Tactical and Technical Trends #50: September 1944

Today I have another issue of Tactical and Technical Trends – this time #50, from September 1944.

Tactical and Technical Trends #50 - September 1944
Tactical and Technical Trends #50 – September 1944

As usual, most of the material herein will be of interest to folks who like to study WWII, but only a little bit pertains to small arms. Specifically, a brief blurb on new German ammunition – subsonic 8×57 and 9×19, and accurized 8×57 for snipers. As a neat bonus, this issue includes the German phonetic radio alphabet – the equivalent to our Able, Baker, Charlie, etc. Siegfried-Paula-Anton-Schule!



  1. Under the section on German mines, it was interesting that there was a standing order to protect all machine gun nests with mines. That was their strength, and they knew it.

    The scarcity of materials in Germany also showed in the section on telephone wire, that they had gone to aluminum instead of copper and PVC instead of rubber. In Gen. Patton’s book “War as I Knew it”, he was a big fan of field telephones as opposed to radios, to the point of basically keeping it ran all the way to the front on a continual basis. Field telephones were more secure and one did not have to worry about artillery being directed to wherever a radio direction finder pointed. Copper is also used in brass, and Herman Goering dictated that the Luftwaffe use brass cartridges (to avoid jams). It would be interesting to know if the inferior telephone lines were worth the extra cases of brass Luftwaffe ammunition, although by Sept 1944 there was not much left of the Luftwaffe.

    Regarding radios, it is not normally noted but very important that the allies had the best radios of the war and had them in quantity. In the US RCA and other such companies were the innovators and had the manufacturing resources to equip every tank and plane with the best radios of the time, besides mass producing proximity fuses, etc. I recall reading in an old (late 1940’s) Popular Science compendium a review of the Axis Powers radios: all showed good workman ship, but the Japanese were using copies of American distress radios (i.e., the sort of thing one would stash in a motor boat, just in case) obtained pre-war, and the Germans had clever designs for some components but were hurt by shortages of certain materials.

    It is interesting how professionally produced the booklet was. Professional illustrations, good layout, no obvious typos, etc.

    • “In the US RCA and other such companies were the innovators and had the manufacturing resources to equip every tank and plane with the best radios of the time, besides mass producing proximity fuses, etc.”
      Notice that Wireless Set No. 19 was also shipped to Soviet Union in Lend-Lease and have double writings: English and Russian.

    • Best to understand, proximity fuses, then and now, had effectively ZERO to do with “RADIO” as we understand it…then or now. (They’re micro-miiniturized radar sets. Really.) That’s why the Japanese thought our destroyers were equipped with fully automatic 5” guns and the Germans thought the fuses had to do with the magnetic field of the earth.
      Calling artillery or air strikes onto so-called “Radio-Contacts” is moronic and, at best, so useless as to earn the dreaded congressional “Squandering of Militiry Resources” award.
      ( It’s just too fuzzy in the accuracy department)
      An accuracy of 100 square yards from a 500 lb bomb, delivered at considerable risk by a 4.2 Mil B52…Well, do your own math…)
      Not that that’ll stop them, but what the hell.
      Lessons to be learned?
      Beware technical arrogance.
      An A-Bomb up the wazzo is guaranteed distracting.

  2. The 172mm true caliber of 17cm Kanone 18 is probably the legacy of 17cm SK L/40 naval gun: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_675-40_skc04.htm
    In this link you can found that the 17cm SK L/40 during WW2 used 138.5 lbs shells when the Tactical and Technical Trends report 138 lbs shell. Is it the same shell or it is only accident? If this shells are not same are they interchangeable? Can naval gun fire shells of Kanone 18 and inversely?

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