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Green Mace

red admiral

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Does anybody have any pictures or information on Green Mace anti-aircraft gun from post-war years? There was one model built in 102mm calibre but I haven't been able to find many pictures or information on it.

Thanks
 

smurf

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To start you off, if you haven't seen this, but I have some more which I will look out.
http://www.skomer.u-net.com/projects/greenmace.htm
 

red admiral

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Thanks Dave, I'd found that already, along with a few pieces on Longhand but there isn't much detail.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Green Mace is featured in the Royal Artillery Firepower museum which is about 15 minutes walk from my door.

If you are interested, I can pay a visit.
 

smurf

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more Green Mace
From Ian Hogg's 'Anti-aircraft Artillery'
and the last from the RA Museum website, where there are others.
 

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Firefly 2

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It seems to me that this concept was obsolete from the moment of its conception.
 

smurf

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The concept was conceived towards the end of WWII, alongside US 3" Skysweeper and various rapid firing medium calibre naval AA guns. But 10 years later was overtaken by developments not only in missiles, but in aircraft speeds. Putting all eggs in the basket of guided missiles in late 1940s was a bit risky.
 

smurf

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I know this is a long time quiet, but as this is an archive site ... ...
Phil Gollin posted this on the Warships Projects board recently.
It's a definitive technical description of the British rapid firing developments after WWII
“Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers”, Volume 177, Number 21, 1963, on “The Development of High-Speed Automatic Loading Mechanisms for Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery” by D. H. Chaddock of the “Manipulative and Mechanical Handling Machinery Group”.
 

Just call me Ray

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I wonder if there was any attempt to adapt this technology to an anti-tank role as primary armament for MBTs.
 

smurf

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any attempt to adapt this technology to an anti-tank role as primary armament for MBTs.
Not so far as I know.
1. A 4 to 5in gun was a big gun for a tank at the time of Green Mace.
2. Look above at the size of the rotating magazines. Tank ammunition was usually stored low in the hull, to keep turret size small and the tank hard to see in a hull down position.
3. Do you really want/need to fire a round every second at a tank? Green Mace was developed to fire at 500mph aircraft 6 or 7 miles up, while anti-tank ranges were usually about 1 mile.
4. You need to expend the ammunition a bit freely if the target is carrying a nuclear bomb.
 

Pioneer

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Sorry gents - but didn’t the American's develop a similar project at about the same time frame?
I can not recall its name?

I don’t know about anyone else, regardless of the advent and popularity of the SAM, I would not liked to have been facing this system in a Tu-4 ‘Bull’ or Tu-16 ‘Badger’ all the same!

Also history was to prove that the day of the radar directed AAA was not dead or obsolete.
For AAA was to prove very fearful and deadly over the aerospace of North Vietnam


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Pioneer
 

smurf

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The concept was conceived towards the end of WWII, alongside US 3" Skysweeper
or do you have something else bigger in mind, Pioneer? If so. do try to remember!
 

Rickshaw

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Wasn't a B-52 lost to a 120mm AAA gun during the 1991 Gulf War?
 

Pioneer

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smurf said:
The concept was conceived towards the end of WWII, alongside US 3" Skysweeper
or do you have something else bigger in mind, Pioneer? If so. do try to remember!

No sorry my friend - it was skysweeper I was thinking of (I think???? ???).
Sorry if I disjointed you. ;D
But thanks for the clarification

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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rickshaw said:
Wasn't a B-52 lost to a 120mm AAA gun during the 1991 Gulf War?

Most interested to know more on this!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek:

Regards
Pioneer
 

red admiral

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"The Development of High-Speed Automatic Loading Mechanisms for Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery” by D. H. Chaddock in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Volume 177, Number 21, 1963

As said by Smurf, it's a very good read and gives a lot of the technical considerations that went into the designs. However, it is too early for Green Mace and focuses on the previous Ratefixer program in the late 1940s with adaptations to 3.7" guns. All of the guns were extremely large and heavy. The author notes that the final product was not put into service because of the GAP - probably an allusion to Green Mace but it was still secret.

Compared to Skysweeper, the British guns used larger shells and fired about twice as fast. Weight was a lot which cut down on mobility.
 

Pioneer

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Sorry - but this subject has got me hooked!
Maybe they had it right with Green Mace – just five decades to early

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY21ewwWFFU

and this one in English

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWN-bDwyzjs


This is footage of the new Iranian Radar Controlled High Altitude 100mm Anti-Aircraft Cannon.
Its obvious that the system is based on the Soviet KS-19 (or PRC’s copy – the Type 59) 100mm towed anti-aircraft gun, but its automatic loader and automatic laying system.

Regards
Pioneer
 

smurf

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Interesting videos, but I think Green Mace was a bit quicker, and being water-cooled, could sustain fire longer.
 

TomS

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Pioneer said:
rickshaw said:
Wasn't a B-52 lost to a 120mm AAA gun during the 1991 Gulf War?

Most interested to know more on this!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek:

There were no B-52 combat losses in the Gulf War. One was lost operationally, to an electrical problem while returning from a combat mission, but that was not due to combat damage. Two planes were hit by Iraqi SAMs, but they survived. One was apparently hit by a HARM, but this plane also returned to base.
 

Rickshaw

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TomS said:
Pioneer said:
rickshaw said:
Wasn't a B-52 lost to a 120mm AAA gun during the 1991 Gulf War?

Most interested to know more on this!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek:

There were no B-52 combat losses in the Gulf War. One was lost operationally, to an electrical problem while returning from a combat mission, but that was not due to combat damage. Two planes were hit by Iraqi SAMs, but they survived. One was apparently hit by a HARM, but this plane also returned to base.

You're correct. I spoke from a faulty memory. Three B-52s were damaged by AAA fire, though.


[/quote]
 

GTX

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Just call me Ray said:
I wonder if there was any attempt to adapt this technology to an anti-tank role as primary armament for MBTs.

Whilst a MBT might be overkill, a SPG might be appropriate in a shoot and scoot role.

BTW, I saw this last year in person - strongly recommend anyone who has the chance, to go and visit the Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum.

Regards,

Greg
 

smurf

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strongly recommend anyone who has the chance, to go and visit the Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum.
Indeed.And it does need the money from visitors.
But if you can't get to it while it is open, Green Mace can be seen through the window of the hall which is behind you as you face the entrance. The revolver magazines are unmistakeable, and you get a good impression of its size.

Back on topic, compare the Swedish magazine-fed 155mm BandKanone on an S-tank style chassis.
But again, even shoot and scoot, you don't actually need 70-90 rpm, and the weight to do this is a very considerable handicap to mobility.
 

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These are a couple of old images taken at ROF Nottingham. Unfortunately don't have any more information, although they appear to have been taken inside a building called the HE shop which was built around 1950.
 

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red admiral

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Thanks for those pictures. It gives a bit better idea of the scale with the man in the picture.
 

mistedupagain

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Can any one tell me what equipment went with the Green Mace Gun

Loading equip?
Electrical?
Tractor unit?
Radar?
 

mistedupagain

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Does anyone have any information regarding a fork lift type truck that was designed to reload both magazines?
 

JFC Fuller

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Does anybody have any of the details regarding the 3.7 inch Mk IIIA? All I have been able to find in any book is what is currently on Wikipedia regarding it being a standard Mk III gun but with an automatic fuze setter and automatic loader. In the context of Green Mace, Longhand and to a lesser extent Red Queen/King the latter is the most interesting. Does anybody know what the rate of fire was for the Mk IIIA and when it actually entered service, if it actually did?

Thank you in advance, sealordlawrence
 

Abraham Gubler

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You’ll be wanting a copy of Ian V. Hogg’s “British and American Artillery of World War Two”.

The 3.7” QF in mounting Mk 3A was the Mk 3 with MFS No. 11. The Mk 3 being the mobile mounting for wartime production with the most visible change being the gunlayers facing to the rear. The MFS No. 11 was the Molins Fuze Setter in which a round was dropped into a tray and the infamous “Pig’s Ear” switch flap slapped and subsequently the time fuze was automatically set while automatically loaded. The Mk 3A was only second to the static Mk 2B in service and use during WW2. The other main version of the 3.7” was the high velocity Mk 6 ordnance in Mk 4 mounting which had the longer 65 calibre barrel, with variable depth rifling and a bigger cartridge case. This was the 3.7” mainstay after the war.

Rate of fire of the Mk 3A was 25 rpm thanks to the MFS and up from 10 rpm with manual fuze setting and hand loading. Later weapons like the Green Mace were able to achieve much higher rates of fire because they didn’t need fuze setting thanks to radar proximity fuzes (and IR proximity fuzes in current large calibre anti aircraft guns).

Interestingly at the end of the war the Germans were considering doing away with the set time proximity fuze altogether. Dr Voss, a research scientist at the RLM, had shown that the Pk between heavy FlAK firing full calibre, time fuzed ammunition (using clock work fuzes) was actually lower than if they were firing contact fuzed sub calibre ammunition. Because of the lower rate of fire caused by fuze setting, predicator range error, the longer time of flight and the failure rate of clock work fuzes. Also compounded by the actual lethal distance of even an 88mm air burst shell (only 9m/30’) compared to a direct hit. Combat trials showed the new method firing sub calibre (55mm with 0.5kg HE content) contact shells was much more effective but conservatism in the Luftwaffe meant the full switch was not ordered until late March 1945 when of course it was too late. In addition the new FlAK approach required significantly less steel for ammunition which was strategically important but the psychological effect of a “silent” FlAK barrage remains to be seen… Though it may be worse on a formation or stream once kills are made.(Data from Ian V. Hogg’s “German Artillery of World War Two”)
 

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Wow what I wouldn't give to see a video of Green Mace system firing during trials!!! :eek:

Regards
Pioneer
 

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There's a bit about GM and the background to it (also Vickers MAA) in Routledge's 'Anti-aircraft artillery, 1914-55' (part of the RA regtl history).

5.25 was of course used by both RN and Army in WW2, in the Army's case in fixed sites around London. It also became a dual AA/CA gun, still in place in one of the batteries in Gibralar. The fact that it existed and there was ammo made it the obvious choice for a new HAA gun.
 

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This is a photo of a sectioned 5 inch Green Mace round in the ammunition collection at the MoD Academy, Shrivenham. As you can see, the projectile was a very long (980mm), slender fin-stabilised dart very much like a modern tank gun APFSDS but with an HE filling. It was about 57mm in diameter.

 

JFC Fuller

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Tony,

That is a wonderful picture, thank you. Also, welcome to the forum. It is a shame that the Firepower museum at Woolwich has fallen on hard times. Last time I was there Green Mace was held in a freezing hangar that could only be accessed by guided tour and Green Mace itself looked to be in need of considerable restoration. It would have made a wonderful display along with the sectioned round above from Shrivenham.
 

Rickshaw

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Tony Williams said:
This is a photo of a sectioned 5 inch Green Mace round in the ammunition collection at the MoD Academy, Shrivenham. As you can see, the projectile was a very long (980mm), slender fin-stabilised dart very much like a modern tank gun APFSDS but with an HE filling. It was about 57mm in diameter.


Interesting. What was the HE filling and was it Proximity or Contact fused?
 

Tony Williams

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I don't know the answer to either of those questions, although I would assume that it was almost certainly proximity fuzed: that had been the standard for heavy AA for years.
 

TomS

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The excerpt from Hogg's book on page 1 of this thread confirms that the dart was proximity-fuzed.
 

Rickshaw

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Interesting picture of Green Mace in service and in use in the new book, "Battle Flight: RAF Air Defence Projects and Weapons Since 1945" by Chris Gibson, on p.16. Copyright prevents me posting it but I believe Chris posts here, so he may be willing to post it, himself.
 

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