Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Truth About Shaped Charges

BBC News did some digging into explosives technology today to expose the myth Rumsfeld and Blair have been touting concerning the alleged supply by Iran of the "shaped charges" used by Iraqi guerrillas.

The armor-piercing shaped charge is 19th century technology and capitalizes on the Munroe effect: a partial focussing of blast energy caused by a hollow or void cut into a piece of explosive. In short, a technique used by civil and military engineers alike the world over and not requiring a midnight courier dispatched from the Islamic Republic.

The wallop packed by the shaped charges, writes BBC, is because of the quantity of explosive packed in them:
But US military investigators are said to have found the sheer mass of explosive used - rather than its design - destroyed the vehicle.
And who wasn't guarding the explosives depots in the country they declared war on and occupied, I wonder? Petulant SOB's! So much the idiots' tales spun by our officials.


Blogger markfromireland said...

It's not actually all that difficult to construct a shaped charge device and Iraq is, as you've noted, awash with some very powerful explosives indeed courtesy of the invading armies incompetence.

Petulant SOB's indeed. They managed to defeat a fifth rate military power, dismember a country, foment a civil war, and now not only don't they like the consequences but they'd like the rest of us to believe that a viable exit strategy is via Iran and Syria - which is what they'd like to work up to.

"The march of folly" indeed.

5:18 AM  
Blogger ziz said...

My understanding is that shaped charges (1st used by the Hun "Der Panzerfuest") relates only to projectiles - i.e shells, etc., and is directly related to the use of depleted Uranium and why it causes so much combustion and irradiated smoke and dust.

My understanding is that the IED's used throughout Iraq is that they are stationary bombs, either triggered by suicide bombers or remotely by trip wires, switches, radio, proximity devices.

I never cease to puzzle over the depiction of the Iraqi army as ignorant peasants - the people who waged war for years against Iran (aided of course thoughout by Uncle Sam) and who were very familiar with munitions manufacture - indeed the BSA tools and lathes sold to Saddam (about which MI5/6/7/8/9 knew all about) were for making shaped cgarge shells.

What really pisses me off is
1. Blair expects us to believe this bollocks
2. The press lanely print all this bollocks - ten minutes on Google or a quick call to the MOD would answer any questions.

1:15 PM  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Nope shaped charges although mostly used for projectiles are easily used for other explosive devices.

3:02 PM  
Blogger ziz said...

They can be used but the effects of the charge are only effective as an extra defragmenting force if projected at right angles (or roughly 90 degrees) otherewsie shells are just used for blast potential and chance of shell whizzing away randomly.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


shaped charge has nothing to do with DU. DU is a kinetic kill weapon, basically firing a very hard (DU or tungsten) rod at very high speed as an armor penetrator.

shaped charge is just putting a concave thin cone of soft metal into a base of explosives, when the explosive explodes, it turns the metal into a liquid plasma jet that cuts/melts it's way through armor. no high velocity required, that's why weapons like panzerfaust works.

any idiot can read up the monroe effect on the internet and make a shaped charge if he already has the explosive and some coper sheet liner.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The wallop packed by the shaped charges, writes BBC, is because of the quantity of explosive packed in them: "

actually this is untrue. you merely need enough explosives to coat/surround the copper liner cone. the degree of penetration is a function of the diameter of the copper cone liner, and i believe also it's depth. take a look at the rpg7/panzerfaust warheads, not much explosives at all. one of the advantage of employing this type of weapon.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Nolan A said...

you are all missing the point. a copper shaped charge is what does the more demage than steel. as a result they are coveted weapons seeked out by insurgents. the little copper that was in iraq was all stolen or sold off to other countries once the war began. iraq's shia neighbor is the one's producing these materials.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An RPG is a shape charge. Every 3rd world country makes them to sell including Iran. Iran sells them to Iraqi guerrillas. So in a way Iran is selling shaped charges to them.

6:50 AM  

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