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Parachute-and-Cable (British Anti-Aircraft Weapon c. 1940).

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Wingknut

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Hi folks,
Maybe this should be under 'Missile Projects' (or indeed 'Army Projects') - if so, let me know and I'll shift it, but anyway here are some details and images relating to Britain's 'Parachute-and-Cable' ground-launched anti-aircraft system.
Cheers, 'Wingknut'

“PAC (Parachute and Cable) launchers – a highly unusual anti-aircraft weapon which … consisted of a small rocket trailing a steel cable, which shot vertically 300-400ft into the air and then descended on parachute. The rockets were grouped in batteries of nine, to be launched simultaneously in a curtain pattern. The idea was that of creating a web of steel cables across the path of a low-flying aircraft, causing it to catch the wires and stall to the ground.

The parachute had a dual function. Once the rocket burned out, the canopy slowed the cable’s fall, allowing the “curtain” to stay up in the air for a longer time. Secondly, if the cable caught a bomber’s wing, the added drag from the parachute was hoped to be sufficient to foul its flight. There was also a smaller parachute at the lower end of the cable designed to balance the drag of the first one and thus prevent the cable from it from sliding off the wing of the aircraft. Later versions had an additional explosive charge hung at the bottom of the cable, intended to detonate on contact with the aircraft.”
Text from: http://spitfiresite.com/2010/08/battle-of-britain-1940-kenley-raid-parachute-cable.html

Photographs from: https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/wire-net-trailing-aa-rockets.2744/

Text-image (‘Box 3’): page 14 of Britain's Air Defences 1939-45 by Alfred Price, found here: http://www.scale-models.co.uk/threads/barrage-balloons.10160/

See also Popular Mechanics Magazine, January 1943:
Cover from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/POPULAR-MECHANICS-MAGAZINE-Jan-1943-Uncle-Sams-Warbirds-/262119262706

Page 6 extract from Google Books:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=htYDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=snippet&q=rocket&f=false
 

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Jemiba

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Had a look into an old paperback from Heyne publishing "Geheimwaffen der Alliierten" (Secret Weapons of the Allies),
1976, where such systems are mentioned, too. There were several types, for example the Type L, based on a
50,8 mm rocket, towing a cable of 182 m with an attached mine up to a height of 305 m.
The Type K was a 76,2 mm rocket carrying two small parachutes and a mine connected by a cablem which were released
at a height of 6000 m.
(Not actually a missile, but at least the Type K was a much more sophisticated weapon, than just an unguided rocket)
 

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Brickmuppet

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Aside from the basic concept, is there any indication this was related to the RN's UP AAA rockets? That is, were they from the same design team or largely seperate?
 

Jemiba

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In the mentioned paperback it is said, that the Admiralty regarded this concept as quite good,
but too complicated and expensive, so that they decided to switch over to the simpler and
cheaper UP unguided rockets.
 
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Wingknut

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I think one related system was maybe the 'drogue parachute' device:
"Once struck by a plane the drogue parachute would open and the bomb would release from the balloon. As the plane flew on the bomb would be drawn over the top of the wing and detonate", http://www.bbrclub.org/free_balloon_operations_in_world.htm
Amongst other things, the site above also contains details of 'Operation Outward', which seems to have been Britain's (cruder) equivalent of Japan's fu-go free-balloon bombs but they may get a thread to themselves.
Thanks, 'Wingknut'
 

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Grzesio

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The rocket in the 2nd picture actually is a German one, known as the 15 cm Kz 1000 (Kp). It carried some 900 m long rope fixed to the ground at one end, the other end was fitted with a parachute.
 

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