Infantry: Keeping It Real

Archives

January 28, 2009: Training for close combat, especially indoors, is difficult. To make it easier and more effective, special ammunition and knives have been developed to allow troops to shoot and stab each other, without causing serious injury. This is important, because "clearing buildings" is dangerous, chaotic and hard on the nerves. Very deadly for green, inexperienced, troops.

Back during World War II, commandos developed the "kill house" concept to provide realistic experience for that sort of thing. If was soon found that this provided a decisive edge when facing troops without such training, or experience in fighting in buildings. When fighting indoors, everyone is unsure of who is where and up to what. Whoever moves the most decisively, and shoots the straightest, tends to win fast, and with little loss.

Kill houses can be used firing blanks, but that does not give the same training effect. A preferred option is using "simunition." This is special, lower velocity, ammo that will leave a welt, but not cause a serious wound if you get hit. Even commandos sometimes use simunition, but this requires special parts for their weapons and, of course, the special ammunition. Much better to use the real thing (which requires much more caution).

Sometimes, troops have to rely in the knife, and a "simunition" type of knife was developed for this as well. Called the "Shocknife", this is a polycarbonate device that looks like a knife. But it can't cut. Instead, it delivers a painful (but not harmful) electric chock when it makes contact. This quickly teaches troops, training to use knives in combat, that they have been "cut." This additional degree of realism makes the training much more effective.

 

 


Article Archive

Infantry: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close