Discussion in 'History' started by jay dogg, Dec 21, 2004.
Maybe during guerilla warfare but not on the battlefield.
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who cares about a battlefield, many of the major battles of WW1 and WW2 could have been avoided by using a small guerilla squad, i saw a movie about this sort of thing once(thin red line?), a 5 man squad left 2 hours before their unit was set to deploy, and destroyed an entire artillery division, in the same battle the day before hundreds died trying to use mass force
Can you occupy a foreign territory with guerilla squads?
Presumably you think Rambo is realistic.
No. If you were in the UK, I would invite you to visit some period reenactments. Anyone trying to do that would find themselves facing several blokes armed with weapons, who would then kill you. Bear in mind that the powder used until they invnted smokeless powder (I think it was guncotton) left a huge cloud of white choking smoke drifting across the battlefield. In a castle in scotland is an interesting defensive feature, a covered, half barrel shaped construction in the moat of the castle, with shot holes in the side, so that anyone trying to get into the moat could bemown down by defenders within it. The problem is that in use it would quickly fill up with smoke, thus rendering the defenders helpless.
Uumm, not quite. They did use small guerrilla squads for wire cutting, scouting etc, but even in wars based more upon mobility eg WW2, or the Boer war, small scouting parties didnt win battles or wars, and I would like to see a 5 man squad destroy an artillery division. do you know how many men and guns are in a division? Mind you, perhaps you should also read up on the german squads who caused havoc during the battle of the Bulge in winter 1944. They were successful for a bit, but such groups need special training, equipment and information, and thus are expensive, elite and inflexible.
vslayer is hilarious, he musta seen rambo 3, cause in that, Rambo took out a whole soviet battalion, not quite a divison Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! but close enough.
On a side note, I heard somewhere that bows lasted only so many shots (obviously, but i remember it being quite low, for an english longbow anyway), anyone know how many?
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it sure wasnt rambo, rambo is total bullshit, i think the movie was called thin red line, and im not sure if it was an entire division, but the took out about 5 artillery and flamed most of the men there. it rendered the artillery useless meaning that the battalion trying to take that position next morning encountered minimal enemy contact.(btw, only 1 of those 5 survived)
no you cannot occupy a country with guerilla squads, but the main battle occur in trying to take over the country not sitting on your ass in a guard tower
you dont need a lot of special training, those 5 guys that broke thru US "heavy security" in the saudi american consulate needed only a car and a few guns
oand the bow are pretty long lasting, i imagine you are talking about the strings, they stretch after a few uses, but are easily replaced
As a medieval re-enactor (Cue arguments from authority) I have no idea exactly how long a longbow lasted before it became useless. They do show a slow but gradual weakening of force, due to the realigning of the structure of the bow when its strung. That is one reason you shouldnt leave a bow strung, since it will lose its strength faster.
As for the taking out a division of artillery, 5 guns sounds like a company or suchlike, which as you all know is a lot less than a division. Then to do that you need to have a rough idea where the artillery is, and men who are willing to go on a virtual suicide mission, which despite the attempts by various armies over the past century is a very small percentage of the army. Of course, the other thing about the story is that you never have artillery without troops to cover it and armoured cars and stuff.Destroying the artillery may make the position untenable, which would mean the rest would be pulled back, but there is a reason such tactics have been sparingly employed during most wars in the 20th century, which I have outlined above.
Either way, guerrila tactis are useful in a defensive war, not an offensive one, when mobility and firepower are the primary things that matter. this can clearly be seen in just about every war from WW2 onwards. In taking territory, mobility matters. In defending it, guerrila tactics are very useful, assuming you are willing to take the casualties.
Furthermore, it is tricky to draw comparisons between the attacks on the US consulate, since they involved martyrs. Martyrdom is a concept alien to most of the past few hundred years of state on state warfare in "the west". Anyone involved in this kind of thing knows that suicidal attackers are nearly unstoppable.
Suffice to say your apparent infatuation with guerrilla squads is narrow minded.
why wolud only a small percentage of them be willing to go on a 99% suicide mission, after the previous battle seeing many of their comrades get blow to shit and accomplishing no ground, why wolud they not, they know they are going to die soon regardless of how it is done, and they know that a small squad has a better chance than a large one because of stealth. they are going to die anyway, so why not make it safe for your friends by doing so??
Casualty rates are not always that high during battle. Even during D-day high casualties only occurred amongst the troops during the first landing waves. The chances of survival are therefore much better during normal warfare for the average private.
In my opinion.
but who is the average private? the guys in the first wave would have been shitting themselves praying for a quick and painless death, im sure many of them would gladly have risked a suicide mission with a small group under the cover of night
it seems that it fell out of use.
As stated above the longbow required years of mastery especially as far as the elite malformed bowmen go. The number of longbowmen declined. Law that once stated fathers had to buy their kids between 7 and 14. The environment seemed to change somewhat both politically and technologically. In 1588 firearms were used during the Spanish Armada War.
1595 in Buckinghamshire they converted some archers into calivermen and musketeers. Soon after there was an order for all archers to be converted.
i.e. privy coucil discontinued their use in english forces...
The english were also seemingly becoming more paranoid. Firearms might proove easier to control as far as production and monitoring goes. Guns were kept in locked magazines.
mid 17th century all guns in England were state property and could be seized at any time. Gunsmiths had to provide the name and ammount for all guns sold.
Fast forward 50 or so years in the "NEWWORLD"
Virginia All guns belonged to the colony's arsenal.
1658 everyone had to have a firearm in their house by 1673 citizens that were too poor to purchase a firearm had one purchased for them by the government
In Massachusetts the legislature ordered that indentured servants also had to own firearms with a 6 shilling fine if not armed.
Virginia even required men to carry their guns with them to church.
By the revolution most had never fired a gun often family guns no longer worked. They didn't know enough or have much practicle experience with them..
Trapping was more common for hunting and protection. Only 7% of homes were said to have working firearms.
Ben Franklin secured from the french 25000 Charleville muskets.
Militiamen who did not train as longbowmen like 1 or 2+ centuries earlier may have were said to be pretty poor soildiers. The continental army however if competeing again the british required topline arms.
Although indians and such may have been using bows it seems that bow use among colonist would be much rarer. I dont have information on early bow use after jamestown.
It just wasn't IN.my geuss is....
it has me wonder how effective it would have been against the redcoats
Perhaps you can tell us after you've been in the same situation. The nearest you can get short of going into Iraq is probably to read the diaries, letters and recollections of soldiers from WW1, 2, the Korean and the Vietnam war. I would heartily reccomend that you do so.
The hierarchy in the army means that the private wishes of the individual soldier means nothing. Moreover, if you talk about these kind of mission under cover of the night we are talking about special forces, which need special training and are highly selective about who they train. That is because not everybody seems to be suited for this kind of work.
Also these special missions do tend to fail also.
Guerillas are excellent to use against occupying forces. Vietnam is the perfect example. It's very costly for foreign powers to occupy territories– look at the budgets for 'Nam and Iraq II.
As for offensive guerillas, shocktroops have proven very effective in pitched battles, like WWI.
The Germans would begin a heavy artillery barrage on enemy lines during the evening and continue into the night. Then elite, lightly armed soldiers carrying explosives would cross-no-man's land, going through the weakest pts in the forward trenches to the auxilary trenches and plant explosives. Then these shocktroops would double back, hitting the weakest points on the enemy's front line, putting explosives down foxholes and the like on their merry way..
In the ensuing chaos, the Germans would send in the infantry and break the line.
Only against enemies with a certain squeamishness. The Ussr dealt with postWWII guerrillas in the Ukraine and the Baltic States, but at the cost of killing or deporting perhaps a third of the population.
The problem here is that they didn't break the line. How far did the removal of the best troops from ordinary units and the high death rate among shock troops lower the quality of the ordinary units? Bill Slim certainly thought that it was better not to create elite units and that normal units, properly trained could do the same job.
The last death in war by a longbow was probably in May 1940. Captain "Mad Jack" Churchill of the Manchester Regiment shot a German soldier.
OOC: spurious Rome TotalWar has been out for some time now.
I know, but I don't have a computer right now.
I'd Estimate a bow might be more more effective in Modern mans hands then in medievel mans hands due to the difference in nutrition. A medievel soldier aproaching the battlefield would probably be half starved eating something like hardtack or other grain product depending on the amount of soldiers on the battlefield he might have access to some raided vegtables, fruit, or meat. Not to mention the chances of a medievel soldier suffering a bout of dysintery or cholera would probably weaken even more his ability to use a bow. Hand the same man a weapon he just has to dump powder in and pull a trigger he'd be more effective, not to mention you could continue to ignore the conditions he spent his life in till your intellectuals realized it was the bad smells that spread diseases.
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