Underused weapons and equipment in WW II - Page 5




 
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November 23rd, 2011  
Sean the flying kangaroo
 
84RFK..."88's" on the battlefront were still feared by many though.....EXTREME velocity and accuracy
November 23rd, 2011  
lljadw
 
This is very relative,and,as always,the importance of the 88 mm Flak was exagerated .
In june 1941,the Germans committed 7146 guns for Barbarossa,of which 104 88 mm.These were reinforced by 956 88 mm guns of the LW.
Total is 8102,of which 1O60 88 mm (=13 %)
In 1941,the average German ATG was the 3.7 cm Pak,of which between 22 june and 31 december 1941,3392 were lost on the East Front,the losses for the 88 mm were 17 (for the same period).
The chance for a Soviet tank to be hit by an 88 mm gun,was insignifiant .
November 23rd, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
Heavier than an 88 mm
That is a WW I design, and as such it's designed to be horse drawn.

You're gathering info from the Ardennes offensive in the winter of 44-45, then we're talking about the nazi-regime collecting the scraps of a nearly beaten army and throwing them into a desperate last-ditch attempt to turn the luck.
Even if they had the vehicles needed to transport the sufficient ammount of artillery, they surely didn't have the fuel to do it.

The 88 mm. FlaK36 was designed for motorized transport only, and even though I have very limited knowledge about horses, I find it hard to believe that the Wehrmacht horses were equipped with outlets for the electric brakes on the guncarriage..
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November 23rd, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
Ah, let's put that in other words shall we.

The chance (of survival) for a Soviet tank...hit by an 88 mm gun,was insignifiant.

The main reason for the massive losses of 3,7 cm. anti-tank guns on the eastern front was simply that they could hardly diasble a KV1 or T43 even with a perfect hit.
And even if they somehow managed to immobilize the tank, they were still well in reach of the tanks main gun...

The 5 cm. anti-tank guns didn't do much better.
November 23rd, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
Roo,
Read Rudel's book about maneouverability. He mentioned that he brought down a Soviet ace. His gunner claimed to have shot him, but he thought it was hs prop downwash that did it.
The Stuka was a bomber and knocked out a lot of tanks dive bombing, even in Stalingrad and then with the .37 mm cannon and tungsten prejectiles. Like any bomber, it needed escort. The incredible thing is what it achieved with the small numbers produced.

The website whence the photo came claims it to be WW II. But anyway, it shows what horses pull and believe it or not most of the cannon and most of the ammo, food, etc, were pulled by horses in Barbarossa and throughout the Russian campaign, that is why the Germans used so many horses. The Divisions had thousands of horses that had to fetch the goods from the Railroad (where and when avaialable) to the front. 80% of the men reached the front on foot also. The idea that the German army was mechanized is an illusion. Only some divisioned had tractors or self propelled guns. That is why the Stugs were so very useful at the front. However, they were also very scarce. I don't think Rommel even received them in Africa.

The supposedly modern German army in Stalingrad could not afford to feed its thousands of horses and left them far from the city. The Soviets captured them, thus immobilizing their artilery from that point. So even if Hitler had allowed them to try to break out from that point, they would have had to do it without artillery.

The Germans threw the best tanks and artillery they had at the Americans at the Bulge. It just wasn't much against good artillery and when the weather cleared, good planes. The Americans used extremely well the Hellcat, a very fast and poorly armored track vehicle that advanced rapidly and attacked the German tanks, shooting and moving rapidly. The Germans thought there were several tanks attacking them.

About the 88 mm, like I said, it was silly of the Germans not to mass produce the superior, lighter and easier to make 90/53 Italian cannon.
The fact that so many of the ridiculously few guns that the Germans had at the outset of Brabarossa were the almost useless 37 mm and 50mm AT guns makes the achievements of Barbarossa even more unbelievable.
To put things in perspective. The Germans had 7,180 guns in Brabarossa (June 22, 1941) and 7,320 guns in France (May 10, 1940), while the much smaller Romanian army had 8,100 guns for Barbarossa and the Soviets used 13,000 in Stalingrad alone and 41,000 for Berlin alone. Given that artillery killed half the men in WW II, it is incredible that the Germans would arm their troops so poorly for Barbarossa and like I said, the same goes for machine guns, mortars, etc,
In essence, despite a few mechanized divisions, the German army relied heavily pretty much on the same things as Napoleons Grande Armee, horses and men on foot with rifles and very few cannon.
November 24th, 2011  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
6.2 million of the M1 carbine were produced and it was an underachiever. It would have been much better had it been produced either for a lengthened .38 super auto cartridge or for a shortened 30.06 case 1.5" long and firing a 130 gr bullet. But the low velocity, low sectional density bullet of the .30 carbine has poor stopping power at short range and poor ballistics and much worse stopping power at 200 m.
The M-1 carbine cartridge was an existing Winchester in .32 that the Army insisted on being changed to .30, best I recall.
November 24th, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
You're right, the military ruined the much better .32 Win with a much heavier and more effective 165 gr bullet and turned it into a mediocre 110 grain bullet with low sectional density that lost energy fast. They should have used at least a 130 gr bullet for the .30 carbine, in order to retain a decent energy.
November 24th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
1) You make 4 loads with increasing powder charges (of course, you have to have some experience to know what kind of powder has the right burning speed for the type of case you're using). This takes a few minutes.
2) You start with the lightest load and look for signs of excess pressure in the primer (flattened radius), if there is none, you fire the next load and so on. Until you find some signs of high pressure, then you reduce the load a half grain and try again.
Then what? The round is put on general issue? The round has got to be tested in various theatres around the world. In Burma British troops had problems with Thompson SMG's bursting, why did the British favour cordite over ball powder for the 303?
November 24th, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
Not to mention the time needed for the different manufacturers tooling up for a completely new product, and before that could be done there had to be set some standard for the minimum and maximum matrix on the tools, plus the norm for a standard load.

The task is quite simple when you're making loads for one rifle (your personal) only back home, a completely different story if you're supposed to resupply an entire army issued weapons from several different manufacturers.

Oh, and the idea of a 135 grain bullet instead of a 110 grain in the M1 Carbine makes sense if you want to make a subsonic load.
Given the fixed length of both magazine and action on the M1 Carbine the heavier bullet would have to be seated deeper in the case, decreasing the alotted room for powder, and consequently the charge would have to be reduced in order to keep the preassure down at an acceptable level.

Some guys have tried to make 6 mm. bottlenecked wildcats based on the M1 Carbine round, but the single locking lug on the M1 Carbine doesn't cope well with the increased preassure.
November 24th, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
Actually it was a little more work to develop the new .30 carbine than to use the old .32 Win. The combination of being of being super sonic and a low sectional density is the best way to ensure that you cannot use a silencer and that you lose a lot of energy in the first 100 m (by which time you are subsonic and have a low retained energy). By the way, the ojive of the .30 carbine is hardly suited for super sonic flight.

You have it all the way around, it is far more difficult for an amateur to make a wildcat than for a large factory to make the tooling in a large, well equipped shop.

People who don't know the first thing about ballistics assume that it is incredibly complex and that it requires a lot of testing and equipment. When you know what you're doing it is incredibly simple to design and make a new cartridge with excellent characteristics.
Among the best cartridge designers in history were Newton (.22 Newton) and Ackley who made many much better cartridges than those made by the armies or the big manfacturers using very limited resources.
Regarding guns, Maxim, Brownng, Kalashnikov, etc, all started as amateurs, but knew what they were doing and built their prototypes in a short time and in primitive shops. A little like the Wright brothers. If you know what you're doing it doesn't take comittees, generals and all the BS that usually produce complicated, expensive, unreliable weapons, which are often chosen because of bribes.
 


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