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OK, here's one to think on...

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  • OK, here's one to think on...

    Here's a question I used to entertain my soldiers with, stretching their minds a bit:

    Imagine that gunpowder was never invented. Whoa, right? Take what you know about the American military of today. What weapon would you issue the soldier, sailor, airmen, and Marine?
    Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

  • #2
    Laser pistols?

    OR ninja blades?
    Attn to ALL my opponents:

    If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

    Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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    • #3
      Think late Middle Ages, early Renasance(sp). Swords, Bows, Spears/lances, Mounted CAV, ect...

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      • #4
        Today's soldier would be all but impervious to most primitive weapons. Arrows would have to be something special to get through body armor...although the crossbow would have the stand-off capability against "technicals."

        Same problem with swords. Besides the need to get next to your opponent, any well armored soldier could probably withstand almost any sword blow. A US soldier would want stand-off capability to deal with their enemy at a distance...

        Some kind of electrical pulse gun might be cool, but it wouldn't take long to counter that with shock absorbing materials. Plus range and accuracy would be factors.

        Railguns would be an option and with a demand they might be perfected to a size a soldier could carry...for all I know the military may already have a rifle sized version? Depleted uranium shells would be deadly against any soldier.

        Perhaps some kind of blunt weapon...like a mace would be good - it might be able to create some trauma in the defender due to the sheer force of contact. The range factor would be bad...and maces are poor in tight quarters...so not a great choice.

        I guess though, if I had to pick one weapon in today's world...with no gunpowder I would probably have to settle for a medium crossbow. Medium range weapon that has decent reload times. Up close the accuracy might be good enough you could aim at weak points in enemy armor, and you can still use it indoors in tight situations. Also an equalizer weapon in that the weakest guy or gal to the strongest could master it.

        Oh, are tactical nukes considered "gunpowder"
        Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

        I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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        • #5
          Now yer thinkin'...

          I thought this one might be a little tough for those who have never put on a military uniform, but you're getting the gist of it.

          You have to think in terms of each forces' combat role. For instance, in this situation, you still have armor, but it has been reduced to but a simple transport without a main gun. What exists today that could take it's place? What would you invent?

          What about the Air Force? Again, with no rounds, the A-10 becomes what? Arty now uses catapults? Then there's our special ops branches.

          Turn on the little gray cells, I know you'll come up with some great thoughts.
          Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

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          • #6
            Bow and arrow and seige weapons, traps set at your front line, and throw rocks at them!!! lol Close combat...axe.

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            • #7
              Well, I thought you wanted ONE weapon for all forces.

              My A-10 would be maxxed out with Napalm! It could knock out a topless tank with no problem!
              Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

              I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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              • #8
                Missing the point

                I think that many of you are making a fatal flaw in your answers to the question- "What if there was no gunpowder?" and that is there would also be no lasers, pulse guns, napalm etc. like some of you have put in your responses. The invention of gunpower and the subsequent multicentury arms race that it sparked led directly to much of our modern world, including such unrealted inventions as the light bulb, billiard balls, motion picture film, explosives, and many, if not most, of the chemical based inventions of the past half millennia. Also, even as gunpowder was coming on the the scene, warfare was already changing. The tight formations of pikemen (a standoff weapon) were becoming THE force on the battlefield. So, I would think that we would be using pikes, swords, and some sort of (hopefully) automatic crossbow.

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                • #9
                  Bravo, twomack, Bravo!

                  It's not just the physical applications to think of, but the philosophy of combat itself that changes.
                  Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Missing the point

                    Originally posted by twomack
                    I think that many of you are making a fatal flaw in your answers to the question- "What if there was no gunpowder?" and that is there would also be no lasers, pulse guns, napalm etc. like some of you have put in your responses.
                    Man has shown great ability to adapt to problems such as this. For whatever reason if gunpowder just wasn't invented or the correct chemical composition just didn't exist on Earth, I have no doubt man would have hastened research into alternate forms of killing. Perhaps he would have excelled in the use of fire (oil-based weaponry) or later in electrical weaponry. By suggesting that the lack of gunpowder might somehow keep us with medieval weapons today, I think you are overlooking our natural desire to invent new and destructive alternatives

                    OTOH, can you imagine what the last 150 years would have been like without gunpowder (the big wars)?
                    Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

                    I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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                    • #11
                      Sure. Close, bloody affairs.

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                      • #12
                        response to Brian

                        True, man has displayed a unique genius for destructive devices since the advent of powder, but remember what almost all of recorded history was like. Weapons were based on just a small handful of related themes. These are the sword, the spear, the club, and the bow or variations there of. That is it for the better part of 4,000 years. The only real changes were that over time the weapons became better made (i.e. sharper, stronger, more effective), other than that at the end of the day you still had swords, spears, clubs, and bows! So until then invention of gunpowder, man had actually displayed a marked unwillingness to change. Man was doing just fine with pikes, swords, bows, etc. there was no reason to real reason to adapt. Man is basically lazy; we do not change unless we have to. So, no powder, no significant change. The arrival of gunpowder really did change the world and not just on the battlefield.

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                        • #13
                          I can see your point, but gunpowder was not THE driving force behind all that has happened over the last few centuries. With increased populations, social changes, and other inventions the tools would have become necessary to kill larger and larger numbers of people. Thus, the drive to invent more efficient killing machines.

                          Advances in metallurgy alone might have created armor that could withstand most sword blows and arrows creating a kind of medieval detente...thus requiring new weaponry. And that is one of 100's of things that might have advanced at a faster pace had not gunpowder been there to render most weapons irrelevant.

                          On the high seas, the age of sail would have prompted some sort of combat accessory to allows ship-to-ship duels...perhaps advanced ballistas of some sort. Oh but that might not have the kind of stopping power you need so maybe add some refined oil and let it explode on the other ship. Now you are talking! A whole new line of weaponry might have evolved just from the naval side.

                          And so on...

                          I just don't think it is right to assume that if gunpowder never existed, we would still be laying sieges to castles and such. Man of the last 500 years WAS different than the previous 1000+ years. More leisure time, more inventions, expansion overseas, population increases, and so on. Advances in gunpowder were in part a response to those changes - not necessarily the reason for them.

                          An interesting topic!
                          Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

                          I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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                          • #14
                            I hope this may show the impact of gunpowder.

                            Gunpowder
                            Led to
                            Artillery
                            Which in turn led directly to these four major scientific changes:
                            Math/Geometry Metallurgical science Chemical studies
                            Physics Steam Engine Explosives Industrail Revolution Light Bulb Celluloid
                            Military Engineering
                            New defensive systems
                            City/Urban Planning

                            ... and these are just some of the connections.

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                            • #15
                              Gad! What a mess.

                              Sorry. My nice chart did not make the conversion from Word to the Forum. I hope you can understand what I was trying to say.:quest:

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