Little Bighorn

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by HKSlinger, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    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.
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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 *** 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.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  5. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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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.
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    36 views and 4 replies??

    Maaaaannnnnnn.

    Ain't any of you gots any his*ter*E lernin in youse background..... :eek:
     
  7. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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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.....
     
  8. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    I actually don't know diddly about the Battle of Little Big Horn :eek: I vaguely recall covering it in History class but even then I knew we were not getting all the facts :cool:

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

    Dzscubie New Member

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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.


    Scubie
     
  10. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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

    freefall New Member

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    Only if you turn them sideways. And have the Homeboy sight system.;)
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    No, man- it ain't the pistol grips- its that barrel shroud thingy that makes them so deadly. Along with being black. Or green. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I don't remember a whole lot of "comedy" in "The Book of Five Rings", "The Art of War" and "On War" :eek:

    Of the three?

    I would recommend "The Book of Five Rings" first and "On War" second. The Art of War is a great read, but the other novels' simply were more easy to translate to the modern world.

    Clauswitz was a god damn genius, and his "work" was published after his death AND was incomplete.

    Rommel versus Clauswitz on the "modern" battlefield would have been a very EPIC "Modern Warrior".

    This almost needs a new thread by itself.
     
  14. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    And bayonets! Actually I recall having seen a show awhile back that claimed that Custer was outgunned, as many of the Sioux had Spencer, Henry and Winchester repeating rifles while Custer's men had single shot rifles. Add the fact that the rifles had extractor issues, not unlike an AR after shooting Russian ammo.

    Not so sure, however, that a modern AR would have changed the outcome, Custer employed poor tactics and had a regiment of tired, sick and malnourished troopers.
     
  15. Walley

    Walley New Member

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    Arrogance, stupidity and past actions by Custer is what got him and his men killed. If a military man today knowingly ordered women and children to be killed they would be Court Marshaled and imprisoned. The book I Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is the best chronicle of what actually transpired at The Little Big Horn. Custer got exactly what he deserved. The sad part of it is that he got all his men killed by his poor leadership and gross ignorance. Custer wasn't a hero, just a pompous fool sent west to get rid of him.
     
  16. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Some of the criticism assumes that Custer's lines would have broke in the same fashion regardless of the weapons his men had. I doubt that would have been the case at all.

    IF the troopers had M16's, we must assume they would have been trained with them. This would have given them a very substantial advantage over the Sioux. If I recall correctly, the battlefield archeology shows the troopers were arrayed in a line formation at the beginning of the battle. This line broke and the troopers began a running battle as the Sioux began the chase. At that point, the troopers lost all formation effectiveness. Before they were overrun, the troopers had a defensible position if equipped with the right weapons.

    While Custer's poor decision making was the deciding factor in the battle, you have to taken in account that many of the Sioux has superior firepower compared to the troopers. The trap door Springfields did have greater range and stopping power, but the terrain and horse mobility allowed the Sioux to close range with the troopers from the start of the battle. This negated the Springfield's longer range and made the repeaters of the Sioux far more devastating.

    The trap door Springfield had a rate of fire of approximately 10 rounds per minute. An M16 can lay down fire at a rate of what? 100 rounds per minute with fair accuracy?

    Would it have made a difference? I think it certainly would have. Maybe if the troopers had a weapon comparable to their opponent, some kind of repeater, MAYBE there wouldn't have been a Wounded Knee. Maybe the US Army wouldn't have been out for blood vengeance for the next several years. Maybe there would be a difference in Indian relations. Maybe there would be more integration of the Sioux and other Indian nations into the nation as a whole.

    Maybe... maybe... maybe
     
  17. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    Alright, but what if the Sioux had AKs?:D
     
  18. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Is Ditka regular-sized or mini-sized?
     
  19. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    I forgot to add, the troopers had an endless supply of ammo, with nuclear tipped bullets.
     
  20. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    There's the win right there.

    Lets say they also had chainsaws, now what?