Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Futility is persistent.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                       

Phalanx Invasion Shield

 
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

I was reading some history about bloody WW1 and WW2 battles, and I keep thinking that lot of the bloodshed could have been avoided if soldiers had a phalanx type shield. Instead of running through the mud or a beach completely unprotected, why not carry a bullet proof shield in front? If soldiers were in formations of 3, then 2 soldiers would carry the shields in front while the one who stayed behind could lob grenades etc at the machine gun positions. There might even be a little gun sight through which the back soldier could fire at opportune moments. I would imagine a swarm of 1,000 soldiers in such arrangement would be very difficult to stop. It would be like having to deal with 333 human powered mini tanks.

Something tells me that this idea is too obvious to not have been tried before. It can't be because of honor, because by end of WW1 that concept was long dead. There has to be some technical drawback.

Is it because the material that would stop incoming machine gun fire is too heavy to carry? Or is it because the force of the bullets is too strong? Or is it because it's not really bullets that we're talking about but heavy duty artillery that's shredding the soldiers to bits? Or is it because speed and staying low to the ground edges out any benefits to carrying a shield but being little slower, and upright?

... and then I think if we go back a bit let's say to the time of the civi war, phalanx shields must have surely been handy back then. It can't take much to stop a relatively low velocity bullet.

ixnaum, Feb 09 2017

French creeping around armour https://s-media-cac...2e18e0c5cde90b5.jpg
..eerily like a 2CV [not_morrison_rm, Feb 09 2017]

One gazillion pics of WWI armour ideas https://www.google....IGw&biw=925&bih=435
[not_morrison_rm, Feb 09 2017]

[link]






       // Is it because the material that would stop incoming machine gun fire is too heavy to carry? //   

       Yes ... and too cumbersome.   

       // Or is it because the force of the bullets is too strong? //   

       No.   

       //Or is it because it's not really bullets that we're talking about but heavy duty artillery that's shredding the soldiers to bits? //   

       Most casualties are produced by crew-served weapons, particularly mortars and field artillery.   

       // Or is it because speed and staying low to the ground edges out any benefits to carrying a shield but being little slower, and upright? //   

       Basically, yes.
8th of 7, Feb 09 2017
  

       I think a better tactic in each of those wars would have been to pull our people back to, say, South America. Then we could have kept on going and snuck into Germany from the East while they were all over here, and locked the door from the inside.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 09 2017
  

       Built-in Lithium-ion battery, charged via USB ... like the Tesla, and just about everything else these days ...
8th of 7, Feb 09 2017
  

       //then 2 soldiers would carry the shields in front while the one who stayed behind could lob grenades etc at the machine gun positions.//   

       You're going to have to arrange for the machine guns not to shoot back.
FlyingToaster, Feb 09 2017
  

       Single soldiers with fake shields. Soldiers Walking on silts. Smoke. Bicycle mounted shields. Fake tanks. Tunnels. Two soldiers carry 10 paper doll soldiers between them.   

       If we had been there, we would have confused the hell out of everyone, and then died.   

       An Army paperwork error kept my dad out of some of the worst of it.
popbottle, Feb 09 2017
  

       //An Army paperwork error kept my dad out of some of the worst of it//   

       Apparently Trump dodged the Vietnam draft for having 'cloven hoof syndrome'.   

       [-] For the idea, there was some incredible halfbakery stuff going on back then to shorten the war. My favorites were the fake tanks and airfields or the one double agent that convinced Hitler that the 30 odd pretend agents in his circle indicated he should move troops to Calais to anticipate an invasion.   

       Don't mention the new Hitler.
bigsleep, Feb 09 2017
  

       Purely by coincidence I was looking at WWI personal armour 2 weeks ago. All the contestants came up with different versions...see links   

       //Most casualties are produced by crew-served weapons,   

       Ah, that's just rumour, most casualties came from trying to open the bully beef cans after Hun saboteurs had pulled off the key thingy...
not_morrison_rm, Feb 09 2017
  

       The problem with armor is that once you enter close quarters you'll probably be very clumsy and at a disadvantage. The idea of a shield is that you can throw it away at the first moment when it becomes cumbersome.
ixnaum, Feb 09 2017
  

       //The idea of a shield is that you can throw it away at the first moment when it becomes cumbersome.   

       And just at that moment, the other machine gun open up...   

       So what's really needed is recursively nested set of shields, from big (Maxim repelling) to a really teeny one for when the Hun has run out of ammo and is reduced to attacking with toffee hammers.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 09 2017
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle