Willie Pete?


War News Updates has a post that claims Ukrainian forces are using white phosphorus shells on Donetsk.

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never seen it used at night. But WP produces extremely thick smoke, and I’m not seeing any. That could be an artifact of the video, or it could be something else.

Use of WP against a civilian population is a violation of the Law of Armed Conflict. It’s use against a military target, however, is not. WP is useful primarily as a screening agent, and secondarily as an incendiary. It’s useful as an antipersonnel weapon against troops in the open, but then again, ordinary high explosive is better.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Willie Pete?

  1. Jason

    Dunno what that is, but it ain’t white phosphorus. I’ve observed many uses of WP as an FO, albeit never at night, and there’s no smoke obscuring the horizon after the first volley as you’d expect from WP. Might have been ordinary HE airbursting, but the duration of the sparks(?) is suspiciously long, so I’m not entirely sure. I never observed airbursts at night and so cannot say for sure.

  2. looks more like a defective illum round. illun separates from the carrier para fails, flare comes apart. could explain the sparkelies

  3. SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

    I believe not Willie Pete and am going with some foreign version of a star cluster illum.

  4. timactual

    I seem to remember something like it in old movie clips of RAF night raids on Germany. Pathfinder aircraft dropping marker flares, I think. Defective illum sounds good, too.