Get a U.S. Half Dollar Enhanced to Honor Desert Storm
This US half dollar has been enhanced with a photo of the 72nd Engineering Company with a mine-clearing rake attached to an M-728 combat engineer vehicle. “The Rake,” as it was known, was a new invention created specifically for the Gulf War.
When Saddam invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the US didn’t have an effective full-width mine clearing device. The Army’s Countermine Systems Directorate was then charged with creating one. In less than a month they designed and field-tested two prototypes. The Rake went into production in December, and by early February, 59 of them were in the Gulf ready for duty.
The Iraqis had laid over seven million landmines in and around Kuwait prior to the arrival of coalition forces. About half of these were in two minefields running across southern Kuwait. Most of these mines weren’t buried very deep, and the sand that covered them was often blown away. But they were still dangerous and needed to be removed.
The Rake could clear a large path through the minefield – wider than an Abrams tank. And with its wedged shape and 49 thin steel prongs, the Rake could burrow into the ground and push mines to the side of the vehicle. Plus, the prongs could absorb multiple mine blasts, while other vehicles could be destroyed by just one. The only major downside was that it had to be operated at a slow pace.
The Rakes, in addition to other mine-clearing devices, were a vital part of the ground war that began on February 24. Every ground unit that entered Kuwait had to pass through one of the minefields. The coalition’s mine clearing techniques are considered one of the greatest successes of the Gulf War.
Get your coin now to add this Desert Storm history to your collection.