Was the Mk108 30mm ever used in the ground attack role?

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by dennis420b, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. dennis420b

    dennis420b Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    HVAC tech.
    Location:
    Ironton, Missouri
    Is there any indication of the Mk108 30mm being used in the ground Attack role? Or was there ever any ground based application for the Mk108? For some reason I think it would have been a great infantry support weapon mounted on a half track or armored car. Like something between a Mk19 grenade launcher and a HMG. At least in my mind it would be great.
     
  2. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Junior Historian, Paintballer, Student
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Home Page:
    The closest thing I can find with a quick search of the internet is the Kugelblitz, which was an anti-aircraft tank with two Mk103 30mm guns. Even this is problematic since supposedly there were only 5 pilot models of the Kugelblitz around when the war ended.
     
  3. Kingscoy

    Kingscoy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Home Page:
    #3 Kingscoy, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
    Hi,
    I was told by a former German Me109 pilot that the centre weight of the 109 was off balance due to the weight of gun and ammo, being heavier than the 20mm. When they flew trials (also strafing runs) with this configuration it would happen that pilots pulled up but due to the shifted weight balance the a/c continued downwards resulting in fatal crashes. In the case of this pilot they could confince their CO not to addapt to a 30mm MK108 config. I'm not a pilot but I can imagine that the fighter pilots would not use/ prefer the MK108 configuration in the ground attack role. I have no technical proof though that this was also the case with other units or a/c to back up this story.

    Cheers,
    Sander
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    remember 1-1-45, Unternehmen Bodenplatte ? all Fw 190 and Bf 109G units equipped with Mk 108's in any variant were used, also JG 7 used it's forward four 3cm weapons on Soviet transport columns in spring of 45 with altered R4M with the Panzerschreck head. you can only imagine what happened to Soviet columns including armor and trying to track jets low flying with flak on trucks, the last ops were never fully recorded for historical purposes with utter defeat of the Lw close at hand.
     
  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    It was definately used against parked aircraft in the "Bodenplatte" as mr Erich said and probably earlier in the engagement post-D Day with devastating result, his low velocity however didnt encouraged an defensive role as antiaircraft weapon on tank or halftracks.
     
  6. dennis420b

    dennis420b Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    HVAC tech.
    Location:
    Ironton, Missouri
    But I was thinking in the infantry support role. I realize the muzzle velocity is low so AA use would be useless from a ground mount, but how would it fair against light and thin skinned vehicles? Again I was imagining it in a similar role as a Mk 19 40mm grenade launcher today.
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    #7 CharlesBronson, Feb 11, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
    I ve seen some panzer designs by Ferdinand Porsche for light recoinassance tank armed with Mk108 and Mk112, but those were projects as I said nothing come of them. Against anything armored the result wont be good because the explosive inside the MK108 projectile althought great for fighting aircraft are not good enough to break trought armor, however against trucks, MG nest, infantry would be devastating. The russians got a infantry grenade launcher wich is pretty similar in shape and caliber to the MK108, that is the AGS-30

    [​IMG]
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I don't think so. Projectile velocity was just too low.

    The Heer preferred the high velocity 2cm Flak38 over the faster firing MG151/20. High velocity = greater range and armor penetration. Things that matter a great deal in ground combat.

    During 1943 the German Navy developed the outstanding LM44U hydraulic twin turret for the 3cm Mk103 cannon. During 1945 the Heer was going to adopt a variant of this turret to supersede the pre-war 2cm Flak38. The war ended before the Heer got the Kugelblitz into mass production.
    kugeltur.jpg
     
  9. riacrato

    riacrato Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Project Manager in FADEC industrialization
    You do realize modern grenade launchers like the one suggested have much lower muzzle velocities? This certainly doesn't stop them from being great infantry support weapons.

    On the contrary I think the guns is too powerful to be effectively used on a tripod or to be mounted on a light vehicle. If you build a light tank / armored car around it okay but there are other low-velocity guns (though not automatic) available in 5 or 7.5 cm caliber. The LW probably had priority as long as those obsolete low-velocity tank guns were available.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    40mm Low-Velocity Grenades
    HE filler. 32 to 45g for modern U.S. 40mm grenades.
    HE filler. 72 to 85g for WWII era German 30mm mine shells.

    Mk 19 40mm Grenade Launcher.
    72.5 lbs.
    325 to 375 rpm @ 790 feet per second.

    Mk108 30mm cannon.
    130 lbs.
    650 rpm @ 1,770 feet per second.


    Hmm. You've got a valid point.
    Mk108 cannon weighs roughly twice as much as the Mk19 GL but it's still light enough for a vehicle ring or pintle mount. Otherwise it's superior to the Mk19 GL in every way. Twice the rate of fire. Over twice the velocity. What really surprised me is that WWII era German 30mm mine shells contain twice the HE payload of modern day U.S. 40mm grenades.

    Makes me wonder why the U.S. developed the Mk19 GL at all. We could have simply copied the WWII era German Mk108 cannon and had a superior weapon to put on HMMWV ring mounts.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,761
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    you do have to contend with both recoil and ammo storage/weight. The MK 108 projectile weighs about 50% more (Conservatively) while the velocity is over twice as high, well over 3 times the recoil per shot although the heavy gun cuts things down a lot but then the about double rate of fire brings the recoil right back up. even vehicles start to have trouble carrying several hundred rounds of ammo if they have another job to do. Part of the attraction of the MK 19 is that it lob rounds over obstructions like walls or short buildings or into ravines which the higher velocity MK 108 cannot do unless it backs up a few hundred yards.
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I think you've got the explosive weight for the 40x46 round fired in the M79 and M203 .
    The M19 used the 40x53 round, the high explosive M383 round had 54.5 grams of HE.


    The M19 was first designed as helicopter armament, I not too sure the nose of the Huey could be reinforced enough to withstand the pounding a Mk 108 would subject it to.
    As it was the minigun and M19 turret was hard enough on the early gunships.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    IMO high velocity is a good thing as it increases effective range and improves long range accuracy. That keeps your lightly armored vehicle outside enemy small arms range, which was standard Heer doctrine for vehicles armed with 2cm flakviering. But I suspect 3cm Mk108 projectile velocity could be lowered if that's what you want.
     
Loading...

Share This Page