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Gammon Grenade/Bom destroy tanks?

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  • Gammon Grenade/Bom destroy tanks?

    (I also posted this on the Achtung Panzer forum)

    I received a telephone call this evening from a friend who said he is reading a book about paratroopers in Normandy using Gammon Grenades to destroy German tanks. I had never heard of a Gammon Grenade and googled it (some call it a bomb) and found out:

    "... it consisted of an elasticized stockingette bag made of dark coloured material, a metal cap, and an 'Allways Fuze' (the same fuze as found in the No. 69 grenade).

    Unlike conventional grenades, the Gammon bomb was flexible in the amount and type of munition that could be delivered to a target. For anti-personnel use, a small amount of plastic explosive (about half a stick), along with shrapnel-like projectiles if available, would be placed in the bag. Against armored fighting vehicles or other large targets, the bag could be filled completely with explosive. In this manner it was possible to make an unusually powerful grenade that could only be thrown safely from behind cover.

    Using the Gammon bomb was very simple. After filling the stockingette bag with explosive, the screw-off cap was removed and discarded, and the grenade then thrown. When the Gammon grenade was thrown, a linen tape with a curved lead weight on the end automatically unwrapped in flight, freeing a ball-bearing inside the fuze. In this manner the allways-fuze was armed in flight and the grenade exploded on impact."

    I question whether it could destroy a German tank...say a Pz IV. Anyone know of this? Could it be used to destroy a tank? If so, how? Under what circumstances?
    Edit/Delete Message

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tom D View Post
    I question whether it could destroy a German tank...say a Pz IV. Anyone know of this? Could it be used to destroy a tank? If so, how? Under what circumstances?
    I saw some details on Test the Finns ran on how to knock out a tank with HE charges. I'm still looking for the exact details, however their summary is fairly easy to find and is thus:

    * 2-kg satchel charge: Effective against armoured vehicles weighting less or around 6 tons (All Soviet armoured cars and amphibious tanks).
    * 3-kg satchel charge: Effective against armoured vehicles weighting less or around 12 tons (T-26 series and BT-series tanks)
    * 4-kg satchel charge: Effective against armoured vehicles weighting less or around 30 tons (T-28).
    Last edited by Listy; 25 Oct 07, 03:24.
    Winnie says
    ---------------------------------
    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

    It was an Accident."
    Herr Flick.

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    • #3
      Found it:

      There is a fascinating document in the Finnish War Archives describing a series of tests carried out on a captured, presumably already immobilized T-28. Finnish troops had a high regard for this huge tank and thus the First Army Corps wanted to find out how to best destroy it using improvised weapons.

      A 2 kg "sliding" mine (mine pulled at the last moment onto the path of an approaching tank by means of a long rope) broke the tank's track only if placed on a hard road surface. If the surface beneath the mine was soft it caused only cracks in the track joints. A box mine containing 3.5 kg of chlorite likewise had no effect when placed on soft surface but the track was broken when the mine was on a hard surface.

      A satchel charge made up of 4 kg of dynamite was placed on the side sponson above the track. The resulting explosion breached the sponson, tore a 25 by 30 cm hole in the tank's 20mm side armor and rendered the engine inoperable. Apparently the track remained intact.

      Another satchel charge, this time composed of 6 kg of dynamite, was placed on the other sponson. This explosion demolished the sponson and scattered the nearest return rollers onto the ground next to the tank, bringing down the track. A 40 by 50 cm hole was torn into the 20mm thick side armor of the tank. The engine was again judged inoperable.

      Next, a 2 kg TNT satchel charge was placed on the sloped top of an MG turret where the armor is 10mm thick. The resulting hole was 35 by 15 centimeters and it was estimated that the MG gunner and driver would have been killed. There was no damage to the main turret.

      Now a 2 kg TNT satchel charge was placed on the top of the main turret which is 15mm thick. The explosion tore a hole of 25 by 35 cm onto the turret top.

      Then a 3 kg TNT satchel charge was put on the glacis next to an MG turret. The glacis is 15mm and the MG turret side 20mm thick. The MG turret was blown away and the glacis was perforated by a 30 by 20 cm hole. Both gunner and driver were judged dead.

      Finally, a 4 kg TNT satchel charge was placed on the 15mm thick glacis. This time the hole was some 35 by 25 centimeters and again it was decided that both the machinegunner and driver would have been killed.
      Taken from here:
      http://www.saunalahti.fi/~ejuhola/7.62/t28.html

      According to Wikipedia Composition C, The usual filling for Gammon Bombs, has more than 150% the power of T.N.T. The Rear decking of the PZIV is 12mm. So a Gammon bomb weighing a couple of KG onto the rear decking would more than likely put the PZIV out of action.

      Achtung Panzer has a table of Armour values on a PZ-IV.
      http://www.achtungpanzer.com/pz3.htm
      Last edited by Listy; 25 Oct 07, 03:52.
      Winnie says
      ---------------------------------
      "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

      It was an Accident."
      Herr Flick.

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks listy..
        owner of the yahoo group for WW1 ,WW2 and Modern TO&Es
        (Tables of organisation & equipment or Unit of action )

        http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/TOandEs/

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        • #5
          I know of two instances during Operation Varsity. Troopers from the 507th PIR destroyed a tank (type not known) and a British paratrooper disabled an SP gun.
          'What manner of men are those who wear the maroon beret? They are, in fact, men apart. Every man an emperor.' Montgomery

          Glider Pilot Regiment 1942 - 1945
          The Last Drop: Operation Varsity 24-25 March 1945
          The Assault Glider Trust

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          • #6
            Some more info on the Number 82 grenade

            http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol055ob.html

            Another favourite use of the Gammon bomb was for 'mouse-holing', blowing holes in the walls between houses, useful in street fighting as you didn't have to expose yourself to fire by going outside when moving from house to house.

            ps, the Gammon Grenade was also issued to US Airborne forces

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            • #7
              Thanks for the site, redcoat!

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              • #8
                If you can get hold of a book called ''Men At Arnhem' by Tom Angus it records two instances of heavy Jerry armour being disabled by Gammon bombs during the fisticuffs on the Oosterbeek perimiter.
                The long toll of the brave
                Is not lost in darkness
                Over the fruitful earth
                And athwart the seas
                Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                Unquenchable forever.

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