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Subject: How many modern Snipers to change the course of WWII
HeavyD    9/10/2010 5:35:14 PM
If Germany had 1000 modern sniper teams, armed with .50 BMG, suppressed sniper rifles and Steyr IWS 2000 (15.2mm depleted uranium apfsds rounds capable of 70mm penetration @ 1000 meters!) at the beginning of 1943, would they have been a game-changer? Given night-vision scopes and modern sniper and spec-ops tactics they would have been incredibly lethal. No place to hide given the penetration, no counter-fire with night vision scopes and 1500 meter range. Heck, they could take out quite a few tanks with flank shots and the Steyr - not many tanks had over 70mm armor on the sides, and no half-track would be safe from any angle. hink of the carnage that several hundred sniper teams could inflict at Stalingrad, especially with night vision scopes. Would Bastogne have fallen if 50 sniper teams were able to take out OPs, and keep GI's heads down in their foxholes? With Raufoss rounds and spec-ops tactics would any fuel dump within 50 clicks of the front be safe? Tanks would have to be buttoned up at all times else commanders would be target practice vs the Steyr. Yes the enemy would adapt, but how do you man an OP or a check-point when all the sniper has to do is get within 1 kilometer at night and fire at will?
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ker    Questions.   9/15/2010 9:46:03 PM
Are those two man shooter/observer teams or representitive of larger sniper teams funtioining in responce to the the enemy hunting snipers?
Are all formally cross trained Army Spec-Ops?  Infantry trained to funtion as company level shooters?  Mix? Are other services included?  Do they come with the number and grade of officers you would expect with this number of personel?  Is this a random selection of snipers or are they selcted to have primaraly Europen language and cultural skills?
Are they carring the gear they would have on foot or do they have trucks?  Did they get the chance to select equipment for the particular problem facing them?  Lots of batters and precision ammo and just one sat phone to reverse engineer.  Can they bring raidio triangulation equipment and ravens - the kind of equipment they are accustom to being suported with but not oporating organicly in the sniper team?  What extra files would you dump into a PDA or laptop?
Will they be trusted by NAZI command chain?  To whom are they loayal, party, nation ect? 
Using all of them as shooters would be a failure of optimazation.  Some would be sent to unitys with officer shortages. Others to planning staffs.  Others to schools.  The value of one of them to a radar and radio resurch project would be huge. 
Just being able to report that the Enigma codes were fully compromised would be important.  "Hey guys, this Kursk plan smells like a trap.  Lets change things up."  "Why would we give up on moble defence?"
Yes it would change game!
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Mikko       9/16/2010 1:48:35 PM
Is a highly technical sniper any more significant asset now than it was 65 years ago, when speaking of large scale conventional warfare? Warfare where entire nations and their existence are threatened, where all money and more goes to war efforts, where everyone is providing to the war effort.
A modern sniper, as you described it, might be a child of the modern asymmetric way of waging wars; a byproduct of hard-to-find enemies, need to find public support at home (keeping your own killers out of harms way) and also keenly trying to avoid collateral damage.

I do not have any knowledge of the more advanced stuff you mentioned, nor of the special ammo you talked about.  But the rifles themselves are pretty much of the same performance or could have been. Throwing little pieces of metal fast against unsuspecting folk on the receiving end. Ranges in which the modern optics and night vision gear comes to make a big difference are also not that common; line of sight is much less in most environments and conditions.
So no, I don't think modern sniper teams could make that much of a difference to the outcome.  Individual assets can be countered, copied or eliminated with some reaction time (as long as they aren't nukes) but economical and industrial superiority prevails.
But hey, maybe Rommel's North African campaigns would've been the ones that could've benefited from the modern snipers most. All the high value assets were hard to replace, water and fuel were überhard to come by, distances were far, vegetation minimal and tanks still quite thin even frontally. But eastern front in 1943... you needed multiple batteries of well supplied MLRS units to kill at the pace Soviets hurled troops at you. I think it is an example of a modern technology you would like to bring to Kursk with you. Those high-tech snipers could spot targets for them.
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ker    cultural terrain of the science fiction   9/16/2010 9:04:12 PM
Thinking about how the German elites would be prepaired to recive the time travling super warriors we must consiter what they belived. To put a handle on what they belived we want to see shat they read.  I'm sticking my neck out and saying that they read H.G. Wells.  In fact if Hittler was a comic book fanboy on speed then his comics were the dirivative of Wells and Wells in tern was dirivative of Thomas Huxley.  It was at Huxleys Normal School of Sience that Wells first publishes The Time Machine in early form in the school newspaper.  It's a windo in to his work in that it proclames that what humans really need to focus on is the visions of the evolutionary superior future race.  Huxley follows Franis "Daddy of Eugenics" Galton. Our highly evolved decendents take our place and the place of god or some such rot.  In 1905 Galtons enthosiastic German fans would form the German Society for Racial Hygiene. Herbert Spencer coined evolution and social darwinism for the vocabulary of the new religion.  Nietzsche contributed Ubermensch.  Which gets us back to Darwin who was procedeed by fictional and religious works that may have influenced his sience. Darwins father belived the same things Darwin did.
I am refrancing the book Scientific Mythologies: How Sience and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs.  It has relevant sub headings like Myth of the New Humanity, Myth of the Future and Francis Galton and the Religion of Eugenics. link to a negetive review of the book. Some people don't like being called new pagans.
Each of the major powers of WWII had their own political spin on Darwinism which they encorporated into the national narrative.  The Russians version being by far the most inconsistent. 
It should be remembered that when Cortes entered Mexico he was mistaken by some as an emissary of the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoati.  Our time traviling snipers are going to have some more interesting challenges than estemating range, windage and time of flight.  NAZI's embraced the vision of a future race of supermen.  Our snipers could pick up on the reactions of the locals play the emissarys of Germanys future selves.  Talk about wish fullfillment.  A NAZI "rational elite" employs eugetics to create a future "ubermensch" powerful enough to return through time it's self and thanki them personaly.  A staple of the Darwinist brand of SiFi is to have the heros transported by some magician to see the amazingly evolved future.  After a few chapters of social commentary with the heros gasping "they should have sent a poet" they go back to share the good news with their origanal time.  So our snipers won't need to shoot Hitler they will just slip into a controling interest of his cult of x-masses future. 
But a funny thing happens on the way to that future. Our heros arn't aryan much.  Lets just skips the Slavics, Jews, Polish and muts who could just fack it maybe if they wanted to.  Birth records arn't avalible for poeple who woun't be born for 50 years.  What will they do about the black guys?  What do you do with a Joe Louis, Jessy Owens and LT. Uhura (StarTrek) all rolled into one?  The future is not taller and whiter as expected. 
That problem is related to another of modern tactics.  How do you explain to the S.S. that colateral damage is a bad thing?  Clearly the Germans had a hearts and minds oportunity in the East and blew it because they couldn't put the ethic cleansing [   ] off until the war was over.  Civil affairs heavy, none knetic, win win warfair where Military Information [ don't call it PsyWar] Support Operations involve more than callilng the enemys (friends?) vermin and putting dive whistals on your stukas       faces a difficult learning curve with some of the most important students.
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ker    non kinetic events   9/23/2010 10:32:30 PM
The snipers could just ghost up and down the German lines and shoot alied targets.  This like the Germans capturing a million Russains would be helpful but not get you to the desired end state.  Passing behind enemy lines and putting those super bullets into  train engines and river barges again is better but not best. 
One of the weakness of the time travelers is that they are going to be less skilled with morse code.  There might be a Iphone ap for Morse and an OCD tec who produced a lap top Enegma program but I digress.  (Obsesive compulsive disorder)
What you reallly want to do is spoof communications to insert conterfit orders.  It wastes enemy resources then it causes them to dought future orders and it's a PsyOp. 
Lets assume that our time travelers have shifted loaltys a bit.  They have members who served with West Germans and even Poles in NATO.  They will fight for Germany but for that future Germany that dosn't exist yet.  They will not have so much truble finding Germans willing to do the same especily if they have a good memory for details.  Hans Speidel, Rommels second in Army Group B could have been convinced to turn his tanks on the SS rather than the Alies.  Rommel wanted to quietly and politly ask Hittler to resighn.  A rapid surrender to the Americans was seen by meaning full numbers of German leaders as the only alternative to distrution and subjegation to the Bolsheviks.  Showing Germans viedeo of news real futage of the Berlin air lift and iron curtain as well as the atomic bomb could be quite productive.  Promising the Germans that the Western powers would join them in war against Russia would be exageration but a very effective one. 
Post D-day you send false orders under the name of Paris SS comand that SS units should detail men to ammo supply points to supervise who gets what.  Send the order to the supply units an hour before sending it to the SS.  Results massive inefficiency and mutual suspicion.  Then discover a secert list of officers who are organizing to surrender.  The resulting purge futher disorganizes the defence and increases the rate of troops surendering.  Then sack a few HQs and the shoot up night movements.   
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ker    The Beast in the East.   9/26/2010 8:40:50 PM
The Poles deserved more credit for their contributions to defeating Fashism.  The Brits were assisted by the Poles and then burried the thankyou notices in the fine print. The Russians were then all to willing to atribute the victorys in the East to the their red death machine. The AK or Polish resistance army remained loyal to an exiled Polish goverment in Briton and did the NAZIs no small amount of mischeif.  The American Army Special Forces oporators and the Polish resistance are going to love each rapidly passionatly and seceretly.  The time travelers will convince the NAZI's that very secret prisons and counter intel programs should be run against the resistance with a great deal of independence.  Then they feed to party success storys to keep them from changing the oporation.  In fact the prisons are bus stations, hospitals, schools and intel librayers for the resistance.  The protected double agents are triples.  It's very Schindler's List but with more explosives.  A paramilitarie arm made up of Poles who promise to fight the polish communist resistance recive german weapons and train with the American time travelers. 
Lets assume the Germans don't attack at Kursk based on information provided by the time traveling snipers.  This leaves more resources for ambushes and tactical counterattacks as the Germans withdraw.
At the same time the time travelers are recuriting German units for special projects.  Platon or company size German units paired with American teams of between 2 and 6 men build concealments than will alow them to sit still wile the Russian combat units advance past them.  Wile these Germans are isolated in their hides under "radio silence" it's an exelent time for suddle re-indoctronation.  They let both the Russains and Germans think these units have deserted but the hidden units belive they have highest level secret orders from the NAZI comand.  Say 40 units conseal them selves acrost an area 500 miles wide and 200 miles deep.  Then when the Russians advance their combat units out of the area the consealed units go active.  Each unit has a box on the map in which they are to account for all Russian units and block Russian communication lines.  Their is no attempt to form long continuse fronts behind the Russians.  Rather their support infrastruture is turned into a Swiss cheese.  Front line Russian units are given disinformation that their supply lines have failed due to a counter revolution in Russia.  They are sent requests to return East and defend all that is good about Russia.  The Russians in the rear are given the disinformation that the front line troops are mutining and refussing to carrie on further offencive oporations outside the borders of Russia. The Father Land is free of Germans and the USAF can see to their extermination. 
Front line German units explote the Russian condition with spoiling attacks.  As Russian adapt to the new conditions the consealed units consolodate with each other and/or join the anti-communist resistance in their area.  
The goal of these oporations is to make posible a unified Germany ocupied by none communists.  Minnimize the amount of German tecnology captured by Russia which jet engines being one example.  Set the conditions nessary for at least part of Poland to remain a non-communist Western Alie.
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ker    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?   10/22/2010 5:18:34 PM
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is my new favorite wall paper droid 2's.  It used to be "This machine kills fasists."
In a work by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End, a machine is brought to earth that shows new real of the historical origens of all earths religions.  The people of earth belive the machine is truth full and give up religion. 
"Probably the Overlords have their reasons for keeping us in the nursery, and probably they are excellent reasons." Clarke, Childhoods End
Now lets think of our time travaling snipers and their smart phones.  What vid might they be holding and how might it be used to manipulate 1943 humans?  I can't help but think of Psychic paper from Dr. Who and Jedi mind tricks.  "These arn't the droids we're looking for."  So for an oporator who has trained in using influence the video is a nice tool.  When the subject has no experience with the quality of product your using it's more powerful.  The best movies to use would be The Pasion or The Girlfriend Experience depending on what you wanted the person to do for you.  2001 A Space Odyssey is also good.  Sience Fiction dose have much Greek myth in it.  We fly/project our selves to the Gods called Mars, Mercury, Jupitor and Venus.  And fight wars.    (What you thought kissing green women was about the laws of thermo dinamics?)
So our triger men can get around.  And take vidoe of people who don't belive you have a cam even when they are looking right at it. 
Redistributing tecnology is going to be a priority.  You want to look for tec that is strong enough to change options but is related enough to what the people are doing "now" to get through development and prodution.  So I think the time travelers will want to get German records on the Fritz X guided bomb and Fuel Air Explosives (FAE) to the Americans working on the B-29s.  They also need British navagation and anti-ship search radar which they used against Germany in 41-42. When Japanes Offecers were debreifed after surviving the Atomic bomb atacks the best explanation they could muster was that the Bombers droped gasoline like rain and then ignited it.  The Americans found a way to make that work.
Now, they need to Jedi mind trick the B-29 developers out of using primative Cybernetics in the self defence machineguns of the plain and into using them in the Bombs.  The Fritz X data from the Germans of the time serves that up on a platter.  Once you get raideo guided anti-ship bombs, para flairs for night attack and ship search radar on 29's they are killing machines against the Japanes merchent fleet.  The mighty Poseidon has revoked Japans privalage to sea trade.  29's also become offencive recon for U.S.N. subs and crusers wile being defensive recon for their transport and tender ships.  Anti-ship mines help close Japanes ports.
P-51's freed up from Germany can do a repeat preformance against Japan.  Removing their air capacitys. Fuel shortages caused by loss of shiping help.
The FAE's would be useful at Iwo Jima. 
Rather than landing on Okinawa make a chain of landings in Vietnam, China and Korea.  The Japanes can't predict the location of the landings so defences are thin. By the time they have massed for a counter attack and at significant cost the Americans have the choice to defend or evacuate and re-land in a new location.  Also the people the Japanes were fighting before the Americans showed up will take advantage of the oportunity to interfear with their efforts. 
Once you have emergancy landing strips for B-29's in Korea and the Japanes can see American ships sailing around the home ilands but can do anything about it the siege is compleat.  Then you do a Psy-Op rather than a conventional invasion or unconventional bombing.  You inform the people that the Emproer is displeased with his navy and is punishing them with defeat.  The Emporior has the power to confound the minds of the Americans and cause their attacks to land in the wrong places.  In time he will beguial them into protecting Japan and making Japan rich again.  America will sell Japan oil from Alaska and buy the products of Japanes factorys.  If the people of a vilage or an iland will stop suporting the disobedient fashist's militairy the Em
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