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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:19 am 
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Anthropoid wrote:
All is fair in love and war.

Not true for fencing (or even dueling to a lesser extent) or other rituals.

Love and war are not rituals, they are primal acts of existential striving.


It depends on context. Judicial duels had strong rules. Law of the land might involve unwritten rules.

All that said, would you have been ready to die for some moral code? It depends on punishment. If they'll hang you for taking advantage of the enemy tripping on a rock, it's probably not worth it. If they'd fine you or scold you, you'd probably do it anyway because at least you'd live through it.

There were some duels that in extreme cases would be cases where neither party wanted to fight - such as an insult which calls upon a duel challenge or else the offended man's honor would take an enormous hit. And then the offender has to accept the challenge or else face similar loss of face.

Then in extreme case both might enter the duel without truly wanting to fight. They might go through a few exchanges and possibly end it with first cut while not seeking to cut deep or go until the offended person managed to land a cut on the offender so that they could "satisfy the needs of their martial ethos" or so and then the offended party would simply state that his honor has been restored.

In high medieval Germany for instance at some point it was forbidden to thrust at the opponent in duel setting because that would constitute for attempted murder - implying that cuts were not to be deep. Finnish tradition has a class of knife wielding thugs known as Häjyt (plural, 'mean ones') who would carry a knife and challenge others to fight. Tradition knows a "desperate mans attack" which was essentially when the other side felt cornered and would instead of a cut simply drive the knife into the winning party's body, this was a feared situation and the idea was to attack with light slicing motions and to merely convince the other person to yield.

In a society where there essentially is no police force and the most common law is the law of the land such traditions developed while at times almost every man was armed or a great big percentage were.

That doesn't mean that when you come across highway bandits or so that you aren't going to take every possible advantage that you can think of. Also some judicial battles and duels had a lot more relaxed rule sets. And of course you might at any time just say "fuck it" and ignore whatever the 'good conduct' was.

Those that seriously practiced fighting would train it all, even the fencing books often have all the possible fields of close combat ranging from mounted combat with lance, sword, mounted wrestling and all the way to polearms, spear, swords, mace, knife and wrestling - all of these in and out of armor. So truly a medieval person with a 'degree' such as master's paper from a fencing guild would be truly a well rounded combatant and know a bunch of surprising tricks.

When employed as mercenaries at least in Landsknecht a master swordsman earned double pay - dobbelsöldner, double soldiers.

abradley wrote:


Tripped over this, interesting.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-bnM5SuQkI&t=49s[/youtube]

Over the centuries from XIVth to XVIth century the plate armor developed enormously. In addition to the design of armor improving the steels got better and the armor itself lighter while offering the same or more protection than the heavier older ones. Initially better steels made it easy to envelop the whole soldier entirely in steel and then some, such as additional pieces to protect the gaps in armor.

For instance at Agincourt when the French knights charged the English longbowmen it was noted that most of the casualties came from hits to face - such as when knights might have the visor open - "oh they're not gonna hit me in the face from this distance". There were some cases when up close the arrows coming from sides (defilade fire) hit the side of the visor and penetrated into the helmet.

Even so it is worth noting just how many French knights were taken prisoner - so many that the English king decided to just execute them because he was worried that they'd escape and wreak havoc in his camp as there were so many.


Anthropoid wrote:
That is pretty damned interesting. I would think the military would be into that kind stuff; not so much the medieval but actual scientific studies of how soldiers perform using various types of kit.

Having been a caver for many years, I can say: a bad kit can ruin your performance. A well-tuned kit can let you shine. A perfect kit is almost like a talisman that boosts performance. Very subtle things too like . . . many in my group used shoulder bags (small triple thick ballistic cloth bags with big beefy fastec snaps and a draw string closure): one needs to shift the position of the bag on the body far too much to use two straps. So when you crawl the bag dangles under you when you walk you have it slung into the small of your back or hip. When you stoop walk you definitely put it in small of your back as a counter balance, etc.

Because of all this shifting of the bag, the strap would tend to abraid the neck. I very early figured out that wearing a turtleneck synthetic material shirt as my bottom layer was the ideal. The bunched up cloth at the neck prevented the neck abrasion and when it was cold you could pull the turtleneck up around your face.


There are scientific studies on these kinds of things. The results are used both as part of seeing what procurements give the most bang for the buck but also procurements are difficult - having a tiny advantage of comfort or so is nice but can be unaffordable. Some of the studies focus on things like impact of extra few kilograms of gear, others study the training methods and their effects - which method is best and some even study the effects of wounds and coming under chemical attack by simulating those with use of gas masks and possibly 'forced' donation of blood on the test group.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 5:45 am 
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Following the obstacle course comes mobility between Japanese and European armor.

I was amazed how flexible a knight in armor can be.



When I was younger it was thought knights in armor were akin to turtles when knocked down, not the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 4:32 am 
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It's been mentioned that the Samurai used the bow

A description and demonstration of the technique by two lasses.

And a more detailed explanation of the art.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:11 am 
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abradley wrote:
Following the obstacle course comes mobility between Japanese and European armor.

I was amazed how flexible a knight in armor can be.



When I was younger it was thought knights in armor were akin to turtles when knocked down, not the case.


Yup, no one sensible would want an armor in which they cannot survive through a battle - the whole point of the armor is to enhance your chances of survival, not impede you with immense vulnerabilities. This is why they tried to keep the weight itself below 30kg so that a well conditioned person can still perform almost normally through the day.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:33 pm 
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I believe the armor used in jousting is the type that induces the "turtle on his back effect."

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:17 am 
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Anthropoid wrote:
I believe the armor used in jousting is the type that induces the "turtle on his back effect."


Image
Yup, as heavy cavalry charges were increasingly dropped from military use jousting became increasingly a sport with specially designed jousting armor being developed for the men engaging in this sport. They could weigh twice the weight of normal plate armor, around 50kg (110lb).

Some other tournament armor wasn't intended for jousting but for events such as fighting on foot with wooden clubs:
Image


Obviously these would get you killed in real combat.

Been doing some research on muskets and firearms, Humfrey Barwick writes this:
"a musket with good shot and powder, would kill the best armoured man at ten score yards, an ordinary armoured man at twenty score, and an unarmoured man at thirty score"
Essentially, killing 'best armored' man at 180m distance, armored man at 360m and unarmored man at 550m!

Also
Quote:
Williams was in broad agreement with this, ‘the musket’, he wrote, ‘spoils horse and man thirty score off. If the powder be anything good and the bearer of any judgement, and in the face of a charge, few if any, would be able to withstand a musket fusillade within ten or twelve score’.


http://www.alderneywreck.com/index.php/artefacts/firearms/terminology-and-ballistic-capability


Quote:
A trained marksman, with good bullet and powder, could kill a man in ordinary armour of older type at a range of over 600 yards.

http://www.alderneywreck.com/index.php/artefacts/armour
From discussion on the state of English armor at the middle of 16th century, apparently the advances in armor had been largely neglected and the state of armor available for troops at muster was generally bad.

Quote:
Another problem was inadequate care and maintenance. No doubt some collections were better funded than others, and certainly some lord-lieutenants and muster-masters were more conscientious than others, but most of the publicly owed armour, especially during the first half of the Queen’s reign, appears to have been ill-fastened, pitted from rust and worn thin from years of scouring with sand. In addition, linings were often rotten from damp and in tatters from rodent activity. At one muster in 1559, the year after Elizabeth was enthroned, the soldiers refused the armour provided as unfit to wear.


Quote:
But, more often than not, it was a Hobson’s choice in which one got what one was given. Sir John Smythe, who pondered much on the weapons of his day, recommended that arms and armour be kept at home, for not only would this encourage better care, fit and compatability of the parts, but would avoid, at collection points, the comic situation in which people proceeded ‘in a hubbledehuffe disorderlie to arme themselves; whereof … little men doo put on great or tall mens armore, and leave litle mens armors unfit for great men to put on; according to the old saying, first come, first served’.



Quite interesting details from 16th century England on that site.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:09 pm 
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https://warisboring.com/graf-zeppelin-w ... t-carrier/

Quote:
‘Graf Zeppelin’ Was Nazi Germany’s Big, Dumb Aircraft Carrier

The Third Reich decided—probably correctly—that the flattop wasn't worth it

Image

May 25, 2017 Robert Farley
World War II47
From the first days of his ascension to power, Adolf Hitler planned to rebuild the Kriegsmarine into a world-class navy. Most of the world’s other major fleets included aircraft carriers, and so German naval authorities soon determined that the Reich would also require carriers.

Germany laid down its first carrier in December 1936, and launched the Graf Zeppelin two years later. The vessel would never enter service, however. Disputes between the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe would delay the development of an air group, skepticism about the value of carriers would slow the project and, finally, the demands of the war prioritized other projects.

Had Graf Zeppelin entered service, however, she might have posed a formidable problem for the Royal Navy. Acting either alone or in support of Kriegsmarine battleships, Graf Zeppelin could have threatened Britain’s commercial lifeline, and at the very least made the anti-submarine campaign considerably more complicated.

Concept

The Royal Navy began converting ships into aircraft carriers before the end of World War I. By the early 1920s, Japan and the United States had joined the pack. The Washington Naval Treaty accelerated the pace of carrier construction, leading to the conversion of several large battle cruiser hulls into fleet carriers. France joined the party shortly thereafter, and even the Soviets and the Italians made abortive moves towards carrier construction.

The Treaty of Versailles sharply limited both German aviation and German naval construction, making aircraft carriers out of the question. When Hitler renounced those restrictions, however, carriers were back on the menu.

The Anglo-German Naval Agreement allotted roughly 40,000 tons to German carrier construction, and initially the Reich determined to construct two 19,000-ton ships, roughly the size of American, Japanese and British fleet carriers. Although access to foreign aircraft carriers was limited, the Germans did manage to acquire some engineering materials from Japan during the design process.

Image
‘Graf Zeppelin’ in 1942. Royal Air Force photo

Ships

Expectations for the size of Graf Zeppelin and her sister increased across the process, as it became clear that the Anglo-German Naval Agreement did not pose a particularly important obstacle to what the Germans wanted. By the time of her launching, Graf Zeppelin was expected to displace 35,000 tons, very large for an aircraft of the era, similar in size to the Essex-class carriers.

Graf Zeppelin had a design speed of 35 knots, which would have made her the fastest carrier ever built, although it’s not at all clear that the final ship could have made that speed. She would also have carried a substantial anti-aircraft armament for the period, which Graf Zeppelin would have needed given the lack of escorts in any plausible mission profile.

Unlike American or Japanese carriers of the period, she would have had an armored flight deck.

Despite her size, the Germans did not expect Graf Zeppelin to carry a very large air group. Work on pilot training and aircraft development started in 1938. The responsibility for this development lay with the Luftwaffe, an inter-service collaboration arrangement that has repeatedly proved unworkable in practice.

In any case, the initial projected air group included 20 Fi 167 biplane torpedo bombers, 10 Bf 109 fighters and 13 Stuka dive bombers. As the project matured, the Germans dispensed with the Fi 167, and began working on plans to convert the Ju-87 into a torpedo bomber, as well as a carrier specialized fighter.

Still, this collection would have been substantially inferior to the air groups normally deployed on American or Japanese carriers.
Image
‘Graf Zeppelin’ in September 1945. U.S. Navy photo

Employment

Long-range plans for Graf Zeppelin would have involved service with the regular body of the Kriegsmarine, supporting and protecting German battleships in operations against the Royal Navy and other foes.

In the real war, however, Graf Zeppelin’s role would have been very different. Just as the cruisers and battleships of the Kriegsmarine found themselves committed to commerce raiding, Graf Zeppelin would have had to earn its keep in the hunt for merchant shipping in the Atlantic.

As an individual raider, Graf Zeppelin would have had some advantages over battleships such as Bismarck and Scharnhorst. Aerial recon would have made it much easier for the Graf Zeppelin to find targets, or to find targets for its partners.

Strikes launched by bomber and torpedo aircraft could have wreaked havoc at long range, against not only British merchant shipping, but also against escorts and would-be interception squadrons. And Graf Zeppelin’s fighter contingent could have dealt with Swordfish biplanes of the sort that crippled Bismarck. She could also have operated in tandem with a battleship or heavy cruiser, increasing the scouting range and lethality of the raider formation, while also providing protection against British aircraft.

The biggest problems would have come not from the ship’s fuel, but rather from the expenditure of limited aviation stores.

Sustaining carrier operations is hugely costly in terms of fuel, munitions and spare parts. The British, Americans and Japanese all dealt with this problem in different ways, and to different effect, but none of them employed carriers in long-range raiding ops detached from sources of supply. Germany did maintain a certain rump network of resupply ships in the Atlantic, but this would have struggled to keep Graf Zeppelin in operation for any extended period of time.

At the onset of war the Germans decided, probably correctly, that the carriers represented too much of an investment, given other priorities. The second ship of the class was broken up before launching, and work on Graf Zeppelin continued spasmodically across the war.

Eventually, Allied naval dominance made the construction of further surface vessels pointless. Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in 1945, raised by the Soviets, and sunk as a target in 1947.

In the end, the need to develop operational experience with carriers may have posed the most difficult obstacle.

In the wake of World War I, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States spent almost two decades working through the problems and implications of carrier warfare. This included the development of aircraft, deck procedures, pilot training programs, resupply priorities, and aircraft management systems. The Germans would have had very little time to work on any of these, and could not have drawn on the expertise of any partners, apart from the distant Japanese.

Simply getting Graf Zeppelin’s air group into shape would have taken more time than the Reich had to lose.

Still, Graf Zeppelin could have thrown a wrench into Allied naval warfighting plans—in the Arctic, for example, it could have caused major problems for Murmansk convoys. It is fortunate that the Nazis never had the opportunity to put it to use.

This article originally appeared at The National Interest.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:42 am 
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The Nazis really loved pouring thousands of tanks and fighters worth of steel into shit that turned out to be target practice for Allies.

If that was going on today, I'd upvote all the pocket battleships, Schwerer Gustav, carriers, everything. V2's etc., I'd help promote the shit for their people.

"We will win with these superweapons"
-"Yea, exactly! That's what you're gonna do, win, with superweapons! Go for it all the way, in fact, stop building fighters, fighters are nothing compared to superweapons! It's a no brainer!"

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:54 pm 
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WWII Nazi infantry squad tactics

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:59 am 
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And the song

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