Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Demolition Rocket

Time for another short article. I feel I should give a quick explanation on why we're getting so many quick and dirty emergency articles these days. I currently work shifts six days a week. That only leaves Saturday for me to do any writing. If something crops up, such as a company I work with requiring na archive visit, then I can only do that my one day off, leaving no time for writing an article. That means I have to be lazy and just grab something spare from my collection and put it up before I go into work on the Sunday. 
I can only apologise for these short articles, hopefully the situation will improve soon.

In the UK at least there was always a considerable effort devoted to research into knocking out bunkers and other concrete fortifications. One early suggestion was a sawn off 60-pounder WWI era artillery piece, to blast the fortification to pieces.

However it was quickly found that just sheer mass of HE was inconsistent, if not ineffective, in its results. This lead to development of other ideas such as using APHE rounds, and some were built and tested for 17-pounder guns. The idea was that standard issue weapons could then be used, without resorting to specialist equipment. This idea seemed to have limited effect. Other anti-concrete weapons utilised HESH or HEAT warheads.

The US stuck with a mass of HE projected against a concrete position. To that end they adapted the Mousetrap anti-submarine weapon for land use. Mousetrap was in turn a development of the Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar. The main difference being Mousetrap was propelled by rockets, where as Hedgehog used a conventional gunpowder propulsion.
Mousetrap launcher

cutaway of a 7.2 demolition rocket
This T37 7.2 inch demolition rocket was mounted on a Sherman in a 20 round launcher, known as the T40 Whiz-Bang. One was loaned to the British who decided to test its anti-concrete performance. They wheeled it out and fired it agaisnt a concrete target to assess the damage from a full 20 round salvo.
The Sherman used in the test firing.

The results of 19 rockets, the 20th is the blind you see lying in the foreground.