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  1. - Top - End - #301
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Said no infantryman ever.
    At least not those awarded a posthumous medal afterwards.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    "Danger close" exists for a reason.
    Speaking of which, that is the title of a new movie about the battle of Long Tan in the Viet Nam “Fire on my co-ordinates” is not something you radio in just for the giggles.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Question: when it comes to modern armored vehicles, are tracks or wheels more resistant to battle damage? On first glance it strikes me that a track would be harder to damage, but once a vehicle loses one track the vehicle is immobile. With run-flat tires and multi-wheeled vehicles like the Stryker series, it seems like you could afford to lose one or two wheels at least and retain some degree of mobility. Is that true? Or would a (say) 8-wheeled vehicle with run-flat tires only be able to move a short distance if it lost a tire before losing mobility?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by rs2excelsior View Post
    Question: when it comes to modern armored vehicles, are tracks or wheels more resistant to battle damage? On first glance it strikes me that a track would be harder to damage, but once a vehicle loses one track the vehicle is immobile. With run-flat tires and multi-wheeled vehicles like the Stryker series, it seems like you could afford to lose one or two wheels at least and retain some degree of mobility. Is that true? Or would a (say) 8-wheeled vehicle with run-flat tires only be able to move a short distance if it lost a tire before losing mobility?
    Due to being built to operate in heavily mined areas, the South African Rooikat has somewhat ridiculous "run flat" capability. All 8 individual wheels can run completely flat, and it can reportedly retain mobility after actually losing up to 4 wheels in certain combinations (to land mines, for example).
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  5. - Top - End - #305
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    The reality is that anything that would blow off a track is going to do a lot more than puncture a tire.

    Small arms and even heavy machineguns are going to have virtually no effect on a track. They will absolutely punch through a tire.

    Light HE/Frag (grenades, 60s, that sort of thing) will have an almost impossible time blowing a track off. I mean, theoretically possible under a set of lab conditions, but the battlefield physics involved in would be improbable to say the least. Landing near a tire may result in fragmentation puncturing it. Modern tanks have literally run over secondary made of such IEDs and not had to worry about it.

    As we go up the HE scale, blast based AT mines tend to carry 10+ lbs of HE to knock a track off, which is generally enough to sheet a wheel off an axle. The same would apply for jury rigging artillery. 150mm+ shells would be the preferred minimum. Tanks can and have run over AP mines and lighter rigged shells to no effect while Humvees have had axles broken or wheels knocked out of alignment. And by the time you're knocking a track off, there's a good chance you're killing or wounding the TC or driver of a wheeled vehicle.

    Then we start getting into the range of HEAT, APHE, and kinetic armor piercing weapons.

    At smaller calibers like DPICM bomblets or light cannon rounds (think a 25mm or 30mm), the angle and point of impact is the thing. It might crack a link, it might just knock off a pad, it might cause non-critical damage that will none the less eventually cause the track to throw, it might punch through a roadwheel. Generally for a wheeled vehicle, there's a pretty good chance that a direct hit will end that wheel, not just the tire. A near miss or weird angle might just pierce the tire...but they would do nothing to a track.

    As we get up into larger ranges, you can pretty conceivably get a mobility kill on any vehicle you strike. A 125mm main gun round will definitely knock a track off if it hits. It'll also knock a wheel right off an axle, and probably snap the axle to boot. Which would still be lucky for the vehicle, because the alternative would be a K-Kill as the round entered the engine block or crew compartment.

    --------------------

    There is an advantage, however, in that you can absolutely throw track in bad terrain or by grinding things into the track by mistake, whereas you are unlikely to get a wheeled vehicle more than simply stuck - you'll just get stuck a lot earlier.

    ----------

    As for your theoretical Stryker with tires being shot up, you could keep it going for a bit, particularly if you limped it along. Several miles, easily. Then again, in a situation where you're wondering how many miles you can get out of the tires, chances are you are fine with running them down to the rims. As a side note, sometimes tires catch fire and keep burning...

    But if you really knocked a wheel off, besides the fact that you probably have some WIA inside, chances are the rest if the chassis and wheel related items like axles are in bad shape too. It's not impossible that you'd be going anywhere, but the odds would be well against you.

  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    I wouldn't go that far (and it probably wasn't Napoleon that came up with that quote - Napoleon was a huge fan), and it was later historians that came up with a lot of the garbage (make the pike shorter, robbing it of all utility as a weapon? GENIUS!) rather than him. I wasn't casting aspersions so much as pointing out that Gustav II Adolf is an enormously mythologized figure, and that comes with a lot of garbage attached.
    Should trust me ;) I'm always right. Napoleon to Gaspar Gourgaud 1818: Consider the great Gustavus Adolphus! In eighteen months he won one battle, lost a second, and was killed in a third. His fame was won at bargain price!".

    I'm also agreeing with you actually. I was just expanding that partly the myth was crafted by the man himself at the time. And to further warn, especially, English accounts are largely based on information from people who fought with Gustav II Adolf so despite eyewitnesses they have a tend to overstate. Effectively, since Britain didn't much participate in the 30YW "Gustavus Adolphus" has essentially been inducted as honorary Brit. It tends to colour the English sources.

    The whole inspirational leader thing is quite interesting in fact, insofar as it sorta backfired after Lützen. He had built himself up to such a degree his death almost caused it all the come crashing down.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    And to further warn, especially, English accounts are largely based on information from people who fought with Gustav II Adolf so despite eyewitnesses they have a tend to overstate.
    Concerning the King, as word hath it, He is as large as four cats, and disposeth of a leg retractable, by which He jumpeth the better upon His quarry. At night He casteth light, and He owneth four ears, a pair for listening, the other as reserve and provision. Some of these ears are inside His head, and His yawns resemble the acclaimed William Barksted, when he did the Epicene. His face is bare and white, except on Saturdays, when his eyebrows sprout and grow most marvellously. He hath claws, whose size you would best compare to a drinking-cup; yet, in spite of their ferociousness, one thing He feareth beyond reason, and that is the hand stamps which one often seeth used to frank mailed goods. One attendant told me that He hath a tail woven with lodestones, by which He attaches himself to all that is wrought of metal, and, in place of a mouth, He hath four arses.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Hey, does someone know anything about aerial combat aka dog fights?
    I've been thinking... obviously, having better equipment and the element of surprise is a huge benefit, but there are many stories about ace pilots who are just very good, but... well I guess I have no information about what makes a pilot good. What can a good pilot do that gives him an edge in combat?
    What can change the nature of a man?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    What would be the closest modern-day analogy to sabatons? Like if I have something that specifically refers to sabatons (or whatever else would equate to them) but I want to use it in an industrial-revolution or modern setting, what would I call them to distinguish them from general shoes? Or is "combat boots" the only thing that works?
    Combat boots aren't called that because they are protecting the feet from combat. There called that because they are just "ordinary" boots worn in combat providing the normal ankle support, weather protection etc that boots provide. They generally have less protection than safety footwear.

    If you have a modern version of sabatons for hi-tech soldiers to wear why not just call them sabatons? The military are great believers in tradition, and it sounds far more interesting than "armoured boots"

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn4 View Post
    Hey, does someone know anything about aerial combat aka dog fights?
    I've been thinking... obviously, having better equipment and the element of surprise is a huge benefit, but there are many stories about ace pilots who are just very good, but... well I guess I have no information about what makes a pilot good. What can a good pilot do that gives him an edge in combat?
    The Red Baron. Training is a big one, but a natural ability to withstand high G maneuvers is a good start. Excellent eye sight, faster than average reaction times, ability to quickly adapt to new situations. Point on Richthofen for most of his career the planes he flew we inferior to the British and French, and he typically flew against numerically superior forces.

    Other example Erich Hartmann, the most successful aerial combat ace ever. He had 352 confirmed kills, and much of it is credited to his style of flying: "See–Decide–Attack–Reverse". In effect he would observe his targets, pick the most vulnerable, attack from surprise, and then peel off to start the process again.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-07-31 at 10:06 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #311
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Concerning dogfights: there are a few most common skills:

    -It is far better to be an aerial assassin and kill the unwary from behind them when they didn’t even know you were there than it is to get into all sorts of swirly-twirly fighter maneuvering. So those who either have a natural instinct for hunting, or have the time, dedication, and understanding to pick the best corridors to “hunt” are going to have an advantage.

    -Situational awareness. “Lose sight, lose the fight”. Most kills in the pre-missile era could be evaded so long as you could keep track of what was going on. It is surprisingly hard to hit a plane that is maneuvering when you only have twenty one seconds of ammunition, and you need to land two to three seconds of hits...so so long as the defender can keep track of his aggressor, he has a chance to get out or reverse the tables.

    On the basic side, of you know instinctively how to operate your radiators, trim wheels, engine RPM (for planes without “automatic”) and everything else. If you are spending mental concentration on how to close your radiators for a bit less drag, and then more on wondering if you’re about to blow your engine, that’s less mental energy for keeping track of everything else. If you only have five hours flying the airframe, you’re likely to be so busy keeping it straight and airborne that you never see the guy who kills you.

    For the more advanced, the ability to keep track of more than the target/aggressor you are immediately dealing with. Target
    fixation means you never see the guy who kills you, or you miss a chance for an easy kill because you’re chasing a guy pulling split-s’s. Or you blow out of the fight low on altitude and fifteen km away from all your friends. Where did they go anyhow?

    -Energy Fighting: E-fighting requires discipline and a gentle stick combined with good systems management. Essentially you want to start the fight in a position of superior energy (almost always meaning you have more altitude than him, but more speed is also possible), and retain the energy advantage throughout. Big honking turns and rolls and sexy things dump energy, so you don’t do them. You use extensions, dives, displacement rolls and Yo-Yos. Gentle arcs and fast boom-and-zoom attacks. Pilots who are good at this style of fighting tend to be implacable, disciplined, experts in engine management, and have a few good maneuvers they know how to perform with extreme energy efficiency.

    -Angle fighting: This is more akin to what you think of when you think dogfight. The art of getting getting into a good position by cutting off the circle (sphere) better than your opponent. Immelmans, well timed break turns, knowing how to use an entire arsenal of moves good enough but with impeccable timing and feel. These are the reflex jocks, the guys who can almost preternaturally see what the next move is going to be, the guys with the physical ability to slam one arm into the trim wheel, haul a stick with their other hand, and keep from blacking out all while making split second calls.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    So I received as a gift something marketed as a "Celtic Pocket Knife", but I haven't been able to find online anything similar in historic sources, and I'm wondering if any similar knives were ever made. The blade is single edged and short, and the "grip" isn't a full grip, but a loop formed of a tang extending from the back edge and just large enough to fit your finger. You put your index finger through the loop, place your thumb against the back of the blade, and let the knob at the end of the tang press against your middle finger. I've seen vaguely similar tang/grip on Viking knives, but instead of forming a loop, they doubled back to form a U-shaped hilt. I can't find any pictures to link to that aren't from the manufacturer and I don't want to come across as advertising something, but if you want to google it, the company name is Toferner.

    DrewID

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewID View Post
    So I received as a gift something marketed as a "Celtic Pocket Knife", but I haven't been able to find online anything similar in historic sources, and I'm wondering if any similar knives were ever made. The blade is single edged and short, and the "grip" isn't a full grip, but a loop formed of a tang extending from the back edge and just large enough to fit your finger. You put your index finger through the loop, place your thumb against the back of the blade, and let the knob at the end of the tang press against your middle finger. I've seen vaguely similar tang/grip on Viking knives, but instead of forming a loop, they doubled back to form a U-shaped hilt. I can't find any pictures to link to that aren't from the manufacturer and I don't want to come across as advertising something, but if you want to google it, the company name is Toferner.

    DrewID
    Google "La Tène knife". You will find iron knives that are kinda similar style, but none is exactly the same.

    I think the manufacturer took inspiration on those knives, but tried to make it look more exotic...

  14. - Top - End - #314
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewID View Post
    So I received as a gift something marketed as a "Celtic Pocket Knife", but I haven't been able to find online anything similar in historic sources, and I'm wondering if any similar knives were ever made. The blade is single edged and short, and the "grip" isn't a full grip, but a loop formed of a tang extending from the back edge and just large enough to fit your finger. You put your index finger through the loop, place your thumb against the back of the blade, and let the knob at the end of the tang press against your middle finger. I've seen vaguely similar tang/grip on Viking knives, but instead of forming a loop, they doubled back to form a U-shaped hilt. I can't find any pictures to link to that aren't from the manufacturer and I don't want to come across as advertising something, but if you want to google it, the company name is Toferner.

    DrewID
    I'm no expert on the subject, but I don't think I've ever seen a knife like that in any of the historical collections I've seen here in Scotland. Based on the other products they have I'd guess it's more of a 'historically inspired' thing than based on an actual knife.

    I think I've found the knife in question and it looks like it's a fanciful take on a U-hilted knife shrunk down to a tiny size and put in a pouch with a celtic symbol on it.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    That's been rather insightful, thanks.
    Would you mind answering some follow-up questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    Concerning dogfights: there are a few most common skills:

    -It is far better to be an aerial assassin and kill the unwary from behind them when they didn’t even know you were there than it is to get into all sorts of swirly-twirly fighter maneuvering. So those who either have a natural instinct for hunting, or have the time, dedication, and understanding to pick the best corridors to “hunt” are going to have an advantage.
    So what's a corridor? I assume it's somehow related to airstreams?


    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    -Energy Fighting: E-fighting requires discipline and a gentle stick combined with good systems management. Essentially you want to start the fight in a position of superior energy (almost always meaning you have more altitude than him, but more speed is also possible), and retain the energy advantage throughout.
    Because... it means you are more mobile than the enemy?
    Wouldn't this also mean that the pilots try to fly as high as possible?
    What can change the nature of a man?

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    A corridor is just a stretch of air that aircraft travel in. But you can imagine that if you know where, say, enemy airfields are and where they are executing most of their missions (bombing cities, patrolling over invasion ships, reconning for artillery, whatever), you can identify their most likely ways to get there. In which case they may not be as mentally alert - "I'm still sixty miles from the dangerous areas" - and may not have as much altitude built up unless they circle their airfield gaining altitude before heading out. On top of which, you know to look there, you can try to put the sun behind you when you approach, and basically plan an attack on that line that will have you start above and behind them, rather than just bumble around and hope you find the enemy with only luck determining who will start with the better position.

    In terms of altitude, generally speaking, yes - you want to be higher than the other guy. Particularly pre-missiles, because it also means you're more likely to be above accurate AA and radars for the time are limited to big ground installations. The counter is that at some point, you actually need to accomplish something and so do your enemies. If you are patrolling at 30k feet and they're 300 feet off the deck machinegunning your ground forces, chances are you won't even see them. If the bombers are coming in at 18k, well then its going to be hard to affect them if you're at 30k. Even if you did dive in, in most WII-esque planes diving more than 7-8k in a power dive is a sure way to risk ripping your wings off. If you do come in with a screaming 6k dive and don't damage the plane, you'll still build up a ton of speed and airframe vibration - which means you have a short and bumpy window to actually aim your guns/nose of your plane and then fire enough rounds to do significant damage before you blow by.

    There also comes a point where the thinner air, while having less resistance, essentially starts to choke the engine and you actually end up going slower and having a net energy loss. Still, being 3-5k feet higher than your enemy is a great place to be. So there can be layers upon layers of thought into what altitude you should be at.

    In terms of energy, you need energy to control the fight. Imagine two equal planes, one 3k off the ground, the other 10k off the ground. If the low plane happens to be at a good angle, he still needs to climb 7k feet to get in gun range. In that time he is slower than the other plane, and is basically maxed out on acceleration - he is spending all the energy his engine can give him just getting up there. If the high plane doesn't want to fight, he simply flies away. If he's in a bad position, he has plenty of time to gently turn towards the enemy and prepare his attack. If he's in a good position like on the low plane's six, he can change out his altitude for speed - just point down - which means the low plane can't escape the fight even if it wants to. Every choice about how to start the fight is in his hands. Which means the man with the energy advantage never needs to take a fight he doesn't like, or even an equal fight. he can simply set up fights where he is in a position to curbstomp the enemy when it's nothing like fair. early WWI is possibly the only exception because the aircraft were so underpowered and flimsy that you couldn't really make big changes in position vertically or horizontally. In the era of late missiles, the ability for a missile to offset some of the speed advantage means it can't be so completely exploited.

    Once the fight begins, energy can be used to control the distance, pull maneuvers, and gain altitude. A good bounce for an E-fighter basically looks like this:

    1) Start higher than the enemy. Find a fight where you start with an angle advantage.

    2) Dive in on the enemy.

    2a) If he does a big turn or something to try and dodge your attack, simply climb back up and convert your airspeed back to altitude. Now he is going slow because he had a big energy expending turn in there, and you're still above him. He's in a worse position than when he started, speed wise, but you can still choose when to come down to him form your perch and you'll have a lot more speed than he does when you do.

    2b)If he doesn't pull a big move, shoot him.

    2c)If you need to finish this right now, use your superior energy to allow you to pull moves he can't pull without stalling out his plane because he has less speed, then shoot him. Of course, no system is perfect, so you can screw this up.

    3) Once you made your kill or the fight is looking a little too even - who wants to gamble their life on a 50/50 fight - fly away using your superior speed, or gather the superior speed needed by diving.


    And that's before we account for things like planes with superior acceleration, climb rates, max speed, turning circles, etc.

  17. - Top - End - #317
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn4 View Post
    Hey, does someone know anything about aerial combat aka dog fights?
    I've been thinking... obviously, having better equipment and the element of surprise is a huge benefit, but there are many stories about ace pilots who are just very good, but... well I guess I have no information about what makes a pilot good. What can a good pilot do that gives him an edge in combat?
    Dikta Boelcke was the first real fighting instructions given, and modern fighter pilots still follow it today. Technology has changed about how to implement some of the ideas, but the main ideas still hold true.

    It depends a lot on the era. WW1 and early WW2 had relatively high levels of turn combat, but by the end of WW2 and into the jet age energy fighting has become more predominant.

    The Biggles series of stories about WW1 aerial combat are very good. I set them as a reading assignment for a Japanese jet fighter pilot I was teaching English to. He said that they described air combat very accurately. The versions available for sale on the apple store are the original versions, not the later bowdlerized for kids versions most commonly found.

    Saburo Sakai’s memoir “Samurai” is a very good book, especially about the training required to become an elite pilot (pre war Japanese fighter pilots are widely considered the best trained pilots of WW2). The description of the aerial combat suffers in how Japanese gets mangled when translated into English.

    “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolffe is about the Mercury program astronauts. However, all the Mercury astronauts were very high level test pilots, and there is a lot in the book about the mentality it takes to be one of the best pilots in the world.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    There are a couple of Boelcke's points that radios and post WWI technology rendered into poor advice:

    "6. If your opponent dives on you, do not try to evade his onslaught, but fly to meet it."

    Increases in airspeed and the ability of aircraft to sustain deeper and faster dives meant that a climbing turn towards a an aggressor is likely to hang the plane out as a stationary target. A head on climb might work, but can still leave you stranded when the one or two circle fight comes out of the lead turns. There is a translation that basically makes it "turn to meet your enemy", which is more of a "don't forget to be aggressive" piece of advice than an actual move.

    "8. For the Staffel (squadron): Attack on principle in groups of four or six. When the fight breaks up into a series of single combats, take care that several do not go for the same opponent."

    For WWI, the lack of communications and the physical demands of flying what was basically winged manual transmission meant that many going for one target essentially left them all open to be killed from unseen quarters. More modern (WWII and beyond) tactics call for using two on one fights via Double-Attack or Loose-Deuce set ups. The point is to create a few unfair local fights rather than many fair fights between pilots.

  19. - Top - End - #319
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Google "La Tène knife". You will find iron knives that are kinda similar style, but none is exactly the same.

    I think the manufacturer took inspiration on those knives, but tried to make it look more exotic...
    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    I'm no expert on the subject, but I don't think I've ever seen a knife like that in any of the historical collections I've seen here in Scotland. Based on the other products they have I'd guess it's more of a 'historically inspired' thing than based on an actual knife.

    I think I've found the knife in question and it looks like it's a fanciful take on a U-hilted knife shrunk down to a tiny size and put in a pouch with a celtic symbol on it.
    Looking at both examples (thanks, both of you), it looks like mine is almost a cross between U-hilted viking knife and the La Tène ring-hilted knife, where the ring that forms the butt of the hilt on the La Tène knife is the entire hilt, like on the U-hilted knife. So maybe they saw one in a collection somewhere, or maybe they made up the idea on their own. In any event, it does not appear to be common, whatever else it is.

    thanks,
    DrewID

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    There are a couple of Boelcke's points that radios and post WWI technology rendered into poor advice:

    "6. If your opponent dives on you, do not try to evade his onslaught, but fly to meet it."

    Increases in airspeed and the ability of aircraft to sustain deeper and faster dives meant that a climbing turn towards a an aggressor is likely to hang the plane out as a stationary target. A head on climb might work, but can still leave you stranded when the one or two circle fight comes out of the lead turns. There is a translation that basically makes it "turn to meet your enemy", which is more of a "don't forget to be aggressive" piece of advice than an actual move.

    "8. For the Staffel (squadron): Attack on principle in groups of four or six. When the fight breaks up into a series of single combats, take care that several do not go for the same opponent."

    For WWI, the lack of communications and the physical demands of flying what was basically winged manual transmission meant that many going for one target essentially left them all open to be killed from unseen quarters. More modern (WWII and beyond) tactics call for using two on one fights via Double-Attack or Loose-Deuce set ups. The point is to create a few unfair local fights rather than many fair fights between pilots.
    Wikipedia doesn’t have the full paphlet, which I read some years ago. Boelcke gives more explanations.

    With respect 6 he explained that staying and fighting was less dangerous than trying to run from someone who had an energy advantage over you.

    Regarding 8 he was more worried about overconcentration on one target and leaving unengaged enemies. If you had a 6 on 3 fight (Boelcke liked dirty fights with the odds stacked in his favor) it was better for it to break into three 2 on 1 fights than one 4 on 1 and two 1 on one fights, or even worse one 6 on 1 fight with 2 unengaged enemy aircraft ready to take advantage. Radios make the job of avoiding this problem a lot easier..

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen the pamphlet - at best a description of the Dikta in a WWI museum. So I’ll happily concede that you have better information. And that rule six makes much more sense with that added.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    There's a lot of bad info about Gustavus Adolphus out there, so you have to be careful with what you read.




    No u.


    I'd be interested to hear your logic on this. Either you're misnumbering the battles (Second Yeltsin was the off-screen battle where Parnell somehow managed to get half his ships out of a trap that White Haven thought was escape-proof), or you're making an interpretation that I'm not seeing.
    Your making the same mistake i made for a long time, took a lot of re-reads to spot the threads and line it up right.

    1st Yeltsin was the fight with Madrigal.

    2nd Yeltsin was the fight at the end of book 2.

    3rd Yeltsin was the ambush of Parnell.

    4th Yeltsin was the battle at the end of book 5.

    2nd and 4th yeltsin where key to the Grayson's entering the alliance and maintaining their industrial base, factors that became very important on several occasions as Grayson ships played numerous key roles in the war. Most notably their reinforcements at Sidemore and Trevor's star in War of Honor.

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    Concerning dogfights: there are a few most common skills:

    -It is far better to be an aerial assassin and kill the unwary from behind them when they didn’t even know you were there than it is to get into all sorts of swirly-twirly fighter maneuvering. So those who either have a natural instinct for hunting, or have the time, dedication, and understanding to pick the best corridors to “hunt” are going to have an advantage.

    -Situational awareness. “Lose sight, lose the fight”. Most kills in the pre-missile era could be evaded so long as you could keep track of what was going on. It is surprisingly hard to hit a plane that is maneuvering when you only have twenty one seconds of ammunition, and you need to land two to three seconds of hits...so so long as the defender can keep track of his aggressor, he has a chance to get out or reverse the tables.

    On the basic side, of you know instinctively how to operate your radiators, trim wheels, engine RPM (for planes without “automatic”) and everything else. If you are spending mental concentration on how to close your radiators for a bit less drag, and then more on wondering if you’re about to blow your engine, that’s less mental energy for keeping track of everything else. If you only have five hours flying the airframe, you’re likely to be so busy keeping it straight and airborne that you never see the guy who kills you.

    For the more advanced, the ability to keep track of more than the target/aggressor you are immediately dealing with. Target
    fixation means you never see the guy who kills you, or you miss a chance for an easy kill because you’re chasing a guy pulling split-s’s. Or you blow out of the fight low on altitude and fifteen km away from all your friends. Where did they go anyhow?

    -Energy Fighting: E-fighting requires discipline and a gentle stick combined with good systems management. Essentially you want to start the fight in a position of superior energy (almost always meaning you have more altitude than him, but more speed is also possible), and retain the energy advantage throughout. Big honking turns and rolls and sexy things dump energy, so you don’t do them. You use extensions, dives, displacement rolls and Yo-Yos. Gentle arcs and fast boom-and-zoom attacks. Pilots who are good at this style of fighting tend to be implacable, disciplined, experts in engine management, and have a few good maneuvers they know how to perform with extreme energy efficiency.

    -Angle fighting: This is more akin to what you think of when you think dogfight. The art of getting getting into a good position by cutting off the circle (sphere) better than your opponent. Immelmans, well timed break turns, knowing how to use an entire arsenal of moves good enough but with impeccable timing and feel. These are the reflex jocks, the guys who can almost preternaturally see what the next move is going to be, the guys with the physical ability to slam one arm into the trim wheel, haul a stick with their other hand, and keep from blacking out all while making split second calls.
    1-2 seconds of fire is probably generous if talking cannon, but it's also important to remember that where the rounds hit was a big determining factor in getting kills. Hence the reports at various times of bombers from both sides limping home after taking truly hideous amounts of damage. Generally you had to kill the crew, break the links between the cockpit and the flight surfaces, or start a fuel fire, (which with self sealing fuel tanks was harder than it sounded). Despite what various games and media would have you believe aircraft didn't generally get sawed in half or have wings blown clean off, (though ground fire from large caliber AA could and did do this if it hit the right part of the aircraft), so even the best piloti going to have perfect attacks fail to down or seriously hurt his opponent because the natural dispersion of the rounds and various other factors result in none hitting anything vital.

    As an example of this isn action the luftwaffe estimated it took 20 20mm cannon hits on average in a diving from behind attack to kill a B-17, but only 4 from in front. However with an average hit rate of just 2% an attacking aircraft needed to fire off around 1000 rounds of 20mm ammunition to get those 20 hits.
    Last edited by Carl; 2019-08-01 at 12:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    I was using US pilots - who were mostly machine gun armed - as the source of “three seconds” being a killing burst. “Three seconds of hits” was also poor wording on my part, and I likely should have referred to it as the burst - pretty self evidently not every round fired from four to eight converging machine guns (or two cannons on wing mounts) actually hits.

    I don’t know what the exact hit rate is, even for an “on target” burst, but I’m betting it’s not that high even with rapid and comparatively flat firing machine guns. Slower firing cannon with more arced ballistics would be harder.

    We know a 20mm cannon firing ~600 RPM would put 18 rounds in the air in three seconds. A single centerline cannon with more accuracy, two wing mounted cannon with more volume. Vague recollection says that the Germans concluded you needed 4-6 cannon hits to reliably bring down a spitfire in all but a head on pass.

    So while one second of “perfect hits” would scrap a single engine fighter, chances are that the low hit rates probably nesecitated longer “on target” firing periods.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    In contrast, crew of the P61 Black Widow, armed with 4x50cal and 4x20mm, and attacking often unsuspecting targets at night, reported that short bursts from all 8 guns often did appear to disassemble targets in mid air (my phrasing).
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    No worries, and yeah 3 second burst with not all hitting sounds perfectly reasonable.

    Also @Max_Killjoy: Not saying it never happened, but the number of hits needed to make it happen is pretty high with most aircraft, (doubly so against any kind of multi-engined aircraft since they're so much larger), and getting those under any normal set of circumstance is highly unlikely. But various media, (i'm thinking of one game coughWar Thundercough in particular), would have you believe it was the main way aircraft died.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    No worries, and yeah 3 second burst with not all hitting sounds perfectly reasonable.

    Also @Max_Killjoy: Not saying it never happened, but the number of hits needed to make it happen is pretty high with most aircraft, (doubly so against any kind of multi-engined aircraft since they're so much larger), and getting those under any normal set of circumstance is highly unlikely. But various media, (i'm thinking of one game coughWar Thundercough in particular), would have you believe it was the main way aircraft died.
    The Black Widow was pretty much a flying set of unlikely circumstances:
    • armed to the teeth (seriously, how many fighters mounted 4x20mm and 4x.50?)
    • early form of radar assisted aim, directed at
    • targets often didn't know they were about to be attacked, so they were flying level and steady
    • additionally, what targets they had in the Pacific were often-underbuilt Japanese aircraft without self-sealing tanks or redundant anything
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    The Black Widow was pretty much a flying set of unlikely circumstances:
    • armed to the teeth (seriously, how many fighters mounted 4x20mm and 4x.50?)
    And with 3040 rounds of ammo, to boot.
    As night-fighters, they very well might not have engaged the enemy at all (or certainly seen the enemies they got go down) unless they were right up in their business. It would surprise me if the nature of their kill scenario was unusual compared to the overall norm.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    So what's a corridor? I assume it's somehow related to airstreams?
    in this sense, he means "corridor" in the sense of a clear pathway. you go in, make your attack run on your chosen target, then get out. properly executed, the target isn't aware of your presence until you've already done fatal damage to his plane. the key point is that your not going to hang around, but make good your escape.


    Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat
    -Energy Fighting: E-fighting requires discipline and a gentle stick combined with good systems management. Essentially you want to start the fight in a position of superior energy (almost always meaning you have more altitude than him, but more speed is also possible), and retain the energy advantage throughout.
    Because... it means you are more mobile than the enemy?
    Wouldn't this also mean that the pilots try to fly as high as possible?

    yes, your more mobile. the basic theory is that:


    Speed= energy, that you can convert to altitude by climbing (which costs speed)
    Altitude= Potential energy, with you can convert to speed by diving (which costs altitude)
    therefore: Speed=Altitude.

    You can trade one for the other.

    Generally, yes, a higher altitude is an advantage. because you can convert that height into speed, then the speed back into height ("zoom and boom", as its called). However, your flight altitude might be constrained by factors beyond your control, such as:

    aircraft ceiling: quite simply, sometime your plane just cant go higher.

    climb rates and warning time: if your launched in response to an enemy incursion (say the RAF scrambles to stop German bombers attacking London), then their is a finite amount of time you have in order to get your plane airborne and up to altitude. climbing takes time, particularly for WW2 and earlier jet fighters, so if your don't have enough warning, you simply might not be able to get higher than the enemy in the time you have (during the Cold War, this was a critical driver of the design of long range radar networks, and high performance interceptors that could get to high altitude, fast, in order to deal with nuke bombers)

    operational constraints: if your a ground attack aircraft, then your going to be spending a lot of time at low altitude. If your escorting a ground attack flight that Is sat at (say) 6,000 feet, then theirs not much point you being up at 40,000 feet because your to far away to help them. you'd sit yourself at something like 7,000 to 8,000 feet, just above them, and be able to drop onto anyone lining up on the tails of the ground attack flight.



    "6. If your opponent dives on you, do not try to evade his onslaught, but fly to meet it."

    Increases in airspeed and the ability of aircraft to sustain deeper and faster dives meant that a climbing turn towards a an aggressor is likely to hang the plane out as a stationary target. A head on climb might work, but can still leave you stranded when the one or two circle fight comes out of the lead turns. There is a translation that basically makes it "turn to meet your enemy", which is more of a "don't forget to be aggressive" piece of advice than an actual move.

    point 6 was intended to convey that "if you run, your dead". By fleeing, all your doing is presenting your most vulnerable aspect to attacker, while almost lengthening his window to attack you by slowing the closing rate. By turning into the attacker aggressively, your not only shortening his window to attack you, hes now got to avoid your attack, and the evasions he pulls doing that might force him to miss his window and overshoot.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
    But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

    "Tommy", Rudyard Kipling

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    The Black Widow was pretty much a flying set of unlikely circumstances:
    • armed to the teeth (seriously, how many fighters mounted 4x20mm and 4x.50?)
    • early form of radar assisted aim, directed at
    • targets often didn't know they were about to be attacked, so they were flying level and steady
    • additionally, what targets they had in the Pacific were often-underbuilt Japanese aircraft without self-sealing tanks or redundant anything
    True enough. Although the armament isn't quite as unusual as you might think. most of the various twin engined fighters of the war had the quad 20mm's. Some had even more than that and some german fighters used for anti-bomber duty routinely carried gunpods giving them even more guns than that.

    But they didn't usually get that kind of edge in aiming their fire or in the type of target they where shooting at.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    1-2 seconds of fire is probably generous if talking cannon, but it's also important to remember that where the rounds hit was a big determining factor in getting kills. Hence the reports at various times of bombers from both sides limping home after taking truly hideous amounts of damage. Generally you had to kill the crew, break the links between the cockpit and the flight surfaces, or start a fuel fire, (which with self sealing fuel tanks was harder than it sounded). Despite what various games and media would have you believe aircraft didn't generally get sawed in half or have wings blown clean off, (though ground fire from large caliber AA could and did do this if it hit the right part of the aircraft), so even the best piloti going to have perfect attacks fail to down or seriously hurt his opponent because the natural dispersion of the rounds and various other factors result in none hitting anything vital.
    For WW1 Manfred von Richtofen's advice for new recruits was aim for the gunner, than the pilot because your bullets would kill a man, but just put holes in his plane. This obviously applies less to faster and more powerful aircraft, and makes no different for missiles which don't even have to hit a plane they just have to get close enough to let shrapnel shred it to bits.

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