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Yolume ? Issue ?6 Canier Aircrdl of World Wu II


Allied Destroyers of World Wu II
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WbrRockfs
of tbrld
Wdrll
Used to attack strongpoints,lay smokescreens and simply to
suppartthe fire of conventional artilhery, the rockets ofWorld
War II are most famous for thefu use in massive
bomhardments on the Eastern Front. Firing them in huge
nunbets could more than compensate for thefu inaccuracy,
The war rocket is an old weapon that was resurrected during World War The mos t widely us ed rockets of Worl d W ar I I were fft e Russr'an, K atyus h as'.
II to supplement existing attack and defence systems (artlllery and Generally mounted on trucks, they provided theRedArmywith awesome
anti-aircraft weapons). The rocket has much to offer the weapon deslg- firepower. Since thewar they have seenwidespread service in the hands of
Soviet allies.
ner as it is a relatively cheap and simple device that can be mass
produced with comparative ease, and when used en masse is capable of
fearful devastatiop, But in the term en masse hes the main faillng of the maintained the multiple rocket-launcher as an important item rn is
war rocket: it has io be used in great numbers to ensure that it will hit a milrtary inventory, and has improved the performance of the relevar.
precise target, for the rocket is inherently a projectile that wiil depart rockets to an extraordinary degree. Only now are the Western nahcns
from a pre-selected trajectory with alarming ease and with little appa- beginning to relearn the tmportance of thls weapon as a counter :.
rent reason, Set against this is the fact that it can carry a powerful payload massed armoured and infantry attacks,
for the costs lnvolved, and so the arguments for and against such But during World War II the rocket made a considerable rmpact o::
weapons continue. many ground campaigns, The German Nebelwerfer units often tippec
The argnrments for the rocket were in the ascendancy during World the balance in their applicatlon of heavy barrage fire during severa*
War II, nearly all the major protagonists making operatronal use of them battles, and over the UK Britrsh rocket batteries played therr pM rr &e
to some degree, Mainly it was to supplement existing weapons, but the defence of the nation, At lower tactical levels the various American N{8
Soviets drscovered that the rocket could at times be regarded as a weapons were often used to devastating effect in the reduction o:
weapon in its own right, Technologically the Germans were the most strongpoints and bunkers, Only the Japanese failed to use the rocket ic
advanced of all the World War II users, but they operated rockets as a They did make some attempts rn this direction, but for ther:
rts full effect.
supporting weapon to eke out artillery barrages, and only rarely attemp- the main problem was production, not tactics,
ted to deploy their rocket systems in the same offensive manner as the
Red Army used its various Katyushas. The Katyushas were nearly always
in the forefront of the offensive to oust the German invaders from the The fire controller of the lstCanadian rocket projector unit looks towards
German positions opposite I 2 Corps, I 5 J anuary I 945. The C anadian banage
Soviet Union, and some of the Soviet rocket types used durrng those is poised to begin, the rocket crewmen having made lhemseJyes scatce to
times are still in service all over the world, Indeed the Red Armv has avoid the fe ar some backb las t.

;,&,,s
EI TH!* wurfsranate 4l
The lS-cm (5.9-in) German artillery
rockets were the mainstay of the larqte
number ol German army Nebelwerfer
(lrterally smoke{hrowing) units, initial-
ly formed to produce smoke screens
for various tactical uses but later di-
verted to use artillery rockets as well.
The 1S-cm (5.9-in) rockets were exten-
slvely tested by the Germans at Kum-
mersdorf West dulng the late 1930s,
and by 1941 the frrst were ready for
6sue to the troops.
The 15-cm (5,9-in) rockets were of
.*/o main types: the l5-cm Wurfgran-
ate 41 Spreng (high explosive) and 15-
cm Wurfgranate 4I w Kh Nebel
.smoke). In appearance both were
:'.rrrlar and had an unusual layout, in
-j.rat the rocket venturi that produced
:ie spin stabihzation were located
s:me two{hrrds of the way along the
:::ket body with the man payload be-
:-:rd them This ensured that when the
::-an explosive payload detonated the
remains of the rocket motor added to
-:e overall destructive effects. In flight
::e rocket had a distrnctive droning
s:und that gave rise to the Allied nick- Above : The 1 5 -cm P anzerwerter 42
:-:-nie 'Moaning Mrnnie', Special ver- was not only more mobile, but more
s--.ns were issued for arctrc and tropic- survivable ; rockets betrayed their
: -jse. position the moment they fired, so to
The flrst launcher issued for use with avoid enemy artillery fire they
::ese rockets was a single-rail device needed to change position rapidly.
,c:wn as the 'Do-Gerdt' (after the lead-
--r cf the German rocket teams, Gener-
.- Dornberger) It was apparently in- with the launcher tubes arrangted in
:::ded for use by airborne units, but in two horizontal rovrs of five on the top of
-:-: event was little used. Instead the an SdKfz 4/1 Maultier armoured half-
:-:-n launcher for the L5-cm (5.9-in) track. These velucles were used to
:. 3kets was the lS-cm Nebelwerfer 41. supply supporting fte for armoured
l:,s fired srx rockets from tubular laun- operations. Up to l0 rockets could be
::,ers carried on a converted 3.7-cm carried ready for use tn the launcher
:.K 35/36 anti-tank qun carriage. The and a further 10 -weapors rnside the
::;es were arranged in a rough circle armoured body. Later in the war srmt-
=::j were fired electncally one at a lar launchers were used on armouted
in a flxed sequence, The max-
--::-e schwere Wehrmachtschiepper (SWS)
-1'Jx range oi these rockets was vari- halftracks that were also used to tow
::-e but usually about 6900m (7,545 more Nebelwerfer 4 Ls. The SWS could
;-is), and they were normally fired carry up to 26 rockets inside its
=: nasse by batteries of 12 or more armoured hull The I 1-cm rockets were among the Originally fired from a 6-barrel
-r--:lchers. When so used the effects of The }S-cm (5.9-in) rockets were also earliest inwidespread use by the mount converted from the Pak 35/36
-::l a bombardment could be devas- used with the launchers intended for German army, following an guncarriage, by 1942 the |1-tube
-:=E as the rockets could cover a con- the 30-cm (11.8-rn) rockets, with spe- extensive pre-war test progiramme. I aunche r h a d be en develope d.
:-i:rable area oftarget terrain and the cial rails for the smaller rockets frtted
:-..r of their payloads was powerful, into the existing 30-cm (11.8-in) laun- propellant6.35 kq(14 lb): filhnq2.5 kg Dimensions: length 1.02 m (40, 16 in);
3:l the move the Nebelwerfer 4ls cher rails, (5,5 rb) diameter 158 mm (6.22 in)
,':::e usually towed by light halftracks Performance: rnitial velocily 342 m Weights: overall35.9 kq (79 1b);
:-:. also carried extra ammunition and Specification (1, 120 ft) per second: rangre 7055 m propellant 6.35 kq (14 Ib); filling
:-:,er equipment but in 1942 a half- I5-cm Wurfgrranate 41 Spreng (7,715 yards) 3 Bo ks(B,5lb)
:::ked launcher was rssued This was Dimensions: lenqth 979 mm (38 55 in); Performance: initial velocity 342 m
-:: lS-cm Panzerwerfer 42 which con- diameter 158 mm (6.22 in) Specification (1,120 ft) per secondt range 6905 m
--:,:ed to use the lS-cm (5.9-in) rocket Weiqhts: overall 31.8 kg (70 lb); Is-cm Wurfgnanate 41w IftNebel (7,550 yards)

reI 2l-cm Wurfgranate 42

The2l-cm rocket superficially resembled aconventional artillery round, but


its streamlined nosewas hollow and its base had 22 angled venturi to produce
spin stabilization.
2l-cm Wurfgranate 42 (continued) War Rockets of World War II
The 2l-cm (8,27-in) rocket was used smoke, dust and noise meant that the
with only one type oi projector, the Nebelwerfer troops had to be experts
2l-cm Nebelwerfer 42. The flrst such at getting in and out of action quickty,
equipment appeared rn action rn the for any firing of the large salvoes
Soviet Umon during 1943 as it took necessary to cover a tarqet quickly
some time to flnalize the launcher de- produced counterbattery artillery or
sign. Originally thrs was to have been a rocket flre that could neutralize the
simple enlatgement of the exsting 15- launcher units,
cm (5,9-in) Nebelwerfer 4I complete The 21-cm (8,27-in) rockets made a
with six launcher tubes. but the laroer considerable rmpression on all who
cahbre gave rise to some rmbalarice had to endure their effects, and the
problems when the launcher was Americans in particular consrdered
being towed and fired, so the number the rocket and launcher design to be
of tubes was eventually reduced to five so far in advance of anything they
and that solved the problems, In all could produce that they took some ex-
other respects the carnage was the amples back to the USA and copied
same as the earlier destgn and was a them, The US version was the 210:mm
modification of the 3.7-cm (1,456-in) (8,27-rn) T36, which was used for a
Pak 35/36 anti-tank gmn carrragre. As series of trials and research program-
with the 15-cm (5.9-in) rockets the mes that did nothing to produce an
flring of the 21-cm (8.27-in) weapon operattonal weapon but which added
was by electrical means. Once the consrderably to the Americans' know-
rockets had been loaded in their tubes ledge of artillery rocket technology,
the launcher crew wrthdrew to a safe
drstance (or even took cover), and on Specification
receipt of the firing order one of the 2l-cm Wurfgranate 42 Spreng
crew operated a special swttch-gear Dimensions: length 1.25 m (49 21 rn).
box and the fult load of rockets were bodv drameter 210 mm (8.27 rn)
fired one at a time in a ixed sequence, Weights:overall 109.55 i<g (241.5 lb)i
The salvo firing of the rockeis pro- propellant 18.27 ks (40.25 Ib),
duced a consrderaible amount of explosive 10,17 ks (22.4 lb)
smoke and dust that revealed the laun- Performance: initial velocrty 320 m
cher and battery position to the (1,050 ft) per second, range about
enemy, and during their trajectory the 7850 m (8,585 yards) Entering service in 1943, the 2 I -cm reduced to five to compensate for the
rockets produced their characteristic Wurfgranate42 was tohaveused tfte increased charge. The Americans
moaning noise that made them so dis- same cariage as the I 1-cm rocket, were so nnpressed by the 2 I -cm
tinctive a weapon, This combination of but the number of tubes had to be weapon that they copied it.
GERMANY

28-cm and 32-cm Wurfkorper


The Z8-cm (1]-in) and 32-cm (12.6-in)
rockets preceded the 15-cm (5,9-in)
rockets in servrce wrth the German
army, the first of them being issued for
use during 1940, The two rockets
shared the same rocket motor, but dif-
iered in their payload. Both were awk-
ward and bulky rockets with a poor
ballistic shape, but both had powerful
payloads.
The smaller weapon was the 28-cm
Wurfkorper Spreng, which used a
heaw high explosive warhead, while
the larger weapon was the 32-cm
Wurfkorper M Fl 50 with an incendr-
' ary warhead in heavy liquid form, Both
had a range limitation of just over
2000m (2,18S yards) and were highly
inaccurate despite their spin stabiliza-
tron, and were consequently used en
masse whenever possible. Counterba-
lancing these drsadvantages was the
fact that both were devastating in their
effects ifthey hit a target, and the high The short-ranged but powerful 28-cm and 32-cm rockets were among the first
explosrve rocket was highly regarded to befitted tovehr'cles, rh fir'scasetheubiquitousSdKfz 2Sl.This coniersion
for use rn urban fighting where houses was known as the'Foot S tuka' or'Howling C ow'. Specification
or other structures had to be de- 28-cm Wurfkorper Spreng
molished, launching method was static, and to tlme m a set sequence. This rockeV
Both rockets were issued to the provide some form of mobility the 28l vehicle combination had several
Dimensions:lenglh l. i9 m (46.8J rl
body diameter 280 mm (l I rn)
troops in wooden carrying crates, or 32-cm Nebelwerfer 4I was developed, names but was often known as the 'Stu- Weiqhts: overail 82.2 kq (18 i 1b):
Packkiste, These crates doubled as This was a simple trailer wrth frames ka-zu-Fuss' or 'heulende Kuh' (Foot propellant 6.6 kg (14.56 1b), fllhng
launchrng frames and were fitted with for sx rockets in two superimposed Stuka or Howling Cow) and was often 49.9 kg (110 lb)
srmple forward supporting legs for rows of three, and after the lS-cm used to suppofi Panzer operations, Performance: range about 2 138 m
rudrmentary aiming purposes, in this Nebelwerfer 41 this launcher was the especially in the early days ofthe inva- (2,337 yards)
form both rockets could be used by most important early equipment of the sion of the Sovret Union, Later tn the
assault proneers to demolish bunkers Nebelwerfer units. war other vehrcles, usually captured
or strongpoints, but more often the Another and still more mobile laun- French or other impressed vehicles,
rockets were used in batches of four cher for these rockets was the schwer- were used to bulk out the numbers of Specification
resting on simple launcher frames er Wurfrahmen 40, in which sx laun- mobile launchers available. AII man- 32-cm Wurfkorper M F I 50
krown as the schweres Wurfgerit 40 cher frames were mounted on the ner of light armoured vehtcles were Dimensions: lenqlh 1.289 m (50.75 rn);
or schweres Wurfgerit 41, whrch dif- sides ofan SdKfz 251/1 half-track, The used in this role, some carrying only body diameter 320 mm ( 12.6 rn)
fered from each other only in that the rockets were mounted on the side four launchers. Many of these rmprol Weights: overall 79 kq ( i74 lb),
latter was h-rbular steel- rather than frames strll in their carrying crates, vised launcher vehicles were used propellant 6.6 kg (14. 56 ]b); fillinq
wooden-framed. Both could be used Aiming was achieved by simply point- during the fightinq in Normandy in 39.8 kq (87.7 lb)
for pre-arranged barrages, as during rng the vehicle towards the target, and 1944 Performance: range about 2028 m
the siege of Sevastopol in 1942, But this the rockets were then frred one at a (2,2 l7 yards)

1503
Kharkov: Prelude to Stalingrad
In early I 942 the Germans were planning Even as the last battles in the snow were prepared for battle. The Panzer divisions
a massive offensive to defeattheSoviet grinding to a halt the stafl planners on both reorganized and got new tanks, Also involveci
Union before the next winter. Incredibly sides were making their plans, Those of the in a reorganization were the Nebelwerfer bri-
Red Army were only too aware of the shortages gades: by early 1942 their structure had settled
fhe Russians chose this moment to attack
ahead and intended to make one last pre- down to a point where theAble/ung (battalion)
Kharkov where the Panzer armies were emptive strike agalnst the German army be- was the main sub-uniI. An Abtetlung had a
already massing for the assault. fore the summer was far enough advanced for headquarters staff and battery plus two or
The winter of 194 1-2 shook the German army to the Germans to make therr expected moves, three fire batteries. If more than one battery
the core, Not only was it the coldest winter for On the German srde the hlgh-level planning, was equipped with 2 I -cm (8 27-in) projeclors it
nearly I40 years, but the battles around the conducted by Hitler himsell was less con- was known as a heavy battalion; the usual com-
approaches to Moscow had led to defeat for the cerned with mllitary gains than in economics, plement, however, was two l5-cm (5.9-in) bat-
Germans and a shattering of the hopes and Hrtler needed the oil resources of the Caucasus teries and one 21-cm battery. For the long-term
ambitions that had seemed so bright durlng the region, for oil was fast becoming the weakest objectives ln the Caucasus there were even a
heady days of Operation 'Barbarossa' in the pornt of the German war economy, and withoul few Gebjrqswerferabtetlungen (mountain
early months after June l94l As the wlnter it the armed forces and industry would grind to rocket projector battahons), intended for use ir
days lengthened and the snows began to melt, a halt. The German army staffs were therefore the mountains to the south of the Caucasus.
the Germans found themselves deep within the given wide objectives to achieve, but for them Each of these Abteilungen had its own organic
Soviet Union and facing the prospect of a new the accent was on milrtary success and the oil anti{ank defence sections,
summer campaign, question was hardly mentioned, Instead they The Nebelwerfer units were to be very ac-
The Red Army was tn httle better shape planned a deep strike to the east and then tive in the months ahead, for even as the Ger-
during those early days of 1942 The Moscow north. The pivot oi the northward strike, which mans orqanrzed their attacking forces ihe
battles had absorbed the last of their reserves was intended to reach beyond Moscow, was a Sovrets were pulling together what forces thel,-
from the Far East armies, and for once the Red city named Stalingrad, which was at that point could for a pre-emptive strike, Their objectrve
Army leaders faced the prospect that they only an interim objective. Following behind was more modest than the German aims, for aI
were running short of men, Mat6riel was also in this massive move would be a deep strike to they wanted to do was recapture Kharkov, one
short supply, The uprooted industries that had the Caucasus. ol the major citles of the Soviet Union, In order
been installed east of the Urals were hardly to prepare the way and divert some of the
iunctioning as yet and the Red Army had to Hitler's plan German reserves they started their campargn
face the prospect that none could be expected During the early months ol1942 the German with a series of offensives rn the approaches tc
to produce weapons for months to come, army shook rtself from its winter quarters and the Crimea, These duly drew off the Germar

In the hot days of May 1942 the crews of the


Nebelwerfers toiled unceasingly, firing salvo after
salvoaf ffieRussr'ans trapped in the Kharkov
salient. For once the soaring clouds of dust and
smoke produced by the rockets did not attract a
hail of counterbattery fire, as most of the Red
Army's artil|ery had already been destroyed.The
barrage at Kharkov prepared the way for the
victorious chargeacross tie sfeppes which was to
end so catastrophically at Stalingrad.

gr,!l,.ii ..i-:i_r;,.. :

' ''': lirii:::'1:i1t':

I
{
t

.J
"s.h,;@;i;,%l
War Rockets of World War II
resewes, but at a high price, for the Soviet
moves were all stalled by an elastic defence, In
the end the Red Army withdrew from the
Crimea region altogether, leaving Sevastopol
to a lengthy siege. The Soviets then turned
their attentions to the area near Balakleya,
where the fighting of January 1942 had left a
salient in the German front,
The Panzers gather
Unfortunately ior the Sovrets, the German
army also had its eyes on the area, which was to
be the launching point for the Germans' east-
ward advance, Behind this area, therefore, the
Germans were buildtng up, under the aegis of
fumy Group 'South', two primary groupings to
be unveiled in July. The main force was Army
Group 'B' consisting of the 2nd, 4th Panzer and
6th Armies, the last commanded by General
Paulus, a name to be heard much in the year to
come, Army Group 'A' had only two major Ger-
man armies, the 17th and lst Panzer, the ba-
lance of its strength belng made up of a collec-
tion of satellrte forces such as the Hungarians,
Romanians, Italians and others, Commanded
by Generalfeldmarschall Llst, thrs army group Above:Ammunition stacked ready tohand, the distance, usually in a sheltet trcnch, and fired the
was to move south into the Caucasus with Baku gunners race to reload their launchers. Once the rockets electrically in pre-arranged sequence.
as the objective for the spearhead formed by launchers were full the crew retired to a safe
the lst Panzer Army.

. . ..'i:. ..-,',r-: ... ..'

t---. -,: :
.riiiir'1i,.)r':r::.:'
Kharkov: Prelude to Stalingrad

The unfortunate Red Army units were unwlt- was cbmmitted to the attack, which stmply had The end was not far ofi On 19 May Paulus
tingly moving right into the face of this massed to work; it did not, On the morning of 17 May the nipped off the last major Red Army forces near
array of force, Four Soviet formations (Group German forces on the southern side of the long Balakleya and the remains of the Soviet 6th,
Bobrin and the 28th, 38th and 6th Armies of pocket unleashed thetr countermove, A1l along 57th and 9th Armies fled to the east, leaving all
General Kostenko's South West Front) were the front artillery and Nebelwerfer batteries their hear,y equipment behind in their rush to
ready to attack between Volchansk and lzyum heralded the advanclng Panzers, which cross the Donets, They iost hundreds of
about a week before the first German moves. promptiy cut across the neck of the Sovlet adv- thousands of men, all thetr precious tanks, and
Their idea was to sweep west and then south ance and reached lzyum, the Red Army start- masses of artiliery and Katyushas, some of
and north to cut off the German forces around rng pornt. The bulk of the Soviet forces stretch- which were promptly turned against the
Kharkov, In typical Red Army fashion their ing to the west of Kharkov were trapped, De- fleeing Red Army,
attack began on 12 May with a set-piece bom- spite frantrc efforts the Soviets were unable to
move in any directlon and were contained in a
OntoStalingrad
bardment by artillery and massed Katyushas
The first attacks fell upon Romanlan forces who number of isolated batties whose only per- It was ali a prelude to the coming summer
promptly broke and moved to the west as fast ceptible feature was a large force attempting to campaign, In June the major German offensive
as they could, The Soviets poured after them in move north towards Kharkov while the forces duly opened and there was nothing to stop it
hordes, horsed cavalry with T-34 tank support to its rear broke up into small isolated groups, The losses of the Red Army in its i11-judgec
pursuing the hapless Romanians, it was a fleld day for the Nebelwerfer batter- Kharkov offensrve had sapped the last of rs
ies, With the Soviet units opposite them mainly reserves and supplies of tanks. Beyond the
Thetrap is sprung separated from therr supporting artillery, the Urals the factorles were working around the
Unfortunatelay for them, the Soviets were Nebelwerfer batteries were able to bombard clock in atrocious conditions to produce more
advancing into a trap, As the Red Army tanks their enemies with little risk of the usual coun- weapons to replace those losses, but trainei
moved forward they were movrng into a gap ter-battery fire invrted by the clouds of dust and men were in short supply. The way was thus
between two of the ma;or forces arranging dirt kicked up by their heavlly-smoking rock- open for the great move towards Stalingrai
themselves for the German offensive: to their ets, Instead of the usual rush rn and out of flring the last of the Panzers' great sweeps with the
south was Gruppe Kleist (lst Panzer and ITth locations they could take their posittons at an dreadful battles of the winter forgotten ani
Armres) with all its German dlvisions intact and almost leisurely pace, set up their projectors, replaced by a vrctorious rush across the step-
ready to move, and to the north was the 6th load them with their bulky rockets and take pes, To the south the lst Panzer Army swep.
Army, also ready to move. As the Soviet attack cover with less than the common haste, Once into the Caucasus and much of the oii-
moved west the German flanks held and the firing had started, accompanied by the usual producing region was lost to the Soviets,
Red Army advance resembled a long thin cacophony of howling and roaring, the German But rn less than a year it was all to change
pocket, Control of the Sovret forces was poor, crews could simpiy reload and prepare for the Stalingrad, which in the winter months was cc
for even as the threat to the westward advance next massed salvo, To their rear the halftracks more than a dot on the map, was to sap the lm.
was perceived the commanders were unable and trucks brougtht up more ammunition while energies of the German forces in the east ani
to do anything but continue the movement, their targets suffered and awaited the next the initiatlve was to pass to a newly enlivened
Much of the Red Army's modern tank strength onslaught, Red Army,

Below:With a deafening roar, the rockets blast off


towards the target, leaving behind thick clouds of
smoke - a clear invitation to enemy artillerymen.
Fired in such amassjve sa,lvo, the rockets will
completely blanket the target position in the space
ofafew seconds.

Above : A row of 2 I / 32 cm schweres Wurtgerdt H I maximum saturation of the target area. Carrying a
rocket launchers await firing. These were often powertul payload, they had a short rcnge of little
emplacedinechelonedgroups of four to achieve over 2000 m (2, I 87 yards).

Left: A German rocket arches into the sky, kept


roughly on courseby itscomplex spin
stabitization. Despite all the pressures of war, the
Germans retained relatively sophisticated
gruidance systems, whereas theRussjans refied on
simple fin stabilization - and big sa/voes.

i 506
GERMANY
War Rockets of World War II
30-cm Wurfkorper 42
Compared wrth 28-cm (11-in) and 32-
cm (12,6-in) rockets which preceded
it, the 30-cm Wurlkorper 42 Spreng
(also known as the Wurfkorper Spreng
449I) was a considerable improve-
ment on the earlier desiens when it
appeared on the artillery scene during
late 1942, Not only was rt in aerodyna-
mic terms a much smoother and clean-
er design, but it had a much hiqher
propellant/payload ratio than any Above: The 30-cmWurIk6rper 42
other German artillery rocket, Howev- roc ke t w as an improvement ovet its
er, to the troops rn the fields these tech- imm e di ate predeces sor s, being
nicalities were far less important than much cleaner aerodynamically and
the fact that the more advanced type of leaving much less telltale smoke in
propellant used with the new rocket ils wake. Desp ite lhese advantages it
produced far less smoke and exhaust could not be produced in sufficient
trails than the other rockets, and was quantity to supplant the earlier
thus far less likely to give away the desrgns.
firing position, But for all this improve
ment the 30-cm (11,8-in) rocket did not Raketenwerfer 56; to ensure that the
have any marked range advantaqes new launcher could be used to the
over the existing rockets, It had a maximum each was provided with a
theoretical range of some 6000 m set of launcher rail inserts to allow 15-
(6,560 yards), but practical ranges cm (5.9-in) rockets to be fired if re-
were of the order of 4550 m (4,975 qurred. When not in use, these lS-cm
yards). (5.9-in) rails were stacked on top ofthe
The flrSt launcher used with the new 30-cm (11.8-in) frames, Yet another
30-cm (1 l.B-in) rockets was the 30-cm rationalization was that the 3O-cm (1 LB- Awnner places some rather made too late in the war for anyth;i;
Nebelwerfer 42. This was a simple in) rockets could also be fired from the optimistic camouflage over a 30-cm actually to reach the troops, and it ncr.
conversion of the 29/32-cm Nebelwer- schwerer Wurfrahmen launcher rocket launcher. I nilially. fired from appears doubtful if any l?-cm (4.72-: .
fer 41 wrth the simple rail launching frames of the SdKfz 251/l half{rack, modified 28/32 cm launchers, the 30- rockets were ever made,
frames altered to accommodate the originally intended for use by the 28- cmrocketwas soon providedwith its
new rocket shape and srze, But this cm (1 f-in) and 32-cm (12.6-in) rockets. own carriage, based on that ofthe Specification
simple conversion did not last lonqr, for When launched from these frames, the 1-cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun. 30-cm Wurfkorper 42
almost as it was rssued a new progrram- 30-cm (1 LB-in) rockets were flred from Dimensions: length 1,23 m (48.44 rn)
me of rationalization was drawn up and their carrying crates or Packkiste, and 30-cm (1 1,8-in) rocket was not used in body diameter 300 mm (l LB in)
the special trailer of the Nebelwerfer no doubt the 30-cm (11.8-in) rockets very qreat numbers. The earher rock- Weights: overall 125.7 kg (277 lb)r
4l and 42 was ehminated, lnstead a were used by assault pioneers for ets remained in sewice right untrl the propellant 15 kg (33,07 lb); explosrve
new trailer based on the cardage of direct fuing from their crates in the end of the war despite a late attempt to 44.66 ks (98,46 ib)
the S-cm (1.97-in) Pak 38 anti-tank gnrn same manner as the earlier 28-cm (11- replace all existrng weapons, includ- Performance: initial velocity 230 m
was placed into production and the in) and 32-cm (12,6-in) weapons, ing the 30-cm (11.8-in) type, by an en- (754 lt ) per second; range about
30-cm (11.8-in) launcher frames were Despite its relative improvements tirely new IZ-cm (4.72-in) spin- 4550 m (4 975 yards)
placed on thrs to produce the 30-cm over the earlier artillery rockets, the stabilrzed design. Thrs decrsion was

Japanese rockets
The Japanese recognized the value of cated metal trouqhs. At times the rock-
the artillery rocket to their under- ets were simply emplaced to be laun-
armed forces and carried out con- ched directly from holes dug in the
siderable desiqn and development eround. A more conventional launcher
work in order to provide a weapon that used in small numbers only was a sim-
could make up for ther lack of indust- ple barrel on a Iight artillery-lype car-
rial capacity. Unfortunately for them rlaqe.
therr results were patchy and well be- These 20-cm (7.87 in) rockets
hind the work carried out by the Allies, formed the bulk ofthe Japanese rocket
To add to the lack ofJapanese success progffa]nmes but there were others.
there were often development prog- One was the Type l0 Rocket Motor
rammes carried out in opposition to which was a simple propulsion unit de-
each other, and typical of these were sigmed to push aircraft bombs along
the projects to develop a 20-cm (7,87- ramps or troughs to launch them. At
in) rocket by both the army and the least two versions of the T\7pe 10 ex-
navy. isted but they were very inaccurate
The Army 20-cm Rocket may be re- and had a maxrmum range of only
garded as the better of the two pro- 1830 m (2,000 yards), The launchers
jects, lt was a spin-stabi[zed rocket used for these rocket motors were
using srx base vents to impart prop- often improvised and improvisatron
ulsion and spin, and had an overall re- was also used in at least one case
semblance to an artillery projectile. To where the conventional fins of an air-
fire this rocket the army provided what craft 250-kg (551-lb) bomb were re- By the time these rockets were used J apan un de rtook con s i der a b Ie
appeared to be an oversize mortar placed by a large rocket motor for Japanese jndustrral capacity was in development work on roc kets, but
known as the Tlpe 4 Rocket Launcher, launching from a srmple wooden such a state that the conventional high lagged behind the other belligerent
The rocket was inserted into the 'bar- trough. Some intelliQlence reports from explosive warheads for these rockets nations and produc e d few us ab I e
rel' by raising part of the upper section the period (1945) speak ofthese laun- often had to be replaced by simple weapons.This 20-cm army rocket
of the barrel and pafi of the tube base chers mounted on trucks, but no con- picric acid, was one of the small number to see
was open. Thrs launcher was sup- firmation of these has been found. action.
posed to deliver the rocket relatively The largest of all the Japanese rock-
accurately, but few equipments ets had a diameter of 447 mm (17,6 in), Specification Specification
appear to have been issued and most and this 44.7-cm Rocket was a some- Army20-cmRocket Navy20-cmRocket
of these were used for coastal de- what crude spin-stabilized desrgn that Dimensions: length 984 mm (38.75 in); Dimensiohs:lenq1h 1.041n: l-, ,:.
fences. was used in action on Iwo Jima and diameter 202 mm (7.95 in) drameter 210 mm (8.27 rn)
The Navy 20-cm Rocket resembled Luzon. It had a range of 1958 m (2,140 Weights: overall 92. 6 kq (44,95 lb); Weights: overall90 l2 k7i':: : -:
the army weapon in many respects, yards) at best, and was launched from propellantnotknown; fllling 16 2 kg propeilant B 3 kq (1B.3lb); filLnc
but was intended for launching from short wooden racks or frames. It was (35 7Ib) I7.52 kq 138 6 lb/
troughs made from simple wooden wildly inaccurate, but it did have a Performance: initial velocity not Performance: initial velocrty rc:
planks, or in some cases more sophisti- warhead weishins 180.7kq' (39Blb). known; range not known known; range 1800 m (1.970 i'arcs)

rci -
Red Armg Rockef s Kcrfgus&am
From the darkest days of I 94 I to the
triumphantbattle for Berlin, the
Katyushas bolstered the Red Army in its
ti tanic s truggle with the Wehrm acht.
Since 1945 Katyushashave seen acfion
worldwide.

When the flrst Katyushas went into action they


were rushed to the front before the Red Army
was really ready for them. The initial field units
used the M-13 rocket which was a much-
modified and lenqthened RS-132 rocket in-
tended for aircralt use. Although the M-13 had
by 1941 been developed to the point where it
worked ccnsistentiy on test, the production
facrlities needed to produce it tn larete num-
bers were only lust being estabiished, so the
first rocket battery went into action with what
was virtually the entire current stock of laun-
chers and rockets.
Training lor the flrst M-13 battery had been
under way since January 1941 but had been
slowed by the overall iack of equipment. The
instructional staif had suddeniy to start training
combat crews when the Germans invaded the
Soviet Union, and this new battery had only lour
days of tuition before it set off for the front, With
the new battery went seven BM-13-16 laun-
chers, the entire stock of M-13 rockets (about September i 94 I the Red Army had established For the awesarne,bar.rageg'.rJ:icri hera/ded a Rec
600 rn all), 44 scarce cargo trucks to carry the a new command structure to oversee the pro- Army oftensive rocke{s n"s*jrj ir* r"1?€"9s€d cn sla :::
ductron and employment of the new weapon. /aunchers close to lfte /ionl. ijer+: l"\* *rsfsa/voes
equipment and ammunition, and a single 122- biastoffagainsl rhe doomi.:dr:ien of i,te 6'erman
mm (4,8-in) howitzer for ranging purposes. This This new command used. all tts powers to rush
6 th A r my t r a p ped rn Sf a#rr$i'aC j a nu atlr I I 4 3.
battery was heavily indoctrinated with the the rocket weapon into the fleld, and So-,riet war "

need for secrecy regarding its novel weapons, workers had to endure the most desperate
The launchers were kept covered right until privations in half-compieted faciories through- early days olti-reir'Creal Poiric;lic Fi:,
out the winter of 1941-2 in order to manufacture "I':etr',
ets and launchers br.jqan to {'low ironr the ir::
they were in action and the crews were culled
mainly from dedicated party members to en- the rockets and launchers. ly-assemi:led factcnes, ernci i:y early 1942',-":- -
sure overall security, It rr,'as rn this period that the relative sintpiic- in the fieid in apprecial:le uumbei's,
This first battery went into action on 7 July ity of ihe M-13 and N1-8 rocket and iauncher 'Ihe troops haci al lrr:si to cal} tireir r,:'
i941, and was used to attack an advancing desrgn enabled lhe Soviets to churn out the charqtes Kostikov quns to hide tlieir true nal'ii.=
German troop concentratron in a bend of the required numbers, At a potnt early in the Ce- bui the soidiers soon f:'und tlleir own t.iar'.
River Berezlna on the Smolensk front, The sud- sign and development stage ol the rocket a The rockets and lauricll':rs becai:re knov',n ..
den deluge of rocket f,re caused panic among decision had been made to produce designs Kaiyusha (lrttle Katy) .ritel a poprllar tune oi :.=
the German troops, who were the frrst to ex- with fin stabilization These were much easier time, The name str"tck and ruas later used lor :
perience the sudden deluge of hlqh explosive to produce than the sprn-stabilized rocket de- the various Soviet war rcckets and launciie r,
.*,'...
coupled with fragmentation warheads that srgns favcured later by ihe Germans, and lor although the official ierm laier adopted
scattered steel fragments over a wide area, the Sovrets the decision patd ofi durtng those Guards Mortar,
The rockets all arrived on their targets in a very
short space of time (measurable in seconds)
and with their arrival came the scream and
whlne of the rockets as they fell. Thts sound was .,.:.",
to make the Soviet rockets among the most
feared of all weapons, and the noise was .,,r €i
.. {: ,1
r',., .i!r,:t:;l .r" .r ,,
| .. i ii.:
i.:.fl
;
enough to demoralize even the most combat- i,:.. s 'r: ,.i :i:ip ,: .i. .. ' .
hardened soldiers.
Following the success of its inittal rocket
attack the battery was in action again a few
days later, this time attacking a rarlway junction
at Orsha. Thereafter the battery was constantly
in action, although at times Imited by the supp-
ly of rockets, but all the time the Germans were
pressing iorward ali along the front and by
October the first rocket battery was sur-
rounded and lost, The rocket troops destroyed
their equipment before the advanctnQt Ger-
nans could seize therr prizes.
But by that time the rocket troops had made
their mark. The stafi offlcers of the Soviet 20th
Army, in r,vhose area the lirst battery had been
operating, made very favourable reports and it
was therefore dectded that mass production of
the M- 13 and BM- i 3 shculd go ahead as soon as
possible, At the time thrs was diff,cult as much
oi the Soviet Unron's industrial capacity was In atthe kill: stee/shutfers dofiln, Kafyusftas thepawer of theSoi"jef
'nr,Jurtuy
lhaii:y l945some
either in German hands or in the process of bombard the last pocket of German resjslance I0,000 launchers ftad or:e;i p:"i:dus*C eJong wlfit
being moved east beyond the Urals, but by near ffteReiclrstag itself inMarcfr I945. Suci was over l2miilion roefteis.

r 508
War Rockets of World War II

it,,

The M-13 lockets were sool-r jorned by the M- I3 132-mm rocket /aunc&ers in action on the W ar I I K atyu s has and lft ejr m o : e.-.-
O r iginal W or ld
M-B and later by ther ll-30 and M-31, but these oufs.krls otBerfth . The dreadtul notse and ciouds launchers are favourites of the Palestine Liber e:: : :
ofsmokeproduced by rockets, combined with the Organization. Also, aftet the Isrcefis crusied i,- :
'ffere not lhe rnly \i/ar iockets used by the Red
-.;Yiir s hock effect ofmass detona fjo ns. frequently PLO in Beirut in J982 they captured many
Armv durilg \tri cr:lcj Ii. Ai one poini durtng
induced panic amongs/ lft e defenders. Katyushas, which they now use fiemsejves.
ihe sieqe cf l,eningii:d the besieged popula'
iion producecl a r.;lcrie copy r:f the German 28-
cm (1]-in) rockel knowrt as the M-28, but this rockets were in service, During the late 1940s quently encountered in Vietnam, as -,',::
rn;as a local erpeciieni only and the M-28 v'tas and early 1950s new- designs including 140-mm much cruder iauncher for the 140-mr, - :-
litt1e used once tire sieqe f-iad been lifted Then (5 S-in) 200-mm (7 87-Ln) 240 rnm (9 45-rn) and rocket, The latter was nothing more lha:. =-
250-mm (9 84-rn) rockets were developed, The secured to a plank and placed on the ;::-
there was the M-20 which was essenltaily a
stretched M-13 v.'ith a much larger explcsive main change with these nev,r designs was that for firrng. Both iaunchers could be carr.e j -:
:- ,
ccntent and double lhe firel but a reduced with the urgency of invasion behrnd them the single man, with another carrying the :-'' ='
range, and to add to lhis ihey were so iorg that Soviet designers could dirrert their attentions to A srmilar arrangement has been e:-:, -:..
lhey could be fired iroin the upper rails cn,y cf spin-stabilized designs Ail the new rockets tered in the Mlddle East around the b:::.=-.
iire BM-13 iauncher. By late 1944 the M-2i had used such stabihzation vrith the exception of Israel, but there the rocketinvoivedhas '^s -:..
facled lrom the scene T']rere were ma:iy ex- the 250-mm (9 B4-in) M-25, which has hns for at been ihe M-13 using a locally-produce: .....-
perimental models, A 203-mm (E-in) rcckel was least some stabilrty and also diifered irom the cher, This results from the fact that th€ :1.: :
at one point the suhject ol trials ihal came to others in using a liqutd propellant in place of l6 has been widely handed out by :i,: : -
noihrng, and at another iime a 120-mm (4 72-in) the norn:al solid molor. The M-25 is now in very Union to many armed forces in the ar--: ...
rocket seeincd prontistng but then ladeci irom limited use, and rncieed may already have pas- some of these have been passed to tn: 1..,=.
viev;, sed from the military scene. trne L,rberation Organization (PLO) F:_::', .',
But by 194i the baslc rcckets in us'o.'r ere the These rockeis are stil1 in service although early days as a guerrrlla organizatr:n '.:.= . .
I'v{-s, ivl-13 iiil sevr:r:ai {ortrs) aird the \.4-3i their theatre has now generally shiited away had by the eariy 1980s developed tc ::.: : - :
Alter i945 iiie M-8 lno l.l 3l passed ircrl ser' from the Soviet Unron to Sovlet satellites and where it resembled a conventional ar:.'.- ,- - , .

vii:e r'vrth lire Recl.l\rr:1,;, bu'i rnan'y' i,r,ere passed client states. in some cases the very type of use plete with BM-13s, which frequenily :=' =--
to inencily or i:cc,.ipied siales antl ihus :urneci hasaltered also: originally the Katyushas were to the lsraeli border to let off a sc-.': 1--.. -
up frr:n-i tine lcr tjrric,ovet ilie lro,;bied decade desrgned as artillery rockets, but with the retreating hurriedly, so making :i:: :::::=-
iciiowrng i945, I,l.:i1'L,r:rh:it ylere used tn actton growtir ol'liberation armies' and other types ol areas danqerous places to liveand',';:::: :.:. l
in Kr:.tea lv tirr: i.litrt-',-r:ri:. whi-. ic'ck io the guerriila or lerrorist formatlons the rocket has le launchers carried by small bands ::::= '. ,

l/veaiicon v;.iih t '.i iil. I'irev I,rv5iilggci K.ivushaq taken on a new roie. Uncleretround movements the danger, It was these rocket a::::':. '...
:s iirsii as tiic-v c:i-ilr-l :-rli r.-: is ijoi;tliLtl l,hat ihey soon learned that a Katyusira rocket ofwhatev' oiten prompted Israeh raids in n€-l:.:: -,..-..
Lnanar;r:,*1 to e.:.;rrtet:Ll ;ht-r Sor''rels' output u],r till er calibre had a;t eJtccl qulle oiir ol proporlton territorres, cuiminating in the in,.'asi::- :: - =: :
1945r esiirlal,,.s uui ii:e ia iter's linal iotal at rn'ell to its size and weighi when used on an rndr- non in 1982, Then the Israelis advan:: r : . l.-.' '
lver lC,J00 lalirir:he:.:; altrl'n'r:li crrrer l2 miihon vidual basis aqainst selected targets, Thus spe- the outskrrts of Beirut where the F- I = =:-.:
:or:kels cf all l:inr:il Ai one pornt no less ihan cial launchers for single rockets became com- ted to fight a conventronal camrr.l.-. , .-
ill-'10 iacicries we-.rr: plcclLrcing corrtponents for monplace and are now used aii over the world. the lsraeli army, Among the F----: 1..... .

the Kalyushas, i,nr1 l(iityushos were used not In two particular locatlons the sounds of sing- were Katyushas, usually BM-13s b::'.'--'..'. .,.'..-
cnly by the Rei ;\tn'ry bui also by the Soviet le Katyusha rockets berng fired against 140-mm launche-: --.-.: .
(5 S-in) multiple launchers
140-mm (5.5-1n)
navy io arm light ccirstai and river craft, More selected targeis became commonplace name- burlt-up and populated pans :.l=.: -
iiatyushas r,vere nouniecl on atmoured trains. ly rn Vietnam and the border couniry of Israel. vent the Israeli use of counteri:--=-'.'
When 1he war entleri tht-. Red Army had well in Vietnarn two new types of rocket lvere s'prte all their efforts, the PLC '...r: :-.. .-
over 500 Katyuslia baiierics, and tireii nunibers pressed rnto action in thts role: the 122-mm beaten and iorced [o ]eare 3:.:-- .', ' :
u/ore not llien redur,-ed to any qreat extent. (4 8-in) and i40-mm {5 S-in) weapons, The 122- base lor many years, The K: - -:-
instea.j ihey wcre irpdated and new types mm (4.8-u:) rocket -\^/as first introduced into Red Israeli hands, and now form ca:: '
co.nle inio ilr:e Trre Lcrid-Lease truck carriers Army service durinq Lhe i960s, but it was not arsenal So their day is no. \'?'. -':=: =:.-
y7s1. 1+pl.tc +'f r.r' i-r '." S,lvic' nodels long before a srngle-barrel }auncher was pro- be many years before the:r p:..','=:. :..r :., .::
'Ihe l.l-13 iocket lernained in service with duced speciircally {br guerrilla and special unit iinally fade lYom the batile:e-tr: :- :
ti:e lted Arm.y'unli1 the-- 1980s, bui by lhen new service. Thls rather complex lar-lncher was fre-
Katnrsha in Action

Introduced in conditions of great secrecy and


crewed by dedicated party members, the first
Soviet roaket launchers were tested in combaton
7 J uly I 94 1 . C alled Kostikov guns to conce-al their .
real- nature, they were soon nicknamed'Katyusha'
(little Katy) after a popular song of the time.
Rockets were mounted on a wide variety of
vehicles from obsolescent light tanks toZiS-6
lorries, but one of the most common combinations
was the M- 1 3 I 32-mm rocket on American
Studebaker 6x 6 trucks.Note the steel shutters
over the windscreen to protect the cab from the
ferocious backblast.
War Rockets of World War II
il it[-e 82-mm rocket
when sufficient US-supplied Lend-
During the 1920s and 1930s the Soviet
Union used a great deal ofits research Lease trucks became avarlable these
potential to determine exactly how too were used as M-B launcher vehi-
propellants suitable for rockets could cles: typical of these was the
be mass produced, Even before i9l8 Studebaker 6x6, which was large
the Russians had been great advocates enough to take rails for 48 rockets and
of the war rocket, and after this the which thus became the BM-8-48, But
Soviets were delermined to remain in beino wheeled, these launchers could
the forefront of rocket technologry de- not aiways traverse the rough terrain of
spite the fact that they were hampered the Sovi6t Union or keeP uP with the
by a lack of industdal potential, which tank units they were meant to support
in turn led to their selection of the sim- At one point experiments were made
pler and more easily Produced f,n- to fit sirigle-rail launchers to the sides
stabilized over the more accurate of tank turrets, but theY came to
spin-stabiiized rockets. One of their nothing, Instead numbers of the T-60
verv flrst designs, produced during liqht tank, which had Proved to be of
the-late 1930s, was one of their most Iittle combat value in its designed role
famous rockets, namelY the Bz-mm wete converted to take rails for 24 M-B
(3,23-in) M-8. rockets and the tYPe thus became
The M-B rocket was an off-shoot of known as the BM-8-24.
an aircraft rocket programme, The air- There were other launchers for the
craft rocket was the RS-82, and such M-B rocket, includrns a specral eight-
was the state of the Soviet rocket de- rocket frame intended for use bY
velopment progEamme that it actually mountain troops, On all of the M-B laun-
enteled sewice after the 132-mm (5.2- chers the rockets were flred not in a
in) rocket, The M-B was a small rocket massed salvo but in ripples under the
with a maximum range of 59OO m (6,455 control of an electrical rotary switch
yards) that carrted a fragmentation box,
warhead, It was carried on and fired The M-B rockets had quite an effect
from a sertes of rails carried on 6xO on the recipient German trooPs who
trucks, and these rail launchers were had to endure the high fragmentation Seen fieremoun ted atop aT-70light Specification
just one type of the series of weapons warheads fired into them in large num- tank, the M-8 82-mm rocket had its M-8
bers, The Waffen SS was so impressed origins in an aircraft rocket Dimensions: length 660 mm (26 in);
known as Katyusha. One of the first of
these multrple launchers was carried that it decided to coPY the design programme; it proved an enormous bodydiameter82 mm(3,23tn)
on a ZiS-6 6xG truck. As this arrange- direct (along with the iauncher rails) as success andserved throughout the Weights:overailB kq (17,6 lb);
its own'Himmlerorgell, The M-B rock- war. TheWaffen SS were so propeilant ],2 kg (2,6451b); explosive
ment could carry and launch uP to 36
ets remained in service throughout the impressed that theycopied it. 0,5 ks (1,I ]b)
M-B rockets rt was known as the BM-B-
war, but follownng 1945 was grradually Performance: initial velocity 3 15 m
36, the BM denoting 'combat vehicle' (i,033 ft) per second; maximum range
as a cover name, It was not the oniY phased from use in favour of the ticular the 132-mm (5. 2-in) and 3i0-mm
heavier Soviet war rockets and in par- (12,2-in) rockets. 5900 m (6,450 yards)
vehicle that fired the M-B rocket, for

n inr-fg l32-mm rocket


The most wrdely used of a1l the Soviet
war rockets during World War II was
the M-13 l32-mm (5,2-in) weapon. It
was designed during the late 1930s,
and when the Germans rnvaded the
Soviet Union in 1941 there were only a
few production launchers and a small
stock of rockets to hand. These were
pressed into service as an emergency
measure and first went into action on
the Smolensk front in July 1941, when
they caused near.panic among the
hapless German troops, This is hardly
surprising, for in a perrod of under l0
secbnds a single M-13 battery could
swamp a larqe area in high explosive
to an extent hitherto unseen in warfare,
These first M- 13 batteries were very
much special units, The launchers for
the M-13 fin-stabilized rockets were
carried by ZiS-O 6x6 trucks with rails
for 16 rockets, The rails were known as
'Flute' launchers to the Soviet troops as
a result of their perforated appear-
ance, but they soon gained the name
Katyusha, and at one time were known
as 'Kostikov gnrns'after their supposed
designer, For security purposes the
launchers were usually shrouded in
tarpaulins when not in use, and the
crews were culled from Communist
party members in order to maintain
tight security. But it was not lonq be-
fore the M-13 launchers were in wide-
spread use and therr secrets became
common knowledge,
The basic M-13 rocket had a range
of about 8000 to 8500 m (8,750 to 9,295
yards), The usual warhead was ofthe
HE fragmentation type, and as always
with fin-stabilized rockets accuracy Shunted off the road and abandoned, this k the rnost famous of the war tockets: the truck-mounted Katyusha.
was not of a high order. But as the b;;;;;;iilddistinctivemiinjngs6unaftemr'ssilesmadein flight,theGermansdubbedffteweapon'Stafin's
M-l3s were usually used in massed organ'.

t5]2
M- l3 132-mm rocket (continued)
War Rockets of World War II
barrages this last mattered only little. rocket motors burning together at by later models, The M-I3 is srill in
Later versions of the M- Specification
used a form
13 launch to produce a poslibl6 range of service with many countiles, although M-13
of efflux drversion to introduce more I 1800 m (12,905 yards), and this rocket modern trucks aie now used as ca'r- Dimensions: lenqth 1.41 m (55.9 rn):
spin for increased accuracy, but this was launched from the upper rails of riers in place of the old war{ime mod- bodydiameter 132 mm (5,2 rn)
measure reduced the range slightly. the launcher only. The M-13-DD had els. In fact the development life of the Weights:overall42.5 kg (93.7 ]b);
As mentioned above, the first laurich6r the greatest range of all solid- basic M-13 is still not over, for the propellant 7, 2 kg ( 15,87 lb): explosive
type used i6 raiis and was known as propellant artillery rockets in World Chinese are now using the rocket as a
the BM-I3-16, but when supplies of 4,9 ks (10,8 lb)
War IL tbrm of minelet-laying device known Performance: initial velocitv 355 m
Lend-Lease trucks became available After 1945 the M-13 rocket batteries as the Type 74. (1,165 ft) persecond; ranqe85OO m
they too were used as Katyusha car- remained in Red Army use dght up to (9,295 yards)
4ers. Several types of truck, including l9B0 when they werehnally rlplai:ed
Studebakers, Fords, Chevrolets and
Internationals were so used, alonq with
STZ-5 artillery tractors and other"vehi-
cles. These BM-13-16 launchers had
no traverse and only limited elevation,
and were laid by pointing the carrier
vehicle towards the target. Some car-
rier vehicles used steel shutters to pro-
tect the cab and crew druing the laun-
ching sequence.
As the war progressed more types
of M-13 warhead were introduced. in-
cluding armour-prercing to break up
tank formations, flare for niqht illumina-
tion, incendiary and signal. One varia-
tion was the M-13-DD, which used two

The most widely us ed r ocket of the


war, the Russian M- I 3 I 32-mm
weapon came as a disagreeabJe
surpilse to German troops on the
Smolensk front in J uly I 94 1. I t
continued to serve in the Red Army
untjl 1 980 and still equips several
Russian alft'es today.

M-30 and M-31 300-mm rockets


The M-30 300-mm (11.8-in) rocket was
introduced during 1942 when it was Entering service in I 942, the M -30
appreciated that good as the M-B and 300-mm rocket carried almost six
M-13 rockets were, a heavier explo- times asrnucft exp,losive as the M- I 3,
sive warhead would be an advantage, but its heavy payload reduced its
The M-30 used a modrfied M- 13 rocket range to under 3 km ( 1.8 miles), The
motor allied to a bulbous warhead first mobile launchers were
which contained 28,9 kg (63.7 lb) of ex- introducedin 1944.
plosive, which more than met the re-
quirement though the range was h-
mited to no more than 2800m (3,060
yards), The first M-30s were fired from
their carrying crates with the aid of a
frame known. as Rama, which was a
close copy of the German method of
usu]g the Packkiste for launching from
the schwere Wurfgerdt. These Ramas
were cumbersome devices that were
laborrous to set up close to the front
line, and were little llked by the Red
Army troops, But they did like the M-30
rocket for its powerful effects, even
going to the extent of using the M-30 for
ambushes against tanks or for house-
to-house fighting, When used in this
role the M-30 was simply aimed at the
iarget whlle still in its carrying crate
and fired at very close range, stabilization and hence accuracy,
By the end of 1942 a newer type of
Specification
of this launcher were carried by the Range was slightly reduced, but th-e M-30
300-mm ( I LB-in) rocket was ready and ZiS-6 6 x 6 truck, but most wartime pro- M-13-UK could greatly decrease the Dimensions:lenqth i.20 m (47.24 n):
'ftis was known as the M-3I to diffe- duction examples were carried on area of ground covered by a battery body diameter 300 mm ( 1 1.8 rn)
rentiate it from the earlier model. The Lend-Lease Studebaker US-6 6xo and thus increase the amouht of explo'- Weights:overall T2 kg (158.7Ib):
M-31 had an improved rocket motor trucks, These American trucks were sive falling upon a point target. propellant 7,2 kg (15.87 1b); explosi\re
--nat gave a range of 4300m (4,705 fitted with steel shutters over the cab The M-30 and M-31 roc[ets were 28,9 ks(63,7Ib)
yards), This rocket could be fired from windows for protection against blast fitted only with HE warheads, They
-ie Rama frames in the same manner Performance: initial velocity not kic-r.:
when the rockets were fired, were undoubtedly powerful projec-
as the M-30, but later Ramas could take A-fter 1945 the M-3] rockets did not tiles, but they lacked range and'for Specification
M-3ls or M-30s in place of the ori- survive for many years as they were much of the war therr mobifty was vir- M-31
=x
3:ural four. By March 1944 the first essentially short-range weapons, and tually nonexistent as thev had to be Dimensions: lenqth 1.76 m (69.3 ir:)
::obrle launchers for the M-31 as such often suffered from counterbat- fired from the static Rania frames, It body diameter 300 mm (l l.B rn)
ippeared, These could carry up to 12 tery flre. But the basic M-31 did under- was not until the later staqes of the war Weights: overall9l.5 kg (201.7 lb.
-r"{-3ls (the short range of the M-30 qo some developmenmt before it was that they were provided with mobility propellant I L2 kg (24.7 kg); expl:s:
:-led out their use with the mobile dropped, There was an M-3I-UK in the form of the BM-31- 12, a tardiness 28.9 kq (63,7 lb)
=unchers), and the type was thus which used some of the efflux oases to for which the German troops on the Performance: initial velocity 255 r:-
ic.own as the BM-31-12 Early versrons impart a measure of spin for rn6reased Eastern Front were no doubi orateful. (836 ft) per second
Rockets oltheWest
Britain had been the firstWestern nation
to use rockets in action;Congreve
rockets helped burn Washington in
1812, but the introduction of modern
rockets into BritishArmy service took a
Iong time. But despite startingfrom
scratch theAmericans produced the
best Allied rocket, the M8.

The first nation among the Allies of World War


II to devote attention to war rockets was the UK,
Dunng the 1930s the staff planners of Whitehall
appreciated that the national armoury had fal-
len to the point at whtch the nation was wide
open to air attack, The productlon of adequate
numbers of anti-arrcraft gmns would be expen-
sive to an extreme in the foreseen time scale
(which turned out to be much shorter than ex-
pected at that time), so it was reasoned that the
rocket mrght fil} the gap to some extent.
Thus British scientists started a programme
that was to last throughout the war years, Start-
ing virtually from scratch and having only the
technology derived lrom the old black-powder
Congreve and similar designs of the previous
century, they soon established some basic The original stimulus to British pre-war rocket unsuccess/u]it was usedas tfte basis for some
principles. One was that the use of new prop- design had been the need to develop an anti- interesting designs, like this 24-pdr air-portable
ellants based on extruded grains of celluiose- aircraft weapon. Although the AA rocket proved rocket projector.
based compounds was a viable proposition,
and the abihty to produce such a propellant on ple frame or rail system for launching, and as tect the crew from blast at the moment of firing.
a large scale was established, By a series of mass production was the ultimate objectrve the These simple projectors were used in large
trials and errors they learned the hard way simpler the design the better, That is exactly batteries all placed close together and frred at
what could and could not be achieved by rock- what emerged, At the time two rockets were the same instant, which was the only way that a
ets uslng the new propellants, and at times the under development conslderation, namely 51- .target could be usefully engaged as for sim-
negative aspect seemed to be all too much in mm (2-in) and 76,2-mm (3-in) weapons, and pliclty's sake the Brltlsh rockets used fin stabi-
the ascendant, both used very simple rail launchers, In the lization and were thus inherently inaccurate,
Together with the rocket research went re- event the 76.}mm rocket proved more useful
The only Western weapon used in comparable
search into launchers, This was much simpler and the intended anti-aircrait launcher for this numbers totheKatyushawas the American M8
than that of the rocket, for the classic form of was simpie to an extreme. The first 76.2-mm 4.5-in weapon, seen here in action in the Hurtgen
rocket launcher had been well established rocket launcher, somettmes known as the Har- forest, Germany, in November I 944. The gunners
many decades earlier with the Congreve and vey projector, was simply two rails 3.658 m are re-loading, surrounded by the smoke ofthe
Hale rockets. The rocket required only a sim- (144 1n) in length with light metal sheets to pro- lastvolley.
War Rockets of World War II
fs the rockets left the launcher rarls any slight
'j-luence on their path lrom side winds
or otlier
-actors made them veer off course, sometrmes
.r a.n alarming degree. Mass production
:lethods for the rockets introduced more
cossible variables, and so poor was the overall
performance of the first British war rockets that
ire only way to use them effectively was to f,re
..ast numbers of projectiles at the target, Thus
-ater projectors used a greater number of laun-
:her rails until the ultimate was reached with
ro less than 20 rockets on a single launcher.
Once the anti-aircraft rocket was in service,
it was appreciated that there could be other
uses lor so simple and relatively inexpensive a
weapon, Various applications for the war rock-
et were undertaken on an experimental basis,
rncludtng what was perhaps the most bizarre oi
all, a device known as the Grand panjandrum,
This was a massive twin-wheel arranqement
propelled by rocket motors placed aroind the
,vheel rims, The idea was that the wheel could
be launched from landlng craft and allowed to
:nove.up a beach to any local defences, where
.le wheel would be exploded. The idea was
sound, but it drd not work in practice, desprte
:onsrderable efforts. A far more successful
_oroject was the Hedgehog, which was a cross
cetween a spigot mortar and a rocket and was
*sed to hrlll depth charges at submerged sub-
:rannes, I'rom Hedgehog grew the Hedqe_
::w, which was used to fire racks of bombJ at The British Land Mattress system compromised using the launcher itself to impart a degrce of sp::
ceach defences during the Normandy inva- between the expense o! th6 spin-stabftized r-o-cket to the projectile.
sion. Another ofishoot of the Hedgehog was the and the inaccuracy of fin-stabitized designs by
.imerican 183-mm (7.Z-in) T3Z rockei
The airthreat truded grains of propellants even before it was
f,nished. The main Amencan programme was
By the ttme the offshoots from the Britrsh drrected towards producing an all-purpose
rocket programme were under way the Amer- rocket, although in the event the weapon was 'Stickleback' was a British system to pulverjze
-3ans were in the war, Starting from nothing used mainly for the artillery ro1e, The Amer- enemy beach defences. The projector was fixei :c
irey soon luilt up the entrre rndustrral compiei icans concentrated all therr efforts on the I 14,3- landing craft, and launchedA hurricane of S-in
required for rocket production, startrng with a rockets, each rated as the equivatent of a S.S-itL
mm (4 5-tn) M8 rocket, and they made a good howitzer shell.'Stickleback;could carry up to Z2
oropellant lactory that was churning out ex- choice. The M8 was produced rn far greater ml'ssiles.

i:l;iiiet:ii:3
-t* --. " '
c':
f:
fi ffi"' ,- ",
Rockets of the West

numbers than any other solid-fuel rocket dur- if the Allies wished to counter the German
ing World War II with the possible exception of rocket batteries on their own terms, they ioo
the Sovret rockets, for which no precise figures had to adopt the spin-stabilized rocket with all
are avallable, A bewrlderrng array of launchers the attendant production costs and perhaps
uras developed lo fire the M8 rocket, Few of even some loss in potential range since this
them ever got into the hands ofthe troops, and weapon has to use some of rts energy to pro-
the few ihat did were usually unable to meet duce the spin.
the strict safety and other standards normally In typically thorough fashion the Americans
required by the US forces, Thus many of the M8 set about producing a proper spinner and in
projectors retained thelr 'T' experimental de- time came up wrth the 114.3-mm (4 S-in) M16
signations although some were used in rocket together with its multiple projector, the
appreciabie numbers, Some were even local T66. But producing this combination cost the
or emergency improvisations such as the de- Americans a great deal of time, and only smal1
vice known as Scorpion: this was a multiple numbers saw action before the war ended, The
launcher array that could be fitted lnto the car- Brrtish designers, wtth less production poten-
go area of a DUKW amphibious cargo carrier, tlal than the Americans, attempted a simpler
and could fire up to 144 M8 rockets. It was way out, They used a system whereby a flnned
improvrsed to meet a local requirement durtng rocket was provided with a degree of spin by
the invaslon of some Japanese-held islands tn its launcher rails, Thrs method, although rather
the Paciflc. crude in design terms and nowhere near as
By 1944 the war rocket was already well efficlent as a proper spin-stabilized rocket,
established as an aircraft weapon, and was proved to be efficient enough for artillery use,
used to attack not only land targets but naval Thus there appeared the Land Mattress, also in
targets as well, includrng submarines. But the later staqres of the war in Europe and in
there was one role that the Allies had yet to insufficient numbers to make any real impres-
explore, and that was the artillery rocket. In sion compared with the German artillery rock-
their haste to get rockets into production both et batteries,
the British and the Americans plumped for the
Above: Perhaps the most successful of British
fin-stabilized rocket to speed production, But designs was'Hedgehog', a rocket- propelled
such a rocket was primarily an area-saturation depth chatge which enabled escorts to engage
weapon, a fact well demonstrated by the Soviet Below: Members of a Canadian rocket unit study enemy submarines from all angles rather than
Katyushas, while the main protagonists of the their Land Mattress rocket system, a soundly having to drop conventional bombs from the stem.
artillery rocket were the Germans, who used designedweapon thatwas introduced too late and 'Hedgerow', a landversion,was used jn
spin-stabilized rockets in large numbers, Thus in too smallnumbers to make a significantimpact. Normandy.

k-'
Y:"rB;i"Sl,l
JffiW.

*r,

,
i*.
\..

a'

-3]6
ffi frocket, HE, 4.5-in, M8 War Rockets of World War II
When the USA entered the war in 194l, medrum tank The Calliope had no
.ne US forces had no rockets at all in fewer than 60 launching tubes and was
service or in prospect, but with typical constructed from pl1'wood as it was a
:nergy the Americans used their con- one-shot weapon for use against
stderable industrial potential and tech- strongpolnts. After fr ring or jn an
lcal knowledge to remedy this deficit emergency the whole device could be
'.vith great speed. In what seemed like jettisoned. The T44 was even larger
ro time at all they had erected huge than the Calliope as it had 120 Iauncher
:acilities for producing rocket prop- tubes, and was destgned for installa-
:llants of all kinds and were busy de- tion in the cargo area of a DUKW or
srgning and producinq rockets for al1 LVT amphibious vehrcle. This was a
llwposes, One of these rockets was a simple area-saturatlon launcher as
relatively straightforward fln- there was no method ofvarying eleva-
stabilized weapon known initialiy as tion or traverse, A similar device
:ne Tl2 but later standardized as the known as the Scorpion but mountrng
Rocket, HE,4.S-in, M8, This nose-i.rsed 144 launchers was used on DUKWs in
- 14 3-mm (4,S-in) rocket was destined the Pacific theaue 'l he T45 was a twin
:: be fabricated in larger numbers l4-barrel launcher that could be fltted
::ran any other World War II artrllery to the srdes of various vehicies, includ- When America entered the war the 4.|-in rocketwas put into producua:
rocket, no fewer than 2 537,000 being ing liqht trucks Yet another launcher US Army had no rockets in service and proved highly successful. over
produced by the trme the war ended. that fired the MB rocket was the MI2 and noneon the drawing board, but 2 t/zmillion being manufactured by
lhe M8Al and MBA2 were slight
-.-ariatrons of the MB
which was a srngle-shot 'bunker- after a little experimentation the M8 1945.
were used Ln
and busier' along the lines of the British
-ee same manner the former had a LILO
s.rengthened motor body and the lat- Despite the large-scale use of the
,:r had a smaller warhead with thicker MB its inaccuracy was such that it was
,-.alls, The MBA3 was an MBA2 with consrdered rnadequate as an artillery
:::odified flns. rocket. Usingr knowledqe gTained from
Berng only fln-stabilized, the MB was trials v"rth capt[ed German rockets,
:ierently inaccurate and was accor- the Amerrcans developed a 114,3-mm
lnqly used not for the engaqement of (4.S-tn) spur stabilized rocket known
lrlnt targets but for the saturation of as the M16. along with a multiple laun-
,=rge areas with flre, Thus it was used cher kno'r,rr as the T66 which could fire
=:<tensively for the mass bombard- 24 rcckets Ln two seconds. This com-
:-ent of target areas before amphr- binaticn arrived on the battlefronts
;-ous landrngs or as a supplement to some,r hai laie rn the war and was Lrsed
::-assed artillery bombardments, Even dwing c:J_v one engagement in Ger-
:: short ranges its accuracy was erra- mary before the end of the war in
:: so nearly all the launchers used
'.'.'rth the MB were multiple types.
Eurcpe Ii ras not used in the Paciflc
theatre bui rvas retained on the books
--,pical of these was the T27 Multiple for sorne years after 1945.
Rocket Launcher which fired eight MB
l:ckets and was carried on the back oi Right: An unusual mounting for the
: GMC or Studebaker ZVz-ton track. MB - a captured German half-track
-rere were several variations of thts carries the 60-tube launcher more
.....urcher, one (the T27E2) with capac- commonly fitted to tanks. A fin-
-:.'for up to 24 rockets, The T34 or stabilized projectile, the MB was
Calliope was a large launcher carried eftatic inflight and needed to be
:','er the turret of an M4 Sherman fired in quantity to guarantee a hit.

Specification
Rocket, HE,4.5-in, MB
Dimensions: Ienqrth B3B mm (33 in)
body diameter I 14 3 mm (4.5 in)
Weights: overall 17.5 kg (38.5 lb):
propellant 2. 16 kg (4,75 Ib); explosr .':
1.95 kq (4.3 ]b)
Performance: maximum velocity 2c9 :
(B5O ft) per second; maximum ranc=
4205 m (4,600 yards)

Left: M4 Sherman tanks sport the T-


34 60-tube launcher known as
C alliope. The tubes were m ade of
plywood and could only be used a
few times betore disintegrating, but
the launcher provided tank units
with awe som e close- r ange
firepower.

Above:Agunner checks the sights of


the simple T- 27 eight- tube launch er.
generally fitted to GMC or
Studebaker 2 t/z-ton trucks. The M8
was also fired from massive I20- or
even 140-round launchers fitted to
DUKW amphibious vehicles for
beach assault.
DK [-in noctet
---rj:J l]le tate 1930s the need for irn-
:::;:j Cefence of the United King-
:-:r- alrarnst air attack was flnallY
.;;:::,ated, but at the time it was
:-:..;:-: that to produce enouqh anti-
gn-ms to meet immedlate needs
=-::rai
-r: -.-j take too long , Thus the rocket
,r.. to see if it could pro-
-,-:: -:vestigated
a cheap and easily-manufactured
='::=at1ve to the erun, and among the
::-.: iesiqns rnvestigated was a tYPe
.:-,',',1 as the 2-in Rocket. As things
:*::=d out the later 76.2-mm (3-in)
r-:(:' was Io prove more Promising,
::: ar'the time the smaller rocket
.e::red quite encouraging and work
-,'.-::-: ahead on
the design wtth some
:-::uennlm.
l:.: 5l-mm 12-rn) rocket was a sim-
;-: ievrce that used a propellant
r::-,'.rr as solventless cordite or SCRK,
-:: cverall simplicity of the weaPon
:: -d be seen in the fact that the ear-
":::
-.-:l::
iesigns used a direct-action wind
on the nose to arm the fuse after
-.-:-Oi. with a
self-destruct trmer to des-
l:_,- the weapon after it had been in
1;:t for 4.5 seconds, by which time it
','.-*id have reached a maxlmum
::.ght of about 1370 m (4,500 ft).
i. the event the 51-mm (2-rn) rocket
-,';.. r.rsed mainly to arm ltqht naval ves- .

s:Ls and some merchant shipPtng,


l:-ere were many and various simPle ready rt was appreciated that the lar- Pillar Box mountrng its name. The arm- The Z-in rocketwas an ingenious, if
:--a',.a1 mountings such as the bastc ver- ger 76.2-mm (3-rn) rocket was much er could fire alt 20 ol the rocke's rn one over - optimis tic, an ti- air cr aft
::al launchers that were mounted on better for thrs role and relatively few salvo or two salvoes of 10 rockets ustng weapon, being designed to destroY
:a:h side of the bridge on manY light 51-mm (2-in) rockets were produced. electrical ignition, Iow-flying aircraft by fouling their
;:ssels, These were supposed to One naval mounttng that was used Other forms of land-mounted 5l-mm propellers with the long wire it left in
,1ich thef rockets as a low-flying air- on land was the one known as the 2-in (2-rn) rocket launchers existed and itswake.
::1it attacked the ship. As the rockets Rocket Mounting Mk II, Pillar Box were used but only in very small num-
::se they were desigmed to carry aloft mountinqt. This was used during the bers as temporary de{ensive mea-
desperate days of 1940 and 1941 to sures. The 51-mm (2-in) rocket was Specification
= :engrth of light wire that would en- provide at least a measure of coastal really too small and hght to have any 2-in Rocket
::-:sh itself rn the aircraft's propellers
anti-aircraft defence, and could launch great destructive effect, but the les- Dimensions: length914 4 mm (36 in);
--d bring it down, The
',';:rked
system never
up to 20 rockets. The rockets were sons learned in the design and de- body diameter 57 mm (2.25 in)
and neither did manY other
s-:::1ar and somewhat oPtimtstic de arranged in two vertrcal rows of five on velopment of these early attempts at Weiqhts: overall 4.BB kq ( 10. 75 lb);
-,--:es. There was a hrqh explosive ver- each side of a central drum houstng in war rockets had a good effect on later warhead 0.25 kq (0.56 lb)
:-:i that could carry a 0.25-kq (0.561b) which the aimer operated the stmple desiqns. Performance: initial velocity 457 m
-,';:rhead, ( 1,500 ft) per second
but by the time this was controls. This drum housrng gave the

>K U-in noctet


)esiqn work on British artillery rock- Designed originall7 as an anti-
:s startedearly as 1934, thouqh only
as aircraft system, the 3-in rocket
::- a low-priority basis, and bY 1937 achieved modesfsuccess as a
:ad reached the position where a 3-in ground weapon. However, it is better
Rocket was proposed as an alternative known as an air - to'g rou nd w e aPon,
:: the anti-atrcraft gnrn, Under stnct fired from Hawker TYPhoons over
security conditions, development of Normandy.
-i:e new rocket went ahead with the
:1./er name UP (unrotated projectile), the Projector, Rocket, 3-in, No. 2 Mk I
-arly flrings were made at Aberporth came along, This used a two-rail laun-
-:: Wales, and by i939 the final test ching system and was Produced in
1rngs were berng made in Jamaica, some numbets, still firing the 76.2-mm
hese led to the establishment of the (3-in) rocket but fitted with more soph-
:rst operational battery near Cardiffin isticated fusing systems including ear-
Souih Wales, where it was known as a ly attempis at proximity fusing and
4 Udttul y. other electro-magmetic devices Some
Thrs flrst Z battery used a single-rail of these No. 2 projeclors saw ac1 ton ir
-aimcher known as the Projector, 3-in, North Africa, includinq port defence at
Mk 1. It was a very simple, even crude Tobruk,
ievrce and it was produced for both The next lmprovement in launchingl
-:e army and the Royal Navy, although methods was the Projector, Rocket, 3-
-:: ihe event most of the Royal NavY's in, No. 4 Mk I and Mk 2, This had no
al-location went to the merchant naw, fewer than 36 launcher rails to fire nine
le rocket was a simple fin-stabilized rockets in a ripple sequence, This pro-
jector was mobiie as it was carried on
::be containing a motor and the same
SCRK cordite used on the 5l-mm (2-in) converted 76.2-mm (3-in) anti-aircraft
:ccket. These early designs were platform trailers. Agatn some of these
scmewhat erratrc in performance, and projectors were used in North Afnca
accuracy was such that huge salvoes The largest of all the British 76.2-mm
:ad to be flred from a1l the projectors (3-in) rocket projectors was the Pro-
.r] a Z battery in order to have some jector, Rocket, 3-in, No. 6 Mk I, which
chance of hitting an aircraft tarqet. could fire 20 rockets in four salvoes.
They did have their successes, but This entered service in 1944 and was
iey were few and not imProved until intended for use in static locations for
:-n rocket (continued) War Rockets of World War II
-:-e defence, By the trme they were that the 76 2 mm (3-rn) rocket was airborne 76 2-mm (3 rn) rocket had propellant 5 76 kq (12.71b), warhead
.=-117 many were manned by Home taken up as an aircraft weapon Fired reached a considerabje state ofdesrgrn I 94 kq (4.28 lb)
-1--rd units as they were considered from short launcher rarls it proved to development and was even berng Performance: maximum velocity 457 rr
. ::.
enough for relattvely untrained
1e be a devastatrng ground attack missile used to sink U-boats. (1,500 ft) per second; service cerhnq
-:ls, especially when they were fired especially aqalnst tanks, and durrng 6tla mr22.2aa flr norizon al rango -
-: nasse by battery at easrly-vrsible 1944 proved to be one of the most Specification 3720 m (4,070 yards)
=:;ets In the event they were llttle po;rerful of all anti-tank weapons 3-in Rocket
...=c ,.vhen used by 'cab-rank' Hawker Dimensions: lenqth 1 93 m (76 ln);
3ne unexpected offshoot from the Ti'phcons over the Normandy bat body drameter 82,6 mm (3 25 rn)
.-r:, arrcraft rocket programme y/as tlelelds By the ttme the war ended the Weights: overatl24 5 kg (54 lb);

NE :'__ ^
z/-rIN IJILL,, Specification
'-544 LILO rocket (9.53-kq/2 I lb warhead)
:: the Allies were becomrng ll:.: ::-: r:e cther 35 5 kq (78.25 lb) only some 45 to 50 m (49 to 55 yards)
L:-: :-: -l-. -Cea WdS inal the LILO
Dimensions: lenqth 1.238 m (48.75 in)t
.::'-siomed to the Japanese tacttc o: five rockets had to be fired. This may body diameter 82.55 m (3 25 in)
-.,:g heavrly-protected bunkers i: p:: =:.:: :: jd be carried to its firing sound uneconomic but the alternative Weights:overall l7 B kg (39.25 lb);
-::-a1r Allied advances, not only on ihe -: :- -:, : r' ::: nan Wlth another Car- wds to bring up heavy arrille'y wrrh all propellant I 93 kq(4.25 lb); explosive
. -:-ic Islands but also in the land ral- .i-::: : t-:<:: ::- a surtable backpack. t s atlendan rrsks and laboLl. i B kq(4Ib)
-.:: ragiing rn South East Asia The crh -:= ;:, =:.::',',-- .hen set up as close The Americans also used a short- Performance: not stated
'::r'.\e way lo demohsn rhes- .:- ., -.: -r, -:r=t .trjet as possrble and range rocket for the same purpose as
... : ,ble defensive works was b1- -:-= :,:.-' ::::d irto the launcher LiLO Their devrce was known as the
..-.= Specification
-: of healry artillery at close rang:s :i= --:, .:.: r::-. Cpen siqhts were MI2 Rocket Launcher which frreci a LILO rocket (27 2-kgl60-lb warhead)
: -. :he Japanese did not always builJ j: l : l: :-: -.',':alon the back legs i14.3-mm (4 S-in) rocket, and thrs re- Dimensions: iength I 321 m (52 rn)
:-:rr bunkers where such hea,.,-,- : - : = ..-,----:-=r i:erng moved for sembled LILO rn many ways aport body drameter 152 mm (6 rn)
. . .po*s could gel aT
-.:s obviously a relatively portabie
tnem The rock-' ::--,:=. :,:.:.-:a When ali was irom the facr rhat he firsr louncher Weights: overall 35 5 kq (78.25 1b);
:::-. : :- :'.: ,'.:: -:ed electrically tubes used were plastic and were dis- propellant 1.93 kq (4.25lb)t explosive
:::thod of dealtng with such obstacles ':-:: - ,:,,- : - '.',-: ba1ery The LILO carded after flrrng, Such a system 6 24 ks (13 75 ]b)
-:-j thus there emerged a progranm= '' r rj: j: : of penetralrng proved to be too wasteful even for the Performance: not stated
.::wn by the cover name LILO :, - -, --:::.:-plusalayerof US war economy, so a laler verston
was a very simple srngle- -:: :- '.,-. - - : ::nally penetrate was developed as the Ml2Ei whrch
'lLOlauncher
::lrel designed to flre a :,-.'. ::.-=.= i -i-{:r But the main used a magnesrum alloy tube that
As theAllies drove theJapanese
b ac k tow ar ds their homel and,
rrlket at short range against bunk::- '
::-:-=: :: 1, -:.::.:.::alqet despite could be reloaded and reused. These numerous expedients were tried to
.'pe targets, It frred a projectiie p:- projectors were used during the latter knock out the toughly-constructed
'.:redbytheMotor Rocket 3-tn \: - stages of the flghting on Okrnawa when bunkers thatwere the hallmark of
I.l:rk I to which two types of -rar:::: the Japanese defenders had to be /apaneseposi tions. One such was
: .ld be fined Borh w€re rL -,', - blasted from their heavily defended LILO - a short-range single-shot 60-
:: wershing 17,B kq (39 25 Ib :::., caves, lb(27-kg) rocket.

-#

r&t*.:.,:r,..

ra
{
*l' *" '-p
i
t5 19
ffi i,"r,a Mattress
iJthough early development of the system ofrotary spoilers over the rock-
,'.-ar rocket in the United Kingtdom was et exhausts was formulated and Put
-:.iitially to produce an anti-aircraft lnto use, The rotary spoiler disturbed
-J;eapon, some consideration was also 'the exhaust gases by closing off their
jven to producing an artillery rocket, efflrx by varyinQtamounts, and thus re-
3ne early attempt at this was a design ducinq the minimum range to 3565 m
'-cr a I27-mm (5-in) rocket which was (3,900 yards),
:etected by the army but adoPted bY For all the success ol the Land Mat-
--re Royal Navy for use in modifled tress, not many equipments were used
landrng craft for the saturation of land- in action before the war ended in
rg beaches and approaches bY mas- Europe in May 1944. By that time many
sed rocket fire. This eventuallY were only just emergdng from the fac-
:volved as the 'Mattress' but ranEle tories ready to be sent off to South East
;as limrted. However, further tdals re- Asia, but their use there was verY
-,-ealed that the range could be im- limited, as a result mainly of the weight
proved by introducinq, at launch, a de- and bulk of the projectors in the area s
jungle conditions. A specral l6-barrel
7ee or spin which would also improve
accLiracy, and this was simPlY version was accordinqly developed
:chieved by using an aircraft 76 2-mm for towingt by a Jeep, but the war was
.3-in) rocket motor attached to a naval over by the time it was ready for ser-
-3-kg (29-lb) warhead. This increased vIce.
:ange to a possible 7315m (8,000 In action, a single Land Mattress
.-ards), makrng the artillery rocket a projector salvo could result in 50 per
.-Labie proposition once more. Thus cenT of the rockers fallinq m an area
Mattress' became 'Land Mattress'. 215 m (235 yards) longr bY 219 m (240
The first army launchers for these yards) wide, The rockets were fired in
rew Land Mattress rockets had 32 bar- ripples at 0.2S-second intervals so that
rels, but a later versron had 30 barrels, the entire salvo could be fired in 7.25
Demonstrations of thts launcher great- seconds. Dunng the crossing of the LandMattress was acurious hybrid-
.1,'impressed Canadian armY staff Schetdt the first Land Mattress battery an army weapon constructed from
:rtcers, who requested a l2-launcher fired 1,146 rounds over a six-hour an aircraft rocket motor and a S-in
battery which in the event was ready period. As each warhead PaYload navalwarhead. Early models were
:r actron on I November 1944. This weighed 3,1B kg (7 1b), the effects can severely restricted in performance
jrattery went into actron during the well be imaqined, since e lev ation w as re s tricte d
:rossing ofthe River Scheldt and was a between 23" and 45".
'Specification
;reat success, to the extent that more
-,','ere requested and produced, The Land Mattress (rocket)
,and Mattress launcher was limited in Dimensions:length 1,77 m (69.7 in)
-is elevation capabilities to between 23 Weights: overall 30.5 kq (67.25 1b);
ard 45", and this not only limited the propellant 5 kq (1 I 1b); payload 3, lB kg
maximum range to 7225 m (7,900 (7 rb)
-.'ards) but also Iimited the mlntmum Performance: maxrmum veiocity 335 m
range to 6125 m (6,700 yards). To re- (1,100 ft) per second; maximumrange
duce the minimum ranqe Possible, a 7225 m (7,900 yards)

Above: Loading 30.S-kg (67-lb) bigvolleys. The firstLand Mattress


rockets into the 32-round launchers battery fired over I ,000 rounds in six
was anexhausting job, butto be hours during the crossing of the
eftective rockets had to be fired in Scheldt.

Above: Loaded andreadY tofire, the Right: Land Mattress spent more
crews make their final checks before time on the test range than in action
taking cover. Fired at a rateoffour a Af ter much ex Per im ent ation,
second, haif the rockets from a 32- minimum rangewas reduced and a
round projector would hit a target light 1 6-round |auncher was
zone 2 1 5 m (235 yards) long and developed for jungle warfare.
219 m(240yards)wide.

r520