Discussion:
US eval of Sten
(too old to reply)
Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
2009-02-09 19:38:38 UTC
Permalink
The other day I was flicking through a copy of American Rifleman
(sorry, I can't recall which issue). In it, a question from a reader
was answered. The question was if there was the 'M1' Thompon SMG and
the 'M3' Grease Gun, was there ever an 'M2'. The answer was 'yes' the
and the response from the magazine went on to detail a bit of history
on the unsuccessful M2 design (see
http://www.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=10329,DATABASE=6712231,)

In the article, the author mentioned that in looking for a replacement
to the M1, the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.

Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press? is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?

Also, if the Sten was the winner if the US SMG trial, why did they not
adopt it? It was certainly cheap and easy to produce - the US would
have easily been able to re-tool and pump out millions of the things
in a very short time, supplying not only themselves but also their
allies. It also seems that in hind sight, despite it's shortcomings,
adopting the Sten would have been a better choice than developing the
failed M2.
d***@aol.com
2009-02-09 20:58:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Also, if the Sten was the winner if the US SMG trial, why did they not
adopt it? It was certainly cheap and easy to produce - the US would
have easily been able to re-tool and pump out millions of the things
in a very short time, supplying not only themselves but also their
allies.
The "Not Made Here" syndrome rears its head in many situations.
Even when the military really wants something, it can be an uphill
fight to get it if it has a foreign origin. Remember, there are votes
and campaign dollars that come with domestic orders.
I don't know if this was the exact situation with the Sten, but it
wouldn't surprise me. There also might've been some resistance to the
9mm...even though it probably could've been rather easily rechambered
for .30 cal.
Michael Emrys
2009-02-10 01:47:20 UTC
Permalink
There also might've been some resistance to the 9mm...even though it
probably could've been rather easily rechambered for .30 cal.
Or more likely, .45.

Michael
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-12 20:58:15 UTC
Permalink
.... There also might've been some resistance to the
9mm...even though it probably could've been rather easily rechambered
for .30 cal.
The Sten, in common with many sub-machine guns, used a simple blow-back
system, for which rifle rounds are far too powerful. It would have to have
been a pistol round, which, for US Army use, would mean .45 cal. That would,
in turn require other modifications, such as a heavier bolt or a stronger
spring.

Colin Bignell
j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-09 21:41:25 UTC
Permalink
In article
... if there was the 'M1' Thompon SMG and the 'M3' Grease Gun, was
there ever an 'M2'. The answer was 'yes' the and the response from
the magazine went on to detail a bit of history on the unsuccessful
M2 design ... the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
That is a bit surprising, but there are ways it could happen. The
Thompson is a fairly complicated piece of machinery, and the breech
delay relies on pieces of metal slipping at controlled rates, so it
probably doesn't stand up as well as, say, the Sten design, to being
built fast and cheap. So if you had some cheaply produced Thompsons, and
some well-made Stens - or at least ones with good magazines, which were
apparently most of the problem - that test result seems conceivable.
Also, if the Sten was the winner if the US SMG trial, why did they not
adopt it?
I don't know, but I can imagine the US Army not wanting to introduce 9mm
ammo, and wanting to stick with .45ACP. I presume you could re-design a
Sten into .45, but I'd also consider it likely that some US manufacturer
would promise he could make a better SMG in the time that would take.
--
John Dallman, ***@cix.co.uk, HTML mail is treated as probable spam.
Bay Man
2009-02-09 23:41:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
... if there was the 'M1' Thompon SMG and the 'M3' Grease Gun, was
there ever an 'M2'. The answer was 'yes' the and the response from
the magazine went on to detail a bit of history on the unsuccessful
M2 design ... the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
That is a bit surprising, but there are ways it could happen. The
Thompson is a fairly complicated piece of machinery, and the breech
delay relies on pieces of metal slipping at controlled rates, so it
probably doesn't stand up as well as, say, the Sten design, to being
built fast and cheap. So if you had some cheaply produced Thompsons, and
some well-made Stens - or at least ones with good magazines, which were
apparently most of the problem - that test result seems conceivable.
Also, if the Sten was the winner if the US SMG trial, why did they not
adopt it?
I don't know, but I can imagine the US Army not wanting to introduce 9mm
ammo, and wanting to stick with .45ACP. I presume you could re-design a
Sten into .45, but I'd also consider it likely that some US manufacturer
would promise he could make a better SMG in the time that would take.
BTW, I am suprised at that news.

The Sten was little more than a pipe. Making a bigger pipe would not be that
great a thing. Once the design is upgraded, they could be stamped out by the
billion.

The US did have tendency to only use their own equipment, even if British
equipment was superior. The British put a 17 pdr gun on a Sherman and
called it the Firefly. It could knock out a Tiger. The US Sherman did not
have it and the US refused to mount them. The rumour was that if they didn't
do it they didn't use it. They use the British 17 pdr in later tanks -
probably after seeing how it performed on Fireflys.

The US did use Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Beufighters and other equipment, but
none in numbers.
David H Thornley
2009-02-10 00:10:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
The US did have tendency to only use their own equipment, even if
British equipment was superior. The British put a 17 pdr gun on a
Sherman and called it the Firefly. It could knock out a Tiger. The US
Sherman did not have it and the US refused to mount them. The rumour was
that if they didn't do it they didn't use it. They use the British 17
pdr in later tanks - probably after seeing how it performed on Fireflys.
The US had high hopes for the 76mm that didn't pan out. Then the US
went for the 90mm gun, as used on the Pershing and the M36 tank
destroyer. As far as I know, the US never used the 17pdr.

What the US did adopt from the British was the 57mm AT gun. My guess
is that they intended to go from the 37mm to SP, which turned out to
be impractical for all uses, so the Ordnance Department adopted the
British 6pdr and the 3" AA gun for the larger towed AT guns of WWII.
(The original 57mm had some design changes from the original, which
were pretty well reverted in the later versions.)

The US also adopted the British 4.5" gun ammo, which was not well-liked
by US gunners.
Post by Bay Man
The US did use Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Beufighters and other equipment,
but none in numbers.
The USN used a lot of Hedgehogs, which were mounted on destroyer
escorts.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-02-10 16:14:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The US did use Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Beufighters and other equipment,
but none in numbers.
The USN used a lot of Hedgehogs, which were mounted on destroyer
escorts.
When discussing British equipment used by the US forces, one must not
forget the Packard Merlin engine. Without it the P-51 would not have
been the success that it was.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Bay Man
2009-02-10 17:21:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The US did use Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Beufighters and other equipment,
but none in numbers.
The USN used a lot of Hedgehogs, which were mounted on destroyer
escorts.
When discussing British equipment used by the US forces, one must not
forget the Packard Merlin engine. Without it the P-51 would not have been
the success that it was.
True. And other bits of it too. Essentially it was British plane anyhow,
being ordered to British specs. The US used British RADAR and other
equipment as well.
David H Thornley
2009-02-11 00:06:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
True. And other bits of it too. Essentially it was British plane anyhow,
being ordered to British specs.
No, it wasn't.

What happened is that the British were looking around for companies to
produce more P-40s, and they asked North American. North American said
they had a better design, and offered to supply one in four months.

If you know anything about aircraft design, you know that this means
North American had a design ready to go when the British asked. It is
not possible to go from initial design to something sitting on the
runway that fast.

Later on, the British thought it was a very good aircraft at low
altitudes, and wondered what would happen if they put a Merlin engine
in.

The US used British RADAR and other
Post by Bay Man
equipment as well.
Which radar?
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bay Man
2009-02-11 00:38:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
True. And other bits of it too. Essentially it was British plane anyhow,
being ordered to British specs.
No, it wasn't.
What happened is that the British were looking around for companies to
produce more P-40s, and they asked North American. North American said
they had a better design, and offered to supply one in four months.
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
Post by David H Thornley
If you know anything about aircraft design, you know that this means
North American had a design ready to go when the British asked. It is
not possible to go from initial design to something sitting on the
runway that fast.
The other way around. NA said they had a loose design which appealed to the
RAF. The Air Ministery gave a tight requirement, that meant the plane would
be their design.

It was a plane to British requirements made by a US company. Essentially a
British plane made overseas. The Brits were paying. Like Toyotas made in
the USA. Jap cars really.

The first Mustang deliveries were to the RAF as it was their plane. The US
forces had never even flew one when the RAF were flying them.
Post by David H Thornley
Later on, the British thought it was a
very good aircraft at low altitudes, and
wondered what would happen if they
put a Merlin engine in.
And other bits too.
Post by David H Thornley
The US used British RADAR and other
Post by Bay Man
equipment as well.
Which radar?
Like those supplied at Pearl which they never used properly.
David H Thornley
2009-02-11 03:59:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
What happened is that the British were looking around for companies to
produce more P-40s, and they asked North American. North American said
they had a better design, and offered to supply one in four months.
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.

In the second place, it's bloody impossible. The first Mustang was
finished (with a few improvisations, and without an engine) within four
months of the order. It flew less than six months after the order.

That means that the design was pretty much ready to go at the time
of the first British knowledge of the project. It is entirely possible
that the RAF issued tight requirements: they sometimes issued
requirements more or less tailored to a private design, and may have
wanted a ready excuse in case they didn't like it. However, no
more than minor design changes could have occurred between the first
contact between North American and the British. There just wasn't
time.
Post by Bay Man
The other way around. NA said they had a loose design which appealed to
the RAF. The Air Ministery gave a tight requirement, that meant the
plane would be their design.
Flatly impossible. Read up on other aircraft, and how long it took
to go from design to flight.
Post by Bay Man
It was a plane to British requirements made by a US company.
Essentially a British plane made overseas. The Brits were paying. Like
Toyotas made in the USA. Jap cars really.
A US-designed plane that satisfied British requirements, initially
ordered by the British. Much like Honda setting up a line in Japan
to produce SUVs.
Post by Bay Man
The first Mustang deliveries were to the RAF as it was their plane. The
US forces had never even flew one when the RAF were flying them.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the design.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
The US used British RADAR and other
Post by Bay Man
equipment as well.
Which radar?
Like those supplied at Pearl which they never used properly.
According to the Wikipedia article on the Pearl Harbor attack, the
radar was SCR-270, which was a US product. It was probably inferior
to the current British radars (haven't bothered to check), since it
was pre-magneton. The US went on to produce radars with magnetons,
but they weren't British radars.

BTW, the radar itself was properly used. The operators were doing
training, as the radar wasn't considered operationally ready yet
(likely at least in part General Short's fault - knowing what he
did, I'm prone to blame all Army shortcomings on him at least in
part). They picked up a whole lot of aircraft. The radar was
being properly used.

Unfortunately, when the report was passed up, it was attributed to
the incoming flight of B-17s that was expected from the mainland
about then. One suspects that, if Short had paid attention to
his orders, and maybe even kinda obeyed them, the watch officers
might have been more alert to the possibility of incoming Japanese
aircraft, which Short had specifically been told to guard against.

So, there was nothing wrong with the radar (although it was probably
not first-rate by British standards), and nothing wrong with the
way it was used. Like various other could-have-beens, it was caught
up in a pattern of mismanagement set from the top commander in Hawaii.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bill Shatzer
2009-02-11 06:30:48 UTC
Permalink
-snip-
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The first Mustang deliveries were to the RAF as it was their plane. The
US forces had never even flew one when the RAF were flying them.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the design.
Not only that but it's untrue as well.

US approval for the sale of the NA-73 (as it was then designated) to the
RAF was contingent upon delivery of two aircraft to the USAAF without
charge.

The first aircraft off the North American production line was retained
by the USAAF as the XP-51 for testing pursuant to that provision -
rather before any were delivered to the Brits.
Bay Man
2009-02-11 16:29:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
-snip-
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The first Mustang deliveries were to the RAF as it was their plane. The
US forces had never even flew one when the RAF were flying them.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the design.
Not only that but it's untrue as well.
US approval for the sale of the NA-73 (as it was then designated) to the
RAF was contingent upon delivery of two aircraft to the USAAF without
charge.
The first aircraft off the North American production line was retained by
the USAAF as the XP-51 for testing pursuant to that provision - rather
before any were delivered to the Brits.
They never tested them and left them in a hangar. By the time they flew one
the RAF had already had them. I believe they were not too enthused by
it,like the Germans with a captured Spitfire in France.
Stephen Graham
2009-02-11 18:19:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Bill Shatzer
Not only that but it's untrue as well.
US approval for the sale of the NA-73 (as it was then designated) to
the RAF was contingent upon delivery of two aircraft to the USAAF
without charge.
The first aircraft off the North American production line was retained
by the USAAF as the XP-51 for testing pursuant to that provision -
rather before any were delivered to the Brits.
They never tested them and left them in a hangar. By the time they flew
one the RAF had already had them. I believe they were not too enthused
by it,like the Germans with a captured Spitfire in France.
Drawing on Joe Baugher's excellent series of posts on the P-51 in
sci.military back in 1993, here's the actual story (Message-ID:
<***@law7.DaytonOH.NCR.COM>):

"The NA-73X prototype contract was signed on May 23, 1940. The British
insisted that a heavy eight-gun armament be fitted. NAA had actually
been quietly working on such a fighter project since the summer of
1939, and by that date they had actually already completed much of the
detail design. On May 29, a provisional RAF procurement was issued
for 320 aircraft, contingent on satisfactory testing of the prototype."

"In a contract approved on September 20, 1940, it was agreed that the
fourth and tenth production NA-73s would be the planes diverted to the
Army. The designation XP-51 was to be assigned to these two planes."

"The first production
Mustang I for the RAF (AG345) flew for the first time on April 23,
1941, well behind the original schedule. It was retained by NAA as a
development machine, and was used in an extensive series of tests to
iron out bugs and eliminate problems."

"This aircraft [the second production example] was accepted by the RAF
in September and started a long journey to Britain, finally arriving in
Liverpool on October 24, 1941. "

"The first RAF unit to receive the Mustang was No 26 Squadron at
Gatwick which began to operate the fighter in February 1942."


On to the testing of the XP-51 (Message-ID:
<***@law7.DaytonOH.NCR.COM>):

"The fourth and tenth NA-73s were duly delivered to the US Army in May
of 1941 for testing at Wright Field, Ohio."

"The testing of the two Wright Field XP-51s was rather slow at first,
almost as if the Army didn't really want to bother with these
airplanes and that they were some sort of nuisance that the Army
wished would just go away. Some authors have suggested that there
were dark and evil motives behind the Army's reluctance to test the
XP-51s. However, the slow pace of the testing of the XP-51s can
probably be blamed more on bureaucratic inertia than on anything all
that sinister. At that time, the Army was overloaded with other test
programs, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Bell P-39 Airacobra, and
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt being thought to meet all the Army's
requirements for fighter aircraft. Furthermore, the Mustang was a
"foreign" type not built to any American specification, and was
therefore way down on the Army's list of priorities.

Nevertheless, the testing of the XP-51s did eventually get underway at
Wright Field, and the Army's test pilots reported very favorably on
the performance of these planes."

"Only after Pearl Harbor did the US Army finally agree to order the
Mustang for its own use. General H. H. "Hap" Arnold, Chief of Staff
of the USAAF, was instrumental in breaking up the bureaucratic log-jam
and getting the Army to relent and order the Mustang for its own use.
On April 16, 1942, the Army finally ordered 500 NA-97s. "


What this all works out to is the following:

The Mustang was a North American design modified to meet a British
requirement.

RAF representatives in the U.S. had access to the prototype from October
1940 and initial production examples in May 1941. However no examples of
the plane were in Britain before October 1941. This would be the
earliest date that I would agree that "the RAF had already had them".

The USAAC had examples of the plane from May 1941 and tested it sometime
during the summer of 1941 but before any example reached Britain.

USAAF orders were placed before RAF operational service began.
Bay Man
2009-02-15 20:01:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Graham
RAF representatives in the U.S. had access to the prototype from October
1940 and initial production examples in May 1941. However no examples of
the plane were in Britain before October 1941. This would be the earliest
date that I would agree that "the RAF had already had them".
The USAAC had examples of the plane from May 1941 and tested it sometime
during the summer of 1941 but before any example reached Britain.
USAAF orders were placed before RAF operational service began.
But the RAF already had them in the UK before any USAAF orders were placed.
No date was given for the USAAF orders.

It depends on what version of the birth of the plane you want to believe.
Versions I have read was that the Air Ministry changed the design details of
what NA had already prepared - a normal thing. They did not just give
requirements and walk away awaiting the final plane. They were heavily in
involved in the iterative prototype and detail changes of testing having
permanent people in the US. They would be heavily involved as it was their
plane to their order being designed and built by a company with no
experience of top line fighters. They would ensure the plane was to their
design and did what they wanted.
David H Thornley
2009-02-16 01:04:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Stephen Graham
USAAF orders were placed before RAF operational service began.
But the RAF already had them in the UK before any USAAF orders were
placed. No date was given for the USAAF orders.
Dates have been given, in this thread, for early USAAF flights,
and dates were also given for RAF operational service. Anybody
got USAAF order dates offhand?
Post by Bay Man
It depends on what version of the birth of the plane you want to believe.
The one that actually makes sense.

Versions I have read was that the Air Ministry changed the
Post by Bay Man
design details of what NA had already prepared - a normal thing. They
did not just give requirements and walk away awaiting the final plane.
Of course not. As you've pointed out, North American was not well
known for top fighter planes going into this. The Air Ministry
would have kept on top of things.
Post by Bay Man
They were heavily in involved in the iterative prototype and detail
changes of testing having permanent people in the US.
Which could have had very little effect on the Mustang I. Again,
there just wasn't time. North American was prepared to show an
airframe in four months, and had a first flight within six of
the initial inquiry. This means that NA had a design. The RAF's
choice was to accept the design, reject it, or encourage its
development, not to make fundamental changes.

They would be
Post by Bay Man
heavily involved as it was their plane to their order being designed and
built by a company with no experience of top line fighters. They would
ensure the plane was to their design and did what they wanted.
No, they couldn't ensure the plane was to their design.

What they could do was to ensure that they didn't accept an
unsatisfactory aircraft. They could buy, or they could not buy.
If they didn't buy, they could suggest design changes that
might change their mind later.

There's nothing mysterious about this. This was normal practice.
The customer would ask for minor modifications, but would realize
that major modifications would just have to wait. The RAF didn't
have to accept the Mustang I for anything. They could have
rejected what North American had, and either ask them to go back
to the license-built P-40 idea or ask them to develop the Mustang
more, presumably with Air Ministry input (as much as the US
authorities would permit, anyway).

Read up on aircraft design. Read through the design histories of
WWII fighters. It took years to go from general design to
flying prototype, not just months. I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bill Shatzer
2009-02-16 05:21:19 UTC
Permalink
David H Thornley wrote:

-snip-
Post by David H Thornley
Dates have been given, in this thread, for early USAAF flights,
and dates were also given for RAF operational service. Anybody
got USAAF order dates offhand?
Depends on the exact definition of USAAF orders.

The first USAAF order was in March, 1941 for 150 NA-91s. These were
intended for Lend Lease to the RAF as the Mustang Ia but in actuality,
some numbers were diverted from Lend Lease after Pearl Harbor and ended
up in the USAAF as P-51s and F-6s.

In April, 1942, the USAAF ordered 500 NA-97s to be designated A-36s. (I
recall reading some place that the A-36 was dreamed up and ordered
because there was money in the budget for attack planes but none for
additional fighters.)

Finally, in August, 1942, the USAAF placed its first order for P-51
fighters intended for USAAF use from the gitgo. This was an order for
1200 NA-99s which were designated P-51As. Some 50 or 55 P-51As were Lend
Leased to the RAF as Mustang IIs to make up for the Mustang Ia's which
had earlier been diverted from Lend Lease to the USAAF.
Bay Man
2009-02-16 17:44:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
Finally, in August, 1942, the USAAF placed its first order for P-51
fighters intended for USAAF use from the gitgo. This was an order for
1200 NA-99s which were designated P-51As. Some 50 or 55 P-51As were Lend
Leased to the RAF as Mustang IIs to make up for the Mustang Ia's which had
earlier been diverted from Lend Lease to the USAAF.
The Mustang was basically a British plane, designed and made for them.
Without them the plane would not exist. They paid for the first planes
(hence the design and R&D). When the US military liked the plane, after a
long while, they started to siphon off the planes for themselves leaving the
British short. Naturally the British viewed that US were taking their
planes.
Bill Shatzer
2009-02-16 23:22:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Bill Shatzer
Finally, in August, 1942, the USAAF placed its first order for P-51
fighters intended for USAAF use from the gitgo. This was an order for
1200 NA-99s which were designated P-51As. Some 50 or 55 P-51As were
Lend Leased to the RAF as Mustang IIs to make up for the Mustang Ia's
which had earlier been diverted from Lend Lease to the USAAF.
The Mustang was basically a British plane, designed and made for them.
Without them the plane would not exist. They paid for the first planes
(hence the design and R&D). When the US military liked the plane,
after a long while, they started to siphon off the planes for themselves
leaving the British short. Naturally the British viewed that US were
taking their planes.
As Wolfgang Pauli was reported to have said, "That's not right. It's not
even wrong."

The original XP-51 (Mustang I) on the British order was cleared for
export on the condition two of the original production be delivered to
the USAAF for evaluation. The British knew that going in and it was part
of the deal - nothing was siphoned off there.

The USAAF did divert 50-60 Mustang Ia's (1) to it's own use following
Pearl Harbor. BUT, that was a USAAF order in the first place. The
aircraft were originally intended for Lend Lease to the RAF but, seeings
how they were free, the Brits could hardly consider them "their planes"
- at least not until they were actually delivered to them.

In any case, the USAAF made good the diverted Mustang Ia's by Lend
Leasing a similar number of P-51As (Mustang IIs) to the RAF from the
subsequent USAAF NA-99 order (2).

(1) Sources differ on the exact number of Mustang Ia's diverted to the
USAAF although 57 seems the most commonly cited number.

(2) The RAF also received one A-36 via Lend Lease.
Rich Rostrom
2009-02-16 06:23:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
Not true.

The B-29 was designed in response to an
Army Air Corp spec issued in February 1940.

The A-26 Invader also started design in 1940.

The Fairey Firefly was designed in early 1940.

The Hawker Tempest was designed in 1940;
while the Tempest borrowed from the earlier
Typhoon design, it was different in several
fundamental ways - and virtually all aircraft
designs build on predecessors.

The P-63 Kingcobra design originated in
mid-1941. Though based on the P-39,
it was larger in every dimension, which
I would call enough to make it a new design.

The MiG-3 was a redesign of the MiG-1 - which
was started in January 1939. The MiG-3 incorporated
experience with the MiG-1.

The P-61 Black Widow was designed in late
1940, after the U.S. learned about British
development of Airborne Intercept radar.
Bay Man
2009-02-16 17:24:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
Not true.
The B-29 was designed in response to an
Army Air Corp spec issued in February 1940.
The A-26 Invader also started design in 1940.
The Fairey Firefly was designed in early 1940.
The Hawker Tempest was designed in 1940;
while the Tempest borrowed from the earlier
Typhoon design, it was different in several
fundamental ways - and virtually all aircraft
designs build on predecessors.
The P-63 Kingcobra design originated in
mid-1941. Though based on the P-39,
it was larger in every dimension, which
I would call enough to make it a new design.
The MiG-3 was a redesign of the MiG-1 - which
was started in January 1939. The MiG-3 incorporated
experience with the MiG-1.
The P-61 Black Widow was designed in late
1940, after the U.S. learned about British
development of Airborne Intercept radar.
* The Mosquito was post 1939 - ordered early 1940, flew late 1940.
* Although based on the Manchester the larger Lancaster was post 1939
* The British jet planes were also post 1939
* The Canberra jet bomber started development in WW2 but came in post 1945
(maybe does not count). The British stopped development of prop bombers in
WW2 and went to jets, hence why development on the phenominal power to
weight ratio 2-stroke RR Grecy engine was halted.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Crecy
* The last version of the Spitfire with the fuel injected RR Griffon engine
with 5 blade propeller was quite different to the 1939 Spitfire - could be
viewed as a different plane.
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-02-17 05:07:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
Not true.
* The British jet planes were also post 1939
The British jet planes did not have a "major presence", no matter how
you measure it.
Post by Bay Man
* The last version of the Spitfire with the fuel injected RR Griffon
engine with 5 blade propeller was quite different to the 1939 Spitfire -
could be viewed as a different plane.
Similarly there were of course several Soviet aircraft besides the
already mentioned MiG-3, which received major modifications and
improvements after the attack on Poland. Both the Yak-3 and Yak-9 were
based on the Yak-1, but significantly developed and improved. The
La-5(FN) was an LaGG-3 redesigned to take a radial engine and the La-7
was a further development. The ANT-60, which was later renamed Tu-2, was
based on the ANT-58, but with new engines.

The Il-10 was only minimally based on the Il-2 and in fact it was a new
design, which nevertheless shared some technical qualities with its
better known predecessor. However, it did not have a really major
presence in WW2, although the first series aircraft did see some combat
in 1945 during the final Soviet offensives.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Bay Man
2009-02-17 18:06:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
Not true.
* The British jet planes were also post 1939
The British jet planes did not have a "major presence", no matter how you
measure it.
They were still post 1939. No jet plane had a major presence to the
overwhelming number of piston planes. The British did not put the Meteor
into situations where it could come down over enemy territory as they had no
need to. If one went down it could get into the hands of the Germans whose
own jet engine was far from developed, and eventually into the hands of the
Russians.
Post by Bay Man
* The last version of the Spitfire with the fuel injected RR Griffon
engine with 5 blade propeller was quite different to the 1939 Spitfire -
could be viewed as a different plane.
Similarly there were of course several Soviet aircraft besides the already
mentioned MiG-3, which received major modifications and improvements after
the attack on Poland. Both the Yak-3 and Yak-9 were based on the Yak-1,
but significantly developed and improved. The La-5(FN) was an LaGG-3
redesigned to take a radial engine and the La-7 was a further development.
The ANT-60, which was later renamed Tu-2, was based on the ANT-58, but
with new engines.
The Il-10 was only minimally based on the Il-2 and in fact it was a new
design, which nevertheless shared some technical qualities with its
better known predecessor. However, it did not have a really major presence
in WW2, although the first series aircraft did see some combat in 1945
during the final Soviet offensives.
Tero P. Mustalahti
Tero Mustalahti
2009-02-18 16:15:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
They were still post 1939. No jet plane had a major presence to the
overwhelming number of piston planes. The British did not put the
Meteor into situations where it could come down over enemy territory as
they had no need to. If one went down it could get into the hands of
the Germans whose own jet engine was far from developed, and eventually
into the hands of the Russians.
Well, the British actually sold a far more advanced jet engine design to
the Soviets after the war even though cold war was already brewing, so I
doubt they had any serious concerns about the Meteor's engines going to
Soviet hands.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Bay Man
2009-02-18 17:06:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero Mustalahti
Post by Bay Man
They were still post 1939. No jet plane had a major presence to the
overwhelming number of piston planes. The British did not put the Meteor
into situations where it could come down over enemy territory as they had
no need to. If one went down it could get into the hands of the Germans
whose own jet engine was far from developed, and eventually into the
hands of the Russians.
Well, the British actually sold a far more advanced jet engine design to
the Soviets after the war even though cold war was already brewing, so I
doubt they had any serious concerns about the Meteor's engines going to
Soviet hands.
Sure, the Mig 15's engine was a direct RR copy, which RR only got the
royalties for after the fall of the USSR. During the war when Churchill was
in charge and after when Attlee was, was two different things. No expected
the USSR to use jet planes against us. And they had jet technology anyhow
by capturing the Germans planes. They also had pretty advanced rocket
technology too (their lead in the spec race). The Cold War only took off in
the late 1940s/early 1950s. Just after WW2 the relationships were frosty
but not acrimonious.

The UK messed up big style with jet engine royalties post WW2. Harold
Wilson (who sold the RR engines to the USSR) said if the country had £100
for each jet engine used in the world our balance sheet would be very nice
indeed. The same for many British inventions that were taken up world-wide:
radar, penicillin, etc. The country should have raked it in and used the
money to rebuild post-war. The royalties for these inventions would have
been small per product, but so many were made.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-17 18:05:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
The Mosquito was post 1939 - ordered early 1940, flew late 1940.
The design was a private venture by De Haviland and initially rejected
by the Air Ministry as wood was considered obsolete as aircraft
construction material. Design work started in 1938.
Post by Bay Man
* Although based on the Manchester the larger Lancaster was post 1939
The Lancaster used the same fuselage and tail as the Manchester I. The
differences were in the inner wing sections which were modified to take
two engines instead of one. This increased wing span by all of three
feet.


Ken Young
Bay Man
2009-02-17 22:59:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Bay Man
The Mosquito was post 1939 - ordered early 1940, flew late 1940.
The design was a private venture by De Haviland and initially rejected
by the Air Ministry as wood was considered obsolete as aircraft
construction material. Design work started in 1938.
Not quite. As I understand it, they were working on a wooden bomber and the
Air Ministry rejected it, and thought they were good for supplying only
wooden wings. The Mozzie design was all post 1939.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Bay Man
* Although based on the Manchester the larger Lancaster was post 1939
The Lancaster used the same fuselage and tail as the Manchester I. The
differences were in the inner wing sections which were modified to take
two engines instead of one. This increased wing span by all of three
feet.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-19 16:32:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Not quite. As I understand it, they were working on a wooden bomber
The Mosquito was a wooden bomber. The airframe happened to be versatile
enough for other uses but it originated as a bomber.

Ken Young
j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-17 18:10:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
* Although based on the Manchester the larger Lancaster was post 1939
Given that the prototype Lancaster was a Manchester airframe, with just
the modifications for four rather than two engines, the second prototype
as the same except for production preparation and the deletion of the
central fin, and Manchester airframes on the production line were
completed as Lancasters, I don't think this one really counts.

You could also try claiming the Hawker Tempest, where design started in
1940, but it was basically a Typhoon with a thinner wing, and hence not
a clear case.
--
John Dallman, ***@cix.co.uk, HTML mail is treated as probable spam.
Rich Rostrom
2009-02-18 16:15:13 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 16, 11:24 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
* The Mosquito was post 1939 - ordered early 1940, flew late 1940.
Design on the Mosquito began in 1938. It took until 1948
to get the Air Ministry interested, but by then the design
was largely completed.
Post by Bay Man
* Although based on the Manchester the larger Lancaster was post 1939
* The British jet planes were also post 1939
And none of them had a major presence _during_
_the_ _war_. The Meteor was the only operational
Allied jet during the war, and its only service was
over Britain, against V-1s.
Post by Bay Man
* The Canberra jet bomber started development in WW2 but came in post 1945
(maybe does not count).
That's right. Does not count. Lots of things
started design during the war and became
significant after it. Some of them started
design in 1945. They don't count.
Post by Bay Man
* The last version of the Spitfire with the fuel injected RR Griffon engine
with 5 blade propeller was quite different to the 1939 Spitfire - could be
viewed as a different plane.
All Spitfires had the same airframe.

Was the Merlin-powered P-51B and later
"a different plane" from the Allison-engined
P51-A? I don't think so.
Bay Man
2009-02-16 17:44:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Versions I have read was that the Air Ministry changed the
design details of what NA had already prepared - a normal thing. They
did not just give requirements and walk away awaiting the final plane.
Of course not. As you've pointed out, North American was not well
known for top fighter planes going into this. The Air Ministry
would have kept on top of things.
You bet they did.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
They were heavily in involved in the iterative prototype and detail
changes of testing having permanent people in the US.
Which could have had very little effect on the Mustang I.
It would have had a huge effect. The Air Ministry were at every stage of
design and development once they said lets's go.
Post by David H Thornley
Again, there just wasn't time.
Because of the tight timescales the Air Ministry would have ensured they
were at every stage. They could not have a lame dick of aplane after all
this time, which would have been alot of time wasted that could have had
P-40's delivered in that time. IT had to work and they made sure it did.

They had permanent people in the USA. This was not on off-the-shelf plane.
It was all new by an untried maker. The Ministry had to ensure the design
was correct and to their requirements and the prototypes were as specified
and flew as specified. If not then changes were to be done, which actually
happened.

That is how these things work.
Post by David H Thornley
North American was prepared to show an
airframe in four months, and had a first flight within six of
the initial inquiry. This means that NA had a design. The RAF's
choice was to accept the design, reject it, or encourage its
development, not to make fundamental changes.
The Air Ministry did make fundamental changes. The intial design was a
generic fighter. NA suggested a RR Merlin engine - they would as it was a
better engine and would make their plane stand out and also encourage the
project, which they desperately wanted, by suggesting a British engine. The
Ministry said no to the Merlin, as the production of Merlins was at full
belt so the inferior Allison engine had to be fitted. Anything substantially
better than the P-40 was a plus point. They saw the Merlin could fit into
the plane if need be and that eventually happened.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
They would be
heavily involved as it was their plane to their order being designed and
built by a company with no experience of top line fighters. They would
ensure the plane was to their design and did what they wanted.
No, they couldn't ensure the plane was to their design.
They could and they did. They were paying.
Post by David H Thornley
There's nothing mysterious about this. This was normal practice.
The customer would ask for minor modifications, but would realize
that major modifications would just have to wait. The RAF didn't
have to accept the Mustang I for anything. They could have
rejected what North American had, and either ask them to go back
to the license-built P-40 idea or ask them to develop the Mustang
more, presumably with Air Ministry input (as much as the US
authorities would permit, anyway).
The Air Ministry had full sway. They could approach any US company as they
would approach a British company. Think of NA as De Havilland. The same
approaches and co-operation. You would find that NA adjusted their working
methods to suit the way the Air Ministry did things.
Post by David H Thornley
Read up on aircraft design. Read through the design histories of
WWII fighters. It took years to go from general design to
flying prototype, not just months.
The Mustang was brought to flight is double quick time because of the Air
Ministry - they needed a better plane that the P-40 and got one. They are
one that got it off the ground. They were the power behind it.
Post by David H Thornley
I believe the only major
Allied aircraft to start design after the attack on Poland and
have a major presence was the F6F Hellcat.
Read up on WW2 planes & design. The list of Allied post 1939 planes is
long.
Bill Shatzer
2009-02-11 19:25:10 UTC
Permalink
-snip-
Post by Bay Man
Post by Bill Shatzer
The first aircraft off the North American production line was retained
by the USAAF as the XP-51 for testing pursuant to that provision -
rather before any were delivered to the Brits.
They never tested them and left them in a hangar. By the time they flew
one the RAF had already had them. I believe they were not too enthused
by it,like the Germans with a captured Spitfire in France.
Formal testing of the first XP-51 commenced in October, 1941, just about
the same time the first Mustang Is arrived in Britain. However, the
first -flight- of that aircraft was in May, 1941.

Cheers,
Bay Man
2009-02-15 19:54:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
-snip-
Post by Bay Man
Post by Bill Shatzer
The first aircraft off the North American production line was retained
by the USAAF as the XP-51 for testing pursuant to that provision -
rather before any were delivered to the Brits.
They never tested them and left them in a hangar. By the time they flew
one the RAF had already had them. I believe they were not too enthused
by it, like the Germans with a captured Spitfire in France.
Formal testing of the first XP-51 commenced in October, 1941, just about
the same time the first Mustang Is arrived in Britain. However, the
first -flight- of that aircraft was in May, 1941.
That is just about what I said above. The RAF had them in the UK and it had
not been properly tested.
Bay Man
2009-02-11 16:25:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
What happened is that the British were looking around for companies to
produce more P-40s, and they asked North American. North American said
they had a better design, and offered to supply one in four months.
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.
In the second place, it's bloody impossible. The first Mustang was
finished (with a few improvisations, and without an engine) within four
months of the order. It flew less than six months after the order.
Even more reason to keep a tight hold on the maker.
Post by David H Thornley
That means that the design was pretty much ready to go at the time
of the first British knowledge of the project. It is entirely possible
that the RAF issued tight requirements: they sometimes issued
requirements more or less tailored to a private design, and may have
wanted a ready excuse in case they didn't like it. However, no
more than minor design changes could have occurred between the first
contact between North American and the British. There just wasn't
time.
NA did not have a proper design, just some sketches of a more advanced
design. The British did not like the P-40 and gave NA the chance to build a
better plane, but fast. If the initial trials were a flop the Mustang would
have been dropped. The Air Ministry were at the trials (it is their plane)
and suggested improvements to the plane, which is quite normal.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The first Mustang deliveries were to the RAF as it was their plane. The
US forces had never even flew one when the RAF were flying them.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the design.
It was to the RAF's requirements and to what they wanted. NA had no track
record in producing top line fighters and had to be monitored tightly.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
The US used British RADAR and other
Post by Bay Man
equipment as well.
Which radar?
Like those supplied at Pearl which they never used properly.
According to the Wikipedia article on the Pearl Harbor attack, the
radar was SCR-270, which was a US product. It was probably inferior
to the current British radars (haven't bothered to check), since it
was pre-magneton. The US went on to produce radars with magnetons,
but they weren't British radars.
The whole radar technology was British and any US design initially based on
the UK designs.
David H Thornley
2009-02-12 13:16:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
That means that the design was pretty much ready to go at the time
of the first British knowledge of the project.
NA did not have a proper design, just some sketches of a more advanced
design.
Again, this is not what I've read elsewhere. Do you have a source?

The timing alone shows that NA had a proper design. Sketches would
not have been sufficient to make a prototype in four months.

The British did not like the P-40 and gave NA the chance to
Post by Bay Man
build a better plane, but fast.
The British liked the P-40 enough to want to buy more of them. After
all, while it wasn't up to Spitfire standards, it was a decent match
for the Hurricane. The Brits didn't have enough Spitfires for all
roles, and appear to have kept them in Britain until sometime in
1942. Later 1942 is the first time I remember reading of Spits
deployed in the Med.

If the initial trials were a flop the
Post by Bay Man
Mustang would have been dropped.
Obviously, which says nothing about where the design came from.

The Air Ministry were at the trials
Post by Bay Man
(it is their plane) and suggested improvements to the plane, which is
quite normal.
Of course, but again this has nothing to do with whose design it
was.

The Mustang was a North American design, and of course they were
able to make some changes on customer request. At first, the RAF
was the customer, then the USAAF. Nothing to see here, folks.
Post by Bay Man
It was to the RAF's requirements and to what they wanted. NA had no
track record in producing top line fighters and had to be monitored
tightly.
Reasonable, but again this has nothing to do with whose design this
was.

What you have presented is a North American design that they claimed
(as it turned out, truthfully) was better than the P-40, which was
the best current US design. The Brits agreed to take a look, and
made suggestions for improvement and/or customization, just like
every other warplane. They may have written a tight requirement, but
it would have had to be based on the design, and might well have
been intended as an excuse to drop the Mustang program if it
didn't go well. You claim that NA was inexperienced in building
fighters, and offhand I don't know of any successful fighters they
had built previously, so it would make sense to monitor the
program closely.

In other words, the Mustang was a US design, initially marketed to
the British.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The US used British RADAR and other
Post by Bay Man
equipment as well.
[Mention of radar at Pearl Harbor, which was a US and not British
design]
Post by Bay Man
The whole radar technology was British and any US design initially based
on the UK designs.
Now there's a sweeping claim. Torpedo technology was Austro-Hungarian,
and any design was initially based on the Austro-Hungarian design.
Turrets, warships powered only by steam, and the all-or-nothing
scheme of armor design were pioneered by the USN, so the King George
V class of battleship was a US design. See, I can do this too!

Now, what part of the SCR-270 radar was British? Please be explicit.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bay Man
2009-02-15 19:54:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
That means that the design was pretty much ready to go at the time
of the first British knowledge of the project.
NA did not have a proper design, just some sketches of a more advanced
design.
Again, this is not what I've read elsewhere. Do you have a source?
Not readily available. NA had no experience of designing and building such
planes. The Air Ministry liked the design proposals and helped with the
final design details to meet their requirements. The Air Ministry had
experience of such planes, NA did not. They had to be involved in the whole
design and testing process to ensure they got what they needed.
Post by David H Thornley
The timing alone shows that NA had a proper design. Sketches would
not have been sufficient to make a prototype in four months.
The British did not like the P-40 and gave NA the chance to
Post by Bay Man
build a better plane, but fast.
The British liked the P-40 enough to want to buy more of them.
It was inferior to the home produced front line planes. They did not like it
but needed planes and it was available.
Post by David H Thornley
After all, while it wasn't up to Spitfire standards,
it was a decent match for the Hurricane.
The Hurricane was outdated in 1940, and buying planes that are no better, if
anything less, than your outdated front line planes is a distress purchase.
Post by David H Thornley
If the initial trials were a flop the
Post by Bay Man
Mustang would have been dropped.
Obviously, which says nothing about where the design came from.
It came from NA, with heavily influence and modification by the British Air
Ministry. The Air Ministry were at all levels of design and testing. NA
were eager to make their own fighter and the Air Ministry saw this giving
them an ideal opportunity to gain a superior fighter to the outdated
off-the-shelf types in the US - a fighter to the RAFs requirements. The Air
Ministry had worked with NA before WW2 with Harvard trainers and had a good
relationship with them and trusted them. That is what they accepted a design
for a company which had no experience of such planes.
Post by David H Thornley
The Air Ministry were at the trials
Post by Bay Man
(it is their plane) and suggested improvements to the plane, which is
quite normal.
Of course, but again this has nothing to do with whose design it
was.
The initial design was NA, with heavy Air Ministry amendments to their
needs. It was not a case of NA have a design under the counter, and the Air
Ministry said yes and walked away until the prototype came along. It
doesn't work that way, on any plane ever made for any military. And the
urgency of getting a plane in a short timescale would mean the Air Ministry
made sure it was to their needs and worked. If a plane was delivered that
was a duck, heads would roll.
Post by David H Thornley
What you have presented is a North American design that they claimed
(as it turned out, truthfully) was better than the P-40, which was
the best current US design. The Brits agreed to take a look, and
made suggestions for improvement and/or customization, just like
every other warplane. They may have written a tight requirement, but
it would have had to be based on the design, and might well have
been intended as an excuse to drop the Mustang program if it
didn't go well.
That is pretty well right. But the aspects of the design were changed by
the Air Ministry - nothing out of the normal there.
Post by David H Thornley
You claim that NA was inexperienced in building
fighters, and offhand I don't know of any successful fighters they
had built previously, so it would make sense to monitor the
program closely.
They had no experience of such planes, so they would have to be monitored
closely at all stages to get the plane delivered and working in the tight
timescale. The Air Ministry had experience of top line fighter actually
having produced the best in the world at the time.
Post by David H Thornley
In other words, the Mustang was a US
design, initially marketed to
the British.
Not quite. An initial US design heavily amended by the Air Ministry at
design and testing stages.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The whole radar technology was British and any US design initially based
on the UK designs.
Now there's a sweeping claim.
But true.
Post by David H Thornley
Torpedo technology was Austro-Hungarian,
and any design was initially based on the Austro-Hungarian design.
Designed by a Englishman.
Post by David H Thornley
Turrets, warships powered only by steam, and the all-or-nothing
scheme of armor design were pioneered by the USN, so the King George
V class of battleship was a US design. See, I can do this too!
But very childishly.
David H Thornley
2009-02-16 01:24:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Again, this is not what I've read elsewhere. Do you have a source?
Not readily available.
In other words, no, but you're not going to let that stop you.

Instead, you will repeat the general statements you made earlier,
claiming that the RAF had to be involved in the design process.
As it happens, there was no time for them to be involved in the
design process.

If they had been, the whole process would have been different.
The RAF would have been working with North American for years,
and there would have been no question of license-building P-40s.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
The British liked the P-40 enough to want to buy more of them.
It was inferior to the home produced front line planes. They did not
like it but needed planes and it was available.
It was inferior to the Spitfire. The Hurricane was also a front-line
plane.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
After all, while it wasn't up to Spitfire standards,
it was a decent match for the Hurricane.
The Hurricane was outdated in 1940, and buying planes that are no
better, if anything less, than your outdated front line planes is a
distress purchase.
Wrong.

The Hurricane was the front-line plane in the Med until later in 1942.
I have not seen any accounts of Spitfires in the Med until then, but
plenty of accounts of Hurricanes and some of P-40s.

It makes a great deal of sense to buy planes that are as good as what
you're using in front-line service, and that's what the Brits were
doing. If they couldn't make the Desert Air Force qualitatively
equal to the Luftwaffe, and they couldn't without Spitfires, they
could at least make it bigger.

Obviously, if the British had been able to produce Spitfires in
any amount they desired, they would have had a lot less use for
Hurricanes, and also for the similarly good P-40s. That wasn't
the case; a quick look at Desert Air Force composition and
production figures will show that.

about the Mustang....
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Obviously, which says nothing about where the design came from.
It came from NA, with heavily influence and modification by the British
Air Ministry. The Air Ministry were at all levels of design and
testing.
Please tell me when the heck this occurred. It apparently didn't
occur before the Air Ministry approached North American. It could
not have occurred in the four months after the approach when the
first airframe was constructed, nor in the six months after the approach
when the first flying prototype was demonstrated. In what parallel
time stream did the Air Ministry do this?

NA were eager to make their own fighter and the Air Ministry
Post by Bay Man
saw this giving them an ideal opportunity to gain a superior fighter to
the outdated off-the-shelf types in the US - a fighter to the RAFs
requirements.
I've seen nothing to say the Air Ministry saw this as an ideal
opportunity for anything. They approached North American with
a proposal to build P-40s, and were met by a counterproposal.

They then gave a very short timespan to be convinced. Four months
to go from plans to complete aircraft is very short. Whether this
is because they were desperate for acceptable aircraft (and didn't
want to waste time) or had no confidence in NA is immaterial.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Of course, but again this has nothing to do with whose design it
was.
The initial design was NA, with heavy Air Ministry amendments to their
needs.
The initial design was North American, yes. It also had to be a
detailed design.

It was not a case of NA have a design under the counter, and the
Post by Bay Man
Air Ministry said yes and walked away until the prototype came along.
Of course not; it was a case of North American having a design under
the counter, and the Air Ministry saying "Show me" and keeping an
eye on things.
Post by Bay Man
It doesn't work that way, on any plane ever made for any military. And
the urgency of getting a plane in a short timescale would mean the Air
Ministry made sure it was to their needs and worked. If a plane was
delivered that was a duck, heads would roll.
Right - which means that the Air Ministry had to keep an eye on the
aircraft. They didn't have time to influence the basic design in
any way, but they could monitor the aircraft and study the designs.
They could allow NA to hurry, without committing themselves to
a large purchase order.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
In other words, the Mustang was a US
design, initially marketed to
the British.
Not quite. An initial US design heavily amended by the Air Ministry at
design and testing stages.
Except that the design stage was before the Air Ministry had anything
to do with it. They could ask for detail changes, but nothing more.

Testing was presumably done after there was an airframe, and I would
imagine the Air Ministry would have been very interested.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The whole radar technology was British and any US design initially based
on the UK designs.
Now there's a sweeping claim.
But true.
In which case you could presumably say what the British version of the
US radar was.

Every major power was working on radar at this time, some better than
others. The Brits had practical magnetron radar before anybody else,
and shared that with the US. However, that doesn't mean that there
was no independent radar development, and the SCR-270 that you claimed
was a pre-magnetron design.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Torpedo technology was Austro-Hungarian,
and any design was initially based on the Austro-Hungarian design.
Designed by a Englishman.
An Englishman was very much involved, true. However, it was to
Austro-Hungarian requirements for the Austro-Hungarian navy.

Since Whitehead had never built an automotive torpedo before,
presumably the Torpedo Ministry was involved in all stages of
design and testing. This line of reasoning actually works for
the torpedo, since it was an A-H initiative, and done in A-H
facilities with A-H supervision.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Turrets, warships powered only by steam, and the all-or-nothing
scheme of armor design were pioneered by the USN, so the King George
V class of battleship was a US design. See, I can do this too!
But very childishly.
No more childishly than you, and I'm actually providing some background
support. I'm pointing out specifics. You just claimed that US
radar was British, with absolutely nothing to support your claim except
either ignorance or arrogance, or possibly both.

Not to mention I omitted to mention: the first dreadnoughts were
ordered by the USN. (This is to say, the first orders that turned into
dreadnoughts; the first orders for dreadnoughts were, I believe,
Japanese, but they weren't able to complete them as such.)
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bay Man
2009-02-16 17:24:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Again, this is not what I've read elsewhere. Do you have a source?
Not readily available.
In other words, no, but you're not going to let that stop you.
It will not stop me, as I extensively read up ion this plane over the years.
Post by David H Thornley
Instead, you will repeat the general statements you made earlier,
claiming that the RAF had to be involved in the design process.
As it happens, there was no time for them to be involved in the
design process.
They were.
Post by David H Thornley
If they had been, the whole process would have been different.
The RAF would have been working with North American for years,
and there would have been no question of license-building P-40s.
By 1940 the design of top line fighter was not mystical;. Even the top line
planes were relatively simple. The me-109 was super simple and cheap with
flat sides as much as possible for cheap production.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
After all, while it wasn't up to Spitfire standards,
it was a decent match for the Hurricane.
The Hurricane was outdated in 1940, and buying planes that are no
better, if anything less, than your outdated front line planes is a
distress purchase.
Wrong.
The P-40 purchases were a distress purchase as British industry was working
24/7 and could not expand fast enough. Aircraft building skills were not
easy to come by, they had to be trained.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
It came from NA, with heavily influence and modification by the British
Air Ministry. The Air Ministry were at all levels of design and
testing.
Please tell me when the heck this occurred. It apparently didn't
occur before the Air Ministry approached North American.
Obviously after, and at all levels.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
NA were eager to make their own fighter and the Air Ministry
saw this giving them an ideal opportunity to gain a superior fighter to
the outdated off-the-shelf types in the US - a fighter to the RAFs
requirements.
I've seen nothing to say the Air Ministry saw this as an ideal
opportunity for anything. They approached North American with
a proposal to build P-40s, and were met by a counterproposal.
Just read what I wrote above, it is there. I am not going around in circles
with you as I have had enough of your jingoistic ramblings. The Air
Ministry amended the initial design with NA and ensured all aspects of
design prototype build was to their requirements and liking - that is how
these things work. They had permanent people in the USA. The British Air
Ministry were the experts not NA who had never designed or made such a
plane.
David H Thornley
2009-02-19 03:55:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
In other words, no, but you're not going to let that stop you.
It will not stop me, as I extensively read up ion this plane over the years.
In what sources? They don't seem to cover design history, particularly
of the Mustang.

Specifically, they don't seem to cover the time it takes to
design a plane.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
As it happens, there was no time for them to be involved in the
design process.
They were.
They were likely involved as much as they could be in four to
six months. Big deal.

Please demonstrate any aircraft that had an amorphous design
four months before the first airframe, or six months before
first flight.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
If they had been, the whole process would have been different.
The RAF would have been working with North American for years,
and there would have been no question of license-building P-40s.
By 1940 the design of top line fighter was not mystical;.
If you mean it is done on a material basis, you are correct. I am
unaware of of the benefits of spiritual enlightenment in warplane
design.

If you mean it was an understood process, you're wrong, and always
will be.

If you design an aircraft according to accepted principles, you'll
get what everybody else gets who designs aircraft that way.
You'll get the P-40 instead of the Spitfire or Bf 109. Superior
aircraft come from superior designs, by very competent people
who get lucky for a design.

Even the top
Post by Bay Man
line planes were relatively simple.
You are of course aware of St. Exupery's (sp?) statement that
"perfection comes, not when there is nothing more to add, but
when there is nothing more to take away". A truly excellent
design will have strong elements of simplicity.

You do realize that simplicity isn't always easy, don't you?

The me-109 was super simple and
Post by Bay Man
cheap with flat sides as much as possible for cheap production.
So?
Post by Bay Man
The P-40 purchases were a distress purchase as British industry was
working 24/7 and could not expand fast enough.
Not entirely.

They were made because the British couldn't build enough Spitfires.
The British were also making large quantities of Hurricanes, which
were comparable to the P-40.

If you have a reference to Spitfires operating in quantity away
from Britain before 1942, please post. From my reading, it was
all Hurricanes or worse.

Since the P-40 was fully equal to the fighters the British were
sending into the most active combat theater, it's hard to consider
them a "distress" purchase.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
Please tell me when the heck this occurred. It apparently didn't
occur before the Air Ministry approached North American.
Obviously after, and at all levels.
Right.

In other words, the Brits were at liberty to make as many suggestions
as they could during a hurried construction project. Obviously, the
design was pretty well ready to go, and equally obviously the Brits
could ask for small modifications.

Since the Air Ministry didn't intervene until six months before
first flight, the design is obviously North American's.

If you dispute that, please show some evidence that aircraft
design could be hurried this much.
Post by Bay Man
Post by David H Thornley
I've seen nothing to say the Air Ministry saw this as an ideal
opportunity for anything. They approached North American with
a proposal to build P-40s, and were met by a counterproposal.
Just read what I wrote above, it is there.
Unsupported, and with a clear disregard of the realities of
aircraft design.

I am not going around in
Post by Bay Man
circles with you as I have had enough of your jingoistic ramblings.
Good; it will free me from attempting to explain the facts of life.

The
Post by Bay Man
Air Ministry amended the initial design with NA
One would presume so. They couldn't amend much under the time
restrictions, which were presumably in place so they could decide
quickly whether to continue with the North American design.

and ensured all aspects
Post by Bay Man
of design prototype build was to their requirements and liking
No, they couldn't do that, and if they could they didn't need to
insist on the 120-day limit. North American had a design, and
the British very understandably wanted to get a go-no go decision
as fast as possible. If it was a better design than the Curtiss,
they wanted to buy it. If not, they wanted North American to
drop the whole thing and license-build Hawk series fighters.

If this was a cooperative venture, the Air Ministry could have
agreed to work on the design, and finish it as fast as possible,
but there was no need of a deadline.

- that is
Post by Bay Man
how these things work.
When there's time. The Air Ministry was given an unexpected
opportunity and, to its credit, ran with it.

They had permanent people in the USA.

Of course. If they weren't working with North American earlier,
that has no bearing on the design.

The
Post by Bay Man
British Air Ministry were the experts not NA who had never designed or
made such a plane.
Wrong, of course; North American had designed an excellent fighter.
The British were quite right to be suspicious of it, given NA's
lack of track record, and the fact that they'd never made a
first-rate fighter.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Louis C
2009-02-19 09:42:51 UTC
Permalink
David H Thornley wrote:

(big snip)
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
They had permanent people in the USA.
Of course. If they weren't working with North American earlier,
that has no bearing on the design.
Not only that, but they weren't the right people. There's a difference
between someone with enough technical knowledge to evaluate whether a
product has promise or not, and someone with actual design skills. The
British didn't have spare aeronautical engineer teams that they could
afford to send on vacation in the U.S. to do a task (design fighters)
that might as well be done in Britain.

So the people the British did have in America were like Air Ministry
officials who could evaluate a design and ask for modifications.
Sometimes the changes were improvements, other times, arguably, they
were not.
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The British Air Ministry were the experts not NA who had never designed or
made such a plane.
Wrong, of course; North American had designed an excellent fighter.
Yes, the expertize of the British team was in having seen a lot of
prototypes and having experience with what worked, what didn't, as
well as having a list of features that it was absolutely necessary for
a combat aircraft to have (something that an engineer team might not
be aware of). So their job was recognizing which designs had potential
and which hadn't. It's not at all the same as being able to do the
job. This is like the difference between someone who reads manuscripts
for a publisher and an author.
Post by David H Thornley
The British were quite right to be suspicious of it, given NA's
lack of track record, and the fact that they'd never made a
first-rate fighter.
When the word got around that the British and the French were buying
planes in 1939, every single manufacturer and would-be manufacturer
detected the occasion to make a quick buck and got on some aggressive
marketing. Not really different from the situation at home, really,
except that the U.S.A. was a larger country. So the British purchasing
commission knew that in the mail box would be a large amount of muck,
but somewhere might lie a gem and its job was getting it if it
existed.

My point here is I don't think the British singled North American out
for special suspicion, instead they were automatically suspicious of
anything they were offered - it was their job! A year before the NA
prototype, the British and the French had turned down offers by
Seversky for some upgraded version of its P-35, even though that
manufacturer did have a successful track record at building fighters.


LC
Bay Man
2009-02-19 16:31:23 UTC
Permalink
"Louis C" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:bc36dd00-a7bc-4d3b-94a7-***@l1g2000yqj.googlegroups.com...

<snip>
Post by Louis C
When the word got around that the British and the French were buying
planes in 1939, every single manufacturer and would-be manufacturer
detected the occasion to make a quick buck and got on some aggressive
marketing. Not really different from the situation at home, really,
except that the U.S.A. was a larger country. So the British purchasing
commission knew that in the mail box would be a large amount of muck,
but somewhere might lie a gem and its job was getting it if it
existed.
My point here is I don't think the British singled North American out
for special suspicion, instead they were automatically suspicious of
anything they were offered - it was their job! A year before the NA
prototype, the British and the French had turned down offers by
Seversky for some upgraded version of its P-35, even though that
manufacturer did have a successful track record at building fighters.
Good post. You are right. I am not sure, but I think, the UK was allowed
to approach individual US companies and by-pass the US military and
government, after the fall of France or during the battle. Maybe that needs
some clarification.

The respective Air Ministries of the UK & France would have to assess the
designs, and they had the technical ability to do so. These were not real
planes, just designs, even an improvement of existing plane, still just a
design. Many of them would be half-baked and would need a lot of customer
input to get them right - normal with any company anywhere. The NA design
was obviously one of the better initial designs and that the Air Ministry
had a decent "working" relationship which then sealed it to give them a
chance, which they must have been delighted with. Otherwise, the UK would
not have run with them to get it off the ground.

The Air Ministries would access to any top aeronautical designers back home,
if they were not sure any design aspects. If say, NA presented a design
with two fuselages and three engines, top designers would have to assess the
design, their word for performance would not be taken for granted.

A popular notion about the P51/Mustang was that NA had this wonderful
design, the Brits said yes and walked away and turned up at the first
flight. Nothing could be further from the truth. It just doesn't happen
that way.

If the UK had just insisted on P-40 being built under licence, it is
doubtful NA would have ever made a front line fighter.
LC
2009-02-20 11:38:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
I am not sure, but I think, the UK was allowed
to approach individual US companies and by-pass the US military and
government, after the fall of France or during the battle. Maybe that needs
some clarification.
Both the British and the French had been allowed to approach
individual US companies as early as 1939 - it was a free country!
Where the US government intervened was in making sure these US
companies would have the right to *export* their production despite
the neutrality laws (cash & carry legislation took care of that), and
it also authorized the British and the French to view projects
considered top secret by the USAAF and therefore reserved for its
exclusive perusal and purchase. Finally, Roosevelt allowed the Allies
to place orders for planes that his own armed forces also wanted
rather than use the normal "the armed forces get first pick, and
foreigners can get their orders in a year or so when ours are fully
delivered" approach.

Nothing changed after the fall of France, in fact most of the Allied
orders had already been placed by then. The British took over existing
French orders but didn't place large new ones in 1940.
Post by Bay Man
The respective Air Ministries of the UK & France would have to assess the
designs, and they had the technical ability to do so.
They had the technical ability to see that a design with 5 wings and 3
fuselages, to paraphrase your example, was probably not going to work.
They had the technical ability to see that a design that looked like a
normal single-seat fighter but which the manufacturer claimed would
have a top speed of 500mph and excellent handling characteristics was
probably overoptimistic in its performance assumptions.

So they had the technical ability, looking at blueprints and projected
performance, to say whether the assumptions were reasonable or not.
Finally, they had the technical ability to check for special items
which they deemed important e.g. self-sealing tanks, proper access to
the engine, how much armament could be installed etc.

They did *not* have the technical ability to redraw blueprints and
turn them into better planes, otherwise they wouldn't have had to
travel to the US and could simply have draw the perfect fighting in a
British engineering department.
Post by Bay Man
Many of them would be half-baked and would need a lot of customer
input to get them right - normal with any company anywhere.
Ok, what specific kind of "customer input" do you think was made on
the NA design?

There are plenty of pages on the Internet detailing the design history
of this and that plane, some are quite detailed and you can read the
kind of input that official instances provided.
Post by Bay Man
A popular notion about the P51/Mustang was that NA had this wonderful
design, the Brits said yes and walked away and turned up at the first
flight. Nothing could be further from the truth. It just doesn't happen
that way.
NA had this good design, the Brits said yes and made it happen, they
then added a Merlin to the plane which turned it into a wonderful
fighter. End of story.
Post by Bay Man
If the UK had just insisted on P-40 being built under licence, it is
doubtful NA would have ever made a front line fighter.
It would likely have continued to work on it, offering it to the USAAF
later. It's unlikely that anyone would have thought of equipping such
a plane with a Merlin, though.


LC
Andrew Robert Breen
2009-02-20 16:13:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by LC
Post by Bay Man
If the UK had just insisted on P-40 being built under licence, it is
doubtful NA would have ever made a front line fighter.
It would likely have continued to work on it, offering it to the USAAF
later. It's unlikely that anyone would have thought of equipping such
a plane with a Merlin, though.
Plenty of P-40s with Merlins, following on from trials of one with a
Merlin 28 in it (first flew June 1941..). It did well enough to be
productionised as what the US called the P-40F and the RAF the Kittyhawk
II (though this was also used for the P-40-L, whcih was also
Packard Merlin-powered).
--
Andy Breen ~ Speaking for myself, not the University of Wales
"your suggestion rates at four monkeys for six weeks"
(Peter D. Rieden)
Rich
2009-02-20 18:18:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by LC
NA had this good design, the Brits said yes and made it happen, they
then added a Merlin to the plane which turned it into a wonderful
fighter. End of story.
Er, not quite. That takes a rather complex story and turns it into a
reductio ad absurdum in the style of Bayman. In fact it was the
interactions of quite a number of people and events pushing on both
sides of the pond that resulted in the Packard-Merlin P-51. Ronald
Harker, a Rolls-Royce test pilot, initially drafted the proposal to
test three P-51 with RR Merlins after test flying a P-51. The problems
was there weren't sufficient RR Merlins for more than a few tests, but
luckily USAAF Major Thomas Hitchcock, military attached to Ambassador
John G. Winant, got interested and used his poiltical and social
connections. He was born into a prominent New England family and after
serving in the Lafayette Escadrille and AAC in World War I he became a
wealthy investment banker, married into the Mellon family, and was
close freinds with Henry Stimson, Assistant Secretary of War for Air
Robert Lovett, Averell Harriman, and Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of
the Treasurer. Morgenthau had headed a group that first arranged to
have the RR license-built by Packard.

So what happened was that the British (actually mostly a single
Englishman, Harker) saw the possibility and tested it, and then an
American, Hitchcock, took the idea and ran with it, turning the P-51
into a wonderful fighter. Take either side out of the equation and the
whole thing falls apart.

See John J. Sullivan, "Overlord's Eagles" for probably the best
summary of the RR-Packard P-51 story.
LC
2009-02-21 10:12:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Er, not quite. That takes a rather complex story and turns it into a
reductio ad absurdum in the style of Bayman.
That was indeed an attempt at translation!

(snip interesting details)
Post by Rich
Take either side out of the equation and the whole thing falls apart.
Well, I've been called a British nationalist or an American
nationalist on this board depending on the nationality of the poster I
was criticizing, so I guess that conclusion will satisfy both halves
of my chauvinism, besides it's nice to get a detailed history, thanks.


LC
Rich
2009-02-21 17:43:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by LC
That was indeed an attempt at translation!
Yes, it is handy to have a Baymanese translator about...if one
cares. :)
Post by LC
Well, I've been called a British nationalist or an American
nationalist on this board depending on the nationality of the poster I
was criticizing, so I guess that conclusion will satisfy both halves
of my chauvinism, besides it's nice to get a detailed history, thanks.
Ditto. My chauvinism is for facts and attempts to understand what
happened and why rather than reducing the argument to:

Reda Tooze.
Get over it.
Was too!
Was not!
Water is difficult to cross.

And other such bon mots. :)
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-17 18:05:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
An Englishman was very much involved, true. However, it was to
Austro-Hungarian requirements for the Austro-Hungarian navy.
No it was a private venture by Whitehead. Fiume was not a government
owned establishment. The A-H navy bought a non-exclusive licence to
produce torpedoes with rights to information on further development.
This allowed Whitehead to flog the design to the rest of the world's
navies. There was a lot of work on various self propelled means of
attacking ships. Work about the same time included a remote controlled
motor boat and a torpedo powered by pulling wire off a spool. Both were
coastal use only. The important part of Whitehead's design was the
"secret" which was the first effective method of depth control.

Caveat the above is from memory.

Ken Young
David H Thornley
2009-02-19 13:21:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by David H Thornley
An Englishman was very much involved, true. However, it was to
Austro-Hungarian requirements for the Austro-Hungarian navy.
No it was a private venture by Whitehead. Fiume was not a government
owned establishment. The A-H navy bought a non-exclusive licence to
produce torpedoes with rights to information on further development.
Thank you for the information, I was apparently wrong on that.

However, if we're going by Bay Man's definition of who to credit
designs to, it was clearly an A-H design.

After all, it was done in a facility in Austria-Hungary, with the
k.u.k* Kriegsmarine being the most immediate official sponsor,
and Bay Man certainly wouldn't expect such work to go on
without a k.u.k. ministry being closely involved. The fact that
A-H didn't get an exclusive license is of course irrelevant here.

Interesting the things you can do with the (im)proper definitions
and assumptions.

*Kaiserliche und Koenigliche (if I'm spelling it properly), or, in
English, Imperial-Royal. Never split up your country into two with
different forms of government. It makes the paperwork much more verbose.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bay Man
2009-02-17 23:45:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
An Englishman was very much involved, true. However, it was to
Austro-Hungarian requirements for the Austro-Hungarian navy.
The difference was that Whitehead was a leading edge inventor, NA were not.
The Air Ministry knew more about top line fighter design than NA.
Geoffrey Sinclair
2009-02-16 17:22:40 UTC
Permalink
"Bay Man" <***@xyxmailinator.xyxcomnospam> wrote in message news:gmu5di$gp0$***@news.motzarella.org...

(Mustang)
Post by Bay Man
NA did not have a proper design, just some sketches of a more advanced
design.
I know this will have little impact but for the record.

No, they had more than that, as can be seen from

"Drawing on Joe Baugher's excellent series of posts on the P-51 in
sci.military back in 1993, here's the actual story (Message-ID:
<***@law7.DaytonOH.NCR.COM>):"

Go read the real history.
Post by Bay Man
The British did not like the P-40 and gave NA the chance to build a better
plane, but fast.
No the British approached North American to build P-40s under
license for them. North American responded with their own
proposal which they claimed would be better.
Post by Bay Man
If the initial trials were a flop the Mustang would have been dropped.
After a few hundred were built, the logic of rushed mass production.
Post by Bay Man
The Air Ministry were at the trials (it is their plane) and suggested
improvements to the plane, which is quite normal.
Except the suggested improvements were marginal compared with the
overall design work. It was a North American design, not a British
aircraft, the Air Ministry were not going to order it if it failed to live
up to promises, so of course they attended some trials.
Post by Bay Man
It was to the RAF's requirements and to what they wanted.
Basically a better P-40 was the RAF requirement for an order, beyond
that there was not much specified.

The laminar flow wing, the positioning in the radiator, the fuel tankage
and so on were all North American's design.
Post by Bay Man
NA had no track record in producing top line fighters and had to be
monitored tightly.
The short answer here is no they did not need to be monitored tightly.

Meantime North American were busy building their B-25 design for the
USAAF, the trial design first flown in January 1939, the much changed
B-25 began static tests in July 1940, flying tests in August, production
began in January 1941.

They did have some idea about military aircraft.
Post by Bay Man
The whole radar technology was British and any US design initially based
on the UK designs.
The short answer here is no. The USN was trialling radar in 1937 for
example. The US radars at Pearl Harbor were US designs. Similar for
the centimetric radars, they used the cavity magnetron but then designed
the rest of the set.

The first SCR-270 sets, the ones at Pearl Harbor, were built in early 1939.

All the major powers were experimenting with radar pre WWII.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-12 21:13:10 UTC
Permalink
....
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.
According to the 1945/46 edition, of Jane's All The World's Aircraft the
Mustang was designed, built and flown in 100 days, unless you view Jane's as
not being a reputable source.

Colin Bignell
Gregory E. Garland
2009-02-13 00:12:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
....
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.
According to the 1945/46 edition, of Jane's All The World's Aircraft the
Mustang was designed, built and flown in 100 days, unless you view Jane's
as not being a reputable source.
A Jane's that close to the end of WWII, with a lot of allied propaganda and
disinformation still floating around as "fact", would probably need to be
double-checked for accuracy.
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-13 00:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gregory E. Garland
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
....
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.
According to the 1945/46 edition, of Jane's All The World's Aircraft the
Mustang was designed, built and flown in 100 days, unless you view Jane's
as not being a reputable source.
A Jane's that close to the end of WWII, with a lot of allied propaganda and
disinformation still floating around as "fact", would probably need to be
double-checked for accuracy.
Aside from the fact that Jane's has always been noted for taking great care
in its research and that particular edition was delayed to allow for a lot
of the information to be declassified, I don't see what propaganda value
there would have been, at any point in the war, in making that up. It is not
as if the Mustang 1 was even a particularly impressive fighter - it
performed badly at altitude and was transferred to low level reconnaissance
work. It was the later marks that made its name, so what point was there in
claiming the Mark 1 had been designed, built and flown in 100 days if it
were not true?

Colin Bignell
Stephen Graham
2009-02-13 00:42:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
Aside from the fact that Jane's has always been noted for taking great care
in its research and that particular edition was delayed to allow for a lot
of the information to be declassified, I don't see what propaganda value
there would have been, at any point in the war, in making that up. It is not
as if the Mustang 1 was even a particularly impressive fighter - it
performed badly at altitude and was transferred to low level reconnaissance
work. It was the later marks that made its name, so what point was there in
claiming the Mark 1 had been designed, built and flown in 100 days if it
were not true?
Colin,

Jane's appears to contradict other sources that indicate that the
Mustang was based on pre-existing design work. See my earlier post on
this subject. There's no particular reason to think that Jane's is
particularly more reliable than Mustang-specific histories.

Stephen
David H Thornley
2009-02-13 03:17:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
Aside from the fact that Jane's has always been noted for taking great care
in its research
And often getting things wrong anyway. WWII Jane's Fighting Ships are
not particularly useful. The WWI versions were considerably better.
I'm not trying to badmouth Jane's, but it's often hard to get good
information in the middle of a war.

The sources I have that were published decades after the fact tend
to get a lot more things right.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Dave Anderer
2009-02-13 18:46:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
Aside from the fact that Jane's has always been noted for taking great care
in its research
And often getting things wrong anyway. WWII Jane's Fighting Ships are
not particularly useful. The WWI versions were considerably better.
I'm not trying to badmouth Jane's, but it's often hard to get good
information in the middle of a war.
The sources I have that were published decades after the fact tend
to get a lot more things right.
Well put. Again not to badmouth Jane's, it is a contemporaneous record
(which means much information isn't available) that is broad rather than
deep. They've used phrases such as "..is rumored to.." and "..is
thought to.." from time to time. I consider them more as a thick,
expensive magazine published once a year.

I find more and better information and analysis is available from works
that look back on subjects from a few decades, and are a more narrowly
focused.
WaltBJ
2009-02-14 05:21:00 UTC
Permalink
If you want some good straight information on the P51 find a copy of
"Pursue and Destroy" by L.K.Carson.
ISBN 0-913194-05-0. He flew it in WW2 in the ETO. It is well-
researched and features many excellent pictures.
Carson was a multiple ace and was a test pilot at Wright Field after
the war. He also analyzes the Me109 and Fw 190.
FWIW one of the two original XP51s is in the EAA Museum.
Carson tells it like it is.
Walt BJ
No, I won't lend you my copy.
Rich Rostrom
2009-02-15 00:41:28 UTC
Permalink
And often getting things wrong anyway. WW II Jane's Fighting Ships are
not particularly useful. The WW I versions were considerably better.
I'm not trying to badmouth Jane's, but it's often hard to get good
information in the middle of a war.
Or in the run up to the war. I used to
do a lot of WW II naval wargaming.
In our group, Jane's was known as
"the lie book". One of my friends, who
was perhaps the most meticulous
researcher, estimated that Jane's had
an average of 4-8 lies per page - 12 to
15 per page in the Japanese and Frence
sections.
Gregory E. Garland
2009-02-13 16:28:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
Post by Gregory E. Garland
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
....
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
Not quite. They said they could build one to the RAFs requirements in a
short time. The RAF gave the tight requirements and the Air Ministry
monitored progress.
In the first place, I've never read that in a source I considered
reputable.
According to the 1945/46 edition, of Jane's All The World's Aircraft the
Mustang was designed, built and flown in 100 days, unless you view
Jane's as not being a reputable source.
A Jane's that close to the end of WWII, with a lot of allied propaganda and
disinformation still floating around as "fact", would probably need to be
double-checked for accuracy.
Aside from the fact that Jane's has always been noted for taking great
care in its research and that particular edition was delayed to allow for
a lot of the information to be declassified,
You said 1945/46. The concept of "lot of the information to be declassified"
and timeframe do not match up. Unless they delayed its publication to -say-
the 1970's.
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
I don't see what propaganda value there would have been, at any point in
the war, in making that up.
Morale is always a valuable commodity. You can find lots of people who
will say the air war over Europe was effectively won before the D model
was in widespread service. That doesn't change the fact that once the
P-51 became the poster boy for fighter superiority the propaganda hacks
would have a field day "showing" how brilliant the home front was in
providing such an excellent vehicle to the boys on the front line.
Post by "\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
It is not as if the Mustang 1 was even a particularly impressive fighter -
it performed badly at altitude and was
transferred to low level reconnaissance work. It was the later marks
that made its name, so what point was there in claiming the Mark 1 had
been designed, built and flown in 100 days if it were not true?
There was no point in 1946; there was also no point in 1946 for
the military establishment to waste their time quashing that bit of
disinformation. In 1943/44 there would be a very good reason to
both excite our side with our "brilliance" and demoralize the enemy
by showing they cannot compete.

At one time I had access to a 1940's copy of a Jane's Fighting Ships
that my Dad owned; I'm pretty sure it said 1943 but since I haven't
seen it in nearly 30 years I can't be 100% definite about that. The
main thing I do remember as I have read later works is that the info
I remembered from Jane's about various factoids of the ships didn't
really match what I read in later works. I'm only talking the Allied
ships here, obviously in 1943 the would not know much about the
specifics of late model German or Japanese ships. My main point
in mentioning this is that Jane's was producing volumes in 1943. I
don't think they had much access to classified info about the latest
ship types, yet they still published.
David H Thornley
2009-02-14 16:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gregory E. Garland
specifics of late model German or Japanese ships. My main point
in mentioning this is that Jane's was producing volumes in 1943. I
don't think they had much access to classified info about the latest
ship types, yet they still published.
I used to frequent a University library that had close to a complete
collection of WWII Jane's Fighting Ships. They kept repeating pages
verbatim, year after year. The Axis ship information was particularly
bad, but the Allied information was certainly not kept up to date.

I don't have similar information about WWI Jane's, since I've never
seen anything between the 1914 and 1919 editions, but it wouldn't
surprise me to find a lack of additional information in, say, the
1917 edition (aside from listing some known losses).
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
WaltBJ
2009-02-11 06:18:14 UTC
Permalink
US M3 subgun reportedly cost 8 bucks to make. It was comprised of
stampings and parts turned out on automatic screw machines. (An ASM is
a a lathe with a rotating tool holder capable of automated sequential
operations. A part, say the barrel, could be produced from long
lengths of tubing fed into the ASM which would then cut off the proper
length, turn the outside, ream the chamber, and spit the piece out. No
idea if rifling was done at the same time but I doubt it. From what
Iremember of the weapon the only other machined part was the bolt. The
rest was stampings and some coil springs.
When my squadron turned in our old 45s and 45 ammo for 38s (bad
move!) in 1955 I borrowed an M3A1 and scrounged a can of 45 ammo (600
rounds) and my young bride and I went out and shot it all up. I was
impressed with the controllability and how with a little practice the
weapon could be accurately controlled on target simply by pressing
forward and down on the fore grip as one pressed the trigger.It'd buck
up and then the sights would drop back down on tarhet just in time for
the next round. Cycle rate was about 400 rpm. Single shots could also
be fired. A 30 round burst pretty well cleaned out the 8-ring on a 25
yard pistol target. My bride walked an old bucket around with it in
full auto.
Should have seen the funny looks on the grandkids' faces when I
pointed to one on display and told them Grandma had fired one just
like that.
Walt BJ
Bay Man
2009-02-10 16:17:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Bay Man
The US did have tendency to only use their own equipment, even if
British equipment was superior. The British put a 17 pdr gun on a
Sherman and called it the Firefly. It could knock out a Tiger. The US
Sherman did not have it and the US refused to mount them. The rumour was
that if they didn't do it they didn't use it. They use the British 17
pdr in later tanks - probably after seeing how it performed on Fireflys.
The US had high hopes for the 76mm that didn't pan out.
Interesting.....from Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Firefly

"While the number of Panthers and Tigers only accounted for some 30% of the
nearly 2,500 German tanks deployed in Normandy (the rest being composed of
Panzer IVs, Sturmgeschütz IIIs and other tanks the standard Shermans were
able to effectively handle), Montgomery's strategy of drawing the bulk of
the German armour units around the vital town of Caen so the American units
could break out to the west meant that British and Commonwealth units had to
face over 70% of all German armour deployed during the Battle of Normandy,
as well as almost all the elite, well-equipped SS units which contained the
fearsome Tigers and Panthers. Thus, despite the relatively low number of
Panthers and Tigers deployed, they would almost all be facing British and
Commonwealth troops. As a result, the Sherman Firefly was perhaps the most
valued tank by British and Commonwealth commanders, as it was the only tank
in the British Army able to effectively defeat the Panthers and Tigers at
the standard combat ranges in Normandy."

"Within 1,000 m of the town, 9 Shermans of the 1st Hussars opened fire into
the advancing Panthers flanks. Lt. Henry's gunner, Trooper A. Chapman,
waited until the Panthers "lined up like ducks in a row" and quickly knocked
out five German Panthers with just 6 rounds. The attack was repulsed with
the loss of 7 of the 12 attacking Panthers, the majority credited to Lt.
Henry's single Firefly."

Fireflys against Tigers:

"Under strict orders from the troop commander, they held their fire until
the German tanks were well within range before opening fire. Ekins, the
gunner of Sergeant Gordon's Sherman Firefly (called Velikye Luki - A
Squadrons tanks were named after towns in the Soviet Union) had yet to fire
his gun in action. With the Tiger tanks in range, the order was given to
fire, what followed was an almost twelve minute battle that saw Ekins
destroying all three Tigers that No. 3 Troop could see (there were actually
7 Tiger tanks in the area heading north along with some other tanks and self
propelled guns). A short time later, the main German counterattack was made
in the direction of C Squadron. A Squadron (less Sgt Gordon who had been
wounded and had already bailed out of the Firefly) moved over to support
them and in the resulting combat, Ekins destroyed a Panzer IV before his
tank was hit and the crew were forced to bail out. One of the Tigers Ekins
is credited with knocking out was that of Michael Wittmann, though there is
still some controversy over whether Ekins really killed Wittman as Fireflies
of the Sherbrooke Fuisilier Regiment were also firing at the Tigers from a
closer range of 500m."
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-10 21:18:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
The British put a 17 pdr gun on a Sherman and
called it the Firefly. It could knock out a Tiger. The US Sherman
did not have it and the US refused to mount them
The US was developing a 90mm tank gun at the time, when that was
delayed it was found the UK no longer had spare 17pdr barrels. Besides
the 17pdr mounting in the Sherman was stretching things. The gun had to
be mounted on it's side. The radio had to be moved outside the turret
into an armoured box welded onto the turret rear. The co-drivers
position and the hull MG were deleted and replaced by ammunition
stowage. This may be why the number of Fireflys used was far less than
the numbers of standard Shermans. The 17pdr was a big gun.

Ken Young
Bay Man
2009-02-11 00:24:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Bay Man
The British put a 17 pdr gun on a Sherman and
called it the Firefly. It could knock out a Tiger. The US Sherman
did not have it and the US refused to mount them
The US was developing a 90mm tank gun at the time, when that was
delayed it was found the UK no longer had spare 17pdr barrels. Besides
the 17pdr mounting in the Sherman was stretching things.
They did it and it made a hell of a difference. It knocked out Tigers and
Panthers. The Germans feared it and knew it by its long gun. The British
painted the guns strange colours to make it look smaller.
mike
2009-02-11 06:11:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
the 17pdr mounting in the Sherman was stretching things. The gun had to
be mounted on it's side. The radio had to be moved outside the turret
into an armoured box welded onto the turret rear. The co-drivers
position and the hull MG were deleted and replaced by ammunition
stowage. This may be why the number of Fireflys used was far less than
the numbers of standard Shermans. The 17pdr was a big gun.
US Practice was the Radio by the Assistant Driver/MG Gunner
in the Hull

Fireflies used the original M4 75mm turret, a tight fit given its
recoil length, But the Israelis put what was for all purposes, the
Panther 75mm in the SuperSherman by moving the mantlet
forward, and the even larger 105 by same method in the later,
more modern T23 76mm turret for their M51 ISherman
Loading Image...
Loading Image...
pics of models to better show that mod for the M50 and M51 turrets

Politics and perceived need kept the 90mm out of Sherman gun
tanks before V-Day.
All US tanks and TDs used the same diameter turret ring,
turrets could be swapped with minimal refitting.
Tests were done with Pershing Turrrets on M4s, and even M36
90mm turret on the M18 Hellcat, but none left CONUS
testing grounds.

**
mike
**
David H Thornley
2009-02-11 06:21:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Politics and perceived need kept the 90mm out of Sherman gun
tanks before V-Day.
Particularly perceived need. General McNair ran Army Ground Forces
very firmly, and had a few unfortunate beliefs. One of those was
that tanks had no business fighting other tanks.

He was killed by "friendly" bombing at the start of the Cobra
offensive, but the top ETO people still seemed to believe that
the 76mm Sherman was thoroughly adequate. It wasn't until after
the Ardennes offensive that they really started squawking, and
then it wasn't for 90mm Shermans but rather for heavy tanks.
Post by mike
From a practical point of view, a doctrine that satisfied
the theater folks for several months couldn't have been all
bad, although it was decidedly not optimal.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Geoffrey Sinclair
2009-02-11 16:33:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
but the top ETO people still seemed to believe that
the 76mm Sherman was thoroughly adequate. It wasn't until after
the Ardennes offensive that they really started squawking, and
then it wasn't for 90mm Shermans but rather for heavy tanks.
Pre invasion when told about the Pershing and the 105 mm gun close
support Sherman the ETO wanted 4 Shermans to 1 Pershing.

On 11 October 1944 that was altered to 2 Shermans to the Pershing.

In early January 1945 that was altered to 1 Sherman to 4 Pershings.

Note the 105mm Sherman did not have power traverse.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-02-11 16:31:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Fireflies used the original M4 75mm turret, a tight fit given its
recoil length, But the Israelis put what was for all purposes, the
Panther 75mm in the SuperSherman by moving the mantlet
forward
The French CN75 was an L/60 gun, whereas the original KwK 42 of the
Panther was an L/70 gun, so the recoil length of the former was probably
slightly shorter.

, and the even larger 105 by same method in the later,
Post by mike
more modern T23 76mm turret for their M51 ISherman
However, the French 105 mm gun was a medium velocity gun designed for
firing HEAT. It was not comparable to the British 105 mm L7 gun (or the
105 mm gun of the French AMX-30) used in Western medium tanks at the
time . The T23 turret could probably not have taken a high velocity 90
mm gun, let alone 105 mm.
Post by mike
All US tanks and TDs used the same diameter turret ring,
turrets could be swapped with minimal refitting.
Tests were done with Pershing Turrrets on M4s, and even M36
90mm turret on the M18 Hellcat, but none left CONUS
testing grounds.
Yes. A Sherman with a 90 mm gun was certainly possible, although it is
possible that the heavier Pershing turret would have been bit of a
stretch for the M4 chassis in practice.


Tero P. Mustalahti
mike
2009-02-12 05:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
However, the French 105 mm gun was a medium velocity gun designed for
firing HEAT. It was not comparable to the British 105 mm L7 gun (or the
105 mm gun of the French AMX-30) used in Western medium tanks at the
time . The T23 turret could probably not have taken a high velocity 90
mm gun, let alone 105 mm.
The ISherman used the CN-105-D1, that was the AMX-30's
CN-105-F1, cut to 44 calibers from 56, giving about 2600fps,
about 600fps less than the original(and about the same as
the 75mm) After the '73 war, the Israelis developed a APFSDS
round to supplement the ball-bearing HEAT round.

With mods like done to fit the long high velocity 90mm to
some 1st Army tanks to make the Super-Pershing,
extra external recuperators mounted above the mantlet, since the
US did not like the guns Trunions to be outside the turret ring,
as with the later Israeli rework.
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Yes. A Sherman with a 90 mm gun was certainly possible, although it is
possible that the heavier Pershing turret would have been bit of a
stretch for the M4 chassis in practice.
I'd think that the M26 turret with the 90 was probably less
than the 'Jumbo' 75mm, but there was also the M25 turret
with slightly thinner armor, if needed, but in any case
would have better tranny&final drive life than the T34
or Panther even with the extra load.

**
mike
**
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-11 23:38:21 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by mike
US Practice was the Radio by the Assistant Driver/MG Gunner
in the Hull
Another reason for the US to turn the 17pdr down. That space was needed
to give reasonable ammo stowage.

Ken Young
Bay Man
2009-02-15 20:31:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Post by mike
US Practice was the Radio by the Assistant Driver/MG Gunner
in the Hull
Another reason for the US to turn the 17pdr down. That space was needed
to give reasonable ammo stowage.
The Firefly was a great success and a number of on the ground US commanders
wished they had it. Who wouldn't? It knocked out Tigers and Panthers
regularly. It must have hurt to see one of their own tanks, the Sherman,
updated by their ally and they can't have one.

US doctrine kept the Firefly away from US Shermans.


Interesting.....from Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Firefly

"While the number of Panthers and Tigers only accounted for some 30% of the
nearly 2,500 German tanks deployed in Normandy (the rest being composed of
Panzer IVs, Sturmgeschütz IIIs and other tanks the standard Shermans were
able to effectively handle), Montgomery's strategy of drawing the bulk of
the German armour units around the vital town of Caen so the American units
could break out to the west meant that British and Commonwealth units had to
face over 70% of all German armour deployed during the Battle of Normandy,
as well as almost all the elite, well-equipped SS units which contained the
fearsome Tigers and Panthers. Thus, despite the relatively low number of
Panthers and Tigers deployed, they would almost all be facing British and
Commonwealth troops. As a result, the Sherman Firefly was perhaps the most
valued tank by British and Commonwealth commanders, as it was the only tank
in the British Army able to effectively defeat the Panthers and Tigers at
the standard combat ranges in Normandy."

Montgomery was able to draw the bulk of the German army and armour into him
to destroy it, allowing the US forces to break out to complete the
encirclement, because he knew he had a tank which was a match to the Tigers
and Panthers. The Germans had about 800 Tigers and Panthers which took
about 5 standard Shermans to knock out, and usually about two or three of
those were destroyed in the process. A Firefly could knock out a Tiger by
itself and did so on many occasions.

The defensive Achilles mobile anti-tank gun platform with the 17 pdr, also
was invaluable in countering German counter offensives and in drawing the
Germans onto you was operating in its ideal role. The Achilles was a
modified US M10. The attacking M10's gun was not powerful enough to knock
out a Panther or Tiger.

The British idea of Equal firepower to a Tiger or Panther in the attacking
role and equal in the defensive proved successful.
David H Thornley
2009-02-19 04:21:57 UTC
Permalink
Thus, despite the relatively low number of Panthers and Tigers deployed,
they would almost all be facing British and Commonwealth troops. As a
result, the Sherman Firefly was perhaps the most valued tank by British
and Commonwealth commanders, as it was the only tank in the British Army
able to effectively defeat the Panthers and Tigers at the standard
combat ranges in Normandy."
I think it's more to the point that British divisional AT units had
a good many 17pdrs, which were much better than the 57mm that was
all the US divisions had (the US version of the 6pdr). Tank battles
are not generally decided by the technically better tanks, but
it's real useful to have good towed AT guns in the face of
counterattacks.

In fact, almost all the British tanks at this point had no better than
a 75mm gun, and there really weren't enough Fireflies to make a
strategic difference. Later in the campaign, they became more
numerous, and by 1945 the excellent Comet joined it. Let's not
forget the problems with inaccuracy of the 17pdr APDS shot early on.

It is true that the Germans shot preferably at the Fireflies. Since
they had normal armor for medium tanks, they often didn't last all
that long in tank battles.

The Germans had about 800 Tigers and Panthers
which took about 5 standard Shermans to knock out, and usually about two
or three of those were destroyed in the process.
You are invited to look at loss statistics to see for yourself. You
will find that the numbers simply will not allow that ratio.

Moreover, a lot of Shermans were knocked out by German AT guns. The
Allies were mostly on the attack, and so Allied tanks had a greater
exposure to German AT guns than vice versa, and the Germans had good
AT guns.

A Firefly could knock
out a Tiger by itself and did so on many occasions.
Well, yes. That's true of any Allied medium tank: they could knock
out a Tiger (under favorable conditions) and did so.
The British idea of Equal firepower to a Tiger or Panther in the
attacking role and equal in the defensive proved successful.
Fond as I am of the Sherman, it was a medium tank, and simply couldn't
carry armor like the larger Panthers or Tigers. The Sherman Firefly
was a Sherman with a much improved gun. Nothing more and nothing
less. While its gun was a match for the Panther's, its frontal
armor was not.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-10 22:29:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
So if you had some cheaply produced Thompsons, and
some well-made Stens - or at least ones with good magazines, which
were apparently most of the problem - that test result seems
conceivable.
According to Infantry Weapons of WW2 when the British evaluated
available sub machine guns in 1939 the Suomi came top and the Thompson
bottom. However the Thompson was bought because of it was the only gun
that would be available in quantity. The first British produced SMG was
the Lanchester which was based on the MP28. All Lanchester production
went to the RN. The other point is that the Mk I Sten was a more
luxurious design than the Mk II which was the major production version
and further simplified for ease of production.

Ken Young
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-02-11 16:32:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
So if you had some cheaply produced Thompsons, and
some well-made Stens - or at least ones with good magazines, which
were apparently most of the problem - that test result seems
conceivable.
According to Infantry Weapons of WW2 when the British evaluated
available sub machine guns in 1939 the Suomi came top and the Thompson
bottom.
The Suomi was also a typical pre-war design that needed a lot of
machining and other time consuming manufacturing phases. The Finnish
army actually copied the Soviet PPS-43 in order to simplify production,
modified for 9x19 mm Parabellum of course. The modification was known as
SMG M/44 "Pelti-kp" (which translates to "Tin SMG"):

http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/ALMOST2.htm#KP44

There is an interesting test firing chart if you follow the link, which
shows that it was quite possible to hit a man sized standing target at
300 meters with both the Suomi and the SMG M/44. At 300 meters a 9 mm or
7.62 mm bullet fired from an SMG was still very potentially lethal
through a standard summer uniform*. Hitting a kneeling or otherwise
concealed target at 150 meters was also more than possible. This goes to
show that the effective range of SMGs was not limited to 50 meters or
even 100 meters, but of course any Finnish or Russian veteran who used a
Suomi, PPSh-42 or PPS-43 could already tell you that.

* In fact there is no record of even winter uniforms providing any
significant protection against SMG fire in either Finnish or Soviet WW2
records.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Dave
2009-02-09 23:00:52 UTC
Permalink
In addition to "not invented here," the U.S. Army held a prejudice
toward the rifle as opposed to a SMG or machine pistol. The generals
still imagined their infantrymen picking off targets at 100+ yards and
were not impressed with the Sten's 9mm accuracy and range. The
Thompson and the M3 "grease gun" were envisioned for mechanized troops
and not for regular infantry issue.
d***@aol.com
2009-02-10 16:15:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave
In addition to "not invented here," the U.S. Army held a prejudice
toward the rifle as opposed to a SMG or machine pistol. The generals
still imagined their infantrymen picking off targets at 100+ yards and
were not impressed with the Sten's 9mm accuracy and range. The
Thompson and the M3 "grease gun" were envisioned for mechanized troops
and not for regular infantry issue.
Good point. This made me think of a related SMG question.

Eric Bergerud makes the point that Thompsons were unpopular with
troops on Guadalcanal and the Solomons because they sounded too much
like Japanese weapons and tended to draw friendly fire. On the other
hand, troops in New Guinea couldn't get enough of them.

Those of us of a certain age grew up with Vic Morrow using one on
the TV show Combat. I was wondering how common Thompsons were among
the infantry in Europe and the med?
William Black
2009-02-10 17:46:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Post by Dave
In addition to "not invented here," the U.S. Army held a prejudice
toward the rifle as opposed to a SMG or machine pistol. The generals
still imagined their infantrymen picking off targets at 100+ yards and
were not impressed with the Sten's 9mm accuracy and range. The
Thompson and the M3 "grease gun" were envisioned for mechanized troops
and not for regular infantry issue.
Good point. This made me think of a related SMG question.
Eric Bergerud makes the point that Thompsons were unpopular with
troops on Guadalcanal and the Solomons because they sounded too much
like Japanese weapons and tended to draw friendly fire. On the other
hand, troops in New Guinea couldn't get enough of them.
Those of us of a certain age grew up with Vic Morrow using one on
the TV show Combat. I was wondering how common Thompsons were among
the infantry in Europe and the med?
Accounts I have read seem to indicate that they weren't popular as they were
too heavy for the firepower and range delivered.

Certainly they were deeply disliked by the British in 1939 and early 1940
for night patrols because the drum mags the early Thompsons came with
rattled. Latter models had a stick mag and the problem disappeared.
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Andrew Robert Breen
2009-02-10 22:30:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by d***@aol.com
Those of us of a certain age grew up with Vic Morrow using one on
the TV show Combat. I was wondering how common Thompsons were among
the infantry in Europe and the med?
Accounts I have read seem to indicate that they weren't popular as they were
too heavy for the firepower and range delivered.
Certainly they were deeply disliked by the British in 1939 and early 1940
for night patrols because the drum mags the early Thompsons came with
rattled. Latter models had a stick mag and the problem disappeared.
They're said to have been heartily disliked by many in the 14th army in
Burma. McDonald-Fraser claimed that he was far from the only one to have
"lost" his Thompson in some jungle creek so that he could draw a
Lee-Enfield.

I've also been told (by one involved) of ambushes in Crete and
(then-) Yugoslavia which went badly wrong as the Thompsons were too
inaccurate to stop German troops filtering across an open space and they
had no-one along with a rifle (and no Bren) to chop them down as they did
it.
--
Andy Breen ~ Not speaking on behalf of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Feng Shui: an ancient oriental art for extracting
money from the gullible (Martin Sinclair)
mike
2009-02-11 06:17:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Certainly they were deeply disliked by the British in 1939 and early 1940
for night patrols because the drum mags the early Thompsons came with
rattled. Latter models had a stick mag and the problem disappeared.
Having both fired the Thompson w/50 and PPSh w/71,
did not notice a difference in noise in carry. Neither made
much noise when the winding spring set up for the right
number of 'clicks'

Wonder how Ivan managed nite patrols.

What I did notice was the weight of a Tommy Drums vs
2 PPSh, and the Thompson heavier unloaded by itself. At
100 yards, the Thompson was more accurate, even though
recoil was worse. PPSh much easier to takedown and clean

Now forced to carry a SMG for MOUT, my pick might drift
towards the Grease Gun

**
mike
**
William Black
2009-02-11 07:06:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by William Black
Certainly they were deeply disliked by the British in 1939 and early 1940
for night patrols because the drum mags the early Thompsons came with
rattled. Latter models had a stick mag and the problem disappeared.
Having both fired the Thompson w/50 and PPSh w/71,
did not notice a difference in noise in carry. Neither made
much noise when the winding spring set up for the right
number of 'clicks'
Wonder how Ivan managed nite patrols.
I wonder if anyone cared?

'Aggressive night patrolling has been British army doctrine since WWI.

That means somebody cares about how it is done and the weapons used.
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Dave
2009-02-10 19:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Eric Bergerud makes the point that Thompsons were unpopular with
troops on Guadalcanal and the Solomons because they sounded too much
like Japanese weapons and tended to draw friendly fire. On the other
hand, troops in New Guinea couldn't get enough of them.
Those of us of a certain age grew up with Vic Morrow using one on
the TV show Combat. I was wondering how common Thompsons were among
the infantry in Europe and the med?
I just queried a vet of the 505th PIR, 82nd ABN who served in Africa,
Sicily, Normandy, Holland, and at St. Vith. Here is his response to
that question (typos edited by me):

'Early on everybody wanted one but as we got combat wise most realized
few people were any good with it. Hard to control [only effective in
short bursts] jammed easily, and heavy. I liked it more after I lost
my eye as my markmanship was not good till I got used to it - trouble
estimating distance etc. All in all my favor. As well as most guys
with me, I liked the Garand. Of course there were a lot of carbines in
our outfit so that was the ammo that was most available. There were
times when that was critical. I remember a couple guys getting a bunch
of tommies to sell to new troops who thot that would be the ideal
weapon."


I trained with a Thompson as a cop in the 60s and second the notion
that it is heavy and hard to control.

Dave Wilma
www.DavidWilma.Com
Bay Man
2009-02-10 06:24:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
In the article, the author mentioned that in looking for a replacement
to the M1, the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press? is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?
The Sten's initial defects were ironed out to the point it was very
reliable. It was made in Resistance workshops in Denmark,. Norway, France,
Poland etc. And by Israel where the Arabs had them too. It was copied by
the Germans and the French. Quite a remarkable weapon that lacked
recognition, despite a rush design. The later models were more simpler, and
reliable, with less parts.
e***@hotmail.com
2009-02-26 16:11:52 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 10, 12:24 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
In the article, the author mentioned that in looking for a replacement
to the M1, the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
This was not a test in battlefield conditions. The trial weapons were
not exposed to dirt, mud, sand, dust and soldiers who don't like to
clean their weapon several times per day.
Post by Bay Man
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press? is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?
The Sten's initial defects were ironed out to the point it was very
reliable.
Where is this data found?

If we are talking about a test of durability, the Sten gun will lose.
According to John Weeks, World War II British Commandos preferred the
Tommy gun for reliability. The other technical differences were not
important because all submachine guns were limited most by the
weakness of pistol ammunition.

The bullets had insufficient killing power, and that still causes
complaints today. Authors Mike Chappell and John Scurr served with the
British army in postwar Malaya and they said that U.S. M1 carbines
were much preferred over 9mm submachine guns, based on combat
experience and the wound ballistics data reported after firefights.

The U.S. Army was even less enthusiastic about the so-called "gangster
weapons". By 1943, they began to withdraw submachine guns from
infantry battalions. They were phased out of all front line units
except for airborne troops and special forces.
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-03-02 23:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by e***@hotmail.com
The bullets had insufficient killing power, and that still causes
complaints today.
Mostly irrelevant for submachine guns. Most complaints about the
"stopping power" of the 9x19 mm round concern pistol use. With an SMG,
however, multiple hits per target are quite likely, which makes the
stopping power issue much less relevant.
Post by e***@hotmail.com
Authors Mike Chappell and John Scurr served with the
British army in postwar Malaya and they said that U.S. M1 carbines
were much preferred over 9mm submachine guns, based on combat
experience and the wound ballistics data reported after firefights.
The .30 carbine penetrates structures much better than the 9x19 mm,
which makes it superior for forests and urban combat. On the other hand
the .45 ACP is much worse in that regard, since it as very poor
penetration. There is little doubt that the .30 carbine was a better
round than the ones used in SMGs during WW2, but that does not mean that
all the SMG rounds were equal (they were not) or that the better ones
(9x19 mm and 7.62x25 mm) were not up to the job.
Post by e***@hotmail.com
The U.S. Army was even less enthusiastic about the so-called "gangster
weapons". By 1943, they began to withdraw submachine guns from
infantry battalions. They were phased out of all front line units
except for airborne troops and special forces.
Yes, but the .45 ACP sucked as an SMG round. It's low muzzle velocity
makes it very difficult to hit anything moving or something at an
unknown range, because of the long flight time and very curved ballistic
arc. Many people say great things about the accuracy of .45 ACP and for
sure it is a very accurate round, but they do not understand that firing
range accuracy means very little in combat, where the targets are moving
and appear at an unknown range. That limited the practical effective
range of the M1 Thompson to less the 100 meters and even less for the M3
Grease Gun. In contrast, the Suomi SMG, PPSh-41 and PPS-43 were highly
effective up to 200 meters and experts users could easily hit man sized
targets at 250 meters with short bursts or single shots. Even the Sten
was easily effective up to 100 meters. And of course the structure
penetration of the .45 ACP is pathetic, which makes it nearly useless
for urban or forest warfare.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Evan Brennan
2009-03-03 16:11:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Post by e***@hotmail.com
The bullets had insufficient killing power, and that still causes
complaints today.
Mostly irrelevant for submachine guns. Most complaints about the
"stopping power" of the 9x19 mm round concern pistol use. With an SMG,
however, multiple hits per target are quite likely, which makes the
stopping power issue much less relevant.rgets are moving
and appear at an unknown range. That limited the practical effective
range of the M1 Thompson to less the 100 meters and even less for the M3
Grease Gun. In contrast, the Suomi SMG, PPSh-41 and PPS-43 were highly
effective up to 200 meters
All potential buyers know this is just wartime propaganda. 9mm bullets
had poor stopping power at 20 meters, even after causing multiple
gunshot wounds.

Your reply might be more interesting if you produced wound ballistics
data showing us how many soldiers were killed or neutralized by 9mm
fire from 50-200 meters, and how many continued to return fire after
getting shot.That might explain why submachine guns are no longer
popular for general military use.

The police and paramilitary reaction forces still use 9mm submachine
guns for building clearance because the weak bullet suits a need for
discretionary warfare. Rifle bullets punch through walls too easily
and might hit the wrong person.
Tero P. Mustalahti
2009-03-04 05:42:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Evan Brennan
All potential buyers know this is just wartime propaganda. 9mm bullets
had poor stopping power at 20 meters, even after causing multiple
gunshot wounds.
Well, your claim is even more unsubstantiated than mine, which is based
on mostly on Finnish and Soviet, and to some extent German, wartime
experiences. Modern wound ballistic research is mostly oriented towards
single hit effects and law enforcement use and is highly controversial
field of research in any case. An undeniable fact is that any Central
Nervous System damage has significant "stopping" effect and the
probability of a CNS hits of course goes up with multiple hits.
Post by Evan Brennan
Your reply might be more interesting if you produced wound ballistics
data showing us how many soldiers were killed or neutralized by 9mm
fire from 50-200 meters, and how many continued to return fire after
getting shot.
Such data of course is not available, but lab wound ballistics
experiments do not in any way disprove the wartime experience, since the
circumstances are so different. In science it is well known that many
things can not be accurately studied in a laboratory, because the
environment is too artificial and exaggerates certain effects while
downplaying others.

In fact I would say that the burden of proof is on you: please show that
a significant percentage of soldiers were not at least partially
neutralized (i.e. no longer able to fire their weapons efficiently) by a
9 mm or 7.62 mm pistol bullet hit. At longer ranges the percentage would
of course be higher, but would it be significant enough to discredit the
SMG as weapon of war?

In general most people's ability to function is greatly diminished by
any significantly penetrating hit to the torso even if the wound is not
immediately fatal or completely disabling. And remember that
particularly at longer ranges non-immediate effects can be militarily
significant as well; we are not talking about a PCP addict charging at a
police officer from 10 meters away, where immediate neutralization is
required.
Post by Evan Brennan
That might explain why submachine guns are no longer
popular for general military use.
Since it was replaced by the battle rifle and (later) the assault rifle.
Nevertheless, submachine guns provided significant fire power boost for
armies which fielded mostly bolt action rifles in WW2. It was perhaps
less important for the US army, which had the semi-automatic M1 Garand,
but it is difficult to say what the US policy would have been if they
had adopted a better SMG round than the .45 ACP. As a matter of fact
after WW2 many armies retained the SMG in some capacity alongside battle
rifles even in regular army and not just special forces. Only the
introduction of true assault rifles killed the SMG as a military weapon.
Post by Evan Brennan
The police and paramilitary reaction forces still use 9mm submachine
guns for building clearance because the weak bullet suits a need for
discretionary warfare.
9 mm FMJ or 'ball' fired from an SMG will in fact penetrate typical
civilian structure's interior walls quite happily at short ranges
(including brick walls) and remain lethal in the next room. What it
won't do is penetrate several walls and kill an innocent bystander at
the other side of the building or on the street like rifle and even
assault rifle bullets. It is also good to remember that many WW2 SMG's
fired special "hot" SMG loads, which increased muzzle velocity even
further.


Tero P. Mustalahti

Dave
2009-03-03 19:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by e***@hotmail.com
The bullets had insufficient killing power, and that still causes
complaints today. Authors Mike Chappell and John Scurr served with the
British army in postwar Malaya and they said that U.S. M1 carbines
were much preferred over 9mm submachine guns, based on combat
experience and the wound ballistics data reported after firefights.
The U.S. Army was even less enthusiastic about the so-called "gangster
weapons". By 1943, they began to withdraw submachine guns from
infantry battalions. They were phased out of all front line units
except for airborne troops and special forces.
Despite the ballistic properties of pistol ammunition the impact of
troops throwing a lot of bullets downrange can have an impact on the
enemy. I never heard of an infantryman who got up out of his hole to
shoot when he learned that his enemy was just using machine pistols or
submachine guns.

That said, the decisions by the forces are based on ballistics data.
William Black
2009-02-10 06:28:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
The other day I was flicking through a copy of American Rifleman
(sorry, I can't recall which issue). In it, a question from a reader
was answered. The question was if there was the 'M1' Thompon SMG and
the 'M3' Grease Gun, was there ever an 'M2'. The answer was 'yes' the
and the response from the magazine went on to detail a bit of history
on the unsuccessful M2 design (see
http://www.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=10329,DATABASE=6712231,)
In the article, the author mentioned that in looking for a replacement
to the M1, the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press? is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?
It was cheap, crude, looked dreadful, according to one general the soldiers
carrying them 'looked like gangsters', it was difficult to 'present arms'
with and they never did work out a proper 'parade drill' for the thing and
if you held it wrong it could chop the end off your left forefinger.

But it DID go bang when you pulled the trigger...

Unlike so many British military small-arms, most of which looked good but
didn't actually work for their first decade or so in service...
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Don Phillipson
2009-02-10 16:17:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
It was cheap, crude, looked dreadful, according to one general the soldiers
carrying them 'looked like gangsters', it was difficult to 'present arms'
with and they never did work out a proper 'parade drill' for the thing and
if you held it wrong it could chop the end off your left forefinger.
No: the digit in danger was the little finger of the left hand
(for a right-handed shooter.) The Sten gun was cradled by
the left hand and its magazine was horizontal on the left
side. Opposite to the magazine fitting was an open cartridge
exit port inside which the heavy firing block (nearly 2" diameter
and 3" long) whizzed back and forward. When I was taught to
fire the Sten in 1955 a couple of RAF Regiment instructors
lacked the top phalange of the left little finger, having let it
creep into the path of the breech block.

The Sten gun was designed to use 9 mm. pistol ammunition,
as captured in large quantities in N.Africa in 1940/41, with
effective range 25 yards, max. range 100 yards. Infantry
rifle ammunition was designed for effective range 100 yards,
max range 1 mile. The Sten breech and barrel could not
have been economically redesigned for existing .300 or .303
cal. standard rifle ammunition. (Reference: Ian Hogg, Complete
Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the World's Firearms (1978.))
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
William Black
2009-02-10 17:46:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Phillipson
The Sten gun was designed to use 9 mm. pistol ammunition,
as captured in large quantities in N.Africa in 1940/41, with
effective range 25 yards, max. range 100 yards.
I mentioned this captured ammunition before and got shot to bits.

It seems the quantity wasn't enough to redesign the who army's weapon issue
system...
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Michele
2009-02-10 18:18:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Phillipson
The Sten gun was designed to use 9 mm. pistol ammunition,
as captured in large quantities in N.Africa in 1940/41,
Large quantities?

I do hope they did not try to fire the M38 round for the Beretta MAB 38A
with a Sten. It was more powerful than a standard 9mm Parabellum and given
that the early Sten Marks were not terribly reliable to start with...
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2009-02-11 16:24:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Phillipson
The Sten gun was designed to use 9 mm. pistol ammunition,
as captured in large quantities in N.Africa in 1940/41,
The Sten was designed to use the 9mm Parabellum. This was adopted as
the standard British sub machine gun round. The Lanchester SMG issued to
the RN was in 9mm and designed in 1939. Design of the Sten started prior
to any fighting in the desert. The UK had no difficulty in producing 9mm
and designed SMG around what was considered the best round.

Ken Young
Tero Mustalahti
2009-02-12 18:26:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
The UK had no difficulty in producing 9mm
and designed SMG around what was considered the best round.
And quite rightly so -- although in retrospect the Soviet 7.62x25 mm TT
was slightly superior.


Tero P. Mustalahti
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-12 21:27:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Don Phillipson
The Sten gun was designed to use 9 mm. pistol ammunition,
as captured in large quantities in N.Africa in 1940/41,
The Sten was designed to use the 9mm Parabellum. This was adopted as
the standard British sub machine gun round. The Lanchester SMG issued to
the RN was in 9mm and designed in 1939. ...
I suspect the truth is that the story started because some SMGs would fire
almost anything of the right calibre that was put into them. The Lanchester,
which was a British copy of the German MP28, would fire all standard rimless
9mm rounds, apart from those for the Beretta. That was a much better made
weapon than the Sten, so I would be surprised if the tolerances in the Sten
did not also allow for different ammunition to be used.

Colin Bignell
l***@netscape.net
2009-02-10 16:16:58 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 9, 3:38 pm, Space Captain Kurt Kosmic <***@wetafx.co.nz>
wrote:

(stuff deleted)
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press?
One soldier, demonstrating the Mark I version of the Sten, showed how
jolting the weapon in a certain way could set it off into firing a
full-auto burst regardless if the safety was set. Soldiers who
carried on their backs soon learned to remove the ammo clip, as it not
only was the safest way to carry it, it also made the task slightly
more comfortable, since the Sten's grip, magazine cartridge, and
trigger were configured in three different angles (thus making it
impossible to lay flat against the back).
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?
(stuff deleted)

The Sten went through several modifications. Some of the later ones
were evidently quite good, at least in comparison with the Mark 1.
Don Phillipson
2009-02-10 18:48:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@netscape.net
One soldier, demonstrating the Mark I version of the Sten, showed how
jolting the weapon in a certain way could set it off into firing a
full-auto burst regardless if the safety was set. Soldiers who
I have seen this on the firing range (RAF AATS summer camp,
Porthcawl, Wales, 1955.)
Post by l***@netscape.net
carried on their backs soon learned to remove the ammo clip, as it not
only was the safest way to carry it, it also made the task slightly
more comfortable, since the Sten's grip, magazine cartridge, and
trigger were configured in three different angles (thus making it
impossible to lay flat against the back).
In four years' military service, having occasional contact with Stens,
I never once heard of anyone attempting or wanting to carry it slung
on their backs, or of ever carrying it with magazine in place (unless in
the horizontal position, ready to fire.) All Stens disassembled into two
pieces less than 18 inches each literally at the push of a button.
Many Stens were fitted with slings, so one (or half a dozen) could
be conveniently carried under one arm, the slings over the shoulder,
all unloaded of course..
Post by l***@netscape.net
The Sten went through several modifications. Some of the later ones
were evidently quite good, at least in comparison with the Mark 1.
The Sten remained in British service for at least 25 years, superseded
late in the 1950s by the Sterling, a more refined weapon but based
on the Sten design (except for the curved magazine.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
l***@netscape.net
2009-02-11 16:33:43 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 10, 2:48 pm, "Don Phillipson" <***@SPAMBLOCK.ncf.ca> wrote:

(stuff deleted)
Post by Don Phillipson
In four years' military service, having occasional contact with Stens,
I never once heard of anyone attempting or wanting to carry it slung
on their backs,
Sorry. I did not phrase it correctly. The point the demonstrator
made was that there was no easy way for the Sten to lie flat when
slung over the shoulder without some part of it sticking out. He then
demonstrated the German model, slung over the shoulder, which looked a
lot less protruding. In both cases, the weapons were behind the
wearer.
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-12 21:28:54 UTC
Permalink
<***@netscape.net> wrote in message news:ce73305b-2ea5-4fc0-87d7-***@h16g2000yqj.googlegroups.com...
....
Post by l***@netscape.net
Sorry. I did not phrase it correctly. The point the demonstrator
made was that there was no easy way for the Sten to lie flat when
slung over the shoulder without some part of it sticking out. He then
demonstrated the German model, slung over the shoulder, which looked a
lot less protruding. In both cases, the weapons were behind the
wearer.
The Sten Mk2 introduced a rotating sleeve to hold the magazine, which could
be turned upwards, where it acted as a dust cover for the ejection opening.
The gun could, therefore, be made to lie completely flat, if required.

Colin Bignell.
"\"nightjar\" <cpb@" , ".me.uk"@gweep.ca
2009-02-12 20:57:46 UTC
Permalink
"Space Captain Kurt Kosmic" <***@wetafx.co.nz> wrote in message news:09f2a9b1-67ee-4831-9abe-***@s1g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
....
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
In the article, the author mentioned that in looking for a replacement
to the M1, the British Sten gun was trialled along with several other
US designs. The Sten gun was the winner of the evaluation, with the
US eval finding it more reliable than the M1.
Hearing this surprised me, as most of what you read about the Sten was
that it was cheap, crude and relatively unreliable. Is this just a
bit of bad press? is it's reputation as unreliable undeserved?..
Looking at the timing, it is possible they evaluated the Sten Mk 1, which
was a relatively elaborate and well-made version, with wooden hand grips and
a flash hider. It was the Mk 2 that gave the weapon its reputation as a
poorly assembled collection of scrap metal. OTOH, it could have been a
Canadian made Mk 2, which were more robust and better made than those made
in Britain. The weapon itself was simple and reliable, but the magazine lips
were prone to damage, leading to feed problems and stoppages, and it was
more susceptible to dust and dirt than was desirable in North Africa.
Neither of those might have been obvious in trials. It also had a nasty
habit of firing if given a heavy jolt. That was also true of the MP38,
resulting in the MP40 being fitted with a safety device.

Colin Bignell
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