Introduced by the Belgian company FN Herstal in 1991, the P90 was developed in the late 1980′s as a response to a NATO request for a new caliber to replace the 9mm Para. As a result, the FN P90 would create a new class of military firearm, the Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). As far back as the 18th century, there was a need for light, compact weapons designed specifically for rear echelon units, units which were not expected to enter into front line combat, but still at risk of being ambushed and being thrust into combat. Such personnel included artilleryman, vehicle drivers, communications personnel, signalers, messengers, and other support troops. These troops needed weapons which were light and compact so that they didn’t hinder the soldier’s main task, but effective enough that the soldier could defend himself. In the 18th and 19th century rear echelon soldiers typically carried musketoons and carbines, which were often shortened versions of the standard issue infantry musket. During World War I pistols, pistol carbines and short rifles were common. During World War II submachine guns became popular as well as short rifles and carbines.
The FN P90 was introduced for this purpose, but differed greatly from all other carbines, short rifles, and submachine guns that came before it. As a PDW, the P90 used a new kind of small caliber high velocity cartridge. The intermediate cartridge used in modern assault rifles was designed to be a compromise between a submachine gun and high powered bolt action or semi automatic rifles. It was developed to be smaller in caliber and shorter than say a .30-06, .303 British, 8mm Mauser, or 7.62x54R, and thus having less range and power, but more powerful and with greater range than pistol or submachine gun cartridges such as th 9x19mm Para or .45ACP. The concept behind the intermediate cartridge was to replicate the firepower of the submachine gun, but still maintain accuracy and range sufficient for battlefield use. The P90 uses a cartridge shorter than the intermediate cartridge, but longer than a pistol cartridge. The new cartridge introduced was the FN 5.7x28mm.
Essentially the 5.7x28mm cartridge was a further compromise between the submachine gun and the assault rifle. While shorter than an intermediate cartridge, it produces more range and accuracy than a submachine gun. What is also special about the 5.7x28 is it’s small caliber 20-40 grain bullet, which despite being small, packs an incredible punch with a muzzle velocity between 2,200 - 2,800 feet per second depending of grainage. Compare this to the 5.56x45mm cartridge used in assault rifles which has a muzzle velocity of around 3,000+ feet per second, and the 9mm Para, a common pistol cartridge, which has a muzzle velocity of around 1,000 -1,300 feet per second. As a result the 5.7x28mm is rated as being able to puncture level IIIA kevlar armor at a range of 300m. The 5.7x28mm cartridge is also known for being very accurate, with a very flat trajectory. Finally, since it is a very small cartridge, soldiers can carry more ammunition. When paired with the P90 the cartridge allows for 50 round standard capacity magazines, whereas most assault rifles have 30 round capacity mags.
The magazines are also unique in that they are top mounted horizontally. The P90 has a blistering firing rate of 900 rounds per minute, which is aided by the cartridge’s light recoil, allowing for very controlled fully automatic fire. Recoil is also managed with a muzzle brake which also functions as a flash suppressor. The P-90 can also be fired in semi automatic with the flick of a selector switch. Spent casings are ejected downward through a chute in the grip.
Aiding its purpose as a light rear echelon weapon, the P-90′s bullpup design makes it a very compact weapon, being only 20 inches in length and weighing 5.7lbs. The P90 was also designed the be completely ambidextrous; equally suitable for both right and left handed users. Another unique standard feature of the P90 is a reflex sigh, with regualr v-notch iron sights for backup. Optimum range is around 200 meters.
Despite its unique features the P90 hasn’t been heavily popular, with only around 17,000 being produced. In fact, the PDW concept has been slow to get off the ground. Nor has the 5.7x28mm replaced the 9mm Para, despite FN having also introduced a pistol chambered for it called the FN Five-seven. However, the P90 has been adopted for use by special forces of 40 nations. Some law enforcement agencies have also adopted the P90, most notably the US Secret Service because it is a weapon that packs a lot of firepower, but is compact enough to hide under a coat. The P90 saw some use among special forces deployed during the Persian Gulf War, and some have made their way into the hands of Libyan and Syrian rebels. However, the P90 lacks a serious battlefield history.
While the P90 has not yet fulfilled it’s role as a rear echelon weapon, there is one role that I must point out that the P90 has fulfilled beautifully. A role that I’m sure is on the back of the minds of many people readings this and probably the only reason the P90 is recognizable in pop culture. Due to the P90′s futuristic design, it made a perfect weapon for use in Science Fiction films and TV shows. Probably the most notable was was in the SciFi TV series Stargate SG-1 and it’s spin off series Stargate Atlantis, the P90 becoming the weapon of choice of Stargate command and being featured in most episodes. As a science fition geek, I would consider Stargate SG1′s use of the P90 to be almost as iconic as the phaser in Star Trek and blaster in Star Wars. Indeed Startgate SG1 probably made a better advertisement for FN Herstal’s PDW than any battlefield performance reports.
Fire and retreat from Replicators
“This is a weapon of terror, it’s made to intimidate the enemy. This is a weapon of war, it’s made to kill the enemy.”
Monument in Tehran commemorating Jewish soldiers who died defending Iran during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988)
During the Iran-Iraq war Saddam Hussein had the Iraqi government publish a book titled “Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Persians, Jews, & Flies”. Being both Persian & Jewish, Iranian Jews were especially hated by Saddam.
Can you please do the RFA+Minor trio (platonically) with a highschool MC who keeps showing up in the chats during class time?
hey hey this is me, amanda, writing on my phone because i am too lazy to write on my laptop lolol
• you were in the middle of your chemistry class when you felt your phone buzz in your pocket
• you weren’t really doing anything in class so eh what the heck
• you fished it out and saw that Yoosung was spamming the chatroom with complaints about his classes
• you replied: “lol i feel you Yoosung i hate school.”
• the chat room when silent for a while
• when all of a sudden
• “Yoosung is calling…”
• you answered, momentarily forgetting that you were in class
• “MC WHAT ARE YOU DOING TEXTING IN CLASS PAY ATTENTION WHAT EVEN”
• ok Yoosung stop shouting i can hear you clearly
• you were about to answer when your teacher approached your desk with a glare on their face
• you shrunk in your seat as you said you had to go and handed your phone to your teacher’s outstretched hand
• yes Zen has posted a selfie in the chatroom
• and you, a fan of Zen, HAD to see it
• he mentioned earlier that he was going to post one around 1:00pm
• it didn’t mattered that you were in the middle of your improv class
• as soon as it turned 1:00, you had your phone OUT
• you tapped the chatroom and saw the selfie and died????
• “ZEN OMFJAOXIWN BEAUTIFUL AS ALWAYS BLESS YOU”
• Zen was happy that you complimented him but????
• “MC aren’t you in school? what are you doing here? is it like a free period for sophomores or?”
• you couldn’t lie to Zen and you told him you were in class but you absolutely HAD to see his selfie
• Zen FREAKED and demanded you to get off your phone so you wouldn’t get in trouble
• “but Zen your selfie”
• “MC get off your phone smh”
• “um MC?”
• “yeah Jaehee?”
• “it’s… it’s 12pm.”
• “lol it is”
• “aren’t you in school?”
• “juniors get to leave early around 12”
• “oh really?”
• “lol nah i’m in physics right now”
• “MC WHAT IN THE WORLD GET BACK TO CLASS”
• “ok but i want to talk to you i hate this class”
• “i’m glad you want to talk with me but i’m not going to let you get you in trouble!”
• “awhh jaehee so sweet”
• “mc go to class right now oh my god”
• “heya heya what’s up mista trust fund kid~”
• you were in the middle of geometry and you were so freaking bored
• and Jumin was in the chatroom!
• but the trust fund kid was also in a meeting and was unconsciously in the chatroom
• so was he confused to see you?
• yes yes he was
• “MC what are you doing in here? What am I doing in here?”
• “lol i dont know i’m bored”
• “But aren’t you in school?”
• “lol yee”
• say what
• Jumin was NOT having it
• “That’s very disrespectful to the teacher to be on your phone. It shows that you don’t care about their lessons when they are trying your hardest. And as a freshman in highschool, you should try your hardest, since this will reflect the rest of your—”
• “MC has left the chatroom.”
• Seven was finished with his work for the day and was incredibly bored
• but everyone was doing their own thing!
• he wanted to mess with you but figured you were in school
• but he knew since you were a SUCKER for memes and that you didn’t care about school anymore because you were a senior that you would immediately join the chatroom if he sent one
• “heya MC wanna see a meme?”
• you replied in 0.01 seconds
• “DO I WANNA SEE A MEME HE ASKS. LMAO DO YOU BREATHE SEVEN”
• so the Defender of Justice sent you a shit ton of memes!!
• which made you laugh out loud accidentally in class
• and get in trouble by your calculus teacher
• “SEVEN WTF I GOT IN TROUBLE”
• seven died of laughter
• “don’t hate the memer MC! hate the meme!”
• “I HATE YOU DIE”
• “HEY JIHYUN”
• V, who was in the middle of is breakfast, glanced at his phone and saw that you were in the chatroom
• even though he barely goes in, you seemed as if you were in distress so he answered: “MC? what’s the matter?”
• you WERE in distress because??? world history was so hard???
• you complained to V about your dilemma which made him chuckle
• “MC aren’t you a sophomore? aren’t you supposed to know this?”
• “V YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IDK WTF A FREAKING ‘PERSIAN WAR’ IS”
• “MC just look it up, i’m sure it’s not that hard and aren’t you in school right now? why are you here?”
• you were in a snappy mood and V wasn’t making the situation better
• “isn’t it obvious? I NEED HELP”
• “mc ask for help… from your teacher…”
• it’s the first period of the day and you already wanted to die
• your algebra 2 teacher was giving you shit
• so you decided to bitch out in the chatroom
• and Saeran just happened to be there lol
• “yall my mf teacher is about to catch these hands i’m sick of her”
• Saeran raises his eyebrows at your complaining and replied back: “mc wtf are you doing here pay attention in class”
• you rolled your eyes and type back: “i fuckin hate school why am i here come pick me up Saeran”
• Saeran scoffed and replied: “i can’t just go and get you MC you have school and it’s only 9am”
• but you persuaded him into picking you up while saying that you guys could hit up an ice cream shop
• “fine i’ll go get you but you’re payingfor my ice cream”
• “SAERAN YOUR A BLESSING THANK YOU”
• “MC what the fuck are you doing in here”
• you were headed to your biology class and decided to visit the chatroom out of boredom
• “what does it look like i’m doing lol i’m texting you”
• Vanderwood was confused. “wtf shouldn’t you be in school”
• “shouldn’t you be married by now?”
• TRIGGERED VANDERWOOD
• “your stupid little—”
• “Zen has entered the chatroom.”
• oh no
• “WHAT WERE YOU GONNA SAY TO MC YOU STUPID ASSHOLE?”
• you laughed: “aye hey Zen”
The effects of Iraqi troops setting fire to the oil wells in Kuwait during February 1991, is captured in this near-vertical photograph of the northwestern end of the Persian Gulf taken on April 7, 1991. The black smoke plumes of more than 700 individual oil-well fires are being blown by the wind. Kuwait City is visible at centre-left (north is to the right in this rotated image).
Alexander the III of Macedon, Hegemon of the Hellenic league, Pharaoh of Egypt, Lord of Asia, Khaleesi of the great grass sea, mother of dragons, breaker of chains, considered among the greatest commanders of all time, tutored by aristotle, given command of an army at 16, proclaimed king by 20, conquered the Perisan empire by the age of 26, and dead by 32. In terms of personality alexander was calculating, clever and charismatic, however he was prone to violent bursts of anger, impulsiveness and arrogance. Despite this Alexander never lost a battle. But how did he do this?
Citizens army - Alexander became king after his father was assisinated in 336 BC, he inherited a large army. This army was a professional army made up of macedonian citizens. This army was paid a good wage and was able to be drilled everyday. This was not a mob of peasants and conscripts, this was their job. Each company of troops came from the same area of macedon, ensuring close bonds of friendship and shared culture which lead to greater cohesion on the battlefield.
Combined arms - Alexander made sure every possible man was part of the action. He used variety, his army could be made up of Phalanxes, archers, javelin throwers, siege towers and companion cavalry. Each unit would be assigned a job that played to their strengths and complimented the other units weaknesses.
The Phalanx - The phalanx was often the most used unit in alexanders army. 256 men arranged 16 across and 16 deep. Each armed with a small shield and a Sarissa, this 18ft macedonian pike gave the phalanx greater reach than the spearman. This formation was a bristling hedgehog of spearpoints. Although inflexible. The phalanx was Skilled at both defense and offense. The phalanx dominated the ancient battfields of persia and asia minor.
Hammer and the anvil - Alexanders preffered tactic and highly effective, the phalanx would pin the enemy in place either by a frontal assualt or a defense. Remember horses would not charge a row of spears. While the enemies main force was engaged. Alexander would send his companion cavalry on the flanks. This cavalry was heavily armoured and the finest in the ancient world, this is called “Shock cavalry” their frightening charge and long lances would force the enemy to retreat inward. The enemy now completley surrounded would be sandwhiched between the infrantry and the cavalry.
Flexibility - Alexander was a clever man. Tutored by aristotle himself. This is shown most prominently at he battle of Gaugamela. Alexander faced a persian force commanded by darius III, estimates vary but the persian army was around 250,000 strong compared to the macedonian force of 40,000 men Alexander took his cavalry and rode parralel to the persian heavy cavarly. He had hidden spear throwers and skirmishers called peltasts behind the cavalry, they ran beside him, keeping up with the pace of the horses. Alexander was taunting darius and he took the bait. The persian heavy cavalry gave chase and left a hole in the battle lines, alexander did a 160 turn and poured his cavalry into the gap, his skirmishers let loose at the persuing persians, which unbalanced the perisan cavalry preventing them from turning and chasing alexnader. Alexander then cut a bloody path to darius, who fled into the mountains. The battle was won.
Leading by example - Alexander realised morale was key. He led his personal unit of companion cavalry, 300 strong into battle. Fighting alongside the men in his army, giving them hope and courage. He suffered wounds himself in battle, and bled beside his veterans. At Gaugamela, alexander cut off his pursuit of darius and turned to rescue his friend and general Parmenion. Showing his troops he really did care about their wellbeing.
Campaigning through egypt, babylon, and asia minor. At its height his empire stretched from greece to northwest India.
If you have any ideas for what I should post for next military monday, it can be anything, a battle, a leader, an idea, a concept or tactic, a military unit or formation. Do not hesitate to send in your suggestions, either by message or comment.
“There is nothing impossible to him who will try” - Alexander the great
An “Ethiopian” (all sub-Saharan Africans were referred to as Ethiopians by ancient Greeks) slave tries to tame a horse in a Greek funerary relief (4th-1st century BCE). Many of the Africans who ended up in Greece had been captured as part of the Persian army during the Persian Wars.