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Saddam's bunker under allied bombing
Agence France-Presse | April 3, 2003

Posted on 04/03/2003 10:06:15 AM PST by HAL9000

DUBAI (AFP) - US forces claiming to be 15 kilometers (nine miles) from downtown Baghdad Thursday have targeted the bunker of President Saddam Hussein, which its designer says can withstand anything short of a hit by a Hiroshima-size bomb.

The US Central Command said Wednesday that coalition forces had targeted the presidential bunker and residence in Baghdad's Republican Palace district and the New Presidential Palace in the Al-Khark section west of the Tigris River, using precision-guided munitions in early-morning raids.

Karl Bernd Esser, the German architect who says he designed the bunker buried deep underneath the palace complex, recently told Germany's ZDF television that the walls were three meters (10 feet) thick and could withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and survive anything short of a direct hit from a nuclear weapon the size of that which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Two underground passages lead directly to the Tigris.

Esser says on his company's Internet website that the bunker, built in 1982 to the highest specifications, has a total area of 1,800 sq meters (19,370 sq feet).

It cost 66 million dollars to build, but proved its worth in the 1991 Gulf War, withstanding aerial bombardment.

The website of the company he works for, Sheltex, shows pictures said to be of a command center in the bunker as well as the presidential bedroom, part of the air-conditioning system and a hideaway.

The Sheltex website claims it plans, builds and delivers bunkers worldwide and is the only company supplying them to NATO, US, German, Swedish and Swiss standards.

The site includes a design for a two-level bunker of 400 sq meters and capable of holding 60 to 90 people.

It could withstand a direct hit by a conventional 250-kilogram bomb, while protecting its occupants from the effects of a nuclear, chemical or biological (NCB) attack, the accompanying text explains.

Apart from his bunker, Saddam is said to have ordered the construction of two others in Baghdad that should enable his army command to resist up to six months.

One is said to be close to the air force HQ south of the capital, an area that has repeatedly come under allied bombing since the United States and Britain launched war on March 20.

A Swiss newspaper reported last month that several of the underground bunkers used by Saddam's government were built with the help of a Swiss specialist firm during the 1980s.

Sonntagsblick said the bunkers benefitted from the same technology -- including blast-proof doors -- used in the network of community and private shelters which are a fabled part of neutral Switzerland's civil protection system.

"That's correct, we took part in the construction of a bunker for the (ruling) Baath Party. In all we helped equip about 10 bunkers," Ulrich Haug, head of the Swiss firm Zellweger Luwa, was quoted as saying.

The US military has developed a variety of "bunker buster" bombs over the past decade.

Existing "bunker busters" are conventional bombs with hardened, tapered nose cones that can bore through dirt, rock or reinforced concrete and then detonate at a specific depth.

The Pentagon is studying the use of tactical nuclear weapons to penetrate deeply and incinerate chemical or biological agents.

The GBU-37, which US air force commanders have nicknamed "the crowd pleaser," is a 2.25 tonne (5,000-pound) bomb that guides itself to the target using Global Positioning Satellites and steerable fins.

Its hardened nose and 13 foot (4.0 meter) length is designed to penetrate six to nine meters (20 to 30 feet) of reinforced concrete before exploding. Its fuse can be set to explode at varying depths depending on the target.

It is delivered only by the B-2 stealth bomber, which can carry eight of the bombs.

A laser guided variant of the bunker buster, the BLU-113, is delivered by B-52 bombers and F-15E strike aircraft.

For smaller jobs, the air force also has a 900 kilo (2,000-pound) bomb with earth penetrating warheads.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: battleforbaghdad; bunker; decapitation; embeddedreport; iraq; iraqifreedom; saddamhussein; viceisclosing; warlist
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1 posted on 04/03/2003 10:06:15 AM PST by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
People in the bunker were celebrating the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, saying it was an omen for their victory.
2 posted on 04/03/2003 10:07:58 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: ko_kyi
Any chance this guy coughed up the blueprints?
3 posted on 04/03/2003 10:09:10 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: ko_kyi
I was thinking the same thing. I bet they are wishing good luck to the 10 year old boys they are sending off to die, too.
4 posted on 04/03/2003 10:09:58 AM PST by linear
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To: gov_bean_ counter
I dunno, but it is a pretty good bet.
5 posted on 04/03/2003 10:10:19 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: HAL9000
DUBAI (AFP) - US forces claiming to be 15 kilometers (nine miles) from downtown Baghdad Thursday have targeted the bunker of President Saddam Hussein, which its designer says can withstand anything short of a hit by a Hiroshima-size bomb.

We Americans love a challenge.

Karl Bernd Esser, the German architect who says he designed the bunker buried deep underneath the palace complex, recently told Germany's ZDF television that the walls were three meters (10 feet) thick and could withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and survive anything short of a direct hit from a nuclear weapon the size of that which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Sounds like a testable theory.

Two underground passages lead directly to the Tigris.

Delta Force, please pick up on the red phone...

6 posted on 04/03/2003 10:10:44 AM PST by Interesting Times (Eagles Up! Join the Rally for America...)
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To: HAL9000
I am willing to bet that any survivors will be eligible to sue for false promises...
7 posted on 04/03/2003 10:10:54 AM PST by Keith
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To: HAL9000
Mmmmm, if a bomb falls on a bunker and Saddam is in a coma can he hear it?
8 posted on 04/03/2003 10:11:03 AM PST by never4get
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To: ko_kyi
Two underground passages lead directly to the Tigris.

Hope so.

9 posted on 04/03/2003 10:11:37 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: HAL9000
Think it can withstand a direct assault by a SEAL Team?
10 posted on 04/03/2003 10:11:59 AM PST by finnman69
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To: HAL9000
This bunker is history, I thought, the minute I read the cocky German designer's assertion that it is impenetrable.

You don't tell the U.S. military that something is impenetrable.
11 posted on 04/03/2003 10:12:05 AM PST by randita
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To: HAL9000

12 posted on 04/03/2003 10:12:22 AM PST by Spruce
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To: HAL9000
I heard they dropped 40 JDAMs last night (yesterday). 20 of which were dropped on the same location. Could this have been it? Hmmm....
13 posted on 04/03/2003 10:13:00 AM PST by Hatteras (The Thundering Herd Of Turtles ROCK!)
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To: HAL9000
lemme see.... the bunker has walls three meters thick, and the bomb can penetrate nine meters of reinforced concrete.

Hmm....

Yep Saddam. bet he feels real secure right about now. Hope his running water has a good septic system beneath it.
14 posted on 04/03/2003 10:13:15 AM PST by camle (no camle jokes, please...OK, maybe one little one)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: HAL9000
How long have elite German scientists been building impenetrable bunkers and how long have street smart United States ordinance sergeants been blowing them to Hell?
16 posted on 04/03/2003 10:13:18 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: HAL9000
Is Agence France-Presse Pravda on the Seine I have doubts of any reliability of this source.
17 posted on 04/03/2003 10:14:19 AM PST by boomop1
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To: HAL9000
Hmmm, so if we did a MOAB on impact, it would hold up? Please, please, please FNC or SKY News, get video of this. I wanna watch.

V


18 posted on 04/03/2003 10:14:34 AM PST by Beck_isright (If Susan Sarandon pooped in the woods, would ELF boycott her?)
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To: Hatteras
>I heard they dropped 40 JDAMs last night (yesterday). 20 of which were dropped on the same location. Could this have been it? Hmmm....

Perhaps the bunker survived, but the people in it are going to be in pretty bad shape.

19 posted on 04/03/2003 10:15:05 AM PST by Dialup Llama
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To: Spruce

V


BUMP FOR FRPIC OF THE DAY!!!!


20 posted on 04/03/2003 10:15:30 AM PST by Beck_isright (If Susan Sarandon pooped in the woods, would ELF boycott her?)
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To: Interesting Times
Two underground passages lead directly to the Tigris.

I bet they aren't all that hardened. A flood is good, too.

21 posted on 04/03/2003 10:15:41 AM PST by Aeronaut (Love the Lord with all your heart and mind.)
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To: Interesting Times
I think we should stage a contest between the SeaBees and the Army Corp of Engineers to see which side can crack this nut first.
22 posted on 04/03/2003 10:16:02 AM PST by 6ppc
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To: linear
I am rereading my copy of Cornelius Ryan's "The Last Battle" about the fall of Berlin. Talk about history repeating itself.
23 posted on 04/03/2003 10:16:09 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: camle
" Hope his running water has a good septic system beneath it."

I think he would rather have Depends.

V


24 posted on 04/03/2003 10:16:13 AM PST by Beck_isright (If Susan Sarandon pooped in the woods, would ELF boycott her?)
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To: HAL9000
When this clyner designed the bunker, the US didn't have bunker busters that could go through 100 feet of solid dirt or 20 feet of solid concrete before exploding. If that's not enough how aqbout three bunker busters placed into the same bunker. for good measure you lob in 3 dozen tomahawk missiles. Saddam and his two psychopath sons are dead, and have been from the get-go.
25 posted on 04/03/2003 10:17:07 AM PST by chainsaw
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To: AgThorn
The picture you linked in post 15 requires a password.
26 posted on 04/03/2003 10:17:37 AM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Beck_isright
then change him - he ought to be pretty ripe by now!
27 posted on 04/03/2003 10:19:19 AM PST by camle (no camle jokes, please...OK, maybe one little one)
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To: HAL9000
Here's a link:

http://www.sheltex.de/sheltex/0_germany.htm
28 posted on 04/03/2003 10:20:08 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: ko_kyi
Indeed. Generals ordering tank divisions that no longer exist to points 80 miles on the wrong side of the front. The dynamics of a dying organization.
29 posted on 04/03/2003 10:20:10 AM PST by linear
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To: linear
It is similar down to eerie details.

Right now I bet they are saying "We would have won if it weren't for the Jews."
30 posted on 04/03/2003 10:24:06 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: ko_kyi
One difference...Hitler didn't have the possible use of nuclear weaponry. His swan song was to flood the subways to kill German civilians he felt weren't worthy of him and to kill himself. The SS faithfully roamed the theater killing any 'disloyal' Germans. Saddam faces a similar end, but he may possess the ablity to take his enemies with him and become a martyr.

This is a concern I see scant attention being paid to.
31 posted on 04/03/2003 10:26:11 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Herr Esser plant seit 1980 weltweit Bunkeranlagen. Er führt damit eine alte Familientradition seit 1939 im Festungsbau weiter. Weitere Referenzen nennen wir ihnen auf Anfrage.

The above is from the Shelltex website. Translated: A family tradition since 1939

References furnised upon request.

mmmm, I wonder who their reference might be:

Disclaimer: Bunkers are not guaranteed to prevent suicides of egomanical despots.

32 posted on 04/03/2003 10:33:45 AM PST by Michael.SF. ('Lack of concensus is no excuse for lack of leadership' - M. Thatcher)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
If the exit is under water maybe we could hook up a huge vaccuum pump to one of the air vents.
33 posted on 04/03/2003 10:35:25 AM PST by JRjr
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To: Michael.SF.
This guy, Esser, claims his grandmother designed Hitler's bunker. Seems to me he considers such information to be an asset seeing how his site is under construction in three languages: German, English and...Arabic.
34 posted on 04/03/2003 10:36:27 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: JRjr
In an interview a few days ago, Esser went on about the shielding he built into this crib. He sheathed it with lead in addition to 10 meters of reinforced concrete and who knows what.

Seems to me, that it would be an ideal place to secrete a blackmarket Soviet nuke if Sadddam had one. Hans Blix and the UN imbeciles couldn't find their *sses with both hands so I fail to see how Saddam could fail to put one over on that crowd.

I hope like hell that NEST teams there know what they are doing and have effective means of detecting errant nukes.

This worries me a great deal and I won't be jubilant until long after the mop-up.
35 posted on 04/03/2003 10:41:23 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: ko_kyi
People in the bunker were celebrating the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, saying it was an omen for their victory.

It's a nasty Fascist-Nazi rumor that FDR is dead. He's alive. I've seen him on TV, heard his voice telling us that all we have to fear is fear itself. If that doesn't mean he's alive, I don't know what does. He's on TV so he's alive. He still meets regularly with Churchill and Stalin on the History Channel.

36 posted on 04/03/2003 10:49:36 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: gov_bean_ counter
Any chance this guy coughed up the blueprints?

Yeah, they gave up the blueprints during Gulf War I, when they were on our side.

SO9

37 posted on 04/03/2003 10:50:22 AM PST by Servant of the Nine (JDAM the Arabs, Full Speed Ahead)
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To: HAL9000
Apart from his bunker, Saddam is said to have ordered the construction of two others in Baghdad that should enable his army command to resist up to six months.

Do they have an internal air supply? Even then, how long would it last? If not, we should plug up the one they have.

38 posted on 04/03/2003 10:53:23 AM PST by b4its2late (You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.)
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To: Admin Moderator
I don't think they will find him here ... last rumor I heard, that I will personally check out this weekend, is that Saddam has made it to the desert sands in the west of our own country ... picture of recent sighting ---- >>
39 posted on 04/03/2003 10:53:58 AM PST by AgThorn (Continue to pray for our Troops!!)
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To: Interesting Times
"Two underground passages lead directly to the Tigris."

Notice that the Marines decided to come up the EAST side of the Tigris??
40 posted on 04/03/2003 10:58:30 AM PST by LS
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To: WorkingClassFilth
That is the only thing I've been handwringing over. It will be interesting to see how the battle plan addresses this possibility.
41 posted on 04/03/2003 11:00:29 AM PST by TheDon ( It is as difficult to provoke the United States as it is to survive its eventual and tardy response)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I pay attention to it, working 1/4 mile from the capital building in DC.

Nevertheless, it is a risk that doesn't go away if we left Saddam alone, either.
42 posted on 04/03/2003 11:02:23 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: HAL9000; *war_list; W.O.T.; 11th_VA; Libertarianize the GOP; Free the USA; knak; sakka; MadIvan; ...
First the airport, then this!

OFFICIAL BUMP(TOPIC)LIST

43 posted on 04/03/2003 11:02:37 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: finnman69
>>>Think it can withstand a direct assault by a SEAL Team?

Nope, especially if they drive up in a cement mixer.
44 posted on 04/03/2003 11:06:25 AM PST by snooker
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To: HAL9000
What an idiot, this whole system was designed on the faulty idea that an enemy would not have air dominance. If our biggest bunker buster can only get through 25% of the protection, we simply need to use four of them, one right after the other.

Also, we will control the ground over the bunkers very soon. We could just let the seabees clear the dirt with a couple of big bulldozers, use a rock drill to punch a 2" hole through the roof, and then the possibilities are limitless. Oxy-Acetylene and a long fuze (AKA Saddam-b-que), several thousand gallons of liquid nitrogen (AKA Saddam-cicle), several thousand diamondback rattlesnakes (AKA Saddam messed with Texas), the possibilities could make for an interesting thread.

45 posted on 04/03/2003 11:06:37 AM PST by SENTINEL (Proud USMC Gulf War Grunt !)
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To: HAL9000
"Knock, Knock"

"Who's there?"

"Gee"

"Gee who?"

"GeeBeeU-37"

46 posted on 04/03/2003 11:08:26 AM PST by Smedley
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To: HAL9000
"The GBU-37, which US air force commanders have nicknamed "the crowd pleaser," is a 2.25 tonne (5,000-pound) bomb that guides itself to the target using Global Positioning Satellites and steerable fins. Its hardened nose and 13 foot (4.0 meter) length is designed to penetrate six to nine meters (20 to 30 feet) of reinforced concrete before exploding. Its fuse can be set to explode at varying depths depending on the target. It is delivered only by the B-2 stealth bomber, which can carry eight of the bombs. "

Questions from the audience?

47 posted on 04/03/2003 11:24:47 AM PST by Blueflag
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To: ko_kyi
I agree entirely - this is the necessary risk. Saddam needs to taken out and after that, many others if we are commited to the root and branch destruction of Islamic terror.

The concern I have is in the jubilant, almost festive, attitude that seems to be springing up everywhere. Even the media seems to be getting on board for the idea of the imminent collapse of Baghdad.

It is my fervent wish that this will be the case.

However, I have been a conservative and realist for too many years to discount an enemy because they are on the ropes. It seems to me that an overly confident response to things invariably leads to a hill and valley kind of emotional analysis of things.

Recall the '94 victory and celebrations.
Recall the second Krinton elections.
Recall the Lewinski scandal and the Impeachment precedings.
Recall the Senate vote and the Democratic sneers.
Recall the 2000 election.
Recall the Democratic election fraud.

Now recall Saddam's promise to "incinerate" the allies at the gates of Baghdad. We know that too many nuclear items in the Soviet inventory are unaccounted for and Saddam is one customer that has tried to do his shopping well and early. A few moments ago, I read an Iraqi release that urged the fight to continue until the 'leaders' decided on the moment and method to "cleanse" Iraq of the invaders.

This thread began by making comparisons to Hitler and I would draw the readers attention to similar fantastic claims by Goebbles in the last days of the Reich. The wonder weapons he spoke of were not forthcoming. The weapons that Saddam may have may potentially unleash far greater consequences than the destruction of Baghdad and the allied forces there.

For starters, the use of large enough nukes may obliterate much of our military offensive capacity. This, in turn, would render much of the geopolitics of the region and world instantaneously different. Fanatical Islam would get a rallying martyr and a unifying victory over the infidel. I doubt if I miss my guess when I say that a detonation that wiped out our assualt forces concentrated in Iraq would be cheered throughout Islam with more fervor than 911, in spite of millions of Iraqi innocents being lost too.

These are some terrible thoughts that I think of when I hear the jubilation and cheers going up everytime a cruise missile hits its mark. Call me a pessimist, or worse, but I am of the mind that it ain't over till its over, over there.

And that task is a long, long way off.

When the troops are doing garrison duty, I'll celebrate.
48 posted on 04/03/2003 11:36:05 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: camle
Can anyone explain how this bomb penetrates 9 meters of reinforced concrete...roughly 27 feet thick and laced with steel bars probably 6"-12"oc each way? Even with a steel hardened tip? How does it work?
49 posted on 04/03/2003 11:43:06 AM PST by Adder
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To: JRjr
If the exit is under water maybe we could hook up a huge vaccuum pump to one of the air vents.

Or how 'bout tossing in a live electrical cord? And just to add insult to injury we could toss in a couple tires...

50 posted on 04/03/2003 11:52:18 AM PST by HenryLeeII
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