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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:04 am 
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abradley wrote:
Quote:
Soviet-era screw-propelled truck returns
By Dan Elsom, The Sun
http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2017/10/05/ ... turns.html

In the comments there are some questions as to by who and when the screw vehicle were first used.



Our nickname for infantry is 'lawn drill' but the Russians managed to create a machine version of a lawn drill. At least it is almost faster than an infantryman though I find much higher utility from the ATVs and snowmobiles that we use. At least they move faster than infantry and use less fuel than a full sized truck.



I really liked the Ekranoplan design though. I keep wondering, had it been invented in the West if it would have been economical to use it for oceanic transportation - rapid delivery of urgent shipments, 1,000 tons of cargo at rapid rates across Atlantic and Pacific. But I don't know how much it cost to build and operate so it could be just pure lunacy, a technological budget killing monster.

Also interested of it's capabilities in poor weather.

:edit:

Read a bit more about WIG (wing in ground) and apparently there's been research to them since soon after Wright brothers. The problems are indeed related to poor weather and cost of developing such vehicles. They're classed as maritime craft and could one day be low cost, low weight and high speed vehicles carrying cargo and passengers across seas. However, seas have frequent bad weather and high waves so whether that will ever become a reality is under question. Certainly despite almost a century of research into them there's no rush by logistics and transportation investors to invest in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:06 am 
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Here's a nice short 3 minute video, condensing months of hard work by experts who recreated a historical knightly plate armor and fired a musket round at it after firing one at a regular infantry plate.

https://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs/videos/10154973457312196/

Watch the video, I won't spoil the results! They say the musket is the superweapon of it's time, the 16th century muskets were 20-23mm or 0.8-0.9 caliber. That's a cannon caliber today or as they say on the video, "the next step would be getting hit by a cannon".

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:43 am 
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https://www.quora.com/Did-the-%E2%80%98Eastern%E2%80%99-Europeans-underestimate-the-Mongol-invaders-of-Europe-and-if-so-how-should-they-have-handled-it-better-in-their-first-battles/answer/Susanna-Viljanen?srid=zfqv

Did the ‘Eastern’ Europeans underestimate the Mongol invaders of Europe, and if so how should they have handled it better in their first battles?

Quote:
Susanna Viljanen, works at Aalto University

No. They were initially scared sh*tless of them. They lost two big battles and had Poland and Hungary basically devastated. They realized the Mongol organization, discipline and C3 simply outmatched them in any measurable set.

But at the same time they noticed the Mongols were not an unstoppable juggernaut and vengeance of God, but a human army with human weaknesses and which could be fought. They realized that while they had gotten their noses bloody, they still were standing. The two great battles of 1241 - Liegnitz and Muhi - had actually been close runs. They could have been ended in Polish or Hungarian victories, but were decided by lucky chance. They were not followed by the traditional relentless pursuit, but instead the Mongols were compelled to lick their wounds. The Eastern Europeans had won several minor battles. They noticed the Mongol logistics were based on foraging, and Mongol army had to be continuously on the move lest it starved. They also noted that the Mongols had not managed to capture one single stone castle or fortified city - they lacked siege equipment. And they now knew the Mongol modus operandi. They also knew that had a steppe nomad army taken a siege train with it, it would have slowed it down and denied its greatest asset - speed and mobility.

A normal state would at that moment, after such devastation, submitted to Mongols, surrendered and subjugated on the Mongols’ mercy. The Eastern Europeans didn’t. They now knew how to fight them.

The next time the Mongols invaded Hungary under Nogai in 1285, the Hungarians took absolutely no chances. The country had in the meantime been built full of castles (area denial). They initially retreated and practised scorched earth policy (logistics denial). While retreating, they favoured chevauchées (guerrilla strikes) instead of seeking field battle (asymmetric warfare). The percentage of armoured knights had been greatly increased after 1241 (asymmetry of forces). They drew the Mongols into terrain which greatly favoured heavy cavalry (near the town of Pest) and when they finally sought field battle, they encountered a tired, exhausted and hungry Mongol army in closed terrain with one flank at Danube and another at the steep hills near Pest.

Very few Mongols ever returned home.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:28 am 
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Kameolontti wrote:
https://www.quora.com/Did-the-%E2%80%98Eastern%E2%80%99-Europeans-underestimate-the-Mongol-invaders-of-Europe-and-if-so-how-should-they-have-handled-it-better-in-their-first-battles/answer/Susanna-Viljanen?srid=zfqv

Did the ‘Eastern’ Europeans underestimate the Mongol invaders of Europe, and if so how should they have handled it better in their first battles?

Quote:
Susanna Viljanen, works at Aalto University

No. They were initially scared sh*tless of them. They lost two big battles and had Poland and Hungary basically devastated. They realized the Mongol organization, discipline and C3 simply outmatched them in any measurable set.

But at the same time they noticed the Mongols were not an unstoppable juggernaut and vengeance of God, but a human army with human weaknesses and which could be fought. They realized that while they had gotten their noses bloody, they still were standing. The two great battles of 1241 - Liegnitz and Muhi - had actually been close runs. They could have been ended in Polish or Hungarian victories, but were decided by lucky chance. They were not followed by the traditional relentless pursuit, but instead the Mongols were compelled to lick their wounds. The Eastern Europeans had won several minor battles. They noticed the Mongol logistics were based on foraging, and Mongol army had to be continuously on the move lest it starved. They also noted that the Mongols had not managed to capture one single stone castle or fortified city - they lacked siege equipment. And they now knew the Mongol modus operandi. They also knew that had a steppe nomad army taken a siege train with it, it would have slowed it down and denied its greatest asset - speed and mobility.

A normal state would at that moment, after such devastation, submitted to Mongols, surrendered and subjugated on the Mongols’ mercy. The Eastern Europeans didn’t. They now knew how to fight them.

The next time the Mongols invaded Hungary under Nogai in 1285, the Hungarians took absolutely no chances. The country had in the meantime been built full of castles (area denial). They initially retreated and practised scorched earth policy (logistics denial). While retreating, they favoured chevauchées (guerrilla strikes) instead of seeking field battle (asymmetric warfare). The percentage of armoured knights had been greatly increased after 1241 (asymmetry of forces). They drew the Mongols into terrain which greatly favoured heavy cavalry (near the town of Pest) and when they finally sought field battle, they encountered a tired, exhausted and hungry Mongol army in closed terrain with one flank at Danube and another at the steep hills near Pest.

Very few Mongols ever returned home.



The Mongols are the primary reason that my parents and their ancestors are from Transylvania (which is now part of Romania but prior to WW 1 was part of Humgary). The Mongols came through several times and devastated Hungary. The Hungarian king needed to repopulate his country, particulary the southern/eastern border areas. The king moved some Hungarians (a group called the Szeklers) to the eastern borders of his land but he needed more people. The King of Hungary then sent agents to the German areas around Luxembourg and the Moselle River areas to recruit people to come and settle in southeatern border areas. Several waves of people then settled in Transylvania. Many initially (around the 1160-70's) came from (as mentioned) from Luxembourg and Moselle areas, and then later waves in the 1240s and later came from the Rhineland, Southern Low Countries, and the Moselle region, with others from Thuringia, Bavaria, and even from France.

As Kameo mentioned, the key to defending against further Mongol invasions was through fortifications. In cities castles and fortified city walls were built, but even in towns and even the smallest villages, they built fortified churches.

Here is a link to some of the largest/best castles that were built:
Top 10 Castles and citadels you must visit in Transylvania

Below is the Rupea Fortress which is about 5 miles or so from the village that my father grew up in.

Image

The Sighisoara Medieval Citadel below is about 10 or so miles from the village where my mother grew up.

Image

As mentioned, even small towns went through the effort of fortifying their town churches.

Here is an aerial view of the fortified church in my mother's town (Denndorf):

Image
The left side used to have a structure similar to that on the right side of the fortifications but they were removed at some point in the 1800s (the Mongols were no longer a threat at that point ;-) ).

My mother's town only had about 1,000-1,200 residents.

And here is a picture of the fortified church in my father's village (Schweischer):

Image

Here is a ground level view from outside the walls:

Image

My father's fortified church used to have a large square tower but that was also removed at some point (I think in the 1800s):

Image

My dad's town was even smaller and only had about 500-600 residents at its peak.

Here is a picture of a larger fortified church at the village of Weisskirch, which is only about a mile or so from my father's town:

Image

Prince Charles of England actually purchased and renovated a home in Weisskirch and apparently still visits there once or twice a year.

The fortified churches also proved useful later when there were occaisonally raids conducted by the Ottoman Turks.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Tossing this into the pot to add to the tale:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/ ... as_not_so/

Plus the problem of their horses, read several times that beyond eastern Europe it was forested, not enough grassland for their herds.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:25 am 
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abradley wrote:
Tossing this into the pot to add to the tale:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/ ... as_not_so/

Plus the problem of their horses, read several times that beyond eastern Europe it was forested, not enough grassland for their herds.


Where they mostly thrived was indeed in areas where you had relatively large empires with central cities and big armies that you could challenge and then crush in a single decisive battle after which the rest of the empire went down like a house of cards.

Europe in contrast was a slaughterhouse. Whatever you did, you had to throw men and horses into a meatgrinder. Wars in Europe were extremely consuming and expensive because of this and this is also why European average foot soldier was quickly over time covered from toes to head with armor upon armor, even light infantry consisting of peasant levies would easily have both gambesons and mail in addition to helmets and any other protective gear.

Troops types in Europe tended to have rough standards for equipment, for instance a pikeman would be considered to require certain set of equipment ranging from minimum armor to minimum weapons and minimum other equipment that had to be provided in armory for levies or in constant use for standing professionals. If you were required by law to supply X number of type Y troops to your lord, you couldn't just go get random peasants on your way to being summoned with your troops. They had to have at least certain equipment though nothing stopped you from getting more men and more and better equipment. Even if they were levies you'd still train them to fight.

There was also some self interest in doing a good job at it since it would be annoying to be facing an actual enemy charge relying on men who couldn't fight, not to mention losing the battle and having your lands pillaged instead of gaining loot and taking hostages.


And indeed, it's tricky to feed tens of thousands of horses, even if there is initially enough grass for them to eat if you're stuck in one place for too long you'll quickly run out of grass. Now, imagine if there's not enough grass to begin with and how difficult it is to arrange enough fodder to be carried over hundreds of miles with the carry animals constantly eating some of the fodder themselves. Tricky even if your supply lines weren't constantly threatend by castles and forts that you left behind.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:18 am 
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A long but interesting video by Lindybeige on the origins of the British SAS:


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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:24 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:02 am 
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abradley wrote:


We aim for martial art, not a sport. It is difficult to come up with fully authentic duel rule set, but in general our group has a few principles:

- decent hit to head and neck is instantaneous death
- losing a limb is not instantaneous death

--> instant death doesn't interrupt ongoing action, say, sword is already moving, it will keep moving and if it hits the opponent, it hits and does what it does
--> loss of a limb means you can't launch a new two handed attack and you're going to be out of the fight soon
--> loss of leg means you can't lunge and move about, you're going to fall down but doesn't prevent you from launching a quick counter strike (afterblow)

All of this means that your primary mission is to get out of it alive. You don't win if you die, both duelists can lose.
Inactivity is considered disengaging and losing. You still need to engage the enemy in order to have a chance of winning.

You need to plan your attack so that you can win the enemy and get out of the engagement alive. See this:

[youtube]https://youtu.be/3FrVSTJPaZs[/youtube]
Check the 1:52 "squinting strike against long point", it shows proper precaution after successful attack to allow a safe disengagement - you can't just rush in, you need to fight your way out as well, all the while not getting hit. This is why fencing is hard - staying alive is harder than just getting a hit on the other guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:40 am 
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Tomahawk
Image

Francisca
Image

Pipe Tomahawk
Image

Stone Tomahawk
Image



Francisca was used at least from 4th century in Europe as a throwing axe and it was at times defining weapon of Franks iirc.

Indians had stone tomahawks until Europeans arrived, after trade was established Indians started buying steel axe heads from Europeans and came up with what amounts to Francisca but called it Tomahawk.
Europeans quickly started producing them as well, often to be traded to Indians who valued them greatly so at a time Europeans were producing Francisca and selling them to Indians as Tomahawk.

Indians did develop their own unique 'Pipe Tomahawk' design that featured either a hammer or even a pipe at the opposite end to the axe blade, which was also produced by Europeans.


Did I get everything right?

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