Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Jamuna, Mar 9, 2020.
I think both sides fooled around with armor.
To me that’s cumbersome and probably heavy...probably for shrapnel though...
Especially early on in WW1, the French were wedded to the idea of the bayonet charge. There was an idea that the French 'fighting spirit' would sweep the field, and the bayonet was the tool to do that. This led to the practice of suicidal charges against German troops who had embraced the concepts of modern warfare: howitzers and machine guns. I think the French would have been better off leaving their bayonets at home. Maybe the Brits, too.
I think in WW2 the Japanese had this same fatally flawed concept of the Japanese 'fighting spirit' being able to overwhelm an enemy. But allied forces had embraced the lessons learnt the hard way in WW1: machine guns don't respect bravery.
I'm sure you're right. But artillery was the most concerning weapon of the day....hence the focus would be there?
I agree that the order, "Fix bayonets" can have a psychological effect. That has been proven. It simply means, "With your shield or on it!". However, bayonet fighting, even in WW1, didn't warrant all the additional weight and restrictions on movement that these panels would entail. As shown above, as a casualty causing agent it is a very minor risk. A better idea would be to have the assault troops ditch their heavy packs, shovels, and extraneous gear and go "over the top" with their rifle, ammo, grenades and canteen. Then fill those inner pockets with a steel plate that could possibly stop shell fragments and even bullets!
i still can’t see the weight or restrictions you talk of...indeed part of the beauty of this idea is that it’s light, simple to manufacture, simple to use, gives a genuine added protection and about the most direct practical answer...it has the added bonus of the ‘psychological effect’...not feeling completely naked in the face of steel.
Interesting you come up with a similar idea for shrapnel...yet it’s the steel plate that uses valuable war material, would add considerable extra weight and restrict movement, probably wouldn’t pass my desk as practical. But I love the thinking!
Quick personal war-story: I was in the sandbox and came under sniper-fire while crossing an open area. I was fully kitted out with armor, assault pack, water, ammo, weapons, etc...probably 90# of gear. It was also really hot and I was dog-tired. Probably a little dehydrated, too.
There were guys under cover waving and yelling at me to run to cover: "Run, run!"
I broke into a slight trot, but was feeling worn-out and after a few yards just thought, "Ah, f#ck it..." I just went back to a walk and finally made it to a spot behind sandbags.
Some guys thought I was being a show-off or displaying foolish bravado. "Nope, just tired."
I kinda surprised myself with my indifferent attitude; it was a bit of a shock. But I think the real lesson there, for me, was that there's a point where one (I) just does what one (I) can and stops caring about the risks on the field.
Reinforces the point that carrying excess weight can be deadly; fortunately, I didn't prove the point in the extreme. (Didn't tell Mrs Jack that story for several years.)