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Armor/AFV: IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]
Armor and AFVs of the IDF army from 1947-today.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Meng Merkava 4m Questions
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: July 20, 2004
KitMaker: 1,244 posts
Armorama: 1,186 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 02:55 AM UTC
100% right on the combustible ammo cooking off-its impressive!
Its probably for a training scenario but Im not really sure about that.
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Wien, Austria
Joined: March 09, 2016
KitMaker: 2,131 posts
Armorama: 2,062 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 03:10 AM UTC

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RR - you mentioned that you thought this container might be used for duds discovered before firing. I'm not following... how could one tell that a round is a dud prior to firing?

I've heard sometimes those 120 mm paper-casings start to disintegrate, probably due to improper storage and/or handling. Probably not a common phenomena, but still...

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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,954 posts
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Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 06:48 AM UTC

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If the IDF is doing this dud-storing, we can absolutely trust to them knowing what is their best route concerning what to do.

Personally, given a certain modicum of experience with explosive devices... placing that dud in what amounts to a light "tin can" and accepting that some small-arms round MIGHT ignite the propellant, resulting in a brief flash-fire, or MIGHT (actually very unlikely) detonate that round seems much preferable to essentially GUARANTEEING that it gets used in an ID against my pals, if it's left. It's not explosively contained when parked in that tube. And thus it would be an "un-tamped" surficial blast. Don't want to be there when it pops, but doesn't pose a huge risk to the tank. The IDF are really into troop survival.
Just a thought! Bob

Have you ever seen pics of a tank's ammo cooking off? If you are standing in an open hatch a foot away, I can pretty much assure you it's more than a "brief flash fire". Especially since the IDF tankers SOP seems to be having the crew "heads out" most of the time for max viability (unless this has now changed).

Please don't misconstrue - I'm fairly certain that the IDF knows a bit more about stuff like this than I do, I just find this curious, that's all.

My final guess - In thinking about this, I'm now wondering if that dud round holder is only to be used in live fire training exercises. That would eliminate the issue of having the rounds detonated by enemy MG fire, would also eliminate the issue of potentially still explosive duds littering a training range, etc.

@John L: I did clearly state that one doesn't want to be there when a large surface / unconfined (not tamped) propellant burn occurs, such as when a putative surface-stored "dud" round might be ignited by small-arms fire. It is a flash fire. The fire-ball would be intense and large, and if you were in it or very close to it, you would be incinerated. But it won't do much, beyond scorching, to the tank itself. What, in brief, I said. Light off a "black Cat" fire-cracker in your open palm-of-hand, and you'll feel a sting and be quite startled. Close your hand around that tiny popper and light it off... and have someone take you to the hospital to try and save your hand or fingers. The effects of tamping the charge.

Military folks do a lot of seemingly odd things in the practices of war and training for war - been there, seen and even done that, as have many out there. The IDF tankers doubtless have a lot of field experience to inform their seeming oddities of practice.

Nobody ever seems to express much surprise nor dubiousness about the real burn hazards posed all manner of German and US / Allied vehicles covered with gasoline cans, spare ammo in wood cases, land-mines, mortar rounds, etc. - The stuff we armor modelers LOVE to pack onto our builds! Flash-fires, big burns, even true explosions, all just waiting to happen. Nobody raises questions about this because we've all seen the photos showing this happened and all likely recognize that the guys doing this probably KNEW a LOT about the immediate pros and cons of their actions. Israeli tankers today are equally likely pretty aware of the risks and of the alternatives. And today's IDF strongly emphasizes crew / troop survival over EVERYTHING ELSE.

Of course, we here probably have very little actual KNOWLEDGE as to what the real story is behind these "dud containers". I KNOW I don't. Maybe they are rarely if ever actually used? Maybe they are actually seldom ever even seen on tanks in the field / in action (sort of like those seemingly ubiquitous rear-mounted fuel drums on Russian tanks... used in long-distance road movements, but dropped for field action). Perhaps it's one of those idiosyncratic crew-devised things and no sort of normal practice at all. Maybe they ARE used - but for only sufficient time as needed to find someone to hand off the dud to... ?

If it appears in some photos of Merks-in-Action, I'll assume that the containers do/did appear on at least one Merk... so it's a legit item to model - regardless of what that crew was actually using it for!

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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 955 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 12:31 PM UTC

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I was surprised to see what looks like a lot of scratches, scrapes, and what looks like repainting/retouching of the tank.

Are those brown-ish by any chance? Where do you see them?

Hi Israel,
The touch-ups I'm talking about are on pages 36, 38 and 39 (and others, too, but very particularly here), and show what appear to be small touch-ups on the side skirts that match, almost perfectly, the existing paint color, not really brownish.