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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Palestinian Rioters
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Message started by xerces on Jul 5th, 2004 at 8:36pm

Title: Palestinian Rioters
Post by xerces on Jul 5th, 2004 at 8:36pm
Hi all,

I keep seeing news photos of Palestinian youths using slings against IDF troops in Israel.  It appears to me that the bulk of the rioting youth are armed with slings.  Does anyone here know how effective the sling has been for these guys?

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Gun on Jul 5th, 2004 at 10:28pm
They have used the sling for so long over in palistine that it must be effective for the rioters.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by krippp on Jul 6th, 2004 at 8:38am
And if the sling was an effective weapon in ancient warfare, it's probably effective in rioting, also.  ;)

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by justin Ball on Jul 6th, 2004 at 3:55pm
...and good for throwing grenades! Check out the posts on sling as a modern warfare weapon, and fireslings a few weeks back. I think its the perfect weapon: hides anywhere, fast and cheap to make, can throw just about anything one can put or balance in the pouch, used by a horde of untrained people it will still rain lethal fist sized stones onto a crowd...and if needed, can be made from a shoe. What are ther IDF gonna do? Arrest every Arab kid wearing shoes??

Justin

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Douglas on Jul 8th, 2004 at 12:18pm
The slings they use have very long cords, almost equal to the kids' heights, it seems - and a fairly heavy rock. They're not going for high-velocity, small lead glandes.

Actually, the Israeli Army may be taking slings away. I am seeing much fewer now on the news, mostly simple rock throwing...

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Matthias on Jul 8th, 2004 at 12:56pm
I think an answer to both the question of the effectiveness of slings (particularily those massive stone, long cord ones) and the apparent fewer number of visible slings is that using one is likely to get yourself shot at.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by english on Jul 9th, 2004 at 7:23am
I think that the sling cannot be at all effective against an American-trained army fighting with armoured cars and M16s.  But I suppose if the Israelis decide to build the barrier, then the Palestinians can sling over it, whereas the Israelis would have to make loopholes.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by xerces on Jul 9th, 2004 at 2:21pm
Well the question is: can a sling stone hurt a soldier wearing a kevlar vest with ceramic chestplates?

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by ZaQ on Jul 9th, 2004 at 2:37pm
No, not if it hit the armor.  If the rock hit the soldier in the neck and the neck was unprotected it could easily  crush his windpipe or jujular vien and kill him.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by krippp on Jul 9th, 2004 at 2:45pm
Remember that we're still talking about rioting, and not about actual city warfare or anything like that.  ;)
About kevlars, I'm no expert, but I still beleive that a high velocity, fist sized sling stone in the chest will hurt, even through a kevlar vest. And if it hits the head, it should at least cause a minor concussion. Unless they are wearing some super helmets that I'm not aware of. :)
And if the slingstone doesn't hurt through the soldier's armor, then it will certainly hurt if it hits the face, arms, or legs! And since many palestinians have used a sling from their early childhood, I'd assume they're quite accurate with those things, making them able to aim at the most vulnerable spots.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Gun on Jul 9th, 2004 at 3:55pm
the stone for the sling when it hits someone with kevlar armor, it transfers all of its energy to the person. This could result in broken bones, bruses, or just knoke them off their feet. And there is know telling what they are slinging at the soliders (gernade, gas bombs).

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Hobb on Jul 9th, 2004 at 4:16pm
I'm glad I live someplace where nobody's trying to kill me.  None of my targets shoot back! :o

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Gun on Jul 9th, 2004 at 10:15pm
Me too.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by xerces on Jul 10th, 2004 at 12:18am
Well, that's just it.  I see these palistinian slingers all the time and I assume that they are fairly experienced with the weapon.  But I've not read any reports of Israeli soldiers being killed by a slingstone.  

On a sidenote, I was reading about the Roman conquest of Britain.  Of particular interest was the description of the Roman sackings of a string of hilltop fortresses manned by thousands of slingers.  Now according to history, none of these fortresses took more than 1-2 days of seige to conquor.  Of course by that time(1st century ad), legionaires themselves had stopped training with the slings.  So I'm wondering, if thousands of experienced slingers using lead projectiles with the advantage of elevation would fall to a relatively small force of Romans so quickly, then maybe the sling isn't as effective as the ancients say it is.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by justin Ball on Jul 10th, 2004 at 2:50am
You are correct in that the Romans took many hillforts in a short time, especialy those along the south coast/ south downs. However, though the Romans had lead projectiles, I'm pretty sure the local Celts, defending their hillforts, stuck to stones. Also, Roman siege weapons allowed troops to stay out of the way until a breach was made in a palisade, then troops could move directly into the fortification. Therefore they were out of range for much of the time, and when in range, were behind those huge shields of theirs.

Justin

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by David_T on Jul 10th, 2004 at 9:41pm
A while back a guy wrote in and said that while he was in Samolia, in the Army, he was struck in the throat with a chunk of cement slung from a sling. It drew b l o o d           and could have been worse if it were a more direct hit.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by magnumslinger on Jul 24th, 2004 at 11:28am
I wouldn't be too quick to assume one way or the other about the ability or effectiveness of the kids with the Palestinian slings.  On the one hand, the mere throwing of a stone can "take your head off (even without a sling), and justifies the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.  I learned this at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, and had many a stone hoisted in my diresction, from angles/distances. and with incaccurate enough results that I did not see fit to use deadly force in return, BUT if someone were clearly in range, physically capable and cocked back to "take my head off" at a close enough distance, PARTICULARLY if they were using a sling, I wouldn't have hesitated to shoot to protect my life, and would treat the incident as if it were an attack with a firearm, or knife at close range.

So I don't discount the possibility that they may be effective in the hands of some of the kids, however, just because they have used the slings for a certain period of time STILL doesn't guarantee that they will be able to hit with them when the soldiers are firing back at them/LIKELY to fire back at them.  Even well-trained soldiers/marksmen in combat have an ABYSMALLY low hit rate in combat with the most accurate/convenience of space-age rifles!  Hundreds of shots fired per enemy wounded/killed!  Just look up the stats from the last several wars, if you doubt this.  

Another doubt arises, since, it was DAVID (A HEBREW  shepard under a BENJAMINITE-dominated culture who used the sling AGAINST the Palestinian Goliath, who was armed with a javelin and sword, that gives rise to the assump[tion that the sling was a weapon of choice in the region, BUT I thhink I read that the Palestinians and most OTHER groups of the region have traditionally prefered the bow spear, sword and Greek Hoplite-type weapons over the sling until VERY RECENTLY!  The sling is not a traditional Palestinian favourite weapon, so far as I know.)  Also remember that in Arab cultures, among others in the Region, the general level of even rifle "marksmanship" isn't that good, since showing machismo by firing into the air/posing for a camera with a sling, or making noise with a weapon/brandishing a sword is considered FAR more important than hitting your target.  The soviets, who trained these people, believed in the massed fire principle, hence the Kalashnikov design of their rifles, made to "spray and pray" first, with some abilkity at aimed fire as a secondary bonus.  This worked for combined arms tactics where the infantry only had to spoil the aims of rocket-launcher-armed troops to protect their tanks which in turn protected them as the blew past the front lines into the enemy's less protected rear area (A tactic possibly evolved from years of fighting with Mongols and their cousins, such as the Huns/Madyars, Hussars, Fins, Turks and Cossacks.

Also, with even basic riot gear, the effectiveness of a sling is greatly diminished.  It's true that the odd shot might find its mark between the chinks in the armour, but how many of us could ever hope to be that lucky/accurate against  armoured troops firing back at us?  I think the slings are there more as a show of defiance/ last resort, after rifles or pistols if even available, would more CERTAINLY be more likely to provoke aimed, deadly response from highly trained Israeli troops, with less sympathy from the world public, than if they are shot while "merely" hurling stones.  Most peoiple don't realise how dangerous a sling CAN be IF it DOES hit an unarmoured spot.  

As a psychological/ambush/harassing/last-ditch close range weapon of defense against soldiers not in full riot gear, the sling could certainly be effective if used properly, but I don't think we'll be reading about too many Israeli sling casualties any time soon.  The Palestinians are using pieces of torn-up asphault and concrete, as the Israelis are presumably trying to deprive them of other more dangerous materials to throw at their soldiers.

Just my guesses on the issue.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Chris on Jul 31st, 2004 at 7:41am
When a projectile hits armor, the force is still defused into the person, just in a less concentrated way.  I wouldn't be surprised if slings winded people or even broke ribs.  Rocks are far less dense than lead, and thats important to keep in mind.  We have Roman literature that notes lead projectiles penetrating flesh (they developed special tongs to remove them).  

It doesn't surprise me that a smaller group of highly trained and well equipped roman soldiers could take down a rag tag group of slingers.  Personally, I'd be impressed if they even lasted two days.  It's important to consider that slingers (like archers) are not formidable alone.  They have to work in concord with melee infantry.  It would be hard for ranged units to have any affect on well armored troops (with shields!).  The effectiveness of a sling really played out on ancient battlefield (Babylonians, Greeks, Assyrians, etc.) where there were mass infantry and cavalry devisions, and ranged attacks hailing in from both sides.  The superior range, time to reload and fire, and effectiveness of elliptical lead ammunition made slingers invaluable members of an ancient army.

Chris

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by jburdine1956 on Jul 11th, 2006 at 11:12am
It is in the skill of the slinger, and the lack of caution in the reciever. A case in point. An Israeli soldier was starting to aim at a crowd of Palestenians with his M-16 and allegedly rubber bullets. The crowd divided and a youth stepped forward and did a quick throw right into the faceplate of the soldier. It smashed the faceplate. The soldier was rendered unconscious, and was carried away by his fellow anti-riot troops. If you have no modern weapons and all  you do is practice with what you have, you get good at it. I've heard stories of Palestenian teenagers shooting out street lights with their slings, as our hooligans would do with BB guns.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by TechStuf on Jul 11th, 2006 at 2:09pm

JBurdine.....glad to make your acquaintance.  


8)



TS

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Tint on Jul 11th, 2006 at 8:13pm
Yeah!  Nice to see you here, J Burdine!

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by slingbadger on Jul 12th, 2006 at 10:22am
I find it interesting that the modern military gears all of it's soldiers and gear towards warding off high tech stuff while ignoring what a well trained person with low tech stuff could do.
 You think that they would have learned by know.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by siguy on Jul 12th, 2006 at 11:05am
hey aren't those faceplates supposed to stop bullets?  if they can stop a bullet but not a slingstone, then i guess that is proof that a slingstone can be as or more powerful than a gun.  interesting  ;D  ::)

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Kukhri on Jul 14th, 2006 at 2:05am

wrote on Jul 12th, 2006 at 11:05am:
hey aren't those faceplates supposed to stop bullets?  if they can stop a bullet but not a slingstone, then i guess that is proof that a slingstone can be as or more powerful than a gun.  interesting  ;D  ::)


The face shields worn by riot police are rarely bullet resistant. Even so, what stops a bullet, may not always stop another projectile. They are two entirely different missiles.
As to whether or not a sling would have an effect on body armour, it depends on what type the soldier is wearing. Soft armour would not be penetrated by a slung stone. The effects of the stone would be distributed and diminished, but the wearer of the armour would feel the effects. Bruised ribs or worse. Hard armour again depending on the type, usually will not be effected by a stone and the wearer would feel nothing. It may be possible for a very strong sling cast to crack and diminish the integrity of old, low grade hard armour still the soldier would be fine.

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Zwiebeltuete on Jul 14th, 2006 at 5:12am
An armor does not need to be 100% something proof. In the story with the face plate, imagine what would have happened had it not been there!

Zwiebeltuete

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Antti on Jul 18th, 2006 at 11:02am
Stones from sling can be seen in the air, and you would have enough time to move a bit, or raise your shield if you see a stone coming your way..

I don't think slingstone would do much damage, if there is a riot-shield (or old roman big shield)  held between the stone and the intended victim.

But I think sling would be effective now, when shields and armour aren't used in a wide scale anymore.. exept maybe in israel/palestinians..

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Grautr on Jul 25th, 2006 at 8:24am

wrote on Jul 10th, 2004 at 12:18am:
Well, that's just it.  I see these palistinian slingers all the time and I assume that they are fairly experienced with the weapon.  But I've not read any reports of Israeli soldiers being killed by a slingstone.  

On a sidenote, I was reading about the Roman conquest of Britain.  Of particular interest was the description of the Roman sackings of a string of hilltop fortresses manned by thousands of slingers.  Now according to history, none of these fortresses took more than 1-2 days of seige to conquor.  Of course by that time(1st century ad), legionaires themselves had stopped training with the slings.  So I'm wondering, if thousands of experienced slingers using lead projectiles with the advantage of elevation would fall to a relatively small force of Romans so quickly, then maybe the sling isn't as effective as the ancients say it is.



I watched a program some time back where they excavated a hill fort and found the body of a man with a ballista bolt head still impaled in his pelvis. They speculated that the reason the forts gave in so quickly was they had nothing to match the range and accuracy of the Roman ballistas.


Neal

Title: Re: Palestinian Rioters
Post by Grautr on Jul 25th, 2006 at 8:27am

wrote on Jul 12th, 2006 at 11:05am:
hey aren't those faceplates supposed to stop bullets?  if they can stop a bullet but not a slingstone, then i guess that is proof that a slingstone can be as or more powerful than a gun.  interesting  ;D  ::)




different types of armour work depending on the velocity of the weopon. So a police officers stab vest will stop a knife but not a bullet while a bullet proof vest will stop a bullet but not a knife thrust.

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