AA performance of Kurz round

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
Von Schadewald
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AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Von Schadewald » 07 Nov 2013 12:25

It is claimed that had the MP42/43/44 been fully available to the Germans earlier it could have won them Stalingrad, Monte Cassino and Bastogne. Imagine the final battle scene in "Saving Private Ryan" with the SS all firing MP44s: even Ryan would not have made it.

Maybe even the Mustang at the end would have been downed.

And that is my question: what was the effectiveness, if any, of the Kurz round against low flying aircraft? At Normandy the Anglo-American jabos flew at 100-500'. Would 30 German soldiers in the bocage all aiming at one Tiffy and placing 900 rounds of 7.92x33 in its path have made any impression on the armoured glass, cockpit armour and monocoque construction then in use, or was the round just too weak and short ranged, akin to the 0.3 US M1 round?

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Simon H
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Simon H » 07 Nov 2013 12:37

Von Schadewald wrote:It is claimed that had the MP42/43/44 been fully available to the Germans earlier it could have won them Stalingrad, Monte Cassino and Bastogne. Imagine the final battle scene in "Saving Private Ryan" with the SS all firing MP44s: even Ryan would not have made it.

Maybe even the Mustang at the end would have been downed.

And that is my question: what was the effectiveness, if any, of the Kurz round against low flying aircraft? At Normandy the Anglo-American jabos flew at 100-500'. Would 30 German soldiers in the bocage all firing on one Tiffy and placing 900 rounds of 7.92x33 in its path have made any impression on it, or was the round just too weak?
MP44 was issued from Mid 1944 onwards and evidence plenty of it being used in Normandy and the Ardennes. Not heard of veterans attempting to use them against aircraft as the MG42 or larger calibre Flak 38 would be the better option. Just because it was a smaller round makes it no less potent at 100' range against aircraft.

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Simon
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Von Schadewald » 10 Nov 2013 20:01

Tintin (who was modelled on Belgian Nazi Leon Degrelle) certainly made effective use of the Stug for AA fire!

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JTV
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by JTV » 11 Nov 2013 06:55

Simon H wrote: Just because it was a smaller round makes it no less potent at 100' range against aircraft.
I do not completely agree on that - probably there would be no major difference in between 7.92 mm x 57 JS and 7.92 mm x 33 from that distance against Mustang, but for example 20-mm x 138 B ammunition would in whole different category. The problem in such situation is that infantry tends to be unprepared for strafing aircraft until the last minute, there is no equipment for measuring distance (rangefinder) and speed of aircraft and since the rifles do not have tracer ammo in them. So their fire is basically unaimed since the shooter has not real idea about how much lead he should take (in other words - how far ahead in front of the plane he should aim). Not that there would be much time adjusting aim either. Even late World War 2 era prop aircraft would be fast enough, that they would spent only seconds within effective range of rifle fire.

Incidentally when I did my military service in Finnish Defence Forces about two decades ago, we were trained to shoot strafing or low flying enemy aircraft and helicopters with 7.62 mm x 39 caliber assault rifles. The concept was such that an officer yelled type (prop, jet, helicopter...), direction of aircraft/helicopter and estimated distance - and once it was overhead every soldier would fire a burst in front of it. Even with dozens of soldiers shooting the likelihood of hitting something vulnerable was considered small, but then again rifle-ammunition is very cheap compared to aircraft and all it takes is one very lucky bullet. The matter also has fighting moral aspect - moral-wise it is notably better to shoot at aircraft strafing your unit, than just trying to run or hide from it.

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JTV
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by JTV » 11 Nov 2013 08:16

Von Schadewald wrote:Tintin (who was modelled on Belgian Nazi Leon Degrelle) certainly made effective use of the Stug for AA fire!
I assume you ment STG, not Stug... STG (sturmgewehr) is rifle, while Stug (sturmgeschütz) is armoured fighting vehicle.

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Von Schadewald
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Nov 2013 12:40

JTV wrote: So their fire is basically unaimed since the shooter has not real idea about how much lead he should take
Jarkko


Seems like the only AA weapon the German infantry could have had with a chance of making a dent in the Allied jabos would have been the Fliegerfaust

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If it had been distributed in time as much as the Panzerfaust, given the lead problem, how effective could it have been in making the Allied pilots fly higher if equipped with tracer? Would it have been of any use in the ground role?

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Simon H
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Simon H » 12 Nov 2013 14:23

JTV wrote:
Simon H wrote: Just because it was a smaller round makes it no less potent at 100' range against aircraft.
I do not completely agree on that - probably there would be no major difference in between 7.92 mm x 57 JS and 7.92 mm x 33 from that distance against Mustang, but for example 20-mm x 138 B ammunition would in whole different category.
He's talking about the Kurz round? Not sure I understand why you disagree and then in the next sentence agree that there is no difference between the standard round and the short round?

I do agree with you however that infantry units were not actively encouraged to engage aircraft with small arms, as the chances of hitting it were small, and would also draw fire by giving way their position to this and other aircraft.

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Simon
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Grzesio
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Grzesio » 12 Nov 2013 14:47

Seems like the only AA weapon the German infantry could have had with a chance of making a dent in the Allied jabos would have been the Fliegerfaust
And the Fliegerschreck.
The Fliegerfaust does not seem to be a reliable AA weapon in the form it entered the combat, mostly because it was awfully inaccurate - dispersion of the rockets was approx. 1/20 of the distance, i.e. 80 m at the intended combat range of 400 m. Although, it could be expected, Fliegerfaust launchers could have been effective when used simultaneously in greater numbers.
These rockets actually were equipped with internal tracers, acting as a selfdestructor.

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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Nov 2013 16:42

The many poms poms of Force Z did not have tracer and thus had no deterrent effect. POW had a single Bofors firing tracer and Japanese pilots reported that the globs of tracer coming at them from that one gun really threw their aim. Tiffy and Jug pilots could not but be deranged by a wild hail of 20mm coming at them from all directions of the bocage
who were otherwise undeterred by flak as can be seen here http://www.britannica.com/dday/art-40490
which would be bound to reduce the rate of German losses somewhat.

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JTV
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by JTV » 14 Nov 2013 19:32

Simon H wrote: He's talking about the Kurz round? Not sure I understand why you disagree and then in the next sentence agree that there is no difference between the standard round and the short round?
Prime example why one should not try writing in a hurry while rushing to work. :oops: Just disregard that part.

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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Gustav_SC » 24 Nov 2013 09:54

Replying to the original post:

1. The StG had a low rate of automatic fire. Good for controlled bursts in ground combat, but not good for AA use where the time for engagement is short and putting more rounds in front of the target is desired.

2. The 7.92x33 round was a "mid-power" round, with more velocity than a pistol round but less than "normal" rounds for the period like Brit .303 Enfield, US 30.06, Soviet 7.62x54R and, of course, the German 7.92x57 round. Less velocity means more lead is required ahead of a moving target and less penetration is achieved if a hit is achieved.

3. The Wehrmacht did train to engage low flying aircraft with their MG's. The MG42 in particular, with it's high rate of fire, would be somewhat effective.

4. In summary, the StG would not be particularly effective for AA defense against low-flying aircraft. It would be more effective than an MP40 or a Kar 98k or a P-38, though. :)

Also, even if the StG was the primary service rifle of the Wehrmacht and SS from, say, 1941 the war's outcome wouldn't have changed much. Aircraft, artillery, tanks, fuel, ammunition - WWII was an industrialized conflict. Having better firepower within 400m was only a small part of the big picture.

Lastly, I can't imagine how the Fliegerfaust co

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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by Von Schadewald » 01 Jul 2023 20:51

The Soviet 7.62x39 round is not much more powerful that the 7.92x33 Kurz round, but judging by this training clip at 16.20 they obviously thought it had some AA efectiveness, or is firing an AK47 skyward an exercise in futility?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnAkMisFeGE
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T. A. Gardner
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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by T. A. Gardner » 03 Jul 2023 20:51

It's an exercise in futility. First, the firing soldier has to estimate the speed of the aircraft and lead it to even have a chance of hitting it. It really doesn't matter which direction it's going either you need a proper lead.

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Japan went so far as to put those 'wings' on their Type 99 rifle's sight to lead an aircraft.
Next, you have an effective range of maybe 200 to 500 meters at most and then have to try to factor in the drop of the bullet on top of the lead.
There's a reason .30 caliber / 7.7 - 8 mm machineguns were dropped from most aircraft use, and that is the rounds really weren't effective against all-metal aircraft. So, even if you somehow managed to hit the plane, you're most likely to do nothing serious enough to it to stop it from flying away as if you hadn't hit it at all. Against aircraft performing a 'zoom and boom' diving, strafing, and bombing run at high speed, rifle caliber fire would be even less effective than against a low flying strafer.

Using tracer would only draw attention to you and irritate the plane(s) into strafing and bombing your position. It was pretty common by 1944 for US and British fighter-bombers to prioritize antiaircraft guns and fire as a target. Once they were suppressed or taken out, the planes could then continue blasting whatever it was they had come to destroy.

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Re: AA performance of Kurz round

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 06 Jul 2023 10:25

Yeah even a mounted full-caliber machinegun wasn't a very useful AA weapon in WW2. So the MP44 would be even less effective.

More-so a good way to keep the soldiers morale up, if they believe they can actually deal damage, they'll feel a bit better.

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