Mikhail Kalashnikov created the primary design in 1947 thus giving birth to its legendary name. AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova or Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle. The 47 comes from the production year. The most suitable name for this assault rifle is just AK since many types have emerged since the 1947 variation. It is renowned for its durability in the battlefield. It has been battle tested and that it why it is still in widespread use today. Since it is simple and easy to mass produce it is usually the primary weapon for poorer countries. Although it is a simple weapon its business is killing and it is a professional in that field. Most AKs in use have two main receivers, stamped and milled. On the receiver there is a switch to make it fully automatic or semi. When it is in automatic the bullets keep firing until the trigger is let go or the magazine is empty. In semi the bullets fire each time the trigger is pulled. The design of this weapon is suitable for any condition. In mud, sand, and even after it has been submerged in water it may still shoot. This made it the weapon of choice for many terrorists and poorer countries. It is like the Thompson of this day. Its image is even on Mozambique's national flag validating its notoriety. This kind of reliability made it the perfect tool for the Somali militia. One AK is effective; now imagine thousands of AKs in the hands of angry Somalis, that was the experience in the Battle of Muqdisho.
The AK was never known to be quiet or accurate. It has a distinct sound and can easily give away the position of the user. From far away the AK may be inaccurate but it could be effective. When thousands of 7.62 rounds of automatic fire began raining down on U.S. Forces someone was bound to get hit. Throw in some RPGs and that is a worthy battle to test how well the soldiers' training was. It is hard to dodge bullets especially assault rifle bullets. Anyone will have a hard time trying to survive in this type of fight. The Somalis chose the right weapons to counter these technologically advanced fighters at that time. Somalis already had experience with this gun in previous wars so they were already battle hardened. Today the AK can still be found in use in Somalia and is usually paired with 30 round clips and even sometimes 75 shot drums.
Rocket Propelled Grenades
The most famous Rocket Propelled Grenade or RPG is the RPG-7. It was created by the Soviet Union. The modern RPG had two main parts, the launcher and the grenade. The primary types of grenades are "High Explosive" and anti-tank Heat Rounds. The grenade is connected to a motor with fins. The weapon is usually forged out of cheap materials like sheet metal, fiberglass, and die cast aluminum. This makes the weapon suitable for poorer countries that cannot update their military regularly. Another advantage is its durability. Since it can be reused the weapon has to be strong. While it is quite easy to maintain, if the user doesn't clean it regularly the RPG could miss fire and reverse into the user's eye causing blindness or worse. All RPG's are fired on the shoulder while looking through a scope. This makes the weapon versatile and suitable for insurgents and militias who have to fight new technologies. Many Somalis had this as a primary secondary weapon.
During Task Force Ranger the Rangers and Delta Force had a hard time fighting the militias firing RPGs at them. The effectiveness of this weapon was proven when it took down a high tech weapon like a Black Hawk. RPGs worked effectively against vehicles and were able to take down soldiers driving the vehicles. The RPG rounds were devastating against soldiers. The only way to really counter the RPGs was to take cover or shoot the user down.
The technical is usually a four wheel truck or a formidable heavy vehicle equipped with a machine gun or another type of unforgiving weapon. The name originated when Red Cross members in Somali were forced to pay local militias or they would be attacked or robbed, these were “technical” expenses. Another name is the Tactical because of its maneuverability. The concept of the technical has been around for a long time, an adequate craft with a gun. It was in Muqdisho, Somalia that it gained widespread use. It was the militia’s vehicle of choice. It was the perfect weapon for the Militia Forces since they could not afford tanks and other more famous weapons of war. Technicals were quick, light, and cheap. Any truck could be turned into one with the right gun.
In the Battle of Muqdisho many technicals were stationed at roadblocks and acted as turrets against the U.S. Forces. It was usually painted to tell it was a war vehicle. It served useful as a carrier because of the bed space in the back of trucks. More advanced technicals from heavy duty trucks carried more men, weapons, and were hard to take down. These light duty trucks with armaments were perfect in traveling long distances and harsh conditions since they were trucks already meant for going off road.
Many civilian trucks have been converted to technicals and can be suited for any operation. Technicals were able to be outfitted Anti Aircraft guns, SAM launchers or Surface to Air Missiles, and many types of guns ranging for heavy duty rifles to machine guns. The truck and gun combo is effective be its weakness is defense. It can be taken down by multiple weapons such as satchel charges, missiles, automatic fire, and grenades.
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