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  • 105mm Gun

    Friday, November 30, 2007
    Source: The Sun Online

    FIVE British soldiers in Afghanistan are engulfed in a massive fireball as a 105mm field gun explodes.
    The frontline gunners had turned their backs as the order to “fire” rang out as they targeted the Taliban seven miles away.
    But a flaw in the recoil system meant the breech holding a high-explosive 15kg shell exploded – shooting a ball of flame 25ft into the air.
    Incredibly, the men from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery emerged with just minor burns after the horror in the southern town of Garmsir.
    The gunners, based in Osnabruck, Germany, were supporting colleagues under rocket fire from Taliban fighters.

    A colleague was taking souvenir photos of them at the time.
    A Royal Artillery source said: “The immediate reaction was the battery had taken a Taliban direct hit.
    “The noise of the explosion and fireball was awesome. The gun crew disappeared . . . I thought a mortar shell had blown them to kingdom come.
    “I was amazed to see the crew running out of the gun pit. Parts of their uniforms were on fire but the flames were quickly extinguished. They were incredibly lucky.”



    Is this the same gun that is in use by the DF?

  • #2
    Yes it is the same L118.

    Hardly a horror if no one was killed or badly hurt.

    Shock news headline, projecting high explosives ou to 15km can be dangerous.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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    • #3
      The round didn't go off. If it had it is likely that there would have been no survivors. It was just the propellant even then not all of it went off. Just goes to show how much use these weapons are getting these days.
      "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

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      • #4


        The round didn't go off, if it had there wouldn't be much left.

        Comment


        • #5
          As the target was only 7 miles away, the crew would have pulled out some of the charge bags each time that they fired a round. From the picture it looks like they could have been throwing the extras on the ground in front of the gun. Who knows what ignited them but it could have been an ember created when a round was fired. (perhaps a piece of cloth bag or a piece of glowing lead foil) They don't explode as such but they burn with a very intense heat when there is a pile of them.

          ps: this whole message is pure speculation
          Archimedes
          gunner at heart
          Last edited by Archimedes; 2 December 2007, 23:17.
          Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Come-quickly View Post
            Yes it is the same L118.

            Hardly a horror if no one was killed or badly hurt.

            Shock news headline, projecting high explosives ou to 15km can be dangerous.
            The Taliban probably were????

            Thats fairly bad. I wonder if the it was the gun or human error??? I am guessing human error or a combination of factors though!!!
            I probably am wrong, sorry about that!!!

            Please PM me to correct me.

            But, not if I state an opinion, only if I state something as truth!!!

            I have bad opinions but I stick by them!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Archimedes View Post
              As the target was only 7 miles away, the crew would have pulled out some of the charge bags each time that they fired a round. From the picture it looks like they could have been throwing the extras on the ground in front of the gun. Who knows what ignited them but it could have been an ember created when a round was fired. (perhaps a piece of cloth bag or a piece of glowing lead foil) They don't explode as such but they burn with a very intense heat when there is a pile of them.

              ps: this whole message is pure speculation
              can you explain the firing procedure to us..

              Comment


              • #8
                That stuff burns with a huge fireball and incredibly hot, taken in the Glen:


                There's 60 secs between first ant last pics.
                Muzzle
                Lieutenant
                Last edited by Muzzle; 3 December 2007, 12:55.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by golden rivet View Post
                  can you explain the firing procedure to us..
                  I started writing a detailed desciption but at the risk of going too deep, I'll desist. The short answer is that a shell is loaded first and rammed to engage the rifling. A cartridge with an electrically ignited primer and a number of cloth bags containing propellant is put in behind and the breech is closed. Pulling the handle on the firing box generates a current which ignites the primer which then ignites the propellant in the bags (most of the time). Pressure builds up until the shell starts moving (shot start). By the time that the shell gets most of the way down the barrel, all of the propellant should have burnt. The fuse on the shell itself won't arm until it has left the gun and is well on its way.

                  A good presentation on artillery ammo (though not the L118) can be found here
                  Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Archimedes View Post
                    From the picture it looks like they could have been throwing the extras on the ground in front of the gun
                    Bad drills on the part of the detachment.....

                    Nice theory Archimedes, I hadn't considered the charge bags.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi all
                      I remember seeing a film of US artillery in Vietnam and one of the 105mm guncrew tore off excess charge bags and threw them on a fire, burning in a pit a few yards from the gun.Is it practise to dispose of all excess charge bags by burning or are they collected and brought home?
                      regards
                      GttC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                        Hi all
                        I remember seeing a film of US artillery in Vietnam and one of the 105mm guncrew tore off excess charge bags and threw them on a fire, burning in a pit a few yards from the gun.Is it practise to dispose of all excess charge bags by burning or are they collected and brought home?
                        regards
                        GttC
                        See pictures I posted above. Last thing done on the day, guns were all well out of the way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          With all of the aspirations that you occasionally see in these fora for MBTs, big helis, submarines etc, its nice to see an asset that we actually do posess playing a vital role in a modern conflict. Its light weight gives it an edge over the heavy 155mm guns in a remote country where infrastructure is poor and helicopter transport may be required. Its max range of 17.2km is impressive for a 105mm shell.

                          I wonder if the powers that be ever considered bringing L118s to Chad. Remoteness is very much a factor. Air support may not always be around if weather is bad. On station times could be low if air bases are far away. If Irish troops come under fire how much time will be lost liasing with the French to procure 3rd party artillery support? Will language barriers hamper the accurate adjustment of fire?

                          To sum up, we posess a weapon that has proven itself in harsh and remote environments to be the right tool for the job. If things were to go tits up in Chad, would we be better off looking at it that looking for it?
                          Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Archimedes
                            they'd probably consider 81mm mortars first, then 120s and then-at a stretch-the 105s.No doubt, some local rebel commander would object, like the Serbs did in Bosnia, that it would "provoke" a reaction,etc,etc. personally, I think they should bring them and more besides.As regards provision of helicopter assets, dollars will talk. Hire Mi8s/Mi24s from eastern europe. No shortage of helis there.
                            regards
                            GttC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Archimedes View Post
                              I wonder if the powers that be ever considered bringing L118s to Chad. Remoteness is very much a factor. Air support may not always be around if weather is bad. On station times could be low if air bases are far away.
                              As there is a probability that any attacks would be hit and run there is an obvious need for artillery systems to be mobile. With a shortage of helicopters, getting L118s around would be very difficult. Fitting the TDA 120 mm 2R 2M rifled mortar on the Piranha III could come in very useful. GDLS have trialled a Denel 105mm turret on a Lav III intended to become the Stryker Self Propelled (SP) 105mm Indirect Fire System which also would be very nice.
                              You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race

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