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View Full Version : Learned something.



Waldo.Pepper
12-07-2004, 11:41 PM
Thought that some of you might be interested in this. Maybe not, but I am always interested when I come across something I didn't know.


Sommerfelt Mat.

Speaking about hasty construction of airfield surfaces just after the D-Day landings.

"Methods of airfied construction on the continent varied. Initially the most common material used was Sommerfeld Mat (also known as Summer Field Tracking). It came as narrow 75 foot rolls of three inch wire mesh netting - glorified chicken wire. A steel linking bar connected the netting, which was held to the ground by pickets every two feet. Rigid steel mats were also used, but they required more hands to assemble. Each one by 12 foot mat weighted 130 pounds. Another system known as bar and rod type mat was used occassionally. Eventually, though, the prefered material was American built Perforated Steel Planking. PSP, as it was commonly known, was the simplest to assemble, while offering the best characteristics in varying field conditions. Each unit was 16 inches wide by almost ten feet long, weighing 65 pounds. Large holes ran in three rows down the length of each panel, which was indented between rows to provide additional strength. Tabs and slots on either side provided a quick and easy means of connecting panels.

In all likelyhood though the RAf engineers used rolls of Sommerfeld Matt when they contructed B4 at Beny-sur-mer. This would account for the many complaints from airmen and ground personnel concerning the amount of dust that swirled in great choking clouds whenever the Wing's Spitfires started up or took off."

From a really great book about the movement to the continent of RCAF units just after D-Day and traces their movements throught Holland and into Germany. Called;

Invansions without Tears.

The only website I could find that mentions Sommerfeld Mat is the following one.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/II/AAF-II-4.html

And about all it says is that's its garbage.

Summerfield Tracking (and a picture of the stuff is mentioned here;

http://www.bognor-local-history.co.uk/article29.html

Waldo.Pepper
12-07-2004, 11:41 PM
Thought that some of you might be interested in this. Maybe not, but I am always interested when I come across something I didn't know.


Sommerfelt Mat.

Speaking about hasty construction of airfield surfaces just after the D-Day landings.

"Methods of airfied construction on the continent varied. Initially the most common material used was Sommerfeld Mat (also known as Summer Field Tracking). It came as narrow 75 foot rolls of three inch wire mesh netting - glorified chicken wire. A steel linking bar connected the netting, which was held to the ground by pickets every two feet. Rigid steel mats were also used, but they required more hands to assemble. Each one by 12 foot mat weighted 130 pounds. Another system known as bar and rod type mat was used occassionally. Eventually, though, the prefered material was American built Perforated Steel Planking. PSP, as it was commonly known, was the simplest to assemble, while offering the best characteristics in varying field conditions. Each unit was 16 inches wide by almost ten feet long, weighing 65 pounds. Large holes ran in three rows down the length of each panel, which was indented between rows to provide additional strength. Tabs and slots on either side provided a quick and easy means of connecting panels.

In all likelyhood though the RAf engineers used rolls of Sommerfeld Matt when they contructed B4 at Beny-sur-mer. This would account for the many complaints from airmen and ground personnel concerning the amount of dust that swirled in great choking clouds whenever the Wing's Spitfires started up or took off."

From a really great book about the movement to the continent of RCAF units just after D-Day and traces their movements throught Holland and into Germany. Called;

Invansions without Tears.

The only website I could find that mentions Sommerfeld Mat is the following one.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/II/AAF-II-4.html

And about all it says is that's its garbage.

Summerfield Tracking (and a picture of the stuff is mentioned here;

http://www.bognor-local-history.co.uk/article29.html