Research question for a novel

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Brad63, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Brad63

    Brad63 New Member

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    Greetings,

    I'm working on a fantasy novel set on a parallel Earth with an early 1900's level of technology and military elements and I need to know if an assumption I have made seems completely realistic, sort of realistic or just plain silly. Please bear in my mind, I have no experience with guns.

    Picture a group of soldiers (the good guys) walking across open ground in a loose formation towards a concealed enemy squad consisting of competent marksmen using open sight rifles.

    If the good guys' uniform includes a belt halfway up the torso, either because the pants are really high or they wear tunics or jackets with belts, would the belt give an enemy marksman something to aim at? I'm thinking black belts and boots with khaki uniforms.

    My assumption is that such a uniform might dramatically increase the likelihood of gut wounds.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    POA ( point of aim) and POI (point of impact) are seperate items

    with 1900's technology and the drop on the .303 of the day martini rifle say,

    and the range was 200 meters, POI would be 7" lower than POA if the sites where perfectly paralell with the barrel, , but they are not, so assuming this parrelell world had the same understanding we would have

    then the adjusted sight should theoretically put the POI at the same point as POA sights where adjustable then, some out to 2000 yards for vollet fire

    ( everyone in the group setting site at 2000 yards and firing at once )

    and if you read history of that period its rather effective, especially if you have a hundred folks volley firing , say, a shot every 4-5 seconds..

    a 1901 shooting match here in Australia showed that a bullseye was a bullseye same as today and they hit what they aimed at

    if however in your paralell world they did not "offset" the sites then the result would theoretically be a lot of shot groins , nasty to contemplate eh

    cheers

    jack
  3. Brad63

    Brad63 New Member

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    Thanks for that Jack.

    The info about drop and offset is all useful to throw in for realism, possibly as snippets of dialogue.

    What I'm wondering about is that if a belt is conspicuous by being black against a khaki uniform and is halfway up the body, would a marksman have a natural tendency to focus on the belt, or near the belt, especially if POA and POI were going to be about the same?

    To me it makes a certain kind of sense that they might because if you aim for the middle of a torso, and you're slightly off, you've still got a good chance of hitting somewhere on the torso and bringing your target down.

    If I put this in a novel, are people with experience at shooting, either in hunting or combat, going to think it's stupid?
  4. sandkicker

    sandkicker New Member

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    re:" would the belt give an enemy marksman something to aim at? I'm thinking black belts and boots with khaki uniforms.

    My assumption is that such a uniform might dramatically increase the likelihood of gut wounds."

    OK....??? so, you'd have a bunch of casualties that per 1900 technology weren't going to die right away, just later... and they aren't going to be walking around much regardless....and this is an issue, why?

    I'd rather hazard the guess that if the enemy was "trained", they'd be trained to aim for center of mass, not some "feature"... If the light was wrong, the belts would not be visible.

    That BTW is one reason our troops wear camo... Then again, circa 1900 many European troops wore quite (by our standards) outlandish uniforms... especially the Austrians, if I recall correctly. It's not just the question of 1900 technology you have to look at, are these folks as the same stage as we were in mass producing death as we were from a tactics and policy basis?

    Remember... most wars are initially fought using the last war's tactics and weapons.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    I read a copy of a diary of a Lt Griffith one of G Washington's Shock troop commanders

    the British marines had a crossed belt that the centre of which was

    if i remember the quote

    "just made for aiming at and killing the pompous fools"

    where as the infantry had a single sash style belt but with a buckle that

    "should be aimed a smidgion to the right of"

    as it was level with the heat but averaged on the right side of the wearer

    maybe i have the infantry and marines belts reversed, it was a while since i studied the revolutonary war ( or the war of independance as you folks call it)

    Australia is a britich colony too so the brits call it a revolt, you call it getting free, same war but differing names from differing sides , perspective eh..

    when i was facing Khmer Rougue they often had magazines for thier AK's on thier chest and these where a great aiming point at distance

    they where cheap cotton type fabric and they faded with age and weathering and stood out compared to the uniform

    if they give you a aiming point use it i reckon

    but most military teach

    "aim at the centre of the seen target"
    so gut shots are probably the most common direct fire wounds if accurate

    but accuracy decreases the more folks involved and the more accurate the return fire is so .. make up your own mind

    more get wounded in battle than killed out right or thats the average

    sometimes not like all things in war there are no set rules other than people die , people get wounded, and thats not the limit of damage, wounds of the mind can take years to minifest themselves as your veterans and ours here show us

    i after much practise choose chest shots and adjust my sights in the manner described by a southern officer Buford, one of the best long distance raiders ever, a dead set racist, but one of the best tatcial blokes ever.

    he had smith's adapt sites for his men so the chest was the POA and filled the site at the maximum optimim range and feel it sad because he was a southerner and outragious racist that his insight was never adopted as a standard military practice

    his wisdom has helped me still be here today i beleive with all my heart and will not be convinced otherwise

    read about him to realise what a few good men can do in hard times with little resources but lots of cunning

    i can recomend the writing that biography Col Rodgers of Rodgers rangers fame( first use of green uniforms) to avoid the aim point issue i forget his words but that will give you all you need about belts and showy uniforms and what they can be used for by an enemy

    and lastly Lord Horatio Nelson he was shot through the biggest medal he had as it was a 4" cross of silver , what a aiming mark !!

    hope this helps

    cheers

    jack
  6. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay New Member

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    uniform mattesr little--
    the term 'point blank' refers to aiming at a man and hitting him between the shoulders and groin from a distance in-your-face to 300 yards.

    what they are wearing means more to their tailor than the enemy
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    The term point blank range is of French origin. The center of a target was once a small white spot and the French for white is blanc, and aim is point. The term therefore means "aim at the center of the target."
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  8. Brad63

    Brad63 New Member

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    Jack, thank you for that. It's just what I need.

    Thanks to everyone else for their input as well.
  9. sandkicker

    sandkicker New Member

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    Read some David Drake...
  10. Brad63

    Brad63 New Member

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    The issue is precisely that they don't die right away.

    Because they're the good guys, we don't want them to die at all, let alone slowly and in agony.

    While we imagine a gut wound to be fatal, especially with a 1900's level of technology, this is a fantasy novel. That means that there are less orthodox or technological / medical ways to save them.

    Thanks, I'll check him out.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  11. sandkicker

    sandkicker New Member

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    re: "this is a fantasy novel. That means that there are less orthodox or technological / medical ways to save them."

    Ahhhh.... magic works!!! :)
  12. Brad63

    Brad63 New Member

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    That's it. There's no suspense if you don't make life hard for your protagonists. On the other hand, if they're dead, the story's over.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  13. islenos

    islenos New Member

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    always center mass, it is the largest area. If you have wind or a crappy rifle and your impact is a few inches off it would not matter because you will more then likely strike a vital.
  14. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Remember also that one of the tactics was to wound to incapacitation. A dead soldier takes one out of the battle. A wounded soldier takes an additional two or more out of the battle. That was taught and practiced by many in those days.

    Pops
  15. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    Amen Pops...
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