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Old 08-05-2020, 08:10 AM
Olefin Olefin is offline
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Default Beirut explosion

For those who want to see what the effect would be of a battlefield nuke on a major city you only need to look at what just happened in Beirut. It wasnt a nuke but the explosion was calculated at 2.2 kilotons of TNT. Thats 1/7th the size of Hiroshima and actually larger than many battlefield nukes that both sides deployed during the Cold War.

Thus you can see what the effect would be of even the smaller nukes used during the Twilight War on cities in Europe.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:40 PM
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FYI Before and After Pic - made a word document and attached it - again gives a GM an idea of what kind of damage a battlefield nuke would do
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File Type: docx Beirut before and after.docx (896.9 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:56 PM
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Default The Day After

This article includes a number of before-and-after satellite and aerial images of the damaged port, as well as photos and video clips of damage taken from on the ground.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ed-beirut-port

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Old 08-06-2020, 08:02 PM
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The Halifax Explosion of 1917 was calculated at 2.9 Kilotons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifa...owell1994276-3
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:19 PM
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Yes, lets store 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate with a few palettes of fireworks. Add in 6+ years of possible oil and diesel leaks to mix with the AN plus a propensity for Lebanese dock workers to smoke on the job and of course there's no way there could possibly be an accident....
Oh, and leaving all that next to 85% of the entire country's grain supply is never a bad idea.
It's OBVIOUSLY a Mossad attack.... :/

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Old 08-07-2020, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
For those who want to see what the effect would be of a battlefield nuke on a major city you only need to look at what just happened in Beirut. It wasnt a nuke but the explosion was calculated at 2.2 kilotons of TNT. Thats 1/7th the size of Hiroshima and actually larger than many battlefield nukes that both sides deployed during the Cold War.

Thus you can see what the effect would be of even the smaller nukes used during the Twilight War on cities in Europe.
According to CNN yesterday, this has been revised upwards to 3 Kt.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:04 AM
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According to CNN yesterday, this has been revised upwards to 3 Kt.
According to CNN the sky is purple with pink stripes....
Also, there's absolutely no way 2.7 kt of AN will yield a 3kt explosion. Basic physics states that is a bald faced lie.

Ammonium Nitrate only has 0.32 the energy of TNT, the explosive nuclear yields are measured against. At BEST, it would have have yielded 0.864 kt. If the stars had aligned and everything have been absolutely perfect (enough fuel oil/diesel had soaked in to the AN, somehow mixed itself evenly, and it had exploded within 24 hours of doing so), then, and only then would it have managed a yield of no more than 1.998 kt. Okay, MAYBE 2kt if you include the fireworks that set it off...

MAYBE...
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:52 AM
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have a feeling there might have been more stored there - they estimated the explosive yield based on the size of the crater and the local earthquake reading

Either way it was definitely the size of a battlefield nuke detonation - and a ground pounder to boot
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:37 AM
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AN is a low explosive, this makes it very good at moving earth and stuff (why the military use it in there cratering charge) it is not very good at cutting stuff. So what does this mean, if they are just going off the hole it made AN will make a bigger hole per pound than TNT with less explosive power, where as C4 would make a smaller hole with more explosive power.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:09 PM
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I'd argue it's a high explosive given it's for a deflag rate of 2700 m/s, albeit at the lower end of the scale. Yes, it does have a bit of a pushing effect which is one of the reasons it's commonly used for mining and cratering, but it's also quite able to shatter rock as well. Add in diesel to turn it into ANFO and it's speed jumps to 4,200 m/s, which is definitely a high explosive.

The definition I was taught way back when I initially did the army explosives module for Assault Pioneers was low explosives deflag slower than the speed of sound with a pushing effect, while high explosives are quicker and tend to a shattering effect (there is a little wiggle room there though).

Using the hole dimensions etc to calculate the yield, especially when we already know exactly what the explosive was, is just plane lazy. In this case it also makes it sound a lot worse than it actually was (not that even doubling the yield would have been much worse for all practical purposes).

Location played a big part in the level of destruction. If the AN had been moved 6 years ago when the issue was first raised to a more remote area, and assuming it had still been set off in some manner, we'd probably only have seen a few goats as casualties and very little real destruction to anything that really mattered. Having it go off in the country's main port, right next to the grain silos and half surrounded by the city on the other hand....
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:51 PM
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I think it's highly likely that the explosion was the result of poor storage and abysmal OH&S. CNN is a credible news organisation, certainly not an outrright disinformation or propaganda organisation anyway. In the civilian explosives community in Australia ANFO is generally referred to as a low explosive, I never bothered to look up the exact definition so that's how I've referred to it too since obtaining my explosives permit 25+ years ago. It's easy enough to speed it up with simple additives, but generally if we needed a faster-reacting explosive we'd use something other than ANFO.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:08 PM
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CNN is a credible news organisation, certainly not an outrright disinformation or propaganda organisation anyway.
You're joking right?
CNN have been caught out time and time again twisting the truth or just plain outright lying. Only have to search "CNN lies" to see the evidence.
That said, I don't believe ANY of the main stream, legacy media are all that trustworthy. Always use multiple, separate and independent sources.

This is just another example of them being unable to stick to simple facts. As I detailed, physics dictate it's impossible for it to have been 3kt and at best less than 1kt
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:41 AM
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I don't know that much about explosives and the physics of explosions so I'll leave this for analysis by those that do, but the following video compilation doesn't strike me as being 3+kt blast. It just doesn't seem "big" enough, but hey, what do I know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht1uuqiwdgQ
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Old 08-08-2020, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
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You're joking right?
CNN have been caught out time and time again twisting the truth or just plain outright lying. Only have to search "CNN lies" to see the evidence.
That said, I don't believe ANY of the main stream, legacy media are all that trustworthy. Always use multiple, separate and independent sources.
No I'm not joking. I've just made note of your standard biases creeping into your posts and when they don't quite reach the threshold of being outright political posts and therefore deletable, I just call them out instead.
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Old 08-08-2020, 05:53 AM
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I admit I have a bias, just like everyone else on the planet. That still doesn't make CNN a reliable source given the wealth of evidence to the contrary.
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Old 08-08-2020, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
According to CNN yesterday, this has been revised upwards to 3 Kt.
CNN has used the highest value in the explosive yield range suggested by a very rough analysis using the TNT-equivalent blast calculations developed at the end of the 1940s to estimate the yields of atomic blasts. I think it would have been more sensible for them to give the full range from that early analysis, which was 0.4kt to 3kt.

A summary of the calculations used can be found at this link: http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.c...imensional.pdf

Further refining of the estimates has come from analysis of the seismic effects of the explosion, as mentioned by others previously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
Also, there's absolutely no way 2.7 kt of AN will yield a 3kt explosion. Basic physics states that is a bald faced lie.

Ammonium Nitrate only has 0.32 the energy of TNT, the explosive nuclear yields are measured against. At BEST, it would have have yielded 0.864 kt. If the stars had aligned and everything have been absolutely perfect (enough fuel oil/diesel had soaked in to the AN, somehow mixed itself evenly, and it had exploded within 24 hours of doing so), then, and only then would it have managed a yield of no more than 1.998 kt. Okay, MAYBE 2kt if you include the fireworks that set it off...

MAYBE...
Broadly I agree with this. 3kt is unrealistic, but assuming the Lebanese authorities allow outside observers in to do a more comprehensive analysis, I'm sure we'll have a better idea in the weeks and months to come.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:12 PM
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Ok all, this is my mod color. Consider this a "I am watching this thread and making sure everyone plays nice." Let's keep debates about the relative merits of CNN et al. off of this site. Furthermore, let's keep the tone civil.

Other than that, carry on.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:08 PM
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Ok all, this is my mod color. Consider this a "I am watching this thread and making sure everyone plays nice." Let's keep debates about the relative merits of CNN et al. off of this site. Furthermore, let's keep the tone civil.

Other than that, carry on.
That's why I stopped participating in this thread -- the political turn it seems to be taking.
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:21 PM
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I have to agree with the Aussies here. They are over-rating the blast by a bit. I guess I still have a few questions like...

1) Why was that AN just left there for SIX YEARS?! Didn't the Lebanese have some fields that could have used that AN to increase crop yields?

2) Why are they storing explosives in such close proximity to people's residences? Why were there no real precautions taken at the AN warehouse?

3) Why in the H**L did they put explosives next to a stack of giant Grain Elevators? Anyone who knows anything about Grain Elevators, or Corn Silos or Coal Towers knows those things don't need ANY HELP EXPLODING. Even ordinary FLOUR is explosive under the right circumstances. I'm just shocked the Grain Elevators didn't blow as well. That would have generated a nuclear-style blast.

The Halifax and Texas City blasts were similar in scale and would have done about the same damage had they happened at Beirut. Here's a video of a 2K bomb being used on Taliban Insurgents for comparison.

https://youtu.be/u4lk1SCXxVc
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Old 08-11-2020, 10:00 PM
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I have to agree with the Aussies here. They are over-rating the blast by a bit.
A lot of the answers to those questions are just plain sheer incompetence and corruption. The Lebanese government has been teetering on the brink of total failure for many years now, with most only staying in power through graft, bribery and blackmail.

I had read one report that the Hezbollah didn't want it moved as they desired easy access to it for bomb making materials - would not surprise me in the slightest to find out that was true.

As for the methodology in estimating the blast size, well, basing it on the crater dimensions makes absolutely zero sense. We don't know how exactly the AN was stored, if it was in direct contact with the floor, what the soil density under the building was, etc, etc, etc. There's FAR too many unknown variables to make that even a remotely decent method. No, calculating using the known factors is much more accurate - how much was stored and the deflag rate of AN. Using actual known and reliable stats only yields less than 1kt, so of course we know which way the sensationalist media will go....
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:33 AM
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From the photos and the reported 2700 tons of stored AN, I feel comfortable stating the yield came in between 500 tons to 1kt yield. Definitely a much larger bang than the US W48 nuclear 155mm artillery shell (72 ton yield).
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:49 AM
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AN's about 0.35-0.45 the bang of the same amount of TNT. So 2700-3000 tons of AN would give a yield of 0.945-1.35 Kt.

Whatever the blast was, it's a disaster for Lebanon, who may get as much as 75% of their imports and exports through that port, and with the situation in the Middle East in general, may never get the port repaired properly.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:47 PM
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My understanding is that early reports determined the type of explosive by comparing the blast expansion rate against the shutter speed of the cameras which captured the explosion, which provided the detonation velocity. That detonation velocity is specific to explosive type, and therefore the explosive was known to be AN.

I'm not sure where they got the number of 2750 tons - presumably from the size of the blast once the explosive type was known, or from paperwork detailing what was being stored at that location?

In any case, as others have mentioned, AN has a relative yield of .42 compared to TNT. Assuming the amount of 2750 tons is correct, and that nothing else was contaminating the AN, that produces an explosion 1.155kt in size. As to whether that was the actual size of the explosion, I'd say it's a fair estimate, but who knows what else may have exploded along with the AN (fireworks, etc.).
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:30 PM
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There were wheat silos next to the storage location. As Swaghauler mentioned, the very fine dust from wheat is highly flammable and would easily contribute fuel to the explosion although just how much force it would have is not something I know about.
Just how much AN was at the storage site is open to question as because as Legbreaker mentioned, it is rumoured that Hezbollah was using the stockpile for bomb making purposes.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
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There were wheat silos next to the storage location. As Swaghauler mentioned, the very fine dust from wheat is highly flammable and would easily contribute fuel to the explosion although just how much force it would have is not something I know about.
Just how much AN was at the storage site is open to question as because as Legbreaker mentioned, it is rumoured that Hezbollah was using the stockpile for bomb making purposes.
Probably why it was there and had never been used for fertilizer. I wonder if there was a bomb making operation on board.
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