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Author Topic: "Winter Olympics: Anatomy of a .22 Biathlon rifle"  (Read 2215 times)

RMc

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"Winter Olympics: Anatomy of a .22 Biathlon rifle"
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:19:39 pm »
Olympic Biathlon competition requires requires extreme equipment specialization.

This is a short video on such rifles.



The Biathlon had its origins in winter warfare -  something I doubt you will hear on MSNBC.   :hmm

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 Civilizing Ski Warfare

The 2014 Winter Olympics are going to kick off shortly.  Most of the events seem rather frivolous, but at least one has a long and important history: the biathlon.  The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and shooting.  Ski-borne soldiers have played an important role in quite a few conflicts.

Like cross-country skiing itself, the most famous ski soldiers have been from the Nordic countries.  Norway and Sweden regularly employed soldiers on skis in their periodic wars with each other.  During World War I, the Italian military trained dozens of units to fight in the Alps on skis – and Italy, of course, still has a few ski regiments.  During World War II, Norwegian commandos attacked a German-occupied heavy water facility (used in nuclear research) via skis.

The most famous example of ski warfare, though, came during the 1939 Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union.  The Winter War stands as the best illustration of the value of the biathlon.  Finnish soldiers were lightly armed and outnumbered by the attacking Soviets, but the Soviets mainly employed tanks and trucks.  Much of the war was fought in an area of Finland with few roads aside from logging trails – in the dead of winter.  Soviet forces were cramped and slow-moving.  Finnish troops on their skis could go just about anywhere, inflicting devastating casualties on the Soviets.  (Of course, it didn’t help the Soviets that Stalin had recently killed most of his generals).  In the Battle of Suomussalmi, for example, Finnish ski troops destroyed a Soviet force roughly four times the size.

So you might scratch your head when the halfpipe comes around in Sochi, but at least tune in to the biathlon.  Wars have been won and lost based on these skills.
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https://notwhatyoumightthink.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/thinking-aloud-civilizing-ski-warfare/
Alabama

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    wyatt

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    Re: "Winter Olympics: Anatomy of a .22 Biathlon rifle"
    « Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 06:32:42 pm »
    "During World War II, Norwegian commandos attacked a German-occupied heavy water facility"

    There's a very good movie about this called: 'The Heroes of Telemark'. I have it on DVD.

    Mikee5star

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    Re: "Winter Olympics: Anatomy of a .22 Biathlon rifle"
    « Reply #2 on: February 16, 2018, 10:01:42 pm »
    I never got the chance try Biathlon, always wanted to though. Skiing and shooting combining two of my favorite things.
    Alaska

    coelacanth

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    Re: "Winter Olympics: Anatomy of a .22 Biathlon rifle"
    « Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 01:38:25 am »
    Yup.  If you've never read the history of the Finnish/Soviet winter war, it's fascinating.   The Finns are a remarkable people. 
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