Wednesday 14 May 2008

Custer's last stand

An angle I had never thought of:

In 1876, General George Armstrong Custer was defeated at the Baffle of the Little Big Hom not only by a superior force, but by a force with superior weaponry. Both sides, armed with commercially available weapons, discovered fast what happened when one side was equipped with outdated technology. The US Cavalry was armed with single shot Springfield rifles while their enemy was armed with Winchester repeating rifles. Both the US Army and the weapons used by the Lakota-Northern Cheyenne were commercially produced within a year of each other.

That surprised me, given that I thought parts of the Union army had been issued with repeating rifles a decade earlier during the Civil War. Although I might be wrong.

Snippets like this are always useful when the government starts talking about cutting Defence procurement.

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