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Thread: What are the best improvised weapons?

  1. #1 What are the best improvised weapons? 
    Time Lord
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    And how good are they against a properly armed, modern military force? I'm mostly trying to think of the kinds of things a bunch of stone aged tribal people could build if they had the know-how.

    I've read about a way to synthesize gun powder from alcohol and charcoal. (I'm rather dubious that it would be high quality gun powder, but it's something.) I don't know how easy/hard it would be for a tribe to learn basic iron working, so maybe that possibility should be left out?

    It might also be interesting to discuss things like IED's that involve cell phones, or other highly available trappings of modern society, provided we can be assured that they are easy enough to get that a first world country would have no hope of cutting off access to them.


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  3. #2  
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    Fists and broken beer bottles won't do much good. But it's pretty easy to tax a country's patience, then they become rash, and kinda lose the war from within. See Gandhi.

    Not sure if it's true, but I heard the Serbs cost NATO quite a lot in missiles by leaving old microwave ovens lying around, with the doors open, the microwaves "look" like part of an air defence system and get targeted sight-unseen.

    Of course if the enemy's real objective is to justify next year's military budget, costing them is not going to work.

    I would probably go for disease. Give the enemy syphilis and AIDS, or drug addictions, or something new. It has to cost in some way they're unwilling to pay.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong

    Not sure if it's true, but I heard the Serbs cost NATO quite a lot in missiles by leaving old microwave ovens lying around, with the doors open, the microwaves "look" like part of an air defence system and get targeted sight-unseen.
    That's a really good point. Use inexpensive weapons to destroy expensive ones, and your enemy would need a very strong profit incentive in order to want to attack you in the first place.


    I would probably go for disease. Give the enemy syphilis and AIDS, or drug addictions, or something new. It has to cost in some way they're unwilling to pay.
    True, but if you go biological, you might open the WMD can of worms. I'm quite certain the industrialized group will have better anthrax strains than the ones who are trying to improvise theirs.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    if you go biological, you might open the WMD can of worms. I'm quite certain the industrialized group will have better anthrax strains than the ones who are trying to improvise theirs.
    To be blunt, if you're losing soldiers who screw local prostitutes, it's kinda hard to justify retaliation. Who's to blame?

    An epidemic could be natural consequence of war too. The Hong Kong flu pandemic got an early jump through US troops stationed in Vietnam, they brought it home, where it killed 40,000 Americans and made everybody miserable. And the big pandemic of 1918 definitely coincided with and spread through trench soldiers, it went on to kill 50 million worldwide, particularly ravaging Germany, vs. 15 million direct casualties of the war itself.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Not sure if it's true, but I heard the Serbs cost NATO quite a lot in missiles by leaving old microwave ovens lying around, with the doors open, the microwaves "look" like part of an air defence system and get targeted sight-unseen.
    Wait, so people are just leaving microwaves plugged in out in the middle of nowhere? Or is it that they see a microwave physically and target it? Could you explain this a little futher please?
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  7. #6  
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    Yeah, it would be the ...apparently encrypted... microwave radiation of ovens getting picked up and triangulated by electronic surveillance planes. Presuming the emitters have anti-air capability, the way to hit them is from well beyond visual confirmation, with a big expensive missile.

    The US played cat and mouse with Iraq's air defences in this way for, like, a decade running.
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    What is the purpose of the weapon, and what objectives are being sought(potentially weapons could not be the best means to acheive those)?
    What are the characteristics of your force?
    What are the characteristics of your enemy's forces, its leaders and motivations?
    What are the characteristics of the battlefield/environment/materials?
    Does your enemy have other enemies that could come into play?

    Stone aged characters would have less options and very little effectiveness, they could dig pits on dirt roads and cover it with a platform covered with dirt that could collapse if a heavy vehicle rolled over it(or fill it with water and hope the enemy driver thinks its a shallow pothole).

    In Iraq, I think at some point enemies of the US occupation were apparently lining up as recruits for the US, and were armed by the US and using intelligence gathered by 'joining' them.
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    Disease? If you want to avoid the Geneva Convention, go for the gold. Ebola. Wipes out villages in Africa in three days, cannot be diagnosed or oven detected until you're dead, and it mutates too quickly, like AIDs, to have a cure. It's horrible. But on improvised weapons, the Iraqi terrorists are fighting us with $200 dollar homemade bombs, and we're fighting them with all sorts of top-secret multi-million dollar equipment. We're winning the war but at a horrible cost. Who's really winning? In a fair situation, them. But to the point, I would say that if your primitive society can distill alcohol, then they have the power of invisible flames with them (alcohol burns invisibly >=D) They could also perhaps intoxicate the enemy's water supply with it (stealth required, but in a primitive society they would have hunters and trackers who are stealthy around animals at least), so either the enemy goes thirsty or gets drunk. If they have shamans, they will at least know which plants are poisonous, so there you go again... I don't know, but they could probably make a catapault or something of that nature as well.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pomegranate Cameron
    But on improvised weapons, the Iraqi terrorists are fighting us with $200 dollar homemade bombs, and we're fighting them with all sorts of top-secret multi-million dollar equipment. We're winning the war but at a horrible cost. Who's really winning?
    Defense contractors are winning. Every time a 200 dollar bomb blows up a 200,000 dollar vehicle, they can count on the government to buy another one from them.

    Probably any attempt to shift from expensive tactics to inexpensive tactics would meet with a lot of opposition by lobbyists in Washington, and a lot of overblown "studies" would start to emerge that purport to show how ineffective cheap weapons are...... even though we know from experience that they're not ineffective.
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  11. #10  
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    How about the good old bow and arrow?
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    Fear always works best, that and black ops, psy-ops etc.

    Failing that - http://www.body-armour-protection.co...try-knife.html
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  13. #12  
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    How about peace? That is the best weapon on the planet.
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    Surrender first. Then hope your conquerors designate a parcel of land for you to live on if you don't wish to be assimilated into their culture. Wait until the time when the conquering race becomes a little less warlike, more civilized and racked with guilt. Then make it known that as aboriginals, you are entitled to the land. Then wait for the money to roll in. No shots fired, a peaceful inglorious victory. Enjoy the wealth and never stop complaining unless you want the war reparations to stop.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
    Wait, so people are just leaving microwaves plugged in out in the middle of nowhere? Or is it that they see a microwave physically and target it? Could you explain this a little futher please?
    Microwave ovens operate in the field, remotely located where no source of electric power is available, exactly as usefully as do standard cellular phones. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Microwave ovens operate in the field, remotely located where no source of electric power is available, exactly as usefully as do standard cellular phones. jocular
    Because microwave ovens have internal batteries?

    Edit: it seems highly unlikely, since any emission is more-or-less instantly classified by frequency, wavelength, pulse rate, power and numerous other things to decide exactly what the emitter is.
    A microwave oven isn't likely to resemble anything like a military radar and would in all likelihood be dismissed/ neglected as "zero threat".
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; January 17th, 2013 at 10:29 PM.
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    Improvised weapons have always facinated me. I would suggest to do some research about the Vietcong, they are known for a lot of improvised weapons including catapults, giant crossbows, early IEDs (Germans did it before it, and of course before them someone else did it), bamboo traps and much more.

    The best improvised weapon, hmmm, I would say has the following traits:

    -low cost
    -high damage (preferably injure someone than killing someone, it costs more to treat someone)
    -it causes fear or terror
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  18. #17  
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    Best improvised weapon is an even "worse" question than "best tank" or "best aircraft".
    You'd have specify the circumstances - an IED isn't the best for taking out an enemy commander at distance, and a home-made sniper rifle isn't the best at destroying an enemy convoy.

    This highlights the problem: "And how good are they against a properly armed, modern military force?"
    A modern military force consists of a carefully-considered (or at least it should be!) mix of vehicle types, troop types, weapon types and responses/ tactics. There is, and can be, NO single solution to defeat such a force.

    That said, the obvious answer to "what is the best improvised weapon?" would be "whatever works at the time".
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    This is an incredibly ambiguous question. Price must also be considered, as does access to materials, purpose of device, potential damage of device, inscrutability of the device, etc.
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  20. #19  
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    When I originally proposed this thread, I was thinking of villagers in some poor country trying to defend against oppression by the that country's leadership, so villagers against a modern or semi-modern military or militia. I don't know how many third world dictatorships actually have tanks in their army. It seems like, in countries like Zimbabwe or Myanmar, most of the brutality is delivered by soldiers with small arms weaponry.


    So how do we even the odds without spending any real money? Teach the locals how to mix their own black powder? Maybe a few poisons so they can make blow dart guns? (Or mix the two, and make simple black powder fragmentation grenades laced with poison in the shrapnel?)

    I like the suggestion of punji sticks, if the villagers live in an area that has the right kind of bamboo or lumber for it.
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    Edit: it seems highly unlikely, since any emission is more-or-less instantly classified by frequency, wavelength, pulse rate, power and numerous other things to decide exactly what the emitter is.
    A microwave oven isn't likely to resemble anything like a military radar and would in all likelihood be dismissed/ neglected as "zero threat".
    you would know what radars put out what type of transmission. you run an ELINT mission, designed to get the enemy to fire up their radar, to find this out plus prior knowledge.
    Sometimes it is better not knowing than having an answer that may be wrong.
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    Judging by how much energy was released by the Russian meteor as it exploded overhead and its potentially devastating effect, I wonder if it was at all feasible to amass huge chunks of ice in space and have them land on or explode over your enemy when the time ever came to use them. Say you didn't have the enemy's nuclear capability but had a space program and you just wanted to prepare a defence in case threatened or at war. Like a giant snowball fight.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    And how good are they against a properly armed, modern military force? I'm mostly trying to think of the kinds of things a bunch of stone aged tribal people could build if they had the know-how.

    I've read about a way to synthesize gun powder from alcohol and charcoal. (I'm rather dubious that it would be high quality gun powder, but it's something.) I don't know how easy/hard it would be for a tribe to learn basic iron working, so maybe that possibility should be left out?

    It might also be interesting to discuss things like IED's that involve cell phones, or other highly available trappings of modern society, provided we can be assured that they are easy enough to get that a first world country would have no hope of cutting off access to them.
    1. your mind and ability to think/reason
    2. muscle memory
    3. hands
    4. shins/feet
    5. knees
    6. elbows
    then the rest depends on what you know and how well you can do it. well actually all of the above are like that as well, but it is harder to understand how to use your head, a shirt, or even a belt to protect one's self.
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    Kittens that have been fed with C4. The moment the enemy goes to cuddle up with it, boom.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    And how good are they against a properly armed, modern military force? I'm mostly trying to think of the kinds of things a bunch of stone aged tribal people could build if they had the know-how.

    I've read about a way to synthesize gun powder from alcohol and charcoal. (I'm rather dubious that it would be high quality gun powder, but it's something.) I don't know how easy/hard it would be for a tribe to learn basic iron working, so maybe that possibility should be left out?

    It might also be interesting to discuss things like IED's that involve cell phones, or other highly available trappings of modern society, provided we can be assured that they are easy enough to get that a first world country would have no hope of cutting off access to them.
    1. your mind and ability to think/reason
    2. muscle memory
    3. hands
    4. shins/feet
    5. knees
    6. elbows
    then the rest depends on what you know and how well you can do it. well actually all of the above are like that as well, but it is harder to understand how to use your head, a shirt, or even a belt to protect one's self.
    I think fist/foot/knee...etc vs. gun is a losing fight, even if you're a martial arts master.
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  26. #25  
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    Hang on....

    In the OP, first you said it would need to be weapons that stone age people could build, then, you changed to using things like cell phones..

    So which is it?

    Are the weapons to be made by stone age people or just people in underdeveloped countries of today?

    Last edited by seagypsy; April 29th, 2013 at 12:08 AM.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Hang on....

    In the OP, first you said it would need to be weapons that stone age people could build, then, you changed to using things like cell phones..

    So which is it?

    Are the weapons to be made by stone age people or just people in underdeveloped countries of today?


    I'm content with things they would have access to.

    So maybe the premise should change to asking what things very very poor people can arm themselves with.

    The main problem of modern bush wars is the side with the most money will almost always win. They can afford the rifles and ammunition. (That and the side that's the most brutal wins.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The main problem of modern bush wars is the side with the most money will almost always win. They can afford the rifles and ammunition. (That and the side that's the most brutal wins.)
    The side that puts troops into the field last is the one that wins.
    Money (and the lack or abundance of it) is largely irrelevant if the political will isn't there.
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    Fertiliser (dried pig crap) bomb.
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    Children's toys with lead based paint. As the adult soldiers trip over them at night, falling down and injuring themselves. This also kills their children, as they ingest the paint when they try to eat the toys.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The main problem of modern bush wars is the side with the most money will almost always win. They can afford the rifles and ammunition. (That and the side that's the most brutal wins.)
    The side that puts troops into the field last is the one that wins.
    Money (and the lack or abundance of it) is largely irrelevant if the political will isn't there.
    You can't put troops in the field until you have enough rifles.

    Political will means next to nothing if all you've got is machetes. You think the villagers who were getting wiped out in the Sudan genocides simply lacked the political will to fight back? Maybe they had guns in their tents, but just thought "Ah oh well.... I'll just let them kill my kids. Not worth going to war over."
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    I think that, living in the West, we can't imagine being too poor to be able to get the money together to buy rifles to defend ourselves. So we often imagine that if a group of people isn't armed, it must be because they didn't have the "political will" to save their money and buy rifles from somewhere.

    What if they honestly don't have access to that kind of money? Then what? How should they fight back against an opponent who has guns?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    You can't put troops in the field until you have enough rifles.
    Right.
    Because rifles are the only things that people.

    Political will means next to nothing if all you've got is machetes.
    Machetes, or even pointed sticks, count if the other side doesn't have the political will to keep accepting casualties.

    You think the villagers who were getting wiped out in the Sudan genocides simply lacked the political will to fight back? Maybe they had guns in their tents, but just thought "Ah oh well.... I'll just let them kill my kids. Not worth going to war over."
    You're confusing individuals defending themselves with an organised (for a given value of "organised") movement.

    I think that, living in the West, we can't imagine being too poor to be able to get the money together to buy rifles to defend ourselves.
    Some cultural bias here, methinks.
    Regardless of my earnings I'd have no idea where to get hold of a rifle.

    What if they honestly don't have access to that kind of money? Then what? How should they fight back against an opponent who has guns?
    I wonder...
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    I would think quieter weapons that are effective but don't give away your position too easily would be better.

    Traps, snares, blow darts, arrows, sling shots.... being able to use terrain that is unfamiliar to the invader is always an advantage. Also knowing the wildlife. Knowing how to catch and strategically place venomous critters in or near the beds of the enemy can be pretty effective, rigging an avalanche to bury an envoy of troops.

    or even situations like in the movie "300" where the small army of Spartans forced the huge Persian army to have to attack them through a bottle neck reducing the effectiveness of their numbers where only the immediate narrow front line of the Persians was able to do anything against the army.

    And intimidation is another thing. You can make them fear you by simply placing the heads of your enemy on sticks along the paths you expect them to be taking. Soldiers seeing such horrific things can be completely demoralized seeing brutality like that and cause them to imagine your strength and size to be much more than it is. Fear can cripple many. When you imagine you are going up against a monster rather than just a twisted human being, you forget that they have the same weaknesses as anyone else.

    Also, consider how the colonists of the US defeated the British troops with the help from the natives. They taught us how to hide behind trees and blend in with our environment, rather than wearing bright red jackets and standing in formation following fancy royal rules for fighting. We fought "dirty" according to the Brits of the time, but we fought smart. And the British learned from that, or else they would still be wearing targets when they go into battle. But they don't, they wear camouflage now.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    You can't put troops in the field until you have enough rifles.
    Right.
    Because rifles are the only things that people.

    Political will means next to nothing if all you've got is machetes.
    Machetes, or even pointed sticks, count if the other side doesn't have the political will to keep accepting casualties.
    What casualties?


    What if they honestly don't have access to that kind of money? Then what? How should they fight back against an opponent who has guns?
    I wonder...
    In the absolute most extreme of cases.... maybe a weapons disadvantage could be overcome by a driven population that had unimaginably great numerical superiority.

    However, the example of the Battle of Islandlwana involved breach loading rifles. A breach loading rifle is nothing at all like a fully automatic assault rifle in terms of its ability to inflict disproportionate casualties. The breach loader will get off however many shots they can fire before the army on foot closes in. Then it's all over. The fully automatic assault rifle could potentially fire over 200 rounds in the time the breach loader manages to fire 10 shots.

    Furthermore, there's more than just the guns. If the attacking army is mobile, like driving around in jeeps, then they can hit village after village before the villagers have any chance to unite. Even if the villagers could amass a big army on foot, that army would be incapable of moving fast enough to prevent the next village from getting overrun.

    Add to that the possibility of artillery, and it's barely plausible even as a joke that the machete bearing villagers are going to make a difference.
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    [QUOTE=kojax;418454]What casualties?[quote]
    Any casualties at all.
    The West is gradually coming to the "belief" that "our guys" shouldn't take casualties.

    However, the example of the Battle of Islandlwana involved breach loading rifles.
    Smith-Dorrien, Memories of Forty-eight Years Service "It was a marvellous sight, line upon line of men in slightly extended order, one behind the other, firing as they came along, for a few of them had firearms, bearing all before them."
    Largely spears vs. rifles.

    A breach loading rifle is nothing at all like a fully automatic assault rifle in terms of its ability to inflict disproportionate casualties. The breach loader will get off however many shots they can fire before the army on foot closes in. Then it's all over. The fully automatic assault rifle could potentially fire over 200 rounds in the time the breach loader manages to fire 10 shots.
    Uh, yeah.
    If the guys are carrying that much ammo. If the weapons don't overheat...

    Furthermore, there's more than just the guns. If the attacking army is mobile, like driving around in jeeps, then they can hit village after village before the villagers have any chance to unite. Even if the villagers could amass a big army on foot, that army would be incapable of moving fast enough to prevent the next village from getting overrun.
    Add to that the possibility of artillery, and it's barely plausible even as a joke that the machete bearing villagers are going to make a difference.
    You still seem to be ignoring the fact boots on the ground are required.
    The "good guys" will take casualties (see above) finding the "bad guys", and then they can call in superior firepower.
    Unless, of, course, you're advocating indiscriminate use of force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    A breach loading rifle is nothing at all like a fully automatic assault rifle in terms of its ability to inflict disproportionate casualties. The breach loader will get off however many shots they can fire before the army on foot closes in. Then it's all over. The fully automatic assault rifle could potentially fire over 200 rounds in the time the breach loader manages to fire 10 shots.
    Uh, yeah.
    If the guys are carrying that much ammo. If the weapons don't overheat...
    If the defenders are willing to bring more guys than their opponents have ammo, then they will win exactly one battle.

    They won't win a second battle, because their numbers will have been significantly reduced, but they will win that one, single battle that one time.

    Just like how the Zulus won that one battle, and then went on to lose the war.

    Furthermore, there's more than just the guns. If the attacking army is mobile, like driving around in jeeps, then they can hit village after village before the villagers have any chance to unite. Even if the villagers could amass a big army on foot, that army would be incapable of moving fast enough to prevent the next village from getting overrun.
    Add to that the possibility of artillery, and it's barely plausible even as a joke that the machete bearing villagers are going to make a difference.
    You still seem to be ignoring the fact boots on the ground are required.
    The "good guys" will take casualties (see above) finding the "bad guys", and then they can call in superior firepower.
    Unless, of, course, you're advocating indiscriminate use of force.
    The purpose of this whole thread is to ask how common villagers can defend against an opponent that has superior arms. Most of those bad guys also make indiscriminate use of force.

    Boots on the ground are not really required for an African genocide. They're usually not trying to hold the village. They're just trying to wipe it out, so that the next 10 villages will cower in fear.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Just like how the Zulus won that one battle, and then went on to lose the war.
    Would that be because the political will was there for the Brits to carry on?

    They're usually not trying to hold the village. They're just trying to wipe it out, so that the next 10 villages will cower in fear.
    And anyone with any brains would know that hit-and-run tactics should be used against occupying forces.
    IOW the guys with machetes and home-made weapons don't indulge in stand up fights with invaders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Just like how the Zulus won that one battle, and then went on to lose the war.
    Would that be because the political will was there for the Brits to carry on?
    If one side has nearly zero political will, but chooses to go to war anyway, then I guess they could lose in spite of their wealth. It reminds me of PhDemon's post.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Because you know they might also choose to give their soldiers bananas instead of rifles. Got to be prepared for that too.



    They're usually not trying to hold the village. They're just trying to wipe it out, so that the next 10 villages will cower in fear.
    And anyone with any brains would know that hit-and-run tactics should be used against occupying forces.
    IOW the guys with machetes and home-made weapons don't indulge in stand up fights with invaders.
    Ok. I'll remind you again what was the point of this whole thread. Asking how comparatively poor villagers can stand up to well armed oppressors who come and hurt them.

    Now, if they're up against a force like the USA, which adheres (to some degree) to the Geneva Convention, and feels bad harming civilians, and has a voting public that is strongly divided as to whether the war is even necessary............. then we need another thread for that.

    If Robert Mugabe has decided he doesn't feel like losing the election, and so he's sending a bunch of armed thugs into your district to rape your daughter in front of you so you'll be afraid to vote for his opponent.......... those people aren't going to lose any sleep over wiping out a village. Hit and run tactics work best when you can hide among the population. They don't work so well when your enemy retaliates by going to your village and cutting off the arms of all the children there.

    I'm trying to ask a question about things that have happened and are happening in the real third world. Not things that might happen in a make believe third world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Ok. I'll remind you again what was the point of this whole thread. Asking how comparatively poor villagers can stand up to well armed oppressors who come and hurt them.
    Actually the OP stated, quite clearly, and how good are they against a properly armed, modern military force?
    The inference would: an army.
    An organised, subject to the Geneva Convention, army.
    Military: A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force.

    Now, if they're up against a force like the USA, which adheres (to some degree) to the Geneva Convention, and feels bad harming civilians, and has a voting public that is strongly divided as to whether the war is even necessary............. then we need another thread for that.
    Nope: that happens to be this thread.

    I'm trying to ask a question about things that have happened and are happening in the real third world. Not things that might happen in a make believe third world.
    Then maybe you're either not reading the thread, or you're in the wrong one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    I'm trying to ask a question about things that have happened and are happening in the real third world. Not things that might happen in a make believe third world.
    Then maybe you're either not reading the thread, or you're in the wrong one.
    I'm the one who started this thread, but reading back to my OP, I suppose I wasn't clear enough about that part.

    It's going to be a boring discussion if we talk about how to defeat a force like the USA, because that's pretty much easy. Our soldiers are only permitted to use force in a very narrowly defined way. They're basically fighting with two arms tied behind their backs.

    Improvised weapons are already being used pretty effectively.
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    Not really true Kojax. Rules of engagement change and vary widely depending on the strategic and tactical situation. I never felt constrained one bit in combat, if anything I lost more sleep about 19 year old's in my charge approaching that line when they didn't need to.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; April 30th, 2013 at 11:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm the one who started this thread, but reading back to my OP, I suppose I wasn't clear enough about that part.

    S.G. post number 25
    What are the best improvised weapons?
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    I started a new thread to fix these unclarities. I don't really see a transition to cell phones as very far off the mark, because really poor people can still get them. I would think the intent of the question is obvious. I want to know how under-funded armies can fight well funded armies and win. Most particularly in those cases where it matters.

    Very few of the people who find themselves in this situation are fighting a military under the control of a first world country. That's why I don't see tactics that rely on the enemy obeying the rules of war as very useful. Third world warlords and dictators rarely take the trouble to worry about that stuff.

    As for those which are facing an army that obeys rules of war, most of the people in Afghanistan don't really need to defend themselves from the US invasion anyway, since the USA isn't intentionally targeting civilians.
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    As for those which are facing an army that obeys rules of war, most of the people in Afghanistan don't really need to defend themselves from the US invasion anyway, since the USA isn't intentionally targeting civilians.

    That's not entirely true--In fact our primary target are the civilians to deter their willingness to support the insurgency as well as convince them that a stable government will benefit their families. But I know you meant take offensive military action. We could do it, and have in past wars particularly when it was associated with a military war making capability (aka our nuke drops, firebombings etc). We choose not to do so in Afghanistan because studies of insurgencies (you could start with US American revolutionaries) consistently show that turning the population against us, might bring temporary progress, but almost always ultimately fails to win the war (or bring the peace or build that nation).
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    What about the mind? With sufficient intelligence one can simply use their words to make the enemy destroy itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by world eater View Post
    What about the mind? With sufficient intelligence one can simply use their words to make the enemy destroy itself.
    Ah yes... but if your enemy has earmuffs and a tape recorder, that plan may work against you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by world eater View Post
    What about the mind? With sufficient intelligence one can simply use their words to make the enemy destroy itself.
    Ah yes... but if your enemy has earmuffs and a tape recorder, that plan may work against you.
    Then you yell it to them. Then they will notice and take said interference away.
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    The one's closest at hand.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by world eater View Post
    Then you yell it to them. Then they will notice and take said interference away.
    Just be sure to not observe the results or you'll collapse the wave function.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    I would think quieter weapons that are effective but don't give away your position too easily would be better.

    Traps, snares, blow darts, arrows, sling shots.... being able to use terrain that is unfamiliar to the invader is always an advantage. Also knowing the wildlife. Knowing how to catch and strategically place venomous critters in or near the beds of the enemy can be pretty effective, rigging an avalanche to bury an envoy of troops.

    or even situations like in the movie "300" where the small army of Spartans forced the huge Persian army to have to attack them through a bottle neck reducing the effectiveness of their numbers where only the immediate narrow front line of the Persians was able to do anything against the army.

    And intimidation is another thing. You can make them fear you by simply placing the heads of your enemy on sticks along the paths you expect them to be taking. Soldiers seeing such horrific things can be completely demoralized seeing brutality like that and cause them to imagine your strength and size to be much more than it is. Fear can cripple many. When you imagine you are going up against a monster rather than just a twisted human being, you forget that they have the same weaknesses as anyone else.

    Also, consider how the colonists of the US defeated the British troops with the help from the natives. They taught us how to hide behind trees and blend in with our environment, rather than wearing bright red jackets and standing in formation following fancy royal rules for fighting. We fought "dirty" according to the Brits of the time, but we fought smart. And the British learned from that, or else they would still be wearing targets when they go into battle. But they don't, they wear camouflage now.
    the head hunters of Borneo is a prime example.
    The Airmen and the Headhunters: Watch a Preview | Secrets of the Dead | PBS

    all of this is in some form, education.
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    I appreciate you taking notice of my post. I think it was completely overlooked considering in the new iteration of the thread someone else said something similar and they were hailed as giving such a great idea and wonder was exclaimed that no one else had suggested such a thing. I didn't even bother to point it out over there. I figure if my post was ignored here, it would be ignored there as well.

    on second thought screw it, I'm pointing it out over there.
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