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amstrad
2002-Jun-15, 07:56 PM
Slashdot (http://slashdot.org/) had a link to this site that discusses Bad Physics in Hollywood:

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics (http://intuitor.com/moviephysics/index.html) [intuitor.com]

Silas
2002-Jun-16, 03:18 AM
Wow, am I glad they mentioned sparking bullets! This has been one of my major-league, number-one gripes for a VERY long time.

I grew up out in the boonies, where, as a youth, I could fire guns without a great deal of concern for safety. And, yes, we had a lot of junked cars on our property. I used to go out and shoot at them. Guess what? NO SPARKS! Nice little neat smooth holes. Period.

I have HATED the conventional effect of bullets sparking when they hit metal (or wood!) for a very long time.

And, yes, I've also fired at rocks. (Dumb!) No sparks. Lovely ricochet noises, but no sparks.

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-16, 08:22 AM
I like the XP: physics from another world rating.

Bad medicine in the movies is often extreme. Fainting, unconsciousness, CPR, and hospital scenes are the worst. If we all fell into unconsciousness every time we were hit on the head by a bottle... I bet the physics of that event could not be correct.

And what on Earth makes all those women faint /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif , and why don't the men ever?

David Hall
2002-Jun-16, 09:03 AM
The BA has a link to this site on his movie page.

http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/index.html

Kaptain K
2002-Jun-16, 12:19 PM
The thing that bugs me most about movie physics is rear end car collisions. When was the last time you saw (in a movie) a car run into the back of another car and not do a barrel roll? Have you ever seen it happen in the "real world"?

Conrad
2002-Jun-17, 09:57 AM
On 2002-06-16 08:19, Kaptain K wrote:
The thing that bugs me most about movie physics is rear end car collisions. When was the last time you saw (in a movie) a car run into the back of another car and not do a barrel roll? Have you ever seen it happen in the "real world"?



I think you'll find that cars used in films, especially Hollywood films, are made by Acme (Destructible) Cars, Inc. They are designed to explode in an enormous fireball if they get bumped, dinged, scratched or go off the road at any speed. If an Acme car is driven by the hero, however, an automatic Hero-sensor delays the explosion until he has departed the vehicle.

Wally
2002-Jun-17, 04:59 PM
On 2002-06-16 04:22, beskeptical wrote:
I like the XP: physics from another world rating.

Bad medicine in the movies is often extreme. Fainting, unconsciousness, CPR, and hospital scenes are the worst. If we all fell into unconsciousness every time we were hit on the head by a bottle... I bet the physics of that event could not be correct.

And what on Earth makes all those women faint /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif , and why don't the men ever?


Brings to mind that Simpsons episode where they're trying to save Homer from the cult. Got 'im in the car, then started whacking him over the head to knock some sense into him. The result??? Well, instead of getting knocked out, he just kept stating the obvious "OUCH" with every hit. There's good medicine for ya!

David Hall
2002-Jun-17, 05:06 PM
However, I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode where Homer and Barney get selected for the space shuttle. The NASA guy slugs em unconcious with a sap and his colleague asks him if that was really necessary. I think the answer was "yes, it is."

David Hall
2002-Jun-17, 05:12 PM
And another thing, these guys never seem to have any trouble recouperating either. After getting slugged on the head, they come to with nothing worse than a bump and a headache.

It always amazes me how much punishment movie heroes can take. The bad guys get dropped with one shot, but the heroes take bullets, beatings, and more and just keep going. Worse than the Terminator, who at least has an excuse. And at the end, a couple of makeshift bandages are all that's needed to get them back on their toes and ready to save the world again.

Chip
2002-Jun-18, 05:48 AM
On 2002-06-17 13:12, David Hall wrote:
"...these guys never seem to have any trouble recouperating either...a couple of makeshift bandages are all that's needed to get them back on their toes and ready to save the world again."

Chip: (Using Schwarzenegger voice and accent) "Tired? Who's tired? I'm not tired. We attack now."
But actually, that is something the Sc-fi heroes (and some heroines) inherited from the movie western. All those bar room brawls with broken bottles and furniture.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-18, 07:19 AM
Whether one faints or gets knocked out, they always wake up instantly, at just the right time.

You don't want to know what happens in the real world when your head gets hit hard enough to really get knocked unconscious. If you are out for more than a few minutes, I guarantee you won't wake up ready to roll.

About the broken glass, When I was a kid and went on a Universal Studios tour, (before it became a theme park), we got to eat glass, it was really rock candy. That was what they made the windows out of so the crashing cowboys wouldn't get cut.

Paul Unwin
2002-Jun-18, 06:26 PM
I know bad physics in Star Wars is an easy target, but here's what Ben Burtt says (http://starwars.com/community/askjc/ben/askjc20020617.html) about the "seismic charges" in Attack of the Clones.


I will say that this is something I've wanted to do since A New Hope, we just never had a sequence which allowed the explosion to be featured in a way that I could exploit the idea of delayed sound in space... what I call an "audio black hole", an explosion so cosmic that the energy of the sound is unable to escape at the time of ignition, but is released a moment later.

I'd have to deactivate my higher brain functions for this to make any kind of sense. Still, it was a cool effect.

Paul "there's an Air In Space museum" Unwin

Simon
2002-Jun-19, 09:16 AM
On 2002-06-18 14:26, Paul Unwin wrote:
... Still, it was a cool effect.


I think it's best all around to just leave it at that.

Renaldo
2002-Jun-19, 10:45 AM
and you've got to love the way the hero is always able to dodge something at the last minute. be it a bullet, car, spaceship, LASER!!!!! even though he is going so fast that everything becomes a blur.

those heroes must ship out with some kind of slow-motion, x-ray vision and spiderman senses.

David Hall
2002-Jun-19, 12:57 PM
On 2002-06-19 06:45, Renaldo wrote:

those heroes must ship out with some kind of slow-motion, x-ray vision and spiderman senses.


Well, if you're talking about Spiderman, Superman, Star Wars, or The Matrix, you actually CAN say that. But otherwise, I think not. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

pvtpylot
2002-Jun-19, 01:42 PM
On 2002-06-18 14:26, Paul Unwin wrote:
Still, it was a cool effect.

When I was watching the movie my first reaction was "Way COOL!" It wasn't until after the movie that I started wondering about the physics of it. I'd say on the "dazzle factor" scale the effect was definately a success. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

James Felix
2002-Jun-19, 03:25 PM
On 2002-06-16 04:22, beskeptical wrote:
I like the XP: physics from another world rating.

Bad medicine in the movies is often extreme. Fainting, unconsciousness, CPR, and hospital scenes are the worst. If we all fell into unconsciousness every time we were hit on the head by a bottle...

This was always a favorite bit of move ** for me. I worked as a bouncer for a few years in my youth and I can assure that knocking someone unconscious is not that easy. In fact, the only guy I ever saw get knocked out had some pretty serious injuries to take away from the experience, not a mere bump on the head.

2002-Jun-21, 02:15 PM
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-22, 08:16 AM
On 2002-06-21 10:15, ronin wrote:
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.


Not to mention bullets don't often go straight through. And they leave big exit wounds. And your lung is pretty high up in that clavicle area. And if you puncture the lung or bleed into the pulmonary cavity your lung will collapse. And, they never put the ventilator tube in correctly........(chuckle, chuckle)

Speaking of bleeding, how come Anikan didn't have any spurting arteries when his arm got chopped off? I suppose those swords cauterize but arteries are pretty big there to be closed by a one shot cautery device.

Kaptain K
2002-Jun-22, 09:28 AM
Well, considering that in Episode 1 they used a lightsaber to melt what looked like a bank vault door, cauterizing a major artery shouldn't be a problem. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

beskeptical
2002-Jun-23, 04:16 AM
Then where was the smoke? Burning blood vessels smoke in the OR. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

David Hall
2002-Jun-23, 08:17 AM
In one of the Star Wars books (One of the Zahn books. I forget which one exactly.), after Luke gets done chopping up a few stormtroopers with his lightsaber, the ship's guard is mystified as to how they died, because there was no evidence of physical wounds. Then the captain suggests they look for microscopic incisions. Sure enough, the troopers died by being sliced through by a microscopically-thin object that simultaneously cauterized and rejoined the halves.

g99
2002-Jul-01, 07:00 PM
How come bad guys in movies hire wimps who cant shoot if their life depends on it(and it usually does if there is a hero around) and no matter how badly hurt the bad guy is he is still able to use his unlimited supply of bullets to kill every bad guy when a team of highly trained s.w.a.t. team members cant shoot even one of them (i am specifically refering to Die Hard 2).

Also if you get hit in the shoulder , it would most likely destroy the ligaments nerves, and the arteries in the area making your whole arm immoveable and also making you bleed into your arm and probobly torso. As stated before.
The foce of the bullet would also probobly shatter the bone and the clavicle puncturing the lungs and several other blood vessels, basically really screwing with the rest of your day.

Kizarvexis
2003-Nov-17, 06:14 AM
I command this thread to LIVE AGAIN!!! :)


How come bad guys in movies hire wimps who cant shoot if their life depends on it(and it usually does if there is a hero around) and no matter how badly hurt the bad guy is he is still able to use his unlimited supply of bullets to kill every bad guy when a team of highly trained s.w.a.t. team members cant shoot even one of them (i am specifically refering to Die Hard 2).


See the Evil Overlord list (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html). Obviously, not all Hollywood villians have perused this useful resource. (Pay attention Humphrey, if you haven't already read the list. ;))

Kizarvexis (part time Thread Necromancer) :)

Zamboni
2003-Nov-17, 06:40 AM
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.

So uh what is the best place to be shot? Well obviously not be shot at all is best but just out of curiosity which part of the body after being shot by a bullet (say 9mm) will sustain least critical injury and recover without permanent damage?

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-17, 12:52 PM
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.

And lets not even talk about what happens when a bullet hits bone. I was trained to shoot for the pelvis when dealing with someone who is hopped up on drugs. If you take a hit there, I do not care what you have been taking, you are going down.

Zamboni is quite right that there is no good palace to get shot. People who watch movies have no idea just how devastating a bullet from even a pistol can be, let alone a high powered rifle.

There are a few real world incidents where someone is hit several times and keeps fighting. The incident in Florida where the FBI decided to ditch the 9mm after putting 15 rounds in a guy and not stopping him is a classic example. Of course none of the rounds hit anything vital. I am not a big fan of the 9mm, but it would have done the job it one of the hits was center-mass.

At least in Aliens they explained that the rounds were explosive tipped. I have never even seen a steel core round spark. A few calculations would also show that even a 12ga will not pick a guy up off the ground and throw him across the room.

Glom
2003-Nov-17, 01:20 PM
I'm looking forward to their review of The Matrix Revolutions.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-17, 03:29 PM
I'm looking forward to their review of The Matrix Revolutions.

Forget the physics. It was a nonsensical plot, with nonsensical battle scenes.

Zamboni
2003-Nov-17, 05:43 PM
@Ripper 2.0:
What about the so-called "extremety shot"? Would a hit to the foot or palm of the hand be less devestating? Or would you bleed to death?

Assuming you are a member of the law enforcement (as oppose to a gun slinging gang), how do you peform non-leathal take downs with a gun (from a distance, bashing the guy doesn't count).

SeanF
2003-Nov-17, 05:50 PM
@Ripper 2.0:
What about the so-called "extremety shot"? Would a hit to the foot or palm of the hand be less devestating? Or would you bleed to death?

Assuming you are a member of the law enforcement (as oppose to a gun slinging gang), how do you peform non-leathal take downs with a gun (from a distance, bashing the guy doesn't count).

You don't. A gun is deadly force, and you only fire it when the situation warrants killing the guy. And you always fire to the center of the body.

(Depictions in TV shows and movies notwithstanding) :)

daver
2003-Nov-17, 06:05 PM
How come bad guys in movies hire wimps who cant shoot if their life depends on it

It's the Fu Manchu factor. My guess is that it is an insidious English plot--that the English unionized all the criminal henchmen during their colonial phase.

Humphrey
2003-Nov-17, 06:30 PM
@Ripper 2.0:
What about the so-called "extremety shot"? Would a hit to the foot or palm of the hand be less devestating? Or would you bleed to death?

Assuming you are a member of the law enforcement (as oppose to a gun slinging gang), how do you peform non-leathal take downs with a gun (from a distance, bashing the guy doesn't count).

Even a shot to a hand or foot will be devastating. There are many small bones in the hand that will be crushed, broken, or shattered from the bullet. At best the bullet will hit a finger and you will lose the finger. Even then i bet Shock will set in and you could bleed to death if you are not taken care of.

But i agree with ripper. A bone hit by a bullet is absolutely horrible. The fracturing on the bone actually will travel faster than the bullet itself and cause damage itself with the splintering and blowout's it can cause.

Stuart
2003-Nov-17, 06:33 PM
So uh what is the best place to be shot? Well obviously not be shot at all is best but just out of curiosity which part of the body after being shot by a bullet (say 9mm) will sustain least critical injury and recover without permanent damage?

Nowhere. The whole idea is a myth. There is a good chance of crippling injuries to matter where you get hit - too much is dependent on chance for any prediction to be made. There's a case on record of a guy who took a .44 magnum soft-point in the head and survived with minor disablement and another of a person who took a .22 short rifle (that's right - short rifle) in the leg that severed his femoral artery and he bled out and died in 15 seconds. Another case; a victim took a .25 ACP in the abdomen and didn't know he'd been hit until he dropped dead several hours later (bullet clipped and weakened the renal artery; again, when it gave, he bled out internally very fast).

Hence the first, foremost and above-all rule. DON'T point guns at people unless you intend to kill them.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-17, 06:57 PM
Sean F, Humphrey and Stuart are all correct. I am the best shot I know (which is saying something in my line of work, but enough self agrandisement) and I would never try one of those movie tricks of shooting a gun out of the bad guy's hand. I practice for center mass shots, and that is what I defaulted too when the time came. ANY gun is a deadly weapon, and should only be used when there is no other option. Only a cop should ever have to worry about disabling or disarming anyone. Anyone else is either defending their life or not. A cop who woulds a perp can still get sued at a civil court (yes, it does happen).

The vast majority of gunshot wounds, even with modern medicine, will have long lasting effects. In the case of a bone hit, it is likely to bohter one for the rest of his life.

OscartheGrouch
2003-Nov-17, 10:36 PM
Well, one kind of bullet does "spark" when it hits, and that would be an incendiary projectile. However, it's not because they strike off tiny glowing chips of metal like conventional sparks from a grinding wheel; it's due to the incendiary compound igniting. Watch aircraft gun camera films from the Korean war and sometimes WW2 and you'll see this effect. Especially since the recipients are made of aluminum, which doesn't spark very well, impact flashes don't spark without some help.

There was also one case of an officer shooting a gun out of someone's hand, and probably everybody's seen the film on Real TV or History Channel or all those cop shows on Discovery and the Beeb. But in that exact incident, (a) the guy (it's safe to say he had "issues") was sitting down in a chair in the middle of the street just waving a revolver around without a good grip on it, (b) the police had cleared a lot of space around him, (c) the firing officer was a highly proficient SWAT sharpshooter with a scoped rifle, and (d) he got rather lucky, because he hit the gun exactly forward of the cylinder and not the cylinder itself, which might well have detonated all the rounds in it, rather to the detriment of its possessor.

Other than that, heck no! Ripper, I've never heard the shoot-the-pelvis thing--in both North Carolina and Florida concealed carry courses, they are very firm about center-mass point of aim, as are just about all other instructors I know of. But I can see how that could work.

Also, in Florida at least, an officer or lawfully armed civilian is immune from suit for personal injury or wrongful death if they were acting in self-defense. Crooks can try such suits, whereupon they will lose, and get dinged for defense attorney fees, and lose all privileges in prison. You may be thinking of federal civil rights suits, which aren't so easy to defend.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-17, 11:32 PM
Tracers and incendenary rounds do not really "spark" on impact. They burn all the way to the target. The main difference is that incendaries have more pyro in them. There are marker/spotter rounds that flash on impace, but there is nothing that sparks like they do in the movies.

The concealed cary class I took taught center mass. The pelvic shot was a different training program. It came from the need to stop drugged out perps. I do not know which police use it.

I do not know the laws in FL. I suppose they have had to deal with these issues longer because they were one of the first states to have a "Shall Issue" law.

Kizarvexis
2003-Nov-18, 04:44 AM
There was also one case of an officer shooting a gun out of someone's hand, and probably everybody's seen the film on Real TV or History Channel or all those cop shows on Discovery and the Beeb. But in that exact incident, (a) the guy (it's safe to say he had "issues") was sitting down in a chair in the middle of the street just waving a revolver around without a good grip on it, (b) the police had cleared a lot of space around him, (c) the firing officer was a highly proficient SWAT sharpshooter with a scoped rifle, and (d) he got rather lucky, because he hit the gun exactly forward of the cylinder and not the cylinder itself, which might well have detonated all the rounds in it, rather to the detriment of its possessor.

You forgot (E), very short range. I remember that show and IIRC, the narrator said that the SWAT sharpshooter with the scoped rifle was only a little over 100ft away from the suspect. 100ft is long range for a pistol, but very short for a rifle. In the Army (at least when I was there '86-'90), the targets on a rifle range were generally set from 50-300 meters (roughly 150ft-1000ft) and stationary (no scopes and shooting center mass). The M-16 has a maximum range of around a mile, but the maximum effective range (where you can get a consistant hit pattern) for a point target, is only 550 meters.

Oh and (F), he had left the revolver in the same spot for a number of seconds before the shot. Moving targets are harder to hit than Hollywood shows on the screen.

Kizarvexis

Zamboni
2003-Nov-18, 06:44 AM
(still on the topic of getting shot)
So basically if you get shot you'll likely die no matter where you're hit huh?

Oke-doke... I'll try to avoid getting shot from now on.

Kizarvexis
2003-Nov-18, 08:12 AM
(still on the topic of getting shot)
So basically if you get shot you'll likely die no matter where you're hit huh?

No, I don't think they were saying that. I think they were saying that getting shot can have long term consequences, even if it is not a life threating gunshot wound. And a life threating wound is much easier to get than as is shown in Hollywood movies and TV shows. Just look at slapstick comedy like Home Alone. A doctor was quoted in some newspapers, that anyone suffering the 'accidents' that the bad guys did in that movie would most likely end up seriously injured and in intensive care from even one of them not to mention the bunch of hits the bad guys took in Home Alone.


Oke-doke... I'll try to avoid getting shot from now on.

Always a good thing.

Kizarvexis

Laurie
2003-Nov-18, 11:57 AM
Why I like Jacky Chan films for their end "outtakes". He does all of his own stunts and the outtakes show what can happen if they dont work.

Not too many movies made where the "physics" are anywhere near right. Some are not too bad but "glitz" is the word. Schwarzenegger did try bring out something of the "real" vs. "reel" in his "Last Action Hero" film. The car crash in the alley after he comes "off screen" for example.

Weapons. What about the results of cuts and slices from knives and swords? For that matter, what about cutting through armour like it is cheese? My husband is a traditional historical armourer who forges edged weaponry for reenactors to where with their costumes. He does this is an old time blacksmith shop and been doing this for 50 years now. We will both sometimes sit and pick apart some tacky historical film ala "MYSTK"....if it is really bad.

Swords do not cut through plate like butter...or else why wear it? Why would it have been developed? Besides, swords are not THAT heavy to begin with to do anything like that. (Neither is plate or other historical armour so heavy you have to have help or a derrick to get you up on a horse either.)

"It's only a flesh wound" is soooooo over done. Yep, say that when your arm muscles have been fileted by a sharp knife or sword. Just wrap it in a bandage and it will heal in a week. More like "drop off".

As for bullets, we have friends in the local Sheriff's office that have told us similar tales about what calibers will and will not do. Most would prefer to go back to the heavier 45 if it was allowed.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-18, 12:15 PM
There was a documentary I saw once on armor where they showed a man doing cart-wheels in a suit of full plate. Properly fitted armor allowed full freedom of movement. They did a test with a long bowman firing bodkins (a narrow point rather than a broadhead) at a piece of the plate, and it would not go through. Even a lead bullet from an early arquebus (very primative gun) only dented it. Some early guns fired steel darts which in the test did manage to penetrate.

I am curious though. There was an article in NG a few years ago where they brought up some very well preserved langbows from a sunken ship in the North Sea. They found that the draw weight of these bows was much higher than historians had thought. It had been assumes that the bows would have about the same draw weights as those used for hunting today, up to about 75 pounds. The ones they brought up would have had draw weights of more than twice that! Remember, British archers were the best in Europe at that time, and practiced constantly. The results of the battle of Agincourt would seem to indicate that an English longbow could penetrate plate armor. Was plate in common useage st that time, or was it still mail?

captain swoop
2003-Nov-18, 01:10 PM
I am curious though. There was an article in NG a few years ago where they brought up some very well preserved langbows from a sunken ship in the North Sea. They found that the draw weight of these bows was much higher than historians had thought. It had been assumes that the bows would have about the same draw weights as those used for hunting today, up to about 75 pounds. The ones they brought up would have had draw weights of more than twice that! Remember, British archers were the best in Europe at that time, and practiced constantly. The results of the battle of Agincourt would seem to indicate that an English longbow could penetrate plate armor. Was plate in common useage st that time, or was it still mail?


At Agincourt the archers killed the horses of the leading rank, those behind fell over, trapped in a mangle of dead and dying horses and overweight armour the French knights were easy meat.
As for the agility, it's true that some plate was light and flexible but at Agincourt the French knights were overweight.
As for the Longbow those in use at Agincourt were quite capable of piercing plate at close enough range. The idea was to take out the horses, Armoured men on foot were voulnerable in the loins, Breastplates and helmets were hard to pierce but the loins were relatively unprotected, armour in this region was quite weak due to it being designed to be flexible and allow sitting astride a horse. I
will check up some of my refs tonight and get back with some Agincourt facts and figs (it's a bit of a pet subject of mine)

the definative book on the Longbow is 'Longbow, a Social and Military History' by Robert Hardy (Patrick Stephens Limited (Haynes Group); ISBN: 1852604123 ) also by the same author 'Longbow' ( HarperCollins; ISBN: 0951174703)

The author is best known as Siegfried Farnon in the TV series 'All Creatures Great and Small')

For a concise book on the battle try; 'Agincourt' Christopher Hibbert (Cooper Square Publishers; ISBN: 081541053

or 'Great Battles: Agincourt (Weidenfeld & Nicholson history; ISBN: 1842127187) for a paperback version.

There are other good ones but this springs to mind as covering all the relavent tactics and weapons without getting bogged down too much in the historical politics and sociology of the time (although it does reference enough to give a context for the battle and covers the approach march and landings in France. It's a bit of a classic.

Hibbert also has a good book on hastings as well.

The BBC Series 'War Walks' with Richard Holmes has one on Agincourt, it demonstrates the effectiveness of the longbow (with Robert Hardy) if I remember, it also shows how plate evolved and how the various 'Pole-arms' developed to cut down armoured knights and hook them from their saddles.

For a historical context try

The Battle of Agincourt 1415*(Tempus Publishing; ISBN: 0752417800) (Anne Curry (Editor) Contemporary accounts from french and English sources. Has army rosters and battle plans and gives an account of the battle from those who were there.

Jim
2003-Nov-18, 01:55 PM
"It's only a flesh wound"...

http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-04.htm

Iain Lambert
2003-Nov-18, 02:10 PM
"It's only a flesh wound"...

http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-04.htm

Sorry, I can't resist:

Its worse than that, he's dead, Jim.

Laser Jock
2003-Nov-18, 02:42 PM
I was at a camp once where we had a firing range. The instructor, in an effort to encourage us to take gun safety seriously, shot an orange with a .22 rifle bullet. The idea was that an orange (mostly water) would respond much the same way human flesh (mostly water) would. The orange had a tiny entrance hole, but the back was completely shredded. Since water is not compressible, the bullet formed a cone of destruction as it traveled through the poor fruit. Needless to say, it made impression on all of us who saw it. A bullet of any caliber is bad news.

Bawheid 2.0
2003-Nov-18, 03:16 PM
Plate armour isn't restrictive if well fitted and the wearer is fit, if either doesn't apply then forget cartwheels. The weight is evenly distributed and doesn't really encumber. I think it was Richard the Third who used to do handstands in his armour.

In the War Walk Captain Swoop mentions, the presenter is sixty and wearing someone else's armour and struggled. It was on the history channel yesterday, coincidence, or conspiracy......... :o

From memory, at Agincourt the main areas of the body are plate armoured but the stomach, joints etc can be protected by mail.

calliarcale
2003-Nov-18, 03:19 PM
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.

So uh what is the best place to be shot? Well obviously not be shot at all is best but just out of curiosity which part of the body after being shot by a bullet (say 9mm) will sustain least critical injury and recover without permanent damage?

As a layperson, I'm going to venture a few guesses.

It really depends on what the bullet hits, and that isn't just a function of which general part of the body is affected. You've got major arteries in every general body part. (They *feed* those body parts.) If any of them are broken, you could bleed to death quickly. You've also got bones in every major body part. If bone is hit, you're probably going to be in excruciating pain and incapable of accomplishing very much (although adrenalin and endorphins can do amazing things at this point). If bone is hit, you may also require a series of excruciating orthopedic surgeries to regain partial use of the limb, or even require amputation.

A grazing flesh wound on your non-primary arm would probably be the best. A deep wound is going to hurt like hell no matter where it is. A shoulder hit will be incapacitating, probably maiming, and possibly lethal. You also may never use your arm normally again. A kneecap hit will permanently cripple you. And though some people talk about "capping" a person as a way of bringing them down without killing them, there are major arteries in the knee and they may still bleed to death. But it will certainly be incapacitating. A chest wound is very bad; you can be amazingly lucky if the bullet is stopped by bone, but the main risks would include internal bleeding, collapsed lungs, and pneumothorax (fluid in and around the lungs, mechanically interfering with respiration). A gutshot may be the worst in terms of gruesome deaths, because it will take some time; if your bowel is perforated, you will need immediate surgery and even then may still die of infection (acute peritonitis, the same thing that can ultimately kill people with untreated appendicitis). Headwounds can be instantly fatal, or can be almost undamaging -- there's a lot of luck involved, where if the path of the bullet were off by a millimeter it would have been certain death. But the outcome of a headshot can be a lot stranger than what Hollywood has depicted; you can suffer brain damage (obviously) which may leave you completely functional but with major personality changes, or which may rob you of your short-term memory, or your ability to read, even if your speech is unaffected. It can be very strange and unpredictable.

Avatar28
2003-Nov-18, 04:32 PM
Sorry, I can't resist:

Its worse than that, he's dead, Jim, dead, Jim, dead.

Star Trekkin' across the universe.
On the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk.
Star Trekkin' across the universe.
Only going forward cause we can't find reverse.

:-)

(yes I changed the quote ever so slightly)

captain swoop
2003-Nov-18, 04:41 PM
Plate armour isn't restrictive if well fitted and the wearer is fit, if either doesn't apply then forget cartwheels. The weight is evenly distributed and doesn't really encumber. I think it was Richard the Third who used to do handstands in his armour.

In the War Walk Captain Swoop mentions, the presenter is sixty and wearing someone else's armour and struggled. It was on the history channel yesterday, coincidence, or conspiracy......... :o

From memory, at Agincourt the main areas of the body are plate armoured but the stomach, joints etc can be protected by mail.

I beg to diffeer on the flexibility and ease of movement. It is a recorded fact that some French armours used by mounted knights, although allowing them to walk and mount would render them unable to rise after falling down. This is due to a combination of weight, and restricted movement.Armour of this kind was designed to take the impact of a lance from another mounted knight or a polearm held by someone on foot. If you think of the impact speed and force of two mounted knights clashing or the force of running onto a polarm 'heeled' against the ground you can see why extra tough armour was needed.

As for protection from arrows by mail, you might as well wear cotton, a Bodkin arrow will go through a mail clad leg and pin it to a horse with no problem.

Plate was developed as a direct response to the Longbow not to blade weapons.

Samurai wore a layer of silk, it didn't stop the arrow going in but it intrudes into the wound around the arrow and allows it to be pulled out easily.

In Rippers post he mentioned a sunken ship containing Longbows. That was the Mary Rose, flagship of the new 'Royal Navy' ofHenry VIII.

Forensic examination of skeletons from the 13th to 15th C show a 'deformation' in the form of enlarged muscle attachment points and thickened bone due to constant practice with the bow.

It was everyones duty to practice archery and it started as a child, by adulthood it was instinctive.


It must be remembered that one cannot just think of 'Knights' and 'bowmen as a generic thing. It would be like lumping everything from the Boer War to the Gulf into 'Modern warfare' and considering all the weapons and tactics as the same.

Armour and weapons from the 13th Century were very different from those of the 15th but they all involved armour and arrows.

Things developed quite rapidly as stronger bows led to better armour and back, just like (for example) Tanks and AT weapons in the modern era.

Matherly
2003-Nov-18, 06:35 PM
On the subject of Hollywood v reality...

I once saw a martial arts master claim he could stop a bullet from hitting him. When asked how he replied "I never allow myself to be in a position where I would get shot at." :)

OscartheGrouch
2003-Nov-18, 06:47 PM
To get a little graphic, wound ballistics in humans and large animals, are not always predictable because the projectile passes through different tissues and can ricochet off bone, or break it. That's why we have the following true stories:

A young infantry officer of the Great War took an 8mm bullet in the chest, which many would consider automatically fatal. He was out of action for awhile, but recovered and enjoyed a long and fruitful career, never mind what Patton and Ike thought of him sometimes. This was of course Montgomery.

Another well-regarded young officer in WWI took a .303 Enfield bullet through the torso. He lasted long enough to land the fighter plane he was flying and expired just seconds after infantrymen ran up to his plane. Months earlier, a bullet sliced his scalp, leaving him with a headache and a healthier respect for rear gunners and a lot of anxieties. But that day his luck ran out with a single "to whom it may concern" machine-gun bullet. There went the Red Baron.

About ten years ago in my town, some foolish kid shot a 12-year-old girl in the chest with a .20 caliber pellet gun. She died within minutes because it perforated her aorta.

A few years after that in Broward County, Florida on I-95, a metal fencepost fell off a truck, bounced through the air, and speared through the chest of a teenage girl riding in a minivan, pinning her to the seat. She lived without much permanent injury, though the local TV news had a field day with "Impaled on the Interstate" banner updates for days on end.

A US soldier in Vietnam out on patrol reported being shot at from ambush, whereupon he dropped to the ground and emptied a 20-round M16 magazine at his attacker, who for some reason dropped his rifle and charged with a large knife. The soldier fired another 20-round magazine in full-auto bursts, observing strikes all over the guy's "black pajamas", without effect and had to swat the guy over the head with his M16, breaking the stock, to give himself a few seconds to dash away and draw his .45 auto. The guy came back at him with full fury, falling down only when one of the US soldier's final rounds hit him in the head. Examination of the decedent revealed at least four hits EACH from high-velocity (55-grain, 3200fps) 5.56mm and low-velocity (230-grain, 900fps) .45 bullets. Also, the assailant proved to be an 80-pound teenage girl. Determination counts for a lot.

An officer shot a robber with a 12-gauge slug, aka "punkin' ball". This was a torso hit from the side and the slug passed IIRC all the way through the robber. The cop vividly remembered seeing the soles of the robber's shoes in the air as he flopped down instantly upon being shot. He was still alive, miraculously, so the cop hurried to the hospital to interview him before he died. The cop walked into the examination room where the robber was lying apparently comatose while the doctor was probing the wound with his finger. The robber caught sight of the cop, sat bolt upright (dragging the doctor with him), pointed, and yelled, "You the [maternal copulator] shot me!!" He lived too. This one is recounted in Mas Ayoob's Stressfire II.

Check out www.firearmstactical.com for more stuff.

Humphrey
2003-Nov-18, 08:28 PM
If i was facing arrows i would not want to wear mail. Mail was made to counter slashing strokes not peircing.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-19, 12:44 PM
If i was facing arrows i would not want to wear mail. Mail was made to counter slashing strokes not peircing.

It was also rather bulky. It hung off of your shoulders abd tended to flap around. Strapping it down may have reduced this somewhat, but I would think that would just further restrict your movement.

AstroSmurf
2003-Nov-19, 01:22 PM
One of my pet peeves (woof!) in medieval-themed movies is the fake mail they use. Real mail is exceedingly rare, though things have started to improve a bit. The usual is silver-sprayed knitted 'mail', which might fool a layman but looks wrong to anyone who's seen the real thing. Hollyweird is getting better, but they still have a long way to go.

While we're on the subject of people surviving getting hit, there were two rather scary/amusing incidents lately in the reenactment circles in Sweden.

The first thing happened during a show fight, where the 'actors' had been sloppy with the safety arrangements. During the fight, one of the fighters lost his grip on the sword, which, lacking a safety strap, went sailing into the audience and hit a young girl in the head. Fortunately for her, it hit in the nose region rather than the cranial region, so she survived the accident more or less unscathed. Things were rather dicey around reenactors a while after that, but the blame seems to have been put squarely on that particular group rather than on reenactors as a whole. The group has not been heard from since.

The second I actually witnessed, and it happened while two guys trained in different disciplines were sparring. One of the guys was trained using HACA methods, meaning that a lot of the moves end up with the sword pointed towards the other guy's head. (HACA try to train using authentic, i.e. fairly lethal, methods...) As they were trained rather differently (just checking out each other's moves), his opponent was suddenly a lot closer than he should have been, and the sword point hit him square between the eyes. Fortunately, the sword was sharp, so it stuck in the bone there, doing almost no damage at all. If it had been blunt, he might well have lost an eye.

(Btw, I think this thread is degenerating into weapons talk...)

kucharek
2003-Nov-19, 01:28 PM
(Btw, I think this thread is degenerating into weapons talk...)
Seems to be unavoidable here...
I just wait for the first sociologist/ethnologist popping up here and saying, he's writing a thesis about BABBlers...

Harald

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-19, 03:40 PM
Well, we are talking about bad movie physics, and weapons are one of the places where they are more often wrong than right.

Here is a short list of areas where Hollywierd is frequently wrong.

Weapons/Military
Astronomy/Aerospace
Cars/Car crashes
Medicine/Physiology

And as long as I am at it,

Relationships between men and women.

I am sure anyone in any trained profession sees problems any time their profession is protrayed in a movie. I remember the scene in the ull Monty when they are watching Flash Dance and one of the steel workers is comenting on the fact that the actress obviously knows nothing about welding.

daver
2003-Nov-19, 06:15 PM
Well, we are talking about bad movie physics, and weapons are one of the places where they are more often wrong than right.

Here is a short list of areas where Hollywierd is frequently wrong.

Weapons/Military
Astronomy/Aerospace
Cars/Car crashes
Medicine/Physiology

And as long as I am at it,

Relationships between men and women.

I am sure anyone in any trained profession sees problems any time their profession is protrayed in a movie. I remember the scene in the ull Monty when they are watching Flash Dance and one of the steel workers is comenting on the fact that the actress obviously knows nothing about welding.

Ever watch actors trying to fake playing a musical instrument? Heck, i was watching Stalag 17 the other day, the actor couldn't even fake whistling (yeah, i know, they dubbed in the whistle later. But they didn't even try to lip synch). Computers and programmers are usually misrepresented as well.

Mark Twain was writing about this (in an essay trying to determine who really wrote Shakespeare's plays). Twain of course was a riverboat pilot, and it chafed whenever he read nautical lingo in a book--it's pretty well impossible for an outsider to get any trade's jargon right.

Stuart
2003-Nov-19, 07:35 PM
Btw, I think this thread is degenerating into weapons talk...

I think its inevitable to some extent; the difference between space travel technology and weapons technology is much less than (I suspect) many here would like to think. After all, rockets are basically long-range artillery; in space travel, they've reached the range where they don't come down again. Being so closely related, the physics and other sciences of space travel also relate closely to those of weaponry - "orbital ballistics" anyone. The relationship does mean that one is likely to be taken to illustrate another. Since there are more people who have a passable understanding of weaponry than they do of space matters, there is a tendancy for people to use what they understand as examples.

I think there is another trend as well - after spending most of my working life around the military in different forms and different countries, I can safely say that interest in space, space travel and space exploration is much stronger in military organizations and personnel than it is in the civil population at large. I think there are technical reasons for that but I believe there is an important social one as well. I believe that, when humanity moves out from earth into the stars, that move will be led and run by military organizations and undertaken as a military operation.

In one of his essays (given as a speech to the Midshipmen graduating from Annapolis) Robert Heinlein described the evolution of social behavior. At the bottom, he placed the simplest form of social interaction where the individual members of society take no responsibility for anybody but themselves. In this context, taking responsibility means ocnsciously placing oneself in jeopardy for the greater good of a group. At this lowest level, people just don't do it. A higher development is where people take responsibility for their families. I think most people here would place themselves in extreme jeopardy in order to protect their wives and children - at least I hope so. The big break comes there; the step to the next level of evolution is a big one - its where individuals take responsibility for the group they belong to - be it tribe or pack or clan or whatever. Wolves do it, primates do it- but few others. Its an extension beyond that of family but its still one where the individual takes risks on behalf of those they directly know. The level beyond that is where individuals place themselves in jeopardy for their society as a whole - regardless of whether they directly know the members of group or not.

Viewed this way, increasing levels of acceptance of personal responsibility for the group, its apparent that the armed forces of a country actually represent the highest level of social evolution reached to this point. The next step onwards in the social evolution of the human race is the appearance those who personally place themselves in jeopardy for the human race as a whole. Given that each group is drawn from the ranks of those below it, it is reasonable to assume that those who assume that responsibility will be drawn largely (though not uniquely) from the ranks of the military.

Hence the implication that the leading edge of space travel will be drawn from the military forces. That does bring a certain mind-set to a discussion, perhaps best expressed by a description of the military forces (Ripper will like this one). Told to secure a building ......

An Air Force officer will rent one with an option to purchase
A naval officer turn out the lights and lock the doors
An Army officer will post guards at all access points
A Marine officer will storm the building, kill everybody inside then burn it to the ground.

In Heinlein's original Starship Troopers novel, this pattern is followed exactly; space exploration and travel is largely in the hands of those who stepped up to the plate and took personal responsibility for the greater good of the human race. The great condemnation of Verhoeven's Starship Troopers is that entire message is lost.

calliarcale
2003-Nov-19, 08:03 PM
One of my pet peeves (woof!) in medieval-themed movies is the fake mail they use. Real mail is exceedingly rare, though things have started to improve a bit. The usual is silver-sprayed knitted 'mail', which might fool a layman but looks wrong to anyone who's seen the real thing. Hollyweird is getting better, but they still have a long way to go.

Part of the reason they often don't use real mail (apart from the expense) is that it is a bit cumbersome, which can get annoying if you have to wear it for fifteen hours under hot studio lights while doing the same scene over and over again. But the knitted stuff does look awful; reverse stockinette stitch only vaguely resembles mail, and it certainly doesn't move the same way. (And sometimes it gets worse, and they go for garter stitch, which is easy to make but looks even less authentic.)

WETA, the production house for The Lord of the Rings, came up with a novel (if time-consuming) solution: plastic chainmail. They bought lengths of narrow PVC pipe with a slit down its length, built a machine to cut the pipe into one-millimeter lengths (essentially making rings with a break in them), and then had two guys sit and put these rings together into chainmail, using a dab of glue to seal the breaks in the rings. The finished garments were then spray painted metallic. The result is very realistic chainmail that moves right but weighs hardly anything.


While we're on the subject of people surviving getting hit, there were two rather scary/amusing incidents lately in the reenactment circles in Sweden.

Something similar happened in the Middle Kingdom (SCA). The Midrealm doesn't permit use of normal epees in combat; instead, you have to use a heavy epee called a schlager (sp?). This is because, during a match a few years back, one of the bated epees broke. (A bated sword has a sort of stopper on the end covering the point so you can't stab anybody with it.) Turns out the sword had been bent and officials had refused to allow it in the match, so its owner simply bent it back into shape and resubmitted it. This had weakened the steel. During combat, the epee broke but its owner didn't notice. As a result, he ended up stabbing another person in the shoulder. I don't remember whether the other person lived or not, but I do know it was very serious and required an ambulence trip to the nearest hospital. Now you can only use heavier blades which are less likely to break.

I also knew a guy who taught fencing lessons. His foil broke during a practise bout, once, and before he noticed, he had stabbed his student through the arm. She suffered no permanent injuries, fortunately.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-19, 08:46 PM
Stuart is quite right as usual. By the way, one of the reasons I like shooting and reloading is that I can't find another hobby that requires accuracy to within 0.001". I also set aside for plinking (casual shooting) any bullets that are + or - 0.2 grain (about 13 milligrams). I know that sounds anal-retentive, but it is necessary if you want to shoot to within 0.1 milliradian.

I seem to remmeber in Apollo 13 someone saying that getting into orbit around the Moon was like shooting a rifle at a basketball a mile away and missing it by exactly 1/8 of an inch. I am not quite that good. Also, at one mile, a basketball does not subtend 1 degree, which is about what the moon measures.

Stuarts joke is an oldie but a goodie. It is also true.

daver
2003-Nov-19, 08:47 PM
... This is because, during a match a few years back, one of the bated epees broke. (A bated sword has a sort of stopper on the end covering the point so you can't stab anybody with it.) Turns out the sword had been bent and officials had refused to allow it in the match, so its owner simply bent it back into shape and resubmitted it. This had weakened the steel. During combat, the epee broke but its owner didn't notice. As a result, he ended up stabbing another person in the shoulder.
...

I also knew a guy who taught fencing lessons. His foil broke during a practise bout, once, and before he noticed, he had stabbed his student through the arm. She suffered no permanent injuries, fortunately.

This happens often enough during fencing that they tell stories about it. I expect that the stories evolve a bit (the gorier ones make better stories). The ones i heard involved someone getting lunged.

It is quite common during fencing to bend your foil; usually you step on the foil and pull it under your foot to gently bend it back (well, "usually" might vary depending on how much money your fencing class has. In my class (beginning) we did).

mike alexander
2003-Nov-19, 08:57 PM
RipperII wrote:
I can't find another hobby that requires accuracy to within 0.001".

Clock and watch making. Of course, you can't shoot 'em when you're done, but at least you get to work with brass.

SeanF
2003-Nov-19, 09:01 PM
Also, at one mile, a basketball does not subtend 1 degree, which is about what the moon measures.

1/2 degree, ain't it?

Stuart
2003-Nov-19, 09:04 PM
Clock and watch making. Of course, you can't shoot 'em when you're done.

Of course you can. Recommend a UMC 180 grain 1600 fps .44 magnum. Bits of clock fly ALL OVER the place

calliarcale
2003-Nov-19, 09:05 PM
It is quite common during fencing to bend your foil; usually you step on the foil and pull it under your foot to gently bend it back (well, "usually" might vary depending on how much money your fencing class has. In my class (beginning) we did).

Yes, but the foil is supposed to return to its shape on its own. When they stay bent, that's not good; bending them back can be done, but does shorten the lifespan of the blade.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-19, 09:17 PM
Also, at one mile, a basketball does not subtend 1 degree, which is about what the moon measures.

1/2 degree, ain't it?

I do not have the numbers in front of me. If it is 1/2 degree that is still a lot bigger than a basketball at a mile. I do not think I can see a basketball with the un-aided eye at a mile, that is 1760 yards!

Humphrey
2003-Nov-19, 09:24 PM
My main problems with protrayals of professionals in movies are programmers (i have NEVER once seen this as correct. The closest was Wargames ) Heck i am not a programmer and only know a few languages and i know they are doing everything wrong in most movies.

The military is usually not given the right light in modern movies but its getting more realistic.

mike alexander
2003-Nov-19, 10:08 PM
from Stuart:


mike alexander wrote:
Clock and watch making. Of course, you can't shoot 'em when you're done.


Of course you can. Recommend a UMC 180 grain 1600 fps .44 magnum. Bits of clock fly ALL OVER the place

You can't shoot WITH 'em! :wink:

Besides, shooting AT a fine clock is darned near burning a good book in my category... :x

daver
2003-Nov-19, 10:22 PM
Yes, but the foil is supposed to return to its shape on its own. When they stay bent, that's not good; bending them back can be done, but does shorten the lifespan of the blade.
Yep, which is why the straightening instructions were accompanied by the horror stories.

Laurie
2003-Nov-20, 11:19 AM
Plate armour was not the same thickness all around. The more vital parts were thicker (i.e. breastplate/helmet) and less so in others (arms/legs). When my husband was still making armour, his research showed the average about 14 gauge. Sometimes 12 gauge, depending on the piece.

Nor was it "hung all in one" off the shoulders like Mail was or worn like you see suits in museums on thier trees/dummies. That was for "show" or storage. It was worn in sections. The breast/back with tassets and pauldrons covered the "core". The forearms had elbow cops and lower upper arm defenses that were tied to an "arming coat" worn underneath the armour itself. The pauldrons protected the shoulder and overlapped the reverebrace (lower upper arm armour). The legs were seperate again with the cuisses (thighs) attached to the kneecops then laced/tied to the lower body "arming trousers" or attached to a belt. The full greaves were "free floating" and were fitted to the lower leg. This way you had full twist and "play" when moving.

As any SCA fighter knows...badly made armour will cause a whole mess of injuries, sores and painful brusing from metal pinches.

Average battle harness weights were about 60 to 65 pounds. Tournament plate armour was heavier as it was specialized for the types of "Tilt". Seperate plates could be attached to afford more protection in some forms of it.

Mail was useful against slashing weapons and absorbed alot of shock from bashing ones too. Even prevent stabbing. Arrows could drive through the links, though. The mail shirt was heavier than a plate cuirass and the weight was "hung" from the shoulders. Why belts were useful to help "hold" up the weight. A full hauberk from the 11th century could weigh as much as 100 pounds.

But life was more physically demanding in general as bone density tests on men AND women grave finds bear this out. Those warriors trained in that gear. You read of some being able to swim with it on a regular basis as "sport". So doing handstands or cartwheels is possible.

What gripes me is hearing....even from the "experts"....that a period sword was 10 pounds! Maybe two pounds....three would be pushing it. Some were more like a pound and a half....all depending on the period and type of sword (single handed, "Hand and a Half" et.c.) My husband and I laughed at one such when "A&E" was showing "The Messenger" a few years back. The expert picked up a reproduction sword and actually said this about what a "real one" would have been. There are plenty of surviving examples to refute this.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-20, 01:06 PM
snip



Average battle harness weights were about 60 to 65 pounds. Tournament plate armour was heavier as it was specialized for the types of "Tilt". Seperate plates could be attached to afford more protection in some forms of it.

snip


But life was more physically demanding in general as bone density tests on men AND women grave finds bear this out. Those warriors trained in that gear. You read of some being able to swim with it on a regular basis as "sport". So doing handstands or cartwheels is possible.


snip

.


I know about swimming, handstands etc with some armours, my point was related to Agincourt, it is historical fact that a large number of French knights were wearing harness that was way overweight, they were unable to rise after their horses were braught down or their mounts fell into the mess and were either drowned in mud, suffocated or despatched by the English with a quick knife thrust through the visor or joints.

Mellow
2003-Nov-20, 01:28 PM
interesting thread, I love this place.... from Bad Astronomy to Agincourt!

kucharek
2003-Nov-20, 01:32 PM
interesting thread, I love this place.... from Bad Astronomy to Agincourt!
Maybe Henry's horoscope was well for that day... ;-)

Mellow
2003-Nov-20, 01:38 PM
....and maybe the Zetans told him to wage war on the French. Oh I'm beginning to warm to those crazy aliens... (The Zetans I mean)

Laurie
2003-Nov-20, 01:55 PM
Actually, the French knights got off their horses and slogged their way through the mud and muck at Agincourt in 1415. By the time they reached the English lines...they were exhausted. They learned that much from Crecy, 50 years before. It was the previous Battle of Crecy in 1346 where the Black Prince and his Knights fought on foot with their men. First time that was done as usually all knights fought on horseback against each other....and the English first used their longbows to good effect.

The archers were well trained in quick shooting with firing 10 to 20 arrows a minute into the French who were charging uphill. Others would be ready to bring up fresh supplies of arrows as the first batch ran out. "Arrows fell like snow" was the actual wording about the effect.

The French had Genose crossbowmen in front with fresh cavalry behind. But it rained and the crossbowment could not keep their skeins dry. The Longbowmen could with theirs....easy enough to take their bowstrings off and put back on. Defenses were made and caltrops were thrown out to lame the horses.

The knights charged into the line.....and the Genose were trampled by the cavalry wanting their bit of glory. So within 5 minutes, 1500 French knights, along with their squires, were killed and how battles were fought changed.

The French thought the English tactics were very unchivalric, by the way.

At Agincourt, the French were so exhausted from the slogging, it was easy to understand why they fell and stayed when pushed down in the armour. The archers just stood back behind their stakes to fired away at both the prostrate and what French who were slugging it out with Henry's knights.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-20, 03:07 PM
Some of the early hand cannons were suicide weapons, as dangerous to the firer as the target. The barrels were not bored out of a solid piece, but rather built up by hammering a piece of plate around a rod, then removing the rod. Once a few decent matchlocks come on the scene that could punch through plate armor that was about the end of the armored knight. I know it was considered scandalous that a pesent could take down a knight.

I am a big believer that the advent of reliable firearms was one of the major contributers to the rise of modern democracy. The nobles were no longer invincible.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-20, 03:18 PM
snip


At Agincourt, the French were so exhausted from the slogging, it was easy to understand why they fell and stayed when pushed down in the armour. The archers just stood back behind their stakes to fired away at both the prostrate and what French who were slugging it out with Henry's knights.


there was very little 'slugging it out with henry's knights' the archers themselves formed the mass of the english infantry, even among the armoured men very few were 'knights' most were 'men at arms'

Strictly speaking a knight is a memeber of an order of chivalry or someone of the nobility. On the French side ettiquet and precenednce dictated that it was indeed the 'Knights' who were in battle and the result was the killing or ransom of a considerable number of the French aristocracy, many more fled the field.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-20, 03:25 PM
Some of the early hand cannons were suicide weapons, as dangerous to the firer as the target. The barrels were not bored out of a solid piece, but rather built up by hammering a piece of plate around a rod, then removing the rod. Once a few decent matchlocks come on the scene that could punch through plate armor that was about the end of the armored knight. I know it was considered scandalous that a pesent could take down a knight.

I am a big believer that the advent of reliable firearms was one of the major contributers to the rise of modern democracy. The nobles were no longer invincible.


It wasn't considered scandalous, the English archers had long been able to 'take down a knight' In fact the majority of armoured men weren't 'knights' they were commoners who wore armour, even archers wore armour.

I disagree that firearms were a major contribution to democracy, this sounds like a modern rationalisation, democracy in England was a long and complicated social, economic and political process. For example King Charles was motivated to reject any compramise by his belief in the 'Divine right of Kings' and his coronation oath this resulted in his death, the war would have been fought with or without firearms.
Nobles were never invcincible and the nobility were usualy in the front rank, look at Agincourt Henry was in the thick also Richard III at Bosworth.
Plate was still a protection against shot for a long time. Armour was still worn up until the 17th Century but concentrated in the breastplate and was still effective agains the weapons of the English Civil War for example. Firearms of the period were slow to reload and heavy to use, they were fired from within a formation protected by Pikemen as they were slow to fire and risked being ridden down by cavelry.

Ikyoto
2003-Nov-20, 03:34 PM
Having been in armour, I can say that the differences from place to place (as in what type of armour you were wearing) had a huge effect on how you were able to move. I've made everythig from boiled leather to full articuated plate and mail. European to Japanese. The ability to move really depended on three things - how much cash you were willing to spend, how good the master and his team were at making the gear and how many things you were willing to give up. the more flexible your armour, the more gaps a thin blade or arrow could get through.

Agincourt was the major "pivot" in warfare where the "tanks" of the day were cut apart by massed firepower at a distance. And the weak spot was the horse. Archeological evidence points to as many French dying from being slammed intot he ground and having the hourse roll over them because the knight was more protected than his mount!

As for firearmes - I've been shot three times. You NEVER EVER want this to happen to you. I have extreem problems with my lungs due to one shot, my right elbow gives me grief on a regular basis (and that was just a burn from a shotgun going off too close to my arm!) and the one that grazed my head... we won't even go there.

Guns are made to do one thing. Kill. Don't ever think that they are a symbol of machismo or that you can take a hit and walk away like a character in a movie. Stray shots kill and injure so firing a gun is soemthing to NOT be done lightly.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-20, 03:41 PM
snip


Agincourt was the major "pivot" in warfare where the "tanks" of the day were cut apart by massed firepower at a distance. And the weak spot was the horse. Archeological evidence points to as many French dying from being slammed intot he ground and having the hourse roll over them because the knight was more protected than his mount!



See my earlier post, it was a deliberqate tactic to kill the horses of the front ranks, as well as archeological evidence there is eyewitness testimony from both sides that describe the same.

Stuart
2003-Nov-20, 04:14 PM
I am a big believer that the advent of reliable firearms was one of the major contributers to the rise of modern democracy. The nobles were no longer invincible.

Don't forget barbed wire. The Gods made Aristocrats and the Gods made Farmers but barbed wire made them equal.

As long as fields were unbounded or only marked by hedgerows (long time making, hard to maintain and mot very effective), the aristocracy could ride crops and farmers down at their whim and leisure. When farmers started to string barbed wire to mark their land, that was over (look at the effect barbed wire had on the ranges of the US West as an example.)

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-20, 04:16 PM
My understanding was that the English archers were Yomen, a petty noble, but not a peasant. The thing that really kept the gun from becoming a decicive weapon at first was not the firing rate, but the reliability and safety. In the days of matchlocks it was not uncommon for a gunner to turn himself into a Roman candle.

With firearms you do not need a "warrior class". They are easy to use, and effective against anyone. They were also relatively cheap.

I know that the early guns could not penetrate plate armor, but I would think that a Brown Bess could. A lead ball 3/4" in diameter at about 900fps should be able to knock a hole through a decent thickness of steel plate. I have not tired this, and I do not know enough about the matalurgy of the day, but I would think that if a metal breastplate were an effective defense against musketballs they would have been worn during the American Revolution and Mexican War.

I know that the Brit officers protested that the Americans were targeting the officers during the revolution.

Stuart
2003-Nov-20, 04:25 PM
I know that the early guns could not penetrate plate armor, but I would think that a Brown Bess could. A lead ball 3/4" in diameter at about 900fps should be able to knock a hole through a decent thickness of steel plate. I have not tired this, and I do not know enough about the matalurgy of the day, but I would think that if a metal breastplate were an effective defense against musketballs they would have been worn during the American Revolution and Mexican War.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the French (plus, I think others) user "curassiers" whose breastplates were reputedly able to resist a musketball. They achieved this by being pigeon-breasted so that there was an oblique angle of impact from dead ahead. I think that went out when rifling entered the world.

I suspect also that a democracy driver in firearms was the destruction of illusion. Governments rule by and large because they are the government. there is a "habit of obedience" (people drive on the stipulated side of the road etc). People obeyed the aristocracy because it was an ingrained habit from them not being able to do anything about it. Then, aristos started getting shot and the habit of obedience got broken.


I know that the Brit officers protested that the Americans were targeting the officers during the revolution.

I've always said, the only redeeming feature of Air Forces is that they are the only armed service where the enlisted men send the officers out to die.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-20, 04:29 PM
Good point. On the other hand, do you want to talk about the life expectancy of a Platoon Commander in combat?

daver
2003-Nov-20, 05:39 PM
Good point. On the other hand, do you want to talk about the life expectancy of a Platoon Commander in combat?

Every now and then i catch a glimpse of Cartoon Network's Clone Wars cartoon. It appears that officers wear Storm Trooper armor with big bright colored stripes down the sides. I wouldn't want to be making their insurance payments.

Phreaky
2003-Nov-20, 05:45 PM
I've always said, the only redeeming feature of Air Forces is that they are the only armed service where the enlisted men send the officers out to die.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Spoken like a true Blue Suiter.

As Americans we have always specialized in taking out command and control of opposing forces. This takes away the enemies ability to fight effectively. These were the first targets in the American Revolution as well as in Desert Storm. If it ain't broke....

Stuart
2003-Nov-20, 05:55 PM
Good point. On the other hand, do you want to talk about the life expectancy of a Platoon Commander in combat?

I got that lesson from Colonel S once. :o On another board, there was discussion of tank crews and armored unit structures and somebody came up with the brilliant idea of having a tank unit structure that included a spare crew for each tank. That way one crew would be resting while the other fought the tank. Suphi gave everybody a lecture on the attrition rate of infantry units in contact with the enemy. The result being that she and every other front-line infantry officer would be tearing through all the other units for replacements. Anybody she found who wasn't there and then doing work of vital national importance (defined as serving with the infantry) had just volunteered for the infantry. By the time Tank crew A brought their tank back, Tank Crew B would be in an infantry company. Suphi even gave some valuable advice to newly-qualified officers on how best to locate and steal good NCOs and enlisted for their own units.

Jesting apart though, the information on casualty rates was harrowing.

Laurie
2003-Nov-21, 06:55 AM
A Brown Bess ball penetrating plate.......Depends.

We used to "prooftest" our breastplates with a Queen Anne style "Trade Musket" that was about 60 caliber. Using 60 grains of blackpowder.....the ball would bounce off after leaving a nice dent. Did this with both 16th Century "Peascod" breast plates. Even a couple of late 14th/early 15 Century breastplates for an SCA fighter whom we were making Bascinet armour for. Made a nice conversation piece.

Just for our own interest, my husband did a test on a peascod to see what would go through using modern firearms. Used a .455 Webley Mk6 whose cylinder was turned down to take halfmoon clips so standard .45 auto could be fired from it. All it did was put a small dent into the 14 gauge breastplate. BUT a .22 could go through it (actually it missed the breastplate, passed through the armpit and drilled through the backplate....that was also 14 gauge.

Here you have all the force focused on a very small area. Rather like difference of trying to punch a hole with a baseball bat as opposed with an icepick.

There were some "coat of plates" sold and used in the American Civil War. Military vests were made that two or four steel plates could be inserted. Alot were sold during the early part of the war.....but most were discarded for being too heavy or used a cooking plates. But there are some examples that did serve their purpose. We have made one such for a museum about 10 years ago.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-21, 08:56 AM
Yeomen weren't minor nobility, they just weren't in service and could be landowners in their own right. Everyone was expected to practice with the bow, even townsfolk. Just about every town in England will have a 'Butt Lane' or similar, now usualy well inside the modern outskirts.

British forces have always had high casualty rates among the officers, they were expected to lead from the front. Look at casualty figures for the tank battles in North Africa. In the Falklands the Colonel of the Para batallion attacking Goose Green was killed leading an attack.

There is a good point made about the penetration of plate, arrowheads became very highly developed for armour piercing but they would still be hard pressed to penetrate a good breastplate, lead balls wouldn't do it at all.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-21, 03:09 PM
Yeomen weren't minor nobility, they just weren't in service and could be landowners in their own right. Everyone was expected to practice with the bow, even townsfolk. Just about every town in England will have a 'Butt Lane' or similar, now usualy well inside the modern outskirts.

British forces have always had high casualty rates among the officers, they were expected to lead from the front. Look at casualty figures for the tank battles in North Africa. In the Falklands the Colonel of the Para batallion attacking Goose Green was killed leading an attack.

There is a good point made about the penetration of plate, arrowheads became very highly developed for armour piercing but they would still be hard pressed to penetrate a good breastplate, lead balls wouldn't do it at all.

I am not talking about the Falklands, I am talking about 230 years ago.

I will admit that with all of my experience I have little knowledge about how smoothbore muskets did against plate armor. I do know that it takes about 1/4" (6mm) of modern steel plate to stop an SS-109 (NATO standard 5.56).

captain swoop
2003-Nov-21, 03:38 PM
I am not talking about the Falklands, I am talking about 230 years ago.




Why do you think the gentry had several sons? Number one son in the regiment, always the cavelry (infantry being for the lower orders) and more than likely dead 'in a corner of some foreign field' as the poem goes.

Number two son went into the church (a kind of insurance) and more than often ended up with the title.

Lesser sons would be sent to the army, navy or into 'the city'

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-22, 02:39 AM
I thought it was the second son who went into the military and the third to the clergy. That way the eldest got the land.

captain swoop
2003-Nov-24, 08:54 AM
I thought it was the second son who went into the military and the third to the clergy. That way the eldest got the land.


Eldest had to go into the army as well, how would his portrait look withoutthe uniform and medals?

Waarthog
2003-Nov-24, 07:02 PM
When did the concept of the Officers buying/funding their commissions go out of style? I recall it still was in place in the Edwardian era but of necessity died in WWI.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-24, 07:25 PM
It is interesting looking at the pay charts for the US Military. There is no paygrade listed for an E-8 (Master or First Sergeant, or Senior Chief Petty Oficer) with under 8 years of service. There is none for E-9 (Sergeant Major, Master Gunnery Sergeant, Master Chief Petty Officer, Chief Master Sergeant) with under 10 years service. There is none for a Chief Warrant Officer-5 with under 20 years. There is however a paygrade listed for an O-10 (Four Star General) with less than 2 years of service. It has been a long time since a politician could appoint his brother as a general, but it seems that in 1947 when he DOD paygrades were standardized it was still enough of a possibility that they made sure the pay was covered.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-29, 05:38 PM
I just caught the first few minutes of Waterworls while chanel surfing. There is a scene I had forgotten. Costner urinates in a cup which he then runs through some kind of reverse osmosis machine (a rather sophisticated device unlikely to still be servicable, but I suppose there may be a way to make a membrane out of animal hide). Based on what I know about ROWPU systems, he would have been better off just running seawater through it. There was plenty of that around.

Madcat
2003-Nov-29, 09:11 PM
I suppose if you got shot in the calf or something... Have to be a small bullet though and miss the veins and arteries. :x It's not like you have that many parts that don't do anything. Actually, if you got shot in the ear but not the head... that'd hurt but I guess you wouldn't die. This is kind of silly. Getting shot's always bad.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-29, 09:22 PM
Ripper, it looks like you're correct:

http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/English/2_0_5_1.asp?uSubSection=5&uSection=5


It can be used to treat water contaminated by nuclear-biological-chemical warfare agents, as well as fresh, brackish and seawater.

darkhunter
2003-Nov-29, 10:37 PM
I just caught the first few minutes of Waterworls while chanel surfing. There is a scene I had forgotten. Costner urinates in a cup which he then runs through some kind of reverse osmosis machine (a rather sophisticated device unlikely to still be servicable, but I suppose there may be a way to make a membrane out of animal hide). Based on what I know about ROWPU systems, he would have been better off just running seawater through it. There was plenty of that around.

BBC Had a series called Hollywood Science where they tried stuff out of the movie to see if it could happen. They built their own reverse osmosis dohinky and it did work as advertised (although(IIRC) the tase left something to be desired...)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-29, 10:59 PM
Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?

darkhunter
2003-Nov-30, 11:04 AM
Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?

Yes they did...they only used it the one time to show it was possible, though. I don't know enough to know how long a homemade one would last with constant use...

darkhunter
2003-Nov-30, 11:06 AM
Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?

Yes they did...they only used it the one time to show it was possible, though. I don't know enough to know how long a homemade one would last with constant use...

Ripper 2.0
2003-Nov-30, 01:56 PM
We have to backflow ours every few hours, and the membranes need to be replaced periodically. But again, my point is, why put urine in it when you are surrounded by seawater?

darkhunter
2003-Nov-30, 04:11 PM
We have to backflow ours every few hours, and the membranes need to be replaced periodically. But again, my point is, why put urine in it when you are surrounded by seawater?

Maybe all the salts in eawater would overload it (I don't know).

A clear plasic sheet with a weight in the middle and a container under the weight would collect condensation and you would get drinkable water...(did that in Boy Scouts with a hole in the round--it works!)

RBG
2003-Nov-30, 06:49 PM
Interesting thread.

Back to the original:

I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

RBG

Earthbound
2003-Nov-30, 10:27 PM
Interesting thread.

Back to the original:

I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

RBG

Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

RBG
2003-Dec-01, 12:34 AM
Not only that but with all their futuristic technology, you'd think that all a stormtrooper would have to do is look at Luke and the laser would figure out itself what it had to do to hit him. Instead the sighting technology is about equal to when flintlocks ruled.

RBG

Earthbound
2003-Dec-01, 12:54 AM
Regarding the going unconscicous thing when shot. I've seen it both ways where if there is something important to say they stay awake long enough to impart the info, then go unconscious/die, or when the magic bullet hits out they go. Silly really. Unless you hit an area that would immediately kill or incompacitate a person they aren't going to drop like a rock. I've read accounts of gunfights in the old west where the guy shot required not one round, but several before the guy finally went down. The movies make it look like all anyone would have to do is shoot somebody in the arm and knock them out. I wonder how many people have used guns for self-defense at home and found that one shot didn't do it. I bet it would be very startling.

DataCable
2003-Dec-01, 01:03 AM
Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

Forget the Stormtroopers' horrendous aim... what's with that armor? Exactly what is it supposed to protect them from? :-k As my dad says, it's useful against any shot that misses. :roll:

Ripper 2.0
2003-Dec-01, 01:30 AM
My wife and I were talking about that the other day. It would have been simple enough to show a couple of STs in the movie with blast marks on their armor to show that is does something.

Earthbound
2003-Dec-01, 01:43 AM
Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

Forget the Stormtroopers' horrendous aim... what's with that armor? Exactly what is it supposed to protect them from? :-k As my dad says, it's useful against any shot that misses. :roll:

The armor is suppose to help deflect shots as long as they're not straight on or the script says so. :wink: The armor works a lot better in the books than on the screen. :D It certainly didn't help when the ewoks started to kick their butts. If anything they give the stormtroopers a psychological weapon. Faceless, scary looking dudes that look like they could kick butt. That is until you see them shoot. :P

GarethB
2003-Dec-01, 04:02 AM
I know that the early guns could not penetrate plate armor, but I would think that a Brown Bess could. A lead ball 3/4" in diameter at about 900fps should be able to knock a hole through a decent thickness of steel plate. I have not tired this, and I do not know enough about the matalurgy of the day, but I would think that if a metal breastplate were an effective defense against musketballs they would have been worn during the American Revolution and Mexican War.

The armours of the Rennaisance were vulnerable to the arquebus and matchlock firearms of their time. Plus not everyone in an army got the same type of armour. Only the wealthiest 5% or so had full armour, everyone else wore family hand-me-downs or whatever they were issued with. There's a Rennaisance era armoury in the city of Graz, Austria which illustrates this quite graphically. It contains what is argulably the most complete collection of munition grade arms and armour from the Rennaisance (munition grade weapons and armour where what the common men at arms were issued with. The wealthy had custom fitted armour). One of the very interesting aspects of the collection is that you can see for yourself that as time progressed, new sets of armour covered less and less of the body, with the armour for the torso and head becoming thicker and heavier to resist musket shot while the armour for the arms and legs became lighter and lighter to the point where it was dispensed with completely. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have an official website I can link to.


During the Napoleonic Wars, the French (plus, I think others) user "curassiers" whose breastplates were reputedly able to resist a musketball. They achieved this by being pigeon-breasted so that there was an oblique angle of impact from dead ahead. I think that went out when rifling entered the world.

Actually, that sort of styling dates back to the early Rennaisance as well. You can see it's origins emerging in the Germanic "Gothic" styles of armours, such as those made by Lorenz Helmschmeid for the Germanic nobility of the time. Rennaisance half armours (http://www.arador.com/gallery/steen8.jpg) Here's a photo of a slightly later Rennaisance style with the "pidgeon breast". You also see the same shaping in munition grade armours made/used during the English Civil War as well.

For the most part, rifles that became more accurate and powerful over longer distances did cause the death knell of armour, but there were brief experiments with it again during WW1 by the English and Germans, not only for snipers but also for tank crews as a protection against spalling (when a shell hits the tank armour but doesn't penetrate, the shock of the hit can cause the inside layer of the armour to splinter and create shrapnel inside the tank).

After Japan opened trade with the rest of the world in the 1850's and guns were introduced there, traditional armour was still in use by some of the samurai class. Armourers there were able to develop armoured proofed against early muskets by using softer grades of steel which would bend and absorb the force of the shot rather than be too hard and brittle and shattering under the impact.

GarethB
2003-Dec-01, 04:31 AM
snip

At Agincourt, the French were so exhausted from the slogging, it was easy to understand why they fell and stayed when pushed down in the armour. The archers just stood back behind their stakes to fired away at both the prostrate and what French who were slugging it out with Henry's knights.


there was very little 'slugging it out with henry's knights' the archers themselves formed the mass of the english infantry, even among the armoured men very few were 'knights' most were 'men at arms'

Strictly speaking a knight is a memeber of an order of chivalry or someone of the nobility. On the French side ettiquet and precenednce dictated that it was indeed the 'Knights' who were in battle and the result was the killing or ransom of a considerable number of the French aristocracy, many more fled the field.

That's pretty much true from what I know. I also remember reading an account of Agnincourt where once the French had reached the English positions, some of the English archers put down their bows and picked up the wooden sledge hammers (called mauls, and the origin of the term "mauled") they used to pound wooden stakes into the ground with, fighting hand to hand with them against the French flanks.

The knightly classes would have made up maybe 5%-10% of an army of that time, the rest were common men at arms.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Dec-01, 12:17 PM
GarethB mentioned spalling inside of early tanks. Spalling was a problem. Another problem was that early tanks had riveted hulls. A good hit would cause the rivets heads to shear off and go bouncing around inside the tank. Riveted hulls had been abandoned by WWII except for the American M-3 Grant, which was one of the worst tanks of the war. It was phased out as soon as the M-4 Sherman became available, thouh it did see some service in North Africa (where the Panzer MkIII and IVs made it their *****). Believe it or not, I was in Paraguay a few years ago, and they are still using the M-3 along with the M-4 and a few wheeled armored vehicles they bought from Brazil.

Another thing on spalling, there is what is called a HESH round, or High Explosive Squash Head. It is specifically designed to cause spalling. It never really caught on, and the new sabot rounds and the shaped charge are sill the standard.

On the subject, I do not think I have seen many good tank battles in movies.

Conrad
2003-Dec-01, 12:41 PM
[quote="Ripper 2.0"]GarethB mentioned spalling inside of early tanks. Spalling was a problem. Another problem was that early tanks had riveted hulls. A good hit would cause the rivets heads to shear off and go bouncing around inside the tank. Riveted hulls had been abandoned by WWII except for the American M-3 Grant, which was one of the worst tanks of the war. It was phased out as soon as the M-4 Sherman became available, thouh it did see some service in North Africa (where the Panzer MkIII and IVs made it their *****). Believe it or not, I was in Paraguay a few years ago, and they are still using the M-3 along with the M-4 and a few wheeled armored vehicles they bought from Brazil.

Speaking as a WW2 Desert War buff, the British were glad to have the M3, since their tanks up to then were (cough cough) pretty rubbish, apart from the Matilda II. Rivets apart, the M3 did have a Big Gun, a refreshing novelty for British tanks of the time, and it was reliable - again, a concept difficult to explain to British designers. M3 as worst tank? - nay, I would nominate the Italian M11/39. That had riveted armour, and poor quality armour plate at that. It also had a turret mounting the mighty armament of 2 machine guns, making it dog food in a tank battle, since the main gun had been added in a sponson on one side and couldn't rotate more than a few degrees.
<snip>
On the subject, I do not think I have seen many good tank battles in movies.

Me neither. "Battle of the Bulge" contains what must be some of the most unintentionally hilarious tank battles on film. The Italian "El Alamein" features a horde of radio-controlled miniatures pretending to be the real thing!

Ripper 2.0
2003-Dec-01, 02:23 PM
Even Patton, an otherwise good movie, used M-48 tanks for both the Americans and Germans. There was very little footage anyway.

In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that.

Enemy at the Gates did well enough at the theatres, maybe they can do one on the battle of Kursk. With a few real T-34s, which are available all over the world, and some other tanks dressed up to look like Tigers and Panthers (they can raid a few museums), plus some CGI generated Sturmaviks they could do some really impressive scenes. You could rent out half the Russian Army as extras for a few cartons of cigarettes.

Of course, most Americans would have little interest in the biggest battle in history since it was not one of our own. In fact, most Americans have little interset in our own battles.

captain swoop
2003-Dec-01, 04:20 PM
The M3 Grant or Lee (In US service with a different turret)was designed to get the 75mm gun into action without a large turret. US manufacturing at the time couldn't produce a large enough turret 'ring'. While this was being developed and the requisite production lines and machines installed a 'hybrid' tank was produced. This had the 75mm the main hull to the right hand side. While it didn't have an all round fire arc it did get the gun into action.

British tanks suffered from being designed to very specific briefs and in small batches. To this end there was no incentive to engineer them to anything other than the minimum standard to fulfil the contract.

For instance the Crusader was still using the 'Liberty' engine which was an aircraft engine of WW1 parantage. It's big problem being the valve gear wasn't covered so in the desert it wore itself away in no time at all. Another problem was the gun. At the start of the war the 2pdr was the best anti tank gun in service, it was capable of penetrating any German tank at good ranges. it's main problem was it had no HE round so it was useless in any other role. To get round this a certain number of tanks were armed with 95mm howitzers that fired only HE, these were designated 'Close Support' tanks. Another problem with the 2pdr is that a replacement wasn't considered for a long time.

Unfortunately after Dunkirk the British army had no tanks at all and rather than stop production of the old designs and wait for new, upgraded ones Churchill decided that the situation was so desperate that any tanks were better than none at all. To this end lots of 2pdrs now were better than 6pdrs in the future. With invasion expected at any day the reasons were obvious.

Another consideration was economic, to cancel existing contracts would have effected the manufacturing companies profits and risked litigation (even in war time) It was decided not to put new designs into production until the old contracts had been fulfilled, this resulted in thousands of obsolete tanks being produced. Probably the most scandalous example being the 'Covonanter' this was put into production with no prototypes being built and it was so unreliable it was never considered for action, over 2000 were still produced and designated 'training' tanks, they bacame known as the 'Regimental roadblocks'

Good designs did eventualy emerge, the M4 'Sherman' was produced to meet British requirements and the Churchill was both reliable and powerful wiith thick armour. In Italy it was rfespected by both sides for being the only tank agile enough to operate in a lot of the mountain country, getting into positions the Germans considered impossible.

Cromwell was of a similar spec to the M4 but a lot faster, it had an iron blocked version of the Merlin known as the 'Meteor' It's gun used the M4 ammo and in it's final welded version it was armoured to the same standards as the Tiger. It was used to equip the reconaisance regiments.

As the war was coming to a close the Comet was in service, this was basicaly a Cromwell with a new cast turret and 17pdr gun (redesigned and called the 77mm) And the Centurion arrived in germany just too late to be tested in Combat.

for the definative history of British armour in WWII read

The Great Tank Scandal (British Armour in the Second World War)**
The Stationery Office Books; ISBN: 0112904602
The Universal Tank(British Armour in the Second World War part 2)
The Stationery Office Books; ISBN: 011290534X

By David Fletccher, curator of the Tank Museum at Bovington.

They look at military and political background as well as technical reasons for why British tanks were so bad at the start of the war.

Also see 'The Armoured Force' by the same author, it covers the inter-war years and the evolution of British tanks and tactics.

Ripper 2.0
2003-Dec-01, 06:24 PM
The M-3 followed the formula of the Char 2 tank of France with the hull mounted gun. At the time it was considered a great idea since there were not any big gun tanks at the time. The problem was that just being a 75mm gun was not enough. The velocity was so low they say you could see the round going down range. In the end it proved no match for the later German tanks. You do have to consider the fact that the US was playing catch up. The Lee/Grants would have dominated the battlefield if they were taken up against the Pkfw Mk I and II or any of the Japanese so called "tanks". The problem was that by the time they saw service the Germans had Mk III and IV. I do not know if they were ever put head to head with the Tiger or Panther but I think we can both predict how it would have gone.

Something the US did not make proper ues of were the M-10 and M-18 tank destroyers. They were both fast and powerful, though lightly armored. We never had enough of them or employed them as anything other than an infantry support weapon (where have we heard that before?).

I will say this for American tanks in WWII. They were more reliable than any of the competition. Even the Russians liked them. The T-34 was a great tank but they tended to break down a lot, as did the Tiger and Panther (which were also slow).

GarethB
2003-Dec-02, 02:46 AM
In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that.

I can't say with any expertise on ww2 era tanks, but it's reasonably common for the armour to be thinner on the top than on the sides. There's a limit to how thick the armour can be everwhere before it's so heavy it can barely move, is too heavy for bridges, too heavy to cross swampy ground, ford rivers, etc. A tank is much more likely to be hit from the side than from above, so that's where the tickest armour is, with thunner armour on the top and underside.

A P-51 being able to penetrate the top armour with .50 calibre machineguns is a little mystifying. The British developed a plane that they intended to replace the Spitfire with, called the Typhoon (http://www.btinternet.com/~lee_mail/typhoon.html). It's high altitude performance wasn't as good as expected, so the Spitfire soldiered on. The Typhoon did have particularly good low level performance though, and really came into it's own performing CAS (close air support for ground troops). When it's four 20mm cannon were loaded with armour piercing tungsten-carbide rounds, it could penetrate the top armour of most German tanks in service. The Germans also developed bolt on pods containing 37mm cannon for the Stuka dive bomber which performed well against Russian tanks on the eastern front. The Russians had their own counterpart as well, the IL-2 Sturmovik (sp?).

We can see this thread of putting a big gun on an aircraft, loaded with armour piercing rounds flowing through to the US A-10 with it's 30mm calibre GAU-8 (http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/attack/a6/a10arm-3.jpg) gattling gun loaded wth armour piercing depleted uranium rounds. This is a plane designed to carry a specific gun, which itself was specifically designed to penetrate tanks through their top armour.

Autocrosser
2003-Dec-02, 03:51 AM
In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that

I haven't seen the movie in a while but I thought they hit them with bombs for some reason? I think the top of the turret and top of the hull armor is almost an inch on the Tiger I. An AP .50 round would probably go through at close range. Having 6 guns spitting rounds out wouldn't hurt your chances either.

IIRC those Tigers were just cosmeticly adjusted T-34's anyway :)

captain swoop
2003-Dec-02, 08:59 AM
I don't agree with your assesment of the 75mm, it was a good general purpose gun, it had a very good HE round and reasonable AP effectiveness. Remember that in US service tanks weren't supposed to engage tanks, they were there to exploit a breakthrough. It was the job of the Tank Destroyer Force to engage tanks. To this end they had effective guns in the M10 and M18 'Hellcat' When it was realised that this strategy wouldn't work a new turret armed with the 76mm was developed for the Sherman although its HE round wasn't as good and patton was against it for this very reason.

As for the turret in the M3, the only reason the 75mm was mounted in it was because as I have already posted US industry at the time couldn't build a big enough turret ring to take the gun, it was needed in action before the M4 was ready.


As for german tannks, the PzII and IV were in action from the start of the war, the IV was armed with a short 75mm for infantry support and fired a good HE round but a poor AP, the Pz III was armed with a good AP round but a poor he, they fulfilled the same roles as the Tank Destroyers and Tanks in the US forces. British Matildas and Valentines were easily a match for these vehicles. Where the Germans scored was in the upgradeabiltiy of their vehicles. Whereas british tanks were designed with just enough size, engine and suspension to do the job (limited ultimately by an insistance that they fit within the quite small British railway 'loading gauge') german tanks had enough capacity to upgrade weapon, armour and powerplant. The Pz Iv was the only tank to serve throughout the war, the final models still being effective vehicles and armed with much more effective high velocity 75mm guns. Sherman also had plenty of capacity for upgrade and the vehicles which finished the war had different turrets, guns, suspension and hulls compared with early war versions.

This is getting very off subject and will be my last post on the subject, if anyone wants to carry on talking about WWII armour try www.track-link.net It's an armour modelling site but has good discussion groups and people who can probably quote you the registration numbers of every tank produced in the war and what action they fought in :)

KnightMove
2003-Dec-06, 05:38 PM
Riveted hulls had been abandoned by WWII except for the American M-3 Grant, which was one of the worst tanks of the war.

There were many riveted tanks at the beginning of the WW2, and the Grant was far from the worst among them. All early Italian tanks, all Japanese tanks until quite late, and many tanks of small armies were riveted. The best and most successful of them was the Czech TNHP, which fought successfully for the Germans in Poland and also France. And the M-3 Grant was a BIG problem for the Germans!

On the topic, maybe some of you can help me. I am looking for a mediocre desert war movie. I can't remember any names, only parts of the plot. A US sergeant, taken prisoner by the Germans, tries to hide his identity, as he is an anti-nazi journalist. The Germans (wrongls SS troops shown in North Africa) want to force him to sign a pro-German declaration. He and some comrades manage to escape. A Polish soldier plays the role of the bad, brutal guy on the Allied side. An Australian prisoner in the camp works as spy for the nazis. In the end of the movie, there is a major (but not good) tank battle, of course victorious for the Allies. Does anyone of you know this movie?

Ripper 2.0
2003-Dec-06, 09:36 PM
The TNHP had a 37mm gun that was obsolete against any of the newer generation tanks, and while later versions had up to 2" of armor, it was an easy mark. Many were later refitted as SPs. The Italians also had a number of light tanks with riveted hulls, but these were also anachronisms. One brief engagement with the Russians was enough to convince the Japanese to sign a non-agression pact with the Russians. And that was against older Soviet tanks, not the T-34.

WWII tanks worthy of praise were the Panzer MkIII and above, the T-34, the Sherman, and perhaps the Churchill (it did manage to serve into the early 60s).

I have no idea what movie you are talking about.

captain swoop
2003-Dec-08, 09:30 AM
The TNHP had a 37mm gun that was obsolete against any of the newer generation tanks, and while later versions had up to 2" of armor, it was an easy mark. Many were later refitted as SPs. The Italians also had a number of light tanks with riveted hulls, but these were also anachronisms. One brief engagement with the Russians was enough to convince the Japanese to sign a non-agression pact with the Russians. And that was against older Soviet tanks, not the T-34.

WWII tanks worthy of praise were the Panzer MkIII and above, the T-34, the Sherman, and perhaps the Churchill (it did manage to serve into the early 60s).

I have no idea what movie you are talking about.



British tanks had riveted hulls until the later marks of the Cromwell, this was directly down to union demarkation and trade agreements. Welding was opposed by the main engineering unions as it would put riveters and their associated trades out of work. American shipyards had started using Arc welding well before the war, British shipyards only moved to it with reluctance wwell into the war when labour shortages forced a change over. Also armour plate wasn't easy to weld and it could be weakened by the heat.

Typhoons and their developments the Tempest were also armed with 8 60lb rockets which made short work of any tank. After D-Day the vast majority of german armour loss was through the actions of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (Typhoons and Tempests) 'Jabos' to the Germans.

As for tanks worthy of praise on the German side I would put the Pz IV above the III, it served from start to finish, the Pz III wasn't big enough to keep upgrading. it did form the basis of a range of SP and Assault guns though which did server until the end of the war, most notabpy the Stug family of Assault guns. Although widely acclaimed I don't rate the Panther much, it had a very good gun and thick frontal armour but it was terribly underpowered and unreliable and had very weak side armour, same for the Tiger II (King Tiger) but on an even ,arger scale. Tiger I was good, fairly reliable and well armed and armoured.

T-34 and Sherman were incredibly reliable and available in large numbers, they were also standardised so spares were widely available and easy to store and supply. In 1944 the Germans had 7 different chassis 8 different engines and 8 different guns in production for front line service (that includes SP guns as well as tanks but not including 'light' tanks) USA had 3 engines, 3 guns and 2 chassis.

TimH
2003-Dec-09, 05:04 PM
Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

A possible fanboy explanation could be they used the Force. Both were Force sensitive and even without training, folks with Force ability can use it rudimentarily (and subconsciously).

On a sidenote, missing a sandcrawler is sort like falling out of a boat and missing water. :wink: Those things were huge


Forget the Stormtroopers' horrendous aim... what's with that armor? Exactly what is it supposed to protect them from? :-k As my dad says, it's useful against any shot that misses. :roll:

I could be wrong on this point but I think the armor was intended to intimidate more than protect.

daver
2003-Dec-09, 05:54 PM
Rationally, the armor should be to hold in air and to fend off debris. Which means that the Ewok's little arrows should have been roughly as effective as spit wads.

Glom
2003-Dec-12, 08:27 PM
The review of The Matrix Revolutions (http://intuitor.com/moviephysics/matrix3.html)

jfribrg
2003-Dec-30, 02:17 PM
This is not insultingly stupid, but it is physics and it is bad. There was some program on TV last Friday. I wasn't watching it, so I don't know the name of the program, but I was in earshot (how I wish I wasn't). Out of the blue, I hear the following: "The terminal velocity is 9.8 meters per second squared". Of course that is not terminal velocity, it is the acceleration of gravity near the surface of the Earth. The acceleration of an object at terminal velocity is close to 0. Now I don't expect every writer in Hollywood to remember their high school physics, but it wouldn't take much to have someone review the script for these types of errors.

Swift
2003-Dec-30, 03:09 PM
I like James Bond and I thought this was a good Bond movie, but "The World is Not Enough" had some really bad physics. I was watching it last night.

I love the bit on the sub towards the end. The bad guys are taking the plutonium from a bomb they stole and are reforming it into a fuel rod, like they were recasting a bunch of aluminum cans. They are standing about a foot away watching this rod of metal come out. I suspect they would be dead from radiation poisoning before the scene finished. At the end James and the bad guy are hitting each other with it. They must have edited out the scene where James' hair fell out in Hospital.

I'm not a nuclear engineer or physicist, but the bit about sticking a rod of plutonium in a reactor and blowing it up like an atomic bomb seemed wrong too.

Zamboni
2003-Dec-31, 04:55 AM
Hey any man that can survive 40 years of continuous drinking and unprotected sex, can survive any radiation...

Humphrey
2004-Jan-04, 08:10 PM
Hey any man that can survive 40 years of continuous drinking and unprotected sex, can survive any radiation...

Don't forget being in close range to several nuclear blasts and several weapons.

Hokie
2004-Jan-05, 04:40 AM
A possible fanboy explanation could be they used the Force. Both were Force sensitive and even without training, folks with Force ability can use it rudimentarily (and subconsciously).

What about Han and Chewbacca? Nether was force sensitive.

tracer
2004-Jan-05, 10:24 PM
Hey any man that can survive 40 years of continuous drinking and unprotected sex, can survive any radiation...
Now now, we don't know that the sex he had was unprotected. Q always made sure he was outfitted with a wide array of equipment for every contingency, after all.

davepy
2004-Jan-09, 04:56 PM
I love the bit on the sub towards the end. The bad guys are taking the plutonium from a bomb they stole and are reforming it into a fuel rod, like they were recasting a bunch of aluminum cans. They are standing about a foot away watching this rod of metal come out. I suspect they would be dead from radiation poisoning before the scene finished. At the end James and the bad guy are hitting each other with it. They must have edited out the scene where James' hair fell out in Hospital.

I don't remember that scene perfectly (it was a bad movie in so many other aspects), but as for the plutonium itself, it would have caused no radiation poisoning unless there was enough of it to reach a critical mass. Perhaps that could have been triggered if while they were fighting if the rods made contact (and there was enough combined mass in the two rods to cause a reaction). Otherwise, plutonium is relatively safe to handle.

Another possibility is if the combat caused any of the plutonium to discharge particles which were breathed in, seeing as plutonium is a powerful carcinogin when inhaled. However, I think there were studies done in the UK by scientists voluntarily inhaling (and injecting themselves!) with plutonium to debunk the whole "deadly plutonium" notion. AFAIK, there has been no documented death caused by plutonium poisoning (the accident during the Manhattan Project was caused by an actual, if unintenced, critical mass reaction that caused massive radiation poisoning).

Moose
2004-Jan-09, 06:05 PM
Interesting thread.

Back to the original:

I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

RBG

Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

I've always thought Ben was being subtly sarcastic in that scene.


From my earliest movie recollections:

[scene fades to movie, where Luke, Ben and the droids are surveying the wreckage of a scarred and smouldering sandcrawler. The blaster scorchmarks are scattered about the hull in no apparent pattern.]

Luke (puzzling out what he's seeing): Sand-people got tumbleweed up their robes again?

Ben: No. Tuskan Raiders can shoot. See the blast pattern? Random. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so... precise.


Of course, it's been a while. :^o

h6294443
2004-Jan-09, 11:34 PM
I like James Bond and I thought this was a good Bond movie, but "The World is Not Enough" had some really bad physics. I was watching it last night.

I love the bit on the sub towards the end. The bad guys are taking the plutonium from a bomb they stole and are reforming it into a fuel rod, like they were recasting a bunch of aluminum cans. They are standing about a foot away watching this rod of metal come out. I suspect they would be dead from radiation poisoning before the scene finished. At the end James and the bad guy are hitting each other with it. They must have edited out the scene where James' hair fell out in Hospital.

I'm not a nuclear engineer or physicist, but the bit about sticking a rod of plutonium in a reactor and blowing it up like an atomic bomb seemed wrong too.

Well, if the plutonium hasn't been lit up into a self-sustained chain reaction, it should only give off some alpha.
I work at the DOE Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The guys at the Plutonium Finishing Plant would handle this stuff regularly.

The rod in the reactor is fishy, since you need critical mass, critical geometry, and proper shape of the surroundings.

h6294443
2004-Jan-09, 11:38 PM
I love the bit on the sub towards the end. The bad guys are taking the plutonium from a bomb they stole and are reforming it into a fuel rod, like they were recasting a bunch of aluminum cans. They are standing about a foot away watching this rod of metal come out. I suspect they would be dead from radiation poisoning before the scene finished. At the end James and the bad guy are hitting each other with it. They must have edited out the scene where James' hair fell out in Hospital.

I don't remember that scene perfectly (it was a bad movie in so many other aspects), but as for the plutonium itself, it would have caused no radiation poisoning unless there was enough of it to reach a critical mass. Perhaps that could have been triggered if while they were fighting if the rods made contact (and there was enough combined mass in the two rods to cause a reaction). Otherwise, plutonium is relatively safe to handle.

Another possibility is if the combat caused any of the plutonium to discharge particles which were breathed in, seeing as plutonium is a powerful carcinogin when inhaled. However, I think there were studies done in the UK by scientists voluntarily inhaling (and injecting themselves!) with plutonium to debunk the whole "deadly plutonium" notion. AFAIK, there has been no documented death caused by plutonium poisoning (the accident during the Manhattan Project was caused by an actual, if unintenced, critical mass reaction that caused massive radiation poisoning).

What accident? Do you remember the specifics? I have a file from DOE (It's public) with all known criticality accidents in history described in detail.

davepy
2004-Jan-12, 04:27 PM
What accident? Do you remember the specifics? I have a file from DOE (It's public) with all known criticality accidents in history described in detail.

Weird, I thought I responded to this over the weekend...

Anyway, I was referring to Louis Slotin's accident at Los Alamos. I'm sure there were similar accidents involving plutonium, but I think his was the most famous.

http://www.childrenofthemanhattanproject.org/FH/LA/Louis_Slotin_1.htm

Kizarvexis
2004-Mar-15, 05:39 AM
Interesting thread.

Back to the original:

I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

RBG

Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure. :)

Don't forget the context. If you are talking about the escape from the Death Star after freeing Princess Leia in Episode IV: A New Hope, she stated that the escape was too easy and that they must have been let go. Since Grand Moff Tarkin relates to Darth Vader that the homing beacon better work as they are taking an awful risk in letting Leia, Han and Luke go, their escape was a setup and the Stormtroopers must have feared Vader more than being shot at by the heros. :)

Kizarvexis

Laurie
2004-Mar-15, 06:46 AM
Let's face it. If either hero, heroine or bad guy were such elite shots.....then ends the movie is short order. Like my husband would sometimes say while watching a movie, "They couldn't a hit a barn with a cannon" or "why dont they kill him and get it overwith?"

captain swoop
2004-Mar-15, 10:41 AM
Let's face it. If either hero, heroine or bad guy were such elite shots.....then ends the movie is short order. Like my husband would sometimes say while watching a movie, "They couldn't a hit a barn with a cannon" or "why dont they kill him and get it overwith?"

Or the director could include something other than the cliched gang of men running around firing wildly?

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-15, 12:17 PM
Here is an experiment.

Take a friend to the shooting range. Teach them how to shoot. Let them fire thousands of rounds at nice, black and white, stationary targets. Teach them all of the fundementals. Keep track of their scores. When they get to the point where they can hit the 10 ring almost every time take them to a combat range. Make them run from target to target. Put the targets in the bushes. Give them moving targets. Make them fire from odd positions. Give them strict time limits. Make lots of noise, smoke and dust. Now, compare the scores.

HAVOC451
2004-Mar-15, 01:00 PM
I've done that experiment. That first time on the combat range was quite a humbling experience.

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-15, 02:26 PM
The up side is that the learning curve is pretty steep. However, like every high end skill, it is highly perishable. It takes a lot of training over time to maintain proficiency.

ToSeek
2004-Mar-15, 02:36 PM
Here is an experiment.

Take a friend to the shooting range. Teach them how to shoot. Let them fire thousands of rounds at nice, black and white, stationary targets. Teach them all of the fundementals. Keep track of their scores. When they get to the point where they can hit the 10 ring almost every time take them to a combat range. Make them run from target to target. Put the targets in the bushes. Give them moving targets. Make them fire from odd positions. Give them strict time limits. Make lots of noise, smoke and dust. Now, compare the scores.

There's a great scene in the movie Glory, with Matthew Broderick playing Colonel (?) Shaw training a regiment of blacks for the Union in the Civil War. He finds the best marksman in the group, lets him aim and fire off a perfect shot, then starts firing off his pistols and screaming at him to reload and fire again. The marksman doesn't do quite as well the second time.

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-15, 05:04 PM
We have these things that are scuba tanks with the top cut off just above where they taper off. They are filled with LP gas from a regulator that mixes it with air, and then ignited with a spark-plug. It sounds like a 81mm mortar going off. At night you do not want to be looking at one when it goes off or it will dazzle your eyes. We used to use 1/4 lb sticks of TNT in a big sand pit. That was great since after the blast it rained sand and mud and pine-needles. Add in arial flares, trip-wire actuated mine simulators, smoke generators, and a couple of propane machineguns and you have a very confusing situation. I have had recruits come across the starting line thinking they were finished. Somehow they got turned 180 degrees.

The real thing is even worse.

Alex12
2004-Mar-16, 04:11 PM
Did you ever notice that the hero who gets shot is ok because the bullet only hit thier shoulder? I dated a Med student once who commented that's a really serious place to be shot, You have the subclavian artery (which supplies blood to entire arm) As well as the humerean nerve cord. Any bullet penetrating though the shoulder/clavicle area will cause permanent damage if not death.

So uh what is the best place to be shot? Well obviously not be shot at all is best but just out of curiosity which part of the body after being shot by a bullet (say 9mm) will sustain least critical injury and recover without permanent damage?
I'd guess someplace like a toe, or someplace like that.
Of course, heros can be shot anywhere and survive, even if its a midsize nuclear bomb

Alex12
2004-Mar-16, 04:15 PM
take superhero movies. The bad guy always sets up some ridiculously elaborate trap for the hero, who is conveniently trapped in something.
JUST SHOOT HIM!!!!!!!

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-16, 06:05 PM
I do not think there is a good place to be shot. I think the worst is the pelvis. Anything bigger than a .32 pistol is likely to shatter it. There are lots of nerve endings and blood vessels as well. The brain stem (medula oblongota {sp?}) and heart are quicker.

I took a small (very small) piece of shrapnel in my upper arm a couple of years ago. It barely left a scar, but it felt like my entire arm was on fire. Since then I find it downright funny when the hero takes a bullet and keeps fighting. Real pain sucks up your willpower.

Alex W.
2004-Mar-17, 04:55 AM
While I still fail to see the logic in criticising the physics of the in-Matrix world (where the line between personal will and the laws of reality is blurred for really, really cool stuff), I like their Matrix Revolutions review- accurate without decending into pedantry. I particularly like the way they refer to Neo "going wireless". :D

captain swoop
2004-Mar-17, 10:01 AM
I took a small (very small) piece of shrapnel in my upper arm a couple of years ago. It barely left a scar, but it felt like my entire arm was on fire. Since then I find it downright funny when the hero takes a bullet and keeps fighting. Real pain sucks up your willpower.

But it happens, read some of the VC citations. And there is always the psycho who doesn't seem to feel pain, they are the ones that the cops drag out of bar fights with blood gushing.

daver
2004-Mar-17, 05:53 PM
FWIW, one of the complaints about the switch from arrows to guns was that a horse or a human stuck with an arrow was essentially useless until the arrow was removed, but when shot with a bullet would keep on fighting (presumably until they bled to death). I'm not sure how much faith to put in this.

Giant Robot
2004-Mar-17, 09:15 PM
The best to place to be shot is any place that you recently, or not recently, were, or have yet to be, or have no intention of ever going to.

Extravoice
2004-Mar-18, 08:09 PM
How about people hanging from ledges by their fingertips?

The other day I stmbled across some dumb movie on cable where two "good guys" were on a roof running from a "bad guy". One good guy somehow manages to fall and find himself literally hanging by his fingertips from the ledge.

The other good guy then proceeds to bicker with the guy for a few minutes before doing anything. Of course, the bad guy comes along. There is a long fight scene involving the good guy dangling by one hand. After several more minutes, the fight is over and the other good guy easily pulls him back onto the roof. They dust themselves off, and go on their way.

I don't know about anyone else, but I would have trouble hanging on a ledge by my fingertips for several seconds, let alone minutes. I would also be disinclined to conduct a witty argument while in that situation. I suspect any sound would be a combination of hyperventilation and whining. Perhaps a request for divine intervention.

captain swoop
2004-Mar-19, 08:51 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I would have trouble hanging on a ledge by my fingertips for several seconds, let alone minutes. I would also be disinclined to conduct a witty argument while in that situation. I suspect any sound would be a combination of hyperventilation and whining. Perhaps a request for divine intervention.

A Hero is made of sterner stuff. [-X

Avatar28
2004-Mar-19, 04:00 PM
Besides, adrenaline can do amazing things. You might be able to hold on longer than you think. Granted, you'd probably not be able to use your hands for a couple of days from the exhaustion and cramping afterwards. Besides, heros are always in really good shape and have good upper body strength. Unlike, I'm guessing, most of us.

SeanF
2004-Mar-19, 04:11 PM
Besides, adrenaline can do amazing things. You might be able to hold on longer than you think. Granted, you'd probably not be able to use your hands for a couple of days from the exhaustion and cramping afterwards. Besides, heros are always in really good shape and have good upper body strength. Unlike, I'm guessing, most of us.

I read once about a guy who almost fell out of a small airplane when the door popped open. He grabbed ahold of a bar and was able to hold on until the plane landed.

They had to cut the bar off the plane and take it along to the hospital because even after he was on the ground he couldn't make his hands let go of the bar! I believe that it wasn't until they sedated him that the muscles relaxed.

Could be an urban legend . . . 8-[

SciFi Chick
2004-Mar-19, 04:23 PM
I read once about a guy who almost fell out of a small airplane when the door popped open. He grabbed ahold of a bar and was able to hold on until the plane landed.

They had to cut the bar off the plane and take it along to the hospital because even after he was on the ground he couldn't make his hands let go of the bar! I believe that it wasn't until they sedated him that the muscles relaxed.


Wow. How cool would that be in a movie? It would really humanize the hero in my opinion. 8) And, it would be really hilarious.

captain swoop
2004-Mar-19, 04:23 PM
They had to cut the bar off the plane and take it along to the hospital because even after he was on the ground he couldn't make his hands let go of the bar! I believe that it wasn't until they sedated him that the muscles relaxed.

Could be an urban legend . . . 8-[

Like Steve Martin and the Dashboard in Trains Planes & Automobiles.

jfribrg
2004-Mar-19, 09:13 PM
Don't forget the 60's Batman TV series. In one episode, Robin, completely tied up, is thrown from the top of a building. Batman, several seconds later (by then Robin should be at least 30 or 40 meters below, but no matter) throws a bathook, which Robin catches in his teeth. Batman pulls him back up. It hurts to think how much torque the roots of his teeth withstood (but then again he is a superhero). The scene finishes with what I consider the best dialogue of the entire series: Robin says "Am I glad I brush my teeth every day". Batman replies, "Yes Robin, good dental hygiene saved your life."

mike alexander
2004-Mar-19, 09:48 PM
Re: Star Trek

People get shot with a phaser beam and are blown back like they were hit with a bowling ball.

Swift
2004-Mar-19, 09:53 PM
Re: Star Trek

People get shot with a phaser beam and are blown back like they were hit with a bowling ball.
Actually phasers are really amazing. We've seen them "blow back" someone, burn them or cause other local wounds, or completely vaporize them, leaving not even ashes, and without even leaving a mark on the rug. Must be all those different settings! :D

Glom
2004-Mar-19, 10:03 PM
I think the phaser has a setting that adjusts the Planck constant so the beam can deliver a different impulse depending on whether you want the gruff, ugly Klingon to be blown against the wall or you want the scadily clad blonde to fall sheepishly onto the feinting couch.

mike alexander
2004-Mar-19, 11:14 PM
You mean that all this time I thought phasers were real, but they were just shooting Plancks?

:roll:

Eirik
2004-Mar-20, 05:10 AM
Besides, adrenaline can do amazing things. You might be able to hold on longer than you think. Granted, you'd probably not be able to use your hands for a couple of days from the exhaustion and cramping afterwards. Besides, heros are always in really good shape and have good upper body strength. Unlike, I'm guessing, most of us.

I read once about a guy who almost fell out of a small airplane when the door popped open. He grabbed ahold of a bar and was able to hold on until the plane landed.

They had to cut the bar off the plane and take it along to the hospital because even after he was on the ground he couldn't make his hands let go of the bar! I believe that it wasn't until they sedated him that the muscles relaxed.

Could be an urban legend . . . 8-[

Actually, I've read about this years ago. The plane was an empty communter plane, and the pilot went back to investigate a door warning light or something. The door popped open and he grabbed the stair rail and hung on. The copilot landed the plane thinking that he'd been sucked out to his death.

I remember Carson mentioning it at the time, saying that the pilot had a choice: He could either hang on or step out onto the wing of a passing Delta flight.... (they'd had some near misses at the time)

DataCable
2004-Mar-20, 05:31 AM
You mean that all this time I thought phasers were real, but they were just shooting Plancks?
Booo! Hiss! [-( [-X :x

Blutark
2004-Mar-22, 06:38 AM
Epic thread :)
I'd just like to say I have NEVER seen an electrical explosion in a a movie that looks or sounds like the real thing, the most terrified I have ever been :o (OK so I lead a sheltered life)

Think of an arc welder but a hundred times bigger = very loud, blindingly white & continuing for an extended period of time until the primary fuses finally blow

Chip
2004-Mar-22, 09:31 AM
I think the phaser has a setting that adjusts the Planck constant so the beam can deliver a different impulse depending on whether you want the gruff, ugly Klingon to be blown against the wall or you want the scadily clad blonde to fall sheepishly onto the feinting couch.

Versatility is a good thing.

One curious thing about phasers (trying to understand them exactly as they appear to operate on Star Trek,) is: we see the beam coming, so the light from the beam is moving at light speed, but the beam itself is considerably slower. Therefore, phasers must be plasma shooters, closer to extremely powerful and distant relatives of an old-fashioned arc welder rather than to a conventional firearm. (So an alien ship with powerful old-fashioned lasers would hit the Enterprise before they saw it.)

Maybe "stun" setting is a very wide weak beam that temporarily scrambles some of the electrical impulses in the brain, but Im just guessing.

(One of my big criticisms of Star Trek though I generally like the show of course is that they tended to solve a lot of problems with beams. This is especially true of Star Trek-TNG. One of the worst examples was Mr. Data generating a needed "Neutrino Beam" from the ship. Do they have a huge tank of Clorox in the hold to collect neutrinos and focus them into a beam? A beam of neutrinos is mostly a beam of nothingness. It would easily go through just about anything.)
:o

weatherc
2004-Apr-10, 02:35 PM
Here's some brand new Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics.

I saw a commercial for the new movie Van Helsing, and my head nearly exploded when I saw the part where a team of six horses and a carriage leap from one side of a collapsed bridge to the other.

Van Helsing movie trailer (http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/van_helsing/trailer/) (QuickTime required)

The carriage jump occurs toward the end of the trailer.

Note to movie studios: Just because computers can make something impossible look real doesn't mean that they can make something impossible look believable.

TriangleMan
2004-Apr-10, 03:23 PM
Maybe they're demon hell-horses or something? Naaaahhh. :)

Nowhere Man
2004-Apr-10, 03:45 PM
I saw that Van Helsing trailer last night. It looks like an emminently missable movie to me. BTW, the horses made it across, but the carriage didn't. It's about as believable as the bus in Speed making a similar jump. As I recall, they actually did jump a bus (unoccupied, and over a gap that was actually created with CGI), and when it landed it "looked like a spavined Oscar Meyer Wienermobile."

Fred

jaydeehess
2004-Apr-10, 09:08 PM
One certainly has to enjoy the fun with automobiles that Hollywood has. Cars that jump, barrel roll, explode as they leave the road surface etc.

As for movies and physics I just watched "The Core" so I am biased in thinking that this movie ranks near the top in the bad physics category.

I have no problem with a character inventing some material or technology necessary to the movie plot, in this case the material that the craft is made of and the (Dr. Evil accent required here :D ) "laser beams". However if the ship is required to keep the occupants from dieing then perhaps the movie should not include extra-vehicular activities in shiny jumpsuits and helmets.

Jocke
2004-Apr-11, 08:10 PM
a team of six horses and a carriage leap from one side of a collapsed bridge to the other.
Anyone care to calculate the velocity needed to acctually make such a jump? :roll:

[edit]
Nevermind, did it meself. Assuming that the carrige makes it if it drops less than one wheel radius, assuming a wheel radius of 3 dm and the length of the jump required as 8 meters, we get... [drumroll]
The carrige was going around 120 km/h. Not bad for a six horesepower vehicle. :wink:

davepy
2004-Apr-16, 02:25 PM
Time to revive this a bit with a new movie. I watched Hellboy a few weeks ago. Not a bad comic book movie overall, but here's a scene in the movie where the pyrokinetic girls sets herself and the surrounding area (as in a large building) on fire. It occurred to me that she was acting much like a human FAE and that even if she (and her clothes) were fireproof, she would still die horrbly from 1) the concussive aftershock of the backdraft and 2) asphyxiation. Even w/o the FAE effects, she'd still be in the middle of a burning building and would be in risk of smoke inhalation and things falling on her.

Later, she does it again in an underground cavern, but this time with her friends nearby. Fortunately, her friends are either fireproof (Hellboy), or shielded by a boulder (FBI guy). Not sure how much shielding that boulder would've provided to the ambiant temperature going up and I didn't see any spare oxygen tanks, but at least they had the decency to pass out, so maybe the fire didn't consume all the oxygen in the area, just a good percentage of it.

Ripper 2.0
2004-Apr-20, 01:09 PM
Good point. During WWII they found out that when you hit a bunker with a flamethrower few of the soldiers in the bunker burned to death, they mostly asphyxiated.

SouthofHeaven
2004-Apr-20, 03:41 PM
Did you notice in Hellboy the Lunar Eclipse went as fast as a Solar ecilpse.

TimH
2004-Apr-20, 04:15 PM
Time to revive this a bit with a new movie. I watched Hellboy a few weeks ago. Not a bad comic book movie overall, but here's a scene in the movie where the pyrokinetic girls sets herself and the surrounding area (as in a large building) on fire. It occurred to me that she was acting much like a human FAE and that even if she (and her clothes) were fireproof, she would still die horrbly from 1) the concussive aftershock of the backdraft and 2) asphyxiation. Even w/o the FAE effects, she'd still be in the middle of a burning building and would be in risk of smoke inhalation and things falling on her.

Later, she does it again in an underground cavern, but this time with her friends nearby. Fortunately, her friends are either fireproof (Hellboy), or shielded by a boulder (FBI guy). Not sure how much shielding that boulder would've provided to the ambiant temperature going up and I didn't see any spare oxygen tanks, but at least they had the decency to pass out, so maybe the fire didn't consume all the oxygen in the area, just a good percentage of it.

Nitpicking the nitpick... but if there was still fire in the area doesn't that show that there was still some oxygen? If the fire had consumed all of it, then the fire would have gone out. :wink: