Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

When the United States entered the Soviet war with Afghanistan, they did so from the shadows. They helped arm and fund the Mujahadin fighters that would ultimately expel the Soviet bear. One of the more important arrow in the quiver of the Afghan fighters was the American supplied Stinger, surface to air missile. The man-portable SAM was a key piece in knocking down low flying Soviet aircraft and forcing helicopters in particular to higher, and less effective altitudes.

 

The idea of the man portable SAM has been around for decades, and it took until the 1980s to show it's potential in a complete theater of war. But it was in the 1940s when the Germans created one of the first viable man portable anti-aircraft weapons.

 

The Fliegerfaust was the final product. The first generation of the shoulder-fired weapon was essentially three tubes and a pistol grip. Each rocket was a 20 mm round equipped with a rocket booster charge. Fired in a volley, the Fliegerfaust was designed to strike a low-level Allied aircraft en-mass.

 

However, with relatively short launcher barrels, designers realized shot dispersion was horrendous. By the time these 20 mm rounds reached an effective range, they were all over the map. Soon after, the barrels were increased, in both length and numbers.

 

Now at nine barrels, the Fliegerfaust could launch its volley at a speed of 360 meters per second, with an effective group of 60 meters at 500 meters out. Each 20 mm round had a small explosive charge that could turn into a cloud of shrapnel.

 

Another change was a slight delay in the firing of the salvo. Instead of a single burst of rockets, the 20 mm rounds would fire in a pair of clusters 0.1 to 0.2 seconds apart.

 

Capable of reaching targets out to two kilometers, the Flieferfaust was ordered in quantity of ammunition and launchers. This was late 1944 into 1945 and the tide had wholly turned against the German regime, as a result the order of 10,000 launchers and four million rounds of 20 mm ammunition was never realized.

 

A series of other multi-tube rocket launchers were developed by Germany in their death throws, but none ever saw completion.

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Comment by Jake Holman Jr. on August 1, 2011 at 1:42pm
Thanks all. It is an interesting weapon system. And I too wonder if it wouldn't have made an interesting ground-to-ground weapon. High velocity 20mm rounds fired in volley could be devastating to soft skinned vehicles and personnel.
Comment by Doc Toxo on July 28, 2011 at 8:00pm
I wonder i it might've made a better anti-personnel weapon?
Comment by Cap'n Tony on July 28, 2011 at 8:05am

Those Wacky Nazis and their Wunderwaffen! Hard to say how effective it'd be without guidance. It'd take one hell of a soldier to guage the necessary lead over the aircraft and might prove more of a psychological weapon than a practical one, but very, very ingenius design given the technical limitations of the time.

Certainly be hell on any slow biplane or spotter plane and might ironically have been more effective ten years later when helos hit the scene in numbers.

Great find, Fez! You're ever the fountain of knowledge for forgotten militaria.

Comment by Alex Bolado on July 27, 2011 at 10:57pm
Impressive, to say the least.
Comment by Cameron Henry on July 27, 2011 at 6:34pm
This is really cool and the name of the weapon is even better.

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