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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #1  
Old 26 Apr 12, 04:15
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Shaped charge ammo

The US knew the benefits of shaped charge warheads in benefiting tank armor early on nd the bazooka was born. I'm not aware of any shaped charge ammo being developed for use by tank cannon though. If true, it makes,me,wonder why as this wouod appear to be a significant oversight as they would have helped Allied tanks take out their more heavily armored German tanks,like the Tiger.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 05:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuma View Post
The US knew the benefits of shaped charge warheads in benefiting tank armor early on nd the bazooka was born. I'm not aware of any shaped charge ammo being developed for use by tank cannon though. If true, it makes,me,wonder why as this wouod appear to be a significant oversight as they would have helped Allied tanks take out their more heavily armored German tanks,like the Tiger.
Experiments were made but the spinning of the rifled tank projectile disrupts the formation of the cutting jet of the hollow charge so it pretty much cancels out any benefits.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 06:05
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Exactly right. It's not that no one thought of it. It's just that they have problems making it work right when fired from a rifle tank gun. Same thing with APDS rounds. The theory was understood, it's just the difficulty in working out how to make the round function reliably and accurately.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 06:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKPLACE View Post
Experiments were made but the spinning of the rifled tank projectile disrupts the formation of the cutting jet of the hollow charge so it pretty much cancels out any benefits.
Makes,sense. Did they ever consider designing a larger bazooka,as,an,alternative?
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Old 26 Apr 12, 06:45
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Was the discarding sabot not the priority tank anti-armour round under development later in the war?
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Old 26 Apr 12, 07:13
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Since my 90mm recoiless and the 106 recoiless have rifled barrels, the problem may have been the technology of the day. It could also be the much higher velocity of the round fired by the tank gun offset the benefit gained by the stand off distance needed to make a shape charge work effectively.

Modern anti tank ammo rely on kinetic energy of the round, example 20mm miniguns using depleted uranium rounds, explosives with shattering effect such as C-4 and similar materials, and shaped charge shells usually used in laser guided munitions.

Likewise, tank armor has developed to resist such munitions such as ceramics armor, stand off plating, and reactive armor.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 07:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuma View Post
Makes,sense. Did they ever consider designing a larger bazooka,as,an,alternative?
I am not sure. I think the 3.5 bazooka was in the pipeline but the war in Europe ended before the project was finished?
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Old 26 Apr 12, 09:39
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Originally Posted by SRV Ron View Post
Since my 90mm recoiless and the 106 recoiless have rifled barrels, the problem may have been the technology of the day. It could also be the much higher velocity of the round fired by the tank gun offset the benefit gained by the stand off distance needed to make a shape charge work effectively.

Modern anti tank ammo rely on kinetic energy of the round, example 20mm miniguns using depleted uranium rounds, explosives with shattering effect such as C-4 and similar materials, and shaped charge shells usually used in laser guided munitions.

Likewise, tank armor has developed to resist such munitions such as ceramics armor, stand off plating, and reactive armor.
Yes, I think it was that. RR delivers much lower velocity compared to a tank gun. Also, RRs come on the scene very much later in the war, so the issue with rotating HEAT warheads might have been resolved by then.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 10:04
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With early shaped charges maximizing the effect was not well understood. This and the performance overall could be erratic. That is, the round sometimes would penetrate other times it wouldn't.

Then there was the rifling effect that reduced effectiveness. This was later overcome by designing in ways to get equal and opposite spin on the jet forming that cancel out the rifling effect. But that too was known in WW 2.

Also, a HEAT round is more expensive to produce than either a solid shot or APHE round.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 14:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKPLACE View Post
I am not sure. I think the 3.5 bazooka was in the pipeline but the war in Europe ended before the project was finished?
The Germans knew a good thing when they saw it and created their own upsized version I'm guessing it would have fared well,against a Tiger's frontal,armor.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 14:30
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The British solution was to equip their Churchill AVRE's with a large calibre spigot mortar firing a squash-head round that was very effective at breaching reinforced concrete obstacles, although this did not utilize a metal jet, but rather "spalling" - it blew away large chunks from the inside surfaces at very high speeds. Kind of a Cuisinart effect.

Shaped charge warheads are subject to a lot of specifics in order to function properly, and are relatively easy to disrupt. Technically speaking, however, a shaped charge round would be easy enough to launch from modern smooth bore barrels, although stability in flight would be a problem unless it was a folding fin design of some sort similar to the FFAR concept.

Question is, would it do the job better that a cheap ATGM, or the far cheaper RPG.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 14:49
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Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
Was the discarding sabot not the priority tank anti-armour round under development later in the war?

I found this re the early sabot rounds. Aside from poor penetration, I believe there was also an issue with accuracy; I don't think they used stabilizing fins.

http://drakhl.blogspot.com/2009/03/t...n-vs-wwii.html

The difference is the ammunition they fire. Towards the end of WWII the British especially began to experiment with something called sabot rounds, which are projectiles loaded into oversized shells and fired at hyper velocities. Discarding sabot involves a smaller projectile loaded inside the round, the shell of which strips away from the internal package as it leaves the barrel. You can think of it as wrapping up a pencil and shooting it out of a shotgun - the wrapping comes off but all that energy is still behind that pencil pushing it extremely fast.

The 17 pounder in particular was tested with sabot, which proved to be somewhat of a failure due to the fact it would literally just skip off the Panzer V Panther's armour. The early sabot rounds were very small and most importantly short. They later realized that the longer (lengthwise) a sabot round was the less likely it was to deflect off armour (this led to the development of what is known as the long rod penetrator).
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Old 26 Apr 12, 22:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuma View Post
The US knew the benefits of shaped charge warheads in benefiting tank armor early on nd the bazooka was born. I'm not aware of any shaped charge ammo being developed for use by tank cannon though. If true, it makes,me,wonder why as this wouod appear to be a significant oversight as they would have helped Allied tanks take out their more heavily armored German tanks,like the Tiger.
The real problem was the lack of smooth bore cannon in WWII because a rifled gun was thought to be the only way to get good results. The only way to fire a HEAT round properly is to put fins on it and fire it from a smooth bore cannon so it doesn't spin. I understand there were some experiments with special HEAT ammunition for rifled guns where the outer collar of the shell spins but not the HEAT core but it didn't work out.
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Old 04 May 12, 20:05
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Originally Posted by kuma View Post
The US knew the benefits of shaped charge warheads in benefiting tank armor early on nd the bazooka was born. I'm not aware of any shaped charge ammo being developed for use by tank cannon though. If true, it makes,me,wonder why as this wouod appear to be a significant oversight as they would have helped Allied tanks take out their more heavily armored German tanks,like the Tiger.
I had to think hard and could not find anything that immediately fits the above requirement. The only thing that I can readily come up with fired from through a barrel of an AFV is the R Hl Gr 4592 fired from a Sturmtiger.
so this was a spin stabilised rocket with jets exhausting at an angle and it was fired through rifled tubes.
The other hollow charge grenade fired through a gun tube belonged to the German PaK 38/75(f) 7589. A poor performance of this shot was noted.
Last just to make the theme complete: The shaped charge bombs fired
from the front of the barrel of sIG 33 and PaK 36

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Old 05 May 12, 16:27
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Why weren't HEAT tank rounds used in WW2?

If the question is "Why weren't HEAT tank rounds used in World War 2?", then I think the answer lies in the balance between calibre and muzzle velocity.

Shaped charged warheads were used in man-portable antitank weapons (PIAT, Bazooka, panzerschreck, panzerfaust). There were also shaped-charge rounds for infantry guns (short-barreled, short-range artillery pieces), rifle grenades, and certain antitank guns - apparently in 1943 the Germans used 371,600 shaped-charge rounds for their 7.5 cm Pak 97/38 guns (though the Pak 97/38 was very much a "stopgap" weapon). A number of these were rifled weapons, so it isn't a case of "you can't put a HEAT shell in a rifle".

So why wasn't the shaped-charge warhead used more heavily in tank guns and the main anti-tank guns?

I think the answer lies in calibre/muzzle velocity tradeoffs.

A shaped-charge round, being explosive, relies on the mass of explosive for its effect but doesn't care very much about muzzle velocity. AP shot or shell , by contrast, cares a great deal about muzzle velocity.

The typical late-World War 2 tank gun, on the Western Front at least, is 75mm or 76mm calibre. That's because it's the biggest gun that could effectively be mounted on the medium tanks of the time given their allowable weight and their powerplants.

A HEAT round will never fit a particularly large mount of explosive into a 75mm shell, so its effectiveness is limited. By contrast, increasing the muzzle velocity of the shell (longer barrel, more propellant) will increase armour penetration. Which is exactly what happened - between 1942 and 1945 tanks like the Sherman and Panzer IV acquired progressively longer, more powerful, guns of 75 or 76mm calibre.

I'd imagine that's the answer - given a 75/6mm gun it was more efficient to increase muzzle velocity than to use HEAT.

BTW the Wikipedia article on this is fairly good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HEAT
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