German AA rockets with cables?

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hatchetharry
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German AA rockets with cables?

Post by hatchetharry » 28 Dec 2003 23:27

I'm reading "The Blue Arena" written by Bob Spurdle, a New Zealand fighter pilot during WW2. In the book he describes being on a low level anti-flak sweep over Holland in 1945 when a "cloud of rockets trailing steel cables leapt skywards from the trees"

I've never read anything else about a rocket AA weapon being used in WW2. Can anyone else shed any light on this?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 29 Dec 2003 00:44

Hallo!

I have searching for info on the Rag38 for a long time.....
During my searches, I have come across a weapon which could fit your description. I have this "on ice" for the moment due to other projects, but here are a few interesting quotes I have picked up from http://www.nuav.net :)

Please let me clarify a few things. 38 cm RAg(Raketen Abschussgerät) M43 does not shoot out umbrellas and anchors and such stuff. It is a coastal antisubmarine weapon, which was also made for use against surface ships. RTg means Raketen Tauchgranate and is solely the name of the ammunition, it's not a weapon in itself. Of these there were several types.
The other RAg which people seem to confuse with it is the 8.6 cm RAg M42 (most common, although there was also the M44 for use on Uboats and such). This weapon was for air defense and was installed on numerous Kriegsmarine ships. It could fire off various rockets, with a parachute with a wire attached, HE rockets, light-rockets, signalrockets and düppelrockets for confusing allied radar. From various reports I have seen, it seems well-liked. Another weapon which some sources erroneously call a RAg is the 7.3 cm Raketenvielfachwerfer "Föhn", which fired off only HE-rockets. This had several mishaps, as the rockets were known for their unfortunate tendency to self-ignite...


The Germans had an accident during a demonstration of the RAG weapon in Sandnessjøen 17. May 1944. The RAG was onboard M 326 when a rocket exploded and killed Seekommandant Sandnessjøen Kpt.z.S. Wolfgang Dietrich, CO (M 326) Ob.Lt.S Herman Meier, Oberst (H.K.Art.Reg.978) Dr. Wilhelm Linder, Ob.Ltn.z.S. (M 326) Karl Troitzsche and Masch Maat (M 326) Helmut Wuckel.


......Rocket anchor with a winch and a parachute for protection against low level aircraft attacks. The first time I can see in the German KTB`s (from Norway) this weapon was in use on a escort vessel was 1. June 1944, when "S/S Hans Leonhard" was sunk North of Statland.
I had the pleasure to discuss this weapon with the former CO onboard
Uj 1706, Hans J. Hansen. He told me that the German crew was not happy with this weapon, becouse the anchor wire come in the propeller etc.


Hope you can draw some conclutions out of this!

EE

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 29 Dec 2003 06:14

How effective were these weapons Erik?

alf
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Post by alf » 29 Dec 2003 12:17

They were used by the British in 1940 to defend airstrips. A low level attack on Kenley airfield on 18th August by Dornier 17's of 9/KG76 encountered them.

They were more alarming than effective, though they did account for one Dornier to crash and contributed to another's loss

As soon as the Dorniers of 9/KG76 crossed the southern perimeter of Kenley, the Parachute and Cable (PAC) that were sited on the northern perimeter and placed at about 60 feet intervals were fired by rocket into the air. Once the 500 foot cable had reached its limit, a parachute would open leaving the steel cable suspended in the air and making a slow descent. If any aircraft struck the cable, a second parachute would open at the base of the cable automatically making the enemy aircraft difficult to fly as one wing would be pulled back by the entangled cable and the two parachutes.

The machine gunners and the anti-aircraft batteries on the airfield found it difficult to accurately find their targets because of the low altitude and speed of the bombers. One gunner stated that it was difficult following the path of the raiders, so they just pointed the barrel of the gun in front of the bombers and fired hoping that at the bombers would run into the gunfire. One by one the Dorniers dropped their load of twenty 110 pound bombs, and there was little that the defences could do. The noise, smoke, fire and explosions was intense. One by one, they created a path of absolute destruction. Hangars, domestic blocks, administration buildings, the officers mess, the station headquarters building all suffered at the accurate bombing. Bombs that had been released by the bombers in the centre of the formation bounced along the runways like ping-pong balls on a table tennis table before exploding.

Feldwebel Wilhelm Raab had just let his bomb load go when a PAC was sent skywards, but luckily the Dornier was in the process of doing a banking turn that the cable just missed his aircraft. But PAC's did account for two other Dorniers, being caught off balance as the cables caught their wings. (Some sources state that these aircraft were also damaged by ground fire as well). Other Dorniers were hit as they climbed to make height by 111 and 615 Squadrons


http://www.battleofbritain.net/0028.html

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hatchetharry
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Post by hatchetharry » 29 Dec 2003 17:18

Interesting info, cheers guys. I've found out that rocket batteries were also mounted on some British battleships, HMS Hood being one.


http://www.warships1.com/Weapons/WNBR_UP.htm

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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 29 Dec 2003 18:51

Please let me clarify a few things. 38 cm RAg(Raketen Abschussgerät) M43 does not shoot out umbrellas and anchors and such stuff. It is a coastal antisubmarine weapon, which was also made for use against surface ships....(omissis)
EE

Anti-sub or anti-aerial? Fighter or fisherman? Funny dilemma. Also anti radar "windows" (metrical wavelength "chaff") had to be launched upwards by mean of rocket-boosters. Not exactly a weapon but very useful as mobile courtain able to blind radars in the attempt to hide air forces displacements at lowest ceilings. Still used by ex Warsaw Pact Air Defences as short-wavelength chaff. An useful ECM-ECCM.

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Post by Grzesio » 15 Jul 2005 13:33

Wow, let me come back to this so interesting topic!

Im aware of four types of German barrage rockets, commonly known as the KZS or Kurzzeitsperre - the 8,6 cm RAG ( http://www.net.bialystok.pl/~hess/r_ppn_kzs.htm ), 15 cm Kz 1000, 21 cm RSK 1000 and 21 cm RSK 2000.
The only other incident that can be described as involving a barrage rocket, I've heard about, took place early in the morning on August 18, 1943, when a Mosquito NF II of the 605 Sqn., piloted by maj. A.W. Mack lost one meter of its wing together with an aileron, after it had hit a steel rope suspended from a parachute over Schleswig/Jagel airfield. There's even a picture of the a/c after it landed, with the cause of the damage visible, but I was unable to obtain it from 605 Sqn's traditions group without buying their book where it was included. :(

Regards

Grzesio

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Post by jopaerya » 15 Jul 2005 15:47

Hello All

In the september in 1944 the 8,6 cm R.Ag. was used in Holland
to defend the seelocks in Flushing , Veere , Wemeldinge and Hansweert.
The rockets are 41.7 cm long and had a cable attached the max. hight
was 500 m and had parachutes .
On 8 sept they were first used at Hansweert 12 rochets were lanched against
a attack from 4 Thunderbolts , one aircraft attacked and flew against the cables
and had to stop his attack and flew away with the other airplanes
The next day 9 sept the lock was attacked by a Typhoon who was caught in the cables
and was crashed in the Westerschelde. According to the Adm. Ndl. this weapon was a succes .

Sorry for the bad drawing of the lauchingtube , but it al I got .

Regards Jos
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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 15 Jul 2005 20:16

I have seen a few statements indicating that the navy was not that happy about this weapon.....
According to some KTB`s several ships got the wires in their propellers.....
One of them was an interview with the former CO of an U-jäger

Did you also know:
During a test with an R.Ag in Sandnessjöen (Mounted on M-326?) 17th May 1944, the rocket exploded inside the barrel before it had left the weapon! This tragic accident caused the death of:
-Seekommandant Sandnessjöen Kpt.z.See Wolfgang Dietrich
-Commander of M-326 Ob.Lt.z.See Herman Meier
-Commander of HKAR978 Oberst Dr. Wilhelm Linder
And additional 2 crewmembers of M-326

Another KTB Indicated that two Beaufighters were downed by this weapon in Jøssingfjord S.Norway early 1945, during an attack on the Schnellboot begleitschiff Adolf Lüderitz with escorts.


Another issue:
Here is "something" I stumbeled upon in a museum this summer, named "Wasserbombenwerfer"
Any info available??

The stampings read "Nr 1989 - WBW - bh" and "1941"
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Post by jopaerya » 15 Jul 2005 20:47

Hi Erik

Thanks for your info on the 8.6 R.Ag in Norway,
I think the Adm Ndl was refering on the land use
of the 8,6 R.Ag , not the use on boats ??
For the Wasserbombenwerfer as far I know they were
used in harboursentrances , somekind as depthcharge.
There were also bunkers planned for this weapon ( Ijmuiden)
Your foto looks like the foto that I got .
Foto is taken in Boulogne and from the Bundearchiv Koblenz

Regards Jos
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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 15 Jul 2005 20:53

That definately looks like the same!

The rather high production number (1989) should indicate that this was used, well a lot of places!
However, I have never seen it listed in any batteries up here......

EE

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Post by jopaerya » 15 Jul 2005 21:40

Found also the bunker for the Wasserbomberwerfer in Ijmuiden
the Regelbau V 191 in V.F. Foto = Forteneiland

Regards Jos

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Post by jopaerya » 16 Jul 2005 10:25

Hello

For the high productionnumber of the Wasserbombenwerfer ,
as you can see it is also used on ships of the Kriegsmarine.
I think it was first used on ships and later on land
That is maybe the reason for the high productionnumber
The Wassebombenwerfer in Boulogne was under the command
of the Ha.Ko. and not of the M.A.A.s .
Foto = German Destoyers and Escorts from P.Beaver

Regards Jos

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Re: German AA rockets with cables?

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 20 Apr 2015 00:51

Gentlemen,

Learned something new about the Kriegmarine attempts to defend ships and bases against air attacks. The use of rockets are interesting to me. I wonder if there were actions of Kriegsmarine surface craft sinking enemy small ships?

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao

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Re: German AA rockets with cables?

Post by JKernwerk » 13 Jun 2015 20:14

On the island of Terschellling there are at least two nice collections (one museum) and in one there are two of the WB's, these were collected by divers from sunken ships.
And in the Atlatikwall museum in Hook van Holland there is a nice example of a RAg, the small one (8.6cm).
When HvH was cleared of ammo some of them were found but they did not knew what they were so they kept one and the rest was scrapped.
After the war one of the RAg's was found in the dunes, these guys also did not knew what it was, but luckily they made a copy on paper what was on the typeplate fixed to the weapon.
JK

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