Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

How fast is too fast for a Bofors

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by Hairog, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Hairog

    Hairog Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    10
    How fast is too fast for an end of the war 3.7 and a Boffers AA gun to follow a jet using late war gun sights, fire control systems and computers etc.?

    Could an end of the war jet be immune at high speeds and low altitude to a low level attack from these guns?
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9,791
    Likes Received:
    3,237

    Nuh!...how fast is too fast? Faster than the bullets/rounds...or so fast they have no penetration power...600-700 miles an hour is still plenty slow enough...remember the AAA being fired in Iraq...slow moving bombers were legit targets...now seeing them is another thing...Flying under the radar...or reaction time from a human operator are different questions...
     
  3. Hairog

    Hairog Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sorry I guess I didn't communicate what I meant.

    I read that the standard for a workable WWII Lead Gun Sight and targeting system to get a proper solution was 20 seconds.

    How fast could a boffers even physically follow a fast moving plane?

    All I have to go by is flybys at football games and low level flights at air shows. I don't think you could get a very good shot at one of those. I don't believe they are flying too fast either.
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9,791
    Likes Received:
    3,237


    Bofors are an excellent weapon...personnel, buildings, vehicles, shipping and yes even for aircraft...You can use "grape" shot that act like a shot gun...our own patrol boats only just ridded themselves of their bofor guns...the operators DO practice, and can get re-load and traverse times down to less than you would think...in the case of these (slightly inweildly) weapons you can set up a "killing zone"...whereby you range and aim your weapon at a certain area...one does not fire unless a target comes into that area, then you blast away...The area you choose should be to protect the most vulnerable part of the vehicle you are in...or area you're in...if they attack from the obvious and best position then thats where you set up your bofors...they had a pretty good fire rate too...so correcting was possible after each shot...again, like anything....practice...
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    452
    Would need to do some maths but AFAIK traverse speed and acceleration of the WW2 Bofors mounts was not good enough to track very fast targets.
    IIRC the most common field mounts didn't have power traverse so both would depend from the crew.

    The post war 40/70 is not the same weapon as the wartime 40/56

    For example the values for the post-war Breda 40/70 are: ("compact"/"twin fast forty"/single"fast forty")
    90 / 100 / 130 degrees/sec training
    60 / 70 / 75 degress sec elevation
    Wartime 40/56 mounts usually didn't do better than 50 degrees / second training (US Mk 4 quad), most mounts were closer to 25 degrees/ sec with similar elevation speeds
    AFAIK the Bofors was not especially poor in this aspect other light AA weapons were worse.
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    587
    Between 1943 and 1944 I served as a wireless op in a Light Ack Ack regiment and although I never fired a Bofor I was always close enough to appreciate their rapid fire power.

    On one occasion, whilst still in the UK, I was sitting literally alongside one of our guns when a German plane strafed us and we could only stand and gape.

    Full story, and it's aftermath here:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - German ?Tip and Run Raiders? over Hove in 1943

    Ron
     
    brndirt1 likes this.
  7. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    2,140
    Location:
    God's Country
    It depends upon the mounting. Each type had it's own strength's and weaknesses not necessarily a weakness in the 40mm L/60 gun itself. A mount that is manually trained being less effective than a powered mount, and a powered mount on manual control less effective than one tied to a fire control system such as the US Navy's Mk51 gun director. The big reason that the bofors disappeared post war was that larger, faster aircraft required a heavier shell to knock them down or alternately a huge increase in rounds impacting the target. In the US Navy the Mk1 twin mount and Mk 2 quad mount were replaced by twin 3"/50 Mk 26 guns in the Mk 33 mount. It had a heavier shell and was proximity fused. It however did not prove fully successful.
     
  8. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    29
    My grandfather's reply when I asked him years ago was"not bloody likely",or words to that effect.! Cheers.
     
  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9,791
    Likes Received:
    3,237
    One also has to consider the distance from the target...a fast mover is easier to aim and hit from a distance...the close it is the less time one has...
     
  10. Hairog

    Hairog Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    10
    I guess the ultimate opponent would be a AR234 coming in low and releasing the German version of napalm or cluster bombs. Would a jet going 800km or faster at 100 meters be too fast to track?

    The British Bofors did not use the VT fuse by the way only the 3.7" did.
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,314
    Likes Received:
    862
    It also depends on the geometry; if the Bofors is on or near the target, so the attacker is coming almost head-on, it's much easier than engaging a crossing target. This is why Bofors were so effective against kamikazes and other aircraft.

    As someone mentioned, the smallest proximity fuses in WWII were for 3-inch guns, which is why they replaced Bofors in naval and other applications. The USN had hoped to replace twin and quad Bofors with single and twin 3"50s, but they ended up trading roughly 2.5 Bofors for each 3"50 barrel - actually a slight loss in weight of metal, but compensated by the proximity fuse and greater range.

    p.s. the 3"50s also came with Mark 56 directors - one in a destroyer, four in a heavy cruiser, etc. - which added to both the weight/topweight penalty and the superiority of the 3" armament.
     

Share This Page