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Can the crew survive a non-penetrating hit from a modern kinetic round?


sabottx
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Greetings,

Is it possible for a crew not only survive a non- penetrating hit but continue to function in life? I recall hearing a story of a M60 was shot in the turret by a practice kinetic round (Ft. Hood) which didn't penetrate but really messed (head injuries) up the turret crew due to the shock wave.  Urban legend? 

Thank you for your time!

 

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My understanding is that modern tanks (which the M60 most certainly is not) have spaced armour or similar concepts that prevent the spalling, shock etc. from a high energy impact. 

 

Anyway, your story is a bit suspect. What was a crew doing in a tank that was being shot at with practice rounds?

Edited by Doug
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7 minutes ago, Doug said:

Anyway, your story is a bit suspect. What was a crew doing in a tank that was being shot at with practice rounds?

Probably similar to this?

https://www.armytimes.com/2020/07/24/army-investigating-how-m1-abrams-accidentally-fired-on-another-tank-at-fort-bliss-injuring-a-soldier/

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The story was back in 1990 when the local National Guard units still had the M60's. It was on the firing range at night. The tank crew became disoriented at night and fired the round at another tank on the firing line. Crazy things happen around tanks, especially at night. 

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There is a story about a Centurion that was penetrated through the market by a fin round and exited through the rear of the turret without hitting anyone, and the tank was still fightable. Not aware it's ever been verified though.

If you look in Kenneth Mackseys Tank vs tank, there was an account by a Sherman crewman who said after his tank was hit, a German AP round actually landed in his lap. If course, that's travelling rather slower.

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I have been searching for any first person account of a modern tank taking a direct hit from another which didn't pen and the effects that it had on the crew. I would think that at a minimum there would be a concussion due to the hardness and speed of the penetrator. 

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There was a Challenger 2 shot point blank by a T55 in Iraq. Had no effect on the crew, though you would expect Dorchester to soak it up.

I think you are going to struggle to find much since 1973 tbh. The only other incident that immediately springs to mind is a Staffordshire regiment warrior that was hit in a blue on blue attack by a Hesh round. The sole person inside suffered severe internal injuries by the shockwave, including internal bleeding. He was later invalided out the army of memory serves.

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Yeah but the armour on Warrior is a long way from that on a modern MBT. Warrior is just a single layer of steel I think? Modern MBTs have multiple layers that include shock absorption. 

Why are you so set on finding a story that fits your narrative? 

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36 minutes ago, sabottx said:

I have been searching for any first person account of a modern tank taking a direct hit from another which didn't pen and the effects that it had on the crew. I would think that at a minimum there would be a concussion due to the hardness and speed of the penetrator. 

No, on a truly modern MBT I don't think there would be any concussion, or any other negative effect on the crew if no penetration occurs. 

I don't see that the hardness of the penetrator would have anything to do with it. 

Edited by Doug
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7 hours ago, Doug said:

My understanding is that modern tanks (which the M60 most certainly is not) have spaced armour or similar concepts that prevent the spalling, shock etc. from a high energy impact. 

 

Anyway, your story is a bit suspect. What was a crew doing in a tank that was being shot at with practice rounds?

It has and does happen.  Before the introduction of thermal sights, every few years a tank gunner would follow the IR searchlight beam, not to the target but to the searchlight tank and engage the searchlight tank.  This usually occurred when the firing tank had IR sights, Passive IR sights were much less prone to being "spoofed."  However, even with thermal sights 11th ACR was able to light up some Bradleys during a night gunnery at Graf.

Edited by DKTanker
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5 hours ago, sabottx said:

I have been searching for any first person account of a modern tank taking a direct hit from another which didn't pen and the effects that it had on the crew. I would think that at a minimum there would be a concussion due to the hardness and speed of the penetrator. 

The 24th ID supposedly had an M1A1 take three non-penetrating 125mm hits to the turret front.  The story is that the tank had become mired or thrown a track, or both and the tank and crew were left behind to be collected later.  While waiting for assistance apparently a couple of T-72s happened upon them and engaged the tank hitting it at least once.  The crew then exchanged shots taking two more hits while destroying the Iraqi tanks.
I dunno, that's the story.  I heard it first at KKMC while we were processing to return to Germany.  A few months later I was stationed at Ft. Knox and heard the story again.  You might look up some unit history of 24th ID, that could be a place to start.

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I heard about the 24ID just before shipping out of Kuwait while waiting on review from Gen. Schwarzkopf. My first and only time being on an advance party heading home. I normally was drafted to be on rear guard. ;) My last Graf, (I forget the table number) but we had the whole company plus mech doing live fire. The scouts where out in front and then during the passage through our lines, one Bradley took a hit to the driver compartment killing the driver and sent the Bradley out of control until one of the troopers inside was able to get into the driver seat. It was crazy to watch in the thermals.

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9 hours ago, sabottx said:

The story was back in 1990 when the local National Guard units still had the M60's. It was on the firing range at night. The tank crew became disoriented at night and fired the round at another tank on the firing line. Crazy things happen around tanks, especially at night. 

 

I was in the TXARNG at the time and never heard of an incident like that in 1990.

There was an incident in 1987:
https://www.upi.com/Archives/1987/06/25/An-M-60-tank-opened-fire-and-struck-two-other/5854551592000/

 

A friend of mine was serving as an evaluator for that unit during that AT and suffered minor injuries in the incident.

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Short of spalling, there is no notable risk of injury.

Regarding concussion injury from violently shaking the fighting compartment, the important variable here is the impulse, and that is going to be less than that from firing the same round, and it is obviously rare for injuries to occur just from firing the main gun.

It order to get a notable risk of injury from this mechanism, you need a much larger impacts and/or a sizable HE filler, but in this case you will start to get injuries from the HE blast wave passing through thinner part so the armour (or even breaking it).

i.e. a front turret hit from 155mm HE at high velocity will certainly shake the turret, but there is now also some risk the blast and fragments hitting the glacis will at the very least injure the driver.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/13/2021 at 6:36 PM, Doug said:

Yeah but the armour on Warrior is a long way from that on a modern MBT. Warrior is just a single layer of steel I think? Modern MBTs have multiple layers that include shock absorption. 

Why are you so set on finding a story that fits your narrative? 

The 120 mm HESH round struck the add-on Chobham armour that was fitted to the sides of Warrior for Op GRANBY.  This is according to 'Rats Tales' by Benson, which is the official history of 1 STAFFORDS in the Gulf.

The hull of Warrior is in aluminium, the turret in steel.

Best,

Greg.

Edited by GJK
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Seems trivial to grab a couple of examples, install pressure sensors and a gopro inside, and give them the works.  

 

Then you can dispel rumors amongst crews (recall some in Restrepo doc believed a near miss with a .50 BMG would sear flesh. There is no reason for this sort of mentality to persist, particularly if incorrect assumptions has the potential to affect morale and behavior under fire)

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5 hours ago, Burncycle360 said:

Seems trivial to grab a couple of examples, install pressure sensors and a gopro inside, and give them the works.  

 

Then you can dispel rumors amongst crews (recall some in Restrepo doc believed a near miss with a .50 BMG would sear flesh. There is no reason for this sort of mentality to persist, particularly if incorrect assumptions has the potential to affect morale and behavior under fire)

Something similar was done with the M1 when they are testing the efficacy of the turret ammunition stowage.  All 44 HEAT rounds in the turret bustle were detonated, the pressure and temperature inside the turret was measured.  Going off memory, pressure spikes were less than one additional bar, temperature increased by only two or three degrees F.

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Deflagration happens way too fast to transfer enough heat to the crew compartment. It first needs to heat bustle door and it is a significant lump of metal. There would be need for a sustained fire in the bustle rack (and AFAIK other than ammo there is nothing flammable there) in order to heat crew compartment by significant amounts.

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It's bound to be a 'Significant Emotional Experience'(TM).

For what it's worth, I recently watched the Russian movie 'T-34' and I believe they gave a good depiction of non-penetrating hits with a monstrous clang and the crew's shock and disorientation.  

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