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ucme's avatar

Which transportation has served man best in times of war?

Asked by ucme (45990points) March 31st, 2010

I won’t bother listing examples here i’ll leave that to you.Fundamentally what i’m after are your thoughts on which vehicle has proved itself as being the mainstay of military conquests down the years.Reliabilty,firepower,popularity are aspects to be considered.

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18 Answers

CMaz's avatar

The horse.

You never needed for a fuel supply to show up. In order to advance. Just put them in the field and let them graze. Or they could “fuel up” on the move.

And, if things got rough. You could eat them.

filmfann's avatar

Helicopters appearence in Korea vastly changed the survival rate for injured soldiers.
The new drone missles are remarkable, since they don’t put our soldiers at risk, but it really isn’t transportation.

JLeslie's avatar

This question probably needs some research for a real answer. @ChazMaz makes a great point about the horse.

Since you bring up firepower, I assume you are not only talking about getting from point A to point B, which is what I thought about initially – cars and trains to move people – but also about killing the enemy.

Snarp's avatar

Feet. The only one used in the past that is still used consistently.

stump's avatar

I agree with Chazmaz and Snarp. Low-tech served for thousands of years, and needs the least in terms of support services.

TexasDude's avatar

No matter how much technology has changed or continued to change, there will almost definitely always be troops on their feet on the ground.

Snarp's avatar

But seriously, it all depends on your purpose, means of transportation are not all that different for purposes of war than for purposes of peace. If you want to move a lot of very heavy stuff and have a large body of water to transport them on, boats are number one. If speed and distance are of the essence and weight is a somewhat less important factor, you can’t beat airplanes. If you need a mix of the speed an power of an airplane with the ability to land anywhere, you need a helicopter. If you have roads or relatively uniform terrain to move troops across, trucks of some kind are required, probably an armored personnel carrier. Tanks are more of a weapon than a type of transportation and are used to support some other transport type like trucks, APCs, or feet. But if you want to move people over really rugged terrain, walking does it best, though horses are faster they are also more expensive and require carrying additional food and equipment.

Cruiser's avatar

Historically, human feet. Look what North Vietnam did to big bad o’ USA and did so often with bare feet. But in modern times the Hummer has proven itself to be an awesome troop transport vehicle.

Ansible1's avatar

M-113 or Soviet BMP – designed in the 60’s, still used today. Great balance of maneuverability and firepower

wonderingwhy's avatar

It’s really impossible to pick one as everything is so specialized but I’d probably go with the B52, basically a tank with wings and capable of transporting staggering amounts of cargo (though I guess technically I’m thinking of C-130’s then). That, over it’s various incarnations, will probably log nearly 100 years of service before it’s fully retired.

CMaz's avatar

The B52 is a strategic bomber.
Only cargo it carries is bombs and a small crew.

We forget about the sea. Probably the aircraft carrier is the most versatile, in modern times.

Sandydog's avatar

In ancient times the Chariot was a great weapon of war.
The development of the modern tank also made a difference. At a recent Firepower demo,mortar vehicles though were far more effective than battle tanks ( missiles go straight up and drop vertically on the target – very difficult to defend against )

ganti_x89's avatar

@wonderingwhy
although the c-130 was introduce in vietnam; i agree with the cargo capasity it has and fire power.

downtide's avatar

Horses. They’ve been the mainstay of military transportation for around five thousand years. I don’t see tanks or helicopters being around that long.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

I can see where people are coming from who answered “feet” and “horses.” I guess it depends on whether you’re asking from a historical aspect or effectiveness. Horses and feet have certainly been around the longest, but they’re rather limited in comparison to motorized vehicles. You can’t drop bombs and wage war across oceans on horses.

But this is all very relative. Back in the day, being on a horse was a huge advantage over a foot soldier. But now with the evolution of military technology you need to get more and more out of your transportation. Tanks were revolutionary in warfare because they were highly protective and destructive at the same time – much more efficient than any other technology available at the time. I’d also say some of the planes developed during WWII rank way up there. If not for our advancements in airborne warfare, we may not have won the war in the Pacific.

I’m by no means a military expert, by the way. My dad just watches a lot of military shows on the History channel, and I absorb some of that info by osmosis when I’m at home.

YARNLADY's avatar

Aircraft and aircraft carriers.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Historically, shoe leather or wind power.

ShiningToast's avatar

@wonderingwhy and @ganti_x89 The C-130 Hercules isn’t armed, it is used as a cargo transport craft.

The only variants of the C-130 that have (projectile) weapons on them are the AC-130 Spooky and AC-130 Spectre.

And a C-130 is completely different from a B52. They don’t even look remotely similar, besides the fact that they both have wings.

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