Sunday, January 27, 2019

How many bullets?

Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: 'You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?' The soldier replied: 'We will shoot twice and go home.'

Numbers vary but some sources claim the Allies expended 25,000 rounds of small arms fire per enemy KIA in WWII, 100,000 per KIA in Korea, 200,000 per KIA in Vietnam and 250,000 per KIA in the sandbox.

There is some hand-waving behind the numbers. WWII was more artillery intensive and the targets were better defined than later wars. The metric obscures the fact that in WWII one torpedo could sink a troop ship and count for 4000 enemy KIA...torpedoes hardly counting as "small arms". Concepts like suppressive fire came into fashion as well as the hardware to deliver it.

What do those numbers mean?
The 5,000,000 rounds of ammo that the IRS has in its possession equate to 20 dead tax-scoffs at 250,000 rounds per KIA. That would be the number of adults in a small high school who shave a little bit on their taxes.

At 250,000 rounds of ammo per KIA, the conventional advice of "6000 rounds of ammo per battle-rifle" equates to about a 2% chance you put one "bad guy" on the ground.

Your tactics suck
If you find yourself in a fair fight it means your tactics suck.

If you find yourself losing then your tactics are worse than suck.

Avoid being the guy on the left side of the photo.
The doomer literature where the good guys get into a "conventional" shoot-out with the bad guys is jolly good entertainment but sucks as a tactic. Neither side is likely to have the logistical tail to support shoot-outs.

Gordon Dickson observed that battles in space will be fought by mutual consent. Space is so BIG that fleets will only encounter each other by mutual agreement.

The same is true to a lesser degree on Earth. You can be a dumb-ass and deal drugs on the corner, wear bling, post on social media or be a blogger. Or you can keep your mouth shut, pay cash, keep your mouth shut, stay off social media and keep your mouth shut. The dumb-ass is far more likely to be the guy on the left side of the photo than the guy who can keep his mouth shut and his purchases discrete.

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