1
$\begingroup$

These birds are Australian magpies, but with human level intelligence. No other differences. They have a near future level of technology available. There are 2 limitations:

  • It can't be suicidal, the government has given the birds as many rights as & treats them as human & the birds wouldn't agree to it
  • It has to work against regular human militaries

The main opponent are other, well equipped militaries. The other militaries don't have the birds. What could make effective weapons for the magpies?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Have you heard of the lazy dog? You'd need a lot of birds, but magpies are notoriously numerous animals, to be really effective but these small, 20g, bomb shaped solid projectiles hit with the force of a .50 caliber round from a height of just 23m(75ft), well within the flight ceiling of your standard magpie. There are very few mobile targets that aren't going to notice a hit and each bird can probably deploy a small pack with each flight. They used to be dumped in paper bales that broke apart on the way down so half a dozen in a thin paper band should work fine.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you read the wikipedia entry you linked, the projectiles allegedly hit with the force of a .50 round when dropped from an aircraft flying at 400 knots, which would provide far more velocity than the 21 m/s from the drop (ignoring air resistance). Basic maths makes me dubious of the claim though - a projectile less than half the mass of a typical .50 round travelling at less than a quarter of the muzzle velocity of a .50 is supposed to have comparable force??? Maybe the comparison was with .50 projectiles dropped from the plane... $\endgroup$ Sep 10 '21 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 I know they were deployed vertically onto the battlefield, though from a greater height than at the test bed but the testing is where I can find comparative performance stats. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Sep 11 '21 at 1:54
2
$\begingroup$

Chemical/biological warfare!

If you're willing to go there, you can have the birds spread disease or toxins! As the birds operate differently with their biology, you can do things that make them little to not affected at all.

Why the birds if you have such weapons? The birds have human level intelligence. They can go somewhere and specifically target the enemy. The disease or chemical can then be made to affect only a tiny area/a few persons/one person. That prevents uncontrollable spread, which is one reason you would never want to do biological warfare in normal circumstances.

Alternatively the birds can be very secret. You give them something that can be dropped and fire something deadly at close range, or the biological/chemical attack again. You then just keep killing high ranking officers and politicians with these secret assassins until they are in chaos/give up/change political stance. It is hard to defend against them. Part of the high ranking might go in hiding if a ton of them started dying, but then you'll kill anyone that is still high ranking but not in the bunkers yet.

Normal military

If you want them as soldiers and not assassins or biological weapons handlers, they likely will be used as support. They can be great spotters. They are incredibly difficult to detect and can relay enemy positions, allowing you to shell it with smart weapons or prepare ambushes. They are perfect for any reconnaissance for people or material that can't normally be detected by radar and the like. Wielding weapons is difficult, but only one shot weapons/bombs in special conditions would really make a difference. Valuable, but maybe not good as a constant tactic.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Aren't biological and chemical weapons against the Geneva Convention? Maybe this would be an option if the bird army was a clear antagonist, but it seems from the fact that they respect the birds' personhood that the OP isn't framing them that way $\endgroup$ Sep 10 '21 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ @VentifactsandYardangs yes they are. Forbidden with prejudice. But it even now recent that multiple countries have used chemical warfare against both individuals and even larger groups. Besides, the birds in this case are the ones never targeted. I don't see any framing of these Magpies myself, so I'm stating "if he's willing to go there". Maybe he's not, but that is his freedom as a writer. From many questions and answers on this forum I've gathered that many basic human rights are secobd to the story. Which happens plenty in many books. Even for the good guys. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Sep 10 '21 at 16:11
1
$\begingroup$

Here are the best military applications I could come up with:

  • Recon, Surveillance, and Sabotage: Armies around the world are currently using tiny drones for these things, and intelligent birds are faster, lighter, quieter, and smarter than drones. This application is especially useful if the people you're fighting don't know about your bird advantage, but even if they know, and start keeping an eye out for Australian magpies, a little dye can disguise them as other bird species. Over time, this tactic will turn enemy soldiers around the world into paranoid bird-watchers freaking out about pigeons near their base, which I'd call a success.
  • Grenades: An Australian magpie weighs no more than about 350 g, while a grenade weighs 400 g, so I'd guess that a normal magpie can't carry a normal grenade. However, military research can produce lighter grenades, and military training can produce stronger birds, so I wouldn't rule this out. The advantage of getting this to work would be immeasurable. A bird would swoop down, drop the grenade, and flee before anyone could react. Their small size, speed, and agility would make them able to strike targets that human soldiers couldn't get near. Of course, this requires a different triggering mechanism than a pin, something that could be activated by a bird's talons, but that's a very minor issue.
  • Anti-Aircraft Attacks: Specially-trained birds could drop small objects into the engines of enemy aircraft, bringing them down surgically. If the enemy doesn't know about the birds, they'll be scratching their heads wondering why their planes keep failing (granted, if it takes a flock of birds each with small stones to bring down a plane, it'll be a lot more obvious). But even once they figure out that you're using birds, it still makes their air forces much more vulnerable. Even if they see that one of your bases doesn't have anti-aircraft missiles, they still won't be confident that they can bomb it, since at any time, birds might fly out of the compound to intercept them.
$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Things that can be dropped from a height, starting from stones, up to knives/throwing stars, up to grenades.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is the basis of a good answer, but because of its length and contents it's turned-up in the low-quality post review queue. If you flesh it out a bit perhaps, saying maybe how these things might be used effectivley against a modern force, that would help. $\endgroup$ Sep 10 '21 at 12:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .