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A view from Dave Trott: Come off broadcast, go on receive

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In Vietnam, US troops were issued with the most modern rifle ever: the M16.

It was a good design but, by the time the procurement people had finished, it wasn’t.

They interfered and made it on the cheap, so the parts got bent and clogged and jammed.

But, as typical paper pushers, they thought the way to fix it was to pretend.

So, they sent the M16 out to all fighting troops, telling them this was the best weapon ever.

And the troops believed it – they didn’t know it was prone to jamming at the slightest clog, the slightest damp, the slightest bump.

None of which is ideal for a weapon whose primary function was fighting in the muddy, humid jungle.

But the troops bought the line about it being a wonder weapon, and many of them thought it cleaned itself.

So, many troops were found dead next to their M16s, which were jammed and clogged.

They needed to quickly........

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