For one alternate half-fantastical daydream war scenario I’d created (that I may or may not be simming further), I had one fictional country’s interior ministry forces fight harder and better than their regular army did. This despite them not being really designed for conventional war at all and having nothing heavier than box-APCs and crew-served weapons. Part of it was good mountainous terrain that played to the strengths of lighter forces (like them, particularly their commando units) while weakening heavier ones (like the attackers). But then it got me thinking to other parts.
- Being all-volunteer (even if only for pay) compared to the mostly draftee military.
- Being a sort of counterbalance to the regular army that put them on alert. (This is why they’d have antitank weapons and training, for instance…)
- Finally and more crucially, being tied to the regime rather than the country. This meant they had more to lose in the event of a defeat.