Accession Number : AD0802059

Title :   CALTROPS, TACTICAL ANTIPERSONNEL OBSTACLES.

Descriptive Note : Interim rept. 6 May-4 Aug 66,

Corporate Author : ARMY ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LABS FORT BELVOIR VA

Personal Author(s) : Stanley, Arthur T.

Report Date : OCT 1966

Pagination or Media Count : 70

Abstract : This report covers an investigation of caltrops to optimize designs and determine practicality of application as a tactical antipersonnel obstacle. Based on analysis of empirical data and application of theoretical models, sufficient evidence exists to warrant a field test of caltrops in a combat environment. This evidence, although limited by experimental safety requirements, suggests the following: (1) Caltrops will penetrate footgear to inflict puncture injuries on all types and conditions of soil considered, except in areas where walking would be difficult because of the depth to which a foot would sink. In these areas, penetration will initiate and the caltrop will remain in the footgear. Therefore, either injury will occur once firmer soil is reached, or delay will be caused because the caltrop will have to be removed from the footgear while personnel are walking through the unfavorable soil area. (2) The delay time caused by caltrops, applied as a obstacle within an integrated defensive perimeter with a density corresponding to a probability of injury of 40 percent, will exceed that created by triple standard concertina. (3) Incapacitation, resulting from swelling and pain approximately 30 minutes after injury, makes caltrops highly effective for impeding travel over escape routes by unfriendly forces, pocketed or partially trapped by friendly troops. (4) Caltrops, distributed at low densities, will inflict serious injury upon anyone who attempts to 'hit the dirt.' The caltrop design would result in an item which, when compared to triple standard concertina in unconventional warfare environments, would be more logistically efficient and practical for application by tactical units as an antipersonnel obstacle.

Descriptors :   *ANTIPERSONNEL WEAPONS, PENETRATION, MILITARY PERSONNEL, WOUNDS AND INJURIES, TACTICAL WEAPONS, OPTIMIZATION, PACKAGING, RELEASE MECHANISMS, AIR DROP OPERATIONS, DEPLOYMENT, TERRAIN, SOILS, STEEL, WIRE, FEET, SHOES, PROBABILITY, BACKGROUND.

Subject Categories : Ammunition and Explosives

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE