I hate buzzwords. Especially when they are tied to flawed ideas. For example, overmatch.
Imagine you are a member of the French Resistance in World War Two. You have just received a Liberator pistol to aid you in your efforts. Your response would be, “Je te chie dans le cou, you ugly American swine. You expect me to fight without OVERMATCH? You should have given me a weapon that can fire faster than a MG34, has longer range than a K98k, and is lighter and handier and more controllable than a MP40. It needs to have greater anti-armor capabilities than a Panzerfaust. It had better be more of a psychological horror than the Flammenwerfer. And lastly, it had better cooler looking than a Luger with a snail drum and buttstock. If only you had provided me a real gun, like a .30 cal M14, we could beat the Nazis.”
When I was in the Corps we didn’t have the buzzword Overmatch yet. We did believe in the concept of “peeling the onion”. We wanted to be able to harm the enemy at longer ranges than they could harm us. At each layer, we would have greater range. Our M240 would be more accurate at longer ranges than their PKMs. Our M16A2 would strike them down at 500 yards while their AKM would only effectively hit us at 300m. Finally, should any get close enough, our M203 launchers out ranged their GP30 grenade launchers.
Little did we know that those Russians had switched to 5.45 and a 400m zero long before we were born. So, while we were running around with M16A2 and 300 yard zeros, they had overmatch on us.
I don’t like to use profanity, but sometimes I feel it the only appropriate word with the correct grammatical purpose.
So if the Russian’s had overmatch in infantry rifles on us, would that mean they could beat us in equal numbers. My response to be would be. . .
I don’t think so. Fuck Overmatch.
If we follow the concept of overmatch to its logical conclusion, we would deduce that all our infantry need to be carrying select fire Barrett .50 cal rifles and all our planes and armor need to be launching cruise missiles with tac-nukes. Overmatch has become a buzzword used to question US Military Superiority and used as justification to try and fund what ever is the cool new toy of the day.
I am not going to wax and wane on tactics and equipment when I can ramble on with different parable.
I like to think that all my firearms are weapons ready for war. In reality, I’m not about to grab my 10/22 for a fight.
In the military, with training, we often trained as if we were fighting an equivalently equipped force. Many reasons for this:
- If you can beat a force equal to yourself, you can beat an inferior force. Hopefully.
- You can split your force and do training against each other. Each group can try their best to win without having to artificially limit one side. Allows all the individuals to get the best training in the limited time and budget.
- You don’t have to try and simulate or obtain the equipment of any particular enemy group. If you use M4 carbines, do you really want to buy AK that use simunition rounds and hand them to people who have no training on them? Then the group using the AK are not getting good training themselves. Etc.
- Your group is familiar with what you use and the tactics you use. Trying to get a group of your guys to properly role play the enemies tactics is hard. Especially if they are novices themselves.
- And more…
- The most important reason is that blue on blue training is easy and makes for the least amount of work for military leadership.
Thus, to make things easy for me, I’m grab a few pics of random our forces for the following examples instead of trying to find pictures of various other countries’ forces.
Back to that 10/22. Given the choice of fighting a superior force with a 10/22 or doing something else, most would advocate doing something else. Some would say you ignore the enemies combat forces and only strike at their support equipment and supply lines. This article isn’t for those cowards. If a hostile force is in your neighborhood going into homes and dragging off your friends and families, are you going to wait till you could hit the supply lines some other day? Success comes from taking one of your strong points poking it into an enemy’s weak point. But you don’t always get to pick your best strength or the enemies weakness, so we must be as flexible as possible in tactics and employment.
Look at these troops in Afghanistan. Body armor, good weapons, communications equipment. Against an individual with a 10/22 they would not just be overmatch. There would need some new term like overkillmatch. But it is hot over there in Afganland, almost as hot as Florida. These guys are not wearing their neck guards. Note, the article name is “fighting a superior force”, I didn’t saying anything about totally defeating them. If you were fighting a force like this a neck would be an excellent target for a .22 shot. Low recoil and low report may allow you to engage multiple individuals or fire multiple shots at one individual before you egress that firing point. You are not going to totally destroy an enemy patrol (unless you are horribly lucky), but you can hurt them.
If you were the unfortunate aggressor armed only with a .22, an urban environment would very much be to your advantage. Plenty of windows, mouse holes, walls, doors, or assorted opening to take a couple of shots and move before an organized response by your enemy. Even when firing a single shot from a full power rifle, it can take a few moments for the firing location to be identified. Firing a quieter weapon can make it even harder to identity when where shot came from. Helps you survive. Shoot and scoot!
Looking at the four soldiers above, only one is wearing a groin protector. Imagine if with your .22 you shot one of your enemies twice in the groin and then moved to another location in order to prepare to repeat the process. There is a good chance your .22 shots would have just struck thigh muscle and cause very little harm to the individual. There is a smaller chance you struck a major blood vessel or caused damage to the pelvis reducing mobility. There is very good you traumatized and demoralized an enemy possibly eliminating their will to fight. Think for a moment how a unit might react if 2 or 3 of their soldiers were shot in the groin. Might be a good time to get out of the area before try to use their armored vehicles to level buildings. If your enemy believes you will shoot them in their sex organs, it will have a noticeable effect on their will to fight. On the other hand, you might not want to get caught by them if you have been using this technique. Use the urban environment to engage from close range and disappear before they can respond.
These guys are wearing their neck protectors. But they either are not wearing them right, or have really long necks. Probably just have them too loose. This group is probably in the middle to rear of a larger formation. The guy on the far left is an officer. From the creepy pedophile looking mustache on the middle guy, I’d bet he is a staff NCO. Top sergeants seem to be drawn to that look for some reason unknown to me. Far right is might not be that important. But look, we have a guy wearing a funny outfit with a different gun, he must be a “collaborator”.
Major thanks to all the interpreters who helped us, especially the good ones.
I don’t want to be thought of as the guy that is just saying, “shoot them in the dick”, but lets continue with this silly example. Shooting the Officer or Staff NCO in the neck or groin is going to reduce their ability to lead and command. If you targeted an attached unit or collaborator, that may reduce the volunteers for those jobs.
Hopefully, you would have more than a .22 LR.
When you fight a superior force, you have to accept that you are not going to be able to decisively destroy them in every engagement. So you have to figure out how to use the assets you have to reduce the enemy.
Fuck overmatch, you don’t need it.
Or shoot them in the dick, whatever.