That Was the Week that Was: 2013 Week 06

That was the week that was TW3We’re sticking to the TW3 schedule again — for now. It was another week with a number of ructions and disruptions, and we’re currently experiencing a sockdollager of a blizzard (actually, it’s petering out, but we’ve had occasion to count the blessings of a snug and robust house these last few days).

This will initially be posted without the links to the stories being live, and they’ll be retrofitted.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s output was light, again. The spirit is willing, but the schedule is week. We posted 16 posts — same as last week — and received only 13 comments — same as last wek —  by press time for this post. We did, however, post a total of about 11,000 words, up from 8,400 last week. We are stlll on track to post 1000 posts for the year. Our average post this week was about 700 words, up from 560 last week.

Comment of the Week

Look at the links that readers kindly appended to our commentary on the history and future of the bayonet, relative to the technology and combat use of the British L85 bayonet. Thanks to Glenn and Jon!

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

How we did on last week’s promises (hint: not good)

We promised (and we’ll line out the promises kept)

  • a revisit to printable hardware. (nope)
  • a really old book on explosives and incendiaries to turn you on to. (uh, no)
  • a few lines about telescopes from a surprisingly old Army manual (and we’ll include the manual as a download for you) (we didn’t get you the download… yet).
  • We also have a pile of guns to clean and are trying to figure out how to make that into a blog post.

Yep, the guns still aren’t clean. Thank heavens for noncorrosive ammo. 

Going Forward

We’re not going to make any promises beyond: clearing the backlog of promises from last week, and getting you a good Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week.

2 thoughts on “That Was the Week that Was: 2013 Week 06

  1. neutrino_cannon

    I thought your coverage this week was excellent! I was tempted to re-blog a number of the articles you linked to, but in the end I was too lazy to do so.

    I found the article on insurgencies rarely winning and bayonets to be the most interesting. I was about to comment on the Argyll and Southerland Highlanders bayonet charge in 2004, but I see I was beaten to it by someone who is at least a little less lazy than I am.

    A request; have you considered doing an article on the XM8 rifle? Not the internals, obviously. Any AR-18 clone bores me to tears. You do, however, know a lot more about how procurement works than I do. A summary of the legal and political maneuvering might be fun.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Procurement is… interesting. As part of my personal transition from stalwart defender of freedom to slimy sidewinding defense contractor, I’ve had to study online stuff at — I am not making this up — the Defense Acquisition University, which is best described as a bureaucracy dedicated to understanding the bigger bureaucracy. The more one learns about procurement, the more amazed one is that they can get rolls of TP in time to replace them in the porta-potties, never mind tanks and airplanes and beans and bullets.

      The XM8s problem was as far as I remember that its big advocates (4-stars) term-limited out and retired, and technically, it was not very good. As in, not better than the M16 in any material measure. For something to get through procurement it has to be clearly better than the extant NSN (there is a strong bias in the system in favor of “more of the same”), and it wasn’t; and it helps to have powerful or influential advocates, particularly in the uniformed offices in the E-ring. (The days when DOD suits could push crap on the uniforms, a la Macnamara and the F-111, are probably over. The system has evolved defenses against self-satisfied satraps who figure Yarvard education trumps combat experience). Of course, even if the system buys flawed products it’s fairly well adapted to iterate them until they work or have some utility, as happened to the same F-111; at its end of life it was a precision strike weapon of great utility. And it was used to work out many of the air/ground cooperation tactics SF would use later with other precision strike platforms. Afghanistan in 2001 was in part the result of lessons learned during thousands of beacon-bombing exercises in the 1980s and 90s, when the only precision strike a/c were F-111 and A-6.

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