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Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

He DOES deserve credit for the conduct of the war against the French.

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Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Why the gently caress did I only just now learn about radar on trains in World War 2?

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008




Raenir Salazar posted:

It feels like reading this thread that like at all times 90% of all history is locked away in a basement somewhere and that 90% is the 10% that didn't get burnt to ash either in 1945, 1258, 642, 272, or in -48.

Gets worse the further back you go. My old history tutor used to say he thought the Early Modern was the sweet spot between the modern era where you have cabinets and cabinets of typed records and the ancient period when the whole thing you're studying is described in one (1) paragraph of one (1) document of dubious accuracy. You have plenty of sources, but not so many you can't read the whole lot before dying of old age.

Mind you, he was an Early Modernist.

Scratch Monkey
Oct 25, 2010

Proč bychom se netěšili když nám Pán Bůh zdraví dá?


feedmegin posted:

My old history Tudor used to say...

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 1/?

By 1938, Britain's air defense problem was acute. Almost all of her fighters were biplanes that were slower than the monoplane bombers that Germany was building, an impossible situation for the defense. Hurricanes and Spitfires were entering production and CH was advancing rapidly, but air defense cried out for new ideas. One such idea was the "bomb the bombers" scheme. A number of relatively light bombs dropped from above might have hope of doing damage, if a direct hit were not required. A nearby burst could damage the bomber much as an AA artillery shell might, but time fuzes such as used in AA shells required rapid measurements and calculations impossible for air crew members; a fuze was required that sensed the presence of the bomber.

Professor PMS Blackett, a distinguished nuclear physicist from Rutherford's Laboratory and veteran of the Royal Navy in World War 1, proposed a fuze based on the photoelectric cell in a memorandum to the Tizard Committee on 7 July 1937. The idea was discussed at a meeting of the Royal Aircraft Establishment on 22 October in which the idea of acoustical triggering was injected. By May of the next year, ground test results were encouraging, but premature detonations could be caused by the fuze looking at the sun or clouds. Tests made by dropping fuzed bombs on balloons in March 1939 were at best a modest success, and the Tizard Committee recommended 500 be manufactured for service trials. Disagreements and misunderstandings marked the next few months with service tests called off at the outbreak of the war, it being proposed to substitute trials against the enemy. Matters continued without anyone insisting on a fixed goal. Use of the fuze against ground and sea targets was also pushed; using rockets instead of bombs was tried. By mid-1940 there was little hope for this approach.

The Air Defense Experimental Establishment experimented with an acoustical fuze and went through a similar series of tests. It had a Rochelle-salt crystal microphone incorporated in specially shaped tail fins. Tests in August 1939 showed directive response to sounds of frequency above 5 kHz, but only three out of 18 detonated correctly. Rockets were tried with no mentionable success.

Into this stepped WAS Butement, designed of radar sets CD/CHL and GL, with a proposal on 30 October 1939 for two kinds of radio fuze: (1) a radar set would track the projectile, and the operator would transmit a signal to a radio receive in the fuze when the range, the difficult quantity for the gunners to determine, was the same as that of the target and (2) a fuze would emit high-frequency radio waves that would interact with the target and produce, as a consequence of the high relative speed of target and projectile, a Doppler-frequency signal sensed in the oscillator. Discussions with ES Shire and AFH Thomson yielded a simple design of a continuous-wave oscillator capable of responding as desired.

William Alan Stewart Butement came from a pioneer New Zealand family. He was borne in 1904, educated in Australia and England, graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, and joined the Signals Experimental Establishment of the War Office. His early experiments with PE Pollard in radio location, which resulted in a design having all the elements of an elemental radar, are mentioned in a previous chapter. That he did no continue the bent so clearly disclosed was the immediate result of the lack of a transmitter of sufficient power at the 50 cm used and the more enduring lack of any real interest at the War Office. One of many idle speculations is what the history of radar might have been had an enlightened attitude toward scientific research given Butement support.

One of the disclosures of the Oslo Report was the knowledge that the Germans were working on a proximity fuze; a tiny vacuum tube from the project was even packed in the envelope containing the report. The design attempted to utilize the change in electric capacitance between a nose electrode and the shell body when some object came near. The German work did not proceed to any useful result but made a small ripple in England. The author of the Oslo Report was a Siemens und Halske technical expert, Hans Mayer, who was a friend of an English instrument maker and entrepreneur, Cobden Turner, owner of Salford Electrical Instrument Company. In the summer of 1939 he and a few of his engineers visited Siemens und Halske on business and got a hint of the fuze work. On returning home they designed a radio-influence fuze and even tried it in some bombs.

Unfortunately, Britain had too many serious problems to deal with. Butement was heavily involved in designing radar for the Army. There was no time to be spent on a device that showed so little promise. The proximity fuze needed development by forced march and was proceeding at a stroll. Fortunately, by the summer of 1940, others in America, less pressed, began considering the problem.

While working for the newly formed National Defense Research Committee CC Lauritsen, a nuclear physicist from Caltech, noted in July 1940 that the Western Electric Company and RCA were manufacturing 20 000 thyratron and photoelectric tubes for the British Army. A thyratron is a vacuum tube filled with low-pressure gas and has an electrode configuration like a triode. Unlike a triode, it conducts only negligible current for low-level signals, but goes into a plasma discharge once the grid voltage exceeds a certain threshold value, thereby passing a large anode current. It is an electronic switch. The combination of the two types and the specifications for them brought a quick guess that something in the nature of a proximity fuse was being made.

This information soon became an item of discussion between Vannevar Bush, President of the Carnegie Institution and Chariman of the NDRC, and Merle Tuve, a physicist at Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism located in Washington. Tuve was already well known to people at the Naval Research Laboratory through his invention with Gregory Breit of ionosphere sounding with radio waves. Since 1927, he had worked to build a particle accelerator for nuclear physics, succeeded in adapting the Van de Graff generator to that end, and by 1940 had created one of the major centers of experimental nuclear physics in the United States with three Van de Graff accelerators operating and a 60 inch cyclotron under construction. Tuve and his colleagues at DTM were very concerned about the war and wanted to get into war work immediately. Bush had taken a quick liking to Tuve and brought him into discussions of defense matters from the start. After discussions with naval ordnance, Bush formed Section T (for Tuve) on August 17 to work on a proximited fuze at DTM.

Thus, in mid-August 1940, Tuve asked Richard Roberts whether he thought a vacuum tube could stand an acceleration of 20,000 g, and received a tentative answer of yes the next day. Roberts mounted an obsolete tube, fired a bullet atht he brick, the oft repeated experiment that demonstrates the conservation of momentum to students in introductory physics and that had completely altered the scientific study of guns two centuries earlier. The tube still worked, and calculation showed it had briefly sustained an acceleration of 5000 g. The next day, Roberts mounted a tube on a hemisphere of lead and dropped it from the roof of a three-story building onto a steel plate. The indentation of the lead allowed an estimate of the acceleration, which was even higher than before, and the tube still worked. The fuze project was under way...

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 2/?

In fact, Tuve and Roberts were already on a war project, for both were on President Roosevelt's Advisory Committee on Uranium. In January of the year before, Roberts had demonstrated fission in a startlingly simple experiment to Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and Gregory Breit, who were attending a scientific meeting (on low-temperature physics) in Washington at which the knowledge of this new nuclear process had got out. Roberts continued to work on fission and subsequently discovered delayed neutrons, which allow fission to be controlled in a reactor, but the events of the spring and summer of 1940 brought the men at DTM to the viewpoint that an atomic bomb would come too late to affect the outcome of the war. One of the DTM staff, Norman Heydenburg, continued making measurements for the uranium project until all such work was transferred to Los Alamos and construction of the cyclotron continued, but most of the DTM went to work on the fuze. Other thoughts may have been in Tuve's mind. When asked about leaving the bomb project years later he said "... and I didn't want to make an atomic bomb."

Tuve and Roberts made interesting contrasts. Tuve was the son of Norwegian immigrant grandparents who had settled in a small town of South Dakota. He and his childhood friend Ernest Lawrence had linked their houses with a telegraph line, replaced with wireless sets when Ernie's family moved. Both went on to build pioneer nuclear physics laboratories. Roberts traced his lineage to colonial roots, had financial independence with origins in Pennsylvania oil and had gone to the best schools. The two of them guided DTM for four decades with a scientific leadership that kept them active laboratory partners of their colleagues. They were implacable enemies of big science.

Roberts' first experiments obviously called for shooting vacuum tubes out of a gun, so the machine shop made a small muzzle-loading smooth bore, which was taken to a farm owned by a friend of tuve's in what is now the Virginia suburb of Vienna. The gun was pointed straight up, a projectile with a small tube potted in wax loaded, and the gun fired. And failure! Although the glass envelope had survived, the electrodes collapsed completely. Navy ordnance experts suggested that they try again using smokeless instead of black powder, which explodes instead of burns and gives much higher initial acceleration than smokeless. A 37mm gun of 1916 vintage was procured, and the tubes began to survive. For the next few months, projectiles were fired, sometimes hundreds a day, testing tubes and other components. Initial nervousness of the experimenters about where the shots would land was soon replaced by confidence on learning that they could predict the point of impact within less than 100 m.

While the tests to determine whether electronic components could be fired were being conducted, the Tizard Mission arrived in Washington, and on 14 September RH Fowler and John Cockcroft had dinner at Tuve's home, open exchanges of information about fuzes soon following. The Americans had not settled on the method of influence yet and were examining the same methods the British had. Lawrence Hafstad worked on a photoelectric method, and GK Green on an acoustic. The electronic circuit designed by Butement, Shire, and Thomson, for a radio proximity fuze was extracted from Tizard's famous "black box", and Roberts, who brought the additional skills of an electronics enthusiast as well as a reserve officer of Field Artillery to the project, had the circuit working in the lab in a couple of days. The resistor of a Hartley oscillator was connected through a low-pass filter to a two-stage audio amplifier connected to a thyratron, which passed current through a detonator when its grid votlage exceeded a given threshold. Just four tubes!

The laborator circuit, tuned to 100 MHz, worked beautifully. The thyratron output responded sensitively to the motions of a half-wave dipole anywhere in the room. Robert's brother, Walter, a radio engineer who had helped the oscillator for the DTM cyclotron, worked out the theory of the thing and found that if the target came within a few wavelengths of the oscillator, it altered the loading of the antenna, thereby changing the direct component of the anode current, which varied at a rate and filtered signal triggered the thyratron. Doppler was not really needed. It was an elegant design.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 3/?

With evidence that vacuum tubes could be fires from guns and that a simple electronic circuit could be made to trigger the explosion, it was obvious that a greatly expanded project was needed. Vacuum tube manufacturers had to begin furnishing prototype rugged tubes while preparing for mass production. Batteries presented particular problems. Circuit and mechanical design had to proceed toward a usable device, and a greatly expanded testing program undertaken. All this required an increased staff, which quickly had over a hundred persons working in a building that had housed only a dozen a few weeks earlier. Tuve put out a set of rules, the first of which was "I don't want any drat fool in this laboratory to save money. I only want him to save time. For those who had experienced Tuve's frugality before or after the war, this was a startling rule.

In October, fuzes made of non-rugged components in non-miniature circuits for both the radio and photoelectric fuzes detonated 100lb bombs dropped at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Virginia. At about this time Tuve decided that fuzes for non-rotating projectiles presented different kinds of developmental problems and turned the work on bombs and rockets over to the Bureau of Standards under the direction of Harry Diamond, who continued to work on the photoelectric method but dropped the acoustic as impractical. The DTM group dropped all methods except the radio fuze.

In February 1941 tubes were fired in 5 inch star shells with the parachute intended to lower the flare being used to bring down the components tested. On 20 April 1941, an oscillator was shot from the 37mm and observed to function, and about two weeks later seven oscillators were fired from a 5 inch gun at Dahlgren, four being heard in flight. An oscillator with a modulator to calibrate microphonics generated in flight disclosed no such problem. It was time to make complete fuzes.

The small size of the 37 did not allow the firing of complete fuzes, so the vertical firing was transferred to a 57mm at Dahlgren. This gun had not only a larger shell but a higher muzzle velocity. The Dahlgren firings were enlivened by the caretaker's dog, who raced into the river with each shot, expecting that such a powerful gun would bring down plenty of ducks, and who needed weeks of duckless firing to learn that the hunters were incomparably bad shots. Firing became routine for testing prototype industrial tubes as well as production lots. A more exciting aspect of the Dahlgren firings was a poorer ability to predict where the shots would land, the consequence of them ascending to much higher altitudes through more complicated wind patterns. One landed completely out of bounds, a mile from the gun.

Numerous tube manufacturers entered the competition, but Sylvania proved most successful. Its T-3 tube weighed less than three grams. One must remember that small-sized electronic components so common today were not so much admired in 1940. It is also worth nothing that the entire US production of vacuum tubes in the last peacetime year was 600 000 per day. By 1945 the production of tubes for proximity fuzes was 400 000 per day with 95% from Sylvania.


[More to come later]

Grumio
Sep 20, 2001

in culina est

Jobbo_Fett posted:

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 3/?



[More to come later]

This is extremely good poo poo, looking forward to future installments

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

This is a scrunt that has been in space too long and become a Lunt (Long Scrunt)


Fun Shoe

Are handheld AT weapons like AT4s and Carl Gustafs still even marginally effective against modern tanks?

Mr Luxury Yacht
Apr 16, 2012




Mr. Sunshine posted:

Are handheld AT weapons like AT4s and Carl Gustafs still even marginally effective against modern tanks?

I'd imagine they can still do a fair bit of damage to the sides and rear, especially the Carl Gustaf given there's tandem rounds for it now.

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

Warning: Effortpost on German uniform complexity and simplification.

Over on the Discord the subject of the infamous “aluminum hooks” used in German WWII uniforms came up. I’ve described them in earlier posts, but I think it’s time to post some photos to clear up a misconception or two.

This is a WWII German Feldbluse. This is an early-war version, introduced in 1936 and most commonly known as the “M36” to collectors:



This is another feldbluse, made later in the war. This is from 1943:



Let’s compare the two, point by point. First, look at the collar insignia:



The M36 has a collar made of “bottle green” (a collector’s term) felt. The collar insignia of two bars is known as “Litzen.” Similar collar insignia consisting of two bars goes back to at least the Napoleonic era, often used by elite units as a sign of status.

The insignia is absurdly complex. The grey cloth litzen is made as a single piece, a rectangle of grey cloth. Note the white stripes; those are “waffenfarbe,” which roughly translates as “branch color.” White denotes infantry, cavalry would be yellow – there was a whole rainbow of different colors used, each requiring their own specially made litzen.

This is folded into its unique shape and then sewn to a green wool backing. It is sewn from underneath using a whip-stitch. Then the green wool is folded into a rectangle around a thicker piece of cloth to make it stiff and this, in turn, is sewn to the collar.

By 1943 they had simplified:



The grey litzen are sewn to the collar directly. The branch-specific waffenfarbe has been dropped; everyone gets green.

Note how much the pockets have been simplified. The M36 has a complex “scallop” on the flap/closure. It is also sewn to “bellow” out, for more space. In contrast the M43 has a straight flap closure and is just a patch-pocket.

You can also see how the quality of the wool has dropped dramatically. The M36 is smooth wool. The M43 is rough and scratchy. It also smells worse.

The sewing under the collar of the M36 is complex as well:



The brownish-green cloth is the same as the lining inside the jacket. The “bottle green” felt used for the collar is also used for the shoulder straps/epaulets, which also have the white waffenfarbe trim. Note that the 1943 feldbuse has everything made from the same wool, there’s no felt collar anymore. I’ve seen some newer uniforms where the scratchy wool collar was replaced by a felt collar from a salvaged earlier uniform, presumably by a unit tailor.

Notice that the M36 has a white “kagenbinde” neck-lining, a white strip of cloth buttoned into the uniform so that sweat doesn’t discolor the uniform itself. This was to be taken out and washed at every opportunity. Later uniforms dropped this.

If you look at the picture of the M36 you can see the infamous aluminum hooks, at the waist. These were there to support the equipment belt, which carried magazine pouches, the shovel and bayonet, and the breadbag. There are three small holes for the hooks to poke through, so you can set them at different heights. Uniforms produced specifically for the Waffen SS uniforms had the holes for the hooks in groups of two instead of three. (There were other minor differences in cut, but that's a big can of worms.)

Here’s the interior of the uniform:



You can see how the aluminum hooks attach to straps, which are passed up through the lining, over the arm, and down the back to hold the other hook. The straps can be removed entirely. Each end of them has eleven little stitched holes to hold the hook at different heights:



It takes a special sewing machine to make those holes in the straps; conventional 1940’s sewing machines didn’t have a feature to create them automatically like a modern machine.

Here’s the hook, out of its hole:



You can see how the hook looks into the strap. Of course, if you put the hooks in the front and back they could potentially slip back, so there’s another smaller hook that you use to hold the strap itself in place.

Here’s the interior of the 1943 feldbluse:



The lining is made of crappy synthetic rayon. Note that the straps have been abandoned, but there is still a set of four hooks on small vestigial straps:



These still require special sewing machines to make those holes. By 1943 the whole arrangement was useless, because (a) They were carrying their gear with leather suspenders worn over their uniforms, and (b) camouflage smocks were becoming more common, which made accessing the hooks impossible. But they kept making them anyway.

Hope this helps clear up some misconceptions about the hooks and also shows how they simplified the uniforms over the course of the war.




Edit: In case anyone is wondering, the stamped numbers in the last photo are tailor's sizing. They refer to, in centimeters:

Height of bust/chest - Neck measurement
Chest measurement
Overall length - Length of sleeve

Normally there is a number stamped under this with letters and a number to show where it was accepted for issue; as this doesn't have those I think it may have never made it out of the factory. (I have no proof here, it's just a theory.)

Cessna fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Apr 14, 2021

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Why did the Germans need so many little aluminum hooks in their clothing?

bewbies posted:

In conclusion, looking forward to fighting alongside our Vietnamese allies when the great war with China finally comes around.
Based on the track record we will just be helping them to win it

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

Nessus posted:

Why did the Germans need so many little aluminum hooks in their clothing?

The idea was, in VERY tl;dr terms, to make things sleek and fashionable. They were intended to look streamlined and sexy. (Yes, sexy - Nazi uniform designers used focus groups of young women to review uniform designs and took their suggestions seriously.)

The WWII uniform was designed to look clean and sharp, a contrast to the baggy, utilitarian uniforms of the later stages of WWI. The hooks were intended to hold up gear without messy looking external straps (which they ended up using anyway later on).

This was done to send a message - that is, that wars will be fast and quick, and immediately followed by a snappy parade. This worked fine up until around 1941.

ThisIsJohnWayne
Feb 23, 2007
Ooo! Look at me! NO DON'T LOOK AT ME!




Mr. Sunshine posted:

Are handheld AT weapons like AT4s and Carl Gustafs still even marginally effective against modern tanks?

Without going into details, yes they are and you will be taught accurately. A lot of old tactical principles are still valid. APS and other things are very interesting and they have upsides and downsides and are all expensive. There's less resistance to pay for it en masse now than there used to be.

E. for the pedants; depending on what is measured as effective enough ofc = it depends

ThisIsJohnWayne fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Apr 14, 2021

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 4/?

The first batteries were specially adapted dry cells furnished by National Carbon, but they soon showed serious shelf-life problems and were replaced by wet batteries that had indefinite life with the added advantage of being activated only at the firing of the gun. A sealed glass ampule containing acid was placed within a stack of annular discs. One side of each disc was zinc, the other carbon. On firing, the glass ampule shattered and the acid was flung into the plates by centrifugal force. If its shelf life was long, its active life was short, about two minutes, just long enough for the flight of any proximity-fuzed shell.

A fuze was mounted in a 5 inch shell with a hole cut in the side for an ammeter in the anode current circuit. With this, the radiation pattern of the little transmitter driving a dipole formed by a cone-shaped electrode at the nose and the shell body, was measured. The next step was to fire pilot production fuzes in 5 inch guns at Dahlgren, which took place in August 1941. On 29 January 1942, the success rate at Dahlgren exceeded 50%, and full production started while the bugs were still being removed. Unfortunately, removing bugs did not mean they would stay removed. One of the greatest problems in producing fuzes proved to be quality control at all levels. It was a never ending problem, and there was no let up. A dud rate no greater than 5% was sought, but it was hard to attain.

The introduction of the high-explosive shell at the turn of the century brought an awkward period during which guns exploded on firing from time to time, owing to imperfections in the fuzes. Improvement in design soon made the simple impact and time fuzes bore safe, but the proximity fuze obviously had many more ways to fail. Tuve was determined that his race against time was not going to result in dead gunners, so a major effort went into safety devices. The explosion was initiated by a detonator that was activated by some tens of milliamperes, so the first line of safety was to keep it shorted until the projectile was clear of the muzzle. A clockwork located in the base of the fuze and actuated by projectile spin removed a short circuit and a mechanical gate in the powder train half a second after firing; it was eliminated in later models. The wet-cell battery also helped by requiring a tenth of a second to come up to voltage. A mercury switch functioned in two ways. Before firing, the mercury resided at the center of a porous cylinder located slightly off the projectile axis where it effected a second short. On firing, centrifugal force spun the mercury through the porous material thereby opening the short and closing a switch that activated the electrical components with a delay determined by the diffusion time through the diaphragm. The thyratron and the last stage of the audio amplifier, which operated in the range from 30 to 300 Hz, were initially biased to cutoff and became active only after a time delay determined by a capacitor charging time. Finally, the presence of the gun tube so loaded the antenna that the oscillator would be quenched while within the gun. Thousands of rounds with only one operable safety and a reduced charge of black powder were fired to evaluate each separately.

Firing at air frames suspended from balloons and from towards at the New Mexico Proving Ground by HR Crane and David M Dennison measured the burst patterns, which could then be adjusted with the only available parameter, the sensitivity. If the sensitivity were too great, the shell would burst too far from the target; if it were too small, the shell would burst close enough to assure the target's destruction but allow many possibly damaging rounds to pass by. These tests were all made with explosive charges just great enough to permit photography, otherwise target replacement would have become a major waste of time. After these successes it was time for the critical test: firing from a ship at radio controlled targets, called drones, under routine service conditions. The tests were made on the shake-down of the new cruiser USS Cleveland in the Chesapeake Bay on 12 August 1942. Roberts was aboard and later recorded the event:

quote:

The next day, all was ready off Tangier Island and a drone approached on a torpedo run. At about 5000 yards, the ship opened fire with all its 5 inch guns. Immediately, there were two hits and the drone plunged into the water. Commander Parsons called for another drone and out it came on a run at about 10,000 feet altitude. Once again, it came down promptly. Parsons called for another and then raised hell when the drone people said there were no more ready for use. He enjoyed this very much as he had been on the receiving end of a lot of comments by the drone people in other firing trials. The drone operators had one backup drone ready in case of troubles but they never expected to have one shot down. In fact, the Navy photographic crew who took pictures of all the firing trials of the fleet had never seen a drone shot down before. The ship was ordered to the Pacific with no stops, as the crew had seen too much.

MikeCrotch
Nov 5, 2011

I AM UNJUSTIFIABLY PROUD OF MY SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE RECIPE

YES, IT IS AN INCREDIBLY SIMPLE DISH

NO, IT IS NOT NORMAL TO USE A PEPPERAMI INSTEAD OF MINCED MEAT

YES, THERE IS TOO MUCH SALT IN MY RECIPE

NO, I WON'T STOP SHARING IT

more like BOLLOCKnese


One issue with handheld anti-tank weapons is a lot of them have a tendency to scramble their users brains. In the French army for example, you are allowed to fire a recoilless rifle in training 3 times, ever, due to traumatic brain injury concerns.

Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic






Carl Gustaf is my friend but only in Bad Company 2

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008




ThisIsJohnWayne posted:

Without going into details, yes they are and you will be taught accurately. A lot of old tactical principles are still valid. APS and other things are very interesting and they have upsides and downsides and are all expensive. There's less resistance to pay for it en masse now than there used to be.

E. for the pedants; depending on what is measured as effective enough ofc = it depends

I mean I assume firing from behind or an elevated position (eg a second floor window) is still going to work pretty well if nothing else.You're not trying to hit the front glacis.

Count Roland
Oct 6, 2013



MikeCrotch posted:

One issue with handheld anti-tank weapons is a lot of them have a tendency to scramble their users brains. In the French army for example, you are allowed to fire a recoilless rifle in training 3 times, ever, due to traumatic brain injury concerns.

But, but they're recoilless!

Mr Luxury Yacht
Apr 16, 2012




Isn't that also because the APILAS specifically is stupidly concussive even for a recoilless AT weapon?

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


Count Roland posted:

But, but they're recoilless!

With a recoilless rifle, most of the energy that would normally be transmitted into the recoil system of an equivalent gun is instead turned into brain-mushing concussion and noise.

Kind of like a JT3/TF33.

knox_harrington
Feb 18, 2011

Running no point.

The NLAW is supposed to be a genuinely anti MBT and soft launch etc. portable AT weapon.

https://www.saab.com/products/nlaw

I got caught in the backblast from a 66 when some mong didn't check before popping one off, it was extremely loud.

knox_harrington fucked around with this message at 09:32 on Apr 15, 2021

Robert Facepalmer
Jan 10, 2019


MikeCrotch posted:

One issue with handheld anti-tank weapons is a lot of them have a tendency to scramble their users brains. In the French army for example, you are allowed to fire a recoilless rifle in training 3 times, ever, due to traumatic brain injury concerns.
Do they have a limit 'for real' or is it one of those things where you are popping those off we'll deal with it after everything calms down?

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 5/?

As the Cleveland was not to dock on her outbound voyage, the technical personnel were loaded into a launch to take them ashore. In a somewhat humorous gesture, the skipper gave his evaluation of them when he presented each a life preserver as they descended to the small boat, which naturally had a normal supply of such articles.

It is ironic that this test, which showed that a warship could defend itself very well against air attack, took place less than 100 miles from the location where, some 20 years before, Mitchell thought he had proved that surface ships were obsolete as a result of air power.

By mid-November 1942, about 5000 rounds were on the way to Pearl Harbor, of which 4500 were sent to the South Pacific on USS Wright. At Noumea, they were distributed by Vice Admiral Halsey to the ships considered most likely to see action. On 5 January 1943, USS Helena, on her way back with two other cruisers and two destroyers from an attack on an airstrip on New Georgia the day before, shot down a Japanese plane with a shell equipped with an industrially produced fuze, less than 30 months after the first discussions at the newly formed NDRC about the need for such a device.

The security surrounding the device was extreme. Early models were called "T3G Device" and all shipments were guarded by Marines and signed for by a commanding officer. Afloat and ashore, they were kept under lock and key, and on arrival at port no one was allowed to leave the vessel until the fuzes were accounted for. In production, it became "Mark 32", and, in the summer of 1943, called the "VT" after British suggestions meaning "Variable Time" or "Velocity Triggered". The proximity fuze may have been enveloped in extreme secrecy, but it was the subject of enough rumor by the time of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons to be mentioned in the after-battle reports, the same month as the Cleveland trials in the Chesapeake Bay.

The supreme driving force behind fuze development was its use against aircraft, but once this problem was solved, thoughts naturally proceeded to an older problem of the artillerist: air bursts against ground targets. The first explosive artillery shells, which introduced the term "Bomb Shell" into the language, had used powder-train fuzes. If this fuze were cut short, it led to "bombs bursting in air". With better fuzes and more accurate guns, this had been refined by General Henry Shrapnel of the British Army into a shell filled with lead balls and that burst in the air with devastating effect on exposed infantry. After World War 1, shrapnel had been replaced by the high-explosive shell that did its killing with jagged shell fragments instead of lead bullets, but the time fuze remained. Up to 15 seconds flight time could be obtained with a powder-train fuze, 25 with a clockwork fuze. With flat trajectory guns at moderate ranges, and observed fire, these could be effective. At long range, at night or in fog, or unobserved, time fire was almost useless. Use of the proximity fuze was obvious.

Rocko Bonaparte
Mar 12, 2002

Every day is Friday!


Jobbo, the series is great but I am still caught up on the very first paragraph with the "bomb the bombers" thing. Was that at a point that single-engine fighters still sucked or something?

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



knox_harrington posted:

The NLAW is supposed to be a genuinely anti MBT and soft launch etc. portable AT weapon.

https://www.saab.com/products/nlaw

I got caught in the backblast from a 66 when some mong didn't check before popping one off, it was extremely loud.

Are the front and back of the weapon as held below what they appear to be? Namely black end caps made of styrofoam? Do those get jettisoned by a gas system, or are you supposed to remove before (non-promotional) use?

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Rocko Bonaparte posted:

Jobbo, the series is great but I am still caught up on the very first paragraph with the "bomb the bombers" thing. Was that at a point that single-engine fighters still sucked or something?

So the idea was to use one of three types of bombs/explosives that would be thrown, launched, or dropped from an aircraft in order to attack bombers.

Because the world of mid-1930s aircraft was filled with examples that carried one or two rifle-caliber guns. Not only was it difficult to catch a bomber, but downing them as well was also quite difficult. Since you can get more destructive power out of a bomb while keeping the weight down... relatively anyways.






The above are two Japanese examples. The 1kg "missile" was thrown, while the 2kg bomb was dropped. In the former's case, it worked on a delay fuse that would explode after a short time, while the latter acted on a delay fuse and a friction/impact fuze. When the target aircraft hits the cable, it whips the bomb up/down into the plane where it explodes.


It's like an extreme version of Cable Balloons.


This is also why some planes/designs opted for having as many guns as possible*, or being up-gunned in certain cases**.

*See Hawker Hurricane. **See designs that went from 2 to 4 machine guns, or more.

BalloonFish
Jun 30, 2013



Fun Shoe

Jobbo_Fett posted:

Because the world of mid-1930s aircraft was filled with examples that carried one or two rifle-caliber guns. Not only was it difficult to catch a bomber, but downing them as well was also quite difficult. Since you can get more destructive power out of a bomb while keeping the weight down... relatively anyways.

...

This is also why some planes/designs opted for having as many guns as possible*, or being up-gunned in certain cases**.

*See Hawker Hurricane. **See designs that went from 2 to 4 machine guns, or more.

See further - the proposed Miles M.20 and the Boulton Paul P.94 (a Defiant without the rear turret) both of which were specified with twelve .303s.

Even the eight-gun layout had proved lacking when firing brief bursts of rifle-calibre rounds at metal aircraft.

You can also see the progression in the Curtiss fighters. The original P-36 had 2x .30s, then one .30 and one .50, then 4x .30s, then 2x .30s and 2x .50s (shared with the early versions of the P-40). The final French versions had six 7.5mm guns. The P-40B and -C went to 2x .50s and 4x .30s.

After receiving intel from the air combat over Poland, France and Britain the USAAF required the proposed P-40 replacement (XP-46) had eight .30s and a pair of .50s in the nose. But instead the P-40 was up-gunned with the classic six .50s which proved to be the sweet spot for reliability, weight, ammunition capacity and hitting power (unless the wing was massive like the P-47 when you could install an octet of them).

The RAF knew from the start of the Battle of Britain that cannons were the only really effective way of stopping bombers, but there were problems getting the Hispano cannon to work reliably in flight so you had the compromise of the Spitfire and Hurricane Mk.IIs with four Brownings and a pair of cannons.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 6/?

The Field Artillery had gone over to howitzers to a large degree, and they presented a few problems. They never had the high muzzle velocities of the AA guns and even had a variety of velocities from which to choose, determined by the amount of propelling charge loaded. Varying muzzle velocities meant varying spins, and spin operated the safeties. Thus high acceleration, that horrible problem in the summer of 1940, became a necessity. It was soon decided that only the top three powder charges for howitzers would be considered. Fuzes were soon ready.

The army equivalent to the Cleveland firings was a demonstration to the Field Artillery Board at Ft Bragg on 24 and 25 September 1943 with Lieutenant General Leslie McNair, Chief of Army Ground Forces in attendance. It was fouled up, yet a stunning success. The fuzes for different caliber weapons were mixed up at the gun positions causing up to 30% duds and bursts at the wrong heights. The Section T men were frantic, and it showed. The Board was so startled to see air bursts at extreme ranges, air bursts unobserved, air bursts with high-angle fire (shells descending almost vertically), air bursts at night that its excitement was almost uncontrolled. When the fuze men went on about the performance, McNair answered: "Gentlemen, you want all this and the moon too?"

The account of the story at this point does not convey a proper picture of what had been going on. Tuve's objective was a weapon to be placed in the hands of the warriors - and soon! This meant that production had to be brought in early, well before designs were final, and the entire project grew at an incredible pace. The early fuze work had more than 40 industrial and academic contractors, and Canadians helped with battery design. The year 1940 was a good time to place orders because industrial mobilization had just started and there was plenty of slack yet to be taken up. In April 1942, Section T had outgrown the space at the Carnegie department and moved to a large building on Georgia Avenue in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland. At that time, the Carnegie Institution transferred administrative control to Johns Hopkins University, and the newly established unit was named the Applied Physics Laboratory. By the time of the Cleveland firings, production of fuzes was already beginning. Needless to say, this gamble brought on no small number of emergencies. Strange infirmities would appear, in a product that had a built-in bias against diagnosis, yet diagnosis was demanded immediately. US and British forces had between them 40 different kinds of shell for which the fuze was required, and each had to be individually fitted.

Secrecy had adverse effects in complicating procurement, and curious ways were found to conceal the true functions of various components. The plastic noses were ordered through John Hopkins Medical School under the name of "rectal spreaders". Worse, because they were not told what they were making, workers came to believe it was not important, and to keep from arousing curiosity, fuze plants were never given the Army-Navy "E" for excellence flag/ In a product requiring high quality control, this was a definite embarrassment.

By the end of the war, 112 companies were engaged in production work on fuzes and more than 22,000,000 had been manufactured with the price eventually falling to $18. As a wartime project, it was exceeded in magnitude only by the bomb and what we might call "large-set" radar. Yet the entire project was directed to the end by Tuve, who controlled both the technical and the business aspects and who, before 1940, had never supervised more than half a dozen persons.

xthetenth
Dec 30, 2012

Mario wasn't sure if this Jeb guy was a good influence on Yoshi.



The US also was thinking about the idea:



A lot of things happened right before WWII. Monoplane fighters with comparatively streamlined designs really came into their own, armor and self sealing fuel tanks started to be viable additions to planes (this is actually happening at the exact start of the war, a lot of early war planes had their performance utterly trashed by the addition of self sealing fuel tanks and armor, such as the vought vindicator, which in its guise as the Chesapeake had additional armor, more forward firing guns and other weighty changes added at the behest of the British, who then were shocked to learn that the plane couldn't lift a sensible payload from small carriers.

As an example let's look at the state of USN fighters. The fighters at the start of the war go back to roughly 1935.

The fighters that start development in 35 and 36 are replacing the then new F3F, a biplane with one .50 and one .30 caliber machine gun.

The XF4F-1 is a biplane. It competed with the F2A, which was one of the planes notorious for its bad performance with armor and self-sealing tanks. The 'improved' F2A-3, with four .50 caliber machine guns, armor and self-sealing tanks plus more fuel capacity weighed a whopping 50% more than the F2A-1. The F4F-3 that went to war was a hasty redesign of the monoplane F4F-2 with a newer, bigger engine. It did not yet have protection, that only came with the F4F-4, which was unpopular with some pilots because six .50s, folding wings, armor and self-sealing fuel tanks diminished the performance, especially the climb rate.

The XF4U-1, a world beater, is armed with two .30 caliber guns in the nose and two .50 caliber guns in the wings. It additionally featured ten shallow bays in the wings for a total of twenty 5.2 pound anti-aircraft bombs.

Part of the reason why things get heavier is because the engines can take it, part of it is a rapidly developing arms race at the start of the war, as everyone realizes that fast monoplane fighters are good, actually, and as everyone realizes that armored fighters and bombers are pretty tough but a well armed single engine fighter can take enough firepower to down them, rather than requiring a specific heavy fighter that is itself vulnerable (though that doesn't eliminate the appeal, especially for taking on four engine heavies).

The lure of explosives in bomber formations doesn't go away, the Luftwaffe eventually starts firing rockets with time fuzes into bomber formations.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

4.4 The Proximity Fuze - The Smallest Radar (Ripped from A Radar History of World War 2 by Louis Brown) Part 7/7

The first wide-scale employment was in the Pacific, in part because it was more the Navy's weapon than anyone else's, but mostly because fleet use gave the smallest probability of one being captured. Section T was well aware that the first danger from a fuze falling into enemy hands was jamming, and recovery of just one of the all-too-many duds could give the whole thing away. Jamming really meant cause premature bursts and could be effected by sweeping a high-frequency oscillator through the frequency band of the fuzes. When the frequency of some electronic device interfered with that of the Hartley oscillator of the fuze, prematures did occur. On Okinawa, 105mm howitzers using the fuze had to stop using them because of bursts all along the trajectories, bringing severe protests from the infantry. The cause was determined to have been the meter-wave radars of nearby destroyers. (This explanation is questionably. There are no Navy reports of fuzes being set off at sea, where the radars in question would have had excellent opportunity. If radar was the cause of prematures, the source is more likely the SCR-270, hwich was present on land, as its frequency band of 100 MHz was that of the fuze, and its 100 kW peak power and pulse repetition rates of 200 to 400 Hz were well suited to trigger the fuze.)

The effect on naval action was immediate. Each naval air engagement saw the new weapon playing an ever greater role, culminating at the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19 June 1944 and in the defense against the suicide pilots, primarily at Okinawa. The first use in the European theater was, again, naval, during the invasion of Sicily.

The most spectacular triumph of the fuze was in the defense against the flying bombs, but it was a triumph shared with the gun-laying radar SCR-584 and the electronic director M-9. It was crucial in the Battle of the Bulge, where it was used to devastating effecting against infantry advancing in fog.

The German proximity fuze work continued in fits and stars, Siemens und Halske dropped work on the original balanced-capacitance fuze, but others took up the task later in the war when large AA rockets were being designed at Peenemunde, the location of the V-2 rocket-bomb development. A proximity fuze was necessary for these, but it was not subject to the severe constraints of space and shock resistance imposed on the fuze of an artillery shell. The work was directed from Peenemunde West and was both of local and contracted origin. Four fuzes were under simultaneous development: Kranich, Kakadu, Marabu, and Fox.

Kranich was a purely acoustical fuze that had a resonant cavity dimensioned to the principal frequency of heavy-bomber motors. A wire whip was fastened to a diaphragm that formed one wall of the cavity. Vibrations set the whip in motion, causing it to touch a ring electrode and close the firing circuit. Kakadu and Marabu were 50 and 70 cm continuous-wave transmitter-receiver pairs with separate tuned-dipole antennas. Kakadu made use of the Doppler shift in the reflected wave, Marabu a frequency-modulation effect. Fox operated on a 3 m and was similar to the Butement design in using the lateration of antenna loading. It was not small, having a dipole antenna.

These competing designs were tested at Peenemunde by fastening them to long poles mounted on a wooden tower that held the necessary test equipment. The individual designs caused lights to flash when actuated, and their spatial relationship to the aircraft that flew over the poles was recorded on film. The end of the war prevented the work from proceeding further.

Britain also continued fuze work. By November 1940, GEC furnished miniature pentodes that withstood the shock of firing, and in August 1941, a shell fired from a gun was detonated in the air by a radio pulse from the ground. This approach continued, and in February 1942 yielded a test in which 75% of the shells were burst by signals from the ground. By October 1942, a report to the Prime Minister placed the American efforts well ahead; work continued nevertheless, as it was not clear that US fuze production would suffice for Britain as well as for the extraordinarily hungry Pacific fleet. When it became clear that Britain would receive an ample supply of the new devices, work lagged and no satisfactory design emerged from the war effort.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

And that's a brief summary of the history of the VT Fuze. I'd posted the index to the book on the discord, and the only other selected option was COUNTERMEASURES. So expect posts from that chapter/section next week or something.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

Hubris

Fun Shoe

Thanks for sharing that! Cool stuff. I wonder how much of the general miniaturization drive was initiated by needing to fit things into 5" shells?

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



I'm thinking of that transition from biplane to monoplane fighters at the tail of the 30s; did "modern" monoplanes (say the Bf-109 or Hawker Hurricane) capable of matching or exceeding the climb rates of the biplanes they replaced?

Curious about the interplay between the need for interceptors and radar developments.

ChubbyChecker
Mar 25, 2018



How good were the WW2 rifle grenades and platoon level light mortars? Why did some countries use them and why others did not? And what did their enemies think about them?

Loezi
Dec 18, 2012

Never buy the cheap stuff

ChubbyChecker posted:

How good were the WW2 rifle grenades and platoon level light mortars? Why did some countries use them and why others did not? And what did their enemies think about them?

This is me talking out of my rear end, but on the conceptual level, the ability to lob small explosives further than you can toss them is excellent. The idea of having your riflemen be able to do the lobbing with their rifles is a nice idea, but I believe the specific execution of any rifle grenade system is just a bit too fiddly to be truly useful. You tend to need gas-redirection thingymabobs, special ammo, etc. to do it properly without ruining the rifle. For anti-infantry stuff, separate grenade pistols (perhaps models you can attach to your primary firearm) are just handier and faster to use way even if they do add a bit of weight. For anti-vehicle uses, there's stuff like LAWs are just straight-up better in every way.

With regard to light mortars on the platoon levels, I suppose it's the question of whether you prefer the speed associated with a platoon commander just shouting at his one mortar, or the flexibility of having a larger asset attached at the company/battalion level, which you can then either keep together for bigger firepower or distribute based on the situation.

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

This is why we have orders, general.

ChubbyChecker posted:

How good were the WW2 rifle grenades and platoon level light mortars? Why did some countries use them and why others did not? And what did their enemies think about them?

They were somewhat hit or miss- there was a definite need they were filling, reflective of the reality of ww1 combat. Many countries were quite disappointed with platoon mortars, though, and ditched them at the platoon level. The US 60mm was quite good but wasn't really used like a platoon mortar and was a bit unwieldy in that role anyway. The only countries that were truly satisfied with theirs were the British, Italians, and Japanese, with the 2-in mortar, Brixia grenade launcher, and knee mortar respectively. Germany began with a 50mm mortar but largely eliminated it later in the war, same for the Soviets, though both systems were quite a bit heavier than the 2-in and not semi-automatic like the Brixia.

The knee mortar ended up being considered very useful in the IJA, so much so that the Chinese copied it and used it extensively(partly because the Chinese forces were very deficient in artillery and skilled personnel).

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance.


Smellrose

Yeah, for as much as Japanese failures of leadership and tactics are discussed in this thread, the knee mortar was a very clever piece of hardware which did what it was supposed to do quite well.

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

This is why we have orders, general.

Vincent Van Goatse posted:

Yeah, for as much as Japanese failures of leadership and tactics are discussed in this thread, the knee mortar was a very clever piece of hardware which did what it was supposed to do quite well.

We ended up doing what it did in an even more handy package with the M79 later on. The Germans in ww2 experimented a lot with grenade launchers with conversions of AT rifles to full-time grenade launching duty and pistol-sized launchers, but they weren't widely used.

Panzeh fucked around with this message at 09:08 on Apr 16, 2021

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BalloonFish
Jun 30, 2013



Fun Shoe

xthetenth posted:

A lot of things happened right before WWII. Monoplane fighters with comparatively streamlined designs really came into their own, armor and self sealing fuel tanks started to be viable additions to planes (this is actually happening at the exact start of the war, a lot of early war planes had their performance utterly trashed by the addition of self sealing fuel tanks and armor

See again the Curtiss XP-46 I mentioned in my last post. It was originally designed to be little more than the P-40 in a smaller, lighter fuselaged designed around the Allison V12 engine. It would share the same armament and features as the then-current P-40 - a pair of .50s in the nose and one .30 in each wing, no armour, no bulletproof glass and no self-sealing fuel tanks - standard stuff for American fighters of the time. By the time the first prototype flew the USAAF had updated the specification to increase the firepower (to 2x .50s and 8x .30s) and then, in light of the reports from Europe, came the requirement for self-sealing fuel tanks, a sheet of armour-glass behind the windscreen and armour plate ahead of and behind the pilot. All this added loads of weight, making the XP-46 little more than a heavier P-40 with less wing area and very slightly more power, so it offered no improvement in climb, virtually no improvement in top speed, a significant degradation of its turning performance and a huge decrease in operational range.


PittTheElder posted:

I'm thinking of that transition from biplane to monoplane fighters at the tail of the 30s; did "modern" monoplanes (say the Bf-109 or Hawker Hurricane) capable of matching or exceeding the climb rates of the biplanes they replaced?

Curious about the interplay between the need for interceptors and radar developments.

In general first generation of monoplane fighters had slightly inferior sustained climb rates (as in, the climb rate possible when leaving the ground and reaching a set altitude such as when on a scramble) than the last generation of biplanes. The biplanes could pull higher manoeuvering climb rates, such as comes into play in combat. Due to their lower wing loading biplanes were much more agile than virtually any equivalent monoplane, making them better classic dogfighters. Of course to be any good as a bomber interceptor you have to actually be able to catch the bomber (and same goes for dogfighting - you can have the best dogfighter in the world but if it's 75mph slower than the less maneouverable monoplane it's essentially pointless) but that was why some air forces remained wedded to the biplane fighter. Notably the Italians and the Soviets who misread their experiences in the Spanish Civil War, where combat had generally between between very good biplanes and very early monoplanes which just needed a couple more years' development to reach their full potential, and concluded that biplane fighters were still viable.

But by 1939/1940 advances in engine, fuel and propeller technology had generally given monoplanes the brute power to have higher (or at least equal) sustained climb rates than the last of the biplanes while retaining the massive speed advantage.

Some comparisons of sustained climb rates (big caveat that, obviously, these figures are not derived from tests under the same conditions. Some refer to rate obtained at a standardised altitudes and others to the aircraft's best climb rate [over a given time period, which can also vary from tester to tester] at whatever altitude that was):

Heinkel He51: 2200ft/min
Bf109B: 2020ft/min (with fixed-pitch propeller)
Bf109E: 3280ft/min (with variable-pitch propeller)

Gladiator Mk1: 2300ft/min
Hurricane Mk1: 2810ft/min (with fixed-pitch propeller)
Hurricane Mk1: 2120ft/min (with two-pitch propeller)
Hurricane Mk1: 2640ft/min (constant-speed propeller)

(This is a good demonstration of how the British lag in propeller technology hobbled their fighters in the late 30s.)

Boeing P-26: 2220ft/min
Seversky P-35: 1920ft/min
Curtiss P-36A: 3400ft/min
Curtiss P-40B: 2650ft/min

Fiat CR.32bis: 1822ft/min
Fiat CR.42: 2320ft/min
Fiat G.50: 2730ft/min

(This really shows how Italian engine technology lagged in the mid-30s, since the early monoplane still usefully outclimbs the biplanes)

Polikarpov I-15bis: 2688ft/min
Polikarpov I-153: 3000ft/min
Polikarpov I-16: 2890ft/min
Yakovlev Yak-1: 2982ft/min

(This shows what happens when you share engines between a biplane (I-153) and a monoplane (I-16) in the same era, especially when both have retractable undercarriage). The monoplane is a better climber than the 'traditional' biplane (I-15) but is bettered by the equivalent biplane. Then the Yak-1 with its more modern engine and aerodynamics splits the difference in terms of climb rate but is much faster than the I-16.

The requirement for radar and other early-detection systems was more to do with the relative speeds of bombers and fighters rather than the climb rates of biplanes v. monoplanes. Obviously for intercepting bombers climb rate is important, but the problem identified in exercises and war games was that having monoplane bombers cruising at nearly 200mph were virtually impossible to intercept with standing patrols of monoplane fighters which cruised at 230-250mph, let alone biplane ones which cruised at about the same speed as the bombers. Interception relied mostly on luck, with the fighters having to cross paths with the bombers at the right time, the right place, the right angle and the right height to even attempt a single pass, and then often not being able to effectively make a second pass. The speed at which everything happened with modern aircraft, the small relative speed advantage of the fighters over the bombers and the minimal range at which the bombers could be detected by the defender, made it essentially impossible to a tactically useful degree.

With an early warning and tracking system of some sort (it didn't have to be radar - Claire Chennault implemented a very effective 'warning web' in southwestern China and Burma that used ground observers communicating with a central control room by telephone and radio) intercepts could be plotted with enough warning to be useful and fighters could be sent up and vectored onto the incoming bombers almost every time.

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