Bizarre Weapons

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Airman 1st Class
Dec 17, 2006
Hi All
In 1980 I was on a Shell Tanker, the 2nd Steward was a man who, with nearly 50 years at sea, had served on the wartime convoys, and had lots of tales to tell as well.
He showed me a qualification in his discharge book of that time Rocket Cable it said.
He explained how he would launch this small weapon from the ship, a Rocket would be fired up, towing a cable behind it, it's descent slowed by a small parachute.
The object was to tangle the propellers of enemy aircraft he said.
He never heard of any harm being done with it though.
Anyone else got one to add?
Yup, they were a Brit invention and usualy more unhealthy to the firers and the vessle than any aircraft.

However the people involved got together with the inventor of the Anti-Submarine Hedghog thrower, so it worked out in the end for the best.
They were also used, with some limited success, for the defence of the Malta airfields.

They were credited with several kills of Ju-88s and Ju-87s, which used to stray quite low to dive bomb the airfields (and anything else in the area). I believe that some Mks could reach something like 6,000-8,000 ft.
What I know there whas 2 kind of SAR, that whas created by the British. the 2in Rocket and the 3in Rocket. The history of the (57mm) 2in Rocket acted as the test-bed for the development of the (76) 3in Rocked and then became an air defence weapon in its own right. the Royal and the Mercant Navies used most of this rockets to defence their ship, few of the RAF fightersquadrons used this rockets to for defending their bases for low-flying german airattacks. A group of Stukas who once got faced whit a number of this rockets persuaded these pilots to go somewhere else. The (76.2) 3in Rocket was developed in the mid-30s as a cheap alternative for the 3in AA gun whit a similar shell of wheight and similar altitude. the 3in Rocked proved to be an successful design. It whas mostly used to the seaports and navalbasesaround Britain and overseas. this rocket whas fired in a salvo of 64 rockets.

some data of those rockets

2in Rocket
lengt of rockets: 914 mm
wheight of rockets: 4.88 kg
warhead: HE:0.25 kg
maximum velocity: 457 m/s
maximum celling 3048m

3in Rocket
lenght of rockets: 1.93m
wheight of rockets: 24.5 kg
warhead: HE: 1.94 kg
maximum velocity: 457 m/s
maximum celling: 6770m
The Luftwaffe employed a deal with a cable that reeled out with a bomb on it to break up bomber formations too. Presumably it was then relseased to cause the same alleged havoc by flailing around and hopefully slice up a bomber or 2.
Heard that was used during the BOB. Caught at least one Do17. There is an article out there that I read on it. Remember the German pilot of one of the Do17s seeing the rockets and, while not knowing what they were, figuring it wasn't good and manuvering hard to avoid them. One of the guys in his flight caught them and went down.

Also think the brits used a double balloon cable system to stop low flying aircraft where two balloon were linked and when and aircraft caught a wire, it detatched drag chutes from both which added 2 tons of drag on the aircraft and usually stopped it in it's proverbial tracks.
Is it true that German fighters carried Panzershreck rocket launchers under the wings? They do in CFS3, but you cant always trust games.
Proving if you can think up a way to destroy somebody, the opposition will figure out a way to defeat it. Keeps everybody on their toes.

Thats the way it went the whole war. Both sides trying to find a way to get into each others back yards and stop each other at the same time. Pretty simple idea really and some very innovative ideas sprang up. Some worked, some did not.
Here's another one. The Northover Projector. Basically a common piece of metal tubing using blackpowder as the charge. The projectile was anything from conventional grenades to thick glass No. 76 phosphorus bottles. Enterprising British Homeguards even practiced anti-aircraft techniques. Optimistic at best. These "pipe guns" were notorious for training accidents resulting from experimention in charges, materials, and "ordnance". A fine example is the attempt to affix expedient sights to the pipe, by drilling a hole at the muzzle and securing the sight with a nut located in the barrel. As you can image this would have catastrophic results.

[Photo from Imperial War Museum]


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Dr. Price wrote about the parachute mines used to protect Kenley airfield on August 18, 1940. Attacked by nine Do 17s from 9./KG 76 at treetop level, the mines went off as the planes reached the edge of the airfield. One was brought down and several others were damaged.
My old man was in the Home guard for a while Matt before he joined the navy and he said they were issued with a north over projector, it came in a wooden crate so they all set to putting it together.
When complete a little washer was left over and the sargent said "never mind lads they always have to many bits when shipping gear".
Anyway the took it over the local firing range to give it a whirl and the sarg and this corpral decided they would have first crack at firing the thing.
In went the Phosphor bomb, In went the charge "aim, fire", there was a bloody great bang and these two guys where enveloped in a sheet of flame and came out minus eye brows and looking like they had just come back from good holiday in the sun. The washer was to stop the forsight thread going into the barrel.
He said the Blacker bombard was a much better tool and would even make a tank cough a bit if you had the nerve to wait till it was in range
Blacker Bombard
Fascinating some of those improvised tools although you'd have to be desperate to want to use them...

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