Fighting Light.. what is the problem?

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Out of interest, possibly deserving another thread, just suppose Falklands happened today as opposed to 40 years ago. Would we have soldiers refusing to move on the word MEN, guys creaming in after a mile or so and every single bloke broadcasting their position on "find my friends"? Think about TODAYS army / navy / twats and could we actually achieve it???
No.
 
I used to get this problem with defensive systems: an 85% probability of stopping a Bad Thing from hitting you, sounds great and arguing that we really needed it up in the high 90s, was a hard sell - isn't 85% "really good" already?

Since the probability was about right, and the consequence of being hit was "really bad", I found using the Mess Webley analogy - one revolver, one round loaded, one game of Russian Roulette, per incoming threat - really helped to clarify it.

Salvo of four incoming? Spin the cylinder, put the gun to your head, pull the trigger. Repeat three more times. Still think those odds are good enough? Put the extra bit of kit I'm arguing for on the ship, and now the odds for a salvo of four are better than "one gun, one bullet, one game". [1]

Describe it like that, and I got more buy-in for "okay, maybe that extra defensive layer you want is a good investment after all..." where trying to explain "four consecutive 85% probabilities of not getting hit, mean it's only fifty-fifty whether you survive..." just didn't seem to get traction.

[1] Let's not get into the Bayesian probability / Monty Hall Effect of whether you should, or shouldn't, spin the cylinder between each game, or we'll be here all week...

Vulgarising and communicating numbersy sciency/mathsy things so that normies can grok it is an artform, indeed. As a general rule, most people don't *get* numbers at all, particularly big/small ones.

E.g. bullet muzzle energy: what does 300J of kinetic energy look like? That's a fairly soft 9x19mm load from a pistol. You can vulgarise this as a 20kg kettlebell dropped from 1.5m high.
With electrical energy, how big a cup of tea could you make with however many kJ you're talking about? (boiling 200ml of water from 15°C requires 71.4kJ assuming no losses)
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
And of course the best option, where possible, is not to get engaged in the first place, which often requires a level of mobility that the protection precludes.

For the maritime side, that was where a colleague leaned in hard on the whole "defence against this threat doesn't begin with you detecting it coming over the horizon straight for you; it begins with you not being detected, tracked and identified in time for them to decide to fire".

The earlier you can break the enemy's "kill chain" (horrible term but has its uses), the easier and safer your life usually is... but some parts of that are a lot harder to model reliably.
 
Plate carrier with pouches and drop bag, small patrol sack at most for a few spare batts and some water/ammo, maybe a few bandoliers for good measure, job jobbed. No need for massive bergans etc these days (or the last 30 odd years IMHO).

Maybe a selection of pouches on belt order as well just for some more ammo.
 
Maybe a selection of pouches on belt order as well just for some more ammo.

And that 'Maybe' is where it all starts to go wrong again.




P.S. I actually agree with your original premise.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
but some parts of that are a lot harder to model reliably.
And therin lies the tricky bit in explaining caveats on the forecast of ANY model (from MBT to Covid) to an innumerate officer or, God help you, a headline seeking politician.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
If you watch the current army exercises in the Baltics on YouTube you will see vehicle dismounted troops only wearing what looks like belt order and light at that. The load looks too light but that maybe just lack of available blank only magazines!
Yes they have body armour but it isn’t ospreys so looks bearable compared!
Perhaps we have it sorted at last.
When we trialed 6 Airmobile in BAOR we eventually settled upon 58 pattern SAA order with nylon GS bergan. We deployed in nbc suits so didn’t need a bum roll, always dig in when away from the vehicle so didn’t need ground sheets and the bergan carried your sleeping bag, wash and shave kit and spare denims, hhe and sweatshirt plus two or three days compo!
Our kit checks were limited to making sure you didn’t pack stuff that was meant for the large pack in the CQMS wagon. I remember being allowed a spare water bottle pouch for a brew kit/snack.
It worked it really did as we had plenty of ammo and defence stores to move on landing.
Yes the bergan was the crappy small version of the SAS one! It was enough
 
If you watch the current army exercises in the Baltics on YouTube you will see vehicle dismounted troops only wearing what looks like belt order and light at that. The load looks too light but that maybe just lack of available blank only magazines!
Yes they have body armour but it isn’t ospreys so looks bearable compared!
Perhaps we have it sorted at last.
When we trialed 6 Airmobile in BAOR we eventually settled upon 58 pattern SAA order with nylon GS bergan. We deployed in nbc suits so didn’t need a bum roll, always dig in when away from the vehicle so didn’t need ground sheets and the bergan carried your sleeping bag, wash and shave kit and spare denims, hhe and sweatshirt plus two or three days compo!
Our kit checks were limited to making sure you didn’t pack stuff that was meant for the large pack in the CQMS wagon. I remember being allowed a spare water bottle pouch for a brew kit/snack.
It worked it really did as we had plenty of ammo and defence stores to move on landing.
Yes the bergan was the crappy small version of the SAS one! It was enough
No wash kit in your webbing!? It's the end of civilization.
 
I ponder over many of the photos I see from WW2, in the realisation firstly that these lads were in for the long haul, they were on the advance over a period of months, carrying pretty much everything they needed or scrounging it from elsewhere along the way. Secondly that we see plenty of photos of these boys in combat carrying not a lot at all, certainly not bumbling around with daysacks full of kit or pouches full of jetboils… so my conclusion on both is that this must be down to the logistics train that supported them in battle meaning that if they needed more ammo etc, it was always following on close behind.
 
I ponder over many of the photos I see from WW2, in the realisation firstly that these lads were in for the long haul, they were on the advance over a period of months, carrying pretty much everything they needed or scrounging it from elsewhere along the way. Secondly that we see plenty of photos of these boys in combat carrying not a lot at all, certainly not bumbling around with daysacks full of kit or pouches full of jetboils… so my conclusion on both is that this must be down to the logistics train that supported them in battle meaning that if they needed more ammo etc, it was always following on close behind.
A point made by Project PAYNE: WW2 troops trusted the G4 train. Those conditioned by CORPORATE didn’t.
 

Alamo

LE
Without a shadow of a doubt my body armour saved my life. If the level 3 protection had been available I’d have probably saved myself the genital injuries as well.
That’s good to hear (the first bit, I meant!) Any discussion on this subject generally leads me to 2 points:

1. The sad reality is that, given the option, any credible risk assessment will usually go out of the window and blokes will do what is most comfortable, dressing their rationale up as a ‘need for mobility’.

2. Same people are never the ones who have to look a mother in the face and tell her her son would probably have lived if he’d had his body armour on.
 
Patt 58 large pack - ditched in favour of a Cyclops roc asap. Mind you, I wonder how I got a pat 58 dossbag, warm kit, washkit, boot cleaning kit , waterproofs, kipmat, spare socks and T-shirt in/on it - the 58 large pack I mean - But it did involve a lot of brute force. Everything else went into smock pockets and webbing. You had to wear any BA under the smock as you certainly couldnt wear it over the smock with our ballooning pockets.
 
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A point made by Project PAYNE: WW2 troops trusted the G4 train. Those conditioned by CORPORATE didn’t.

I wonder how much of that is the other way though - that their superiors didn’t task them to do the impossible. Has the ‘can do’ attitude of the modern infantry unit been its downfall by creating unrealistic expectations? (or is the problem in a lack of moral fibre, with officers increasing inability to say no to their own superiors)
 
Apparently first used by B17 and B24 crews flying on missions over Germany, hence why they were called flak jackets.
Made of hundreds of 2x2 inch squares of steel (same material as helmets).





1656010260788.jpeg
 
They did, I kid you not. And the polish had to be new.

Those were the days, eh?

What a waste of time, and space...............badgemen with nothing better to do than make up lists of kit you absolutely needed to carry.
 

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