The Guards Armoured Division's units used mostly Sherman V 75mm but by 1945
their Fireflies would have been a mix of Vc and Ic.
Following account from Tank Museum Library files might be interesting to
G104 subscribers -
APPENDIX "B" TO 21 ARMY GROUP AFV TECHNICAL REPORT NO 26
REPORT BY 1 ARMOURED COLDSTREAM GUARDS OF RESULT IN ACTION OF TYPHOON
ROCKETS FITTED TO SHERMAN TANKS
The results achieved by these rockets when used in action were highly
satisfactory, but before discussing these it is necessary to point out the
limitations of their use caused by lack of time for experiment, etc.
Less than 24 hours after the idea was conceived (shortly before the crossing
of the RHINE), the first tank was already fitted up with a home-made
bracket, rails and warhead.
The only resources available for this purpose were Battalion fitters and
The brackets were roughly sighted for line with the vane sight on top of the
turret but all elevation had to be adjusted and set from outside the tank.
The "shear" wire used to gain the impetus for launching the rocket was the
same as that used in a Typhoon. The Typhoon is travelling at upwards of 400
mph when the rocket leaves whereas the tank is stationary. Therefore the
''drop" due to lack of impetus in the first 10 yards flight of the rocket
had to be overcome by a set adjustment in the bracket itself. This precluded
all possibility of actually pointing the rocket at the target even for short
Owing to the above and other considerations it was decided to have one
rocket set to hit anything that got in its way up to about 400 yards and the
other one up to about 800 yards. (This required the setting of
the brackets to be at 150mm and 160mm above the horizontal respectively).
EFFECT ON ENEMY.
The morale effect - especially against ordinary troops - was tremendous. On
occasion a strongly held bridge was captured when rocket firing tanks were
used in support of our infantry. The first 88mm gun was knocked out by a
rocket and the rest failed to fire. 12 PW came in deaf as a result. None of
the other guns fired. The enemy suffered over 40 dead and we had next to no
This of course was not caused entirely by the rockets, but they certainly
had a lot to do with it.
On a second occasion, our infantry were being troubled by enemy infantry in
a wood. Two troops of tanks fired two rockets each from about 400 yards and
the did not fire another shot, and 30-40 Infantry, including
"Brandenburgers" came out of the wood afterwards and gave themselves up.
They were extremely shaken. There were several other occasions of this
2. Killing Effect.
In the type of fighting encountered after crossing. the RHINE, only two
types of good targets were found for the limited use of rockets - woods and
On one occasion after a Squadron had fired all its rockets and a number of
other missiles at a barracks, it was found that there were about 40 dead in
the buildings after the battle was over. The hitting power is like that of a
shell. The explosion caused by the rocket is slightly greater than that than
that of a medium shell.
3. Other Uses.
The rocket was found effective in removing road blocks when they were
covered by fire and it had considerable effect when ordinary HE and AP did
It was never possible to use them against an enemy AFV chiefly because very
few AFVs were encountered at close range and also at present they lack the
accuracy in aim. If, however, the latter defect is overcome they would
undoubtedly remove the turret from any enemy AFV with a direct hit.
APPRECIATION OF PRESENT AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.
On the whole the equipment proved most satisfactory, but the results were
limited by the points already mentioned and also by the fact that a number
of tanks fitted with rockets were lost through enemy action and
through normal break-downs, etc. Thus, although we started with a whole
Squadron, we ended up with comparatively few. The weapon was obviously most
useful from a morale point of view and this was lessened when the number of
rocket firing tanks dwindled.
As far as a "non-expert" can tall, the possibilities of this type of rocket
fitted by experts to a tank either as a main armament or a subsidiary one,
are almost unlimited.
The decree of accuracy could be largely increased by use of a stronger
"shear" wire, a proper sighting arrangement, a telescope and a range table.
If used as a main armament it should be possible to carry as many rockets as
shells with added simplicity that it would be unnecessary to carry both AP
and HE. It should be stated in this connection that no "accidents" were
caused by the rockets - one went off when the wire was severed by an air
burst which must have generated the required electrical current. Two tanks
that were gutted by fire still had the rockets undischarged at the end.
Another direct hit on a war-head merely shattered it.
Should this type of rocket replace the gun it would enormously simplify the
design of a tank owing to there being no recoil, breech block, etc.
There should be no difficulty in fitting four or eight to a tank which could
all fire at the same time causing a tremendous fire power and this should
make up for any slight deterioration in accuracy.
RAC Branch, Second Army, have made the following comments on the above
1. It is emphasised that the excellent results obtained were from very rough
and ready appliances made with no technical assistance from outside.
2. It is felt that the results of the experiment may be of interest to those
concerned with the future armament of AFVs.
Comments by DG of A, Ministry of Supply on the expected accuracy of rockets
as tank armament.
(257/Tanks/1367/E44 dated 9 August 1945 enclosed in RAC3(b)/BM/1748).
I see little prospect of obtaining the necessary precision required from
tank armament by means of rocket projectiles. Neglecting the difficulties of
serving projectors mounted on the outside of protected vehicles and dealing
entirely with the accuracy aspect the situation seems to be as follows:-
Present accuracy of normal HV gun is of the order of 1.2 mins with its most
accurate service shot. This is not considered by the WO as surf recently
accurate. They demand a m.d. of 0.5 mins.
Rocket accuracies are still being quoted in degrees rather than minutes and
vary, according to the method of launching, from the unrotated fin
stabilised rocket at 1.2 degrees (i.e. 62 mins) to the spin stabilised
rocket fired from a machined liner with a closed breech at 0.2 degrees i.e.
The most favourable prediction which the CPD has recently made is that as a
ten year probable development rockets might be obtained with accuracy
comparable to present guns, which is at the present time considered by the
GS as not sufficiently accurate.
I cannot see the rocket replacing the gun as a precision weapon unless some
unforeseen development of it occurs and can only visualise its use as a
secondary armament of one shot weapons for short ratio fire against fairly
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