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Re: [casi] What killed a U.S. tank?



Re : Iraqis turning
 unexploded American munitions into 'improvised explosive devices'.

>From PBS's VIETNAM: A Television History:


DUONG SANG

Unexploded American bombs and shells were dug up by the old people and the
kids -- sawed up in order to get to the gun powder and explosives. They then
produced various kinds of explosive devices themselves. In each hamlet and
village we had a workshop for producing these devices.

LE THI MA

We unscrewed the detonators first of all, then used a saw to cut the bombs
in half. We scraped the powder into two large cauldrons, bigger than this
one here. Next we melted the powder down into a thick liquid and poured it
into a container like this one, until it was completely full. We then made a
detonator and inserted it here.

We placed these mines along the routes we knew the tanks were going to take.
When the tanks went by they would hit this thing here, exploding the mine
and causing the tank to turn over. -- PBS Transcript

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/106ts.html





----- Original Message -----
From: "ppg" <ppg@nyc.rr.com>
To: "Hassan" <hasseini@yahoo.com>; "CASI" <casi-discuss@lists.casi.org.uk>;
"IAC discussion" <iac-discussion@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2003 12:17 AM
Subject: Re: [casi] What killed a U.S. tank?


> "What killed a U.S. tank?"
>
> My guess would be it was top-secret US experimental weaponry of some sort,
> which got out of control while being tested in Iraq by Rumsfeld's special
> force outfits.
>
> I wonder also, how many coalition troops are being killed by
> US/UK unexploded cluster bombs.  Either accidentally, or by Iraqis turning
> unexploded American munitions into 'improvised explosive devices'. In
> Vietnam. the Vietcong were ingenious at modifying US weapons they found.
>
> And there certainly are plenty to find now in Iraq.  And the US wonders
'who
> is providing the Iraqis with weapons?' .. Answer:  WE ARE.
>
> From today's Independent:
>
> "... The HRW report says its researchers visited 10 Iraqi cities between
29
> April and 1 June, and found neighbourhoods littered with unexploded
> bomblets. It estimates that the 13,000 cluster bombs dropped contained two
> million bomblets."..
>
>
> Allied cluster bombs blamed for 1,000 deaths in Iraq
> By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
> 12 December 2003  http://tinyurl.com/yw0j
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hassan" <hasseini@yahoo.com>
> To: "CASI" <casi-discuss@lists.casi.org.uk>; "IAC discussion"
> <iac-discussion@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 10:59 AM
> Subject: [casi] What killed a U.S. tank?
>
>
> http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292236-2336437.php
>
> Army Times - October 27, 2003
>
> 'Something' felled an M1A1 Abrams tank in Iraq - but
> what?
> Mystery behind Aug. 28 incident puzzles Army officials
>
> By John Roos
> Special to the Times
>
> Shortly before dawn on Aug. 28, an M1A1 Abrams tank on
> routine patrol in Baghdad "was hit by something" that
> crippled the 69-ton behemoth.
> Army officials still are puzzling over what that
> "something" was.
>
> According to an unclassified Army report, the mystery
> projectile punched through the vehicle's skirt and
> drilled a pencil-sized hole through the hull. The hole
> was so small that "my little finger will not go into
> it," the report's author noted.
>
> The "something" continued into the crew compartment,
> where it passed through the gunner's seatback, grazed
> the kidney area of the gunner's flak jacket and
> finally came to rest after boring a hole 1 to 2
> inches deep in the hull on the far side of the tank.
>
> As it passed through the interior, it hit enough
> critical components to knock the tank out of action.
> That made the tank one of only two Abrams disabled by
> enemy fire during the Iraq war and one of only a
> handful of "mobility kills" since they first rumbled
> onto the scene 20 years ago. The other Abrams knocked
> out this year in Iraq was hit by an RPG-7, a
> rocket-propelled grenade.
>
> Experts believe whatever it is that knocked out the
> tank in August was not an RPG-7 but most likely
> something new - and that worries tank drivers.
>
> Mystery and anxiety
>
> Terry Hughes is a technical representative from Rock
> Island Arsenal, Ill., who examined the tank in Baghdad
> and wrote the report.
>
> In the sort of excited language seldom included in
> official Army documents, he said, "The unit is very
> anxious to have this 'SOMETHING' identified. It seems
> clear that a penetrator of a yellow molten metal is
> what caused the damage, but what weapon fires such a
> round and precisely what sort of round is it? The bad
> guys are using something unknown and the guys facing
> it want very much to know what it is and how they can
> defend themselves."
>
> Nevertheless, the Abrams continues its record of
> providing extraordinary crew protection. The four-man
> crew suffered only minor injuries in the attack. The
> tank commander received "minor shrapnel wounds to the
> legs and arms and the gunner got some in his arm" as a
> result of the attack, according to the report.
>
> Whatever penetrated the tank created enough heat
> inside the hull to activate the vehicle's Halon
> firefighting gear, which probably prevented more
> serious injuries to the crew.
>
> The soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment,
> 1st Armor Division who were targets of the attack
> weren't the only ones wondering what damaged their
> 69-ton tank.
>
> Hughes also was puzzled. "Can someone tell us?" he
> wrote. "If not, can we get an expert on foreign
> munitions over here to examine this vehicle before
> repairs are begun? Please respond quickly."
>
> His report went to the office of the combat systems
> program manager at the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and
> Armaments Command in Warren, Mich. A command spokesman
> said he could provide no information about the
> incident.
>
> "The information is sensitive," he said. "It looks
> like [members of the program manager's office] are not
> going to release any information right now."
>
> While it's impossible to determine what caused the
> damage without actually examining the tank, some
> conclusions can be drawn from photos that accompanied
> the incident report. Those photos show a pencil-size
> penetration hole through the tank body, but very
> little sign of the distinctive damage - called
> spalling - that typically occurs on the inside surface
> after a hollow- or shaped-charge warhead from an
> anti-tank weapon burns its way through armor.
>
> Spalling results when an armor penetrator pushes a
> stream of molten metal ahead of it as it bores through
> an armored vehicle's protective skin.
>
> "It's a real strange impact," said a source who has
> worked both as a tank designer and as an anti-tank
> weapons engineer. "This is a new one. . It almost
> definitely is a hollow-charge warhead of some sort,
> but probably not an RPG-7" anti-tank rocket-propelled
> grenade.
>
> The well-known RPG-7 has been the scourge of lightly
> armored vehicles since its introduction more than 40
> years ago. Its hollow-charge warhead easily could
> punch through an M1's skirt and the relatively thin
> armor of its armpit joint, the area above the tracks
> and beneath the deck on which the turret sits, just
> where the mystery round hit the tank.
>
> An RPG-7 can penetrate about 12 inches of steel - a
> thickness far greater than the armor that was
> penetrated on the tank in Baghdad. But the limited
> spalling evident in the photos accompanying the
> incident report all but rules out the RPG-7 as the
> culprit, experts say.
>
> Limited spalling is a telltale characteristic of
> Western-manufactured weapons designed to defeat armor
> with a cohesive jet stream of molten metal. In
> contrast, RPG-7s typically produce a fragmented jet
> spray.
>
> The incident is so sensitive that most experts in the
> field would talk only on the condition that they not
> be identified.
>
> One armor expert at Fort Knox, Ky., suggested the tank
> may have been hit by an updated RPG. About 15 years
> ago, Russian scientists created tandem-warhead
> anti-tank-grenades designed to defeat reactive armor.
> The new round, a PG-7VR, can be fired from an RPG-7V
> launcher and might have left the unusual signature on
> the tank.
>
> In addition, the Russians have developed an improved
> weapon, the RPG-22. These and perhaps even newer
> variants have been used against American forces in
> Afghanistan. It is believed U.S. troops seized some
> that have been returned to the United States for
> testing, but scant details about their effects and
> "fingerprints" are available.
>
> Still another possibility is a retrofitted warhead for
> the RPG system being developed by a Swiss
> manufacturer.
>
> At this time, it appears most likely that an RPG-22 or
> some other improved variant of the Russian-designed
> weapon damaged the M1 tank, sources concluded. The
> damage certainly was caused by some sort of
> shaped-charge or hollow-charge warhead, and the
> cohesive nature of the destructive jet suggests a more
> effective weapon than a fragmented-jet RPG-7.
>
> A spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, which
> manufactures the Abrams, said company engineers agree
> some type of RPG probably caused the damage. After
> checking with them, the spokesman delivered the
> manufacturer's verdict: The tank was hit by "a
> 'golden' RPG" - an extremely lucky shot.
>
> In the end, a civilian weapons expert said, "I hope it
> was a lucky shot and we are not part of someone's test
> program. Being a live target is no fun."
>
> *John Roos is editor of Armed Forces Journal, which is
> owned by Army Times Publishing Co.
>
>
>
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