Monday, 29 February 2016

Imperial Japanese Navy Explosives - Bombs (Part 1)

 
 
 
 
Imperial Japanese Navy Explosives
 
 
 
 
 
Type 97 No.6 Land Bomb
 
  
Fuzes: A-3(a)
Overall Length: 40 inches
Length of body: 21 and 3/4 inches
Diameter of body: 7 and 7/8 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/4 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Navy type
 
Length of tail: 18 and 3/16 inches
Width of tail: 10 and 5/8 inches
Width of tail fins: 4 and 3/4 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 7 and 7/8 inches
-Width: 1 and 3/8 inches
-Thickness: 3/32 inch
 
Material of tail: Sheet Steel
 
Type of filling: Picric acid or Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 50 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 124 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 40%
 
Color and markings: Gray overall with a green band on the nose, green tail struts, and a blue band around the body.  Two thin red lines 180 degrees apart run longitudinally along the bomb.  New type markings will be found.
 
Construction of body: A cast-steel nose is attached by a continuous weld and 2 rows of 10 rivets each to a tubular-steel body.  A circumferential weld to a collar which fits into the after end of the body is held there by 2 rows of screws (14 per row).
 
Construction of tail: Four fins are spot welded to the tail cone and braced by a single set of box-type struts.
 
 
 
 
  
 
Type 2 No.6 Land Bomb Model 5
 
  
Fuzes: A-3(a), A-3(b)
Overall Length: 42 inches
Length of body: 25 and 3/4 inches
Diameter of body: 10 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/16 inch
Material of wall: Sheet steel
  
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Standard Navy type suspension lug
  
Length of tail: 16 and 1/4 inches
Width of tail: 10 inches
Width of tail fins: 4 and 1/4 inches
  
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 10 inches
-Width: 1 inche
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
Material of tail: Sheet Steel
  
Type of filling: Five 7kg high-explosive bombs and a high-explosive central burster
Total weight of bomb: 132 pounds (approx.)
  
Color and markings: Gray overall with a brown nose section.  New type color markings will be found.
  
Construction of body: A hollow-steel nosepiece and a hollow tail cone are connected by an explosive-filled central tube on the inside and two half cylinders of sheet steel on the outside.  The two half cylinders are connected by four metal tabs riveted to each half of the cylinder on the inside. 
 
There are four notches 3/16 inch square and 90 degrees apart in each end of the assembled cylinder.  The notches fit around the four pins which are on the nosepiece and tailpiece.  There is a spacer plate and five space strips attached to the central tube.
 
Construction of tail: Four steel fins are welded to the tail cone and are braced by a single circular strut at the after end.  The fins are set at an angle to the tail cone in such a manner that they will impart a rotary motion to the container when it is dropped. 
 
Description of 7kg high-explosive bomb: No fuze or complete bomb has been found.  The only information available on the bomb and fuze comes from a captured Japanese bomb chart.  The bombs are alleged to be nose fuzed, 20 and 1/4 inches long and 3 and 1/2 inches in diameter.
 
The tail fins from several of the bombs have been found.  The tail fins are painted gray, one has a 4 and 1/4 inch slot which allows the narrower one to fit into it.  The fins are spot-welded at the extreme ends of the slot.  The tail fins are braced by box-type struts welded to the after-most end.
 
Dimensions of "Wide" tail fins:
-Width: 4 and 1/4 inches
-Length (Approx.): 10 and 3/8 inches
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
 
Dimensions of "Narrow" tail fins:
-Width: 3 and 1/2 inches
-Length (Approx.): 10 and 3/8 inches
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Width: 15/32 inch
-Length (Approx.): 2 and 3/8 inches
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
 
Remarks: Production of this bomb ceased before the end of the war
 
 
No.25 Land Bomb

 
Fuzes: A-3(a), A-3(b), C-2(a), B-3(a), C-1(a)
Overall Length: 72 inches
Length of body: 35 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 13 and 3/4 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/4 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Navy suspension lug
 
Length of tail: 36 and 1/2 inches
Width of tail: 19 and 3/16 inches
Width of tail fins: 7 and 5/8 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 13 and 7/8 inches
-Width: 2 and 1/4 inches
-Thickness: 3/32 inch
 
Material of tail: Sheet Steel
Type of filling: Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 330 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 550 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 60%
 
Color and markings: Gray overall with a green nose band and green tail struts.  There are two thin, red lines 180 degrees apart along the length of the bomb.  New type color markings will be found.
 
Construction of body: A cast-steel nose is welded to a tubular-steel body by a continuous weld and a row of 16 plug welds.  The tail cone is held by 1 row of 32 screws to a collar which is held in the base of the bomb by a row of 16 plug welds.  There is a threaded fuze pocket in both the nose and tail.
 
Construction of tail: Four fins are spot-welded to the tail cone and braced by a single set of box-type struts.


 
 
 
Type 98 No.25 Land Bomb

 
Fuzes: A-3(a), A-3(b), C-2(a), B-3(a), C-1(a)
Overall Length: 72 inches
Length of body: 39 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 12 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/2 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Navy suspension lug
 
Length of tail: 32 and 1/2 inches
Width of tail: 16 and 5/8 inches
Width of tail fins: 7 and 5/16 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 13 and 7/8 inches
-Width: 2 and 1/4 inches
-Thickness: 3/32 inch
Material of tail: Sheet Steel
 
Type of filling: Picric acid or Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 211 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 532 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 40%
 
Color and markings: Gray overall with a green nose band and green tail struts. There are two thin, red lines 180 degrees apart along the length of the bomb. New type color markings will be found.
  
Construction of body: A cast-steel nose is welded to a tubular-steel body by a continuous weld and 1 row of 12 large plug welds.  The tail cone is held by 1 row of 18 plug welds and a continuous weld to a collar which is held in the base of the bomb by 40 screws in 2 rows of 20 each.  There is a threaded fuze pocket in both the nose and tail.
  
Construction of tail: Four fins are spot-welded to the tail cone and braced by a single set of box-type struts.
Remarks: The Type 98 bomb is reported in some instances to be turned down to appear smooth on the exterior surface.



 
  
No.80 Land Bomb
 
  
Fuzes: A-1(c), B-3(b), A-3(d)
Overall Length: 113 inches
Length of body: 72 inches
Diameter of body: 18 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/2 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Two guide studs on the bomb body position a carrying band to which a suspension lug is attached.
 
Length of tail: 41 inches
Width of tail: 25 inches
Width of tail fins: 10 and 1/2 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 17 and 1/4 inches
-Width: 3 and 5/8 inches
-Thickness: 1/8 inch
Material of tail: Steel
 
Type of filling: Picric acid (tail cone is filled), or Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 842 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 1,760 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 48%
 
Color and markings: Grey overall.  Green nose and tail struts.  Two red lines 180 degrees apart along the longitudinal axis of the bomb.  Blue band around the body.  New type markings will be found.
 
Construction of body: A cast-steel nose is attached to a tubular body by a continuous circumferential weld and 3 rows of 14 rivets each.  The tail cone is held by a continuous circumferential weld and 2 rows of 16 rivets each to a collar which is held in the base of the bomb by 2 rows of round-headed screws (32 screws in each row).  This bomb has a threaded fuze pocket in both the nose and tail.
 
Construction of tail: Four 1/8 inch steel fins are spot welded to the tail cone and are braced by a single set of box-type struts.



 
Type 99 No.6 Ordinary Bomb
  

 
Fuzes: A-3(a), A-3(b)
Overall Length: 42 and 1/4 inches
Length of body: 25 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 8 and 7/8 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/4 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Navy suspension lug
 
Length of tail: 16 and 7/8 inches
Width of tail: 12 and 1/4 inches
Width of tail fins: 5 and 5/8 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 9 inches
-Width: 1 inch
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
Material of tail: Steel
 
Type of filling: Picric acid or Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 70 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 138 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 50%
 
Color and markings: Gray overall with a green nose band and green tail struts.  There are two thin red lines 180 degrees apart along the length of the bomb.  New type color markings will be found.
 
Construction of body: The body is constructed of 1 piece of machined forged steel.  It is threaded in the nose to receive a fuze.  The after end of the body is threaded internally to accommodate a male base plate.  A tail cone is secured to the base plate by a signle row of 20 screws.  There is no explosive in the tail cone.
 
Construction of tail: Four fins are spot welded to the tail cone and braced by a single set of box-type struts.

  

 
Type 99 No.25 Ordinary Bomb Model 1
  
 
Fuzes: A-3(a), A-3(b), B-2(a)
Overall Length: 68 inches
Length of body: 39 and 3/4 inches
Diameter of body: 11 and 1/2 inches
Thickness of wall: 1/4 inch
Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Navy suspension lug
 
Length of tail: 28 inches
Width of tail: 16 and 1/4 inches
Width of tail fins: 6 and 15/16 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 12 inches
-Width: 1 and 5/8 inches
-Thickness: 1/16 inch
Material of tail: Steel
 
Type of filling: Type 91 (Trinitroanisol)
Weight of filling: 132 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 550 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 24%
 
Color and markings: Gray overall with a green nose band and green tail struts.  There are two thin red lines 180 degrees apart along the length of the bomb.  New type color markings will be found.
 
Construction of body: The body is constructed of one piece of machined forged steel.  It is threaded in the nose to receive a fuze.  The after end of the body is threaded internally to accommodate a male base plate.  The base plate is drilled centrally to receive the tail fuze.  A tail cone is secured to the base plate by six screws.  The cone is empty and has three hinged doors to permit access to the tail fuze pocket in the base plate.
 
Construction of tail: Four fins are spot welded to the tail cone and braced by a single set of box-type struts.


 
 
 
Type 2 No.50 Ordinary Bomb Model 1
  
 
Fuzes: A-3(f), B-2(a)
Overall Length: 78 inches
Length of body: 38 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 15 and 1/2 inches
 
Thickness of wall:
-At base: 1 inch
-At nose: 7 and 1/2 inches
 Material of wall: Steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Two guide studs on the bomb body position the Navy type suspension bands
 
Length of tail: 39 and 1/2 inches
Width of tail: 15 and 1/2 inches
Width of tail fins: 7 and 3/4 inches
 
Dimensions of tail struts:
-Length: 10 and 3/4 inches
-Width: 3 and 1/4 inches
-Thickness: 1/8 inch
Material of tail: Steel
 
Type of filling: Cast blocks of Type 98 explosive
Weight of filling: 148 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 1,100 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 13%
 
Color and markings: The bomb is gray overall with a green-tipped nose, brown nose band and green tail struts.
 
Construction of body: The bomb body is constructed of one piece of machined forged steel.  A fuze pocket is drilled in the nose.  The after end of the body is threaded internally to accommodate a male base plate.  There is a fuze pocket drilled in the base plate.  A sheet steel tail cone is attached to the base plate by eight bolts.  Three trap doors in the tail cone give access to the fuze pocket.
 
Construction of tail: Four Navy type tail fins are spot-welded to the tail cone.  They are braced by a single set of box-type struts.
 
 
 
Next Time: Ordinary and other bombs

Monday, 22 February 2016

Soviet Satellite Country Ammunition - Communist China (Part 3)

  
 
 
Examination of Communist China Ammunition Production/Inventory
 
 
 
 
C. Artillery Ammunition
 
 
The Chinese Communists have been hard pressed to keep their diverse assortment of artillery supplied with ammunition, and are duplicating foreign rounds wherever possible.  Copies of United States 57mm, 75mm, and 105mm ammunition are being produced by the Chinese Communists, as well as all types of artillery ammunition for the many Japanese weapons, or Chinese-manufactured copies thereof.
 
In general, markings and packaging for artillery ammunition may be expected to be most inconsistent, as is the case with other kinds of Chinese Communist ammunition.  However, markings on ammunition manufactured by the Chinese Communists for Japanese weapons follow the Japanese system of World War II.
 
 
 
 
57mm Complete Round, Fixed, HE
 
 
This high-explosive round is fired from the Chinese 57mmm recoilless rifle M36 (1947) (a copy of the United States 57mm recoilless rifle T15E13) and is used principally for fragmentation effect against personnel and open emplacements.  It consists of a point-fuzed, TNT-loaded steel shell attached to a perforated steel cartridge case.  The round, which cannot be used in any other 57mm weapon, may easily be distinguished from other fixed ammunition by its pre-engraved rotating band and perforated cartridge case.
 
The rotating band has 24 lands; it is not a ring seated in the shell body, but an integral part of the body.  The pre-engraved rotating band permits firing at a lower chamber pressure, which in turn allows thinner chamber and tube walls, resulting in a lighter weapon.  The perforation of the cartridge case is a pre-requisite to elimination of recoil.  The cartridge case is attached to the shell by means of four stab-type crimps.  The body of the cartridge case is manufactured in two halves from strip steel, which is perforated, formed, and butt-welded longitudinally.  A brass stop ring encircles the cartridge case at the neck.
  
The point fuze used with this round is a single-action, instantaneous type.  The fuze body is made of aluminum.  In the fuze base is a detonator booster which, when assembled to the shell, seats in a cavity provided in the high-explosive charge.
  
The shell, which is painted yellow, has no stenciled markings.  The pre-engraved rotating band and a section extending approximately one-quarter inch forward of the rotating band are unpainted.  The perforated cartridge case is painted olive gray.
 
 
Characteristics
Caliber: 57mm (2.24 in)
Weight of complete round: 2.56kg (5.65 lbs)
Weight of projectile, as fired: 1.18kg (2.84 lbs)
Weight of projectile, w/o igniter: 0.43kg (0.96 lb)
Type of projectile filler: Cast TNT
Weight of projectile filler: 0.22kg (0.5 lb)

 
Packaging
   

This ammunition is packed in wooden cases containing five rounds.  Each round is packed in a metal container.  Three containers form the bottom layer in the box, and two, the top.  The box is of sturdy construction, usually of soft wood; it is cleated on the top, sides, and bottom, with the corners dovetailed.  The cover is permanently nailed or screwed; no hinges or hasps are used.  Rope carrying handles are attached at both ends of the box.
 
There is considerable variation in location and constituents of box markings, but the caliber designation is believed to appear with some regularity in the form of Arabic numerals, as shown above.
 
 
 
 
 
57mm Complete Round, Fixed, HEAT
    
 
This high-explosive round is fired from the Chinese 57mmm recoilless rifle M36 (1947) (a copy of the United States 57mm recoilless rifle T15E13) and is designed for use against vehicles, armored targets, and concrete or log emplacements.  The cartridge consists of a point-fuzed, TNT-loaded shell and a primed, perforated, steel cartridge case.
 
The tetryl booster pellet at the base of the projectile may be either solid, weighing 10.9 grams (0.024lb), or hollow, weighing  7.35 grams (0.016lb).  A pre-engraved rotating band having 24 lands is pressed into a seat in the shell.  The pre-engraved rotating band permits firing the round at a lower chamber pressure, which in turn allows thinner chamber and tube walls, resulting in a reduction of the rifle's weight.  The perforation of the cartridge case permits the controlled escape of the propellent gases, which pass through the chamber and then out openings in the breechlock, to eliminate recoil.
 
The body of the cartridge case is manufactured in two halves from strip steel, which is perforated, formed, and butt-welded longitudinally.  A brass stop ring encircles the cartridge case at the neck.  The base is of steel, machined to form a seat for the perforated body, and is attached to the body by ten approximately equidistant spot welds around its circumference.
 
The fuze body is made of an aluminum alloy and is usually heavy, since it also serves as the nose of the shell; the upper portion of the fuze body forms the shell's ogive and the lower, the bourrelet.  Attachment to the projectile body is accomplished by means of threads; the fuze is threaded internally to mate with the external threads on the projectile body.
 
The shell, which is painted black, has no stenciled markings.  The cartridge case has a light coating of olive-gray paint and bears no stenciled markings.

 
Characteristics
Caliber: 57mm (2.24 in)
Weight of complete round: 2.59kg (5.72 lbs)
Weight of projectile, as fired: 1.22kg (2.7 lbs)
Weight of projectile, w/o igniter: 0.45kg (1 lb)
Type of projectile filler: TNT
Weight of projectile filler: 0.15kg (0.34 lb)

 
Packaging

No picture available
 
No information is available regarding the number of cartridges to a container or the method of packing this ammunition for the field, but it is believed the same type of packaging would be used for this round as for the 57mm high-explosive recoilless rifle round.
 
 
 
 
 
D. Rockets

 
The Chinese Communist Army has received considerable quantities of Soviet rockets since the start of the Korean War in 1950.  The Army is further known to hold rockets obtained from other foreign countries.  Communist China itself currently manufactures copies of a few foreign models of rocket launchers and ammunition.  Only the rocket ammunition manufactured in significant quantity by the Chinese Communists is given detailed treatment in this section.
 
In general, Chinese Communist rocket ammunition is similar to that of other major powers.  On the whole, the rockets are of a simple and rugged design, though evincing crude workmanship.
 
The rockets are usually olive drab with yellow stenciled markings, but may also be found painted a brighter green.  Markings stenciled in yellow on the head and body presumably identify the manufacturing arsenal, type of round, explosive filler, and date of manufacture.
 
Basically, rocket packaging encountered to date resembles that for Chinese Communist mortar shells, both in construction and in markings.  So far as can be discerned, there is no close adherence to any set standard of construction or marking.  The package usually consists of a wooden box, cleated on the top, sides, and bottom, with joints and covers either glued or tarred to exclude moisture.  Covers are permanently secured with screws or nails; no hinges or hasps are used.


87mm Rocket, HEAT, Type 135
 
   
This high-explosive anti-tank spin-stabilized rocket is fired from the 87mm (3.5 inch) rocket launcher Type 135, which can be fired from the shoulder or from a bipod rest on the ground.  The launcher is similar in design to the United States 3.5 inch rocket launcher M20.  The Type 135 rocket consists of a spin-type motor with eight canted nozzles, a shaped charge head with base detonating element, and a nose fuze with split-back action.
 
The explosive portion of the rocket consists of a main charge of cast TNT, weighing 1.4 pounds, and a 30-gram booster charge of pressed tetryl located to the rear of the main charge.  The head and motor body appear to be machined from steel tubing or bar stock, and the nose or ogive is of cast iron.  Eight directional venture orifices cause the rocket to spin to the right.  The fuze found in this rocket is the same unsafe universal fuze found in the Type 241 rocket.
 
The above-illustrated rocket may be found either painted olive drab with yellow stenciled markings, or black with white stenciled markings.
 
Note. Dimensions given above for the visible length and the thread diameter of the fuze have not been verified.

 
Characteristics
Caliber: 87mm (3.5 in)
Total weight of rocket: 5.28kg (11.67 lbs)
Weight of warhead: 2.78kg (6.14 lbs)
Weight of propellant: 0.29kg (0.66 lb)
Type of warhead filler: TNT
Weight of warhead filler: 0.67kg (1.48 lbs)
Maximum velocity: 119 m/s (390 fps) (approx.)
Maximum range: ? m (? yards)

 
Packaging

   
The complete rocket is shipped, fuzed, in a cylindrical light gage, hermetically-sealed metal container.  The container bears the same stenciled markings as the rocket it holds.  The identification of the rocket by type is stenciled on the container in Arabic numerals, as shown above, and is believed to be regularly so represented.



87mm Rocket, HEAT, Type 241

 
This high-explosive anti-tank spin-stabilized rocket is fired from the 87mm (3.5 inch) rocket launcher Type 135, which can be fired from the shoulder or from a bipod rest on the ground. The launcher is similar in design to the United States 3.5 inch rocket launcher M20.
 
The Type 241 rocket resembles the United States M28A2 rocket in general appearance, but there are important differences between the two.  The Chinese rocket is about four inches shorter, has a nose fuze rather than a base fuze, contains a steel shaped charge cone rather than one of copper, and burns considerably longer out of the launcher.  The Chinese rocket consists of a motor body, nozzle, fin shroud assembly, trap, propellent spacer, adapter with wooden plug, igniter assembly, fuze, and head.
  
The motor is made of steel bar stock, rough machined inside and out.  The fin shroud assembly is made of thin welded steel tubing; it surrounds and is joined to the nozzle by four struts, which are punched from thin sheet steel in two pieces and fixed by spot welding.  The adapter acts as a motor closure and joins the head to the motor.  The head section consists of an ogive, nose adapter, head body, shaped charge cone, flash tube, detonator, booster, and main charge.  The fuze is a point initiating spit-back type which activates a "pick-up" detonator located in the rear of the main charge.
 
This rocket may be found painted either olive drab with yellow stenciled markings, or black with white stenciled markings.

 
Characteristics
Caliber: 87mm (3.5 in)
Total weight of rocket: 3.8kg (8.42 lbs)
Weight of warhead: 1.9kg (4.28 lbs)
Weight of propellant: 0.17kg (0.38 lb)
Type of warhead filler: TNT
Weight of warhead filler: 0.56kg (1.3 lbs)
Maximum velocity: ? m/s (? fps)
Maximum range: ? m (? yards)

 
Packaging
 
No picture available
 
Information on packaging of this round is not available.



 
102mm Rocket, HE, Type A3

 
This high-explosive rocket is believed to be fired from the 102mm six-tube truck-drawn rocket launcher (believed to be Type 505).  It is similar in general design to the now obsolete United States 4.5 inch M8 rocket used during World War II.  The complete round consists of the motor body, warhead, tail section, and fuze.
 
The motor body, which contains the propellant, is a steel tube 4 inches in diameter and 18.38 inches long; it is threaded internally at the head end and externally at the nozzle end.  The internal threads at the head end of the motor body extend into the body far enough to hold the threaded propellent charge retaining plate.
 
The one-piece warhead, filled with loose and cast TNT, is apparently a casting.  The rear of the head is threaded externally, for attachment to the motor body.  The fin assembly consists of a formed ring to which six folding blades are hinged on a welded wire ring.  In the collapsed or inoperative position, the fins fold forward to pass freely through the launcher.  Upon emerging from the launcher, setback and air drag cause the fins to open outwardly in a position perpendicular to the body.  The fin assembly is fitted to a shoulder at the end of the nozzle expansion cone and is retained by flaring the nozzle and by four spot welds to the nozzle.
 
The fuze is a simple point detonating fuze, threaded for attachment to the head of the rocket.  This rocket is painted olive drab, with yellow stenciled markings.

 
Characteristics
Caliber: 102mm (4.01 in)
Total weight of rocket: 15.8kg (37.05 lbs)
Weight of warhead: 4.8kg (10.68 lbs)
Weight of propellant: 2.5kg (5.52 lb)
Type of warhead filler: TNT
Weight of warhead filler: 1.25kg (2.76 lbs)
Maximum velocity: ? m/s (? fps)
Maximum range: ? m (? yards)

 
Packaging

   
Each complete round is packed in a box constructed of soft wood.  Three rows of cleats strengthen the box and allow for ventilation when stacked.  Each end has a single cleat to which a rope handle of 1/2-inch thickness is attached.  The rocket is supported within the box by a wooden nose piece of 1 and 1/2-inch thickness.
 
Two rows of 1/8-inch felt material are fixed to the inside of the box as cushions.  A compartment at the fin end of the rocket houses a fuze in a metal container with a threaded cap.  The identification of the rocket is marked on the box is Arabic numerals and letters of the English alphabet, as shown above.




 
E. Pyrotechnics
 
Communist China does manufacture signal cartridges locally, although Soviet and United States signal cartridges are also utilized.  That the Chinese Communists sometimes reload fired signal cartridge cases was shown by the recovery in Korea of reloaded cases of Soviet manufacture; whether this is a common practice is not known.
 
The Chinese, who were probably the first in the world to manufacture fireworks, still make great use of signal rockets which are not unlike those used for pyrotechnic displays in the United States.  Most of those encountered so far have apparently been made in small workshops or improvised, since there does not appear to be any standard of manufacture in regard to materials or size.  As an example, newspaper is frequently used for wadding.  Illuminating shells for mortars and artillery weapons are also used.
 
The inconsistencies in construction and marking of packaging already met in the other kinds of Chinese Communist ammunition probably also hold true for pyrotechnics.


 
25.5mm Signal Cartridges
  
 
These cartridges are used in pyrotechnic pistols for signaling purposes.  Although the Chinese call them 25.5mm cartridges, they are believed to be interchangeable with Soviet 26mm and German 27mm signal cartridges.  Some cartridges bear horizontal color bands on the paper body, showing the color of the signal, and some may be entirely colored, as No.3 above.
 
Primers have various coloring which may have no relationship to the color of the signal, as in cartridge No.3 above.  The cartridges also have embossed dots on their top wads for identification at night, but not definite code system can be determined for these dots at present.
 
Marked on the cartridge body, in order from top to base, are: the color of the signal, the nomenclature of the cartridge, the designation of the manufacturing arsenal, and the date of manufacture.
 
The following identification has been give to the above-illustrated cartridges:
1. Green single star
2. Red single star
3. White single star

 
Characteristics
Caliber: 25.5mm (1.003 in)
Weight of cartridge: 40gm (617.3 grams) (average)
 
Color:
-Cartridge 1: Green
-Cartridge 2: Red   
-Cartridge 3: White
 
Type: Single Star
 
Burning time:
-Cartridge 1: 7.5 seconds
-Cartridge 2: 5.7 seconds
-Cartridge 3: 8.7 seconds
Method of actuation: Fired from pyrotechnic pistol

Packaging

No picture available 
 
Information on packaging of these cartridges is not available.






 Next Time: Czechoslovakia

Monday, 15 February 2016

Imperial Japanese Explosives - Army and Navy Markings and Designations

 
 
 
 
Imperial Japanese Explosives
 
 
 
 
It came to my mind that I forgot to add the descriptive information regarding IJA bombs: their designations, construction, and so on.  Thus, it will be added here alongside the Navy's version.  These also differ from the posts some time ago containing descriptions given for "Ammunition" posts.
 
I would also like to take this moment to apologize for this omission, and thank the readers for your continued interest.
 
 
 
Imperial Japanese Army Bombs
 
1. Designation: The Japanese Army designates its bombs according to a type number, weight, and sometimes a descriptive title.
 
a. The type number indicates the year in which the bomb was adopted for service use.
 
b. The weight is expressed in kilograms and usually is stenciled on the bomb.
 
c. The descriptive title is not used on the standard high-explosive bombs but is used on others.  The descriptive title such as smoke, incendiary, gas, substitute, practice, and anti-shipping, indicate the purpose of the bomb.
 
 
2. Construction: The standard high-explosive bombs are of three-piece construction.  On older bombs the tail cone, which is filled with explosive, is welded to the cylindrical body, and the nose section is threaded to the body.  In later models the nose is welded to the body and the tail cone is threaded on.
 
Some of the anti-shipping bombs utilize two-piece construction; the nose and body are of one piece, and the tail cone is threaded to the body.  The special construction features of the various anti-shipping bombs are described under the individual bombs.
 
 
3. Suspension: All the Army bombs except those carried in containers are suspended by a single hinged rectangular lug located at the center of gravity.
 
 
4. Filling: High-explosive bombs are usually filled with precast, paper-wrapped blocks of explosive surrounded by paraffin, or in the latest type by cast TNT.  When fillings other than picric acid are used, the nature of the filling may be stenciled on the bomb.  Bombs filled with an explosive other than the standard filling for that bomb are marked with the Japanese character for "special."
 
 
5. Color and Markings: High-explosive bombs are painted black overall.  A red band around the tip of the nose indicates that the explosive is loaded in the bomb case.  A white band forward of the suspension indicates that the bomb case is made of high-grade steel.  A yellow band forward of the white band denotes a high-explosive filling.  Recently this system has been modified tot he extent that the white band has been omitted.  Forward of the yellow band is stenciled the type number, weight, filling, and additional description.  Aft of the suspension lug is stenciled the place and the date of manufacture and a "+" or "-" indicating a minor weight discrepancy.
 
Incendiary bombs with a solid filling are painted black overall with a white band forward of the suspension lug.  A symbol for incendiary bombs "ヤ" is stenciled on the bomb.
 
All liquid-filled bombs are painted grey overall.  A red nose tip indicates that the high-explosive burster tube is loaded and a blue band aft of the nose tip indicates that the liquid filling is present.  Liquid-filled incendiary bombs are marked by a single white band just forward of the suspension lug and by the symbol "ヤ".
 
Liquid-filled smoke bombs are grey overall, have a red nose and no body band.  They are marked by the symbol for smoke "ケ".  Gas bombs are painted grey overall and have a red nose band.  It is supposed that color bands around the body indicate the type of gas filling.  This system is utilized in marking Army gas projectiles:
 
Red Band ---- Vomit Gas
Blue Band ---- Lung Irritant
Green Band ---- Tear Gas
Yellow Band ---- Vesicant
Brown Band ---- Blood and Nerve poison
  
  
6. Sizes: Although documents refer to 1,000kg bombs none larger than 500kg have been recovered at the time of this manual's writing
  
  
7. Fuzing: All Army bombs of 30kg and above may be fuzed in both the nose and tail.  Bombs of 250 and 500kg generally user larger weight. (Not quite sure what the book means by this)
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Imperial Japanese Navy Bombs
 
 
 
1. Designation: Japanese Navy bombs are divided into classes: land bombs, ordinary bombs, special bombs, smoke bombs, practice bombs, target-marker bombs, training bombs, and dummy bombs.
 
"Land" bombs are bombs specially designed for use against land targets.  They are usually of rough construction.
 
"Ordinary" bombs are designed for use against ships.  They include both G.P (General Purpose) and S.A.P. (Semi Armour-Piercing) types.  They are of smoother construction than land bombs.
 
Special bombs are designed for various special purposes and each special class is indicated by a mark number. (See chart below)
 
According to a captured document, a new system of designating Navy bombs has been proposed.  The existing bombs are not to be redesignated but new bombs will be assigned mark numbers as follows:
 
Marks 1 through 9: Anti-shipping bombs
Marks 10 through 19: Chemically-equipped bombs
Marks 20 through 29: Anti-aircraft bombs
Marks 30 through 39: Anti-land bombs
 
As the name indicates, practice bombs are used for practice bombing.  Target-marker bombs are used as target marking beacons.  Dummy bombs are used for training and practice bombing.  Training bombs are used for training in handling bombs.
 
Smoke bombs are used for concealment purposes.
  
Individual bombs in these main general classes are given further designations:
 
a. The type number discloses the year that the bomb was adopted for service use.  In the "land" and "Ordinary" bomb classes, the first bomb of a given weight class is not assigned a type number but is merely indicated by the weight number.  Subsequent designs of the same weight are assigned type numbers.  Thus there is a No.6 land use bomb and a Type 97 No.6 land use bomb.
 
b. The number indicates the weight of the bomb in units of tens of kilograms.  Thus a No.6 bomb weighs 60kg, a No.25 bomb weighs 250kg, etc.  This designation is as much an indication of size as it is of weight, No.6 indicating a bomb of the 60kg size, and approximate weight.
 
c. A description of the bomb is indicated by the characters for land use, ordinary, etc.  If it is a special bomb, the mark number is given.
 
d. Model: This term has several meanings bu in this instance is used to distinguish different designs of bombs in the same general class.
 
e. Modification: This term represents a minor change in design or a change in filling.
 
 
2. Construction: There are two main patterns of construction of Navy bombs, typified by the "land" bombs and the "ordinary" bombs.
 
a. Land bombs: Land bombs are of three-piece construction.  The nose is attached to the cylindrical body either by welding and riveting or by welding alone.  The tail cone, which is filled with explosive, is attached to the body by means of a collar or coupling ring.  Either the body or tail cone is attached to the collar by welds and/or rivets and the final junction is made by attaching the other part to the collar by screws.
 
b. Ordinary bombs: Ordinary bombs are of two-piece construction.  The nose and body are manufactured of one piece, and are machined both inside and out.  If the tail cone is filed it is threaded into the body or, in the case of larger bombs, an interrupted screw arrangement is used to attach it to the body.  If the tail cone is the body and the cone is attached to the base plate by threads or screws.
 
The construction of special bombs and other general classes varies greatly and is covered in the description of each individual bomb.
 
 
3. Suspension: Bombs up to and including 250kg are suspended by a single U-shaped fixed lug.  Two lugs 180 degrees apart may be fitted to the bomb.  Larger bombs may be suspended from a torpedo-release gear by two flat guide studs located 180 degrees apart or by a suspension band fitted with the standard lug.
 
 
4. Fillings: Navy bombs are generally filled by casting the explosive directly into the case.  The cavity is protected by a thick coat of lacquer.  In some instances the explosive may be preformed into paper-wrapped sections which are usually additionally protected by a wax or a flannel coating.
 
 
5. Color and Markings: During the war the Japanese Navy has modified the color system used to differentiate its bombs.  Under both the new and old systems, the basic body color is grey: this color varies from greenish-grey to bluish-grey depending on variations in the paint and weathering conditions.  This grey paint is applied over a red anti-corrosive paint.
 
The old color pattern consisted of painting key colors as a broad band on the nose and tail struts.  Usually these colors were the same.  A band slightly aft of the suspension lug was an additional key.  Thin red stripes 180 degrees apart running from nose to apex of tail cone appeared on all service bombs.

In the new scheme all bombs containing explosive have the nose tipped in green.  Key color bands appear aft of the green tip and an additional key color band may appear on the tail strut.  The red stripes have been dropped.  Colored body bands are used in some instances to indicate different modifications. (See chart below)
 
 
6. Size: The largest bombs recovered are 1,500kg bombs.
 
 
7. Fuzing: As a rule, Navy bombs of 250kg and larger in weight are fitted with fuze pockets in both nose and tail.  The No.6 and No.3 sizes of land use and ordinary bombs have nose pockets only.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Next Time: Navy land and ordinary bombs

Monday, 8 February 2016

Imperial Japanese Army Explosives - Bombs (Part 5)

  
 
 
Imperial Japanese Army Explosives
 
 
 
 
 
 
Container for 30 x Type 2 1/3kg Bombs
    
   
Fuzes: None
Overall length: 43 inches
Length of body: 37 inches (including nosepiece) 
 
Diameter of body:
-Maximum: 7 and 1/8 inches
-Minimum: 4 and 11/16 inches
 
 Thickness of wall: 1/14 inch
Material of wall: Corrugated sheet steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Army type suspension lug
 
Color and markings: Black overall
 
Length of tail: 6 inches
Width of tail: 7 and 1/8 inches
Width of tail fins: None
Dimensions of tail struts: None
Material of tail: Sheet steel
 
Type of filling: 30 x Type 2 40mm 1/3kg bombs
Weight of filling: 22 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 39 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 56%
 
 
Construction:  The container is formed by three interlocking lengths of corrugated sheet steel.  Each end is closed by a hollow cone made of sheet steel.  The three interlocking lengths are held in position by two sheet steel bands and buckles.  The buckles are prevented from opening by two arming wires.
 
Attached to the tail piece are three manila cords 13 inches long.  To each of these is attached a steel hook which fits into a hole in each of the three body sections.
 
One of the three interlocking corrugated lengths serves as the top of the bomb.  Spot welded to this is a smooth semicircular sheet steel piece 25 and 1/2 inches long.  The Army type suspension lug is attached to this piece.  Eyebolts are welded on either side of the lug to serve as guides for the arming wires.
 
 
Operation:  When the container is released from the plane, the arming wire is withdrawn.  The buckles open and the steel bands fall away.  The three sections of the body separate allowing the bombs to fall free.
 
Remarks: Fitted around the container there may be a safety device consisting of a canvas strap, a black powder burster charge in a small container, and a friction igniter with a 2-second delay.  The igniter cord is attached to the arming wire and as the container leaves the plane the delay train is ignited.  After 2 seconds, the strap is blown apart and the sections of the container fall free.
 
 
 
 
 
Container for 76 x Type 2 1/3kg Bombs
  
 
Fuzes: None
Overall length: 41 and 1/2 inches
Length of body: 41 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 8 inches
 Thickness of wall: 1/16 inch
Material of wall: Corrugated sheet steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Army type suspension lug
 
Color and markings: Black overall
 
Length of tail: None
Width of tail:None
Width of tail fins: None
Dimensions of tail struts: None
Material of tail:None

Type of filling: 76 x Type 2 40mm 1/3kg bombs
Weight of filling: 56 pounds (approx.)
Total weight of bomb: 77 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 72%


Construction:  The container is formed by three interlocking lengths of corrugated sheet steel, closed at each end by hexagonal sheet steel plates.  The three interlocking lengths are held in position by four encircling sheet steel bands and buckles.  The buckles are prevented from opening by two arming wires.  To a hub on the exterior of the after end plate are attached three bungee cords 7 and 1/2 inches long, to each of which is attached a steel hook.  Each hook fits into a hole in the side of each section of the container.  
 
One of the three interlocking corrugated lengths serves as the upper portion of the horizontally suspended container.  To this upper portion is spot welded a smooth semicircular sheet steel piece 31 and 1/2 inches long, in the center of which is located the suspension lug.  On each side of the lug, between it and the inboard steel bands, there is welded an eyebolt to take the arming wires.
 
Operation:  When the container is released from the plane, the arming wire is withdrawn.  The buckles open and the steel bands fall away.  The three sections of the body separate, allowing the bombs to fall free.

Remarks: Fitted around the container there may be a safety device consisting of a canvas strap, a black powder burster charge in a small container, and a friction igniter with a 2-second delay.  The igniter cord is attached to the arming wire and as the container leaves the plane the delay train is ignited.  After 2 seconds, the strap is blown apart and the sections of the container fall free.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Container for 63 x Type 3 1/2kg Bombs
    
   
Fuzes: None
Overall length: 42 and 1/2 inches
Length of body: 42 and 1/2 inches
Diameter of body: 8 inches
 Thickness of wall: 1/16 inch
Material of wall: Corrugated sheet steel
 
Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Army type suspension lug
 
Color and markings: Black overall
 
Length of tail: None
Width of tail: None
Width of tail fins: None
Dimensions of tail struts: None
Material of tail: None

Type of filling: 63 x Type 3 1/2kg bombs
Weight of filling: 69 pounds
Total weight of bomb: 92 pounds
Charge/weight ratio: 75%


Description:  The container is formed by three interlocking sheets of corrugated steel closed at each end by hexagonal steel plates.  The three side pieces are held in position by four encircling steel retaining bands and buckles.  Two steel arming wires run longitudinally along the exterior of the container and pass through these buckles holding them closed.  In addition two wires fit around the container.  Where each of these wires is secured, there is a small black powder burster charge and a pull igniter.  The pull cords of the igniters are attached to a ring on the arming wire.
 
The nose plate is held in position by metal tabs, bent 90 degrees on the forward edges of the sidepieces.  The nosepiece has fittings to hold the fuzes of the seven forward bombs and prevent the vanes from rotating.  The other bombs are kept unarmed in the conainer by placing the nose of each in the tail of the one preceding.
 
One of the sidepieces serves as the upper portion of the horizontally suspended container.  To this section is spot welded a smooth semicircular sheet steel plate 31 inches long in the center of which is located the typical Army suspension lug.  On each side of the lug between it and the inboard retaining bands, there is welded an eyebolt through which the arming wire passes.
 
The tail plate is held in position by three bungee cords which radiate from a central hub on the plate.  Each cord terminates in a small hook which fits into a hole in each of the side pieces.
 
 
Operation: As the bomb container is released from the plane the arming wire is withdrawn.  This releases the retaining band buckles and pulls the igniter cords.  The retaining bands fall clear.  After a 3-second delay the igniters fire the black powder charges, snapping the wires.  The sidepieces of the container open at the forward end and allow the 1/2kg bombs to fall out nose first.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Type 1 1kg Aircraft Missile
 

 
Fuzes: Friction pull igniter
Overall length: 8 and 7/8 inches
Length of body: 5 and 1/2 inches (spherical)
Diameter of body: 5 and 1/2 inches (spherical)
 Thickness of wall: 1/8 inch
Material of wall: Compressed paper
 
Type of suspension: Thrown by hand
  
Color and markings: Black overall (probably coated with a waterproofing liquid)
 
Type of filling:  A central burster charge consists of granular black powder in a silk bag.  Surrounding the burster charge are 32 cylindrical sheet-metal pellets containing a low explosive charge.  Each pellet has a 1/2 inch safety fuse which is in contact with the silk bag containing the central burster charge.

Dimensions of pellets:
-Diameter: 1 and 1/8 inches
-Height: 13/16 inch

Composition of explosive contained in pellets:
-Potassium Nitrate: 55.7%
-Sulphur: 16.7%
-Aluminum Powder: 14.6%
-Antimony Sulphide: 13%
 -Cottonseed husks are used as packing to fill up the interior of the bomb

Weight of filling:
-Burster charge: 4.5 oz
-Explosive pellets: 6.6 oz

Total weight of bomb: 36.5 oz
 
Construction:  he missile consists of a spherical container of compressed paper from which a tubular neck of compressed cardboard projects approximately 3 inches.  A wooden plug at the base of this tube houses the friction pull igniter.

Operation:  The cord of the igniter is pulled and the missile is thrown from the plane.  After a short delay the black powder burster charge explodes rupturing the paper body scattering the explosive pellets and simultaneously igniting the safety fuse of the pellets.  After a short delay the pellets are detonated.

Remarks: This bomb has been reported to be used in air to air bombing.  It has been recovered from crashed aircraft.








50kg and 100kg Pamphlet Container
 
 
Fuzes: D-1(a), D-1(b)

50kg
Overall length: 37 inches
Length of body: 19 inches
Diameter of body: 7 and 1/2 inches
Length of tail: 18 inches
Width of tail: 6 and 3/4 inches
Width of tail fins: 3 and 3/8 inches

Dimensions of tail struts:
-Forward: 6 and 1/2 x 1 and 1/2 x 3/16 inches
-Aft: 6 and 5/8 x 2 and 3/8 x 3/16 inches


100kg
Overall length: 49 inches
Length of body: 26 inches
Diameter of body: 7 and 1/2 inches
Length of tail: 23 inches
Width of tail: 13 inches
Width of tail fins: 7 and 1/2 inches

Dimensions of tail struts:
-Forward: 8 and 7/8 x 1 and 5/8 x 3/16 inches
-Aft: 9 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4 x 5/16 inches


 Thickness of wall: 3/16 inch
Material of wall: Cardboard
Material of tail: Cardboard

Type of suspension: Horizontal
Suspension lug: Normal Army type suspension lug

Color and markings: Brown overall

Type of filling: Small bursting charge and paper pamphlets


Construction:  The cardboard body contains a hemispherical split wooden nose plug to which is nailed a nose fuze housing.  A burster charge also fits into the cavity of the nose plug.  There are two longitudinal slits in the body which terminate 2 inches from either end of the body.  A cardboard tail cone is attached to the body by four bayonet joints which engage four bolts on the exterior of the bomb boy.

Construction of tail:  Four cardboard fins are taped to the tail cone and are braced by two sets of cardboard box type struts

Remarks: The bursting charge splits the bomb longitudinally along the two slits into halves allowing the pamphlets to escape.
 
  


Miscellaneous Bombs

Curiously, my technical manual has two pages of IJA bombs that they either never retrieved specimens of, or found the necessary documentation to write an entry on them.
 
   
 







 
    
Next Time: Imperial Japanese Navy Bombs