Underused weapons and equipment in WW II - Page 2




 
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November 15th, 2011  
42RM
 
Fantastic, you google warriors always manages to surprise me.
November 16th, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
It is interesting that although the USSR produced 7 miilion submachine guns, by far most of the PPSh-40s, the Soviets also used Irani workers to produce hundreds of thousands of these cheap weapons under license in Iran for the USSR (for Stalin no number was enough) during the Soviet occupation of Iran. In contrast the British don't seem to have used the numerous Indian workers even to produce primitive weapons, etc,

Another big waste of scarce planes and pilots was the Hurricanes in France, many of which had obsolete 2 blade, 2 position propellers that detracted considerably from the planes performance, making these Hurricanes even more vulnerable to the Bf-109 than those with the variable pitch, 3 blade propeller. Accodringly these poor pilots had to face the huge LW with the worst fighter, while Dowding kept the Spitfires and most of the Hurricanes with 3 blade props in Britain.
In my view, it was criminal of Dowding to send these men with inferior machine to the slaughter and to leave Britain with very few experienced pilots. If France was not defensible, then no British fighters should have been sent. If it was defensible then by far most of the fighters, especially the best should be sent. The more and the better the planes, the greater the odds that they will defeat the enemy or at least survive to fight another day. The most striking thing is that the useless Fairey Battle, which also cost the lives of hundreds of men without destroying any objectives did have the same Merlin engine as the Hurricane but was equipped with the 3 blade propeller. Had these planes been grounded after the initial dismal losses and their porpellers been installed on the Hurricanes, these would have been much more effective and the engines could have been used for repairs. Most importantly, the Battle and Hurricane pilots would have been more useful.

Among the weapons used least effectively during the war were the largest battleships ever built, the Yamato and her sister the Musashi, with 70,000 ton displacement and 18" guns, which consumed a lot of fuel saling all over the Pacific and did very little damage. A third sister ship was converted into an aircraft carrier but was promptly sunk by an American submarine before entering service and by that time there were few planes and even fewer experienced pilots anyway. Had the Japs made 4 carriers with that steel and labor. Yamamoto made a huge blunder in Midway. Instead of keeping his huge fleet together, se sent the 4 carriers and a few ships a few hundred miles ahead of the Yamato and a lot of battleships, cruisers, destoyers and 2 light carriers, so that most of the large ships did not contribute their search planes nor their antiaircraft guns nor attract some of the American bombers away from the carriers and the 2 light carriers did not contribute their planes to the battle. Had the formidable fleet been together the 3 American carriers and the few escort ships would have been detected earlier and certainly lost the battle and Midway would have been invaded.

An inexpensive piece of low tech equipment that I'm sure would have saved many German limbs and lives that winter in 1941 in the USSR are the hand warmers that you can buy at Costco in the US by the box for a few cents a piece. A paper bag with fine iron dust that releases a little heat for several hours as the iron oxidizes. But since they were not availabe at the time, the least the modern and bright German army could have done is rush some good winter clothes to the front, instead of having tens of thousands of frost bite casualties and deaths by hypothermia. It doesn't get any lower tech than that.
November 16th, 2011  
lljadw
 
This is hindsight blahblah :the German losses due to frostbite (most very moderate) were very limited,the Russians also had losses due to frostbite (it was cold on the Russian side also),whatever:the winterclothing was available ,but only a small part could reach the front,due to transport difficulties(the soldiers also needed weapons and ammunition).Or do you claim that the winterclothing had to be sent to the front in the summer?
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November 16th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Hugh Dowding was absolutely right in keeping the best fighters back during the battle of France, they were going needed for the Battle of Britain that Dowding knew full well the RAF was going to face alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
It´s not correct.

The rifle was a far more efficient weapon than generally recognized, and was used with deadly effect in close combat in the manner of a sub-machine gun. Also rapid fire is possible with the right technique. British commandos were trained to deliver a rate of five rounds in four seconds with reasonable accuracy.
We had a RAF Regiment Flight Sergeant demonstrate rapid fire with a Lee Enfield using thumb and forefinger to operate the bolt, while the 3rd finger operated the trigger.

However, in CQB if offered the choice of a Lee Enfield or Sterling, I'd take the Sterling every time.
November 16th, 2011  
42RM
 
It was not an option to use a sub-machine gun for the average infantryman in World War II, he only had his rifle and his bayonet. So to claim that the bolt action rifles were of little use at close quarters only proves to me that he is not familiar with small units tactics during World War II.

It´s not always an advantage to use a smg. The accuracy a rifle offers over a smg is particularly important when doing room clearing where there may be innocent people mixed in with adversaries. Misdirected shots could mean the loss of innocent lives. The SBS preferred the U.S. M2 Carbine rather than the Sterling for this type of combat back in the good old days.

Most people think that CQB/CQC is the same as urban warfare. It's not, it is a tactical concept. Jungle and guerrilla warfare are also potential stages for CQB/CQC.
November 16th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
It´s not always an advantage to use a smg. The accuracy a rifle offers over a smg is particularly important when doing room clearing where there may be innocent people mixed in with adversaries. Misdirected shots could mean the loss of innocent lives. The SBS preferred the U.S. M2 Carbine rather than the Sterling for this type of combat back in the good old days.
The problem I have with full powered rifle ammunition of the L1A1 is over penetration and length of the rifle while carrying out room clearing. If I remember correctly the Iranian Embassy siege was carried out by SAS using H&K MP5's backed up by Browning Hi Powers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
Most people think that CQB/CQC is the same as urban warfare. It's not, it is a tactical concept. Jungle and guerrilla warfare are also potential stages for CQB/CQC.
Hence, "Sten Alley"
November 16th, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
Hi BritinAfrica,
The Allies's most valuable asset were the pilots. Dowding sent the most experienced pilots and together with the most experienced Belgian, Dutch, Polish and French pilots, they had to fight with the worst available planes (Hurricanes with 2 blade props, Gladiators, H-75s, MS.406s, etc), thus minimizing their chances of survival and losing most of them, (very few French pilots joined the British for the BoB out of anger because the Brits had not sent the best planes). When France fell, Britain was left with extremely few pilots and plenty of HUrricanes and Spitfires, the worst possible situation. The RAF was extremely lucky to have excellent pilots form Poland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Canada, NZ, SA, etc, Who had to learn to fly the better planes in a few days for the BoB (instead of the 11 months of the Sitzkrieg before the invasion of France).
The RAF was actually doomed after the fall of France, more than by the few, Britain ws saved by Göring's extreme stupidity. Like I mentioned above when talking about the Stuka in the BoB, had Göring sent only attacks 600 planes at a plane, he would have lost many fewer planes and the Brits would have rapidly lost their pilots (many on the ground), planes, Radar stations, AA, aerodromes, etc, and hence the Battle of Britian. By sending initially small waves, Göring allowed the Brits time to refuel, reload, send reserves in, etc, and lost large numbers of planes (especially the most useful Ju-88 and BF-109, which would have been invaluable in the USSR or the Mediterranean), stopped using the Stuka (a large percentage of his bombers and a most useful attack plane) and lost 2,000 planes without any gains at all.

Had the Spits and 3 blade Hurricanes been in France, the French fighters could have concentrated on the German bombers, while the former concentrated on the German fighters, inflicting unacceptable losses on the Germans, whose offensive depended completely on air support.
November 16th, 2011  
George
 
One missed opportunity was the Johnson Light Machine Gun. Seemed to be a real improvement over the BAR, but Johnson had alienated the Army brass by his many attempts to get the M-1941 adopted that the LMG was ignored except for a small number bought by the Marines & some by the Army.
November 16th, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
Yes, army brass was pretty dull, they also rejected the brilliant American designer's tank that would become the T-34, while the US went with the Lee and Sherman.

Regarding bolt actions, the WW II Mauser had 5 rounds against 10 of the Enfield or 67 of the PPSh-40, which was no more expensive than the bolt action rifles. The M-1 Garand cost pretty much the same as the Mauser to make by the million and the Mg-34 cost perhaps 3 times as much as the Mauser. In contrast, the life of a single experienced soldier is worth much more than 100 rifles or a cannon.
That's is why I insist that in 1941 it was extremely stupid (and of course inhumane) to send over 4 million men mostly with bolt action rifles and extremely few tanks, mortars, machine guns, planes, artillery and trucks (relying heavily on 615,000 horses) into the largest and best armed country that ever existed (though the worst led).

A very interesting design is that of the Polsten 20 mm AA gun, lighter and very much cheaper and easier to make than the the Oerlikon, yet equally effective. It was conceived by Polish designers and cost 70 Lb and used 119 parts against the 350 lb and 250 parts of the Oerlikon. However, far more Oerlikons than Polstens were made!

also from my files,
The M3 grease gun, an extremely inexpensive, .45 auto caliber machine gun was a good American design but very poorly made. It cost about U$ 15 to produce, compared to over U$ 100 for the Tommy gun (Thompson machine gun). It would have been great for fighting at close quarters, but serious problems with retraction mechanism failure and magazine receiver malfunction caused it to be of little use. Accordingly, fewer than 700,000 were made, while 1.5 million Thompsons were bought in WW II. Solving the silly defects and using a .38 Super round would have allowed for higher round capacity in the magazine and made it very useful.
November 16th, 2011  
42RM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
The problem I have with full powered rifle ammunition of the L1A1 is over penetration and length of the rifle while carrying out room clearing.

Well, any caliber can over penetrate even a .22, but you are right. I remember a story that one of our NCO's told from his time in Northern Ireland in the 80s. The section forced their way into a house where they found the local gunman seated in his armchair. When he grabbed his weapon, they shot him. The bullet went through the gunman, through the chair he was sitting in, through the wall behind him and into the apartment next door where they found the projectile in the opposite wall.

Maneuvering in close quarters combat was difficult with the L1A1 when shooting around corners or trying to quickly respond in hallways, tight rooms, or doorways but with some practice it is possible. Today the M4 Carbine is one of the preferred weapons on the close combat battlefield today. Few weapons provide today's special "operators" with the tactical flexibility offered by the M16/M4 series'. Another weapon category for selected special operations scenarios is the sub-machine gun, with one of the most popular models being the 9mm Heckler & Koch MP5. With over 120 variants available, the MP5 meets the broadest range of tactical requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
If I remember correctly the Iranian Embassy siege was carried out by SAS using H&K MP5's backed up by Browning Hi Powers.

Yes,it was the combination the SAS used.
 


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