Shields. Among the simplest devices in existence, they somehow manage to be unmatched in both offensive and defensive capacities, when both well-made and well-used. A sufficiently large shield can negate nearly any attack, and then be used to bash in the head of the attacker.
Case in point: the Spartans. The Spartans were one of the most fearsome warrior cultures of all time. The key to their success – aside from their lifelong training, of course – was their shield. A powerful shield that could stop a lance and covered its bearer’s entire body was a formidable tool indeed. It made the legendary Spartan phalanx nigh invincible.
So my question is: why did shields vanish? Because really, if you think about it, a shield would be an excellent tool, even today. It would be made out of stronger, lighter metals and alloys and polymers, making it bullet-proof, fire-proof, shock-proof, explosion-proof… Basically indestructible. It would make it much easier for soldiers to move on the battlefield, whether advancing or withdrawing or simply shifting positions, without exposing themselves. The back of the shield would also make a convenient place to keep extra ammo, grenades, a med kit, or a small radio.
Basically, a shield is a magnificent piece of equipment that should never have been done away with. I think that casualties would go way, way down if soldiers were issued and required to train with shields large enough to cover them completely.
Agree? Disagree? Want to argue about the price of milk and eggs in Russia? Leave a comment below. I enjoy hearing from my readers.