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(PetaPixel)   Amazing cross-section photos of ammunition from WWII   (petapixel.com) divider line 31
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20713 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2013 at 2:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-06-21 09:18:33 PM
8 votes:
This would be a lot more interesting if there were explanations of the bullet designs.
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-06-21 09:18:24 PM
8 votes:
Shame they didn't have info on the make and caliber.
2013-06-21 11:57:10 PM
3 votes:

NFA: Shame they didn't have info on the make and caliber.


h2ogate: This would be a lot more interesting if there were explanations of the bullet designs.


Exactly.
2013-06-22 03:34:53 AM
2 votes:
These samples were just stored in a WWII-era bunker, not FROM WW2.
Most are modern designs not even invented at the time. Oldest stuff in that spread are Cold-War era.
2013-06-22 02:53:06 AM
2 votes:
The cross-sections reveal a hidden complexity and beauty of form, which stands in vast contrast to the destructive purpose of the object. It is a representation of the evil and the beautiful, a reflection of the human condition.

Oh for god's sake. You took a picture of bullets. It's not a deep, spiritual journey through the human experience. At least not without a sepia or black and white filter applied.

It's really interesting to see the differences inside the bullets, though.
2013-06-22 02:39:07 AM
2 votes:
I question the authenticity of this World War II ammo.  I mean, basemetal posts a picture of a glaser safety slug and some sort of WSSM.  I'm not sure how many plastic rounds they used for training during WWII, either.
2013-06-22 12:10:32 AM
2 votes:
cdn.petapixel.com

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.
2013-06-21 11:46:01 PM
2 votes:

NFA: Shame they didn't have info on the make and caliber.


h2ogate: This would be a lot more interesting if there were explanations of the bullet designs.


These

/I could guess the what of a few, but not the why
2013-06-23 09:02:33 AM
1 votes:

cynicalbastard: realityVSperception: Actually, I answered my own question as who 'should have known' the Shermans were under gunned. The whole TD strategy was championed by General Lesley James McNair. He was a highly decorated artillery officer in WWI who was the Chief of Staff of GHQ, U.S. Army from July 1940 to March 1942, and In March 1942, General McNair became Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Not too suprisingly he favored anti tank guns and then tank destroyers over heavy tanks and thwarted several attempts to up gun the Shermans. He also made some poor choices in his subordinates, as one of his hand picked generals was responsible for Kasserine pass in Africa.

As a result of his belief in the tank destroyer doctrine, McNair was instrumental in obstructing the production of the M26 Pershing. McNair saw no need for a heavy tank and believed that tank versus tank duels were "unsound and unnecessary". McNair would agree only to the production of the 76mm M4 Sherman which he believed were capable of handling the Tiger I tank that had appeared in late 1942. Gen. Jacob Devers, the main proponent for the M26, had to go over McNair's head to Gen. Marshall to begin production of the M26.

He also caused problems in other areas like training. Here's the wiki link-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_J._McNair

Sounds like McNair should've been awarded the Knights Cross, with oak leaves and clusters. By Hitler.


Sadly, he probably thought he was doing the right thing. His personal bravery is not in question, as he was decorated for bravery in WWI, and he died in action in Normandy (abeit by freindly fire). He was made a general at one of the youngest ages ever, again due to his outstanding WWI service.

It looks like he was trying to fight the previous war with the weapons he knew best, which is pretty common in military circles. It seems like a classic case of the 'Peter Principle' (where people are promoted to their level of incompetence) in action.
2013-06-22 08:25:09 PM
1 votes:
My wife carries a .380 with glasers, she doesn't want to lug around a huge gun and I figure that will give her enough internal damage to get her out of danger.

/i don't give a shiat about the perp
2013-06-22 07:51:19 PM
1 votes:

Norfolking Chance: realityVSperception: So the alternative argument could be made that strategically more tank destroyers should have been built and deployed, and tactically been better used to engage enemy armor instead of Shermans. I believe both the actions cited above occured under Patton's command, by far the best tank general the Americans had. Perhaps other allied commanders just used ham fisted tactics that put Shermans in unwinnable situations, resulting excessive losses?

Again, I agree it would have been better if all the Shermans had better guns. I think you are downplaying the effort that would have taken, and are overlooking that the tank vs tank role was not suppose to be fought by the Sherman in the first place.

I'd also disagree with your comments about the T-34. The T34C with its 76mm gun shocked the Germans when it was 1st encountered, and the later T34-85's 85mm gun certainly was a match for later German armor. The T34's combat effectiveness was limited by other factors like lack of radios, no power turret transverse, poor sights, and the Russian practice of fighting 'buttoned up' reducing the commander's visability. Often overlooked, the Germans had superb optics for their sights, and by fighting with the commander exposed, could rapidly engage, hit and kill Russian tanks well before the Russians could return fire effectively.

I know how the Sherman was an "infantry" tank but by '43 it should of been clear that it was an out dated concept and that any tank that couldn't engage and destroy enemy tanks was a liability. This was shown in North Africa time and time again on both sides. Having to wait for tank destroyers/aircover while your tank and the supporting infantry are under fire from other tanks that you can't stop is not a good doctrine. And thats assuming there are any tank destroyers around.

The British army had a Firefly mixed in with Cromwells and Shermans and that gave a much better force mix as each tank platoon had a much better chance of dealing wi ...


First, I didn't make those decisions so please, don't bark at me personally. As I said before, there isn't anything wrong per se with your comments.

Here's the thing. The guys who made those decsions weren't idiots. Considering that they lived those times, they knew way way more on what was happening then than you or I ever will. So why did they make those choices?

Now maybe you want to just dismiss it as a mistake on their part. Personally, I prefer to put myself in their shoes and see what I would have come up with without the benefit of modern hindsight. Typically, as I start digging, I discover a bunch of factors I wasn't aware of. More often than not, I find what they accomplished with the time and materials avaliable is down right amazing. For example, I found the wiki on the M4 to be very interesting, and frankly the decisions that were made were not all that unreasonable.

Now you can complain that the sherman didn't have exactly the right ordinance. Here's what I see. Just a few years earlier, they were still using horses and training artillery was made out of wooden 4x4s.

For a number of years only about one fourth of the officers and one-half of the enlisted men of the Regular Army were available for assignment to tactical units in the continental United States. Many units existed only on paper; almost all had only skeletonized strength. Instead of nine infantry divisions, there were actually three. In May 1927 one of these divisions, a cavalry brigade, and 200 planes participated in a combined arms maneuver in Texas, but for the most part Regular units had to train as battalions or companies. The continued dispersion of skeletonized divisions, brigades, and regiments among a large number of posts, many of them relics of the Indian wars, was a serious hindrance to the training of Regulars, although helpful in training the civilian components. Efforts to abandon small posts continued to meet with stubborn opposition from local interests and their elected representatives in Congress. In the infantry, for example, in 1932 the 24 regiments available in the United States for field service were spread among 45 posts, with a battalion or less at 34. Most of the organic transportation of these units was of World War I vintage, and the Army didnot have the money to concentrate them for training by other means. Nor were there large posts in which they could be housed.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AMH/AMH/AMH-19.html

And in the thirties, budget cuts were even deeper and any war preperation was a huge political liability to FDR. The 1940 election was a near run thing and almost won by the isolationists.

And yet 4 years later, we were pulling off D-Day and winning a two front war. Take a long hard look at what it took to make that happen.

My question to you is exactly who are the 'they' of which you speak that 'should have known' or 'been clear to'? The handful of officers that barely kept the army alive after the WWI demobilization and depression era budget cuts? Or the civilians who had no prior military background that found themselves up to their necks in a world war on Dec 8th, 1941? I just don't think you really grasp the overall size and scope of what needed to be done in very little time to create the american army. and navy. and air force. and marines.

Another good read is Bill Mauldin. Try his book 'The Brass Ring'. It's a great first person view from someone who was there. In it he has a story about a platoon in Italy (or maybe Sicily) in '43. They came across an abandoned Tiger in perfect condition. They promptly got out their bazooka and started bouncing shells off and into it to see where it was vunerable. Just after reducing it to a smoking ruin, an intel officer showed up with a transporter. He damn near broke down in tears because he had wanted to ship it back to the states for study.

The point being there is a huge difference between tangling with a tiger in '43 in africa and instantly 'knowing' what you will need in '44. It can take months just to get the specs or an example back to the states, months more to see what makes it tick, then get the info to the decision makers, then to the tank designers, manufacturers, army training units, shipped overseas, and integrated into combat. And then what? Are you going to ask the Germans for a time out while you retrain all your front line units of draftee soldiers to use your new equipment and revised tactical manuals?

Start putting together what it would actually take in every aspect to implement your ideas, and you might see for yourself why the same guys who were smart enough to create and deploy a world beating army from scratch in a couple of years chose not to do it.
2013-06-22 01:52:05 PM
1 votes:
From the comments:

From left to right, top to bottom on the above page, the cartridges are:

1. "M860" .50BMG tracer (range training cartridge).
2. Unknown dummy,
3. Wood bullet load (hard to tell caliber, these are not to scale),
4. HSA "Cobra" multi-dart 9x19mm AP load (British, and short-lived),
5. Israeli 9x19mm shot load in resin matrix, for riot use, or anti-skyjack use,
6. Unknown ball load, looks like .32acp or .25acp (not in scale),
7. Personal Protection Systems "MSC" Solid brass hollow point in .25acp made by Hi-Vel,
8. "ZM75" 7.62 Czech short-range tracer loaded into .32acp case for use in the RPG-75 launcher,
9. Glaser Safety slug (blue, #12 shot) - probably .38spl,
10. Probably a .224 BOZ, or a .225 JAWS,
11. 4.6x30mm RUAG "DM11",
12. probably an XM216 flechette,
13. Colt .308 project SALVO experimental,
14. probably a .455 Webley ball load,
15. Speer plastic indoor training load - .38 cal.
*** These photos are excellent, but when shown side-by-side are often out of scale relative to the neighboring cartridge. Only a couple of these were around for WWII, but perhaps many of the photos taken but not shown were from that era. The sections were most likely done by Paul Smith or Reinhold Peschke for whomever the Swiss collector is (maybe Reinhold himself) - fantastic sections!
2013-06-22 12:33:29 PM
1 votes:
Thanks everyone, for all the interesting stories about ammo, tanks, the air force, and fusing.

I often learn tons from FARK threads.
2013-06-22 10:46:53 AM
1 votes:

Skunkwolf: Lt_Ryan: RoyBatty: Marcus Aurelius: RoyBatty: Marcus Aurelius: My father was a B-17 navigator out of northern Italy.

Hey, mine too. 8th Air Force England.

The Eighth.  Mine too.  Did you get his jacket?

Nah, he came back, and rarely said anything about it. We have a couple of photos of him in uniform, but that's about it. But he kept in touch with his crew, and their captain put together the logs of all their missions and sent everyone copies -- that's pretty interesting reading, especially, IIRC, sightings of the ME-163, and after the war his aircraft traveling through Libya. But that's about all we have.

After the war he wouldn't get into another plane until the 70s when my mom convinced him to fly in a 727 back and forth to Vegas with her.

My grandfather was a B17 pilot, 8th AF 303BG. He also never flew again after the war. The 303rd has a site with mission reports, pictures and other material. I starting reading the reports and then a few books in my mid twenties, changed my perspective when pretty much every member of the crews mentioned were younger than I was.

Thank you for what your Grandfather and Father did.

I would say it was one of the most dangerous posts of the war.

Grandfather was 1 Dywizja Pancerna.

Nobody survived without scars, some ran deeper than most.


My grandfather was actually at the airbase during the war.  He wasn't a pilot, but he had the morbid job of cleaning out the planes after return trips.  Before his Alzhheimers set in, heard some of those stories and it was gruesome.  I didn't envy anyone involved with that.  But the amazing thing about that generation was they just "did".  My grandfather felt less than his brothers because he didn't see actual combat.  Hell, the horrors he saw were probably worse than some of his brothers saw.  But regardless he woke up everyday and cleaned blood and sometimes worse out of those planes.
2013-06-22 10:19:42 AM
1 votes:

Glockenspiel Hero: The penetrator is something very hard and dense, usually either tungsten carbide or (in the case of the US) depleted uranium.


DU isn't hard. It is, however, pyrophoric. AFAIK it's used inside, not as the whole penetrator.

Anyways, ever see WWII footage with all the black puffs around airplanes? They used mechanical clocks as timers in the anti-aircraft shells to get them to blow up at the right time. Except that is was the wrong time 99.9% of the time... It took thousands of shells to hit one plane. Then along came this:

img.fark.net

It's an electronic proximity fuze. A battery and a radar that could withstand 100000G acceleration and 20000RPM... with vacuum tubes. Suddenly the shells became terrifying. It was also useful against ground targets, blowing up over your target is much more effective that blowing up at ground level.

This is not "ammo" itself, sure, but it is amazing.
2013-06-22 09:28:19 AM
1 votes:

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Spanky McStupid: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x489]

Image on the right was called a "buddy bullet": three rounds in one.  Not very cost-effective.

And the one in the middle...is that a NEEDLE in it?  Wierd.



Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot. (APFSDS) It's a modern kinetic kill anti-tank round. The idea is to get maximimum energy into the minimum possible area, so the best possible shape is a long thin dart. Wrap it in a sabot to fit into a much larger gun barrel so you can put more propellant behind it. But you can't spin stabilize a rod like shorter bullets, so you need to stabilize it with fins. The penetrator is something very hard and dense, usually either tungsten carbide or (in the case of the US) depleted uranium.
2013-06-22 07:17:53 AM
1 votes:
HotWingAgenda:  What kind of f*cked up unit would have 900 different types of rounds in one bunker?

The Tea Party?
2013-06-22 05:34:27 AM
1 votes:
It's interesting what effect ammo can have. The original cannon for the MKV Panther used a tungsten cored round that was very effective. However, after the tank design was started, the Germans realized they didn't have enough tungsten to manufacture all the rounds they would need. As a result, they substituted a different cannon which used a conventional round. This cannon was larger, so the turret size was increased. The original turret fit between the tracks in the chassis, but the new one was too large, so it had to be placed with some overhang over the tracks, and the hull was modified into a t shaped cross section to accomodate the greater turret diameter. This added a lot of weight to the design. However, the drive train was not upgraded to match on the first models, and many broke down.

 In 1943 no panzer unit equipped with Panther D and early model Panther A tanks were able to sustain an operational readiness rate above 35%. More Panthers were lost to mechanical problems in 1943 than to enemy combat. The transmission system was also poor as 5 percent broke within 100km and almost 90 percent broke down within 1,500km. The final drive on the Panther D was so bad that it could not even turn the tank while backing up. It fuel pumps were also a huge problem, they would often leak and cause massive engine fires. The Panther D and A tanks were so prone to breakdown that they had to transport them by train along with the Tiger I. When some Panther A tanks were first being distributed to the SS-Leibstandarte in Italy, September 1943, they were so poor that every one was rejected for service. In summary, the Panther D was a 45 ton tank running on a chassis built for a 24 ton vehicle with very poor mobility and reliability.

http://www.ww2f.com/topic/22672-the-panther-tanks-bad-reliability/

Another interesting story involves ordinance fuses. Krupp, a german company, developed a hand grenade fuse prior to WWI. During the war, Vickers used the design in munitions fo the for the British army which killed many Germans. After the war, Krupp sued Vickers for royalties on the fuses, and Vickers settled the claim in Krupp's favor.

http://greatwar.nl/frames/default-merchants.html

"The Arms of Krupp" makes for an interesting read if you are into this sort of thing

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0316529400
2013-06-22 04:59:02 AM
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: She deliberately says the subjects were photographed inside a WWII bunker, and does not say they are WWII ammunition. What kind of f*cked up unit would have 900 different types of rounds in one bunker?


Looking at the site, the photographer is an Austrian expat living in LA. Personally I'm going for English as a second language for $200. Actually the language she's writing in is AGB, or Art Gallery Bullshi'it.
2013-06-22 04:57:07 AM
1 votes:
I believe that the flechette round is a XM 144 Flechette round.

I believe that round that has the darts inside the bullet is a 9mm 'high safety ammo' round, meant to be something like the Glaser safety slug.

img.fark.net
2013-06-22 03:29:56 AM
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: amindofiron: There are international treaties (the Hague conventions specifically) that ban the use of expanding/hollow point ammo in warfare and the Geneva convention's ban on weapons that are expressly designed to maim (in this case that thing that looks like a glazer safety round).

She said it was a Swiss WWII bunker. She didn't say the contents of the bunker were all from WWII. Even if she had, would you mind taking a stab at whether the Geneva Convention and all those Hague treaties happened before or after WWII? Go ahead, guess.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Conventions_of_1899_and_1907 ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions#Conventions

you are both right and wrong
there were geneva conventions before and after WW2

and in the end, none of it really mattered.
so we couldnt use chemical weapons? no problem, what about NUKES?!

FFS hague banned the use of balloons and other flying things to drop weapons.
Evidently no one paid attention to that part during WW2
2013-06-22 03:19:20 AM
1 votes:

DreamyAltarBoy: Seeing these in cross section kinda makes makes me go: GAH! I can sort of get what a simple "slow" slug can do to a body, but some of these look like they're designed to make burger meat. Does anybody know what's up with that flechette?


If you mean the needle looking thing with the fins, the only thing I've ever seen that looked like that where armor piercing discarding sabot anti-tank shells. But because there isn't any scale I have no idea how big it is and thus, no actual clue.
2013-06-22 03:14:59 AM
1 votes:
Seeing these in cross section kinda makes makes me go: GAH! I can sort of get what a simple "slow" slug can do to a body, but some of these look like they're designed to make burger meat. Does anybody know what's up with that flechette?
2013-06-22 03:03:33 AM
1 votes:

AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me


 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.
2013-06-22 02:57:46 AM
1 votes:

RoyBatty: Doing some quick googling, I thought he was the navigator, but he may have been the Flight Engineer. I know he had this split role and was also the top turret gunner and google suggests that means he was the Flight Engineer.


If you haven't already read it, you might find John Comer's "Combat Crew" to be interesting.
2013-06-22 02:49:09 AM
1 votes:

NFA: Shame they didn't have info on the make and caliber.


Glad it wasn't just my aspergers that needed that. The utter lack of any detail on the (otherwise rather gorgeous) photographs, distressed me so much, it almost gave me a nosebleed.

:-/
2013-06-22 02:45:21 AM
1 votes:

AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me


Depends on if you are directly in front of it or have a wall between you and it. Whereas a regular JHP it doesn't matter if there is a wall between you and it.

/I think that is the "safety" portion of these. Supposed to be safer in home defense or something.
2013-06-22 02:40:59 AM
1 votes:

Molavian: I question the authenticity of this World War II ammo.  I mean, basemetal posts a picture of a glaser safety slug and some sort of WSSM.  I'm not sure how many plastic rounds they used for training during WWII, either.


Yeah, I was thinking that, too.  Most of these seem a hell of a lot more recent than WWII.
2013-06-22 01:33:54 AM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: RoyBatty: Marcus Aurelius: My father was a B-17 navigator out of northern Italy.

Hey, mine too. 8th Air Force England.

The Eighth.  Mine too.  Did you get his jacket?


Nah, he came back, and rarely said anything about it. We have a couple of photos of him in uniform, but that's about it. But he kept in touch with his crew, and their captain put together the logs of all their missions and sent everyone copies -- that's pretty interesting reading, especially, IIRC, sightings of the ME-163, and after the war his aircraft traveling through Libya. But that's about all we have.

After the war he wouldn't get into another plane until the 70s when my mom convinced him to fly in a 727 back and forth to Vegas with her.
2013-06-22 12:11:09 AM
1 votes:
I don't see no cordite

i42.tinypic.com
2013-06-21 10:14:10 PM
1 votes:
Rounds for everyone!
 
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