Did the Luftwaffe use any air to surface rockets?

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XI_Legion_Nrth_Afr
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Did the Luftwaffe use any air to surface rockets?

Post by XI_Legion_Nrth_Afr » 25 Dec 2005 05:30

I am asking about whether or not the Luftwaffe made significant use of air to surface rockets to increase the effectiveness of their ground attack aircraft.

I just finished Wolfgang Fleischer's great book about Luftwaffe munitions, and it only mentioned rockets sparingly.
"German Air-dropped Weapons To 1945"


The allied planes like the Typhoon used rockets. 60lb rockets were used on the Typhoon and other allied planes and they were devastating, being able to deliver HE or AP firepower with accuracy unparalleled for the day. Soviet IL-2's also used rockets to great effect.

Did the Germans use any air to surface rockets? If so, which planes used them? If not, why?


Thanks!

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ChrisMAg2
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Post by ChrisMAg2 » 25 Dec 2005 18:11

I.e.:
V-1 (actually a ramjetted flying bomg, but it's the ancestor of the cruise missle) launched from He 111 H-20/ H-22
Hs 294 A antishipping rocket from Do 217 E
Panzerblitz 1 and 2 from Fw 190 F

Not literay a rocket, but Panzerfaust 100 and 150 were rocketed AT hollow charges and used on Bü 181.

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PPoS
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Post by PPoS » 26 Dec 2005 13:14

Hs 293/294/295
Henschel ''Zitterrochen''
Ruhrstahl/Kramer ''Fritz X''
Ruhrstahl/Kramer X7 ''Rotkäppchen''
Bv 226/246 ''Hagelkorn''
Bv L10 ''Friedensengel''
Bv L11 ''Schneewittchen''
Bv 143
Rheinmetall-Borsig RZ 65
Rheinmetall-Borsig ''Panzerblitz''

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 26 Dec 2005 17:56

JG 7 Me 262's first used R4M's oin 18 March 1945 in a devastating attack agasint B-17 formations. The Rocket was altered so it could also be used by the JG 7 jets in ground attack missions against Soviet armor and MT.

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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 27 Dec 2005 02:18

Those 60lb unguided rockets where not accurate at all...

However the germans had guided rockets/bombs wich could be used effectively


http://www.ww2guide.com/missiles.shtml

FX-1400 for instance was famous for sinking RM BB Roma...
http://warships.web4u.cz/lostship.php?l ... USER=20414
http://www.regiamarina.net/others/roma/roma_us.htm
http://bobhenneman.info/roma.htm

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 27 Dec 2005 02:29

the useage of the R4M's brought additional P-51's to try and cover jet take offs and definatly surrounding the fields upon landing. It shook up the bomber crews enough whether they were accurate or not according to saved diaries in my possession

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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 27 Dec 2005 03:57

They should have used those rockets more early!

Also i remember the Me-163 with R4M's and even with rockets/mortar in shrage musik position (i only think that was planned or just propasal)
Hope i can find pics of that mortar...(i've seen drawings/pics...long ago on a CFS2 forum)!

The Rocket with rockets...Me-163 with R4M
http://balsi.de/Waffen+Gebaeude/Sonderw ... ter47m.htm
more rockets
http://balsi.de/Waffen+Gebaeude/Sonderw ... waffen.htm

You can find some pics of USS SAVANNAH (CL-42) wich also got hit by a FX-1400:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/04042.htm

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ChrisMAg2
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Post by ChrisMAg2 » 27 Dec 2005 09:48

Ome_Joop wrote:...

Also i remember the Me-163 with R4M's and even with rockets/mortar in shrage musik position (i only think that was planned or just propasal)
Hope i can find pics of that mortar...(i've seen drawings/pics...long ago on a CFS2 forum)!
...
You mean SG 500 Jägerfaust with the latter? One Me 163 was equipped with that and is said to have made one B-17 kill in late April '45.
And it was not a "Schräge Musik" -installation, but a vertical salvo mortar located on both wing roots.
AFAIK there are no verified pics of this weapon, only drawings.

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Grzesio
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Post by Grzesio » 27 Dec 2005 12:38

Did the Germans use any air to surface rockets? If so, which planes used them? If not, why?
Yes, as Chris wrote, they used air-to-ground rockets, but in a very limited numbers.
Panzerschreck 1 and Panzerblitz 1 antitank rockets were used from late 1944 by fw 190F's and probably Ju 87 (units in question are: 6./SG 3, 5./SG 77, 8./SG 1, 2.(SG)/9 i 10.(Pz.)/SG 77 for the Panzerschreck and 3., 6./SG 1, 9./SG 2, 7., 8., 9./SG 4, 1., 3.(Pz)/SG 9, 9./SG 77 plus probably 13./SG 9 and 13./SG 151 for the Panzerblitz). It's also said, improved versions Panzerschreck 2 and Panzerblitz 2 could be used in combat.
A limited number of R 4M was used by Fw 190Ds against ground targets in 1945.
There was probably some combat use of RZ 65 spin-stabilized rocket during its operational trials (EKdo 25 apparetntly had a Ju 88 armed with RZ 65 for trials against railway targets in late 1943?).
Other rockets that are mentioned as used in combat against ground targets, are WGr 21 air-to-air rocket and WFrGr 28/32 (the latter are simply 28 cm and 32 cm demolition and incendiary artillery rockets for Nebelwerfers - but I have no idea if they were used for anything more than basic trials, as their characteristics made them rather unsuitable for airborne role).

That's all of the rockets, as far as I remember.
There were others, left as prototypes or projects - e.g. RZ 100, RZ 15/8, WK 14BS, Panzerblitz 3 (and 4?) plus more rocket assisted bombs mentioned by Fleischer.

The only air-to-ground missiles ever used in combat (of the wide array mentioned above - and many many more) were Hs 293A, Fritz X (FX, FX-1400, PD-1400X, PC-1400X or however we call it) and Fi 103.
Not literay a rocket, but Panzerfaust 100 and 150 were rocketed AT hollow charges and used on Bü 181.
Hmmm, have you anything to confirm the Panzerfaust 150 m use?
The Rocket with rockets...Me-163 with R4M
They were actually R 4M mock-ups only, installed on the Me 163 AV-10 for flight trials at Udetfeld, as they were no live rockets available.
You mean SG 500 Jägerfaust with the latter? One Me 163 was equipped with that and is said to have made one B-17 kill in late April '45.
Obviously much more than one Me 163B were armed with JG 500 - one was just used in combat (it was the very last combat flight of the Komet as far as I remember). The victim was actually a Canadian Lancaster, which lost its tail turret, but made it home and performed a belly landing.
And it was not a "Schräge Musik" -installation, but a vertical salvo mortar located on both wing roots.
I'd say - in wings. There was devastating muzzle blast reported during trials and the launchers were gradually moved away from the fuselage. But there's not a single proof of theil actual location indeed. :)

Regards

Grzesio

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Stormbird
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Post by Stormbird » 27 Dec 2005 13:43

Grzesio wrote:
Not literay a rocket, but Panzerfaust 100 and 150 were rocketed AT hollow charges and used on Bü 181.
Hmmm, have you anything to confirm the Panzerfaust 150 m use?

Grzesio
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Grzesio
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Post by Grzesio » 27 Dec 2005 13:58

Thanks, I know the photograph - but it is obviously not the Pzf 150 m, as it had a very distinctive warhead shape, something like a postwar Soviet RPG-2 (not accidentally).
The one in the picture is actually a Pzf 60 m or Pzf 100 m (the latter one, if we believe in what is written :) - but they are practically impossible to recognize in a photo).

Regards

Grzesio

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Post by PPoS » 27 Dec 2005 18:50

The Luftwaffe used the Bü-181 not only as a primary and secondary trainer but also for courier and liaison flights to and from troop units in the field. Late in the war, the aircraft would be retrofitted to act as strike aircraft. Accordingly, from March 1945 onwards work began at a number of air bases to modify the Bü-181 "Bestmann" for this new assignment. The planes selected were trainers which were becoming available with the disbandment of various flying schools. They were to undergo modification in the same manner as such crudely designed Russian planes as the Po-2, which frequently created havoc on night missions, especially if the target was a crowded street.
Some of this modification work was carried out in Berlin-Gatow, where a considerable number of Bü-181s were equipped with ETC 50 bomb carriers and with antitank grenade launchers. Following a period of intensive training and numerous practice sessions, actual missions were flown by so-called antitank squadrons which had recently been established to combat tanks and other moving targets. The areas in which they are known to have operated include Kaufbeuren in South Germany (3rd Antitank Squadron), Grossenbrode (Baltic Sea) and Berlin. From February/March 1945 onwards, practice raids were made on dummy tanks at Werder and Trebbin (both about 35 km from Berlin). Pilots also practised dropping 50-kg bombs, which were stored in the space normally occupied by the second seat. The planes dive-bombed a target raft floating on the River Havel.
Much activity also centred on the Magdeburg area, where the former Lufthansa airport Magdeburg-Süd served as a based for flying missions. The small number of planes used there were equipped with four Type-100 antitank grenade launchers, which were attached, one above the other, to both wings. The pilot was able to trigger the launchers by means of a Bowden cable, the wires of which extended through holes in the side of the cabin to the upper and lower parts ofd the wings. Attacks were carried out a low altitude and the pilot took aim by means of a primitive metal rod with cross wires which was attached to the engine cowling in front of the cabin’s windscreen.

http://www.croixdefer.com/forums/index. ... 37149d5526

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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 27 Dec 2005 20:21

ChrisMAg2 wrote: You mean SG 500 Jägerfaust with the latter? One Me 163 was equipped with that and is said to have made one B-17 kill in late April '45.
And it was not a "Schräge Musik" -installation, but a vertical salvo mortar located on both wing roots.
AFAIK there are no verified pics of this weapon, only drawings.
SG 500 was what i was talking about...you are right!
http://www.xs4all.nl/~robdebie/me163/weapons01.htm

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Grzesio
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Post by Grzesio » 28 Dec 2005 13:10

I was just trying to figure out, why Germans had so limited use of aircraft rockets.
The possible problem is wrong idea about their role. I think, Germans saw them initially as something like a big calibre recoilless aircraft gun. Their initial designs were obviously overegineered - the RZ series with all those faired heavy launchers (not to mention multirocket automatic launchers, e.g. TG) often firmly built into aircraft's structure. Eventual trials showed the rockets were less accurate than guns and their limited number carried by an a/c made them unsuitable for intended tasks (and aircraft suffered a lot from oversized launchers too). What's more, these early rockets - as the stubby RZ 65 - were apparently really underpowered - then spin stabilizing does not work too good with aircraft rockets. I think all af this resulted in lack of interest in direct hit rockets (as opposed to blast ones, as the WGr 21).
Some change of thinking came in 1944, and better fin stabilized rockets were created - crowned by the R 4M. Early versions of a-t-g rockets, as the Panzerblitz 1 and Panzerschreck 1 were not too perfect itself, but they utilized smaller and lighter launchers at l(e)ast, as well as their number was increased (e.g. a Fw 190 could carry just six RZ 65, but 12 or 16 Panzerblitzs 1 or 12 Panzerschrecks 1, eventually 8 Panzerchrecks 2. In the closing stages of the war there's apparently a huge number od fin stabilized rockets under construction, many of them in air-to-ground role, as well as elaborate automatic launchers as the belt fed Raketenautomat 55 - but they could also make things simple, as Natter's Raketenwabe proofs.

Regards

Grzesio

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Post by VtwinVince » 29 Dec 2005 07:15

I think the Bu 181 photo shows a machine of the "Sonderkommando Bienenstock".

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