Say hypothetically I was on an island and had around 10,000 soldiers that I wanted to send to invade the evil city of Podunkia, on a peninsula about 1,200 miles away. Until now everyone’s been pretty easy-going, maybe at threat level yellow, but this afternoon I decide to go to war and invade as soon as possible. How long would it take before my soldiers were meeting the CNN camera crew as they stormed the beachhead?
Okay then, I’ll change the question.
Say I have a regiment and all of a sudden I’m about to go to war so I need to “mobilize” 'em. Get them to the bases, dressed up, give them weapons, and put them on airplanes or those littles boats they have sometimes for beach invasions. How long?
It depends on far too many things to possibly provide anything like an answer.
If you’re well organized, and your troops are well trained, 24 hours. If you have to start moving tanks, 48.
And if I’m to be using ships?
I don’t know how long it takes to prep ships; the 24 hours is to get the troops on their vehicles and ready to move out - the vehicles can be trucks, APCs, helicopters or boats. Tanks and other heavy equiptment takes longer because of technical issues, and because they have to load up on flatbead trucks to reach the front.
BTW, I’m basing all this on Israeli Army experience. The last time this was tested (April 2002), 25,000 reservists were called from their homes with no prior notice, and were ready for combat within a day.
I’d guess several days, if not weeks for the ships. Loading the troops is one thing, but rounding up enough ships to carry all the vehicles and other stuff that would go with even a “leg infantry” regiment would take a while. And then you’d probably have to get an escort group together.