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Re: [DS and SG] Regiments of the Crown

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 19:30:32 -0500
Subject: Re: [DS and SG] Regiments of the Crown

John spake thusly upon matters weighty: 
> > Of course, in WWII, it was 50,000 rounds per KIA. In Vietnam,
> > 200,000. Volume of fire isn't necessarily an improvement, but not
> Not that fighting in triple-canopy jungle with untrained undisciplined
> conscripts had anything to do with combat effectiveness.  Coupled, of
> course, with the fact that this was before the US really understood
> trained for the implications of assault rifles being the standard
> infantry weapon.

Sure. And the point I think remains though. Volume of fire is useful, 
but only if applied at the right time. Otherwise its just rounds into 
the air. (or ground, or trees). 
> > And 1 Company of Snipers, if anyone learned anything from the 20th
> > century... probably deployed 1 Pltn per Inf Battalion with maybe 1
> > Pltn for independent ops.
> I don't use a lot of snipers in my TOs.  For one thing, you can't
> just hand a guy a gun with a scope and say "PFC Smythe, you are now a
> sniper.  Go forth and kill."	It just doesn't work that way.	To make
> GOOD sniper (and a bad one isn't enough of a threat to make the cost
> the scope worthwhile) takes some expensive training and a fair bit of
> talent.

In most of the wars (from the Civil War on up), sniper training has 
varied in length. Let us take Vietnam for example. Marine snipers 
initially had 3 days of training and were left sniping with M1-Cs and 
M1-Ds from the previous wars. Some got Winchester Model 70s. Scopes 
were problematic. (This is early to mid-war). Army snipers got 5-7 
days training. Some of them used scoped standard M-16s, and M-14s. 
But this was the nature of trying to train snipers during a war. In 
all cases, you had to qualify expert in basic to get into sniper 
school. BUT, it didn't seem to take that long to turn good marksmen 
into snipers. Especially the ones pulled from in country. By the late 
war, the Army was using Remington M700s with Match Ammo and 3-9x 
Scopes (sometimes starlight) and the Marines were using M-21s with 
the same scope. Both were 7.62mm. But even then training was a 
MAXIMUM of three weeks. So making great snipers isn't apparently an 
act of huge huge amounts of training, just a lot of raw talent and 
then opportunity to practice in the field (most of the time, less 
than a year, due to rotations out of country). But by the end of 
Vietnam, as many as (maybe) 2200 snipers had been trained. And this 
is in a program that did not start until late war. Some of these 
snipers had over 90 confirmed kills, and over 200 probables. In the 
late war, their was a sniper formation attached to each division. I 
believe it might have been a Company (I can check). Most of the time, 
each platoon in the Marine and Army divisions had a sniper team 
available.  And (unlike my prior comment), they figure that for about 
20,000 rounds expended by snipers, they killed nearly 10K targets. 

If I could read history (and some can), and saw the effect of snipers 
from the Roman age up to the latest wars, I think I'd be a fool for 
trying to put together a formation without an organic sniper 
component. You may have to recruit from Kentucky mountain boys, 
Colonials who hunt for a living, and other sorts that are out in the 
bush a lot, but the pool is big enough (given the # of colonies and 
the small, professional  armies being fielded) to assure at least a 
sniper presence. Only takes one team on a battlefield to put enemy 
command, artillery, and comms units at risk. 

Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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