As a flight of fancy, imagine you could pit a typical 8 man rifle section from each of the last five decades - say for arguments sake 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2005 - against each other in a typical inter-section competition. Lets say the stands/events are as follows: 10 mile speed march immediately followed by Falling plate shoot at 300m First Aid Map Reading (Night Nav exercise) Signals AFV Recognition NBC Assault Course Each team is armed and equipped appropriate to the decade so SLRs and '58 webbing for '65, '75 and '85 teams, SA80 and PLCE for '95 and '05 teams. Think you need to consider a few things - basic personal fitness/robustness of the Tom at the time, motivation, training, skills and knowledge, and the leadership style and skills of the NCOs. No gladiators - just average Toms who made up the rifle sections at the time. Who do you think would come out on top?