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WWII 9th Air Force Flak History

WWII 9th Air Force Flak History

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Published by CAP History Library
Army Air Forces
Army Air Forces

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: CAP History Library on Sep 22, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

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07/29/2014

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Anti-Tank Role
Heavy flak guns near thefront lines were generally sitedin positions for firing at groundtargets, as well as at air targets.Armor-piercing shells and highmuzzle velocity made the 88mmgun a good anti-tank weapon.
«• Ammunition
German armourers are shown hereputting fuses on 88mm shells. The projectile itself weighed 20 pounds; thosefor the 105mm and 128mm guns weighed33 and 57 pounds, respectively. Heavyflak guns fired high explosive shells withtime fuses, cut to explode at a predetermined altitude. Enemy experimentswith incendiary shells met with verylittle success.
35
 
Of the 50,000 light guns in Ger-
A
many's flak defenses, 80% were 20mmcannons. Single, double, triple, andquadruple mounts were used, with eachgun having a practical firing rate of 200rounds per minute. On-carriage visualsights were at one time complicatedmirror and lead computing mechanisms;later in the war the simple course-andspeed ring sights were generally used.The quadruple mount, whichcould fire 800 rounds per minute, wasa powerful weapon against low-levelattacks. As with the single gun, it wasmounted on wheels for towing, onrailway flatcars, and on tank chassis.Total weight of the quadruple mountwas slightly less than 2 1/2 tons.
 
Light flak guns firedhigh explosive shells withpercussion fuses, whichdetonated only if the projectile hit the target. However, a self-destroyingfeature was incorporatedwhich detonated the projectile if, after a certainlength of time, the targethad not seen struck; thisprevented unexplodedshells from falling onfriendly troops. Tracerammunition was used almost invariably. »>Mounted on top abuilding at the freightstation, this 20mm gunprovided protection against low-level attackson the rolling stock andbuildings. The effectiveceiling of fire was
3,500
feet. The single mountweighed 1,650 lbs. Typesof ammunition used included high explosive,armor-piercing, and incendiary, as well ascombinations of two ofthese basic types.

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