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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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z61pMOo.jpg

 

Definitely an overrated one, here (exemplary of the Mosin as a family of weapons, not the M44 specifically).

 

Not necessarily a bad weapon, it did it's job. But an overrated one, nonetheless.

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On 8/1/2018 at 11:25 AM, Amalynn said:

z61pMOo.jpg

 

Definitely an overrated one, here (exemplary of the Mosin as a family of weapons, not the M44 specifically).

 

Not necessarily a bad weapon, it did it's job. But an overrated one, nonetheless.

PTRD-41 or an PTRS-41 is waaayy more overrated.A Mosin is a rifle like the rest, never heard of it being overrated.

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I mean I think if you are talking exclusively the context of /k/ then the nugget is kind of overrated - and of course anyone can find some idiot who claims their Mosin is a "sniper" rifle and super accurate.

Though, to be honest, Mosins are a bit more accurate than the rifles they faced, but that's mostly because Mausers are total trashpiles. Now, if we want to talk about overrated WWII bolt actions, there's an excellent place to start!

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42 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

I mean I think if you are talking exclusively the context of /k/ then the nugget is kind of overrated - and of course anyone can find some idiot who claims their Mosin is a "sniper" rifle and super accurate.

Though, to be honest, Mosins are a bit more accurate than the rifles they faced, but that's mostly because Mausers are total trashpiles. Now, if we want to talk about overrated WWII bolt actions, there's an excellent place to start!

{Heil dir im Siegerkranz stops}

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8 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

I mean I think if you are talking exclusively the context of /k/ then the nugget is kind of overrated - and of course anyone can find some idiot who claims their Mosin is a "sniper" rifle and super accurate.

Though, to be honest, Mosins are a bit more accurate than the rifles they faced, but that's mostly because Mausers are total trashpiles. Now, if we want to talk about overrated WWII bolt actions, there's an excellent place to start!

How come?

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11 minutes ago, Pascal said:

How come?

 

Copying my response to this same question on the dicksword:

 

Quote

So the first thing you need to know is that Mausers are like AKs, in that they were produced by so many different outfits that generalizing about them is fairly problematic

So instead I will make a few specific statements

First, the primary issue with many Mausers is accuracy, and with all Mausers, speed.

There is nothing about the Mauser action that prohibits an accurate weapon, as evidenced by the Swedish Mauser (which can hold less than 1 MOA with modern ammo), and the various post-war adaptations of surplus Mauser actions as hunting and precision weapons.

So the biggest problem child were the various Mauser carbines of West and Central Europe, and specifically the K98k

Today, we free-float guns to isolate barrel harmonics

However, at the time there was a lesser understanding of barrel harmonics, and guns were carefully bedded and in some cases partially floated (e.g., Finn M39) to produce an accurate, consistent weapon

The M39 in particular has the front stock-barrel junction situated on a node in the barrel, to isolate the stock as much as possible from the barrel vibrations

which is why it has an oddball 27.something inch barrel

Many of the carbines, including the K98k throughout its production run, were not bedded properly nor were they arranged in this way. They were simply cut down long rifles in design, with little care paid to how that would affect the gun as a rifle. This was because the designs usually started off as echelon weapons and got issued as standard rifles only beginning in the late/mid 1930s

The K98k also had numerous other issues, such as with truing the receiver face, bolt lug engagement, etc.

They were just fairly crudely made overall with little attention to accuracy-affecting details

All Mausers suffer in the speed department. The design is optimized to survive a total cartridge failure without breaking or injuring the shooter

This was a big concern in the 1890s, so this is no real surprise. By the way, that is not unique to the Mauser, the Mosin for example has many of the same features (and I've actually had a case failure with a Mosin and was fine)

Mausers have a 90-degree bolt turn and bolt handle placement that blocks the sights in the "unlocked" position, regardless of straight or bent bolt handle configuration

The action stroke is also approx 0.75" longer than something like an Enfield or MAS, due to the front-locking arrangement

The Mauser 98 (but not the 96) is also cock-on-open, which slows the action down. Mauser fanboys will insist they can run cock-on-open faster, but that is bullshit. It's obvious to anyone examining the actual kinematics that cocking a striker by ramming your palm forward is faster and surer than trying to crank a bolt handle up

anyway

the Mauser has a very slow action and most production Mausers are embarrassingly inaccurate (6-8 MOA)

More critically, than the slowness of the action is the poor target re-acquisition

Because the sights are completely blocked during operation, a Mauser shooter cannot simultaneously work the bolt and perform target re-acquisition

This and the other characteristics of the action have led many people to work the bolt from the pocket, effectively they are shooting, pulling the guns butt down into the crutch of their arm, operating the action, shouldering the rifle, and re-engaging

this gives the user a bit more leverage and surety when operating the action, but it's also significantly slower than what is possible with a Lee-Enfield

However, because the Mauser's bolt blocks the sights, it's not much slower than shooting a Mauser from the shoulder, so many people (including professional guides in Africa) practice this for the greater loading surety

With a Lee-Enfield, however, you can work the bolt from the shoulder without losing your sight picture - with a little practice

This means you can perform operation of the action and target re-acquisition more or less simultaneously

your sights are already coming back on target before the bolt handle is locked

This is what enables the (historical*) "Mad Minute" maneuver of aimed fire with a L-E

*Mauser fans also insist the Mad Minute is fiction, but it's historically attested and maintained in British marksmanship traditions so that's just counterfactual

The primary issue with the Mausers of Central/Western Europe during the interwar and WWII period was quality

The Czech and Yugo Mausers of the pre-war period tend to be quite good, though not as refined as the Swedish ones.

Also it's worth remembering that for many of these guns, the barrels were crap

Tbh, none of these Western/Central European armies expected their troops to be able to shoot hardly at all (little or no marksmanship tradition) so the dispersion of the guns was not considered an issue

this is obvious if you look at the standards they held

Bloke has done a lot of research into this, and he found that the accuracy standard for the No. 4 infantry rifle was tighter than the standard for Kar98k sniper rifles.

 

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2 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Copying my response to this same question on the dicksword:

 

 

Who wrote this? Radford?

 

Considering quality got worse in war for practically every rifle that's a strange statement as whole.Was there any WW2 Soviet tests of rifles even looked at?

 

Got more of the same on Mosins?

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4 minutes ago, Pascal said:

Who wrote this? Radford?

 

Considering quality got worse in war for practically every rifle that's a strange statement as whole.Was there any WW2 Soviet tests of rifles even looked at?

 

Got more of the same on Mosins?

 

I wrote it. As I said.

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Just now, Sturgeon said:

 

Ask @EnsignExpendable. And I'm speaking from personal experience actually shooting the weapons in question, here.

I know where to find all related to the tests, i just wanted to hear/read something i didn't see before.

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