History AwesomeButImpractical / Military

5th Sep '17 9:35:18 AM TheWildWestPyro
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* The Luger P08 is absolutely gorgeous for a handgun, and is superbly machined and precisely fitted. That's why it was a ''terrible'' combat pistol. The toggle action is notoriously finicky and fails to cycle without the proper ammunition, and the tight tolerances means even a tiny amount of grit quickly jams it up. In both World Wars, the Luger worked fine as an officer's sidearm for shooting prisoners and deserters, but it didn't take long for the German army to notice how poorly suited the gun was for infantrymen and it was eventually replaced as standard issue by the boxier-looking but far more reliable Walther [=P38=], which was also quickly adopted by officers as a replacement for the Luger.

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* The Luger P08 is absolutely gorgeous for a handgun, and is superbly machined and precisely fitted. That's why it was a ''terrible'' combat pistol. The toggle action is notoriously finicky and fails to cycle without the proper ammunition, and the tight tolerances means even a tiny amount degree of grit quickly jams it up.hand-fitting meant that interchanging parts was practically impossible. In both World Wars, the Luger worked fine as an officer's sidearm for shooting prisoners and deserters, but it didn't take long for the German army to notice how poorly suited the gun was for infantrymen and it was eventually replaced as standard issue by the boxier-looking but far more reliable Walther [=P38=], which was also quickly adopted by officers as a replacement for the Luger.
26th Aug '17 10:21:24 AM TheWildWestPyro
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* The M16, when first used in Vietnam, was supposed to represent the pinnacle of the modern assault rifle. It was made of lightweight polymers which reduced the rifle's weight tremendously while still giving the user the option of automatic or single shot fire, decent penetration for its weight, and a number of other features now standard design elements. However, a supply issue with the powder used with the ammunition lead to a switch late in the game that led to corrosion and jamming issues in the field. While quickly fixed (as in by 1968) [[NeverLiveItDown the reputation lingers]], particularly among those that have never used one.

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* The M16, when first used in Vietnam, was supposed to represent the pinnacle of the modern assault rifle. It was made of lightweight polymers which reduced the rifle's weight tremendously while still giving the user the option of automatic or single shot fire, decent penetration for its weight, and a number of other features now standard design elements. However, a supply issue with the powder used with the ammunition lead to a switch late in the game that led to corrosion and jamming issues in the field. While quickly fixed (as in by 1968) by the improved [=M16A1=], and evolving into a top-class assault rifle in the [=M16A4=], [[NeverLiveItDown the reputation lingers]], particularly among those that have never used one.
5th Aug '17 6:20:12 AM Jhonny
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** And while the dress uniforms were unpleasantly hot, the winter standard uniforms were not nearly warm enough for places like the Russian Front.

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** And while the dress uniforms were unpleasantly hot, the winter standard uniforms were not nearly warm enough for places like the Russian Front. As a matter of fact, Wehrmacht soldiers commonly looted Soviet uniform parts where they were available.
29th Jul '17 3:03:44 AM TairaMai
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* Its American counterpart, the famed [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAU-8_Avenger GAU-8 Avenger]], also qualifies. While lacking the various technical faults of the Soviet gun, this colossal weapon was also not terribly useful for its intended purpose of strafing armored targets. Most MBTs were immune, relegating it to shooting up lighter armored vehicles, and actually using the gun would take the plane into range of an ever-increasing number of mobile short-range AA systems and MANPAD missiles. The development of the longer-ranged Maverick missile and laser-guided bombs simply made the gun look even worse in comparison. Luckily, the gun has found a useful niche in the Anglo-Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS.

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* Its American counterpart, the famed [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAU-8_Avenger GAU-8 Avenger]], also qualifies. While lacking the various technical faults of the Soviet gun, this colossal weapon was also not terribly useful for its intended purpose of strafing armored targets. Most MBTs were immune, relegating The massive Soviet tank formations it was designed to shooting up lighter armored vehicles, and actually fight ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Actually using the gun would take the plane into range of an ever-increasing number of mobile short-range AA systems and MANPAD missiles. The development of the longer-ranged Maverick missile and laser-guided bombs simply made the gun look even worse in comparison. Luckily, the gun has found a useful niche in the Anglo-Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS.
20th Jul '17 1:55:43 PM CV12Hornet
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* Its American counterpart, the famed [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAU-8_Avenger GAU-8 Avenger]], also qualifies. While lacking the various technical faults of the Soviet gun, this colossal weapon was also not terribly useful for its intended purpose of strafing armored targets. Most MBTs were immune, relegating it to shooting up lighter armored vehicles, and actually using the gun would take the plane into range of an ever-increasing number of mobile short-range AA systems and MANPAD missiles. The development of the longer-ranged Maverick missile and laser-guided bombs simply made the gun look even worse in comparison. Luckily, the gun has found a useful niche in the Anglo-Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS.


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* The Canet 12.6" naval cannon, as mounted on the Japanese Itsukushima-class protected cruisers. Intended to give the ships a gun that could actually tackle battleship armor, it proved not only far too large for the ships, but also ''abominably'' slow at reloading, even for the era. In their only battle, it took an hour to reload the gun. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese bit the bullet and bought proper battleships shortly thereafter.
* The 46cm/45 Type 94, the gun mounted on the Yamato-class battleships, is the largest gun ever put to sea, and the problems mounting it caused the ships is documented above. The gun itself, though, had two major flaws that made them even less practical. Their armor-piercing shells were designed to dive underwater and strike below the armor belt, with the result they had less penetration under normal conditions, which is one reason the American Mk. 7 16"/50 matches it at longer ranges. Further, the Japanese could only reline the guns at such colossal expense that they simply planned to replace the guns entirely when they wore out.
20th Jul '17 1:39:53 PM CV12Hornet
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* Fighter aircraft have been getting progressively more complex and more expensive, to the point that a joke got started that pretty soon the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are going to have to share one plane (the Air Force gets it on even days, the Navy on odd days, and the Marines on Feb. 29). The F-35 Lightning II was partly intended to offset this in that it was ''supposed'' to have a much lower unit price tag than the F-22 Raptor. As luck would have it, it ended up being about a third again ''more'' expensive - while at the same time not bringing the same capability for aerial combat to the table that the F-22 did, which would've left the US military lacking in aerial combat capability. Of course, it could be said that it already has since the F-22 itself is proving to be plagued with some rather unfortunate problems.
** It's worse than that - it lacks the air-to-ground ability of fighter-bombers already in use, and lacks the air-to-air ability of the F-22. At this point, it's being pushed ahead more because of a [[SunkCostFallacy "we've invested so much already we can't stop now"]] attitude than any real demonstration of success. On the other hand, we don't know if all the onboard computers would simultaneously have a stroke upon crossing the International Date Line or if the oxygen system will randomly crap out and suffocate pilots, both of which have happened to the F-22.
20th Jul '17 1:35:11 PM CV12Hornet
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** They also tended to have one or two-man turrets as opposed to the three-man turrets on their German counterparts. What this meant was that the commander had to double as the loader, gunner, and/or radio operator, with oft-fatal consequences to their situational awareness. Early-model T-34s had the same problem.
*** ''If'' they had radios.
20th Jul '17 1:28:20 PM CV12Hornet
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** Conversely, proponents of the aircraft carrier argue that a sea denial network capable of doing all of the above qualifies for this trope as well. The arguments hinge around carriers being actually very hard to find when they don't want to be; satellites have known tracks, surface radar still needs to cover enormous swathes of ocean[[note]]Even with Super Hornets searchers are staring at searching an area of sea bigger than Texas, and air-to-ground missiles and the longer-ranged F-35C stand to make the problem worse[[/note]], and without the carrier and its escorts blaring out radio emissions there's no easy way to home in. The sheer array of assets the Soviets dedicated to the problem backs this up: hundreds of Backfire bombers, dozens of nuclear-powered guided missile submarines, surface ships, and reconnaissance aircraft, and a lot of big, sophisticated, and thus rather expensive missiles.
20th Jul '17 1:16:41 PM CV12Hornet
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** [[http://navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-044.htm As this article demonstrates,]] this was something of a persistent problem for the Kriegsmarine. The company that built the AA fire control system, for instance, bragged that only ''twelve employees'' (out of 20,000!) could assemble the damn thing.
20th Jul '17 1:11:44 PM CV12Hornet
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** An argument can equally be made that the battleship became obsolete (if not necessarily ''useless''), the moment the submarine became a viable weapons platform. The essential point remains the same - the extreme construction and operational costs of a battleship can only be justified if it is essentially invulnerable to lesser ships. The moment that a vessel or collection of vessels of significantly inferior tonnage/cost can stand a reasonable chance of crippling or destroying a battleship, then the battleship becomes too great a concentration of military resources to justify. The same can be said of aircraft carrier, too - more aircraft carriers were sunk by submarines than by any other means in WWII.

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** An argument can equally be made that the battleship became obsolete obsolescent (if not necessarily ''useless''), the moment the submarine became a viable weapons platform. The essential point remains the same - the extreme construction and operational costs of a battleship can only be justified if it is essentially invulnerable to lesser ships. The moment that a vessel or collection of vessels of significantly inferior tonnage/cost can stand a reasonable chance of crippling or destroying a battleship, then the battleship becomes too great a concentration of military resources to justify. The same can be said of aircraft carrier, too - more aircraft carriers were sunk by submarines than by any other means in WWII.


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*** For that matter, antiship missiles took the battleship from obsolescent to full-on obsolete. Now ''any'' ship could provide torpedo-grade antiship firepower at a range battleship guns couldn't respond to. Vessels of inferior tonnage had moved from having a reasonable chance of crippling/destroying a battleship to a near certainty, and it also provided far better means for aircraft to destroy them than torpedoes and bombs. It's not a coincidence that the last battleships began to disappear right around when viable antiship missiles began to proliferate.
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