Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Projektil Amerika II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"Darkest of night
With the moon shinin' bright
There's a set goin' strong
Lotta things goin' on"

- - "Superfly"

With regard to the German "desire" to bombard American cities during the Second World War:

3. Rockets?

"German engineers were also exploring the possibility of a rocket launched from a submarine. Allied photo reconnaissance over the coast of . . . Norway had, in fact, spotted a U-boat of the 740 ton class fitted with rails running from the conning tower to the ship's bow. 'The purpose of this,' the report concluded warily, 'is unknown'."

This was for the launch of a V-1 type "buzz-bomb"?? A single missile fired from a surfaced submarine? NOT really a rocket in the strictest sense of the word, but not exactly a guided missile in the true sense either! The U.S. in the post-war period had such a missile that was armed with a nuclear warhead, launched from the back of a submarine - - called Regulus.

"Besides experimenting on launching missiles from a heaving deck the Germans were working on more stable launching rafts to be towed by U-boats. the German navy's chief, Admiral Karl Doenitz, pleaded with Hitler to allow him to construct these platforms, assuring him that his wolf packs could surface off New York City in the dark of night, launch rockets, and turn the city into flame and rubble."

Rafts - - towed by U-boats - - to just off the coast of America - - and fire!

Firing? V-1 "buzz bombs"? Or perhaps Nebelwerfer type rockets?

The latter is CONCEIVABLE!! Nebelwerfer rocket projectors could be mounted on the decks of a submarine, or on rafts that were semi-submersible. Numbers of projectors could be bolted to a raft, towed to the east coast of the U.S., aimed in the right direction and fired. A barrage of rocket artillery that could devastate a large area, and do so in seconds. A NUMBER OF SUBMARINES TOWING RAFTS, ACTING IN CONCERT, COULD REALLY DO A LOT OF DAMAGE. In the case of the Nebelwerfer, accuracy, in contrast to say a guided missile of the A-10 variety, was secondary.

Surprisingly, the U.S. Navy during World War Two employed rockets in combat in a similar capacity, fired off the deck of an American submarine at Japanese coastal targets. Sub would surface, fire, submerge, and then leave the area in a hurry. WAS AN EFFECTIVE WEAPON!

Projektil Amerika was too little too late and would not have fundamentally changed the course of the war, even if employed.




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