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  #61  
Old 12-01-2009, 04:18 PM
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Take a look at tank development in WWII and get back to me....

I'm certain they would have pushed on with alternate designs, including the Challenger II. They already had the hulls in plenty, it seems that only the weapon and electronics were an issue.

The Challenger also fits the British concept of combat in Eruope a lot better than any other tank. Heavily armed and armoured, it might not be the fastest on the battlefield, but it can take the punishment others can't.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:33 PM
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The Challenger also fits the British concept of combat in Eruope a lot better than any other tank. Heavily armed and armoured, it might not be the fastest on the battlefield, but it can take the punishment others can't.
Is it really all that better armored than the M1A1? The gun's more or less the same.

Anyway, I think political considerations (national pride & keeping manufacturing jobs in country, especially) would push the UK to opt for a locally designed and manufactured MBT as opposed to licence-building an American or German design.

The most recent precedent would be the L85. The first run was, by all accounts, pretty terrible. Instead of calling it quits and opting for the M-16 or G-36 or some other foreign designed and/or manufactured AR, they made some significant design and manufacturing changes and produced what is, by most accounts, a pretty decent AR. In the T2K timeline, there might not be enough time for this, but IRL, the UK chose to stick to its own guns rather than go abroad for them.

If the problems with the Challenger I were identified in '87 (and the '91 Gulf War?), there would be time to make quite a few IIs by mid-'97. The Challenger II has a place in my v1.0-based T2KU.
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  #63  
Old 12-01-2009, 05:59 PM
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Although much of the detail of modern AFVs is kept secret (and rightly so!), it is strongly believed that the Challenger is indeed more heavily armoured than an Abrams. If this is true or not I can't say, but the T2K designers thought it was in both versions.

Almost every country wants to produce their military hardware within their own borders, however cost and capability often prevent this. It's always better to be able to make your own weapons, ammo, etc than have to rely on somebody elsewhere in the world who may choose to cut supply, or have it cut by a third party.
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  #64  
Old 12-01-2009, 09:45 PM
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Thinking about weapon development timetables, I was wondering if the UK Challenger 2 would be built in the V.1 history. [snip] I am biased towards the Abrams as I like it personally, but I was wondering what were the opinions of you guys?
As much as possible it has always been my practice to keep what is specifically written in canon and find reasons why what is in canon would be so. Canon (specifically the RDF Sourcebook) says the Brits had the Challenger II so in my T2K universe the Brits have the Challenger II.
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  #65  
Old 12-02-2009, 05:46 AM
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IIRC during WWII when the Allies invaded Sicily, the British left behind all their indigenous tanks with the exception of the Churchill. (Which does reinforce the point about heavy armour.) Also the majority of the tanks the British took to Normandy were American Shermans.

Given that we have our own 'not invented here' syndrome I do agree that it is far more probable that the V.1 canon Challenger 2 would be the tank of choice.

Thanks for all the input.
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  #66  
Old 12-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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Although much of the detail of modern AFVs is kept secret (and rightly so!), it is strongly believed that the Challenger is indeed more heavily armoured than an Abrams. If this is true or not I can't say, but the T2K designers thought it was in both versions.
Well, the US has lost several M-1s, but I have heard several stories of Challenger 2s in Iraq taking an incredible beating and coming out on the bright side. While the fact that the US military was in Iraq in far greater numbers than the rest of the "coalition of the willing" may account for the greater tank losses, I find the reports of the Challenger 2's armor believable.
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  #67  
Old 12-02-2009, 03:32 PM
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For me, sloped armour of any composition has to perform better than the basically upright slabs on the M1...

But that's just my opinion.
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  #68  
Old 12-02-2009, 05:07 PM
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For me, sloped armour of any composition has to perform better than the basically upright slabs on the M1...
Sounds like you're thinking of the Leopard II.

The Challenger II's armor has more of a slope than the Abrams' but it's not that great of a difference. Also- and this may be outdated info- AFAIK, the M1's "Chobham" armor was based on a British design also used in the Challenger I. Although the "recipe" of the composite armor on the M1 may have changed somewhat over the years, aren't the armors of both the M1 and the Challenger II more or less the same? More slope helps, but it's not like the II's armor is fundamentally different than the M1's. For all we know, it could be the exact same stuff.

As Paul pointed out, more M1s were engaged in Iraq at any given time than Challenger IIs and the M1s have been there a lot longer. So, yeah, there are going to be more M1 losses for those two reasons alone.

AFAIK, most of the M1 combat losses were due to engine fires and IEDs. Several M1s sustained multiple RPG hits without succumbing. Very few had their turret armor penetrated by AT shells or other ATWs. Most of the Challenger IIs were gone by the time really big IEDs started to make an appearance on the battlefield.

Using M1 losses in Iraq to crown the Challenger II a "better" tank is not fair. It may well be a better tank, but this is a misuse of statistics.
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  #69  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:33 PM
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Even if identical numbers were used for identical periods, there'd still be a few discrepancies. Unless tested under controlled conditions, there's really no way for anyone to know unless they have access to the vehicle specifications and test data.

Both tanks are also built for different battlefield philosophies. As far as I am aware (and this is really dumbing it down), the US are more offensively orientated, their tanks built more for speed while the British are conservative and build for defence. Both tanks are certainly better than almost everything they'll ever face, but head to head? Who can tell?

I still prefer the Challenger though.
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  #70  
Old 12-07-2009, 08:53 AM
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Why would the French be shipping arms over to Scotland anyway? What's in it for them?

The UK is already in a world of hurt and arming the populace for whatever reason can only contribute to even more unrest. Sure Britain and France have been long time enemies up until the last centry or so, but if you feel France might be preparing to invade sometime in the next couple of decades, wouldn't arming the Scots be against the French best interests? It means more people are arme when they make their move.

And of course there's also the difficulty of shipping them there. Even for a country like France, who's stayed mainly out of the war, fuel and other goods are sure to be in short supply. They haven't had anyone but their few scattered colonies to trade with (besides a few small exceptions). Just feeding, clothing and keeping warm the tens or millions of people within their own borders is going to be a struggle for at least a few years after the war.
I've been on holiday for two weeks without any internet access, hence the reason I couldn't reply to this sooner (although Mo actually gave almost exactly the reply that I would have done anyway - in fact his reply was probably even better than mine would have been, so merci beaucoup mon ami )

In my T2K World the French Government want to keep the UK destabilised for as long as possible without being drawn into open conflict with the British (I do not anticipate the French ever attempting any sort of invasion of the British Isles).

The French feel that a weakened UK is in their long term best interests. So a key part of French strategy is to supply covert assistance to various factions in the UK, most notably the Scots.

In my T2k World I have the British Government still retaining a large organised presence in the North east of England based around Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire. I also have the remaining RAF bases in Scotland at Lossiemouth and Kinloss still loyal to HMG and allied with the Highland Coalition, an alliance of various Highland towns centred around Inverness and Fort William. Whilst the Highland Coalition is not openly hostile to the Perth based Republic of Scotland, relations between the two are fairly cool.

Therefore the leadership of the Republic of Scotland has readily accepted French offers of aid, although the French Government are careful to ensure that the aid they provide cannot be linked directly back to France.

I am currently working on a draft piece on the Republic of Scotland which will go into much more detail on French involvement and the personalities and politics involved - I'll post it as soon as I can.

With regards to the Welsh and again in my T2K World, the French have made contact with the Welsh Government, but the Welsh have chosen to adopt an isolationist approach, so chose not to accept any assistance from the French at this time.

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  #71  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:13 AM
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Even if identical numbers were used for identical periods, there'd still be a few discrepancies. Unless tested under controlled conditions, there's really no way for anyone to know unless they have access to the vehicle specifications and test data.

Both tanks are also built for different battlefield philosophies. As far as I am aware (and this is really dumbing it down), the US are more offensively orientated, their tanks built more for speed while the British are conservative and build for defence. Both tanks are certainly better than almost everything they'll ever face, but head to head? Who can tell?

I still prefer the Challenger though.
Here's something I've noticed about the Challenger, and I've never been able to find an answer: Why does the turret deck slope downwards from the right to the left? I'm thinking it's maybe a weight-saving feature -- that maybe the turret didn't need to be as high on the left side, so they just made it slope to the left to save weight, and it would have an incidental effect of providing some additional protection against shots from that side of the turret due to the slope.

As for the Chobham armor, it was originally the same thing on the Challenger, Abrams, and Leopard 2. The US just called it Burlington armor instead of Chobham. Today, however, the armor has evolved, so there are now some differences between the three, and other countries have their own versions of composite armor. (Side note: original Soviet composite armor was an inferior version of Chobham. Their agents stole a sample and the plans for the early version of Chobham from a West German lab in the mid-1970s. They could not duplicate the technology properly at the time, so the first Soviet tanks with composite armor provided much inferior protection than a tank with an equal amount of Chobham.)

Clarification Note: The agents were East German, reportedly.
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  #72  
Old 12-09-2009, 06:14 AM
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While I can't seem to find any really clear photos of the turret to illustrate what you mean, I am thinking that it may be due to the commander's station being set higher than the loader's station and needing the room for the electronics to power the ancillary sights.
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  #73  
Old 12-13-2009, 12:21 PM
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If the Challenger II--IF--is able to take a measurably greater degree of punishment than the M1A1/2, this would serve the Brits well during the slog across Poland. I've been dabbling with some notes for a summary of the Polish campaign in 1997, based principally on the input from threads here. My principal foci have been trying to explain the apparent snail's pace of operations, how the pace fits in with Soviet intentions for the use of Poland in the bigger picture, and how NATO uses its particular advantages to adapt to the nature of the Pact defense by trading time and money for lives.

Ye gods, the prospect of having to live through the Brits crowing about how their tank philosophy was the best-suited NATO design for the European battlefield! It's just as well the world came to an end.

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  #74  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:33 PM
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I saw a photo dated 2000 of a Challenger I in Kosovo or Bosnia so there must still have been quite a few of them around in the Twilight War.

Web, are you comparing the NATO campaign across Poland to the rapid U.S.-led coalition victories against Iraq in '91 and '03?

IIRC, it tooks NATO about 7 months to fight its way across Poland and into Soviet territory. Although by no means Blitzkrieg, that's not too bad considering the stiff opposition. The fighting must have been brutal.

I'm looking forward to reading your campaign history.
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  #75  
Old 12-13-2009, 02:00 PM
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Web, are you comparing the NATO campaign across Poland to the rapid U.S.-led coalition victories against Iraq in '91 and '03?
I am thinking about Operation Desert Shield. Obviously, there are staggering differences between the circumstances of Desert Storm and the 1997 NATO offensive in Poland. Nevertheless, I think the comparatively slow pace of the NATO advance deserves some attention. Even vis-a-vis the Anglo-American operation in East Germany, the Poland operation made slow progress. There's more to the story than just logistical problems. The pattern ties into the number of divisions the Soviets husbanded in Belarus while the fighting was raging in Poland. I'm not certain if the GDW authors saw things this way, but I see a clear intent to launch a mobile counteroffensive after the Polish Army and some-second string Soviet formations had bled the NATO invaders white in a mines-and-earthworks defense reminiscent of the Chinese defenses in Manchuria. I think Soviet nuclear use in the West initially was intended as a sort of set-up punch to soften the NATO forces for the main armored blow that would come from the husbanded armored forces in Belarus. The Soviets quickly discovered, though, that the NATO troops adapted the massive defensive belts for their own countermobility purposes. As a result, the counteroffensive that was supposed to carry the Soviets back to the Oder in a trice bogged down. The NATO troops fell back partially because the supply situation once again was intolerable but principally because the use of nukes had caused the civilian leadership in the West to abandon their plan of knocking the USSR out of the war and settle instead for reunifying Germany (and laying waste to Poland). But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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  #76  
Old 12-13-2009, 04:31 PM
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I think you're close to the truth there Web. At least it's as good a theory as any other and appears to fit the evidence quite well.

Something else to keep in mind is that Nato were not prepared for the offensive, having being essentially dragged into the war by Germany. Many of the Nato divisions, particularly US units, weren't even deployed to Europe until well after the commencement of hostilities.

This early phase of the war was fought essentially on peacetime stocks and with units who'd basically grown complacent. Nobody really expected to enter into WWIII (even though they'd been training for it for decades), so when reality struck them in the face, it took time to react appropriately.

It is my opinion that while on paper the participant units were strong, the reality was a bit different. This is not to say they didn't perform well, just that they could have performed much better given a few more months warning, preperation and training.

And then there's the lack of France in the alliance, not to mention Italy basically switching sides. Units tasked in the prewar plans to offensive actions suddenly had to be retasked to holding the flanks or attacking regions previously assigned to the French, possibly without adequate numbers of maps, etc.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:03 PM
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I don't know if this will be helpful to you, Web. You've probably already thought of it but here goes.

The two Gulf Wars and the Western Allies' march from the Atlantic to the Elbe (lasting about a month less than a year) were all accomplished with nearly constant air superiority and, sometimes, even air supremacy. Allied air power could isolate the battlefield and decapitate enemy command and control, making the job on the ground a lot easier than it otherwise would be.

One possible explanation for the relative long duration of NATO's sweep across Poland is a lack of air superiority. Perhaps the Soviets were able to maintain close to air parity or, at times or on certain fronts, limited air superiority. At the very least, the Red Army and air force and their respective WTO counterparts might have been able to deny NATO air superiority over the front lines or in the Soviet's rear areas.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:12 PM
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To get us back on topic (I don't mind parallel discussions here, BTW), what kinds of weapons do you think could or could not be produced after the TDM?

For example, I'm assuming that ATGMs could not (given the complexity of the optical and guidance systems) be produced after the TDM, while RPGs and LAWs probably could be (in much smaller quantities, though). An M1A1 could not be manufactured from scratch (assembly of pre-made parts, maybe) but a Ranger armored truck, possibly.

What do you think could be produced after the big/high-tech factories are shut down by EMP (or are blown up)?

Also, are unguided rockets easier or more difficult (or equally) to produce than ammunition and propellant charges for conventional tube artillery? I'm guessing easier since the VC and various other insurgent groups seem to be able to make their own rockets in garage workshops and such.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:36 PM
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To get us back on topic (I don't mind parallel discussions here, BTW), what kinds of weapons do you think could or could not be produced after the TDM?

Also, are unguided rockets easier or more difficult (or equally) to produce than ammunition and propellant charges for conventional tube artillery? I'm guessing easier since the VC and various other insurgent groups seem to be able to make their own rockets in garage workshops and such.

I've been working on a list of primary weapons in use in SAMAD by early 2001. Included among them is a locally-produced variant of the RPG-7. Ammunition types include HEAT, HE-F, and HESH. I've read that the Russians either have or have been working on a beehive-type round for the RPG, but this might be a bit much for small-scale operations to manufacture in a cost-effective fashion.

The locally-produced RPG comes into use in SAMAD because it is a simple weapon with high portability that gives light infantry a fairly effective platoon-level fire support capability. Specs are obtained with the hordes of other materials before the TDM.

The SAMAD version is manufactured with mesquite for the grips and other wooden parts. There aren't a lot of HEAT rounds carried because there aren't a lot of armored vehicles being used. Platoons operating on anti-marauder sweeps north of the Gila River carry HE-F and HESH rounds for tackling the bad guys in their (typically) fortified base camps. The HESH round can double as an anti-armor round against any armored vehicle that doesn't have a spall liner, which covers pretty much any improvised AFV and a fair number of light AFV.

Rockets are fairly easy to manufacture, although the real cost savings comes in the form of the launcher. Tube artillery is expensive to manufacture and requires specialized facilities. One reason the Soviets made such wide use of the Katyusha systems in 1942 was that tremendous quantities of their tube artillery had fallen into German hands. They could not replace the guns overnight. Rocket launchers on trucks or trailers were much simpler to fabricate.

For this reason, SAMAD also manufactures a respectable quantity of primitive MRL. Accuracy is low, so saturation fires figure prominently in doctrine. Fort Huachuca creates a number of fire bases in the Huachuca Mountains and improves the roads along the spurs and saddles to facilitate rapid movement (and to forestall the enemy from planning and executing VC sapper-style attacks on the fire bases). From their vantage points atop the Huachucas, the massed rocket launchers can bring high volumes of HE down on the enemy without fear of counterbattery fire. It's too bad for the enemy that he has no fighter-bombers operating in 2000...

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Old 12-13-2009, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Perhaps the Soviets were able to maintain close to air parity or, at times or on certain fronts, limited air superiority. At the very least, the Red Army and air force and their respective WTO counterparts might have been able to deny NATO air superiority over the front lines or in the Soviet's rear areas.
This is an almost certainty and refered to in the T2K history. Before Nato were involved, the German Lufwaffe took a beating and were out flown and out fought by the Pact air forces. I can't recall details, but once the rest of Nato joined in I'd imagine it would have still been a close run thing, especially since German airpower had effectively been eliminated, thereby reducing the available Nato planes to just what the US and Britain brought with them (plus relatively minor contributions from the smaller nations).
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:34 PM
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I would tend to agree that the reasons the offensive across Poland seemed to take a snail pace would be due to the fact that the Soviets and Pact Forces were in general in superior numbers. Then add in the forces that would of been counted on if the Soviet had attacked first instead of war due to a unification of Germany brought about the Soviet-China War.

Next thing one of the things missing in the first Persian Gulf War were the National Guard and Reserve units that were suppose to be round-out units that were supposedly be ready to deploy with min. training with their assigned Divisions. By all accounts they still would of needed up to 6 months after the cease fire before they would of been in condition to serve on the front lines in Iraq if the war had lasted that long. One of the reason why the US Army went from 18 Divisions down to 12 Divisions almost overnight afterwards.

Again it wasn't only the French, Italians, and Greeks who were missing in the action. Several of other allies refuse to commit troops and kept them in their original defensive posture at their starting points. Or if their units did go east they didn't send the units they were suppose to, they like the French and Italians felt betrayed by Unified Germany and felt their obligation was to defend the western portion of the new Germany.

Now back to the Challenger II if they were better defensively than the M1 it is a good thing. For they were in NorthAG and would have to stop plenty of Soviet Armor in their own right, on terrain that favor the attacker more than it did the defender. Both Army Groups faced overwhelming Soviet/Pact forces, but for opposing reason. The NorthAG faced the force who would raced towards Germany. SouthAG face units who were there to keep NATO from moving units North to help the NorthAG.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:03 PM
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I recently picked up a copy of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guns (Fowler, North, Stronge, & Sweeney) from the bargain bin @ my local Barnes & Noble.

The entry for the H&K G41 states that it was to be manufactured as a weapon for reservists while the G11 was produced simultaneously for the regular Bundeswehr. The end of the Cold War put an end to both weapons and eventually led to the later adoption of the G36. So, I reckon that in the Twilight timeline that the G41 would be fairly common, alongside the venerable G3 and former DDR AKs, in the German armed forces of 2000.

Also, the entry for the L85A1 savages the weapon. Apparently, nearly the entire production run was recalled and handed over to H&K for refurbishment. The end result (L85A2) was, by many accounts, still a disappointment, extremely unpopular with most of the British troops in the field in Afghanistan. I really wonder how this weapon would have been handled if the Cold War had continued. Based on this (and other similar reports), I'd like to think that the British military would have pursued alternatives, like bringing back the SLR and/or manufacturing the AR-18 to supplement/replace the L85A1/2.

I also learned from this volume that Bulgaria and Romania (as well as Poland, which I already knew about) produced AK-74 clones in 5.45mm. I had always assumed that the Warsaw Pact nations would have done so but had never seen specific, documented references to this happening. This seems to indicate that AKM variants would be slightly less common among front line and tier one WP reservists than I'd first thought.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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I would add that I don't think in any timeline -- T2K v1, V2, v2.2, 2013, or Merc 2000 -- would the G-11 have ever made it into production. Even now, it's essentially "too innovative;" it would require supply people to stock exotic ammo and weird parts, require a lot of new training regimens (both for the regular troops and those like drill sergeants that have to train the masses), and upset the supply systems of most Western and Westernized countries in the world, which currently revolve around tens of millions of rounds of 5.56mm NATO and 7.62mm NATO ammunition and the weapons that fire it. Economically, pretty much any country is going to look at the G-11 and say, "It's a great rifle, it may be the wave of the future, but we can't afford for the foreseeable future."
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:18 PM
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I think it's worth noting that the people who are making savage criticisms of the L85A2 rifle are pretty much the same people who criticized it from the start and that the troops using the L85A2 are not as critical of it as some would have us believe. I'm not saying the soldiers all think it's a wonderful rifle, just that a lot of the criticism of the A2 is being produced by people who hate the entire L85 concept and is essentially the same criticism we've heard before, just updated for the new version.

P.S. Just a little request, when people mention books, could they please include the ISBN? It makes finding the book far easier, I just tried to find the book mentioned above via Google and got plenty of hits, all for the wrong books.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 04-06-2010 at 06:23 PM. Reason: adding a request
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Also, the entry for the L85A1 savages the weapon. Apparently, nearly the entire production run was recalled and handed over to H&K for refurbishment. The end result (L85A2) was, by many accounts, still a disappointment, extremely unpopular with most of the British troops in the field in Afghanistan. I really wonder how this weapon would have been handled if the Cold War had continued. Based on this (and other similar reports), I'd like to think that the British military would have pursued alternatives, like bringing back the SLR and/or manufacturing the AR-18 to supplement/replace the L85A1/2.
I often think that the British should have told the US to shove it after World War 2 and went their own way with the EM-2. The Belgians and the Spanish both were willing to chamber weapons for the .280 round (one of the first FAL prototypes was chambered for the .280 round, as was one of the first CETME prototypes); only US political bullying stopped the .280 round from gaining more widespread acceptance. Our loss, IMHO.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:31 PM
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I would add that I don't think in any timeline -- T2K v1, V2, v2.2, 2013, or Merc 2000 -- would the G-11 have ever made it into production. Even now, it's essentially "too innovative;" it would require supply people to stock exotic ammo and weird parts, require a lot of new training regimens (both for the regular troops and those like drill sergeants that have to train the masses), and upset the supply systems of most Western and Westernized countries in the world, which currently revolve around tens of millions of rounds of 5.56mm NATO and 7.62mm NATO ammunition and the weapons that fire it. Economically, pretty much any country is going to look at the G-11 and say, "It's a great rifle, it may be the wave of the future, but we can't afford for the foreseeable future."
I tend to disagree with this assessment, economics definitely plays a part in the adoption of new weapons but national interest plays a far bigger part. The West Germans were adopting the G11 & G41 and economics weren't as important as national defence during their consideration process. The realworld timeline for service entry definitely fits into a version 2 timeline, the only reason the G11 was not adopted for service was the end of the Cold War. It then become a weapon system that was no longer required to defeat the 'Red horde'.
I disagree with the too innovative idea as well, the technology has already been proven and now the US Army is showing interest in non-traditional forms of ammunition including caseless for future weapon systems.
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-153517316.html
http://www.caselessammo.com/about.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightwe...s_Technologies
http://www.defensereview.com/aai-lig...splay-at-ausa/
The adoption of any new weapon requires a change in training, logistics etc. and it wouldn't be any different if the weapon was the G11 or the G36. There was a similar change when for example the British changed from the .303 SMLE, Bren Gun & Vickers Gun to the 7.62mm L1A1 & L7 and M16/M16A1. It applied when any nation changed from bolt-action rifles to self-loading rifles and so on.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:33 PM
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I really respect your opinion Paul but I think production of the G11 may have proceeded had reunification and the end of the Cold War not occured. I've seen several sources that explained the cancellation of the G11 program as having been prompted by an end to the need for a complex and relatively expensive new rifle (i.e. no more Red menace to the east) and to the financial burden that the former East Germany placed upon the German national budget after reunification. Had the need continued, W. Germany seemed to have been in a good enough place financially where the G11 could have been produced in numbers great enough to equip the Bundeswehr's active divisions. The G41 was intended to offset the cost of the G11 so that reserve units could get a new weapon too.

It lines up well with v1.0 canon as well.

The G11 lost out here in the U.S. due to politics. The desire for all U.S. weapon was very strong in the late '80s. At the time, IIRC (I was 14 or so) cost was cited, as was the desire to stick with the NATO standard 5.56mm ammo. The latter is somewhat ironic being as the debate still continues to this day about the best assault rifle cartridge. The 5.56mm round has loads of detractors.

Anyway, back to the T2K v1.0 timeline. Once the TDM effectively shut down the manufacture of the more complex caseless ammo, the G11 was gradually phased out of service in favor of the easier-to-feed G41 or surplus G3s. That's pretty much straight from the v1.0 Small Arms Guide.
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Last edited by Raellus; 04-06-2010 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:40 PM
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I can never understand why a lot of people feel that the AR-18 would have been a possible alternative for the L85. True, it was made by Sterling for a brief time, but it had sold off the AR-18 tooling in 1983. I can't imagine the AR-18 is a better rifle or even on the same page as the L85.

I never handled a L85, but used to own a semi auto AR-180 and can tell you that, it is not something I would want to beat around with. The barrel is to thin and from what I have read also tends to flex when using the sling during firing. The plastic stocks are fragile and the receiver is very weak too. People joke about the M16 being a crappy weapon for melee combat, but the M16 is built like a tank compared to the AR-18. Also, it's true you could use M16 magazines with the AR-18, but they have to be modified. The magazines have to have a slot cut in the side for the magazine catch and if you want the bolt hold open to work the magazine follower has to be modified too.

I could see the L1A1 being brought back or the Bren gun in place of the L86. The only people I think that had used the AR-18 in the U.K. was the IRA. Heck, I think a old Enfield .303 might even be a better choice as far as ruggedness. The AR-18 is just to fragile to take to war, but I don't know anything about the L85 to make a real judgement on it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:42 PM
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Something else to remember is that the West Germans had a rather large military which would translate into a rather large number of weapons and all the support that entails.

Yes, it was a large investment, but one that was well worthwhile in my opinion (and obviously their's prior to reunification). Who knows, the rest of Nato might have seen the wisdom of the 4.7mm caseless round and today it might have become the standard (except of course for the Americans, stuck fast on the idea of the 5.56).

It is interesting to note however that their reservists were to be armed with a conventional 5.56mm weapon. My initial impression is this was due to the vast stockpiles of 5.56 Nato had stored in the country, although as their standard weapon until then was the 7.62 G3....
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:09 AM
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Hey, Kalashnikov was a tanker sergeant -- DATs don't even know one end of a rifle from the other!
OK crunchy
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