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Whooosh, Bang- UK's WWII Rockets

Quite a while actually.. Unlike the V2/A4 which used liquid oxygen and alcohol the Wasserfall used Butyl Ether and Red Fuming Nitric acid as fuels, which were well on the way to being pre-packed... this is very close to what was eventually used in Lance... they were also hypergolic, which was nice!

RFNA did have problems though, as it would eventually break down and emit nitrous oxide. This was eventually solved by the Americans who developed Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid or IRFNA.

John Clark's book covers RFNA and IFRNA in as much detail as you might want. The detail that sticks in my mind is the railway tank cars that sometimes burst, poisoning everyone nearby, because of the combination of corrosion and nitrous oxide gas build-up. Also the US built a fleet of special railway wagons lined with (I think) a special grade of stainless steel, at huge expense, and then scrapped them after IFRNA was invented.
 

HE117

LE
I can only go with what the doc's say. Of course its highly likely the VSO got the wrong end of the stick and wrote it into his report.
I think that is likely... there is no way a rocket powered with "flake cordite" would reach 1500 feet! The propellant would be standard extruded stick propellant, most likely made on the press I illustrated above...
 
I think that is likely... there is no way a rocket powered with "flake cordite" would reach 1500 feet! The propellant would be standard extruded stick propellant, most likely made on the press I illustrated above...
Figured, but thought I better mention it.
 

HE117

LE
John Clark's book covers RFNA and IFRNA in as much detail as you might want. The detail that sticks in my mind is the railway tank cars that sometimes burst, poisoning everyone nearby, because of the combination of corrosion and nitrous oxide gas build-up. Also the US built a fleet of special railway wagons lined with (I think) a special grade of stainless steel, at huge expense, and then scrapped them after IFRNA was invented.
John's book is excellent, and should be required reading for anyone interested in the whoosh bang industry!
 
If you go to the index page Listing Type: Gun Battery and find that entry then click on Show on Map.

Found it.

That is a very very odd place to put it, unless the cost line has changed over the years? Radiator rockets were surface to surface.



That is about three miles from the coast, and its only a 2-inch rocket.

Further googling shows the river has always been that shape, However, Orford Ness is about 3.5km away. The PDF on your original link suggests this was the site of the weapons development.
 
Back in the day, we were on a BACS task in Kingsclere which was a RAF range during WW2 and there were loads of 500lb and other munitions that we cleared, however there was an experimental bunker buster that was called a disney bomb. It was basically and air dropped rocket powered bunker buster. Don't think it ever saw active service, but we cleared 16, if memory serves. They were about 18 inches in diameter and about 12ft long, never had my camera with me so failed to take any pics.
 
Back in the day, we were on a BACS task in Kingsclere which was a RAF range during WW2 and there were loads of 500lb and other munitions that we cleared, however there was an experimental bunker buster that was called a disney bomb. It was basically and air dropped rocket powered bunker buster. Don't think it ever saw active service, but we cleared 16, if memory serves. They were about 18 inches in diameter and about 12ft long, never had my camera with me so failed to take any pics.

The Disney was used in combat. Although built and designed by Cpt Terrell, of DMWD fame, it was used by the USAAF.

The Disney name came from the scene in Victory Through Air Power where a bomb is rocket propelled and used to attack a U-boat pen. There is a story that Terrell saw film at the cinema, and thought 'You know what, we could actually do that...'
I have no idea how accurate or true that tale is though.

I'm going to put you right on the spot though. Care to share any thoughts memories or other pieces about the Disney clearance? No matter how small.
 
Yep it was on a certain well known celebrity's farm. The range was actually in a bowl shaped geological feature and was about 5 miles outside Kingsclere. I stayed at the Pub in the village and I had my bike accident while on the way down there.
 

HE117

LE
The Disney was used in combat. Although built and designed by Cpt Terrell, of DMWD fame, it was used by the USAAF.

The Disney name came from the scene in Victory Through Air Power where a bomb is rocket propelled and used to attack a U-boat pen. There is a story that Terrell saw film at the cinema, and thought 'You know what, we could actually do that...'
I have no idea how accurate or true that tale is though.

I'm going to put you right on the spot though. Care to share any thoughts memories or other pieces about the Disney clearance? No matter how small.
The Germans had quite a few RAP bombs as illustrated in the TM.. not sure if many were used though...
 
Yep it was on a certain well known celebrity's farm. The range was actually in a bowl shaped geological feature and was about 5 miles outside Kingsclere. I stayed at the Pub in the village and I had my bike accident while on the way down there.

Yes, yes... but about the bombs....?

The Germans had quite a few RAP bombs as illustrated in the TM.. not sure if many were used though...
Germans stuck rockets to everything. German default thinking of the time was "Is this device working as we'd wish? No, Add rockets!"

IIRC they couldn't get UPKEEP to work so they decided we must have been using rockets. How they came to that conclusion, with not one shred of supporting evidence such as, eye witness accounts or the bomb they got not being fitted with rockets, I don't know. But they did. So they glued rockets to it, tried it out and it still didn't work. Their solution MORE ROCKETS! As it was stubbornly refusing to work they gave up at that point.
 
@Listy Sorry, thought you were doubting my being on the task. The explosive took up the first 2ft and I think was 250lb in weight the rocket was the rest, and there was either 5 or 8 folded fins...my memory isn't as good as it was, I do know they were at the depth of my backhoe.
 
@Listy Sorry, thought you were doubting my being on the task. The explosive took up the first 2ft and I think was 250lb in weight the rocket was the rest, and there was either 5 or 8 folded fins...my memory isn't as good as it was, I do know they were at the depth of my backhoe.

Cracking! That helps!

Any idea of filling composition? What about rocket motors, one big one, multiple smaller ones? Rough calibre of the propellent (UK produced standard 2- and 3-inch rocket boosters at this stage. Although there was also a 5-inch)?
Anything on the fusing, location, type etc?

I'm guessing the nose was rather solidly constructed as well?
 
Cracking! That helps!

Any idea of filling composition? What about rocket motors, one big one, multiple smaller ones? Rough calibre of the propellent (UK produced standard 2- and 3-inch rocket boosters at this stage. Although there was also a 5-inch)?
Anything on the fusing, location, type etc?

I'm guessing the nose was rather solidly constructed as well?
You do realise this was 30 year ago and I can barely remember what I had for breakfast
 
You do realise this was 30 year ago and I can barely remember what I had for breakfast

Well here is what I have document wise on the Disney Bomb:

Long list isn't it?

I was going to go down to Kew and get some more files this year, but some tit in China eating Bat on Toast kinda bollocksed that. It seemed like Kew we really happy as it enabled them to stamp out all those pesky historians that keep on asking to view documents, and upsetting their filing system and making everything look untidy. Which is something they were working very had to wipe out before the Dreaded Chinese Lung Lurgy struck.

So my source gathering this year has amounted to not a lot, and you're the first opportunity I've had worth a damn!
 
Well here is what I have document wise on the Disney Bomb:

Long list isn't it?

I was going to go down to Kew and get some more files this year, but some tit in China eating Bat on Toast kinda bollocksed that. It seemed like Kew we really happy as it enabled them to stamp out all those pesky historians that keep on asking to view documents, and upsetting their filing system and making everything look untidy. Which is something they were working very had to wipe out before the Dreaded Chinese Lung Lurgy struck.

So my source gathering this year has amounted to not a lot, and you're the first opportunity I've had worth a damn!
Even better than that, in your footnotes you will be able to credit the information you've gleaned this way to a "private interview" with someone who had hands-on with the bomb, making you look like you have truly awesome sources which are not available to competing authors.
 

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