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Encyclopedia > Crossfire

A crossfire (also known as "interlocking fire") is a military term for the siting of weapons (often automatic weapons such as machine guns) so that their arcs of fire overlap, yay. This tactic came to prominence in World War I. Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First...

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Mutual support

Siting weapons this way is an example of the application of the defensive principle of mutual support. The advantage of siting weapons that mutually support one another is that it is difficult for an attacker to find a covered approach to any one defensive position.


Use of armour, air support, indirect fire support, and stealth are tactics that may be used to assault a defensive position. However when combined with land-mines, snipers, barbed wire, and air cover, crossfire became a difficult tactic to counter in the early 20th century.


Trench warfare

The tactic of using overlapping arcs of fire came to prominence during World War I where it was a feature of trench warfare. Machine guns were placed in groups, called machine gun nests, and they protected the front of the trenches. Many lives were lost in futile attempts to charge across the no man's land where these crossfires were set up.Though World War II had more casualties overall, the relative number of deaths compared to the number of soldiers was more than twice as high in WWI, and the soldiers died much more quickly in the battles of World War I as they went "over the top" into the meat grinder known as no man's land. Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Trench Warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines apples, oranges, poo, cheese and bananas dug into the ground, facing each other. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... No mans land is a term for a land that is not occupied or more specifically land that is under dispute between parties that wont occupy it because of fear or uncertainty. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...


Three things changed between WWI and WWII rendered the crossfire obsolete: the advance of armored vehicles (especially tanks), the advent of aerial bombardment, and the invention of the proximity fuze.


Tanks were invented in WWI specifically because they were immune to machine gun fire, and could thus cross no man's land to destroy the machine gun nests. Their armored hulls also provided cover for the infantry to advance around the tanks. The tanks in WWI were ponderously slow and prone to stalling, however, so they tipped the balance in the favor of the British, but not decisively. In WWII, the tanks improved greatly in speed and reliability, and could reach a machine gun nest at reduced risk since it spent less time exposed. A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ...


Airplanes were present in WWI, but they were used primarily for recon and the outcome of the battle in the air didn't have a lot of effect on the ground battle. The pilots often experimented with carrying things like hand grenades to drop on the enemy, but they were largely ineffective. In WWII airplanes could bomb enemy lines, rendering any large stationary target vulnerable to destruction. Fighters also strafed enemy lines with machine gun fire. Fixed-wing aircraft is a term used to refer to what are more commonly known as aeroplanes in Commonwealth English (excluding Canada) or airplanes in North American English. ...


The proximity fuze allowed bombs and munitions to detonate when an object passed within a certain range (usually about 50 feet (15 m)) rather than using an impact or timed fuze. Timed fuzes are tricky because the range has to be pre-set correctly. Impact fuzes are ineffective against flying targets because they have a very small targeting silhouette, and ineffective against ground targets because the projectile has time to embed in the ground before it explodes, deflecting the explosive power upward. Proximity fuzes were developed by the U.S. Navy during WWII, and they proved instrumental in defending the fleets from aerial attack since a gunner using bullets with proximity fuzes only had to get close to hitting the enemy to knock him from the sky. Proximity fuzes were also instrumental in the battle for Britain because, after the gunners changed to proximity fuzes, not a single German bomb made it past the guns. The fuze also permitted the heavy artillery to detonate above ground, permitting the explosive power to be fully utilized against targets on the ground. The trenches of WWI, for instance, wouldn't have been effective protection against a bombardment using proximity fuzes. Look up Proximity fuze in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A proximity fuze (also called a VT fuze) is a fuze that is designed to detonate an explosive automatically when close enough to the target to destroy it. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ...


Any of the above three technologies would have rendered the crossfire useless. Modern warfare has not returned to big blocks of infantry because the above inventions also kill massed infantry well, and with the perfection of shoulder launched rockets and precision bombing, stationary targets are too vulnerable to be as deadly as the crossfire was in WWI.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Crossfire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (678 words)
A crossfire (also known as "interlocking fire") is a military term for the siting of weapons (often automatic weapons such as machine guns) so that their arcs of fire overlap, yay.
Three things changed between WWI and WWII rendered the crossfire obsolete: the advance of armored vehicles (especially tanks), the advent of aerial bombardment, and the invention of the proximity fuze.
Tanks were invented in WWI specifically because they were immune to machine gun fire, and could thus cross no man's land to destroy the machine gun nests.
Crossfire (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1374 words)
Crossfire was a current events debate program on CNN.
The show was hosted by two pundits, one of whom was chosen "from the right" and one "from the left," thus purporting to provide both sides of the political spectrum.
The initial hosts were Bob Beckel on the left, a Democratic Party political consultant and manager of Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign for the Presidency, and Tony Snow on the right, a former speechwriter for the first President Bush.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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