Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The things they carried...

Via McThag comes this neat photographic comparison of the soldier's changing burden, 1066-2014.
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12 comments:

Paul said...

Kind show the changes in effectiveness over the years as well. From about 1914 on they have kit to engage multiple targets at once that did not exist other than the archer kit.

Interesting link

Jon said...

Tom Kratman has an interesting article or two over at EverydayJoe (Don't have a link, sorry at work) about how the current infantryman is loaded down so heavily with protective gear he can't effectively do his job.

Its an interesting take. I'll post a link up when I get home if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

Ted N said...

Tom K's article: http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/06/30/politics/examining-our-soldiers-loads-what-are-they-carrying/

The rest of the series had been really good as well.

Mike_C said...

The Telegraph link is very interesting and visually neat to boot. I was thinking that it would have been nice to know what the various kits weighed (and the mean weight of the "average" fighting man in each era as a sort of scaling factor) and sure enough, Jon and Ted N already pointed to a contemporary source. Thanks, guys! (Looks like a timesink also. Thanks, guys ;)

SPEMack said...

Nice Tim O'Brien reference. Read that short story in 10th grade, bought the book in college.

Anonymous said...

Marius' mules come to mind.

Ulises from CA

Bram said...

Yes - notice how the the load exploded in the last two slides. I think every modern modern Infantryman says "holy shit - I can hardly walk with all this crap" - the first time he steps out with a full load.

The military keeps loading us down with other crap. Meanwhile they want to make rifles smaller and lighter - the only thing I really don't want downsized.

Anonymous said...

As my coworker said after looking over my shoulder at the photos:

"Only a general would call that "light" infantry."

Gerry

acairfearann.com said...

The first three are a little deceptive, it is very unlikely that an individual Anglo-Saxon at Hasting had more than a dagger, short knife, and a choice of those long weapons displayed. The very, very well equipped Crusader might have had all of those long weapons, but probably not (again choice depending on personal preference and availability). And the man at Agincourt did not carry that chunk of wood! Just used it to great effect.
The medievalist will go back to lurking. But a fascinating series.

Ted N said...

But it's all lightweight! Everything says so on the label!

Angus McThag said...

It is, by no means, a new debate.

The Soldiers Load and The Mobility of a Nation by SLA Marshall is copyright 1950.

Geodkyt said...

I also wouldn't call the parachute and leg bag for the WWII Arnheim para part of his "kit".

The parachute never leaves the DZ, and the kit bag IS the rest of his kit, or stuff he is jumping for the unit and dumps on their position.