Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This is coolbert:

As found in a recent Fred on Everything blog entry the original from the book "The Sharp End".

“'Burn criteria' measures the hope of charring enough flesh that the crew will die. 'Air shock' means destruction of lung tissue[ flame inhaled]. These can be expressed less coldly. From 'The Sharp End', an excellent book about soldiers in World War II"

 "A tank that is mortally hit belches forth long searing tongues of orange flame from every hatch. As ammunition explodes in the interior, the hull is racked by violent convulsions and sparks erupt from the spout of the barrel like the fireballs of a Roman candle. Silver rivulets of molten aluminum pour from the engine like tears...When the inferno subsides, gallons of lubricating oil in the power train and hundreds of pounds of rubber in the tracks and bogey wheels continue to burn, spewing clouds of dense black smoke over the funeral pyre."

An armor vehicle "mortally hit" the danger to a tank crew from FIRE most terrible!

That "mortal hit" quite often from a HEAT round [high explosive anti-tank] the various materials such as rubber, lubricants, unexpended ammunition, fuel for the engine AND HUMAN BODIES burning with an undiminished intensity for a prolonged period, that spectacle frightening to say the least.

As it was during the Second World War [WW2] so was it too for the Israeli tank crews in 1973 manning the various American M48/M60 tanks in their inventory.

Tanks [M48/M60] quite vulnerable, those Patton tanks when struck with an enemy anti-tank guided missile [ATGM] having a tendency to send  hydraulic fuel of high temperature coursing through the crew compartment, scalding alive the inhabitants!

Those Egyptian ATGM gunners knowing full well the exact spot on the M48/M60 tank to aim for. Death for the Israeli crew a certainty.

"When the Yom Kippur War broke out, Israel had a total of 540 M48A3 (with 105mm gun) and M60A1 tanks. During the war, the tanks suffered heavy losses. The location of flammable hydraulic fluid at the front of the turret was discovered to be a severe vulnerability. After the war Israel had only about 200 M48A3 and M60A1 tanks, after a large number of Israeli tanks were destroyed or terminally hit during the war, mostly in the Sinai front in fighting against the Egyptian army"

"A once popular macabre joke in the IDF said that "Magach" stands for "Movil Gviyot Charukhot" — "charred bodies carrier", probably referring to the Yom Kippur War losses and particularly to the aforementioned flammable hydraulic fluid problem of the M48."

In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur/Ramadan war of 1973 the Israeli incorporating specially designed and tested fire suppression systems into the Merkava tank, far and beyond the normal, in response to the "charred bodies carrier" experience.


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