Question for military minds:Goosestepping, to what end?


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geegee
December 27, 2002, 01:15 AM
I'm watching the news tonight, and it occurs to me that the only armies (to my knowledge) that choose to "goosestep" are those that serve tyrannical, totalitarian regimes. I would think (in my non-military mind) that if I were part of a new regime, that I would try to get the ear of the new Exalted Leader and tell him "Uh, Your Greatness, if we continue to use the goosestep for all our troops, everyone in the world will know, I mean suspect that we're gonna be seen around the globe as a real threat to world peace. What say that purely just for image sake, we do away with it?"

Has this ever come up in a military college? Why do these folks persist, when so many countries not so interested in global enslavement and total annihilation of the West, decide to pass on it? It's not like I think that these armies should march like Bill Murray's recruits in the movie "Stripes" ("...that's the fact, Jack! ), but there must be a compromise somewhere! geegee

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Blackhawk
December 27, 2002, 01:24 AM
It's a parade step. Each soldier can see and hear the cadence of those around him so it's easy to stay in step regardles of the noise and distractions.

It's highly impractical for troop movement because it's also exhausting.

Preacherman
December 27, 2002, 01:30 AM
They call it the goose-step because it gives the spectators a gander at it... :D

rock jock
December 27, 2002, 01:31 AM
Preacherman,

Don't give up the day pulpit.

geegee
December 27, 2002, 01:40 AM
Blackhawk:It's a parade step.

Ok, but in whose parade? Not for the governments that want freedom for it's citizenry-always seems to be for the despot, tin horn dictators. That's what I don't understand. :confused: And I have to admit, it does look exhausting! geegee

Blackhawk
December 27, 2002, 01:54 AM
Now you're asking for what goes on in the minds of tyranical despotic government leaders. Can't help you there, but:

There's a tremendous feeling of belonging, teamwork, and power when marching in step and making tightly synchronized noise. About the only time Americans and similar marching style military units experience that is when double timing through tunnels or places with echo type acoustics.

Goosestepping has the same effect on the troops. It builds their confidence and cohesion because it is hard to do, noisy, and gratifying when perfectly executed. For the reviewers or audience, it's like watching a precision drill team and elicits pride in the civilians and the cadre. IOW, it helps breed and feed fanaticism, and it's cheap.

Americans simply say "You want me to walk like that? Take a hike, jerk!" and maybe even outloud, but they won't "learn" it. Americans are a lot like cats. You can get them to do anything they want to do, but otherwise? Fuhgeddaboudit....

Hkmp5sd
December 27, 2002, 03:56 AM
Don't know about the other branches, but while in the USN bootcamp, we were lucky to be in a relatively straight line with 75% leading off with the correct foot. Luckily, marching was not a high priority on submarines.:)

Kamicosmos
December 27, 2002, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by Blackhawk
Americans are a lot like cats. You can get them to do anything they want to do, but otherwise? Fuhgeddaboudit....

I am so stealing this line! That's great.

No input from me on goose stepping...I had trouble staying in step in Marching Band!

Kamicosmos

geekay
December 27, 2002, 07:28 AM
It is mainly used by elite troops; pretorian guard type, and is the visual evidence of the very high standard of self-discipline required of and practiced by the officers and men involved. Almost never used by the general body of troops except in Germany in the late '30s at special rallies.

BigG
December 27, 2002, 09:21 AM
A guy who was a career officer in the US Army and studied at the war college said it was invented by Napoleon as the best way to march his troops across country. Can't prove by me.

RustyHammer
December 27, 2002, 09:31 AM
A poultry attempt at humor, aye, Preach? :D

Lennyjoe
December 27, 2002, 09:48 AM
Marching? Formation? Whats that?;)

Prodigalshooter
December 27, 2002, 10:09 AM
Saw some footage of the North Koreans doing some very painful looking high-stepping the other day. They were shaking all over with the force of their stamping, looked to be very exhusting.
I agree it probably has some unifying effect, but it's not surprising that so few militaries use it anymore, it does seem a little, dated.:rolleyes: But I'd rather see them practice marching than swarming into S. Korea!

Bahadur
December 27, 2002, 04:05 PM
A relic from an era when a tightly packed (preferably well-disciplined) infantry column moving in accordance with a cadence was the offensive weapon par excellence of the day. Though obsolete for a long time, the invention of repeating rifles and (finally) machineguns put the practice to the rest except in parade grounds of those societies that sought to "reach back" into the elan of the olden days...

It has little to do with totalitarian regimes, though it came to be associated with such during the early part of the 20th Century.

HS/LD
December 27, 2002, 04:08 PM
Just remember those who Goose-step will be those who are made to Duck-walk.

HS/LD

MicroBalrog
December 27, 2002, 04:14 PM
They've told me that goose-stepping does build up both physical an psychological endurance and AFAIK was still used in the 1980's in Russian VDV training.

Blackhawk
December 27, 2002, 04:52 PM
Didn't the Soviet Army parade detail always goose step in the May Day parades?

Seminole
December 27, 2002, 04:59 PM
And why is it called the "goosestep" anyway? Geese couldn't actually accomplish anything remotely resembling that gait, could they?

Blackhawk
December 27, 2002, 05:06 PM
It goes back to 1806, so maybe geese appeared to walk that way because their legs were mostly hidden by feathers making them look like they walked stiff legged.

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