Spiking Arty

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
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gavmeister13
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Spiking Arty

Post by gavmeister13 » 02 Jan 2004 13:58

How is arty spiked? in a few accounts the soldiers say something along the lines of "we fired all but the last shell, whcih we used to spike the arty piece". Would a grenade or few not be good enough to desrtoy a gun?

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 02 Jan 2004 14:36

Hi gavmeister13

If I recall correctly, the term"spiking the guns" stems from the old gunpowder cannon days when an actual spike was pounded into the touch hole and broken off, rendering that gun useless until the spike could be drilled out.

In more modern times, the term encompassed any method that ruled the gun in-operable. Fouling the muzzle end of the barrel (rock, lumber, or a reversed round etc) and firing a round worked the best. This usually would cause the barrel to burst somewhere along it's length. Long lanyard was a must for this method!! :wink: One can see many pics of Dunkirk showing Brit 3.7in guns having had this done to them

Also things like laying open the breech and setting off a White Phosphorous grenade there would screw it up pretty good.

Another good way was to put a shell in the chamber but without a charge bag and just the primer. When fired the shell would not exit the muzzle but lodge part way up it.

Also simple things like taking the firing pin out if the breech block or simply smashing or removing the sight were immediatly effective in rendering a field piece useless if only for a short time.

The first method was about the most effective, IMHO.

Hope that helps you some.

regards
A :)

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gavmeister13
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Post by gavmeister13 » 02 Jan 2004 16:11

thanks very much. i didnt relaise there were so many ways to ruin a gun.

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Xavier
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Post by Xavier » 02 Jan 2004 16:18

hello "A", happy new year!

I have read that in normandy, some of the fixed artilery guns were put-out of action by allied troops using termite grenades (termite is a very hight heat-content explosive.)

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Xavier
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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 02 Jan 2004 21:00

Hi Xavier

And a Happy New Year to you too, compadre. :D

Yes, Thermite would work the same as WP at the breech end. In BoB you see the Amis Paras putting "Thermite Grenades" down the barrel and it blowing up the barrel. This, according to the Artillery soldiers I've spoken to, would not happen but thermite and frag grenades would certainly ruin the lands and grooves of a barrel making the gun horribly inaccurate. It most certainly not do what was shown in the show. Rather a pretty shoot of flames out the muzzle end. As you know, gun barrels are designed to handle these explosive pressures!! It would sort of turn a rifled Artillery barrel into a rough or smoother bore. :wink:

regards
A :)

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 02 Jan 2004 21:09

One way was to fire a round without hydraulic fluid (used propably combined with above mentioned methods), it was a way to damage the the most expensive system in any artillery piece, the carriage and recoil system....

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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 03 Jan 2004 00:18

Aufklarung wrote:Yes, Thermite would work the same as WP at the breech end.


Knowing the composition of Thermite, I wonder how on (Middle-)Earth can one ignite it on the battlefield.

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 03 Jan 2004 00:22

Witch-King of Angmar wrote:
Aufklarung wrote:Yes, Thermite would work the same as WP at the breech end.


Knowing the composition of Thermite, I wonder how on (Middle-)Earth can one ignite it on the battlefield.

~The Witch-King of Angmar


The US Army prescribes a magnesium bar, but anything sufficiently hot would do...

Christian

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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 03 Jan 2004 00:43

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:The US Army prescribes a magnesium bar, but anything sufficiently hot would do..


Not even a direct touch of flame from a blowtorch can ignite the aluminium-iron oxide combination, the magnesium has to be ignited first (with the blowtorch) to initiate the reaction - and then run like hell, if you are fond of your life and corporeal integrity :D

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 03 Jan 2004 02:05

Witch-King of Angmar wrote:
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:The US Army prescribes a magnesium bar, but anything sufficiently hot would do..


Not even a direct touch of flame from a blowtorch can ignite the aluminium-iron oxide combination, the magnesium has to be ignited first (with the blowtorch) to initiate the reaction - and then run like hell, if you are fond of your life and corporeal integrity :D

~The Witch-King of Angmar


True, but I would assume that magnesium could be made available, possibly a single bar or two for emergency use?

It isn't a good idea to try out what can ignite it at home, though. Inside with burn through your flor into the ground, and outside you'll get a hole in your garden. Either way, you'll get a hell of a fight with your mother/wife ;)

Christian

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Post by Mark V » 10 Jan 2004 09:39

Witch-King of Angmar wrote:Not even a direct touch of flame from a blowtorch can ignite the aluminium-iron oxide combination, the magnesium has to be ignited first (with the blowtorch) to initiate the reaction - and then run like hell, if you are fond of your life and corporeal integrity :D



I think the normal construction in antimaterial grenades is an thermite packed in magnesium casing, equipped with initiator. Magnesium is first ignited by initiator, which in turn ignites the thermite. Neat solution.

Mark V

Timo
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Post by Timo » 10 Jan 2004 10:18

It was very common for German (tank) crews to spike their gun by draining all oil from the recoil mechanism before firing the last shot, thus jamming the gun in full recoil.

For an example, take a look at the photos of abandoned Königstiger "008" (s.SS-Pz.Abt.501), Ardennes 1944.

Hope this helps,
Timo

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 10 Jan 2004 16:42

Hallo Timo

Could you be so kind as to direct me to that picture of which you speak?

Thanx in advance.

regards
A :)

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 10 Jan 2004 16:49

Not a Tiger II, but a Jagdtiger:
http://home.att.net/~dave.pride/Army/us_apg_01.htm

Christian

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 10 Jan 2004 17:06

Thanx Christian

To be honest I would not have known this vehicle's gun is not in battery. I've seen this vehicle before and didn't even realize the state of it's recoil mechanism.

regards
A :)

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