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Osprey Publishing

Luftwaffe Special Weapons 1942-45 by Robert Forsyth

Luftwaffe Special Weapons 1942-45 by Robert Forsyth

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A highly illustrated study of some of the weapons developed by Nazi Germany to equip the Luftwaffe in their desperate war against the encroaching Allied forces.

As the course of World War II turned against the Third Reich after Stalingrad some of the most inventive and radical proposals, and designs, were put forward by armaments manufacturers, scientists and technicians, aircrew, and even private individuals to the Reichsluftministerium (German Air Ministry) for consideration. Some proposals were destined never to leave the drawing board, while others not only underwent trials but were issued to operational units and used in action.

In this fascinating new book, leading Luftwaffe historian Robert Forsyth examines the many different types of weapons that comprised the Luftwaffe's increasing potent arsenal during the second half of the war. This was the period that saw the development and adoption of aerial torpedoes, wire-guided rockets and missiles, batteries fired by photo-electric cells, chemical weapons, composite bombers, and air-launched flying bombs.

Table of Contents:

1. Heavy cannon
To include:
Mauser MG 151/20 (many types)
30 mm MK 108 (close-range anti-bomber weapon, Fw 190 and Me 262)
55 mm MK 112
55 mm MK 114 (long-barrelled cannon fitted to nose of Me 262)
30 mm MK 101
30 mm MK 103
'Schrage Musik' upward-firing, fuselage-mounted, cannon installation for nightfighters against RAF heavy bombers (20 and 30 mm configurations)
37 mm Flak 18 (Ju 87G ground-attack, used against Soviet armour on Eastern Front)
5 cm BK automatic cannon (Me 410 anti-bomber weapon, trialled operationally)
7.5 cm BK cannon (Hs 129 and He 177 ground-attack, trialled on Hs 129)

2. Air-to-Air
To include:
21 cm WGr.21 underwing air-to-air mortar (adapted army weapon used by fighter units in Defence of the Reich missions against Allied daylight bomber formations)
SG 116 Zellendusche recoilless, photo-electric cell-operated, vertically firing anti-bomber weapon
SG 118 MK 108 multiple 'barrel blocks' (one-time 30 mm shell batteries installed in He 162 Volksjager jet fighter)
SG 119 MK 108 extra-multiple 'barrel blocks' (49 barrels, intended for Bachem Natter and other experimental rocket interceptors)
SG 500 Jagerfaust 5 cm recoilless, photo-electric cell-operated (anti-bomber weapon intended and trialled in Me 163 rocket fighter)
Gustloff HF 15 15 mm high-speed underwing rotating cannon
RZ 65 Fahn and RZ 73 wing rockets
55 mm R4M Orkan air-to-air rockets (used by Me 262 jet fighters against USAAF bomber formations)
Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided missile (tested by Fw 190s and Ju 88s and intended for new Ta 183 jet interceptor)
Hs 298 air-to-air missile (first missile designed specifically for air-to-air use, tested on Ju 88 and intended for use by modified Do 217s and Fw 190s)

3. Air-to-Sea
To include:
Henschel Hs 293 rocket-powered, radio-controlled, anti-ship glide-bomb (used operationally by Fw 200s, He 177s and Do 217s against Allied ships)
Air-launched torpedoes - Lufttorpedo (LT) F5b, F5w, LT 350, BV L10 and L950 glider torpedo carriers
BV 143 air-launched, glide-bomb
BT 400 torpedo-bomb
BV 246 Hagelkorn guided glide-bomb
SB 500 Kurt bouncing anti-ship bomb

4. Air-to-Ground
To include:
705 mm Panzerschreck and Panzerblitz air-to-ground missiles
SG 113a Farstersonde recoilless, single-shot, photo-electric cell-operated, downward-firing anti-tank cannon (Fw 190 and Hs 129)
SG 117 Rohrblock recoilless, photo-electric cell-operated, downward-firing anti-tank weapon

5. Radical measures
The operations of Erprobungskommando 25, the Luftwaffe's anti-bomber weapons evaluation unit - chemical sprays, dropping of steel nets, cable bombs, towed bombs etc.
Artificially produced gusts of air for de-stabilising bomber formations.

6. The aircraft as a weapon
To include:
Mistel composite bombers
Manned FZG 76 flying bomb 'Reichenberg'
Air-launched V1 flying bombs
Sonderkommando Elbe - planned ramming operation

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  • Luftwaffe Special Weapons 1942-45

    Robert Forsyth


  • Binding: Hard Cover with dust jacket

    Copyright: 2021

    Pages: 272

    Size: 8 x 9.75 in.

    Condition: New

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