CaptainDyllanRex

ISU-152 - Questions, Information, Gameplay

Mod Edit to create a nice intro for the new thread:

ISU-152r.jpg
 
"The streets of Vienna, fleeing in all directions from the central square, were too narrow. Beautiful houses with Venetian windows loomed at both sides. The shots of the high-caliber self-propelled gun thundered and sharply wavered the air. One half of house’s floors with the enemy anti-tank gun and its gunners fell to the ground. A powerful air wave after the shot broke up the glass in windows near the ISU-152 and our location. Heavy glass fragments rained down on the heads of “spectators” and as a result 10 people were wounded in backs and hands and 2 more broke their collarbones. Luckily tank crews and troopers wore helmets and their heads remained safe."
 
Early Model:
The ISU-152 marks its beginning on January 24,1943. This was the moment of appearance of the first
fighting vehicle of this family.
It was designated Object 236 (Объект 236), using the same concept as the SU-152. The Object 236 was completed in Factory No. 100 in Chelyabinsk, and on the same day, January 24, underwent trials on the Chebarkulski artillery range, 107 km from Chelyabinsk.
 
By February 7, 1943 the trials were over, passed with success.
On February 14 the vehicle was adopted and put on production under the KV-14 (КВ-14) designation.
 
In April 1943 was ordered KV-14 to be henceforth designated SU-152 (СУ-152). In time, the combat performance of SU-152, based on the KV-1S tank, made necessary the modernisation of the vehicle, using the new IS tank as a base.
 
On May 25, 1943, shortly after deployment, the administration of Factory No. 100 ordered the beginning of the SU-152 modernization, which included an increase of the armour protection and other improvements.
 
The development began in July 1943, under the supervision of Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin (the chief designer of Soviet heavy tanks) and G. N. Moskvin as the main designer, and in about a month the first modernized variant was ready. It was designated IS-152 (ИС-152). It underwent factory trials in September 1943, revealing a large number of different deficiencies, which sent it back for further improvement.
 
In October 1943 a second (different) modernized variant was ready, designated Object 241 (Объект 241). It was an improvement over the IS-152.
The factory trials began the same month, followed by state trials on the Gorohovetskom test range.
On November 6, 1943, an order was issued for adoption of this variant, under the ISU-152 (ИСУ-152) designation, and in December its production began at the Chelyabinsk Kirovsk Plant, replacing the SU-152.
 
 
 
Late Model:
One prototype, developed in 1944. In April 1944, in attempt to increase the firepower of ISU-152, a high-power variant of the self-propelled gun was developed in Factory No. 100, designated ISU-152BM (ИСУ-152БМ), sometimes referred to as ISU-152BM-1 or ISU-152-1.
 
The factory designation was Object 246 (Объект 246). The "BM" ("БМ") in the designation stands for "High Powered" ("Большой Мощности"). The main purpose of the ISU-152BM was the fight against heavily armoured tank destroyers such as the Elefant and the Jagdtiger.
It was armed with the 152.4 mm BL-8 (БЛ-8) long barrel gun, which unlike the ISU-152's gun wasn't a gun-howitzer.
The gun had a maximum range of 18,500 metres, with the 43.56 kg high-explosive shell which had a muzzle velocity of 880 m/s.
 
The overall length of the gun was over 8 metres, with a barrel length of 7620 mm (50 calibers).
The armour-piercing round, weighing 48.78 kg, had a muzzle velocity of 850 m/s.
During test firing at armour plates with different thickness, the ISU-152BM had successfully penetrated a maximum of 203 mm of RHA at 90° at ranges of up to 2000 metres.
However, during the trials, July 1944, the gun showed some deficiencies such as being difficult to operate by the crew, unreliable work of the muzzle brake and the breech
block, and unsatisfactory performance of the shells.
 
In addition, the gun, reaching out too far, was limiting the maneuverability of the fighting vehicle. The self-propelled gun carried 21 rounds of two piece (shell and charge) ammunition, and had a rate of fire of 2 rounds/min.
 
It used the engine, transmission, running gear and electric equipment of the ISU-122. In August 1944 the BL-8 gun was replaced with the improved 152.4 mm BL-10 (БЛ-10) long barrel gun, with a slightly shorter barrel of 7392 mm (48.5 calibers).
 
The self-propelled gun was designated ISU-152-2 (ИСУ-152-2). The factory designation was Object 247 (Объект 247). The fighting vehicle was also equipped with external fuel tanks.
 
The gun had a modified muzzle brake and a semi-automatic breech block it had a rate of fire of 3 rounds/min.
The BL-10 had a maximum range of 18,000 metres, with the 43.56 kg high-explosive shell.
In December 1944 the ISU-152-2 underwent trials, revealing the barrel strength and the angle of horizontal guidance were unsatisfactory.
 
The gun was sent for further improvement, but it wasn't completed before the war ended.
 
The fighting vehicle was never adopted. After the war, the final and most improved, third modification of ISU-152-2 was completed. The gun had a maximum range of 19,500 metres, using a 48.5 kg high-explosive shell with a muzzle velocity of 880 m/s.
 
Heavy Tank Destroyer Role:
 
The ISU-152 could also operate as an effective heavy tank destroyer though it was not designed for the role, the vehicle inherited the nickname Zveroboy ("beast killer") from its predecessor, the SU-152, for its rare ability to reliably kill the best protected German fighting vehicles; the Panther tank, the Tiger and Tiger B tanks, and even the Elefant and Jagdtiger tank destroyers.
 
The sheer weight of the 152.4 mm shells resulted in an extremely low rate of fire, only one to three rounds per minute, and were not as accurate at long range as high-velocity antitank guns.
However, the massive blast effect from the heavy high-explosive warhead was capable of blowing the turret completely off a Tiger tank.
A direct hit usually destroyed or damaged the target's tracks and suspension, immobilizing i while the low-velocity 152mm shell did not generally penetrate heavy armor,
it frequently killed or severely wounded the crew through spalling (splintering) inside the hull as well as injuries caused by blast concussion.
 
Surviving crew were often left with an immobilized vehicle which had to be hurriedly abandoned before being destroyed.
For anti-tank operations following the Battle of Kursk, armour-piercing ammunition was developed, with an eye towards giving the howitzer a more traditional anti-tank capability.
 
However, these rounds were expensive, in short supply, and only moderately more effective than the standard non-penetrating high-
explosive round.
 
As a howitzer the ML-20S exchanged velocity and accuracy for throw weight and distance, and was not intended to compete with true anti-tank guns. Sometimes the concrete-piercing ammunition was used for the anti-tank role.
 
A primitive shaped charge ammunition, with a 27.44 kg shell, was also developed. It had a maximum
penetration of 250 mm of RHA at 90°, but it was not used during the war.
 
Heavy Artillery Role:
 
As a heavy assault gun, the ISU-152 was an extremely valuable weapon in urban combat operations such as the assaults on Berlin, Budapest and Königsberg.
The vehicle's excellent armour protection finally provided the 152.4 mm platform with good protection from most German anti-tank guns, allowing it to advance into the face of direct anti-tank fire, while the huge low velocity high-explosive rounds were excellent at blasting open even the most heavily fortified and reinforced enemy strongpoints.
 
Such actions would be much more dangerous and much less effective for a conventional towed artillery piece, with their high crew exposure and low mobility, or even a tank, with their smaller main guns.
 
When supporting tanks, the usual tactics of the ISU-152 were to be used in the second line of the attack order, 100 to 200 metres behind the attacking tanks, which were usually IS tanks with equal mobility.
 
Armor:
 
The ISU-152's 90 mm of sloped frontal armor, in contrast to the SU-152's 65 mm, provided excellent frontal protection from the 75mm KwK 40 gun of the ubiquitous Panzer IV and StuG family at all but the closest ranges, while also forcing the original Tiger I, with its vaunted 88mm KwK 36 gun, to close to medium ranges in order to successfully penetrate the vehicle, negating its traditional long range superiority.
 
Speed:
 
37 km/h (23 mph) on road 15-20 km/h cross terrain 40 km/h (on a road) (ISU-152 model 1945, ISU-15 ISU-152M)
 
Most information taken from wikipedia as you know Soviet Tech is quite secret.
 
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISU-152]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISU-152[/url]

 

The ISU-152 can be destroyed by 20mm's.I don't know if it's armor is just really that thin or if it's a bug since no other tank can be destroyed by 20mm's.

Edited by wotertool
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ISU-152_Armor.gif

 

as you can see its top armor is not exactly "heavy" so it's completally possible to go through it with relatively small guns.

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ISU-152_Armor.gif

 

as you can see its top armor is not exactly "heavy" so it's completally possible to go through it with relatively small guns.

 

However, an MG 151 APHE round goes through only 19mm of armor at 400m. At 300, it reaches 25mm. While close, it may not be enough. However, seeing as how the Germans say that x weapon has y penetration when 90% of the shrapnel goes through, yeah, it can be destroyed with 20mm cannons.

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However, an MG 151 APHE round goes through only 19mm of armor at 400m. At 300, it reaches 25mm. While close, it may not be enough. However, seeing as how the Germans say that x weapon has y penetration when 90% of the shrapnel goes through, yeah, it can be destroyed with 20mm cannons.

 

FAIL, as no plane attacks at a 90 decree angle. Less than 90 degree angle means that the armor thickness goes up a lot. There's a reason why tank buster planes had bigger quite a lot bigger guns like 37mm or even 75mm guns.

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FAIL, as no plane attacks at a 90 decree angle. Less than 90 degree angle means that the armor thickness goes up a lot. There's a reason why tank buster planes had bigger quite a lot bigger guns like 37mm or even 75mm guns.

 

Exactly my point. Such things are quite impossible, since a strafe attack is at 20 degrees from horizontal most of the time. Knowing that at 30 degrees from horizontal, armor thickness doubles, yeah.

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FAIL, as no plane attacks at a 90 decree angle. Less than 90 degree angle means that the armor thickness goes up a lot. There's a reason why tank buster planes had bigger quite a lot bigger guns like 37mm or even 75mm guns.

 

 

 

Exactly my point. Such things are quite impossible, since a strafe attack is at 20 degrees from horizontal most of the time. Knowing that at 30 degrees from horizontal, armor thickness doubles, yeah.

 

I understand what you two are saying here but there's few things that make me wonder:

-37mm stuka did attack t-34s at a nearly 90 degree angle in a sort of split S manouver so while it obviously had a much easier job with it's guns this shows that such attacks are not exactly impossible (tho surely uncommon). And they are definetly not impossible in-game, especially when done in arcade mode...

-il2s were taking pz4s and (rarer) tigers out with their 23mm guns by shooting their 10/25 (pz4/tiger) top armor at not nearly 90 degrees...

-there's a less known tactic used by p47 pilots in which they shoot their guns underneath tanks (including tiger tanks) hoping for the bullets to ricochet upwards and pierce the 25mm armor. Obviously penetrating power of their .50s were much worse than 20mm canons and even worse due to ricochets and yet i've read claims that it had worked...

-lastly - doesnt isu 152 have those huge air intakes at the back-end of it's engine compartments top-armor? those surely have to be easier to penetrate...

 

ISU152_3.jpg

Most tanks i know have those..

tiger-tank-21.jpg

King_Tiger_SW03.jpg?1276341790

I'm not saying I'm right about of this, but if a well thrown molotov can be enough to take out a tiger tank surely there has to be a spot to shoot/tactic to take out heavy tanks with otherwise inadequatte 20mm canons.

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I understand what you two are saying here but there's few things that make me wonder:

-37mm stuka did attack t-34s at a nearly 90 degree angle in a sort of split S manouver so while it obviously had a much easier job with it's guns this shows that such attacks are not exactly impossible (tho surely uncommon). And they are definetly not impossible in-game, especially when done in arcade mode...

the 37mm Stuka fired with special AP ammunition. Somewhere in the forum there was times ago a detailed picture of this ammunition/gun.

-il2s were taking pz4s and (rarer) tigers out with their 23mm guns by shooting their 10/25 (pz4/tiger) top armor at not nearly 90 degrees...

the Vya got according to wikipedia *cough* 25mm Penetration against RHA steel at 400m

-there's a less known tactic used by p47 pilots in which they shoot their guns underneath tanks (including tiger tanks) hoping for the bullets to ricochet upwards and pierce the 25mm armor. Obviously penetrating power of their .50s were much worse than 20mm canons and even worse due to ricochets and yet i've read claims that it had worked...

I don't think it's "less known". It's more a ... legend.

-lastly - doesnt isu 152 have those huge air intakes at the back-end of it's engine compartments top-armor? those surely have to be easier to penetrate...

 

 

Most tanks i know have those..

You first have to hit these with a plane^^

I'm not saying I'm right about of this, but if a well thrown molotov can be enough to take out a tiger tank surely there has to be a spot to shoot/tactic to take out heavy tanks with otherwise inadequatte 20mm canons.

I don't think you can compare something that just bases on burning and "melt"/burn the whole tank and everything inside with an armour piercing plane shell.

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the 37mm Stuka fired with special AP ammunition. Somewhere in the forum there was times ago a detailed picture of this ammunition/gun.

I've noticed in game that it can use APCR, yeah - but that was'nt really my point. I just wanted to imply that you can get a full 90 degree dive on a tank maximising your chances of penetration - just like stukas did it in real life. ( altho admittetly Stukas had supporting systems which made doing it and especially recovering from such dives easier)

the Vya got according to wikipedia *cough* 25mm Penetration against RHA steel at 400m

which would be roughly enough... Surely 20mm canons cant be that far behind right? And it's not like each shot has exactly the same penetrating power...

I don't think it's "less known". It's more a ... legend.

possibly; i do remember hearing about it in some documentry posted somewhere on this forum but that's hardly any proof. Were it so however it'd show that just looking at pure numbers doesnt tell the whole story...

You first have to hit these with a plane^^

Wont be easy, sure.... but as with everything you just have to keep trying till it works; and seeing how many shots you can send at the target each time it wouldnt be impossible that one would eventually go in right?

I don't think you can compare something that just bases on burning and "melt"/burn the whole tank and everything inside with an armour piercing plane shell.

aye, i cant. I was just trying to say the same thing i did before here really; I wanted to show that there are parts of the tanks that arent exactly superbly protected and while you can immobilize one with a well thrown molotov - which while it wont ruin the tank itself, wont burn through the steel can immobilize it by ruining systems needed to keep the engine going - you can surely stop it with one well placed shell from even a 20mm plane mounted canon... 

 

maybe...

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I've noticed in game that it can use APCR, yeah - but that was'nt really my point. I just wanted to imply that you can get a full 90 degree dive on a tank maximising your chances of penetration - just like stukas did it in real life. ( altho admittetly Stukas had supporting systems which made doing it and especially recovering from such dives easier)

Yes, that's true^^ I think the point of the above answers was, that the most attacks against tanks were in a low angle. but you're also right, a 90° attack ist possible

which would be roughly enough... Surely 20mm canons cant be that far behind right? And it's not like each shot has exactly the same penetrating power...

to quote nope: "However, an MG 151 APHE round goes through only 19mm of armor at 400m. At 300, it reaches 25mm." at 90° I think

Wont be easy, sure.... but as with everything you just have to keep trying till it works; and seeing how many shots you can send at the target each time it wouldnt be impossible that one would eventually go in right?

Sure It's possible, but this "one"(or multiple) bullet have to make enough damage to take the tank out. IF you can that easily penetrate (or get in the space between) the protection of the intakes, are this things armored?^^

aye, i cant. I was just trying to say the same thing i did before here really; I wanted to show that there are parts of the tanks that arent exactly superbly protected and while you can immobilize one with a well thrown molotov - which while it wont ruin the tank itself, wont burn through the steel can immobilize it by ruining systems needed to keep the engine going - you can surely stop it with one well placed shell from even a 20mm plane mounted canon... 

 

maybe...

I understand your point^^ But I think it's easier to achieve a "kill" with a molotov cocktail due to a area of effect, compared to a 20mm shell, where you have to hit exactly the point. Possible, but more unlikely, I think. (But you never know, maybe you take out the turret traversion or something else^^)

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Sure It's possible, but this "one"(or multiple) bullet have to make enough damage to take the tank out. IF you can that easily penetrate (or get in the space between) the protection of the intakes, are this things armored?^^

good question! so i just looked it up and this is what i found:

fig6.jpg

that air intake is a little bit better protected than i thought, but it's nothing a well placed shell can't manage! That big white box underneath? it's the radiator. Huge thing - this is a bad pic showing how it looks:

S1034558.JPG

(you can find a video here in which they take it out : http://www.russianmilitary.co.uk/blog.php?type=isu152&id=1 ; search for: Friday 12th of December 2008 10:00).

 

Now just damaging that in long term should lead to overheating the engine and immobilizing the tank but with enough luck you get through to here:

S1034856.JPG

Not sure what kind of damage you can do here but those giant fans (for the lack of a  better word) look important!

 

so yeah, aside from that grate at the top - no armor. just a big vulnerable radiator...

 

I understand your point^^ But I think it's easier to achieve a "kill" with a molotov cocktail due to a area of effect, compared to a 20mm shell, where you have to hit exactly the point. Possible, but more unlikely, I think. (But you never know, maybe you take out the turret traversion or something else^^)

Cant argue that... tho I wouldnt want to be that poor chap that has to get close enough to the tank to throw that molotov. With a plane at least I can fly away and try again later =p

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It's a strait up glitch.  I watched a video on another thread where a guy crashed his Do 217 in the path of the advancing soviet tanks. he took out an ISU shooting it with only the 217's 7.92 (or possibly 13mm) machine gun. 

 

Edit:  BTW he took out the ISU from the side, where the armor should be between 90 and 20mm thick. 

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I set one of these on fire in HB with 100+ Shvak rounds firing from a steep dive at the rear. It kept rolling for 5 minutes and the game ended before it died.

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Damn but that ISU is a real beast.

 

That thing was capable of causing brutal spalling and shaking to Tigers and even cause severe damage to King Tigers. But it was still more like an SPG.

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-il2s were taking pz4s and (rarer) tigers out with their 23mm guns by shooting their 10/25 (pz4/tiger) top armor at not nearly 90 degrees...


Wrong, VYa-23 mounted on IL-2 was unable to hit any medium/heavy tank excluding Pz.III (up to G modification and only in side/rear armor) and Czechoslovakian Pz.38t. IL-2 with NS-37 was able to hit 50mm front armor of Stug.IIIG/Pz.IIIG, but only on 200m distance and with extremly low accuracy. ILs used PTABs against medium/heavy tanks, cause rockets and guns was completly ineffective.

I got an article (in russian) about Anti-armor using of IL-2, you can find it HERE.

Or, if you need it, i could make a post with translation of this article tommorow.

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Wrong, VYa-23 mounted on IL-2 was unable to hit any medium/heavy tank excluding Pz.III (up to G modification and only in side/rear armor) and Czechoslovakian Pz.38t. IL-2 with NS-37 was able to hit 50mm front armor of Stug.IIIG/Pz.IIIG, but only on 200m distance and with extremly low accuracy. ILs used PTABs against medium/heavy tanks, cause rockets and guns was completly ineffective.

I got an article (in russian) about Anti-armor using of IL-2, you can find it HERE.

Or, if you need it, i could make a post with translation of this article tommorow.

actually a translation does sound lovely and I'm sure many in this forum would enjoy reading it.

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actually a translation does sound lovely and I'm sure many in this forum would enjoy reading it.

 

I've heard of the VYa penetrating 25mm of armor at 400m. Knowing that, I'm sure that it depended so much on the top armor getting penetrated that it wasn't worth the trouble of dive attacks, since IL-2s were quite bad and unstable in dives as well as lacking airbrakes.

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actually a translation does sound lovely and I'm sure many in this forum would enjoy reading it.


I has started to translate the arcticle, but it's a bit harder than i thought. I'll post as soon as it's ready.

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I has started to translate the arcticle, but it's a bit harder than i thought. I'll post as soon as it's ready.

appreciated sir.

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nice work mate; i am eagerly awaiting the parts about PTAB - hopefully you inspire some devs to finally add it t the game.

(ps: good luck with job-hunting.)

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The ricocheting thing was only a myth. A quote from another board:

 

This is a quote from Flying Guns – World War 2: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations 1933-45 (which has a chapter on ground attack):

Before turning to the 20 mm cannon it is worth mentioning the performance of the .50" Browning. The official requirement for the M2 AP was to penetrate 22 mm steel at 183 m (the M8 API was expected to match this figure at 92 m). The striking angle is not specified but is assumed to be 90º. Official US tables for the M2 show penetration at 300 m as follows: 21 mm / 90º, 13 mm / 60º and 5 mm / 30º. These measurements were to the USN criterion which called for 50% of shots to penetrate.

In other words, the .50 AP could probably penetrate an absolute maximum of one inch of armour at short range, when hitting at 90 degrees. To achieve this penetration against the roof of a tank, a P-47 would have to be in a vertical dive and only a second or two from crashing into it! In practice, a 30 degree dive angle seems to have been typical, at which the bullets would only penetrate 5 mm.

The same would apply to bouncing the bullets off the road - in a 30 degree attack, the bullets would hit the road surface at 30 degrees then bounce up and hit the bottom of the tank at 30 degrees. So for this to work, the road would have to be harder than the armour plate, otherwise the bullets would just bury themselves in the road. And that's entirely ignoring the problem, already mentioned, that after impact with the road the bullets would almost certainly be tumbling. Add all of that together and the probability of success with this tactic can be rated as too low to measure.

As an aside, some explanations of the overclaiming by fighter-bomber pilots (sam source):

Given these unpromising circumstances, why did the fighter-bomber pilots believe that they were achieving such success against tanks? There can be no doubt that they genuinely thought that they were destroying them in large numbers. There appear to be several reasons for that. First, problems with identification. Flying a vibrating aircraft, with restricted visibility, at low level and high speed and under the stress of combat, are hardly ideal circumstances for accurate observation. Add to that the natural tendency for the size and strength of the opposition to appear magnified, and it becomes less surprising that any vaguely tank-sized object was classified as a tank – and usually a Tiger tank! Many of the "tanks" claimed destroyed were actually armoured cars, troop carriers, armoured recovery vehicles and soft-skinned transport.

The second problem was the difficulty in observing the effect of attacks. The cannon shells and HMG bullets fired in strafing attacks generally carried incendiary or explosive chemicals and caused flames and smoke to erupt wherever they hit. A tank revving up its engine to get out of the way can also generate a lot of smoke. Tanks apparently covered in flames and smoke were confidently reported as "flamers" or "smokers" and claimed as destroyed, whereas in most cases they would not have suffered serious damage. The blast effect of rockets and bombs threw up enough dust and smoke to obscure the entire area, and pilots frequently believed that it would have been impossible for anything to survive. They were usually wrong. Large bombs could disable tanks with a near-miss, but RPs required a direct hit.

Finally, there was the problem of duplicated claims. A disabled tank seen from the air may not appear damaged, and multiple air attacks were therefore sometimes launched against tanks which had already been knocked out.

 

Original source is somewhere here:

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/

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The ricocheting thing was only a myth. A quote from another board:

 

 

Original source is somewhere here:

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/

thanks for the info mate.

 

Ever since i've wrote that old post about bouncing shots i've seen another "documentary" about bouncing .50 cals. This time tho insted of shooting tanks themself pilots bounced their shots into the bottom of a fuel trailer that some german tanks were said to drag behind them. That trailer was said to be armore up-top which is why they had to toy around with the whole ricochet idea. Perhaps this is another source for this myth?

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