german r4 rocket

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by puckett, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. puckett

    puckett New Member

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    hi all. maybe someone can help me on this question. the German r4 rocket as it a good tank killer? thank you Puckett.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The R4M had two versions.

    The R4M PB-3 was the air-to-air version which was typically carried by the Me262

    The R4M PB-2/3 was the air-to-surface version used for ground attack and was used by the Fw190.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The R4M PB-2/3 may never have been used in combat.

    It required a much larger diameter warhead than the air-to air version.

    Fw 190 ground attack planes may have used the normal air to air version against ground targets. While 520grams of HE can make a fairly impressive bang that is about the amount in a 75mm HE shell and 75mm HE shells were not great medium tank killers. Screw up and damage tanks yes, kill them? T-34 was designed to be "shell proof" against normal field guns, which at the time meant 75/76mm guns firing HE shells.

    armor penetration of shaped charge heads was fairly closely related to the diameter of the war head at any given time ( things get a lot better as time goes goes on, a 1960 shaped charge warhead shows much higher penetration for diameter than a 1945 warhead).

    The R4M PB3 used a 210mm war head, which would offer considerable target effect, it also means it can't be be mounted on normal R4B racks without some difficulty and if using the identical motor section a some loss of speed/range can be expected.

    R4M - Nevington War Museum

    I am not sure about the 8cm mortar bomb warhead going through 3 1/2 inches of armor either. Unless it was the body of of an 8cm mortar bomb with a hollow charge inside.
     
  4. puckett

    puckett New Member

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    hi shortround6, thank you for the info. puckett
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There's a bit of confusion here.

    The R4M was the standard air to air rocket. R=Rakete, 4=4kg and M=Minenkopf.

    There were various air to ground anti-tank weapons developed. The first was the 'Fliegender Panzerschrek' which as the name suggests was based on the infantry weapon of the same name. One was mounted under each of the ETC 71 wing racks carried by the Fw 190 F-8 and F-9. It had poor ballistic performance but it did become operational, first with 1./SG 10 in October 1944 and then III./SG 3, II./SG 2, 8./SG 1 and finally the rest of SG 10.

    What people seem to be referring to above is a different weapon, the 'Panzerblitz'. Three versions were proposed but only the first saw service. The Pb 1 comprised the rocket body from an R4M mated with an 80mm mortar grenade (Gerate M8 ). Initially six, later eight, launch rails were fitted under the wings of the Fw 190s. By February 1945 there were 115 Fw 190 F-8s equipped to carry the Pb1 rockets. By this date 43,480 rockets had been produced and the production target was 16,000 per month. The first unit equipped with the weapon was III./SG 4 and its first operational use was on 7th December 1944.
    By the middle of April 1945 3 and 6./SG 1, 9./SG 2, 6./SG 3, 7,8 and 9./SG 4, 1, 3 and 13./SG 9, 9./SG 77 and 13,/SG 151 were all operational with the system.

    The Pb 2 was developed precisely because of the lack of armour penetration of the Pb 1. It was also based on an R4M rocket body but had a 130mm warhead supposedly capable of penetrating 180mm of armour. A few were tested on an Fw 190 F-9 but it was not used operationally. It was the proposed air to ground weapon for the Hs 132 and Junker EF 126, but we're in the realms of Luft '46 now.

    The Pb3 again used an R4M rocket but had an 85mm hollow charge warhead. It certainly never became operational and I can't find any evidence that it was ever fired from an aeroplane, though I'll happily be corrected.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    yeah, I typoed on the AtA version, said 3 instead of 1...

    Should be R4M/PB for Air-to-Air
     
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