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Napalm vs HE Best vs Infantry?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by bronk7, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    You have to be very careful about how you use napalm, especially in close proximity to friendly troops or positions. There are some well-known cases in WWII of troops being killed by HE bombs dropped by their own air forces, the 8th AF mis-bombing of US 1st Army in COBRA probably being the most famous. Yet napalm is volatile, as HE is not. I haven't seen any comparative studies and I don't know what current air force guidelines say, but I recently re-read Roy Appleman's fine book about the destruction of the 31st RCT in Korea and it has a harrowing account of what errant napalm did to the 31st's vanguard when it was attempting to break out of the Chinese encirclement.
     
  2. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Just tell your hippy mates how Richard III bought it.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The point is that if you get big enough I strongly suspect you will find that HE weapons have a larger leathal radius. Now the question is at what point does that occur? Is it at 50 kg, or 100, kg, 1000kg, or 10,000kg, or somewhere in between or off either end.

    Lookiing up some material the M-60 bomblet was used as part of a cluster bomb and was a combination white phosperous and napalm device that threw burng clumps of napalm for up to 100ft from the impact point. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-69_incendiary
    but it doesn't really look like it was designed for use against troops.
    There's some relevant info at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napalm
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/napalm-war.htm
    http://worldwar2headquarters.com/HTML/museums/palm-springs/incendiary-bomb-m47.html
    The latter indicates that the MK-47 Napalm bomb was a 100lber. That suggest that there may have been a point of diminshing returns somewhere under 250lbs.
     
  4. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    As well as civilians too. Napalm has the tendency to stick to things with no practical way of it being removed and it can generate heat from 800 to 1200 degrees.

    Did they use napalm with incendiary/fire bombs? Or was napalm a component of firebombs? Because I think in the 1944-1945 bombings of Japanese cities, napalm was used, and the casualties from those bombings resulted in at least 330,000 deaths.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    doesn't a lot of the HE go upward and out?? whereas the napalm covers more area? especially as Price pointed out, with the oxygen sucked out?
    harolds, anyone, please input any information and opinions on napalm vs arty,etc....I enjoy all views....
    Kody and von, I agree...remember the Dancing with the Stars J Martinez?? he was burned badly without napalm, no? if you have the best, effective weapon, and don't let your military use it, it's like murdering them yourself....
    Terry D,yes that's why I asked about danger close.....if both on target, I would think HE better for danger close....
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Each has it's place and like any other weapon/weapons system it depends on the specific tactical situation. Enemy moving in the open, nothing better than a 155 arty round airburst. Enemy in a house, a tank main gun round. Human wave attack flechette/beehive rounds and interlocking machine gun fire. And the more specific you get with describing the actual tactical situation, even these generalizations may not present the best option. Your question is too general. If there was only one best answer we'd only produce the one weapon.
     
    Martin Bull and CAC like this.
  7. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Well that killed the conversation...that should have been the first answer. The right answer and well given.
     
  8. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Also have read where a 155 round was the minimum that would kill tanks without a direct hit.
    Not sure if it is the concussion or the consumption/displacement of air. Maybe both.
    Recall reading, after a HE airstrike, a family was found at the dinner table with no visible injuries.
     
  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    NOOOOO! Please don't let my comment kill the entire conversation. There were a lot of interesting comments posted and points brought up. I was enjoying it, just posted my view on it.
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    as Poppy states, sometimes it is not that easy to affect, much less, kill troops with HE...look at the pounding the USMC took at the Canal, Japanese at Iwo, US at Corregidor, etc etc and they still fought on....Price, if the enemy is in the basement, a main tank round won't be too effective, as much as a flame tank would,no?...what type of house?? the HE will be effected by wood, masonry, brick,steel I beams, etc etc etc differently?....steel I beams will protect from HE...the Tank HE round will be affected by how many walls and rooms there are, no? where as a napalm fire will burn them out, no? is it a thatch house, or a large chateau?, which both would be effected much differently ..wouldn't a flame tank be better on the thatch? ...what about airburst in hilly country, or the troops are spread out 15 meters, will arty be as effective as napalm??...
    what size tank round is being fired, 37mm or 90mm??..is the 37 mm fired into wood, and 90mm fired into brick?..what about airburst in hilly jungle?? the article above says they used napalm effectively on reverse slopes.....if's very hard to hit troops on very mountainous reverse slopes with arty , very hard..whereas air can come in from that side....seems like airpower would be more damaging, with 100 bombers with napalm if arty is not available......, or, are heavy bombers, or A20s being used?? is the arty 75mm or 240mm..how many guns are available?
    what if everyone makes threads like, ''what's more effective-- 50kg bomb HE v napalm, where there are 3.5 troops in a brick building, with no glass, with unfinished basement, a table and 3 chairs with 1 broken leg, ...steel I-beams, copper pipes, water is available to put out fires, etc etc...or, what is more effective on a thatch house, HE or napalm? is that a 50kg HE bomb or 2000lb? is it 155mm HE, or B26s dropping napalm? is the B26 more accurate than a F4U?
    that's how it operates, correct? I specify house, someone says 'what type of house?'', I specify brick, someone says 'how many rooms?''...I specify 4, someone says ''is there a basement?'', I say tank HE, someone says'' what size??''...etc etc..then someone else goes on a relative tangent about how the different tank guns handled HE differently, etc
    no malice intended....thanks for all replies
     
  11. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    That's why you have to be specific....

    FDC's are the ones who get paid the big money to determine what kind of round you get when you call for a fire mission i.e.: troops in the open, tanks in the open, tanks in line, concrete bunker, concrete building, tunnels, troops in trees dug in etc...

    The FDC knows exactly what is around and whether it's a job for Napalm or HEDP or Willie Pete. Each one of those munitions has a different casualty radius / delivery system which correlates with what is considered "Danger Close".

    I guess the moral of the story is to remove as much ambiguity from the question before you ask it or you will get nit picked, to death, on the minutia.
     
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ok what's more effective--napalm v 500 ib HE bomb on tunnels on Iwo Jima...well, does the bomb have delay or instantaneous fuse? does the tunnel have exits, and if so how many? what does effective mean--destroy the tunnel or kill enemies? or allow an assault with minimum casualties?? we all know it's hard for a direct hit on a tunnel or bunker entrance with an airstrike, so what is realistic comes into the equation??
    I've seen some great posts with much information in concise paragraphs...how about, napalm isn't that effective in triple canopy or heavy jungle....the flat atolls were ideal for napalm, etc, but in the ET, HE was more effective because this and that, etc...or even, direct tank fire or a flamethrower is more effective on a bunker than napalm....or napalm's total effect is better than HE on dug in troops...
    do we just want to discuss napalm's effectiveness on thatch huts in the PT or tunnels on Iwo?
    napalm was used in 3 wars!.... do we want and can we limit the discussion to flat atolls? we could do 3 threads on each war, and separate the PT and ET....that would be 5 threads minimum......but, I thought I just saw a post by admin, to use existing threads for discussion...??..I'm disappointed in some posts here....
    by the way, PT, ET, HE, --- these remind me of the movie Good Morning Vietnam, no??
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Which brings us back to this:

    I didn't say this to annoy, ridicule or malign you; it was offered as a means for you to edit your original post (OP) to be more specific and flesh out what your actual question is.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    You just proved the point I was making.....

    That's why I said....

    Read through the list you posted. Is there anyone weapon, caliber, weight, type of explosive, chemical, etc. that is optimal for all? Nope.
     
  15. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ok, I'm going to eat some chili cheese wheat thins, some girl scout cookies, samoas, and watch the end of Von Ryan's Express.....when I get back I want some of those great posts I know you are capable of.....now, get let's get hopping!
    I remember the most cost effective weapon thread...I think most of you are anti-flamers, also known as anti-flamites...
    fire has been used as a weapon for many ages, and I think that makes it an interesting topic....might be nice to have a thread on that....
     
  16. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/28/32_cm_Nebelwerfer_41

    The "could" being very conditional. Depending on weather, absorption of terrain and even slope. Making it a very hard weapon to predict.



    Flame weapons have always been weapons of terror as much as killing. With the invention of tv and movies the public outcry has increased prompting the US Decision to limit or cease using them.

     
  17. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Maybe you could hold your self to those same expectations?
     
  18. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Actually, the first use of something like napalm, that I've read of, was in the Spanish Civil War.* The Condor Legion used drop tanks filled with some sort of flammable mixture according to Galland. Then it was mostly a terror weapon that often panicked the other side. I've read somewhere that we Americans used it tactically towards the end of WW2. The caveat to the pilot always was, "Don't bail out anywhere near where you've dropped those things.!" I've always thought that napalm was a good ordinance to take out defensive emplacements that were strong and well camouflaged. However, I agree that they shouldn't be used where civilians are present.

    *Other than "greek fire" and other such devices in the ancient world.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    One of the links I listed in my previous post indicates that it was used in some US fire bombs. Check them for details. It was used both in the Pacific and in the European thaters.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napalm
    and: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/napalm-war.htm
    Note that the latter source indicates that about 1/3 of the bomb weight dropped on Dresden was incinidary and 2/3 HE. The main implication I would take from this is that they considered a mix to be more effective than just one or the other.
     
  20. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    according to some on this forum, I'm not that creative or smart....so I can't be expected to do too well, no?? I provided a link, plus...do I have to do everything? :eek:..... I think I did well on my expertise-the mortar
    ok, Pac kind of beat me to it.. I kind of meant what he stated, when I mentioned the ''total'' affect of the flamer....and Price also good one about the oxygen effected by the flamer... I will add, to these 2, that it doesn't get that much attention because it was not a primary weapon, which must've been part of the reason it was terrifying, along with the different sound it made... we had the story someone posted about a flamer, who said he was lucky he had fuel left when the Japanese rushed him, or else he would've been dead....I'd say that was more effective than an M1....my dad fired one, and I had a pic of someone in his unit firing one...I will not stop looking for it
    that was not my original topic--personal weapons vs flamer,--
    but I would more than enjoy hearing stuff like that...thanks for all replies in whatever I post...and you know I appreciate any and all replies, because you are my only virtual friends, ''some'' more than others
    pics are from my dad's 1948 Marine Guidebook...gives brief specs..check #5 on right pic..it talks about the Japanese..also says it can shoot around corners!..hey Jug, I found my 214 while looking for pics
     

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