Friday, 8 April 2011

Who gets to carry the RPG?

It matters not whether it is urban combat, desert, jungle or whatever, in every army of irregulars there is always one chap with one of these living out his Rambo fantasies while all around his brothers in arms  brandish AKs, bullet belts or, if all else fails, shake water bottles.  Check the Libyan coverage today, you'll see.   Anyway, one does not have to delve too deeply into the works of Freud to ponder why waving around an RPG-7 is a popular pastime in certain quarters.  So, let us say that RPG waver is the big boss, head honcho, king snake or whatever - he faces two major problems:

They are quite heavy - 7KG, with each grenade anywhere between 2.5kg and 4.5kg  An AK weighs 4.3kg, sans clip.  Humping one of those around all day in the hope of a photo opportunity a lightly armoured or soft-skinned target shows some degree of commitment to one's craft.  If a peon carries it for you, how do you ensure that it is safely in your grip when the cameraman appears an enemy technical hoves into view? 

Also while everyone else is lighting up the sky with the world's finest 7.62×39mm, you have to conserve ammo, or else face the prospect of ritual humiliation if when the cameraman appears an enemy technical hoves into view all you can do is point the thing in the hope it works on one's foe in the manner of Aborigine bone pointing.

Should it ever come to facing off against the folk on the other side of the River, I'm opting for a machine gun.


  1. A dissenting view on the utility and worth of the RPG-7.

    From the article:
    "...more guerrilla armies are making the RPG their basic infantry weapon, with the AK used to protect the RPG gunners, who provide the offensive punch. The Chechens fighting the Russian Army are so high on it that they've switched their three-man combat teams from two riflemen and an RPG gunner to two RPG gunners with a rifleman to protect them."

  2. Chris - Much appreciated, thanks.