Interesting Weapon Applications

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The Sticky Grenade

The British built 2.5 million “Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74“, commonly known as the S.T. grenade or sticky bomb.

The concept is simple, the grenade itself was encased in a very sticky substance, which was then encased in a metal shell. when the pin was pulled, the shell would fall apart. the idea was for a soldier to sneak upon a tank (think WW2) pull the pin, slap it on the tank, then you have 5 seconds to  get away from a grenade.

The concept is — interesting. In testing, the British never used them on test tanks or armored vehicles that were dusty or muddy. If they were, the grenade didn’t stick.

Think of tape, it will stick and hold to a nice, clean table, but once you sprinkle sand on it, it will just grab the sand, and become useless. Same thing here.

The grenades, did stick to soldiers uniforms. A story is told of someone using one of these things, and the adhesive got stuck to his leg, and he couldn’t get it off, so a quick thinking friend whipped off the trousers, throwing both the trousers and the grenade away. I doubt that happened. In combat, you keep your trousers cinched tight – with good reason. Ripping them off and tossing them with the grenade ticking, and disposing of them before it detonated — quite a trick — while under fire.


Not Sci-Fi

The Soviet Union modified a machine gun (technically, a cannon) originally designed for its TU-22 bomber and installed it in its Almaz spy station. The Almaz was a reconnaissance station launched under the paper-thin guise of a peaceful space station project.  Almaz continued to fly throughout the Salyut era, and on Jan 24, 1974, the R-23M Kartech space gun was successfully test fired.

The gun was presumably intended for defense. The 23mm cannon could have obliterated anything ever launched into space, (including the US shuttles) with ease.

They didn’t kill themselves, breach the station, or cause it to unexpectedly de-orbit. Thus the weapon successfully test fired.

They had to rotate the entire 20-ton station to take aim.


Girl’s Best Friend

I had an interesting conversation with an idiot during the Easter holiday, who discussed the capture of diamond smugglers through the use of X-rays. He talked of how Homeland Security demonstrated their techniques in training. Diamonds are radiolucent; their silhouettes will not be detected on an X-ray. But since they didn’t use actual diamonds in testing, SUCCESS! You can’t fix stupid. I don’t know why such people are invited to my son-in-law’s BBQ’s.

19 thoughts on “Interesting Weapon Applications

  1. AT Sticky Bomb. Nuff said. Folgore paratroopers in El Alamein used standard AT mines minus sticky enhancements for the same purpose. It worked, but the butcher’s bill was high.

    Aìming a cannon in deep space by expending scarce maneuvering fuel to rotate a full space station due to lack of traversing and elevation gear on the gun. And this from a nation that reveres artillery, but cannot grok aircraft defensive turrets.

    I’m not going to comment on how to conduct radiological experiments.

    Multiple Facepalms. No, you cannot fix stupid.

    1. Getting the sticky bomb stuck to you would not be good. There is always that awkward soldier…and the bomb would eliminate that person early in the conflict.

        1. The sticky bomb MIGHT have worked on a halftrack, but Pzkw MKIII and beyond, likely not. Despite popular pulp novels, running up to an armored vehicle and taking it out with a mine or a sticky bomb or jumping on it, lifting the hatch and dropping a hand grenade inside almost always failed for a number of reasons.
          (1) Armor was almost always accompanied by infantry in terrain that would allow that sort of attack.
          (2) Armor rarely operated alone, which meant there were other AFV’s to keep the fleas off their back.
          (3) If you could blow off a road wheel and de-track the AFV, you turned it into a pillbox. It still had teeth. If it was alone and disabled and the infantry was suicidal, and had weapons to accomplish the task, the tank would eventually run out of ammo or succumb in another way – but at great cost.

      1. They only tested it and it didn’t crash the space station. They may have had thrusters in action to counteract it. I don’t have those details.

  2. Well, Homeland Security (in the best of hands, BTW) will catch smugglers of FAKE diamonds, so there’s that. That said, diamond smuggling is passe. It used to be a good way for virtuous oppressed persons to transport wealth compactly under the noses of their wicked oppressors. But now there are many alternate means to conceal and transfer wealth. A spot of diamond smuggling would be a nostalgic ritual, sort of like poaching deer with an atl-atl (not that that can’t be effective) rather than popping into the local King Soopers for some nice shrink-wrapped steaks. Oh, and we could use another bag of briquets, and maybe get some of those little apple strudel things if they’re fresh.

    Less facetiously, x-rays are indeed used to detect diamonds in the industrial setting, but that involves dual-energy X-ray imaging, which is probably not routinely available to Secretary Mayorkas’ stawart crew.

    … now I want some of those little strudel things. Grrr.

        1. Perhaps. It was a neighbor.

          Typically, when my kids were growing up, I invited neighbors to keep from people complaining about noise. That was especially true of pool parties. My daughter has a community pool, not a backyard pool – but the practice is the practice.

  3. The Brits always had to do things differently.

    The Soviets and the Krauts? Magnetic mines.

    The US? Field expedient sticky mines like in “Saving Private Ryan” made with track grease.

    But the Brits? Let’s use tape!

    Like everyone else had rocket propelled anti-tank weapons, but the Brits had to go use a spring-powered bomb launcher that if you tilted it down, the bomb would fall off. And the bomb needed the spring firing mechanism to arm it. So you just couldn’t drop the bombs from a 2nd or 3rd story window (or a tree) because that would make too much sense.

    Tried to convince some jackalope that the Soviets were not our friends, and brought up the space gun. He didn’t believe it but he did believe we had gatling guns in space (like in the movie “Armaggedon.”) I ended up dropping even saying basic pleasantries to him as it was a waste of breathable air.

    As to X-rays finding diamonds, or glass, or many other things, well, no. No they won’t. Unless you’re using an X-ray device that is exceptionally unsafe for human consumption, if you know what I mean. But what do you expect from a government agency?

    1. On the bright side, PIAT had a decent warhead, when it all worked.

      Plus, no backblast.


      1. I wouldn’t want to “try” to take a tank out with a PIAT or a bazooka. With a PIAT, you had to be close. Same with a bazooka, and often you just attracted attention to yourself when it didn’t destroy the tank as planned.

        1. All things being equal, it is always best to be far from enemy tanks.

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