Sub Strafing

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by comiso90, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  2. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Hi Cosmo,

    I dont see any reason why it couldnt damage or sink one. Read this link on sinking of a destroyer. If the 50's punched through the armor then you would prevent the sub from submerging I would think for fear of sinking due to taking on water. Could be wrong though too. Though I think it would easly take a full load of ammo and some well placed hits.

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/av...agee-airmen-more-information-needed-1657.html
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks... I've read about that... I think the destroyer had its hatches open and some ammo was ignited... I would think that the side of a sub would be more difficult to pierce than the superstructure of a destroyer??
     
  4. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    The side would probably be alot harder due to the concurve of the sub but the island of the sub has a more broad surface for the impact of a bullet. You could probably figure it out if you could find out the hull thickness of a sub and compare it to the penitration testing of a 50 cal.
     
  5. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    For most of the war German subs' pressure hulls were mainly of plates around 18mm thick, type St 52 KM which was stronger than mild steel but not quite armor quality. So in theory at close range and near perpendicular impact .50 AP could penetrate that, but in actual practice, low angle strafing run, and considering the extra protection of the sub's casing it was highly unlikely. I don't think it was ever claimed, or holes in pressure hull due to .50 reported by German survivors. Strafing could and did cause personnel casualties contributing to the sub's loss though. And in many of those USN cases for which there are photo's, it was in the period during 1943 where the U-boats adopted the tactic of staying on the surface and fighting back w/ AA, to avoid being easy targets to aerial depth charges just as they submerged. Strafing was necessary to beat down the AA fire to deliver depth charge attacks.

    With bigger caliber guns of course it became more feasible to actually put enough holes in the sub to prevent it submerging. 20mm I don't know, but British Mosquito's with 6pdrs (57mm) killed U-boats with their guns.

    Also depends on the strength of the sub though. Back in 1918 German W29 seaplanes disabled the British sub C.25 with 7.9mm MG fire, holing the pressure hull and forcing the sub to retreat across the North Sea on the surface.

    Joe
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I have seen footage of WWII planes strafing destroyers and them just blowing up.

    I am trying to find videos of it on youtube........
     
  7. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    The hull and superstructure plating of the 'destroyer' attacked by 332nd FG (probably TA-22, a 1915 built Italian destroyer later downgraded to 'torpedo boat') would have been way thinner than a WWII German sub, and mild steel not high strength steel. Perhaps as thin as 6mm when built, then almost 30 years worth of corrosion. In some cases of WWI built US flush decker DD's re-activated in the WWII era it was said you could put your fist through the shell plating by then :) . But even most DD's built in the '30's and during WWII had no specific armor protection at all and structural requirements allowed plating thinner than sub pressure hulls, especially in the superstructure. Most WWII-era DD's could easily be penetrated by 20mm AP (this happened to RN destroyers in attacks on German convoys defended by light craft off the French coast, also to the flush decker USS Borie when she fought a U-boat on the surface), or even good square hits by .50 cal.

    There were exceptions, like the big US wartime DD's (Fletchers, Sumners, Gearings) which had ~19mm thick 'special treatment steel' (equivalent to rolled homogeneous armor) hull plating above the waterline for part of their length, and 12.5mm STS in parts of the deck and some other key places (eg. the main gun director), especially for protection against shell fragments and strafing. But even those tougher than average of DD's had large areas easier to hit squarely in a strafe than a U-boat.

    On sub's conning towers, a Type VIIC's was 32mm thick, in contrast to only 18 for most of the pressure hull itself. The conning tower could definitely defeat any .50 round of WWII. Only the small target of the pressure hull itself above the waterline offered even theoretical vulnerability to .50 cal.

    Joe
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  9. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    The main (and virtually only) 20 mm aircaft weapon used by the western Allies was the Hispano (the Soviets had the ShVak and later B-20 -same ammo). It was not a low velocity weapon, with a MV quite similar to the Browning, and standard loadings contained both HE/I and AP ammo.

    AP ability was considerably better than the .50, see http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/armor-penetration-20mm-vs-50-cal-911.html
     
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