TDG 8 Recap and Analysis

TDG 8: Retrans Raid presents us with a classic guerrilla warfare scenario. We have a rear echelon enemy position, isolated and lightly defended, that we can attack at our discretion. At the same time we are under-equipped, short on ammunition, and likely outnumbered. We can still accomplish our mission as long as we play our hand carefully.


There are two ways to achieve surprise: speed and stealth. As guerrillas, we already have significant advantages when it comes to our stealth, so we should exploit that. At the same time, we do not have the ammunition to expend on a long drawn-out gunfight, so we should neutralize the enemy as quickly as possible.

Essentially this boils down to infiltrating as closely as possible, and then taking out the enemy quickly from close quarters. Reader “poppaalan” had this to say: “Weapons free only as a last resort. Use blades, garrottes, whatever. Just as long as it’s silent.” It makes sense to take out the enemy without gunfire if possible, as this further conserves our precious ammo and reduces the chance of the enemy calling for help.

The Mortars

On top of everything else, we have a possible mortar threat on our hands. Our intel is shoddy and unconfirmed, since all we have is our cousin’s report that he thought he saw them about 5km NW of our objective.

The question we must ask ourselves is this; If the mortars are indeed there, are they a threat to us? Reader “Ghostmann” commented: “[T]he first thing I’m going to do is assume there are mortars there because that would be the biggest threat. So we’re going in close. Dangerous, but it would eliminate any mortar fire on us because they risk killing their own guys, a la danger close.” This technique was actually employed by the Chechen rebels, they called it “hugging the enemy.”

Additionally, just because there are mortars and you are in range does not mean that they can strike you. Like any indirect fire weapon, they require a trained spotter with a radio to call in the fire mission. If we were attacking an infantry unit, we may assume that they have trained observers with them. But we’re attacking a support unit of communications soldiers with outdated vehicles. The odds of them having someone skilled enough to call for fire on us are very, very slim. The odds that they could get a danger close fire mission (within 600m) approved is pretty much zero, because those fire missions require a higher level of approval.

All this to say that the possible mortar position is more or less irrelevant, as it is most likely not a threat to us. No observer calling for the fire mission = no fire mission. The biggest threat they pose is if unseen observers in the hills spot us leaving the site and call for fire on us. It would be wise to use as much stealth leaving as we did infiltrating to avoid this.

The Aftermath

Once we’ve killed all the enemy soldiers on the objective, the next question is what to do with their stuff. Obviously we will try to capture as many weapons and as much ammunition as we can, since we need it. The radios we may either capture or destroy. The vehicles are out of the question for capture, as they’d be impossible to hide, so they should be incapacitated in some way.

Reader “popaalan” had an interesting idea. He chose to load all the bodies and equipment that we cannot capture into the BRDMs and sink them in a local pond/river, or otherwise get rid of them. His was a psychological angle.

“Nothing is more frightening than people just vanishing.”, he said. “This should demoralize their replacements, and possibly have them take troops off the front line and chase ghosts in the hills.”

Part of the mission of a guerrilla is to demoralize his enemy. Any time we have an opportunity to lower the enemy’s morale, we should take it. Low morale translates to lower combat effectiveness. It also helps the guerrilla on the political level when the enemy’s own war correspondents tour the front lines and interview a dozen depressed, scared boys who just want to go home. The sooner we eliminate the enemy’s will to fight, the sooner he leaves.


When fighting as guerrillas against a better equipped adversary, we will never have all the equipment or manpower that we want. This does not mean that we cannot hurt the enemy, just that we must be careful with how we do so. We strike at vulnerable rear areas and isolated pockets of troops. We always attack where the enemy is weak and never where he is strong. We use stealth and our knowledge of the terrain to achieve surprise, and we must be keenly aware of our enemy’s capabilities and limitations so that we can exploit them.

Finally, we wear him down mentally as well as materially, until he packs up and leaves us alone. We do not need decisive military victories, we only need to bleed him constantly and outlast his resolve with our own. It worked for the Viet Cong in the 1970s, the Chechens in the 1990s, and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at

2 thoughts on “TDG 8 Recap and Analysis

  1. we live in an easily defendable area, one road in across a river with a bridge and high ground a hundred yds beyond it, deep woods for miles around us. our motto is don’t start no shit and lay low,,, unless- then, we’ll be ready. we have a small very tight self sufficient community, all family, we know this area like the back of our hands and we all are on the same page. we don’t or won’t attract attention to our families or homes. to go looking for trouble is to find it.


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