World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

M44 generator cluster

Article Id: WHEBN0020657686
Reproduction Date:

Title: M44 generator cluster  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: M43 BZ cluster bomb, 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, M60 105mm Cartridge, XM-736 8-inch projectile, M360 105mm Cartridge
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

M44 generator cluster

This U.S. Army rendering illustrates the various components of the M44

The M44 generator cluster was an American chemical cluster bomb designed to deliver the incapacitating agent BZ. It was first mass-produced in 1962 and all stocks of the weapons were destroyed by 1989.

History

The United States Army Chemical Corps renewed their chemical warfare (CW) program's focus in the early 1960s.[1][2] This refocusing led to the pursuit of weapons utilizing agent BZ. In March 1962 the U.S. Army first began mass-production of the M44 generator cluster, along with the M43 BZ cluster bomb.[1][2]

Despite reaching mass-production ("standardization" in military jargon) levels, the M44 and the M43 were never truly integrated into the main U.S. chemical arsenal.[1] In total, around 1,500 of the M44s and M43s were produced.[1] All U.S. BZ munitions and agent stockpiles were stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal.[3] The entire U.S. BZ stockpile, including the M44s, were demilitarized and destroyed between 1988 and 1989.[3]

Specifications

The M44 had a diameter of 15 inches (380 mm) and a length of 60 inches (1.5 m).[3] Weighing 175 pounds the M44 generator cluster was a cluster bomb which was designed to deliver the chemical incapacitating agent BZ; to that end the weapon held approximately 39 pounds of BZ.[3]

The weapon's sub-munitions are a combination of various components. Three M16 BZ smoke generators were held together in an M39 cluster adapter and its M92 wire assembly; the M39 essentially bound and buckled the generators together.[4] Each generator also held its own parachute,[3] complete with harnesses and its own container.[4] Also within the generator was its "generator pail" which contained the M6 canisters, the part of the sub-munition that held the BZ.[3][4] Each of the M44s three generator pails held 42 M6 canisters,[3][4] a total of 126.[5] The canisters were arranged in a 14 three-canister tiers and each one held about 5 ounces of agent BZ.[3]

Issues

The M44s relatively small production numbers were due, like all U.S. BZ munitions, to a number of shortcomings. The M44 dispensed its agent in a cloud of white, particulate smoke.[3] This was especially problematic because the white smoke was easily visible and BZ exposure was simple to prevent; a few layers of cloth over the mouth and nose are sufficient.[6] There were a number of other factors that made BZ weapons unattractive to military planners.[6] BZ had a delayed and variable rate-of-action, as well as a less than ideal "envelope-of-action".[6] In addition, BZ casualties exhibited bizarre behavior, 50 to 80 percent had to be restrained to prevent self-injury during recovery.[6] Others exhibited distinct symptoms of paranoia and mania.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Davison, Neil. "'Off the Rocker' and 'On the Floor': The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons", Bradford Science and Technology Report No. 8, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford (UK), August 2007, p. 5, accessed December 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Smart, Jeffery K. Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Chapter 2 - History of Chemical and Biological Warfare: An American Perspective, (PDF: p. 51), Borden Institute, Textbooks of Military Medicine, PDF via Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, accessed December 12, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mauroni, Albert J. Chemical Demilitarization: Public Policy Aspects, (Google Books), Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p. 19, (ISBN 027597796X).
  4. ^ a b c d Chemical Weapons and Munitions, U.S. Army Technical Manual (TM 43-0001-26-2), April 29, 1982, via uxoinfo.com, pp. 15-16 (1-7 thru 1-8), accessed December 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Trott, B.D. "Test Report for Agent BZ Detonation Tests", Battelle Columbus Laboratories for U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Material Agency, via theblackvault.com, January 22, 1982, p. 65 (A-6), accessed December 12, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e Kirby, Reid. "Paradise Lost: The Psycho Agents", The CBW Conventions Bulletin, May 2006, Issue no. 71, pp. 2-3, accessed December 12, 2008.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.