Friday, February 22, 2019

Safety Stand-Down

Staff at Chant du Départ Global Headquarters (CdDGHQ) examine artifacts from a recent safety incident.
UNCLASSIFIED

From: Commanding General, CdDGHQ

To: All Personnel

Subj: Paper Cuts

1. On or about 21 February 2019, a staffer here at CdDGHQ was handling important documents relating to the Sarge's rather whiny post of the same date.

2. While handling these documents the staffer suffered a paper cut.

3. The paper cut required treatment with a first aid ointment of unspecified origin and covering with an adhesive bandage from a major manufacturer of adhesive bandages.

4. The staffer was released to quarters at approximately 1030 EST to allow sufficient recovery time for paper cut trauma (PCT).

5. No further details are available at this time.

6. The incident remains under investigation.

7. As of 22 February 2019, 0700 EST, this facility will enter a Safety Stand-Down period not to exceed 24 (twenty-four) hours.

8. Normal operation will recommence on 23 February 2019 at 0700 EST.

Signed,

General Aloysius T. Humpersnap III,  CdDGHQ


UNCLASSIFIED

Yes, yes, yes, I know. Yesterday's post did contain some whining, "Oh poor me, nobody commented on my latest tank post. Oh woe is me, I am unloved..." or stuff to that effect. Yes, I get needy at times, but I'm all better now.

Anyhoo...

During this (ahem) Safety Stand-Down, rather than have all of you report to the Mass Briefing Facility (what some might call the base theater) for a long boring day of safety briefings, which some of you may or may not sleep through, I thought I'd take the opportunity to go over a few administrative items.

First of all, we have a new resource over on the sidebar for those of you who like to search out information on military aircraft -


The first three are all links to Joe Baugher's most excellent site, quick links for the Air Force, the Navy and Marines, and the Coast Guard. He didn't have one for Army aircraft, yes people the Army has things which fly, lots and lots of things and not all of 'em are fling wings, er, I mean helicopters.

The fourth one is where you can search out one of the many aircraft around the world which are on static display, I think it even has museum aircraft. So use this as you will, I have sought out many an old aircraft using the Air Force site. Good stuff. (Want to know if an aircraft tail number or bureau number is the real deal, those sites will tell you. Aircraft do tend to get repainted as a more famous bird.)

Speaking of museums, apparently the Collings Foundation has completed work on their new museum up in Massachusetts, not all that far from CdDGHQ. I learned of this from a comment by John Blackshoe on an old tank post which he commented on recently. (By the way, it's okay to comment on really old posts, I will see the comment even you don't. For administrative and anti-spammer reasons, comments on old posts go into moderation. When I see it, and determine you're not a spambot, I'll publish it and answer it too!)

The American Heritage Museum
(Source)
The American Heritage Museum is supposed to be opening in April and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be visiting it, and reporting what I find in these spaces. Yes, with photos! Like they say, "Take my money!"

Thanks for that tip John!

So to wrap things up, here's a photo of General Eisenhower, out for a stroll in the country...

Yes, ignore the t**k.

It's one of these...
Man, I need to get some sleep!



100 comments:

  1. Just for the record:
    1. I kinda enjoy the tank posts.
    2. I've been down the YouTube hole following "Chieftain" videos.
    3. I'm surprised you didn't come back with a post on the Ju-87 Stuka - wasn't it referred to early in the war as an airborne tank?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Pogue! Where you been bro? Welcome back.

      Yeah, love the Chieftain videos, I've watched the three on the Panther twice already.

      Good idea on the Stuka, I'll probably toss in the Sturmovik as well!

      Delete
    2. Chieftans, sure here's one:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnH0YVpafVM
      John Blackshoe

      Delete
    3. Stuka's were rather sort of airborne artillery... delivering precise fires of high intensity (250kg bomb was almost equivalent to 12 inch naval shell)
      when it comes to flying tanks, there was only one real in ww2
      Soviet Il-2 Shturmovik, which basically armored up anything from propeller to end of crew cockpit to be invulnerable to up to 50,cal bullets...

      Delete
  2. Well sixty comments yesterday, not too shabby. Don't think about the numbers Sarge, it's the QUALITY that counts neh? That American Heritage Museum looks interesting, lots of mobile steel specimens there, am awaiting your recon report from there. Oh, six more days left in this month and we've had just over thirty one inches of the white crap just ........this.......month........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait for the place to open.

      Snow has been fairly sparse here in Little Rhody. A cold winter but not a lot of the white stuff.

      Delete
  3. The memo needed to mention that all future paper handling will require the wearing of protective equipment, including a reflective safety vest.

    A lot of years ago my wife and I were watching a local Memorial Day parade pass by and one of the participating vehicles was an M-60 tank. The tank stopped not far from where we were and aimed the tube at a small child, then did a 360 turn while keeping the tube aimed at the child. That was way, way cool. If the same thing happened today, the media would need new skivvies.

    A new museum is always a good thing.

    Re: Whining. Remember that you are a human being and sometimes you need to vent.

    Keep up the good work, and I both appreciate and understand the amount of time it takes for all of the blogging team to produce the quality posts in this blog. Thank you to all.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, you're right, need to lay out the preventive measures! (Always gotta wear a reflective belt right?)

      The tank thing, no doubt that little guy remembered that and probably joined up when he got old enough. Yes, nowadays they'd make "trauma consultants" available.

      Thanks John.

      Delete
    2. Used to watch the Bradleys with stabilized guns on the rough terrain course with the gun fixed on target. Stabilized gun means different things / same thing but at sea you don't really see it as much as you do when a vehicle is doing 40kph over bumps and that gun doesn't move off target.

      Delete
    3. Yes, there is a video or two out there that show that stabilized gun thing. Pretty amazing.

      And yes, a stabilized gun at sea would seem to be a must have, what with the ocean always moving.

      Delete
  4. Hey AFSarge;

    Another Safety Standown......again?? Now y'all realize that safety has to be number one in the culture at CdDGHQ, when all members wear the safety reflective belt at all times and especially around the coffee maker...then you know that the Safety culture is taking hold.
    SWEET!! another T**K museum...Man I will be all over that like the POGS and reflective vest....See how the safety culture is seeping like mold to your commenters! Oh wait....I could have used another analogy. Seriously post what you want..it is YOUR blog..nobody is paying you for your brain squeezings.....Thank goodness for small miracles :D You are an AF guy that likes tanks...well I am an Army guy that likes the big gray canoes that the squids have, there is symmetry in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Symmetry is good.

      Ooh, ooh, I should have mentioned the whole "safety culture" thing. Brilliant!

      Delete
    2. Mile Rowe has some very good words to say on the subject of "Safety First" and the culture of safety.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1lcVo1Zshk

      If I remember the numbers correctly, Forrestal had maybe six aviation deaths during my two years on her, and zero deaths non-aviation. If you fly high performance aircraft long enough, and add in the whole slingshot off the carries and land by catching a wire cable with a hook on your aircraft's rear end, eventually something is going to go south in a big way.
      My hat's off to those that willingly and repeatedly place themselves in harm's way.





      Delete
    3. Mike Rowe is one of my favorite people. Good points. I liked the "Not OSHA, ocean..." comment.

      Aviation is inherently dangerous, carrier aviation even more so, working on the flight deck in any capacity (in all sorts of weather, day AND night) is dangerous. Those folks we expect to do all that have nothing but my respect, and we certainly don't pay them anywhere near enough for what they do.

      Delete
  5. Followed your link under the General E pic.... was that a UN Panther? Or maybe a surrender Panther? Those were big, man.

    Hey Pogue, the Jug was like an airborne tank. I remember reading about one that flew into a stone house in England in foggy wx. Pilot got a knot on his head from the gunsite, climbed out into the second story of the house. "If you want to get the girl, fly a P-51, if you want to GO HOME TO THE GIRL, fly a P-47."

    Also the Russky IL-2 Sturmovik was called a flying tank. I think it was even made somewhat out of steel. 40 plus thousand produced....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, Panther was big.

      Concur on the Jug. Sturmovik was a rugged sumbitch.

      Delete
  6. Paper cuts!! Ugh!!!

    New museum! In eastern MA!! Very cool!! Bet I can get the cousins to go to check it out the next time I am in the area...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are the worst.

      I am breathlessly awaiting the opening of that one, I've never seen a T-34 up close.

      Delete
  7. I've been watching the development of Collins' American Heritage Museum through their semi-annual newsletter. Have been getting their stuff in the mail for a couple years, following the flight son and I took on their B-17, "Nine O Nine".

    Was disappointed they didn't participate in the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover in 2015; Maybe they will for the 2020 event.

    /
    L.J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was puzzled by their absence as well. I was there for '15, plan on being there for '20 as well. I'll let you know L.J.

      Delete
  8. I was the safety officer in the fleet Squadron long ago and so I was the one in charge of putting together those safety stand-downs. I don't know if they ever actually accomplished much, not really having any mishaps that I can remember, but we got CAG off our back and got that check in the block. We did have another Squadron in the Air Wing though that ejected their flag chief of staff. The pilot flew home in a convertible

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ejected the flag chief of staff? Betcha that pilot had a "great" FITREP!

      Delete
    2. It's probably out there on the interwebs, but in truth, the COS ejected himself. He was a SWO COS to the Pilot CSG Flag out for a ride in a VF-213 Tomcat. They went inverted and the COS hadn't tightened up his straps so he reached down to pull himself back to the seat, but he pulled the wrong handle.

      Delete
    3. That was my first suspicion on reading your comment. Negative G's are difficult to strap yourself in tight enough to keep you all the way in the seat. You've really got to crank on they. Which limits your ability to look around in other than negative g conditions. Easiest way to stay, or get back, in position is to push away from the top of the canopy. There's nothing good to grab below the waistline....in this case....in a fighter....just sayin'

      Delete
    4. Oh yeah, I have read that one!

      Silly SWOs, touching things they don't understand... (Kinda like snakes, only it's "pull black and yellow, kill a fellow.")

      Delete
    5. Juvat - I like it, push, don't pull!

      Delete
    6. In my little world all officers were safety officers and so were the Chiefs and the Petty Officers and even the unrated. I remember once hitting home base after a deployment and watching the crew go crazy trying to stow stuff and get home at 2300 on Treasure Island and I finally threw the flag and shouted "Stand Down!"
      At that point there were 2 guys fifteen feet in the air wrestling a 463L pallet off a forklift suspended over concrete and 4 guys standing underneath it. At the time I was on the Group Staff and the liaison with the mobile unit. The CO invited me to leave, now. I figured my work was done and so I left them to their mania. Oddly enough, if one isn't dunned on the watchbill as the SO, one isn't liable for what happens next.

      Delete
    7. And everyone survived????

      Amazing.

      Delete
    8. HMS- good point. While I was the Safety DH at the time (Ops was later), everybody is responsible for safety. Maybe that's why we never had any significant safety issues.

      Delete
  9. Well, you now qualify fo DV plates, report immediately to the nearest DMV office with your DD214, medical discharge paperwork, lunch, two good books minimum ( bring a Kindle), a spanish interpreter, a farsi interpreter, dinner, you favorite pillow, a blanket, Dopp kit.....

    While not quite as good as “turret blowed off” kill, a “blowed tracks off and flipped on its side” kill is almost as good. Good thing you were able to get Ike to pose with it for scale. Did he work for scale?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as The Nuke served aboard his carrier, he did it gratis.

      My grandfather served with Ike in Panama as well, so we always get the family discount.

      Delete
    2. One wonders what the other side of the tank looked like. Methinks it was in 'juvat preferred approved' condition.

      Delete
    3. Yes, one does wonder and I suspect you are right.

      Delete
  10. I first heard about the American Heritage museum in the article I linked to yesterday about Mr. Smoyer getting a ride is the Sherman in Boston. That museum was the source of the Sherman, so at least one of their exhibits runs! Wonder if any of the others do as well?
    Are you also familiar with the WWII museum in Framingham? Have seen a book about its collection but not been there yet. At one point it was semi private, and you needed to make an appointment to get into it. I'll be visiting a cousin in Boston later this year, plan to go to both museums (or is that musea?) will look forward to your report on the American Heritage museum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not know of the other museum, now I do. From what I can see it's open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays (which is when I would go anyway).

      Wow, I learn of two cool museums near me in two days. Man, I need to get out more!

      Thanks Tom!

      Delete
    2. R... e... t... i… r... e... m... e... n... t...

      Delete
    3. I just did that a month ago and highly recommend it! :-) now I'm resisting the urge to sign up for all the firearms courses I've been wanting to take since I do have a lengthy honey-do list to plow through. But I am going to take some, and I'll also finally make it to an NRA national meeting this year.

      Delete
  11. Oh goody! Another museum of wonderfulness that's only 4,000 miles / 12 hours of flight time away. Never mind. Srsly, I'd love to see it, but the odds of me being anywhere near the place are slim-to-none. Please go & take lots of pics for us. 'Kay? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ugh, this is what I get for keeping a clean house and disposing of mail quickly. From memory, vice their newsletter: They hold a "Battle For the Airport" re-enactment every year. German tanks and half tracks, 88mm A/A Gun, several U.S. tanks & armored cars, aircraft, and infantry re-enactors. Don't remember if it is a 1 or 2 day event. Nor the date, unfortunately.

    /
    L.J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friend of mine who was(is still?) a WWII reenactor told this bad joke...

      Q. What happens when Americans get their hands on German tanks?

      A. They actually run properly.

      Well, that's, of course, after the new owners spend way too much time and money rebuilding/replacing all the junk German stuff that doesn't work.

      Delete
    2. L.J. - Reenacting is a delightful (and very expensive) hobby. I will be on the lookout for that sort of thing.

      Delete
    3. Beans - I used to do that reenacting thing. Much fun, very expensive.

      As to tanks running properly, in the hands of a trained crew they run very well thank you.

      "Junk German stuff that doesn't work?" Hhmm. See above.

      Delete
    4. Germany had a lot of production/quality issues late war from their labor camps. Note to self: When becoming dictator don't put forced labor into your critical industries.

      Delete
    5. Panzer III and Panzer IV were quite reliable, even in extremes of Russia and Africa.
      Panther was overengineered, and took some time to have bugs ironed out, but when it finally did it was terrifyingly effective precursor to MBT
      Tigers were enormously costly and complicated, but the terror they created was worth it. Probably more were lost due to fuel out and breakdowns than to combat...

      Delete
  13. Did the Wcorpsman give you a lollipop?

    Yeesh, you'd think the world was centered around your boo-boo finger... Whiny yankee… WWPS? (What would Patton say?)

    Did you let the cats sniff the papercut? I always found that cats sniffing or dogs licking tends to speed the healing process. Of course, well, there has to be a reason why cats sniff cuts and dogs lick them, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't me that suffered the paper cut.

      It was for illustrative purposes.

      Or something...

      Delete
  14. And what did TMH say about your overall negative waves? Or did you readjust yourself before getting home?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh, negative ways...

      It was a ploy, an artistic device to generate a post, I was actually feeling quite fine thank you.

      I forget, we have many "literalists" in these parts.

      Even though I caution y'all to take things with a grain of salt. (In some cases you'll need a bag o' the stuff.)

      Delete
  15. And, really? 2 tank museums, air museums within reach, ships, all sorts of historical stuff and you... you... Aaaaaghhhhh!!!!

    Here I have the opportunity to drive 2 hours and plunk out $200.00 or so for the Beans to go see fish and dolphins, or to go to Rat World, or some other 'adventure park.' Gah, I'd love to see a decent military museum within driving distance. (Even the Cape, not your cape, our Cape, isn't as good now as it used to be. Too much lost promises, too painful.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time and money wait for no man.

      I really don't get out much at all, slaving away every day here at CdDGHQ, writing posts for the edification, entertainment, and education what's in it.

      Hhmm, sounds almost like whining, so yeah, belay my last...

      Delete
    2. Good, else you'd have to change the header to "Chant du Depart avec Fromage."

      Delete
    3. Beans- You ain't looking hard enough.

      The absolutely FINEST and BEST private military arms collection in the U.S. and likely the world is in Titusville, FL.
      The Institute of Military Technology- https://www.instmiltech.com/

      Access is by invitation only, but you can request to be added to a group via their "contact" page. Well worth the effort, and I hope to go back again some day.
      Only a dozen or two tanks, lots of artillery, more than a dozen different Gatling guns, and U.S. and foreign small arms that are unbelievable in rarity and condition. The owner, Reed Knight is head of Knight Armament Company so this is both his professional life and private passion. He has a staff of expert curators. (Also, one guy whose job is to wipe down all the guns- takes about a month to do them all, then go back and start over again. He even gets paid to do it!)

      Here is a link to one item on their website, but you really need to poke around all the links on the site to grasp the awesomeness:
      https://www.instmiltech.com/halls/

      And a magazine article on the place:
      http://www.sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=370
      John Blackshoe

      Delete
    4. Beans - I like cheese.

      Oh, wait...

      Delete
    5. John - You're definitely our museum go to guy. Thanks!

      Delete
    6. Beans - don't you have a nice little seasonal flight museum near Orlando (Kevin Weeks Fantasy of Flight)? and the Sun n Fun fly-in every year has some nice aircraft there usually, first week of April - that might be a better place to end up in after driving two hours ...

      Delete
    7. Me being located in Gainesville, FL means anything nice is 2+ hours away. Titusville, 2 hours away. The Cape, 2+ hours away. Weeks Fantasy of Flight, 2 hours away. Tampa and it's museums, 2 hours away. Is there anything nice in Jacksonville that's not the navy base? Pensacola et al 3 x 2 hours away.

      I live in Gainesville. A socialistic hellhole of no culture and no fun. Didn't used to be, but is now. Seriously. We just went Plastic Shopping Bag Free because, as one of our city councilwomen clearly stated, "Our plastic bags are choking the ocean." Wait, the plastic bags from our landfill, that's 160ft above sea level? Damn, that's some serious surf to wash our plastic bags from our landfill (and everywhere I go I run this verbal litany of stupid-dom to any and all whether they want to hear it or not. Don't get me started on 'renewable energy...')

      I am limited to time away from Casa due to wifely inability to sit up for long periods of time. Anything resulting in 2 hours and then seeing whatever it is will result in a hotel stay for recovery before we come back. So, 2 hour trip plus hang time means forward basing, and that isn't in the budget very often.

      Delete
    8. Oh dear, the Great Plastic Bag Ban to save the planet. Little Rhody's socialist overlords instituted that at the beginning of the year. On base, which is Federal turf, we can still get them.

      My solution is to teach the idiots in the masses not to throw the trash out of the car windows, and to not put uncovered trash bins out on really windy days, which we get a lot of.

      Shite's in the ocean because the dumbasses don't know how to handle their trash.

      Grrr. The Stupid, It Burns!

      Delete
    9. Shite's in the ocean because turd world countries don't give a rat's ass.

      It ain't first worlders doing the most polluting.

      Delete
    10. Yup, but it's all OUR fault.

      A-holes.

      Delete
    11. Battleship Cove is right there! With a Battleship! and a FRAM destroyer and a submarine last time I looked. It was interesting to see the damage wreaked on a BB by the French BB Jean Bart when the frogs shot at us during WWII. They really are the dismalist creatures ever and that's before they were overrun by islam.

      Delete
  16. No no, you're doing it all wrong! For your names of the hephalumps you need to go to the Master and read Keith Laumer and his Ambassador Pouncetrifle etc. He knew how to name the herd of marvelous beasts that never do well outside the champagne brunch circuit.
    Just sayin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall endeavor to do that the next time The Chant has a Safety Stand-Down.

      But yes, you're quite right.

      :)

      Delete
  17. A bit off today's topic perhaps, but I figured folks here would like to know--

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6732779/Pensioner-sees-dream-come-true-flypast-marks-1944-bomber-crash.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's not that I don't like tanks, Sarge, I just don't know all that much about them, hence I read the post, pondered on it, and didn't comment.

    The only one I know anything about was the M551 Sheridan, and that's because one of my Iowa buddies was on an M551 crew during 'Nam.

    And he hated it.

    Said he envied the guys in the M60's because "it had a real gun".

    So not much of a tanker or artillery guy here. I appreciate them, understand what they do, and why, but just never 'got into' them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The M551 Sheridan. For those who don't know, it was intended as an air drop-able recon vehicle. The hull was aluminum, the turret was steel.

      While I was stationed in (the former) West Germany, one of our customer CAV units took delivery of a replacement Sheridan, and took it to the field in winter. The story was that the crew failed to remove all the shipment packing from nooks and crannies. This resulted in blockage of the crew heating ducts. The resulting build up of heat caught the packing on fire, which then set off the caseless ammo. I don't recall if there were any fatalities, but a few of the crew were badly burned.

      I got to look at what was left after it was delivered to one of our sister maintenance companies. Word was they recovered the main gun tube 150 yards down range. I believe it. What was recovered was a pile of the biggest pieces. The aluminum hull literally looked like a cardboard box someone had ripped into large pieces. The road wheels were stacked in piles.

      Delete
    2. I remember the Sheridan, I seem to recall that it was a bit of a disaster. The infantry liked them due to the direct fire support they could provide with that 152 mm gun. The ammunition was a disaster as well. I read up a bit on them, the ammo caused a number of losses as the propellant tended to separate from the round if not handled carefully, crews were advised not to use those rounds, which tended to get dumped on the floor. Slightest spark would set those off causing catastrophic destruction of the vehicle.

      82nd Airborne held onto theirs until 1996. Most had been withdrawn from service around 1978.

      Not a great design.

      Delete
    3. drjim - What your friend told you was echoed by a lot of Sheridan crewmen.

      Delete
    4. Not withstanding the cluster-truck that the Sheridan was, there was and is a need for an infantry support gunned vehicle. Heck, it's what the Sherman was designed for (not designed for fighting other tanks. was designed to serve as armored gun platform to get into face of infantry and shoot them up.)

      So, well, the infantry loved having Sheridans for the big gun. Same with the Ontos, the lightly armored vehicle with the 6 x 106mm recoilless rifles mounted on the outside. Tankers hated both for their fragility. But the troops loved the firepower available to them.

      There is a cost to lightweight. And I'd put a Sheridan up against an LCS any day...

      Delete
    5. Okay, no fair comparing a badly thought out but still combat-capable vehicle to a floating disaster.

      LCS, the gift the keeps on giving...

      Delete
    6. I freely admit I am not an engineer, that was Dad, but dropping an aluminum ANYTHING out of an airplane/helichopper, when it has a denser steel topping on it just sounds like a really bad idea. I would think you would get a LOT of dents/dings/compressed stuff on landing. I hear that Ford has had all sorts of issues with the aluminum pickup truck beds and dropping stuff into them with leaving "impressions".

      But, I am a just a nurse...what do I know...

      Besides washing your paper cut fingers very well daily to prevent infections...think doing dishes by hand for a few days. Nice warm soapy water. Works every time.

      Delete
    7. You may not be an engineer Suz, but you have copious amounts of common sense.

      Not all engineers can make that claim.

      Delete
    8. In defense of the aluminum hull, for the same amount of penetration protection from steel, the aluminum has to be thicker (duh, Beans) which means that the thicker walls are actually structurally stronger. So steel turret (where you need the room no matter what the cost) on top of an aluminum hull.


      The US M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) was an aluminum hulled machine. The walls were thick enough to stop heavy machine gun fire which means the huge slabs of aluminum were self-supporting. Actually a rather strong machine overall. A comparable British version went with steel armor, which meant that the equivalent steel was much thinner than the aluminum of the M113, which meant that the steel had to be supported by internal bracing, which increased the weight over a comparably protective aluminum hull.

      Later versions of the M113 had applique armor of either aluminum, ceramic, steel, ultra-high molecular weight plastic (UHMW) or a combo sandwich of multiple materials, protecting up to 30mm Armor Piercing ammo. The weight went up, but the original semi-anemic 205 hp gas engine to a later 275hp diesel and then a whopping 400hp diesel in the M113A4 variant. All basic aluminum hulls and very easily upgraded with sandbags, applique armor and such.

      Sure, the M2/M3 Bradleys are the new hotness, but the last variants of the M113 series were as good as them. Just the frames and shells started getting tired. And Congress decided to screw any chance of refurbishing and rebuilding to M113A4 stretched frames.

      I could go on, but I think I can hear OldAFSarge snoring in the back...

      So, yeah, sounds weird to put steel on top of aluminum, but it actually makes sense and works okay. Just... well... in the M551 Sheridan, it really was, at the time, a combination of technological leaps just a little too far. It worked, worked pretty well in fact, until it caught on fire and then the caseless (meaning no metal cartridge like in a pistol or conventional tank gun) propellants for the 152mm round would catch on fire and Mr. Sheridan would go 'Boooooom' and 'FZZZZZZZZZZZZZSSSSSSSRRRRRRRRRSHHHHHHHHH' (think world's largest flamethrower being used in a fireworks factory.)

      Thus... Sheridan. An aluminum bodied tank with a seriously UFO- flying saucer looking steel turret armed with a gun that shoots either a 152mm High Explosive round or a wire-guided missile, out of the same gun tube. Because reconnaissance tanks should be able to destroy main battle tanks, right?

      The Bradley was smart enough to be equipped with a 25mm autocannon (big machine gun) and exterior mounted wire-guided missiles.

      Delete
    9. Sherridan was effort to cram MBT firepower on light air-deployed tankthat was supposed to alsow be able to swim...
      Nattlecruisers of Jutland, anyone?
      Anyway, if you are looking for interesting vehicle, swedish STRV-103 made a very specialised, yet succesful attempt for purely defensive vehicle suited for Swedish landscape.
      It used Stug-like hull monted cannon, L7 being proven T-55 killer. It could swim after preparation, perfect for Swedish 1000 lakes landscape. It could drive backwards as fast as forwards, enabling rapid retreat from ambush site to next one. It had very low silhouette, helping with camouflaging the mabush in the woodlands, and finally it had ultra-sloped armor that made for very effective defence despite relatively thin nminal value.

      Delete
    10. The aiming system was actually the hydraulics for the tracks. Gun was fixed in place. To aim, the gunner took over control of the tank and actually moved the whole thing. Definitely designed for sniping while not moving. And as Pawel said, purely defensive.

      The requirements for a MBT gun on a light, air-deployable, swimmable, fast, Nuke and Biologically contained, super armor that can carry stuff long range and be cheap at twice the price are the parameters that have defeated every attempt to get a new tank or personnel carrier/infantry fighting vehicle since the Bradley.

      The 8 wheeled Strykers were supposed to be interim vehicles to hold us over till we got our stuff together and made the next new hotness. Now going on their 17th year of interim status...

      Delete
    11. Beans - As I recall from the Falklands, there was a British ship (with a lot of aluminum in the superstructure) hit by an Exocet which essentially burned down to the waterline. I seem to recall (from somewhere) that aluminum burns much more readily than steel. Aluminum "armor" makes me nervous. Seems that the Abrams approach to armor makes more sense (layers, ceramics, steel, fabric, what-have-you).

      One problem with the M-113 was its flat sides and its rather high profile. A nice flat face for a penetrator to work on. The Bradley is a far better vehicle.

      Delete
    12. Paweł - Love that Swedish tank. We called it the S-Tank back in the day, I even had a model of it. Well-designed for Swedish needs.

      Delete
    13. Andrew: "The walls were thick enough to stop heavy machine gun fire..." Have you ever actually been inside an M-113? I used to own a M-577 ( which is an M-113 with the top cut off and another 18" of side and the top welded onto it ) ( yes, the Army actually owned it, but as I had signed for it, I owned it until I returned it ). The idea that the " armor " would stop a heavy machine gun round is, to me, ludicrous. Ok, maybe at 2000 yards range. As you usually know about that about which you write, your statement surprised me. Perhaps you can provide a link to some information which gives credence to you assertion.

      Paul

      Delete
    14. I too would be interested in that reference.

      Ma Deuce will go through a lot of stuff!

      Delete
    15. Sarge - you are referring to the HMS Sheffield, which was made of an aluminium-magnesium alloy that was found, after the disaster, to be highly combustable. Oops. The crew was singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" as they abandoned ship.

      Paul LQ - supposedly the armor was supposed to stop medium machine gun fire and rifle fire, so supposed to stop the 7.62x54R round. It was hoped to stop the 12.7mm... Applique armor during Vietnam included steel plates, sandbags and such and made them actually able to stop 12.7mm and 14.5mm and making them more resistant to RPGs.

      I have seen someone firing at a dead M113, used for targets, with a .30-06 firing non-AP ammo and the armor stopped it. Dented the snot out of it but stopped it. Now, put 10 rounds in a small circle and you'd have definite penetration. Against the 7.62x39 of the AK/SKS? No penetration at all. Spalling? Maybe, but proof against AK fire at least.

      Ma Deuce was based on an anti-tank round, and was designated as a light-skinned target killer. Come to think of it, it still is designated as a light-skinned target killer....

      Delete
    16. Spalling, the thing Hollywood always seems to ignore.

      Not your friend.

      Aluminum (I noted the Brit spelling) magnesium alloy? Those Brits have a lot of flare...

      Delete
  19. Back when the old man was doing the Lance Missile project at Redstone he had a peer who was electrocuted in a Sheridan. His family lived down the street from us. I hated the accidental loss of life. Every single one was a failure by somebody and usually, not the ones that got killed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate those types of incidents, usually it's a chain of errors, any one of which, if caught in time, could have prevented the loss of life.

      Delete
    2. And one hopes, much like the Apollo 1 catastrophe, that people learned from the death and improved procedures and equipment.

      Delete
  20. More memories. Another weapon I was trained on in small arms repair school was the M139 20mm cannon on this M114A2--

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M114_armored_fighting_vehicle#/media/File:M114A2_Command_and_Reconnaissance_Carrier.jpg

    Still have my notes. The fire control has 5 modes:

    1. Single shot
    2. Five round burst @ 200 rpm
    3. Five round burst @ full cycle (1000 rpm)
    4. Continuous fire @ 200 rpm
    5. Continuous fire @ full cycle (1000 rpm)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sure wish I'd heard of this safety stand-down earlier. I suffered the Mother of all Paper Cuts yesterday morning -- 24 mm long right along the side of my left thumb. The whining and cursing has been great as it gets banged on everything. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we're here for you man...

      Ouch, and ouch again!

      Delete
    2. My wife wants to know why I can't keep the kitchen knives as sharp as I keep my paper. I want to know why she doesn't dull my paper as fast she dulls the knives. We're at an impasse here.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)