posted on 02/24/2004 12:05:27 AM PST
(You've got to be really scummy to make Clinton look honest. - (Samwise, describing John Kerry))
"Wet ammunition stowage was incorporated into the M4A1(76)W, hence the "W" suffix in the designation. This involved storing the ammunition in double-walled boxes. The space between the walls of the boxes were filled with water; ethylene glycol to prevent freezing; and Ammudamp, a rust inhibitor. When these boxes were penetrated, the water would snuff out the resulting ammunition fire. Wet ammunition stowage, and the stowage of most of the ammunition under the turret rather than in the sponsons, drastically reduced the Sherman's propensity to burn; the "W" tanks were no longer "Ronsons." In 76mm gun tanks there was a 6-round ready rack in the turret surrounded by 2.1 gallons (7.9L) of water and a box on either side of the drive shaft, one holding 30 rounds and the other 35, with a total of 34.5 gallons (131L) of water."
I believe the British developed this. The 1960s era Chieftain used wet storage, for instance, for its separate loading bag charges. The water jackets are pressurized (at least in the Chieftain), so a piece of hot metal penetrating the jackets is followed by a stream of cooling water. It seems that there is a second or two window for this process to work. British sources say that wet storage works better on bag charge propellant than on metal cased rounds, but I think the principle is the same.
posted on 02/25/2004 12:41:52 PM PST
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