lwd wrote:I don't think your basic premise is well supported.
The Mark 5 mounting carries two 40 mm, Mk 11 water-cooled Bofors guns which fire H.E. shell with direct action fuzes at a rate of 120 RPM. per gun at 60 degrees elevation, and 140 RPM. per gun at 0 degrees elevation. These rates of fire should be maintained as near as possible on mountings in service. The shells are self destroying at approximately 3500 yards.
Capabilities and Tactical use of the mounting
The capabilities of the mounting vary, according to the type of director controlling it: either a CRBFD or a Simple Tachometric Director (STD) may be fitted. With the former, the mounting is auto-operated and can be used for both " blind " and ' visual " fire since the C.R.B.P.D. is fitted with radar Type 262. There is very little difference in accuracy between these two methods and both show a considerable improvement on previous equipments.
The maximum effective range of the mounting when controlled by the C.R.B.F.D, is 2,500 yards but fire against aircraft should be opened at 4,000 yards to allow for the rapid closing rate during the time of flight,
With the S.T.D., the mounting is again auto-operated but only visual fire is possible as radar is not fitted. Due To the limitations of the sight in the S.T.D. the maximum effective range is reduced to 1,200 yards and fire should be opened when the range is 3,000 yards.
Continuous fire is maintained, so long as the supply of ammunition to the loader is maintained
A present day aircraft will be destroyed by two direct hits and quite possibly one, although the neutralisation of a suicide bomber by disintegration before it can read own ship would certainly require more.
The 37mm KM FLAK light AA is basically using mine rounds in AA role since 1941. If You look closer to the explosive content of the 37mm round You may recognize that there is much more high explosive (0.8lbs) in them than in other nations medium AAA and even more than in US late ww2 3"/50 RF heavy AAA (0.57 lbs with VT fuse and 0.77lbs with AAT).
Still, the KM didn´t extended it´s 37mm mounts later in the war in preference for extending 20mm quad and 40mm mounts, why?
Originally, the KM thought about it´s 37mm mounts to represent some kind of high velocity, medium firing, one hit-one kill "sniper" gun aboard. This phylosophy was found to be unsound in ww2, while true, you need to hit in the first place and volume of fire helps hitting.
The other guns mentioned were better. In the KM, they were provided for special mine rounds in the AA role in 20mm and 40mm guns, the larger burster effect now was augmented by the faster firing system over the previous 37mm mounts.
I wonder how these shells maintained structural integrity against the accelerations required for such high MVs?
Paul Smalenbach in his history of German naval fire control says that the 105 mm could be used in the surface role against MTBs up to 10000 m but still using the AA fire control and time fuzed shells. This range appeared to be the limit for time fuzed shells.
At the same time a few 37 mm rounds were to be fired higher up, to let air out. Whether this was using standard AA rounds is not stated, and whether this procedure was ever actually applied in the course of the war is also not known to me (although it might have been a standard U boat method).
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