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Field manuals or practical experience: A KLA instructor training a group of soldiers


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On Field Manuals

By on October 14, 2017

If you are in a regular army, you follow the field manuals: that’s why they were written.
Field manuals are usually used in training. The officers or non commissioned officers (NCOs) are reading them and base their training on the content of these field manuals.
If they would do otherwise, they…

KLA soldiers during wartime training


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Basic Infantry Training During Wartime

By on April 22, 2017

Give them a gun, quickly teach them how to use it and then send them into battle: that’s what we did with new soldiers in Kosovo.
Sometimes we got new and untrained volunteers and as there was a lot of fighting going on, we simply didn’t always have sufficient time…

No boot camp: German infantry recruits during basic training. A realistic training scenario helps the new soldiers to understand their mission and what is expected of them.


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The Logic Behind Boot Camps

By on March 8, 2017

Boot camps do one thing: they exert psychological pressure on the recruits to see if and how they cope with it.
Lack of sleep, stringent discipline, the yelling and physical exercises, all combined raise a recruit’s stress levels.
It is often said that the mental pressure that recruits experience in boot…


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Hard Training vs. Smart Training

By on January 2, 2017

The sole purpose of physically and mentally “tough” military training is that the soldiers become familiar with their own limits. The moment this goal is reached there is really no point in pushing it any further.

Extremely tired and exhausted soldiers don’t learn anything!

Physically demanding exercises always should be based…

Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers during a break in Battle, Credits: The author ​


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Combat Experience vs Military Training

By on December 19, 2016

Military training includes learning from the experiences of others.  Still, there are things that no training can teach you:

Situation awareness. In combat the situation is often chaotic and overwhelming. People shouting and screaming, bullets and shells are flying and 100 of things happen in a moment.  The experienced soldier…

Photo: Commandos of the 10th Iraqi Army Division training with a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, US Army


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Why is it so difficult to teach the Iraqi Army something useful?

By on November 21, 2016

Somehow it seems that they just don’t get it.

Are the Iraqi soldiers bad fighters or do the problems lie somewhere else? Why do Western armies have so many difficulties and often fail when it comes to training foreign militaries?

Here are some observations in regard to the Iraqi armed forces…

One of the hardest boot camps: USMC Camp Pendleton


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The hardest boot camp

By on November 16, 2016

This is a list of military boot camps which I consider the hardest. Every soldier who went through such a camp knows that the real problem is not the physical part, but not to surrender.

Instructors try to “break” you through sleep deprivation and a lot of psychological pressure. Therefore,…

Roland Bartetzko
Prishtinë, Kosovë

This blog was created by Roland Bartetzko with the help and support of his friends. Bartetzko served in the German Army, the Croatian Defense Council (HVO) during the Bosnian War and with the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) during the 1999 Kosovo War. Last year he published a study about radical Islam in Kosovo. Bartetzko has a university degree in law and is currently working for a law firm in Pristina, Kosovo. The aim of this blog is to show the wide range of aspects which are all named "unconventional warfare" and show them from different angles and perspectives. A person interested in learning about counterinsurgency might get new insights if he or she is reading about the insurgent's point of view. And persons who are worried that their country might be overrun one day by a bigger and stronger neighbor will find some useful advice how to prepare themselves. This site is for everybody who is interested in the matter and we therefore try to avoid special military terms which might not be easily understandable for a civilian. Thus said, we are far from perfect. To make this website special we need your help! If you have a comment, a suggestion or if you want to contribute with an article or post, don't hesitate and contact us!

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    • Two Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers during a break in battle. Ashlan village, Kosovo, 1999.
    • Two soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) preparing an improvised meal on the frontline, 1999
    • French Foreign Legion paratroopers at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, 1954. The first paras of the Legion were the German veterans of Crete and Monte Cassino.
    • USMC soldier with rifle grenade

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    “The only thing harder than to get a new idea into the military mind is to get an old one out." -B.H. Liddell Hart, military theorist-