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Tiptoe through the Tulips

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  • Tiptoe through the Tulips

    I was asking about Sherman Tulips on another site (seeing as photo's are none existent, and details just as hard to find on the web). They posted the following, I thought it would be of interest to others here.

    First posted on the G104 yahoogroup by Peter Brown

    Following account from Tank Museum Library files might be interesting to
    G104 subscribers -

    APPENDIX "B" TO 21 ARMY GROUP AFV TECHNICAL REPORT NO 26

    REPORT BY 1 ARMOURED COLDSTREAM GUARDS OF RESULT IN ACTION OF TYPHOON
    ROCKETS FITTED TO SHERMAN TANKS

    The results achieved by these rockets when used in action were highly
    satisfactory, but before discussing these it is necessary to point out the
    limitations of their use caused by lack of time for experiment, etc.

    Less than 24 hours after the idea was conceived (shortly before the crossing
    of the RHINE), the first tank was already fitted up with a home-made
    bracket, rails and warhead.

    The only resources available for this purpose were Battalion fitters and
    Battalion LAD.

    The brackets were roughly sighted for line with the vane sight on top of the
    turret but all elevation had to be adjusted and set from outside the tank.

    The "shear" wire used to gain the impetus for launching the rocket was the
    same as that used in a Typhoon. The Typhoon is travelling at upwards of 400
    mph when the rocket leaves whereas the tank is stationary. Therefore the
    ''drop" due to lack of impetus in the first 10 yards flight of the rocket
    had to be overcome by a set adjustment in the bracket itself. This precluded
    all possibility of actually pointing the rocket at the target even for short
    range shooting.

    Owing to the above and other considerations it was decided to have one
    rocket set to hit anything that got in its way up to about 400 yards and the
    other one up to about 800 yards. (This required the setting of

    the brackets to be at 150mm and 160mm above the horizontal respectively).

    EFFECT ON ENEMY.

    1. Morale

    The morale effect - especially against ordinary troops - was tremendous. On
    occasion a strongly held bridge was captured when rocket firing tanks were
    used in support of our infantry. The first 88mm gun was knocked out by a
    rocket and the rest failed to fire. 12 PW came in deaf as a result. None of
    the other guns fired. The enemy suffered over 40 dead and we had next to no
    casualties.

    This of course was not caused entirely by the rockets, but they certainly
    had a lot to do with it.

    On a second occasion, our infantry were being troubled by enemy infantry in
    a wood. Two troops of tanks fired two rockets each from about 400 yards and
    the did not fire another shot, and 30-40 Infantry, including
    "Brandenburgers" came out of the wood afterwards and gave themselves up.
    They were extremely shaken. There were several other occasions of this
    nature.

    2. Killing Effect.

    In the type of fighting encountered after crossing. the RHINE, only two
    types of good targets were found for the limited use of rockets - woods and
    buildings.

    On one occasion after a Squadron had fired all its rockets and a number of
    other missiles at a barracks, it was found that there were about 40 dead in
    the buildings after the battle was over. The hitting power is like that of a
    shell. The explosion caused by the rocket is slightly greater than that than
    that of a medium shell.

    3. Other Uses.

    The rocket was found effective in removing road blocks when they were
    covered by fire and it had considerable effect when ordinary HE and AP did
    not.

    It was never possible to use them against an enemy AFV chiefly because very
    few AFVs were encountered at close range and also at present they lack the
    accuracy in aim. If, however, the latter defect is overcome they would
    undoubtedly remove the turret from any enemy AFV with a direct hit.

    APPRECIATION OF PRESENT AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.

    On the whole the equipment proved most satisfactory, but the results were
    limited by the points already mentioned and also by the fact that a number
    of tanks fitted with rockets were lost through enemy action and

    through normal break-downs, etc. Thus, although we started with a whole
    Squadron, we ended up with comparatively few. The weapon was obviously most
    useful from a morale point of view and this was lessened when the number of
    rocket firing tanks dwindled.

    As far as a "non-expert" can tall, the possibilities of this type of rocket
    fitted by experts to a tank either as a main armament or a subsidiary one,
    are almost unlimited.

    The decree of accuracy could be largely increased by use of a stronger
    "shear" wire, a proper sighting arrangement, a telescope and a range table.

    If used as a main armament it should be possible to carry as many rockets as
    shells with added simplicity that it would be unnecessary to carry both AP
    and HE. It should be stated in this connection that no "accidents" were
    caused by the rockets - one went off when the wire was severed by an air
    burst which must have generated the required electrical current. Two tanks
    that were gutted by fire still had the rockets undischarged at the end.
    Another direct hit on a war-head merely shattered it.

    Should this type of rocket replace the gun it would enormously simplify the
    design of a tank owing to there being no recoil, breech block, etc.

    There should be no difficulty in fitting four or eight to a tank which could
    all fire at the same time causing a tremendous fire power and this should
    make up for any slight deterioration in accuracy.

    RAC Branch, Second Army, have made the following comments on the above
    report:-

    1. It is emphasised that the excellent results obtained were from very rough
    and ready appliances made with no technical assistance from outside.

    2. It is felt that the results of the experiment may be of interest to those
    concerned with the future armament of AFVs.

    ---

    Comments by DG of A, Ministry of Supply on the expected accuracy of rockets
    as tank armament.

    (257/Tanks/1367/E44 dated 9 August 1945 enclosed in RAC3(b)/BM/1748).


    I see little prospect of obtaining the necessary precision required from
    tank armament by means of rocket projectiles. Neglecting the difficulties of
    serving projectors mounted on the outside of protected vehicles and dealing
    entirely with the accuracy aspect the situation seems to be as follows:-

    Present accuracy of normal HV gun is of the order of 1.2 mins with its most
    accurate service shot. This is not considered by the WO as surf recently
    accurate. They demand a m.d. of 0.5 mins.

    Rocket accuracies are still being quoted in degrees rather than minutes and
    vary, according to the method of launching, from the unrotated fin
    stabilised rocket at 1.2 degrees (i.e. 62 mins) to the spin stabilised
    rocket fired from a machined liner with a closed breech at 0.2 degrees i.e.
    12 mins.

    The most favourable prediction which the CPD has recently made is that as a
    ten year probable development rockets might be obtained with accuracy
    comparable to present guns, which is at the present time considered by the
    GS as not sufficiently accurate.

    I cannot see the rocket replacing the gun as a precision weapon unless some
    unforeseen development of it occurs and can only visualise its use as a
    secondary armament of one shot weapons for short ratio fire against fairly
    massive targets.
    Oh and if anyone has anything on Sherman Tulips, get it up here please.
    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.

  • #2
    Is this the same thing as the Calliope?
    Last edited by lufttiger; 31 Oct 07, 17:39.
    Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans! Lennon - www.lufttiger.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lufttiger View Post
      Is this the same thing as the Canilope?
      Nope. basically they got hold of a pair of rockets from a typhoon, with rails and mounted it on the side of a Sherman V.

      The only Pictures I can find are of models of it.
      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
        Originally posted by lufttiger View Post
        Is this the same thing as the Calliope?
        No, the Calliope was armed with rockets from a multiple launcher.



        The tulip had rocket rails from Typhoons welded on the side of the turret.

        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Never heard of this experiment before..nice job Listy!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by galland View Post
            Never heard of this experiment before..nice job Listy!
            Me either, but I'll be on the lookout for more info!
            Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pirate-Drakk View Post
              Me either, but I'll be on the lookout for more info!
              What sort of accuracy did it have? Given its short, rail launcher, I can't see it being terribly effective after the first 100 metres, although I'm probably wrong, if it was judged to be an effective weapon.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                What sort of accuracy did it have? Given its short, rail launcher, I can't see it being terribly effective after the first 100 metres, although I'm probably wrong, if it was judged to be an effective weapon.
                The sum of what I know is above.
                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


                • #9
                  I, of course, am something of an expert on the subject, having given away the book written by the Guards Occifer who's unit was the first to have them fitted!
                  There is a lot more info out there Listy and I'll try and glean it for you... but not today, we've got an appointment this afternoon with 'Just Jane' and a Spit IX at Easy Kirkby.

                  Might just be this one...
                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Armoured-Gua.../dp/0850527481
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                    I, of course, am something of an expert on the subject, having given away the book written by the Guards Occifer who's unit was the first to have them fitted!
                    There is a lot more info out there Listy and I'll try and glean it for you... but not today, we've got an appointment this afternoon with 'Just Jane' and a Spit IX at Easy Kirkby.

                    Might just be this one...
                    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Armoured-Gua.../dp/0850527481
                    Yup I intend to ask for that book for Christmass/Birthday.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Listy View Post
                      Nope. basically they got hold of a pair of rockets from a typhoon, with rails and mounted it on the side of a Sherman V.

                      The only Pictures I can find are of models of it.
                      Found one for you
                      Its from 'British and American Tanks of World War Two' by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by redcoat; 04 Nov 07, 15:36.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like the copyrighters caught up to you , mate, bastards do it to me all the time!!!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by galland View Post
                          Looks like the copyrighters caught up to you , mate, bastards do it to me all the time!!!!!!!
                          Whom are you referring too ?????
                          Last edited by RichardS; 03 Nov 07, 23:51.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                            Whom are you referring too ?????
                            I have no clue either. Other than noting that Tulip Sherman photos are hard to find out on the web.
                            Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                            "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                            What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                              I have no clue either. Other than noting that Tulip Sherman photos are hard to find out on the web.
                              I think Galland thought Redcoat had found a photo and tried to post it, only for the image to get blocked.
                              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

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