Side and rear views of the M51 quad .50 cal. mount and trailer from ORD 7 SNL G-217: Organizational Spare Parts and Equipment for Carriage, Multiple Cal. .50 Machine Gun, M51, Ordnance Supply Catalog, Headquarters, Army Service Forces, October 1944. The M51 was composed of the M17 trailer and the M45 multiple .50 cal. mount.
Tactics to evade Japanese antiaircraft fire when strafing airfields during WWII from Informational Intelligence Summary, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Washington, D.C., 1944.
P-38s EVADE JAPANESE AA BY CONTINUOUS TURN
One tactical secret of the outstanding success of a P-38 Squadron engaged in recent airdrome strafing missions in Burma consisted of maintaining a continuous turn from the time of arrival in the target area until the last instant before making the firing pass across the airdrome.
(AC /AS, Intelligence Flak Note: This technique doubtless was employed when terrain features and identification problems made absolute surprise, which is the cardinal rule of ground strafing, difficult to attain. This practice prevented Japanese heavy antiaircraft gunners from putting up an accurate barrage ahead of the attacking aircraft and threw off the calculations of their fire control directors. The computing sights of Japanese automatic weapons, which make up the larger portion of airdrome antiaircraft defenses in Burma, were also rendered comparatively ineffective by this stratagem.)
Introduction to the “bazooka” (2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1) from the technical manual TM 9-294: 2.36-inch A.T. Rocket Launcher M1A1, War Department Technical Manual, September, 1943.
a. This manual is published for the information and guidance of personnel charged with the operation and maintenance of the 2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1. It contains information required by the using arms to identify, use, care, and preserve the materiel and the ammunition used therewith. In addition, it contains information required by ordnance personnel for the maintenance and repair of the materiel.
2. CHARACTERISTICS (figs. 1 and 2).
a. The 2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 is an electrically operated weapon of the open tube type. It is fired from the shoulder in the standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone positions. It is used to launch high-explosive rockets against tanks, armored vehicles, pill boxes, and emplacements. The rockets weigh approximately 3½ pounds and are capable of penetrating heavy armor at angles of impact up to 30 degrees. The weapon can be aimed up to distances of 300 yards. Greater ranges may be obtained by estimating the angle of elevation. The maximum range is 700 yards.
Figure 1 -- 2.36-Inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 -- Left Side View
Figure 2 -- 2.36-Inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 -- Right Side View