So the military invests a lot of money into, you guessed it, weapons and fortifications. Over the years, some words have gained ground and popularity amongst the military production types. Once upon a time it was cannon. Then submersible, howitzer, and stealth. Now, it’s tactical. And much like the aforementioned ‘technologies,’ the word is far ahead of it’s time.
Now according to Merriam-Webster, the two most viable definitions for tactical are “using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront” (which seems silly, since all weapons would then be tactical) or “of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose.” That last one sounds right. Until you see some of the things they call tactical, like:
The AA12 is a tactical automatic shotgun. And yes, that is probably the only time you will ever hear ‘tactical’ and ‘shotgun’ in the same sentence. This bastard child of innovation and boys who like to hear “BOOM” has no recoil, and can fire 300 12-gauge rounds in under a minute. The only possible way this sorry excuse for a writer can imagine this weapon would fit that second description would be staring into the abysmal, rotting face of Armageddon. If you are being attacked by wave after wave of dozens of shambling, half-naked mostly-dead zombies, this baby would surely come in handy for ‘tactically’ mowing them bitches down.
So don’t hurt me, but this entry isn’t exactly a weapon. It’s more of a use of a group of the same weapon ‘tactically.’ Now Typically, I’d say nothing with explosives can be considered tactical. Then I remember the shaped breaching charges to blow holes through hulls, doors, or grandma’s walker (if your bat-shit crazy, but have a great sense of humor). So yeah, explosives could be considered tactical, depending on what they are, or do. Take the military definition of carpet bomb. To precisely explode the fuck out of everything in site. Really now? That’s the tactical equivalent of running your mother in-law over with a bus, then backing back over her with it for good measure. (Perhaps not a bad idea…)
The Metal Storm
Metal Storm’s website boasts it as the next tactical weapon in America’s arsenal, though it’s not quite there yet. Whether or not it makes it, it IS FUCKING AWESOME. Essentially, each gun barrel up to, and exceeding, 40 millimeters in diameter, has a long stack of bullets in each barrel. Each bullet gets fired using an electrical charge, propelling out the barrel faster than Superman. The best part of this gun? It can fire over a million rounds per minute. To put that into perspective, that’s about the equivalent of 333 miniguns firing simultaneously. As pants-shittingly awesome that is, there’s nothing tactical about the ability to level a forest with a gun. Except, you know, Armageddon.
A tactical Nuke
I’m sorry to say, the military does in fact consider nuclear weapons tactical. But not all of them, no! Just the tactical ones. Like in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. There is nothing at all tactical about blasting the shit out of everything, everywhere, for over a mile. You can even ask that one Japanese girl who got papercuts out the ass when she made like, a hundred thousand origami paper cranes. Why? I don’t know. You probably don’t either. Though I think it’s safe to say it was probably Japans tactical response. Well, it worked! So tactical and clandestine, no one ever knew about it. Though it may have had something to do with the sudden American fondness of strange Japanese tentacle-porn. Well played, Japan. Well played.
The Tactical Munitions Dispenser, or TMD, is a fancy word for a clusterbomb. For those of you who don’t know what a cluster bomb is, allow me to explain. Here’s how it works. Either a bomb is dropped out of an airplane, or a missile is launched from a base, boat, submarine, etc. As soon as that missile or bomb reaches a certain height, a small explosive is triggered which rips apart the bomb casing, and disperses up to hundreds of smaller bomblettes indiscriminately over a battle field. Then each of those bomblettes falls to the Earth and explodes, killing anything and everything in the area. This could include civilians, non-combatant foreigners, and friendly forces. After the war, conflict, whatever has ended, any of those bomblettes that didn’t explode can be set off by dogs, children, or any civilians who stumble across them. The reason they are worse than unexploded bombs is because a nation knows exactly how many missiles and bombs it drops, and how many of them explode. However, there is no way to track how many bomblettes do and do not explode, or are released.
Obviously a German name, the tactical Schrapnellmine, aka the S-mine, was a mine developed and employed by particularly sadistic Germans throughout World War II. Known to allied soldiers as Bouncing Bettys, these were pressure sensitive anti personnel mines designed to kill troops. You know what’s the problem with most landmines? They kill from the feet up. We can’t have that, no, we’re Nazis! Let’s develop a mine that shoots up from the ground, squeals, then explodes sending shrapnel, ball bearings, and explosion at the faces of allied soldiers! The reason these babies aren’t tactical? The number of German soldiers who forgot where they had placed these mines, and then fell victim to them (in a platoon, mind you) is said to be close to a thousand.
I’m John Scrovak – If you want to follow my ramblings on cracked, RM, and STDP7 then feel free to add me on Facebook
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