The Craft of Arms

(To Andrea Sapori*)

In 1526 Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, one of the most skilled and courageous soldiers this land has ever created, died in Mantua. Beyond the devastating reverberations that this event had on national destiny, it is quite astonishing to note the cyclical repetition of history, rediscovering simple and, perhaps for this very reason, immutable concepts. 

One of these, above all, originated precisely in those days: "It's money that makes war".

Money means, today as yesterday, "technology".

Giovanni was killed by a salvo of falcon, a newly developed cannon, which fired bolts capable of piercing infantry armor that had until then been considered safe. It was perpetuated challenge between spear and shield which is repeated today, represented, among others, by a SABOT shot made of depleted uranium or by the tandem hollow charge of an RPG that impacts the armor Chobam or the reactive plate of a tank.

Every soldier, in his heart, hopes that he will not be the one to discover the obsolescence of his equipment, be it defensive or offensive, and that he will find himself, as they say, "on the wrong side of the business", in a certain precise moment of his life: the American and English tankmen who saw their 76mm shots ricochet off the armor of the German Tiger 2s, as in turn the German pilots whose bullets could do almost nothing against the armor and self-sealing tanks of the P-47s Americans. There would be dozens if not hundreds of examples to cite!

Once personal luck is taken away, the soldier can hope... no, I expressed myself badly, he must know he is part of a team, or better, of a nation who knows (and who, if he wanted, would have known it all along) that money is to technology as technology is to research.

Research is the keystone of the world, ancient and modern: everyone is repeating it like a mantra, and rightly so. But if we asked our good Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, dying in bed in that castle in Mantua, sadly ironically he would tell us that we could have and due understand it also by looking at him and his companions decimated and defeated by those unexpectedly fast projectiles, discovered by an enemy craftsman (although Italian taste) and lent (by another Italian taste) to a cunning general tedesco.

Our armored regiments will receive tanks German Leopard 2 A8. It's really true: the time doesn't lack a sense of irony.

* After graduating he initially served in the Grenadiers of Sardinia and then took on an operational role in another department, participating in various missions in Italy and abroad. He took his leave in 1994.
After 20 years as a personnel manager at the Asian production site of a Belgian multinational, he is now a senior consultant for team building e team management at an important Advisory firm in Milan. Long range shooter, organizes educational sessions at ranges long range.

Photo: KNDS