Bunker Busted

Esli noted in the comments to this post:

Reminds me of some bunkers I checked out in ’08 during an area recon of an area called the Maskar Bunker Complex south of Baghdad. Had a massive bunker, probably 50′ tall, 100′ wide and 200′ long, made of concrete blocks about 4-6′ thick. Penetrated on one end, and one strike center mass on the top, but i have no idea by what. No way to get inside, unless I had my ropes with me, and could climb down through the roof (alas they were all at home…). No one could tell us what it was, but it was clearly a former military site, with old SA missile firing positions, shipping cases, etc scattered around. Strangely, the locals said it used to be an airfield, but there was no sign of that at all.

And then he most excellently forwarded the related pics:

Bunker on skyline.


looking at hole in roof
looking down through hole in roof. There was a lot of packed earth lining the walls inside the bunker.

Esli writes about these pictures:

Strangely you can’t see much in the way of rubbling or damage to blocks, in the second shot, but what damage there is, occurred on the side nearer the camera.  I’ve always assumed that what damage there is was done by something that penetrated and exploded on the inside, spreading the blocks apart along their seams.

XBrad here: I have no idea what the bunker was for. But the lack of damage beyond the hole in the roof isn’t terribly surprising. Bunker busting munitions sacrifice explosive filler in favor of hardened steel body to achieve their penetration. And given that the bunker itself “tamps” the explosion and helps generate overpressure inside, not a whole lot of explosives are needed. Anything worth protecting with a bunker is by definition fragile enough to be susceptible to relatively low blast overpressure.

Just a guess, but I’d say it was probably a GBU-27/BLU-109 penetrator that hit this target.