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Old 16th May 2020, 20:06
Barrett Barrett is offline
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Hits to down a bomber

When I was researching the 15th AF history, I found a site with part of a Lufwaffe ordnance report describing how many 20 and 30mm hits (randomly spread) could down a Viermot. AS I RECALL the figure was twenty for 20mm and perhaps five for 30 mike-mike. There are a few online references to 20mms but now of course I cannot find the document and would welcome referral to any source.
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Old 16th May 2020, 21:28
Denniss Denniss is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

i remember three 30mm hits were sufficient, 20-25 AFAIK for 20mm
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Old 16th May 2020, 23:08
Strahler Strahler is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

20 mm: 20 -25 hits
30 mm: 4 hits (one for fighters like Mustang)

Source: Schliephake "Flugzeugbewaffnung", 1977
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Old 17th May 2020, 02:11
Barrett Barrett is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

Danke!
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Old 17th May 2020, 05:39
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

According to Alfred Price's 'The Last Year of the Luftwaffe', referring to the 30 mm cannon fitted to the Sturmbocks, 'on average three hits were sufficient to bring down a heavy bomber' (page 36). That's a secondary source, but it is consistent with three 30mm rounds being able to bring down a heavy.

Going from my memory (dangerous!) I recall a discussion of around twenty 20mm rounds being required to bring down a heavy in Hooton's 'Eagle in Flames: The Fall of the Luftwaffe', based on analysis of gun camera films. I don't have this book to hand, but perhaps other forum members could confirm (or deny) whether my memory is correct.

There might be one other issue to consider. It might be that the twenty 20mm and three 30mm numbers refer to strikes on B17s. Didn't the 15AF operate many B24s? I understand they were considered more vulnerable than the B17. Numbers applicable to the B17 might be overestimates for the B24.

Cheers

Don W.
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:18
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

It's likely that most people looking at this thread would be familiar with this vision, but there may be a few who haven't seen it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZyJbSIFJn8

I have seen this footage spliced together several different ways, but not in this version, with names and dates included. Anyway, hope that it is of some interest.

Cheers

Don W
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Old 21st May 2020, 14:45
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

Hi Guys

There were variations to the 30mm shell, one type didn't explode until it "smelt fuel" !........wonder what happened if it didn't find fuel, guess we can assume it just left a 30mm hole.
I agree with the difference between the B-17 and B-24, B-24's burnt rather readily, B-17's seemed to have much sturdier wings and fuselage.

Kind Regards

Johannes
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Old 23rd May 2020, 14:12
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

I dug out Forysth's 'JV 44 The Galland Circus', which devotes most of a page (158) to discussing the ammo for the 30 mm MK 108 cannon. Two basic types of shell:

M-Shell HE round with 85 gram of explosive. Luftwaffe technical personnel at Rechlin determined that five hits from this round were required to destroy either a B17 or B24.

an incendiary shell designed for both blast and incendiary effect. This shell was only ignited when it came into contact with fuel, via a hydrodynamic fuse. Five to ten of these shells were required to burn a B17, but the B24 was slightly less vulnerable to this round, because of the internal location of the main tanks.

The above discussion certainly doesn't support my suggestion about greater vulnerability of the B24 versus the B17, but I have come across lots of statements suggesting this.

Anyway, it's quite a detailed technical discussion. Barrett, feel free to PM me and I can send you a scan of the page.

Hope that helps

Don W
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Old 23rd May 2020, 16:18
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomerang View Post
There might be one other issue to consider. It might be that the twenty 20mm and three 30mm numbers refer to strikes on B17s. Didn't the 15AF operate many B24s? I understand they were considered more vulnerable than the B17. Numbers applicable to the B17 might be overestimates for the B24.

Cheers

Don W.
The 15th was approx. 2/3 B-24s. The 8th was approx. 2/3 B-17s.
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Old 24th May 2020, 19:22
13starsinax 13starsinax is offline
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Re: Hits to down a bomber

This is something I remember reading, but can not be sure, though I think it was Steinhoff.
The pilot went on an alert flight, claimed five kills and only expended 5 rounds 30mm confirmed by his ground crew.
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