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DROBNJAK1960
11-02-2009, 08:00 AM
I am trying to get to a bomber from pure horizontal 6, but then gunners usually chop me.

I tried steep dive, but I can not see where the bomber is, because engine obscures the view.

Any suggestions?

RPMcMurphy
11-02-2009, 08:13 AM
Attack them head-on. From above is best in a high speed pass, or do a side deflection shot if you have to, but never approach them from their six. You gotta get out of there fast when attacking and muster up some patience to get ahead of them for your next ripp-through.
And naturally, if you can get the sun at your back that is a real plus, but not always possible.

Feathered_IV
11-02-2009, 08:44 AM
If you haven't the good fortune for a head on pass, try beam attacks. They take some practice, but your survival rate is much higher.

x6BL_Brando
11-02-2009, 08:53 AM
Head on is effective, but you must remember to pull up before you collide. This was certainly the case in real life - experienced by Hurricane pilots during the Battle of Britain - and led to some changes in scramble timings to allow the sections to gain a little more altitude. The position I look for is a front-quarter merge, preferably from a small advantage in altitude. It does depend on what type of bomber is the target, but the offset approach will keep me out of the arcs of the front-gunner and the mid-upper gunner. My primary target is the cockpit - kill the pilot and the plane will definitely go down.

Your best exit is up unless there are escorting fighters above! You should turn as you climb so as to prevent any gunner getting an easy shot at you. Diving under is also possible, using the same evasion moves as described. The main point is getting in as close as possible, and you may want to adjust your gun-convergence to a shorter range, and remembering to break off in time.

B

Lt_Letum
11-02-2009, 09:21 AM
Whenever your gunsight is steady on the bomber,
you are a static target for the gunners.

Even if you are going 600mph; if you are
pointing directly at the bomber then you are
not moving from the point of view of the
gunner. You are just getting bigger quickly.

Minimize the time you are tracking the bomber
with your gunsight to the time you need to fire.

ALL bombers have blind spots. It's stupid not
to use them when you can.

The AI gunners, even humans, are poor at rapid
gun traversal. Take advantage of this by
approaching from one side and attacking from
the other. Top right -> top left and viceversa
works well.

Most bombers have lots of space that contains
nothing important. Unless you have big cannon,
aim for something that is important.


Don't think of bombers as easy kills. You need
to work just as hard to down a bomber without
taking damage as you need to work taking down a
fighter.
Remember you usually have lots of time; use it.
Don't get desperate, even if it means letting
the bomber go. It's not worth getting PKed for.

thefruitbat
11-02-2009, 09:27 AM
anywhere but dead 6.

Come in from high and the side, then zoom back up the other side, and rince and repeat.

Frankthetank36
11-02-2009, 09:33 AM
How about 6 o'clock high, diving (and I mean a steep enough dive that your engine doesn't block the view)? I find it ridiculously hard to aim head-on. Side attacks ain't too bad.

Lt_Letum
11-02-2009, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by Frankthetank36:
How about 6 o'clock high, diving (and I mean a steep enough dive that your engine doesn't block the view)? I find it ridiculously hard to aim head-on. Side attacks ain't too bad.

The problem with a high 6 approach is that you
have only two main options, neither of which
are preferable:

1) Give plenty of intercept lead so that you
only point at the bomber when you fire.
Pros:
It's much harder for the bomber's gunners to
aim at you.
Cons:
The bomber will be under your nose unless you
come in inverted.

2) Keep your nose pointed at the bomber.
Pros:
Very easy to aim, lots of firing time
Cons:
You're a static target from the POV of the gunner.
If you keep pointing at the bomber and don't
break off early you will end up on it's six.

thefruitbat
11-02-2009, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by Frankthetank36:
How about 6 o'clock high, diving (and I mean a steep enough dive that your engine doesn't block the view)?


only if you want to get shot.

Frankthetank36
11-02-2009, 10:19 AM
You really just have to time it right when coming in high, he'll be under your nose but you can roll over every now and then (or dip the nose) to check when you should make your pass. And I mean start the maneuver HIGH, as in out of range of the defending guns and dive when you are ready to attack. Anyway if you're attacking a dive bomber come in low six because his gunner only covers the top section (make sure it's a dive bomber and not a torpedo bomber though as those often have a ball turret under the cockpit as well as the standard rear cockpit tail gunner).

BillSwagger
11-02-2009, 11:22 AM
The proper way to attack from the rear of the bomber is to actually make sweeps from the sides. It helps to be higher than the bomber to do this, but a good bomber pilot is likely to be flying higher or as high as you are, in which case you have to fly along side them out of the range of their guns til you are at about their 9 or 3 o'clock, or even a little ahead of that if you are further away. Then bank towards them and flatten out so that your flight path allows you to aim for the nearest wing tip. Essentially you will fly just behind them from their 7-8 or 4-5. In an ideal situation this means you'd hit them from wing tip to wing tip as you make your pass, and end up on the other side of the bomber where you should extend out of range and attempt another pass from the opposite side.

I say ideally because most pilots don't just sit still and let you shoot at them, so they are likely to turn or bank to make your shot more difficult but if you stick to your pattern and don't get suckered into following them into a turn then you won't get hit by their guns.
What happens is sometimes people line up for a good pass, but then end up parked on the six of a bomber because the few shots they landed didn't bring it down. If you are patient enough to do more than one pass you can get the kill with out taking any heat from their gunners.

The only exception is with ace AI gunners, which i use to practice, because i find that they are less forgiving with my mistakes. Then online against normal AI, they are practically defenseless.

bill

Ba5tard5word
11-02-2009, 01:12 PM
Some bombers you can get away with hitting from dead six, like the DB-3, they have guns on top and below but no tail gun so it seems like they rarely fire at me if I'm right behind them even though you'd think they could.

Bombers with a top turret you can attack from behind and below, like the Blenheim.

But with most big bombers with a lot of guns, you definitely have to be clever and fast, and even rookie AI will fill you up like swiss cheese no matter what direction you come from.

thefruitbat
11-02-2009, 01:25 PM
If you attack from any six postion, its just as Ba5tard5word said, do it from a point which has a guns blindspot.

many planes such as bf110, Blenhiem, il2's etc can be approached from low behind, because the gun cannot sight you.

However, any exception to this, ie attacking from high 6 with planes that have rear guns is stupid. You are putting yourself at huge risk, simply because you can't be bothered to position yourself correctly. You have to set up your attacks on bombers, not just charge in.

Waldo.Pepper
11-02-2009, 02:04 PM
Reality.

http://video.google.ca/videopl...1812595429445699346# (http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=1812595429445699346#)

TS_Sancho
11-02-2009, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Reality.

http://video.google.ca/videopl...1812595429445699346# (http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=1812595429445699346#)

Nice link, good explanation of proper pursuit curves.

The_Stealth_Owl
11-02-2009, 02:49 PM
Side attack.

Then your bullets rip like a knife as the bomber passes you.

DKoor
11-02-2009, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Lt_Letum:
Minimize the time you are tracking the bomber
with your gunsight to the time you need to fire.

ALL bombers have blind spots. It's stupid not
to use them when you can.

Most bombers have lots of space that contains
nothing important. Unless you have big cannon,
aim for something that is important.

The AI gunners, even humans, are poor at rapid
gun traversal. Take advantage of this by
approaching from one side and attacking from
the other. Top right -> top left and viceversa
works well.

Remember you usually have lots of time; use it.
Don't get desperate, even if it means letting
the bomber go. It's not worth getting PKed for.
This is probably the best set of advices.

.

Any approach will get you hit when you are up vs many bombers in formation that is practically unavoidable.
If you are able to separate one then finish him off in such manner, you can shot down even ace B-25's (2 very very mean guns in the rear) by quickly shifting left-right at point blank range. I was able to shot 2 veteran B-25's down using only machine guns in Bf-109 nose, so that speaks a lot of that tactic effectiveness.

The problem is when you are up vs experienced bomber formation... the high speed eagle attacks from above work best, but still wont guarantee that you wont get hit.
Try always to aim at formation leader as you will be exposed to less guns http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif .

Good luck.

thefruitbat
11-02-2009, 02:55 PM
thanks for posting waldo, great vid. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

aside from the tactics, it makes you realise how special the b29 was as well.

RPMcMurphy
11-02-2009, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
Some bombers you can get away with hitting from dead six, like the DB-3, they have guns on top and below but no tail gun so it seems like they rarely fire at me if I'm right behind them even though you'd think they could.

Bombers with a top turret you can attack from behind and below, like the Blenheim.

But with most big bombers with a lot of guns, you definitely have to be clever and fast, and even rookie AI will fill you up like swiss cheese no matter what direction you come from.
Oh yeah those D-3s or B5Ns you can eat up real fast, but those with a tail gun can knock your ****inthedirt. I can go through some IJN bombers easy though. Especially the Betty even though they are bristling with gunners they catch fire easily.

ibeagle
11-02-2009, 08:06 PM
Without a doubt the safest and most efficient way is to kill the pilot from head on. Even the most puny guns can bring down the largest bomber this way.

Sillius_Sodus
11-02-2009, 11:41 PM
many planes such as bf110, Blenhiem, il2's etc can be approached from low behind, because the gun cannot sight you.



Be careful attacking the -110, Stukas and other dive bombers being flown by the AI.

AI gunners can shoot 'through' their aircraft and tag you even when you are below the tail.

ROXunreal
11-03-2009, 04:51 AM
I prefer attacks from 2/10 o clock high myself, as they are a much larger target than from directly head on, yes you have to deflect but I don't find it that hard, I had more success with these attacks than head on attacks. I generally only attack from the 6 if the bomber is fast and I have enough altitude to be able to come in from almost directly above him, when attacking from above I always aim for the wing roots as that's where the engines and fuel tanks usually are and/or where structural failure is very likely to occur. NEVER aim for the fuselage itself, I don't even aim for the cockpit when attacking from above because it usually has little effect. If you want cockpit shots, you better come in from the front.

DKoor
11-03-2009, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by ibeagle:
Without a doubt the safest and most efficient way is to kill the pilot from head on. Even the most puny guns can bring down the largest bomber this way. Yeah most of the times it will work, some bombers like B-17/24/29 or He-111H6 (nose=20mm) can be dangerous, they hit me many times with their nose guns when I went head on on them. Ai probably must be on ace level for this to work tho http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif .

RSS-Martin
11-03-2009, 07:57 AM
Oh I have done that too flying the Betty from the nose gunner position, but all I managed was a smoker, not a direct kill.

jarink
11-03-2009, 11:43 AM
Funny, my dad just sent me a copy of a book called "Gunner" (http://www.amazon.com/Gunner-Illustrated-History-Aircraft-Positions/dp/1550463322) (he mistakenly bought an extra copy) and it has some official USAAF diagrams showing what positions fighters attacked (and hit) B-17s and B-24s in the ETO. The big winners were 12 and 6 o' clock. I'll try and remember to scan and post it tonight.

RSS-Martin
11-03-2009, 12:24 PM
That is true when you look at German gun camera material you see several attacks for 12 and 6 o´clock. Only in the game a 6 o´clock attack is almost always deadly.
Here you see several attacks from behind on a flat 6 position.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTwZAwyBYjg

jarink
11-03-2009, 03:11 PM
As promised....

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1/jarink/AttacksandHits.jpg

Lt_Letum
11-03-2009, 08:44 PM
That chart explains the low survival rates for fighter pilots.

doraemil
11-04-2009, 03:10 AM
I have tried these tips for B-24 on ace ai . . .


Speed is life. 400 km/hr or higher the gunners get less hits (or the ones that connect are less devestating).


Ace ai gunners are good out to 1 km.

Dead 12 and dead 6 oclock is asking for PK, engine out / fire, or loss of elevator or rudder or aileron or my favorite: all three.

Steep dives work wonders. 60 degrees or more. Or flying high, then setting up so you're adjacent to the bomber, and diving across the wing really helps.

Mgunz tip on traversing helps, especially after your pass, if you traverse so the gunners have to swivel up / down, and rotate horizontally, they miss more.

Tracking shots to hose down the bomber will get you holed. Go for snapshots.

30mm for some reason really does a number, even the Bf-109 single nose cannon can be adequate.

I find that kanonboot 109 and 190's suck in general against a loaded B-24. A regular 109 / 190 can climb to altitude and has more speed available, and handling to allows you to force gunners to traverse. I find I can get more passes (which end up with bomber being shot down) and escapes.

Kanonboots if caught slow like 340 km/hr inside the 1 km kill zone around, gets shot. Caveat, Kanonboots can kill in 1 pass, provided if patience . . . spend alot of time setting up for that one perfect pass.

Big cannon works. You can camp out at the edge of 1km and with 1000 convergence with the 262 or the 110 . . . and nail them. But I find that kills ammo so its better to clim and dive for deflection snapshot at 400m or closer.

Exotic 1946 weapons work, like the X4 or 24 cluster rockets (with jets you can fly in at high speeds on the bombers six, release the X4, and tag the. Or dive in close , level out for a split second on their six, release the cluster rockets.

The luftwaffe air to air rocket (found on fw 190's and the me-110) takes alot of practice since it doesn't have some aiming for it (like regular rockets use the gunsight).

They fly upwards so you need to be below the bomber . . . I can get it to work around 400 m, but positioning below and behind the bomber I get shot up by the tail / ball gunners.

I haven't tried the bomb trick I've seen on youtube . . .

RSS-Martin
11-04-2009, 04:04 AM
Well the bomb trick is one of those boobs of IL2 as no matter how big the bomb is, if you hit a plane with it, it will stay in the plane and explode there. Which is a joke when heavy bombs are used a 500kg bomb would pass right through a plane and explode somewhere down below, but definately not stay in the plane.

DKoor
11-04-2009, 09:55 AM
Years ago I discovered bombkills with Il-2... I was overshooting a He-111 and I pulled up over it and released 250kger with 10sec delay.

Few moments later Heinkel went kaboom and I got message HEADSHOT on the screen (arcade=1 was set).

The track http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif .
http://www.esnips.com/doc/a2ca...vs-He111bombkill-402 (http://www.esnips.com/doc/a2ca0ab0-c423-447e-ba6b-5e5be9fc1b41/KunaIL2-vs-He111bombkill-402)

Not recommended as regular tactic tho...

A6M5c/7 carries great anti bomber weapon... some sort of flying bomb which depending on delay setting release 20mm charges in general direction few moments after you fire them (called bomb-rockets in game).
Once you learn the distances this thing becomes really really lethal, and the best part is you can regularly release it from around 700m for great results, on those distances even ace Ai wont shoot at you (much).

tjaika1910
11-05-2009, 05:31 AM
From game experience I prefer to attack head on on a bigger formation of western allied bombers, while on German and Sovjet bombers I would attack from 6 o clock high and aim for the wingtips with cannons. One shot from above, dive under the bomber and one shot from underneath the next. Two bombers in each pass (possible 3-4 if they are close). I guess it would be extremely hard in real life though.

mortoma
11-05-2009, 07:44 PM
When I fly the P-38 against a Japanese Betty, believe it or not, I will often attack from dead six. And quite successfully. I will start shooting at about 700 meters out and sprinkle the fuselage with .50 bmg fire. This usually kills the rear gunner. At about 500 meters, I start using the 20mm cannon too. I might get a few pings but rarely do I get my plane crippled.

Saburo_0
11-07-2009, 04:31 PM
I've used the Japanese tactic of diving strait down on bombers from above, was the only way I've been able to bring down a B-24 with an Oscar. Just aim for the wing root and try to set the gas on fire.
I little rolling helps throw off the gunner's aim, but they can still kill you pretty easily. LOL

DROBNJAK1960
11-08-2009, 02:46 AM
GUYS, thanks for sharing the knowledge.

I've been testing few approaches myself, and so far 6'oclock approach, at 500 km/h (350mph) or above works fine. I get hit back, but only a bullet or two, never more. Tried P-38 v He111, Me110 v A20, Spit v He111, FW190 v A20.

Beside the approach speed, the most important thing is keeping the aim steady. If your plane jinks around, that means big dispersal of bullets and only few hits on the receiving end. You'll just scratch him, but he will get to see the home. Steady flying means small bullet dispersal and virtually chainsaw effect on the receiving bomber. So, well calibrated joystick is the must!

I come in from 6, at 500km/h, and at around 600m hold my aim just above his silhouette. My guns cross at 300m, so the plan is to fly under him, and as I go from 600m to 300m, cross hairs slowly and naturally are coming down. When cross hairs are just above the wing I open the fire and keep the plane as steady as possible. This always results in chopping off the wing and total dismemberment of the bomber.

This all happens very fast, and because 500km/h angles are changing so much that gunners do not have enough time to adjust, so I almost do not get any hits at all.

b2spirita
11-08-2009, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by RSS-Martin:
Well the bomb trick is one of those boobs of IL2 as no matter how big the bomb is, if you hit a plane with it, it will stay in the plane and explode there. Which is a joke when heavy bombs are used a 500kg bomb would pass right through a plane and explode somewhere down below, but definately not stay in the plane.

Interestingly though, a few enterprising pilots did use airburst fused bombs to down a few heavies.

RSS-Martin
11-08-2009, 10:56 AM
Yes as you mentioned air burst bombs not regular all purpose bombs like most use.

rnzoli
11-08-2009, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Reality.

http://video.google.ca/videopl...1812595429445699346# (http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=1812595429445699346#)
Great video.
I wonder if someone could do this with a Mig-9FS vs. the B-29s in game. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

b2spirita
11-08-2009, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by RSS-Martin:
Yes as you mentioned air burst bombs not regular all purpose bombs like most use.

Technically i think they were normal bombs though, just fused to detonate mid air. I just added it as a bit of interesting trivia.

RSS-Martin
11-09-2009, 03:18 AM
As of the Japanese bombs no they where of special design. Here is an artical for the j-aircraft forum.

SOME MATERIAL ON JAPANESE AIRCRAFT ROCKET BOMBS

PART ONE

Collected and Reported By Jim Long

The Allies began to suspect that the Japanese were using some sort of rocket bomb in mid 1944. Some information from a Technical Air Intelligence Center document sets the tone. I have extracted and transcribe it for your review. No wording has been changed for the sake of social correctness.

Excerpt from TAIC Summary No. 6, September 1944, OPNAV-16-V #T 106, “Miscellaneous Japanese Aircraft Developments.”

[Beginning of Transcription]

POSSIBLE JAP USE OF ROCKETS

A report from one of the bomber groups dated 3 July 1944 indicated that gunners had observed peculiar flashlight explosions from the leading edge of wings of fighters encountered at Yap. The flashes were about three times the size of a 20 mm explosion and the flames were more reddish in color with a whitish circular trimming. Flashes came from both right and left wings but there was no simultaneous fire; when viewed from above they appeared to come from the leading edge of the wing whereas from below the flashes appeared to be from midway between the leading and trailing edge of the wing. The gunners were certain they were not 20 mm explosions of phosphorus bomb bursts.

During May a PB4Y-1 search plane observed 36 Jap planes at a distance of about 6 miles. Extracts from the observers' reports included the following comments:

"The 36 planes never approached within range nor did they make maneuver resembling a run. Several observers in the PB4Y reported seeing strange white puffs of smoke, which seemed to have black particles raining from then. These puffs would appear suddenly, with no trail leading to them and remain suspended in the air for as long as they could be kept in sight. They were never closer than two miles to the PB4Y, and always on the bearing of the 36 planes. The bursts seemed at least 3 miles ahead of the planes. The observers reported that these smoke puffs closely resembled published photographs of aerial incendiary bomb-puffs, except that the white streamers were not prominent. All members of the crew were carefully interrogated regarding the possibility of bombs being dropped by aircraft overhead, and all were emphatic about the fact that no aircraft were overhead at the time; visibility outside the clouds was exceptionally good.

"Several observers agreed that all 36 planes were not of the same size; two formations of 14 and 12 respectively were definitely single-engined; two other of 2 and 4 were probably twin-engined, but no larger than twin-engined. All kept a good, even formation.

"The explanation of this strange phenomenon which seems most plausible at the present time is as follows:

"A strike of 13th AF Liberators had hit TRUK a short time previously and were [sic] intercepted by 20 Zekes. The PB4Y saw two Liberators in the distance a short time before sighting the 36 unidentified planes. Accordingly, it seems likely that the 36 were enemy fighters, with possibly 6 twin-engined planes, carrying special aerial bombs or rocket equipment; they followed the PB4Y in expectation that it would lead them to a formation rendezvous of B-24s, and hence no attack was pressed home on the PB4Y for that reason.”

No definite conclusions can be drawn but the possibility of rocket gun installations cannot be discounted. The reported range would seem to preclude the possibility of a grenade launcher being used.

[End of Transcription]

The grenade launcher was mentioned and specifically discounted in the last paragraph because it had been discovered that the Japanese had such a weapon. An aerial grenade launcher was captured on Saipan and was coincidentally being reported in TAIC Summary No. 6, as well.

Confirmation that the Japanese were probably deploying aerial rocket bombs was found in a document captured at Kwajalein. The document told of past experiments, but did not give details of the current weapons in operational use. The material is from AAF Informational Intelligence Summary No. 44-27, dated 30 August 1944. I have transcribed it here, without changing any of the words.

[Beginning of Transcription]

JAPANESE ROCKET BOMBS

Reports of Japanese employment of rocket bombs against Allied aircraft in Asia and over Yap have been received. Positive identification has not been made but a document captured at Kwajalein reveals extensive trials and conclusions by the Japanese on a rocket bomb. The document captioned, "Report on Results of Research and Experiments, Aero-Engineering Report 03395, Bomb Experiment No. 37, 19 October 1943," was issued under the Japanese security classification of Most Secret. Bomb Experiment 37 had as its purpose the obtaining of reliable information on parts and material necessary to the fabrication of a successful rocket bomb to be known as the Mark IV bomb. The committee from the Naval Air Technical Arsenal and the Yokosuka Naval Air Group was [sic] to obtain this data through test and experiments with two experimental bombs—the Type 14, No. 3 Mark IV practice bomb and the experimental Type 14, No. 25 Mark IV dummy bomb. These experiments lasted more than one year beginning 8 August 1941 and were concluded 11 November 1942. The final report, made 19 October 1943, was accompanied by 26 charts and tables showing data of the experiments (defects in the experimental bombs and recommended changes to be incorporated in the final design of the Mark IV bomb). In addition, a number of photographs, charts, and drawings accompany the translation and are available for references.

Ground Tests. The tests with both experimental bomb types included ground and flight. The first ground test was a propulsion powder burning test in which the propulsion powder charge (600 grams) was satisfactory as was the rate of burning with booster charge. However, the detonator cap and the firing apparatus frequently failed and the committee recommended that the booster charge be increased by addition of 0.8 grams of auxiliary powder instead of the original 0.4 grams.

The second ground test was vertical firing which consisted of placing the bomb in an upright position (nose up) and firing the propulsion charge and recording the speed and height of ascent. The results were considered satisfactory.

The third ground test was gliding to calculate the propelling power by fastening the bomb to the top of a catapult-type wheeled vehicle mounted on rails (similar to a handcar). The propulsion charge was then exploded causing the wheeled vehicle to move on the rails. The speed and distance traveled were then recorded. The results were satisfactory.

The fourth test was smoke emission to determine damage which might be caused to plane wings (bombs mounted beneath wings) by the propulsion charge exhaust. Although the wing fabric was blackened, no damage resulted and the mounting was considered satisfactory.

Flight Tests. The flight tests included dropping from horizontal and dive attack. Failure of the igniting gear resulted in a complete change in size of the anemometer shaft and of the flexible steel retaining cable. When these changes were made, the tests were successful.

Conclusions. Numerous other tests were conducted and finally the committee approved the original basic design of the Mark IV bomb, recommending the incorporation of suggested changes with the statement "See no reason why Mark IV bomb may not be designated after the model of experimental Type 14, No. 25 Mark IV dummy bomb."

These early experiments show Japanese concern over the development of rocket bombs. In view of the lapse of time since these early experiments, the Japanese have the capability of producing an effective airborne rocket bomb.

(AC/AS, Intelligence Note: Additional intelligence on all types of Japanese ground-fired and airborne rocket bombs is desired by this office. Where possible, complete information on the mission, tactical employment, and resulting damage should be include*! )

[End of Transcription]

Notice that the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (AC/AS) for Intelligence was asking for more information from the field about rocket bombs. From what I can tell by surveying the TAIC reports and summaries and checking an index of air combat intelligence material that was produced during the war, the intelligence activities never got a complete picture of the Japanese aerial rocket bombs until the war was over.

During the war, the details about the various rocket bombs, their sizes, weights, methods of launching, etc., remained sketchy. But one captured document did fill in some of the blanks. A TAIC summary on the various models and details of the Zeke fighter reported on the rocket bombs that could be carried by the Zeke 53C. This was about the best information that Allied intelligence had on the weapon before the war ended. I am transcribing the one short paragraph for your examination. It is from TAIC Summary No. 32, “Evolution of Zeke,” OPNAV 16V #T132, June 1945. Two diagrams accompanied the explanation, as posted in the thread of another topic by Jim Lansdale, but repeated here for completeness.

[Beginning of Transcription]

A captured document states that ZEKE 53 C is equipped with jettisonable rocket launching racks as shown in the reproduced drawings. The rack appears to employ a channel track to guide the rocket. The propellant is probably ignited electrically. The 132-lb. rocket, listed as Experimental Mk 27 Bomb,” is filled with phosphorus and fitted with a clockwork type aerial-burst nose fuze. The time setting is probably adjusted before take-off. The 22-lb. rocket is designated “Type 3 No. 1 Mk 28 Bomb.” It is fitted with an impact nose fuze although a time fuze is being developed. The filling is not specified but it is probably high explosive. The large rocket is designed for attacking large planes and the small one is intended for use against either large planes or boats.


[End of Transcription]

The two diagrams are identified as “reproduced drawings” because they appeared in the original Japanese document, and what you are seeing are either redrawn versions done by Allied artists or direct copies of the Japanese illustrations taken right from the document. I have added two labels to the artwork to show the location of a component that I believe was an arming device and to show that the arming device is missing from the lower drawing, either an oversight committed by the original Japanese artist or by the Allied artist who redrew the illustrations for use in the intelligence summary. As you will see in PART TWO of this paper, the shape of the arming device was drawn incorrectly in the upper illustration. Illustrations in current Japanese references show that the fixture had a beveled front edge and not a rectangular (notched) one.

Jim Long

END OF PART ONE

See below for a rare view of the "132-lb. rocket, listed as an Experimental Mk 27 Bomb” or "Dai 27-Go Dan" mounted below the starboard wing of a Mitsubishi Raiden (J2M3), I believe to have been assigned to No.302 Kaigun Kokutai
http://www.j-aircraft.com/jiml/j2m3_27godan_viaa6m232.jpg

From these listings, we find that the army had three rocket bombs, designated Ro-3, Ro-5, and Ro-7. These were all intended for use as air-to-air weapons against enemy bomber formations. Whether not these three weapons became operational is a question to be answered by more research. Other than the information given in this list, I haven't learned anything more about the army rocket bombs. But I imagine that TM 9-1985-4 has something on them. I plan to order a copy of the manual and will report any information I find on the three army rocket bombs when I get it.

A little more is known about the navy rocket bombs, thanks to Brady's efforts to scan some pages from TM 9-1985-4 and send them to me. We see from Mr. Sahara's page on the navy rocket bombs that the service was concentrating on four major models. As listed by him, they were:

1. Type 3 No. 1 Mark 28 Bomb in four versions

2. No. 6 Mark 27 Bomb

3. Type 3 No. 25 Mark 4 Bomb

4. Type 3 No. 50 Mark 4 Bomb

Designations give us some trouble on occasion because of variations caused by Japanese usage and translations of terms into English. All of these bombs carried the year-designation of "Type 3," and therefore the bomb listed second should be known as the "Type 3 No. 6 Mark 27 Bomb." For you who have the occasion to look at Japanese texts, I'm listing these four basic bombs in the Japanese writing you'll probably encounter, as follows:

1. ?????????

2. ???????????????????

3. ?????????

4. ?????????

The "Type 3" designation means that all of these were adopted by the navy in 1943. The weight classification is shown by the "No." (?) designation in kilograms by adding one zero to the figure given. The No. 1 bomb was a 10-kg weapon. The others were 60-kg, 250-kg, and 500-kg bombs.

Two of the weapons are sometimes identified in Japanese texts by a common expression that includes a better description of them. The small weapon has been called the "No. 1 Rocket Bomb" and the larger one has been called the No. 6 Rocket Bomb. In Japanese, these terms are:

????????(1-Gou Roketto Dan)

????????(6-Gou Roketto Dan)

When we check TM 9-1985-4 we find three bombs listed, illustrated, and described which must be the same bombs that are listed above as Nos. 1, 2, and 3. The first two were rocket bombs that were designed to be launched from aircraft at enemy bomber formations. The third one was an armor-piercing rocket bomb that was just dropped and used its rocket power to increase its ability to penetrate the target.

Let's start with a description of the Type 3 No. 25 Mark 4 Bomb, for it was the oldest rocket-bomb design in the Japanese navy's arsenal. What follows is a word-for-word description from TM 9-1985-4. The illustration is also from the manual.
http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z39/jim_long_bucket/Type3No.jpg?t=1181190619
Type 3 No. 25 Mk 4 Bomb Modification 1

Over-all length: 1.9 meters

Weight of explosive: 3.5 kilograms

Diameter: 0.3 meters

Weight of propellant: 15.0 kilograms

Maximum speed: 100 m/sec

Total weight: 315 kilograms

General Description: Design work on this bomb was originally started in 1935, and produced the Basic [Type] 3 No. 25 Mk 4 bomb, which was used for all early Japanese Navy rocket testing and research. Production commenced on the type 3 bomb in 1943, and a reasonable number of the bombs had been produced or were in the process of production at the end of the war.

This bomb is an example of the early ideas on the use of rocket power. It is essentially an armor-piercing bomb, designed to utilize rocket power to increase penetration. However, as finally produced, the bomb had a maximum velocity of only 100 m./sec., and consequently was of little value.

The bomb consists of an armor piercing explosive nose section, a rocket motor tail section and a cylindrical center section joining the two, and carrying the fuzes for both sections. The armor piercing nose is of extremely heavy construction and is fuzed in the base with a fuze incorporating a short delay. A very small explosive charge approximately 3.5 kilograms in weight, is used as a burster. Type 91 explosive is used, as in all other Japanese Navy armor piercing ammunition. The rocket motor tail section constitutes about half of the over-all length of the bomb, and carries 15 kilograms of propellant of the ballistic type. It is fuzed at its forward end for ignition of the propellant, with a fuze which operates after the bomb leaves the plane. The tail section is equipped with standard fins for stabilization of the bomb in flight.

The cylindrical center section of the bomb has the function of joining the nose and tail sections and of carrying the fuzes for both. Both fuzes, situated at the center of the bomb are equipped with arming vane extensions which project out of the side of the bomb. Two hinged doors in the side of the bomb allow access to the fuzes.

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You can see from the description that the Type 3 No. 25 Mk 4 Bomb is not what would probably be thought of when one hears the term aerial rocket bomb or air-launched rocket. These terms evoke an image of a cylindrical object of small diameter that is fired under rocket power from a tube or some other sort of guide that is attached to the underside of an aircraft's wing or fuselage. That is what the remaining two bombs (the 1-Gou and the 6-Gou rockets) were designed to do. The U.S. Army manual covers them, as well.

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z39/jim_long_bucket/Type3No-1.jpg
Type 3 No. 1 Mk 28 Bomb (Rocket) Model 1


Fuze: Type 3 Mk 28

Over-all length (less fuze): 25 1/4 inches

Diameter of body: 4.69 inches

Weight of Explosive: 1.32 pounds

Weight of Propellant: 4.4 pounds

Total weight: 19.8 pounds

Color and markings: Gray over all with green and brown nose bands and red tail struts.

General Description: In its early stages of development, this rocket was designated Mk 19. It is constructed of a light aluminum alloy and carries a high-explosive charge. It is intended for use against large aircraft.

Rocket power is supplied by 16 grains of ballistic type propellant 19.2 mm. X 350 mm. They are contained in the cylindrical barrel of the bomb, and are ignited electrically.

The nose section is ogival in shape, and carries the high-explosive charge. A nose well is provided to take a special small impact fuze similar to A-3(a). [The A-3(a) is described elsewhere in the manual. It was about 5 inches long with safety pins and a vane for arming the weapon after a distance of travel. The fuze for this 1-Gou rocket bomb did not have an arming vane, only a safety pin that was removed by a wire as the bomb was launched.]

The tail section is constricted to form a venturi, and is fitted with fins, riveted in place, for stabilization. An error of 10 meters at a range of 500 meters is assumed by designers.

Two launching rails, 180 degrees opposed, are attached to the barrel of the bomb.
http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z39/jim_long_bucket/Type3No-2.jpg
Over-all length: 53 inches

Diameter of body: 7.8 inches

Weight of load: 5.5 pounds

Weight of propellant: 22.0 pounds

Total weight: 145.2 pounds

Maximum speed: 270 m./sec.

Color and markings: gray overall with green and silver nose bands and red tail struts.

General description: This rocket, along with type 3 No. 1 Mk 28 Model 1, were the only Japanese Navy rockets which were actually under production at the end of the war. It is an aircraft-launched rocket intended for use against formations of large enemy planes, designed to eventually take the place of the type 90 No. 3 Mk. 3 for air to air bombing.

The bomb consists of three section; nose, barrel, and tail. The nose section is conical in shape, with a fuze well in the nose and contains a burster charge, and a charge of incendiary shrapnel consisting of white phosphorus filled steel pellets. It is threaded onto the barrel, and secured in place with screws.

The barrel is cylindrical in shape, closed at the forward end, and serves as the container and burning chamber for the rocket propellant. It is fitted with one longitudinal launching rail.

The tails section is conical in shape, and is fitted four fins of conventional Navy type. It is threaded onto the barrel, and secured in place with screws. The rear end is constricted to form a venturi for the escape of the driving gases.

The propellant is in grains 350 millimeters long and 19.2 millimeters in diameter, and is of the ballistic type, packed into the barrel. It is ignitied[sic] electrically.

The fuze used in this bomb is 10 second clockwork aerial burst fuze, using the standard Navy fuze clock, housed in a special brass case with a hand operated setting ring graduated in seconds from 0 to 10.

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Before closing PART TWO, I'd like to point out that TM 9-1985-4 has the following disclaimer at the end of each of the three descriptions given for the three bombs with rocket power: "The data on this bomb is the result of incomplete investigation, and must not be considered as specific, accurate information." This statement may be required because the manual deals with explosive ordnance, a field in which those who work with such dangerous materials need the latest and most accurate information for safety's sake. But such a statement also elicits doubt as to how useful the descriptions may be.
Jim Long

END OF PART TWO