Killer Instinct; How Many Soldiers Actually Fired Their Weapons in Past Wars & How Has Simulation & Other Training Helped?

During World War II it was estimated that 45,000 rounds of small arms ammunition was fired to kill one enemy soldier. In Vietnam the American military establishment consumed an estimated 50,000 rounds of ammunition for every enemy killed. Small arms ammunition includes the ammunition used by the sidearm, assault rifle, rifle and heavy machines. Currently in the US inventory it would be 9 x19mm, 5.56 x 45mm, 7.62 x 51 mm and 12.7 x 99 mm. Pistol through the venerable ‘Ma Deuce’, M2 50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine gun. You could probably perhaps include the 40mm grenade launcher too.

Rifle or Machine Gun Related Deaths During World War I and II

Few, very few casualties are attributed to the sidearm, most being rifle or machine gun (actually artillery is the big killer, but outside of the current discussion). The machine gun is used as a suppression tool to keep the enemy undercover as the riflemen maneuver to engage. Many machine gun rounds are consumed only to suppress enemy fire or to hinder their mobility and ability to engage and respond.

How Many Soldiers Actually Fire Their Weapons During Battles

During the American Civil War 27,000+ loaded muskets where found on the battlefield at Gettysburg, many with multiple loading. A far higher estimated number, with 95% empty muskets was expected. It became apparent that there was an ingrained reluctance to shoot at the enemy. Many not wanting to even fire over the heads of the enemy. General S.L.A. Marshall was the chief Army historian during World War II and the Korean War. He observed that many men fired over the heads of the enemy rather into them. Many volunteered to recover wounded or tote ammo, anything to avoid killing a fellow human being. Very few solders were actually firing and shooting to kill or at least hit an enemy. During the Civil War men would stand a mere 30 yards firing their guns, sometimes for quite long periods of time. If a regiment fired, and shot to kill, an opening volley should have created about 480 casualties, instead they were experiencing only a casualty every couple of minutes or so.

Bullseye, Silhouette Targets, Bayonet & Combat Simulation Training

Much early training was done using bulls-eye targets. But during the Vietnam War they started to use human silhouette targets. Bayonet practice, some consider an obsolete weapon is taught to build aggression against the enemy, not necessarily expecting its employment on the battlefield. This is done to desensitize the individual to killing. The Army was very good at combat simulations with the kill rate going much higher in Vietnam.

Do Video Games Desensitize Children to Violence?

Why this discussion? Well two reasons for your consideration. The downside is that modern combat games may desensitize our children before maturity instills personal obligation, responsibility and to differentiate right or wrong. They are considered combat simulators.

Self Defense Concealed Carry

The other consideration is the concealed carry. Surviving violent, perhaps armed confrontation is a mindset. You have to convince yourself to survive at all costs, even if it entails the taking of a fellow human beings life. To do this you have to practice with at least a human silhouette target. Develop the mindset you will fire if it is determined that it is the only course to resolve violent aggression of an attacker. In your mind to must validate the use of deadly force in a combat situation. The military does it and so must you! The alternative may be death.

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