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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Modern Wars & Warfare > Military Medicine

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Military Medicine Discuss aspects of this specialist field not covered in other forums.

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  #16  
Old 06 Jan 10, 03:06
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Killing another human being is inhumane, is it not? So we should ban war? C'mon, war is hell, and that is why the only people who are for it are those lilly livered ups who have never experienced it. Willy Peter is no worse than all of the above mentioned weapons, but perhaps slightly less so than a Nuke. Are they banned? If you do not want people being harmed, lets all live in an imaginary society where evil is not around and the world is perfect. I believe that society is found at the end of a hypodermic or cigarette filled with some potent chemicals.

the only reason Mustard gas is not used today is because it is ineffective and can be as dangerous to the releaser as the intended victim. same goes with other biological agents. War is about maiming, injuring and killing your opponent, using whatever means available and effective. Geneva Conventions are a paradox. Unleash the dogs of war and expect bloodshed in all its fury, horror and might.
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  #17  
Old 07 Dec 12, 16:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer86g View Post
Wow,that's nasty.And it's from Al Jazeera,so it's got to be true.
I'll take their reporting over your FOX. Have you ever listened to one of their news reports? Silly question. I know the answer.
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  #18  
Old 07 Dec 12, 18:23
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Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
I'll take their reporting over your FOX. Have you ever listened to one of their news reports? Silly question. I know the answer.
Did you look at the pic? Did you see evidence of cauterizing? One wound was still bloody. Willy Pete should've cauterized it.
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  #19  
Old 07 Dec 12, 21:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeenMutha View Post
Killing another human being is inhumane, is it not? So we should ban war? C'mon, war is hell, and that is why the only people who are for it are those lilly livered ups who have never experienced it. Willy Peter is no worse than all of the above mentioned weapons, but perhaps slightly less so than a Nuke. Are they banned? If you do not want people being harmed, lets all live in an imaginary society where evil is not around and the world is perfect. I believe that society is found at the end of a hypodermic or cigarette filled with some potent chemicals.

the only reason Mustard gas is not used today is because it is ineffective and can be as dangerous to the releaser as the intended victim. same goes with other biological agents. War is about maiming, injuring and killing your opponent, using whatever means available and effective. Geneva Conventions are a paradox. Unleash the dogs of war and expect bloodshed in all its fury, horror and might.
OK MM,now to start with don't give me that American moovie crap about "War is Hell" or the patter about not experienced war,phosphorous bombs were used in WW2 and they were terrible things,I know full, well that people die in many terrible ways in war but there were easier ways to go than being splashed with phosphorus and if you have got any intelligence you know damned well that is so. If ever there was an instrument of war that should be banned it is that!! lcm1 Just read that mail of yours again,My God where do you get such stupid Speil from??
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  #20  
Old 17 Dec 12, 05:14
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White Phosphorus is notoriously reactive, because of its empty p-orbitals which will combine with just about any element. This is unlike red phosphorus used in matches and black phosphorus. Not to say that red and black phosphorus do not react, just that the activation energy barriers are much higher, than white phosphorus.

As a side note phosphorus decays from the bones of dead bodies, leading to phosphorence. In fields of wild animals this is seen at night as strange greenish lights after the sun has set.
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  #21  
Old 17 Dec 12, 05:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRV Ron View Post
Any weapon, no matter what it contains, can be consider inhumane. Grenades that leave a hole in the side of your body and leave you screaming in agony for an hour before you die from the injury on the medievac. Napham that burns off your skin leaving you screaming in pain for hours before dying from the injury. Shrapnel from artillery or RPGs that leave you hospitalized for a month before you die a painful death from the gangrene in your femur bone. A bullet to the kneecap that leaves you crippled in agony. Those are all screaming nightmare, stomach turning, injuries that I have personally seen or know about.

Which of those weapons that caused those injuries are not humane and should be banned? All of them? None of them?

WP rounds are usually used for marking positions. The smoke is caused from the self igniting reaction to air. Painful slow healing burns will result if any of this gets on your skin. http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...nitions/wp.htm

I missed getting hit by a short round that dropped in our overnight camp in Vietnam. Instead of heading straight to the chow line to see if any food was left, I took a detour to check on the line to see what bunkers had been constructed. The short round came roaring in and exploded right where I would have been at that moment. Several pieces of burning WP landed inches from my feet. Thankfully, no one else was close enough to be hit as it the flaming pieces were scattered some 30 meters in all directions of the impact. Needless to say. the company commander was pissed along with the rest of us.

WP, like any weapon that can cause massive screaming in pain violent injury, is nasty stuff period.

I can only think of one thing worse, a kid in high school chemistry that tried to steal a marble size piece of sodium metal by putting it into his pocket. Seconds later, it burst into flames burning a hole in his thigh. Sodium metal reacts violently with exposure to water.
Nice to find someone who knows a bit about chemistry. Potasium is even worse, it bursts into flame on contact with water. There are other horrors in the periodic table, but this would be off thread.
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  #22  
Old 17 Dec 12, 12:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt AFB View Post
However, if used as a direct weapon against personnel, it is considered a war crime.
Is it? Will you be able to quote the relevant Convention, then?
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  #23  
Old 18 Dec 12, 04:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Is it? Will you be able to quote the relevant Convention, then?
I see no reply, so I'll take a more proactive stance here.

Use of incendiary weapons against enemy personnel is not forbidden by any international Convention.

The Convention about Certain Conventional Weapons 1980 limits, with its Protocol III, the use of incendiary weapons - the gist of Protocol III is to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.
AND, anyway, there are countries that are no signatories of the whole Convention, and other countries that have signed the Convention and some of the other Protocols, but not III.
AND, anyway, under Protocol III, a napalm bomb would be considered an incendiary weapon; a smoke round, even if based on WP and having collateral incendiary effects, would not be considered an incendiary weapon (Art. 1, 1. (b.) (I).

Apart from treaty law, there is customary law. The ICRC maintains that the use of incendiary weapons against personnel is forbidden, unless "it is not feasible to use a less harmful weapon to render a person hors de combat." (Rule 85).
This is a strange rule, of course. Suppose there is enemy personnel in hardened, thick bunkers or in well-protected underground caves, but these positions are not sealed and rely on air vents. Of course the attackers might, instead of using an effective FAE munition, send human waves of infantrymen to assault these positions. Would that mean that that is "feasible"? Or they could use an accurate MOP munition. This would presumably collapse the bunkers or caves, or at least turn any organic materials inside them into jelly - would that be "less harmful"?
But that said, the ICRC bases the Rule on the claim that since 1980, there are no reports about the use of incendiary weapons against enemy personnel, which makes it customary not to use them.
The claim is inaccurate. The USA used Mk 77 incendiary bombs against Iraqi positions defending bridges during the Second Gulf War. Nor a case could be made that the USMC intended to attack the bridges with those bombs; to the contrary, the point of using incendiaries was exactly to leave the bridges intact, so that they could be used, while doing away with their defenders.
And even assuming that indeed there was no reported use of incendiary weapons, there is the small details that countries still stockpile them. Now, if not using a certain type of weapon for a number of years, while still stockpiling it, would make that type of weapon no longer lawful under customary law, then nuclear weapons should be forbidden by now, too. Yet the same list of customary rules by the ICRC pointedly cannot declare that nuclear weapons are per se forbidden.

In short, using incendiary weapons directly against enemy personnel is not illegal under international law. There are some countries that have unilaterally ruled, in their own internal military codes, that they will not do that; but even then, a violation of those codes would be a crime under national laws, not under international law.
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  #24  
Old 18 Dec 12, 09:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I see no reply, so I'll take a more proactive stance here.

Use of incendiary weapons against enemy personnel is not forbidden by any international Convention.

The Convention about Certain Conventional Weapons 1980 limits, with its Protocol III, the use of incendiary weapons - the gist of Protocol III is to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.
AND, anyway, there are countries that are no signatories of the whole Convention, and other countries that have signed the Convention and some of the other Protocols, but not III.
AND, anyway, under Protocol III, a napalm bomb would be considered an incendiary weapon; a smoke round, even if based on WP and having collateral incendiary effects, would not be considered an incendiary weapon (Art. 1, 1. (b.) (I).

Apart from treaty law, there is customary law. The ICRC maintains that the use of incendiary weapons against personnel is forbidden, unless "it is not feasible to use a less harmful weapon to render a person hors de combat." (Rule 85).
This is a strange rule, of course. Suppose there is enemy personnel in hardened, thick bunkers or in well-protected underground caves, but these positions are not sealed and rely on air vents. Of course the attackers might, instead of using an effective FAE munition, send human waves of infantrymen to assault these positions. Would that mean that that is "feasible"? Or they could use an accurate MOP munition. This would presumably collapse the bunkers or caves, or at least turn any organic materials inside them into jelly - would that be "less harmful"?
But that said, the ICRC bases the Rule on the claim that since 1980, there are no reports about the use of incendiary weapons against enemy personnel, which makes it customary not to use them.
The claim is inaccurate. The USA used Mk 77 incendiary bombs against Iraqi positions defending bridges during the Second Gulf War. Nor a case could be made that the USMC intended to attack the bridges with those bombs; to the contrary, the point of using incendiaries was exactly to leave the bridges intact, so that they could be used, while doing away with their defenders.
And even assuming that indeed there was no reported use of incendiary weapons, there is the small details that countries still stockpile them. Now, if not using a certain type of weapon for a number of years, while still stockpiling it, would make that type of weapon no longer lawful under customary law, then nuclear weapons should be forbidden by now, too. Yet the same list of customary rules by the ICRC pointedly cannot declare that nuclear weapons are per se forbidden.

In short, using incendiary weapons directly against enemy personnel is not illegal under international law. There are some countries that have unilaterally ruled, in their own internal military codes, that they will not do that; but even then, a violation of those codes would be a crime under national laws, not under international law.
Phosphorus bombs were dropped on Germany during the 2nd WW,I do not know what colour the bloody stuff was,all I do know is you use such a device on people not on buildings,I have picked up men on the battlefield terribly wounded by accepted devices and I know one thing that if I had to go in that manner I would prefer to have a lump torn out of me by shrapnel than be splashed with a slow burning death from phosphorus.Thats it,I have said my piece on that grim topic! lcm1
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  #25  
Old 18 Dec 12, 10:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
Phosphorus bombs were dropped on Germany during the 2nd WW,I do not know what colour the bloody stuff was,all I do know is you use such a device on people not on buildings,I have picked up men on the battlefield terribly wounded by accepted devices and I know one thing that if I had to go in that manner I would prefer to have a lump torn out of me by shrapnel than be splashed with a slow burning death from phosphorus.Thats it,I have said my piece on that grim topic! lcm1
Color is not a superficial attribute here. Phosphorous is white (tending to become yellow when exposed to light) when it's in the tetraphosphorous chemical structure, which is the most instable (this being a good thing for the purposes it's used for, naturally). Once it becomes red phosphorous, it is amorphous, stabler, and has a higher ignition temperature.

Actually the vast majority of the incendiary bombs dropped on Germany were based on magnesium, thermite, and various forms of fuels including gelified fuels (i.e. something not that different from napalm). Phosphorous in various forms was used with the fuel ordnance, but essentially as a... surefire... igniter of the fuels.

And, actually, the vast majority of the Allied incendiary ordnance dropped on Germany was meant to set fire to structures. Personnel hit would of course be badly wounded, but that would be incidental. Incendiary bombs were dropped together with HE or after them. The latter would pry the structures open so that the incendiaries could more easily set fire to the insides and to ruins.

It is far more likely that any victims of incendiary munitions that you saw had been burned by magnesium, thermite (mostly aluminium thermite), or a napalm look-alike.
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Old 18 Dec 12, 16:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
I'll take their reporting over your FOX.
Of course you would.

BTW, you're responding to a post made three and a half years ago.
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Old 18 Dec 12, 16:41
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There's a paragraph in this book about 'smoke grenades'. One of Jary's soldiers gets tangled in barbwire, the noise he makes brings a burst of fire that sets off a grenade in his pouches. His agonised screams for his mates to shoot him as the phosperous burns through him makes very unpleasant reading.

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Old 18 Dec 12, 21:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Color is not a superficial attribute here. Phosphorous is white (tending to become yellow when exposed to light) when it's in the tetraphosphorous chemical structure, which is the most instable (this being a good thing for the purposes it's used for, naturally). Once it becomes red phosphorous, it is amorphous, stabler, and has a higher ignition temperature.

Actually the vast majority of the incendiary bombs dropped on Germany were based on magnesium, thermite, and various forms of fuels including gelified fuels (i.e. something not that different from napalm). Phosphorous in various forms was used with the fuel ordnance, but essentially as a... surefire... igniter of the fuels.

And, actually, the vast majority of the Allied incendiary ordnance dropped on Germany was meant to set fire to structures. Personnel hit would of course be badly wounded, but that would be incidental. Incendiary bombs were dropped together with HE or after them. The latter would pry the structures open so that the incendiaries could more easily set fire to the insides and to ruins.

It is far more likely that any victims of incendiary munitions that you saw had been burned by magnesium, thermite (mostly aluminium thermite), or a napalm look-alike.
My referance to the 'Bloody colour' of the phosphorus was completely incidental to the point I was making.So get off of your high horse and stop trying to blind me by science. All I know is that(and as far as I am concerned it was an established fact) German Civilians were during air raids splashed by phosphorus and jumped screaming into rivers etc: trying to put the burning out and when ever they broke surface they began burning again.Now any ammount of your flim flam will not alter that fact, and whatever the damned stuff is or was used for,such an outcome is inhumane and should be considered as such!! lcm1
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  #29  
Old 19 Dec 12, 02:22
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That picture is not an old fashioned WP shell with a WP filling and a bursting charge, you can see that from the fragment pattern. It's the a newer type and may be ejecting some form of preformed WP.

Interestingly in WW2 UK conducted trials of WP andconcluded it wasn't effective as an APers weapon, at least against troops in temperate clothing, which offered some protection.
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Old 19 Dec 12, 04:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
My referance to the 'Bloody colour' of the phosphorus was completely incidental to the point I was making.So get off of your high horse and stop trying to blind me by science. All I know is that(and as far as I am concerned it was an established fact) German Civilians were during air raids splashed by phosphorus and jumped screaming into rivers etc: trying to put the burning out and when ever they broke surface they began burning again.Now any ammount of your flim flam will not alter that fact, and whatever the damned stuff is or was used for,such an outcome is inhumane and should be considered as such!! lcm1
My apologies for intruding with facts.
Just in case, here's an interesting link:
The Development of British Incendiary Bombs 1939-1945

that backs up my statement that most British aerial bombs dropped on Germany were
a) intended to destroy structures and
b) relying as their main incendiary component on magnesium, thermite, or fuels.

The document was produced by the Ministry of Supply, Armaments Design Establishment, in 1946, and declassified in 1980.
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