Minimum number of shots for a kill?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldhat, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. oldhat

    oldhat New Member

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    Strange question: Was wondering if there was a record for minimum number of shots for a kill. Had the mental image of a quartermaster walking back with his report noticing a pilot took only 6 shots of .50 caliber and he got a kill on the flight that day.

    Obvious, some of the big Russian and German cannons took out a plane in one shot.

    Any super accurate gun aces?
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Rall and Marseille were noted as extremely accurate shooters, I suspect Hartmann and many aces that flew the central firing 109 were not only pretty good but also had a gun platform that supported it. for the same reason P-38 drivers had the opportunity to be parsimonius with ammo.

    Obviously one round to the brain would represent the minimum..
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I was thinking the same thing. All it takes is one to kill or completely incapacitate the pilot and that's it. Richard Bong claimed he had bad gunnery skills, but he made up for it by getting closer.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #4 Njaco, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    On 1 September 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseilles flew a morning mission and when he returned at 0914 hours he had claimed 4 Allied aircraft. When his crew checked his guns, he had used 20 rounds of cannon shells and 60 rounds of machine gun shells.

    "Bf 109: The Operational Record" by Jerry Scutts.

    Of course there was the case of the RAF pilot that was given a claim after the Bf 109 tried to escape and dived into the ground - no ammunition expended but given the claim. I just read about it recently and will try to to find.
     
  5. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    On 16 January 1942, Sqn Ldr Frank Howell leading 243 Sqn flying Buffalos who shot down a G3M using only 10 rounds (as reported by one of his pilots involved in the action who spoke to his armourer after the raid).

    Then there's Flt Lt Tony Phillips of 4 PRU (flying an unarmed PR Buffalo) who saw 2 Japanese fighters, which were scrambling to intercept him, collide and crash. That's 2 kills for zero rounds expended...although I don't think Phillips was ever credited with the kills.:D
     
  6. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Of course there was the case of the RAF pilot that was given a claim after the Bf 109 tried to escape and dived into the ground - no ammunition expended but given the claim. I just read about it recently and will try to to find.[/QUOTE]

    thats not that uncommon as he was in combat with the aircraft and thats what caused the crash!
    maneuver kill I believe the term is?
     
  7. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Slovak ace Ján Režňák of 13.(Slow)/JG 52 achieved one aerial victory in same fashion on the eastern front. Soviet pilot tried to save himself by diving into the clouds but hit the ground and perished. Režňák was credited with a kill although he haven't fired a single shot.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I have a couple of stories close in the files noting the Ju 88G-6 crew using 4-6 rounds of 2cm Glimmspsur to knock out Lancasters via the Schrag Waffen installation

    of course we know about the 3 dreaded SturmFw gruppen and the hated 3cm knockers that could take out a US heavy in 3-4 rounds
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I suspect these averaged the least rounds fired.
    - Target flying straight and level, unaware they are being stalked.
    - Firing aircraft also flying straight and level.
    - Point blank shot with two 2cm cannon firing into wing fuel tanks.
     
  10. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    Also Me109's going head-on with heavies were punishing. Four or five 20mm hits or one or two 30mm was all that was needed. re: also Bf110 w/ 3.7... geez louis.
     
  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Undoubtedly there were any number of heavily-armed aircraft that were capable of inflicting serious damage but the key question was about the fewest number of rounds taken to shoot down an aircraft. The theoretical minimum is one round but I can't imagine there were many air-to-air armament options in WWII that would enable a pilot to shoot just one bullet (unless the gun jammed).

    Njaco's Marseilles reference is very impressive. Are there any more out there?
     
  12. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    there was a 51 pilot on the return portion of a shuttle mission to russia who had replaced his all ammo with vodka. he couldnt have fired a shot if he wanted. he pulled in behind a LW plane and watched pilot bail.

    it would be interesting to go through some of the combat reports ...they list rounds expended and see just how few or what the average rounds used was.
     
  13. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    The wording about this is not clear in 'Bloody Shambles' (and same wording in 'Buffaloes over Singapore') but it's clear from Senshi Sosho vol. 24, p.585, that the missing a/c was a JNAF Type 98 Recon (same as JAAF's Type 97 Recon, later codenamed 'Babs', single engine two seat fixed undercarriage). Its radio transmission reporting a warship sighting was cut off, from the Japanese POV. And Howell claimed a smaller but similar looking Army Type 97 Fighter ('Nate').

    And I know the question implies WWII, but some of the great aces of WWI tried to *usually* get kills with bursts of only 5-10 rounds. The method of many aces of WWII as well was to get very close to the target a/c without being seen. It wasn't only shooting prowess limiting ammo expenditure, but the skill and nerve to get so close you didn't need to shoot all that well or that much. Likewise the Belgian WWI balloon ace Willie Coppens ISTR only used 5 or so incendiary rounds in the drum of his upper wing Lewis: get close enough to barely avoid hitting the balloon as you break off, and a few shots should be enough.

    Of course as already mentioned, many a/c were caused to crash by other a/c without being fired on or touched otherwise. It was just a matter of whether such victories would be officially recognized. And another way to do it with zero rounds of course was deliberate ramming or accidental collision.

    Joe
     
  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I believe Beurling got a Macchi 202 with 5 rounds verified by his armourers
     
  15. oldhat

    oldhat New Member

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    #15 oldhat, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    Thank you for the responses, all.

    This makes me want to re-read "The Big Show" by Pierre Clostermann.

    Funny you mentioned this, what made me ask was I was watching History Channel's Dogfights, the first segment of "The First Dogfighters." Specifically, the recreation of the dogfight of Udet in an Albatross vs. Guynemer in a Spad. At one point, Guynemer takes a nervy, split second snapshot at Udet while they're both performing acrobatics and manages to damage him. I guessed it couldn't have been more than a few rounds.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK6Z5DTShWM
     
  16. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    There was a couple Fw190's that were buzzing four L4s over the English Channel. The L4 pilots got so freaked out that they were climbing, diving, violent manuvering in a futile effort to save themselves, but the Fw pilots had no interest in shooting them down. After a while, the Fw's left. The L4s then regrouped but during all that manuvering they ran low on fuel and ditched just off the coast of france. Manuvering kills?
     
  17. lindsay

    lindsay New Member

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    I think i read somewhere an L4 Grasshopper pilot over France shooting down a German aircraft with a revolver! Not sure if it was in the fact or fiction section though! ha ha!!
     
  18. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    It was a Storch and it wasn't shot down. It landed and Germans surrendered. The last day of the European war. ha.ha.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    for the Schrägwaffen actually the pilot either tried to aim at the wing spar supports to the fuselage or between the two engines on one wing which was the preferred method. blasting into the fuel tanks was suicidal for both A/C
     
  20. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

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    Yes it would be suicidal. I've read the ideal would be from a low six position? Also, that big mutha gun was optimized to shoot from that angle. Not sure how true those statements are...
     
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