From the ancient Greek for equality in freedom of speech; an eclectic mix of thoughts, large and small
The Lion’s Gate
Sunday, May 11th, 2014
Steven Pressfield has embraced his (secular) Jewish heritage and written a new book about the Six Day War, The Lion’s Gate. He discusses the process with his agent, and this bit on MiG-killers and the death burst caught my attention:
Scipio Americanus: It absolutely is a legitimate concern. At certain angles, ranges, and velocities, the bullet goes clean through like a sewing needle without causing massive internal trauma. There are a large number of physical characteristics in the interaction between bullet and target that determine this, such that the resultant pattern might as well be random. In one case, several rounds can pass through the target’s chest cavity without stopping them (immediately, anyway), while in another...
Isegoria: It was a legitimate concern, that small, high-velocity bullets left a small, clean hole.
AAB: Here is a graph that shows the UK Defence budget as a percent of GDP 1700–2014. Most of the time it’s less than 10%, only peaking during wartime, maxing out during WW1 and WW2 (~40% and ~45% respectively). Evidently spending more than 10% of GDP on defence isn’t sustainable over a long period of time (in a market-based economy at least). The chart was sourced from here, where you can find other data on UK government spending circa 1692–2014.
Scipio Americanus: This was before they started noticing that the interaction of the very high velocity rifle round with the surrounding tissues frequently caused an almost explosive amount of damage inside the body. At the time this was written they had experience only with relatively low velocity rounds, for which cross-sectional area was indeed the most important factor. Cue more than a decade of everyone accusing everyone else of using explosive ammo, right up into WWI. Took a while to figure out...
RL: Cf. the oft-cited factoid that 92% of NRA members support “universal background checks.” That the factual premise is obviously false isn’t the point.
Steve Johnson: I mean, if something like 80% of voters agree on an issue, it’s a no-brainer. But our ineffective government couldn’t pass a law that had overwhelming support because, I suppose, it is bad for reelection if someone labels you pro-drug. You’d think he’d rethink the who isn’t budging and the why they aren’t changing their position rather than making the silly assertion that supporting a policy that 80% of voters support could be bad for reelection. Maybe that giant...
Alrenous: Try attacking the government. You’ll find it functions quite well. It just isn’t a democracy in any sense except optically.
Scipio Americanus: The budget is large. What we get for it… less so, especially in comparison to what we got out of it in the 50′s.
Coyote: 4% of GDP? WTF? This must be the gazillions of non-existent derivative “assets”. GDP, what a joke. The “defense” budget is so grotesque it boggles the mind. Homeless kids eat rats in the New York sewers while the MIC ships tanks to the Ukraine. Gawd, when will this cesspool of a empire go down. Please barbarians, start eating more Eloi!
Scipio Americanus: Also, the laser is not a parallel beam but a cone focused at the target. A weapons-grade laser, at the target, isn’t much reflected by mirrors; the intensity of energy deposition is such that it burns through them. The shorter the laser pulse and the smaller the spot size at the target (for a given energy), the more pronounced this effect is. ABM lasers do have to deal with reflective surfaces as a defense because their targets are so far away that it’s hard to focus the...