ISIS militants may be in a position to pummel other cities in Iraqi army control after capturing American-made weapons the group seized from the Iraqi military, Mitchell Prothero reports for McClatchy DC.
During ISIS's blitz across northern and central Iraq last month, the group captured upwards of 52 155mm M198 howitzers.
|An M198, 155mm, towed howitzer being fired by US Army troops.|
- Which direction to point the tube (we call this "deflection")
- How high above the ground to point the tube (we call this "quadrant")
- How fast should the projectile leave the tube. This varies according to how much propellant is used. Propellant comes in bags encased in a canister. Each canister contains propellant for one round in eight bags.
But, as the article goes on to say, for ISIS's purposes accurate fire is not necessary when the target is, after all, the entire city of Baghdad.
The 155mm high-explosive projectile weighs 95 pounds and has a blast radius of 50 meters (55 yards), defined as the radius at which at least
A correction: the blast radius is the 90-percent kill radius on unwarned (that is, standing) personnel. The casualty radius is the 50-percent line and for the US 155mm projectile is 100 meters. The area of in which at least half of persons become casualties is thus 31,400 square meters. From one projectile.
So imagine a section of Baghdad being residents blasted with 15 minutes of 52 M198s firing two rounds per minute. That's 1,560 rounds. No wonder that residents of Berlin, Germany, said after World War 2 that American and British bombers did not terrify them as much as Soviet artillery did, once it started shelling the city. Bombers came, bombers went. But the artillery was around the clock. It never stopped.
But what we do not know is how much ammunition ISIS also captured. That's the real issue, feeding the beasts. Fifteen minutes of sustained firing, as in my example, uses projectiles weighing 74 tons, plus another 23 tons or so of propellant canisters. Not a casual undertaking.
Here is an example of the kind of technical data I am talking about: Firing Tables
And this PDF os a slide presentation has examples of actual M198 firing tables.