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Re: OFFICIAL - GZG: Vacuum and zero/low gravity combat…?

From: Jon Tuffley <jon@g...>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2016 19:47:08 +0000
Subject: Re: OFFICIAL - GZG: Vacuum and zero/low gravity combat…?

On 2 Feb 2016, at 18:50, Allan Goodall <> wrote:

> There would still be a blast effect, but no shock wave. The blast
effect would be from the expanding gases of the grenade. Although not a
concussive force, if you're close enough to a grenade while in
microgravity and you survive the fragments (because you have a heavily
armoured suit, for instance) you'd still be pushed away from the blast
point by the gases. 
> This effect could be interesting against anti-gravity vehicles on the
Moon. Even a non-penetrating hit from an explosive AP round could move
it off course. If you aimed the round low enough, there may even be a
chance of flipping the vehicle. This could be an argument for wide
tracked vehicles on the moon.
> The fragments of a hand grenade would have a greater range, but
remember that they are expanding in a spherical cloud. While there is no
atmosphere to slow the fragments down, as the cloud expands the number
of fragments per surface area drops by the square of the distance.
Modern US M67 hand grenades have a lethal radius of 5 m and a wound
radius of 15 m. Even so, they can send fragments out to over 200 m. The
chance that a single fragment will strike you drops off pretty quickly
due to the size of the expanding sphere. Although the concussion effect
of a hand grenade is by no means pleasant, it's the fragments that do
the damage. I would imagine that in a vacuum hand grenades would have
the same effective radius as they do on Earth, with the predominant
decider for lethality being the number of fragments per area as the
fragmentation cloud expands. 

So specialised "vacuum grenades" - hand or launched - would be optimised
for maximum frag effect, possibly with a smaller explosive charge packed
around with more, but smaller, fragments - designed to cause multiple
suit punctures (harder to patch several small holes in time…) rather
than necessarily to inflict major shrapnel wounds on the person…..

> I would also assume that larger artillery rounds would have less of an
effect in a vacuum as they do more of their damage through concussive
shock waves. Mines designed to flip vehicles (rather than penetrate
them) might be a plausible option.

I could see a lot of use being made of mines that detect the passage of
a mass over them, then fire a penetrating charge straight up into the
belly plate - quickly followed by a lot of up-armouring of vehicle
undersides in the field….

Jon (GZG)

> On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 10:35 AM, J L Hilal via Gzg <>
> <de-cloak>
> How about an aerosol mist as an anti-laser defense?
> Grenade fragments will be effective for a greater range, but without
the blast wave, one actually has to be hit by the fragments, no effect
> J
> From: Roger Bell_West <>
> To: 
> Sent: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:37 AM
> Subject: Re: OFFICIAL - GZG: Vacuum and zero/low gravity combat…?
> On Tue, Feb 02, 2016 at 08:15:20AM -0500, andrew apter wrote:
> >Even a bow and arrow will have extended range without atmosphere or
> "So now, armored against vacuum, our bowmen made that famous raid
> called the Battle of the Meteors. Cloth-yard shafts pierced many a
> Wersgor spacesuit without fire-flash or magnetic force-pulse to give
> away a man's position."
> >Clouds of Chaff will hang around for awhile
> >and don't forget about using high energy particle beams.
> Neutral particle beams, because charged ones bloom too much. This is
> exactly the opposite of what you want in atmosphere (where the charge
> helps hold the beam together against atmospheric interference),
> another reason to have dedicated space troops with special equipment.
> R
> -- 
> Allan Goodall

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