Tag Archives: John L. Plaster
John Stryker Meyer and MAC-V-SOG
Not long ago I read John L. Plaster’s amazing book Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warrior’s of SOG.
Then as I was perusing Jocko Willink’s podcast the other day I ran across three episodes Jocko did with John Stryker Meyer, another member of that elite unit, MAC-V-SOG that served in Vietnam.
I highly urge you to listen to all three of these podcast, the stories and lessons are AMAZING.
Examining GW Tactics: Fire and Maneuver in Urban AO’s
In a recent Article, Law Enforcement told how they found a very large collection of ‘tactical writings’ in the home of Dallas Police Shooter and Army Panty Bandit Micah Johnson.
According to Police, the tactic of “Fire and Maneuver” or “Shoot and Move” was the tactic seen most often in Johnson’s “voluminous” notes.
Since Johnson’s MOS and military career was devoid of any real Combat training or experience while in Afghanistan, Where Johnson actually learned these tactics is up for debate. John Mosby in his superb Mountain Guerilla blog makes the case that Johnson was taught these tactics possibly by somebody who had participated in Mil-Sim (Airsoft).
My personal opinion is that Johnson at some time or another, post-Army career, received training by Black Power militants within the BLM community, who are most likely, according to Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch connected with HAMAS through the help of CAIR, which is widely known to financially support Terrorism.
The student of history and Guerilla Warfare does not have to look very far back to see the deadly nexus between 1960’s Black Power militant movements, like the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan, so the BLM/HAMAS-CAIR connection is by no means a conspiratorial stretch.
Below is a vid from a Black Panther rally in 2015 in Austin, Texas where armed black militants called for the death of “pigs” (Police Officers) with the ominous chant “Oink, Oink Bang, Bang.”
When one starts piecing together the Dallas attack, the “Shoot and Move” tactic used by Johnson was one of the main reasons police thought there were facing MULTIPLE shooters, instead of just one shooter, as the fire was coming from many different positions. Gunfire echo in an urban setting combined with the chaos and high stress most likely attributed to this confusion.
This is a very important lesson to learn, both in the study of Guerilla and Counter-Insurgency Warfare (COIN). The guerilla must use any and all “force multipliers” to his advantage to try to overwhelm the enemy (both mentally and physically.) One of the greatest force multipliers is the APPEARANCE that the Guerilla (or the Guerilla Force) outnumber the Conventional Force.
This tactic most often manifest itself as a psych-warfare tool first. Keeping the enemy confused and fearful creates hesitation in how they will respond both tactically and strategically, which gives the guerilla more time to plan and attack. We can understand this point better as we listen to the Police radio traffic from that day of the attack in Dallas.
Now that we have briefly touched on some of the offensive aspects of fire and manuever warfare, let’s talk about the DEFENSIVE aspects.
The armed citizen must understand that regardless if it is you and a perp facing off at 10 feet in a gas station parking lot or you pinned down in an urban shootout like the one in Dallas, MOVEMENT = LIFE! I will be touching on some of the more detailed aspects of urban sniping and fighting in some later installments, but right now the key thing for you to remember is to ALWAYS MOVE TO SOLID COVER AND KEEP MOVING UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF THE KILL BOX.
In Combat Shooting you will often hear the maxim: “GET OFF THE X!” (With the “X” Being the Kill box.) For those of you that understand how the OODA loop works (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) when you MOVE In a fight, regardless if it is empty hand, stick, knife or gun, you force your enemy to RESET their OODA Loop. Even something as simple as a side-step can buy you 1/2 a second of reaction time in a fight and that half-second may be all you need to neutralize your opponent or escape.
When we are talking about a situation like the Dallas shooting, where civilians were caught out in the open with a shooter in an elevated position, Movement can be a tricky thing. Depending on the shooter’s elevation, your cover may be of little use since the shooter may be able to position themselves to look OVER and DOWN onto your position. This is what I mean by having SOLID or COMPLETE cover. Remember, If you don’t have a solid roof over your head, he may can see you and consequently, shoot you.
Combine this fact with the shooter using “Fire and Maneuver” tactics and this is how you can end up being PINNED Down and eventually overwhelmed and killed. I cannot stress enough how important movement is in these situations. Staying “planted” in a kill box, regardless of how “safe” you feel, is a sure-fire recipe for a funeral.
Pictures from that day show how officers and civilians alike were “hugging” the ground, Getting as LOW as possible behind vehicles or any cover that was available.
Staying as Low as possible is a good tip anytime shooting is taking place, however, in an urban setting where the shooter is elevated, it is mandatory. We will discuss more on “Urban Sectors of Fire” in another post, but for right now it will suffice for you to understand that in an urban setting, depending on how elevated the shooter is, he may be able to shoot farther on the “oblique” than he can straight on, it just depends. Of course what kind of rifle the shooter is armed with and his skill level play heavily into this equation also. I highly recommend John L. Plasters The Ultimate Sniper and his section on Urban Sniping for more advanced reading on this subject.
More to Come Later.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed, Stay Informed and Stay Dangerous!
Military Weapons from the Past: The MAT-49
Although it does not mention it here, this weapon was used quite frequently by American MACVSOG and LRRP Units in Vietnam. John L. Plasters’ excellent book, Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG, talks about it. Plaster also wrote one of the best books IMO on Long Range Shooting and Sniping work called The Ultimate Sniper; check them both out, they are worth a read. -SF
MAT-49: The Iconic Sub-Machine Gun of the First Vietnam War
This French weapon is one of the few successes associated with the disaster at Dien Bien Phu.
In 1954, more than 14,000 French troops were locked in combat during one of the most decisive battles of the 20th century — Dien Bien Phu.
Hopelessly outnumbered by communist Viet Minh forces, starving and exhausted with little more than cigarettes and instant coffee to sustain them during the 54-day siege, the French faced humiliation and defeat.
Surrender was their only hope.
“On May 7, 1954, the end of the battle for the jungle fortress of Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French military influence in Asia, just as the sieges of Port Arthur, Corregidor and Singapore had, to a certain extent, broken the spell of Russian, American and British hegemony in Asia,” Bernard Fall, author of Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu, wrote 10 years later. “The Asians, after centuries of subjugation, had beaten the white man at his own game.”
U.S. Pres. Dwight Eisenhower authorized support for the French military during the crisis. The United States poured tons of material aid into the battle. However, America refused to commit troops to fight alongside its French ally.
Photos of the period show French soldiers wearing American helmets and battle dress, carrying U.S. equipment ranging from canteens to radios, and receiving air drops (when they could get them) from American aircraft.
But the French did all they could to keep a weapon from their own nation — the MAT-49 submachine gun — from falling into the hands of the enemy. To this day, the French regard the nine-millimeter MAT-49 as an iconic symbol of their war in Southeast Asia and the more than 75,000 soldiers who died there.
For nearly 30 years, the MAT-49 saw action wherever the French had once planted their flag — during the First Indochina War, in Algeria, and as favorite weapon of the French Foreign Legion when legionnaires fought in Mauritania, Zaire and during the Chad-Libyan war of the 1980s.
Despite the frequent — and often undeserved — criticism that French weapons are inferior, the MAT-49 is anything but substandard.
Designed and manufactured because the French military was stripped of weaponry by Germany during World War II, its designer took his lead from the success of weapons such as the Sten Gun and the M3 “Grease Gun.” Both were examples of cheaply made but widely used submachine guns made from stamped metal parts.
Pierre Monteil, the French firearms engineer with Manufacture Nationale d’Armes de Tulle (better known as MAT), wanted to keep things simple and production costs low so the post-war French military could quickly re-arm. He, too, went with stamped metal parts for the MAT-49. But despite the cost-saving features, the resulting firearm operates very well.
The MAT-49 has a blowback design, heavy mainspring, 7.7-pound weight when empty, and a 1.3-pound bolt. Altogether, the weapon is a bit on the heavy side, but its weight helps reduce recoil.
The gun has flip-up “L”-shaped sights marked for a range of 50 and 100 meters. It fires in full-auto only at 600 rounds per minute, but a skilled shooter can learn to fire in short bursts quite accurately.
The MAT-49 also has two unusual features for a submachine gun. The magazine housing folds forward and up where it attaches to a bracket, and the weapon has a grip safety that prevents accidental firing if the shooter drops the gun.
Using nine-millimeter Parabellum ammunition, the MAT-49 accepted either 20- or 32-round single-stack detachable box magazines. A simple bent-wire folding stock completes the submachine gun.
Altogether, the gun is a rather attractive little package. It’s easy to field strip, easy to clean and easy to fire — qualities that ensured that the weapon stayed in active service as long as it did.
Airborne forces in particular loved the MAT-49. French paratroopers from both the regular forces and the French Foreign Legions played a pivotal role in the First Indochina War.
“Until 1954, they formed a mobile striking force which was rushed as needed from one end of the country to another,” wrote Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage in The French Foreign Legion: An Illustrated History. “They saw action and suffered heavy losses in numerous security operations, offensive and defensive battles, and countless rescue operations.”
Many members of an équipe choc (assault team) or équipe feu (fire team) carried the MAT as their basic weapon. They needed a reliable, compact submachine gun for their missions — and if parts of the weapon folded in order to make the weapon easier to secure to their web gear before a jump, so much the better.
And when the French left Indochina, captured MAT-49s often filtered into the hands of the Viet Cong, who later fought American soldiers and Marines.
All the guerrillas had to do was convert the submachine guns to the Soviet 7.62-millimeter Tokarev pistol cartridge, which was amply supplied to communist forces in Southeast Asia by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
Read the Original Article at War is Boring
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