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what explosives did they use in ww2

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by Anton phpbb3, May 8, 2004.

  1. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    The allied used nitroglycerine
     
  2. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    do you mean TNT?

    Nitro is a very unsteable explosive any bump on the road will set it off, that why Nobel invented the TNT or dynamite, nitro abosrbed by a diatomea clay the only problem with TNT is that it becomes unsteable as it gets old.
     
  3. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    It is TNT indeed
     
  4. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    For naval AP shells, the US used something known simply as Explosive D. This was somewhat less powerful than TNT, but it was virtually immune to premature detonation, and it didn't readily cook off. Other navies used TNT, sometimes mixed with wax or something else to keep it stable. The Japanese used TNA, which is more powerful than TNT, but also more sensistive. As a result their shells had a large cavity but much of it was filled with cushioning. They would have done better to use something less powerful and fill the entire cavity.
    At the war's start, most torpedoes used TNT. The Japanese used Type 97 explosive (60% TNT, 40% HND) which was about 7% more powerful than pure TNT. The German also used TNT-HND mixtures but with aluminum and Am nitrate. In 1942, the British developed Torpex; this entered service with the Americans as well by 1943. Torpex is rated as 50-100% more powerful than TNT.
     
  5. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    This is from 'Flying Guns - World War 2: Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations 1933-45' by Emmanuel Gustin and myself:

    "The types of high explosive chemicals used in shells did vary, although not by as much as might be thought, as different names were used for similar substances. The basic HE in general use was TNT, as used in the Great War. This was often mixed with ammonium nitrate to create Amatol; cheaper but just as effective, except for increased susceptibility to damp. Some use was also made of picric acid, or Lyddite, another First World War explosive.

    Before the Second World War, more powerful substances were introduced into service. One of these was PETN, also known as Penta or Penthrite. The problem was that this was generally felt to be too sensitive to use by itself, as it was inclined to be detonated by the shock of firing (although this did not deter the Japanese, as we have seen). It was accordingly usually desensitised by adding about 15% of Montan wax to produce Penthrite Wax, or Nitropenta. An alternative use was to mix PETN with TNT or Amatol to form one of the Pentolites; this actually helped with pouring TNT and Amatol into shells, as by themselves they solidified too quickly and tended to leave holes. Another new explosive, as powerful as PETN but less sensitive, was RDX (Research Department eXplosive), which was also known as Cyclonite or Hexogen.

    Aluminium powder was often added to HE, as this both increased the brisance (shattering effect) and enhanced the incendiary effect; an important issue as, for example, some 90% of RAF bomber losses in the war were attributed to fire rather than structural damage. A typical German HEI mix was 63% Penthrite, 29% aluminium and 8% wax, although these proportions did vary. Shell fillings for the 30 mm M-Geschoss typically consisted of 75% Hexogen, 20% aluminium and 5% wax. The (rarely used) M-Geschoss for the BK 3.7 contained a mix of 45% Hexogen, 40% TNT and 15% aluminium. Much use was made of HA.41, a mixture of 80% Cyclonite and 20% aluminium.

    Allied explosive fillings included Pentolite, Torpex (a mixture of RDX, TNT and aluminium) and Tetryl or CE (Composition Exploding). The Japanese used several types, with TNT, Pentolite and Cyclonite all being recorded, by themselves or in various combinations. The Soviets used a mixture of RDX and aluminium.

    These explosives exhibited some differences in the characteristics, as shown below. The most powerful have not been much exceeded in destructive power since."

    This is followed by a chart listing the performance characteristics of the various explosives. There is also a chart listing the fillings for various aircraft cannon HE shells used by air forces in WW2.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
     
  6. tom!

    tom! recruit

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  7. David Lehmann

    David Lehmann New Member

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    Hello,


    The explosive used in the 1940 French tanks for the HE shells (37mm, 47mm and 75mm guns) is usually melenite :
    • M : Melenite
    • MMN : Melenite (70%) Mononitronaphtaline (30%)
    • MDN : Melenite (80%) Dinitronaphtaline (20%)

    Concerning French 1940 aerial bombs :
    • M : Mélinite
    • MDA : Mélinite Détonateur d'Amorçage
    • MD : Mélinite Détonateur
    • MP : Mélinite Parafinée
    • MS : Mélinite Stéarinée
    • MMN : Mélinite (70) Mononitronaphtaline (30)
    • MDN : Mélinite (80) Dinitronaphtaline (20)
    • DD : Dinitronaphtaline (60) Dinitrophénol (40)
    • C : Crésylite (60) Mélinite (40)
    • T : Tolite (trinitrotulène)
    • X : Xylite (trinitrométaxylène)

    Regards,

    David
     
  8. Moonchild

    Moonchild New Member

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    I've read in David Irving's "Secret weapons" that Brits recognised the aluminium powder in German bombs in 1940. But the lack of the resources caused, that the files with these analyses were forgotten until the end of 1943. The British scientists said that this made German bombs at 80% more effective than their own ones.
     
  9. David.W

    David.W Active Member

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    Tony.
    Are the charts you refer to at the end of your last posting available on line ?
     
  10. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    The Germans sometimes used "Nipolite powder" for their 7.92x57mm rounds, mainly for the V-Patronen wich was used for the machineguns on german Fighterplanes. It gave the projectile a higher velocity, and made it more accurate, plus the fact it made the AP projectiles more effective against lightly armored AFV's. And in 43 it was legal for German SS snipers to use the V-patronen for sniping, and this gave some extreemly well results, for example that a number of SS snipers reported confirmed headshots at over 800m, offcourse this was not the norm for this round, but still a great achievement since this was normally only achieved by the best at 600m.

    KBO
     

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