Incendiary weapons

Jemiba

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..but incendiary weapons are very old weapons, just think of the oil filled jugs used as fire bombs by the Romans
and the Greek fire invented around the 7th century. Don't think of many other weapons as much nicer !
 

malipa

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I think a bullet is still better... Being burned to death is very painfull, where with a bullet it goes quicker and you don't have time to experience the pain i guess...
 

Jemiba

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Probably right, but this discussion could lead to the search for a "clean" war and surely there's no such
thing ! I'm not a proponent of flame throwers, or other incendiary weapons, but I'm sure, a bullet can
be very painful, too, if it hits, say the tummy. There were hand grenades and landmines using plastic
splinters, that cannot be traced via X-rays, making treatment of wounded much more difficult and
chemical weapons are still in the arsenals of many military powers. And an AMRAAM or similar A2A
missile cannot just make scrap of an aircraft, but mincemeat of the pilot, too. And a submarine hit
by an ASW torpedoe and thinking slowly beneath its maximum diving depth isn't just an unmanned
steel tube ... Maybe that's a theme too often forgotten ! :-\
 

malipa

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War is a terrible thing. Our creations should be made with the best quality to insure that we keep a balance, so we don't mince meat eachother. I just hope that we don't get a hungerwar between countries when the population has doubled again.
 

tround

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Patients with extensive burns remains on average twice longer in care that others because they need grafts .
But it's true that plastic fragments are sh..( weren't they prohibited by Geneva treaty ? ) .
Anyway the GP bombs are more effective than the napalm bombs and do we need flamethrower today ?
 

Avimimus

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Exactly how much heat does it take to cook the crew of an MBT? How good is composite armour at transferring heat?
 

tround

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There is nevertheless a "secret" incendiary weapon in the Western armies : the White phosphorus .
The quantity of WP for incapacitated a person is 150 Mg ( incapacitate = pain ) . But it's an exellent smoke and asphyxiant .
 

Rickshaw

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Avimimus said:
Exactly how much heat does it take to cook the crew of an MBT? How good is composite armour at transferring heat?

I think the problem is more with cooking the engine. Once it stops working, the MBT is going no where and that means that the crew will either eventually run out of oxygen or be cooked. Asphyxiation is more likely the greater danger.
 

Jemiba

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Kadija_Man said:
I think the problem is more with cooking the engine. ...

AFAIK, that's, why the good old Molotov Cocktail proved to be quite an effective anti-tank close-quarters weapon.
 

tround

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You can stop the engine of a MBT with a Molotov Cocktail but but you can't destroy the MBT .
It is better to have a antitank hand grenade , but if you have nothing, like the Poles of Warsaw in 1944, there are the Cocktail .
 

Rickshaw

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I rather think that destroying the engine in an MBT is effectively destroying it.

What is termed a "mobility kill" is still considered a "kill". If the vehicle can't move, it can't be used. Another problem for an MBT is the number of rubber products used in the tracks. Once the engine dies, the vehicle only has to cook for a short period for the rubber to melt and then burn. The result would be the tracks falling apart as soon as the vehicle tries to move again.
 

tround

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Yes , a Mobility kill is a kill like a Firepower kill and a Catastrophic kill .
The tracks of the M1 abrams are made of steel covered by rubber .
It can't rolled at 70 kmh but it can nevertheless rolled , fall back , be repaired and fight another day .
 

Rickshaw

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tround said:
Yes , a Mobility kill is a kill like a Firepower kill and a Catastrophic kill .
The tracks of the M1 abrams are made of steel covered by rubber .
It can't rolled at 70 kmh but it can nevertheless rolled , fall back , be repaired and fight another day .

The tracks use rubber o-rings and bushings between each link. Once those melt and/or burn, the track doesn't work as easily. Then you also have the problem of the track pins melting and fusing the links.
 

tround

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Yes it's more complicated . May be you can "kill" a M1 abrams with a Molotov Cocktail .
The T72A has a napalm protection system but his tracks are of the single pin type with rubber bushes .
 

tround

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M.C. may work on a stopped tank but for a tank who roll ?
 

tround

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I'm sure .
Napalm can be remove from cloths ( it 's not glue ). the speed of tracks do the same thing .
If there is sand or snow or water on the terrain , the result is the same .
 

Rickshaw

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Err, how do you prevent the "cloths" from burning?

BTW, it does stick like glue, its one of the reasons why it was developed. It's what the Palm oil does in the mixture.

Further, if the engine is killed, how does the MBT drive away from the Napalm?
 

tround

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for the cloth I have read somewhere, I go sought . it doesn't work with naplam B , I think .
What is it the BTW ?

Finaly you are right you can " kill " MBT if only the engine is hit .
 

Rickshaw

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BTW = "By The Way".

The point is that if the engine is killed, the vehicle cannot escape from the flames, which in turn will further damage the vehicle making recovery difficult, perhaps even impossible.
 

tround

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For the cloth , I'm talking about clothes ( with humans Inside ) .
If they remove the napalm (small quantity evidently ) they will have a first or second degree burn ,not a third degree burn (= tracks have little domages) .

From the book " incendiary weapons " . I will give you the name of author later. ( it is on another PC )

"The jelly like mass of incendiary mixture ( napalm B ) is more adhesive , even sticking to vertical surfaces without dropping down . It's almost impossible to remove , and burns for up to ten times as long as traditional napalm . " napalm can be remove .


" Against new tanks ( 1960-1970 ) , with hatches closed and with stowage items (such as ammunition , food or bedding ) , napalm (bombs ) had little effect . Goats and sheep which were passengers in the radio controlled tanks were not affected either by heat or oxygen depletion . "

If you stopped the engine of the tank you must place 10kg of explosive under the tank if not it's recoverable and easily reparable .
 

tround

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The sheep was commander and the goats were gunner and loader .
 

tround

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My PC is come back .

"Incendiary weapons " a SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research institute ) monograph .


it speak about M. C. " The flame and smoke may obscure the vision of the crew temporarily ,
during which time the tank may stop or drive off course , and make a better target for attack
with other weapons . "

It does not even speak of engine stop, as with the "sheep" , curious .
Anyway the M1 have a Halon fire extinguisher system in the engine compartment .
T72 T80 have napalm protection systems , certainly also for the engine .

All modern MBT are better protected against antitank land mine . May be 10 kg of explosive is not enough . the best is to make a EFP .
you can also try to destruct the engine compartment .

if it's an isolated tank why not . But if there are other tanks (MICV, infantry etc..) it looks like suicide tactics .
 

tround

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The isolated tank is obviously " The Beast "
 

Rickshaw

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I'd suggest that the SPIR article seems to believe the place to throw a Molotov cocktail is either on the hull or turret front. It isn't, it's always been the engine deck because the Molotov will not cause substantial damage anywhere else. A Halon system will extinguish one or two incendiary devices but what if the vehicle is subject to an overwhelming incendiary attack from say a Napalm or Thermbaric strike (ie multiple rocket system)?

The tank does not carry an inexhaustible supply of Halon. If the incendiary weapon overwhelms it then the vehicle is toast.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Thermobaric weapons aren't incendiaries they are blast explosions and will in fact put out most fires if detonated nearby. An incendiary is not a weapon that has some flame involved in its operation but rather one that ignites fires in other materials. A nearby thermobaric blast may knock out a tank engine via oxygen starvation but the engine should be restartable.

Use of napalm and similar mixes against tanks is mostly via firebombing and typically involves around 200 gallons being dropped on a tank by a fighter bomber. That’s about 800 times the fire agent as you would get in a Molotov Cocktail. It’s like comparing the HE lethality of a 40mm grenade to a 9.2” (234mm) artillery shell: one is a warhead 800 times bigger than the other.

To knock out a tank with Molotov(s) requires the tank to have a vulnerable engine grill arrangement. I would imagine some water cooled engine tanks could have their radiators damaged or destroyed by a well-placed Molotov. But a tank with an air cooled engine and more discrete intakes would be very hard to knock out. For example how you are going to knock out an Abrams where the intakes are under the turret bustle?
 

tround

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Yes, I also thought of the intakes .

You can seriously damaged a M1 with a crushing attack of MLR with TH. warhead but the consumption of ammunitions is important (as for 155s with classical shells) .

For the guerrilla and the M.C you can try a giant ambush ( I find nevertheless the "sheep" rather convincing ) .
But the preparation is long, you are more easily localised and the output is weak .
And once again if there is other M1, infantry and m2 Bradley the losses will be very heavy .

I remember an article .
The atomic bomb is also an incendiary weapon ! But the MBT have also a " rather good " thermal protection against them .
Really you cannot toasted a MBT with conventional incendiary weapons .

it would have Chlorine Trifluoride but I looked on wikipedia and I confirm : it burns everything .
 

Abraham Gubler

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tround said:
For the guerrilla and the M.C you can try a giant ambush ( I find nevertheless the "sheep" rather convincing ) .
But the preparation is long, you are more easily localised and the output is weak .

I think the story of the Molotov as an anti tank weapon is strongly associated with the Eastern Front in WWII. Where there was many an opportunity for tanks in close terrain to be hit by multiple Molotovs on their engine deck. And both sides almost exclusively used tanks with water colled engines and large grills on their horizontal engine decks. In the case of many T-34s they didn’t even have a grill over their radiator fan just two bars to keep out larger objects. So Molotovs dripping burning accelerant into the engine bay would be very bad news. But that doesn’t mean one should apply an assessment that Molotovs would knock out every tank or AFV. Against most modern tanks and other armoured vehicles their effect would be little more than to mess up the paint job.

tround said:
You can seriously damaged a M1 with a crushing attack of MLR with TH. warhead but the consumption of ammunitions is important (as for 155s with classical shells) .

Yes but a conventional HE shell would be even more effective in those circumstances. External denotations of themorbaric weapons are primarily for mine detonation. Internal detonations (after penetrating a wall) are for knocking down buildings. Otherwise they are less effective than HE.

tround said:
The atomic bomb is also an incendiary weapon ! But the MBT have also a " rather good " thermal protection against them .

Nuclear explosions will ignite a lot of flammable materials thanks to their huge output of blast to break up structures and heat to ignite them.
 

tround

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Yes, the Molotov cocktails were very effective during the WWII and the Spanish civil war.It's a "miracle weapon" for the Finlander during the
Winter war and for the Polish of Warsaw in 1944 .



The modern MBTs are designed to be protected against napalm and NBC .
The thermobaric explosives are two to three times more powerful than the TNT but the MBT are also protected from the effect of blast .
The turret of the M1 "cojones" didn't fly in the air after being hit by two Maverick missiles (34kg of explosive each ) .
For the nuclear weapons I go looked at the article .
 

tround

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Polish of Warsaw who made the Uprising of Warsaw .
 

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There are other, extemporised flame weapons, other than the Molotov Cocktail. A flaming fougasse can be very effective at spreading fire in larger quantities over a larger area. The damage in most AFV engine compartments is to the electrical and cooling systems, which end up being burnt out. I would assume all that would occur to a gas turbnine is a flame-out and the consequent problems associated with attempting a restart it with damaged electrical systems.
 

tround

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Really, the MBT are protected against the naplam .
You can also try with a pyromaniac , that doesn't work more .
 

Rickshaw

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tround said:
Really, the MBT are protected against the naplam .
You can also try with a pyromaniac , that doesn't work more .

How do you protect an engine which is liquid cooled against flammable weapons? The radiators need to be exposed to cool the engine. The grills on top of most tank engine compartments are there for a reason. They cover air intakes and radiators and fans. And as I keep pointing out, Napalm is only one such weapon.
 

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Principally there should be a way to shut those grills temporarily, or activate a kind of fire extinguisher in
the event od a fire in the ducting, triggered by heat sensors ? Don't know, if such systems are actually
used.
But it brings up the question to me, if tanks would be vulnerable against the kind of attack, that is often used
against bancomats nowadays, that means, being filled with an explosive gas. Would be sucked at least into the
engine with the outside air and then probably ignited by hot engine parts.
 

tround

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Found on fprado website : " The engine compartment is constantly cooled to reduce the IR signature,
and heat sensors installed in the engine compartment would automatically cut off fan and air intake operation if the Strv 122 should come under attack by napalm.

Thus a diesel MBT without this system (or another) has a Mobility kill .
With M.C. ( whose the price is near zero ) you can stop an MBT . . .

Jemiba , you spoken about FAE ?

Complicated , this question ; the electric system of the engine can also ignited the gas .
But the gas may be ignited before having the ratio gas/oxygen necessary for an explosion .too oxygen or not enough ? half explosion ?
If it doesn't work it's " just " an incendiary attack . (The French firemen, during the WWI had sent a cloud of incendiary vaporized substance( Gasoline? ) on the Germans trenches but the wind changed direction... )
 

tround

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Or simply the gas is swallowed by the engine and it's shut off ?
 

Rickshaw

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Jemiba said:
Principally there should be a way to shut those grills temporarily, or activate a kind of fire extinguisher in
the event od a fire in the ducting, triggered by heat sensors ? Don't know, if such systems are actually
used.

On more modern MBTs they are available but some cannot be simply "turned off". The best defence against such an attack is to remove yourself from the vicinity of the incendiary weapons. This means the engine needs to keep running. With liquid cooled engines, that means the radiators must keep functioning. I cannot see how you could close the inlets without reducing cooling. Inlets the size of that on top of the Leopard or Challenger MBTs for example (over several square metres) would be impossible to close without seriously degrading performance. I've often wondered why they haven't take air from underneath the hull or the lower hull sides instead, for cooling.

But it brings up the question to me, if tanks would be vulnerable against the kind of attack, that is often used
against bancomats nowadays, that means, being filled with an explosive gas. Would be sucked at least into the
engine with the outside air and then probably ignited by hot engine parts.

FAEs require fairly precise mixing of proportions of explosive to air to get them to function properly. When you're using them against a stationary auto-teller it's easier to get it right than trying to make sure you get the correct proportions against a moving MBT target. It would be easier to just use the FAE to severely damage the vehicle through over-pressure, than trying to specifically target ingesting into the engine.
 

Arjen

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Kadija_Man said:
I've often wondered why they haven't take air from underneath the hull or the lower hull sides instead, for cooling.
Because the intakes - or worse, the radiators - would be choked with dirt kicked up by offroad operations?
 

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Time to go back to the future:

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