History BoringButPractical / RealLife

19th Jan '17 3:45:56 PM tommythegun
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* As of the mid-2010s, a significant number of law enforcement agencies (including the FBI), military units (including the Navy SEAL Teams), and armed civilians are showing a renewed interest in the prosaic 9x19mm Parabellum caliber for pistols. This is despite decades of experimentation from the 1980s on with an array of alternatives (e.g., 10mm Auto, .40 Smith & Wesson, .357 SIG, .45 ACP), some of which were adopted only because of perceived shortcomings with the 9mm. Even though the caliber is over 115 years old – making it the oldest service-grade semiautomatic pistol caliber in widespread use – it's proven very fertile for experimentation and improvement with new powders and bullet designs that have breathed new effectiveness into it compared to its competitors, and it has the advantage of still being the most common and cheapest pistol round in the world, and one that allows maximum ammunition capacity compared to alternatives.

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* As of the mid-2010s, a significant number of law enforcement agencies (including the FBI), military units (including the Navy SEAL Teams), and armed civilians are showing a renewed interest in the prosaic 9x19mm Parabellum caliber for pistols. This is despite decades of experimentation from the 1980s on with an array of alternatives (e.g., 10mm Auto, .40 Smith & Wesson, .357 SIG, .45 ACP), some of which were adopted only because of perceived shortcomings with the 9mm. Even though the caliber is over 115 years old – making it the oldest service-grade semiautomatic pistol caliber in widespread use – it's proven very fertile for experimentation and improvement with new powders and bullet designs that have breathed new effectiveness into it compared to its competitors, and it has the advantage of still being the most common and cheapest pistol round in the world, and one that allows maximum ammunition capacity compared to alternatives.




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* As of the mid-2010s, a significant number of law enforcement agencies (including the FBI), military units (including the Navy SEAL Teams), and armed civilians are showing a renewed interest in the prosaic 9x19mm Parabellum caliber for pistols. This is despite decades of experimentation from the 1980s on with an array of alternatives (e.g., 10mm Auto, .40 Smith & Wesson, .357 SIG, .45 ACP), some of which were adopted only because of perceived shortcomings with the 9mm. Even though the caliber is over 115 years old – making it the oldest service-grade semiautomatic pistol caliber in widespread use – it's proven very fertile for experimentation and improvement with new powders and bullet designs that have breathed new effectiveness into it compared to its competitors, and it has the advantage of still being the most common and cheapest pistol round in the world, and one that allows maximum ammunition capacity compared to alternatives.
19th Jan '17 3:39:11 PM tommythegun
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Added DiffLines:

** Dirt in general makes better cover from gunfire than most harder materials that are readily available. Bullets that will readily splinter trees, crack masonry, and shred sheet metal will be stopped cold by a humble parapet of dirt less than a foot thick.
19th Jan '17 10:29:45 AM LucaEarlgrey
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* Food prep may be seen as bottom-of-the-barrel for those with high-paying salaried jobs, but those who work in food prep, particularly in restaurants/eateries, are why you can just pony up cash to have food made for you instead of having to do it yourself.
12th Jan '17 1:03:16 PM MarsJenkar
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** Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms, but they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges (in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action), and more suitable for stealth (they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely to be revealed to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air). They can also chamber powerful cartridges without increasing the size/weight of the weapons [[note: a well-known example: Trying to shoot the more powerful 5.56x45mm NATO in autoloading rifles chambered for the identical .223 Remington might result in a malfunction, but bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington can fire 5.56x45mm NATO without much incident]]- some of the most powerful elephant guns are almost the same size as your typical deer rifle.

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** Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms, but they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges (in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action), and more suitable for stealth (they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely to be revealed to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air). They can also chamber powerful cartridges without increasing the size/weight of the weapons [[note: a [[note]]A well-known example: Trying to shoot the more powerful 5.56x45mm NATO in autoloading rifles chambered for the identical .223 Remington might result in a malfunction, but bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington can fire 5.56x45mm NATO without much incident]]- incident[[/note]]- some of the most powerful elephant guns are almost the same size as your typical deer rifle.



* The [=M2HB=] Machine Gun: developed toward the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, it has remained one of the most reliable machine guns (still in use today) for its sheer simplicity to maintain in the field due to such basic design and few parts. [[note: there's even a saying among the [[SemperFi USMC]] and the Army that the last M2 gunner hasn't been born yet]].

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* The [=M2HB=] Machine Gun: developed toward the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, it has remained one of the most reliable machine guns (still in use today) for its sheer simplicity to maintain in the field due to such basic design and few parts. [[note: there's [[note]]There's even a saying among the [[SemperFi USMC]] and the Army that the last M2 gunner hasn't been born yet]].
yet[[/note]].
10th Jan '17 12:14:49 AM tommythegun
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to:

* As of the mid-2010s, a significant number of law enforcement agencies (including the FBI), military units (including the Navy SEAL Teams), and armed civilians are showing a renewed interest in the prosaic 9x19mm Parabellum caliber for pistols. This is despite decades of experimentation from the 1980s on with an array of alternatives (e.g., 10mm Auto, .40 Smith & Wesson, .357 SIG, .45 ACP), some of which were adopted only because of perceived shortcomings with the 9mm. Even though the caliber is over 115 years old – making it the oldest service-grade semiautomatic pistol caliber in widespread use – it's proven very fertile for experimentation and improvement with new powders and bullet designs that have breathed new effectiveness into it compared to its competitors, and it has the advantage of still being the most common and cheapest pistol round in the world, and one that allows maximum ammunition capacity compared to alternatives.
22nd Dec '16 11:23:32 AM bkitu
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* [[{{UsefulNotes/Baseball}} Major League Baseball]] manager Joe Torre once described Mariano Rivera's pitching as this during the New York Yankees dynasty years in the mid-to-late [[TheNineties 90s]]. However, he done so in a positive light, making it clear that as a manager, you want your top pitchers, especially closers, to be boring and effective so you can rely on their performance each time out. Mariano Rivera going down in history as likely the greatest closer of all time, shows how effective he's been during his career.

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* [[{{UsefulNotes/Baseball}} Major League Baseball]] manager Joe Torre once described Mariano Rivera's pitching as this [[note]]His pitching style is best described as "He has one effective pitch. The batter knows it's coming. He can't hit it anyway."[[/note]] during the New York Yankees dynasty years in the mid-to-late [[TheNineties 90s]]. However, he done so in a positive light, making it clear that as a manager, you want your top pitchers, especially closers, to be boring and effective so you can rely on their performance each time out. Mariano Rivera going down in history as likely the greatest closer of all time, shows how effective he's been during his career.
22nd Dec '16 8:01:03 AM AgentKyles
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%% For what you eat and drink!
[[folder:Food and drink]]
* Healthy food. While eating a variety of foods and spices will probably be the best way to get all your nutrients, plain food can keep you reasonably healthy (providing you don't leave out any important food group.)
** Soups and stews as well. The ultimate in simple recipes (put available food in pot with water and cook) can use nearly any ingredients, cooks decently quickly, feeds many, is very healthy and filling (depending on the ingredients), and nearly anyone can make it. But unless you use a recipe, don't expect to be blown away by the flavor. That said, some ''excellent'' recipes for soups and stews can be found; ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''[='s=] "Soup Nazi" was based on a real person whose soups really were that good.
* Rice. Not counting flavored, spiced, salted, egg, or with a curry/sauce. Just plain rice. For its size it is incredibly rich in nutrition and energy. Even if you don't have a specialized rice cooker, cooking rice is still a simple matter of adding rice and water to a pot and boiling it for several minutes.
** They happen to be an excellent flavor buffer for a lot of saucy foods. That or they just go good with saucy foods (or with sauce in general).
** How practical is it, you ask? Literally half of the entire world's population gets two-thirds of their daily calories from rice. It is the #1 most consumed food on Earth and has been for centuries, possibly even millenia (depending on when humans first started shifting from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies).
*** Add in some beans and you have the world's most inexpensive complete protein. Complete proteins are absolutely ''vital'' in a person's diet, since ''everything'' in a person is made out of one protein or another. Most of Central America relies on rice and beans (under various names, which one you chose is SeriousBusiness) as their staple food. Add a bit of spices and side dishes (e.g. an egg) and you have a meal that is both filling and surprisingly tasty if nothing fancy.
* Noodles. Just like rice, they go well with a whole host of sauces or seasonings. Anyone for some spaghetti?
* Potatoes, as well. They don't look like much, but they did save Europe from continuous famine for quite some time. They are much more energy dense than traditional staples foods (you get 17.8 million Calories per acre for potatoes, compared to 6.4 million Calories per acre for wheat), thus allowing the same plot of land to feed three-times more people.
** Potatoes also grow in a lot of places where cereals won't. This allowed massive population expansion in countries like Ireland where a lot of land isn't suitable for cereals but potatoes like it just fine. (Until you hit the problems of monoculture agriculture in a pre-chemical environment...)
** Fun fact: You can get almost all the nutrients you need from a diet of just potatoes and milk, in the right quantities. It would be a very bland and monotonous diet, but you wouldn't die or get any serious deficiencies except for molybdenum, which you only need tiny amounts of anyway.
* Tap water. Doesn't look very fancy and tastes pretty bland. But it's far less expensive than bottled water or juice (if not outright free at many eating establishments), far healthier than alcohol or soft drinks, and is far better at keeping you hydrated. And is readily available at home whenever you want it.
** And if you live somewhere where there is no reliable source of clean water, the old fashioned beer takes that place. Since it gets boiled during production, it's usually much cleaner than any unfiltered water. Calories and carbs in tasty, drinkable, preserved form. Staff of life, potable water, and recreation all in one. Tea and coffee also serve(d) the same purpose, although they have neither calories nor carbs in quantity unless you add sugar. In fact, if you're drinking good enough coffee, you don't even need condiments to make it taste good.
** The two most expedient way to clean water for drinking? Boil it for a few minutes, use it to cook, brew a hot drinks, and clean things. Can't boil it? Poor some booze in it, preferable high proof spirits, and stir. 25ml of something like vodka can make an entire quart of water safe, because the ethanol kills bacteria and protozoa, which are the primary waterborne nasties that make people sick.
** Water in general is this. Most people don't think much of it, but it can generate renewable electricity, is a powerful industrial solvent, can save lives in a pinch, clean tools and wounds, be a measuring device, etc. Combined with a bit of that human ingenuity there is very little that water can't do. If you want to get decidedly impractical, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. If you can separate it, you have the stuff stars run on. Which is more readily available and safer than radioactive elements like Uranium.
*** And on the subject of hygeine, flossing. If you floss after a meal, which is something quite easy to do considering you probably have bits of food in your teeth anyways, it removes more gunk between your teeth than brushing, and also helps with bad breath (a la bacteria on your tongue and rotting food in your teeth.) It'll also stave off problems like gingivitis. There's a reason dentists recommend it. Speaking of dentists, they do actually tell you to floss more even if you do floss regularly if they cause your gums to bleed, probably because it's a safe explanation, and it is very unlikely to lead people to sue.
* The humble sandwich. It makes any foods taste good together in a simple, no-silverware package that can often be an entire meal that fits in your pocket. It can be made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is almost always one of the healthiest things you can eat.
** And it can be filled and dressed with almost anything you can think of.
* Salads are inherently low-calorie (thanks to lettuce being mostly water), and are extremely customizable; dressings, fruits, veggies, meats, and the like (all in moderated quantities, of course) can help add taste to a healthy bowl of lettuce.
* Everyone in the whole world knows the absolute importance of food in everyday life. But what is just as important as food is the taste and smell of it. People are very likely to consume and enjoy foods that smell good and taste good than they are to consume foods that have no flavor at all or have offensive odors and tastes. Because of this, the manufacturing and distribution of flavors and spices is an international industry that brings in billions of dollars.
** Expanding on that: salt. It was worth its weight in gold for a long time due to its ability to flavor and preserve food before refrigeration and other methods of chemical preservation, purposes it is still widely used for today.
* Canned foods and [=MREs=]. Sure, they don't taste too well and are not as healthy as their freshly-made equivalents, but can withstand years of storage and do not need any preparations before eating.
** Instant foods also qualify. Sure, they are not the tastiest things around and are not considered good for your health, but they are cheap and easy to prepare.
* Coffee and tea may not be very sweet on their own, but they are popular sources of caffiene that pack less than 5 calories per cup, allowing even those on a low-calorie diet to enjoy them, and can be prepared to be hot or cold.
** In Britain before the days of water treatment, many people died of waterborne diseases and parasites. When tea and coffee started to get imported, general health improved as people were boiling their water before they drank it. That's right, the cup of brew was a genuine lifesaver.
[[/folder]]



* Discipline: sure, being a huge fellow with a large sword that can shout loud is impressive. Sure, being the maverick hero who doesn't answer to anyone and save the day by going against everyone's expectations looks cool. But in the end, these expectations exist because following orders in a disciplined fashion is just damned efficient. And this becomes MundaneMadeAwesome when a huge army comes in a massive ZergRush.

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* Discipline: sure, being [[ScreamingWarrior a huge fellow with a large sword that can shout loud loud]] is impressive. Sure, being the maverick hero who doesn't answer to anyone and save the day by going against everyone's expectations looks cool. But in the end, these expectations exist because following orders in a disciplined fashion is just damned efficient. And this becomes MundaneMadeAwesome when a huge army comes in a massive ZergRush.



!!!Misc. Equipment

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!!!Misc.!!Misc. Equipment



%% For items that don't fit elsewhere
[[folder:Miscellaneous]]
* The "Wash" method of shuffling cards. It's not pretty, it's slower than other techniques, looks decidedly amateurish and is the natural shuffling technique of people who can't otherwise shuffle cards (including small children), but when it comes right down to it, spreading the cards around on the table with the palms of your hands is simply the best way to achieve truly random results, so-much-so that professional dealers will typically "Wash" a brand-new deck of cards (which will, of course, start-off ordered by suit and by number) in order to properly randomize them before flashier and faster but less random shuffling techniques such as the Riffle take over.
* Regular, comfortable clothes. Spend a few months rehearsing/acting in a corset, hoop-skirt and high heels if you don't believe so.
** Anyone who works in a professional environment would agree. One of the greatest joys in an adult's daily life is getting home after a long day at work, stripping off the rigid work clothes one has to wear in order to convey the requisite "professional" appearance (and the accompanying work SHOES), and getting into nice, comfortable, cottony sweats, pajamas, or similar, and soft socks and/or house slippers.
* Sweatpants are anything but associated with sharp fashion sense, but they're comfortable, let the skin breathe easily, and quite versatile--they can be used for running, lounging around the house, sleeping, and even everyday out-of-the-house wear.
** Yoga pants have all this and are reasonably acceptable for wear in casual social situations without throwing an immediate impression of slovenliness.
* The Jacket: It's just a piece of fabric fitted for human use with sleeves, but ''good lord'' is it truly useful, you can take it off ''much'' easier indoors, and for people in colder climates, where Jackets often become large, bulky masses meant to keep you from freezing over, can really make things easier, as indoors the temperature can rise by ''20 degrees'' or more. Just try not taking it off and see what happens.
* The technology that made the jacket as we know it possible: the button. A simple piece of material attached to an item of clothing which goes through a corresponding hole. Despite the simplicity, it revolutionized clothing when it was invented in 13th-century Europe; you could now make snug-fitting clothing that would keep you warm through the cold winters much more easily. Earlier fasteners, like laces, tended to leave an open space that let the air in; not so with buttons.
* This is one interpretation of the drumming style of RingoStarr. Some [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] fans find his drumming tedious, uninteresting and bland. Others feel that this is his greatest strength - when [[Music/PaulMcCartney the]] [[Music/JohnLennon other]] [[Music/GeorgeHarrison three]] band members were pulling in different styles and directions, he was always [[TheMario able to adapt to a reasonable level]], no matter what style they were playing in. Music/JohnLennon in particular would only work with Ringo for a long time after the break-up of the band because he was able to give Lennon exactly what he asked for.
* Those niggling behind-the-scenes clerical tasks you either don't know or care about or might not want to come within a century of? Office workers are those little jars of oil that keep their department running like clockwork. Think of them as real-life {{Worker Unit}}s.
** Maintenance workers are almost the exact same thing, except that they take care of the grounds on which we earn our living. AlmightyJanitor exists as a trope for a reason.
** To give you an idea of the effectiveness of these workers, the Bolshevik Revolution had famous leaders like Lenin and Trotsky who preferred being revolutionaries and didn't care as much for the paperwork and bureaucracy. They handed it off to a volunteer named Stalin, who proceeded to use the incredible powers delegated him to become a political powerhouse who took control of Russia even after Lenin specifically wrote that he shouldn't be given that power. Remember, Stalin's official position was [[AlmightyJanitor General Secretary.]] It may not be as grand a rise to power as a fast-paced presidential campaign, revolution, or AwesomeMomentOfCrowning, but it worked.
* Simply living within your means, not buying anything too extravagant, and boring ol' responsible financial management. Sure, you may not be able to "keep up with the Joneses" on the latest flashiest toys, but those become pretty insignificant when compared to not having to take out a 3rd mortgage or having enough money in the bank for when life decides to take a piss on you.
** Besides, there's half-price sales and seasonal blowouts to help you out with those toys you're dreaming of. Patience pays off.
* Want to make sure something goes right? Come up with a list of steps you need to accomplish a task, write them down in order, and then get working on the task, crossing off each step once it is completed. Congratulations, you have invented the checklist. One of the reasons why airliners crash so rarely is that the flight crew goes through a printed checklist before takeoff. Early in TheNewTens, the World Health Organisation trialled a similar checklist for surgery. It resulted in an average drop of one third in deaths and major complications, and is being widely adopted. It takes up one side of A4 or US letter paper.
* "If something looks stupid but it works, then it's NOT stupid." ~ One of the additional rules on MurphysLaw
* Professional subtitles, especially for {{Anime}}. Fans decry them as lazy, especially compared to the fancy "karaoke subs" used by many {{Fan Sub}}bers. But as industry professionals point out, they're not supposed to be fancy -- they're supposed to be ''legible'', and the "boring" yellow-on-black, sans serif subtitles are by and large the easiest to read.
** The same logic extends to the translations themselves. Professional anime subtitles also get a lot of flak from fansubbers for actually ''translating'' Japanese into English and leaving out things like UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics (although sub companies generally do include them when relevant to the plot) and rendering names in the "Firstname Lastname" Western style. Professional sub companies want to make anime videos accessible to as wide an audience as possible that includes people who aren't necessarily familiar with the Japanese language or Japanese culture rather than [[PanderingToTheBase pandering to]] OccidentalOtaku.
* Most people with RapunzelHair swear by the two basics: Braids and/or buns, which keep hair contained, tangle-free, and out of the way. Since they usually wear their hair like that every day, it's boring for the people who ''don't'' have RapunzelHair and expected to see long, flowing locks.
* Freddie Francis, Academy Award winning cinematographer (winning his first in 1960 for ''SonsAndLovers'' and his next in 1989 for ''Film/{{Glory}}'') and having a long career, from starting as a cinematographer in the 50s and 60s, to directing for Hammer and returning in the 80s (he shot two movies for Creator/DavidLynch, both ''Film/TheElephantMan'' and his last movie ''Film/TheStraightStory'' when he was [[CoolOldGuy 81]]) famously said:
** "There are three types of photography: good photography, bad photography, and the right photography. The right photography is what tells the story best."
* Even here on this very website! [[OrderVersusChaos There are two factions]]: [=SPOONs=] [[note]]Society to Prevent Overly Original Names[[/note]] and [=FoRKS=] [[note]]Friends Of Really Kool Sobriquet[[/note]]. The former want trope names to be as simple and understandable as possible, making them this trope. The latter, by contrast, want trope names to be as funny or witty as possible, even if they don't make obvious sense, making it more AwesomeButImpractical. There's also [=PLATTER=]s and [=KNIVES=] who think the whole argument is stupid.
* Clear and plain writing.
* Work. Sure, it's boring and tedious for many people (though some people have jobs that they genuinely enjoy), but it's how you make money to pay for your needs, and almost everything we enjoy or need is created or improved by it.
* Education. Regardless of how you get it (e.g. self-teaching, an institution, or getting homeschooled), skills such as reading, writing, and basic mathematics are of the most important things you need to function well in life and contribute to society.
* Public universities and community colleges. While they lack the small class sizes, accommodations, and prestige of their private counterparts, they still provide helpful courses with reasonable financial returns while also offering lower tuition fees (the average public college in US has a tuition of $9,410 compared to the $32,405 of most private colleges). In fact, many public colleges have higher return-on-investments than even some private colleges.[[note]]''The Economist'' calculated in 2015 that graduates of the public university UCSD have median salaries of $59,600 while the graduates of the more prestigious private university Reed College has median salaries of only $36,000 despite having a higher tuition[[/note]]
* The doll. One of the oldest and most universal toys ever conceived, it doesn't seem nearly as spectacular an innovation as discovering fire or crafting the stone ax, yet it revolutionized child care by giving young children something to safely try out social interactions with. Compare that to other social primates, in which subadult females can only practice infant care by stealing actual infants away from their mothers - a risky situation for baby and young female, alike - and youngsters of both sexes are smacked around by their elders if they commit a ''faux pas''. But dolls don't die if mishandled and don't hit back if your play gets too rough. Plus, learning to regard dolls as substitute-playmates gave the human imagination a jump-start.
* Letter-based alphabets such as Cyrillic and Latin are this compared to languages who have different characters for each word, such as Japanese and Chinese dialects. While Hanzi and Kanji are beautiful ways to convey language, there are thousands of each, and they are all specific to the angle of each stroke. Simple combinations of letters are dull and repetitive, but are far easier to memorize and write down.
** Korean ''hangeul'' combines the letter-based simplicity of the aforementioned Western alphabets with the phonetic properties of Japanese and Chinese. It looks as elegant as other Asian languages, but without the need to look up how every individual character block is read. Once you learn some fairly consistent alphabet rules, you realize that each block actually tells you how to read it.
* This is the fundamentals of Risk Management. Every course of action will have a low, medium, or high risk along with low, medium, or high benefit.
** Ideally, you will want the low risk-high benefit option. Failing that, you should take low risk-medium benefit one. Failing even that, go for the low risk-low benefit option.
** Whenever you're thinking of taking medium or high risk, you should ask yourself whether you can tank the losses[=/=]escape relatively unscathed if your course of action backfires[=/=]fails.
** If your answer for the question above is "yes", then the risk factor has dropped from medium[=/=]high to low, and you can safely take the option.
** In short, ''never'' take medium risk, let alone high, as by that point you are taking an uncertain gamble. Only take such options when it has become a safe gamble, aka low risk.
* In the some spots of very remote Sahara Desert, camels are these. While those pre-2000 Toyota pickup are easy to maintain, faster, cheap and robust, those still need constant fuel to to operate and particular skill to fix. The prospect if they broke down and none nearby can't repair it also gives the travelers some worries. The first problem can be tackled by bringing loads of fuel and spare tires but it also decrease the free load weight. Meanwhile while slow and hold less shipping (individually), camels don't need to feed and drink everyday and the fact that it's used for millennia are proof of its practicality.
* Barbed wire. It's cheaper and takes less effort to set up than conventional fencing, allowing you to fence off large tracts of land quickly. Unlike a hedgerow, it's also fairly low-maintenance. You can also run an electric current through it for extra insurance. Guns might get all the credit for "winning" the Wild West, but it was barbed wire that ''tamed'' it.
* Learning a few of the most common foreign languages. Sure, speaking Irish Gaelic or Uigur might be nice to brag at parties with, but if you want to be able to communicate with most of the world, you should opt for Spanish, Mandarin (Chinese), English or one of the other "world languages". If you can read Mandarin, you won't have problems making yourself understood to any literate Chinese, even if they speak e.g. Cantonese. If you speak Spanish, you will be able to make rudimentary conversation with Portuguese speakers and might even understand what Italians are saying. English is so widespread that its advantages are probably not even worth mentioning. Arab and French together cover most of Africa that English does not and if you're lost even with them, try a regional language like Swahili (East Africa). Even in places where English is not the official language, [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish enough people are fluent]] that you will probably be able to get by even if you aren't fluent in one of the other common languages.
[[/folder]]



* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.

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* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
!!Traditional data storage



* The vibrate option on cellphones. Sure, it doesn't let you show off your personalized ringtone [[SarcasmMode that everyone is dying to hear]], but it's very useful in noisy environments and, in places that demand reduced noise levels such as libraries and inside smaller stores, it'll notify you of a call or new message without [[MostAnnoyingSound pissing off everybody around you]].
** Not only that, but if you put the cellphone on the right surface, it can be suitably loud enough to get your attention. And you can stage cell phone races with your friends!
* The Zippo cigarette lighter. An exceedingly simple design that succeeds largely because its simplicity means that it will rarely ever fail. As long as you have a handful of flints and maybe a replacement wick, it'll serve you for years. You can feed the Zippo its specially formulated fluid, camp stove fuel, gasoline, moonshine, practically anything, and it'll still burn. A Ronson might become unusable due to the head or threading of the fuel compartment stripping out; on a Zippo, you just pull out the inner body from the main case. There's a reason the brand has been sold, largely unchanged, since 1933. The company turned 80 years old in 2012 and has manufactured over 500 MILLION lighters, and every single one of them is guaranteed. [[BadassBoast "It works or we fix it for free"]] is a trademark of the company.
** Zippo's creator was inspired by an exchange with an Australian soldier, who he noticed was using an IMCO (a very plain-looking lighter with a stamped metal casing) as opposed to a fancier Ronson. The soldier's response when asked why sums up the trope perfectly: "Because it works, mate."
* Boring old tactile keyboards over cooler, [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology more "advanced"]] touch screen keyboards. Why? Because you can navigate a tactile keyboard solely by feel while keeping an eye on the display. Touch screens are, well, flat and more time goes into looking at finger placement than would on a tactile keyboard.

to:

* The vibrate option on cellphones. Sure, it doesn't let you show off your personalized ringtone [[SarcasmMode that everyone is dying to hear]], but it's very useful in noisy environments and, in places that demand reduced noise levels such as libraries Map and inside smaller stores, it'll notify you magnetic compass. Most of a call or new message without [[MostAnnoyingSound pissing off everybody around you]].
** Not only that, but if you put the cellphone on the right surface, it can be suitably loud enough
all, they do not need electricity nor special gadgets to get your attention. And you can stage cell phone races with your friends!
use.

!!High-Tech
!!!Hardware
* The Zippo cigarette lighter. An exceedingly simple design that succeeds largely because its simplicity means that it will rarely ever fail. As long as you have a handful of flints and maybe a replacement wick, it'll serve you for years. You can feed the Zippo its specially formulated fluid, camp stove fuel, gasoline, moonshine, practically anything, and it'll still burn. A Ronson might become unusable due to the head or threading of the fuel compartment stripping out; on a Zippo, you just pull out the inner body from the main case. There's a reason the brand has been sold, largely unchanged, since 1933. The company turned 80 years old in 2012 and has manufactured over 500 MILLION lighters, and every single one of them is guaranteed. [[BadassBoast "It works or we fix it for free"]] is a trademark of the company.
** Zippo's creator was inspired by an exchange with an Australian soldier, who he noticed was using an IMCO (a very plain-looking lighter with a stamped metal casing) as opposed to a fancier Ronson. The soldier's response when asked why sums up the trope perfectly: "Because it works, mate."
* Boring
Good old tactile keyboards over cooler, [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology more "advanced"]] touch screen keyboards. Why? Because you can navigate a tactile keyboard solely by feel while keeping an eye on the display. Touch screens are, well, flat and more time goes into looking at finger placement than would on a tactile keyboard.



** While we're on it, boring old [=PCs=] over flashy tablets, for similar reasons. Marketing for certain tablets can go on and on about how it's the "post-PC" era, but their relative cheapness, mass producibility, and tactile input means that they'll likely stick around for a long time.
** Don't forget computing power. Even a basic laptop will outperform a tablet, to say nothing of a high-end gaming desktop.
*** Plus, just ''try'' writing a term paper, essay or novel with a tablet sometime.[[note]]Granted, the current Constitution of UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} was first drafted on an [=iPad=], but that's an exceptional circumstance: it was a lot of legislators passing the thing around during and between legislative sessions, so the tablet was probably the best device.[[/note]] Yes, you can buy a keyboard for your tablet, but at that point you just have a netbook that costs more and does less than a regular one.
*** Until the day comes that someone creates something that can replace the tactile input of a [=PC=], we really won't be in the post-PC era for awhile.



* Microsoft [=PowerPoint=] and its clones allow for fancy presentations involving colorful backgrounds and exciting text effects and slide transitions. However, the best way to get your point across tends to be a simple, plain background with few (if any) text and transitional effects and tasteful use of images and clipart, rather than something out of a typical MySpace page. Unfortunately, many students up to high school (and in many cases, even in university or even after schooling) don't get the hint...

to:

* While we're on it, boring old [=PCs=] over flashy tablets in general, for similar reasons. Marketing for certain tablets can go on and on about how it's the "post-PC" era, but their relative cheapness, mass producibility, and tactile input means that they'll likely stick around for a long time. Until the day comes that someone creates something that can replace the tactile input of a [=PC=], we really won't be in the post-PC era for awhile.
** Don't forget computing power. Even a basic laptop will outperform a tablet, to say nothing of a high-end gaming desktop.
** Plus, just ''try'' writing a term paper, essay or novel with a tablet sometime.[[note]]Granted, the current Constitution of UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} was first drafted on an [=iPad=], but that's an exceptional circumstance: it was a lot of legislators passing the thing around during and between legislative sessions, so the tablet was probably the best device.[[/note]] Yes, you can buy a keyboard for your tablet, but at that point you just have a netbook that costs more and does less than a regular one.
* Tablets, on the other hand, also can count as this. Sure, they do not have the gaming performance of [=PCs=], but they are much cheaper and still able to perform basic tasks, such as browsing the Internet or playing Youtube videos. Also, nowadays many PC applications, such as the
Microsoft [=PowerPoint=] and its clones allow for fancy presentations involving colorful backgrounds and exciting text effects and slide transitions. However, the best way to get your point across tends to be a simple, plain background with few (if any) text and transitional effects and tasteful use of images and clipart, rather Office suite, have tablet-optimized versions that are much cheaper than something out of a typical MySpace page. Unfortunately, many students up to high school (and in many cases, even in university the PC ones, or even after schooling) don't get the hint...completely free. And of course, they're stupdenously portable and can be carried around in a messenger bag all day.



** The humble .csv (comma separated value) file. It is a plain text file, with rows of data, and each [[ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin value separated by a comma]]. Doesn't have fancy formatting, tabs, or other genuinely useful tools that an Excel file can have, but is loved by IT Admins and programmers everywhere for how easy it is to have a script read. In addition, there are a variety of programs specifically designed for editing .csv's, for those who don't like working with plaintext, and spreadsheet applications like Excel and [=OpenOffice=] Calc have .csv support.

to:

** * The humble .csv (comma separated value) file. It is a plain text file, with rows of data, and each [[ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin value separated by a comma]]. Doesn't have fancy formatting, tabs, or other genuinely useful tools that an Excel file can have, but is loved by IT Admins and programmers everywhere for how easy it is to have a script read. In addition, there are a variety of programs specifically designed for editing .csv's, for those who don't like working with plaintext, and spreadsheet applications like Excel and [=OpenOffice=] Calc have .csv support.



*** Serial communication in and of itself. It's boring to send everything one bit at a time. But when you consider that trying to send data in parallel signaling and timing issues that limit how fast you can push data out? Now it becomes practical.

to:

*** ** Serial communication in and of itself. It's boring to send everything one bit at a time. But when you consider that trying to send data in parallel signaling and timing issues that limit how fast you can push data out? Now it becomes practical.



* Application programming in general uses this trope. While you can make all sorts of obfuscated C or use fancy loops, recursion and stacked subs, the vast majority of work will be simple mathematical and string operations, basic SQL calls (>95% of which are simple select, update, insert, and delete statements), and for or while loops. In fact, going exotic or esoteric makes your code harder to read, harder to maintain, more prone to bugs, typically much slower, and more likely to fail in the next operating system upgrade. See [[http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Programming-Sucks!-Or-At-Least,-It-Ought-To-.aspx this article]] on TheDailyWTF.



* In a lot of PC technology, it's better to go with the more boring midrange parts at best than going all in for high-end. Why? Various reasons:
** Everyday use programs are already optimized as best they can to run reasonably well on a wide variety of systems. For example Windows can run on ''tablets'' with almost no tweaking as of 2014, which was something unthinkable without serious sacrifices several years prior.
** For networking, the fastest speeds are usually not standard equipment for years after its introduction. Meaning if you want the fastest network possible, you're going to have to buy peripherals and equipment to take advantage of it.
** Ultimately, the price to performance ratio diminishes rapidly and various factors beyond your control can kill performance.
** Even if you are a gamer, most games will run just fine with a moderate-performance PC. You might have to tone back some of the more outstanding visual effects, but they aren't absolutely necessary to enjoy most games, and there is more to a game than just its looks.
* As with midrange computing hardware, midrange A/V equipment is a better bet than the latest high-end equipment, simply because there's a lot more content for hardware that's been around for a while. There are still ''way'' more movies on UsefulNotes/{{DVD}} than there are on UsefulNotes/BluRay and even on Creator/{{Netflix}}. There's also more HD content designed for 1080p and 720p than for 4K. Indeed, most HD broadcasts are still only 720p because of lack of available bandwidth. For the longest time, there were still more standard definition than HD sets out there as well.
* A simple can of compressed air can work wonders for a slow PC. Computers will throttle the processor if they get too hot. Laptops, with their cramped spaces, are especially susceptible. Blowing the dust bunnies out of the fan intake and heatsink will have the [=CPU=] running at full speed again.

* The vibrate option on cellphones. Sure, it doesn't let you show off your personalized ringtone [[SarcasmMode that everyone is dying to hear]], but it's very useful in noisy environments and, in places that demand reduced noise levels such as libraries and inside smaller stores, it'll notify you of a call or new message without [[MostAnnoyingSound pissing off everybody around you]].
** Not only that, but if you put the cellphone on the right surface, it can be suitably loud enough to get your attention. And you can stage cell phone races with your friends!

!!!Software
* Command line interfaces. Beloved by programmers and techie types, they can be a lifesaver when trying to do things designers of [=GUIs=] never intended. They also allow servers to run "headless," without a keyboard and monitor and accessed remotely.
* Microsoft [=PowerPoint=] and its clones allow for fancy presentations involving colorful backgrounds and exciting text effects and slide transitions. However, the best way to get your point across tends to be a simple, plain background with few (if any) text and transitional effects and tasteful use of images and clipart, rather than something out of a typical MySpace page. Unfortunately, many students up to high school (and in many cases, even in university or even after schooling) don't get the hint...
* Application programming in general uses this trope. While you can make all sorts of obfuscated C or use fancy loops, recursion and stacked subs, the vast majority of work will be simple mathematical and string operations, basic SQL calls (>95% of which are simple select, update, insert, and delete statements), and for or while loops. In fact, going exotic or esoteric makes your code harder to read, harder to maintain, more prone to bugs, typically much slower, and more likely to fail in the next operating system upgrade. See [[http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Programming-Sucks!-Or-At-Least,-It-Ought-To-.aspx this article]] on TheDailyWTF.



*** A note about Comic Sans, it's popular with those starting out on computers because it's interesting. It's hated because it's popular, and seemingly obnoxious. But research suggests, and said research has been made more widely known by popular media, that Comic Sans is good for those with dyslexia.

to:

*** ** A note about Comic Sans, it's popular with those starting out on computers because it's interesting. It's hated because it's popular, and seemingly obnoxious. But research suggests, and said research has been made more widely known by popular media, that Comic Sans is good for those with dyslexia.



* Laboratories might not be the most exciting places on the planet, no matter what WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory may tell you, but the [[TheLabRat people who work in them]] take care of the [[CopAndScientist scientific details that crack the case for those on the front lines]].
** Speaking of laboratories, the invention of glass. It may be fragile and prone to shattering if heated or cooled too quickly (or dropped on the floor) but it conducts heat fairly well, refracts light, is easily cleaned, and cheap to replace. [[CaptainObvious Oh, and it's transparent.]] A lot of work in science couldn't be done without it. On a more day-to-day level, it's nice being able to look out of windows and let sunlight in without causing a draft.
* Duct Tape. [[DuctTapeForEverything While what you can do with it is amazing]], in and of itself? Not that exciting, but cheap and widely available. Ironically, it's terrible on ducts, since it's not good at handling the rapid and repeated temperature changes.
* Command line interfaces. Beloved by programmers and techie types, they can be a lifesaver when trying to do things designers of [=GUIs=] never intended. They also allow servers to run "headless," without a keyboard and monitor and accessed remotely.
* Map and magnetic compass. Most of all, they do not need electricity nor special gadgets to use.
* Electric fans. Though not as powerful as air conditioners, they generally provide sufficient cooling, and keep air circurlating, all at a lower operating cost and without the need for tedious construction; you can even get a small battery-operated fan for your desk or to wear around your neck. You also don't need all doors and windows closed for them to function properly.



* A simple can of compressed air can work wonders for a slow PC. Computers will throttle the processor if they get too hot. Laptops, with their cramped spaces, are especially susceptible. Blowing the dust bunnies out of the fan intake and heatsink will have the [=CPU=] running at full speed again.



* Electric engines are so simple that they were invented before the light bulb. Their efficiency is well above 99% and many of them can run for ''decades'' without any needs for shutdown or repairs. The fact that nobody thinks much about them, yet everybody uses them just serves as further proof that they are this trope.
* In a lot of PC technology, it's better to go with the more boring midrange parts at best than going all in for high-end. Why? Various reasons:
** Everyday use programs are already optimized as best they can to run reasonably well on a wide variety of systems. For example Windows can run on ''tablets'' with almost no tweaking as of 2014, which was something unthinkable without serious sacrifices several years prior.
** For networking, the fastest speeds are usually not standard equipment for years after its introduction. Meaning if you want the fastest network possible, you're going to have to buy peripherals and equipment to take advantage of it.
** Ultimately, the price to performance ratio diminishes rapidly and various factors beyond your control can kill performance.
** Even if you are a gamer, most games will run just fine with a moderate-performance PC. You might have to tone back some of the more outstanding visual effects, but they aren't absolutely necessary to enjoy most games, and there is more to a game than just its looks.
* As with midrange computing hardware, midrange A/V equipment is a better bet than the latest high-end equipment, simply because there's a lot more content for hardware that's been around for a while. There are still ''way'' more movies on UsefulNotes/{{DVD}} than there are on UsefulNotes/BluRay and even on Creator/{{Netflix}}. There's also more HD content designed for 1080p and 720p than for 4K. Indeed, most HD broadcasts are still only 720p because of lack of available bandwidth. For the longest time, there were still more standard definition than HD sets out there as well.
* Tablets. Sure, they do not have the gaming performance of [=PCs=], but they are much cheaper and still able to perform basic tasks, such as browsing the Internet or playing Youtube videos. Also, nowadays many PC applications, such as the Microsoft Office suite, have tablet-optimized versions that are much cheaper than the PC ones, or even completely free. And of course, they're stupdenously portable and can be carried around in a messenger bag all day.




!!Other technological stuff
* The Zippo cigarette lighter. An exceedingly simple design that succeeds largely because its simplicity means that it will rarely ever fail. As long as you have a handful of flints and maybe a replacement wick, it'll serve you for years. You can feed the Zippo its specially formulated fluid, camp stove fuel, gasoline, moonshine, practically anything, and it'll still burn. A Ronson might become unusable due to the head or threading of the fuel compartment stripping out; on a Zippo, you just pull out the inner body from the main case. There's a reason the brand has been sold, largely unchanged, since 1933. The company turned 80 years old in 2012 and has manufactured over 500 MILLION lighters, and every single one of them is guaranteed. [[BadassBoast "It works or we fix it for free"]] is a trademark of the company.
** Zippo's creator was inspired by an exchange with an Australian soldier, who he noticed was using an IMCO (a very plain-looking lighter with a stamped metal casing) as opposed to a fancier Ronson. The soldier's response when asked why sums up the trope perfectly: "Because it works, mate."
* Laboratories might not be the most exciting places on the planet, no matter what WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory may tell you, but the [[TheLabRat people who work in them]] take care of the [[CopAndScientist scientific details that crack the case for those on the front lines]].
** Speaking of laboratories, the invention of glass. It may be fragile and prone to shattering if heated or cooled too quickly (or dropped on the floor) but it conducts heat fairly well, refracts light, is easily cleaned, and cheap to replace. [[CaptainObvious Oh, and it's transparent.]] A lot of work in science couldn't be done without it. On a more day-to-day level, it's nice being able to look out of windows and let sunlight in without causing a draft.
* Duct Tape. [[DuctTapeForEverything While what you can do with it is amazing]], in and of itself? Not that exciting, but cheap and widely available. Ironically, it's terrible on ducts, since it's not good at handling the rapid and repeated temperature changes.
* Electric fans. Though not as powerful as air conditioners, they generally provide sufficient cooling, and keep air circurlating, all at a lower operating cost and without the need for tedious construction; you can even get a small battery-operated fan for your desk or to wear around your neck. You also don't need all doors and windows closed for them to function properly.
* Electric engines are so simple that they were invented before the light bulb. Their efficiency is well above 99% and many of them can run for ''decades'' without any needs for shutdown or repairs. The fact that nobody thinks much about them, yet everybody uses them just serves as further proof that they are this trope.



[[folder:Vehicles]]
* [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Regular, ordinary cars.]] They lack the ruggedness of an SUV or pickup or the power and sleekness of a sports car, but are more efficient with gasoline, are usually the cheapest new cars you can find, and they won't make your insurance rates sky rocket. Newer such cars also come with various safety features such as front and side airbags and proximity sensors that will raise your chances of avoiding or at least surviving an accident more than a sports car will, as most sports cars sacrifice safety features and other luxuries in order to achieve optimum performance.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GL1T-JVpgQ The 2011 Mediocrity]] is an intentional exaggeration of this trope.

to:

[[folder:Vehicles]]
[[folder:Vehicles and Transportation]]
!!Cars
* [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Regular, ordinary cars.]] cars in general]]. They lack the ruggedness of an SUV or pickup or the power and sleekness of a sports car, but are more efficient with gasoline, are usually the cheapest new cars you can find, and they won't make your insurance rates sky rocket. Newer such cars also come with various safety features such as front and side airbags and proximity sensors that will raise your chances of avoiding or at least surviving an accident more than a sports car will, as most sports cars sacrifice safety features and other luxuries in order to achieve optimum performance.
* On that note: Older cars amongst regular cars are generally cheaper and still have a good amount of efficiency, even if they have over 100,000 miles on the engine. All it really takes to maintain this car is a decent understanding of mechanics and keeping an eye on your car's fluids. Decent or extraordinary maintenance can turn these older cars into[[WhatAPieceOfJunk ...]]
** Used cars may not have the newest features and looks, but they have already suffered the biggest depreciation and their weak and strong points are well-noted.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV The Citroën 2CV]], a small, unassuming car that eventually became France's answer to the Beetle, with over 3.8 million produced (not counting the numerous variants) between 1948 and 1990. This car is so versatile, it can drive almost anywhere. [[WhatAPieceOfJunk One 2CV]] drove all the way from Paris to ''Yokohoma''.
* Minivans (or [=MPVs=], as where you called) may have that "soccer mom" stigma (though OnlyInAmerica for the most part), but they have the passenger and cargo capacity of an SUV without the gas-guzzling property; granted, a minivan can't go off-road, but if you just need a vehicle for everyday purposes, that isn't necessary. This gains minivans a popular status in Asia and Europe where people use them as family vehicles.
* Japanese kei cars are small, dismally underpowered and slow at first glance, but they are actually [[BiggerOnTheInside tall and roomy]], and they can handle better than most regular cars due to their narrow sizes. Mid-engined kei cars like [[FragileSpeedster Honda S660]] and [[JackOfAllStats Mitsubishi i]] deserve this mention.
* Much of the ex-Soviet, now Russian, automobile industry embodies this trope. Rough roads and climate conditions don't play well with modern vehicles that haven't been explicitly built to withstand them, and those that ''have'' are usually far too expensive for a land with a long history of chronic monetary scarcity. As a result, the typical Soviet/Russian car up until a few years ago relied on dated designs and uncomplicated, robust and cheap componentry, but paid the price with low performance, low efficiency and ghastly safety standards. Even the half-hearted attempts of the Soviet Age to implement the Western luxuries like automatic transmissions failed when repairs and maintenance would have been prohibitively expensive. This has slowly been changing, with many cities seeing more and more imported cars of recent design, but it's been a slow process - the Lada Riva, based on the seventies-era Fiat 124, has only been discontinued sometime between 2010 and 2012. And if you go to places where the cold and warm seasons are rather classified as "lethally freezing" and "slightly survivable", you can bet you'll still be seeing a lot more Lada Nivas than Range Rovers.
* Small trackday cars like the Lotus Elise or Caterham 7. They may lack the babe magnet capabilities of sports and super cars, the sheer power numbers of muscle cars and the daily usability of both, but they can beat them on race tracks and winding roads.
* On that note, even the ordinary pick-up truck qualifies. While some you have your "crucks" and your "Oversized pickups for fashion and compensation", the majority of them are massed produced utility vehicles designed take a decent amount of cargo and one or two people and move them from one place to another. The basic design of the pick-up truck hasn't changed in over half a century. It's safer then many other vehicles in most types of common collisions because [[MemeticMutation Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest SOB on the road]]. It's so damn utilitarian that if an ordinary pick-up truck is properly maintained and driven normally you can even get more mileage and years of usage out of a good truck then a car and have average to better than average gas mileage.
* 90s body-on-frame [=SUVs=] also qualify. While new models might have stuff like GPS and leather seats, the old ones have the offroad and hauling capabilities of trucks while being able to carry more people. You also shouldn't forget that running ones can be bought for under $2500 or £1500.
* Diesel engines fullfill this trope. While they might be less powerful and cool-sounding than petrol ones, they are also more frugal with fuel and have more torque. [[InvincibleHero Audi]] used the diesel engines to beat UsefulNotes/TwentyFourHoursOfLeMans.
*
[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GL1T-JVpgQ The 2011 Mediocrity]] is an intentional exaggeration of this trope.



** On that note: Older cars amongst regular cars are generally cheaper and still have a good amount of efficiency, even if they have over 100,000 miles on the engine. All it really takes to maintain this car is a decent understanding of mechanics and keeping an eye on your car's fluids. Decent or extraordinary maintenance can turn these older cars into[[WhatAPieceOfJunk ...]]
** [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Used cars.]] They may not have the newest features and looks, but they have already suffered the biggest depreciation and their weak and strong points are well-noted.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV The Citroën 2CV]], a small, unassuming car that eventually became France's answer to the Beetle, with over 3.8 million produced (not counting the numerous variants) between 1948 and 1990. This car is so versatile, it can drive almost anywhere. [[WhatAPieceOfJunk One 2CV]] drove all the way from Paris to ''Yokohoma''.
** Minivans (or [=MPVs=], as where you called) may have that "soccer mom" stigma (though OnlyInAmerica for the most part), but they have the passenger and cargo capacity of an SUV without the gas-guzzling property; granted, a minivan can't go off-road, but if you just need a vehicle for everyday purposes, that isn't necessary. This gains minivans a popular status in Asia and Europe where people use them as family vehicles.
** Japanese kei cars are small, dismally underpowered and slow at first glance, but they are actually [[BiggerOnTheInside tall and roomy]], and they can handle better than most regular cars due to their narrow sizes. Mid-engined kei cars like [[FragileSpeedster Honda S660]] and [[JackOfAllStats Mitsubishi i]] deserve this mention.
** Small trackday cars like the Lotus Elise or Caterham 7. They may lack the babe magnet capabilities of sports and super cars, the sheer power numbers of muscle cars and the daily usability of both, but they can beat them on race tracks and winding roads.
** The Ford Crown Victoria model of sedan isn't cutting-edge in style or modern luxuries, but they have a good history as a fleet vehicle, starting a strong economy for third-party replacement parts. If a one is bought from a Police/Taxi sale, there's a good chance that the vehicle had routine maintenance and may be able to take a second owner another 100,000 miles with timely trips to a mechanic. You're friends may not be amazed by your ride, but parking one of these at your residence may scare off trouble-makers who are familiar with the sight of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The Crown Vic engine isn't powerful enough to impress sports car fans, but this is partly because the engine is designed to last a while rather than give thrilling acceleration from 0.
* On that note, even the ordinary pick-up truck qualifies. While some you have your "crucks" and your "Oversized pickups for fashion and compensation", the majority of them are massed produced utility vehicles designed take a decent amount of cargo and one or two people and move them from one place to another. The basic design of the pick-up truck hasn't changed in over half a century. It's safer then many other vehicles in most types of common collisions because [[MemeticMutation Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest SOB on the road]]. It's so damn utilitarian that if an ordinary pick-up truck is properly maintained and driven normally you can even get more mileage and years of usage out of a good truck then a car and have average to better than average gas mileage.
** 90s body-on-frame [=SUVs=] also qualify. While new models might have stuff like GPS and leather seats, the old ones have the offroad and hauling capabilities of trucks while being able to carry more people. You also shouldn't forget that running ones can be bought for under $2500 or £1500.
* Diesel engines fullfill this trope. While they might be less powerful and cool-sounding than petrol ones, they are also more frugal with fuel and have more torque. [[InvincibleHero Audi]] used the diesel engines to beat UsefulNotes/TwentyFourHoursOfLeMans.

to:

** On that note: Older cars amongst regular cars are generally cheaper and still have a good amount of efficiency, even if they have over 100,000 miles on the engine. All it really takes to maintain this car is a decent understanding of mechanics and keeping an eye on your car's fluids. Decent or extraordinary maintenance can turn these older cars into[[WhatAPieceOfJunk ...]]
** [[WhatAPieceOfJunk Used cars.]] They may not have the newest features and looks, but they have already suffered the biggest depreciation and their weak and strong points are well-noted.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV The Citroën 2CV]], a small, unassuming car that eventually became France's answer to the Beetle, with over 3.8 million produced (not counting the numerous variants) between 1948 and 1990. This car is so versatile, it can drive almost anywhere. [[WhatAPieceOfJunk One 2CV]] drove all the way from Paris to ''Yokohoma''.
** Minivans (or [=MPVs=], as where you called) may have that "soccer mom" stigma (though OnlyInAmerica for the most part), but they have the passenger and cargo capacity of an SUV without the gas-guzzling property; granted, a minivan can't go off-road, but if you just need a vehicle for everyday purposes, that isn't necessary. This gains minivans a popular status in Asia and Europe where people use them as family vehicles.
** Japanese kei cars are small, dismally underpowered and slow at first glance, but they are actually [[BiggerOnTheInside tall and roomy]], and they can handle better than most regular cars due to their narrow sizes. Mid-engined kei cars like [[FragileSpeedster Honda S660]] and [[JackOfAllStats Mitsubishi i]] deserve this mention.
** Small trackday cars like the Lotus Elise or Caterham 7. They may lack the babe magnet capabilities of sports and super cars, the sheer power numbers of muscle cars and the daily usability of both, but they can beat them on race tracks and winding roads.
**
* The Ford Crown Victoria model of sedan isn't cutting-edge in style or modern luxuries, but they have a good history as a fleet vehicle, starting a strong economy for third-party replacement parts. If a one is bought from a Police/Taxi sale, there's a good chance that the vehicle had routine maintenance and may be able to take a second owner another 100,000 miles with timely trips to a mechanic. You're friends may not be amazed by your ride, but parking one of these at your residence may scare off trouble-makers who are familiar with the sight of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The Crown Vic engine isn't powerful enough to impress sports car fans, but this is partly because the engine is designed to last a while rather than give thrilling acceleration from 0.
* On that note, even the ordinary pick-up truck qualifies. While some you have your "crucks" and your "Oversized pickups for fashion and compensation", the majority of them are massed produced utility vehicles designed take a decent amount of cargo and one or two people and move them from one place to another. The basic design of the pick-up truck hasn't changed in over half a century. It's safer then many other vehicles in most types of common collisions because [[MemeticMutation Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest SOB on the road]]. It's so damn utilitarian that if an ordinary pick-up truck is properly maintained and driven normally you can even get more mileage and years of usage out of a good truck then a car and have average to better than average gas mileage.
** 90s body-on-frame [=SUVs=] also qualify. While new models might have stuff like GPS and leather seats, the old ones have the offroad and hauling capabilities of trucks while being able to carry more people. You also shouldn't forget that running ones can be bought for under $2500 or £1500.
* Diesel engines fullfill this trope. While they might be less powerful and cool-sounding than petrol ones, they are also more frugal with fuel and have more torque. [[InvincibleHero Audi]] used the diesel engines to beat UsefulNotes/TwentyFourHoursOfLeMans.
0.



* The Sturmey Archer AW internal gear hub: Originally designed in the 1930s as a mix of parts from their other hubs to provide a low-cost seller, the hub became the standard gear system for bicycles up until the 10 speed fad of 1970s. Unbelievable reliability has kept it in production for ''over seventy-five years''.



* For hobby-grade r/c boats, constructing the hull out of wood rather than fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wood does not carry the same cachet of a hull made of high-tech composites, and are often sold in kit form, requiring you to build it yourself (Glass hulls are almost always sold ready to accept their hardware.) However, wood is cheap, and, if built correctly, just as strong as fiberglass (though not carbon fiber, although its use is largely limited to large scale boats.)
** For gas r/c boats, the humble Homelite and Zenoah engines. Converted Homelites (they are typically used for yard equipment) powered the first gas r/c boats, while Zenoah released the first dedicated marine engine, the G23. Its successor, the [=G260PUM=], is the most popular engine in the hobby. Stock, they will reliably power most hulls at a respectable speed. When modified by a skilled engine builder, the G260 can chuck out about 6hp (increased displacement and/or aftermarket top ends can further increase that,) up from a claimed 3.2hp, and can push the fastest hulls up to 100 mph, depending on setup, hull, and conditions. The Zenoah is so ubiquitous, that every other brand of gas r/c engine is designed to fit in the same footprint, and parts commonality is, well, common. The only realistic challenger to the Zenoahs crown are the RCMK engines, which are sold for not much more than a stock G260, but can develop 5hp, in addition to far better after-sale support.
* Skis and the slightly more awesome dog sled for moving across snow. One of the reasons [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen Amundsen]] won the race to the South Pole (and, you know, survived) was the use of these two simple methods of transport. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott Scott]] on the other hand wanted to use high tech mechanical crawlers that soon broke down due to the extreme conditions. There have been claims that Scott and his men didn't even know how to ski, usually with the implication that they would have survived had they known.

to:

* For hobby-grade r/c boats, constructing Motorcycles 500cc and below (We're looking at you, Piaggio Vespa scooters). Sure they're not high speed powerhouses like the hull out Suzuki Hayabusa or a badass bike like a Harley Davidson in the 1200cc range, but they're light, can reach sufficiently fast highway speeds, are easier to handle (weight being part of wood rather than fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wood does it, not carry being twitchy being the same cachet of a hull made of high-tech composites, other), and are often sold in kit form, requiring you to build it yourself (Glass hulls are almost always sold ready to accept their hardware.) However, wood is cheap, and, if built correctly, just as strong as fiberglass (though not carbon fiber, although its use is largely limited to large scale boats.)
** For gas r/c boats, the humble Homelite and Zenoah engines. Converted Homelites (they are typically used for yard equipment) powered the first gas r/c boats, while Zenoah released the first dedicated marine engine, the G23. Its successor, the [=G260PUM=], is the most popular engine in the hobby. Stock, they will reliably power most hulls at a respectable speed. When modified by a skilled engine builder, the G260
insanely efficient (250cc bikes can chuck out about 6hp (increased displacement and/or aftermarket top ends can further increase that,) up from routinely achieve 80MPG, 500cc bikes maintain a claimed 3.2hp, and can push the fastest hulls up Prius worthy 55MPG). There's a reason why many motorcyclists suggest new riders to 100 mph, depending on setup, hull, and conditions. The Zenoah is so ubiquitous, get something in that every other brand of gas r/c engine is designed to fit in the same footprint, and parts commonality is, well, common. The only realistic challenger to the Zenoahs crown are the RCMK engines, which are sold for not much more than a stock G260, but can develop 5hp, in addition to far better after-sale support.
* Skis and the slightly more awesome dog sled for moving across snow. One of the reasons [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen Amundsen]] won the race to the South Pole (and, you know, survived) was the use of these two simple methods of transport. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott Scott]] on the other hand wanted to use high tech mechanical crawlers that soon broke down due to the extreme conditions. There have been claims that Scott and his men didn't even know how to ski, usually with the implication that they would have survived had they known.
range.

!!Rail



* The Glasgow subway system: [[http://www.spt.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/subway_map.png No one gets lost.]]

!!Spacecraft



* The Glasgow subway system: [[http://www.spt.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/subway_map.png No one gets lost.]]



* Much of the ex-Soviet, now Russian, automobile industry embodies this trope. Rough roads and climate conditions don't play well with modern vehicles that haven't been explicitly built to withstand them, and those that ''have'' are usually far too expensive for a land with a long history of chronic monetary scarcity. As a result, the typical Soviet/Russian car up until a few years ago relied on dated designs and uncomplicated, robust and cheap componentry, but paid the price with low performance, low efficiency and ghastly safety standards. Even the half-hearted attempts of the Soviet Age to implement the Western luxuries like automatic transmissions failed when repairs and maintenance would have been prohibitively expensive. This has slowly been changing, with many cities seeing more and more imported cars of recent design, but it's been a slow process - the Lada Riva, based on the seventies-era Fiat 124, has only been discontinued sometime between 2010 and 2012. And if you go to places where the cold and warm seasons are rather classified as "lethally freezing" and "slightly survivable", you can bet you'll still be seeing a lot more Lada Nivas than Range Rovers.



* Tugboats. Small, hardy craft designed to help maneuver bigger ships around in the confined spaces of a harbor. They could also be used to move cargo around by having them tow barges around (very handy for loading and unloading a large vessel in shallow water). During the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor]], Navy tugboats were hard at work fighting fires, towing ships free of their moorings (either to get them out of harms way, such as the ''Vestal'' being pulled away from the burning wreck of the ''Arizona'', or to clear lines of fire for ships docked next to each other). When the battleship ''Nevada'' was severely damaged while making a run to the sea, she needed to be beached quickly to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. The Tugboat USS ''Hoga'' helped to shove the crippled and burning dreadnought into the shallows and continued to help ''Nevada's'' crew fight fires (with the additional help of the seaplane tender USS ''Avocet''). The ''Hoga'' would spend the next several days fighting fires in the harbor and assisting with DamageControl.
* Motorcycles 500cc and below (We're looking at you, Piaggio Vespa scooters). Sure they're not high speed powerhouses like the Suzuki Hayabusa or a badass bike like a Harley Davidson in the 1200cc range, but they're light, can reach sufficiently fast highway speeds, are easier to handle (weight being part of it, not being twitchy being the other), and are insanely efficient (250cc bikes can routinely achieve 80MPG, 500cc bikes maintain a Prius worthy 55MPG). There's a reason why many motorcyclists suggest new riders to get something in that range.
* When new aircraft and vehicles are introduced you may notice they look just like... planes and cars, with no wild, amazing, exciting concept designs. The problem is we've already found the best aerodynamic shapes for these things, and to vary too much would harm fuel efficiency. So yep, it's the same-old-same-old, but still ''incredibly'' practical.

to:

* Tugboats. Small, hardy craft designed to help maneuver bigger ships around in the confined spaces of a harbor. They could also be used to move cargo around by having them tow barges around (very handy for loading and unloading a large vessel in shallow water). During the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor]], Navy tugboats were hard at work fighting fires, towing ships free of their moorings (either to get them out of harms way, such as the ''Vestal'' being pulled away from the burning wreck of the ''Arizona'', or to clear lines of fire for ships docked next to each other). When the battleship ''Nevada'' was severely damaged while making a run to the sea, she needed to be beached quickly to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. The Tugboat USS ''Hoga'' helped to shove the crippled and burning dreadnought into the shallows and continued to help ''Nevada's'' crew fight fires (with the additional help of the seaplane tender USS ''Avocet''). The ''Hoga'' would spend the next several days fighting fires in the harbor and assisting with DamageControl.
* Motorcycles 500cc and below (We're looking at you, Piaggio Vespa scooters). Sure they're not high speed powerhouses like the Suzuki Hayabusa or a badass bike like a Harley Davidson in the 1200cc range, but they're light, can reach sufficiently fast highway speeds, are easier to handle (weight being part of it, not being twitchy being the other), and are insanely efficient (250cc bikes can routinely achieve 80MPG, 500cc bikes maintain a Prius worthy 55MPG). There's a reason why many motorcyclists suggest new riders to get something in that range.
* When new aircraft and vehicles are introduced you may notice they look just like... planes and cars, with no wild, amazing, exciting concept designs. The problem is we've already found the best aerodynamic shapes for these things, and to vary too much would harm fuel efficiency. So yep, it's the same-old-same-old, but still ''incredibly'' practical.

!!Roads


Added DiffLines:


!!Others


Added DiffLines:

** The Sturmey Archer AW internal gear hub: Originally designed in the 1930s as a mix of parts from their other hubs to provide a low-cost seller, the hub became the standard gear system for bicycles up until the 10 speed fad of 1970s. Unbelievable reliability has kept it in production for ''over seventy-five years''.
* Tugboats. Small, hardy craft designed to help maneuver bigger ships around in the confined spaces of a harbor. They could also be used to move cargo around by having them tow barges around (very handy for loading and unloading a large vessel in shallow water). During the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor]], Navy tugboats were hard at work fighting fires, towing ships free of their moorings (either to get them out of harms way, such as the ''Vestal'' being pulled away from the burning wreck of the ''Arizona'', or to clear lines of fire for ships docked next to each other). When the battleship ''Nevada'' was severely damaged while making a run to the sea, she needed to be beached quickly to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. The Tugboat USS ''Hoga'' helped to shove the crippled and burning dreadnought into the shallows and continued to help ''Nevada's'' crew fight fires (with the additional help of the seaplane tender USS ''Avocet''). The ''Hoga'' would spend the next several days fighting fires in the harbor and assisting with DamageControl.
* For hobby-grade r/c boats, constructing the hull out of wood rather than fiberglass or carbon fiber. Wood does not carry the same cachet of a hull made of high-tech composites, and are often sold in kit form, requiring you to build it yourself (Glass hulls are almost always sold ready to accept their hardware.) However, wood is cheap, and, if built correctly, just as strong as fiberglass (though not carbon fiber, although its use is largely limited to large scale boats.)
** For gas r/c boats, the humble Homelite and Zenoah engines. Converted Homelites (they are typically used for yard equipment) powered the first gas r/c boats, while Zenoah released the first dedicated marine engine, the G23. Its successor, the [=G260PUM=], is the most popular engine in the hobby. Stock, they will reliably power most hulls at a respectable speed. When modified by a skilled engine builder, the G260 can chuck out about 6hp (increased displacement and/or aftermarket top ends can further increase that,) up from a claimed 3.2hp, and can push the fastest hulls up to 100 mph, depending on setup, hull, and conditions. The Zenoah is so ubiquitous, that every other brand of gas r/c engine is designed to fit in the same footprint, and parts commonality is, well, common. The only realistic challenger to the Zenoahs crown are the RCMK engines, which are sold for not much more than a stock G260, but can develop 5hp, in addition to far better after-sale support.
* Skis and the slightly more awesome dog sled for moving across snow. One of the reasons [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen Amundsen]] won the race to the South Pole (and, you know, survived) was the use of these two simple methods of transport. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott Scott]] on the other hand wanted to use high tech mechanical crawlers that soon broke down due to the extreme conditions. There have been claims that Scott and his men didn't even know how to ski, usually with the implication that they would have survived had they known.
* When new aircraft and vehicles are introduced you may notice they look just like... planes and cars, with no wild, amazing, exciting concept designs. The problem is we've already found the best aerodynamic shapes for these things, and to vary too much would harm fuel efficiency. So yep, it's the same-old-same-old, but still ''incredibly'' practical.


Added DiffLines:

* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
** It also vastly reduced the amount of cargo lost to damages and "damages" (read: theft by the crew) during transport.


Added DiffLines:

%% For what you eat and drink!
[[folder:Food and drink]]
* Healthy food. While eating a variety of foods and spices will probably be the best way to get all your nutrients, plain food can keep you reasonably healthy (providing you don't leave out any important food group.)
** Soups and stews as well. The ultimate in simple recipes (put available food in pot with water and cook) can use nearly any ingredients, cooks decently quickly, feeds many, is very healthy and filling (depending on the ingredients), and nearly anyone can make it. But unless you use a recipe, don't expect to be blown away by the flavor. That said, some ''excellent'' recipes for soups and stews can be found; ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''[='s=] "Soup Nazi" was based on a real person whose soups really were that good.
* Rice. Not counting flavored, spiced, salted, egg, or with a curry/sauce. Just plain rice. For its size it is incredibly rich in nutrition and energy. Even if you don't have a specialized rice cooker, cooking rice is still a simple matter of adding rice and water to a pot and boiling it for several minutes.
** They happen to be an excellent flavor buffer for a lot of saucy foods. That or they just go good with saucy foods (or with sauce in general).
** How practical is it, you ask? Literally half of the entire world's population gets two-thirds of their daily calories from rice. It is the #1 most consumed food on Earth and has been for centuries, possibly even millenia (depending on when humans first started shifting from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies).
*** Add in some beans and you have the world's most inexpensive complete protein. Complete proteins are absolutely ''vital'' in a person's diet, since ''everything'' in a person is made out of one protein or another. Most of Central America relies on rice and beans (under various names, which one you chose is SeriousBusiness) as their staple food. Add a bit of spices and side dishes (e.g. an egg) and you have a meal that is both filling and surprisingly tasty if nothing fancy.
* Noodles. Just like rice, they go well with a whole host of sauces or seasonings. Anyone for some spaghetti?
* Potatoes, as well. They don't look like much, but they did save Europe from continuous famine for quite some time. They are much more energy dense than traditional staples foods (you get 17.8 million Calories per acre for potatoes, compared to 6.4 million Calories per acre for wheat), thus allowing the same plot of land to feed three-times more people.
** Potatoes also grow in a lot of places where cereals won't. This allowed massive population expansion in countries like Ireland where a lot of land isn't suitable for cereals but potatoes like it just fine. (Until you hit the problems of monoculture agriculture in a pre-chemical environment...)
** Fun fact: You can get almost all the nutrients you need from a diet of just potatoes and milk, in the right quantities. It would be a very bland and monotonous diet, but you wouldn't die or get any serious deficiencies except for molybdenum, which you only need tiny amounts of anyway.
* Tap water. Doesn't look very fancy and tastes pretty bland. But it's far less expensive than bottled water or juice (if not outright free at many eating establishments), far healthier than alcohol or soft drinks, and is far better at keeping you hydrated. And is readily available at home whenever you want it.
** And if you live somewhere where there is no reliable source of clean water, the old fashioned beer takes that place. Since it gets boiled during production, it's usually much cleaner than any unfiltered water. Calories and carbs in tasty, drinkable, preserved form. Staff of life, potable water, and recreation all in one. Tea and coffee also serve(d) the same purpose, although they have neither calories nor carbs in quantity unless you add sugar. In fact, if you're drinking good enough coffee, you don't even need condiments to make it taste good.
** The two most expedient way to clean water for drinking? Boil it for a few minutes, use it to cook, brew a hot drinks, and clean things. Can't boil it? Poor some booze in it, preferable high proof spirits, and stir. 25ml of something like vodka can make an entire quart of water safe, because the ethanol kills bacteria and protozoa, which are the primary waterborne nasties that make people sick.
** Water in general is this. Most people don't think much of it, but it can generate renewable electricity, is a powerful industrial solvent, can save lives in a pinch, clean tools and wounds, be a measuring device, etc. Combined with a bit of that human ingenuity there is very little that water can't do. If you want to get decidedly impractical, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. If you can separate it, you have the stuff stars run on. Which is more readily available and safer than radioactive elements like Uranium.
*** And on the subject of hygeine, flossing. If you floss after a meal, which is something quite easy to do considering you probably have bits of food in your teeth anyways, it removes more gunk between your teeth than brushing, and also helps with bad breath (a la bacteria on your tongue and rotting food in your teeth.) It'll also stave off problems like gingivitis. There's a reason dentists recommend it. Speaking of dentists, they do actually tell you to floss more even if you do floss regularly if they cause your gums to bleed, probably because it's a safe explanation, and it is very unlikely to lead people to sue.
* The humble sandwich. It makes any foods taste good together in a simple, no-silverware package that can often be an entire meal that fits in your pocket. It can be made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is almost always one of the healthiest things you can eat.
** And it can be filled and dressed with almost anything you can think of.
* Salads are inherently low-calorie (thanks to lettuce being mostly water), and are extremely customizable; dressings, fruits, veggies, meats, and the like (all in moderated quantities, of course) can help add taste to a healthy bowl of lettuce.
* Everyone in the whole world knows the absolute importance of food in everyday life. But what is just as important as food is the taste and smell of it. People are very likely to consume and enjoy foods that smell good and taste good than they are to consume foods that have no flavor at all or have offensive odors and tastes. Because of this, the manufacturing and distribution of flavors and spices is an international industry that brings in billions of dollars.
** Expanding on that: salt. It was worth its weight in gold for a long time due to its ability to flavor and preserve food before refrigeration and other methods of chemical preservation, purposes it is still widely used for today.
* Canned foods and [=MREs=]. Sure, they don't taste too well and are not as healthy as their freshly-made equivalents, but can withstand years of storage and do not need any preparations before eating.
** Instant foods also qualify. Sure, they are not the tastiest things around and are not considered good for your health, but they are cheap and easy to prepare.
* Coffee and tea may not be very sweet on their own, but they are popular sources of caffiene that pack less than 5 calories per cup, allowing even those on a low-calorie diet to enjoy them, and can be prepared to be hot or cold.
** In Britain before the days of water treatment, many people died of waterborne diseases and parasites. When tea and coffee started to get imported, general health improved as people were boiling their water before they drank it. That's right, the cup of brew was a genuine lifesaver.
[[/folder]]

%% For jobs, habits and daily life actions
[[folder:Lifestyle and Work]]
!!Daily Life
* Generally, "If something looks stupid but it works, then it's NOT stupid." ~ One of the additional rules on MurphysLaw
* The "Wash" method of shuffling cards. It's not pretty, it's slower than other techniques, looks decidedly amateurish and is the natural shuffling technique of people who can't otherwise shuffle cards (including small children), but when it comes right down to it, spreading the cards around on the table with the palms of your hands is simply the best way to achieve truly random results, so-much-so that professional dealers will typically "Wash" a brand-new deck of cards (which will, of course, start-off ordered by suit and by number) in order to properly randomize them before flashier and faster but less random shuffling techniques such as the Riffle take over.
* Regular, comfortable clothes. Spend a few months rehearsing/acting in a corset, hoop-skirt and high heels if you don't believe so.
** Anyone who works in a professional environment would agree. One of the greatest joys in an adult's daily life is getting home after a long day at work, stripping off the rigid work clothes one has to wear in order to convey the requisite "professional" appearance (and the accompanying work SHOES), and getting into nice, comfortable, cottony sweats, pajamas, or similar, and soft socks and/or house slippers.
* Sweatpants are anything but associated with sharp fashion sense, but they're comfortable, let the skin breathe easily, and quite versatile--they can be used for running, lounging around the house, sleeping, and even everyday out-of-the-house wear.
** Yoga pants have all this and are reasonably acceptable for wear in casual social situations without throwing an immediate impression of slovenliness.
* The Jacket: It's just a piece of fabric fitted for human use with sleeves, but ''good lord'' is it truly useful, you can take it off ''much'' easier indoors, and for people in colder climates, where Jackets often become large, bulky masses meant to keep you from freezing over, can really make things easier, as indoors the temperature can rise by ''20 degrees'' or more. Just try not taking it off and see what happens.
* The technology that made the jacket as we know it possible: the button. A simple piece of material attached to an item of clothing which goes through a corresponding hole. Despite the simplicity, it revolutionized clothing when it was invented in 13th-century Europe; you could now make snug-fitting clothing that would keep you warm through the cold winters much more easily. Earlier fasteners, like laces, tended to leave an open space that let the air in; not so with buttons.
* Education. Regardless of how you get it (e.g. self-teaching, an institution, or getting homeschooled), skills such as reading, writing, and basic mathematics are of the most important things you need to function well in life and contribute to society.
** Public universities and community colleges, while lacking the small class sizes, accommodations, and prestige of their private counterparts, still provide helpful courses with reasonable financial returns while also offering lower tuition fees (the average public college in US has a tuition of $9,410 compared to the $32,405 of most private colleges). In fact, many public colleges have higher return-on-investments than even some private colleges.[[note]]''The Economist'' calculated in 2015 that graduates of the public university UCSD have median salaries of $59,600 while the graduates of the more prestigious private university Reed College has median salaries of only $36,000 despite having a higher tuition.[[/note]]
* Simply living within your means, not buying anything too extravagant, and boring ol' responsible financial management. Sure, you may not be able to "keep up with the Joneses" on the latest flashiest toys, but those become pretty insignificant when compared to not having to take out a 3rd mortgage or having enough money in the bank for when life decides to take a piss on you.
** Besides, there's half-price sales and seasonal blowouts to help you out with those toys you're dreaming of. Patience pays off.

!!Work
* Work in general. Sure, it's boring and tedious for many people (though some people have jobs that they genuinely enjoy), but it's how you make money to pay for your needs, and almost everything we enjoy or need is created or improved by it.
* Those niggling behind-the-scenes clerical tasks you either don't know or care about or might not want to come within a century of? Office workers are those little jars of oil that keep their department running like clockwork. Think of them as real-life {{Worker Unit}}s.
* Maintenance workers are almost the exact same thing, except that they take care of the grounds on which we earn our living. AlmightyJanitor exists as a trope for a reason.
** To give you an idea of the effectiveness of these workers, the Bolshevik Revolution had famous leaders like Lenin and Trotsky who preferred being revolutionaries and didn't care as much for the paperwork and bureaucracy. They handed it off to a volunteer named Stalin, who proceeded to use the incredible powers delegated him to become a political powerhouse who took control of Russia even after Lenin specifically wrote that he shouldn't be given that power. Remember, Stalin's official position was [[AlmightyJanitor General Secretary.]] It may not be as grand a rise to power as a fast-paced presidential campaign, revolution, or AwesomeMomentOfCrowning, but it worked.
* Want to make sure something goes right? Come up with a list of steps you need to accomplish a task, write them down in order, and then get working on the task, crossing off each step once it is completed. Congratulations, you have invented the checklist. One of the reasons why airliners crash so rarely is that the flight crew goes through a printed checklist before takeoff. Early in TheNewTens, the World Health Organisation trialled a similar checklist for surgery. It resulted in an average drop of one third in deaths and major complications, and is being widely adopted. It takes up one side of A4 or US letter paper.
* This is the fundamentals of Risk Management. Every course of action will have a low, medium, or high risk along with low, medium, or high benefit.
** Ideally, you will want the low risk-high benefit option. Failing that, you should take low risk-medium benefit one. Failing even that, go for the low risk-low benefit option.
** Whenever you're thinking of taking medium or high risk, you should ask yourself whether you can tank the losses[=/=]escape relatively unscathed if your course of action backfires[=/=]fails.
** If your answer for the question above is "yes", then the risk factor has dropped from medium[=/=]high to low, and you can safely take the option.
** In short, ''never'' take medium risk, let alone high, as by that point you are taking an uncertain gamble. Only take such options when it has become a safe gamble, aka low risk.

!!Language
* Clear and plain writing.
* Letter-based alphabets such as Cyrillic and Latin are this compared to languages who have different characters for each word, such as Japanese and Chinese dialects. While Hanzi and Kanji are beautiful ways to convey language, there are thousands of each, and they are all specific to the angle of each stroke. Simple combinations of letters are dull and repetitive, but are far easier to memorize and write down.
** Korean ''hangeul'' combines the letter-based simplicity of the aforementioned Western alphabets with the phonetic properties of Japanese and Chinese. It looks as elegant as other Asian languages, but without the need to look up how every individual character block is read. Once you learn some fairly consistent alphabet rules, you realize that each block actually tells you how to read it.
* Learning a few of the most common foreign languages. Sure, speaking Irish Gaelic or Uigur might be nice to brag at parties with, but if you want to be able to communicate with most of the world, you should opt for Spanish, Mandarin (Chinese), English or one of the other "world languages". If you can read Mandarin, you won't have problems making yourself understood to any literate Chinese, even if they speak e.g. Cantonese. If you speak Spanish, you will be able to make rudimentary conversation with Portuguese speakers and might even understand what Italians are saying. English is so widespread that its advantages are probably not even worth mentioning. Arab and French together cover most of Africa that English does not and if you're lost even with them, try a regional language like Swahili (East Africa). Even in places where English is not the official language, [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish enough people are fluent]] that you will probably be able to get by even if you aren't fluent in one of the other common languages.
[[/folder]]

%% For items that don't fit elsewhere
[[folder:Miscellaneous]]
* This is one interpretation of the drumming style of RingoStarr. Some [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] fans find his drumming tedious, uninteresting and bland. Others feel that this is his greatest strength - when [[Music/PaulMcCartney the]] [[Music/JohnLennon other]] [[Music/GeorgeHarrison three]] band members were pulling in different styles and directions, he was always [[TheMario able to adapt to a reasonable level]], no matter what style they were playing in. Music/JohnLennon in particular would only work with Ringo for a long time after the break-up of the band because he was able to give Lennon exactly what he asked for.
* Professional subtitles, especially for {{Anime}}. Fans decry them as lazy, especially compared to the fancy "karaoke subs" used by many {{Fan Sub}}bers. But as industry professionals point out, they're not supposed to be fancy -- they're supposed to be ''legible'', and the "boring" yellow-on-black, sans serif subtitles are by and large the easiest to read.
** The same logic extends to the translations themselves. Professional anime subtitles also get a lot of flak from fansubbers for actually ''translating'' Japanese into English and leaving out things like UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics (although sub companies generally do include them when relevant to the plot) and rendering names in the "Firstname Lastname" Western style. Professional sub companies want to make anime videos accessible to as wide an audience as possible that includes people who aren't necessarily familiar with the Japanese language or Japanese culture rather than [[PanderingToTheBase pandering to]] OccidentalOtaku.
* Most people with RapunzelHair swear by the two basics: Braids and/or buns, which keep hair contained, tangle-free, and out of the way. Since they usually wear their hair like that every day, it's boring for the people who ''don't'' have RapunzelHair and expected to see long, flowing locks.
* Freddie Francis, Academy Award winning cinematographer (winning his first in 1960 for ''SonsAndLovers'' and his next in 1989 for ''Film/{{Glory}}'') and having a long career, from starting as a cinematographer in the 50s and 60s, to directing for Hammer and returning in the 80s (he shot two movies for Creator/DavidLynch, both ''Film/TheElephantMan'' and his last movie ''Film/TheStraightStory'' when he was [[CoolOldGuy 81]]) famously said:
--> "There are three types of photography: good photography, bad photography, and the right photography. The right photography is what tells the story best."
* Even here on this very website! [[OrderVersusChaos There are two factions]]: [=SPOONs=] [[note]]Society to Prevent Overly Original Names[[/note]] and [=FoRKS=] [[note]]Friends Of Really Kool Sobriquet[[/note]]. The former want trope names to be as simple and understandable as possible, making them this trope. The latter, by contrast, want trope names to be as funny or witty as possible, even if they don't make obvious sense, making it more AwesomeButImpractical. There's also [=PLATTER=]s and [=KNIVES=] who think the whole argument is stupid.
* The doll. One of the oldest and most universal toys ever conceived, it doesn't seem nearly as spectacular an innovation as discovering fire or crafting the stone ax, yet it revolutionized child care by giving young children something to safely try out social interactions with. Compare that to other social primates, in which subadult females can only practice infant care by stealing actual infants away from their mothers - a risky situation for baby and young female, alike - and youngsters of both sexes are smacked around by their elders if they commit a ''faux pas''. But dolls don't die if mishandled and don't hit back if your play gets too rough. Plus, learning to regard dolls as substitute-playmates gave the human imagination a jump-start.
* In the some spots of very remote Sahara Desert, camels are these. While those pre-2000 Toyota pickup are easy to maintain, faster, cheap and robust, those still need constant fuel to to operate and particular skill to fix. The prospect if they broke down and none nearby can't repair it also gives the travelers some worries. The first problem can be tackled by bringing loads of fuel and spare tires but it also decrease the free load weight. Meanwhile while slow and hold less shipping (individually), camels don't need to feed and drink everyday and the fact that it's used for millennia are proof of its practicality.
* Barbed wire. It's cheaper and takes less effort to set up than conventional fencing, allowing you to fence off large tracts of land quickly. Unlike a hedgerow, it's also fairly low-maintenance. You can also run an electric current through it for extra insurance. Guns might get all the credit for "winning" the Wild West, but it was barbed wire that ''tamed'' it.
[[/folder]]
22nd Dec '16 7:26:39 AM AgentKyles
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!!!General

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!!!General!!General



!!!Tactics

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!!!Tactics!!Tactics



!!!Personal weapons

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!!!Personal !!Personal weapons



!!!Firearms
!!!!Russia

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!!!Firearms
!!!!Russia
!!Firearms
!!!Russia



!!!!Other countries

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!!!!Other !!!Other countries



!!!Tanks

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!!!Tanks!!Tanks



!!!Military vehicles

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!!!Military !!Military vehicles



!!!Aircraft
!!!!World War II

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!!!Aircraft
!!!!World
!!Aircraft
!!!World
War II



!!!!Post-WWII

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!!!!Post-WWII!!!Post-WWII



!!!Navy

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!!!Navy!!Navy



!!!Artillery

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!!!Artillery!!Artillery and Other weapons




!!!Other weapons



* The cargo container has radically transformed shipping over the last 60 years. Instead of moving dozens of boxes or barrels one at a time, you just put them into a single cargo container and move that. Standardize the size of cargo containers and you can have trucks, ships, and traincars specifically designed to carry them, and infrastructure to transfer them from one to another. Simple, boring, and so useful that it is difficult to imagine doing it another way.
** To put this in perspective: one of the many difficulties the US, particularly the Navy, faced during WWII was loading cargo and munitions on ships in a timely manner. (As you can see above, the US was busy shipping a ''lot'' of cargo overseas to allied forces and its own.) There were two serious proposals that would speed things up over the time-honored "have a guy lift it onto the boat" -- [[PoweredArmor hydraulic power-assist gear]], and standardized shipping containers. Take a wild guess which one they chose to pursue.
** It also vastly reduced the amount of cargo lost to damages and "damages"(theft by the crew) during transport.
22nd Dec '16 7:24:45 AM AgentKyles
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well with armor and strap shields can be used with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without one, or an untrained person with one. Oh, and countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make good weapons, too]].
* The humble [[BladeOnAStick spear]]. Basically the next step of weapons development after inventing the knife (or sharpened rock), and has been in use for tens of thousands of years by almost every single culture that has ever existed. Even a simple sharpened stick or char-hardened point allowed you to fight something with sharp tooth and claws while keeping your own vital organs out of their reach (unless it was a [[FullBoarAction really pissed off boar]]). It has equipped entire armies, and even now exists in the form of a bayonet attachment for guns.
* Roman equipment:
** The humble short sword and shield of the Roman legions. Compared to the massive swords and axes of their opponents, these seemed sadly undersized, but combined with Roman tactics, it easily carried the day in thousands of engagements. There's a reason it's known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius "the sword that conquered the world"]].
*** Also, ''the way'' they used their swords. Nothing fancy, just a thrust in the belly of the enemy, or, if they had a shield, a slashing attack to ''hack the arm holding the shield'' (something you couldn't do with larger swords) before the thrust. Those two simple moves, and the thrust in particular, were so efficient that, to this day, Italian swordfighters and fencers continue to carry the day using that move (Italian fencers practically dominate their sport).
** In fact, the Roman shield-wall tactics still lives on: most riot police forces around the world are basically a modern take on the Roman formation: they wear (fiberglass and HDPE) lamellar armor, carry tower shields, which they often use [[ShieldBash to bash rioters with]], they frequently form shield wall... Well, the only real difference is that they replace the gladii, which are considered too stabby in our politically correct times, with their batons.
** The Roman shovel, even more boring, but even more practical as the Tool that conquered the world. The Roman legions were trained even more rigorously with their shovels than with their swords. Why? With their shovels, they could construct earthworks around their camps, making them much harder to assault while at rest. They could dig latrines for sanitation. They could build roads so that the legions that would follow them could arrive faster. They could dig underneath walls during sieges, then collapse the tunnels, causing the walls to weaken and fall. [[ShovelStrike You can also improvise a shovel as a polearm]] [[CarryABigStick or a club]]. The average Roman soldier would use, over a lifetime, his shovel nearly a thousand times more than his sword. After all, you could only use a sword to fight, but you can use a shovel [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer for ANYTHING]].
*** To this very day, many armies train their soldiers in the use of shovels (or Entrenching Tools, shortened to E-tools) as weapons. Specific examples include the Green Berets, who are trained in using their E-Tools as hacking and stabbing weapons, and the Spetsnaz who are trained in how to ''throw them like hatchets''. The Spetsnaz also quickly learn how to use them to [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cook]]; apparently, the Spetnaz entrenching tool makes for a good [[MundaneUtility frying pan]]. ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtM89O2w6Ts For a nonmilitary example, this Art of Manliness video will teach you to use a shovel to cook steak.]])

to:

* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well with armor and strap shields can be used with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without one, or an untrained person with one. Oh, and countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make good weapons, too]].
* The humble [[BladeOnAStick spear]]. Basically the next step of weapons development after inventing the knife (or sharpened rock), and has been in use for tens of thousands of years by almost every single culture that has ever existed. Even a simple sharpened stick or char-hardened point allowed you to fight something with sharp tooth and claws while keeping your own vital organs out of their reach (unless it was a [[FullBoarAction really pissed off boar]]). It has equipped entire armies, and even now exists in the form of a bayonet attachment for guns.
* Roman equipment:
** The humble short sword and shield of the Roman legions. Compared to the massive swords and axes of their opponents, these seemed sadly undersized, but combined with Roman tactics, it easily carried the day in thousands of engagements. There's a reason it's known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius "the sword that conquered the world"]].
*** Also, ''the way'' they used their swords. Nothing fancy, just a thrust in the belly of the enemy, or, if they had a shield, a slashing attack to ''hack the arm holding the shield'' (something you couldn't do with larger swords) before the thrust. Those two simple moves, and the thrust in particular, were so efficient that, to this day, Italian swordfighters and fencers continue to carry the day using that move (Italian fencers practically dominate their sport).
** In fact, the Roman shield-wall tactics still lives on: most riot police forces around the world are basically a modern take on the Roman formation: they wear (fiberglass and HDPE) lamellar armor, carry tower shields, which they often use [[ShieldBash to bash rioters with]], they frequently form shield wall... Well, the only real difference is that they replace the gladii, which are considered too stabby in our politically correct times, with their batons.
** The Roman shovel, even more boring, but even more practical as the Tool that conquered the world. The Roman legions were trained even more rigorously with their shovels than with their swords. Why? With their shovels, they could construct earthworks around their camps, making them much harder to assault while at rest. They could dig latrines for sanitation. They could build roads so that the legions that would follow them could arrive faster. They could dig underneath walls during sieges, then collapse the tunnels, causing the walls to weaken and fall. [[ShovelStrike You can also improvise a shovel as a polearm]] [[CarryABigStick or a club]]. The average Roman soldier would use, over a lifetime, his shovel nearly a thousand times more than his sword. After all, you could only use a sword to fight, but you can use a shovel [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer for ANYTHING]].
*** To this very day, many armies train their soldiers in the use of shovels (or Entrenching Tools, shortened to E-tools) as weapons. Specific examples include the Green Berets, who are trained in using their E-Tools as hacking and stabbing weapons, and the Spetsnaz who are trained in how to ''throw them like hatchets''. The Spetsnaz also quickly learn how to use them to [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cook]]; apparently, the Spetnaz entrenching tool makes for a good [[MundaneUtility frying pan]]. ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtM89O2w6Ts For a nonmilitary example, this Art of Manliness video will teach you to use a shovel to cook steak.]])
!!!General



* In the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: the Allies in general count. Contrasting with the Axis side's love for AwesomeButImpractical devices (the Tiger, Panther, Type-93 Torpedo, Type-97 20mm AT Rifle, Yamato-class Battleships, the list continues....) the Allies simply used less flashy (a.k.a boring) things that neverthless did their job very well. The aformentioned trucks? Japan, Italy and Germany ''combined'' didn't produce as many trucks as Canada ''alone''...
** ...speaking of which, Canada's contribution to WWII in general. While they fought with distinction in many places, and were responsible for one of the five beaches on D-Day (two Brit, two US, one Canuck), their most important contributions to the war were industrial (trucks), training (aircrews), and raw materials and foodstuffs.
* "Amateurs study tactics. Veterans study strategy. Professionals study ''logistics''."
** A tale commonly told in the military: Generals are a happily blessed race who radiate confidence and power. They feed only on ambrosia and drink only nectar. In peace, they stride along confidently and can invade a nation simply by sweeping their hands grandly over a map, pointing their fingers decisively up terrain corridors, and blocking defiles and obstacles with the sides of their arms. ''In war'', they must stride more slowly, because each general has a logistician riding on his back and he knows that, at any moment, the logistician may lean forward and whisper, “No, you can’t do that!”
** This is why most generals tend to be far behind the front lines; they have the experience and knowledge to know where sending supplies or causing a disruption in enemy logistics would make or break a battle. Their knowledge can also help avert more hotheaded behaviour on new recruits, ensuring that they can inflict a maximum amount of damage to the enemy while maintaining a minimum of casualties (which is why discipline is so important, as the reason for a commander's orders might not be immediately clear to you, but certainly is to the guy shouting it). They're also often too old (or in some cases too injured) to be physically fit for combat, so while paperwork and map plotting isn't exactly exciting or glamorous work, it's certainly practical as hell.
* The Infantry. As noted by Robert Heinlein, while technology may evolve to include incredibly dangerous tanks, bombs, aircraft carriers, missiles, nuclear weapons, and everything else that can conceivably kill a thousand people inside a nanosecond, there has only ever been one branch of Armed Forces remarkable in its consistency; a man, trained or untrained, between fourteen and fifty years of age, and a weapon in his hand. This man (and occasionally, this woman) has endured the scorching jungles of Tenochtitlan, and the unbearable hell of Stalingrad. When a Tank rolls across his path, he puts a bit of fuel in a bottle, sets a light, and throws it underneath. When a plane flies overhead, he finds a ridge and hides under it. When poison gas lands near him, he pisses on his handkerchief and covers his mouth. He can fight in damn near any conditions, run on, in comparison to other forms of warfare, miniscule amounts of fuel, cross any terrain, in time, and defeat any foe given enough of him. He is the Duckfoot, the Mehmet, the Tommy, the average infantry soldier. He is the most boring arm of any Armed Force, to the point that many of its members are forced to be there. But, boy,'' is he the most practical''.
** "You can bomb it, you can strafe it, you can cover it with poison, you can turn it into glass, but you don't own it unless your infantry's on it and the other guy's isn't."
** "Aerial bombardment can obliterate, but only infantry can occupy." — a Finnish Army officer, Operation Allied Force (1999), Kosovo.
* Even more boring is the suppliers whom have to accompany the infantry in order to keep them fed and armed. [[DudeWheresMyRespect Terribly overlooked]], suffering many of the same inadequacies and woes as their peers, oftentimes ''not being even armed'', the humble caravan seeks to it that the rest of the army is able to do their jobs, [[TheDeterminator be it through land, air, or sea.]] Unglamorous and under-appreciated as they are, other branches of military wouldn't function as smooth as planned without 'em. Just don't mess with [[AlmightyJanitor the log guys]] -- it isn't wise to anger the men who are responsible for you being watered, fed, shod, clothed, sheltered, supplied, and equipped perhaps for years on end.
** As mentioned above and below in Technology part cargo container, it's very important to deliver the necessities (food, uniforms, fuel, ammo, blankets, tents, etc.) to the guys on the front lines while also important to prevent guys from the other side retrieving theirs. Differences of competence of logistics can greatly tipped the balance of war. One of the reason Allied won from Axis is Allied logistic corps (both western and eastern ''and'' both Pacific and Atlantic) are far better than Axis logistics corps.
** Julius Caesar once said an army marches on its stomach. Napoleon similarly said "The outcome of the battle is incidental to the decisive question of supply." He lost his campaign in Egypt, for instance, because the British Navy destroyed the French fleet that was providing Napoleon's army with supplies. The supplies on hand allowed him to operate for a time, but he left before things inevitably went south on him.
** It was Napoleon's insistence on stocked supply lines that led to the invention of one of the most BoringButPractical aspects of modern life: '''''canned food'''''. (''Series/{{Connections}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yKvhPs7gZ8 explains]]--it takes about 20 minutes to get there, but it's worth it!).
* The Navy as a whole too. Oh sure, we've gone from oars to sails to steam-engines to IC engines to (in some cases) nuclear power, but a floating hull capable of carrying armed men has been pretty much a constant theme for a ''very'' long time.
* [[TheMedic Medevac personnel]]. Sure these people don't kill any bad guys but being in the battlefield without any weapons to constantly drag another human beings multiple times need serious dedication and true bravery. One serious advantage the US had at Pacific Theatre is they have dedicated medevacs force to treat their wounded on land and on sea.
** TheEngineer. All kinds of them. What Medevacs do for humans, these guys do with equipment. Effective damage control is often mooted as one significant factor in keeping the US Navy afloat during the early years of the Pacific War.
* For all the focus most writers and the general public place on bold high-risk operations, the majority of useful intelligence has been and probably will continue to be gathered through open sources. This means newspapers, blogs, media, and anything else that anybody can have a gander at. To quote General Anthony Charles Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command (CINCENT): "80% of what I needed to know as CINCENT I got from open sources rather than classified reporting. And within the remaining 20%, if I knew what to look for, I found another 16%. At the end of it all, classified intelligence provided me, at best, with 4% of my command knowledge."
** This is true also for civilian/technological espionage. While KGB might've used James Bond-ian spies to steal highly classified industrial information, the bulk of tech data soviets were receiving from the west was retrieved by an army of simple office workers who read everyday every single scientific and technical magazine, publication or book available on the "capitalist" market.
** It even works with negative information - prior to and during WWII, nuclear physicists around the world could tell that many governments were researching atomic bombs because [[ItsQuietTooQuiet their colleagues had stopped publishing papers]] (i.e., their research had become classified).
** One popular tactic to gauge how high an intelligence agency's alert level is is to take a quick glance at their parking lot and see how many cars are parked there.
** An example of just how simple intelligence gathering can be: after writing ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Creator/TomClancy was visited by government agents who were very put out that the book had discussed highly classified aspects of modern submarine technology. Clancy was able to get off the hook by showing that he had gotten all his information by going to the local library, reading up on unclassified information there, and just doing a little extrapolating. All that top-secret information was essentially lying around in the open for anyone who cared to invest in nothing more than a ''library card'' and a few hours of studying.
* The elaborate Ultra operation by which the British managed to break many of the German Enigma codes and the Magic operation by which the Americans managed to break various high-grade Japanese codes are all well known. What received a lot less attention was the Germans breaking the British merchant marine codes. That was a rather simpler matter, but nevertheless brought the Western allies close to losing the Battle of the Atlantic in 1942.
* Despite having an arsenal of high-tech weaponry, the ability to call down airstrikes at the ready, the very latest in military vehicle technology and the best equipment available to a soldier, U.S Special Operations forces in the early part of the Afghan war found the best way to get around in isolated, mountainous country was the same one that the Afghans had used for centuries; the horse. Mules are generally preferred. Indeed it's now considered so important for operations in mountainous regions that the Marines' Mountain Warfare Training Center runs an 11-day course on Animal packing.

!!!Tactics
* The Spartans had three advantages over the hoplites of the rest of Greece. [[TheSpartanWay Their physical training is the most famous]], but the truly decisive ones were the discipline to turn their phalanx (meaning they could suddenly change direction and charge an enemy phalanx on the side, if the terrain allowed it) and ''knowing how to use their decorative swords''. The latter carried the day at Plataea: the Persians had figured they could effectively disable the hoplites by grabbing their spears and use their own swords and were defeating the Tegean force this way, but when the Spartans reacted to the trick by simply drawing ''their'' swords the Persians found themselves at point one.
** It must be noticed that the Spartans had a number of serious issues, though. The first was that the TrainingFromHell of TheSpartanWay ultimately meant that enormous proportions of their male population either died or failed out of the Agoge, meaning that in spite of every boy being drafted, perhaps most never even made it to the force. Secondly, the insistence on never retreating meant that entire units of great warriors were lost instead of living to fight another day, if not only fall back out of a bad position to continue the battle in a more viable position. Thirdly, tactical inflexibility meant that Spartan armies often were ultimately just outmaneuvered or cornered. Fourthly, records show that Sparta did not have an amazing record of CurbStompBattles; they could be beaten and it was not a rare event, and it was at the hands of armies of citizen soldiers and mercenaries.
** The Spartans also had an extremely serious disadvantages which is so boring but important it is typically overlooked. The training and singularly-focused martial culture required to produce a Spartiate meant that, to a far greater extent than its contemporaries, Sparta relied on large numbers of slaves – the helots, an unusually cruelly oppressed slave class. This meant that the total number of Spartiates, especially in later years after the Peloponnesian Wars had killed many of them, was actually extremely small. They were tactically effective but Spartan institutions could not economically or culturally sustain enough individuals whose defining feature was that they did not labor for their contingent to be reliably decisive in battles. Worse, the crippling imbalance between a minority of armed-to-the-teeth ''homoioi'' and oppressed-but-seriously-pissed-off helot slaves meant that the Spartans regularly could not field their army, or have it on campaign too long, or too far away, for fear of a slave revolt killing their families at home and crippling their shaky economic foundations. This fear was totally justified - there were a number of strategically very significant helot rebellions. It's hard to read about Spartan social institutions, especially their treatment of the helots, and come away still thinking highly of the culture (though maybe that's just what the Athenians want you to think).
* True castles, as compared to palaces or houses "InspiredBy" castle architecture. Being built for defense and protection means that they're usually cold, dark, and not very nice to look at. But hey, it withstands a siege really well!
** The Medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, successfully stood the fire of the modern artillery by the Serbian besieging troops for almost six months in the Croatian War of Independence 1992. Not only was the city not conquered then, but it has never been conquered in its whole history.
** British Fourteenth Army ran into a similar problem in the reconquest of Burma in 1945. The walled city of Yangon had to be besieged, forcing a throwback to mediaeval siege tactics, to win it back from the Japanese. Its thousand year old walls could only be breached by bringing up some of the heaviest guns possessed by the Royal Artillery - weapons designed to throw a shell nearly twenty miles - and have them firing point-blank at the wall for several days until they forced a breach. Which then had to be stormed by assault infantry, much as Henry V stormed Calais in 1414...
* Trenches. Bad guys have guns? Big guns? Artillery? Dig a ditch and use it for cover. Foxholes are an even simpler version, literally just being a big hole you dig up and hide in. You can even put a smaller deeper hole in the middle of it in case the bad guys chuck a grenade at you. Just kick the grenade into the hole and your chances of surviving just went up considerably. If you're in a hurry, just scrape out a "Ranger Grave", a slit trench barely big enough for you to lie in. It's not comfortable, and in fact it's barely adequate, but it will give you considerably more protection than being at ground level. More than a few extended battles in modern history could be described as brief periods of fighting punctuated by long periods of soldiers digging constantly to turn their patch of grass into a slit trench, then into a foxhole, then into a better foxhole.
* Taking down a castle is hard work, and almost impossible without either an extreme numeric advantage, lots of equipment, and help from the inside. Unless you surrounded the castle, killed anyone who tried to bring in supplies, and wait till the defenders surrender or starve.
** Sieges in general can be considered this for ancient and medieval warfare in general. Open battles were extremely risky affairs that could lead to huge losses on both sides, and were often only willingly carried out if one side greatly held the advantage. A siege, on the other hand, was a comparatively simple waiting game that if done successfully, would lead to a surrendered enemy army to be held as hostages, a captured enemy territory, and minimal losses on the attacker's side, although when you have thousands upon thousands of men gathered together in filthy conditions, infectious disease loves to scoff at your sure thing.
** The Trebuchet and Catapult lobbing stones at a castle wall while still pretty impressive looking, is far less glamorous and "Epic" than simply sending men with ladders at the castle or a battering ram. Yet despite this, it's safer, and when you either need to take the castle quickly or retreat, far more effective than simply running in.

!!!Personal weapons
* [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]]. Rocks, pieces of wood, animal hide, a convenient wall, and metal shields are damn useful. Even in the modern day shields still find use in riot work and even in tactical entry (although they can't be expected to stop much more than pistol rounds). It functions well with armor and strap shields can be used with any one handed weapon. If you need a smaller one to have an open hand, you can use a buckler. Someone trained with a shield can easily defeat someone without one, or an untrained person with one. Oh, and countless examples have proven that [[ShieldBash handheld shields can]] [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks make good weapons, too]].
** The old good Roman shield-wall tactics actually still lives on: most riot police forces around the world are basically a modern take on the Roman formation: they wear (fiberglass and HDPE) lamellar armor, carry tower shields, which they often use [[ShieldBash to bash rioters with]], they frequently form shield wall... Well, the only real difference is that they replace the gladii, which are considered too stabby in our politically correct times, with their batons.
* The viking helmet ([[HornyVikings no,]] [[http://www.heritageofscotland.com/pictures/g-hq484016b327254.jpg not]][[http://static.webshopapp.com/shops/036206/files/033216014/horned-helmet.jpg that]][[http://www.gdfb.co.uk/ekmps/shops/11b299/images/larp-viking-horned-helmet-757-p.jpg one]], ah yes, [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/c7/a1/32c7a1b77a868a37bceaf09721d2afe3.jpg this one]]). May be dissapointing because it doesn't have the same VisualEffectsOfAwesome than the fake ones, but these actually are more practical. Why? These helmets as you can see does not only have a nose guard (which is pretty useful), but also has a cheek guard, which protects you from eye and face attacks, you may get a little scratch if they hit you, but you will be still safe [[spoiler:[[CaptainObvious unless he cuts you in your throat]]]], if that weren't sufficent, it also have a neck guard on the back, which pervents [[BackStab backstabbing]]. Pretty much a useful helmet.
* The humble [[BladeOnAStick spear]]. Basically the next step of weapons development after inventing the knife (or sharpened rock), and has been in use for tens of thousands of years by almost every single culture that has ever existed. Even a simple sharpened stick or char-hardened point allowed you to fight something with sharp tooth and claws while keeping your own vital organs out of their reach (unless it was a [[FullBoarAction really pissed off boar]]). It has equipped entire armies, and even now exists in the form of a bayonet attachment for guns.
* The humble short sword and shield of the Roman legions. Compared to the massive swords and axes of their opponents, these seemed sadly undersized, but combined with Roman tactics, it easily carried the day in thousands of engagements. There's a reason it's known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius "the sword that conquered the world"]].
** Also, ''the way'' they used their swords. Nothing fancy, just a thrust in the belly of the enemy, or, if they had a shield, a slashing attack to ''hack the arm holding the shield'' (something you couldn't do with larger swords) before the thrust. Those two simple moves, and the thrust in particular, were so efficient that, to this day, Italian swordfighters and fencers continue to carry the day using that move (Italian fencers practically dominate their sport).
* The Roman shovel, even more boring, but even more practical as the Tool that conquered the world. The Roman legions were trained even more rigorously with their shovels than with their swords. Why? With their shovels, they could construct earthworks around their camps, making them much harder to assault while at rest. They could dig latrines for sanitation. They could build roads so that the legions that would follow them could arrive faster. They could dig underneath walls during sieges, then collapse the tunnels, causing the walls to weaken and fall. [[ShovelStrike You can also improvise a shovel as a polearm]] [[CarryABigStick or a club]]. The average Roman soldier would use, over a lifetime, his shovel nearly a thousand times more than his sword. After all, you could only use a sword to fight, but you can use a shovel [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer for ANYTHING]].
** To this very day, many armies train their soldiers in the use of shovels (or Entrenching Tools, shortened to E-tools) as weapons. Specific examples include the Green Berets, who are trained in using their E-Tools as hacking and stabbing weapons, and the Spetsnaz who are trained in how to ''throw them like hatchets''. The Spetsnaz also quickly learn how to use them to [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cook]]; apparently, the Spetnaz entrenching tool makes for a good [[MundaneUtility frying pan]]. ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtM89O2w6Ts For a nonmilitary example, this Art of Manliness video will teach you to use a shovel to cook steak.]])



** During the feudal era of Japan, arrows took the lives of far more soldiers than any other type of weapon, roughly 70% of the casualties of any major battle, even after the introduction of firearms into the Japanese arsenal.
*** Most of those casualties were because the Japanese didn't use shields or metal armour. They didn't have enough iron to make both weapons and armour, and what little iron they had access to was of very low quality.

to:

** During the feudal era of Japan, arrows took the lives of far more soldiers than any other type of weapon, roughly 70% of the casualties of any major battle, even after the introduction of firearms into the Japanese arsenal.
*** Most
arsenal. [[note]]Most of those casualties were because the Japanese didn't use shields or metal armour. They didn't have enough iron to make both weapons and armour, and what little iron they had access to was of very low quality.[[/note]]



* The viking helmet, [[HornyVikings no,]] [[http://www.heritageofscotland.com/pictures/g-hq484016b327254.jpg not]][[http://static.webshopapp.com/shops/036206/files/033216014/horned-helmet.jpg that]][[http://www.gdfb.co.uk/ekmps/shops/11b299/images/larp-viking-horned-helmet-757-p.jpg one]], ah yes, [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/c7/a1/32c7a1b77a868a37bceaf09721d2afe3.jpg this one]] may be dissapointing because it doesn't have the same VisualEffectsOfAwesome than the fake ones, but these actually are more practical, why? you may ask. these helmets as you can see does not only have a nose guard(which is pretty useful), but also has a cheek guard, which protects you from eye and face attacks, you may get a little scratch if they hit you, but you will be still safe [[spoiler:[[CaptainObvious Unless he cuts you in your throat]]]], if that weren't sufficent, it also have a neck guard on the back, which pervents [[BackStab backstabbing]]. Pretty much a useful helmet.
* The Hawker Hurricane. Tube-steel body and wooden wings, with the whole thing covered in canvas. A bit slow and unmanouverable for the bad, but it'd take hundreds of rounds easily, and often survived because the canvas wasn't tough enough to trigger explosive rounds.
* Also, the Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber, underpowered, underarmed, and wouldn't look out of place in UsefulNotes/WW1, yet 20 of these claimed 1 battleship sunk and 2 damaged at Taranto. Essentially a vehicular version of the StoneWall trope.
** The mighty ''Bismarck'', one of the most powerful battleships ever produced by a European nation. Brought down by a torpedo launched from a Swordfish.
** Swordfishes were later fitted with radar and used for anti-submarine warfare. Once that happened, the North Atlantic wasn't safe for any German ship or submarine.
*** Although the Swordfish's range was rather limited, leaving a big gap in the middle of the North Atlantic.
*** It was realised the Swordfish's obsolescence gave it two strengths in aerial combat: it was so slow that a modern combat fighter could only keep it within firing range for a fraction of a second, before the relative speeds of the two aircraft forced the faster one to overshoot. The far greater wing area of a biplane makes it more manoevrable; the Swordfish could perform prodigies of aerobatics that made the job of a combat monoplane fighter that much more difficult. In one air combat in the Aegean during the Balkan campaign, a single Swordfish caused ''three'' Italian fighters to overshoot at high speed and crash into the sea. Three kills without firing a shot.
* The Soviet Polikarpov Po-2 (U-2). Born as a wooden training biplane it was slow and as basic as a plane could be made, but its low cost, reliability and ease of maintenance made it a valuable aircraft for the Soviet army in WW2. It couldn't tackle direct combat with other aircraft, of course, but it was useful in a variety of support roles: light freighter, recon spotter, liaison transport, even as a night bomber. Its ability to take off and land in fields and unpaved roads increased its versatility and helped make it the second most-produced aircraft in history, a record it maintains to this day.
* The Grumman [=F4F=] Wildcat and Brewster [=F2A=] Buffalo also deserve honerable mention. The Wildcat couldn't beat a Mitsubishi [=A6M=] Zero in a dogfight, but with proper tactics was tough enough to fight them to a standstill. Unlike the Allied fighters that outclassed their Japanese counterparts, an [=F4F=] could operate from an escort carrier. The [=F2A=] was less capable the the [=F4F=] and, the 44 that the Finns got their hands on were the backbone of the Finnish Air Force until they got Messerschmitt [=Bf109s=]. The Finnish Buffalos shot down roughly twice as many Soviet aircraft than the Finns lost during the entire war.
* The de Havilland Mosquito. Made of ''laminated plywood''. Probably the most versatile British aircraft in [=WWII=]. Hermann Goering was well known to be green with envy at the fact that they could be churned out at a fast pace and that any place could repair it without a problem, yet it remained one of the fastest, most capable planes in the British airfields.
* The P51 Mustang. Though a wonderful plane design in many other ways, it's most important feature was this trope all the way - its incredible range (achieved through a combination of a large internal fuel space, an efficient engine, and drop tanks). No fighter had been able to travel as far as the P51 could before, and bombers could now be escorted all the way to their target and back. Before, German fighters would wait at the point that the fighter escort would have to turn around, and jump the bombers. The P51 was so effective that some air forces still contained them as late as the early 1980's.
* The Axis side has the Messerschmitt Bf-109, otherwise (wrongly) known as the Me-109. Compared to later German aircraft, like the Fw-190 (TheDreaded among the Allies because it was able to outmatch a Spitfire in all but turn radius.) and the Me-262 (among the world's very first jet aircraft to operate) it was nothing fancy. Yet it is a versatile, rapidly-produced aircraft (in fact, it's the most built fighter aircraft ''in history'', having 33,984 airframes built across all variants) that can take on a variety of roles- in fact, it was the plane Erich Hartmann (the highest scoring fighter ace of all time) and Hans-Joachim Marseilles (highest scoring fighter ace in the North African campaign). It also has design features that weren't flashy but damn useful, like it's fuel-injection engine that allowed it to endure negative-G forces (Spitfires and Hurricanes have engines that would cut-out in the same situation, [[OhCrap leaving the pilot helpless in a dive]]) and two water radiators with a cut-off system, meaning that if one goes out for whatever reason you could fly on the second or cut off both and still fly for 5 minutes.
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook Chinook]] transport helicopter, in production since the 1960s, is easily discernable by a unique shape with two large rotors and no tail, but is otherwise not much to look at. It has, however, a very large cargo area and can even lift field artillery right to their employment location, while also being able to operate at altitudes where most other helicopters can no longer generate enough lift to keep rising. In addition, Chinook is one of the fastest operational helicopters, so when escorted by Apache gunships, Chinooks have to slow down to let the Apaches keep up. It's actually surprising that it's an American design and not made by Russia.
** Speaking of Russian helicopter designs, there is the Mi-8. It's an ugly thing to be sure, with a rail-thin tail and a huge bulbous body. But it is also nearly endlessly customizable, carries twenty fully-armed combat troops and can take a beating. It's been in service with the Russian military for over fifty years, and while the Ka-60 was intended to replace it, it's looking like the "Hip" is going to be around for quite a while longer.
* The B-52 has been the US Air Force's frontline heavy bomber since the 1950's, despite the fact that it's not nearly as fast as the supersonic B-1B or as stealthy as the B-2 bombers. What it does have is a robust airframe and a [[NoKillLikeOverkill really REALLY big bomb bay]] (Can carry up to 70,000 pounds of bombs) with the capability of carrying literally every bomb or missile the USAF has. It regularly outperforms its more advanced cousins with the added bonus of being much cheaper to maintain. The design is so good that the USAF plans to keep it in service until 2045, which would make the B-52 airframe ''over 90 years old'' by the time it's retired, a feat unmatched by any other aircraft.
** Except the Soviet/Russian Tu-95 (NATO reporting name "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95 Bear]]"). Came into service a year after the B-52, and expected to serve until the same time as the B-52. Even better, the thing is still propellor-driven!
** Britain's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito de Havilland Mosquito]] bomber. It wasn't as glamorous or well armed as the all-metal Spitfire and couldn't carry as many bombs as the Lancaster (4,000lb vs. 22,000lb), but it was both cheap (being made almost entirely from wood and only needing a relatively simple de Havilland Gipsy Twelve engine) and easy to build (since its airframes could be put together in a short space of time and didn't need specialised machinery). This translated into it being extremely fast with a low radar profile, making it perfect for hit and run tactics (it could essentially fly in, drop its payload and disappear into the clouds before enemy bombers had a chance to scramble - including a precision strike which knocked German radio broadcasts off the air in the middle of a speech by Hermann Göring celebrating the Nazi party's 10th anniversary since coming to power), 4 times more efficient (based on the cost:damage done ration) than a Lancaster bomber and despite being one of the most numerous aircraft produced it ended up with the lowest loss rates of any aircraft in WWII.
* {{Attack Drone}}s. Considered to be the {{Spiritual Successor}}s of WW2-era biplanes, [=UAVs=] are affordable and expendable aircraft for conducting reconnaissance and strike roles. While a typical drone like the MQ-9 Reaper may seem as dull and ungainly compared to the high-tech manned F-35A, it has a per-unit price tag of $19 million compared to the $98 million for each F-35A. Furthermore, as drones lack pilots, they aren't weighed down by the bulky life-support systems and won't leave behind a pilot to be rescued. Not to also mention that their small sizes gives them natural radar-evasion abilities without expensive and difficult to maintain stealth technology. With the increasing costs of manufacturing aircraft and greater availability of cheap anti-air missiles, many nations are relying more on low-risk, inexpensive attack drones for combat operations.

to:

* The viking helmet, [[HornyVikings no,]] [[http://www.heritageofscotland.com/pictures/g-hq484016b327254.jpg not]][[http://static.webshopapp.com/shops/036206/files/033216014/horned-helmet.jpg that]][[http://www.gdfb.co.uk/ekmps/shops/11b299/images/larp-viking-horned-helmet-757-p.jpg one]], ah yes, [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/c7/a1/32c7a1b77a868a37bceaf09721d2afe3.jpg this one]] may be dissapointing because [[DropTheHammer warhammer]]. Step 1: Take a (somewhat largish) regular hammer. Step 2: Give it doesn't a longer handle. You now have the same VisualEffectsOfAwesome than the fake ones, but these actually are more practical, why? you may ask. these helmets as you can see does not only have a nose guard(which is pretty useful), but also has a cheek guard, which protects you from eye and face attacks, you may get a little scratch if they hit you, but you will be still safe [[spoiler:[[CaptainObvious Unless he cuts you in your throat]]]], if that weren't sufficent, it also have a neck guard on the back, which pervents [[BackStab backstabbing]]. Pretty much a useful helmet.
* The Hawker Hurricane. Tube-steel body and wooden wings, with the whole thing covered in canvas. A bit slow and unmanouverable for the bad, but it'd take hundreds of rounds easily, and often survived because the canvas wasn't tough enough to trigger explosive rounds.
* Also, the Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber, underpowered, underarmed, and wouldn't look out of place in UsefulNotes/WW1, yet 20 of these claimed 1 battleship sunk and 2 damaged at Taranto. Essentially a vehicular version of the StoneWall trope.
** The mighty ''Bismarck'',
one of the most powerful battleships ever produced by a European nation. Brought down by a torpedo launched from a Swordfish.
** Swordfishes were later fitted with radar and used for anti-submarine warfare. Once that happened, the North Atlantic wasn't safe for any German ship or submarine.
*** Although the Swordfish's range was rather limited, leaving a big gap in the middle
effective weapons of the North Atlantic.
*** It was realised
pre-gunpowder era. Is your enemy unarmored? Simple, crack his skull. Is your enemy armored? Simple, crack his skull--his helmet might keep him from dying, but he'll be so dazed anyway there's no functional difference.
** Enemy still on his feet? Turn it around and swing again. Almost all warhammers had a solid spike on
the Swordfish's obsolescence gave it two strengths in aerial combat: it was so slow that a modern combat fighter opposite side. Very few weapons could only keep it within firing range for a fraction of a second, before the relative speeds of the two aircraft forced the faster one to overshoot. The far greater wing area of a biplane makes it more manoevrable; the Swordfish could perform prodigies of aerobatics pierce armor like that made the job of a combat monoplane fighter that much more difficult. In one air combat in the Aegean during the Balkan campaign, a single Swordfish caused ''three'' Italian fighters to overshoot at high speed and crash into the sea. Three kills without firing a shot.
little beauty.
* The Soviet Polikarpov Po-2 (U-2). Born as a wooden training biplane it was slow and as basic as a plane could be made, but its low cost, reliability and ease of maintenance made it a valuable aircraft for the Soviet army in WW2. It couldn't tackle direct combat with other aircraft, of course, knife. Sure, it's probably mankind's oldest tool, but it was useful has that title for a reason. It's a tool you can use to cut, as well as make new tools with. It is such an effective weapon that it is the only remaining pre-gunpowder era weapon that still sees consistent use with the military. In fact, its utility is only limited by the materials used to make it and the amount of force that can be applied to it.
** Really, a knife is this
in a variety of support roles: light freighter, recon spotter, liaison transport, even as a night bomber. Its ability to spades. It also falls into SimpleYetAwesome territory when you take off and land in fields and unpaved roads increased its into account the sheer versatility of a good unspecialized knife. It has literally countless uses, even around the average home (Cutting open packaging, use as an impromptu screwdriver or hammer with the butt, use in place of scissors, and helped that's saying nothing of its culinary applications), and if you ever ask a survivalist what three things to take into any survival type situation, they'll list off "Knife, fire or way to make it fire, and clean water" in that order. If you're stuck in the second most-produced aircraft in history, a record it maintains to this day.
* The Grumman [=F4F=] Wildcat and Brewster [=F2A=] Buffalo also deserve honerable mention. The Wildcat couldn't beat a Mitsubishi [=A6M=] Zero in a dogfight, but
woods with proper tactics was tough enough to fight them to just a standstill. Unlike knife (or [[Literature/BriansSaga a hatchet]]), with a little thought you have it made--a knife can net you all the Allied fighters that outclassed their Japanese counterparts, an [=F4F=] could operate from an escort carrier. The [=F2A=] was less capable tools you need to make fire, get food, and get the resources to make clean, drinkable water. Saying nothing of its self defense applications, a knife is probably the [=F4F=] and, the 44 that the Finns got their hands on were the backbone of the Finnish Air Force until they got Messerschmitt [=Bf109s=]. The Finnish Buffalos shot down roughly twice as many Soviet aircraft than the Finns lost during the entire war.
* The de Havilland Mosquito. Made of ''laminated plywood''. Probably the
single most versatile British aircraft in [=WWII=]. Hermann Goering was tool ever created.
* In various tropical and subtropical countries, any [[MacheteMayhem machete-like blade]] is this. Like the axe to Europeans and North Americans, machete has self-defense use as
well known as mundane use. Frequently used to be green with envy at the fact that they could be churned out at a fast pace cut through rain forest undergrowth, removing small branches and that plants, for agricultural purposes (e.g. cutting sugar cane) any place could repair it without a problem, yet it remained one of the fastest, most capable planes in the British airfields.
* The P51 Mustang. Though a wonderful plane design in
many other ways, it's most important feature was this trope all the way - its incredible range (achieved through a combination of a large internal fuel space, an efficient engine, use.
** Basically any weapon derived from agricultural blade, sickle,
and drop tanks). No fighter had been able to travel knife is this, as far as the P51 could before, and bombers could now be escorted all the way to their target and back. Before, German fighters would wait at the point that the fighter escort would they have to turn around, both mundane use and jump the bombers. The P51 was so effective that self defense weapon use i.e. it is common sight for any Nepalese farmer to wield [[KukrisAreKool kukri]] while they work and some air forces still contained them as late as the early 1980's.
schools of martial arts in Java and Madura even developed some moves using sickle.
* The Axis side has the Messerschmitt Bf-109, otherwise (wrongly) known as the Me-109. Compared to later German aircraft, like the Fw-190 (TheDreaded among the Allies because it was able to outmatch a Spitfire in all but turn radius.) and the Me-262 (among the world's very first jet aircraft to operate) it was nothing fancy. Yet it is a versatile, rapidly-produced aircraft (in fact, it's the most built fighter aircraft ''in history'', having 33,984 airframes built across all variants) that can take on a variety of roles- in fact, it was the plane Erich Hartmann (the highest scoring fighter ace of all time) and Hans-Joachim Marseilles (highest scoring fighter ace in the North African campaign). It also has design features that weren't flashy but damn useful, like it's fuel-injection engine that allowed it to endure negative-G forces (Spitfires and Hurricanes have engines that would cut-out in the same situation, [[OhCrap leaving the pilot helpless in a dive]]) and two water radiators with a cut-off system, meaning that if one goes out for whatever reason you could fly on the second or cut off both and still fly for 5 minutes.
* The [[https://en.
[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook Chinook]] transport helicopter, in production since org/wiki/French_Nail French Nail.]] In the 1960s, is easily discernable by a unique shape with two large rotors and no tail, but is otherwise not much to look at. It has, however, a very large cargo area and can even lift field artillery right to their employment location, while also being able to operate at altitudes where most other helicopters can no longer generate enough lift to keep rising. In addition, Chinook is one early days of World War One when trench warfare was the name of the fastest operational helicopters, so when escorted by Apache gunships, Chinooks have to slow down to let the Apaches keep up. It's actually surprising that it's an American design and not made by Russia.
** Speaking of Russian helicopter designs, there is the Mi-8. It's an ugly thing to be sure, with a rail-thin tail and a huge bulbous body. But it is also nearly endlessly customizable, carries twenty fully-armed combat troops and can take a beating. It's been in service with the Russian
game. Unfortunately military for over fifty years, intelligence and while the Ka-60 was intended to replace it, it's looking like the "Hip" is going to be around for quite a while longer.
* The B-52 has been the US Air Force's frontline heavy bomber since the 1950's, despite the fact that it's not nearly as fast as the supersonic B-1B or as stealthy as the B-2 bombers. What it does have is a robust airframe and a [[NoKillLikeOverkill really REALLY big bomb bay]] (Can carry
supply hadn't yet caught up to 70,000 pounds the actual battlefield conditions and were supplying long rifles and sword-like bayonets to the troops that were far too cumbersome to use. So what did the French do for trench raiding weaponry? They stole barb wire posts from the German lines and wrought them into the form of bombs) crude stabbing implements that were much more compact and maneuverable. After it was deployed against them the Germans took a cue from the French and did the same with the capability of carrying literally every bomb or missile the USAF has. It regularly outperforms its more advanced cousins with the added bonus of being much cheaper to maintain. The their own equipment.

!!!Firearms
!!!!Russia
Russian small arms
design is so good that deserves a standing ovation across the USAF plans to keep it in service until 2045, board, at least for the designs which would wound up being mass issued in the field. To be brief:
* The AK-47 rifle is the most widely used rifle in the world, it ain't flashy but it can be left in a puddle of mud for months and still be usable afterwords. Michael Kalashnikov set out to
make the B-52 airframe ''over 90 years old'' by the time it's retired, a feat unmatched by any other aircraft.
simplest, toughest automatic weapon he could, and he succeeded.
** Except the Soviet/Russian Tu-95 (NATO reporting name "[[https://en.Spawned [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95 Bear]]"). Came org/wiki/Category:Kalashnikov_derivatives a line of successors]] using a simple long stroke piston and a rotating bolt. The AK family is the global gold standard of reliability and the AK-47 and AKM have been produced more than any other gun in the world, so much so that nobody really knows how many AK's there are. Name a war, any war after 1955, and you may be damn sure AK's were in it.
* Topped by the even older SKS, a simple, semi-auto rifle chambered in 7.62x39 with a fixed 10-round magazine. Known for being very reliable. While the Kalashnikov replaced it shortly
into service its career in Russia, the SKS has gone on to be a year common sight around the world, and remains very popular on the civilian market as a cheap, yet still highly-effective, sporting rifle.
* The PPS Submachine gun family. It is similar to the Sten in that it was a low cost weapon using the absolute minimum number of parts, and over 2 million were produced between 1942 and 1946. This was an often seen weapon in the Red Army, and served alongside the PPSh-41 as the weapon that most often ended up in the hands of soldiers that didn't use rifles. It was nothing to look at, but it got the job done, and when you have an underfunded, stretched thin army, that's really all that matters at the end of the day.
* Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle and its modifications: Perhaps the simplest bolt action rifle ever made, terrifyingly rugged, both it and its cartridge still serve to this day around the world. Simple as all hell to operate, aim, and maintain. Uses 7.62x54R, the oldest military cartridge still in use. Hits like a mofo out to a distance beyond which 99% of users or rifles could make hits, and is so widely available that one can be had for less than $200.
* Tokarev TT pistol: Russian pistol inspired by Browning's short action and M1911. Simplified the design, make it even more reliable, chambered it for 7.62x25, which can defeat any body armor short of rifle plates, and has an earned reputation for effectiveness. Of course very rugged and dependable. Still sees formal and informal use worldwide.
* Makarov PM, Tokarev's successor. The Makarov is a straight blowback 9x18mm design. It has a fixed barrel as part of the frame, making it very simple and very accurate. No linkages, locking lugs, or any of that; all that's going on is simple spring pressure from one that goes around the barrel to bring the slide back
after the B-52, force of the exploding propellants of the cartridge drive it back.

!!!!Other countries
* Sten, a gun that can --
and expected to serve until was -- built in people's sheds. Somewhat coupled with the same time as M3 "Grease Gun", made by General Motors (yes, ''that'' General Motors).
* In spite of its many complainers,
the B-52. Even better, AR-15 rifle and its derivatives. Eugene Stoner noticed two major issues with the thing existing M1 and M1-derivative rifles that the US military used in the aftermath of World War II: The wooden furniture and large bullets were heavy, and the stock being at an angle to the barrel reduced accuracy. Stoner replaced the wood with lightweight alloy and plastic, chose the smallest bullet capable of reliably killing a person (the .223 Remington, barely larger than the .22 long rifle) and made the entire weapon frame so that the stock would be in line with the barrel, reducing muzzle climb. The result is such a well-balanced rifle that although multiple attempts over the last five decades have been made to replace it, no weapon is better ''enough'' to justify doing so.
* The M-1911. It is often times called an American masterpiece of firearm design, and was only replaced by the American Army after Vietnam. With very few to no changes the design
is still propellor-driven!
** Britain's
popular today among police officers and civilians, at least in the country of origin. It's also used in the Marines (See the MEU(SOC) Pistol) and by many American Special Forces groups, who prefer it to the M9 for the .45's excellent stopping power and the gun's world-class reliability. An over 100-years-old pistol is still the beloved favorite of soldiers generally considered to be at the cutting edge of modern warfare.
* Glock pistols. A very plain looking black pistol, sometimes ridiculed by old timers as a "plastic gun," it's nevertheless one of the most reliable firearms in the world, easily on par with the AK-47's famed reliability and tolerance of abuse and neglect. And to top it off, it has very simple mechanics, lacks a traditional safety, is very simple to clean, and costs about half what most 1911 clones or high end revolvers cost. There's a reason why nearly every police department in the US has adopted this as standard issue.
* Revolvers in general. They don't carry as much ammo or look as flashy as automatics, but they have fewer components and since they don't have to deal with magazines, which are the source of 80% and some of malfunctions, reliability of a properly made revolver is incredible. Sadly, they are also often prized by criminal elements because they leave no cartridge behind for investigators. Crooks who just held up a convenience store will not spend several minutes policing up their brass.
* While we're still on the subject of firearms, how about the lowly
[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito de Havilland Mosquito]] bomber. It wasn't as glamorous or well armed as org/wiki/.22_Long_Rifle .22 Long Rifle cartridge]]? It's rimfire, meaning it's low-pressure and awfully weak compared to other ammunition, and thus is not recommended for striking down anything larger than a rabbit. Then again, the all-metal Spitfire proven design is [[OlderThanRadio older than any human alive]], has less shock than a pellet rifle, and couldn't carry as many bombs as is so ubiquitous that you can buy hundreds of rounds for a few bucks. It's what competitors use in the Lancaster (4,000lb vs. 22,000lb), Olympics. And yes, it can kill someone, although it is highly inadvisable to recommend it for any kind of social use. Also, being a "weak" rimfire, it escapes most restrictions on what types of guns you can buy in urban America, meaning you can legally possess an "assault weapon" even in gun-phobic states like California, as long as it is chambered for a .22LR
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Lee-Enfield was certainly this. While all the nations used bolt-action rifles to varying extent, Britian was the only one to not pursue a semi-automatic one at all. The rifle was accurate, had ten shots compared to the [=Kar98k=]'s five and most importantly was extremely reliable. In the hands of a skilled marksman, it can fire up to twenty aimed shots in about a minute. In fact, the current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a British Army instructor, who managed to squeeze out ''thirty eight aimed shots in under a minute'', all of which hit a 24-inch target at 300 yards.
** Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms,
but it was both cheap (being made they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges (in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action), and more suitable for stealth (they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely to be revealed to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air). They can also chamber powerful cartridges without increasing the size/weight of the weapons [[note: a well-known example: Trying to shoot the more powerful 5.56x45mm NATO in autoloading rifles chambered for the identical .223 Remington might result in a malfunction, but bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington can fire 5.56x45mm NATO without much incident]]- some of the most powerful elephant guns are almost entirely from wood the same size as your typical deer rifle.
*** The British, in the run-up to UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, placed enormous value on infantry rate-of-fire, because this A: was what had smashed Napoleon,
and only needing B: was the best tactic against armies of tribesmen. Similarly, they used small-caliber, horse-drawn, fast firing small artillery pieces. Other armies did not. This is why, before Britain raised its conscript army, the British Expeditionary Force (of regulars) was able to hold off German formations ten or twenty times its numbers. A famous instance was when a German conscript attack, headed by a company of elite Prussian regulars, attacked a British battalion a tenth of its numbers in a forest. A shell-shocked Prussian prisoner and the British commander had this exchange.
--> '''Prussian''' (*understandably still nervous at being kept essentially on the front line): But sir, where is your second line?
--> '''Briton''': We seem to have misplaced it - Sergeant! Where is the second line?
--> '''Sergeant''': Don't 'ave 'un sir. Don't need 'un sir.
* How about the ridiculously commonplace 12 gauge pump action shotgun? Reliable, Accurate,
relatively simple de Havilland Gipsy Twelve engine) lightweight, Conserves ammo while still being rather fast-shooting. Most models are the build-a-bear workshop of guns- you can pick any type of stock, any capacity(through extenders), any barrel length, and easy any sighting arrangement. Not to build (since mention the fact that the ammo comes in ''dozens and dozens'' of variations, from JackOfAllStats buckshot to more specialized ammunition like [[SniperPistol slugs]], [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], and even crazy things like [[FireBreathingWeapon Dragon's Breath]]. All of this is for less than a quality handgun.
** The 12 gauge pump action shotgun is the most powerful shotgun available currently, fires fairly fast by shotgun standards being pump action, and requires very little aim. Sounds cool/interesting/awesome to me. A smaller cartridge shotgun would be almost as effective at fending off humans, fire faster, be cheaper, have cheaper ammo, be easier to fire and safer to fire.
** No real point in stepping down to a 20 gauge, the next down of the three common sizes (12, 20, and .410 bore), unless you are a smaller shooter who physically has difficulty controlling a 12 gauge. The guns are almost always the same price and 12 gauge shells are the same or cheaper price, with more variety, and are more widely available. Rate of fire is as close as makes no difference. The smallest, a .410 bore, is too underpowered (though just like a .22 rimfire, this can be deceptive), and nowhere near as common as
its airframes could be put together two bigger brothers. Unless weight is a huge issue (e.g. a survival rifle), or you are just learning, the .410 is a no go as well. Even if you have difficulty with the recoil of a 12 gauge, you can simply use "lighter" loads.
** Shotguns
in a short space general were particularly devastating in WWI, where trench warfare made them very useful once you got past the enemy's wall of time dakka and needed to clear his trench. The Americans knew this well, and used the tactic so effectively that the Germans sought to have shotguns banned as a violation of [[TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar the laws of war]]. (The complaining didn't need specialised machinery). This translated into it being extremely fast last long, since the Germans were already collapsing by the time US forces arrived in Europe).
** Allegedly, American soldiers, who were mostly made up of rural boys
with a low radar profile, making it perfect for hit and run tactics (it lots of hunting experience, could essentially fly in, drop its payload and disappear into ''[[ImprobableAimingSkills shoot incoming grenades out of the clouds air]]'' with their shotguns.
* Note, small arms for infantries in general are preferred to be this. Guns which are ShurFineGuns or AwesomeButImpractical are pain in the ass whether to clean or fix it every time
before enemy bombers had a chance to scramble - including a precision strike which knocked German radio broadcasts off the air in the middle of a speech by Hermann Göring celebrating the Nazi party's 10th anniversary since coming to power), 4 times more efficient (based and after action. Special forces on the cost:damage done ration) than a Lancaster bomber other hands could handle their guns better and despite being could tolerate some temperamental guns. [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/AwesomeButImpractical/Military AN-94 assault rifle]] are example for such type of gun.
* The [=M2HB=] Machine Gun: developed toward the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, it has remained
one of the most numerous aircraft produced it ended up with the lowest loss rates of any aircraft reliable machine guns (still in WWII.
* {{Attack Drone}}s. Considered to be the {{Spiritual Successor}}s of WW2-era biplanes, [=UAVs=] are affordable and expendable aircraft
use today) for conducting reconnaissance and strike roles. While a typical drone like the MQ-9 Reaper may seem as dull and ungainly compared to the high-tech manned F-35A, it has a per-unit price tag of $19 million compared to the $98 million for each F-35A. Furthermore, as drones lack pilots, they aren't weighed down by the bulky life-support systems and won't leave behind a pilot to be rescued. Not to also mention that their small sizes gives them natural radar-evasion abilities without expensive and difficult its sheer simplicity to maintain stealth technology. With in the increasing costs of manufacturing aircraft field due to such basic design and greater availability of cheap anti-air missiles, many nations are relying more on low-risk, inexpensive attack drones for combat operations.few parts. [[note: there's even a saying among the [[SemperFi USMC]] and the Army that the last M2 gunner hasn't been born yet]].

!!!Tanks



* The British [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Carrier Universal Carrier]], a small armored vehicle that was so ubiquitous that it could be used as an IFV, a field tractor, an artillery platform, a reconnaissance vehicle, a flame tank, a tank destroyer, and a minesweeper/layer. It was also incredibly simple to make and operate, easy to repair, and able to carry a squad of British Tommies into action at high speed. In fact, it was so practical that the British built 113,000 of them, which makes it a serious contender for the title of "Most Produced Armored Vehicle in History", depending on just how many [=T55s=] have been built[[note]]Soviet book-keeping was rather worse than the British, so no-one knows, though the highest end estimates are "over 100,000", which might edge out the UC depending on how much "over" 100,000 the true number is[[/note]]. True to the "boring" aspect, it is almost unknown.




!!!Military vehicles



--->''"This change resulted from the unforeseen availability of a considerable number of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Ship,_Tank LSTs]] and the quantity production of the "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_J2F_Duck duck]]," an amphibious vehicle [a biplane, specifically] that proved to be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment produced by the United States during the war. Incidentally, four other pieces of equipment that most senior officers came to regard as among the most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the two-and-a-half-ton truck, and the C-47 airplane. Curiously enough, none of these is designed for combat."'' -- Crusade In Europe, pg 163
*** (That's '''six''' vehicles, for those counting.)
** There is a school of thought that says the C-47 cargo plane was the single most important vehicle that helped win the war for the Allies. The civilian version of the C-47, the Douglas DC-3, was very successful in its own right. Several hundred of them are still flying today in active commercial service around the world, simply because nobody ever really designed an aircraft better suited to rugged conditions. The common saying among pilots is that "the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3."
** While the U.S. provided the Soviet Union with a number of tanks, bazookas and planes as part of the lend-lease act, many Soviet commanders were most grateful for the thousands of Jeeps that came with the deal since the Soviet union's main method of having its infantry keep up with the tanks was riding them (and you can only fit so many guys on top of a T-34 [[WeHaveReserves before the first AT shell blows them to pieces]]). Tens of thousands local copies of the Jeep would be made during and after the war and were much beloved by their owners. The other most important things the U.S. shipped to Russia - railroad track, telegraph lines, radio sets, and spam (seriously - most of Russia's food-producing regions had been overrun).
*** It was similar story in Britain, although they opted for an adapted design rather than a copy. The result? The Land Rover.
** Also, another vehicle that proved vital to Allied victory were the thousands of trucks the US possessed, giving them and their allies a serious logistical advantage over Germany, which still heavily relied on horse drawn carts to carry supplies. To put things in perspective, the Soviets received more trucks from Lend-Lease than all of the rest of Europe had at the time. At the start of the Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower had enough trucks at his disposal to carry two entire divisions of infantry from France to Belgium ''in a single day'', allowing them to quickly reinforce the front lines and hold off the Germans. No army before or since has ever managed such a strategic redeployment so quickly.
** The Allies in general. Contrasting with the Axis side's love for AwesomeButImpractical devices (the Tiger, Panther, Type-93 Torpedo, Type-97 20mm AT Rifle, Yamato-class Battleships, the list continues....) the Allies simply used less flashy (a.k.a boring) things that neverthless did their job very well. The aformentioned trucks? Japan, Italy and Germany ''combined'' didn't produce as many trucks as Canada ''alone''.
** Also, Canada's contribution to WWII in general. While they fought with distinction in many places, and were responsible for one of the five beaches on D-Day (two Brit, two US, one Canuck), their most important contributions to the war were industrial (trucks), training (aircrews), and raw materials and foodstuffs.
** Julius Caesar once said an army marches on its stomach. Napoleon similarly said "The outcome of the battle is incidental to the decisive question of supply." He lost his campaign in Egypt, for instance, because the British Navy destroyed the French fleet that was providing Napoleon's army with supplies. The supplies on hand allowed him to operate for a time, but he left before things inevitably went south on him.
*** It was Napoleon's insistence on stocked supply lines that led to the invention of one of the most BoringButPractical aspects of modern life: '''''canned food'''''. (''Series/{{Connections}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yKvhPs7gZ8 explains]]--it takes about 20 minutes to get there, but it's worth it!).
** "Amateurs study tactics. Veterans study strategy. Professionals study ''logistics''."
*** A tale commonly told in the military: Generals are a happily blessed race who radiate confidence and power. They feed only on ambrosia and drink only nectar. In peace, they stride along confidently and can invade a nation simply by sweeping their hands grandly over a map, pointing their fingers decisively up terrain corridors, and blocking defiles and obstacles with the sides of their arms. ''In war'', they must stride more slowly, because each general has a logistician riding on his back and he knows that, at any moment, the logistician may lean forward and whisper, “No, you can’t do that!”
** This is why most generals tend to be far behind the front lines; they have the experience and knowledge to know where sending supplies or causing a disruption in enemy logistics would make or break a battle. Their knowledge can also help avert more hotheaded behaviour on new recruits, ensuring that they can inflict a maximum amount of damage to the enemy while maintaining a minimum of casualties (which is why discipline is so important, as the reason for a commander's orders might not be immediately clear to you, but certainly is to the guy shouting it). They're also often too old (or in some cases too injured) to be physically fit for combat, so while paperwork and map plotting isn't exactly exciting or glamorous work, it's certainly practical as hell.
** One other not for combat vehicle that proved instrumental was the Higgins Boat, cheap (most of it was made of wood) and effective, in the region of 20,000 were eventually produced.
** Liberty Ships. Spacious, cheap enough a single delivery had already paid for their cost, and produced in such large numbers Germany and Japan literally could not sink enough to actually slow down the supply train. They were so practical that several went on to have prolonged post-war careers in both private and military service, with one managing to remain with the U.S. Navy as late as 1981.
* In an era where naval warfare is more or less showcased by the aircraft carrier and the submarine, the bulk of any navy remains the surface ship. Carriers may hold those nifty fighter planes you'd see in ''Film/TopGun'' or ''Film/IndependenceDay'', and submarines are renowned terrors of the deep, but neither are as versatile as the modern day destroyer or frigate, which can do anything from shoot missiles, aircraft and ''satellites'' out of the sky to hunt submarines and other ships to, in some cases, bombard inland targets. And that's before one gets into amphibious operations...
** Amongst that number, the ''Arleigh Burke'' destroyer is becoming this, at least compared to newer, post-millennium ships. Whereas most modern day ships are designed for at least one area of specialization (usually air defense), the ''Burke'' was meant to be a venerable JackOfAllTrades, covering almost every conceivable mission profile the US Navy was expected to face with ''extreme prejudice''. Sure, it doesn't excel at anti-air warfare like Britain's Type 45 destroyer, nor can it perform shore bombardments the way the ''Zumwalt'' can, but it normally outperforms such ships in everything else while going about the aforementioned roles adequately enough. And to top it off, the US Navy has more ''Burkes'' in its inventory (with many more soon to follow) than most countries have ''ships'' period, making it the modern, war-oriented equivalent of ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s ''Constitution''-class starship.
* The Infantry. As noted by Robert Heinlein, while technology may evolve to include incredibly dangerous tanks, bombs, aircraft carriers, missiles, nuclear weapons, and everything else that can conceivably kill a thousand people inside a nanosecond, there has only ever been one branch of Armed Forces remarkable in its consistency; a man, trained or untrained, between fourteen and fifty years of age, and a weapon in his hand. This man (and occasionally, this woman) has endured the scorching jungles of Tenochtitlan, and the unbearable hell of Stalingrad. When a Tank rolls across his path, he puts a bit of fuel in a bottle, sets a light, and throws it underneath. When a plane flies overhead, he finds a ridge and hides under it. When poison gas lands near him, he pisses on his handkerchief and covers his mouth. He can fight in damn near any conditions, run on, in comparison to other forms of warfare, miniscule amounts of fuel, cross any terrain, in time, and defeat any foe given enough of him. He is the Duckfoot, the Mehmet, the Tommy, the average infantry soldier. He is the most boring arm of any Armed Force, to the point that many of its members are forced to be there. But, boy,'' is he the most practical''.
** "You can bomb it, you can strafe it, you can cover it with poison, you can turn it into glass, but you don't own it unless your infantry's on it and the other guy's isn't."
** "Aerial bombardment can obliterate, but only infantry can occupy." — a Finnish Army officer, Operation Allied Force (1999), Kosovo.
** Even more boring is the suppliers whom have to accompany the infantry in order to keep them fed and armed. [[DudeWheresMyRespect Terribly overlooked]], suffering many of the same inadequacies and woes as their peers, oftentimes ''not being even armed'', the humble caravan seeks to it that the rest of the army is able to do their jobs, [[TheDeterminator be it through land, air, or sea.]] Just don't mess with [[AlmightyJanitor the log guys]] -- it isn't wise to anger the men who are responsible for you being watered, fed, shod, clothed, sheltered, supplied, and equipped perhaps for years on end.
* The Navy too. Oh sure, we've gone from oars to sails to steam-engines to IC engines to (in some cases) nuclear power, but a floating hull capable of carrying armed men has been pretty much a constant theme for a ''very'' long time.
* Medevac personnel. Sure these people don't kill any bad guys but being in the battlefield without any weapons to constantly drag another human beings multiple times need serious dedication and true bravery. One serious advantage the US had at Pacific Theatre is they have dedicated medevacs force to treat their wounded on land and on sea.
** TheEngineer. All kinds of them. What Medevacs do for humans, these guys do with equipment. Effective damage control is often mooted as one significant factor in keeping the US Navy afloat during the early years of the Pacific War.
* Logistics, averting EasyLogistics in Real Life. It is always unglamorous and under-appreciated task but other branches of military wouldn't function as smooth as planned. As mentioned above and below in Technology part cargo container, it's very important to deliver the necessities (food, uniforms, fuel, ammo, blankets, tents, etc.) to the guys on the front lines while also important to prevent guys from the other side retrieving theirs. Differences of competence of logistics can greatly tipped the balance of war. One of the reason Allied won from Axis is Allied logistic corps (both western and eastern ''and'' both Pacific and Atlantic) are far better than Axis logistics corps.

to:

--->''"This change resulted from the unforeseen availability of a considerable number of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Ship,_Tank LSTs]] and the quantity production of the "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_J2F_Duck duck]]," an amphibious vehicle [a biplane, specifically] that proved to be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment produced by the United States during the war. Incidentally, four other pieces of equipment that most senior officers came to regard as among the most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the two-and-a-half-ton truck, and the C-47 airplane. Curiously enough, none of these is designed for combat."'' -- Crusade In Europe, pg 163
*** (That's
163[[note]]That's '''six''' vehicles, for those counting.)
** There is a school of thought that says the C-47 cargo plane was the single most important vehicle that helped win the war for the Allies. The civilian version of the C-47, the Douglas DC-3, was very successful in its own right. Several hundred of them are still flying today in active commercial service around the world, simply because nobody ever really designed an aircraft better suited to rugged conditions. The common saying among pilots is that "the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3."
**
[[/note]]
*
While the U.S. provided the Soviet Union with a number of tanks, bazookas and planes as part of the lend-lease act, many Soviet commanders were most grateful for the thousands of Jeeps that came with the deal since the Soviet union's main method of having its infantry keep up with the tanks was riding them (and you can only fit so many guys on top of a T-34 [[WeHaveReserves before the first AT shell blows them to pieces]]). Tens of thousands local copies of the Jeep would be made during and after the war and were much beloved by their owners. The other most important things the U.S. shipped to Russia - railroad track, telegraph lines, radio sets, and spam (seriously - most of Russia's food-producing regions had been overrun).
*** ** It was similar story in Britain, although they opted for an adapted design rather than a copy. The result? The Land Rover.
** * Also, another vehicle that proved vital to Allied victory were the thousands of trucks the US possessed, giving them and their allies a serious logistical advantage over Germany, which still heavily relied on horse drawn carts to carry supplies. To put things in perspective, the Soviets received more trucks from Lend-Lease than all of the rest of Europe had at the time. At the start of the Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower had enough trucks at his disposal to carry two entire divisions of infantry from France to Belgium ''in a single day'', allowing them to quickly reinforce the front lines and hold off the Germans. No army before or since has ever managed such a strategic redeployment so quickly.
** The Allies in general. Contrasting with the Axis side's love for AwesomeButImpractical devices (the Tiger, Panther, Type-93 Torpedo, Type-97 20mm AT Rifle, Yamato-class Battleships, the list continues....) the Allies simply used less flashy (a.k.a boring) things that neverthless did their job very well. The aformentioned trucks? Japan, Italy and Germany ''combined'' didn't produce as many trucks as Canada ''alone''.
** Also, Canada's contribution to WWII in general. While they fought with distinction in many places, and were responsible for one of the five beaches on D-Day (two Brit, two US, one Canuck), their most important contributions to the war were industrial (trucks), training (aircrews), and raw materials and foodstuffs.
** Julius Caesar once said an army marches on its stomach. Napoleon similarly said "The outcome of the battle is incidental to the decisive question of supply." He lost his campaign in Egypt, for instance, because
* Post-WWII: the British Navy destroyed the French fleet that was providing Napoleon's army with supplies. The supplies on hand allowed him to operate for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Carrier Universal Carrier]], a time, but he left before things inevitably went south on him.
*** It was Napoleon's insistence on stocked supply lines that led to the invention of one of the most BoringButPractical aspects of modern life: '''''canned food'''''. (''Series/{{Connections}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yKvhPs7gZ8 explains]]--it takes about 20 minutes to get there, but it's worth it!).
** "Amateurs study tactics. Veterans study strategy. Professionals study ''logistics''."
*** A tale commonly told in the military: Generals are a happily blessed race who radiate confidence and power. They feed only on ambrosia and drink only nectar. In peace, they stride along confidently and can invade a nation simply by sweeping their hands grandly over a map, pointing their fingers decisively up terrain corridors, and blocking defiles and obstacles with the sides of their arms. ''In war'', they must stride more slowly, because each general has a logistician riding on his back and he knows that, at any moment, the logistician may lean forward and whisper, “No, you can’t do that!”
** This is why most generals tend to be far behind the front lines; they have the experience and knowledge to know where sending supplies or causing a disruption in enemy logistics would make or break a battle. Their knowledge can also help avert more hotheaded behaviour on new recruits, ensuring that they can inflict a maximum amount of damage to the enemy while maintaining a minimum of casualties (which is why discipline is so important, as the reason for a commander's orders might not be immediately clear to you, but certainly is to the guy shouting it). They're also often too old (or in some cases too injured) to be physically fit for combat, so while paperwork and map plotting isn't exactly exciting or glamorous work, it's certainly practical as hell.
** One other not for combat
small armored vehicle that proved instrumental was the Higgins Boat, cheap (most so ubiquitous that it could be used as an IFV, a field tractor, an artillery platform, a reconnaissance vehicle, a flame tank, a tank destroyer, and a minesweeper/layer. It was also incredibly simple to make and operate, easy to repair, and able to carry a squad of British Tommies into action at high speed. In fact, it was made of wood) and effective, in the region of 20,000 were eventually produced.
** Liberty Ships. Spacious, cheap enough a single delivery had already paid for their cost, and produced in such large numbers Germany and Japan literally could not sink enough to actually slow down the supply train. They were
so practical that several went the British built 113,000 of them, which makes it a serious contender for the title of "Most Produced Armored Vehicle in History", depending on to just how many [=T55s=] have prolonged post-war careers in both private been built[[note]]Soviet book-keeping was rather worse than the British, so no-one knows, though the highest end estimates are "over 100,000", which might edge out the UC depending on how much "over" 100,000 the true number is[[/note]]. True to the "boring" aspect, it is almost unknown.

!!!Aircraft
!!!!World War II
* The Hawker Hurricane. Tube-steel body
and military service, with one managing to remain wooden wings, with the U.S. Navy as late as 1981.
* In an era where naval warfare is more or less showcased by
whole thing covered in canvas. A bit slow and unmanouverable for the aircraft carrier bad, but it'd take hundreds of rounds easily, and often survived because the submarine, the bulk of any navy remains the surface ship. Carriers may hold those nifty fighter planes you'd see in ''Film/TopGun'' or ''Film/IndependenceDay'', and submarines are renowned terrors of the deep, but neither are as versatile as the modern day destroyer or frigate, which can do anything from shoot missiles, aircraft and ''satellites'' out of the sky to hunt submarines and other ships to, in some cases, bombard inland targets. And that's before one gets into amphibious operations...
** Amongst that number, the ''Arleigh Burke'' destroyer is becoming this, at least compared to newer, post-millennium ships. Whereas most modern day ships are designed for at least one area of specialization (usually air defense), the ''Burke'' was meant to be a venerable JackOfAllTrades, covering almost every conceivable mission profile the US Navy was expected to face with ''extreme prejudice''. Sure, it doesn't excel at anti-air warfare like Britain's Type 45 destroyer, nor can it perform shore bombardments the way the ''Zumwalt'' can, but it normally outperforms such ships in everything else while going about the aforementioned roles adequately enough. And to top it off, the US Navy has more ''Burkes'' in its inventory (with many more soon to follow) than most countries have ''ships'' period, making it the modern, war-oriented equivalent of ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s ''Constitution''-class starship.
* The Infantry. As noted by Robert Heinlein, while technology may evolve to include incredibly dangerous tanks, bombs, aircraft carriers, missiles, nuclear weapons, and everything else that can conceivably kill a thousand people inside a nanosecond, there has only ever been one branch of Armed Forces remarkable in its consistency; a man, trained or untrained, between fourteen and fifty years of age, and a weapon in his hand. This man (and occasionally, this woman) has endured the scorching jungles of Tenochtitlan, and the unbearable hell of Stalingrad. When a Tank rolls across his path, he puts a bit of fuel in a bottle, sets a light, and throws it underneath. When a plane flies overhead, he finds a ridge and hides under it. When poison gas lands near him, he pisses on his handkerchief and covers his mouth. He can fight in damn near any conditions, run on, in comparison to other forms of warfare, miniscule amounts of fuel, cross any terrain, in time, and defeat any foe given
canvas wasn't tough enough of him. He is the Duckfoot, the Mehmet, the Tommy, the average infantry soldier. He is the most boring arm of any Armed Force, to the point that many of its members are forced to be there. But, boy,'' is he the most practical''.
** "You can bomb it, you can strafe it, you can cover it with poison, you can turn it into glass, but you don't own it unless your infantry's on it and the other guy's isn't."
** "Aerial bombardment can obliterate, but only infantry can occupy." — a Finnish Army officer, Operation Allied Force (1999), Kosovo.
** Even more boring is the suppliers whom have to accompany the infantry in order to keep them fed and armed. [[DudeWheresMyRespect Terribly overlooked]], suffering many of the same inadequacies and woes as their peers, oftentimes ''not being even armed'', the humble caravan seeks to it that the rest of the army is able to do their jobs, [[TheDeterminator be it through land, air, or sea.]] Just don't mess with [[AlmightyJanitor the log guys]] -- it isn't wise to anger the men who are responsible for you being watered, fed, shod, clothed, sheltered, supplied, and equipped perhaps for years on end.
* The Navy too. Oh sure, we've gone from oars to sails to steam-engines to IC engines to (in some cases) nuclear power, but a floating hull capable of carrying armed men has been pretty much a constant theme for a ''very'' long time.
* Medevac personnel. Sure these people don't kill any bad guys but being in the battlefield without any weapons to constantly drag another human beings multiple times need serious dedication and true bravery. One serious advantage the US had at Pacific Theatre is they have dedicated medevacs force to treat their wounded on land and on sea.
** TheEngineer. All kinds of them. What Medevacs do for humans, these guys do with equipment. Effective damage control is often mooted as one significant factor in keeping the US Navy afloat during the early years of the Pacific War.
trigger explosive rounds.
* Logistics, averting EasyLogistics in Real Life. It is always unglamorous Also, the Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber, underpowered, underarmed, and under-appreciated task but other branches of military wouldn't function as smooth as planned. As mentioned above look out of place in UsefulNotes/WW1, yet 20 of these claimed 1 battleship sunk and below 2 damaged at Taranto. Essentially a vehicular version of the StoneWall trope. Also, the mighty ''Bismarck'', one of the most powerful battleships ever produced by a European nation, was brought down by a torpedo launched from a Swordfish.
** Swordfishes were later fitted with radar and used for anti-submarine warfare. Once that happened, the North Atlantic wasn't safe for any German ship or submarine. (Although the Swordfish's range was rather limited, leaving a big gap
in Technology part cargo container, the middle of the North Atlantic.)
** It was realised the Swordfish's obsolescence gave it two strengths in aerial combat: it was so slow that a modern combat fighter could only keep it within firing range for a fraction of a second, before the relative speeds of the two aircraft forced the faster one to overshoot. The far greater wing area of a biplane makes it more manoevrable; the Swordfish could perform prodigies of aerobatics that made the job of a combat monoplane fighter that much more difficult. In one air combat in the Aegean during the Balkan campaign, a single Swordfish caused ''three'' Italian fighters to overshoot at high speed and crash into the sea. Three kills without firing a shot.
* The Soviet Polikarpov Po-2 (U-2). Born as a wooden training biplane it was slow and as basic as a plane could be made, but its low cost, reliability and ease of maintenance made it a valuable aircraft for the Soviet army in WW2. It couldn't tackle direct combat with other aircraft, of course, but it was useful in a variety of support roles: light freighter, recon spotter, liaison transport, even as a night bomber. Its ability to take off and land in fields and unpaved roads increased its versatility and helped make it the second most-produced aircraft in history, a record it maintains to this day.
* The Grumman [=F4F=] Wildcat and Brewster [=F2A=] Buffalo also deserve honerable mention. The Wildcat couldn't beat a Mitsubishi [=A6M=] Zero in a dogfight, but with proper tactics was tough enough to fight them to a standstill. Unlike the Allied fighters that outclassed their Japanese counterparts, an [=F4F=] could operate from an escort carrier. The [=F2A=] was less capable the the [=F4F=] and, the 44 that the Finns got their hands on were the backbone of the Finnish Air Force until they got Messerschmitt [=Bf109s=]. The Finnish Buffalos shot down roughly twice as many Soviet aircraft than the Finns lost during the entire war.
* The P51 Mustang. Though a wonderful plane design in many other ways,
it's very most important to deliver feature was this trope all the necessities (food, uniforms, fuel, ammo, blankets, tents, etc.) way - its incredible range (achieved through a combination of a large internal fuel space, an efficient engine, and drop tanks). No fighter had been able to travel as far as the guys P51 could before, and bombers could now be escorted all the way to their target and back. Before, German fighters would wait at the point that the fighter escort would have to turn around, and jump the bombers. The P51 was so effective that some air forces still contained them as late as the early 1980's.
* The Axis side has the Messerschmitt Bf-109, otherwise (wrongly) known as the Me-109. Compared to later German aircraft, like the Fw-190 (TheDreaded among the Allies because it was able to outmatch a Spitfire in all but turn radius.) and the Me-262 (among the world's very first jet aircraft to operate) it was nothing fancy. Yet it is a versatile, rapidly-produced aircraft (in fact, it's the most built fighter aircraft ''in history'', having 33,984 airframes built across all variants) that can take on a variety of roles- in fact, it was the plane Erich Hartmann (the highest scoring fighter ace of all time) and Hans-Joachim Marseilles (highest scoring fighter ace in the North African campaign). It also has design features that weren't flashy but damn useful, like it's fuel-injection engine that allowed it to endure negative-G forces (Spitfires and Hurricanes have engines that would cut-out in the same situation, [[OhCrap leaving the pilot helpless in a dive]]) and two water radiators with a cut-off system, meaning that if one goes out for whatever reason you could fly
on the front lines while also second or cut off both and still fly for 5 minutes.
* Britain's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito De Havilland Mosquito]] bomber. It wasn't as glamorous or well armed as the all-metal Spitfire and couldn't carry as many bombs as the Lancaster (4,000lb vs. 22,000lb), but it was both cheap (being made almost entirely from ''laminated plywood'' and only needing a relatively simple de Havilland Gipsy Twelve engine) and easy to build (since its airframes could be put together in a short space of time and didn't need specialised machinery). This translated into it being extremely fast with a low radar profile, making it perfect for hit and run tactics (it could essentially fly in, drop its payload and disappear into the clouds before enemy bombers had a chance to scramble - including a precision strike which knocked German radio broadcasts off the air in the middle of a speech by Hermann Göring celebrating the Nazi party's 10th anniversary since coming to power), 4 times more efficient (based on the cost-to-damage-done ratio) than a Lancaster bomber and despite being one of the most numerous aircraft produced it ended up with the lowest loss rates of any aircraft in WWII.
** Goering was well known to be green with envy at the fact that they could be churned out at a fast pace and that any place could repair it without a problem ''and yet'' being one of the fastest and most capable planes in the British airfields.
* A non-combat plane example: There is a school of thought that says the C-47 cargo plane was the single most
important to prevent guys from vehicle that helped win the other side retrieving theirs. Differences of competence of logistics can greatly tipped war for the balance of war. One Allies.
** The civilian version
of the reason Allied won from Axis is Allied logistic corps (both western and eastern ''and'' both Pacific and Atlantic) C-47, the Douglas DC-3, was very successful in its own right. Several hundred of them are far still flying today in active commercial service around the world, simply because nobody ever really designed an aircraft better than Axis logistics corps.suited to rugged conditions. The common saying among pilots is that "the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3."



* In sea warfare mines can be described as this.
** All mines can be described like this. They're easy and cheap to make, need no maintenance once deployed, will last for decades, don't depend on either computers or humans aiming them and can terrify whole countries into inaction. Their main problems are that they don't identify friend from foe, and that they're ''too'' good - retaining all their lethality after the war is over. Sure enough, getting rid of them is a complex and expensive proposition.
* Russian small arms design deserves a standing ovation across the board, at least for the designs which wound up being mass issued in the field. To be brief..
** The AK-47 rifle is the most widely used rifle in the world, it ain't flashy but it can be left in a puddle of mud for months and still be usable afterwords.
** Topped by the even older SKS and Sten, weapons which can and were built in people's sheds. Somewhat coupled with the M3 "Grease Gun", made by General Motors (yes, ''that'' General Motors).
** The PPS Submachine gun family. It is similar to the Sten in that it was a low cost weapon using the absolute minimum number of parts, and over 2 million were produced between 1942 and 1946. This was an often seen weapon in the Red Army, and served alongside the PPSh-41 as the weapon that most often ended up in the hands of soldiers that didn't use rifles. It was nothing to look at, but it got the job done, and when you have an underfunded, stretched thin army, that's really all that matters at the end of the day.
** Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle and its modifications: Perhaps the simplest bolt action rifle ever made, terrifyingly rugged, both it and its cartridge still serve to this day around the world. Simple as all hell to operate, aim, and maintain. Uses 7.62x54R, the oldest military cartridge still in use. Hits like a mofo out to a distance beyond which 99% of users or rifles could make hits, and is so widely available that one can be had for less than $200.
** Tokarev TT pistol: Russian pistol inspired by Browning's short action and M1911. Simplified the design, make it even more reliable, chambered it for 7.62x25, which can defeat any body armor short of rifle plates, and has an earned reputation for effectiveness. Of course very rugged and dependable. Still sees formal and informal use worldwide.
** SKS: Simple, semiautomatic rifle chambered in 7.62x39 with a fixed 10-round magazine. Known for being very reliable. While the Kalashnikov replaced it shortly into its career in Russia, the SKS has gone on to be a common sight around the world, and remains very popular on the civilian market as a cheap, yet still highly-effective, sporting rifle.
** AK: A family of weapons using a simple long stroke piston and a rotating bolt. The AK family is the global gold standard of reliability and the AK-47 and AKM have been produced more than any other gun in the world, so much so that nobody really knows how many AK's there are. Name a war, any war after 1955. AK's were in it. Mikhail Kalashnikov set out to make the simplest, toughest automatic weapon he could, and he succeeded.
** Makarov PM: The Pistol which replaced the Tokarev. The Makarov is a straight blowback 9x18mm design. It has a fixed barrel as part of the frame, making it very simple and very accurate. No linkages, locking lugs, or any of that; all that's going on is simple spring pressure from one that goes around the barrel to bring the slide back after the force of the exploding propellants of the cartridge drive it back.
* Small arms which are made by non-Russians also qualify.
** In spite of its many complainers, the AR-15 rifle and its derivatives. Eugene Stoner noticed two major issues with the existing M1 and M1-derivative rifles that the US military used in the aftermath of World War II: The wooden furniture and large bullets were heavy, and the stock being at an angle to the barrel reduced accuracy. Stoner replaced the wood with lightweight alloy and plastic, chose the smallest bullet capable of reliably killing a person (the .223 Remington, barely larger than the .22 long rifle) and made the entire weapon frame so that the stock would be in line with the barrel, reducing muzzle climb. The result is such a well-balanced rifle that although multiple attempts over the last five decades have been made to replace it, no weapon is better ''enough'' to justify doing so.
** The M-1911. It is often times called an American masterpiece of firearm design, and was only replaced by the American Army after Vietnam. With very few to no changes the design is still popular today among police officers and civilians, at least in the country of origin. It's also used in the Marines (See the MEU(SOC) Pistol) and by many American Special Forces groups, who prefer it to the M9 for the .45's excellent stopping power and the gun's world-class reliability. An over 100-years-old pistol is still the beloved favorite of soldiers generally considered to be at the cutting edge of modern warfare.
** Glock pistols fit this. A very plain looking black pistol, sometimes ridiculed by old timers as a "plastic gun," it's nevertheless one of the most reliable firearms in the world, easily on par with the AK-47's famed reliability and tolerance of abuse and neglect. And to top it off, it has very simple mechanics, lacks a traditional safety, is very simple to clean, and costs about half what most 1911 clones or high end revolvers cost. There's a reason why nearly every police department in the US has adopted this as standard issue.
** Revolvers in general. They don't carry as much ammo or look as flashy as automatics, but they have fewer components and since they don't have to deal with magazines, which are the source of 80% and some of malfunctions, reliability of a properly made revolver is incredible. Sadly, they are also often prized by criminal elements because they leave no cartridge behind for investigators. Crooks who just held up a convenience store will not spend several minutes policing up their brass.
** While we're still on the subject of firearms, how about the lowly [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_Long_Rifle .22 Long Rifle cartridge]]? It's rimfire, meaning it's low-pressure and awfully weak compared to other ammunition, and thus is not recommended for striking down anything larger than a rabbit. Then again, the proven design is [[OlderThanRadio older than any human alive]], has less shock than a pellet rifle, and is so ubiquitous that you can buy hundreds of rounds for a few bucks. It's what competitors use in the Olympics. And yes, it can kill someone, although it is highly inadvisable to recommend it for any kind of social use. Also, being a "weak" rimfire, it escapes most restrictions on what types of guns you can buy in urban America, meaning you can legally possess an "assault weapon" even in gun-phobic states like California, as long as it is chambered for a .22LR
** During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Lee-Enfield was certainly this. While all the nations used bolt-action rifles to varying extent, Britian was the only one to not pursue a semi-automatic one at all. The rifle was accurate, had ten shots compared to the [=Kar98k=]'s five and most importantly was extremely reliable. In the hands of a skilled marksman, it can fire up to twenty aimed shots in about a minute. In fact, the current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a British Army instructor, who managed to squeeze out ''thirty eight aimed shots in under a minute'', all of which hit a 24-inch target at 300 yards.
*** Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms, but they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges (in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action), and more suitable for stealth (they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely to be revealed to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air). They can also chamber powerful cartridges without increasing the size/weight of the weapons [[note: a well-known example: Trying to shoot the more powerful 5.56x45mm NATO in autoloading rifles chambered for the identical .223 Remington might result in a malfunction, but bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington can fire 5.56x45mm NATO without much incident]]- some of the most powerful elephant guns are almost the same size as your typical deer rifle.
*** The British, in the run-up to UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, placed enormous value on infantry rate-of-fire, because this A: was what had smashed Napoleon, and B: was the best tactic against armies of tribesmen. Similarly, they used small-caliber, horse-drawn, fast firing small artillery pieces. Other armies did not. This is why, before Britain raised its conscript army, the British Expeditionary Force (of regulars) was able to hold off German formations ten or twenty times its numbers. A famous instance was when a German conscript attack, headed by a company of elite Prussian regulars, attacked a British battalion a tenth of its numbers in a forest. A shell-shocked Prussian prisoner and the British commander had this exchange.
--> '''Prussian''' (*understandably still nervous at being kept essentially on the front line): But sir, where is your second line?
--> '''Briton''': We seem to have misplaced it - Sergeant! Where is the second line?
--> '''Sergeant''': Don't 'ave 'un sir. Don't need 'un sir.
** How about the ridiculously commonplace 12 gauge pump action shotgun? Reliable, Accurate, relatively lightweight, Conserves ammo while still being rather fast-shooting. Most models are the build-a-bear workshop of guns- you can pick any type of stock, any capacity(through extenders), any barrel length, and any sighting arrangement. Not to mention the fact that the ammo comes in ''dozens and dozens'' of variations, from JackOfAllStats buckshot to more specialized ammunition like [[SniperPistol slugs]], [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], and even crazy things like [[FireBreathingWeapon Dragon's Breath]]. All of this is for less than a quality handgun.
*** The 12 gauge pump action shotgun is the most powerful shotgun available currently, fires fairly fast by shotgun standards being pump action, and requires very little aim. Sounds cool/interesting/awesome to me. A smaller cartridge shotgun would be almost as effective at fending off humans, fire faster, be cheaper, have cheaper ammo, be easier to fire and safer to fire.
*** No real point in stepping down to a 20 gauge, the next down of the three common sizes (12, 20, and .410 bore), unless you are a smaller shooter who physically has difficulty controlling a 12 gauge. The guns are almost always the same price and 12 gauge shells are the same or cheaper price, with more variety, and are more widely available. Rate of fire is as close as makes no difference. The smallest, a .410 bore, is too underpowered (though just like a .22 rimfire, this can be deceptive), and nowhere near as common as its two bigger brothers. Unless weight is a huge issue (e.g. a survival rifle), or you are just learning, the .410 is a no go as well. Even if you have difficulty with the recoil of a 12 gauge, you can simply use "lighter" loads.
*** Shotguns in general were particularly devastating in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, where trench warfare made them very useful once you got past the enemy's wall of dakka and needed to clear his trench. The Americans knew this well, and used the tactic so effectively that the Germans sought to have shotguns banned as a violation of [[TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar the laws of war]]. (The complaining didn't last long, since the Germans were already collapsing by the time US forces arrived in Europe).
*** Allegedly, American soldiers, who were mostly made up of rural boys with lots of hunting experience, could ''[[ImprobableAimingSkills shoot incoming grenades out of the air]]'' with their shotguns.
** Note, small arms for infantries in general are preferred to be this. Guns which are ShurFineGuns or AwesomeButImpractical are pain in the ass whether to clean or fix it every time before and after action. Special forces on the other hands could handle their guns better and could tolerate some temperamental guns. [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/AwesomeButImpractical/Military AN-94 assault rifle]] are example for such type of gun.
* The [=M2HB=] Machine Gun: developed toward the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, it has remained one of the most reliable machine guns (still in use today) for its sheer simplicity to maintain in the field due to such basic design and few parts. [[note: there's even a saying among the [[SemperFi USMC]] and the Army that the last M2 gunner hasn't been born yet]].

to:


!!!!Post-WWII
* In sea warfare mines can be described as this.
** All mines can be described like this. They're easy and cheap to make, need no maintenance once deployed, will last for decades, don't depend on either computers or humans aiming them and can terrify whole countries into inaction. Their main problems are that they don't identify friend from foe, and that they're ''too'' good - retaining all their lethality after the war is over. Sure enough, getting rid of them is a complex and expensive proposition.
* Russian small arms design deserves a standing ovation across the board, at least for the designs which wound up being mass issued in the field. To be brief..
**
The AK-47 rifle is the most widely used rifle in the world, it ain't flashy but it can be left in a puddle of mud for months and still be usable afterwords.
** Topped by the even older SKS and Sten, weapons which can and were built in people's sheds. Somewhat coupled with the M3 "Grease Gun", made by General Motors (yes, ''that'' General Motors).
** The PPS Submachine gun family. It is similar to the Sten in that it was a low cost weapon using the absolute minimum number of parts, and over 2 million were produced between 1942 and 1946. This was an often seen weapon in the Red Army, and served alongside the PPSh-41 as the weapon that most often ended up in the hands of soldiers that didn't use rifles. It was nothing to look at, but it got the job done, and when you have an underfunded, stretched thin army, that's really all that matters at the end of the day.
** Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle and its modifications: Perhaps the simplest bolt action rifle ever made, terrifyingly rugged, both it and its cartridge still serve to this day around the world. Simple as all hell to operate, aim, and maintain. Uses 7.62x54R, the oldest military cartridge still in use. Hits like a mofo out to a distance beyond which 99% of users or rifles could make hits, and is so widely available that one can be had for less than $200.
** Tokarev TT pistol: Russian pistol inspired by Browning's short action and M1911. Simplified the design, make it even more reliable, chambered it for 7.62x25, which can defeat any body armor short of rifle plates, and has an earned reputation for effectiveness. Of course very rugged and dependable. Still sees formal and informal use worldwide.
** SKS: Simple, semiautomatic rifle chambered in 7.62x39 with a fixed 10-round magazine. Known for being very reliable. While the Kalashnikov replaced it shortly into its career in Russia, the SKS has gone on to be a common sight around the world, and remains very popular on the civilian market as a cheap, yet still highly-effective, sporting rifle.
** AK: A family of weapons using a simple long stroke piston and a rotating bolt. The AK family is the global gold standard of reliability and the AK-47 and AKM have been produced more than any other gun in the world, so much so that nobody really knows how many AK's there are. Name a war, any war after 1955. AK's were in it. Mikhail Kalashnikov set out to make the simplest, toughest automatic weapon he could, and he succeeded.
** Makarov PM: The Pistol which replaced the Tokarev. The Makarov is a straight blowback 9x18mm design. It has a fixed barrel as part of the frame, making it very simple and very accurate. No linkages, locking lugs, or any of that; all that's going on is simple spring pressure from one that goes around the barrel to bring the slide back after the force of the exploding propellants of the cartridge drive it back.
* Small arms which are made by non-Russians also qualify.
** In spite of its many complainers, the AR-15 rifle and its derivatives. Eugene Stoner noticed two major issues with the existing M1 and M1-derivative rifles that the US military used in the aftermath of World War II: The wooden furniture and large bullets were heavy, and the stock being at an angle to the barrel reduced accuracy. Stoner replaced the wood with lightweight alloy and plastic, chose the smallest bullet capable of reliably killing a person (the .223 Remington, barely larger than the .22 long rifle) and made the entire weapon frame so that the stock would be in line with the barrel, reducing muzzle climb. The result is such a well-balanced rifle that although multiple attempts over the last five decades have been made to replace it, no weapon is better ''enough'' to justify doing so.
** The M-1911. It is often times called an American masterpiece of firearm design, and was only replaced by the American Army after Vietnam. With very few to no changes the design is still popular today among police officers and civilians, at least in the country of origin. It's also used in the Marines (See the MEU(SOC) Pistol) and by many American Special Forces groups, who prefer it to the M9 for the .45's excellent stopping power and the gun's world-class reliability. An over 100-years-old pistol is still the beloved favorite of soldiers generally considered to be at the cutting edge of modern warfare.
** Glock pistols fit this. A very plain looking black pistol, sometimes ridiculed by old timers as a "plastic gun," it's nevertheless one of the most reliable firearms in the world, easily on par with the AK-47's famed reliability and tolerance of abuse and neglect. And to top it off, it has very simple mechanics, lacks a traditional safety, is very simple to clean, and costs about half what most 1911 clones or high end revolvers cost. There's a reason why nearly every police department in the US has adopted this as standard issue.
** Revolvers in general. They don't carry as much ammo or look as flashy as automatics, but they have fewer components and since they don't have to deal with magazines, which are the source of 80% and some of malfunctions, reliability of a properly made revolver is incredible. Sadly, they are also often prized by criminal elements because they leave no cartridge behind for investigators. Crooks who just held up a convenience store will not spend several minutes policing up their brass.
** While we're still on the subject of firearms, how about the lowly [[http://en.
[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_Long_Rifle .22 Long Rifle cartridge]]? org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook Chinook]] transport helicopter, in production since the 1960s, is easily discernable by a unique shape with two large rotors and no tail, but is otherwise not much to look at. It has, however, a very large cargo area and can even lift field artillery right to their employment location, while also being able to operate at altitudes where most other helicopters can no longer generate enough lift to keep rising. In addition, Chinook is one of the fastest operational helicopters, so when escorted by Apache gunships, Chinooks have to slow down to let the Apaches keep up. It's rimfire, meaning actually surprising that it's low-pressure an American design and awfully weak compared not made by Russia.
** Speaking of Russian helicopter designs, there is the Mi-8. It's an ugly thing
to other ammunition, be sure, with a rail-thin tail and thus a huge bulbous body. But it is also nearly endlessly customizable, carries twenty fully-armed combat troops and can take a beating. It's been in service with the Russian military for over fifty years, and while the Ka-60 was intended to replace it, it's looking like the "Hip" is going to be around for quite a while longer.
* The B-52 has been the US Air Force's frontline heavy bomber since the 1950's, despite the fact that it's
not recommended for striking down anything larger than a rabbit. Then again, nearly as fast as the proven supersonic B-1B or as stealthy as the B-2 bombers. What it does have is a robust airframe and a [[NoKillLikeOverkill really REALLY big bomb bay]] (Can carry up to 70,000 pounds of bombs) with the capability of carrying literally every bomb or missile the USAF has. It regularly outperforms its more advanced cousins with the added bonus of being much cheaper to maintain. The design is [[OlderThanRadio older than so good that the USAF plans to keep it in service until 2045, which would make the B-52 airframe ''over 90 years old'' by the time it's retired, a feat unmatched by any human alive]], other aircraft.
** Except the Soviet/Russian Tu-95 (NATO reporting name "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95 Bear]]"). Came into service a year after the B-52, and expected to serve until the same time as the B-52. Even better, the thing is still propellor-driven!
* A-10 Thunderbolt AKA "The Warthog". The Air Force is constantly saying they want to retire the plane and bring in something new but they haven't found anything close to it's capabilities in close air support. The plane itself
has less shock a fairly simple design: take the largest machine gun ever created and build an ugly flying tank around it. It has an enormous cannon, excellent maneuverability, can carry missiles for air-to-air, carries rockets and bombs for air-to-ground, and the sound of it's gun is psychologically terrifying.
** The US Army has basically flat out said that the A-10 is irreplaceable and if the Air Force retires it, they want it.
* Lift jets. When the Soviets were designing a successor to the generally horrible Yak-38 VTOL fighter, the intended replacement, Yak-41, was originally to use the setup similar to its later successor, Lockheed-Martin F-35B,[[note]]Yakovlev briefly collaborated with Lockheed in the [[TheNewRussia early Nineties]], selling them all docs about then recently cancelled Yak-41, some of which ended in F-35 project.[[/note]] with a single vectored-thrust engine, which also drives the large lift fan through a geared shaft. The development of the engine had a lot of technical problems, though, so designers simply stuck a pair of a dedicated small turbojets in the fan's place as an interim solution. And then it turned out that these jets were not only lighter
than a pellet rifle, large and is complex fan, but also were much more compact, consumed less fuel and provided better lift, so ubiquitous that you can buy hundreds the fan project was swiftly dropped and never resurfaced afterwards.
* {{Attack Drone}}s. Considered to be the {{Spiritual Successor}}s
of rounds WW2-era biplanes, [=UAVs=] are affordable and expendable aircraft for a few bucks. It's what competitors use in the Olympics. And yes, it can kill someone, although it is highly inadvisable to recommend it for any kind of social use. Also, being a "weak" rimfire, it escapes most restrictions on what types of guns you can buy in urban America, meaning you can legally possess an "assault weapon" even in gun-phobic states like California, as long as it is chambered for a .22LR
** During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Lee-Enfield was certainly this.
conducting reconnaissance and strike roles. While all a typical drone like the nations used bolt-action rifles to varying extent, Britian was the only one to not pursue a semi-automatic one at all. The rifle was accurate, had ten shots MQ-9 Reaper may seem as dull and ungainly compared to the [=Kar98k=]'s five and most importantly was extremely reliable. In high-tech manned F-35A, it has a per-unit price tag of $19 million compared to the hands of a skilled marksman, it can fire up to twenty aimed shots in about a minute. In fact, the current world record $98 million for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a British Army instructor, who managed to squeeze out ''thirty eight aimed shots in under a minute'', all of which hit a 24-inch target at 300 yards.
*** Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire
each F-35A. Furthermore, as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms, but drones lack pilots, they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges (in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of aren't weighed down by the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action), bulky life-support systems and more suitable for stealth (they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely won't leave behind a pilot to be revealed rescued. Not to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air). They can also chamber powerful cartridges mention that their small sizes gives them natural radar-evasion abilities without increasing the size/weight of the weapons [[note: a well-known example: Trying to shoot the more powerful 5.56x45mm NATO in autoloading rifles chambered for the identical .223 Remington might result in a malfunction, but bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington can fire 5.56x45mm NATO without much incident]]- some of the most powerful elephant guns are almost the same size as your typical deer rifle.
*** The British, in the run-up to UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, placed enormous value on infantry rate-of-fire, because this A: was what had smashed Napoleon,
expensive and B: was the best tactic against armies of tribesmen. Similarly, they used small-caliber, horse-drawn, fast firing small artillery pieces. Other armies did not. This is why, before Britain raised its conscript army, the British Expeditionary Force (of regulars) was able to hold off German formations ten or twenty times its numbers. A famous instance was when a German conscript attack, headed by a company of elite Prussian regulars, attacked a British battalion a tenth of its numbers in a forest. A shell-shocked Prussian prisoner and the British commander had this exchange.
--> '''Prussian''' (*understandably still nervous at being kept essentially on the front line): But sir, where is your second line?
--> '''Briton''': We seem to have misplaced it - Sergeant! Where is the second line?
--> '''Sergeant''': Don't 'ave 'un sir. Don't need 'un sir.
** How about the ridiculously commonplace 12 gauge pump action shotgun? Reliable, Accurate, relatively lightweight, Conserves ammo while still being rather fast-shooting. Most models are the build-a-bear workshop of guns- you can pick any type of stock, any capacity(through extenders), any barrel length, and any sighting arrangement. Not to mention the fact that the ammo comes in ''dozens and dozens'' of variations, from JackOfAllStats buckshot to more specialized ammunition like [[SniperPistol slugs]], [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], and even crazy things like [[FireBreathingWeapon Dragon's Breath]]. All of this is for less than a quality handgun.
*** The 12 gauge pump action shotgun is the most powerful shotgun available currently, fires fairly fast by shotgun standards being pump action, and requires very little aim. Sounds cool/interesting/awesome to me. A smaller cartridge shotgun would be almost as effective at fending off humans, fire faster, be cheaper, have cheaper ammo, be easier to fire and safer to fire.
*** No real point in stepping down to a 20 gauge, the next down of the three common sizes (12, 20, and .410 bore), unless you are a smaller shooter who physically has difficulty controlling a 12 gauge. The guns are almost always the same price and 12 gauge shells are the same or cheaper price, with more variety, and are more widely available. Rate of fire is as close as makes no difference. The smallest, a .410 bore, is too underpowered (though just like a .22 rimfire, this can be deceptive), and nowhere near as common as its two bigger brothers. Unless weight is a huge issue (e.g. a survival rifle), or you are just learning, the .410 is a no go as well. Even if you have difficulty with the recoil of a 12 gauge, you can simply use "lighter" loads.
*** Shotguns in general were particularly devastating in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, where trench warfare made them very useful once you got past the enemy's wall of dakka and needed to clear his trench. The Americans knew this well, and used the tactic so effectively that the Germans sought to have shotguns banned as a violation of [[TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar the laws of war]]. (The complaining didn't last long, since the Germans were already collapsing by the time US forces arrived in Europe).
*** Allegedly, American soldiers, who were mostly made up of rural boys with lots of hunting experience, could ''[[ImprobableAimingSkills shoot incoming grenades out of the air]]'' with their shotguns.
** Note, small arms for infantries in general are preferred to be this. Guns which are ShurFineGuns or AwesomeButImpractical are pain in the ass whether to clean or fix it every time before and after action. Special forces on the other hands could handle their guns better and could tolerate some temperamental guns. [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/AwesomeButImpractical/Military AN-94 assault rifle]] are example for such type of gun.
* The [=M2HB=] Machine Gun: developed toward the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, it has remained one of the most reliable machine guns (still in use today) for its sheer simplicity
difficult to maintain stealth technology. With the increasing costs of manufacturing aircraft and greater availability of cheap anti-air missiles, many nations are relying more on low-risk, inexpensive attack drones for combat operations.
** The US Navy is testing the stealth-equipped [=UAVs=] for use on aircraft carriers. In a surprise twist, they've decided [[http://warisboring.com/articles/the-navys-first-carrier-drone-will-be-a-flying-gas-tank/ the first things these drones should do]] is not combat, but rather [[MundaneUtility mid-air refueling]]... which actually makes a lot of sense. Programming a drone to fly in a straight line long enough for a friendly jet to refuel, and then return to base is much simpler than programming a drone to fly in combat and fire weapons at enemies. Fuel tankers are a boring yet [[EasyLogistics incredibly important component of war]], which makes them [[VulnerableConvoy priority targets]], and using a stealthy airframe will contribute to their survival rates.

!!!Navy
* Liberty Ships. Spacious, cheap enough a single delivery had already paid for their cost, and produced in such large numbers Germany and Japan literally could not sink enough to actually slow down the supply train. They were so practical that several went on to have prolonged post-war careers in both private and military service, with one managing to remain with the U.S. Navy as late as 1981.
* One more non-combat vehicle that proved instrumental was the Higgins Boat, cheap (most of it was made of wood) and effective,
in the field due to such basic design and few parts. [[note: there's even a saying among region of 20,000 were eventually produced.
* In an era where naval warfare is more or less showcased by
the [[SemperFi USMC]] aircraft carrier and the Army submarine, the bulk of any navy remains the surface ship. Carriers may hold those nifty fighter planes you'd see in ''Film/TopGun'' or ''Film/IndependenceDay'', and submarines are renowned terrors of the deep, but neither are as versatile as the modern day destroyer or frigate, which can do anything from shoot missiles, aircraft and ''satellites'' out of the sky to hunt submarines and other ships to, in some cases, bombard inland targets. And that's before one gets into amphibious operations...
** Amongst
that number, the last M2 gunner hasn't been born yet]].''Arleigh Burke'' destroyer is becoming this, at least compared to newer, post-millennium ships. Whereas most modern day ships are designed for at least one area of specialization (usually air defense), the ''Burke'' was meant to be a venerable JackOfAllTrades, covering almost every conceivable mission profile the US Navy was expected to face with ''extreme prejudice''. Sure, it doesn't excel at anti-air warfare like Britain's Type 45 destroyer, nor can it perform shore bombardments the way the ''Zumwalt'' can, but it normally outperforms such ships in everything else while going about the aforementioned roles adequately enough. And to top it off, the US Navy has more ''Burkes'' in its inventory (with many more soon to follow) than most countries have ''ships'' period, making it the modern, war-oriented equivalent of ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s ''Constitution''-class starship.

!!!Artillery



* True castles, as compared to palaces or houses "InspiredBy" castle architecture. Being built for defense and protection means that they're usually cold, dark, and not very nice to look at. But hey, it withstands a siege really well!
** The Medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, successfully stood the fire of the modern artillery by the Serbian besieging troops for almost six months in the Croatian War of Independence 1992. Not only was the city not conquered then, but it has never been conquered in its whole history.
** British Fourteenth Army ran into a similar problem in the reconquest of Burma in 1945. The walled city of Yangon had to be besieged, forcing a throwback to mediaeval siege tactics, to win it back from the Japanese. Its thousand year old walls could only be breached by bringing up some of the heaviest guns possessed by the Royal Artillery - weapons designed to throw a shell nearly twenty miles - and have them firing point-blank at the wall for several days until they forced a breach. Which then had to be stormed by assault infantry, much as Henry V stormed Calais in 1414...
** Trenches. Bad guys have guns? Big guns? Artillery? Dig a ditch and use it for cover. Foxholes are an even simpler version, literally just being a big hole you dig up and hide in. You can even put a smaller deeper hole in the middle of it in case the bad guys chuck a grenade at you. Just kick the grenade into the hole and your chances of surviving just went up considerably. If you're in a hurry, just scrape out a "Ranger Grave", a slit trench barely big enough for you to lie in. It's not comfortable, and in fact it's barely adequate, but it will give you considerably more protection than being at ground level. More than a few extended battles in modern history could be described as brief periods of fighting punctuated by long periods of soldiers digging constantly to turn their patch of grass into a slit trench, then into a foxhole, then into a better foxhole.
* For all the focus most writers and the general public place on bold high-risk operations, the majority of useful intelligence has been and probably will continue to be gathered through open sources. This means newspapers, blogs, media, and anything else that anybody can have a gander at. To quote General Anthony Charles Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command (CINCENT): "80% of what I needed to know as CINCENT I got from open sources rather than classified reporting. And within the remaining 20%, if I knew what to look for, I found another 16%. At the end of it all, classified intelligence provided me, at best, with 4% of my command knowledge."
** This is true also for civilian/technological espionage. While KGB might've used James Bond-ian spies to steal highly classified industrial information, the bulk of tech data soviets were receiving from the west was retrieved by an army of simple office workers who read everyday every single scientific and technical magazine, publication or book available on the "capitalist" market.
** It even works with negative information - prior to and during WWII, nuclear physicists around the world could tell that many governments were researching atomic bombs because [[ItsQuietTooQuiet their colleagues had stopped publishing papers]] (i.e., their research had become classified).
** One popular tactic to gauge how high an intelligence agency's alert level is is to take a quick glance at their parking lot and see how many cars are parked there.
** An example of just how simple intelligence gathering can be: after writing ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Creator/TomClancy was visited by government agents who were very put out that the book had discussed highly classified aspects of modern submarine technology. Clancy was able to get off the hook by showing that he had gotten all his information by going to the local library, reading up on unclassified information there, and just doing a little extrapolating. All that top-secret information was essentially lying around in the open for anyone who cared to invest in nothing more than a ''library card'' and a few hours of studying.
* The knife. Sure, it's probably mankind's oldest tool, but it has that title for a reason. It's a tool you can use to cut, as well as make new tools with. It is such an effective weapon that it is the only remaining pre-gunpowder era weapon that still sees consistent use with the military. In fact, its utility is only limited by the materials used to make it and the amount of force that can be applied to it.
** Really, a knife is this in spades. It also falls into SimpleYetAwesome territory when you take into account the sheer versatility of a good unspecialized knife. It has literally countless uses, even around the average home (Cutting open packaging, use as an impromptu screwdriver or hammer with the butt, use in place of scissors, and that's saying nothing of its culinary applications), and if you ever ask a survivalist what three things to take into any survival type situation, they'll list off "Knife, fire or way to make fire, and clean water" in that order. If you're stuck in the woods with just a knife (or [[Literature/BriansSaga a hatchet]]), with a little thought you have it made--a knife can net you all the tools you need to make fire, get food, and get the resources to make clean, drinkable water. Saying nothing of its self defense applications, a knife is probably the single most versatile tool ever created.
* Ground-based Anti-Aircraft systems are pretty boring compared to sleek and sophisticated jet fighters going missile-to-missile, but planes are expensive to manufacture and pilots are expensive to train and difficult to replace, especially the best ones. A well-utilized Surface-To-Air missile network and anti-aircraft artillery is a very cost-effective way to establish air dominance, as both the VietnamWar and the [[ArabIsraeliConflict Yom Kippur War]] proved. This is primarily the reason why stealth aircraft are becoming popular, because many nations are shrinking their Air Forces and widening the use of their ground-to-air systems.

to:

* True castles, as compared to palaces or houses "InspiredBy" castle architecture. Being built for defense and protection means that they're usually cold, dark, and not very nice to look at. But hey, it withstands a siege really well!
** The Medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, successfully stood the fire of the modern artillery by the Serbian besieging troops for almost six months in the Croatian War of Independence 1992. Not only was the city not conquered then, but it has never been conquered in its whole history.
** British Fourteenth Army ran into a similar problem in the reconquest of Burma in 1945. The walled city of Yangon had to be besieged, forcing a throwback to mediaeval siege tactics, to win it back from the Japanese. Its thousand year old walls could only be breached by bringing up some of the heaviest guns possessed by the Royal Artillery - weapons designed to throw a shell nearly twenty miles - and have them firing point-blank at the wall for several days until they forced a breach. Which then had to be stormed by assault infantry, much as Henry V stormed Calais in 1414...
** Trenches. Bad guys have guns? Big guns? Artillery? Dig a ditch and use it for cover. Foxholes are an even simpler version, literally just being a big hole you dig up and hide in. You can even put a smaller deeper hole in the middle of it in case the bad guys chuck a grenade at you. Just kick the grenade into the hole and your chances of surviving just went up considerably. If you're in a hurry, just scrape out a "Ranger Grave", a slit trench barely big enough for you to lie in. It's not comfortable, and in fact it's barely adequate, but it will give you considerably more protection than being at ground level. More than a few extended battles in modern history could be described as brief periods of fighting punctuated by long periods of soldiers digging constantly to turn their patch of grass into a slit trench, then into a foxhole, then into a better foxhole.
* For all the focus most writers and the general public place on bold high-risk operations, the majority of useful intelligence has been and probably will continue to be gathered through open sources. This means newspapers, blogs, media, and anything else that anybody can have a gander at. To quote General Anthony Charles Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command (CINCENT): "80% of what I needed to know as CINCENT I got from open sources rather than classified reporting. And within the remaining 20%, if I knew what to look for, I found another 16%. At the end of it all, classified intelligence provided me, at best, with 4% of my command knowledge."
** This is true also for civilian/technological espionage. While KGB might've used James Bond-ian spies to steal highly classified industrial information, the bulk of tech data soviets were receiving from the west was retrieved by an army of simple office workers who read everyday every single scientific and technical magazine, publication or book available on the "capitalist" market.
** It even works with negative information - prior to and during WWII, nuclear physicists around the world could tell that many governments were researching atomic bombs because [[ItsQuietTooQuiet their colleagues had stopped publishing papers]] (i.e., their research had become classified).
** One popular tactic to gauge how high an intelligence agency's alert level is is to take a quick glance at their parking lot and see how many cars are parked there.
** An example of just how simple intelligence gathering can be: after writing ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Creator/TomClancy was visited by government agents who were very put out that the book had discussed highly classified aspects of modern submarine technology. Clancy was able to get off the hook by showing that he had gotten all his information by going to the local library, reading up on unclassified information there, and just doing a little extrapolating. All that top-secret information was essentially lying around in the open for anyone who cared to invest in nothing more than a ''library card'' and a few hours of studying.
* The knife. Sure, it's probably mankind's oldest tool, but it has that title for a reason. It's a tool you can use to cut, as well as make new tools with. It is such an effective weapon that it is the only remaining pre-gunpowder era weapon that still sees consistent use with the military. In fact, its utility is only limited by the materials used to make it and the amount of force that can be applied to it.
** Really, a knife is this in spades. It also falls into SimpleYetAwesome territory when you take into account the sheer versatility of a good unspecialized knife. It has literally countless uses, even around the average home (Cutting open packaging, use as an impromptu screwdriver or hammer with the butt, use in place of scissors, and that's saying nothing of its culinary applications), and if you ever ask a survivalist what three things to take into any survival type situation, they'll list off "Knife, fire or way to make fire, and clean water" in that order. If you're stuck in the woods with just a knife (or [[Literature/BriansSaga a hatchet]]), with a little thought you have it made--a knife can net you all the tools you need to make fire, get food, and get the resources to make clean, drinkable water. Saying nothing of its self defense applications, a knife is probably the single most versatile tool ever created.
* Ground-based Anti-Aircraft systems are pretty boring compared to sleek and sophisticated jet fighters going missile-to-missile, but planes are expensive to manufacture and pilots are expensive to train and difficult to replace, especially the best ones. A well-utilized Surface-To-Air missile network and anti-aircraft artillery is a very cost-effective way to establish air dominance, as both the VietnamWar Vietnam war and the [[ArabIsraeliConflict [[UsefulNotes/ArabIsraeliConflict Yom Kippur War]] proved. This is primarily the reason why stealth aircraft are becoming popular, because many nations are shrinking their Air Forces and widening the use of their ground-to-air systems.systems.

!!!Other weapons
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, statistically, very few German tanks were destroyed by other tanks or air support. Most were destroyed by three or four men sitting in the bushes with an anti-tank {{BFG}}, waiting for some lumbering behemoth to come into view and nailing it. Certainly practical, but people don't really find that stuff very interesting, instead tending to be more enamoured by vivid images of the massive tank-on-tank battles of the Eastern front, or USAF Thunderbolts and RAF Typhoons raining fire down on German tanks.
** Actually, what really stopped the most German tanks was the disruption of their logistics: attacks on their supply lines by the aforementioned aircraft effectively blunted many German offensives. Sure, it was possible for them to attain initial successes, but once their tanks ran out of fuel, they could no longer take new ground, turning their tanks into nothing more than highly vulnerable pillboxes; once they ran out of ammunition or fuel, they would then be forced to surrender, or abandon everything and retreat.
* The anti-tank guns successors are the rocket launchers. As mentioned above, the likes of the Bazooka, RPG-7, and Panzerfaust are easy to use and are much cheaper than tanks or other vehicles. A modern tank can cost as much as $10 million while an RPG-7 costs only $500. Even the most expensive man-portable missile launchers like the Javelin and TOW can easily destroy a tank that cost 500 times as much as a single launcher. Tanks have evolved to the point of being AwesomeButImpractical as their costs are ridiculous to give them enough armor to survive any rocket shots. Even a vehicle that is capable of surviving a shot can easily be shot by many more or put out of action for repairs.
** More expensive guided weapons like the Stinger or MILAN are still practical, shooting down expensive planes, helicopters, or tanks.
* Sea warfare mines can be described as this. Hell, ''all'' mines can be described like this. They're easy and cheap to make, need no maintenance once deployed, will last for decades, don't depend on either computers or humans aiming them and can terrify whole countries into inaction. Their main problems are that they don't identify friend from foe, and that they're ''too'' good - retaining all their lethality after the war is over. Sure enough, getting rid of them is a complex and expensive proposition.

!!!Misc. Equipment
* The tents used by the German scouting movement. Designed in the waning years of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic by one Eberhard Köbel (aka tusk) on the basis of Scandinavian and Mongol tents, they can basically all be constructed from simple triangular or rectangular pieces of black cloth. The standard issue [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohte Kohte]] takes no more than four identical pieces which can be carried easily by the people sleeping in that tent when on the road. Even a single piece can serve as an [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Gro%C3%9Ffahrt_des_Pfadfinderstammes_%C3%84gypten_entlang_der_Thei%C3%9F%2C_1992_-_1.png impromptu shelter]] in a pinch. Add a bit of dedication and architecture and you get into decidedly AwesomeButImpractical territory like [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Jurtenburg.jpg this]] or [[http://www.theblackmagic.de/index.php?id=51&L=1 this]] UpToEleven version.



* The elaborate Ultra operation by which the British managed to break many of the German Enigma codes and the Magic operation by which the Americans managed to break various high-grade Japanese codes are all well known. What received a lot less attention was the Germans breaking the British merchant marine codes. That was a rather simpler matter, but nevertheless brought the Western allies close to losing the Battle of the Atlantic in 1942.
* Despite having an arsenal of high-tech weaponry, the ability to call down airstrikes at the ready, the very latest in military vehicle technology and the best equipment available to a soldier, U.S Special Operations forces in the early part of the Afghan war found the best way to get around in isolated, mountainous country was the same one that the Afghans had used for centuries; the horse. Mules are generally preferred. Indeed it's now considered so important for operations in mountainous regions that the Marines' Mountain Warfare Training Center runs an 11-day course on Animal packing.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Nail French Nail.]] In the early days of World War One when trench warfare was the name of the game. Unfortunately military intelligence and supply hadn't yet caught up to the actual battlefield conditions and were supplying long rifles and sword-like bayonets to the troops that were far too cumbersome to use. So what did the French do for trench raiding weaponry? They stole barb wire posts from the German lines and wrought them into the form of crude stabbing implements that were much more compact and maneuverable. After it was deployed against them the Germans took a cue from the French and did the same with their own equipment.
* Taking down a castle is hard work, and almost impossible without either an extreme numeric advantage, lot's of equipment, and help from the inside. Unless you surrounded the castle, killed anyone who tried to bring in supplies, and wait till the defenders surrender or starve.
** Sieges in general can be considered this for ancient and medieval warfare in general. Open battles were extremely risky affairs that could lead to huge losses on both sides, and were often only willingly carried out if one side greatly held the advantage. A siege, on the other hand, was a comparatively simple waiting game that if done successfully, would lead to a surrendered enemy army to be held as hostages, a captured enemy territory, and minimal losses on the attacker's side, although when you have thousands upon thousands of men gathered together in filthy conditions, infectious disease loves to scoff at your sure thing.
** The Trebuchet and Catapult lobbing stones at a castle wall while still pretty impressive looking, is far less glamorous and "Epic" than simply sending men with ladders at the castle or a battering ram. Yet despite this, it's safer, and when you either need to take the castle quickly or retreat, far more effective than simply running in.
* The [[DropTheHammer warhammer]]: Step 1: Take a (somewhat largish) regular hammer. Step 2: Give it a longer handle. You now have one of the most effective weapons of the pre-gunpowder era. Is your enemy unarmored? Simple, crack his skull. Is your enemy armored? Simple, crack his skull--his helmet might keep him from dying, but he'll be so dazed anyway there's no functional difference.
** Enemy still on his feet? Turn it around and swing again. Almost all warhammers had a solid spike on the opposite side. Very few weapons could pierce armor like that little beauty.
* The Spartans had three advantages over the hoplites of the rest of Greece. [[TheSpartanWay Their physical training is the most famous]], but the truly decisive ones were the discipline to turn their phalanx (meaning they could suddenly change direction and charge an enemy phalanx on the side, if the terrain allowed it) and ''knowing how to use their decorative swords''. The latter carried the day at Plataea: the Persians had figured they could effectively disable the hoplites by grabbing their spears and use their own swords and were defeating the Tegean force this way, but when the Spartans reacted to the trick by simply drawing ''their'' swords the Persians found themselves at point one.
** It must be noticed that the Spartans had a number of serious issues, though. The first was that the TrainingFromHell of TheSpartanWay ultimately meant that enormous proportions of their male population either died or failed out of the Agoge, meaning that in spite of every boy being drafted, perhaps most never even made it to the force. Secondly, the insistence on never retreating meant that entire units of great warriors were lost instead of living to fight another day, if not only fall back out of a bad position to continue the battle in a more viable position. Thirdly, tactical inflexibility meant that Spartan armies often were ultimately just outmaneuvered or cornered. Fourthly, records show that Sparta did not have an amazing record of CurbStompBattles; they could be beaten and it was not a rare event, and it was at the hands of armies of citizen soldiers and mercenaries.
** The Spartans also had an extremely serious disadvantages which is so boring but important it is typically overlooked. The training and singularly-focused martial culture required to produce a Spartiate meant that, to a far greater extent than its contemporaries, Sparta relied on large numbers of slaves – the helots, an unusually cruelly oppressed slave class. This meant that the total number of Spartiates, especially in later years after the Peloponnesian Wars had killed many of them, was actually extremely small. They were tactically effective but Spartan institutions could not economically or culturally sustain enough individuals whose defining feature was that they did not labor for their contingent to be reliably decisive in battles. Worse, the crippling imbalance between a minority of armed-to-the-teeth ''homoioi'' and oppressed-but-seriously-pissed-off helot slaves meant that the Spartans regularly could not field their army, or have it on campaign too long, or too far away, for fear of a slave revolt killing their families at home and crippling their shaky economic foundations. This fear was totally justified - there were a number of strategically very significant helot rebellions. It's hard to read about Spartan social institutions, especially their treatment of the helots, and come away still thinking highly of the culture (though maybe that's just what the Athenians want you to think).
* Lift jets. When the Soviets were designing a successor to the generally horrible Yak-38 VTOL fighter, the intended replacement, Yak-41, was originally to use the setup similar to its later successor, Lockheed-Martin F-35B,[[note]]Yakovlev briefly collaborated with Lockheed in the [[TheNewRussia early Nineties]], selling them all docs about then recently cancelled Yak-41, some of which ended in F-35 project.[[/note]] with a single vectored-thrust engine, which also drives the large lift fan through a geared shaft. The development of the engine had a lot of technical problems, though, so designers simply stuck a pair of a dedicated small turbojets in the fan's place as an interim solution. And then it turned out that these jets were not only lighter than a large and complex fan, but also were much more compact, consumed less fuel and provided better lift, so the fan project was swiftly dropped and never resurfaced afterwards.
* Rocket launchers. As mentioned above, the likes of the Bazooka, RPG-7, and Panzerfaust are easy to use and are much cheaper than tanks or other vehicles. A modern tank can cost as much as $10 million while an RPG-7 costs only $500. Even the most expensive man-portable missile launchers like the Javelin and TOW can easily destroy a tank that cost 500 times as much as a single launcher. Tanks have evolved to the point of being AwesomeButImpractical as their costs are ridiculous to give them enough armor to survive any rocket shots. Even a vehicle that is capable of surviving a shot can easily be shot by many more or put out of action for repairs.
** More expensive guided weapons like the Stinger or MILAN are still practical, shooting down expensive planes, helicopters, or tanks.
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, statistically, very few German tanks were destroyed by other tanks or air support. Most were destroyed by three or four men sitting in the bushes with an anti-tank {{BFG}}, waiting for some lumbering behemoth to come into view and nailing it. Certainly practical, but people don't really find that stuff very interesting, instead tending to be more enamoured by vivid images of the massive tank-on-tank battles of the Eastern front, or USAF Thunderbolts and RAF Typhoons raining fire down on German tanks.
** Actually, what really stopped the most German tanks was the disruption of their logistics: attacks on their supply lines by the aforementioned aircraft effectively blunted many German offensives. Sure, it was possible for them to attain initial successes, but once their tanks ran out of fuel, they could no longer take new ground, turning their tanks into nothing more than highly vulnerable pillboxes; once they ran out of ammunition or fuel, they would then be forced to surrender, or abandon everything and retreat.
* The above-mentioned A-10 Thunderbolt (AKA the Warthog) is another example. The Air Force is constantly saying they want to retire the plane and bring in something new but they haven't found anything close to it's capabilities in close air support. The plane itself has a fairly simple design: take the largest machine gun ever created and build an ugly flying tank around it. It has an enormous cannon, excellent maneuverability, can carry missiles for air-to-air, carries rockets and bombs for air-to-ground, and the sound of it's gun is psychologically terrifying.
** The US Army has basically flat out said that the A-10 is irreplaceable and if the Air Force retires it, they want it.
* The U.S. Navy is testing [[AttackDrone stealth-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles]] for use on aircraft carriers. In a surprise twist, they've decided [[http://warisboring.com/articles/the-navys-first-carrier-drone-will-be-a-flying-gas-tank/ the first things these drones should do]] is not combat, but rather [[MundaneUtility mid-air refueling]]... which actually makes a lot of sense. Programming a drone to fly in a straight line long enough for a friendly jet to refuel, and then return to base is much simpler than programming a drone to fly in combat and fire weapons at enemies. Fuel tankers are a boring yet [[EasyLogistics incredibly important component of war]], which makes them [[VulnerableConvoy priority targets]], and using a stealthy airframe will contribute to their survival rates.
* The tents used by the German scouting movement. Designed in the waning years of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic by one Eberhard Köbel (aka tusk) on the basis of Scandinavian and Mongol tents, they can basically all be constructed from simple triangular or rectangular pieces of black cloth. The standard issue [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohte Kohte]] takes no more than four identical pieces which can be carried easily by the people sleeping in that tent when on the road. Even a single piece can serve as an [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Gro%C3%9Ffahrt_des_Pfadfinderstammes_%C3%84gypten_entlang_der_Thei%C3%9F%2C_1992_-_1.png impromptu shelter]] in a pinch. Add a bit of dedication and architecture and you get into decidedly AwesomeButImpractical territory like [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Jurtenburg.jpg this]] or [[http://www.theblackmagic.de/index.php?id=51&L=1 this]] UpToEleven version.
* In various tropical and subtropical countries, any [[MacheteMayhem machete-like blade]] is this. Like the axe to Europeans and North Americans, machete has self-defense use as well as mundane use. Frequently used to cut through rain forest undergrowth, removing small branches and plants, for agricultural purposes (e.g. cutting sugar cane) any many other use.
** Basically any weapon derived from agricultural blade, sickle, and knife is this, as they have both mundane use and self defense weapon use i.e. it is common sight for any Nepalese farmer to wield [[KukrisAreKool kukri]] while they work and some schools of martial arts in Java and Madura even developed some moves using sickle.
28th Nov '16 4:32:02 PM Caripija_XXX
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Added DiffLines:

*The viking helmet, [[HornyVikings no,]] [[http://www.heritageofscotland.com/pictures/g-hq484016b327254.jpg not]][[http://static.webshopapp.com/shops/036206/files/033216014/horned-helmet.jpg that]][[http://www.gdfb.co.uk/ekmps/shops/11b299/images/larp-viking-horned-helmet-757-p.jpg one]], ah yes, [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/c7/a1/32c7a1b77a868a37bceaf09721d2afe3.jpg this one]] may be dissapointing because it doesn't have the same VisualEffectsOfAwesome than the fake ones, but these actually are more practical, why? you may ask. these helmets as you can see does not only have a nose guard(which is pretty useful), but also has a cheek guard, which protects you from eye and face attacks, you may get a little scratch if they hit you, but you will be still safe [[spoiler:[[CaptainObvious Unless he cuts you in your throat]]]], if that weren't sufficent, it also have a neck guard on the back, which pervents [[BackStab backstabbing]]. Pretty much a useful helmet.
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