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  1. - Top - End - #361
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    well, yhea, is most definitely for pulling out form under the trenchcoat and shoving right in the face of whoever your trying to intimidate. I must emphasise the word intimidate, as if you just want them dead thiers better weapons to use, like the shotgun you chopped up to get the swan-off.
    I have read in memoirs of sawn off shotguns being used in trench raids in WW1 to great effect. Also said weapon being confiscated fairly quickly when the other side complained of its use. Shotguns are not actually a violation of the Hague convention, but the Germans believed they were.

  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    I have read in memoirs of sawn off shotguns being used in trench raids in WW1 to great effect. Also said weapon being confiscated fairly quickly when the other side complained of its use. Shotguns are not actually a violation of the Hague convention, but the Germans believed they were.
    When the side that pioneered the use of mustard gas wants to cry about the Hague Convention, I'm tempted to fail to give much of a damn.
    Out of wine comes truth, out of truth the vision clears, and with vision soon appears a grand design. From the grand design we can understand the world. And when you understand the world, you need a lot more wine.


  3. - Top - End - #363
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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
    When the side that pioneered the use of mustard gas wants to cry about the Hague Convention, I'm tempted to fail to give much of a damn.
    They also complained about your lot using a 155mm SPG to direct fire snipe fortifications during the Battle of Aachen, although I'm more willing to concede that as 'maintaining the letter of the law while trampling all over its spirit'.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    They also complained about your lot using a 155mm SPG to direct fire snipe fortifications during the Battle of Aachen, although I'm more willing to concede that as 'maintaining the letter of the law while trampling all over its spirit'.
    I sit firmly in the camp of "the Axis powers have forfeited any right to bitch about how the Allies fought them."

    It's somehow wrong to fire a really big gun at a military target, but putting ten million people in death camps is OK. I can't wrap my head around that kind of argument.

    Well, I can, but I think it's utter BS.
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  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    They also complained about your lot using a 155mm SPG to direct fire snipe fortifications during the Battle of Aachen, although I'm more willing to concede that as 'maintaining the letter of the law while trampling all over its spirit'.
    but is it?

    my understanding of the Hague and other pre Geneva convention aggreements was that they were intended to reduce unnecessary suffering by outlawing weapons and tactics that cause extra suffering but no real military benefit, things like small calibre explosive bullets (that wouldn't have a worthwhile blast radius, but really mess up the one guy they hit).

    once useful military benefits to many of these weapon were discovered (like using explosive rounds against airplanes), the logic of why it was banned no longer apply.

    a lot of these "thats banned" complaints (like the DF use of arty on forts) seems to come down to, more or less, to a "thats not fair!" reaction. The Germans that fought the allies in the Western Front campaigns of 44 and 45 often mention the (to them) profligate use of firepower as a substitute for bravery or manpower. the Americans and (especially) the Brits would throw vast amounts of HE at suspected or known German positions, then follow up with a probing attack. in many cases, if that attack met resitance they fell back and threw even more HE at the germans, and repeated this until they germans either gave up, fell back or were killed. most of the damage to the smaller towns of western Europe in ww2 was caused by the "liberating" armies as they passed through. the bigger german cities were already rubble form the allied bombing campaign, but thats another story,
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    but is it?

    my understanding of the Hague and other pre Geneva convention aggreements was that they were intended to reduce unnecessary suffering by outlawing weapons and tactics that cause extra suffering but no real military benefit, things like small calibre explosive bullets (that wouldn't have a worthwhile blast radius, but really mess up the one guy they hit).

    once useful military benefits to many of these weapon were discovered (like using explosive rounds against airplanes), the logic of why it was banned no longer apply.
    The explosive rounds used against aircraft have a powerful enough charge that the conventions no longer apply. That particular clause was against very, very small charges in rifle-caliber ordinance. There is no prohibition whatsoever about using direct-fire artillery against any military target.


    Likewise, the oft-stated "You can't use a .50 on personnel!" myth was almost certainly a memetic misunderstanding of procedures involving one of the US Recoilless rifles. That particular 106mm weapon had a special .50 spotting rifle firing special tracer rounds designed to follow the exact same path as the RCL's rounds. There were strict prohibitions against using this weapon against enemy personnel - because the RCL was intended to be used against tanks and fortifications, and allowing the team to give away their position to pot one guy would be tactically stupid.

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    They also complained about your lot using a 155mm SPG to direct fire snipe fortifications during the Battle of Aachen, although I'm more willing to concede that as 'maintaining the letter of the law while trampling all over its spirit'.
    Consider that the Germans were used the 150mm armed Hummel, sIG 33, Brummbar in direct fire roles well before the Americans used the M12 GMC in a direct fire role.

  8. - Top - End - #368
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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
    I sit firmly in the camp of "the Axis powers have forfeited any right to bitch about how the Allies fought them."

    It's somehow wrong to fire a really big gun at a military target, but putting ten million people in death camps is OK. I can't wrap my head around that kind of argument.

    Well, I can, but I think it's utter BS.
    When Germans (and other relatavists) complain about the bombing of Dresden I start my reply with the Luftwaffe’s bombings of Weilun and Frampol in the Polish campaign. Then move onto the firebombing of Coventry and Stalingrad which were as bad or worse as the RAF firebombing, and again pre-dates the use of firebombing by the allies on Germany.

  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    I have read in memoirs of sawn off shotguns being used in trench raids in WW1 to great effect. Also said weapon being confiscated fairly quickly when the other side complained of its use. Shotguns are not actually a violation of the Hague convention, but the Germans believed they were.
    I haven't heard about sawn off shotguns being used, but I know the Americans used shotguns during WW1 -- the M1897 Winchester. The Germans protested, but I don't think it had any effect.

  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    as others have said, yes, they did, namely the blunderbuss type early shotgun. they often were intended for use by the guards on coaches (hence why the passenger by the driver is "riding shotgun"), so the bell mouth was to aid loading the thing while sat on a large, bouncy coach travelling at speed while under attack form highwaymen.

    I cant say for certain when they fell out of use, but they seem to have been used up until the early 19th century in some capacity (the Lewis and Clarke Expedition over America carried a fair few of them). its quite possible they carried on in use until repeating weapons like revolvers and lever actions weapons replaced them.
    This fits pretty well with what I've heard, i.e. the bell shaped end was to facilitate loading while riding on the top of a bouncing stage coach. I've seen them used into the middle of the 19th century, but not much later. I suspect the introduction of breechloading shotguns, that were even easier to load in such conditions, replaced them. The early pinfire cartridge system was used on shotguns, and the timing is suggestive.

  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    This talk about firebombing makes me realize again how crazy the differences in technology are. Today we have bombs and artillery shells with shaped charges, because they are guaranteed to get a direct hit on a tank from 2+ klicks up or 10+ klicks away. Back then, your bombers would count themselves lucky if their ordnance ended up in the correct city district. So to reliably achieve the desired effect of heavily reduced military production capabilities, you couldn't go for the factory buildings - you pretty much had to attack the workforce in their homes.

    And with both sides trying to get the concept of "total war" (or rather, living your life for the war effort) accepted in society, that jump might not have been as far as it would be for us today.


    On trench shotguns: I heard (think it was in a C&Rsenal video) that they weren't as widespread or well liked as nostalgia would have us believe. Probably because neither pump action nor heavily rimmed shells are all that conducive to reliable operation. We should have switched to semiauto magfed guns firing rimless 19mm decades ago.

  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    When Germans (and other relatavists) complain about the bombing of Dresden I start my reply with the Luftwaffe’s bombings of Weilun and Frampol in the Polish campaign. Then move onto the firebombing of Coventry and Stalingrad which were as bad or worse as the RAF firebombing, and again pre-dates the use of firebombing by the allies on Germany.
    And completely and utterly fail to see the main point. Timing. Bombing of Dresden achieved absolutely nothing in february 1945 except killing an additional extra of people. It was done despite knowing it won't suddenly shatter the morale of N-Germany or somehow shorten the war. If anything it was done to prove a point to the Soviets what the Allies could do so best stop at the agreed upon line of demarkation.

    The Dresden bombings were an act of unnecessity, a cruel, callous act of revenge I guess some would say. In so far we can distinguish various slaughter of civilians.

    Also the Allies were supposed to be better than N-word Germany? You're standard of acceptable behaviour appears to be "whatever the N-words did". I would like to think those who went to war claiming moral superiority woulda stuck to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lilapop View Post
    This talk about firebombing makes me realize again how crazy the differences in technology are. Today we have bombs and artillery shells with shaped charges, because they are guaranteed to get a direct hit on a tank from 2+ klicks up or 10+ klicks away. Back then, your bombers would count themselves lucky if their ordnance ended up in the correct city district. So to reliably achieve the desired effect of heavily reduced military production capabilities, you couldn't go for the factory buildings - you pretty much had to attack the workforce in their homes.
    Isn't there somekind of statistic that they dropped more bombbs in a motnh on Vietnam than the entireity of WW2 on Germany. Something like that.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-08-14 at 03:17 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #373
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilapop View Post
    This talk about firebombing makes me realize again how crazy the differences in technology are. Today we have bombs and artillery shells with shaped charges, because they are guaranteed to get a direct hit on a tank from 2+ klicks up or 10+ klicks away. Back then, your bombers would count themselves lucky if their ordnance ended up in the correct city district. So to reliably achieve the desired effect of heavily reduced military production capabilities, you couldn't go for the factory buildings - you pretty much had to attack the workforce in their homes.

    And with both sides trying to get the concept of "total war" (or rather, living your life for the war effort) accepted in society, that jump might not have been as far as it would be for us today.


    On trench shotguns: I heard (think it was in a C&Rsenal video) that they weren't as widespread or well liked as nostalgia would have us believe. Probably because neither pump action nor heavily rimmed shells are all that conducive to reliable operation. We should have switched to semiauto magfed guns firing rimless 19mm decades ago.
    Actually the issue was that they where still using cardboard shells of some kind which expanded and jammed in the trenches. From what i've read.

  14. - Top - End - #374
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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 completely and utterly fail to see the main point. Timing. Bombing of Dresden achieved absolutely nothing in february 1945 except killing an additional extra of people. It was done despite knowing it won't suddenly shatter the morale of N-Germany or somehow shorten the war. If anything it was done to prove a point to the Soviets what the Allies could do so best stop at the agreed upon line of demarkation.

    The Dresden bombings were an act of unnecessity, a cruel, callous act of revenge I guess some would say. In so far we can distinguish various slaughter of civilians.

    Also the Allies were supposed to be better than N-word Germany? You're standard of acceptable behaviour appears to be "whatever the N-words did". I would like to think those who went to war claiming moral superiority woulda stuck to it.
    .
    Dresden was the only undamaged major north-South railway yard left in Germany at the time. Dresden also was a manufacturer of precision equipment such as torpedo detonators. It was, according to the lights of the time, a legitimate bombing target.

    Frampol on the other hand was a town with no military or industrial targets. It did however have a convenient grid layout of the streets which allowed the Luftwaffe to do a live bombing practice to test the efficacy of their bombing formations on Polish civilians.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Actually the issue was that they where still using cardboard shells of some kind which expanded and jammed in the trenches. From what i've read.
    Initially, this was the case, and the reason France/Britain/Germany didn't adopt shotguns - they didn't consider development of brass shotgun shells to be a worthwhile use of limited resources. The US, running into the problem after shotguns had been standardized and issued, pretty much had to bite the bullet and tool up for brass shells. This was in progress when the war ended, and only a limited number made it to the front.

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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 completely and utterly fail to see the main point. Timing. Bombing of Dresden achieved absolutely nothing in february 1945 except killing an additional extra of people. It was done despite knowing it won't suddenly shatter the morale of N-Germany or somehow shorten the war. If anything it was done to prove a point to the Soviets what the Allies could do so best stop at the agreed upon line of demarkation.

    The Dresden bombings were an act of unnecessity, a cruel, callous act of revenge I guess some would say. In so far we can distinguish various slaughter of civilians.

    Also the Allies were supposed to be better than N-word Germany? You're standard of acceptable behaviour appears to be "whatever the N-words did". I would like to think those who went to war claiming moral superiority woulda stuck to it.



    Isn't there somekind of statistic that they dropped more bombbs in a motnh on Vietnam than the entireity of WW2 on Germany. Something like that.
    I'm sorry, N-word Germany? Is the implication here that we can speak of horrific war crimes, mass murder, genocide, etc but we cant dare spell out the name of a particular political party that was active and in power in one of the countries involved in the second global conflict on a planet that is third from the star sol? That seems particularly tedious.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I'm sorry, N-word Germany? Is the implication here that we can speak of horrific war crimes, mass murder, genocide, etc but we cant dare spell out the name of a particular political party that was active and in power in one of the countries involved in the second global conflict on a planet that is third from the star sol? That seems particularly tedious.
    I'm guessing it's a banned word.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    I'm guessing it's a banned word.
    Or they're trying to avoid invoking Godwin's law.

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

    Dresden is different than Aachen.

    You can debate the legitimacy of Dresden as a target. It was a major railway junction, and it had factories, so it wasn't not a target, but it was chock full of civilians, and it wasn't all that significant militarily.

    That's different than blowing up forts full of enemy soldiers with a 155 howitzer. Those German soldiers were legitimate targets, and it would have been fine to bombard the area with indirect fire, so moaning about how the Allies "unfairly" used a howitzer as a direct fire weapon is ludicrous.

    It would have been acceptable to bombard those forts with indirect, or to assault them with grenades and flamethrowers and satchel charges, and to bayonet the defenders, but OMG they used a really big gun on a military target! The horror! This is like saying it's fine to strangle the enemy with your hands, but not with a rope.

    Here's an idea: If you don't want to get blown up by superior American firepower, maybe don't invade Poland, overrun Europe, put 10 million civilians in death camps and blitz London.

    Don't start a fight if you can't take a punch.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I'm sorry, N-word Germany? Is the implication here that we can speak of horrific war crimes, mass murder, genocide, etc but we cant dare spell out the name of a particular political party that was active and in power in one of the countries involved in the second global conflict on a planet that is third from the star sol? That seems particularly tedious.
    I think Nazi is a filtered word (I'm testing that now. EDIT: apparently not, how quaint. I can't write out the name of historian **** Harrison but Nazi is a-okay. Americans are weird.). I'm used to it from so many places I routinely cut it out, but I also want to make sure I accurately define what I'm talking about. "Germany created concentration camps" is a very wrong thing to say IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Dresden is different than Aachen.

    You can debate the legitimacy of Dresden as a target. It was a major railway junction, and it had factories, so it wasn't not a target, but it was chock full of civilians, and it wasn't all that significant militarily.
    And when you try to do that it ends up like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Here's an idea: If you don't want to get blown up by superior American firepower, maybe don't invade Poland, overrun Europe, put 10 million civilians in death camps and blitz London.

    Don't start a fight if you can't take a punch.
    Which is horrendous argument to make because essentially what you are saying "might makes right" and "anything we do is justified because they started it/look differently/were weaker". Usually a response, even in self defence, needs to be measured. In the instance of Dresden, arguably it was well past the mark regardless of what had happened before (what a sniper, regardless of origin, thinks about something, frankly I don't give a damn about). Basically if you start dehumanizing people, even if "they did it" you are on a slippery slope.

    IIRC in the movie Monument's Men they sorta bring that up. What kinda of destruction is actually necessary, what kind of personal cost can be borne to save something else of value.


    Also, it is possible to endorse/condemn one action without endorsing/condemning all similar actions. I'm fully capable of saying bombing Dresden was wrong without in anyway having any sympthay or agreement with someone who doens't want to be blown up in a bunker by overhwelmign firepower. The two situations are not equal.

    Dropping atomic bombs on Japan does to me seem to have been "worth it". But had Japan not surrendered and had America had more atomic bombs we could be discussing the next step. Do you bomb one more, maybe bigger more industrailly important, city and see what happens. Or do you drop 50 nukes all over the largest cities of Japan? Because they totally deserved it for starting the war. I'm betting the latter option is going to be the more controversial and considered morally questionable.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-08-15 at 05:35 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Dropping atomic bombs on Japan does to me seem to have been "worth it". But had Japan not surrendered and had America had more atomic bombs we could be discussing the next step. Do you bomb one more, maybe bigger more industrailly important, city and see what happens. Or do you drop 50 nukes all over the largest cities of Japan? Because they totally deserved it for starting the war. I'm betting the latter option is going to be the more controversial and considered morally questionable.
    That's what the second bomb on Nagasaki was for - to prove to the Japanese command that the first bomb wasn't a fluke and that the Americans could potentially glass all potential resistance. Looking at Wikipedia, they were scheduling another bomb ready in August and a further 3 in September and another 3 in October.

    Whether the second bomb was actually necessary is a very contentious issue and I suspect that discussion of it falls under verboten topics here.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    That's what the second bomb on Nagasaki was for - to prove to the Japanese command that the first bomb wasn't a fluke and that the Americans could potentially glass all potential resistance. Looking at Wikipedia, they were scheduling another bomb ready in August and a further 3 in September and another 3 in October.

    Whether the second bomb was actually necessary is a very contentious issue and I suspect that discussion of it falls under verboten topics here.
    Yeah. I think all I can say is that given this fact -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%ABj%C5%8D_incident -- I know what my answer is. Others' mileage may vary.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    It's probably best not to kick off absolutely insane world-spanning wars of aggression if you have an aversion to that coming back to bite you in the arse.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I think Nazi is a filtered word (I'm testing that now. EDIT: apparently not, how quaint. I can't write out the name of historian **** Harrison but Nazi is a-okay. Americans are weird.). I'm used to it from so many places I routinely cut it out, but I also want to make sure I accurately define what I'm talking about. "Germany created concentration camps" is a very wrong thing to say IMO.


    And when you try to do that it ends up like this:


    Which is horrendous argument to make because essentially what you are saying "might makes right" and "anything we do is justified because they started it/look differently/were weaker". Usually a response, even in self defence, needs to be measured. In the instance of Dresden, arguably it was well past the mark regardless of what had happened before (what a sniper, regardless of origin, thinks about something, frankly I don't give a damn about). Basically if you start dehumanizing people, even if "they did it" you are on a slippery slope.
    .
    Dresden was in no way unprecedented or past the mark, unless you want to treat David Irving’s (yes that David Irving) “The Destruction of Dresden” as a credible history.

    As for the alleged “might makes right” argument, I will let George Orwell respond more eloquently than I can.

    http://www.telelib.com/authors/O/Orw...e19440519.html

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

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I think Nazi is a filtered word (I'm testing that now. EDIT: apparently not, how quaint. I can't write out the name of historian **** Harrison but Nazi is a-okay. Americans are weird.). I'm used to it from so many places I routinely cut it out, but I also want to make sure I accurately define what I'm talking about. "Germany created concentration camps" is a very wrong thing to say IMO.
    There are workarounds to the filter, which are acceptable if you're using it to spell out a name like "Dick Harrison", just FYI. And I don't think it's an especially American thing to say "talking about XYZ topics are no-go, so let's filter out the words that are generally used in that context", myself.

    I'd also say that "NS Germany" is a better term than "N-word Germany", because in American English, "N-word" generally has a very specific meaning, so using it elsewhere gets weird, as it's immediately associated with the racial slur rather than the term you actually mean it as a stand-in for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    As for the alleged “might makes right” argument, I will let George Orwell respond more eloquently than I can.

    http://www.telelib.com/authors/O/Orw...e19440519.html
    I don't think that really applies here - the point Orwell is making seems to against the criticism of mass bombing in general, and basically lays the groundwork for an argument that bombing cities is justified by bringing the war closer to its end. That's an argument that doesn't really work if the opposing position is "this specific bombing did not help end the war"; I would say that unnecessary bombing would take the same place as killing children does - "Obviously one must not [do that] if it is in any way avoidable" - because it represents worse-than-necessary barbarity without the counterweight of "we will end the war sooner this way".

    From what I understand, the argument is that bombing Dresden was pointless. Even if it isn't unprecedented levels of destruction, it's still killing people without purpose; a fitting analogy would be the murder of POWs absent any kind of excuse - if you allow Orwell's point about strategic bombing to be expanded to everything else, surely there's nothing wrong with that, right?

    (To clarify - I'm not trying to insinuate you'd agree with this, or doing so myself. The point is to point out what I see as an unfortunate implication of a misuse of an argument with a different intended target.)
    Last edited by PersonMan; 2019-08-16 at 05:56 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #386
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    The problem with Dresden was that it was a city everyone loved, like bombing Paris or Florence. Nobody cares about e.g. the destruction of Cologne and its churches, because Europeans didn't love Cologne as much as Dresden.

    Then there is the timing. It was captured at the beginning of May 1945. It had been bombed out in February.

    In general, I don't think the Allied strategic bombing campaigns managed to achieve anything of note outside of Japan. Nor did Axis bombings, as far as I am aware.

    About Orwell, his words boil down to "let's do anything we can get away with", "others have done worse", and "the safety of civilians makes wars possible", so I think it flows into one form of "might makes right", albeit a situational and conditional one: "might makes right, because that's how war works, and war is disgusting, but currently unavoidable."

    His ironic hint at Fuller (a British general controversial as a Fascist supporter) and Franco, however, opens up an implicit reference to the bombing of Guernica, which had also been extremely controversial, and carried out against an open city, to boot.

    BTW, this article is from the 19th of May; on the 29th of June, a V1 damaged Orwell's home, and he had to use a shovel to look for the manuscript of Animal Farm, and a wheelbarrow to carry away his book collection. He tried to publish Animal Farm later that year, only to be stopped by a certain Peter Smollett from the British Ministry of Information, who afterwards turned out to be a Soviet NKVD agent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Here's an idea: If you don't want to get blown up by superior American firepower, maybe don't invade Poland, overrun Europe, put 10 million civilians in death camps and blitz London.
    I think it's more "maybe don't let your ally fly to Hawaii". Before that, even Superman fought people who wanted to embroil America in European turmoil. But then, maybe America would have come to Europe anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  27. - Top - End - #387
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    I don't think that really applies here - the point Orwell is making seems to against the criticism of mass bombing in general, and basically lays the groundwork for an argument that bombing cities is justified by bringing the war closer to its end. That's an argument that doesn't really work if the opposing position is "this specific bombing did not help end the war"; I would say that unnecessary bombing would take the same place as killing children does - "Obviously one must not [do that] if it is in any way avoidable" - because it represents worse-than-necessary barbarity without the counterweight of "we will end the war sooner this way".

    From what I understand, the argument is that bombing Dresden was pointless. Even if it isn't unprecedented levels of destruction, it's still killing people without purpose; a fitting analogy would be the murder of POWs absent any kind of excuse - if you allow Orwell's point about strategic bombing to be expanded to everything else, surely there's nothing wrong with that, right?

    (To clarify - I'm not trying to insinuate you'd agree with this, or doing so myself. The point is to point out what I see as an unfortunate implication of a misuse of an argument with a different intended target.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    The problem with Dresden was that it was a city everyone loved, like bombing Paris or Florence. Nobody cares about e.g. the destruction of Cologne and its churches, because Europeans didn't love Cologne as much as Dresden.

    Then there is the timing. It was captured at the beginning of May 1945. It had been bombed out in February.

    In general, I don't think the Allied strategic bombing campaigns managed to achieve anything of note outside of Japan. Nor did Axis bombings, as far as I am aware.

    About Orwell, his words boil down to "let's do anything we can get away with", "others have done worse", and "the safety of civilians makes wars possible", so I think it flows into one form of "might makes right", albeit a situational and conditional one: "might makes right, because that's how war works, and war is disgusting, but currently unavoidable."

    His ironic hint at Fuller (a British general controversial as a Fascist supporter) and Franco, however, opens up an implicit reference to the bombing of Guernica, which had also been extremely controversial, and carried out against an open city, to boot.

    BTW, this article is from the 19th of May; on the 29th of June, a V1 damaged Orwell's home, and he had to use a shovel to look for the manuscript of Animal Farm, and a wheelbarrow to carry away his book collection. He tried to publish Animal Farm later that year, only to be stopped by a certain Peter Smollett from the British Ministry of Information, who afterwards turned out to be a Soviet NKVD agent.



    I think it's more "maybe don't let your ally fly to Hawaii". Before that, even Superman fought people who wanted to embroil America in European turmoil. But then, maybe America would have come to Europe anyway.
    When I read Orwell's words, the brunt of his point to me is not that mass bombing is fine because war's bad and you might as well do whatever. To me, he seems to be arguing that mass bombing is more moral than conventional warfare because it tends to take out the middle aged. A group which has much more to do with beginning and ending wars than whatever 18 year olds got drafted. His points about wars being conducted by whatever manner was deemed most efficient strike me more as bringing up contrasting examples of behavior that the people lobbying against bombing had no problems with (ie gassing people in nations that can't gas them back). The outcry against Dresden could be seen in a similar light. People object to it being damaged because it was one of the good places filled with the right sort of people and should never have been subjected to the vulgarity of war's... tactile details. Orwell came back from India horrified and disgusted by the atrocities his societies leadership was willing to inflict on people it didn't particularly value and never expected to actually run into, as well as the callous way they left their soldiers to deal with the messes their ideas left. His writing here strikes me as a natural continuation of that disgust.
    Last edited by Mabn; 2019-08-17 at 11:40 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #388
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Okay, this is entirely orthogonal to the current discussion: having recently been playing Fire Emblem: 3 Houses, I'm trying to figure out how flying cavalry like Fire Emblem games have would work.

    Now I'm fairly certain that the pegasus from the games wouldn't be used much in the fighting p[art of a battle - they're depicted as being fast but fragile with a preference for female riders. I assume that the preference for female riders is because women are on average lighter than men more than any magical reason. Given this I assume that pegasus riders will be used as all but untouchable scouts and couriers, flying high above opposing forces and only being vulnerable to other fliers. If you have enough of them you could use them as flankers, but I'm not entirely certain what the best weapons to use from atop a pegasus would be - probably bows, and I think cavalry sabres or spears, javelins and lances?

    Fire Emblerm also has wyverns as flying mounts - big lizards with four legs and wings that are slower and more durable than pegasi with no preference for either gender. I assume they're also stronger than a pegasus in terms of how much weight they can carry and a bit more dangerous when it comes to the mount joining in the battle - but I feel like they'd have endurance issues compared to pegasi, being unsuited to long-distance message delivery because of this, but that isn't based on anything but my own assumptions. Given this I'm fairly certain wyverns would be great for transporting elite troops to precisely where they're needed on the battlefield and maybe even capable of lifting up boulders or other heavy objects to drop on enemy formations. They probably wouldn't be great at aerial interception as the pegasus is faster and probably more maneuverable, but I imagine they're better at fighting on the ground. Again I'm not certain what weapons a wyvern rider would use - probably not the axes of fire emblem. I assume bows and polearms would be good choices, maybe sabres like with actual cavalry, but I'm not sure.

    Am I making good assumptions here, or am I entirely off base in how flying mounts would be used in a real military context?

  29. - Top - End - #389
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Flyers is a game changer, imagine if only one side had them in a war:

    1. Scouting.

    2. Strategic missions (deep rapid unpredictable strikes into enemy territory).

    3. Battlefield command & control.

    4. Kill enemy command.

    5. Negate fortifications.

    Given the above options I think flying cavalry in the traditional sense might be a waste of resources. Imagine sending in your wyverns to attack infantry, yes you may rout an enemy formation but it's hardly worth it if you lose your ability to trivially take a key fortress.

    Now if both sides have them, then a lot of the time they are going to be used against each other to prevent each side employing said options. So I think there will be a lot of dogfighting action.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2019-08-22 at 12:21 AM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  30. - Top - End - #390
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    For one thing, at least compared to ground forces, speed is highly unlikely to be an issue for either wyverns or pegasi. Using birds as a benchmark, even the slowest fliers are liable to easily outpace cavalry, assuming they have enough power to fly while carrying a human and armor in the first place. The difference between slow-flying and fast-flying cavalry is likely only going to matter when compared against each other, since both are almost certainly going to outpace anything on the ground.

    Due to the nature of gravity, ranged combat is an excellent option, as enemy projectiles need to ascend to reach you, while your own have gravity assisting them. Lances with breakaway tips are also viable for devastating hit-and-run melee against enemies with no means of reaching you, like say, a wall of shields and swords, and would likely be terrifying enough to scatter most troops. Both of these would also likely be good choices for air-to-air combat, since otherwise a head-on collision is almost certainly fatal for both parties, and tail-chasing and dogfighting might be too drawn out to serve as anything but a distraction. One thing's for sure, if your fliers are just slugging it out, either with each other or with ground-bound soldiers, it's not a good use of resources, unless the mounts are themselves combat powerhouses.

    However, as very astutely mentioned by earlier posters, the most groundbreaking uses are likely to be in areas other than attacking frontline troops. Command, artillery, logistics (including peasants/farms). Even if your enemy has appropriate countermeasures (such as pike squares, ranged units with enough power to take out the mounts, etc.), they'll be stuck with the unenviable prospect of either spreading those units out among every target you could strike at (which is a lot, considering your relative speed and range), or choosing which stuff is worth protecting at all. After all, if they concentrate their pikemen and ballista-equivalents near their command and artillery, you could always streak off toward their baggage train. After all, it's not like they can chase you. One major, often overlooked benefit of speed is that it makes concentration of force compared to your enemy extremely easy.

    Then come the noncombat uses, again as noted earlier, which are probably the most influential of all. A bird's-eye view is excellent for both scouting and command, as well as both long and short-distance communication. Storming or relieving a castle, kidnapping the princess, terrorizing the countryside faster, there are a lot of options.

    In terms of historical progression, how flying cavalry would develop as a military idea, you can look at real-world military aviation for many things (except for technological advancement, which is likely to have less or even negative effect on the effectiveness of biological aircav). Of course, it's also entirely possible that people could look at the similarity between air and ground cavalry, giving you a far different progression, but we'll stick with this one for now.
    First you have scouting, looking at enemy positions (also communication since you probably don't have fantasy telegrams), maybe a commander hitches a ride to get a different perspective. Then one well-armed scout decides he's gonna try to kill that other scout over there, or a spy brings word of a forward-thinking commander that needs to be dealt with, and you've now got the first air combat.
    So now your scouts need better ways of defending themselves, so you figure out good ways to arm them, probably have them travel in small groups for safety in numbers. Maybe the air conflict won't escalate, and you'll have a certain unsteady, unspoken agreement between fellow denizens of the sky. More likely, you will not, and your scouts will start to be joined by interceptor flights and dedicated escorts, in ever-increasing numbers.
    Eventually, someone will realize that with so many men and women in the air, why should their interaction with the ground be limited to looking? Probably starting with archers or firebomb carriers, maybe even just dropped rocks. If you assume people draw inspiration from ground-bound cavalry quickly, this increase in numbers and goals is probably where you'll start seeing large units of say, pegasus archers or wyvern lancers being raised. Pretty safe assumption, but if not, or if flying mounts are too rare to recruit units of sufficient size, you may see different things develop. Maybe flying cavalry remains rare enough that only scouting, commanding, communications, or special operations-esque actions can be feasibly done.
    Or maybe you've got wyverns in every household. Maybe some societies have lots of fliers and others don't. Maybe you've got raiding steppes tribes but with wings. If so, the rest of the world is in for a not-great time of it. There's ways you could go about this, most of which would be extremely interesting and could probably pass a common-sense test, if not a detailed investigation.
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