The debate these days is all about whether or not Tehran is supplying Iraq's armor-piercing bombs. But the roots of these explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs, goes all the way back to Hitler-era Germany, the Yorkshire Ranter notes. Military historian Larry Grupp explains.
Dr. Hubert Schardin was definitely not a Nazi. Nevertheless, he stood stiffly at attention in full Luftwaffe dress uniform at Gestapo headquarters in Budapest, Hungary. It was the spring of 1944 and Schardin, a brilliant German explosives physicist, needed assistance. Under direct orders from Adolf Hitler to develop new superweapons, he needed the Gestapo's help to locate a famous but reclusive Hungarian colonel named Misznay who could provide detailed information regarding the complex physics involved in shaped charge explosives.Colonel Misznay was, by all historical indicators, so elusive that today we are even uncertain what his real first name was. In all probability, Misznay was either a double or perhaps even a triple agent. After World War II, he dropped out of sight in the Eastern Bloc. Yet his last name lives on as a result of a special explosive phenomenon he identified, called the Misznay-Schardin effect -- a phenomenon that recognizes that fragments can be thrown from the face of an explosive charge in a predictable pattern, much like a projectile from a rifle barrel.It's that effect which forms the heart of the EFP's deadly power. These Pentagon documents. , obtained by ABC News, give the best public run-down I've seen so far on how lethal these bombs have been.(Big ups: AT)