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Posted on Aug 7, 2008 in Armchair Reading

September 2008 Mailbag

Editorial Staff

f. The photo caption on the Line Charge photo page 71 indicates "the charge sets off all mines in an 8-meter lane." This is not correct. The Mark 154 and 155 Line Charges are about 70% effective against simple, single-impulse fused mines and mines that may be "blown out of the lane." It is not effective against 2d and 3d generation fused mines – surface or buried, except for mines the charge, (again), "blows out of the lane."

g. The photo caption of the M60 Tank, with M1 Track Width Mine Plow (TWMP) and Anti Magnetic Mine Actuating Device System (AMMADS) – (round thing between the mine plows) on page 71, indicates "…reactive armor and mine – clearing rollers." Actually, no rollers are shown. Track Width Mine Rollers are used to "detect" mines along dirt roads and are effective principally against single impulse-actuated mines. Mine Rollers were available, but not used during ODS.


h. Tanks with bulldozer blades (or bulldozers and Combat Excavators) are not used to widen lanes. This is because of the ease with which such actions would set off mines under the blade or otherwise setting off one of several sophisticated fusing devices…

i. When a tank becomes a mobility kill, the rest of the breaching forces usually executes "By Pass-Breaches" around the disabled tank or AAV, to maintain the momentum of the attack, and possibly help maintain the element of surprise…if no line charges are detonated. Complex Obstacles are normally covered by pre-registered indirect fire. Delay in the breach means registered fire is more likely – and a likely failed breaching effort. Additionally, would be a serious waste of time to do anything but leave the disabled tank/other tracked vehicle or even a wheeled vehicle in place and "breach" around it – during the Assault Breach.

j. Many different anti-tank mines would "kill" an M60 tank if detonated under the hull. There were at least several such species used by the Iraqis.

k. On page 73 it is mentioned…."to clear paths through those minefields". Actually, it’s "breaching lanes" through the minefields. Paths are breached for personnel, not tracked or wheeled vehicles. Clearance is for follow-on forces

l. Confronted by multiple minefields and accompanying anti tank ditches, the assault, breaching and support forces should have tanks w/TWMPs and AMMADS and Trailer Launched Line Charges (towed by the M60A1 Tanks), as well as be accompanied by AAV’s with the Mk 154 triple-shot Line Charge system, and the Combat Excavator.

Again, enjoy your magazine. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in Combat Decision Game #25.

J. A. Marapoti
Colonel, USMC, Retired

ACG thanks Colonel Marapoti for his outstanding and detailed comments clarifying minefield breaching operations. It’s like giving our readers a class on such operations. And we congratulate him on his selection as an Honorable Mention for this CDG!

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1 Comment

  1. i mean i know i’ve been away from there for 3 years and uhm i lived there for 10 years so it’s pretty hard


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