Support the Site:

WWII in HD

9-mm Luger Pistol M1908

The following report on the German Luger Pistole Parabellum 1908 was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

9-mm Luger Pistol M1908
(PISTOLE 08 or P-08)

German Luger Pistol P08

The 9-mm Luger 08, or parabellum, pistol was the official German military sidearm from its adoption in 1908 until the beginning of World War II when the Walther P-38 began to replace it.

The Luger action is based upon the design development by an American, Hugo Borchardt, during the 1890’s. The original action, which was heavy, clumsy, and badly balanced, was redesigned in 1900 by Georg Luger of the German D.W.M. firm and since has been designated the Luger in the United States. It was initially manufactured on a large scale under the name Borchardt-Luger, later shortened to the present name “Luger.” It has been widely distributed throughout the world.

It is found in three models, one with a short (3.94 inch) barrel, one a navy model with a 6-inch barrel, and the other with an 8-inch barrel and shoulder stock attachment. A 32-round drum magazine, which enables a higher fire capacity, may be used with all models. The long-barrel type with the shoulder stock and drum magazine was replaced by the submachine gun during World War II.

Although the 9-mm was the official German Army caliber, commercial versions of this weapon may also be found in .30 caliber (7.63-mm).

The weapon is recognized by: (1) Its unique toggle locking system with the two milled knobs on the top of the receiver; (2) a square side plate above the trigger on the left side of the pistol; (3) a semicircular recess cut in the bottom of the grip to receive the circular magazine buttons; and (4) a grooved spur milled on the lower, rear portion of the hand-grip butt for attaching a shoulder stock.

Continue reading 9-mm Luger Pistol M1908

Intelligence Cartoon

Intelligence

Combat Crew Manual, XX Bomber Command, December 1944


 

Japanese Plane Names Are Given

Japanese Plane Names Are Given
Navy, Army Adopt Title Listing

The Navy and Army have adopted an official list of designations for Japanese military planes. Fighters carry men’s names, bombers are named after women, as are flying boats, while reconnaissance aircraft carry both men’s and women’s names. The list follows

FIGHTER PLANES

Nickname   —   Type
CLAUDE   —   Single engine fighter
NATE   —   Single engine fighter
HAMP   —   Single engine fighter
OSCAR   —   Single engine fighter
RUFE   —   Single engine floatplane fighter
NICK   —   Twin engine fighter
TOJO   —   Single engine fighter
TONY   —   Single engine fighter

BOMBERS

NELL   —   Twin engine bomber-reconnaissance
SALLY   —   Twin engine medium bomber
HELEN   —   Twin engine bomber
KATE   —   Single engine medium bomber
VAL   —   Single engine dive bomber
LILY   —   Twin engine light bomber
JILL   —   Single engine torpedo bomber
IDA   —   Single engine bomber-reconnaissance
BABS   —   Single engine bomber-reconnaissance
SONIA   —   Single engine bomber-reconnaissance
MARY   —   Single engine light bomber
LIZ   —   Heavy bomber

RECONNAISSANCE PLANES

DINAH   —   Twin engine reconnaissance
JUDY   —   Single engine reconnaissance
ALF   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance
DAVE   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance
SLIM   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance
PETE   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance
GLEN   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance
JAKE   —   Single engine floatplane reconnaissance

FLYING BOATS

MAVIS   —   Four engine flying boat
CHERRY   —   Twin engine flying boat
EMILY   —   Four engine flying boat

TRANSPORT PLANES

TESS   —   Single engine transport
TOPSY   —   Twin engine transport
THELMA   —   Single engine transport

Source: Naval Aviation News, June 1944.
 

The Japanese Zero Fighter

Intelligence report on a Japanese Zero fighter forced down over the Aleutian Islands and captured by American forces. Source: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, (“All Hands Magazine”), November 1942.

Japanese Zero Fighter
Though it now wears American colors, the airplane above is a vaunted Japanese Zero warplane (Mitsubishi ’00), disabled and forced down during an air battle over the Aleutian Islands. Salvaged by Americans and shipped to San Diego for repair and testing, the highly maneuverable fighter has a wing span of 39 feet 5 inches and an over-all length of 30 feet 3 inches. It mounts two 22-mm. low velocity cannon in the wings and two 7.7 guns in the nose.

The Japanese “Zero” Fighter
Plane proves maneuverable but protection is poor

A Japanese Zero fighter (Mitsubishi ’00), which was salvaged after being only slightly damaged when forced down in the Aleutian Islands, has been brought to the United States and repaired at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, Calif.

The enemy plane will be brought to the Naval Air Station at Anacostia, D.C., where Navy pilots will put it through exhaustive tests in order to obtain data on its performance characteristics. Preliminary tests already have taken place at San Diego.

Present plans call for the Zero to be flown across the United States, in view of the difficulties attached to shipping it. Because the Zero’s airframe is a single unit and the wings are riveted solidly to the fuselage, it is not considered feasible to attempt disassembly of the plane. Details of the proposed cross-country flight have not been worked out.

When salvaged, the Zero was painted a smooth light grey tinted with blue and light green, a coloring selected for operations in the foggy Aleutian area. It has been repainted in Navy colors.

Preliminary flight tests of the Zero developed a top speed of slightly less than 300 m.p.h. Later tests may increase this speed somewhat.

The Zero shows to best advantage in a dogfight where tight turns make high speeds impossible. Then its maneuverability and climbing speed come into play.

Around 200 m.p.h. the Zero is very light on the controls, but at higher speeds the controls become stiff. Above 225 m.p.h. the Zero will not make a fast roll because of this stiffness. At 380 m.p.h., in a dive, the Zero develops marked flutter and vibration, which may be inherent or due to some undetected disalignment caused by its rough landing in the Aleutians.

Otherwise the Zero is a stable, easy-to-fly plane with generally good flying characteristics. Its lightness is not gained by flimsy construction, as it is well designed. The lack of self-sealing tanks and armor protection for the pilot, which mainly accounts for its lightness, have made its over-all combat record against the Navy’s Grumman Wildcat a poor one. The Zero’s empty weight is 3,781 pounds and its combat weight, without belly tank, is approximately 5,200 pounds.

The 900-horsepower radial engine is a 14-cylinder, double-row design using modifications or direct adoption of many features found in our Pratt & Whitney and Wright engines. The propeller is a three-bladed, constant speed, hydraulic type identical with the Hamilton model. Radio equipment is copied after Fairchild units.

The over-all length of the Zero is 30’3″, its wing span 39’5″. The wings are hinged 2 feet from the tips to allow folding for easier carrier handling. The cockpit would be uncomfortably small for most of our pilots.

Armament consists of two 22-mm. low velocity cannon, one mounted in each wing, with 60 rounds of ammunition, and two 7.7 guns, with 500 rounds each, in the nose to fire through the propeller disk.

 

Submersible Baka

“Submersible Baka” from C.I.C. (Combat Information Center), U.S. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1945.

“SUBMERSIBLE BAKA”

Some midget subs are to the Japanese I and RO class sub what BAKA is to the Betty 22. The parent sub gives her hitchhiker the necessary cruising range, while the midget’s own torpedo load has deadly striking power for far reaching effects. Other midgets are carried cargo fashion on specially fitted seaplane tenders and Japanese capital ships. Midget subs are standard in size. A captured midget sub manual indicates three types–the KO, OTSU, and HEI. The KO type is thought to be standard. 82 feet in length and with a 6 foot beam this type can make 22 knots for a short period (about ten minutes). For normal operations speeds of 6 to 9 knots are probable. The HEI is 82 feet long, 6 feet wide with speeds up to 16 knots and an operating radius of 60 to 80 miles (submerged in the daytime, surfaced at night). The midgets can and do operate without the hitch-hiking feature having a cruising range of 120 to 180 miles on their own without battery recharge from an outside source. This limits them to a 60 mile cruising radius unless a suicide venture is prescribed. Coastal indentations near areas of obvious future operations provide concealment for midget bases. When they go pick-a-back on larger subs, attacks are possible at any distance.

 

Daimler-Benz DB 603 Aircraft Engine

Intelligence report on the Daimler-Benz DB 603 aircraft engine from Informational Intelligence Summary, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Washington, D.C.

GERMAN DB 603 ENGINE

Recent examinations of several DB 603 engines have revealed details hitherto unknown. The DB 603 engine, it will be noted, is used currently in the Me 410, the Do 217M, possibly as “doubles” in the He 177, in the new type FW 190 and probably in other new type German aircraft.

1. The general characteristics and specifications of this engine are presented below:

a. Type: 12 cylinder inverted “V”.

b. Bore: 162 mm (6.38 in.).

c. Stroke: 180 mm (7.09 in.).

d. Piston displacement: 44.5 liters (2,720 cu. in.).

e. Compression ratio: 7.1 (possibly increased when 100 octane is used).

f. Impeller diameter: 295 mm (11.61 in.).

g. Supercharger drive: Fottinger, hydraulic compressor; basic gear ratio 9.22:1.

h. Length: 85 in.

i. Width: 30 in.

j. Height: 26 in.

k. Dry weight: 2,120 lbs.

2. Power Out-Put: A preliminary estimate of the power out-put of this engine at maximum emergency rating, using 87 or 100 octane fuel, is given in Table I.

Continue reading Daimler-Benz DB 603 Aircraft Engine

Tojo Fighter

NOTES ON ENEMY AIRCRAFT

The information contained in this summary should be transferred immediately to Informational Intelligence Summary No. 43-26, “Japanese Aircraft and Armament,” revised September 1943.

JAPAN
New Japanese Type 2 Single-Engine Fighter, TOJO

TOJO

1. Informational Intelligence Summaries No. 43-49 of 10 November and No. 43-51 of 30 November contained certain previously known details of the Type 2 single-engine fighter TOJO. A recent report has been received that includes sketches and drawings of this aircraft, these being reproduced in Fig. 6. Data supplementary to that given in the Summaries mentioned above follows:

a. Wing is constructed in six sections. It is joined by bolted-type joints at the centerline, and at points 6 1/2 ft., and 12 ft. 11 in. outboard from the centerline, the last-named being the tip attachment. Each wing, therefore, is composed of sections 6 1/2 ft., 6 ft. 5 in. and 2 ft. 8 in. long. No protective or de-icing devices are on or in wing leading edge.

Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki Tojo Fighter

Figure 6: Tojo

b. Fowler type flaps are operated hydraulically as well as the engine cowl flaps. A hand hydraulic pump is incorporated in the system as well as the engine-driven pump.

c. Cockpit is high-set over wing, with little streamlining.

Continue reading Tojo Fighter

Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Bachstelze (Wagtail) Rotor-Kite

U.S. intelligence report on the Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Bachstelze (Wagtail) submarine rotor-kite. The Fa 330 was an unpowered rotary-wing kite, called a gyroglider or rotor-kite, towed behind German U-Boats during World War II to allow more distant observation. The Fa 330 was stowed in two watertight compartments in the submarine aft of the conning tower. The Fa 330 assisted in U-177’s spotting and sinking of the Greek steamer Efthalia Mari in 1943. The Allies captured the Fa 330 described below in May 1944 on the submarine U-852.

GERMAN SUBMARINE-BORNE OBSERVATION ROTOR-KITE

This article describes a new device used by German submarines to increase their range of observation. It is referred to by the British Air Ministry as a rotor-kite.

The newly-captured rotor-kite, for improving the eyes of German submarines, was recovered from a 1,200-ton U-boat. A photograph of this device appears as Fig. 7.

Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Bachstelze (Wagtail) Submarine Rotor-Kite

Fig. 7. German Submarine-Borne Observation Rotor-Kite

In operation, this kite is attached to and towed by the U-boat, lift being imparted as a result of the relative air velocity (wind + U-boat’s speed) turning the rotors, there being no engine. It is believed the height reached is between 325 and 500 ft. The tow cable is connected to the rotor kite by a quick release coupling, and it appears the other end is attached to an electric winch stowed on the forward deck of the U-boat. The winch controls the altitude and provides for the winding in.

Continue reading Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Bachstelze (Wagtail) Rotor-Kite

26th Panzer Division

The following opinions are from German General Leutnant Linnarz, commander of the German 26th Panzer Division in Italy, concerning Allied airpower and its effects on German forces. Source: Defeat, Headquarters Army Air Forces, Office of the assistant chief of air staff–2, Washington, D.C., January 1946. Defeat was prepared by the Headquarters Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Intelligence Section to record the views of Allied air power from those who were on the receiving end.

OPINIONS OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL LINNARZ
Commanding General of 26th Panzer Division in Italy

26 JUNE 1945.

The following report is the result of several conversations with General Leutnant Linnarz who was the Commanding General of the crack German 26 Panzer Division in Italy.

The Role of Air Power

“Single battles, in my opinion, are not decisive; they are only apparently decisive. The same thing is true of air battles. The complete havoc wrought by Allied air power toward the end of the war when we no longer had an air arm worthy of the name, may give an entirely false impression of the role of air power in deciding the victory. Such overwhelming air supremacy is not so much the cause of Germany’s defeat, but the result and visible evidence of Germany’s defeat. The war was actually decided long ago, and if the German government had given up earlier, before air power had devastated the German cities, and before the Eastern and Western land armies had joined, the results of great decisive air and land battles preceding Germany’s military collapse would not have been known. The great destructive capacity of giant air armadas would not have been realized.

“In the same category as the overwhelming Allied air and ground offensive toward the end of this war are the battles of Vittorio, Venato and the rapid Allied advances in the Balkans at the end of the last war. There are no more battles in the old classic sense. In France we styled our reports in the old manner. The result of the impression was thus one of gigantic land battles and clever generalship, a totally false impression. In my opinion, the Allies are in danger of making the same erroneous interpretations of air victories.

Continue reading 26th Panzer Division

Trying to Capture an Intact Tiger in Tunisia

Brief note on British attempts to capture an intact German Tiger I tank in Tunisia from “The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Action”, Military Review, Vol. 23. Presumably, this Tiger is #231 of sPzAbt. 501 which was initially captured by the British largely intact, but the Tiger was then destroyed. Reports differ as to whether the Tiger was destroyed by the Germans or the British.

The work of keeping the minefields clear of wreckage or of immobilized vehicles has already received considerable public notice; no less important nor less hazardous is the location and salvaging of damaged equipment in close proximity to the enemy, and many a tank and gun has been so snatched from under the very noses of the enemy. Sometimes much stalking and considerable planning has been rendered abortive by some adverse turn of fortune’s wheel, and amongst such abortive effects may be mentioned a plan, almost successfully completed, for taking intact one of the earliest German Mk. VI (Tiger) tanks to be knocked out in Tunisia. After a stalk occupying one night and a day’s lie-up awaiting darkness for the actual removal of the tank, the Light Aid Detachment party were denied their success during the last few hours of daylight through circumstances over which they had no control. More frequently, however, as is testified by the astonishing proportion (eighty-three percent) of tank casualties restored to their owners without evacuation during the difficult opening stages of the action at El Alamein, the stalking and the plans are alike successful.