October 27, 2004
This is what an IED made from 155mm artillery rounds does to an up-armored Humvee. Six soldiers from my company were injured in this attack, and two Humvees were disabled.
The irony here is that the guy on the passenger side (or TC for “truck commander”) was probably saved because his window was down, rather than up. Notice how the shrapnel punched through door, but was stopped by the lowered window.
The windows and windshield of these Humvees are made of some really interesting material. On the outside you have hardened glass, but on the inside it’s a soft, transparent material. If you press your fingernail into it, it’s slightly soft and leaves an indent, then slowly regains its shape once you release pressure. In these two photos you can very clearly see how this flexible quality basically “caught” the shrapnel, sorta like Kevlar.
The guy who sustained probably the most serious injury was hit with shrapnel that punched this hole. The small piece of metal just barely missed the armor plate, penetrating the skin of the vehicle. (This Humvee is different from the photos above. This vehicle has add-on armor as the vehicle above is an up-armored Humvee.) Below is the view from the inside. The shrapnel entered his arm lengthwise then stuck in the bone like a dart of push-pin. The wound was painful and there was a good deal of blood, but he was medevac’d from the scene without incident.
Two of our battalion’s mechanics, working on one of the Humvees damaged by the IED.