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Old August 16, 2014, 08:05 PM   #86
James K
Senior Member
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,383
The belt socket for the BAR was adopted for "marching fire", and all the armies were trained in working the bolts of their rifles while marching forward. Of course, no one much hit anything and "the enemy" (either side) pretty much ignored such nonsense and just concentrated on mowing down the attackers.

Actually, "marching fire" was not a Civil War tactic. Attacking troops held their fire until they got right up to the enemy trenches, then fired their one shot and used the bayonet. They had to do it that way because in the massed formations of the CW era, only the front rank could fire without hitting their own men. But going against mostly muzzle loading rifles or muskets, the casualty rates were acceptable. Even against canister fire, the attackers had a chance. Against long range belt-fed machineguns and repeating rifles, they had almost no chance of even reaching enemy lines, let alone of actually taking them.

Jim K
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