German Fuel Air Explosive at Sevastopol?

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WSchneck
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German Fuel Air Explosive at Sevastopol?

Postby WSchneck » 02 Nov 2006 20:53

An article titled "Warheads: An Historical Perspective," by Don Kennedy, (on page 56 in a book titled "Tactical Missile Warheads," edited by Joseph Carleone) states: "There is evidence that the German Army may have employed a form of FAE on the Russian defenders in the WWII siege of Sebastopol. German 28-cm and 32-cm NEBELWERFER barrage rockets were employed in mass arrays, with groups of 32-cm-diameter liquid incendiary rockets fired first so as to disperse their contents of gasoline, kerosene, or naptha as vapors, followed seconds later by the 28-cm high-explosive rockets that possibly detonated the fuel-air mixtures. The Soviets noted widespread personnel casualties "without a mark on them," a typical comment concerning a victim of blast injury." The Germans plainly understood the fundamentals of FAE (as demonstrated in the taifun system for the pioneers). The 32-cm round in question was probably the "32-cm Wfk. M. Fl. 50".

Is this true?

If so, did the Germans do this deliberately?

If so, does anyone have more specific information on this operation?[/u]
Last edited by WSchneck on 02 Nov 2006 23:36, edited 1 time in total.

ducatim901
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Postby ducatim901 » 02 Nov 2006 21:37

What in the lords name is a FAE, I know what an SAE is but a FAE??

http://www.wehrtechnikmuseum.de/Exponat ... lerie.html
http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/rocket/index.html

In this list you can see that there were grenades (rockets) Fl and Spr, this means Flamm and Spreng, flamm could be the thing you write about in your post.
Greetings Jack.

WSchneck
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Postby WSchneck » 02 Nov 2006 23:35

Jack,

Thanks for the links. My apologies for not being clear, FAE=Fuel Air Explosives.

Sincerely,
Bill

ducatim901
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Postby ducatim901 » 03 Nov 2006 18:47

AHHH, a early daisy cutter!!!!
JK

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LWD
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Postby LWD » 03 Nov 2006 19:06

The term diasy cutter has also been applied to large conventional esplosive bombs particularly those designed tomaximize their horizontal blasts. The history of fuel air explosives goes back quite a ways but mostly as a result of accidental detonations (grain elevator and coal dust explosions are classics). I have seen no evidence of a German employment but am not an expert especially on the Eastern front so this means little. They can be tricky to detonate with a single device but the usage mentioned above uses seperate fuel dispensing and detonating projectiles. The Germans would certainly have been aware of FAEs and attempting a field expediant such as the above wouldn't seam have any serios technical problems. Might take a bit of luck to get the timeing right but nothing beyond the realm of possibility.

WSchneck
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Postby WSchneck » 03 Nov 2006 19:21

Jack,
Thanks, but "daisy cutters" and FAE use different mechanisms.

The M121 (see attached photo) and BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter" bombs did not use the Fuel-Air Explosive effective. Both contain a large charge of conventional explosives (an aluminumized slurry if I recall correctly) and were detonated by a fuze at the end of a probe. The resulting blast was intended to clear vegetation for a helicopter landing zone. The successor to the BLU-82, the MOAB, does use FAE (if I recall correctly).

http://inventors.about.com/od/militaryh ... Cutter.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... allboy.htm

A Fuel Air Explosive bomb works by dispensing a fuel into the air and then detonating the resulting cloud of fuel-air mixture. The fuel in a FAE bomb can not be detonated until it is dispersed into the air. Modern FAE bombs use fuels like propylene oxide, the German round in question seems to have been filled with kerosene.

FAE data:
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/fae.htm
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WSchneck
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Postby WSchneck » 03 Nov 2006 19:32

LWD,

Thanks, the history of fuel air explosives does go back quite a ways (I read in a secondary source that the Byzantines had problems with this in their "Greek Fire" arsenals, working to confirm, no luck yet). The Germans did use FAE in their taifun systems (Kharkov, the Crimea, and Warsaw 1944). This one used carbon monoxide and acetylene if I recall correctly. I was involved in testing an FAE system at Yuma Proving Grounds and am familiar with the idiosyncracies that come with this technology.

Bill


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