‘One shot, one man’ – Military Innovation and the ‘lessons’ of the Second World War
A British soldier aims his SA80 rifle on a shooting range in Iraq.
What can a shooting competition tell us about innovation? In this blog, I offer up a short description of the British Army’s post-war attitude towards the infantry and show that these apparently inconsequential discussions continue to frame the selection of NATO weapons and tactics.
The poor standard of rifle shooting in the Army to-day […] is a matter of great concern to me.
Field Marshal Sir William Slim, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, July 1949
In July 1949, Britain’s most senior Army commanders met at the Hotel Metropole near Whitehall. The meeting had been called to discuss Field Marshal Slim’s recent visit to the Army Rifle Association annual shooting competition at Bisley. At Bisley Slim had witnessed a ‘deplorable state of shooting’ by the Army; a humiliation that was only further compounded…
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