Small Rockets

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
A-Bomb
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Small Rockets

Post by A-Bomb » 29 Sep 2002 23:23

I know many American fighter/bombers in WWII were fitted with small rockets, but what about German fighter/bombers? And what type of rockets were they? Were they similar to the bazooka and panzerschreck rounds?

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 29 Sep 2002 23:40

I'm no expert in this but I think there was a plane which were to fly under B-17s and then fire rockets verticaly. After it had used up it's weapons the plane was divided into two and the cockpit was reused.

regards

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 30 Sep 2002 00:14

Ok here is rockets 101........in a nutshell this does not include vertical firing prototypes.

The Luftwaffe first used single mortar/rocket tubes in the fall of 1943. Single engine Bf 109 and Fw 190 fighters were equipped with one launcher under each wing. They were called Br 21 which was a single rocket of 210 mm. After the failure of these single-engine fighters using this weapon, the Bf 110G-2 and the Me 410 were equipped with two launchers under each wing and were used in action till late spring of 1944. When the Me 262 first appeared with JG 7, the Geschwader stab experimented with two rocket launcers side by side under the fuselage nose but upon firing the reverberation was so bad it nearly tore the nose cone off the a/c. They were quickly removed.
Experiments were done all during 1944 and finally the R4M missile came finally into useage with Me 262 equipped JG 7, it's first operational start was on March 18, 1945 by III./JG 7 where they destroyed some 25 US 4 engine bombers on this particular date thanks to the high destructive power of some 24 rockets, 12 under each wing. In some cases even in April of 45 as many as 18 were fitted under each wing on wooden racks.
When JG 7 was moved to a forward base close to Prague in the spring of 45 they were asked to do Ground attack missions against Soviet motor transport columns. The regualr R4M warhead was replaced by the armor piercing Panzerschreck head and the Me 262's went on a rampage destroying 100's of Soviet vehicles the last 2 months of the war. JV 44, Galland's circus flying the Me 262 also used the R4M rocket as well.
The Fw 190 SG ground attack units flying the Fw 190F and G series variants were equipped with numerous bombs and the Panzerblitz 1 and 2.
Would suggest a search on your search engine by typing in Panzerblitz rocket and see what you come up with......


E 8)

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Post by A-Bomb » 30 Sep 2002 00:20

Thanks.

So they looked similar to bazooka rounds?

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 30 Sep 2002 00:34

Hate to say it but I can't remember what the bazooka round looks like......do a search on your engines and you'll find some pics no doubt. :idea:

E

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Scott Smith
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R4M Rockets...

Post by Scott Smith » 30 Sep 2002 09:20

The 55mm R4M rockets (Rakete 4kg. Minenkopfwere) were mounted on a wooden plate underneath each wing for minimal drag, a problem with the Werfergranäte 21, which was a 210mm rocket-mortar fired from big tubes and detonated by time-delay fuse. The R4M contained the powerful explosive Hexogen with a simple contact-fuse and had foldback fins. The R4M rockets fired one after the other in rapid-succession and had the effect of a shotgun, almost guaranteeing a hit, which was enough to down a bomber. It was a simple but highly-effective idea that came a year later than when it was really needed. The aiming point was about the same as the 30mm cannon so the same reflective gunsight was usually used.

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A BF 110 bomber-destroyer with Werfergränate 21cm tubes (two under each wing) and extended-range fuel tanks.

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An FW 190A4 with a Wrf.Gr. 21 tube mounted under the wing, which hurt a fighter's maneuverability in an environment full of enemy escort-fighters. The big, tube-launched rockets packed 90 pounds of explosives and were hard to aim but frightening for bomber-crews and often broke-up their massive, interlocked formations.

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Another idea was to use vertically-firing rockets from fuselage-mounted tubes or six 30mm gun barrels that would be triggered when a jet or rocketplane flied underneath the bomber head-on at enormous closing-speeds. The firing would be triggered by a photocell that would sense the shadow of the bomber as the interceptor passed underneath it. I'm not sure if the idea ever worked in testing, as it came too late in the war. But head-on attacks were favored for bomber-destroyers to minimize exposure to protective gunfire, which is why the B-17G model added an extra forward-firing .50 caliber machine gun. Normally, jets did not fly under bombers because of the danger from inhaling falling debris from gunfire into their turbines.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 05 Oct 2002 21:36, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by A-Bomb » 30 Sep 2002 14:56

What about the russian katushas? or however its spelled.

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 30 Sep 2002 15:57

Forward attacks against the bomber formations ceased in the spring of 1944 where almost every attack was from the rear allowing only the rear gunner to return fire from the bombers.
The Me 262's attacked in porpoise style fashion usually about 1000 feet higher and to the rear diving down on the tail of the Allied bomber and then swooping upwards. This was the usual mode but I can tell you from interviews the JG 7 pilots came from just about every direction from the rear, and as most Luftwaffe pilots tried to attack out of the sun.

E

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 30 Sep 2002 16:28

Erich wrote:Forward attacks against the bomber formations ceased in the spring of 1944 where almost every attack was from the rear allowing only the rear gunner to return fire from the bombers.
The Me 262's attacked in porpoise style fashion usually about 1000 feet higher and to the rear diving down on the tail of the Allied bomber and then swooping upwards. This was the usual mode but I can tell you from interviews the JG 7 pilots came from just about every direction from the rear, and as most Luftwaffe pilots tried to attack out of the sun.

I think that is because it was too hard to setup a frontal attack with heavy enemy fighter-escort, or possibly the increased forward armament of the B-17G. The Me 262s had too much speed, of course, and too slow of cannon for frontal attacks. But the photoelectric triggered rockets/cannon may have allowed frontal attacks again with either the Me 163 or FW 190A flying underneath.
:)

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 30 Sep 2002 16:53

The speed of the opposing a/c was too great and there was not enough time sometimes to even arm the cannons.
The Fw 190 A and the Br 21 was defunct as I mentioned by early 1944 and the Me 163 was a failure as well in almost all capacities, and was absent from the skies through all of 1945 nearly. Attacking from the rear casued the most confusion as there was only one set of eyes intially to see the attack.....the rear gunner and only when the engines were hit/rudder/wings was there response from the pilot and co-pilot, even with this it was too late for the bomber crews to do anything except try to react when the German fighters came through the formation if they did at all......many times they would bank sharply to either the right or left or scream vertically upwards.

E

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Scott Smith
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KATYUSHA

Post by Scott Smith » 30 Sep 2002 17:02

A-Bomb wrote:What about the russian katushas? or however its spelled.

The BM-13 Katyusha "Stalin Organ" was a mobile multiple-rocket launcher, which could fire sixteen 82mm rockets in ten seconds. The advantage is that a lot of firepower is delivered in a short time, unlike with an artillery piece, which allows time to take cover when the first rounds start to fall.
:)

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Post by A-Bomb » 01 Oct 2002 00:40

and the nebelwaffer? how common was it?

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Ando
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Post by Ando » 01 Oct 2002 01:16

How accurate and deadly was the Stalin Organs? Did the rockets land in a random pattern over a wide area or could they be concentrated. Did they take long to reload?

Ando

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Post by Dr. Tempura » 01 Oct 2002 06:12

"The Russian Katyusha was an effective mobile rocket launcher. The Russian Army typically fitted these rocket-launching ramps on trucks protected by armor. However, when times were tough they used any truck available. The Katyusha was not a very accurate rocket launcher, but because it fired rockets in salvoes, it overcame the lack of accuracy with heavy barrages."

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Nebelwerfer

Post by Scott Smith » 01 Oct 2002 19:04

A-Bomb wrote:and the nebelwaffer? how common was it?

The Wrf. Gr. 21 was essentially a Nebelwerfer rocket, or "fog-thrower." The Nebelwerfer, aka Do-Werfer was developed by Walter Dornberger at Kummersdorf for the Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Office). It came in various calibers, not just 210mm. The Nebelwerfer rockets were gyroscopically-stabilized from cantered nozzles in the rear, which caused it to spin in flight.

Nebelwerfers were very good defensive weapons as they could be setup to cover expected fields of advance and were cheaper than standard artillery but not as precise, as is needed to closely support attacking troops. Like the more-mobile Stalin Organ, these pipes could barrage a target heavily without allowing the enemy time to take-cover. The Nebelwerfer was shown to various commanders like Rommel, who were not usually too impressed because of the more "defensive" nature of such a weapon. Few tacticians in the German Army were interested in defensive warfare, as that was mostly the way the First World War was fought and was considered old-fashioned. The Nebelwerfers were used especially in the later (defensive) part of WWII due to their low cost, good firepower, and advantage on the defense when carefully setting-up bombardment zones.
:)

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Last edited by Scott Smith on 05 Oct 2002 21:43, edited 1 time in total.

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