How the Soviets picked up a Sidewinder for under $80

And Deutsche Bundespost almost lost it…

The full story: War is Boring

That the Soviet-made R-3S air-to-air missile — better known in the West by its NATO-designation AA-2 Atoll — is a copy of the AIM-9B Sidewinder, originally developed and manufactured in the USA, is relatively well-known.

How it came to be … isn’t so well-known. It involved the mail.

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Air transportation services were making mistakes back then at least as often as they make them nowadays, and thus Ramminger’s parcel first traveled from Frankfurt via Paris to Copenhagen, then back to Düsseldorf, before finally reaching Moscow – 10 days late.

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The Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver

A semi-automatic revolver is something I’ve been fascinated by ever since I got a copy of Ian V Hogg’s Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World’s Firearms somewhere around 7th or 8th grade. 

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I lugged that book around in my book bag for almost the entire school year and tried to read through it anytime I had a free moment.  This was in the mid-80s so no SWAT teams were called out because a kid had a gun book at school.  Considering the books and magazines I carried and read at school (no porn!) I can only imagine how many suspensions I would have racked up today but I digress…

As usual, Ian at Forgotten Weapons gets to play with the coolest things

 

But it’s a dry heat…

At 0700 it’s 80*F with humidity to match.  Today should top out around 97*F but we haven’t cracked 100*F yet this year.  Just another north Texas summer.

These guys didn’t have as much humidity to deal with but a dry heat is still hot.  Add in a little breeze and it’s like standing in front of a blow dryer or convection oven.

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Crusader Mk II 14 July 1942, possibly around El Alamein

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A Humber Mk II armoured car in the Western Desert, 14 July 1942.

The First Ruger


In doing some research for the “From the Editor” for the September issue, I spent some time looking at William Batterman Ruger’s first contribution to American Rifleman, and no it wasn’t his “.22 Ruger Pistol” that made its debut in a September 1949 advertisement, nor was it Technical Editor Julian S. Hatcher’s extremely favorable review of “two production-line samples of the .22 Ruger” that ran in November 1949.

No, the first Ruger in the magazine was an article written by the young inventor in December 1943, at a time when he was working on a machine gun design for the U.S. Ordnance Dept. Titled “Semi-Automatic .250-3000,” Ruger detailed the conversion of a Savage Model 99 from a lever-action to a gas-operated semi-automatic, noting “This conversion can be accomplished with only superficial changes in a few of the parts.” Even in this first gun, aesthetics mattered to the young inventor: “The rotary type magazine has adequate capacity and does not require projections on the exterior of the gun.” Of course, some of those features would be seen in Ruger’s later designs, especially a flush-fitting rotary magazine.

Read the rest here: The First Ruger

The Mk38 Gun Mount and Ballistics and Weapons Effectiveness Lessons from Pursuit of the Graf Spee, Part 1

This is the first of a 2 part post by Chuck Hill’s CG Blog.  Part 1 uses The Battle of the River Plate to help explain the difficulties of just stopping a large ship, never mind actually sinking one.

Part 2 shows the potential weapons systems, tactics and difficulties today’s USCG could use to stop a large ship being used for nefarious purposes, either as a weapons carrier or as the actual weapon.

As a naval history buff Part 1 is the most interesting to me but both parts are well worth the time to read.

Photo: Heavy cruiser HMS Exeter seen after the battle, looking aft from the bow. Both forward twin 8″ gun turrets and the firecontrol system were disabled and the bridge destroyed by “splinters.”

 

Admiral Graf Spee in the English Channel in April 1939. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 89566.

Photo: After superstructure of Admiral Graf Spee showing 15 cm/55 and 10.5 cm/65 guns. Note the burned-out Arado Ar 196A-1 floatplane on the catapult and the after main-director rangefinder. Photograph taken at Montevideo, Uruguay in mid-December 1939, following the Battle of the River Plate. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 80976.

 

Introduction:

Note, this has been edited from the original, based on feedback particularly with regard to the ammunition remaining on Graf Spee after the engagement. I don’t believe the thrust of the post has been changed.  

This is the first of two parts. Part one will tell a story. Part two will talk about the implications of lessons learned, applied to how the Coast Guard might deal with the threat of terrorists using a medium to large merchant ship to make an attack.

These are themes that will be discussed in part 2 before looking at specific tactics to make the best use of what we have. Hopefully you will see these illustrated in the following story.

  • In comparing guns, at any given range, the longer ranged weapon generally enjoys an advantage in accuracy.
  • It is very difficult to sink a ship by gunfire alone.
  • Ships’ structure provide a degree of protection that makes it difficult to comprehensively target the crew of a ship without sinking the ship.
  • It is difficult to forcibly stop a ship with gunfire alone.
  • You can run out of ammunition before you accomplish your mission. The depth of your magazine may be important.

 

But first the story: The Mk38 Gun Mount and Ballistics and Weapons Effectiveness Lessons from Pursuit of the Graf Spee, Part 1

 

Cleaning up after WWII

What happens to the detritus left of the fields of battle after a war is rarely touched on in print or on film.  Whether the remains are human or mechanical, something has to be done with them.  wwiiafterwwii has put together an excellent look at how the mechanical remains were disposed of or reused.

Since starting wwiiafterwwii, I receive from time to time suggestions for topics. These are wide-ranging but two in particular seem very popular: WWII weapons in the Vietnam War, which has been touched on several times; and a general question of how the world “cleaned up” WWII battlefields after the war. For the latter, I was surprised at how very little is written about it so perhaps this will be of interest.

One of the reasons WWII battlefields did not remain littered with vehicles for long was that, with the lone exception of the USA, all of the major warring powers made some official level of combat usage of captured enemy arms during WWII. The most formal was Germany’s Beutewaffe (literally, ‘booty’ or ‘loot’ weapon) effort, which encompassed everything from handguns to fighter aircraft with an official code in the Waffenamt system; for example FK-288(r) (the Soviet ZiS-3 anti-tank gun), SIGew-251(a) (the American M1 Garand rifle), and Sd.Kfz 735(i) (the Italian Fiat M13/40 tank). Captured gear was assembled at points called Sammelstelle and then shipped back from the front lines for disposition.

Read the rest of this great article here: Cleaning up after WWII