Meet the Rome Plow, the U.S. Army's jungle bulldozer

Originally published at: Meet the Rome Plow, the U.S. Army's jungle bulldozer | Boing Boing


In the film reel, it’s not super obvious, but what they’re doing is pretty clever. The tractors are doing minimal direct clearing themselves. There’s two of them 50’ apart and they are pulling a heavy chain between them. The chain is clearing large areas at once by pulling down trees as it goes. A third tractor is assisting by knocking down single trees too heavy for the chain.

That war was a monstrous travesty on every level, for the record, of course.


Here come the Rome Plows!


Yes, it was. I got a knot in my stomach watching that forest get obliterated like that, like a mass murder.


And the people who did get mass murdered, too, I’d assume.


Yah I’d worry more about the people defending their homes from those trees. The trees themselves are jungle scrub that probably grew back next year. It wasn’t old growth rainforest or anything. If it was, you couldn’t push it over with a bulldozer. Even a modern D10 Cat ain’t clearing that without going tree by tree with chainsaws. That’s not to say it was okay, of course. We all agree they shouldn’t have been there at all.


It’s fun when a comment from another article’s comment section grows up to be its own article.


Was the Roman Plow used to supplement or replace Agent Orange (also used to defoliate enemy cover)?

We had a first cousin (once removed) who closely handled AO in Viet Nam and who died from cancer just a couple of years after returning from there.


Both Agent Orange and the Rome Plow were used at the same time, but from what I’ve read, the Rome Plow offered expediency over Agent Orange:

One option was to use defoliants, including Agent Orange. The dioxin-based chemicals were sprayed over large swaths of Vietnam by C-123 Provider aircraft. That method made it possible to reach areas of the country inaccessible by ground, but it took time for the chemicals to kill the vegetation.

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