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Posted: 1/4/2006 9:21:59 AM EDT
Trench warfare was a nasty dirty muddy affair. Most shooting was done either by quick shooting at glimpses of the enemy or long range sniping by the more competent shooters. When it came time to storm the trenches of the enemy [a moot point by even that time as MG fire was absolutely deadly, not to mention artillery was usually quite well dialed into no mans land.] bayonets were used quite quickly as trying to use or reload a bolt action was almost impossible. Of course, handguns were a boon at this time with the ability to fire multiple shots and reload quickly and it was there that the 1911 gained it's claim to fame.

BUT, would the M-4/16 have been able to handle both the conditions and style of warfare at that time? I can see areas in which it would excel, but at the same time I can see areas where it might fall short.

So whats your opinion?
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:26:54 AM EDT
I think A-10s and Apaches would have been the ticket to a quick win. CAS is what they lacked.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:28:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nf9648:
I think A-10s and Apaches would have been the ticket to a quick win. CAS is what they lacked.




[ripley] Nuke the entire site from orbit ... It's the only way to be sure [/ripley]
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:33:11 AM EDT
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:45:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:53:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.



the tommy gun was shipped off just as the war was ending and didn't see combat
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 9:55:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.



the first TSMG didn't come out till 1921. Doughboys used the winchester 1897 shottie loaded with 00 buck to great effect and the Germans tried to get it banned.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:03:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mmanwitgun:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.



the tommy gun was shipped off just as the war was ending and didn't see combat



whoops
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:03:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fourays2:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.



the first TSMG didn't come out till 1921. Doughboys used the winchester 1897 shottie loaded with 00 buck to great effect and the Germans tried to get it banned.



I knew about the trench broom but not the Tommygun. My bad.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:07:16 AM EDT


I knew about the trench broom but not the Tommygun. My bad.



Forgive my ignorance right now, but what is a trench broom? Is that the 1897 shottie?
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:08:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kc8ard:

I knew about the trench broom but not the Tommygun. My bad.



Forgive my ignorance right now, but what is a trench broom? Is that the 1897 shottie?



Yes

Those things are so cool.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:09:41 AM EDT
Picture of the Pederson Device attached to the Springfield. Accessory belt in pic above.

Pederson Device
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:14:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 10:14:31 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]
i think it would have done just fine in the hands of disciplined, well-trained troops.

my grandfather was a trench raider during ww1. i have a dud 12ga rd he carried that almost got him killed. it was his reminder to never trust anything from the .gov.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:37:21 AM EDT
I think the conditions of trench warfare would be beyond the M4's abilities to cope with grime. We're talking about conditions that could foul a bolt action so badly that men would piss into the action to free it up.

The ranges would have been beyond what I would consider even a 20" 5.56 useful to.. It's really amazing how ridiculously flat a lot of the terrain was. MG's were making kills well beyond 800 yards. Tactics of the day called for much of a wave attack to be whittled down at those extended ranges.

People often think that handing a bunch of men light automatics will take the place of a significantly smaller number of crew served MG's, but in some cases the water cooled MG's of the day were called on to shoot continuously for hours and hours, stopping only to swap water, barrels, and belts.

To my mind, the biggest shortfall in the first world war was communications. I don't think any man portable weapon short of backpack nukes would have made any difference without a serious commo upgrade. CAS is only as useful as the data that guides it. Most of the war was run on sneakernet (err, hobnailnet?).

One way or the other, most injuries during that war were artillery related. The number of rifle, bayonet, and gas injuries was far less than one might think, though US forces suffered disproportionately from gas due to poor training and little experience. I'm just not sure smallarms would have made any difference at all.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:50:41 AM EDT
That 1897 Winny trench (or replica) gun WILL be my next purchase!! I want one REALLY badly!

Something about a shotty with a bayonet makes my thang schwang!
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:05:39 AM EDT
From the link above:
"Designed for use by American forces in the trenches in France during World War I, the war ended before the device could be issued. By removing the bolt, inserting the device and putting a magazine into a modified rifle designated as the Mark I, the Springfield could fire semi-automatically until the magazine was exhausted. A fresh magazine could be inserted or the bolt replaced for longer range firing. This unusual ordnance item is extremely rare, as most were later destroyed. Less than 30 are known to exist."

How valuable do you think a M1903 Mark I rifle would be? I know someone that has one in pretty good condition. MJD
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:08:41 AM EDT
Id feel pretty good with my Winchester SX2 and a shitload of ammo and gun lube.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:13:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By highwayman:
From the link above:
"Designed for use by American forces in the trenches in France during World War I, the war ended before the device could be issued. By removing the bolt, inserting the device and putting a magazine into a modified rifle designated as the Mark I, the Springfield could fire semi-automatically until the magazine was exhausted. A fresh magazine could be inserted or the bolt replaced for longer range firing. This unusual ordnance item is extremely rare, as most were later destroyed. Less than 30 are known to exist."

How valuable do you think a M1903 Mark I rifle would be? I know someone that has one in pretty good condition. MJD



Not real. The valuable part of that equation is the Pedersen Device itself. The modded rifles are not too hard to find.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:17:03 AM EDT
A 100 men shooting M4's on full-auto running 800 yards across an open field towards MG fire would certainly have a better chance of making it to the enemy trench than a 100 men shooting bolt action rifles.

I can think of nothing more horrifying than to have been one of those men running towards the enemy trench.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:18:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:

Originally Posted By highwayman:
From the link above:
"Designed for use by American forces in the trenches in France during World War I, the war ended before the device could be issued. By removing the bolt, inserting the device and putting a magazine into a modified rifle designated as the Mark I, the Springfield could fire semi-automatically until the magazine was exhausted. A fresh magazine could be inserted or the bolt replaced for longer range firing. This unusual ordnance item is extremely rare, as most were later destroyed. Less than 30 are known to exist."

How valuable do you think a M1903 Mark I rifle would be? I know someone that has one in pretty good condition. MJD



Not real. The valuable part of that equation is the Pedersen Device itself. The modded rifles are not too hard to find.




There was a complete Peterson device for sale recently on Ebay or Gunbroker (can't remember). I think they wanted maybe $30K for it (not real sure on the price either).
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:31:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 11:37:03 AM EDT
Weapons only make sense in the context of tactics. An M4 with early WWI tactics would have had exactly the same result. An M4 plus stormtroop tactics would have been better.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:21:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:

Originally Posted By Fourays2:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Wow, interesting thought experiment.

Wasn't the Thompson SMG kind of the M4 of its day? If so they'd have been sought after by the guys actually fighting in the trenches I'd think.

Thing is, tactics and thinking were WAY different then. Rifles generally had sights that went up to crazy distance... 1200 yards in some cases. They'd do volley fire with them.



the first TSMG didn't come out till 1921. Doughboys used the winchester 1897 shottie loaded with 00 buck to great effect and the Germans tried to get it banned.



I knew about the trench broom but not the Tommygun. My bad.



___

Re:

"...the first TSMG didn't come out till 1921. Doughboys used the winchester 1897 shottie loaded with 00 buck to great effect and the Germans tried to get it banned..."

Not quite accurate!



General John T. Thompson, a graduate of West Point, began his research in 1915 for an automatic weapon to supply the American military. World War I was dragging on and casualties were mounting. Having served in the Army's ordnance supplies and logistics, General Thompson understood that greater firepower was needed to end the war.

Thompson was driven to create a lightweight, fully automatic firearm that would be effective against the contemporary machine gun. His idea was "a one-man, hand held machine gun. A trench broom!" The first shipment of Thompson prototypes arrived on the dock in New York for shipment to Europe on November 11, 1918, the day that the War ended.

In 1919, Thompson directed Auto Ordnance to modify the gun for nonmilitary use. The gun, classified a "submachine gun" to denote a small, hand-held, fully automatic firearm chambered for pistol ammunition, was officially named the "Thompson submachine gun" to honor the man most responsible for its creation.

With military and police sales low, Auto Ordnance sold its submachine guns through every legal outlet it could. A Thompson submachine gun could be purchased either by mail order, or from the local hardware or sporting goods store.

source: http://www.auto-ordnance.com/vg_thompson.html



Ed

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:27:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
A 100 men shooting M4's on full-auto running 800 yards across an open field towards MG fire would certainly have a better chance of making it to the enemy trench than a 100 men shooting bolt action rifles.

I can think of nothing more horrifying than to have been one of those men running towards the enemy trench.



The problem is that the amount of firepower the attacking infantry has in their hands makes zero difference in the run across no mans land.

You are charging into interlocking fields of fire from many HMG's firing across pre registered arcs, sited in bunkers that are proof againt anything short of a direct hit from a heavy (8"+) howitzer shell.

An eyewitness at the Battle of the Somme said it looked like the men advancing were walking into heavy rain....Whole battalions were wiped out in a matter of yards.

On the Western Front if the artillery did not knock out a sufficient number of machine gun bunkers the attacks always stalled.

ANdy



so, RPGs or an AT4 would be better than a M-4?
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:30:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 12:37:41 PM EDT by TacticalStrat]
Germany had the MP18 submachinegun in WWI




History
In 1915 the German Rifle Testing Commission at Spandau decided to develop a new weapon for trench fighting. Originally intending to modify an existing weapon, technical issues made this impractical so the Commission determined that a completely new kind of weapon was needed. Hugo Schmeisser eventually designed a weapon to fulfill the requirements. This weapon was designated Maschinenpistole 18.I (MP18). The MP18 was a solid weapon, for it was a soundly engineered piece of equipment with near commercial grade fittings. The MP18 had a well machined walnut butt stock and breech block, and the blow back mechanism was made of the finest materials. Produced by Bergmann, it served in the later part of the war. It was used by the German police force after the end of the war.

The MP28.II was an improved version of the MP18, used by the German police and by SS units. A version of this weapon was made in Switzerland known as the SIG M1920, and one by Steyr Solothurn in Austria known as the MP34.


Operation
The original MP18 was designed to use the Snail drum magazine that was designed for use in the long barreled Luger Artillery model pistol. This rotary design type of magazine holds 32 rounds of 9mm ammunition and the user would have to load the magazine with a separate, and unique loading tool. As the snail drum magazine was originally designed for the Luger pistol, a special sleeve was required when the Snail drum was used on the MP18. This sleeve was slipped over the top part of the magazine and was used to stop the Snail drum from being inserted too far into the receiver and jam the firearm when it was fired. Later modifications to the MP18 allowed the use of a staggered box type magazine as used in the later developed MP40 sub-machine gun. The MP18 could only fire in the fully automatic mode, while the later developed MP28.II was designed to allow the user to select single shot or fully automatic fire modes.


Service
The MP18 would prove to be an excellent weapon. Its basic design would influence later submachine gun designs, and copies of it were made in several countries, such as the British Lanchester SMG and the Japanese Type 100. The open bolt design left one problem: if the butt was given a hard knock while the bolt was fully forward while a loaded magazine is inserted, the gun could accidentally fire. Soldiers liked to leave the bolt of their firearm forward so dirt and debris would not enter into the barrel and chamber that could cause a malfunction to occur when the firearm needed to be fired. Later sub-machine gun designs like the Sten gun were designed to allow the cocking handle to be pushed inwards to lock the closed bolt to the tubular receiver casing. This design change prevented accidental discharges when the bolt was left forward and a loaded magazine was inserted.




Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:35:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 12:36:05 PM EDT by TacticalStrat]
My Winchester 1897 made in 1916







Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:39:03 PM EDT
One doughboy with an AR15 or M16 would have eliminated the entire German army and half of the French army. This is due to the fact that the AR15 is the only weapon capable of killing your opponent in a firefight.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:45:54 PM EDT
Chuck Norris could wipe out an entire division with an M-16.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:04:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 1:05:58 PM EDT by XD_Fan]

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
A 100 men shooting M4's on full-auto running 800 yards across an open field towards MG fire would certainly have a better chance of making it to the enemy trench than a 100 men shooting bolt action rifles.

I can think of nothing more horrifying than to have been one of those men running towards the enemy trench.



The problem is that the amount of firepower the attacking infantry has in their hands makes zero difference in the run across no mans land.

You are charging into interlocking fields of fire from many HMG's firing across pre registered arcs, sited in bunkers that are proof againt anything short of a direct hit from a heavy (8"+) howitzer shell.

An eyewitness at the Battle of the Somme said it looked like the men advancing were walking into heavy rain....Whole battalions were wiped out in a matter of yards.

On the Western Front if the artillery did not knock out a sufficient number of machine gun bunkers the attacks always stalled.

ANdy



+1

Its interesting to note that in the Way of the Gun series they called the Maxim machine gun the #1 most influential gun.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:10:33 PM EDT

How well Would the M-4/M-16 have done In Trench Warfare Of WW1?


Not as well as an XM8.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:14:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:21:16 PM EDT



M16? Not that big of a deal. M16 vs crew served machine gun? M16 loses.... a lot.

For a real difference? Armor.

The tank came late in the war. Had it been reliable and developed/perfected/deployed earlier, it would have changed the way the war was fought.

Improved air to ground offensive capablity was too late as well.

WWI was the opening act to WWII. The years between were a sort of intermission so the various combatants could do their R&D and tool up for the main event.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:28:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NimmerMehr:

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
A 100 men shooting M4's on full-auto running 800 yards across an open field towards MG fire would certainly have a better chance of making it to the enemy trench than a 100 men shooting bolt action rifles.

I can think of nothing more horrifying than to have been one of those men running towards the enemy trench.



The problem is that the amount of firepower the attacking infantry has in their hands makes zero difference in the run across no mans land.

You are charging into interlocking fields of fire from many HMG's firing across pre registered arcs, sited in bunkers that are proof againt anything short of a direct hit from a heavy (8"+) howitzer shell.

An eyewitness at the Battle of the Somme said it looked like the men advancing were walking into heavy rain....Whole battalions were wiped out in a matter of yards.

On the Western Front if the artillery did not knock out a sufficient number of machine gun bunkers the attacks always stalled.

ANdy



so, RPGs or an AT4 would be better than a M-4?



RPG's and AT4's wouldnt' be much of a help. Once you went over the top, you would be greeted by 7.92 MG08 Maxim's or .303 Vickers, and you still need to advance several hundred meters through no-man's land to get in range to shoot them. You also would have artillery coming in to hamper your advance and thus making you a fat, juicy MG target. Also both sides had some very good snipers too, so good in fact, if you popped your head up to take a look of the otherside of no-man's land, you would be greeted with a headshot.

Here is how nice the some was on day one for the British army.

The casualties sustained by the British army in the opening day of the Battle of Somme totalled 57,470, of which 19,240 were fatal.


WWI Deaths
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:35:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 1:36:10 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
The M-16 would have made very little difference in WWI. Machine guns, artillery, and the like were the big killers.

A couple of good reads for folks interested in firearms:

"A Rifleman Went to War" and "The Emma Gees", both by Herbert W. McBride.

Great books for riflemen.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:42:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
The M-16 would have made very little difference in WWI. Machine guns, artillery, and the like were the big killers.

A couple of good reads for folks interested in firearms:

"A Rifleman Went to War" and "The Emma Gees", both by Herbert W. McBride.

Great books for riflemen.




Given the technology available at the time of WWI, was there a better strategy they could have used for attacking the enemy trench, other than everyone just jumping out of the trench and running directly into numerous machine-guns, only to be cut down in a few yards?
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:49:58 PM EDT
I used to think the M4 would have been the greatest thing to take back in time to fight in past wars. But now that you bring up trench warfare I'm not so sure the M4 would be my first choice.

Granted, having an armory of M4's might allow for the tacticians to plan differently.

Now the Civil & Revolutionary Wars... the M4 would have been taken the field every time.

I love imagining what it woud be like to go back with whatever I could carry on my person and help fight the war.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:51:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
The M-16 would have made very little difference in WWI. Machine guns, artillery, and the like were the big killers.

A couple of good reads for folks interested in firearms:

"A Rifleman Went to War" and "The Emma Gees", both by Herbert W. McBride.

Great books for riflemen.




Given the technology available at the time of WWI, was there a better strategy they could have used for attacking the enemy trench, other than everyone just jumping out of the trench and running directly into numerous machine-guns, only to be cut down in a few yards?



A very complex question, TacticalStrat.

But you have the important issue identified: "Given the technology available at the time of WWI...".

That's the issue. Given the trench system, dug in machine guns, indirect firing of "emma-gees", (which was basically "raining" down bullets that were shot at a high elevation, so that the bullets fell like rain), there was no way , given the technology of the day, to cross the open no-man's land.

The development of the tank was a step in the right direction, but it would be many years before effective tanks were available.

WWI was a horrible war, as shown in the chart of eodtech2000's above. The scale of death is hard to imagine.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:54:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 1:55:15 PM EDT by IAMLEGEND]
I'm thinking McMillan Bros. or Barrett 50 cals would have made a difference.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:55:29 PM EDT


I always wondered how the experimental, Llama-based, Pussy-Lancers would have fared if they had been able to get a full unit fielded before 11/11/18...

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:59:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
The M-16 would have made very little difference in WWI. Machine guns, artillery, and the like were the big killers.

A couple of good reads for folks interested in firearms:

"A Rifleman Went to War" and "The Emma Gees", both by Herbert W. McBride.

Great books for riflemen.




Given the technology available at the time of WWI, was there a better strategy they could have used for attacking the enemy trench, other than everyone just jumping out of the trench and running directly into numerous machine-guns, only to be cut down in a few yards?



A very complex question, TacticalStrat.

But you have the important issue identified: "Given the technology available at the time of WWI...".

That's the issue. Given the trench system, dug in machine guns, indirect firing of "emma-gees", (which was basically "raining" down bullets that were shot at a high elevation, so that the bullets fell like rain), there was no way , given the technology of the day, to cross the open no-man's land.

The development of the tank was a step in the right direction, but it would be many years before effective tanks were available.

WWI was a horrible war, as shown in the chart of eodtech2000's above. The scale of death is hard to imagine.





It appears once a side gained fire superiority and had their machine-guns and snipers in place, it would be very hard for the other side to ever gain it back.

I can't imagine a more horrible way to fight a war than trench warfare. Running into the machine-gun fire might be welcome compared to living in a water-filled trench for weeks on end with rats and diseased dead bodies floating around.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:59:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
I'm thinking McMillan Bros. or Barrett 50 cals would have made a difference.



Not really.

In his book, McBride was a sniper who developed many of the tactics used since that time by snipers.

He was not really limited by his weapon (which was a .303). He made shots as far away as he could identify targets.

The big problem was that with the trench system and the nature of the terrain, he didn't have the ability to see very far and identify targets. No one dared to just walk around in the open. He had to identify small targets of opportunity, such as a part of a head, and take the shot.

He was very successful.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:07:47 PM EDT
The tactical problems of attacking trenchlines with MGs could be solved, and largely was by the later war years, albiet not all that well. The UK did it by increasing the volume and size of artillery fire, the Germans by more accurate artillery fire plus stormtroop tactics. If you wanted to charge trenchlines in a long line abreast of infantry you'd lose whether you were carrying an Enfield or an M4.

Long answer:

What changed between WWI and WWII? Stated differently, why was WWI static while WWII was fluid? Several issues.

1) Mobility. WWI strategic and operational mobility was provided by the train, while tactical mobility relied on feet and horses. It took time to penetrate a trenchline, and during that time the defender could reinforce by train faster than the attacker could exploit by foot and draft animal. This was changed in WWII by the internal combustion engine, and after a penetration the attacker could go up to a few hundred miles while supplying by truck.

2) Speed of assault. The tank enabled rapid penetration of trenchlines. (But without the truck, as discussed above, this was of limited utility).

3) Communications. Radio enabled realtime control of forces over a wide area. It's no coincidence that Guderian was a radio communications officer in WWI.

4) Aircraft, and coordination with ground forces using radio.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:08:21 PM EDT
tag for when I have time to write something, we have too few discussions about the great war
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:08:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
I can't imagine a more horrible way to fight a war than trench warfare. Running into the machine-gun fire might be welcome compared to living in a water-filled trench for weeks on end with rats and diseased dead bodies floating around.



McBride tells of the experience that whenever there was a big artillery barrage, which happened with some regularity, it would "plow up" new parts of dead bodies and throw them around.

The soldiers would gather them up and bury them away from the trenches, but the next barrage would plow up some more. In addition, each barrage would kill and dismember many new bodies.

The horror is difficult to imagine.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:09:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 2:11:11 PM EDT by IAMLEGEND]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
I'm thinking McMillan Bros. or Barrett 50 cals would have made a difference.



Not really.

In his book, McBride was a sniper who developed many of the tactics used since that time by snipers.

He was not really limited by his weapon (which was a .303). He made shots as far away as he could identify targets.

The big problem was that with the trench system and the nature of the terrain, he didn't have the ability to see very far and identify targets. No one dared to just walk around in the open. He had to identify small targets of opportunity, such as a part of a head, and take the shot.

He was very successful.



Would the glass that goes with high end 50's not have helped solved that part?

ETA: Are we talking about something that one side has and the other doesn't? Like and edge that might make a difference? Or both sides have it?

Night vision might have made a big difference.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:12:23 PM EDT
The M4 would have kicked ass.
Might as well ask how the lever actions at the end of the Civil War did against muskets.

BTW, the BAR was available during WWI but the US military refused to release them to the troops for fear they would fall into enemy hands.
The WWI-preWWII era were not exactly a shining example of good military leadership.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:13:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
Given the technology available at the time of WWI, was there a better strategy they could have used for attacking the enemy trench, other than everyone just jumping out of the trench and running directly into numerous machine-guns, only to be cut down in a few yards?



Yep--by spring 1918 the Germans sucessfully penetrated the UK trenchline and nearly made it to the channel. They did it by modifying their tactics, though it was still expensive in terms of lives.

later in 1918 the allies could penetrate German lines through the use of greater volume and weight of artillery fire, plus some new innovations like tanks.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:14:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 2:18:58 PM EDT by NimmerMehr]

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
I used to think the M4 would have been the greatest thing to take back in time to fight in past wars. But now that you bring up trench warfare I'm not so sure the M4 would be my first choice.

Granted, having an armory of M4's might allow for the tacticians to plan differently.

Now the Civil & Revolutionary Wars... the M4 would have been taken the field every time.

I love imagining what it woud be like to go back with whatever I could carry on my person and help fight the war.



This being arfcom, begs the question. Which side?


Edit: Regarding tactics & technology, I'd say this was a war where all else being equal defense was greater than offense.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:15:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:19:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
I'm thinking McMillan Bros. or Barrett 50 cals would have made a difference.



Not really.

In his book, McBride was a sniper who developed many of the tactics used since that time by snipers.

He was not really limited by his weapon (which was a .303). He made shots as far away as he could identify targets.

The big problem was that with the trench system and the nature of the terrain, he didn't have the ability to see very far and identify targets. No one dared to just walk around in the open. He had to identify small targets of opportunity, such as a part of a head, and take the shot.

He was very successful.



Would the glass that goes with high end 50's not have helped solved that part?

ETA: Are we talking about something that one side has and the other doesn't? Like and edge that might make a difference? Or both sides have it?

Night vision might have made a big difference.



There is nothing to see or shoot at.

Indirect fire by machine guns means the MG is below the ridge/trench line and firing up into the air and raining down it's bullets onto a pre registered area. On some mounts you didn't have to aim or move the MG, it had a ratchet that moved it back and forth using the recoil, all you had to do was keep feeding it bullets.

ANdy



I understand the concept of indirect fire ...I guess I'm just having a hard time imagining a landscape completely devoid of cover or defilade or something allowing a sniper with an extremely long range weapon to get shots. Say by not being in one of those predetermined areas?
It must have been hell on earth.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 2:20:00 PM EDT
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