3cm Mk103 cannon. H-Panzergrenat-patrone.

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davebender

1st Lieutenant
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Jan 18, 2009
Michigan, USA
Information is from USAF Armament Laboratory publication AFATL-TR-84-03.
January 1984.
Dale M. Davis.

During 1940 1,200 metric tons of uranium ore had been seized in Belgium.

Decision to produce uranium ammunition was made during the summer of 1943 when wolframite imports from Portugal were cut off.

The author mentions a first hand report from a German serving on the Eastern front during 1944 which contains a description of the new anti-armor ammunition.

The author mentions the pyrophoric effect of uranium. Whatever that means. :confused:

Ammunition "Issued to Service" in June 1944.
804g for complete 30mm round.
350g projectile weight.
Tracer burns for approximately 1,200 meters.
960 meters per second velocity.
Penetrates 100mm of any type armor @ 300 meters.
…..70mm for armor angled @ 30 degrees.
Exclusively for attacking medium and heavy tanks.
Practice firing prohibited.
No know reports of this ammunition being used on the western front.

The publication contains a bunch of additional information such as propellent type, primer type, rounds per case, a diagram of the round etc.
 
...

The author mentions the pyrophoric effect of uranium. Whatever that means. :confused:

Thanks for the doc, Dave.
The
pyrophoric effect
mens that penetrator's residuals would ignite after hit. In case of penetration, that's nasty for crew, and the ammo can ignite if they're unlucky. That further means the AP projectile doesn't have to carry any incendiary material, making simpler the design production of the projectile.
 
Interesting speculation, but rather inconclusive and by far not definitive. As to his evidence that this was a u238 round:

1) H[=Hartkern / hard core]-Panzergranatpatrone was also available for other calibres such as 3.7cm and is usually quoted as being wolfram / tungsten. Granat doesn't necessarily mean explosive, e. g. the Panzergranatpatrone 39 was APC or APCBC (not 100%).
2) He says had it been tungsten they would've said so. Maybe... Had it been uranium wouldn't they have said so as well?
3) No idea. Would be interesting to see the original German document about this.
4) Like he says it could well be tungsten.
5) Practice firing was prohibited with tungsten rounds as well.
6) Speculative. What other "evil" weapons did Germany use in the east that they didn't use in the west?
7) More interesting, but still, without any official document rather speculative.
 
Not if they want to keep it secret. For example U.S. nuclear weapons were called "Manhatten Project" rather then "Atomic Bomb".
 
Riacrato german AP, APC and APCBC of 20mm or greater had explosive filler so the right name is APHE, APCHE and APCBCHE but commonly HE is omitted.
 
sorry must disagree as to LW sources stating HE and HEI used, AP is not German terminology this in regards to 2cm, 3cm and larger AC calibers.
 
I might be mistaken but it seems to me that with such granates any PZKW IV would become lethal. It seems that one could easily take out a JS2 front armour over a workable distance with such a modest gun as an L48 instead of the rather scarse L70 and L71 guns.
 
Uranium was and still is relatively scarce. 1944 Germany didn't have enough to supply 20,000 tank and anti tank guns with uranium ammunition.
 
Not if they want to keep it secret. For example U.S. nuclear weapons were called "Manhatten Project" rather then "Atomic Bomb".

By applying secrecy to the use of uranium core ammunition it might be possible to delay Soviet discovery of the technology by as much as 6 months after its first use.

I doubt the natural uranium was more dangerous than depleted uranium in any significant way; it in fact emits only 40% less radiation.

Using it over the western front was pointless as the Luftwaffe lacked air superiority or the survivable aircraft to carry this weapon needed to attack allied tanks, at least untill the Ta 152C came along.

Using such precious ammunition from field based AT guns was also not needed as German 75mm and 88mm guns could penetrate all allied tanks from all aspects at good ranges. They might have been of some use on older 50mm guns but these would have been medium range weapons only good to 300m or so. This class of weapons in German service was being replaced by high-low pressure guns firing a fin stabalised shaped charge of good penetration and accuracy in the 500-1000m range.
One such weapon was the PAW 600.

Basically similar to a breech loaded motar.

The Germans did have the "Panzerblitz II" basically a 55mm R4M folding fin rocket fitted with the 88mm shaped charge warhead taken of the Panzerschrek infrantry bazooka like rocket launcher. Good for about 220mm penetration that fell to about 130mm due to the higher velocity and rotation. I think it may have been called R8.

I do not expect much from rockets even if the folding fin types had less dispersion since they were rotated more easily.

I believe the Luftwaffe would be attacking armour using 500kg to 1000kg bombs directly aimed via the TSA 2D toss bombing sight released from fighters directly at the tank, getting within 5m would break the armour and over turn the tank, with letah effects to much greater distances. The Germans also had cluster bombs that dispersed SHL 4 shaped charges that could be aimed this way.

In addtion Fleischers Air dropped weapons shows rockets that were able to disperse 15 or 30 warhead clusters of SHL 4 shaped charges from cluster bombs.

I immagine the TSA 2D would be perfect for aiming not only the HE bomb but the cluster bombs with significant standoff. Toss bombing sights can also be used to aim unguided rockets with the appropriate ballistic cam.
 
Riacrato german AP, APC and APCBC of 20mm or greater had explosive filler so the right name is APHE, APCHE and APCBCHE but commonly HE is omitted.

Then this would be an even easier explanation for the sprecial explosive effect wouldn't it?
 
I'd go this route as you don't need to score a bullseye with an AB250 container. The submunitions cover a significant size area.

Cockpit instrument.de has document re accuracy of the TSA 2D in a traila evaluation from an Me 262 and a Fw 190.
 

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