Everything is in order with humor!
  2. sso-xnumx
    sso-xnumx 18 February 2013 14: 22
    Mmm ... Yeah ... Everything that can break will break, everything that cannot break will break too!
  3. alik92
    alik92 18 July 2013 05: 16
    The fact that the richest and most powerful power in the world cannot provide its military units properly, despite the presence of its bases in friendly neighboring countries, is more than a shame.

    Indeed, to put it mildly, it’s not impressive, with such capabilities as the States ...