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Bangalore torpedo

Kat Stevens

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Latest date I ever saw on a Bangalore Torpedo was 1968, used in 1990 on FE camp in Germany.  Improvised torpedo is still a staple of our training, at least I hope it is.
 

Scoobie Newbie

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Kat Stevens said:
Latest date I ever saw on a Bangalore Torpedo was 1968, used in 1990 on FE camp in Germany.  Improvised torpedo is still a staple of our training, at least I hope it is.

After our conversations with them you'd think it was the end of the world that we didn't have the item for them. CRITICAL to their training they said
 

Kat Stevens

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Perhaps not, but if the item still exists in the inventory, don't you think it prudent that the end user have at least a passing familiarity with the genuine article, or do you suggest that improvisation is good enough, every single time.  It's called improvised for a reason...
 

Colin Parkinson

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I was watching a ISIS video of an attack that overan a defended IA positions, decent positions and trenching but no wire what so ever. That attack would have failed against wire and they clearly would have had no means of quickly breaching it. Do we still teach assaulting through wire?
 

BadgerTrapper

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Colin P said:
I was watching a ISIS video of an attack that overan a defended IA positions, decent positions and trenching but no wire what so ever. That attack would have failed against wire and they clearly would have had no means of quickly breaching it. Do we still teach assaulting through wire?

Colin P, you mean there are other ways of breaching wire other than finding your biggest guy, dressing him in a bunch of layers and using him as a human walkway?  ;)
 

Colin Parkinson

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Never wear 51pattern webbing for such an assault training when everyone else is wearing 64pattern because you know who is going to be picked. That's one thing the Tacvest would excel at I suppose.  ;D 
 

daftandbarmy

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How about using something like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vfBYclsfe0

No idea how it would work on wire....
 

Kat Stevens

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It's a baby viper!!  Everything old is new again.

EDIT:  Oh, and not too great against wire.  The Bangalore is placed under the obstacle and lifts the wire up and out of the lane, this thing would compress the wire and turn it into an entanglement.
 

Old Sweat

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And here is a passage from a paper I am working on an assault in 1917. The data are based on research using live fire in 1915 and promulgated as British Expeditionary Force policy. Shrapnel would have burst above and short of the wire, and then would have sprayed balls like a giant shot gun through the front of the shell at the wire.

One of the major tasks was cutting the enemy wire which lay in thick bands higher than the average man of the time across the front. Since early 1915 a great deal of research had gone into the matter and two years later the collation of the experience of battle resulted in the following passage regarding the use of 18-pounder field guns for cutting wire:

7.5 rounds shrapnel and 5% HE per yard of front for a depth of wire not exceeding the 50% zone of the gun at that range.


This obviously took a lot of time and ammunition.
 

Kat Stevens

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I dunno Mr Sweaty, I've dug up a few thousand of those 18 pdr shraps and their little lead passengers, and you would need to pour a metric shit ton of them on any well constructed wire obstacle to have even the slightest effect on it.  A couple of sneaky sappers, a few 6 foot pickets, and some TNT would be a hell of a lot cheaper and more effective.
 

Old Sweat

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Absolutely, Kat. I was hoping somebody would reach that conclusion. Imagine the amount of ammunition that would be required to cut a wire obstacle 1,000 yards long and 50 yards deep, not counting the stuff that was rewired each night. (The 50% zone for the 18-pounder was 30 yards at about 3000 yards range.)

There had to be a better way, but imagine how many bangalore torpedoes would be needed for a divisional attack with four battalions up, each with two companies up with two platoons up. And by 1917 infantry did not march forward like Waterloo, they used fire and movement behind an artillery barrage that could be 700 yards deep.

Mods, sorry for the hijack. I'm a gunner; that's what we do.
 

Kat Stevens

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The added bonus to shrapping the hell out of ten miles of wire would be the same as the nifty gizmo in the video, crushed, cut up and strewn wire everywhere.  A better A/P obstacle than the original wire fence.
 

Old Sweat

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Indeed, but the infantry used to patrol right up and into these belts to check the condition. And I bet hunks of wire littering the ground like thorn bushes beat the crap out of the alternative. These guys had developed a set of rules that worked and by this time next year, trench warfare was over.

I am grateful for any bit of advice and/or professional knowledge you can offer. As a farm boy I have strung wire and we did a bit of the same as a recruit, but building major obstacles is way beyond my pay grade.
 
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