panzer1946

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Did the XT-7 "Rotkappchen" and M42 see action in WW2?

The XT-7 is mounted on a small trailer which doubles as the launch platform. The M42 (86mm rocket) is mounted on a stand and the base plate seems to be bolted to the ground. The M42 also has a launch tube and sighting mechanism similar to a leaf sight, and the launch tube has a flared front end on it (I presume to help collect the exhaust and improve forward motion as well as offering some protection for the gunner).
 

Grzesio

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There are some seedy rumours, the Rotkaeppchen could be used in combat in one way or another against Soviet tanks in early 1945 - probably even in form of operational trials - enjoying some successes.

The M42 in turn, was not a guided weapon. There was a whole family of naval spin stabilized 8,6 cm rockets of different purpose - splinter, illuminating, smoke and wire barrage. They differed with size, performance and construction details - e.g. some were propelled with blackpowder, others with smokeless powder, had time or impact fuzes etc. And yes, they were actually used in combat.
They were generally mounted on ships - the basic launcher was the RAg M42 (8,6 cm Raketen-Abschuβgerät M42) you described.
The wire barrage rocket was built similarly to an illuminating rocket - but it carried a parachute with a reel with wire instead of an illuminating charge. The load was ejected by a time fuze at given height and the unrolled wire was slowly descending on the parachute, forming temporary barrage against low flying aircraft.
Some of the 8,6 cm launchers were used in AA coastal defence (probably Denmark or Norway, if I remember correctly) - they even enjoyed some kills in closing stages of the war.





Regards

Grzesio
 

panzer1946

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thanks much for the information! It is very interesting to see how some weapons actually got so close to being used (and possibly were used...) by the war's end!

I have the 2 items in kit form and will use the M42 platform mounted to an e-boot or something like that. The Rotkappchen will find a nice diorama build later on.

-Tony
 

Grzesio

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Is it your Rotkaeppchen model made by RPM?
The wheeled launcher in this kit is a complete fantasy - they just reused lower carriage elements of their earlier 8,8 cm R-Werfer 43 model.
All I know about the actual launcher, is it was a 15 kg heavy device mounted on a tripod. I've seen a schematic drawing in a Russian book some time ago, it looked like a U-shaped rail surrounding lower half of the fuselage till the wing roots, probably a little bit over 1 meter long, placed on a low tripod. But I have no idea if this drawing had anything to do with reality.

Regards

Grzesio
 

Wurger

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Hi Grzesio,

can you please post that russian illustration? I remember that Fritz Hahn mentioned a shoulder fired anti-aircraft X-7. Probably it was just the same rail as used with the tripod.
Also, do you know about illustrations on the Pfeiffenkopf/Pinsel/ Steinbok? I`m away from my sources, but I recall also an AT missile by BMW, along with the Rochen series.
 

Grzesio

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Lucky you, I managed to find it! ;)

I cannot remember Hahn wrote about a shoulder fired X-7 (I believe the missile size and exhaust blast excluded such a way of use), but he mentioned the Hand-Foehn.

The BWM missile was apparently called Gerät 78, although I also encountered the designation Gerät 3378, which is in turn a factory name of the BMW 109-548 engine for the X-4, so something can be confused here. Anyway, the missile is said to be similar to the X-4 and the only representation of it, I know, is a modern side view in an another Russian book - it looks very much like the X-4 indeed, but has no wingtip bobbins, wings are similarly swept but leading and trailing edges are parallel to each other, and fins have greater chord. But I have no idea if the drawing is reliable.

Sadly I know nothing of the Pfeifenkopf or Steinbock shape, but the AT missile than intrigues me most is the Rumpelstilzchen with its mysterious light beam guidance. 100 were apparently built. :eek:

Regards

Grzesio
 

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red admiral

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Grzesio said:
with its mysterious light beam guidance.

Sounds similar to that proposed for the RAe's Ben GAP in the 1940s. Essentially a beam riding missile but with photoeletric sensors on the missile and a radar guided searchlight. Getting a tight enough beam with a portable light might be problematic for an anti-tank weapon.
 

Grzesio

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Also the Steinbock was to be guided by an IR beam... But as far as the Rumpelstilzchen is concerne, there's something strange in descriptions of the guidance system, I know - a light beam with four different modulation frequencies...? What for?

Regards

Grzesio
 

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From Bill Gunston "Encyclopedia of rockets and Missiles ":
 

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Grzesio

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I believe the one below is closer to the real thing... ;)

By the way - what was the propellant weight of the 109-506 engine? It's usually given as 6,5 kg, sometimes as 3,5 kg or 3 kg. None of these values can be true. So what was the reality? ???

Regards

Grzesio
 

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LEG

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Grzesio said:
Also the Steinbock was to be guided by an IR beam... But as far as the Rumpelstilzchen is concerne, there's something strange in descriptions of the guidance system, I know - a light beam with four different modulation frequencies...? What for?

Regards

Grzesio


Two obvious potential answers:

1. If the weapon is to be used in salvo with other Rumpelstilzchen, the need to discriminate light sources requires coded (most likely filtered but potentially also FM'd with a timing differential, on-weapon) illuminators.

2. If it is an 'all in one' system, then you must look to the IR beacon on the BGM-71 which feeds a quadranted SACLOS deviation sensor based on drift. In this, you are essentially using the IR equivalent of passive monopulse (and assuming RumpelStilzchen is not a spin stabilized weapon as TOW is), a missile receiver that measures drift from the left side doped detector from a right side filtered beam will drift right _only until_ the missile's right side receiver starts sensing angular variation from the lift side illuminator which will pull it back to a zero'd drift state inbetween.

The same being true for top/bottom (or diagonal or however the receiver apertures are cardinal mixed).

When they secretly recorded the Nazi atomic scientists' discussions at Farm Hall, one of the continuing subjects that came up was the use of synthetic rubies and how these would change the world if you were able to productionize the processes that IG Farben had come up with in making them.

I believe doped gemstones are elements in NdYAG lasers and so called 'quartz' timing which tends to tell you that what the Germans were working on under what we call the 'spiral' process of generation after next weapon/counters was very much further along than is commonly admitted.

I would not be at all surprised if the systems which brought forth the Swiss Kobra and French SS-11 as well as AT-2/3 were not in fact based on one of the late war ATGW but that those which standardized SACLOS came from work that was, say, taken from the Skoda Skunkworks at Pilsen or a factory farther West.

It would be interesting to line up the geographic occupation sectors of the factories which had these secret projects and compare them, 'Left to Right', with what the Western Allied vs. Soviet blocs fielded within a decade as advanced weapons systems, 'out of the blue'.
 

Avimimus

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Another solution could be that it was for a two axis guidance system (one signal for each of the following: up, down, right, left).
 

pathology_doc

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LEG said:
When they secretly recorded the Nazi atomic scientists' discussions at Farm Hall, one of the continuing subjects that came up was the use of synthetic rubies and how these would change the world if you were able to productionize the processes that IG Farben had come up with in making them.

I believe doped gemstones are elements in NdYAG lasers and so called 'quartz' timing which tends to tell you that what the Germans were working on under what we call the 'spiral' process of generation after next weapon/counters was very much further along than is commonly admitted.


Okay, so does this mean we're going to be flooded with endless reams of material about secret Nazi death rays? ::) Is this the microscopic grain of truth that will start (has started?) it all off?
 

Grzesio

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By the way, have you ever heard of the Pfeifenreiniger anti-tank missile?
http://www.stern.de/politik/geschichte/wunderwaffen-wie-hitler-den-krieg-noch-gewinnen-wollte-538611.html
A really unknown Wunderwaffe or a hoax? :eek:
 

Jemiba

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At least the name is unknown and I haven't found any other clue still yet. But the
Stern magazine is not really a very trustable source, I think. And such names could
be given to projects just as nicknames, so maybe we already know it just by another
name ?
 

Jemiba

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Indeed, that's the most probable solution for me, too. The Stern magazine isn't
an aviation mag, there are no special journalist, knowledge is drawn largely from
sources like wikipedia, I suspect.
 

panzer1946

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Is it your Rotkaeppchen model made by RPM?
The wheeled launcher in this kit is a complete fantasy - they just reused lower carriage elements of their earlier 8,8 cm R-Werfer 43 model.
All I know about the actual launcher, is it was a 15 kg heavy device mounted on a tripod. I've seen a schematic drawing in a Russian book some time ago, it looked like a U-shaped rail surrounding lower half of the fuselage till the wing roots, probably a little bit over 1 meter long, placed on a low tripod. But I have no idea if this drawing had anything to do with reality.

Regards

Grzesio
My Rotkappchen and M42 are both made by MGM in 1/72 scale
 

Grzesio

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Thank you. Couldn't you post a photo, please? :)
By the way - the representation of the X-7 posted by Jemiba above is just an early and inaccurate Allied reconstruction, based on captured remains of destroyed missiles.
 

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edwest2

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There are photos of the X-7. Sorry, but I would have to look.
 

Dilandu

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It still weird me out that there are no photos of X-7 available. I even start to suspect that there was no X-7, only some attempt to adapt X-4 to the ground launcher mistaken for a different missile.
 

natewillcome4you

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It still weird me out that there are no photos of X-7 available. I even start to suspect that there was no X-7, only some attempt to adapt X-4 to the ground launcher mistaken for a different missile.
Eh, a fair amount of stuff got destroyed in the war, lost to top secret archives, or just plain forgotten about. I wouldn't be surprised if there are photographs laying around somewhere, just not available to the fine people of secretprojects
 

edwest2

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I checked one source and no photo, just a drawing. I will look further.
 

Dilandu

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It's the only known photo so far and I think, it comes from an Allied report, showing captured burnt specimens.

Seems like that. And considering the state of the parts, it's actually pretty hard to understood, how exactly it was supposed to look like.

Eh, a fair amount of stuff got destroyed in the war, lost to top secret archives, or just plain forgotten about. I wouldn't be surprised if there are photographs laying around somewhere, just not available to the fine people of secretprojects

Probably, but still I have a sneaking suspicion that something isn't right with this "first anti-tank missile". Especially because it seems nobody was interested in it post-war. Even French SS.10 was developed out of X-4, not X-7.

So my IMHO - it is possible that X-7 never actually existed as separate weapon system. It may perfectly be that just an attempt to adapt X-4 AAM to anti-tank role.
 

Grzesio

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And considering the state of the parts, it's actually pretty hard to understood, how exactly it was supposed to look like.
Reconstruction of its shape was actually pretty accurate. :)
So my IMHO - it is possible that X-7 never actually existed as separate weapon system. It may perfectly be that just an attempt to adapt X-4 AAM to anti-tank role.
There was an attempt to adapt the X-4 for the AT role indeed. But the X-7 existed beyond all doubts, it is e.g. mentioned by prof. Wagner during his interrogation - and Allied descriptions of the X-7 perfectly match original German drawings.
 

Dilandu

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There was an attempt to adapt the X-4 for the AT role indeed. But the X-7 existed beyond all doubts, it is e.g. mentioned by prof. Wagner during his interrogation - and Allied descriptions of the X-7 perfectly match original German drawings.

Then why there isn't any photo of complete missile made by either Germans, or Allies, or Soviets (capture of wire-guided missiles is mentioned in some records)? And why X-7 apparently ignited zero interest post-war?
 

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X-7 is indeed very mysterious. It was mentionned in various Allied reports (as said above) and the only picture which appears to exist is the photograph of the destroyed object above.

The X-7 was very different from the X-4 in that it was ground to ground while the X-4 was air to air (or air to ground with the AT variant). The French are supposed to have developped the SS-10 from the X-7 but there is nothing to support this theory. Actually photos of X-4 being drop-tested from a French Ju 88 have been labelled X-7. So far I have not found X-7 material in French archive. So French use of X-7 could be a case of mistaken identity (our captured Ju 188 was called "288" !).
Plan of X-7 on Modelstories

JCC
 

Dilandu

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The French are supposed to have developped the SS-10 from the X-7 but there is nothing to support this theory.

Strange thing is, that they developed SS-10 from the AS-10, which was a solid-fueled version of X-4. Not the X-7. Which is pretty strange, because if Germans already have at least something resembling the anti-tank missile ready, it would be logical to start with it.
 

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That a photo doesn't exist should be no surprise, now. A check with a Soviet source shows the Russians knew about it. That may be all until more material is declassified.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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I think that the SS10 started from the X4 is really insignificant as to existence of the X7. The X7 control methods, ie a single rudder, looks pretty marginal, probably requiring a lot of operator skill to prevent adverse yaw roll coupling rapidly leading to departure from controlled flight (a sudden rapidly developing skid, turning to a roll, then a dive and bang, well short of the target ). Older members might remember the challenge of trying to fly a slow, relatively stable RC model with just a single channel rudder. The X4 from this respect would be so much better for any future system.

The X7 was probably rushed from someone mind, to hardware, to front line so quickly it might have been practically useless for an untrained operator or normal grunt. So a simple conversation with a person that’s tried to fly one and would be very clear which configuration offered the best starting point.
 
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edwest2

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That's speculation. The Russians were very interested. Perhaps someone could check page 2603 of The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus Publishing Company, 1978), Volume 24.
 
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