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  1. Mercurius is offline
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    Wandering Daoist

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2002 11:47pm

    supporting member
     Style: Karate, Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The question: Is there any chance, due to whatever plausible circumstances may occur, that the state of warfare and personal self-defense will return to one primarily employing edged and piercing weapons such as the sword, knife, and spear, thus relegating personal firearms (rifles, pistols, submachineguns) to the tertiary or insignificant role that edged weapons play today?

    I know what you're thinking, some damn fool holding out hope for a chop socky fantasy come true where the Bloods and the Crips discard their nines in favor of broadswords and katana.

    I doubt it will happen, but I sincerely believe that it is indeed, however remotely, POSSIBLE for this to occur.

    I see two CURRENT trends which may, alone or in combination, lead us towards this happening:

    1. Increased computerization of weaponry.
    All the time on TV and in magazines, we read about the military of the future, how our fighting boys will be wearing self-repairing performance-enhancing nanomechanical suits and shooting super-accurate guns out of Judge Dredd that can change ammunition at the press of a button and identify their user.

    In the future, it is likely that someday, the only piece of a soldier's clothing without a computer chip in it may very well be his boots.

    How does this lead us in the exact opposite direction, back to swords and spears? Simple- a little something called the "e-bomb". For those who have never heard of it, a short explanation should suffice: An e-bomb is a device that, when detonated, absolutely destroys all electronics within its blast radius. The Army is scheduled to begin testing American e-bombs next year, but the fact remains that they are both easy to build and capable of defeating most defenses placed in their path.

    What happens on the battlefield, when the next Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Il brings them to bear against our troops, trained exclusively in the operation of electronic weapons?

    Without adequate protection, the results could be disastrous. If the e-bomb rises from its current obscurity and becomes as proliferate as nuclear weaponry, it could force a stalemate in which troops are forced to go hand to hand or revert to edged weaponry.

    When things get to this point, or perhaps beforehand, the militaries of the world may have enough foresight to guard against it and build tanks that use engines immune to e-bombs and revert to present or past guns for infantry. But then, what of snipers and their electronic scopes, of radio, of radar and nightvision?

    2. Development of bulletproof materials and equipment that would become part of everyday life.

    The field of bulletproof materials is advancing quickly, with options like ceramic armor that can defeat a projectile without suffering damage and bulletproof clothing made of super strong spidersilk fabric in the forseeable future.

    How hard is it to believe, then, that in the future, as bulletproof material becomes increasingly common and cheap, that the American public will come to demand it in their clothing, cars and homes as a result of the constant fear that the media cultivates in them?

    When that happens, what becomes of the effectiveness of the gun on the streets? With headshots left as the only lethal method, the only people left who may be able to do use it consistently as a weapon would be snipers and muggers.

    Naturally, the police and military will come to acquire these fabrics and materials first, so what becomes then of the gun as a battlefield weapon?

    Until a more destructive alternative to the gun is invented, which may be difficult, taking the e-bomb threat into consideration, what alternative do the militaries of the world have but to look backwards for weaponry to be used in warfare? The bomb and the artillery pieces may not be effected, but what do you use when you have to arm a police unit or military force without using projectile weapons?

    Already, knives (thrown and handheld) have some advantage over guns in certain modern combat circumstances. How much more will this be so with the advent of bulletproof materials?



    Replies, especially from those with military or other related knowledge, are welcome.

    --------------------
    And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "The morning glory blooms for an hour. It differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years."
  2. KC Elbows

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 12:08am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Frankly, spear and knife are invaluable to a soldier right now, because bayonet uses spear techniques, and obviously knife is the only other close combat weapon applicable to the soldier.
  3. Mercurius is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 12:26am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I hadn't thought of the bayonet... So, in the event of e-bombs/bulletproof materials reducing the effectiveness of guns, it would still be feasible for a soldier to carry something like an M4 with a bayonet into battle and stab primarily/get what HS they could?

    How would infantry combat change if something like this happened? Might we revert to the old "you line up here, we'll line up there" deal or would the current mobility of the infantry through armored vehicles negate this? Then again, what about without armored vehicles?

    --------------------
    And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "The morning glory blooms for an hour. It differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years."
  4. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 12:31am

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     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What good would a knife do against said bulletproof clothing? A bullet has a lot more cutting power than any sword could.

    What weapons could everyone use in the case you presented?

    Energy weapons
    Chemical weapons that would de-ploymerize the bulletproof substance
    H2H would be useful too
  5. LAWPILOT is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 12:56am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A ballistic (bullet proof) vest will not stop a knife. The bullet proof vest will protect against a slash but not a stab.
  6. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 12:59am

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     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ceramic armor and spidersilk-strength materials are what we are talking about, I think...
  7. Mercurius is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 1:12am

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     Style: Karate, Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    True, I mentioned ceramics and spidersilk specifically, but I was talking about those since they're what I heard about as emerging bulletproof technologies. Who knows if something else will come out and be developed quickly?

    Ceramics would defend against a knife and a bullet, but how about a hammer or blunt object? Would distributing (although significantly less) force over a greater region crack the armor enough to make it useless?

    I don't know much about spidersilk-strength materials, so a lot of analysis would depend on whether they completely stopped the force of a bullet, or just stopped it from piercing, and thus allowed the blunt trauma to still effect the wearer (which is why there are trauma plates in bulletproof vests, because the impact itself to a vital area is still dangerous).

    I also recall reading that getting stab protection on modern bulletproof vests stiffens them enough to the point where you'd want to get it only in case of significant risk, so that might have an effect on spidersilk in the future.

    --------------------
    And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "The morning glory blooms for an hour. It differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years."
  8. Nihilanthic is offline

    Decafinated white belt.

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 1:14am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are vests that stop ARMOR PIERCING rounds, and a centerpoint even can't do anything do it...
    AP rounds make a spear point look like wet liver.

    No "blade" can't be SHOT FROM A GUN anyway - and "
    e-bombs" wouldn't disable the guns we use right now anyway - a mechanical hammer strikes a primer exploding the powder in the cartridge and propelling out the bullet, so it could still work. And besides, vehicles shooting ordinance with enough Kinetic energy would impact a man in armor so hard his armor would be fine, but he'd be splatter inside of it. A bit like putting a bug in a can and putting it in a paint mixer... the bug is squished.

    But the fact remains - you can make a bullet with enough KE to damage through the armor simply by smacking the whole armor back and hitting the man inside (bug in a can, shake can REALLY HARD to see what I mean), or any piercing weapon could be mounted on ordinance. We have such a round for use in tanks anyway - its basically a big spear shot from a cannon.

    <Me> John, what do you know about Zen Buddhism? <John> *smacks me*
    <John> I'd have to smack you sometime...
    Katana, on 540 kicks: "Hang from a ceiling fan with both hands. Flail your feet out and ask people to walk into you as you hit their face."
  9. Freddy is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 1:21am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Currently with bullet proof equipemnt it doesnt protect obvious areas like the face etc. A knife is cheap and easy to carry.
    Its just under certain battle field circumstances that soldiers are forced to fight hand to hand and with civilian situations its very common.
    What an e-bomd is is very similar to the effects of a nuclear balst where Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) is created but without the nuclear explosion. This EMP doesnt directly destroy electronic equipment but what it does is it causes the electrons within the equipment circuitry to short circuit and burn out. Its a more friendly version of a nuclear bomb. Currently e-bombs have limited use. Some of it was used in the Persion gulf to disrupt power transmission from electrical power plants. It was mainly delivered by cruise missiles. The current focus of e-bombs is trying to make them more powerful by using super conductors (materials that has no electrical resistance and thus electricity seem to be amplify). This would cause a huge EMP balst that could knock out a city's power supply and all electronic equipment in the area. The theory is very simple. Its like a blast of magnetism from a super magnet. Its still in its infancy stage.

    PEACE!
    Ghost of Charles Dickens
  10. Dorje is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2002 1:26am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    magical mutated sharks, whith poisonous lasers attached to their heads. works every time.

    bulletproof, shmulletproof. release the sharks!
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