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LostCosmonaut

Overrated Allied Weaponry in World War II

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Not especially, I don't think.  Renhanxue found this old Swedish archival video of cross-country testing of tanks:

 

For the vertical obstacle testing they're bashing the vehicle's drive sprockets into walls crap, and it doesn't seem to hurt them any.  The drive sprockets and idlers are the first things to get bashed into obstacles, so they're pretty stout.

 

Tanks that do work their own tracks off tend to lose them either at the drive sprocket or the idler, but they're doing so with the assistance of a several hundred or even thousand horsepower engine, reduction gearing, and tens of tons of friction.

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On a scale of 1 to 10, how overrated is the Molotov cocktail?

 

That's like saying "how overrated are firearms". Specifically Soviet incendiary fluid? What kind, #1, #3, or KS? Or do you mean literally everything that comes in a bottle and burns from petrol bombs to homebrewed anarchist napalm?

 

 

Here is what a proper Molotov looks like:

fItjiWW.jpg

 

Note the large "matches" (in this case, it looks like they may be rolled paper filled with gunpowder), and the big pads of paper attached to the side to help sustain ignition. I've seen Molotovs with the ignition ends pointing either "up" (towards the neck) or "down" (towards the base); I think this probably depends on how you throw it. If you want to chuck it like a potato masher, then you probably want the matches pointing "down", but I usually threw mine from the bottle's center of gravity, so I had them point the other way.

They have even gone the extra mile and sealed the neck with wax, which means you could have these sit around for quite some time, as long as you kept the igniters dry.

 

If you do it right, your igniters point up, since the top of the bottle points up in your bag. Of course, you could have KS fluid or a KS igniter, which will catch fire regardless of how you throw it. That shit's nasty to the extreme.

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That's like saying "how overrated are firearms". Specifically Soviet incendiary fluid? What kind, #1, #3, or KS? Or do you mean literally everything that comes in a bottle and burns from petrol bombs to homebrewed anarchist napalm?

To be more specific, the Soviet-manufactured semi-standardised ones that were used in World War 2. What was their primary function, and were they effective at it?

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Looking at some Russkie heroes and their deeds with Molotov cocktails.

 

Nina Onilova took part in the defense of Sevastopol at the village of Mekenziy, about seven miles east of the city center. In November 1941, she crawled across twenty-five yards of open ground to destroy a German Panzer III tank with two Molotov cocktails, for which she was promoted to sergeant and awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

 

In the battle for the town of Melitopol on October 18, 1943, Junior Lieutenant Abram Zindels, commander of an infantry platoon, drove the enemy out of two blocks, destroying a number of machine-gun emplacements. The Germans moved in some and two platoons of submachine gunners against Zindel's platoon. Zindel's men repelled the attack, and he personally hurled Molotov cocktails at a Tiger tank which went up in flames. 

 

Sailor Mikhail Panikahe volunteered to go to Stalingrad... On September 28, 1942 the 193rd Rifle Division’s positions were attacked 60 German tanks. Panikahe took two bottles filled with combustible liquid (Molotov Cocktail) and targeted the lead German tank. The tank opened fire and a bullet struck one of the bottles. The liquid ignited and instantly spread over his body. Panikahe, having lit the second Molotov Cocktail, rushed onto the grill of the tank's engine hatch and broke it, thus destroying the tank. 

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To be more specific, the Soviet-manufactured semi-standardised ones that were used in World War 2. What was their primary function, and were they effective at it?

 

http://sovietguns.blogspot.ca/2013/12/molotov-cocktails.html

 

2-3 bottles brews up a moving vehicle, 1 bottle if it was stopped by something like a grenade to the tracks or a mine since you can properly aim at a weak spot. They were no wonder weapon, but they worked well enough.

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http://sovietguns.blogspot.ca/2013/12/molotov-cocktails.html

 

2-3 bottles brews up a moving vehicle, 1 bottle if it was stopped by something like a grenade to the tracks or a mine since you can properly aim at a weak spot. They were no wonder weapon, but they worked well enough.

Coupled with most WW2 armor being as watertight as a colander, even a quickly cobbled Molotov is a serious deterrent.

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I hope it's ok to revive an old thread?

 

How about the bouncing bomb, used famously in the "Dam Busters" raid. Although regarded as a local tactical success; the failure to achieve its wider strategic goals and high collateral damage cast a shadow over its overall effectiveness.

 

http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,dambustersstudy.html

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3 hours ago, Major Major said:

I hope it's ok to revive an old thread?

 

How about the bouncing bomb, used famously in the "Dam Busters" raid. Although regarded as a local tactical success; the failure to achieve its wider strategic goals and high collateral damage cast a shadow over its overall effectiveness.

 

http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,dambustersstudy.html

 

No problem reviving the thread, and welcome to SH. New content is always good.

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It was always my impression that maximum collateral damage was exactly what the RAF was after.....TBH I'm not even sure the term 'collateral damage' existed in any meaningful sense at that point in the UK's relationship with the Third Reich.  :rolleyes:

 

EDIT to add - The article you linked to states as much in its conclusion:

 

Quote

The Allied air attack on German hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr Valley on the night of May 16, 1943 was a success. Despite the tragic number of losses, the failure to breech the Sorpe dam, and the insignificant affect had upon the German industries contribution to the war effort, the mission was successful. This is because there were political benefits which include the commitment of the Americans to the bombing sector of the Air Force and technological benefits, which include the use of aiming devices to allow low level bombing, as well as the future invention of new bombs by Barnes Wallis. There was also a boost to Allied moral that had not been experienced in months. Even though the material damage done was not as great as initially expected the unexpected benefits proved to be high in numbers. These results are what lead to the raid later becoming known as 'one of the most celebrated attacks of the Second World War'.

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