Weapons

Postby Cannonshop on Sun Dec 16, 2001 9:31 am

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Consider firearms development.
The Colt Revolving Pistol was the submachinegun of the Civil War-High rate of fire, compact, and short ranged, it was primarily intended to be used with cavalry units and in close-quarters combat, where its rate of fire, ease of handling, and, (with spare cylinders) quick reloading would make it more effective than the rifled-musket, which was the standard battle-rifle of the time.
So too, was the repeating rifle the Assault weapon of the time, having many of the same qualities as the revolver, but, with the extra advantage of higher capacity, greater range, and a more solid downrange punch.
By todays standards, both weapons are slow, clunky, and fragile, but, in their own day, they were a frightening thing to face. Col. Mosby, a Confederate Guerilla, and possibly the most famous one of that type, considered the Revolver to be superior to the Carbine, while, on the other side of things, the Lever-Action Henry rifle, which scarcely exceeded the pistol's power, was cursed by Southern soldiers as "that rifle you could load on sunday, and shoot all week." Tactics changed with these weapons on the field-they made the then-standard Napoleanic tactics obselete, and gave the United States a taste of what the rest of the world would only learn after five hard years in France (1914-1919). Tactics developed by Mosby, Sheridan, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, would come to prominence later, with the development of the Submachine-gun, the Tank, and Motorized Infantry- all of which had their equivalents in the American civil War.
The Repeating Rifle gave way to first the Bolt-Action Repeater (five powerful shots, usually), and, then, the Semi-Automatic Battle Rifle (M1 Garand, Fn-49, K-48, and FG44), which, in turn, was supplanted later by the Assault rifle, which combined the two in an 'average' package (not as powerful as the Bolt-Action, or, the Battle Rifle, but, more powerful than the Sub-Machine-Gun, and easier to produce and train with than having separate types, an average weapon, not spectacular at any one thing, but average in many different things.) as the Assault Rifle has evolved, it has increasingly become dependent on Submachine-gun tactics such as "area fire", Burst-fire, and close-combat.
Thus, the world has adopted Soviet-style infantry tactics, where the bulk of the men fire in a "general direction", while selected marksmen target specific enemies.
All of this requires an enourmous supply line.
"What Happens when you don't <I>have</I> an enormous supply and logistical mechanism?"
Then, you have to go back to the basics, which is to say, "Marksmanship counts again."
Consider: an American Infantryman in World War Two carried as much raw firepower in his basic load, as a Company did in the Civil War. In WWII, it took an average of ten shot rounds to kill one enemy soldier. By way of comparison, in Vietnam, the ratio was closer to <I>50,000</I> rounds per enemy casualty (and that's being generous, and using Westmoreland's figures at face value.), and the Gulf War... well... It wasn't an Infantry War anyway. As Armies become more dependent upon Capital Weapons systems, their basic structure relies more and more on 'Special Forces' type units to fill the role that conventional infantry formations filled in times past.<P>"Okay, so How does this relate to LGW?"
You may have noticed that the forces <I>Native</I> to Kimura III tend to be armed with what would, today, be considered "Obselete" hardware-Bolt action rifles of a type similar to a Mauser, Revolvers and simple automatic pistols, etc.
This is Environmental. Consider this: If you had to have <I>one</I> gun to do your hunting, fighting, and, self-defense tasks, in an environment where there lurk creatures that can bite the front of a tank off, a .223 assault rifle (that's 5.56mm, for you Europeans out there), is the last thing you'd want to carry- It simply doesn't have the punch, and, no matter how rugged it is, it is entirely too complicated, not to mention short-ranged, for general use in a non-military setting, while its ammunition consumption is too high for a military setting where re-supply may be weeks away.
In such a situation, then, one must have a weapon that is absolutely reliable, accurate, and non-sensitive to ammunition quality. The Ranchers of the Seventh carry Bolt-guns because they're <I>Practical</I>.
Now, this isn't to say that they don't still have the High-end hardware of their ancestors,(remember the Tank?), but, such gear is used sparingly, and only in dire emergencies. Tactics change, but reliable troops, well-trained in the weapons they have, are more effective, pound-for-pound, than newly-trained troops, armed with the best technology money can buy. When you have a LOT of high-quality troops, they can be armed with spears, facing greenhorns with grav-tanks, and win. Equipment does NOT substitute for skill. (This is a lesson we should have learned from the fall of the Third Reich, Hitler's armies were handing out their newest tanks not to their most experienced crews, but, rather, to their newest, least skilled, personnel...) With armies of equal skill, and equal numbers, quality of hardware produces an edge. when the Army of one side has better both men, and, equipment, it will win. When an army has poor quality of men, and better equipment, it may win, or not, depending on Luck, and the same can be said if the Army has better men, and poorer equipment, though the edge is still on the better men.
"Better", of course, is a relative term. Personally, I doubt seriously, that a platoon of today's army could, with all their high-tech gear, beat a platoon of Marines from 1944, were one to move those men through time, and eliminate age as a factor. So, likewise, the Corvid forces, fresh from an easy victory over a weak and disorganized enemy, and riven within by treachery, were no match for a unified force armed at the individual level with world war Two technology, under unified leadership, and both trained, and, experienced in conflict with a brutal environment. Quality, in Quantity, of personnel, beats Quality in equipment.
Sixgun trumps Assault rifle.<P>------------------
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Cannonshop
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