How Military Specifications live forever

Grasshopper27

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Sep 11, 2002
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For those of you who have to deal with the military on a daily basis, this should explain things. For those of you who don't this is what we live with.

How "Mil Specs" Live Forever

The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification (Military Spec) for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Mil Specs and Bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's patut came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.
 

Amused

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On the first OT page alone you have over 11 threads started in just the past few hours.

Going for a nef record or something?
 

TNTrulez

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Aug 3, 2001
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Don't believe everything you see on the internet. I am pretty certain that what grasshopper said is false overall, with a few true parts thrown in to make it sound believable.
 

NesuD

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Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: Amused
On the first OT page alone you have over 11 threads started in just the past few hours.

Going for a nef record or something?

You the OT Thread police or something? Pipe down your sounding like a whiny $#%&* .
 

RossGr

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Jan 11, 2000
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Come on read the article. It is not entirely false, 4'8" is about the correct width of 2 horses a$$, its just that it was true in Rome and it was true in 17th century England and U.S. , While the Roman link is unecessary the story is pretty close to the truth, Though it is getting pretty old, I first heard it 2-3 yrs ago.
 

Amused

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Apr 14, 2001
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Originally posted by: NesuD
Originally posted by: Amused
On the first OT page alone you have over 11 threads started in just the past few hours.

Going for a nef record or something?

You the OT Thread police or something? Pipe down your sounding like a whiny $#%&* .

Get bent dipsh!t. I didn't tell him to stop, nor did I run to Forum Issues and complain... I simply pointed out how obvious his pointless neffing was.
 

Grasshopper27

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Sep 11, 2002
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Originally posted by: Amused

Get bent dipsh!t. I didn't tell him to stop, nor did I run to Forum Issues and complain... I simply pointed out how obvious his pointless neffing was.

I don't think it was neffing... I did post 11 topics, but I took the time to post something interesting in each one. Sure they are not original, but I thought they were funny and all but one was the first time I've seen them.

Just trying to share with the group.

-50 grasshopper points for you!

Grasshopper
 

Brutuskend

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Apr 2, 2001
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I just read the same thing a few days ago, though I don't remember where.

<HAL Voice> My mind is going.......I can feel it....<HAL Voice>