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Military History/Identifying a ww2 weapon

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Hi, so i have a weapon that was dropped out of airplanes in WW2 by the thousands, and they are about 1.75 inches in length and they are torpedo shaped. Its all metal and maybe around 1-1.5 ounces in weight. I heard that they were dropped out of airplanes, and the extreme speed that it picked when falling allowed it to pierce the helmets of soldiers on the ground. I would like to know if you know the name of this small weapon. Thanks

Answer
Ryan:

Can you send me a picture?  Send it to keithhpatton at hotmail dot com.

Off the top of my head, I do not think it is what you have been told.  In combat soldiers did not walk around in large tight groups, they maintained about 30 or more feet between each other.  What you see in the movies is entirely false.  Like Saving Private Ryan...they would not have been within talking distance so it would have made it difficult to carry on a dialog or to get more than one or two characters in a camera shot.  This was to lessen the number of casualties from a single explosion, machine gun burst or land mine.  In built up areas with lots of cover, it was different.

So dropping projectiles to pierce soldiers helmets would have been pretty ineffective when you figure it would take one projectile per square foot to hit anything.  So in an area 10 feet by 10 feet you would need 100 of the things.  In an area the size of a football field a mere 360 feet by 160 feet you would need to drop 57600 of the things.  Not too effective when you consider you could kill everything in that area with about 3 500lb bombs. or about one third of a single B-17 bomb load.

Send me a picture.

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Keith H. Patton

Expertise

I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.

Experience

I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
historical periods.

Education/Credentials
B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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