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Effectiveness Of The Combat Box

combat box USAAF heavy bombers

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#1 Adam Peter

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 1508 PM

Just seen a few Luftwaffe gun cam recordings on YouTube where the fighter plane went quite close to the target and plus 1-3 other heavy bombers the same time. I think it returned after, this is why we see the film.

 

Was this an exception, or the rule?

 

I feel the rear, bottom and top gunners had chance to keep the aim on the target, but how effective the side gunners were?


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#2 lastdingo

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 1532 PM

The machineguns weren't terribly lethal, but they forced fighter pilots to be careful.

I've seen some of the rather rare gun camera footages of German fighters (video wasn't common - a typical gun camera had very low fps). I saw terrible, long distance spraying of tracers.

 

Fighters had to break away at longer distances than against .30cals. This greatly reduced their lethality (except for a few and late Sturmgruppen up-armoured fighters that went close as primary tactic).

 

This is similar to the 25 mm guns on IJN warships. They were lethal at short range, but their range was short enough that attacking bombers could largely avoid it if they were enough to still score enough hits from a long distance.


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#3 Nobu

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 1737 PM

B17 waist gunner crew positions were eventually phased out if I recall correctly, which may point to a self-assessment of their effectiveness.

 

Would like to see the gun camera footage if links are available.

 

What I have not seen but would like to as well is IJAAF or IJNAF gun camera combat footage.


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#4 Adam Peter

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 1440 PM

Would like to see the gun camera footage if links are available.

 

 

 

 

With bad aircraft IDs, but interesting guncams:

 

 

 

 

PeriscopeFilm have a lot of restored WW2 footage, among other themes: https://www.youtube....r/PeriscopeFilm


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#5 lastdingo

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 1520 PM

A lot of those close-up gun camera scenes are about finishing off non-responding bombers. In one you can see the ventral turret non-responding, for example.

 

That's a likely a result of bias; those gun camera scenes where much can be seen get digitized, restored & proliferated much more than the spray & pray scenes.


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#6 Adam Peter

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 1630 PM

Yes, some PeriscopeFilm restored ones used for training shows the firing distance from 1000/1200 m - 200 m range.


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#7 MiloMorai

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 1854 PM

Attacks and hits on B-17s and B-24s, Jan - May 1944
Distribution according to direction of origin in azimuth
B-17 % distribution of 3585 attacks and 441 hits whose direction could be determined
12 - 20.2/15.6
1 - 12.5/9.3
2 - 5.9/6.7
3 - 4.5/3.9
4 - 5.7/4.0
5 - 9.1-9.2
6 - 20.7/15.6
7 - 5.9/6.6
8 - 3.8/2.7
9 - 3.9/2.9
10 - 3.7/3.9
11 - 10.4/10.3
 
B-24 % distribution of 10425 attacks and 102 hits whose direction could be determined
12 - 21.6/17.6
1 - 12.7/8.4
2 - 3.9/5.2
3 - 2.9/5.4
4 - 3.0/3.6
5 - 7.7/7.8
6 - 20.7/15.6
7 - 19.6/20.6
8 - 11.0/6.9
9 - 3.1/2.0
10 - 6.9/3.4
11 - 11.9/7.8
Note: might not total 100% as the graphic was hard to read
 
Testing done by the USAAF found that the bullet pattern from a B-17 during ground testing had the following results for 12 rounds to 600yds:
ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
upper turret > dia. 21' - 11.7mils
chin turret > dia. 23' - 12.6 mils
waist(closed) dia. 26' - 14.3mils
side nose > dia. 34' - 18.7mils
tail turret > dia 45' - 25mils
 
For the B-24 it was:
ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
upper turret > dia. 20' - 11.2mils
nose turret > dia. 23' - 12.9mils (Emerson)
nose turret > dia. 35' - 19.3mils (Motor Prod.)
waist(closed) dia. 23' - 12.9mils
waist(open) dia. 63' - 35.6mils
tail turret > dia 35' - 19.3mils
 
taken from: "Gunner" ISBN 1-55046-332-2

 

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#8 Rich

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 2339 PM

This may be what you're looking for?

 

http://cgsc.contentd...8/id/4112/rec/1


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#9 Adam Peter

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 1453 PM

Had no time to read Rich's docs, but this popped into my Youtube feed. A poem about the death of a ball turret gunner.

 


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