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Deflection shooting.


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45 replies to this topic

#1 Flo

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:40 PM

Has anyone got access to, or recall reading, any period documentation on WW2 airborne deflection gunnery?

It's often said that the USN were the only fighter force in WW 2 to teach deflection gunnery. The statement presumably originates with some unique aspect of their training. I'm curious about what that might be.

The reason is that the statement is nonsensical. Most fighter forces used towed windsocks for gunnery practice. It's highly inadvisable to attempt a zero deflection shot on a towed target, the possibility of hitting the towing aircraft would be enormous!
Then there's the design of the periods gunsights- they made allowance for deflection. In the British reflector sights those were referred as 'rings'; 'one ring deflection' ect. That can get confusing, though! The targets wingspan was physically dialled in on one ring, range on another. The 'ring' referred to was the glowing target reticule. Thus:



I've found a few references to training units. This one for the RAF Fighter Leader School, for instance:

http://www.milfield....ol_milfield.htm

But so far, nothing like a tactical publication or manual. My search fu is weak, can you guys help?

#2 Edgar Brooks

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:31 PM

Try "Spitfire Manual 1940," edited by Dilip Sarkar, ISBN 978-1-84868-436-2. It contains a whole chapter, on air fighting, with contributions from "Teddy" Donaldson, "Sailor" Malan, and "Zura" Zurakowski. Whoever said that deflection shooting wasn't taught is talking twaddle.

#3 Flo

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:54 PM

I can feel a wee excursion onto Amazon on payday...:D

I don't think it's quite 'twaddle', just posters on a number of boards not familiar with the concepts involved. I think either the design of USN fighters or some aspect of their training has generated a belief that the USN were experts at deflection shooting. I'm curious about where the belief originated, not whether poster 'a' or 'b' has a handle on what's involved.

Meantime, can anyone think of some training asset the USN possessed that was unavailable to their Army colleagues or the Europeans?

#4 GregP

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:20 AM

Can you please define "twaddle?"

I laughed so hard it hurts, because it brings to mind things ... other than deflection shooting for me! A "shaved twaddle" makes me think of things other than a near-miss in combat gunnery! :D

#5 Edgar Brooks

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:28 AM

As so much in the English language, its origins are lost in the mists of time; its meaning is "Senseless or tedious uninteresting talk" (according to my dictionary,) and is supposed to be a derivation of "twattle," over which it might be sensible to draw a veil...........:rolleyes:

#6 GregP

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

A sheer veil it is then ... no more of this twaddle from me.

#7 ChrisMcD

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:33 PM

Getting back to deflection shooting for a moment. it occurs to me that gunsight development would be an indicator of who did what and when.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Gyro_gunsight

IMHO it appears to be;

a) The Irish who came up with the idea of a reflector gunsight,
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Howard_Grubb

B) The Germans who developed it and then didn't bother to introduce it till too late

c) The British who develop the first production versions

and finally

d) The Americans who perfect it and shoot everyone else.

I think we have been here before! Apart from, possibly the Irish getting the ball rolling!

Also, coming back to the other topic - surely it refers to the Orkneys
http://en.wikipedia....i/Twatt,_Orkney

Famed for Eric Browns exploits with his Martlets at HMS Tern

#8 Flo

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:33 AM

Are you accusing the great Eric Brown of being a t:eek:at?

(Flo tries to fake looking shocked...)

#9 Kutscha

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:32 AM

The Germans had a reflector gun sight in WW1 but it didn't go into production. In one of my good reference books there is a photo of it mounted on an Albatros D.Va.

They also had a 12 barreled motor driven rotary aircraft machine gun.

#10 USSInidiana

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:48 AM

I think icky brought it up in the Darwin thread. I've seen on a couple of forums that Lundstrom mentioned it in his books but did not say it wasn't taught in other airforces just that the USN really,really pushed it to a much larger degree. It's been brought forth that Grumman designs with their short noses allowed it to a finer degree at higher angles then other fighters with longer noses.

Just what I've read guys...




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