40-mm Twin Gun Assembly (Source: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.).
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)
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.
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Cutaway drawing of the Mark 12 5″/38 caliber U.S. naval gun. (Source: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.)
Brief article on the Walther P38 semi-automatic pistol from Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.
9-mm Walther Pistol M1938
(PISTOLE 38 or P-38)
This weapon was steadily replacing the Luger (Pistole ’08) as the standard issue, official, German military side-arm on VE-day. It is a recoil-operated, magazine-fed, double-action weapon of excellent design and balance. The double-action feature enables the weapon to be fired by simply squeezing the trigger without manually cocking the hammer. It is one of the few military automatic pistols with this feature. Large numbers of this pistol were produced in Germany during World War II and are still found throughout Europe in considerable numbers.
Salient recognition features are: (1) Double action; (2) no grip safety; (3) the forward portion of the barrel is not covered by the slide mechanism; (4) the magazine catch is on the rear bottom of the hand grip butt; and (5) the thumb safety is on the left side of the receiver.
|System of operation ||Short recoil, double-action|
|Caliber ||9-mm (cal. .354)|
|Weight: || |
| Unloaded ||940 g (2.11 lb)|
| Loaded ||1.004 kg (2.2 lb)|
|Length over-all ||.215 m (8.3 in)|
|Length of barrel ||.125 m (4.7 in)|
|Feeding device ||8-rd magazine|
|Sights: || |
| Front ||Blade, adjustable laterally|
| Rear ||Open V-notch, fixed|
|Muzzle velocity ||340 m/sec (1,100 fps)|
|Effective rate of fire ||8-16 rounds per minute|
|Effective range ||50 m (55 yd aprx)|
|Ammunition ||9-mm parabellum ball; (British, U.S. 9-mm Parabellum or Luger and Italian M1938 9-mm rounds will also function)|
Bazooka emplacements from the Corps of Engineers’ field manual FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, U.S. War Department, February 1944.
43. ROCKET LAUNCHER EMPLACEMENT.
There are two types of emplacement for this weapon, the pit-foxhole type and the pit type.
a. Pit-foxhole type (fig. 33 (1)). This emplacement is a circular pit, 3 feet in diameter and about 3½ feet deep, large enough for two men. It permits the assistant rocketeer to turn with the traversing weapon, so that he is never behind it when it is fired. The emplacement is shallow enough to permit the rear end of the rocket launcher at maximum elevation to be clear of the parapet, thus insuring that the hot back-blast from the rockets is not deflected to the occupants. This emplacement is not tankproof. Therefore foxholes for the crew are dug nearby. As the antitank mission of this weapon requires that it be kept in action against hostile tanks until the last possible moment, these foxholes will be occupied only when a tank is about to overrun the emplacement.
b. Pit type (fig. 33 (2)) . In firm soil the diameter of the circular pit (fig. 33 (1)) can be increased to 4 feet and an additional circular pit 2 feet deep and 2 feet in diameter excavated in the center. This leaves a circular fire step 1 foot wide and about 3½ feet below the surface. When tanks appear about to overrun the position, the rocketeer and assistant rocketeer crouch down into the lower pit. When the tanks have passed, the rocket launcher quickly is returned to action.
Our Red Army Ally, War Department Pamphlet No. 21-30, 1945.
8-mm M1895 Mannlicher Rifle
(8-mm ÖSTERREICHISCHES REPETIER-GEWEHR M95)
This weapon, the most widely used of all the Mannlicher rifles, was the standard Austro-Hungarian rifle of World War I, and huge quantities were surrendered to Italy under provisions of the Peace Treaty. Many small European nations acquired significant numbers of this weapon through purchases from Italy. It was widely used in the Balkan countries in World War II. The Hungarian 8-mm M 35M rifle is a copy of this weapon, but it fires different ammunition. Other weapons similar are the 8-mm Model 1890 rifle (the earlier model) and the 8-mm Model 1895 carbine. Since STEYR of Austria was the chief manufacturer of this rifle, it is often referred to as a “STEYR-MANNLICHER”.
The model 1895 rifle employs the straight-pull bolt-action. It is drawn straight back to unload, pushed straight forward to load. The Mannlicher system of clip feeding is used. The five-round loaded clip is inserted in the top and falls out the bottom of the weapon when empty.
Salient recognition features of this rifle are: (1) The straight-pull bolt; (2) the thumb safety at rear of bolt; (3) the finger grooves in the sides of the stock; (4) the lack of a windage adjustment on the rear sight; (5) the horizontal, rather than turned-down, bolt handle; and (6) the magazine well and trigger guard are of one-piece construction.
|System of operation ||Manually operated, bolt action|
|Caliber ||8-mm (cal. .315)|
|Weight (including sling, bayonet): || |
| Unloaded ||4.0 kg (8.9 lb)|
| Loaded ||4.1 kg (9.0 lb)|
|Length over-all: || |
| With bayonet ||152 cm (59.5 in)|
| W/o bayonet ||127 cm (50.0 in)|
|Length of barrel ||76 cm (30.2 in)|
|Feeding device ||5-round clip, integral box|
|Sights: || |
| Front ||Blade, barley corn type|
| Rear ||Upright leaf, V-notch, graduated 600-2,600 m. battle sight set at 500 m|
|Muzzle velocity ||620 m/s (2034 fps)|
|Effective rate of fire ||8-10 rpm|
|Effective range ||400 m (440 yards)|
|Ammunition ||8-mm M1893 rimmed ball, round|
Austrian Firearm Terms from Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.
GLOSSARY OF AUSTRIAN TERMS
|Austrian ||Translation ||English Meaning|
|PISTOLE ||Pistol ||Pistol|
|GEWEHR ||Rifle ||Rifle|
|KARABINER ||Carbine ||Carbine (short rifle)|
|HAND GRANATE||-----||Hand grenade|
|MASCHINENPISTOLE ||Machine pistol||Submachine gun|
|MASCHINENGEWEHR ||Machine gun ||Machine gun|
|PANZERFAUST ||Armored fist ||Name for recoilless HEAT projectile launcher|
|RAKETENPANZERBÜCHSE ||Antitank rocket gun ||Antitank rocket launcher|
|PARABELLUM||-----||Name for Luger pistol and its ammunition |
|SCHNELLFEUER||Quick fire||Automatic fire |
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.
|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.
Introduction to aircraft machine gun turrets from the WWII manual Index of Aeronautical Equipment with Navy and British Equivalents: Volume 5, Armament, March 1944.
MACHINE GUN TURRETS
(LOCAL CONTROL TYPES)
The primary function of a machine gun turret is to provide an automatic means for a gunner to track a target and operate the guns. All turrets consist of an enclosure, a turret control system, and means of mounting, sighting, feeding, and firing the guns.
The locally-controlled turret is a rotatable structure in the form of a ball, dome, or rounded cylinder, in which one or more machine guns are mounted. The guns are sighted, controlled, and fired by a gunner within, above, or below the turret, depending upon its type and location in the airplane.
Turrets are designated according to their installation in the airplane, i.e.: upper turrets (on the upper deck), lower or belly turrets (under the fuselage), tail turrets, and nose turrets.
Upper turrets are non-retractable and have dome-like, transparent enclosures of plexiglas and metal under which the gunner sits or stands. The guns may be rotated through 360 degrees horizontally, through 90 degrees in elevation, or any simultaneous combination of the two movements.
Lower, or belly turrets can be either retractable or non-retractable. They may be spherical, with the gunner seated inside; or hemispherical, with the gunner kneeling inside the airplane above the turret. The enclosures are usually of metal and plexiglas. The guns may be rotated through 360 degrees horizontally, through 90 degrees in depression, or any simultaneous combination of the two movements.
Tail turrets are not retractable. The cylindrically-shaped enclosure includes steel armor plate protection, a cover of transparent plexiglas, and, in some installations, flat panes of bullet-proof glass. The gunner is seated completely inside the structure and controls the turret to move the guns through approximately 180 degrees horizontally, 90 degrees upward, and 90 degrees downward.
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