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England signs a pre-war arms deal with the US

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  • England signs a pre-war arms deal with the US

    Whereby, the British begin building and arming their aircraft armed with powerful and longer ranged, Browning .50 calibre machine guns rather than the .303 calibre machineguns that later sufficed for much of the later war. What possible changes could have been made by this small arms deal?
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    Could the Germans have upgunned to match?
    What would Occam say?

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    • #3
      The RAF from really early on, pre-BoB even, were looking to replace the .303s with 20mm Hispanos.
      Teething troubles, the most serious of which was the cannon freezing up, meant that it took a while to be accepted but I think by mid-41 most new Spits and Hurris would have them installed (?)

      Rule of thumb I once read was one Browning .50 calibre was worth three Browning .30 calibres and one Hispano was worth three Browning .50s.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
        The RAF from really early on, pre-BoB even, were looking to replace the .303s with 20mm Hispanos
        Indeed.
        In fact, the two British fighters which came into service in 1939-40, the Beaufighter and Whirlwind, were both equipped with 4 nose mounted 20mm cannon.
        Cannon armed Spitfires and Hurricanes saw some limited service during the BoB, but problems with the ammo feed in wing mounts delayed their introduction on a wider scale until after the battle
        Rule of thumb I once read was one Browning .50 calibre was worth three Browning .30 calibres and one Hispano was worth three Browning .50s.
        This was the conclusion the USN came too after testing both the 20mm and .50 for use as light AAA on their ships.

        The RAF did consider using the .50, but came to the conclusion that its explosive content was too low to be really effective against the next generation of bombers about to come into service

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redcoat View Post

          The RAF did consider using the .50, but came to the conclusion that its explosive content was too low to be really effective against the next generation of bombers about to come into service
          What model or type .50 round had expolsives?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            What model or type .50 round had expolsives?
            My error they didn't. What I should have written was "lack of destructive power".

            nice article on the subject
            http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/CannonMGs.htm

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