Rockets in 1942-1943?

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by hardlec, May 5, 2010.

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  1. hardlec

    hardlec New Member

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    I have seen some vague references to P-40 Warhawks using 4.5 inch rockets in Africa and Burma. I have also heard that P39s were using rockets by the time of TORCH. I know Russian P39s had rockets by this time.

    While completely different: Does anyone know when the US 90mm AA gun was first used ground-to-ground?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tater718

    tater718 New Member

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    #2 tater718, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
    I waste all of my time flying the combat simulator IL2. One of my favorite sites is SAS. There was a most interesting discussion there recently in the forums regarding the P-40 not being stubbed for rockets. There seems to be no valid logical reason it should not have been (along with the P-39).
    Can ANYONE here shed a little light on this? We have run out of ideas so facts would be very welcomed!
    Later,
    Tater
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    #3 Glider, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
    P40's used Bazooka type (presumably 4.5in) rockets in China to a limited degree. However they were not a success and only used in small numbers. The US wanted to replace them with RAF rockets 60lb rockets on zero length rails, but don't know if they ever did fit the British rockets onto the P40.
     

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  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    rockets were not successful because they were unguided and could only be pointed in a general direction. a bazooka is a hand held rocket launcher. an aircraft could dive at a particular point and fire rockets but without guidance they hit by chance. ground to ground rockets operated like the old v-1s they flew until fuel was exhausted then fell and exploded wherever.
    the use of rockets required a big target
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I do know what a Bazooka is and I know what a rocket is. The paper is very clear. In China the US wanted to use rockets instead of the bazooka type that was in service. I didn't write the paper, it was written during WW2 and it was General Chennault no less who wanted the change.

    Air launched rockets were very successful in WW2 and perfect for shipping strikes. As the paper states there was a lot of river traffic which made ideal targets for rockets.

    You are of course entitled to your opinion. The original question asked for information and I gave what I had, no more no less.
     
  6. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Glider, please no offense was meant or intended. rockets pack a tremendous punch and can be fired from a distance so you don't have to get on top of your target subjecting yourself to a lot off AA and small arms fire. please note my last statement. a ship is a big target.
    I've had plenty of experience with rockets going in both directions. launched from a high angle coming down they are silent until they hit and their range is much greater than a mortar. they are very effective but not accurate without guidance
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    No problem. The outstanding question is'did the P40 get equipped with rockets. I admit to not knowing but my guess would be yes. If someone with the clout of General Chennault is asking they do have a habit of getting their way. This combined with the make do and mend approach to field adaptations so often undertaken in that field of operations.
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    no different in vietnam. hueys came unarmed. the mech started by hanging .30 cals by bungee cords, eventually rocket pods were fitted one to a side.
    i've seen p-51s fitted with rockets so i would agree with you p-40s at some point probably had rockets to use against shipping
     
  9. tail end charlie

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    You could never call the rockets used by Typhoons as a precision weapon but allowing for the ballistic drop was a real skill which could be learned or taught. From accounts after D Day a rocket attack left a tank crew shaken even if they wernt hit directly hit and wiped out any infantry around it, meaning tanks and infantry couldnt work together as they wanted
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    No one is trying to pretend that they were precision weapons. However, they were accurate enough to fire at small ships and would be lethal against river vessels. They were also excellent against targets such as railway lines/trains and if you want to stop transport, then thats what you need.
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Indeed
    and just as importantly, strike up a debate about flak and sooner or later someone will emphasise the impact on morale among the bomber crews, suggest the same for rocket attacks on ground positions and often the connection won't be made; I'm betting the survivors of the Falaise pocket had no doubt about the effectiveness of rockets when applied to the right kind of target

    Below: This gem of a cartoon by courtesy of Mr D Helmore, who was a Typhoon pilot with 137 Sqn during the drive through Germany and then into Denmark, illustrates the impact that the rocket attacks had on morale among the retreating German troops. It was taken from a Canadian forces newspaper in January 1945.
     

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  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Hmm, while I would agree that RPs scared the living daylights out of those on the receiving end, the actual combat effectiveness was far greater than has been supposed. Beevor's work on Overlord demonstrates that the RAF were overclaiming fivefold, if not more, the number of vehicles destroyed and damaged, especially in the Falaise Pocket. I personally believe that the over claiming was driven by the fact that the weapons were inaccurate but created plenty of smoke and chaos, making it easy for a pilot to think he had hit and destroyed the target. Not knocking the pilots, but without proper BDA, it's often impossible to tell how much damage has really been done, and that lesson is reiterated in every account of WW2 air-to-ground combat you read.

    I would love to give you a reference but have just realised that I have lent the book to my mum :oops:
     
  13. tail end charlie

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    I have read the same about the effect of rockets especially against tanks, wheras they are referred to as a tank buster they were more devastating against other targets. Im sure I read somewhere that the pilots were told to target bowsers if they saw them. Hitting a tank takes out a tank if you can hit it, hitting a bowser can stop a group of them.
    The inability to move anything by day and very little by night was a growing problem for the WM.
     
  14. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #14 Colin1, Sep 10, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
    If the percussion of a battery of RPs going up nearby is causing crews to abandon perfectly serviceable panzers en masse, then you might need to re-evaluate how you measure 'combat effectiveness'.

    An RAF tech report after an attack on German armour at Mortain..."Interrogation of prisoners has shown without question that German tank crews are extremely frightened of attacks by RP...Crews are very aware that if an RP does hit a tank, their chance of survival is small. It is admitted that the chances of a direct hit are slight; nevertheless, this would hardly be appreciated by a crew whose first thought would be of the disastrous results if a hit was obtained".

    Also from AM Coningham's post war dispatch "At the height of the battle it was observed that the enemy were not waiting to stand our fire. The action of the Typhoons made many abandon their tanks and take cover away from them".

    There were occasions when lone Tigers were holding up entire Allied formations trying to break out of Normandy, the deadlock normally being broken with the Allies calling up air support. Whether the RP was actually hitting the target or not, it was air power that usually eliminated the threat.
     
  15. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    p40 with rockets ( china)
     

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  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I believe that those are the 4.5in bazooka type rockets which were found to be ineffective. Nice shots though, I have never seen them on P40's before, thanks for posting them
     
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