The Explosive power of a Daisy Cutter.

The Explosive power of a Daisy Cutter.

Above image: Fireball from the detonation of the last Daisy Cutter; Utah, 2008 (© unknown)

Doing research for my Vietnam War/modern-day Backpacker novel, BACK, I frequently came across fascinating photographs of some of the massive ordnance that was dropped on the jungles of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, much of which still lies, unexploded, in the jungles of the region.

A Daisy Cutter gently floats towards the jungle during the Vietnam War.

A Daisy Cutter gently floats towards the jungle during the Vietnam War.

One of the biggest bombs dropped on the jungle during the war was the 15,000 lb BLU-82 bomb, know as a Daisy Cutter.

Daisy cutter explosion vietnam war massive bomb

The resulting explosion…(© unknown)

Given its destructive force, it should have been called a Jungle Destroyer, and it was used to create firebases on mountains and to create helicopter landing zones out of dense jungle, destroying everything within a 600 yard radius.

Secret war i laos explosions Daisy Cutter ho chi minh trail adventure backpackers in laos

The result of a Daisy Cutter explosion. An instant Landing Zone.

Approximately 17 feet long and 5 feet in diameter, Daisy Cutters were dropped from C-130 aircraft and contained around 12,600 pounds of ammonium nitrate, phosphorous and polystyrene.

jungle dangers unexploded Daisy Cutter ho chi minh trail adventure backpackers in laos

The aftermath of another Daisy Cutter explosion during the Vietnam War.

Daisy Cutters were so large they had to be launched out of the back of the aircraft, by way of a trolley, and when the bomb was airborne a parachute would open and it would float to the ground. The bomb would then explode at tree-top level, the intention being to cause as small a crater as possible on the ground.

A chopper lands in a Daisy Cutter Landing Zone.

A chopper lands in a Daisy Cutter Landing Zone.

The plane dropping a Daisy Cutter had to be at least six thousand feet off the ground to avoid being hit by the bomb’s shock wave when it exploded.

Another chopper lands in a huge area cleared by a BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bomb during the Vietnam War.

Another chopper lands in a huge area cleared by a BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bomb during the Vietnam War.

I often wonder when I’m in the jungle out there whether, along with the other many millions of unexploded bombs dropped during the Vietnam War, there are any Daisy Cutters lying around too, still undetected and highly unstable, ready to claim more modern-day victims, and it was that reflection that saw me include them in my novel BACK.

See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:

 

© Peter Alan Lloyd

BACK Parts 1 and 2:

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

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2 Comments

  1. Paco

    As I examine the photos above its hard to keep tactical ….weapon’s out of mind.
    Daisy Cutter or DCB’s in some cases have made Massive Holes.Some still clearly visible today on satellite images .ZC tactical area has at-least 2 such holes that I know about.

    Reply
  2. Sam McGowan

    I was a C-130 loadmaster and dropped over 100 M-121 and Blu-82 bombs. While we called them “daisy cutters,” that was not an official name and they were not the only weapons referred to as “daisy cutters.” The term was also applied to cluster bombs as well as artillery flechette rounds. There were probably at least half a dozen different bombs and artillery shells referred to as “daisy cutters.”

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