1. #1
    Reading Nine Live ATM and "De Wilde" ammunition that makes bright flashes upoon impact.
    Now I understand that this is a machine gun bullet .303 rather than a cannon shell. THe Machine gun bullet commonly came in tracer;ball;incendiary;high explosive??

    What I want to know is what kind of ammunition the common cannon armaments of WW2 used. Was the ammunition in the 20mm Hispano an exploding shell with tracer and ball thrown in??? Or was all the ammo solid shot??

    apologies for those who have seen this post on other forums but I could not get into this forum for some reason at the time.
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  2. #2
    Reading Nine Live ATM and "De Wilde" ammunition that makes bright flashes upoon impact.
    Now I understand that this is a machine gun bullet .303 rather than a cannon shell. THe Machine gun bullet commonly came in tracer;ball;incendiary;high explosive??

    What I want to know is what kind of ammunition the common cannon armaments of WW2 used. Was the ammunition in the 20mm Hispano an exploding shell with tracer and ball thrown in??? Or was all the ammo solid shot??

    apologies for those who have seen this post on other forums but I could not get into this forum for some reason at the time.
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  3. #3
    yes there was HE=High Explosive these were mixed in with armour piercing rounds

    U.S INFANTRY 1984-1991
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  4. #4
    Thanks 10mike.

    So that is the Standard loadout for most countries?

    HE AP and Tracer mixed in an even amount. I know there have been a couple of threads on Tracer Colours but it would be good to know what order the bullets come out in IL2 cannons.
    Say you hit with tracer - is that followed by a HE or AP round.

    I'm sure it does not matter too much just a matter of interest really. As a A/C loader how would you make up your link

    I would want 5 HE for every tracer and AP round I think. The AP round should be right behind the ttracer followed by the HE round (s)
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  5. #5
    A.K.Davis's Avatar Senior Member
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    Well, it depends. For 20mm and up, HE was pretty standard, but the mix varied. For example, on the Eastern Front the Luftwaffe often used a large proportion of AP in the belt because of the likely hood of intercepting Il-2s (and this is the ammo loadout we have in FB for all MG151/20s), whereas on the Western Front, they used a much higher proportion of incendiary rounds in the ammo belt for use against heavy bombers (the idea being to set fire to fuel tanks). German 20mm belt composition was:

    2 x thin-shelled, high HE content rounds
    2 x HE/Incendiary rounds, or pure incendiary rounds (these 2 rounds would be tracer)
    1 x semi-AP round, HE, or incendiary

    As noted above, however, this is not what is depicted in FB. FB MG151/20s have East Front composition with more AP.

    Concerning the 20mm Hispano Mk. II in particular, I understand that when it was first introduced, it was used with an AP-only ammo belt composition because of detonation problems with the HE shells. I do not know at what date they switched to a mix AP/HE composition for the Hispanos.

    --AKD



    [This message was edited by A.K.Davis on Fri February 13 2004 at 09:56 PM.]
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  6. #6
    from http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver...n/fgun-am.html

    but only for German planes - the info is not so specific as it could be

    Ammunition Belt Composition for German Fighters
    These are the belt compositions for fighters, used against air targets, as given given in a German manual, published in in 1944. (Ref. 204.) Note that these were more or less advisory: Local commanders were encouraged to determine the armament mix that suited them.

    7.92 mm (MG 17)
    5 SmK-v
    4 PmK-v
    1 B-Patrone-v
    SmK ammunition was AP with a hard steel core and a lead sleeve. The probable explanation of the acronym is Spitzgeschoss mit Kern, pointed ball with core. PmK also had a steel core, but the core was surrounded by phosphorus, which ignited when the round was fired. Finally B-Gescho├č was a Beobachtungs or observation round: It had a small HE charge and some incendiary material, and exploded on contact with the target. In this way the pilot was able to verify that he was hitting the target. During the Battle of Britain, the British used the Dixon-De Wilde round for similar purposes, and pilots generally felt that this was extremely useful.

    13 mm (MG 131)
    1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl
    2 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur o. Zerl
    The 13mm Panzergranatpatrone was a solid AP round. The Brandsprenggranatpatrone was a conventional HE/I round, a bored-out projectile filled with an explosive mixture. German armourers were warned that the first round fired had to be an AP round: The cap over the muzzle had to be destroyed first, and there was the possibility that the HE/I round would go off when it hit this. Note that for both rounds, tracer was chosen (L'spur, or Leuchtspur) but that there was no selfdestruction (o. Zerl, or ohne Zerlegerung).

    15 mm (MG 151)
    4 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur m. Zerl
    1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl
    Rather similar to the 13mm, except that the HE/I rounds now do have self-destruction mechanisms. It was common to use a combined self-destruction fuse and tracer: The projectile exploded when the tracer was burnt out. On some projectiles, special self-destruction fuses were used. They were set to 3 seconds, except before April 1941 when they were set to 1.7 seconds.

    The MG 151 was a high-velocity weapon, and for ground attack missions Hartkernmunition, AP with a tungsten core, was loaded.

    20 mm (MG-FF, MG 151/20)
    2 Minengescho├č m. Zerl.
    2 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur m. Zerl
    oder Brandgranatpatronen
    1 Panzersprenggranatpatrone o. Zerl
    oder Panzerbrandgranatpatrone (Phospor) o. Zerl.
    Here the Minengescho├č appears for the first time. A version of the 20mm M-Gescho├č with tracer did not exist, so tracer was used on HE/I (Brandsprenggranatpatrone) or pure incendiary (Brandgranatpatrone) rounds. The latter was apparently a new development in 1944, intended to replace the less effective HE/I. The fifth round was a semi-AP projectile, explosive or incendiary. Apparently the main reason this was used instead of a solid AP round was that a solid projectile would have been too heavy.

    It was recommended that more AP or semi-AP ammunition would be loaded when the probable targets were well-armoured attack aircraft such as the Il-2. On the other hand, against the four-engined bombers of the RAF and USAAF the high explosive types were more effective.

    30 mm low-velocity (MK 108)
    Minengescho├č 108 El o. Zerl.
    Only the Minengescho├č was fired by the MK 108, also in versions with day or night tracer. The ammunition was not interchangeable with that of the much more powerful MK 101 and MK 103, hence the addition 108. The letters El probably indicate the presence of Elektron, an incendiary compound, in the projectiles. Surprisingly, self-destruction fuses were not used, although German fighters were operating over the home country at this time in the war. Probably it was felt that this reduced the effective range too much.

    30 mm high-velocity (MK 101, MK 103)
    1 Sprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl
    1 Minengescho├č L'Spur o. Zerl
    1 Panzersprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl
    oder Panzerbrandsprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl
    The MK 103 was a high-velocity weapon with a much better armour penetration than the MK 108. Hence the addition of the older type of HE round and semi-AP ammunition to the mix. The exception were the nightfighters, which used only the Minengescho├č with a glowing trace (Gl'spur).

    For anti-tank missions, Hartkernmunition with tungsten cores was used, but it would be wasteful to use this scarce ammunition against aircraft.

    Ammunition Belt Composition for Bombers
    For bomber defensive guns of 7.92mm and 13mm calibre, the following combinations were recommended:

    7.92 mm (MG 15, MG 17, MG 81)
    2 SmK
    2 SmK L'spur
    oder SmK Gl'spur
    2 PmK
    2 SmK
    2 SmK L'spur
    oder SmK Gl'spur
    1 PmK
    1 B-Gescho├č
    The main difference with the ammunitions mix for fighters is in the use of tracer, avoided for fighters except to mark the end of the belt. On the other hand, only one in twelve rounds is the B-Gescho├č.

    13 mm (MG 131)
    1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl
    1 Brandsprenggranatpatrone o. Zerl
    1 Sprenggranatpatrone L'Spur ├┼ôb m. Zerl
    This load is a mixture of AP and HE/I with training ammunition (├┼ôbung) with self-destruct fuses! This was used in the MG 131 because it detonated after about 700m, and the flashes had a deterrent effect on attacking fighters. The relatively generous use of tracer and phosphorus ammunition in the MG 17 probably had a similar background.
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