A Secret War, Strange New Wounds and Silence From the Pentagon
But it meant that a small number of troops had to fire tens of thousands of high-explosive shells — far more rounds per crew member, experts say, than any American artillery battery had fired at least since the Vietnam War.
Military guidelines say that firing all those rounds is safe. What happened to the crews suggests that those guidelines were wrong.
The cannon blasts were strong enough to hurl a 100-pound round 15 miles, and each unleashed a shock wave that shot through the crew members’ bodies, vibrating bone, punching lungs and hearts, and whipping at cruise-missile speeds through the most delicate organ of all, the brain.
Strange, isn’t it, how the mysterious can suddenly become obvious.