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Old 03-08-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Little Bighorn

Would it have turned out any different if Custer's men had been armed with M-16s? I asked (over a few beers) my Army recruiter this many years ago. His answer was, it wouldn't of made any difference. There were just too many Indians. I find that hard to believe.



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Old 03-08-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Oh I love history. And I love tactical historical questions. Have you studied the events that transpired at Little Big Horn??

Nothing short of air support would have made a difference.

Custer had approximately 700 men total. Conservative estimates had the Indians with a 3 to 1 ratio advantage ( some estimates as high as 9 or 10 to 1 when the attack turned on Custer and his men before the end ), with Custer's men caught off guard at the size of the reactionary force, out in the open, and on unfamiliar ground.

Yeah, Sun Tzu was laughing his ass off looking down on this one.

Even with M-16's, the soldiers' were shell shocked by the ferocious response to Reno's initial attempt to bring the fight to them. Getting attacked on multiple fronts, without the training to go with the modern weapon system, and the belief that you can hunker down and "endure" a raid like they experiencing there was no real story that didn't include it going tragically downhill from there.



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Old 03-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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High side estimates are 1800 Sioux braves involved in the battle. 647 Troopers and Officers on the 7th Cav side.

Standard load of 210 rds of 5.56/man would have sufficient ammo to kill all the Sioux 117 times over.

Would the battle have ended differently? Very likely, IMHO.

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Old 03-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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The actions at Little Bighorn have been studied several times. Link to a fair synopsis for you: Battle of the Little Bighorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bottom line- M16s would probably not have made a difference in the final outcome. While there was evidence of SOME single shot rifles that jammed (ruptured cartridge cases) they were few. Range of the soldiers weapons was far greater than the Indian weapons. Yes, Custer DID order the gatlings left behind, due to speed of movement.

What did Custer in? Crappy intel, overconfidence, and some very poor tactics by MANY of those involved. Reno's choice of attacking formations left flank open, 3 shooting/ 1 holding horses cut his firepower 25% when he could not afford it. His element of the 7th was too badly cut up to reinforce Custer. Thinking that you had a good mental image of the ground when you did not did not help matters.

Good tactics may overcome shortfalls of weapons. Good weapons rarely overcome crappy tactics.

Case in point- defense of Rourke's Drift against the Zulu.
Case in point- Defense of LZ Bird, night attack in VietNam. 3 NVA Battalions attacked a firebase, staffed by 199 Americans.

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:27 AM   #5
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Wouldn't have made any difference to Custer but think about all those M16's in the hands of ticked off Indians.

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:48 AM   #6
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36 views and 4 replies??

Maaaaannnnnnn.

Ain't any of you gots any his*ter*E lernin in youse background.....

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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It would have ended worse.

Without Break Free, the weapons would have jammed sooner, speeding his loss.

Had Break Free been invented, none could afford it, as everyone smoked back then. The only place to get cheap smokes? Reservation.

Now if they had Glocks.....

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:00 AM   #8
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I actually don't know diddly about the Battle of Little Big Horn I vaguely recall covering it in History class but even then I knew we were not getting all the facts

From what I do know of military history - tactics usually out-win technology more often than not if not the majority of the time

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:18 AM   #9
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Has anyone ever been to Little Big Horn? Custer’s troopers were driven apart and separated into little groups a hell of a distance apart and were cut to pieces by the Indians. I don’t think having M16’s would have made a difference as long as the 7th was clustered up in those little groups. They would still have been cut to pieces. IMO.


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Old 03-09-2011, 03:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzscubie View Post
Has anyone ever been to Little Big Horn? Custer’s troopers were driven apart and separated into little groups a hell of a distance apart and were cut to pieces by the Indians. I don’t think having M16’s would have made a difference as long as the 7th was clustered up in those little groups. They would still have been cut to pieces. IMO.


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Yeah, but they would have had pistol grips. We all know that makes them more deadly...


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