The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #129840 Message #2952515
Posted By: Emma B
26-Jul-10 - 11:49 AM
Thread Name: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
White Phosphorous as a weapon Gaza CNN News
"WP munitions are very common -- particularly as smoke grenades for infantry; loaded in defensive grenade dischargers on tanks and other armored vehicles; or as part of the ammunition allotment for artillery or mortars.
However, white phosphorus has a secondary effect.
While much less efficient than ordinary fragmentation effects in causing casualties, white phosphorus burns quite fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other combustibles on fire.
It also can function as an anti-personnel weapon with the compound capable of causing serious burns or death.
The agent is used in bombs, artillery, and mortars, short-range missiles which burst into burning flakes of phosphorus upon impact.
White phosphorus is commonly referred to in military jargon as "WP". The slang term "Willy(ie) Pete" or "Willy(ie) Peter", dating from World War I and common at least through the Vietnam War, is still occasionally heard.
White phosphorus weapons are controversial today because of their potential use against civilians.
While the Chemical Weapons Convention does not designate WP as a chemical weapon, various groups consider it to be one.
In recent years, the United States, Israel, and Russia have used white phosphorus in combat"