View Full Version : Tank defences

Stoney X
21st Sep 2005, 08:30
Having seen the endles repeats on the beeb of the British tank being attacked by a mob in Iraq, and the crew clambering out, a question has come to mind. Surely these vehicles are build to withstand an attack be a simple petrol bomb. :confused: Without getting into the rights or wrongs of the situation, if I was inside a tank with an angry mob outside I would want to stay inside, unless a fire or flood was in there with me. Perhaps this crew were caught unaware and hadn't had time to batten down the hatches, otherwise it's a rather glaring shortfall in the tanks defenses.


21st Sep 2005, 08:34
The fire will consume most of the available oxygen, reducing what the engine requires to almost zero, thereby immobilising the tank. The tank then becomes a pillbox.

Since the crew also require oxygen, their options for survival become severely limited, hence the egress.

21st Sep 2005, 08:43
wasnt it an APC?

21st Sep 2005, 08:51
It was, to be precise, a Warrior APC. However, most civilians see tracks and immediately assume that it's a tank.

The Molotov Cocktail Principle applies, either way.

Stoney X
21st Sep 2005, 09:10
diginagain, I hadn't thought about the lack of oxygen being an issue, which it obviously is. But using a simple petrol bomb to disable such a large and important unit is showing a weakness. Do they only have one source of air for the engine? Would make sense for the engine to draw from multiple inlets so that you would need to totally engulf the vehicle to stop it moving.

As for the assumption that all vehicles with tracks are tanks, this was certainly the case in the military I served in. Rubbery wheeled vehicles were cheaper and easier to fix after running over a land mine.


The Voice
21st Sep 2005, 09:23
I'm not sure what was seen on your networks, but over here, we were subjected to deliberately frozen snippets of the poor soldiers trying to escaspe, thru' the flames, and in flames themselves, let alone then being chased by the mob.

Absolutely disgusting prime time viewing here. :mad:

War is a dirty business, made worse by the modern media and the silly, inane and insensitive sensationalising of another persons pain.

I feel for their families.

21st Sep 2005, 09:24
Stoney, IIRC, the general design brief for armoured vehicles is for APCs to have protection against small-arms fire and shrapnel, and MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) to be protected against main armament rounds fired from similar protagonists.

More engine intakes make more places for incoming rounds to penetrate what armour you have. The Warrior was designed to transport troops in protection on the open battlefield, where, it was thought, 4-star filled-bottle-wielding civvies would be scarce.

Unfortunately, as has been shown, such vehicles are easily disabled by simple technology, if you put them where they really were not designed to be.

tony draper
21st Sep 2005, 09:39
The snivelling media fluffs are already questioning whether what was done to rescue our two solders was legal,are they bloody joking? if this was the 1940's a lot of media folks would be sucking on their last woodbine with their backs to a wall and half a dozen Lee Enfields pointing at them, feckin treasonous scum.


21st Sep 2005, 09:51
The Voice: Wholeheartedly agree!
Also those soldiers must deserve medals, I'm sure they could have blasted away at the crowd around them but they held off instead and exposed themselves to the physical abuse awaiting.

21st Sep 2005, 10:14
The snivelling media fluffs are already questioning whether what was done to rescue our two solders was legal,

NOT on Radio Four or the World Service nor in TheGrauniad unless I missed it. Must have been reported in The Daily Mail.

21st Sep 2005, 11:41
But using a simple petrol bomb to disable such a large and important unit I believe an aggravating factor was the number of tyres the criminals were lobbing on top of the flames on the troop carrier


Buster Hyman
21st Sep 2005, 11:47
Oooh! I've got to play Devils advocate here. I fully appreciate why they went & got the two soldiers, and I'm glad for their sakes they did...but...the symbolism is very strong. Yes we have given you independance & democracy but, we will ignore your interpretation of events & get our boys back.

Now, as I said, I fully support their retrieval, but I think this may have set the cause back somewhat, especially in an area that was deemed as one of the safest places in Iraq.:(

21st Sep 2005, 13:21
I think it is worth emphasizing the restraint the crew of the APC showed. It looks like they could have spot turned left or right to more easily vacate the area, however that would have resulted in a number of the crowd being run over (and if you're run over by an APC you can normally consider it a terminal affair). As mentioned earlier they could have brought the armament to bear on the crowd, again they didn't. They were probably lucky not to end up like the two soldiers dragged from a car by a baying mob and then executed by 'freedom fighters' in NI a few years ago now:mad:

Whatever your views on the rights and wrongs of the 'Iraq affair' if you can't see how well most of our troops are performing out there then your opinions aren't worth s**t.

Devlin Carnet
21st Sep 2005, 14:10
If you want to kidnap crack British soldiers with the aim of handing them over to terrorist military insurgents, then dont expect tea and strawberries on the lawn.
Expect to be hit with the full force of the british army and "hard knocked" onto yer arse,... feckers.
Good job Brigadier, Sir.

Send Clowns
21st Sep 2005, 14:11
Defence against petrol bombs is a machine gun - shoot the threat - or manoeuvrability. Neither was an option, so not really a shortfall int he defence but in suitability for an unexpected role.

tony draper
21st Sep 2005, 14:57
Machine guns phooee!!, I would have one of our Trident boats anchored in the gulf ready to Mirv the feckers.

21st Sep 2005, 15:09
Wouldn't do much good for the blokes in the APC - nor the ones in the bases outside of Basra for that matter!

Onan the Clumsy
21st Sep 2005, 18:04
Talking about tanks then, does anyone know what is a Male Tank and what's a Female Tank?

(I guess being the military, they wouldn't have any gay tanks, or if they were, they'd have to remain camoflaged)

Send Clowns
21st Sep 2005, 18:34
I think you mean "was", Onan. They were WWI terms, and I believe related to armament (e.g. 6-pounders in the male, a few machine guns in the female).

Onan the Clumsy
21st Sep 2005, 18:38
I figured it was probably something along those lines.

The Otter's Pocket
21st Sep 2005, 18:41

Where did you get your information? Petrol Bombs knocking out an engine, please explain more I am very interested.

21st Sep 2005, 18:44
we will ignore your interpretation of events & get our boys back.

It had nothing to do with interpretation of events but fact that the Iraq national police force has been infiltrated by the very people they are supposed to be protecting the population from.

Thankfully officers in the British Army are still soldiers first and foremost and are capable of making the right decisions regardless of politics.


21st Sep 2005, 20:25
Happy to report that all the guys got away with minor injuries and are back at the office....

The Voice
21st Sep 2005, 20:44
Reynolds that is geat news ..

21st Sep 2005, 21:04
Sorry, just got in from travelling home from work. A lot of what I put regarding immobilising vehicles by simple means has a historical precedent. The LDV aka Home Guard were taught the technique, and I believe it was taught to Infantrymen of most armies during and after the Second World War, as a simple expedient.

Before becoming aircrew, I drove APCs, and my instructors made an issue of pointing out just how easy it could be in an urban environment, to get caught out in this manner.

If you feel up to it, it is also covered in some depth on Arrse. I hope this answers your query TOP?

Onan the Clumsy
21st Sep 2005, 21:54
The LDV aka Home Guard were taught the technique, and I believe it was taught to Infantrymen of most armies during and after the Second World War, as a simple expedient. All I know is that Sven Hassel was taught to dig a little trench and then let the tank run over him at which point he put amagnetic limpet mine on the underside of the hull.

then he probably thought "How the **** am I going to get away from here?" :ooh:

Buster Hyman
21st Sep 2005, 22:50
Thanks hemac, that pretty much sums it up. The Iraqi Police force, the one that the US, GB & all the others have helped set up has been infiltrated. Now, from the perspective of the Iraqi people, the multinational force that has set this Police force up has no confidence in it.

As an Iraqi, how would you feel? I imagine they'd be asking questions like "Well, you guys set up these cops to uphold law & order (or try to) & now you don't have any confidence in them!"

I think there are few possibilities as to how this unfolded.
(1) The Police that captured the two soldiers were "genuine" and upholding their laws based on their interpretation. If this was the case then natural justice should've been allowed to run its course.
(2) These were, indeed, infiltrators in the Iraqi Police & they had a sinister agenda in mind. In which case, storming the complex was absolutely correct!
(3) The Police were the genuine article, but there was a high probability that they would not be able to protect the two soldiers from insurgents once word got out.

Bottom line for the Iraqi people is that they will have now lost confidence in the Police there. The job is just getting tougher.

21st Sep 2005, 22:57
Talking of gay tanks: the musee des blindees in Saumur (France) once got a German WWII Panther tank that badly needed a new paint work. In order to find the right grey shade to restore it into it's pristine Third Reich livery, they wrote to the German army asking for the official colour mix.
As this was a long time after WWII and the Germans had become good allies in the meantime, they dutifully obliged and sent the official colour mix, which the French conscientiously reproduced and applied carefully to said Panther.
And guess what? The tank turned into a lovely - if not very military looking - shade of pink, and was immediately nicknamed "le panther rose".
Thinking that they had fcuked up, the French then wrote back to the Germans to report on this unexpected result.
To which the Germans replied "Yeah, ve know, ve haf the same problem with that particular mix".

Buster Hyman
21st Sep 2005, 23:04
You may laugh at that colour yggorf, but how many tanks have you seen at the Gay & Lesbian Mardis Gras???;)

21st Sep 2005, 23:11
Buster Hyman
Absolutely right...
Now, the thought of that big macho pink thing with it's long and hard shwanstucker...:O

22nd Sep 2005, 01:48
Diggin, to be really pedantic the Warrior is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) as opposed to an APC (pedant hat off;)).

Glad to hear none of the injuries were severe. I just hope this isn't the beginning of something more sinister in Basra.

22nd Sep 2005, 07:22
Nothing to do with the engine, see here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1575439,00.html). Scopes got smashed so the hatch was open and a petrol bomb got in - so they got out. Got back in again after it went out and drove it back to base. Quote:

"The next thing I know there had been petrol coming through the top, all petrol coming down. We opened the door and dismounted as fast as we could. I realised the gunner was still getting out of the turret. We got the gunner out and people were putting him out. I returned to the vehicle and got in as the driver and Sgt Long got into the turret and we drove it off."

The soldier said that when they got back to camp, they were told "your Warrior was on the telly". After sorting out the "admin" of their vehicle, they eventually saw the footage and said: "It looks a lot worse than what it is. A Warrior is quite tough. Apart from one [petrol bomb] that went into the turret it was all right but hot to touch.".....

None of the soldiers was seriously injured and all were back on duty yesterday.

22nd Sep 2005, 07:46
Glad our chaps are alright. Looked bad on tv and I'm amazed and very proud of the restraint shown by the Warrior crews and their supporting Inf in keeping casuaties to a minimum.
As for being in an environment they are not designed for perhaps we should send out a couple of NI issue water cannon!

The Police that captured the two soldiers were "genuine" and upholding their laws based on their interpretation. If this was the case then natural justice should've been allowed to run its course.
You dont seem to understand. Iraqi law REQUIRES that any member of the "coalition" military be returned IMMEDIATELY to their unit regardless of what they have or have not done. No cosy chats over tea and rubber truncheons, no waiting for orders from Baghdad They are not subject to the Iraqi legal system in any way. (though they are obviously subject to their own ROE and laws.)

In short by not returning the 2 SAS chaps pronto the local police were in breach of their own laws.

The Otter's Pocket
22nd Sep 2005, 08:07
Thanks you beat me to it.
I am sorry digin but what you wrote was nonsense. I am sympathetic that you may have got your information from [email protected]@@@ however please remember that it is an open forum and has its smattering of lunatics and know it alls just like this website.
On the Warrior there are three positions generally used for the hatch positions on the copola.
Hull down/ Closed up - everything closed, packs creating over pressure (difficult to keep situational awarness).
Open - when the hatches are fully open generally for driving, parking or lower risk
Half down / half up / etc, the hatches are slightly open only exposing the eyes and top of the head. (The weight is held by the springs) Great for manouvering and in public order. (Bad show to run people over).
If the hatches are part open then a fuel IED would have easy access to the turret.
It would seem that the best way to put yourself out would be to get out the top sort out the problem and get on with it.
Very strong men, absolutle leadership that our SNCO's are world renouned for.

Buster Hyman
22nd Sep 2005, 08:59
Daysleeper. Spot on! I don't understand the law, thanks for clarifying it. :ok:

I wonder how many Iraqi's are in the same boat as me regarding this ruling?:confused: :(

22nd Sep 2005, 09:15
The Police that captured the two soldiers were "genuine" and upholding their laws based on their interpretation.

I don't see how handing over 2 British soldiers to the local Militia, who are more than likely to torture and then slaughter their prisoners, can be construed as an interpretation of the law.

I'm very sympathetic to the plight of the peaceful, law abiding Iraqi people, unfortunately there seems to be an awful lot of 'civilians' intent on disrupting any attempts to install law and order.


Dave Martin
22nd Sep 2005, 10:37

Could it be that they don't trust or are very suspicious of the law and order being imposed on them by a country that has twice invaded them in 15 years? The Iraqi's are very nationalistic.

Also, one particular section of society has a strong feeling it will not be represented, so it is not surprising they are not cooperating. Beligerence on their part could seriously backfire, but if the threat of civil war is sufficient, it might just give them a few more bargainign chips. Once again; a reaction more academic sections of society warned about before the invasion, but which was ignored by the powers that be.

The irony of this the the left-wing press in particular has been pointing out for some time now, just how riddled the Iraqi police in Basra are with ex-Baath party-ites and militia gangsters. This "minor point", was flat out denied by those applauding the great success of the conflict in Iraq. The events of last week seem to strongly back up the original and ongoing statements of chaos.

22nd Sep 2005, 10:52
TOP, not certain that you could dismiss my post so easily, but it's your choice, I suppose.

Have a nice day.

tony draper
22nd Sep 2005, 11:12
Well,as the cousins usta say
"My country, right or wrong"

22nd Sep 2005, 11:25
Invaded them twice? I thought that after the liberation of Kuwait the coalition stopped and did not invade Iraq - much to the disappointment of many of the Shia. They were even more disappointed when no invasion followed their subsequent uprising. Unless you support Saddam´s view that Kuwait is and was a province of Iraq of course.

Your second point seems to contradict you first point about their being nationalistic, it much more clearly points to them being sectarian. This is reinforced by the many claims made elsewhere that it was only a "strong leader" like Saddam who had been able to keep the country together. I think you have also put the cart before the horse, the Sunni, central not southern Iraq, non-representation is a consequence of their non-cooperation. The other sections of the community were desperate in their attempts to get the Sunni to vote and participate - they boycotted the elections.

I think you also find that the left-wing press were not the only ones making the point about the militias in the south, many right wing sources in the USA were pressing the point that the British were getting an easier time than the US forces because they were letting the militias take control without a struggle and that it was a major mistake.

Regardless, these are points for the Hamster thread, not here.

The Otter's Pocket
22nd Sep 2005, 12:14
I am not of the mindset to dismiss you without thought and apologies if you think that I have done so.
However I have given a reason why, so has ORAC and so did the Sgt who clambered out of the vehicle.
I could also give three other reasons off the top of my head why this would be unlikely to happen.
I hope that the sun is shinning with you too.

22nd Sep 2005, 12:21
The local cops also continued to hold/donate the SAS men to the militia after clearly being told by the Iraq interior ministery to hand them over to the Brits. It is clear the local cops are riddled by terrorist insurgents and need replacing asap.

The latest declaration that they will not cooperate with British forces until they get an apology is fecking laughable. They cooperate with the terrorists but not the British forces...hmm


Dave Martin
22nd Sep 2005, 12:26

I suppose Invasion isn't the right word for the first example, but was certainly a war fought on Iraqi soil, involving Iraqi deaths and followed up by sanctions and continuous bombing over the remaining years, was it not? Not an issue of right or wrong, but an issue of Iraqis really not seeing us as roses and light, thats for sure.

Point being, it is hardly surprising that Iraqis, Shi'a or not, might not be predisposed to treating captured coalition servicemen according to a laws which are seldom enforced and few desire to follow. My guess is they'll simply do what the highest bidder wishes.

It is quite possibly to be sectarian while be nationalistic. Ethnic minorities in the West, who feel discriminated agianst by the dominant majority (usually white), will frequently bond together with the same dominant majority, against another perceived invader.

22nd Sep 2005, 20:57

The reasons for the Iraq police to behave in such a way are, in my opinion, simply because they have their own agenda,
driven by sectarian religion/politics.
I have no doubt that a large proportion of the country hate the occupying forces, they also hate their fellow countrymen who happen to believe in a slightly different version of a very old story.


23rd Sep 2005, 06:15
Spin merchants in charge. :suspect:

The Times: Taking a screwdriver to the truth

“YOU have been pushed upon us,” the British media operations officer announced as he greeted a party of six journalists arriving in Basra to report on Monday’s confrontation between British troops and the Basra police. It was an inauspicious start to our efforts to inform the British public how their troops are faring in an increasingly turbulent region of southern Iraq. The 36 hours that followed provided an insight into the control that the Ministry of Defence exerts upon the flow of information reaching Britain from Iraq.......

British officers in the field refer disparagingly to the current information policy, emanating from a Government nervous of criticism over its policy in Iraq, as “the screwdriver”. It does few favours to the soldiers serving in Iraq or to the society that pays for them to be there.

In Basra this week the official line, dictated to media operations officers in Iraq by printed handouts that tell them which questions they can answer and what the answers are, was that Monday’s events were of limited significance. Echoing almost verbatim the account released by the MoD in London, officials at the headquarters of the Multinational Division in Basra told us that the violence against British troops involved a crowd of between 150 and 200 rioting Iraqis; that the police station at the centre of the violence was finally entered by British troops to ascertain whether the two British prisoners were still there; that the three British casualties were in a “non-life-threatening” condition; and that only 2 per cent of the violence in Iraq occurs in Basra.

During later briefings by those directly involved in the events, and after the few hours we actually managed to spend with the confident, informative and friendly Coldstream Guards, a different picture emerged.

The rioting mob was 1,000-strong. Baton rounds and live fire were used to prevent the crowd from killing escaping Warrior crew members. An unknown number of Iraqis were killed. One British casualty was seriously burnt and has been evacuated to hospital in Britain. The police station was breached by an armoured vehicle to rescue a six-man negotiating team trapped inside. The Iraqi police involved are a powerful mafia gang with terrorist links, unaccountable to the city police chief, who enjoy the support of figures at government level.........

“Soldiers on the ground always used to be confident enough to know what they could say to journalists,” a captain remarked shortly before we left. “With the control on information, now for the first time we see them turn round and ask their officers, ‘What am I supposed to say sir?’. ”