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Limpet Mines in the Gulf

starviking

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We seem to have an evolving situation around two tanker attacks in the Gulf.

One tanker seems to have been holed by a limpet mine above the waterline, and on the same ship, Revolutionary Guards are apparently seen removing what is claimed to be a limpet mine from the tanker’s hull, again above the waterline.

Tanker crew are reported to have seen “flying objects” before the attack on NHK News tonight.

Attaching limpet mines above the waterline seems risky if done in the traditional way (covertly, in port). The whole idea about limpet mines is they achieve surprise by being hidden under the waterline.

So... drone-delivered limpet mines?
 

r16

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direct fire but The Japanese are loath to provide smoking gun for a Gulf War , despite the lack of eagerness on part of the US .
 

TomS

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Could well be emplaced from the same sort of patrol boat that was seen removing something later. Tankers are not known for keeping a good lookout.
 

SpudmanWP

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Keep in mind that the mines detonated at 6am local time so the mines were likely planted in the dark of night by RHIB teams.
 

jeffb

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Why would you attach mines four feet above the waterline?

Why would you, after a mine apparently fails to detonate, send a boatload of people to retrieve it?
 

TomS

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Why would you attach mines four feet above the waterline?

Why would you, after a mine apparently fails to detonate, send a boatload of people to retrieve it?
Because you're not really trying to sink the targets, just raise a ruckus. Or because that's what you can reach on a ship that's underway.

And because while you want to raise the temperature somewhat, you want to avoid leaving unmistakable evidence like an intact mine with Iranian manufacturing marks. Especially if you didn't have approval from the top to do what you just did.
 

starviking

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Why would you attach mines four feet above the waterline?

Why would you, after a mine apparently fails to detonate, send a boatload of people to retrieve it?
Why above the waterline? Moving target - impossible for frogmen to keep up. Also, above the waterline does not have as much risk as below for sinking the ship - an important consideration if you just want to send a message,

Why retrieve the dud? Probably lots of info can be gleaned from it, a literal “smoking gun”. Better to grab it and deny everything. And with all the people who are claiming the video/photos are fake, it has generally worked.
 

apparition13

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Why would you attach mines four feet above the waterline?
For a non-military, i.e. a political, reason.

To be more specific, to send a signal (although it's an easy way to get your intended message, whatever it may be, misinterpreted), to provoke a reaction (the question is what reaction), to test limits, to frame someone else, to get your enemies to fight each other, to cause dissension among allies, to create disorder, to do any number of other things.

Why would you, after a mine apparently fails to detonate, send a boatload of people to retrieve it?
To remove evidence? Or because you didn't attach it and have the nearest EOD unit?
 
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kaiserbill

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The idea that they planted limpet mines and retrieved them so that "Iranian manufacturing marks" wouldn't be noted is ridiculous, and flies in the face of of not only how these types of actions are done, but also the sheer proliferation and availability of ordinance available from any number of manufacturing countries..easily obtainable.
I speak from experience on how "external operatives" are armed with other countries arms and munitions for the exact purpose of deniability.
In fairness though, I note the caveat that it might not have been sanctioned from the top, but this whole affair doesn't even begin to pass a basic bull-dust 'ometer.
 

TomS

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The idea that they planted limpet mines and retrieved them so that "Iranian manufacturing marks" wouldn't be noted is ridiculous, and flies in the face of of not only how these types of actions are done, but also the sheer proliferation and availability of ordinance available from any number of manufacturing countries..easily obtainable.
I speak from experience on how "external operatives" are armed with other countries arms and munitions for the exact purpose of deniability.
In fairness though, I note the caveat that it might not have been sanctioned from the top, but this whole affair doesn't even begin to pass a basic bull-dust 'ometer.
I'll respectfully disagree. You seem to be thinking of this as a covert operation, which the IRGC probably would not. It's just an exercise of their own organic warfighting capabilities for a political purpose. They don't mind that people suspect it's Iranian-executed, but a little obfuscation is useful. And as I suggest, it seems very possible that this was not authorized fomr the senior leadership (why take the meeting with the Japanese PM, then undermine your own meeting?)

Conversely, if we assume the attacks are a false-flag operation of some sort, surely the best way to point a finger at Iran would be to emplace a device with faked Iranian manufacturing marks and allow it to be recovered by US EOD personnel. Removing an unfired device makes no sense in this sort of operation.
 

sferrin

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Conversely, if we assume the attacks are a false-flag operation of some sort, surely the best way to point a finger at Iran would be to emplace a device with faked Iranian manufacturing marks and allow it to be recovered by US EOD personnel. Removing an unfired device makes no sense in this sort of operation.
Well they apparently also managed to get their hands on an Iranian ship to perform their "false-flag" then.
 

Moose

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Conversely, if we assume the attacks are a false-flag operation of some sort, surely the best way to point a finger at Iran would be to emplace a device with faked Iranian manufacturing marks and allow it to be recovered by US EOD personnel. Removing an unfired device makes no sense in this sort of operation.
The unlikely third path is someone using Iranian mines for the attacks (either to "frame" Iran or because they're Iranian proxies with Iranian gear) and the IRGC coming along, seeing what's clearly their hardware being used and recognizing what will happen if it's recovered by someone else, then hurriedly getting the dud off the tanker and away before it ends up held in front of the UN by Secretary Pompeo.
 

SpudmanWP

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Conversely, if we assume the attacks are a false-flag operation of some sort, surely the best way to point a finger at Iran would be to emplace a device with faked Iranian manufacturing marks and allow it to be recovered by US EOD personnel. Removing an unfired device makes no sense in this sort of operation.
Well they apparently also managed to get their hands on an Iranian ship to perform their "false-flag" then.
And likely tracked it back to a "fake" Iranian port :rolleyes:
 

Forest Green

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Conversely, if we assume the attacks are a false-flag operation of some sort, surely the best way to point a finger at Iran would be to emplace a device with faked Iranian manufacturing marks and allow it to be recovered by US EOD personnel. Removing an unfired device makes no sense in this sort of operation.
IF it was a US false flag operation, one would probably assume that the objective would be to create a pretext for war with Iran. In that case, the bigger the mess the better, so the mines would have been placed below the waterline using a SEAL Delivery Vehicle to keep up with the ship. And all the mines would have gone off because they would have doubled them up.
 

Dilandu

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Well, if I planned the false-flag operation of this kind, I would use the "Maverick" missiles. Preferably of early models. The logic is simple - the main accused must have the used weapon in its arsenal, and Iran most definitely have "Maverick" missiles available.
 

jeffb

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The whole thing seems bizarre. I really can't see anything in it for the Iranians. Blind Freddie knows they have the ability to attack gulf shipping any time they want, why make a point of demonstrating that now?

Such an bizarrely theatrical and ineffectual attack suggests amateurs to me. Maybe we should just follow the money, I dare say the oil price moved a fair bit.
 

starviking

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The whole thing seems bizarre. I really can't see anything in it for the Iranians. Blind Freddie knows they have the ability to attack gulf shipping any time they want, why make a point of demonstrating that now?

Such an bizarrely theatrical and ineffectual attack suggests amateurs to me. Maybe we should just follow the money, I dare say the oil price moved a fair bit.
There are competing power structures in Iran. Add a touch of revolutionary fervour and you get exactly this kind of bizarre amateurish stuff.
 

Foo Fighter

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Iran has a record for this and other disruptive behaviour, that said the economy is suffering so the more radical parts of their government and military/paramilitary are more than likely to act like this. It will happen again.
 

Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc

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Critics have already questioned whether the UK confronted Iran knowing that the Gulf waterways were not adequately policed.

Chris Parry, a former Royal Navy warfare officer and aviator, who now runs a strategic forecasting company, said: “Why are ship owners dumb enough to sail their ships independently through a threat area? Convoys are needed as in the 1980s to counter a weak Iranian regime that has lost control of the organised crime bosses of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

“UK government should declare an exclusion zone around all British flagged ships. If you are gangsters from Iranian Revolutionary Guard, enter at your peril.”
 

jeffb

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Can anyone explain how the UK can seize an Iranian tanker passing into the med and claim its breaking EU sanctions? Iran isn't an EU country. The med isn't an EU territory, is it?
 
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