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Thread: Effective Range of German 20mm Flak

  1. #1
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    Default Effective Range of German 20mm Flak

    Hi

    I wonder if anyone can help me with the maximum effective range of German 20mm flak? I am researching the loss of a Whitley in Aug 1941 and have been told that it was shot down by 20mm flak, however my own reasearch would indicate a night fighter attack. The aircraft was at 12,000 feet when the crew baled out, two of the crew were killed, although the cause of their death is unknown. They are both known to have baled out with parachutes fitted but one later died of his wounds and the other was found dead on the ground. It is not known if the wounds were caused inside the aircraft or during a parachute descent. I believe that the second fatality was caused by either a damaged or malfunctioning parachute.

    Any help on flak ranges appreciated.

    Thanks

    Daz

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    Daz,
    According to John Searby in his "Bomber Battle for Berlin" light flak could be encountered up to 16,000 feet. Whether that figure applies to 20mm guns I'm not sure but it is possible that your man could have been hit whilst descending by parachute, whether by chance or by design is open to question, of course.
    Bill

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    Hi Daz

    In a book I've seen about the US 8thAF versus German Flak in the ETO, produced in Aug'45, it gave the effective slant ranges as follows;

    20mm - 3,500 feet
    37mm - 6,000 feet
    88mm - 31,500 feet (vertical 34,770 feet) pre Flak41 models
    105mm - 37,500 feet (vertical 48,000 feet, at 85 degrees)

    Theoretical maximums I'd imagine could be higher values for 20mm and 37mm.

    No doubt lots of websites will have varying data, however given the above was an analysis of their own losses to Flak then they would have had a vested interest in getting it right.

    Kind regards
    Pierre

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    Link to US military manual of enemy ordnance. Part one is German weapons.

    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll8&CISOPTR=2758&REC=17

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    Link to US military manual of enemy ordnance. Part one is German weapons.

    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll8&CISOPTR=2758&REC=17

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    Found another in the Combined Arms Research Library. Looks like the maximum range for 20mm was 3500ft.
    Flak facts: a brief history of flak and flak intelligence in the Ninth Air Force.Part 3 covers Flak Guns
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll8&CISOPTR=2965&REC=12

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    Thank you all for your help.

    Regards

    Daz

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