Surgeon-Scientists Put on Endangered Professionals List – “Experts” from University of Virginia Health are sounding an alarm to the medical industry that, due to a number of factors, the Physician-Scientist is becoming an endangered profession.
The reasons given don’t include the extra layer of filtering choking off professionals in all fields, DEI filtering for the proper progmerican, which is no American at all.
To be sure, outside of the DEI filtering, the problem here would be existential even without that standard now being layered into most institutions. The addition of the DEI filter, however, will accelerate the death of this essential profession to human development, never mind healthcare, which is significant enough in and of itself.
“Surgeons are struggling to find funding, and many of them are not able to obtain funding despite trying for 10 years. Surgeon-scientists have made many advances in biomedical research in fields such as transplantation, oncology, and diabetes,” said UVA Health surgery intern Adishesh K. Narahari, MD, PhD, the first author of the new scientific paper. “In short, surgeons need to apply for funding early and become proficient at navigating the biomedical research world. Otherwise, we may see a decrease in innovation and lack of new solutions to not only surgical problems but many areas of biomedical research.”
The genesis of this article came from a completely different angle, namely, the deployment of laser weapons to the battlefield. However, as things frequently go, that initial idea led to something of much more immediate interest.
Previously, the Freedomist has covered some aspects of “improvised warfare” that some seem to take as James Bond-like fantasy. Yet, as we progress through the third decade of the 21st Century, remotely controlled drones – available in most countries through their local Amazon store – capable of both conducting tactical combat surveillance, as well as tactical air support by dropping small fragmentation grenades, are serious and maturing battlefield threats, threats that military and security forces are struggling to counter.
“Improvised warfare” has been around since the first caveman grabbed the jawbone of his last dinner to bash in the noggin of another caveman trying to muscle in on the first one’s turf. Throughout military history, outside of the heroically vast and sweeping battles of storied yore, there has always lurked the “PBI” – the “Poor, Bloody Infantry” – struggling to make do with usually-substandard weapons and equipment, improvising on the fly, on the idea that “if it looks stupid, but works – it isn’t stupid.”
This is also true in naval warfare. “Suicide boats,” in the form of “fire ships”, go back to at least the 3rd Century AD in China, and the 5th Century AD in the Mediterranean, and those dates are only the earliest we have on record. The use of fire ships in combat has always been problematic, as controlling the vessels after the skeleton crews abandoned them was impossible, and the abandoned vessels could easily come back on the attackers.
As naval technology advanced however, fire ships, as such, disappeared, replaced by explosive-laden boats propelled by early steam engines. These boats had some advantages, not being as subject to winds as the old ships, and their explosive warheads were much more capable of inflicting serious, if not fatal, damage to large warships. Still, the inability to steer the boats remotely left their utility still strictly limited.
As with so many things in the military sphere, during World War 2, everything changed. The intersection of technologies with mass production and sincere desperation, allowed the first tactically useful guided weapons, not simply on land and in the air, but at sea, human control was still the primary aiming method until the last moment.
Post-WW2, the use of explosive motorboats continued, eventually evolving into actual “suicide boats”, where the crews rode the craft directly into their targets. While this was always a danger for the operators of these boats, very few navies outside of WW2 Japan set out with this as their operating profile. Beginning in the 1980’s, this began to change, first with the LTTE in Sri Lanka and with Iran in its “WW1, 2.0” war with Iraq. This is, in fact, what happened to the USS Cole (DDG 67) when it was attacked at anchor in October of 2000, as the suicide crew happily “saluted” the American crew before detonating their massive charge, nearly destroying the ship.
And then – another “sea change” (no pun intended) happened.
As the Soviet Union collapsed, and Communist China finally figured out how mix capitalism with a brutal, totalitarian governmental system, the West welcomed the Communist remnants into a burgeoning world trade system with open arms. As the global economy shifted and changed, the technology sector exploded in its own form of “business as war.” Technology once reserved only to the “Great Powers” became ‘democratized’, available at reasonable prices to the general public. While major nations certainly had far better and more capable – and much more expensive – systems, smaller states (and groups) suddenly had access to technology and manufacturing bases that significantly increased their capabilities versus local opponents (including their own citizens, but that’s another conversation, entirely).
All that was waiting was another spate of desperation to drive improvisation.
But now, desperation-induced technological innovation has caught up with the navies of the world.
On January 30, 2017, the Saudi Arabian frigate RSN Al Madinah (FG 702) was struck and seriously damaged by an explosive-laden speedboat. Initially, it was believed that the craft was a piloted suicide boat deployed by the Shi’a Islam Houthi rebels of Yemen, which country has been in its most recent civil war since 2014. Soon, though, it became apparent that the attack craft was actually a remotely- controlled craft.
Speculation immediately turned to Iran. Iran, in addition to being co-religionists to the Houthis, was already supplying the rebels with short-range ballistic missiles and combat drones. In this regard, Iran differs from Ukraine only in that they supply their craft externally.
Given the rapid advances in remote-operations technology, it would be no great task to re-engineer common pleasure boats to function as drone attack craft; as well, the issue of a simplified, “standard issue” refit kit (similar in theory to an aircraft JDAM unit) is virtually guaranteed.
But ultimately – what does all this actually mean, in the grand scheme of things?
Simply, insurgents and guerrillas are now much more capable than they were in the past, as they are now capable to extend remote-controlled warfare into the nautical dimension. With the democratization of military training, this opens the ugly possibility of radical forces being capable of enforcing localized (if not regional) combined-arms dominance over all the most capable of national militaries.
The fact that this is an operational possibility worthy of consideration is not something that should alarm only strategic planners – it is something that average citizen needs to seriously consider.
When the tank appeared on the battlefields of World War One, it sparked terror among armies, who had no answer to it at first. The Germans attempted to counter it with new artillery tactics and later, new artillery weapons to destroy the armored beasts, followed by their first attempt to copy the British behemoths. After World War One ended, all of the militaries involved (the professional ones, at least) reviewed their activities during the war, trying to learn what had gone right, and – more importantly – what had gone wrong.
Regarding the tank, it was found to be useful, certainly, but it suffered from all the ills of any prototype concept, being ridiculously unreliable, too large, too slow, and poorly armored by the end of the war. The next two decades saw continual developments in all of the nations who felt that they might well be on the front line of the next war which – platitudes and wishful thinking about the “war to end all wars” aside – knew was coming.
World War two proved to be the watershed in tank design that most militaries expected. Designs were refined, weapons were improved, and tactics were evolved by force. In general, the things that didn’t work were ruthlessly cast aside, in favor of what worked. This cycle, of course, worked in both directions.
Tanks have severe weaknesses. For the crews, the most important weakness was a painfully limited view. Sticking one’s head outside a tank in the middle of a fight was not conducive to long life, and the visions blocks inside the tank had severely limited fields of view (and still do), limiting the crews’ ability to see anything outside of their steel box. For this reason, specially trained infantry had to escort the tanks across the battlefield to protect them long enough to make it into contact with the enemy…whose infantry could be expected to be armed with whatever anti-tank weapons they had access to, usually in large quantities.
The infantry forces of the world were not about to concede the battlefield to the metal beasts, however.
From the beginning, in WW1, non-armored forces struggled to find countermeasures against the tank. By 1946, dedicated anti-tank artillery had been joined (albeit briefly) by anti-tank rifles. During the “interwar period”, anti-tank hand grenades were developed; while effective, the grenades were really desperation weapons, given how they had to be used. Another weapon was the anti-tank landmine. A very effective class of weapon, they are strictly defensive in nature, and could be problematic in use, as the mines themselves could not be easily re-positioned at need.
A combination of simple rocket technology pushing a small warhead based on the “Monroe Effect”, the first crude “bazookas” deployed by the US Army proved to be highly effective tools for the infantry. Their only real downside was their very short range, compared to tank cannons. Still it was a major advance.
The American bazooka was copied directly by the Germans, in their “Panzerschrek” (or, “tank’s bane”), who had jump-started their own research program early in 1943 with their “Panzerfaust” (or, “armor-fist”), a one-shot weapon much like a conventional hand grenade. Both weapon concepts continue today, in a variety of models.
But, it was quickly recognized early on that a ‘middle ground’ was needed. Where conventional – if specialized – artillery was effective, the materials involved in building the dedicated weapons took away from more conventional artillery fire missions. At the same time, hand-held weapons – while also effective – were quickly being countered with better tank armor, and better coordination between enemy tanks and infantry.
In the aftermath of World War 2, the victorious states quickly divided into two mutually hostile camps, initiating the “Cold War”. And, like their fathers in the interwar period, continued the search for the middle ground.
To a great extent, anti-tank artillery disappeared after WW2, in a concession to realism, because the class of weapons was simply not dynamic enough to keep pace with the speed demands of a modern battlefield. It was here, however, that the next development arrived.
Resembling a conventional artillery tube, the recoilless rifle barrel is much thinner, for its caliber. Recoilless rifles work, basically, by firing a shell from a specially designed shell casing. This casing is perforated to allow a portion of the ballistic gases to vent to the rear, through a hollow breach. While not completely “recoil-less”, these weapons were a serious threat to tanks, as their warheads were fully capable of destroying a “main battle tank” of the day in one shot. And, while too heavy to be carried by hand, they were still light enough to be mounted in the back of a Jeep or pickup truck.
The recoilless rifle, in its turn, was sidelined by improvements to tank armor. Replacing it, however, was the ATGM. The Anti-Tank Guided Missile dawned in the early 1950’s. They were crude by modern standards, were hard to control in flight, and had a limited range, but technology was advancing rapidly, and the weapons improved dramatically in the 1960’s, especially in warhead technology.
The 1970’s dawned, and with it, the ATGM. In 1972, the US Army deployed the TOW Missile System to Vietnam, where it quickly began destroying tanks, being fired from helicopters. But this was just the proverbial ‘opening round’.
On October 6, 1973, the armed forces of Egypt invaded the Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula. The furious, three-week long battle that resulted fundamentally changed the landscape of war for the first time since World War 1.
The Israelis had built up a well-deserved reputation for military prowess, one that would hold true in 1973…but not without taking a severe bruising in the process.
When Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal and overran the Israeli defensive line, they halted and set up their own line, waiting for the Israeli counterattack. That should have been the first sign of trouble. Israeli tank commanders, however elected to not wait for more infantry to come up to support them, and attacked directly into the Egyptian line. The result was a bloodbath: the Israelis lost more than sixty tanks in a matter of minutes, as Egyptian ATGM troops cut the unsupported tanks to shreds.
The 9M14 Malyutka (NATO Reporting Name : AT-3 ‘Sagger’), first produced by the Soviet Union in 1963, is probably the most-produced ATGM in history, a weapon still in both production and use as of this writing.
A tiny weapon, the Malyutka/Sagger fits into a briefcase-sized carrier. Assembled at its launch sight, the missile has an effective range of 500-3,000 meters. Its warhead remains potent even today: although no longer effective against most tanks, it remains very effective against buildings and light vehicles. The weapon’s warhead is in the same general category as that of the RPG-7, but has a much longer range.
Armies – and other groups – took note.
Now, there are a wide array of ATGM’s prevalent throughout the world. From the European MILAN launchers mounted to Toyota Hilux pickup trucks in the Chadian desert, to American Javelin missiles destroying invading Russian tanks in Ukraine, lightweight military forces around the world have finally found the balance they need to meet heavier forces equally on the field.
The dust these changes have stirred up have not fully settled as of 2023. Tanks remain dangerous actors on the battlefield, pundit declarations to the contrary aside. But, as we increasingly enter a period of “discount war”, high-powered weapons in the hands of light, fast-moving forces with tiny logistical footprints and easy-to-acquire and -operate combat vehicles is forcing a serious rethink of the scope of military action…
…At least, among those who pause long enough to reflect on the question.
NASA’s Solid State Architecture Batteries for Enhanced Rechargeability and Safety (SABERS) is claiming they have created a solid-state battery that will break the barriers that held back the development of electric-powered planes. Some of the advantages of the new battery include it is not made with the scarce resource of lithium. It is also lighter than lithium-ion batteries, is not highly flammable, and has a greater range than lithium-ion batteries do.
SABERS has also been able to overcome a major disadvantage associated with solid-state battery technology. Typically, lithium-ion batteries are much more efficient when it comes to discharging power. But through a new innovation SABERS has been able to “increase a solid-state battery’s discharge rate by a factor of 10 – and then by another factor of five,” according to a report from Yahoo! News.
SABERS’ Rocco Viggiano, an investigator at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland said, “We’re starting to approach this new frontier of battery research that could do so much more than lithium-ion batteries can. Not only does this design eliminate 30 to 40 percent of the battery’s weight, it also allows us to double or even triple the energy it can store, far exceeding the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries that are considered to be state of the art.”
A former Google Executive reveals the true depraved nature of Silicon valley when he recently claimed that the future of humanity will see the rise of sex robots that will replace human-on-human companionship. Ex-Google executive Mohammad Mo Gawdat paints a future for humanity that involves less human to human contact and more human to AI contact, and he not only seems to like it, he doesn’t understand how you might disagree with him.
He said, “Why would you need another being when AI will make you enjoy companionship and sexuality by giving signals in your brain?”
He later said, “If my brain believes something is real then it is real for me no matter if it is actually alive or not,” a statement that reveals his absolute ignorance about the divine-requiring nature of humanity, something he has in common with others who operate under the godless anti-human ideology of leftism in general.
He did offer this one caveat, acknowledging that human dependence on AI to meet more of their needs could backfire, saying “A nuclear bomb can’t create more nukes but the AI that we are building is capable of creating another AI.”
For our readers, let this writer assure you that human nature will confound this godless man and all those who think like he does. We want, we need, human to human interaction, affirmation, and no robot can long satisfy the needs humans have for human affirmation. The only people who will accept an AI wife or husband over a human one are those as depraved as this man and people like him that embrace and live out the anti-human ideology of leftism.
Techspot shared news a new device that can be worn in the ear that is a more effective method of integrating a computer with the mind. The title of the article reads, “Scientists develop novel brain-computer interface that plugs into your ear canal.” The device was created in China. It’s called a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). The device could eventually augment memory, turn thoughts to text, and more. It could be used for “good” or for “ill,” such as helping you have better memory recall or conditioning your mind to believe false memories.
The Chinese Communist Party owns everything, directly (thanks to Communism) and indirectly (thanks to fascism), so the news should be troubling when it comes from a fascist police state of the nature of the CCP-controlled nation.
America has at least one device being developed here of a similar nature. It’s called a Neuralink and it’s being developed by Elon Musk.
BCI’s could be just what people who support a singularity (a merging of tech and human) need to make their dreams come true. Neither Neuralink nor the Chinese makers have made it clear if and when either device would be ready for “commercial” or even “institutional” use. The nature of advanced tech is typically such that states that can will secretly test and apply these technologies significantly before they’re ever available to the public, so it is likely that both devices are already being used by their respective state governments.
The American Accountability Foundation has sent out a warning to Americans that the federal government, under the direction of the mass mailer President Joe Biden, is seeking to program their AI programs to think like an an American-hating, white-fearing, heterosexual-resistant, child-grooming far left psychopath, or what is more commonly referred to as being “woke.”
The organization tweeted out, “The Biden admin. Has plans to make artificial intelligence systems WOKE. They have plans to rig AI in the name of fighting ‘algorithmic discrimination,’ ‘harmful bias,’ and ‘data that fails to account for existing systemic biases in American society.” The good news is their AI systems will fail to deliver accurate information to the far leftists manning their learning machines for answers on how to more effectively and rapidly destroy the American public. Private AI systems will run circles around these intentionally-cognizantly-challenged tools.
On the very first day of the public existence of Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter killer, Threads, the world learned that on Zuck’s platform it is not ok to say “non-binary isn’t real.” The world learned of Threads’ freedom-of-speech-killing policies after Chaya Raichik, aka Libs of Tiktok, dared sharing this post on Zuck’s “Twitter Killer.” The app cancelled Raichik’s post for violating its “hate speech” policies, which is a dog whistle for “resisting the far left’s orthodoxy.”
Zuck’s version of hate speech, according to Instagram, whose terms of service are what governs Threads, is speech that is “a direct attack against people…. On the basis of what we call protected characteristics: race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease.”
Never mind the FACT that the concept of non-binary is a direct assault on all people who hold to the right belief that God created man and woman in his own image.
Raichik said “Within hours of joining (Zuck’s “Twitter Killer) I got death threats, had people sharing my address, and was told to kill myself. None of those posts were removed despite me reporting them. Only my post stating a fact was removed.”
So the real standard is not speech that is a “direct attack against people,” it’s speech that affirms orthodoxy not accepted by far left grooming gangs such as Zuck seems to hope to cultivate. It is yet another example of the Orwellian tactic of naming policies the opposite of what they stand for. Zuck’s real standard is to cultivate “hate speech” against normal, non-child-grooming people to protect the abnormal, psychotic child grooming cult that is the far left.
A new metallic gel could lead to metal 3D printers that could create complete objects at room temperature. Not only is it a complete metal object, but it is also highly conductive, meaning you can use it for electronic metal 3D printing, meaning your smartphone might mostly one day be printed using this metallic gel.
According to NC State University, The paper, ‘Metallic Gels for Conductive 3D and 4D Printing,’ is published in the journal Matter. First author of the paper is Ruizhe Xing, a former visiting scholar at NC State who is affiliated with Northwestern Polytechnical University and Tianjin University. Co-corresponding authors of the paper are Dickey, at NC State, and Renliang Huang and Wei Qi of Tianjin University. The paper was co-authored by Jiayi Yang, a former visiting scholar at NC State, now at Xi’an University of Science and Technology; Dongguang Zhang, a former visiting scholar at NC State, now at Taiyuan University of Technology; Wei Gong, a former visiting scholar at NC State, now at the National University of Singapore; Taylor Neumann, a former Ph.D. student at NC State; Meixiang Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at NC State; and Jie Kong of Northwestern Polytechnical University.
Michael Dickey, the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University says of the findings, “3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing, but we’re not aware of previous technologies that allowed you to print 3D metal objects at room temperature in a single step. This opens the door to manufacturing a wide range of electronic components and devices.”
He explained the importance of the use of a metallic gel comprised of liquid metal and copper particles that stick to each other to form a metallic gel network, “This gel-like consistency is important, because it means you have a fairly uniform distribution of copper particles throughout the material. This does two things. First, it means the network of particles connect to form electrical pathways. And second, it means that the copper particles aren’t settling out of solution and clogging the printer.”
So far, the gel is still in testing mode, but the researchers hope to work with the 3D printing industry to develop applications for the discovery, which could lead to new ways of designing electronic components so they can be more completely manufactured in one printing, with little to no post-assembly required.
The hand grenade has been employed in warfare, in one form or another, for over 3,500 years. Very early on after gunpowder was perfected, well before the first real “firearms”, there were hand grenades. The first gunpowder grenades were small, fired-clay pots that were filled with gunpowder, small stones and scrap metal, had a simple fuse stuck into them and were hurled at an enemy. This was an easy development, because other such pots had been filled with thickened, flammable oil, and thrown at an enemy to cause burns, ignite flammable structures, and sow confusion and fear – essentially, what we would now call “Molotov Cocktails” – as well as various type of smoke making and stink bomb-type noxious mixtures.
The main problems with these early types of grenades were many. Their fuses were highly unreliable, for starters; this made them extremely dangerous to use, as they could easily explode early…assuming that the fuse didn’t sputter out, turning the grenade into a dud. Also, the early grenades suffered from the same issues of modern grenades, as there was a long development arc to learn how to balance the weight of the grenade canister, to the weight of the gunpowder charge, to the outer case’s design, to how to store and carry the devices. And, through trial and error, it was soon found that hand grenades are very non-discriminatory – if the thrower is too close when the grenade explodes, its fragments will hit the thrower as well.
It is that last part is what kept the grenade from truly widespread use: safety issues aside, the range of hand grenades is limited by the strength of the thrower. And, given the unreliability of fuses, getting close enough to physically hurl a grenade at an enemy was “problematic” at best; cannons were simply better. Although solutions were tested in the 17th and 18th Centuries, such as the creation of “grenadier” units – men chosen for their physical size and strength, seen as being better at throwing objects long distances – were tried, both the technology and the battle tactics of the era eventually made the throwing of hand grenades a largely pointless exercise; grenadiers eventually stopped carrying hand grenades entirely, instead refocusing their size and strength into acting as elite shock troops, used to storm enemy formations and entrenchments…most people tried to not think about the casualty rates.
By the end of the 19th Century, however, technology had advanced to the point where hand grenades could be equipped with reliable fuse mechanisms, while advances in metals and explosives could make hand grenades vastly more effective.
Hand grenades (as opposed to “rifle grenades”, which will be a subject for another article) are today one of the most widespread non-firearm “force multipliers” in use throughout the world. There are numerous misconceptions about hand grenades and their uses, largely engendered by Hollywood (the “pulling the pin with your teeth” being among the most egregious) that we will strive to correct here.
When World War 1 arrived, the war soon bogged down into the stalemate of trench warfare, it was soon realized that the infantry needed an edge when assaulting a trench. In both the Allied and Triple Alliance camps, some people remembered the grenade, and set to work. The results were very different – the German “Stielhandgranate” (known as the “potato masher,” from its distinctive shape) and the British “Mill’s Bomb” became the default standards.
As the world passed through the inter-war years, then through WW2 and Korea, more types of grenades came into use, as the utility of the devices as married to advancing technology became evident. Today, grenades are everywhere, in a multiplicity of types.
Hand Grenade Types
There are several types of grenades in use, today. All of the types have very different characteristics, and thus should be used only in the right situation. Hand grenades can only be thrown about 30 meters/yards, and typically weigh between 0.75 and 1.25 lbs. Offensive and Pyrotechnic grenades are often rigged with tripwires as booby traps, although any type of hand grenade can be technically used as an IED.
There are five general types of hand grenades in current use:
Special Purpose Munitions
The Defensive Grenade (the “Mill’s Bomb”, referenced above) is what most people are probably thinking of when they hear the word “grenade”. This class of grenade is a high explosive, ‘fragmentation’ grenade, like a WW2 “Pineapple” grenade. These are termed “Defensive” because such grenades are designed to be used from behind “cover” (YouTube link).
These grenades explode violently, sending out a shower of fragments in all directions. In general, if you are within about 7 meters/yards of a Defensive grenade explosion, you have a better than 90% chance of becoming either a very serious casualty…or becoming very dead. If you are within 15 meters, chances are good that you will be wounded in some manner.
In general, grenades technically have a 5 second fuse; one should expect a 3 second fuse, at best. Note, however, that when dealing with captured supplies, that anything recovered (or “dropped accidentally”) from a lone supply truck should be treated as suspect material.
Offensive grenades – sometimes called “blast” or “concussion grenades” – are designed to kill/wound/stun through “blast effect” (the physical force of the blast) rather than through fragments. See the “Stielhandgranate” reference, above. The casings on these grenades are essentially vaporized by the blast (often, the casings are waterproof paper).
For some reason, the Germans attached a handle to this grenade, which increased its throw-range (because the handle acts as a lever) by about 30% over the more “baseball”-like shapes, such as the Mill’s Bomb. It should be noted that WW2 Soviet RGD-33 stick grenade reversed this trend.
The lethal radius of an Offensive grenade is about 3 – 4 meters, with a casualty radius of about 6 – 10 meters. Offensive and Defensive grenades are usually about the size and shape of a baseball.
“Pyrotechnic” is a classification for grenades that do not cause casualties through their mechanism, but that do different things to support combat operations. In general, this means generating either smoke or illumination.
Smoke grenades produce smoke, usually in a variety of colors, the most popular being red, blue, green, yellow and white. These are useful for concealing movement, as well as signaling.
In contrast, illumination grenades use some kind of very bright-burning material, often magnesium, to light up dark places, usually well in excess of 200,000 candlepower.
Pyrotechnic grenades of all types are usually about the size and shape of a 12oz. soda can.
Almost universally, “gas grenades” employ CS gas (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) as their “tear gas” agent. For those reading this who may have previously served in the armed forces and have gone through the “gas chamber”, but have never had a full-strength riot grenade used on them, the real, “tactical”, grenade is far worse.
Tactically, CS grenades make fantastic contact-breakers for an outnumbered patrol that may be surprised, and has to withdraw quickly. This is because gas training is almost never taken seriously by most militaries…which is why it is vital for every unit to maintain gas masks, and train regularly to “don and clear” as rapidly as possible…However, it should be noted that gas grenades are technically classified as a “chemical weapon” in some quarters, which is why
Gas grenades are generally about the size and shape of a “regulation” softball. They do not generally break into more than 8 or 9 fragments, and have only a very tiny explosive charge in the fuse, just enough to break open the grenade body and disperse the agent within.
Special Purpose Munitions
“Special Purpose Munitions” is a catchall term for “everything else”. This includes both “stun (or ‘flash bang’) grenades” (lots of loud noise and bright flash, but no fragmentation and little real blast effect…unless you’re hold it when it goes off), low-powered “sting-ball” grenades (low explosive charge – or even compressed gas – and the “fragments” are low-velocity rubber balls), and “demolition charges” such as Thermite (which burns hot enough to melt through most types of steel) or White Phosphorous (“WP”, also known colloquially as “Willie Pete”), which disperses particles of phosphorus over a wide area.
The phosphorus tends to ignite flammable objects, and inflicts severe burns on human beings, and cannot be extinguished by water, because it carries its own oxidizing compound. The only thing that can be done to remove the WP matter is to submerge the patient in water, and remove the glowing “coals” from their body with forceps or tweezers.
Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on your personal viewpoint – the hand grenade of today is the infantryman’s personal artillery: used intelligently, the hand grenade can get at enemies hiding around corners, hidden in rooms in a building, in folds in the terrain, or behind cover – all places rifles and pistols cannot reach.
While the technology behind the hand grenade is certainly lethal, and may be upsetting to contemplate for some, it will do to remember the words of the Chinese general Sun Tzu, writing c.500BC:
“There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.”