Anti-Aircraft weapons

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by timmo, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. timmo

    timmo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cotswolds uk
    Do we have an expert who can answer a couple of questions on our weapons?

    A very personal matter!!

    = Tim
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,008
    Likes Received:
    444
    Trophy Points:
    83
    No expert here, but ask your question(s)...
     
  3. timmo

    timmo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cotswolds uk
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    It is said that I was shot down by AA fire. I believe it was Me 109 cannon.

    This was 1940, UK, near Portsmouth. 10,000'.

    If it was heavy AA - 3-4" stuff - there would have been bursts in the sky. I saw no bursts. They could not have hit me with one round? If it was this, there would have been a large explosion nearby I would have been hit by large pieces of shrapnel? There was no explosion - just the fuel tank catching fire several holes in my legs.

    Alternative - Bofors. Could Bofors hit at that height? Are the shells contact or proximity?

    Dilemma!!

    = best wishes, Tim

    [email protected] is the easiest way to speak - given my age!!
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,912
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    This is according to Janes Ammunition Handbook on the 40mm Bofors gun. The short answer is, yes, it did fire proximity shells....

    Development
    The first Bofors 40 mm 3P round was developed for use with the Trinity air-defence system. The term 3P denotes Prefragmented Programmable Proximity fuzed, indicating the main features of the round. It has also been referred to as PFPPX-HV (HV meaning High-Velocity) or simply as PFPPX. The 3P round for Trinity is designated the 3P-HV and has a muzzle velocity of 1,100 m/s to match the other requirements of the system. However, from 1990 onwards, the 40 mm 3P concept was expanded to include similar projectiles for use with other weapons in the 40 mm L/70 range. All existing 40 mm L/70 weapons can now have a 3P capability, once the gun and the associated fire-control system have been modified to accept the programmable fuzing arrangements. An SAK 40 L/70 Mark 3 naval gun is under development and is able to fire 3P rounds. The revised 40 mm L/70 3P rounds have external dimensions, weights and ballistics to match other projectiles in the 40 mm L/70 ammunition family.The Bofors 40 mm 3P round was part of an order placed by the Swedish matériel administration FMV in May 1995. The order was worth SKr300 million, with deliveries commencing in 1996, covering supply of the 3P round for the CV 9040, the air-defence vehicle component of the Swedish Army's CV 90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) family. An option for extra 3P rounds and the associated programming equipment was part of the order. The 3P rounds are the first to

    Description
    The Bofors 40 mm 3P is a fixed round, using a brass cartridge case rigidly secured to the projectile by two 360º crimping bands.The Trinity 3P round follows the same general lines as the 40 mm L/70 Pre-Fragmented High-Explosive (PFHE) round (see separate entry), but the proximity fuze has an extra programming function (see below). The projectile is larger than the 40 mm L/70 PFHE, with the complete round weighing 2.8 kg and the projectile weighing 1.1 kg. The projectile is filled with 140 g of Octol. The special high-fragmentation steel shell body is lined internally with 1,100 tungsten-carbide pellets, each 3 mm in diameter. The muzzle velocity is 1,100 m/s.The 40 mm L/70 3P rounds are basically the same as the Trinity 3P, other than in weight and dimensions. A 40 mm L/70 3P round weighs 2.5 kg, and the projectile weighs 975 g. The projectile contains 120 g of Octol and 1,100 tungsten-carbide pellets, each 3 mm in diameter. The muzzle velocity is 1,012 m/s.By means of a Proximity Fuze Programmer (PFP) connected to a gun fire-control computer, 3P fuzes described as of the Programmable Proximity (PPX) type can be individually programmed as they are fed into the gun chamber. Programming is carried out in two steps. In the first step, a Direct-Current (DC) voltage is transmitted to the fuze to initiate its electronics and to make an initial selection of the required mode. In the second step, taken only milliseconds before firing, a high-frequency......
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Thor, the details seem to be for the modern version. Would that make it a different round? My understanding of the weapons used during WW2 was you were safe above 8K feet from light/medium AAA. The 20MM and 40MM being classified as light/medium. As for the proximity shells, it fired them later in the war after the US started putting fuses in them. That was in the 1944/43 time period. I do not thing the 40MM had a proximity fuse in 1940. I think it was a contact round. All this is IMHO.

    Timmo, another way of looking at this might be to find the guy who claimed a British fighter over Portsmith at that time. Can you supply the details. We know the where and how high, but what about the time, number of aircraft in your group and mission you were on (Patrol, Intercept, ect). There are quite a few guys on this board that can track down almost every claim out there. If somebody in the LW says they got you, there is a good chance these guys can find them.

    But, if I were to guess, I would put my money on the 109. First, you saw no other AAA rounds explode around you (and those things are always fired in bunches) and secondly, you never saw the guy who got you, which is generally how it happens.
     
  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,912
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    Tim, very good point and I think the data I posted above is for a more modern version.

    However, the 40mm ammunition used in WW2 in the bofor gun was a standard high explosive shell with a sensitive point-detonating fuse designed to detonate on impact with the light weight materials on an airplane. However, if the shell failed to impact, a fuse would detonate the round at the end of the tracer burnout range of 3500 yards (10,500 feet). Thus, it acted like a proximity round. If Timmo was at 10,000, it highly possible the rounds burned out early and detonated.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,782
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    I think the smallest shell they could get a proximity fuse into in WW II was a 3in. At any rate that is what fueled the push for automatic 3in guns at the end of the war and immediately post war.
    After all, a proximity fuse is a miniature radar set, both transmitter and receiver and back when they were using vacuum tubes you did need a certain amount of room.
     
  8. timmo

    timmo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cotswolds uk
    Fascinating lot of information - thanks!

    After long chats with the Aunties of No1, 43 601 Sqns, we're almost certain that we know the chap - his 18th kill.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/photo04/RAF2/Helmut_Wick.jpg

    But I wanted to come in the other way disprove the AA idea.

    I have the feeling that I would not have survived a 40mm hit?

    = Tim
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    #9 timshatz, Jul 6, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
    Timmo, thanks for the info. So you were knocked down on August 16, 1940, East of Portsmouth at 2:35 in the afternoon. There is a recorded victory by Helmut Wick at that time. However, he has the height at 12,000 ft. You'd be out of the range of a Bofors round at that height.

    Interestingly enough, the RAF doesn't record having lost any fighters that day. There is a story in there, probably.

    As to getting hit by a 40mm shell and surviving, that is a good question. If it hit the fuel tank and exploded, no chance. Most likely the Hurricane just blows up. If it hit the engine, the results would probably be similar. Maybe the aircraft stays intact, but not by much. A near miss spraying you and the fighter with shrapnel is a definite possibility. But you should've heard something going bang close by. As noted, those things travel in packs. And getting hit at the end of the AAA round's range is a real long shot.

    Getting hit in the tank and having your legs sprayed with shrapnel is more likely a result of a below and behind (or to the side) attack. Behind or to the side would allow the rounds to slip past the armor plate, detonate on the forward firewall and....
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,161
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I would have thought that a hit by a 40mm that explodes on a single engined aircraft is almost certain to shoot him down or damage him enough to deflect him. Its for the extra stopping power that 20mm were being replaced by 40mm as quickly as possible in the Pacific against suicide bombers.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    Germans were not using the 4cm cannon this early in the war. would of been 2cm or 3.7cm

    sorry
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I don't think Germany mass produced the Bofors 40mm cannon. The few used by Germany were captured or manufactured in Norway.

    Production of German Tube-fired Weapon 1939 to 1945.
    Production Stats on German Tube-fired Weapons 1939-1945

    1940 German AA Weapon Production.
    863 Heer 2cm Flak 30 and 38.
    42 Heer 2cm Flakvierling (quad 2cm)
    6,609 Luftwaffe 2cm Flak 30 and 38.
    675 Luftwaffe 3.7cm Flak 18 and 36.
    1,130 Luftwaffe 8.8cm Flak 18, 36 and 38.
    290 Luftwaffe 10.5cm Flak 38 and 39.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    captured 4cm were used as examples and then produced for units as small as the KM Schnellboots up to the heavy Kreuzers like the Prinz Eugen
     
  14. timmo

    timmo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cotswolds uk
    Very helpful, thank you noma!!

    As to records , Tim - I'm listed in many places - here's one -

    As to height AND timing - time zones memory contribute to erors?

    Sufice to say, neither 1,43 nor 601 (the only sqns involved) lost another a/c at that time/place.

    I'm happy to believe the more glamorous version!!

    = Tim
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Which one are you Tim?
     
  16. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16 Colin1, Jul 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2010
    Yes, quite
    I think I can see where you're going with this, a direct hit to the infected tooth with a 40mm AA shell and the pilot is probably going to curse his double bad luck and call it a day. And require a seriously massive filling.
     
  17. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,161
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I admit that I thought that the 40mm used on the Prinz Eugen came from the Norwegian factory.
     
  18. timmo

    timmo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cotswolds uk
    As timshatz says, Colin!

    The JFD were never used.

    = Tim
     
  19. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Timmo, do I have the date right? Wick's number 18 was attacked over Portsmouth on Aug 16th. All the record notices I got were from Wick's list which was reprinted in numerous places.

    As to the 3.7CM V 40MM, I think Timmo was told he was knocked down by Friendly Fire. If it was over Portsmouth, it was friendly (with friends like that....). So that would make it a Bofors gun.

    Timmo, did you bail or fly it down?
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Sweden, British, USA, German and Japanese Bofors 40 mm/56 (1.57") Model 1936
     
Loading...

Share This Page