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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 28th December 2004, 07:44
NickM NickM is offline
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A question RE: Late War Soviet automatic AA weapons

Re-reading the end of Caldwell's JG26 again...during one of their final missions(the one where they escort Hanna Reitsch & Ritter Von Greim to Berlin); one of the pilots reports being taken under automatic AA fire at 13 thou + feet (or 3.5-4 kilometers altitude if you prefer the metric);
just wondering what a AA weapons were being used by presumably the Soviet AA units?

On the Western side I am only familiar with weapons like the .50 caliber HMG, 20mm & 40mm automatic AA weapons. Anything above that caliber I presumed to be single shot types(IE: 3.7 inch or 90mm). I cannot think of any 'medium' calibers that were 'automatic fire' during WW2;

Now post WW2( Specifically, Korea & Vietnam) the USSR supplied AA weapons to North Korea & North Vietnam: large numbers of VERY effective AA guns that were clip fed--37mm, 57mm, 85mm & 100mm Automatic AA cannon--did any of those higher caliber weapons manager to reach service in WW2?
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NickM[/code]
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Old 28th December 2004, 10:14
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Juha Juha is offline
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Hello
during the WWII the main AAA cannon in Soviet use was their 37mm. In essense a copy of the Swedish 40mm Bofors. The Soviet 57mm AAA gun was a post war weapon, in parts based on the the German 55mm AAA gun.
HTH
Juha
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Old 28th December 2004, 19:35
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Erich Erich is offline
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Soviet Flak

I have heard that the Soviets used a tri-Flak arrangement on the back of flat bed Ford Trucks. but what caliber I am not familiar with......any ideas anyone ?

E
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Old 28th December 2004, 23:33
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Hello
I have no recollection on Soviet tri-Flak arrangement but they had 4-barrel 7,62mm Maxim mg AAA weapon, which were often put on the back of Ford lorries.

Juha
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Old 29th December 2004, 04:18
Martin Gleeson Martin Gleeson is offline
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Hallo Nick and Juha,

That passage is problematical at best. I suspect the estimated height was incorrect or perhaps they were under attack by VVS aircraft from below (eg. P-39s or Yaks).

In 1945 the main larger caliber AAA weapons used by the Soviet field armies would have been the 37mm and the 85mm. Sources differ as to the maximum effective ceiling of the former but just under 10,000 ft. is the most I have seen quoted - and that may be due to post-war advances in the ammunition used.

Another possibility is that the Soviet troops were using German 37mm Flak captured in and around Berlin. The more common later models had a maximum effective ceiling of up to 15,750 ft.

And why not so-called 'Friendly Fire' as another option ?

Hope this does not confuse matters more !

Martin Gleeson.
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Old 29th December 2004, 07:45
NickM NickM is offline
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Thanks to all who replied...

Martin & Juha:

Looks like we have one of those mysteries then...hmmm but you say that late war German 37mm had a ceiling of 15,000? Wow, substantially better than other 37/40 mm 'Bofors' type guns--changing the subject slightly: 'how did they do dat?'

thx

NickM
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Old 29th December 2004, 11:32
Tony Williams Tony Williams is offline
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You need to be careful about the difference between 'maximum' and 'effective' ceiling of AA guns. Maximum just means - how high will the shell get if the gun is fired when pointing straight upwards? Effective means - what is the maximum altitude that an aircraft can be engaged by this gun with some chance of success?

So for the German 37mm Flak, the maximum altitude was 4,800m (15,750 feet) but the effective ceiling only 2,000m (6,500 feet). For the British 40mm Bofors, the figures were: ballistic maximum 7,200m (23,600 feet), maximum before self-destruct fuze detonates 5,000m (16,500 feet), but effective ceiling 1,500m (5,000 feet).

The definition of 'effective ceiling' is determined partly by the ballistic performance of the gun, partly by the quality of the fire control system, and partly by the criteria chosen - what kind of hit probability would you describe as 'effective'? Figures from different sources may therefore not be comparable as different criteria may have been used.

The 40mm Bofors was the most powerful of all of the automatic AA guns used in WW2 (except for a handful of German 5cm Flak 41). The Russian 37mm was marginally more powerful than the German equivalent.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
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