7.5 cm Pak 40

The 7.5-cm Pak 40 (Panzerabwehrkanone 40) was a German 75-mm-caliber anti-tank gun used by the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units from late 1941 until 1945 on both the Eastern and Western Fronts of World War II as it was the German infantry’s mainstay anti-tank weapon. It had the same mechanical design as the 5-cm Pak 38. This 75-mm anti-tank gun was also used a field gun (Fk 40) by Wehrmacht’s artillery units.

75-mm-pak-40

It was an accurate and dependable gun that could put out of action any Allied and Russian tank or any other type of armored vehicle from a long way off. With a muzzle velocity of 2,460 ft/s (800m/s), it could punch holes in a Soviet T-34 tank at 2 km away, using a wide range of ammunition (4.1-kg tungsten-cored AP40, 5.74-kg HE, etc). Mounted on a two-weeled split-trail carriage, it was towed to the battlefield by trucks. However, it was also mounted in anti-tank armored vehicles. Rheinmetall produced approximately 23,000 7.5-cm Pak 40s throughout the war.

Specifications

Caliber: 75mm

Weight: 1,500 kg

Barrel length: 3.45 m

Total length: 6.2 m

Type of breech: horizontal sliding block

Elevation: -5º to + 22º

Rate of fire: 14 rounds per minute

Crew: 5 troops

75-mm-pak_40

Anti-tank gun 7.5-cm Pak 40 in action (WWII footage)

AGM-88 Harm

The AGM-88 HARM is an air-to-surface anti-radar missile designed and manufactured by Texas Instruments. Entering service in 1985, the AGM-88 was first used in combat by the US Navy and US Air Force during the Gulf War (1991), fired from a F-4G Wild Weasel. It was also employed in Kosovo War (1999) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). “HARM” stands for “High-speed Anti Radiation Missile”. Homing in on electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems, the AGM-88 HARM is powered by a Thiokol SR113-TC-1 dual-thrust rocket engine.

agm-88_harm

Launched from Wild Weasels, this weapon is a key battlefield element, conceived to destroy surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars, and radar-directed air defense artillery system. With an operational range of 70 miles (110 km), the missile reaches a supersonic speed of 1,450 miles per hour, guided by the enemy radar signals. The AGM-88 is fitted with a WDU-37/B blast-framentation warhead and its detonation mechanism consists of a FMU-111/B laser proximity fuze. Between 2005 and 2009, it was upgraded into the AGM-88E AARGM by the Italian Ministry of Defense and the US State Department, being delivered to the Italian Air Force in 2010.

Specifications

Type: anti-radiation missile
Length: 4.1 m
Diameter: 25.4 cm
Wingspan: 1.1 m
Weight: 355 kg
Propulsion: Thiokol SR113-TC-1 dual thrust rocket engine

AGM-88 HARM in Action (Video)

Weapon used to Assassinate Franz Ferdinand

The weapon used to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a Pistole Automatique Browning M1910. It had been designed by the American engineer Joseph Moses Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (National Factory of Weapons of War), a Belgian state-run company, located in Herstal, Belgium. The name of the factory is simply abbreviated as FN.

The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand took place at 10:45 am, on June 28, 1914, on Sunday. At that time, after his accomplice had just failed to kill the Archduke with a hand grenade, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, pulled out his FN Browning M1910, stepped up to the car that had just stopped and shot twice, killing him and his wife Sophie.

weapon-assassination_archiduke_ferdinand

CBU-105 Cluster Bomb

The CBU-105 is a precision-guided weapon, which is based on the CBU-97 free-fall, cluster bomb. It was first used in combat by the US Air Force in Iraq, in 2003. Developed by Textron Defense Systems, it was originally designed to be dropped from low-flying fighter-bombers to attack and destroy Soviet armoured divisions. It was also used in Yemen by the Saudi Air Force as it had been supplied by the US Air Force.

Guided by a smart, wind-corrected tail kid, the CBU-105 is composed of 10 sensor-fuzed, smaller units (CBU-108 submunitions), which come off the bomb shaft as its skin is ripped open by a linear-shaped charge. Falling down by parachute, each of these 10 units has in turn 4 smart, skeet warheads, which are released as the submunition is briefly boosted upward, with the warheads spreading out. Spinning fast on its axis, each of them is guided to the target by a dual mode passive infrared and active laser sensor, which is fitted in the warhead. Thus, the CBU-105 is able to destroy up to 40 tanks.

CBU-105 Anti-Tank Cluster Bomb

WW2 German Armoured Trains

Despite the large numbers of tanks and other armoured vehicles that made up the Wehrmacht’s armoured divisions, the German Army also used armoured trains during World War II. In July 1939, the German High Command decided to set up seven of them, which where numbered from Nº1 to 7. They consisted of locomotives and cars of the track-guarding trains, plus the armoured trains that had just been seized in Czechoslovakia. Thus, the fighting strength of these early military trains was not very powerful as they were poorly armoured and armed with machine guns, 20mm AA guns, and 75mm howitzers, which could be used in direct fire. These guns were installed in casemates with limited arcs of aim. In early 1940, before the German invasions of France, three more improvised armoured trains would be put into service, Nº 23 to 25. In 1941, even more armoured trains, which had just been captured from the Russian Army, joined the German arsenal on tracks. Aside from the weapons mentioned above, they were also manned by infantrymen armed with all types of infantry weapons.

These early armoured trains would remain in service until 1944, when they would be replaced by the BP42 and BP44 types. These were based on broad-gauged railways cars, with improved armour, as they were upgunned  with German-made 10.5-cm (105mm), FH 18 field howitzers, replacing the Polish and Russian guns, and with the high-velocity 7.5-cm KwK L/48 anti-tank gun, which was mounted in the turret of the Panzer IV Ausf H, set up on an armoured platform on the “pursuit car”, which was hitched on at the end of the train. Every standard armoured train was also fitted with two Panhard 38(t) scout cars, whose rubber wheels had been removed and replaced by railway steel wheels; armed with one 25mm cannon and two 7.92mm machine guns, these were used as reconnaissance, independent vehicles, for they had their own engines.

To summarize, the armoured trains lacked the versatility, flexibility, and the type of mobility of the tanks and half-tracked armoured vehicles; thus, they were not effective fighting machines and could not be part of the German Blitzkrieg as they also lacked tactical use. As a result, the armoured trains had no effect on the outcome of the war. They were mainly used in the East as scorts to protect supply and troops transport trains and to guard strategic bridges and railway lines.

ww2_armoredTrains

M79 Grenade Launcher

The M79Blooper” was a 40mm grenade launcher, which was first used in combat by the US Army Infantry and Marine Corps in 1964, during the Vietnam War. It was developed in the 1950s by the Springfield Armory, a US firearms manufacturer, and entered service in 1961. With a shot-gun design, it was fired from the shoulder and had a break-action (it broke open in order to be reloaded).

In Vietnam, the M79 was nick-named the Blooper by the US ground troops, looking like a giant shot gun. When the breech was opened, the spent cartridge casing was ejected, a new round was loaded, then, the breech was closed again, cocking the action. The Blooper had a leaf-type, folding, iron sight.

Specifications

Type: stand-alone grenade launcher

Caliber: 40 mm

Cartridge: 40x46mm

Weight: 2.93 kg (loaded)

Length: 73.1 cm

Barrel length: 35.7 cm

Muzzle velocity: 76 m/s

Rate of fire: 6 rpm

Range: 400 m

M79-blooper