<XMP><BODY></xmp>Ladders for Infantry

Added 29-8-14

Ladders for Infantry

A good infantryman is elusive. He can pop out from behind cover, take a shot and disappear before he is located. Such a tactic are difficult for a vehicle to use. Rolling out of cover, firing and retreating will take several times longer for a vehicle and the concealment needed will also need to be larger. An infantryman can also get to all sorts of places a vehicle could not. Under bushes, windows, rooftops, cellars and sewers. Since the 1940s the individual infantryman’s destructive potential has gone up a level. LAWs, RPGs and man-portable thermobaric weapons like the RPO mean that a single shot from an elusive firer can be devastating. A soldier can only carry a couple of rounds for these weapons, however.

In other articles I have alluded to an idea we might call the “mobile arms cache”. The soldier operates as an elusive, dismounted fighter but within easy reach is a vehicle that carries a ready supply of reloads for him. An APC such as the M113 would be ideal, since the back door allows the easy unloading of bulky weapon systems. Potentially a smaller vehicle such as a modern day version of the Universal carrier could be used. This is an option were the vehicle needs to be helicopter lifted or for terrain where even the M113 is too big.

The infantry use peek and shoot tactics, returning to the vehicle for reloads and any other gear they may need. Continuing this line of thought I mused on what else the vehicle might carry. I have suggested that modern day weapon crews might in future make use of bullet-proof pavises. If these can be carried on the vehicle until needed it saves them a lot of effort. The obvious approach is to hang them on the sides of the vehicle, Viking-fashion for added protection and easy access. Some police shields have ladders incorporated and this got me thinking that a ladder or two would be a rather useful piece of equipment for an APC to carry. Like the shields they can be hooked on to the side of the vehicle.  Ladders can be used to access upper stories, rooftops but also to span gaps. They can even be placed on top of a vehicle for more reach. Outside of an urban environment they are still useful for climbing trees, crossing streams or scaling steep banks. Feudal Japanese firemen would scale high ladders to use them as a high vantage point to observe the direction and progress of a conflagration. By placing something such as a video camera on a ladder it is possible that a ladder could be used as a sensor mast for the vehicle or a dismounted unit.

A google of “military ladder” turned up these interesting examples.


The boarding ladder with a hook at the end reminded me of the ninja climbing poles, which resembled rakes. Adding rungs out from the sides of such a pole is a sensible innovation. The Apollo Cobra urban ladder resembles a big letter I with cross pieces at the end that can be rested on the ground or against a wall. Supposedly both types are modular and can be lengthened easily. Could we create a ladder that incorporates the merits of both? Probably. If we are considering military applications of ladders talking to the local fire department about hook-ladder technique and design might save a lot of time.

Fire Fighter tips and tricks

Ladder Race

There are other considerations to the military ladder. It may be used in the dark and under stress, so if possible it should be capable of being used either way up. Ladders may also be utilized to bridge gaps in both the urban and rural environment so a design that can be safely walked across by an equipped infantryman needs to be considered. Rungs must be splaced so the sole of a boot contacts at least two with each step.

This article shows a design of loading ramp that can be used as a sand-ladder. With the spacing of the rungs optimized we could construct a device that can be used as a ladder, sand-ladder or a bridge for both infantry and light handcarts.

By the Author of the Scrapboard :

Attack, Avoid, Survive: Essential Principles of Self Defence

Available in Handy A5 and US Trade Formats.

Crash Combat Second Edition with additional content.
Epub edition Second Edition with additional content.

Crash Combat Third Edition
Epub edition Third Edition.
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