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56RAF_Roblex

Are rockets as overrated as they say?

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It has become fairly common recently for people to post that the reputation of Typhoons etc. for destroying tanks was much exaggerated and that there is little evidence of many tanks being destroyed by rockets alone. This argument in in support of the idea that GA aircraft in the game should not destroy tanks so easily whether using bombs or rockets..   The argument seems to be that pilots saw a big explosion and claimed a tank kill but in reality the tanks continued on their way unscathed once the aircraft had left the area and most tank kills were done later Allied tanks & AT guns.  
I accepted this as being very possible as it is not disputed that pilots were prone to  overclaiming but have just finished reading 'Hawker Typhoon : The Combat History' and it contains accounts from ground forces on both sides confirming that Typhoon rockets (and maybe bombs) did do a lot of damage to armour without any help from ground forces.  Here are a couple of examples.

 

Quote

General Speidel, " ‘During the German endeavour to break the siege of our forces, we were continuously subjected to massive attacks by Typhoons. Our convoys were decimated because the Typhoon tactics were to hit both the head and the tail of our columns, then to wreck the immobilised armour caught in the trap.’ In one day eighty-four tanks were destroyed, thirty-five heavily damaged and twenty-one damaged. Three Typhoons were shot down"

 

Quote

"General Bayerlin, commanding the Panzer Lehrer Division in Normandy reported: ‘Our Division was denied use of main roads and our movements were totally interrupted by daytime as a result of the heavy losses sustained after the terrible and repeated attacks made by rocket Typhoons.’ 

 

Quote

"As the 7th Armoured Division’s recce regiment, we in the 8th Hussars had a set procedure whenever we came across German rearguard Tiger tanks or 88mm anti-tank guns, we’d call up the Tyffies (sic), watch their rockets destroy the obstacle and then carry on advancing. Thanks to the RAF, many crews’ lives were saved and the momentum of Monty’s advance upheld.'


I have no doubt people will post that what we see described as 'tanks' were actually just lightly armoured vehicles even though most official reports specifically separate tanks & armoured vehicles & armoured transports but the last quote does specify Tigers as well as 88s and I am sure if he actually meant 'The Tiffies destroyed the 88s but we had to do the Tigers ourselves.'then he would have said as much.

 

Yes I know we don't have typhoons and the new tempest does not have a record of GA but we do have P47s with similar weapons that were used in the same role. There will be counter arguments and they might even be right but I just wanted to put those quotes out there.

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Posted (edited)

I have no idea but they sure are fun to use. :)

I miss mounting Tiny Tim rockets on my Corsair.

Edited by Gambit21
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Someone in the 366th (from Y-29) shot down a plane (109 I believe) using rockets.

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I see the rockets as pretty pointless unless a person has plenty of practice using them. I have seen far too many people waste a perfect run towards a target only to miss due to using rockets with an incorrect approach angle. Such mistakes are often costly.

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I know I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. I would also assume any transport columns and lightly armoured vehicles would be having a very bad day after a rocket attack.  As General Speidel pointed out, tanks caught up in the devastated convoys were more or less sitting ducks.

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54 minutes ago, 56RAF_Roblex said:

It has become fairly common recently for people to post that the reputation of Typhoons etc. for destroying tanks was much exaggerated and that there is little evidence of many tanks being destroyed by rockets alone.

 

Wasn´t too effective against armor back then, more of a moral booster, nevertheless it is fun in the game.

 

Some good read on the subject here:

 

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/articles/tactics/tank-busting-ww2.php

 

and Ian Goodersons book here:

 

https://www.amazon.de/Air-Power-Battlefront-Support-1943-45-ebook/dp/B00C7TB7AO/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&keywords=Ian+Gooderson&qid=1562619739&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

And some hardcore insights here:

 

https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp03/MQ50093.pdf

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When assessing the real life merits of WW2 airborne rockets, I think we shouldn't discount the psychological impact. 

 

Almost every account I've ever read from ground troops about the subject of CAS describe rocket attacks as being uniquely distressing despite their very low accuracy and consequently limited deadliness - this includes surface-to-surface rockets like Katyushas. 

 

I don't know if it has something to do with the fact, that unlike bombs, artillery shells or supersonic bullets, you actually hear rockets coming at you before they arrive, giving you that second or two of absolutte dread before impact, before you know if it's a hit or miss. 

 

In any case, it would seem to me, that as ineffective rockets are in actually destroying hard targets, the psychological impact might outweigh the lack of destructive power. Obviously not something that's easy to implement into a sim, so not sure what we can use this for in this context. 

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4 minutes ago, Finkeren said:

When assessing the real life merits of WW2 airborne rockets, I think we shouldn't discount the psychological impact. 

 

Almost every account I've ever read from ground troops about the subject of CAS describe rocket attacks as being uniquely distressing despite their very low accuracy and consequently limited deadliness - this includes surface-to-surface rockets like Katyushas. 

 

I don't know if it has something to do with the fact, that unlike bombs, artillery shells or supersonic bullets, you actually hear rockets coming at you before they arrive, giving you that second or two of absolutte dread before impact, before you know if it's a hit or miss. 

 

In any case, it would seem to me, that as ineffective rockets are in actually destroying hard targets, the psychological impact might outweigh the lack of destructive power. Obviously not something that's easy to implement into a sim, so not sure what we can use this for in this context. 

all of a sudden hunting V2 rockets near The Hague sounds intrigueing.

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Air attacks against tanks had a tiny success rate when it came to knocking out tanks, but where very successful when it came to causing tank crews to fear aircraft suppressing the movement of tanks in day time.

It was very much in the interest of leaders like General Speide l and General Bayerlin to put as much blame for the whermacht's defeat on the lack of air superiority and to emphasis the practical effects of allied air power over the morale effects.

The 7th Armored Division's recce regiment may well have found rocket attacks effective at clearing enemy positions, but that is not the same as saying that they found rocket attacks effective at reliably physically destroying tanks.

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From what I have read, the P47 pilots in France and Belgium did not like using the rockets mounted in disposable tubes. The ejected .50 caliber shells would break the trigger wires to the rockets if the guns were fired before the rockets were launched. That meant when the attacking aircraft were diving in on the target, they could not fire their guns to suppress AA fire until after the rockets were launched. Since 1/2 the planes usually suppressed while the other 1/2 attacked with rockets or bombs, it screwed up their tactics.

 

They became much more useful later when the rail mounted underwing rockets were available, but we do not have those for Allied planes yet.

 

500 pound HE bombs were much more effective against tanks so that was the preferred loadout

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6 hours ago, 56RAF_Roblex said:

here will be counter arguments and they might even be right but I just wanted to put those quotes out there.

 

Enter Mortain:

 

Major General Michael Reynolds in his book “Steel Inferno, 1st SS Panzer Corps in Normandy” discusses a Operational Report on Allied airpower during the Normandy Campaign. General Reynolds sites several studies performed immediately following the campaign by both the British and American Armed Forces, which would imply German Tank casualties due to tactical airpower were minimal.

 

This is a quote from his chapter on The Mortain Counter-Attack in "Steel Inferno".

 

“RAF pilots claimed a total of eighty four tanks destroyed and twenty one damaged, plus a further 12 other vehicles destroyed and twenty-one damaged. The IXth US Tactical Air Command, which flew 441 sorties over the period of the 7th to 10th August, made claims of sixty nine tanks destroyed, eight probably destroyed and thirty-five damaged and 116 other vehicles destroyed or damaged. Confirmed results on the ground were somewhat different. Between the 12th and 20th August 1944, operational research teams from both the 21st Army Group and Second Tactical Air Force conducted separate investigations in the battle area and than compared and collated their results. They found thirty-four Panthers destroyed, ten MkIV’s, three SP guns, twenty-three armored personnel carriers, eight armored cars and forty-six other vehicles. Of the forty-six tanks they concluded that twenty had been destroyed by ground fire (sic. ATG’s, tank fire, etc), seven by air force rockets, two by bombs, four from multiple causes, and eleven by either abandoned or destroyed by their crews…seventeen additional Panthers were found in the area over which the LAH Panzer Division had operated, and of these six had been knocked out by Army ground fire, four by air force rockets and the reminder were destroyed or abandoned by their crews.”

 

The Allies apparently committed a huge percentage of their available tactical air strength against the German thrust around Mortain between August 6th and August 10th (458 Typhoon sorties were flown in the Mortain Sector on August 7th alone). Only 13 confirmed Air to ground inflicted tank kills. 

 

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000010.html

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I always wondered how effective SD 4 HL cluster bombs were against tanks when compared to rockets. Unfortunately I newer found a Luftwaffe report dealing with this topic. Because many ground attack units converted to using the Panzerblitz late in the war, I guess the Luftwaffe leadership regarded this rocket type as more effective when compared to cluster bombs. Units equipped with the Panzerblitz reported good results, but without any confirmation by investigations on the ground, this might well be the result of overclaiming.

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10 hours ago, Jaegermeister said:

Since 1/2 the planes usually suppressed while the other 1/2 attacked with rockets or bombs, it screwed up their tactics.

 

The tactic with Typhoons was for half of them to have bombs and half to have rockets.  Alternatively half only carried guns and used the same 'One get the AAs attention and one destroys whoever fires' tactic that many of us do in game.

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Even if the rockets really weren't effective, is it possible that the concussion of direct (or very close) hits could cause more harm to the crew than, say, a tank shell that wasn't strong enough to penetrate? 

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No. AP would go through and knock a tank out, HE would not, and also not harm the crew.

 

As it is, rockets were fairly ineffective when it came to knocking out tanks (or crew). But, as already had been said, they were very effective in restricting movement. Also aircraft could strike far behind the front lines (another thing that adds to the already mentioned psychological effect - the threat was always there). Could go for support vehicles and infantry, easily knocking these out. Destroy a bridge. And so on. There were quite a few options and effects. So they were effective in tactically disabling entire armoured units, but not in knocking armour out.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, =AVG77=Mobile_BBQ said:

Even if the rockets really weren't effective, is it possible that the concussion of direct (or very close) hits could cause more harm to the crew than, say, a tank shell that wasn't strong enough to penetrate? 

 

Yes and no.

Explosives largely kill by sudden changes in air pressure and by shrapnel. Tanks are excelent protection against both of these so long as they stay intact.

On the other hand, non penetrating shells can cause spalling inside tanks that can be deadly to the crew.

 

However, tank crews (especialy inexperianced ones) where often killed by air attacks because they left the safty of the tank. Knowing that their tank can easily be seen from the air and knowing that the enemy aircraft where specificaly targeting tanks, many inexperianced crews bailed out of their tanks and ran for cover when they came under air attack rather than staying inside the claustraphobic tank like sitting ducks, unable to fight back and wondering if the next bomb is going to be the one that kills them.

Staying inside the tank is safer, but paradoxicaly, crews often felt safer (or at least more in control of their destiny) running away from the tank.

Edited by [DBS]Browning

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Rocket firing Typhoons must have been hell on the majority of German transport.

 

 

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-301-1958-20,_Nord

 

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In defence of the 60lb HE RP3

 

During WW2, Soviet SU152 & ISU152 found that their most effective round for destroying German tanks was the APHE round for their 152mm ML20 Gun-Howitzer. Hits from a APHE shell on anything but the front armour of the heaviest German tanks resulted in the complete destruction of the vehicle and death of the crew. However, as a typical loadout was 8 rounds of APHE & 12 rounds of HE, it wasn't uncommon to find themselves facing German armour with only HE left in their racks. This wasn't a problem as Soviet crews found that a single round of HE almost always put an enemy tank out of action. While a single HE hit rarely destroyed a enemy tank, hits from a 152mm HE would cause enough concussion to kill or wound crew members close to the impact point. Hits would jam turrets & escape hatches, knock out main guns, destroy machine guns, destroy or miss align sights, smash vision devices, wipe out radio antennas, break tracks & smash suspensions.  Unlike tanks hit by APHE, tanks hit by HE could be repaired and fight again, but they were out of the battle, often for some considerable time.

 

As the RP3 has almost the same velocity, weight and explosive content as a 152mm ML20 HE round, this is exactly the same type of damage that Typhoons would have been inflicting. Lots of badly damaged & tactically useless tanks but few destroyed ones. The big difference is that ISU152 fought on the front line where a disabled & defenseless German tank could possibly be captured. Typhoons were generally shooting at tanks well behind the lines. The Germans were known to have a efficient battlefield recovery service to collect damaged but not destroyed tanks and get them back for repairs. That the investigators found very few tanks damaged by Typhoon attack on the Mortain battlefield doesn't surprise me at all. It's exactly what you would expect. That doesn't mean the Typhoons weren't being effective though.

 

Soldiers quickly become accustomed to their environments. Soldiers learn what's dangerous and what they need to fear and ignore the rest. We've all heard the story's of the newbie next to vets when coming under arty fire. Of how the vet ignores the shells until he hears one that is going to land close. Only then does he take cover. Soldiers only fear that which can hurt them. German tanks didn't fear the Tiffy just because it made a loud scary noise. They feared it because it killed German crews. It took the highly experienced 2nd SS Panzer almost two weeks to drive across France after the D-Day landings. Two weeks wasted when they were desperately need because they feared Typhoon attack. 

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Absolutely!

The rockets are more than powerful enough to put any tank out of action, often permanently, but only if they hit.

How many of us can honestly say we hit a tank the first dozen times we used rockets against them in a simulator? It's a hard thing to do in game and almost certinaly harder to do at the time.  It's a credit to the pilots of the time that they managed to do it often enough to legitamise the fears of German tank crews.

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Posted (edited)

As for accuracy, it's true that an experiment in England with two flights of Typhoons firing 64 RP3 rockets only resulted in 3 hits, but that's 3 tanks out of the battle from 8 sorties. At Mortain, the Tiffies flew over 500 sorties. Using the same ratio, that's 188hits! 

 

The RP3 was admitted by the Kriegsmarine as the reason they stopped using Flak Subs. The RP3 was too effective in sinking Uboats if they tried to stay topside and fight. If you can hit a sub that's mostly underwater while flying into the subs flak with absolutely no cover, surely hitting the lines of tanks caught in the traffic jams at Mortain must have been equally possible.

 

BKJovwo.jpg

Picture of the target Panther during the British RP3 test. The 8 Tiffies hit it 3 times.

Edited by Bloodsplatter
Trying to add picture

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If German tanks were always stationary in a wide open field in a guaranteed no threat environment, it might be possible to achieve hit ratios in the field that are equal to those achieved in training (i.e. ideal conditions).

 

A submarine btw., even a partially submerged one, is considerably larger and more vulnerable than a tank. That's really apples and oranges.

 

I also disagree with your point of aircraft damaged tanks were salvaged. No, they weren't. Some of the battlefields investigated never were in German hands and there was zero opportunity to recover and repair damaged tanks. Some tanks were abandoned for lack of fuel and if logistics did not permit refueling, why would it permit recovery?

 

But thanks for the 3/64 figure. Is there a damage analysis for these hits?

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Bloodsplatter said:

Using the same ratio, that's 250hits! 

 

If that ratio where anywhere close to the truth, then battlefield investigators would have found many more German wrecks with signs of aircraft damage. It's not difficult to imagine reasons why that number might be off.

 

Quote

he RP3 was admitted by the Kriegsmarine as the reason they stopped using Flak Subs.

 

I'd like a source for that.

None of the U-Flak boats where attacked by Typhoons and none of the U-Flak boats where sunk by aircraft (althopugh three where damaged by Beaufighters, Sunderlands and B-24s).

U-Flak boats where ineffective at shooting down aircraft and also ineffective at sinking ships and that allies often just called in surface ships to deal with them or returned with larger groups of aircraft. That's why they stoped using them.

In fact, I can't find a single U-Boat of any time sunk by any aircraft that might have been carrying rockets for all of 1943. I can't find any U-Boats for the entire war sunk by Typhoons either.

Edited by [DBS]Browning

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RP3's were carried by Coastal Command aircraft.  Typhoons never hunted subs. 

 

The first U-Boat destroyed with the assistance of a rocket attack was U-752 (Kapitän-Leutnant Schroeter), on 23 May 1943, by a Swordfish of 819 NAS.

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I read a report that rockets for the raf in ww2 were not very effective in terms of actually destroying tanks (below 10%) but they did have a large effect on the enemy's moral. So basically a terror weapon. 

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If i am not wrong, there is also a part of the video about the Rockets

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14 minutes ago, Bloodsplatter said:

RP3's were carried by Coastal Command aircraft.  Typhoons never hunted subs. 

 

The first U-Boat destroyed with the assistance of a rocket attack was U-752 (Kapitän-Leutnant Schroeter), on 23 May 1943, by a Swordfish of 819 NAS.

 

Cool! I didn't know swordfish carried rockets, but what is your source for saying this is why the U-Flaks where converted back?

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4 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

Cool! I didn't know swordfish carried rockets, but what is your source for saying this is why the U-Flaks where converted back?

 

U-Flaks were IIRC a try with a damaged U-Boat (U-256) to use her as Flak trap while escorting merchant ships in the Bay od Biskay, where in 1943 life was short for any kind of German crews. But you can imagine what happens to a functional U-Boat in terms of submerged speed when you put all that stuff on her deck. The gag didn't last for more than a couple of surprises and the surprised British aircraft would just call surface vessels for support and that's basically the end of the "not-very-U-Boat". Besides, you could often attack U-Boats from high angles, to where they couldn't elevate their guns. By end of 1943, U-Boats resorted back to what they wre good at. Diving. As for Flak they made ships for that. Ships that were a nightmare to attack for RAF fighter crews. Like this, the Arcona:

Arcona.gif

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1 hour ago, ZachariasX said:

By end of 1943, U-Boats resorted back to what they wre good at. Diving.

I am not sure about that. As far as I remember at that time german VII c U-Boats were in fact all Flak U-Boats, with the 8.8cm anti ship gun removed from the upper deck and the 'Wintergarten' enlarged and equipped with one 3.7cm plus two 2cm twin guns. Those subs, that were not yet equipped with a snorkel had to come to the surface to load the batteries and get fresh air into the boat and needed some defense for that time. Usually they were not able to dive before the first attack, so they tried to survive the first attack and then dived before the aircraft was back for the second run.

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15 minutes ago, Yogiflight said:

I am not sure about that. As far as I remember at that time german VII c U-Boats were in fact all Flak U-Boats, with the 8.8cm anti ship gun removed from the upper deck and the 'Wintergarten' enlarged and equipped with one 3.7cm plus two 2cm twin guns. Those subs, that were not yet equipped with a snorkel had to come to the surface to load the batteries and get fresh air into the boat and needed some defense for that time. Usually they were not able to dive before the first attack, so they tried to survive the first attack and then dived before the aircraft was back for the second run.

They usually carried some Flak guns. Those guns were also dual use, you could use them to shoot up smaller merchant ships without having to waste a torpedo. However, the "U-Boat" per se is much more of a "Boat" than "U". They were required to cross the Bay of Biscay on the surface to make it far out enough away from the Allied AC and ships. But during daylight, coastal command made that attempt suicide. Being discovered during daylight was fatal if you could not dive quickly due to Allied surface vessels. At night, it became suicide as well due to Allied surface radars. The snorkel could be detected by radar and water bombs would do the rest. By the end of 1943, all they could do was not being detected. For that, they had to dive quickly. A discovered submarine is a dead submarine. It is just too slow and too vulnerable. Putting some Flak on it doesn't help if the Bay is littered is full of British cruisers with ASDIC. As a sub commander it is up to you how much structure you want on your deck when you are submerged trying to dodge cruisers that hunt you with sonar.

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Posted (edited)

All U-boats in 43 had flak guns, but SOP was to dive whenever an AC was spotted. Due to increasing losses, it was decided that U-Boats would fight on the surface and specially equipped "Flak U-Boats" were prepared for that purpose with extra AA guns. It turned out to be a disaster and the idea was quickly abandoned after a few months in mid-43.

 

back to the topic, rockets were never a serious anti-sub weapon. The overwhelming majority of U-Boats sunk by air in 43-45 were sunk by air dropped DCs or homing torpedoes. They did not require a direct hit, and if dropped in the vicinity of a surfaced or diving U-Boat , they were deadly.

Edited by Sgt_Joch
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2 hours ago, Sgt_Joch said:

specially equipped "Flak U-Boats" were prepared for that purpose with extra AA guns. It turned out to be a disaster and the idea was quickly abandoned after a few months in mid-43.

 

Yep, the standard late U-boat flak was two twin 20mm guns, plus a 37mm or a quad 20mm. The special U-flak had two quad 20mm guns and a twin 37mm.

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AP RP3's were used on most of the Anti-Sub aircraft flown by the allies

 

US_Avenger_Rockets.jpg 

Grumman Avengers

 

Swordfish3a.jpg

Fairey Swordfish

 

22_fs.jpg

Vickers Wellington

 

292-1.jpg

Lockheed Hudson

 

Roc001.jpg&key=d58fdb960a2bbd32d59e15deb

And even the Consolidated Liberator

 

The allies wouldn't have wasted their time if rockets were ineffective.

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Back to the original topic.

 

When it comes to the effectiveness of RP3's against German tanks, there's two completely opposing views taken by the people of the time.

 

On one side, we have...

The Allied Generals, who wouldn't have kept sending Typhoons against German Armour if they didn't think it was effective.

The German Generals, who claimed Typhoons did a lot of damage to their tanks

The Typhoon pilots, who (while certainly overclaiming) felt their attacks were having results

The German tankers, who feared the Rocket-Phoons

The Allied Ground forces, who believed the Typhoons were effective when called in to take out 'Tanks or 88's'

 

on the other hand, we have

The Allied post-battle damage assessors, who believed the Typhoons had almost no effect on German Armour.

 

Only one of these two groups can be right and one must be mistaken. While now-a-days, most tend to believe it's the damage assessors who are right, and all the Combatants mistaken, back when most of the Combatants were still alive, it was the Combatants who were believed.

 

I think both sides have valid arguments and I respect the opinion of those who believe in the damage assessors, but I personally believe the damage assessors were confusing rocket damage with artillery damage and that the Combatant knew what they were talking about.

 

Having said all that, I don't think Typhoons were slaughtering Tanks all over the place.

 

During WW1, the machine gun was the dominant weapon. Troops caught in the open were slaughtered by machine guns so the troops were forced to dig in, completely changing the battlefield.  Once they were stationary, they became easy targets for artillery which did most of the killing in WW1, but it was the machine gun that created this environment. For most of the war, machine guns didn't do a lot of killing as they lacked targets but they were always a Threat-in-being, waiting for an opportunity to strike, and troops lived in dread of having to go Over-the-top and face them.

IMHO, the Rocket Typhoon was the dominant Anti-Armour weapon of the Western Front. German tanks caught stationary and in the open were going to take casualties. It may have taken 21 rockets per hit, but the Typhoons could keep coming all day. This caused the Germans to take measures not to be caught stationary and in the open with their tanks, changing how they used their tanks and the battlefield in the process.  Like the machine gun, the Typhoon never took as heavy a toll on the enemy as it could for lack of clear targets, but it was the weapon the enemy dreaded to face. 

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I believe the real value of Typhoon rocket attacks is how disruptive, rather then destructive they where. I mean constantly losing men, fuel trucks, half-tracks, artillery and very occasionally an entire tank to air attack is fairly demoralizing, especially when after everyone of those attacks you have to make repairs, salvage wrecks, deal with casualties and then get everyone organized and ready to fight again. Even an attack that doesn't damage anything or cause casualties is going to rattle nerves, so subject a unit to enough of them and they will start losing combat effectiveness well out of propotion of the actual losses, and hence start taking more countermeasures to prevent it.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Bloodsplatter said:

I personally believe the damage assessors were confusing rocket damage with artillery damage

 

Actually they were pretty clear in that damage inflicted by aircraft was very easy to identify. And the conclusion of the assessors wasn't that air attacks had almost no effect, they said they did a lot less damage on tanks than what Allied pilots claims would make you believe.

 

Facts are

14 out of 223 Panthers

1 out of 40 Tigers

9 out of 121 Panzer IV's

investigated were destroyed by air weapons. This is the sum of three separate field studies, two conducted in Normandy, one in the Ardennes.

 

 

Edited by JtD
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Bloodsplatter said:

 

The allies wouldn't have wasted their time if rockets were ineffective.

 

Rockets were ineffective as a anti-sub weapon.

 

Rockets are only useful if you get a direct hit on a surfaced U-boat.

 

SOP was for a sub to dive as soon as it spotted a plane and a well trained crew could be diving within 60 seconds. In addition, once you get into 44-45, most U-boats used snorkels and were submerged most of the time. Once a sub gets under water, Rockets are pretty much useless.

 

Meanwhile, the later DCs, like the 250lb MK XI could be air dropped anywhere within 150 feet of a surfaced, diving or snorkeling sub and you were pretty much garanteed that the sub would sink or would be forced to surface through damage.

 

Again a FIDO homing torpedo would be air dropped in the wake of a diving or snorkeling sub and you were pretty much garanteed a kill.

 

Now once the sub was forced to the surface by DC or FIDO damage, yes you could use your rockets to scare the crew and get them to abandon ship, but MG fire was just as effective.

 

So, Rockets look cool, but were pretty much useless as a anti-sub weapon.

Edited by Sgt_Joch

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From Wikipedia about RP-3 rocket usage against U-boats:
 

Anti-submarine

Soon after some encouraging results from the initial deployment, trials of the weapon were conducted against targets representing U-boats. It was discovered that if the rockets were fired at a shallow angle, near misses resulted in the rockets curving upwards in seawater and piercing the targets below the waterline. Soon Coastal Command and the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm aircraft were using the rockets extensively.

The first U-Boat destroyed with the assistance of a rocket attack was U-752 (Kapitän-Leutnant Schroeter), on 23 May 1943, by a Swordfish of 819 NAS. The rockets used on this occasion had solid, cast-iron heads and were known as Rocket Spears.[8] One of these punched right through the submarine's pressure hull and rendered it incapable of diving; the U–boat was scuttled by its crew. On 28 May 1943, a 608 Squadron Hudson destroyed a U-boat in the Mediterranean, the first destroyed solely by rocket.[3] These rockets were, among other factors, credited with making it too dangerous for the Germans to continue operating their Flak U-Boats, which were initially designed with heavy anti-aircraft weaponry to hold off air attacks.

From then until the end of the Second World War in Europe, Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm used the rockets as one of their primary weapons (alongside torpedoes, which, to a certain extent they replaced) against shipping and surfaced U-Boats.

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Posted (edited)

that is wikipedia and it is wrong. 

 

but if you want to play the Wikipedia game:

 

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Depth charges (DCs) were more promising. Only flying boats were able to carry the 450 lb (200 kg) DC in service in 1939. It could be dropped from low altitude which was an advantage considering no suitable bomb sight was available. On 16 August 1940 Captain Ruck-Keene suggested DCs should be standard armament for A/S aircraft which the Admiralty accepted. Captain D. V. Peyton-Ward suggested on 8 September all convoy escorting aircraft should be armed with DCs.[19]

The 450 lb (200 kg) DC was modified for use with nose and tail fairings for safe usage, in case the aircraft had to ditch, the DC would not explode. It had a hydrostatic pistol which meant it would explode at 50 ft (15 m) or more. (This was later found to be too deep.) Other weapons, such as the 250 lb (110 kg) depth bomb, exploded on contact and was likely to porpoise. 450 lb (200 kg) DCs were standard until September 1941 but were dangerous for use with aircraft that could not confirm accurate heights. At night, 250 lb (110 kg) DCs were used instead. The 250 lb (110 kg) weapon was cleared for use on 23 January 1941 and by May tests revealed the tail fin had improved the accuracy of the charge when dropped from any height up to 250 ft (76 m). The fins made less impact when dropped above this height. According to some claims, the 250 lb (110 kg) DC had to be within 9–33 ft (2.7–10.1 m) to be lethal; operational records show the lethal radius was 19 ft (5.8 m). The depth setting and detonation problems were solved by June 1942 and the 250 lb (110 kg) DC proved a formidable A/S weapon. The pistols with a 32 ft (9.8 m) setting were available and Torpex-filled weapons were now in circulation.[20]

In January 1945, depth charges were further improved and settings of 16–24 ft (4.9–7.3 m), with a mean depth of 19 ft (5.8 m), were achieved. Operational research by Peyton-Ward improved weaponry. Interviewing crews he was responsible for implementing the Type 13 pistol which offered depth settings as shallow as 26–30 ft (7.9–9.1 m). Ward also developed the 'total release' tactic, dropping the entire load at once, to ensure maximum chance of a kill.[20]

On 31 March 1942, de la Ferté advised the Anti-submarine Committee using both 500 lb (230 kg) and 250 lb (110 kg) DCs was not satisfactory. It was more efficient to release a large stick of 250 lb (110 kg) DCs as the required lethal stick was four times the bombing error in range. The 250 lb (110 kg) Mark VIII was not cleared for heights above 150 ft (46 m) or speeds of 150 kn (280 km/h; 170 mph), and de la Ferté hoped for a DC filled with Torpex that could be dropped at 200 kn (370 km/h; 230 mph) from 5,000 ft (1,500 m). The Director of Operational Research Office came up with a 600 lb (270 kg) DC that could be dropped from 5,000 ft (1,500 m), but the Army and Navy received priority. By 5 June 1943, the new type was in service, and developments continued in exploder technology from August 1943 to December 1944. It was found it could be released at any height between 12,000–5,000 ft (3,700–1,500 m), at any speed, with spacings greater than 80 ft (24 m). However, it came too late to effect A/S operations, and the 250 lb (110 kg) DC remained the standard type. The 250 lb (110 kg) Mark IX DC with Torpex filling dropped in sticks of four to eight, anywhere from "point-blank altitude" and within 150 ft (46 m) of the target, proved decisive. Despite the 25 lb (11 kg) solid-head rockets, the 600 lb (270 kg) ASB, and the 40mm cannon, none, in the opinion of Slessor, compared with the Mark XI depth charge.[21]

 

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Rocket projectiles were developed during the Second World War. In the case of Coastal Command, they were to be used in A/S and as maritime strike weapons. For aircraft use there were two different types of head: a 60 lb one with high explosive and a 25 lb armour-piercing head of steel – known as the 'Rocket Spear'. Groups of four rockets were arranged on under-wing racks. Trials began in November 1942 and ended in February 1943 in respect of A/S. The firing range against U-boats was considered to be 1,000 yd (910 m) or less and could be fired in pairs or all together in a single salvo. The first recorded success was No. 48 Squadron RAFs sinking of U-594 on 4 June 1943. The rockets tended to follow the line of flight of the aircraft rather than the line of sight. Tests indicated a 30 percent hit rate. However, just one hit was lethal to a U-boat. Though effective against U-boats, the later DCs were favoured.[26]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Coastal_Command_during_World_War_II#Depth_Charges

 

Quote

On 14 May 1943 a Catalina of the US Navy attacked and destroyed a U-boat; this was either U-657[3] or U-640.[4] On 13 May an RAF Coastal Command Liberator B/86 had attacked a U-boat with a FIDO, but this vessel, U-456,[5] was only damaged, sinking the following day from damage received. One of these vessels was the first U-boat sinking achieved using FIDO. During its career, the torpedo sank a total of 37 submarines, achieving an effectiveness of about 22%, compared with about 9% for depth charges.

from US Navy OEG Study No. 289, 12 August 1946 provides the following data related to Mark 24 effectiveness:

Number of attacks in which Mark 24s were launched 264
Total number of Mark 24 torpedoes launched - all targets 340
Number of Mark 24s launched against submarines 204
Number of Mark 24 attacks on submarines by US aircraft 142
Number of Mark 24 attacks by Allied (primarily British) aircraft 62
Number of German U-boats sunk by FIDO 31
Number of German U-boats damaged by FIDO 15
Number of Japanese submarines sunk by FIDO 6
Number of Japanese submarines damaged by FIDO 3
Total number of submarines sunk by FIDO (German & Japanese) 37
Total number of submarines damaged 18

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_24_mine

 

If you guys are really interested in the topic, I would recommnd reading Clay Blair's two volume work on U-Boats.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-U-Boat-War-Hunted-1942-1945/dp/0679457429

 

I read both volumes a few years back when I was really into submarines. When you read the second volume on the 1942-45 period which basically describes what happened to every U-Boat that was sunk, you see how inconsequential Rockets were. 

Edited by Sgt_Joch

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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2019 at 8:17 AM, [DBS]Browning said:

In fact, I can't find a single U-Boat of any time sunk by any aircraft that might have been carrying rockets for all of 1943. 

 

An unluck: https://uboat.net/boats/u752.htm

Edited by Sokol1

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