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Roping goats in a minefield

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  • Roping goats in a minefield

    An interesting excerpt showing the difficulties encountered during ODS by 2nd Marine Division in breaching Iraqi obstacles. Think about this next time you're gaming a breach operation.

    ...In Green Lanes 5 and 6 the breaching team encountered considerable difficulties. At this point the minefields had greater depth and a larger number of mines. In addition, they included British Bar Mines, which the Iraqis had captured in Kuwait. These were resistant to the overpressure produced by the MICLICs, and many of them had been fitted with anti-disturbance devices so that they detonated on contact with mine plows. There were also power lines running across the minefield. In Lane Green 5 the breaching team began its task shortly after 0600 by launching a line charge from an AAV. After the charge had been detonated, an M60 with a track width mine plow proofed the lane. The AAV then followed the tank and launched another line charge. This line charge went over a series of high tension power lines. When it detonated, it brought down some of the lines but did nothing to clear the lanes. The tank with the mine plow moved forward to clear enough space to give the AAV a clear shot. It hit a mine, probably a bar mine, which disabled the tank but did not injure the crew. The AAV cautiously backed out of the minefield, and a second M60 plow tank was sent in. It followed the same route as far as the disabled tank and then made a detour to the left. The AAV followed and detonated a second line charge to extend the lane. The second tank began plowing and was about 20 meters in front of the disabled tank when another mine exploded, ripping off its track. The AAV had used all three of its charges and withdrew. A third M60 plow tank, this one towing a MICLIC entered the minefield. It launched the MICLIC and then began plowing to proof the lane. It was within about 20 meters of the far side of the minefield when it also hit a mine. With three M60 tanks disabled in the minefield, work on Green 5 came to a halt while more engineer equipment was brought forward. Lane Green 5 through the First Mine Belt was not clear until about 0930.

    In Lane Green 6 things did not go much better. Approaching the First Mine Belt, the crews of both the plow tank and the AAV missed the stake which the Iraqis had left to mark the forward edge of the minefield, and the AAV hit a mine. Fortunately the 6,000 pounds of line charges inside the vehicle did not explode, but the vehicle lost three road wheels, and a crewman broke a leg. The lead tank was thus blocked in the minefield with mines on three sides and the disabled AAV to the rear. A second AAV was brought forward, took up a position about 70 meters to the left of the original lane, and fired a line charge. It failed to detonate and had to be detonated by hand. A second M60 plow tank then proofed the lane, and the AAV pulled forward and launched a second line charge to extend the lane. After the M60 plow tank had proofed the lane, Green 6 was declared open for tanks at 0736. The commander of the first unit to move through, B Company, 4th Tank Battalion, ordered the lead M1 tank (loaner from the U.S. Army) to plow the lane as an additional precaution. About two-thirds of the way through the minefield, the tank hit a mine. Although there were no injuries, the tank was disabled and the lane blocked. At this point the commander of the M60 plow tank blocked in the minefield decided that his best choice was to go forward. He reached the far edge of the first minefield without incident, executed a 180 turn and came back through the minefield to ensure that it had been adequately cleared, making a detour around the disabled AAV. The lane was declared open for tracked vehicles at 0830, and the 1st Battalion, 8th marines began moving through the First Mine Belt.

    The breaching operation on the Green Lanes in the Second Mine Belt began about 1100. Again there were difficulties. In Green Lane 5 a plow tank detonated another mine and was disabled. Because of the shortage of engineer equipment, work on Green Lane 5 was abandoned and all efforts concentrated on the remaining lane, Green 6. Two line charges broke their arrestor cables and flew free into the minefield where they could not be detonated. Two others had to be detonated by hand. In spite of these problems, the lane was finally opened shortly after noon. This lane was renamed Green 5 -- the original Green 5 was never cleared. A lane to the southeast, originally intended to carry return traffic, was designated Green 6. This sixth lane was finally declared cleared and safe about 1345.

    ...

    The 2nd marine division's breaching operation had been quite expensive in terms of equipment, though not in casualties. The division's losses in breaching equipment included seven M60 tanks equipped with mine plows, two AAVs, and one M1A1 tank with track width mine plow. In addition, a Direct Support Command armored D7 tractor was disabled by a mine while attempting to widen Lane Blue 3. During the breaching operation the division fired 34 MK-154 line charges. Eight of these deployed but had to be detonated by hand. Eleven M58 MICLIC line charges were fired, of which five did not function properly. The malfunctions included one air burst and two broken arresting cables, in addition to two MICLICs which had to be detonated manually.

    Keep in mind that the Marines were under almost no direct or indirect fire during this operation. Imagine how this operation would have gone if the obstacle had been covered with effective fires.

    Take note that in the 2MarDiv account there is not a single reported instance of the MICLIC detonating on command. In every case found, an operator was forced to dismount and expose himself to enemy fire in order to manually re-prime and detonate the charge. Nice.

    A surprisingly large fraction of the gear used in ODS was locally fabricated, and most of it outperformed the "real" equipment. 13 years later, our equipment hasn't improved much, but the enemy's mines have. MiCLiCs are now almost useless against modern mines, that is when they detonate at all. There's some nice stuff waiting in the wings, if only we could distract the Army leadership from those sexy Strykers long enough to actually field some of it.

    --- Kevin

  • #2
    Alot of Army Eng units are still waiting for a replacement for the M 113. There was talk awhile ago about the Grizzly but nothing ever came of it as far as I know. The Bradley just doesn't have enough storage space for all the kits required by the Combat Engineers. When I was with them they had to keep some equipment ontop of the 113. Not good in the case of Bangalores.
    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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    • #3
      I though Bangalores were ousted after Korea, because of the high causlty rate amoung the engineers.
      Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

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      • #4
        No, still in the inventory.

        --- Kevin

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        • #5
          Off Topic

          Goats? Who said goats? http://www.nationstates.net/cgi-bin/.../nation=anoxia
          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


          "Never pet a burning dog."

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          • #6
            ask Jim Bruer
            Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JeremyScott
              ask Jim Bruer
              O Great Womanizer: Who is Jim Bruer?
              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


              "Never pet a burning dog."

              RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
              http://www.mormon.org
              http://www.sca.org
              http://www.scv.org/
              http://www.scouting.org/

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              • #8
                If you ever watched Saturday Night Live back in the days of Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, before it went in to the dumps, he was a guy who did a skit known as the goat man. It was hilarious. Now he has his own show on Sirius Satalite called Jim Bruer Unleashed.
                Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

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                • #9
                  Now See What You've Done!

                  Originally posted by Janos
                  The Armed Republic of APFSDS-T
                  Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                  Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GCoyote
                    Are you in the Armchair Region? If not, come on over! If so, see you there!
                    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                    "Never pet a burning dog."

                    RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                    http://www.mormon.org
                    http://www.sca.org
                    http://www.scv.org/
                    http://www.scouting.org/

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                    • #11
                      Armchair is password-protected

                      Originally posted by Janos
                      Are you in the Armchair Region? If not, come on over! If so, see you there!
                      "Moving from 00000RightToBearArms to Armchair: Armchair is password-protected. Please enter the password below."

                      Love to, send me an email or use the telegram function within the game.

                      Thanks
                      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                      Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GCoyote
                        "Moving from 00000RightToBearArms to Armchair: Armchair is password-protected. Please enter the password below."

                        Love to, send me an email or use the telegram function within the game.

                        Thanks
                        Sent by email today. Welcome neighbor!
                        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                        "Never pet a burning dog."

                        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                        http://www.mormon.org
                        http://www.sca.org
                        http://www.scv.org/
                        http://www.scouting.org/

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