Farewell to Kuwait: April 6-7, 1991

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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So You Think Newtonian Physics is Dead?

The choke point again, April 6, 1991. Here's where a sabot round entered a T-72 tank turret....

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...and here's where it came out the other side. You've heard of "smart" bombs? This is as dumb as a bomb can get - it doesn't even have an explosive charge - but it will punch through a tank. A sabot round is nothing more than a flying rod of depleted uranium, almost twice as dense as lead. It kills through sheer kinetic energy. When the round hits, it compresses the metal ahead of it and when it enters the tank, a spray of white-hot metal fragments precedes it. That in itself will kill everything in the tank and set off anything flammable or explosive. The round is also trailing a shock wave, so the tank goes from normal to several atmospheres to near-vacuum in milliseconds as the round enters and then exits. Tankers have told me of seeing training films where experimental animals inside the tank have been literally turned inside out or sucked out through the exit hole.

Today, a place like this would be cordoned off as off-limits due to DULLRAM (Depleted Uranium - Low-Level Radioactive Material) hazard. To be blunt, suspecting depleted uranium as a source of Gulf War Syndrome is grasping at straws.

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Kuwait Bay

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We're Making Up Your Room Now, Sir

More vandalism: the burned-out Sheraton.

The Gates of Old Kuwait

Kuwait tore down its old mud-brick walls but left the old gates as monuments. This one is near the Sheraton.

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Kuwait City, April 6, 1991

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Another Farewell Dinner, April 6, 1991

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Left, SGT Julie Lambrecht in the Arab outfit. Right, SSG Patricia Van Duerm.

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CPT Mark Haney, left, joins the interpreters in eating Middle-Eastern style.

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Whole Lotta Sheikin' Goin' On

SGT Julie Lambrecht and SSG Jeff Poh go native.

Farewell to Kuwait, April 7, 1991

My last - ever - shot of a burning oil well.

These pictures seemed commonplace at the time. By November, 1991 the last well was out - without loss of a single life - and I suddenly realized the pictures we had were the only ones there would ever be.

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Heading for Saudi Arabia.

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Approaching the border.

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Some of the Iraqi border obstacles.

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The border crossing.

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Khafji, Saudi Arabia, site of the first major battle of the war.

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Created January 10, 2000; Last Update January 10, 2000

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