Arms of the Libyan Revolution.


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cleardiddion
April 26, 2011, 11:27 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/world/africa/21rebels.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

So, CJ Chivers is one of the few people that I've kept up with any sort of frequency over in the NY Times because he covers well, things that actually interest me.

He covers in this article the nonstandard arms of the opposition fighters and I thought it was an interesting insight into something that's being debated but not really known by a lot of people.


As a teaser:
A PKT machine gun, a weapon designed to be mounted on a Soviet tank and fired electronically by a crew member inside, has no manual trigger, no sights and no shoulder stock. That does not prevent many Libyan rebels from carrying it as if it were an infantrymanís gun.

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Gord
April 27, 2011, 12:10 AM
Interesting, but the incessant hand-wringing tone was already old by Page 2. In every new conflict, the media continues to be incredulous and outraged at the occasional use of landmines and child soldiers, because...?

RS14
April 27, 2011, 12:27 AM
Interesting, but the incessant hand-wringing tone was already old by Page 2. In every new conflict, the media continues to be incredulous and outraged at the occasional use of landmines and child soldiers, because...?

I can see the reasons for being concerned with both in general, but I think the author's concern in this case is misplaced. Anti-armor mines are substantially different than anti-personnel mines, and are not prohibited under the Ottawa convention. And as for young Mr. Abdulgader... well, I don't want to be the one to try to make him give up his rifle. ;)

The fighting in Misurata seems particularly incredible, and much less mobile than in other parts of the country. It's really shelled to pieces in large areas, and I'm impressed with the resilience of the defenders under fire. I'm also a bit surprised that airstrikes haven't been targeted against the loyalist artillery in this area to a larger extent. It sounds like they're dug in, but I thought that's why we had guided munitions...

Gord
April 27, 2011, 12:58 AM
I can see the reasons for being concerned with both in general
As can I; I'm only saying that the article's tone conjures up images of an aristocrat somewhere sipping tea and muttering about "bloody savages." Mining is a simple reality of war, as is the use of child soldiers in a great many places; at least in this case Junior doesn't appear to have been press-ganged into service and hopped up on the local juju.

Chivers would probably mess himself after hearing about the concept of bachas.

cleardiddion
April 27, 2011, 01:22 AM
What interested me was the sheer number of types of arms at hand.
It's one thing to have a revolution with Kalashnikovs and technicals (Toyota: APC of the Third World) with mounted anti-aircraft guns but relics without ammo or magazines?

I'm an avid fan of milsurps and they certainly can get many different jobs done but I don't know about taking my Mosin up into the hills (if there were any in Florida) with a few friends and duking it out against modern military might. If anything, it shows to me the sheer tenacity of some of the people that are fighting over there, whether you agree with them or not.

My buddy tagged me in this video (no, I'm not over there). Watch around 2:20ish, the guy running around with nothing but a hatchet in a firefight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iy4fsaD3Ug&feature=player_embedded

Gord
April 27, 2011, 01:44 AM
but relics without ammo or magazines?

More common than you might think. Heck, even uniformed African soldiers sometimes go out with empty guns - I imagine the key concept there is that you're probably not gonna question whether that AKM is loaded when it's aimed directly at your face while the nice men at the roadblock check your papers.

Our guys in the Middle East regularly get shot at with Mausers and Enfields even now, and I'm sure it's a much more common event in tribal disputes where each party knows the other isn't just going to duck behind the Humvees and call for artillery or air support.

but I don't know about taking my Mosin up into the hills (if there were any in Florida) with a few friends and duking it out against modern military might.

You might feel differently if you'd spent the last few decades under Gaddafi's rule; and if it's between a Mosin and a goatherder's cane, well... :)

shotgunjoel
April 27, 2011, 01:56 AM
My buddy tagged me in this video (no, I'm not over there). Watch around 2:20ish, the guy running around with nothing but a hatchet in a firefight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iy4f...layer_embedded
That guy at about 4:15 almost walked in front of that RPG. That would ruin everybody's day.

cleardiddion
April 27, 2011, 02:01 AM
That guy at about 4:15 almost walked in front of that RPG. That would ruin everybody's day

Doesn't an RPG have a minimum arming distance?

RS14
April 27, 2011, 02:04 AM
That guy at about 4:15 almost walked in front of that RPG. That would ruin everybody's day.

I think it's just a trick of perspective--look at his elbow in front of the RPG gunner moments before. It must have been pretty loud, though.

It's unfortunate to see so many of them shooting unaimed, particularly when they're all firing over the wall.

And wow; the man in the front-end loader at 3:28 has to be one of the luckiest people around.

cleardiddion
April 27, 2011, 02:17 AM
Another interesting point that I have to bring up about the subject is thanks to something I heard on the radio.
A couple of advisors that they UK sent over to the Libyans, supposedly solely for the organization purposes, were quoted as saying that they needed arms for the rebels in order for the people to be able to defend themselves.

Now, I know that many of us either stateside or elsewhere aren't smack dab in the middle of an active warzone but it does make a lot of people seem hypocritical (big news). How is it that some are considering giving organizations/people that we have intelligence as clear as mud on tons of weapons/ammunition/training while screaming bloody murder for control of even the most basic of arms back home? It just doesn't make sense.

HorseSoldier
April 27, 2011, 02:28 AM
Chivers from what I've read is a pretty good guy, and whether or not THR members agree with his commentary, I think he has a pretty good finger on the pulse of the headaches facing political leaders. Some of us may recall the last time we helped a rag-tag, scrappy bunch of earnest Muslim rebels take up arms against oppression and what that turned into a generation later.

Gord
April 27, 2011, 02:29 AM
How is it that some are considering giving organizations/people that we have intelligence as clear as mud on tons of weapons/ammunition/training while screaming bloody murder for control of even the most basic of arms back home? It just doesn't make sense.

You and I are not in any position to overthrow a country and provide concessions, resources or alliances to whomever helped us do so. The Libyan rebels are. Same reason any world power has ever helped the little guys. The Taliban, the Contras, the Koreans, whatever; take your pick.

Some of us may recall the last time we helped a rag-tag, scrappy bunch of earnest Muslim rebels take up arms against oppression and what that turned into a generation later.

Well, on the plus side they did send the dirty Commies home without their supper...

Ignition Override
April 27, 2011, 02:58 AM
If it is ok to get off-topic (?), writer/author CJ Chivers wrote a fairly new book on the history of the assault rifle. It illuminates the contrasts between the M-16 and AK-47 quite well.

Some of you guys must have seen it or heard a bit about it?
One small excerpt describes how some human heads were secretly procured for evaluating the damage from a 5.56 versus the 7.62x39.
Some results of the 5.56 head impact tests were quickly hidden by Armalite, from what I remember reading.

Mr. Chivers was a Marine captain, and I believe that he had a combat specialty.

Bizane
April 27, 2011, 03:22 AM
The Book Ignition_Override is referencing is called The Gun. I got it for Christmas and enjoyed reading it.

longshot7.62x51
April 27, 2011, 10:08 AM
Mines are a poor mans army (the rebels i think would fall under a relitively poor group) the rpg 7 wile an cost efficent anti-armor weapon is not the most accreat. a mine AT placed on a main supply route stands to do more damage with less cost in frendly lives that senting a squad of guys agenst a T54-55 that have to get within 300 meters to fire there less than accreat RPG7s
as far as children on the battle field the united states has a skewed view of this (you are a chiled until you are 18) this is something i have had to drill into my soldiers that just cause the kid looks like he is 14 yeasr old dosent mean he cant kill you with a burst from an AK just as dead as an 18 year old now is this right who am i to say but im sure there are 16 year old kids (and i consider most 18 YO i get kids) that can do a better job than some of the 18 yo ones i have gotten AFTER they go through basic training.

Just my 2 cents after 10 years active duty sorry

oh and im glad to see all thouse FN FALs the free worlds awnser to the AK 47 in the hands of rebals

InkEd
April 27, 2011, 11:05 AM
Spell Check, punctuation and capitalization are strong allies in the war against difficult to read posts on the internet.

However, I do agree with alot of what you mentioned. The use of the term "child soldier" is something IMHO that is (for lack of better word) "over-sensationalized" by the the media in the Western World. "Children" (typically males 13yrs or more) have fought along side adults for as long as there have been wars. They aren't the first choice (of rational leaders) but when fighting a difficult war people have to "explore their options, utilize all their assets, etc." to win battles.

Ask some Vietnam War veterans about "children" with shinebox bombs and concealed
grenades. Little "boys" in Germany didn't always politely hand their Hitler Youth knives over to the allies. In our own country, who do you think played the drums and carried battleflags against the British and later each other?

A child on the battlefield with a gun IS just as dangerous as anyone else. In certain (macabre) ways, they can be MORE dangerous because they ARE smaller targets and have not "developed" fear, easier to manipulate mentally, fully "realize" the danger around
them and want to "prove" their courage. It is a scary thought.

In an ideal world, every soldier would be a sharp-witted, physically fit, well-trained 18yr+ individual fighting voluntarily. Howeve, in an "ideal world" there would be no more war or other bad things. Until that happens, we must accept and deal with things like children in war.

-InkEd

P.S. How many of you DON'T know of anyone IN YOUR OWN family/group of friends that didn't have at least one person "enlist early" (read as: lie about their age to join OR sign-up while still in highschool) within the last 65 years? Food for thought.

longshot7.62x51
April 27, 2011, 11:27 AM
sorry spelling and I have never got along

MD_Willington
April 27, 2011, 02:50 PM
Not sure about the minimum arming distance, the rocket ignites after it travels about 10 meters & the warhead on the RPG-7 self destructs at about 920 meters..

Went and talked with my Ethiopian coworker, he stated that there is a dial on the warhead that you can set if it is not an impact fuse.

He used to fire them back in the day against Eritreans, that was before he ended up in charge of a T55 tank.

metalman8600
April 27, 2011, 04:45 PM
A couple of advisors that they UK sent over to the Libyans, supposedly solely for the organization purposes, were quoted as saying that they needed arms for the rebels in order for the people to be able to defend themselves.


How hypocritical. The English should have overthrown their government 35 years ago in the same way the rebels are doing.

FourTeeFive
April 27, 2011, 04:51 PM
I'm still trying to figure out why our administration wants to give military weapons to "rebels" while at the same time wanting to restrict American citizens' access to any weapons.

Although after reading this article it does seem to be a PR story to justify giving weapons to the rebels. Funny how the press helps the government that way...

Ben86
April 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
Interesting and amusing article.

My buddy tagged me in this video (no, I'm not over there). Watch around 2:20ish, the guy running around with nothing but a hatchet in a firefight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iy4f...layer_embedded

That has to be the most untrained, ill equipped, rag tag bunch of rebels I've seen in a long time. They waste more ammo, endanger themselves and yell alahu akbar more than anything. I think we should probably just stay out of it as it is most likely a more complicated situation than we think it is, as well as more than likely worthless to our national interests

M-Cameron
April 27, 2011, 06:40 PM
That has to be the most untrained, ill equipped, rag tag bunch of rebels I've seen in a long time. They waste more ammo, endanger themselves and yell alahu akbar more than anything. I think we should probably just stay out of it as it is most likely a more complicated situation than we think it is, as well as more than likely worthless to our national interests

you know.....your right......they should all just stop fighting and go home........im sure everything will turn out just fine for them.

they are untrained because they are not professional soliers....they are everyday people fighting for something they believe in....FREEDOME

they are ill equipped because they are scrounging for what ever weapons they can find....because like most of the world, im sure they arent legally allowed to own firearms.

those people are being proactive and fighting for a cause they believe in..they arent waiting for someone to do it for them.....

Murphy4570
April 27, 2011, 07:08 PM
M-Cameron, that does not mean we should get involved at all. It is an internal dispute, and America has nothing to do with it.

M-Cameron
April 27, 2011, 07:09 PM
M-Cameron, that does not mean we should get involved at all. It is an internal dispute, and America has nothing to do with it.

i agree, im not arguing that.

AethelstanAegen
April 27, 2011, 08:19 PM
They waste more ammo, endanger themselves and yell alahu akbar more than anything.

I suspect a certain amount of that can be chalked up to "showing off" for the camera as well. That said, it sure looked like more than a few of them were a greater danger to their fellow rebels than Gaddafi's troops. Power to them for trying though, hopefully with some more experience they'll become more effective.

Some of us may recall the last time we helped a rag-tag, scrappy bunch of earnest Muslim rebels take up arms against oppression and what that turned into a generation later.

That's in part a by-product of us dropping support or interest in the country after the Soviets left..leaving the friendly factions of the Northern Alliance to fend for themselves against the Taliban. That and allowing much of our assistance to be distributed by a foreign intelligence service whose interests did not always coincide with ours.

Anyways, back to the OP, I found the picture of the rebel with the MP-40 without mag very interesting. Probably something a grandfather had picked up in the wake of the retreating Afrika Corps. I guess the logic behind bringing it along must have a lot to do with wishful thinking (maybe he'll run into another rebel with the matching mag).

Cosmoline
April 27, 2011, 08:21 PM
I saw a very weird rebel gun that almost looks like a modified MAS. There's also a number of photos around showing rebels, a la Pancho Villa, with ammo that doesn't go with the rifle they're carrying.

M-Cameron
April 27, 2011, 08:24 PM
I saw a very weird rebel gun that almost looks like a modified MAS. There's also a number of photos around showing rebels, a la Pancho Villa, with ammo that doesn't go with the rifle they're carrying.
maybe they subscribe to the philosophy of "better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

Cosmoline
April 27, 2011, 08:51 PM
Here's an example--this guy is ready!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/8366261/Libya-unrest-rebels-clash-with-Gaddafis-troops-near-the-oil-terminal-town-of-Ras-Lanuf.html?image=9

One issue this highlights, in a broad sense, is how important having ANY small arms can be during this kind of unrest.

Ignition Override
April 27, 2011, 08:56 PM
My main question is whether all of them have access to many cases of both 7.62x39 and 7.62x51 ammo, and where they keep it so that it is available during any sudden retreats (in their trucks?). Where they get gasoline, it must be with a hand-pump.

Some photos of rebels depict Enfield #4s:). Did the Libyan govt. store .303 ammo?

I've never been a soldier, but they seem to spray so much of it over the walls, at random (as a TN National Guard soldier saw Al Qaida do it in Iraq).

Cosmoline
April 27, 2011, 08:59 PM
I think the bulk ammo is coming from raided arsenals, but does not match many of the older Colonial era rifles they've got in possession.

Gord
April 27, 2011, 09:06 PM
as well as more than likely worthless to our national interests

Yeah, 'cause everyone knows how fuzzy-wuzzy Gaddafi is towards the US, right?

Ben86
April 27, 2011, 09:28 PM
you know.....your right......they should all just stop fighting and go home........im sure everything will turn out just fine for them.

I don't hate them for trying, it just pains me to see those young men endangering themselves to such an ineffective means.

Yeah, 'cause everyone knows how fuzzy-wuzzy Gaddafi is towards the US, right?

We can't go gallivanting across the globe to stomp on everyone that isn't fuzzy-wuzzy toward us. It just isn't practical. Especially since we have so many domestic problems of our own. One of which the military would be very useful for (securing the Southern border).

Gord
April 27, 2011, 09:46 PM
We can't go gallivanting across the globe to stomp on everyone that isn't fuzzy-wuzzy toward us. It just isn't practical. Especially since we have so many domestic problems of our own. One of which the military would be very useful for (securing the Southern border).

Well, there is the nitpick that we didn't start the revolution; we're simply providing overwatch and lobbing the occasional opportunistic cruise missile. Either way, to say that the question of who rules Libya is "worthless to our national interests" is a bit short-sighted. Of course, as HorseSoldier noted, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" hasn't worked out so hot for us in the past...

it just pains me to see those young men endangering themselves to such an ineffective means.

Definite +1 on that, though. If you're embroiled in a shooting fight and all you can field is a hatchet, get the hell out of the way and go home; all you can hope to do is make your medics waste time and supplies taping up your holes instead of someone else's.

HorseSoldier
April 27, 2011, 11:01 PM
However, I do agree with alot of what you mentioned. The use of the term "child soldier" is something IMHO that is (for lack of better word) "over-sensationalized" by the the media in the Western World. "Children" (typically males 13yrs or more) have fought along side adults for as long as there have been wars. They aren't the first choice (of rational leaders) but when fighting a difficult war people have to "explore their options, utilize all their assets, etc." to win battles.

Ask some Vietnam War veterans about "children" with shinebox bombs and concealed
grenades. Little "boys" in Germany didn't always politely hand their Hitler Youth knives over to the allies. In our own country, who do you think played the drums and carried battleflags against the British and later each other?

Or just ask cops here in the US about the "child soldiers" in gangs who are involved in felony assaults and homicides every day here in the US. They've also got a cause, got a chain of command, got weapons and use them. Most of those kids, in those "wars," basically grow up to just be sharks on two legs -- they don't age out of it reliably, they just develop into adult sociopaths and what, in more quaint but realistic times, were referred to as "moral imbeciles."

It's an unpleasant topic that challenges a lot of preconceived notions, but the reality is that fully developed adult minds have enough trouble coping with the psychological stresses of combat and daily exposure to violence and imminent threats of violence (PTSD, whatever the hell we call it when you realize that life where people aren't shooting at you is just boring, etc). Pushing that same experience onto a 10-16 year old child is really just dooming them to failure and serious issues in later life. If a society pushes it down onto enough 10-16 year old kids (African child soldiers, or inner city neighborhoods where gang membership is endemic), then that society is also, if not dooming itself, at least planting landmines that will periodically blow up and ruin lives down through the years well after the fighting is done. (Here in the US we "solve" that problem by locking up more people per capita than anywhere else in the world, at significant public expense -- with a big chunk of those people having started out as child soldiers in gang wars.)

leadcounsel
April 27, 2011, 11:35 PM
If you're embroiled in a shooting fight and all you can field is a hatchet, get the hell out of the way and go home; all you can hope to do is make your medics waste time and supplies taping up your holes instead of someone else's.


Disagree. Soldiers do more than fire. He can be a runner of ammo, intel, carry messages, watch the flank, etc. He can also load ammo into mags. Or maybe he IS the medic? Or he could pick up the rifle of a friendly or foe casualty.

But in the whole video I didn't see any enemies... seems they were firing blindly but didn't take any returning fire... but for the casualties I would have believed there were none in range.

Gord
April 28, 2011, 12:10 AM
Disagree. Soldiers do more than fire. He can be a runner of ammo, intel, carry messages, watch the flank, etc. He can also load ammo into mags. Or maybe he IS the medic? Or he could pick up the rifle of a friendly or foe casualty.

Obviously, yeah; but in the context of that video, it looked like the guy was just scurrying around trying not to catch a bullet while he rehearsed his "no <deleted>, there I was..." story for the grandkids.

Playing war for the cameras...

The dude hopping off of the truck after firing blindly over the wall at 2:08 was obviously doing his best "look what a nonchalant badass I am" act in front of his buddies. I award a 9 out of 10 for the semi-pirouette. :rolleyes:

Murphy4570
April 28, 2011, 12:39 AM
It amazes me how none of them seem to know what the sights are on a rifle, or how to use them.

It's not exactly rocket science. Then again, I doubt many of them can even READ, much less do any real mental work. Education in the 3rd world is lacking.

Heck, the average American citizen with ZERO military training has probably got enough combat sense to be a "general" in one of their "armies".

Gord
April 28, 2011, 12:46 AM
Then again, I doubt many of them can even READ, much less do any real mental work. Education in the 3rd world is lacking.

That would probably be news to all of the medical and engineering professionals "over there" (albeit most of whom are probably selling fruit out of roadside carts because it pays better).

RS14
April 28, 2011, 01:02 AM
It amazes me how none of them seem to know what the sights are on a rifle, or how to use them.

It's not exactly rocket science. Then again, I doubt many of them can even READ, much less do any real mental work. Education in the 3rd world is lacking.

Heck, the average American citizen with ZERO military training has probably got enough combat sense to be a "general" in one of their "armies".

Libya isn't 3rd world--their per-capita GDP is comparable to Mexico, although it is heavily influenced by their oil production. Life expectancy at birth is 77.6 (less than 1 year less than the US) and 82% of the country is literate. (Source (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ly.html))

As to the average American... I suspect the average American will show about as much discipline under fire as the average Libyan.

Tim the student
April 28, 2011, 02:45 AM
There are some pretty interesting links in this thread.

Those guys could benefit from some training. Hard not to respect them though - guys as civilian as you can get going to war with no training, and less than ideal weaponry.

Here's to hoping the regime will be all warm and fuzzy towards us.

Oyeboten
April 28, 2011, 04:14 AM
Pretty good little Video Series on the Liberian War, and, some of it's background, focusing in part, on General Buck Naked and his transformation from a life of violence to Peace advocate -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQSjyYRTDVM

shotgunjoel
April 28, 2011, 04:34 AM
How hypocritical. The English should have overthrown their government 35 years ago in the same way the rebels are doing.
Maybe they would have, if they'd had any guns.

M-Cameron
April 28, 2011, 07:41 AM
huh...i wonder how our country would have turned out if all of our ill equiped and ill trained rebels just went home.....

USAF_Vet
April 28, 2011, 10:44 AM
The term 'child soldier' is a literal translation of the Latin (?) word Infantry, which I'm sure most of us are familiar with.

I don't mind the oversight role we have in Libya, I just don't like how we got there in the first place. I know politics is O/T, so I won't get into that, or that fact that (other than the UN and NATO) we don't know who else is supporting the rebels. I've heard Al Quaida and the Muslim Brotherhood tossed around in connection with the goings-on in Libya.

Lobbing the occasional cruise missile (at the cost of $750,000 a piece) doesn't seem like it has been doing a whole lot of good, when you consider we could simply lob one at Ghaddafi (or however it's being spelled this week) and end the skirmish pretty quick. After all, with his Military title of Colonel, he is a valid military target.

Ben86
April 28, 2011, 11:50 AM
when you consider we could simply lob one at Ghaddafi (or however it's being spelled this week) and end the skirmish pretty quick. After all, with his Military title of Colonel, he is a valid military target.

No sir. That would end this engagement entirely too quickly, and probably hurt some feelings. No sir, can't do that. We must appear to be muddling through and indecisive in our action. That seems to be the way to handle all modern warfare.

Sam1911
April 28, 2011, 12:11 PM
This has drifted from a discussion of gun to a debate about military tactics and international politics. OT

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