16 Mar 23
Historical Literacy:
As the Ukraine Invasion grinds on and on, Russia has sadly seen amazing numbers of its armored vehicles, trucks, transports of all kinds, etc destroyed wholesale by Ukrainian forces, or simply abandoned by their crews, because they broke-down or ran out of gas!
Losses have been staggering. Russia has lost more tanks than all of NATO (combined) can currently put into the field!
Russia’s embarrassing response has been to scurry about, taking long-obsolete tanks and other vehicles out of mothballs. Virtual antiques, most have been outmoded for decades. Nonetheless, Russian technicians are frantically trying to refit them for contemporary service.
They’re even raiding museums!
In the West, we may be snickering at all this, but all of us may soon face the same desperate situation.
Who knows what weapons we as individuals may be compelled to press into serious service, maybe sooner
than we think?
I saw an LEO at a gun retailer recently. He asked to see an M1 Garand (currently manufactured by Springfield Armory, and a few others).
I said nothing, but it was obvious this officer was handing a Garand for the first time in his life, and had not a clue with regard to the way it worked.
The M1 Garand won a World War less than a hundred years ago, yet two generations later grandsons of American GIs have no idea of how to use one!
It struck me that during the next world conflagration we American citizens (maybe UK, French, Polish, and other European citizens too), on our own soil, may have to grab anything we can, and use it as a fighting weapon!
Of course, polymer-framed autoloading pistols and optic-equipped M4s are preferred, but iron-sighted Garands, M14s, M1 Carbines, FALs, even 1903 Springfields still work just fine- in the hands of someone who is familiar with the system and can put it to use to its maximum potential.
Not to mention revolvers, Kalashnikovs, Enfields, Mosin-Nagants, 1894 Winchester lever-guns, et al!
There is the “ideal,” and there is the “real”
Accordingly, having curiosity about, and learning about, “obsolete” weapons, and world events that brought them about, is a good thing, and often associated with long life!
“OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. A word which some lexicographer has marked ‘obsolete’ is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer.
Indeed, a writer’s attitude toward ‘obsolete’ words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer, who might not happen to be a competent reader.”
Ambrose Bierce