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  • German/ Axis Usage of HEAT rounds?

    To what extent were HEAT or other types of ammunition, designed to take out armor but at a low velocity used during Barbarossa? How effective was 37-50-75 MM HEAT rounds against Soviet armor? Did this compensate for the lack of High velocity guns during the war, particularly the first half? To what extent did it compensate? Any info, including specific examples during a battle, or casualty estimates, (preferably Axis estimates), photographic evidence, battle reports from men present, or anything would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Big Yehudah View Post
    To what extent were HEAT or other types of ammunition, designed to take out armor but at a low velocity used during Barbarossa? How effective was 37-50-75 MM HEAT rounds against Soviet armor? Did this compensate for the lack of High velocity guns during the war, particularly the first half? To what extent did it compensate? Any info, including specific examples during a battle, or casualty estimates, (preferably Axis estimates), photographic evidence, battle reports from men present, or anything would be appreciated.
    The only ones sticking out as using HEAT during the first year of war with the SU would be the 75mm PaK 97/38.
    Basically the tube of the French Schneider 75mm 97/98 modifié 1938-1940 mounted on a PaK 38 gun carriage. The gun in this form was introduced in 1942!!

    Plus the captured Polish French Canon de 75 modèle 1897/17 modifié 1938-1940, which has the above mentioned gun tube.
    There was a French AP round for this gun, but I am almost sure that the HEAT round for this gun was a German development.
    The rounds for this gun were not interchangeable with the ammunitions for the PaK 40. Afaik the barrels of these guns were never re-bored to accept PaK 40 round unlike the Soviet ZiS-3 76 mm.
    These 75mm PaK 97/38 were not very popular with the German troops not because of the performance, with was 'adequate', but mainly because it caused problems of supply regarding the ammunition. The unmodified French pieces Canon de 75 modèle 1897 modifié 1938-1940 and 75mm 97/98 mod. 33 anti char were primarily deployed on the Atlantic Wall, Although some 75mm 97/98 mod. 33 anti char in Italian service made their way to the deserts of North Africa.

    Ed.
    Last edited by dutched; 11 Jun 14, 19:15.
    The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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    • #3
      The spigot bomb used with the 3.7cm does work but since it only has a range of maybe 100 or so meters it is virtually a suicide weapon.



      You really need at a minimum about a 75mm warhead to use HEAT to have any effect. Most German manufactured artillery had a HEAT round designed to be used with it. I don't think many were available normally.

      What the Germans really needed 3 years earlier was this weapon:



      That is the PAW 600. It is a smoothbore firing a modified 8.1cm mortar bomb with a HEAT warhead. It uses a modified 10.5cm shell casing for the charge and works on the high-low pressure system like the US 40mm grenade launcher does today. That makes the gun light, simple to make, and the results in testing showed it could hit a tank just about every time at 500 meters.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        The spigot bomb used with the 3.7cm does work but since it only has a range of maybe 100 or so meters it is virtually a suicide weapon.


        .
        I understand that each unit of ammo issue included two brass spheres for a member of the gun crew.

        An effective range of 100m is not that bad in denser terrain like forests, thickets, towns, or gulleys. If a gun crew has survived several months of taking careful shots at close range against the rear or the running gear, this ammo could be a welcome relief.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          That is the PAW 600. It is a smoothbore firing a modified 8.1cm mortar bomb with a HEAT warhead. It uses a modified 10.5cm shell casing for the charge and works on the high-low pressure system like the US 40mm grenade launcher does today. That makes the gun light, simple to make, and the results in testing showed it could hit a tank just about every time at 500 meters.
          They built 250, over a hundred reached the troops (where were the rest?) in January 1945, but none saw combat. Why?
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            I had thought that most Heat Warheads went to Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck ammo. There were also antitank grenades and mines.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Big Yehudah View Post
              To what extent were HEAT or other types of ammunition, designed to take out armor but at a low velocity used during Barbarossa? How effective was 37-50-75 MM HEAT rounds against Soviet armor? Did this compensate for the lack of High velocity guns during the war, particularly the first half? To what extent did it compensate? Any info, including specific examples during a battle, or casualty estimates, (preferably Axis estimates), photographic evidence, battle reports from men present, or anything would be appreciated.
              It was used with the 7.5cm KwK37 L/24, but not much, and a few FJ units received HEAT rifle grenades. There may be a site or two that give German estimates of the number of armour kills with this sort of weapon, and the might even be a little info available from Russian sites for Red Army losses. But I suspect you'll need to have good google-fu.

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              • #8
                The Italian troops used both EP (Effetto Pronto) and EPS (Effetto Pronto Speciale) rounds, at least in three calibers: 47mm, 75mm and 100mm. The 75mm came in rounds for both the standard field gun (75/27) and for the specially attached divisional AT batteries that were equipped with the PaK 97/38 of very mixed ancestry (75/39 for the Italians).

                The EP rounds were - or are reported as being - essentially a sort of nearly unintentional HESH warhead, most useful against poorer armor (i.e. thinner, and/or of poorer quality, and/or riveted).
                The EPS were actual HEAT rounds, though not as effective as the German ones.

                Those for the 47mm AT gun were essentially ineffective. Directions were issued to the tune of don't use them, use standard AP.
                I know nothing about the 100mm rounds and those for the 75/27 field guns.

                As to those for the longer-barrelled 75mms, firing tests on a Polish proving ground against the T-34 proved unsatisfactory. On the other hand there is an actual combat experience on July 30, 1942. a number of T-34s (plus several BT-7s) were put out of action by one of those 75mm AT batteries, firing EPS rounds.
                The problems, according the account of the engagement, are two:
                1. it doesn't seem like a neat frontal penetration was achieved. Some tanks are described as "immobilized"; of the two positive tank kills, one was achieved by a hit very near to the main gun and another by a hit on the turret side that immobilized the same;
                2. most of the successes were achieved at under 300 meters of range and one of the two kills at 8 meters (!!) from the AT gun firing that round.
                Michele

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Big Yehudah View Post
                  To what extent were HEAT or other types of ammunition, designed to take out armor but at a low velocity used during Barbarossa? How effective was 37-50-75 MM HEAT rounds against Soviet armor? Did this compensate for the lack of High velocity guns during the war, particularly the first half? To what extent did it compensate? Any info, including specific examples during a battle, or casualty estimates, (preferably Axis estimates), photographic evidence, battle reports from men present, or anything would be appreciated.
                  HEAT was not designed specifically as an armour piercing round for low velocity guns. It was designed as an alternative armour piercing round for all types of guns. In case of the low velocity weapons, it was more effective than standard AP, in high velocity guns, it was used as a cheaper alternative to APCBC for targets that did not require the superior performance of that round.

                  About half the armour peircing rounds fired by the KwK and PaK 40 were HEAT in 1943, dropping to about 30% in 1944. For the PaK 97/38 and KwK 37nearly all the armour piercing rounds were HEAT, but these guns fired a lot less armour piercing ammo than the high velocity guns.

                  The first HEAT round available in 1940-1941 was not very effective (45mm penetration in 75mm guns) and was withdrawn early in 1941. May have been used later that year, but the improved HL/A type was introduced about the time of Barbarossa (70mm in 75mm guns). By 1942 you got the HL/B with slightly more penetration, but less effected by spin. Then, by 1943 you got the HL/C with 100mm penetration for a 75mm gun.
                  The HEAT rounds fired from high velocity guns were not nearly as effective as APCBC when it came to destroying Soviet tanks, IIRC it took more than twice the number of rounds to destroy an enemy tank, on average.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbo View Post
                    HEAT was not designed specifically as an armour piercing round for low velocity guns. It was designed as an alternative armour piercing round for all types of guns. In case of the low velocity weapons, it was more effective than standard AP, in high velocity guns, it was used as a cheaper alternative to APCBC for targets that did not require the superior performance of that round.

                    About half the armour peircing rounds fired by the KwK and PaK 40 were HEAT in 1943, dropping to about 30% in 1944. For the PaK 97/38 and KwK 37nearly all the armour piercing rounds were HEAT, but these guns fired a lot less armour piercing ammo than the high velocity guns.

                    The first HEAT round available in 1940-1941 was not very effective (45mm penetration in 75mm guns) and was withdrawn early in 1941. May have been used later that year, but the improved HL/A type was introduced about the time of Barbarossa (70mm in 75mm guns). By 1942 you got the HL/B with slightly more penetration, but less effected by spin. Then, by 1943 you got the HL/C with 100mm penetration for a 75mm gun.
                    The HEAT rounds fired from high velocity guns were not nearly as effective as APCBC when it came to destroying Soviet tanks, IIRC it took more than twice the number of rounds to destroy an enemy tank, on average.
                    I know that the penetration was affected by the spin stabilisation of the round. You indicate that improvement was found. Could you detail this and what gun are we looking at for the improved round?

                    Ed.
                    The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dutched View Post
                      I know that the penetration was affected by the spin stabilisation of the round. You indicate that improvement was found. Could you detail this and what gun are we looking at for the improved round?
                      Ed.
                      The improved round was used for all types of guns for which the HL/B and HL/C were made.

                      From memory (have an article buried somewhere in my study, but it eludes me for the moment )
                      The change was a much more shallow diaphragm and possibly some other changes making the jet thicker and heavier and thus less effected by spin. As you can see in the drawing, they started off with a bell-shaped diaphragm and then went to a semi-circular one on the B and C.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cbo View Post
                        The improved round was used for all types of guns for which the HL/B and HL/C were made.

                        From memory (have an article buried somewhere in my study, but it eludes me for the moment )
                        The change was a much more shallow diaphragm and possibly some other changes making the jet thicker and heavier and thus less effected by spin. As you can see in the drawing, they started off with a bell-shaped diaphragm and then went to a semi-circular one on the B and C.


                        Thanks very much for the added information.

                        Ed.
                        The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hungary produced and used several types of HEAT rockets during ww2.

                          One was Panzerschreck copy 44M. 60mm rocket launcher

                          It was also available with anti-personnel warhead which was new idea at the time.

                          Other was heavier launcher with range of 500-2000 meters, and penetrating 300mm of armour!
                          44M. Buzogányvető


                          Unfortunately not much details on use and effectiveness.

                          More details here:
                          http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/04/02/h...cket-launcher/

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                          • #14
                            Finns had some HEAT rounds (adapted from German 105 mm HEAT rounds) used on BT-42 (armed with British Q.F. 4.5 inch howitzer Mark II, i.e. 114 mm howitzer) with abysmal results.

                            See more: http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/ARTILLERY5.htm - gun is listed per its Finnish designation 114 H/18 - some information of the defective HEAT rounds is included.
                            It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vathra View Post
                              Hungary produced and used several types of HEAT rockets during ww2.

                              One was Panzerschreck copy 44M. 60mm rocket launcher

                              It was also available with anti-personnel warhead which was new idea at the time.

                              Other was heavier launcher with range of 500-2000 meters, and penetrating 300mm of armour!
                              44M. Buzogányvető


                              Unfortunately not much details on use and effectiveness.

                              More details here:
                              http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/04/02/h...cket-launcher/

                              Well I learned something new, Never even heard that the Hungarians had AT rocket launchers in WW2.

                              Would it be safe to assume that on the 44M that it's rocket exhaust is from the small holes around the rear face of the warheads base?

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