Thursday, October 11, 2012


"To get you thinking, let us look at the rates of fire for the German K98, G43, and MG42."  The Instructor smiled.  "If we assume that we need 800 rounds fired against the enemy in one minute, we could use one MG42, sixteen G43's, or eighty K98s to achieve that effect.  This is based on a premise though, anyone care to explain the premise?" 

The students murmurred amongst themselves, then the blond man raised his hand.  "The premise is that the number of rounds fired will achieve an effect."

"Exactly!" The instructor smiled.  "Military thinkers have made this mistake for centuries because it is an easy mistake to make.  Much easier to think that X number of rounds will achieve this or that effect.  Our German example is a great way to say that one MG42 is not the equal of 80 riflemen armed with k98s, no matter how the 'bullet math' seems to add up."

The instructor put away his stopwatch and pulled out an ancient briar pipe.  The students knew that when that happened the class was transitioning into lecture mode, and they took their seats. 

"Several years ago, when most of you were very young or not born yet, a Palestinian terrorist killed an Israeli Defense Force fire team with nothing more than an ancient K98 Mauser."  The instructor tamped down the tobacco and lit it with a match, for some reason the pipe always tasted better when lit with a match.


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