Monday, July 23, 2012

Murphy's Laws of Combat Operations

I'm cleaning out my office and I discovered this -- from a discussion group in 1994 -- sayings gathered by and posted by Michael Tauson,  This is for those of you who write (or like to read) stories set in combat zones -- in any time period of history or the future:

You are NOT superman
Keep it simple stupid (K.I.S.S.)
Automatic weapons -- aren't
Recoiless weapons -- aren't
Suppressive fire -- won't
Incoming fire has the right of way
If the enemy is in range, so are you
Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire
If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid
When in doubt, empty your magazine
The easy way is always mined
Try to look unimportant, they may be low on amp
Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous
Teamwork is essential, it gives them somebody else to shoot at
Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you
Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing
No combat ready unit ever passed inspection
No inspection ready unit ever passed combat
Never share a foxhole with someone braver than you
If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy
Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder
The enemy diversion you're ignoring is the main attack
The only thing more accurate than incoming fire is friendly incoming fire
When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy
Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in, and you won't be able to get out
A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down
If you're short on everything but the enemy, you're in a combat zone
The enemy invariably attacks on only two occasions -- when you're ready for them and when you're not
Know your enemy-- the first law of war. RAH
There is nothing more accurate than friendly fire
Anything that must be together to work can never be shipped together
Murphy was a grunt.

(Added later -- If you are wondering just what "Murphy's Law" is and how it got it's name, click on over to Fred Bortz's webpage and read the prologue to his book, Catastrophe! Great Engineering Failure and Success. It turns out that Murphy was a real person.  How about that?)

What is "Murphy's Law?"
"If there's more than one way to do a job and one of them will end in disaster, then somebody will do it that way."
or, as he rephrased it later,
"If something can go wrong, it will."

If you'd like to discover all sorts of newer nonfiction books, click on over to Perogies & Gyoza.  You'll find links to all sorts of children's nonfiction books there.


Fred Bortz said...

Thanks for adding the link, Wendie. Every chapter of the book makes reference to Murphy's Law in the way that I redefine it in that prologue.

A couple of years after that, I met the man who coined the phrase (now deceased), who had a remarkable career.

Fred Bortz

Nicole weaver said...

Hi Wendie,

I thought I would stop by to say hello.

Nicole Weaver
Trilingual Children's Author