Collier: The “Shaped Charge” Bogey Man
Military historian and former Green Beret Tom Collier writes:
‘ We have read recently in the press about “sophisticated shaped-charge” mines destroying Coalition vehicles in Iraq. They are described as new, deadly, and coming from Iran.
The truth is the shaped-charge effect was discovered in the 19th Century and first saw combat in the warhead of the U.S. Army’s bazooka rocket in 1942. It has been used since by many nations in assorted anti-vehicle weapons. Furthermore, shaped-charge mines are easily made from scratch with #10 cans, dinner plates, and plastic explosive.
U.S. Army Special Forces have routinely made them so since the 1950s. Last year, “Newsweek” [“Unholy Allies,” Sept 26, 2005] described Iraqi insurgents showing Hamza Sangari, a visiting Taliban fighter, how to make and use them. Maybe Coalition forces in Iraq have come across some new and “sophisticated” anti-vehicle weapon made in Iran, but until they show it to us I would bet that Iraqis are still making and using improved versions of the old bazooka. ‘