Is it the Infantry or Machines That Determine the Outcome in Modern Warfare and Why?

Machines win modern wars.

A 1947 study found that during the Second World War, only about 15 to 25 percent of the American infantry ever fired their rifles in combat.

The rest, or three-quarters of them, simply carried their weapons, doing their best not to become casualties.

The infantry’s purpose is not to kill the enemy, but rather to advance on and then physically occupy his territory.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “Is it the Infantry or Machines That Determine the Outcome in Modern Warfare and Why?”

  1. Figures quoted are out of context. This refers specifically to the fact that the level of support required for a combat force is about 4 support staff for every front line soldier. As Vietnam and Iraq showed, the use of machines is only part of the equation. You cannot bomb an enemy into submission, except maybe for nuclear weapons perhaps.

    As for combat, the average soldier will fire a weapon, but the “hit rate” is very low. During WW2 it was estimated that for every enemy combatant killed by US Forces 100,000 round were expended. Most statistical analysis concurs that the majority of soldiers fire their weapons to “hold” the enemy in place or to provide “cover”. Visual contact is also rare so soldier often shoot blind.

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