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  #1  
Old 05-26-2004, 03:34 PM
seriousart seriousart is offline
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How effective is throwing yourself on a grenade to minimise casualties?

Recently, a soldier, Jason Dunham, was killed in Iraq after he unfortunately had to put his theories of containing a grenade attack to the test.

Supposedly, he thought that one could minimise casualties if you were to throw your helmet over the grenade and yourself on top. His fellow marines suggested, reportedly, that a flak vest would more aptly protect your vital organs and others if you threw yourself on it and held it in with your forearms.

As the way Dunham handled it, the blast sent shrapnel into two of the surrounding marines, but they lived. Dunham suffered shrapnel wounds to the face, and neck. The shrapnel had penetrated his skull and ultimately he died in a hospital in Germany.

Is there an official best way to minimise the effect of a thrown grenade, if escape/ throwing it back isn't an option?
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2004, 03:57 PM
Chastain86 Chastain86 is offline
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In no way am I trying to minimize the bravery of someone defending our freedoms in a foreign land, but...

Jeez.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2004, 04:02 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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I think the idea is to cover the grenade with a helmet, then dive on top of the helmet, keeping it under your belly. Even this is a stupid trick. There is no way you can contain a grenade blast just holding the helmet with your arms. But he did minimise casualties...only three people got hurt, as opposed to....?

In Vietnam and elsewhere, if you had a prepared position, soldiers would dig a grenade pit in the center of the foxhole. That way you could kick the grenade into the pit, where its blast and shrapnel would be directed upward, minimising damage to occupants of said foxhole.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2004, 04:20 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
. But he did minimise casualties...only three people got hurt, as opposed to....?
.

I'm not sure I fully understand the OP. Did the soldier throw himself on a grenade which had been thrown on him and his buddies, or did he use his own grenade to test his theory?
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:38 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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He was defending his battalion from attack, according to the news reports.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2004, 04:39 PM
Flander Flander is offline
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If he used his own grenade, he's definitely a Darwin Award candidate. Either way, another casualty in the fight against ignorance.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2004, 04:46 PM
legion legion is offline
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Way back in WW1 Sergent John Carmichael won a VC after using the ol' helmet & grenade trick:

"For most conspicious bravery. When excavating a trench, Sergeant Carmichael saw that a grenade had been unearthed and had started to burn. He immediately rushed to the spot, and shouting to his men to get clear, placed his steel helmet on the grenade and stood on the helmet. The grenade exploded and blew him out of the trench. Sergeant Carmichael could have thrown the grenade out of the trench, but he realised that by so doing, he would have endangered the lives of men working on top. By this splendid act of resource and self sacrifice, Sergeant Carmichael undoubtedly saved many men from injury, but it resulted in serious injury to himself."

John Carmichael, V.C.
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2004, 04:58 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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When I was with the 2nd MarDiv in Gulf War, Episode One, a few days before the ground assault, we heard a "boom" that didn't sound quite right. That part is fact. Story was, a recon Marine had returned from snooping and pooping across the border in Kuwait, and they were removing their armaments. He had a grenade "John Wayne" style, hung by the spoon on his flak jacket, and when he removed it, the spoon flew off and the grenade fell. The witnesses were not sure if what happened next was heroic or reflex, but he essentially fell on it, and his soft tissue absorbed the blast. He did not survive the incident, but no other Marines were hurt. I cannot corroborate that last part as fact.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2004, 05:00 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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I don't know if this is still in vogue -- and apparently it'snot in Corporal Dunham's outfit -- but dugouts and bunkers can be built with what are called "grenade pits." It's just a deeper, narrow hole in the floor of the bunker. You sweep the grenade into it, and it becomes something like a vertical shotgun --atever energy that's not absorbed by the earthen sides of the pit is directed straight upward. If you're not over the pit opening, you're reasonably safe.

I can't speak to which is safer to try -- a helmet or a flack jacket. Frankly, I'd try a sandbag before either of them.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2004, 05:34 PM
paperbackwriter paperbackwriter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flander
If he used his own grenade, he's definitely a Darwin Award candidate. Either way, another casualty in the fight against ignorance.
According to the Marines, Dunham died when his squad responded to a roadside ambush of a convoy including the battalion commander. Not a prepared position (so no chance for a grenade pit) and not his own grenade (so not a Darwin Award candidate). In fact, he's been recommended for quite a different posthumous award -- The Medal of Honor.

Quote:
Around 12:15 p.m., Cpl. Dunham's team came to an intersection and saw a line of seven Iraqi vehicles along a dirt alleyway... they started checking the vehicles for weapons.
Cpl. Dunham approached a run-down white Toyota Land Cruiser. The driver, an Iraqi in a black track suit and loafers, immediately lunged out and grabbed the corporal by the throat, according to men at the scene. Cpl. Dunham kneed the man in the chest, and the two tumbled to the ground.
...
A few yards away, Lance Cpl. Jason Sanders, 21, a radio operator from McAlester, Okla., says he heard Cpl. Dunham yell a warning: "No, no, no -- watch his hand!"
What was in the Iraqi's hand appears to have been a British-made "Mills Bomb" hand grenade. ... The Marines later found what they believe to have been the grenade's pin on the floor of the Toyota, suggesting that the Iraqi had the grenade in his hand -- on a hair trigger -- even as he wrestled with Cpl. Dunham.
None of the other Marines saw exactly what Cpl. Dunham did, or even saw the grenade. But they believe Cpl. Dunham spotted the grenade -- prompting his warning cry -- and, when it rolled loose, placed his helmet and body on top of it to protect his squadmates.
The scraps of Kevlar found later, scattered across the street, supported their conclusion. The grenade, they think, must have been inside the helmet when it exploded. His fellow Marines believe that Cpl. Dunham made an instantaneous decision to try out his theory that a helmet might blunt the grenade blast.
"I deeply believe that given the facts and evidence presented he clearly understood the situation and attempted to block the blast of the grenade from his squad members," Lt. Col. Lopez wrote in a May 13 letter recommending Cpl. Dunham for the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor. "His personal action was far beyond the call of duty and saved the lives of his fellow Marines."
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2004, 08:45 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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From what I have heard, that the best strategy for saving oneself from a grenade (when there is no reasonable alternative) is to hug the ground as flat as possible preferably belly down and head away from the grenade.

You will suffer some damage, but it greatly lessens the chances of death.

"Hit the dirt!"
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2004, 09:09 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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I don't like going out on a limb, and maybe I'm taking a risk here, but I think that, as a general rule, jumping AWAY from a grenade is safer than jumping TOWARD it.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2004, 09:42 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim
I don't know if this is still in vogue -- and apparently it'snot in Corporal Dunham's outfit -- but dugouts and bunkers can be built with what are called "grenade pits." It's just a deeper, narrow hole in the floor of the bunker. You sweep the grenade into it, and it becomes something like a vertical shotgun --atever energy that's not absorbed by the earthen sides of the pit is directed straight upward. If you're not over the pit opening, you're reasonably safe.

I can't speak to which is safer to try -- a helmet or a flack jacket. Frankly, I'd try a sandbag before either of them.
IANAWarHero, but I'd be interested in the depth of the hole, the soil characteristics and compaction, and several other key variables. Anyway, you'd think the dispersal pattern and explosive charge of a hand grenade would greatly exceed that of a so-called "vertical shotgun."
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2004, 10:39 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Carnac the Magnificent!,

I am certainly not an expert, but I doubt that even the people who dig the holes can answer your questions. The general answer would be, dig it as deep an you can and have time to, My WAG is thaAnd, yes, I agree that the effect would be far more powerful than a shotgun, but I was speaking figuratively - that the shrapnel blast would come up out of the pit scattering like shot.

I Googled with mixed results. A couple of anecdotal soldier stories about putting in grenade pits into dugouts, and surprisingly, a completely different definition of what a grenade pit is. On training ranges, one throwes a grenade from a greande pit into a target are.
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2004, 10:58 PM
NicePete NicePete is offline
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I always wondered how someone had time to do this. Presumably, the grenade thrower has held it for the prescribed time before throwing it. The purpose of holding it for that amount of time is to provide the target minimum opportunity to deal with the grenade once it appears in close proximity. Wouldn't there be only a very short time to react to a thrown grenade?

What is the maximum time involved? How long between pin-pull and kaboom? It just seems like there would be a lot to accomplish in that time period, e.g.
1. Recognize that grenade is present;
2. React (i.e. think of a course of action)
3. Reach up and remove helmet;
4. Approach grenade;
5. Position body and helmet over grenade.

As an extremely rough estimate, I would guess steps 1 and 2 would require somewhere between .25 and .50 seconds each. Step 3, about a second. Step 4, anywhere from 0 to 2 seconds. Finally, step 5, 1 to 2 seconds.

So my extremely wild guess would be that it would take a minimum of around 3 seconds to dive on the grenade. How often would one have 3 seconds to take that action?
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:04 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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That time frame might be significantly altered if you saw the grenade coming. In some movies, they make a hissing sound, though I can't say whether that is true. But it seems conceivable that in some circumstances you might be aware of the grenade before it even leaves the thrower's hand.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:07 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugestWest
I always wondered how someone had time to do this. Presumably, the grenade thrower has held it for the prescribed time before throwing it.
This is a big assumption. Even trained soldiers are leery of holding onto a grenade long enough to make sure it explodes the instant it arrives downrange. Fuses are variable, and most users chuck the sucker the second they pull the pin. The spoon flies off enroute, and you get an extra second or two within which to act.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:09 PM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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Uh, folks, the reason a person throws him/herself on a grenade is so that by their sacrifice the rest of the platoon or unit can survive. If you have time to think and act, you put something between yourself and the grenade, but if you don't, you just throw yourself down on top of it and hope that your comrades are able to avenge your death. I learned this from my high school chemistry teacher who was in 'Nam. He said that the instructors in bootcamp will throw themselves on an errant grenade, sacrificing themselves in order that the recuit(s) might live, should such a situation arise. Soldiers are trained to do this. There's no thought to the matter, only conditioned reflex.
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:19 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Maybe drill instructors are trained to do this, but I doubt there is any training given to gereral infantry for this. You just don't want the whole friggin' squad to leap towrd the grenade to save their buds. I imagine what training there is involves seeking cover and protection.

Of course, I've never been a soldier, and I could be wrong. Bit I've known lots of soldiers, and even looked through training manuals, and I can't eber recall hearing of "jump on the grenade training". But it may well be the kind of thing discussed in barracks among buddies. I imagine that the idea is pretty freely circulated, if not actually trained for.
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:28 PM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim
Maybe drill instructors are trained to do this, but I doubt there is any training given to gereral infantry for this. You just don't want the whole friggin' squad to leap towrd the grenade to save their buds. I imagine what training there is involves seeking cover and protection.

Of course, I've never been a soldier, and I could be wrong. Bit I've known lots of soldiers, and even looked through training manuals, and I can't eber recall hearing of "jump on the grenade training". But it may well be the kind of thing discussed in barracks among buddies. I imagine that the idea is pretty freely circulated, if not actually trained for.
Geez, you ever watch a war movie? Damn near everyone of 'em has some guy throwing himself on a grenade at some point. Now, I realize that movies ain't reality, but if nothing else, the image is so ingrained in people's consciousness that it'd be the first thing that I'd do if I were someplace and a grenade landed at my feet.

Let's look at what the terrain most likely would have been in this instance: flat desert. There's no foxholes to dive into, and you cannot runaway from the grenade, nor can you pick it up in time to throw it out of harms way (a grenade has something like a ten second fuse, and in talking with ex-military types about grenades, they've all told me that no matter how far you throw 'em you still get bounced a bit by the shockwave of one), and if you don't do something, everybody's going to be dead, so you sacrifice yourself for the common good.
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:35 PM
Hup the Fool Hup the Fool is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
IANAWarHero, but I'd be interested in the depth of the hole, the soil characteristics and compaction, and several other key variables. Anyway, you'd think the dispersal pattern and explosive charge of a hand grenade would greatly exceed that of a so-called "vertical shotgun."

You can find a short description and drawing here It's called a grenade sump rather than a grenade pit.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:57 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
Geez, you ever watch a war movie? Damn near everyone of 'em has some guy throwing himself on a grenade at some point. Now, I realize that movies ain't reality, but if nothing else, the image is so ingrained in people's consciousness that it'd be the first thing that I'd do if I were someplace and a grenade landed at my feet.

Let's look at what the terrain most likely would have been in this instance: flat desert. There's no foxholes to dive into, and you cannot runaway from the grenade, nor can you pick it up in time to throw it out of harms way (a grenade has something like a ten second fuse, and in talking with ex-military types about grenades, they've all told me that no matter how far you throw 'em you still get bounced a bit by the shockwave of one), and if you don't do something, everybody's going to be dead, so you sacrifice yourself for the common good.
I don't dispute that it happens, and maybe even fairly often. There are probably even guys who did it that weren't even recognized as having done it. I am simply skeptical that there is training for it. At least anything beyond some kind of barracks bonding conversational things.
Joe: I'd throw myself on a grenade for you guys.
Guys: Right back at you, Joe.

I realize I'm strying too far into IMHO territory, but if anyone can find a cite about training to jump on grenades, I'd like to see it. I have certainly been wrong before, and that is an indisputable fact.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:58 PM
stuyguy stuyguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugestWest
I always wondered how someone had time to do this. Presumably, the grenade thrower has held it for the prescribed time before throwing it. The purpose of holding it for that amount of time is to provide the target minimum opportunity to deal with the grenade once it appears in close proximity...
I am not and have never been a soldier, but I don't think this is how grenades (at least WWII style ones) work.

Pulling the pin does squat for starting the fuse; all the pin does is keep the spoon from flying off. As long as your hand is wrapped around the spoon you could hold an unpinned grenade forever. However, once the spoon goes -- and that only happens as you pitch the grenade -- that's when the race is on.
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2004, 12:33 AM
Xgemina Xgemina is offline
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I was a grunt in the Army and believe it or not, subjects about throwing oneself on a grenade (among other strange and bizzare topics) makes the BS circuit in a unit-especially amonst the younger enlisted, ie: the ones who still think of the glory of combat. It was generally recognized amonst us that the most sure-fired way to get a MoH or DSC was to drop on a grenade. After a quick tour through the 1st Cav museum and seeing all of the MoH recipients it became clear to us that the only guys who survived jumping on a grenade was the one who threw his flak vest or helmet on it first.

That being said, no service instructs you to jump on a grenade. The proper way to react to a grenade is to hit the dirt, with your feet towards the grenade if possible, and pull your arms and hands under your body. The grenade blast will go up and out, thus you should only take a few, hopefully, minor schrapnel wounds.

Cooking grenades. US grenades generally have a 4 second fuse. If you are close to the enemy and there is a chance of the enemy throwing the grenade back AND you have the time, you are taught to release the arming lever (spoon) and count off 2 seconds before throwing. Otherwise, you arm the damn thing and throw it.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2004, 02:42 AM
RM Mentock RM Mentock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flander
If he used his own grenade, he's definitely a Darwin Award candidate. Either way, another casualty in the fight against ignorance.
Ironic post
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  #26  
Old 05-27-2004, 08:31 AM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xgemina
... After a quick tour through the 1st Cav museum and seeing all of the MoH recipients it became clear to us that the only guys who survived jumping on a grenade was the one who threw his flak vest or helmet on it first.
Hmmm ... I've gotta believe the shielding properties of ballistic body armor (flak jackets) wouldn't even come close to saving lives, in your scenario and in most cases.

While it might happen in the "luckiest" of cases, as a rule, I doubt it. Hand grenades have tremendous explosive power and propel shards of hardened steel at tremendous velocity. We're not talking about stopping one round from a snub-nosed .38 or from a burst of semiautomatic gunfire in military settings. And when you consider that the ground/soil might even "shape" or concentrate the explosive charge outward--toward our hero in question--I think his survival in optimal conditions would be nil.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:37 AM
Xgemina Xgemina is offline
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Quote:
... After a quick tour through the 1st Cav museum and seeing all of the MoH recipients it became clear to us that the only guys who survived jumping on a grenade was the one who threw his flak vest or helmet on it first.
Quote:
Hmmm ... I've gotta believe the shielding properties of ballistic body armor (flak jackets) wouldn't even come close to saving lives, in your scenario and in most cases.
That should have been, "...vest and helmet on it first."

There were 26 1st Cav MoH recipients in Vietnam, 6 of those were awarded specifically for jumping on a grenade to save their comrades. An additional 3 were awarded for shielding their comrades from sapper charges or mines. Another soldier had a grenade on his belt armed by an enemy round and couldn't get it out of the pouch, so he charged the enemy instead of having the grenade detonate in his fighting position with his squad mates.

Of the 6 soldiers who dived on a grenade only one survived, SPC John P. Baca, and he was the only one to place his helmet on the grenade first. This portion of his citation says it best:
Quote:
...As they prepared to engage the enemy, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into the midst of the patrol. Fully aware of the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Baca unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his own safety, covered the grenade with his steel helmet and fell on it as the grenade exploded, thereby absorbing the lethal fragments and concussion with his body...
List of 1st Cav MoH recipients in Vietnam
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  #28  
Old 05-27-2004, 09:56 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
...He said that the instructors in bootcamp will throw themselves on an errant grenade, sacrificing themselves in order that the recuit(s) might live, should such a situation arise. Soldiers are trained to do this.
They may be trained to jump on the grenade as a last chance, but I doubt that they're trained to jump unless they have exhausted all other options. I never served, but one of the primary rules in all of my first aid and water rescue classes was to take an incremental approach to maintain my personal safety (i.e., better one person die than two.)

FWIW, the closest thing to this that I've heard* to was a guy who tried to cook off a grenade during training. The instructor broke the guy's jaw, picked up the grenade and threw it downrange before it went off.

*From a guy that I doubt would BS about it.
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:27 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
Hmmm ... I've gotta believe the shielding properties of ballistic body armor (flak jackets) wouldn't even come close to saving lives, in your scenario and in most cases.

While it might happen in the "luckiest" of cases, as a rule, I doubt it. Hand grenades have tremendous explosive power and propel shards of hardened steel at tremendous velocity. We're not talking about stopping one round from a snub-nosed .38 or from a burst of semiautomatic gunfire in military settings. And when you consider that the ground/soil might even "shape" or concentrate the explosive charge outward--toward our hero in question--I think his survival in optimal conditions would be nil.

A couple minor points:
1. The blast effect from grenades is not as powerful as you seem to think. They cause casualties primarily from the fragments of metal thrown off by the explosion. The old fashioned "pineapple" grenade had its case formed that way because the designers thought it would cause more efficient fragmentation.
2. The older "flak vests" were designed to protect the soldier from metal fragments (aka (incorrectly) shrapnel) and were neither intended nor exoected to protect the soldier from small arms fire. The newer ballistic armor that is based on kevlar and similar products is capable of protecting the soldier from small arms fire, especially when augmented with lexan/metal/ceramic trauma plates.
3. Shell and grenade fragments are not nearly as penetrative as even a 9mm pistol round. They work more on a "shotgun" type of effect. That is the soldier, if he is within the shell/grenades effective radius gets hit with numerous fragments. The farther away he is from "ground zero" the fewer fragments strike him and the more slowly those fragments will be moving. Fragments are not nearly as ballistically efficient as a bullet and don't retain velocity well.
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:27 AM
plnnr plnnr is offline
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One of my employees was a medic in Vietnam. I just asked him point-blank - "Did you received instructions to jump on a live grenade should one get lobbed at you?"

His answer: "Are you fucking nuts? Hell, no. We were instructed to hit the dirt and pray that we lived."
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  #31  
Old 05-27-2004, 12:23 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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Military folks are not trained to jump on grenades.

The love for one another that can only be brought about by shared combat trauma and survival may make normal people put the survival of their buddies above self-preservation at certain times. Fatalistic ideals may play into their decisions. I'm sure each case varies.
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Old 05-27-2004, 01:19 PM
Aguecheek Aguecheek is offline
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More ex-military chiming in (CDN).

In grenade training, I was taught that if I let go of the spoon in any fashion other than in the act of throwing the damn thing away from me, I would be removed from the range, and disciplinary action would be taken. 'Cooking' a grenade is not done. These things are not precision instruments.

Similarly, we were never taught to throw ourselves on a grenade. Should one drop in the pit from which we threw it, we were to remove ourselves from the pit posthaste. If we were in combat and a grenade happened to pop in on our position, Stop, Drop and Cover, baby.

I'm aware that several situations have arisen whereupon some soldiers have felt it necessary to sacrifice themselves for buddy. I do not dispute that, nor do I belittle it. It is one of the most selfless acts I could imagine someone taking. But for the most part, we were generally encouraged to remember that in wartime, the best way to win is to make sure you take the enemy out, not yourself.
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  #33  
Old 05-27-2004, 03:48 PM
shijinn shijinn is offline
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what is the difference between covering a grenade with a helmet and your body versus just the helmet itself? wouldn't the helmet be enough to take care of the shrapnel?
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  #34  
Old 05-27-2004, 04:22 PM
Sarcastro Sarcastro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shijinn
what is the difference between covering a grenade with a helmet and your body versus just the helmet itself? wouldn't the helmet be enough to take care of the shrapnel?
I'd guess that the helmet would just become more shrapnel, but maybe they're tougher than I imagine.
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  #35  
Old 05-27-2004, 05:08 PM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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I asked a coworker who just got out of the Army about this today and he said that military personnel are trained to throw themselves away from the grenade (with their helmet facing towards the blast, because if you put your feet towards it, and your chin straps on, the shockwave could screw pull your head off), but that if you see a grenade hit the ground directly in front of you, you literally only have about a second to do something before it goes off. He said that in such a situation, "your best bet is to hope some dumbass throws himself on the grenade."

I'm certainly not going to dispute his word on the matter (he went into more detail about it, but I don't have time to type everything he said), and I got to thinking about what could reasonably be thought to go through a person's mind when a grenade plunks down in front of them. It's highly likely that if you're within inches of the thing, it doesn't matter if you're prone or not, you're going to die, quite possibly a slow, agonizing death, whereas if you throw yourself ontop of the grenade, you'll die almost instantly. Seems to me that the second choice is the lesser of two evils.

IIRC, in one episode of Band of Brothers (haven't yet read the book), one of the members of Easy Company fell on a live grenade and lived.
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  #36  
Old 05-27-2004, 05:34 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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Anyone who's ever tossed a grenade can tell you--they have a pop to 'em that makes an M-80 sound like bubble gum. Your chest & innards rattle more viciously than they do at any rock concert. And if you're not familiar with explosives, they are just terrifying little things. I never did get used to them. Drill Instructor at the grenade range was just about the hardest-assed, most serious mo-fo I ever ran into at Basic. Evidently he didn't care much for the things either--and they are as nasty as they are loud. Basically, if you didn't do the grenade toss just right, you got the idea hed jump on the grenade alright--and use YOU as the cushion.

I guess my point is, I find it hard to believe that there are too many people who could regard a cooking grenade at their feet and maintain any sense of decorum. i would expect reactions to occur pretty much randomly between freeze, freeze & drop the chalupa, jump away from the grenade, jump on the grenade, grab a helmet-cover the grenade & hop on top...just whatever occurs to the person. One thing you'll never hear of: two guys smacking their heads together in an attempt to cover the same grenade.
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:44 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes
They may be trained to jump on the grenade as a last chance, but I doubt that they're trained to jump unless they have exhausted all other options. I never served, but one of the primary rules in all of my first aid and water rescue classes was to take an incremental approach to maintain my personal safety (i.e., better one person die than two.)

FWIW, the closest thing to this that I've heard* to was a guy who tried to cook off a grenade during training. The instructor broke the guy's jaw, picked up the grenade and threw it downrange before it went off.

*From a guy that I doubt would BS about it.
It's the "broke jaw" part that would set off my BS alarm.
Peace,
mangeorge
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  #38  
Old 05-27-2004, 08:58 PM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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December, 1961, Ft Carson CO. , US Army Basic Training. Hand Grenade day.
Yak, Yak, Yak......
Then to the range.
Walk in or a slight down step into a chest high pit ( more or less open on the back side ) with a narrow trench ( 6-8” ) about 4 feet deep across the front.
Side stabilized with wood boards.
We were handed one old W.W.II style pineapple grenade and would throw at tires out in front of us. Then the second W.W.II style and then one slick new style grenade that was supposed to have segmented wire wrapped inside and was better and more powerful.

That one we had to pull the pin and hold for about 14 years
( maybe 15 seconds but I really felt it was in the years category ) before we were allowed to let the lever come off and had to say the word, “ONE” before throwing it. ( they did not trust the older ones to even count to “ONE” with )

We all managed to do that except one guy who got so nervous that while holding it with the pin out, dropped it. I was standing behind that pit at a distance and saw the instructor with one hand start sweeping the GI backwards, with one foot kick the grenade into the pit and himself fall away with the young soldier. The thing went off just like it was supposed to and no one was hurt as the blast went up and other than the fear and the concussion, nothing was done to anyone.

Well, the soldiers ass was hurting a bit later after the Instructor got through with him but he really did not land on him as hard as you might think because the value of the lesson to the whole platoon was beyond measure.
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  #39  
Old 05-28-2004, 05:26 AM
xash xash is offline
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From HowStuffWorks.com:

How Grenades Work
http://science.howstuffworks.com/grenade.htm
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