The Importance of Squire or Arms Bearer for the Modern Infantry


Do you think introducing the squire to modern military units is a good idea?

  • Yes, I like it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, squires or arms bearers are an unnecessary complexity

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • Unsure, it could be good

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Unsure, it could be a waste of manpower

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

Ryz05

Junior Member
During the age of knights, squires existed to help the knight carry his load, besides taking care of his equipment and other chores. Later, the warrior becomes just a man with a gun, and the squire was no longer needed. In the modern army, the soldier is faced with ever greater complexity, with the need to carry weights that range from sixty to 120 pounds for up to three days. This greatly reduces his mobility and ability to fight. The US army is coming up with robotic carriers, though a simpler and cheaper solution is to use specialized men to act as modern day squires or arms bearers. Like the medical corps that were integrated into the military after the American Civil War, the squire could be introduced as a people who:
  • carry equipment
  • guard prisoners
  • maintaining and replacing lost or damaged equipment
  • fix gears, trucks and vehicles
  • booster soldier morale and ensure his safety outside of combat
  • communicate with other units to reduce friendly fire incidents
This reduces the stress of the soldier, ensure unit cohesion, raise performance, and lessen non-combat related losses.

What are your thoughts or opinions? Thank you for reading.

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Last edited:

vesicles

Colonel
These arms bearers would need military training as well. In fact, they need the same level of training as soldiers since they need to stay alive on the battlefield in order to be effective. then you are simply adding more men to your unit and they share the load...

Ancient Knights need squires because they were noble men and needed servants to function. Most of them didn't even know how to put their clothes on by themselves...

  • carry equipment
  • guard prisoners
  • maintaining and replacing lost or damaged equipment
  • fix gears, trucks and vehicles
  • booster soldier morale and ensure his safety outside of combat
  • communicate with other units to reduce friendly fire incidents
These jobs have been done by different units now... Like army engineers, doctors, MPs, etc...
 
Last edited:

solarz

Brigadier
Squires were "apprentice knights". They may have been useful in battle, but their real purpose was to become knights themselves. That's why they had this 1-on-1 working relationship with their knight, which would be entirely unnecessary if their entire purpose was to just carry stuff into battle.

Knights were part of the warrior caste. Squires and squire-like functions exist to perpetuate this caste. When a society no longer needs a warrior caste, the squire role became obsolete as well.
 

Ryz05

Junior Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
You guys can think of squires as porters for the military, instead of anything having to do with class or who's-the-boss. The modern soldier needs to carry 60 to 120 pounds (30-60kg) for up to 72 hours. For comparison, a full suit of body armor worn by medieval knights weigh around 55 pounds (30kg) at most. The weight the soldier carries reduces his ability to fight intense battles, so instead of having them carry all that weight, specialized men will carry the load for them. This increases efficiency and fighting capability.
 

solarz

Brigadier
You guys can think of squires as porters for the military, instead of anything having to do with class or who's-the-boss. The modern soldier needs to carry 60 to 120 pounds (30-60kg) for up to 72 hours. For comparison, a full suit of body armor worn by medieval knights weigh around 55 pounds (30kg) at most. The weight the soldier carries reduces his ability to fight intense battles, so instead of having them carry all that weight, specialized men will carry the load for them. This increases efficiency and fighting capability.
And what exactly would those "porters" carry?

Food? Water? Blankets? Each individual on the mission needs their share of those supplies. Should the "porters" be carrying enough of those supplies for 2 or 3 people? How about armor? Do only "fighters" get to wear it, or do you want to protect your porters too?

What's more combat effective: 1 armed person carrying a light load and 1 unarmed person carrying a heavy load who has to follow the armed person everywhere, or just 2 armed people carrying a moderate load?

Which goes back to your original misunderstanding. Squires were not just "porters", they were effective fighters as well. They helped knights prepare for battle and helped maintain equipment, but in battle they were as armed as any other foot soldier.

The military is trying to use robots to carry stuff because they can't get those robots to fight yet. If they could, you can be sure that they would be building soldier robots and not "porter" robots.
 

HeiTaoHua

Just Hatched
Registered Member
well, porters were documented in Ming Dynasty Manualscripts such as this one
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porters were a integral part of the unit as they carry the ranged weapons and melee weapons depending on the situation and was protected by the squad. But in modern combat, a dedicated porter probably ends up being a liability, i thought rifleman in a modern squad already double as ammo/rocket carriers.
 

Jura

General
I noticed this thread.
I'll contribute with two stories (and no conclusion :) by the way I won't vote):

#1 recently I purchased a Czech military-history journal and I was surprised by the number of Hillfswilliger (
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) in the Eastern Front: the article says in Spring of 1942 two hundred thousand from the Soviet territory, officially, and up to one million in the end of that year! (unofficially, because German commanders were not allowed to keep more than 15% Hiwis in their units, but in reality it could be much more than 15%, so the commanders wouldn't report them all, the article says) ... originally they were meant to be just bearers, that's why I mentioned them here ... I mean until I read that article, I had been aware of the existence of such units, but wouldn't have thought there had been so many of them

#2 about a quarter of century ago I read a book about WWOne in Africa and from what I recall, while chasing
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the British had to form incredibly large formations of bearers (because there was no way to obtain supplies in the middle of Africa): the ratio of bearers to soldiers could be like ten to one, because of course the bearers carried most of the supplies for ... themselves, so a marching column would be tens of thousand people ... sorry if it's off topic here :)
 

SampanViking

The Capitalist
Staff member
Super Moderator
VIP Professional
The notion that the common soldiery may require the services of an attendant is obviously ridiculous. This has been and will always remain the domain of the Officer Class.

The Squire has of course evolved into the Batman and usually (although not always) was ones Butler or Valet who naturally follows you in military service.
Sometimes a suitable candidate can be chosen from the ranks, but this is often less than perfect and only really can work during times of conscription.

A good Batman is essential in time of war and can remove much stress and anxiety from a busy field officer. How reassuring it was during the Somme to be able to turn to your Batman, while in the Front Dugout and say "Perkins, we are going over the top in precisely three hours and so I need this Uniform washed and pressed".
But do make sure the chap is not some ignorant bally idiot. Just think of the embarrassment and humiliation, if you invite some German officers to join you in no mans land for a midnight Crater Supper, when you discover the ignoramus has brought the wrong kind of desert cutlery!
 

Ryz05

Junior Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
I noticed this thread.
I'll contribute with two stories (and no conclusion :) by the way I won't vote):

#1 recently I purchased a Czech military-history journal and I was surprised by the number of Hillfswilliger (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) in the Eastern Front: the article says in Spring of 1942 two hundred thousand from the Soviet territory, officially, and up to one million in the end of that year! (unofficially, because German commanders were not allowed to keep more than 15% Hiwis in their units, but in reality it could be much more than 15%, so the commanders wouldn't report them all, the article says) ... originally they were meant to be just bearers, that's why I mentioned them here ... I mean until I read that article, I had been aware of the existence of such units, but wouldn't have thought there had been so many of them

#2 about a quarter of century ago I read a book about WWOne in Africa and from what I recall, while chasing
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

the British had to form incredibly large formations of bearers (because there was no way to obtain supplies in the middle of Africa): the ratio of bearers to soldiers could be like ten to one, because of course the bearers carried most of the supplies for ... themselves, so a marching column would be tens of thousand people ... sorry if it's off topic here :)
Hi, that's very interesting information, thank you.

Considering General Paul von Lettow Vorbeck's guerrilla army has about 2.5 times more porters than combatants, a squad can have thirty-two men, with twenty being porters, and twelve being infantrymen. The porters are also trained soldiers, just that they specialize in managing equipment rather than fighting.
 

Jura

General
Hi, that's very interesting information, thank you.
oh don't mention it :) actually I was surprised this thread was still alive

from my point of view you made an interesting point of calling the German formation
Considering General Paul von Lettow Vorbeck's guerrilla army has about 2.5 times more porters than combatants, a squad can have thirty-two men, with twenty being porters, and twelve being infantrymen. The porters are also trained soldiers, just that they specialize in managing equipment rather than fighting.
and in the first moment I wanted to stood up for them LOL as they were 'regulars', not 'guerrillas' (for example the end of WWOne applied to them, I mean the armistice ... it would've been different if they had been declared Illegal Combatants if you know what I'm saying) but you probably meant they way how they preferred to fight, right?
 

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