1944: Flak Alone Blasts the Allies out of the Sky

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: 1944: Flak Alone Blasts the Allies out of the Sky

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Jun 2022 03:30

What this thread suggests is cannon as a AA weapon had reached a point of marginal returns. Better killing power would come from different technology, specifically rocket & electronic technology. That I remember was touched on early in the thread. There does not seem to be any technical reason a proximity fuze could be in German production circa 1943-44. That direction seemed a lot less a dead end than oversized cannon.

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Destroyer500
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Re: 1944: Flak Alone Blasts the Allies out of the Sky

Post by Destroyer500 » 11 Jun 2022 11:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
11 Jun 2022 03:30
What this thread suggests is cannon as a AA weapon had reached a point of marginal returns. Better killing power would come from different technology, specifically rocket & electronic technology. That I remember was touched on early in the thread. There does not seem to be any technical reason a proximity fuze could be in German production circa 1943-44. That direction seemed a lot less a dead end than oversized cannon.
Missile technology made hit probability a LOT bigger and upped the game completely.As ive said in my other German Mega Defense thread though i believe and the key word here is believe,that bigger guns could be really useful against bomber formations but for anything flying faster,unless you want to use nuke AA shells or something,missiles or some advanced smaller than flak caliber projectile gun is the way to go.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: 1944: Flak Alone Blasts the Allies out of the Sky

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Jun 2022 18:24

Destroyer500 wrote:
11 Jun 2022 11:56
Missile technology made hit probability a LOT bigger and upped the game completely.As ive said in my other German Mega Defense thread though i believe and the key word here is believe,that bigger guns could be really useful against bomber formations but for anything flying faster,unless you want to use nuke AA shells or something,missiles or some advanced smaller than flak caliber projectile gun is the way to go.
Against fast, high-flying bombers SAMs are the only viable ground based air defense solution. As the target flies higher and faster, the engagement time by gunfire becomes shorter and shorter. The only solutions to that are to increase the size of the gun to get longer range, and up the rate of fire. You end up with monstrosities like that 15cm German auto-feed cannon or the British Green Mace. Even then, these weapons have limited range, are virtually static, and cost a small fortune to produce.

By going to a SAM, you now have a missile that can engage targets at ranges far beyond what any gun can achieve. Each missile has--assuming you have a good fire control / guidance system--a high probability of target destruction on the first round. That makes the SAM the obvious solution. Even the gun battery will require fire controls, radar, etc., so most of the cost of the fire control system exists either way. SAM launchers are cheap to build, leaving only the missile as a serious expense.

For WW 2 bombers, a high-subsonic or low supersonic missile would be viable. You could make up for accuracy with a larger warhead--far larger than any shell could manage. The only real difficulty in getting something into service is the guidance system.

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Destroyer500
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Re: 1944: Flak Alone Blasts the Allies out of the Sky

Post by Destroyer500 » 12 Jun 2022 19:04


Against fast, high-flying bombers SAMs are the only viable ground based air defense solution. As the target flies higher and faster, the engagement time by gunfire becomes shorter and shorter. The only solutions to that are to increase the size of the gun to get longer range, and up the rate of fire. You end up with monstrosities like that 15cm German auto-feed cannon or the British Green Mace. Even then, these weapons have limited range, are virtually static, and cost a small fortune to produce.

By going to a SAM, you now have a missile that can engage targets at ranges far beyond what any gun can achieve. Each missile has--assuming you have a good fire control / guidance system--a high probability of target destruction on the first round. That makes the SAM the obvious solution. Even the gun battery will require fire controls, radar, etc., so most of the cost of the fire control system exists either way. SAM launchers are cheap to build, leaving only the missile as a serious expense.

For WW 2 bombers, a high-subsonic or low supersonic missile would be viable. You could make up for accuracy with a larger warhead--far larger than any shell could manage. The only real difficulty in getting something into service is the guidance system.
Missiles have ways of being defeated too but i agree that they have a far higher hit probability than just a flak of any size.Bringing bigger guns for large bomber formations was far easier for Germany of the time that was running out of time than building complex missiles systems that could never be built in adequate numbers unless you make a nuke warhead and choose to detonate it near bombers :D Missiles are in no way getting obsolete but they too can be countered effectively if the pilot is experienced and has some of the more advanced craft.

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