July 29, 2006Aside

Sunday Levity: About 28,600 Bangalores worldwide

And they are used to clear mines and paths

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Among other things, a Bangalore can be used to cut a path 0.6m wide.

The Bangalore torpedo was first devised by Captain McClintock, of the British Army Bengal, Bombay and Madras Sappers and Miners at Bangalore, India, in 1912. He invented it as a means of exploding booby traps and barricades left over from the Boer and Russo-Japanese Wars. The Bangalore torpedo would be exploded over a mine without the engineer having to approach it by more than about ten feet (three meters).

By the time of World War One the Bangalore torpedo was primarily used for clearing barbed wire before an attack. It could be used while under fire, from a protected position in a trench. The torpedo was standardized to consist of a number of externally identical five-foot (1.5-meter) lengths of threaded pipe, one of which contained the explosive charge. The pipes would be screwed together using connecting sleeves to make a longer pipe of the required length, and a smooth nose cone would be screwed on the end to prevent snagging on the ground. It would then be pushed forward from a protected position and detonated, to clear a five foot (1.5 meter) wide hole through barbed wire.

The Bangalore torpedo was later adopted by the US Army as well during World War Two, as the M1A1 Bangalore Torpedo. It was widely used by both the U.S. and Commonwealth forces, notably during D-Day. The use of a Bangalore Torpedo to clear a barbed wire barrier is depicted in the D-Day beach invasion scene in the movies Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, and The Big Red One.

The Bangalore continues to be used today, in the little-changed M1A2 version. Its effectiveness in clearing barbed wire has been significantly reduced with the use of higher tensile strength wire. [Wikipedia][According](http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/bangalore.htm) to GlobalSecurity.org, there are about 28,600 of them worldwide.

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