Thursday, August 04, 2005

Road to Baghdad

If you watch the news, you must have seen reports detailing the deaths of 14 Marines on Aug. 3rd when a roadside bomb destroyed their amphibious vehicle. The public has become jaded by the steady stream of U.S. casualties but yesterday's attack was unusual. Besides the large numbers killed, using this vehicle seemed like an odd choice for the Marines. The AAVP7A1 armored assault amphibious vehicle, aka Amtrack or Amtrac, is designed to carry soldiers from troop ships to beach landings. The lack of any water did not deter the Marines from using this transport; the military simply does not have enough appropriate vehicles for Iraq's environment. Unfortunately, the Amtrack is more vulnerable than the Bradley Fighting Vehicle due to lighter armor. Not only did the blast kill 14, the entire vehicle was overturned. Photos are posted here. Iraqi insurgents have steadily grown more sophisticated in their attacks, especially in the manufacturing and tactical use of IEDs. The Amtrack weighs approximately 25 tons, which demonstrates the power of the blast. Previously, insurgents attacked an Amtrack on May 11, 2005, killing two Marines. There may have been other attacks against this type of vehicle but it is quite tedious to compile detailed lists of dead and wounded. The humvee weighs approximately 0.5 tons (9800 lbs.). Even the armored version has been successfully attacked on numerous occasions. The Stryker Infantry Vehicle weighs 17 tons. Four soldiers died on April 28, 2005 from an IED. This is a new vehicle which may replace the humvee to some extent. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle weighs 25 tons. An Army staff sergeant was killed Nov. 8, 2003 when an IED hit his vehicle. The M-1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank weighs weighs 70 tons. On Jan. 10, 2005 an Abrams tank was destroyed, killing two and wounding four. Taking out a heavily armored 70-ton tank is not easy. Even if these tanks were impregnable, they cannot be used indefinitely in a civilian setting. The tanks are too heavy and will tear up roads, bridges, etc. When I first saw a humvee, I thought they were ridiculous vehicles. In order to use the machine gun, the unprotected soldier must stand up in the hole in the roof and expose himself to enemy fire. Why not just paint a target on your helmet to make it easier for insurgents firing RPGs? Obviously, none of these vehicles are perfect but the humvees are a travesty.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Huber said...

And the insurgents don't have any of these things.

Just another wrinkle in what I call the myth of military "superiority."

8/06/2005 06:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Sam Balla said...

T-lady, i'm impressed with your knowledge and insight. You do have an error, however, in your facts on this particular blog. The IED attack on May 11, 2005 involving the Amtrac killed 6 Marines, not 2. I was in it, and i lost 4 squad members, 1 attachment and my second platoon sergeant in 3 days. No offense, i just wanted to point that out to you so you would know. Again, you knowledge and insight are impressive, and you present your blogs in an objective manner which i feel the mainstream media could learn from. Thanks.
Sincerely, Sgt. Sam Balla

12/21/2006 06:59:00 AM  

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