So I just finished watching the Green Beret vs. Spetsnaz episode. This episode was of interest to old Bob because he was in the Army National Guard. Moreover when I was in the Guard we used some of the same weapons that the Green Berets did. These were:
- M16 A2 (2nd from top; slightly different than the Green Beret’s version which is 3rd down)
- The M9 Beretta (us medics had to carry this hunk of iron in the field)
- The entrenching tool (once used by Bob to play a game of badminton in the field)
- The M67 frag grenade
First, what the Special Forces soldier said about his own M9 made me chuckle: It’s a pretty heavy pistol. I agree and I was famous for bitching about having to carry that hunk of iron in the field. I certainly hope the SF guys of this era are carrying something lighter and with equal (or more) punch than the M9.
M16′s are pretty much M16′s. The only difference from the standard issue and what the SF carry is barrel length and options. Their shorter version is ideal for urban and jungle combat.
The entrenching tool as a weapon? I laughed out loud when I saw that. Granted I never served with any SF types but I did support an infantry unit that had a scout platoon and I could have swore they had knives. If the E-tool is taught as a weapon that’s news to me. Gee you’d think the Army could pony up money for a decent combat knife.
The M67 fragmentation grenade: I only threw two live ones and that was in training. Aside from about wetting myself I can’t say much more.
This episode in particular points out a huge flaw in this show: I just don’t think their computer program does a good job of simulating how a particular warrior uses his tools. They test each weapon and then vote on it. I’m guessing they must assign a weight to the winning weapon. Put all these weighted scores in their computer program and run the simulation. Still there’s so many variables in combat I can’t honestly believe this is a fair assessment.
Case in point was the Spetnaz’s fluid firearms training. These guys are taught to fire from unorthodox positions, use combat rolls, and rely more on the individual than the squad. The Army’s general philosophy is to rely on squad tactics and combined firepower. Now I totally agree with the SF soldier when he said while the Russian is rolling with his shotgun he’d just put a round in him.
The Russians’ reactive and dynamic training was evident in the night fire test using their Makarov pistol. In fact I think that the Spetsnaz out shot our Special Forces guys in close-quarter-combat. The only time the Special Forces did better were in the sniper competition.
That having been said how to you fairly assess squad-directed fire tactics that the Special Forces use vs. a more individual and fluid shooting approach that the Spetsnaz use?
Addendum: Tgace makes a good comment. How do we know that these are “average” representations of a Special Force’s or Spetsna soldier? How does the show select them? To be a good representation of any warrior the show would have to test hundreds of warriors and average their scores. Then take two who were average and run them one more time. I’m betting my pants that they don’t!
Anyhow next weeks looks to be an interesting episode, too. They are featuring the Shaolin Monks. I can’t wait for Matthew’s review so I’ll just throw logic–and what is probably a flawed test to begin with–right out the window and hope that the monks win. Yeah I’m biased for the Kung fu guys.