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"Strangest common misconceptions " Topic

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728 hits since 3 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

Of military history.

In 10 days Kingdom Come Deliverance will be released on PC and consoles. I backed the kickstarter over 4 years ago so I'm looking forward to playing it. So I'm hanging around the steam forum for the game and there is some strange ideas about medieval warfare on there.

One is a strange take on oldy we've all heard that medieval weapons weren't very sharp. (Hence the title of the poll question) but this particular versions was strange to quote: medieval weapons were very dull because they didn't have the technology to sharpen them and they were afraid to make them unbalanced.

And so reading that "not even wrong" statement made me think og other similar common miss conceptions like;

Cavalry galloping a km before making contact with the enemy.
Soldiers marching with in 10 paces and trading musket volleys.
Plate armor being so heavy you can't move unless you're on a horse.

You get the point. And I'm sure you got plenty to share here.

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 9:32 a.m. PST

1. Roman, or Greek armies for that matter, charging willy nilly across an open field against an enemy also running willy nilly across the open field.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 11:11 a.m. PST

That the bright colors of smoothbore-era uniforms were some sort of glitch, and everyone ought to have been wearing camouflage and hiding behind trees.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

A subset of the above: the Americans beat the British because they hid behind trees and rocks with their rifles while the British marched in lines in the open wearing red coats and carrying muskets. You can apply this to the AWI or the War of 1812; I've heard both.


lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

How about Romans forming testudo to attack a bunch of Celts in an open field?

KeithRK03 Feb 2018 2:04 p.m. PST

That hand grenades explode in a huge, greasy, ball of flame.

Kropotkin30303 Feb 2018 3:16 p.m. PST

That Napoleonic cannon balls explode on impact.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

Paul Revere shouted, "The British are coming!"

… to a bunch of British citizens.

OldGrenadier Fezian03 Feb 2018 6:19 p.m. PST

M-4 tanks were pieces of cr@p that exploded if a German tank even looked at them.

rmaker03 Feb 2018 6:29 p.m. PST

How about Romans forming testudo to attack a bunch of Celts in an open field?

With said Celts having chariots with scythed wheels (I assume were talking about the questionable recent film loosely based on Sutcliffe's Eagle of the Ninth).

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 10:24 p.m. PST

That if a famous historian says something a war gamer disagrees with, he is wrong.

That there is new insight to be found in any book on Waterloo (Gettysburg, Cannae, Stalingrad…) that features "extensive new research" based on a trunkful of letters found.
That publishing a book on the above is improved if published on the 250th anniversary of the event.
That sexy lurid titles improve said book 100%.
That a book written 50 years can be superseded by "groundbreaking new research".

basileus66 Inactive Member03 Feb 2018 10:59 p.m. PST

My personal favourite: that History is about exposing facts as they happened, and that the work of the historian is to let the documents speak for themselves.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

The average sword weighs more than an anvil

Bows are "girl's" weapons which makes advantage of their vastly superior dexterity

Bows can be drawn and held indefinitely

You can't draw an arming sword from a right handed scabbard, but you can draw a longsword strapped to your back and put it back with one fluid motion (usually off camera)

You can kill an enemy in plate armour by simply dragging your sword across the surface.

Padded armour is only a tiny step up from wearing a t-shirt.

All pre-gunpowder weapons like arrows and catapult projectiles are either flaming or explode like napalm bombs.

Martial arts were only known in the east, knights in western europe were knuckle-dragging brutes that bludgeoned each other with crude unsharpened swords.

Medieval sword users ALWAYS parried with the flat of the blade.

Japanese swords were made from a magical metal combination that made them much lighter/faster/indestructible than European swords and were so sharp they could cut next Thursday in half.

Rapiers are nothing more than knitting needles with a fancy grip for effeminate pansies. Real men use "Battleswords !" and "Warblades !"

In a fight between a knight in full plate harness with pollaxe, sword and dagger and an unarmoured man with a sword, the unarmed man has a massive advantage in speed/dexterity and mobility and has a 100% chance of owning the knight, barely able to move to any any degree other than a slow and unskilled zombie-like thrashing about.

The lead ball of a musket will blow a hole the size of a basketball in a man-size target.

A "master" with a crude bow made from and old broomstick will always defeat somebody with a "useless" modern weight and pulley bow.

Any curved sword will always "bite" and cut deeper than a straight blade.

Now that in recent years it has been revealed to the wider public that there is a rich tradition of indigenous European martial arts, it's clear they are infinitely superior to the Oriental ones.

The Japanese sword has been debunked as a metallurgically mediocre, overly heavy, much too short shoddy excuse for a sword whose "superior ergonomic" design is purely accidental and is therefore a completely useless weapon.

Romans NEVER cut with their swords, they were primarily stabbing weapons.

Romans ALWAYS cut with their swords, they were utterly useless as stabbing weapons.

Hoplites ALWAYS held their spear up to stab downwards.

Hoplites ALWAYS held their spear to the body for greater control and stronger impact.

Hoplites didn't bother to use their spears, they just engaged in a game of pushing until one side collapsed.

The US concept of the Tank Destroyer was a complete failure, the vehicles were a disaster, unable to take on their intended targets and all this was admitted by almost everyone in writing after the war.

The German concept of Panzerjäger was a complete success, allowing the use of older tank hulls to create highly effective combat vehicles that slaughtered Allied vehicles by the thousands and is seen as the perfect example of Teutonic efficiency.

Almost no German tank was destroyed in combat, most were destroyed by their own crews when they broke down, usually after single-handedly defeating an entire armoured division.

Sherman tanks never broke down.

Tank upgrades are only good if they concern gun firepower and armour thickness, stuff like extra spring-loaded escape hatches, better and more vision slots or improved ergonomics are worthless in a straight fight.

Tanks engaging each other in combat always did so like dueling knights, fighting head-on exchanging shots until one of them was defeated.

French always attacked in column, the British always fought in lines.

Horses make for great battering rams, able to smash through castle doors, hurl themselves through metalled doors without even a second thought to their safety.

Fire can't hurt you if it only touches you for more than a minute, just standing behind a pole will avoid you getting incinerated by a flamethrower.

An entire generation of generals, military commanders and other officers were all universally incompetent in the years between 1914 and 1918.

Field Marshalls sat in luxurious chateaux during the Great War when they should have been in the trenches, actually leading the charge and doing something useful instead of sipping champagne and ordering millions to their deaths.

This weapon, if it had been available or available in larger numbers or available sooner would automatically have won the war because the enemy would have been utterly unable to come up with an answer.

German tanks ran on diesel which made them impossible to set on fire.

All destroyed German tanks you see on photos were blown up by their own crews, they were never defeated in combat.

People until last Thursday were vastly more stupid and ignorant than us today, we have a far greater understanding today than at any other point.

We now have a clear and perfect understanding of history that previous generations didn't have due to all their cultural prejudices and societal stupidity.

I can declare any historical fact as false because one can claim history is always re-written by the victors and independent verification is therefore impossible.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2018 6:06 a.m. PST

To build on Patrick R…
Japanese samurai were far superior to Western Knights, because the latter had never had to face samurai in battle.
Somehow, the reverse is never brought forth.

foxweasel04 Feb 2018 11:59 a.m. PST

In the English civil war pikemen always held their pikes upright when engaging the enemy and just did a lot of shoulder barging each other.

Roderick Robertson Fezian04 Feb 2018 1:09 p.m. PST

Shields are only a counterweight, and are always held behind the body.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 9:32 a.m. PST

That during the Revolution, all American troops fought the British with rifles and hid behind trees and shot at the British. That the militia rather than the Continentals (regulars) won the war.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Japanese troops in WWII were natural jungle fighters. When in actuality most Japanese troops were from urban areas in Japan. Prior to the war, most Japanese had never seen a jungle.

Paul Revere actually shouted "The Regulars are coming." The regulars being the British as oppose to America Militia. Continentals had not been established yet.

Legion 407 Feb 2018 1:46 p.m. PST

Saw this in the Avanti ad here … and I think many believe the WWII Italians were not very good soldiers, etc., … But I don't believe that is entirely true …

With their equipment outclassed by the enemy's, the Italian soldier had no choice but to substitute bravery for technology. Despite British propaganda that painted the Italians as cowardly and easily defeated, the Italians fought well and bravely, and won many victories that were attributed to the Germans (and were even blamed for German defeats that they had no part in!). Avanti reflects this in the way the Italians are portrayed.
Nicely put …

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

Bismarck was scuttled

The US was outnumbered at Midway

Press gangs were the RN's regular recruiting toil in the Napoleonic wars

British ships were sunk in the Falklands because they were made of aluminium

The Exocet that hit the Sheffield didn't explode

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