- Feb 21, 2012
Weapons vs Armor. The see saw of history of the infantry
Weapons / Armor have always been a see saw of development. I would like this thread to concentrate on only the infantry.
We start with the spear and sword and someone invents a shield. Soon everyone has a shield. Body armor makes incremental advances until the Knight is so well armored that he is difficult to overcome. Enter the long bow. The French Knights twice lost to this weapon.
Enter firearms and the Knight was no more. Ground troops went back to heavy breast plates and were, once again, vulnerable. Eventually even breast plates vanished as the power of firearms increased dramatically.
Looking at warfare today we seem to have come full circle. Many troops now wear body armor that becomes difficult to penetrate. Of course the poorer countries and the freedom fighters can not afford the armor so the battle field is once again ruled by the elite fighting forces.
So how do we overcome these imbalances.
I think that perhaps the AK47 has had its day. It simply does not have the power to defeat modern equivalents of the armored knights of old. Nor can it penetrate even lightly armored vehicles.
I would suggest that we now need the equivalent of the long bow. What would happen if the other side threw away the AKs and replaced them with a weapon that had sufficient kinetic energy to kill without having to penetrate. That would be a 50 caliber sniper rifle.
Imagine if the denizens of Gaza all had 50 caliber sniper rifles. Do you think the IDF would be considering a ground offensive? It would be even deadlier if the 50 calibers fired a single round and then vacated their position. With hundreds of freedom fighters / insurgents using these tactics I think the situation would turn around.
Imagine trying to occupy Iran with these tactics in play. The IED has been tried with very limited effect and a propensity to kill innocents.
With the right ammo a barrage from 50 caliber sniper rifles will bring down many helicopters, especially if you target the rocket pods.
This will happen at some stage.