Military Review

American anti-aircraft defense during the Second World War. Part 1

American anti-aircraft defense during the Second World War. Part 1

By the beginning of World War II in the United States, only Navy warships had more or less adequate anti-aircraft protection. At the end of the 30s, the American army was in the process of technical re-equipment and re-equipment, and its anti-aircraft weapons corresponded to the realities of a decade ago.

The machine gun of the M1917 rifle caliber 7,62 × 63 mm (.30-06 Springfield) was the most common machine gun in the American army during the interwar period. It was developed after the entry of the USA into the First World War. This design of John Browning, created in collaboration with the company Colt, in 1917 was an analogue of the Maxim machine gun, characterized by similar characteristics, more simple design. In 1936, the machine gun was upgraded.

An improved version of the machine gun "Browning" received the designation МХNUMXА1917. The machine gun of this modification has an improved mechanism for feeding cartridges, an improved sight and a new tripod machine, which provides the possibility of firing at air targets. The anti-aircraft sight is entered into the complete set of accessories to a machine gun.

Machine guns of this type, due to water cooling, could fire intensively for a long time. In addition to the infantry tripod machine, they were mounted on armored vehicles, on anti-aircraft turrets. During the war years, within the framework of military assistance, M1917А1 was supplied to the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition and used throughout the war, including as anti-aircraft.

However, the machine gun machine M1917А1 did not satisfy the American military, primarily because of excessive mass (47 kg). As a result, a modification of the M1919 Browning machine gun in the M1919А4 version with the lightweight M2 tripod was adopted. It was this machine gun that became the main weapons American troops during the Second World War.

Machine gun М1919А4 structurally differed little from machine gun М1917А1. The main difference was the use of a massive air-cooling barrel encased in a perforated casing. Together with the machine gun, the M1919А4 machine gun weighed 25 kg, which was almost half the mass of the M1917А1 with the machine.

In addition to the infantry version of the machine gun on a tripod, there were many turret versions of these weapons, which were mounted on various vehicles and armored vehicles.

American tank crews practice shooting anti-aircraft machine guns at low-flying targets. The photo was taken at a training center located in the Mojave Desert, California, in preparation for the invasion of North Africa.

In addition to the American army, Browning M1919А4 was widely distributed in the armed forces of the allied countries. Together with the armored vehicles supplied by Lend-Lease, he was in considerable quantities in the USSR. At the same time, its role as an anti-aircraft weapon was not great; in this field, the large-caliber 12,7-mm Browning M2 machine gun proved to be much more effective.

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12,7-mm water-cooled anti-aircraft gun

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Anti-aircraft guns of twin machine guns M2, the barrels of which had liquid cooling, were widely spread. These installations were mounted on ships and vehicles. However, the use of this effective anti-aircraft weapon in the portable version was difficult due to excessive weight.

To provide the necessary intensity of fire in the air-cooled version, a heavier barrel was developed, and the machine gun was designated the Browning M2HB. Machine gun body weight dropped to 38 kg. The rate of fire was 450-600 shots / min.

During World War II, almost 2 million XXUMUM mm M2 machine guns were produced in the USA. To provide air defense to the ground forces, several variants of the towed and self-propelled twin and quad anti-aircraft machine guns were created. Machine guns were also installed on all types of warships, from the torpedo boat to the battleship. In the marine version, an anti-aircraft gun was equipped with a mirror sight, however, since the fire was fired with tracer ammunition, many shooters often did not use the sights, correcting the shooting at the routes of bullets.

American sailor at a paired 12,7-mm machine gun on a PT-type boat near the coast of New Guinea

Maxson LW Corporation became the main developer and manufacturer of ground-breaking forces for ground forces. After the release of the successful twin 12,7-mm M13 units, which were mounted on the MXXUMX half-track armored personnel carrier chassis, the military expressed a desire to get a more powerful quad unit.


In 1943, the production of the M45 Maxson Mount quad install began. The weight of the unit in a combat position was 1087 kg. The firing range of air targets is about 1000 m. The rate of fire is 2300 shots per minute.


The towed version received the designation M51; lightweight, on a biaxial trailer for paratroop units was known as the M55.
At the firing position to give the installation greater stability from each corner of the trailer on the ground special supports were lowered. The trailer also contained batteries for the power supply of the anti-aircraft gun and a charger for them. Guidance was carried out with the help of electric drives. The electric motors of the induction drives were powerful, capable of withstanding the greatest loads. Thanks to electric drives, the installation had a pointing speed of up to 60 degrees per second.


The most common type of ZSU in the US Army with Maxson Mount quadruple guns was the M16 based on the half-a-track M3 half-armored personnel carrier. Total released such 2877 machines.


Installations Maxson Mount are usually used to guard against attack aircraft of transport convoys or units on the march. In addition to direct assignment, quad-mounted large-caliber machine gun installations were a very powerful means of fighting manpower and lightly armored vehicles, earning an unofficial nickname among the American military, the "meat grinder."

On the basis of the M5 armored personnel carrier, which differed from the M3 only in certain units and assemblies, as well as in the production technology of the corps, the ZNU M17 was produced. The armament of which was the same quad installation Maxson Mount.

Soviet ZSU M17

Supplied under Lend-Lease in the USSR ZSU M17, which became the main means of mobile air defense tank and mechanized units of the Red Army, were highly valued among the troops. The combination of an armored chassis of increased cross-country ability and high firepower of four large-caliber Browning was obtained in our country on domestic models only in the post-war period.

At the final stage of the war, the Soviet ZNSU M17, with no air targets, was effectively used in street battles, firing at the upper floors of buildings and attics.

Heavy machine gun M2 proved to be a very effective means of repelling low-altitude attacks of enemy aircraft. He had high combat and service and operational characteristics for his time, which ensured his widest distribution in the US armed forces and allies in the anti-Hitler coalition. Although there were no explosives in the bullets used by the Browning machine guns, all the aircraft of that time were vulnerable to his fire.

At the end of the 30s, when the first armored airplanes began to appear, the US Navy began to search for more powerful weapons to replace the large-caliber Browning. American naval commanders became interested in the Oerlikon 20-mm Swiss automatic gun. After the comparative tests of 9 in November of 1940, the adoption of the Swiss Oerlikon was recommended.

Anti-aircraft guns manufactured in the United States were designated as 20 mm / 70 (0.79 ") FFS. They had a firing rate of up to 650 shots per minute. The weight of the gun was 62 kg. The power was supplied from 30-charging drum magazines.

As of December 7, 1941 was produced 379 automatic guns. In total, before the end of production in 1945, the industry released the Orelikon 124.735 anti-aircraft gun. These anti-aircraft guns in the United States were a purely naval system and were practically never used ashore.

Weapons turned out to be very popular in the fleet due to ease of maintenance and good rate of fire. By the end of the war, on the American ships all the free space was occupied with single and double-barreled installations of the Oerlikon. Ammunition 20-mm guns "Oerlikon" included shells of the following types:

- fragmentation (about 9 g of trotyl);
- tracer (4 g of TNT and luminous composition, the length of the route 1500 m);
- incendiary (4 g of trotyl and 3 g of white phosphorus);
- armor-piercing (4 g detonite);
- armor-piercing incendiary (equipped with white phosphorus).

The mass of the projectile, depending on the type, ranged from 124 to 130 grams. Initial speed: 835 — 870 m / s. Reach height - to 2500 m.

The 20-mm anti-aircraft guns were the “last line of defense” against Japanese kamikazes who had broken through the fighter barriers and the fire of more long-range anti-aircraft guns. On ships of the class of battleships and heavy aircraft carriers, by the end of the war the number of Erlikon trunks exceeded one hundred pieces. Although it must be said that by the end of the war the anti-aircraft guns "Oerlikon" had already ceased to meet the requirements of the time. The power of 20-mm projectiles was often not enough to stop the kamikaze coming to the last attack.

In limited numbers (total 110 machines) in the USA for air defense of the ground forces, the ZSU Т10 was launched, armed with the paired 20-mm cannon system Hispano-Suiza HS.404, which, in turn, was the British version of the Oerlikon.


The widespread use of ZSU T10 in the US military units was impeded by the non-standard 20-mm ammunition for the army and the lack of clear advantages over the quadruple 12,7-mm units. In addition, the production of Hispano cannons in the United States was limited. Virtually all of the industry-issued automata went to arm combat aircraft.

At the beginning of the 20-s, John Browning developed the 37-mm automatic cannon. After his death in 1926, the process of adopting this system was slowed down. Formally, the gun was put into service in the 1927 year, in fact it happened only in the 1938 year, after the development of a modernized mast.

37 mm anti-aircraft gun M1A2

The upgraded 37-mm anti-aircraft gun was named М1А2. The weight of the upgraded anti-aircraft installation in a combat position - 2778 kg. Technical rate of fire - 120 shots per minute. The weight of the fragmentation projectile is 595 g. The initial velocity of the projectile is 850 m / s. Firing range at air targets - 3200 m.

By itself, the 37-mm anti-aircraft gun did well. However, the effectiveness was spoiled by insufficiently powerful ammunition, because of which it was difficult to defeat planes flying at high speed. Just at this time, the British asked the Americans to use part of their production capacity for the release of the Bofors 40-mm anti-aircraft gun for the UK. Having tested them, the US military was convinced of the superiority of these anti-aircraft guns over the domestic system. However, for some time, the parallel production of Bofors and М1А2 continued in the assembly shops of the Colt company.

During the fighting, it turned out that anti-aircraft gunners in light installations practically do not use sights, preferring to direct an anti-aircraft installation at the time of firing at the routes of projectiles or bullets. In accordance with the findings, a Combination Mount M54 was created. To the left and right of the barrel, 37-mm anti-aircraft guns were set up on the Browning's 12,7-mm heavy machine gun. Since the ballistic characteristics of machine guns and guns were similar, the shooters were asked to use for targeting the machine gun bullets and only then introduce the gun.


This combined anti-aircraft gun on the BN3 BTR chassis, armed with an 37-mm automatic M1-2 gun and two 12,7-mm water-cooled machine guns, was designated the T28-X1. Was released in the number of 80 machines. It was followed by ZSU МХNUMX, which was distinguished by a circular armored cover for weapons. 15 machines released.


The ZSU, which received the designation МХNUMXА15, on the chassis of the armored personnel carrier М1А3 was almost the same as the М1, another sight was installed, changes were made to the design of the combined gun mount. It has a lower silhouette and a smaller mass than the M15. 15 machines released. About a hundred of these machines were supplied to the USSR.

The first acquaintance of the American military with the Swedish 40-mm anti-aircraft gun Bofors L60 took place on August 28 1940, during the test of two copies bought from Sweden and demonstration of the naval version of the gun on the Dutch sloop HNLMS Kinsbergen.

However, the Swedish version of the Bofors did not satisfy American sailors in terms of technical reliability, and it was declared unsuitable for mass production in the United States. American engineers have made many changes to the design of weapons and ammunition to adapt them to a truly mass production, and also replaced the air cooling scheme with water and added an electric drive to quickly turn the installation. The official designation of the American version of "Bofors" - 40 mm Automatic Gun.

A large number of one-, two-, four- and six-barreled anti-aircraft guns, including those with radar guidance, was developed for the US fleet. Production of 40-mm anti-aircraft installations for the US Navy was carried out at the enterprises of Chrysler Corporation. Where the 60.000 guns and 120.000 barrels were produced.

US Navy considered it the best anti-aircraft machine gun of World War II. 40-mm anti-aircraft guns were the most effective against Japanese kamikaze aircraft. As a rule, one direct hit by an 40-mm fragmentation projectile was enough to hit any Japanese aircraft used as a “flying bomb”.

The massive use of Bofors L60 by the US Army began in the 1942 year, after the American enterprises began manufacturing these guns in 1941 by order of the UK. Accelerate the launch of the production of anti-aircraft guns helped a set of technological documentation, transmitted by the British. In fact, a license to manufacture these tools in the United States was obtained from Bofors after the start of mass production.

In addition to towed options, several ZSU were created. In the US, Bofors was mounted on modified 2,5-ton chassis of GMC trucks CCKW-353. In addition to their direct duties, the installation could provide fire support and fight with light armored vehicles. Armor-piercing shells 40-mm guns could penetrate 50-mm homogeneous steel armor at a distance of 500 meters.

The experience of military operations showed the need to have a ZSU on a tank chassis to escort mechanized columns and object anti-aircraft defense. Tests of such a machine were carried out in the spring of 1944, at the Aberdeen tank test site. The new ZSU, which received the serial name M19, used the undercarriage of the light tank M24.

American 40-mm ZSU M19

The main weapon of the M19 was two 40-mm anti-aircraft guns installed in a "barbet" with a circular rotation. Shooting was carried out using electrostart. Control of the rotation of the turret and the swinging part of the guns - using an electro-hydraulic actuator with manual control. The initial speed of the anti-aircraft projectile was 874 m / s, the maximum range of anti-aircraft firing - 6900 m.

However, the completion of the machine was delayed. The first models ZSU M19 began to enter service only in 1945 year, and they practically did not participate in hostilities.

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  1. il grand casino
    il grand casino 8 August 2014 07: 58
    Thanks for the work! Very informative. By the way there will be similar articles about Japan's air defense?
    1. Aryan
      Aryan 8 August 2014 10: 22
      I didn’t know that I needed so many blacks to get a shot from Oerlikon once what
      and most importantly, indeed each of them is not in vain eating his own banana

      Grandfather’s brother fought on Lendlisian erlikons
      says they charged alternately
      1. jasorgho
        jasorgho 8 August 2014 13: 58
        Why is this childish dewy remark about blacks and a banana? there are a bunch of pictures where a bunch of white for one gun. You see that two with the baboons 1 shooter, the commander and something else.
        If there were Moldovans instead of them, and you would read a comment like "probably these Moldovans were promised vodka, so everyone who could walk came running," would you be pleased to read?
        1. Astartes
          Astartes 8 August 2014 14: 49
          Well, the Aryan is the same, therefore, could not ignore the Negroes.
    2. Bongo
      8 August 2014 13: 09
      Quote: il grand casino
      Thanks for the work! Very informative. By the way there will be similar articles about Japan's air defense?

      You're welcome! If you ask, I’ll do it after returning from vacation in September.
      1. Walking
        Walking 8 August 2014 19: 41
        Quote: Bongo
        Quote: il grand casino
        Thanks for the work! Very informative. By the way there will be similar articles about Japan's air defense?

        You're welcome! If you ask, I’ll do it after returning from vacation in September.

        Come on, or there’s too much politics on the site.
  2. Eugeniy_369k
    Eugeniy_369k 8 August 2014 08: 36
    The author is well done!
    Among the politicized, hysterical statues on this site, this stuff is like a breath of fresh air good .
    1. creak
      creak 8 August 2014 11: 00
      I support, sound competent material. A lot of things have recently become on the site all sorts of hysterical sobs that do not carry any semantic load. Undoubtedly a plus. drinks
      1. bazilio
        bazilio 8 August 2014 11: 31
        Quote: ranger
        Among the politicized, hysterical statues on this site, this stuff is like a breath of fresh air

        I support the application))) There is a lot of hysteria, there is not enough interesting material. Although in articles about armaments ura-patriotic outbursts constantly jump on the wave of anti-simitism and anti-Americanism.
        1. Eugeniy_369k
          Eugeniy_369k 8 August 2014 11: 49
          Quote: bazilio
          I support the application))) There is a lot of hysteria, there is not enough interesting material. Although in articles about armaments ura-patriotic outbursts constantly jump on the wave of anti-simitism and anti-Americanism.

          You look at how many comments for the article and compare with the next crap kammiteter O. Chuvakin
 или "душещипательным рассказом" major071
          Comparison is not in favor of the first. Although the article corresponds to the name of the site 100%. It is a pity that ideologically this site got closer materials presented by me above sad .
  3. svp67
    svp67 8 August 2014 08: 47
    Thanks to the author ... This is what our grandfathers really lacked., Especially in the middle of the Second World War.
  4. avt
    avt 8 August 2014 09: 31
    goodA plus . Well-illustrated review! You can of course add performance characteristics, but that's me, maybe I'm greedy, but from the bottom of my heart. " laughing Overloading the review article with details - only spoil. He should prompt the person interested in the topic to search and analyze - not all the time to chew it up and put it in his mouth, turn on the brain from curiosity is good for health.
  5. bionik
    bionik 8 August 2014 09: 56
    In the photo where airlikon 20 mm Gunners Negroes

    (sorry African Americans) hmm, interesting !? I just remembered something, a couple of examples to the article from the American cinema War Hart (pilots), Pearl Harbr (the role of Cuba Gooding Jr., the phrase he doesn’t remember there literally — I can die for America, but I can’t shoot a gun)
    1. svp67
      svp67 8 August 2014 11: 49
      Quote: bionik
      In the photo where airlikon 20 mm Gunners Negroes
      (sorry African Americans) hmm, interesting !?
      Where there were big losses, there were mostly "not quite correct Americans" ...
      1. ICT
        ICT 8 August 2014 18: 05
        Quote: svp67
        not quite right Americans

        well at least they have names
        The calculation of the 20-mm anti-aircraft gun fires on board the US Coast Guard frigate in the southeastern Pacific.

        In the photo from left to right: James L. Wesley (James L. Wesley) - holds a store with shells; L.S. Haywood (LS Haywood) - shoots; William Watson (William Watson) - reports on the bridge results by phone; William Morton (William Morton) - brings shells, Odis Lane (Odis Lane) - looks at the camera.

        but the sight there is interesting along the way
        1. svp67
          svp67 8 August 2014 20: 48
          Quote: TIT
          but the sight there is interesting along the way

          Well, no one in the capabilities of American industry did not doubt and does not doubt ...
          1. ICT
            ICT 8 August 2014 22: 58
            gunsight mk 14, something like this

            interesting instruction
            KNOW YOURSELF

            PROTECT VISION

            [media = http: //] http: //www.ibib
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 8 August 2014 12: 09
      The fleet was just "white". The photo is quite random. The Negroes were mainly drafted into the infantry.
      1. Bayonet
        Bayonet 8 August 2014 17: 29
        Quote: voyaka uh
        The fleet was just "white".

        Who has not seen the movie "Military Diver" - I advise! A very good film, it just shows the problem of a black guy who wanted to become a diver.
      2. The comment was deleted.
  6. Denis
    Denis 8 August 2014 09: 59
    Indisputable ,
    The M17 ZSU delivered under Lend-Lease in the USSR, which became the main means of mobile air defense of tank and mechanized units of the Red Army, were very much appreciated by the troops.
    With this technique, they say they hit the sky with their finger. Successful chassis, before the war in the USSR, cavalry was assigned the role of motorized rifles. Alas, there weren’t armored personnel carriers either. And air defense on the march means a lot
  7. igordok
    igordok 8 August 2014 10: 57
    Class !!! Thank you very much! It’s only a pity that some photos without captions.
  8. Aaron Zawi
    Aaron Zawi 8 August 2014 11: 48
    The more I read about WWII, the more I am surprised at the shortsightedness of US politicians. US forces entered WWII completely unprepared. Only the BTV example speaks about everything.
    Unlike the British, the American tank corps did not last long after the war ended - it disbanded in 1920. Over the course of the 20 years, no major tank formations in the US Army existed. By 1940, only the so-called Provisional Tank Brigade and 7 mechanized cavalry brigade were formed. The pace of formation of tank formations was consistent with the pace of production: in 1936 - 19 light tanks, in 1937 - 154 light, in 1938 - 18 medium and 74 light. At first glance, such a frivolous attitude towards tanks seems strange to such an economically highly developed and wealthy power as the United States. However, it is understandable. The country was separated from all dangers by the oceans and allocated fixed assets for the maintenance and improvement of the navy, which could prevent any invasion. The United States was not going to fight with anyone outside the American continent - in those years they did not yet claim to be the world leader. To ensure their own interests in Central America in the 30-ies. the available forces of the Marine Corps and a very small number of obsolete tanks were quite enough. As a result, by the beginning of World War II, the United States had a fleet of military vehicles almost as small as Poland.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 8 August 2014 12: 15
      I read about the amazing dialogue (from memory). At the exercises in 38 (guns, infantry, machine guns, armored vehicles,
      shooting ...) President Roosevelt asked the Commander-in-Chief (I don’t remember the name):
      "All this is impressive ... Can we fight this in Europe?"
      The latter looked at him as if he were crazy: "No way!"
      1. Denis
        Denis 8 August 2014 14: 04
        Quote: voyaka uh
        "All this is impressive ... Can we fight this in Europe?"
        The latter looked at him as if he were crazy: "No way!"

        Perhaps, in some case, they adhered to the Douai doctrine, although not officially accepted. at first they wanted to bomb out of service, as it was, and then they were already seizing territory with swift raids. They didn’t intend to break through the defended defense, but they didn’t think about heavy tanks. But the rest of the equipment was up to par. Studebeckers, armored personnel carriers Scout and the same ZSU, about which we are talking about, a ferry-pont park and anphibians. If some of them were supposed and used during the landing of the sea landing, then some forced the river
        for example pictured Ford GTA
        1. voyaka uh
          voyaka uh 8 August 2014 15: 50
          On the contrary, as I understand it. The doctrine of the Douai (heavy bombers) adopted just
          due to the fact that they realized that they would have to fight in Europe with land forces - and there’s nothing.
          The disbandment of tank units after the 1st World War was expensive.
          In the late 30s, tanks had to be built from scratch. Light Tank - Stuart -
          It turned out, but with the middle there was a crisis. Lee Grant was born obsolete for
          Of Europe. By the year 42 - landing in Morocco - they managed to make the first version of Sherman.
          Although the tactics were zero. The Germans smashed American tankers in Africa like children.
          Only in Italy (43 g) did the Shermans begin to run in, learn from the British, who took a sip
          grief with the Panzervaffe before.
          But the mass production of Sherman was done widely, in the American way: at 11 assembly plants at the same time.
          1. Denis
            Denis 9 August 2014 10: 17
            Quote: voyaka uh
            The doctrine of the Douai (heavy bombers) adopted just
            due to the fact that they realized that they would have to fight in Europe with land forces - and there’s nothing

            DUE Giulio
            DUET (Douhet) Giulio (1869 — 1930), Italian commander, division general (1923). In the 20's Chief of the Italian Air Force. He created the theory of the leading role of bomber aircraft, which is capable of crushing the enemy’s rear to decide the outcome of the war (the “Douet Doctrine”).
            It was even before the war, although it may have already gathered
            Argument from the same
            Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress ("Flying Fortress") - the first serial American all-metal heavy four-engine bomber.
            The aircraft was designed in 1934 year
            As if, too, before the Munich Sabbath
            1. voyaka uh
              voyaka uh 9 August 2014 12: 50
              In the United States, little was known about the sagacious Italian Douai. His idea was promoted by an American officer
              Mitchell. It is known as the "Mitchell Doctrine".
              Looking at today, we can say that it is half true:
              massive air strikes do not win the war, but you can completely
              deprive the enemy of offensive potential, i.e. secure a "draw"
              with low losses of its ground forces. Often more is not necessary.
        2. anomalocaris
          anomalocaris 8 August 2014 22: 55
          In the USA (the United States was then officially called) there was, besides the Douai doctrine, the Monroe doctrine. They were not going to meet in the next European brawl at all. That's just the Second World War turned out to be a much bigger conflict and to stand aside did not work ...
          1. Denis
            Denis 9 August 2014 10: 07
            Quote: anomalocaris
            They were not going to meet in the next European brawl at all. That's just the Second World War turned out to be a much bigger conflict and to stand aside did not work ...

            We slide down to politics, but ...
            First of all, they needed this war. And they achieved what they wanted. There was a collapse of the British colonial system, though the freedom of the colonies as once slaves was only one place for them, but it was also the collapse of the Pound Empire
            and the world began to turn green
      2. anomalocaris
        anomalocaris 8 August 2014 22: 39
        What killed me the most was the phrase of one congressman uttered by him in 1940: "Today I inspected our tank forces. I saw all 400 pieces ..."
  9. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 8 August 2014 12: 21
    The Browning machine gun 0.5 M2, mentioned here as an anti-aircraft gun, will celebrate in 15 years
    100th anniversary of the ranks. A record among firearms (in the world, I suspect)
    They are not going to write off him and do not plan to replace him.
    I had to shoot from it (on exercises): a terrific impression - accurate,
    reliable long-range war. Do not compare with machine guns 7.62.
  10. Florist
    Florist 8 August 2014 14: 50
    Thanks to the author! Very interesting!
    There is a question, a little off topic. In several photos, the sailors' zinitchikov is not an ordinary helmet, but some kind of massive helmet, with a larger area of ​​protection. What is this model? Where and for what were used?
    1. Bongo
      8 August 2014 14: 52
      Quote: Florist
      There is a question, a little off topic. In several photos, the sailors' zinitchikov is not an ordinary helmet, but some kind of massive helmet, with a larger area of ​​protection. What is this model? Where and for what were used?

      These are special radiofit helmets designed for anti-aircraft crew commanders.
  11. Florist
    Florist 8 August 2014 15: 03
    Quote: Bongo

    These are special radiofit helmets designed for anti-aircraft crew commanders.

    Thank you!
    In terms of ballistic resistance, are they similar to the regular steel helmet of the US Army since WWII?
    1. Bongo
      8 August 2014 15: 05
      Quote: Florist
      In terms of ballistic resistance, are they similar to the regular steel helmet of the US Army since WWII?

      Perhaps, but I don’t know for sure. request
  12. Denimax
    Denimax 8 August 2014 15: 19
    Oerlikon has a strange sight. Night-vision device?
    And the Browning swill a short line of sight, there may be errors when aiming.
    In general, the Americans did the right thing, paying attention to anti-aircraft weapons and their saturation of their troops.
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 8 August 2014 23: 13
      No. This is a construction angle sight. A rather primitive mechanical calculator. However, at that time it was quite an adequate adaptation. The only drawback is the need for a calculation number, which will introduce corrections, and by the "eye". Night sights, oddly enough, appeared in the American army only after WWII.
      The Browning M2 does have a short line of sight. And this is not his only drawback.
  13. Free wind
    Free wind 8 August 2014 16: 55
    Interesting. informatively, thanks. All with the days off. Pancake. But winter is just around the corner.
    1. ICT
      ICT 8 August 2014 18: 20
      Quote: Free Wind
      But winter is just around the corner.

      at work, comrade says this phase in early May
      1. anomalocaris
        anomalocaris 8 August 2014 23: 17
        Wise comrade. And in our country in early May the snow may still lie ...
  14. dauria
    dauria 8 August 2014 23: 18
    Thanks to the author for the work! Well, and a little bit off topic, but an interesting fact (I just saw 2 planes in the photo with anti-aircraft gunners' exercises). Air gunners B-17 were "trained" by real shooting of easily destructible fragile bullets with paint inside at an armored fighter in the air. The paint marks were then used to determine the accuracy of the shooters from each shooting point of the bomber.