Rommel's Success in Africa Credited to Rocket Cannon
By HOWARD BLAKESLEE,
Wtd» World Sclrnc* Editor.
NEW YORK, June 30.—The first
rocket cannon appears to be the
reason tor Field Marshal Erwin
Rommel's victories In Libya and
This pun is the 88-milllmeter
weapon, firing shells which are big
per and which outrange any tank
projectiles possessed by the Brit
Manv reasons point to this ex
planation Edward Kennedy of the
Associated Press, in a disoatch from
Cairo on June 23. wrote: "Shells
from this gun are of a semi-rocket
tvpe. said to gain greater range by
gases produced after being fired.
"The 88 was thus able to destroy
manv of the best tanks on this side,
such as the U. S. Gen. Grants, which
have 75-mlllimeter guns, before the
tank.* could get within range of
the German artillery"
Success In the rocket p lnciple.
applied to bombs, was reported from
London five days before Mr. Ken
nedy's dispatch, in an account of
the sea fight in the Mediterranean.
The same dispatches pointed out
that the Russian Stormvik planes
used rocket bombs with great effect, j
Confirmed by Picture.
Another confirmation comes from
the Associated Press photo June 25
of the 88-millimeter gun, a picture
which came from Portugal, show
ing a remarkable looking weapon—
a light gun, with an exaggerated
long barrel, appearing almost too;
slender to hold a shell of 88 mllli-1
meters 'about 3’? Inches'.
Photos In previous wars have re- |
sealed important enemy secrets, and
Edward F. Chandler. New York en
gineer and member of the American
Rocket Society, says this picture vir
tually fixes the semirocket charac
ter of the new German terror.
The slenderness of the barrel and
the light weight is the tip that, the
gun is partly merely a projector. It
is not heavy enough to fire an 88
millimeter shell full range, unless
made of some secret new alloy, an
interpretation precluded by the
The British soldiers could see the
tails of fire from these shells.
Principle* of Firing.
The principles on which this gun
necessarily operates are obvious.
The shell Is fired as in an ordinary
gun, but only by a light charge of
explosive propellant. The charge is
sufficient to give the shell a fair
muzzle velocity, and to fix its direc
tion. or trajectory, toward the target
As it leaves the muzzle, a rocket
charge inside the shell ignites, to
rarrv it farther than it otherwise
wouid travel, and probably actually
to cause it to pick up speed after it
leaves the gun muzzle. In fact this
type of shell could be traveling with
Us greatest velocity at the moment
of impact, instead of when it leaves
The requirement, to make such a
shell Is merely a chamber filled with
fuel, which will bum explosively,
shooting out from the rear end of
the shell in a continuous, rocket
stream, tl is not, this stream of fire
which propels the shell, but the
inner explosion, pushing against the
shell, shoving It in the direction al
ready imparted by the cannon.
Several of these firing fuels are
known to all nations, and have been
in experimental use for years. In
Oermany the written records on .
these rocket firing fuels go back
more than 10 years.
Ordinary Explosive Believed I'sed.
Rocket engineers make the guess
that some ordinary explosive, like
smokeleas powder, is used. Such a
fuel ran be packed accurately, will
remain stable, the same as the rest
of the contents of artillery shell.
Furthermore this sort of explo
sive would furnish power long
enough It .has to fizz, or explode
continuously, only for a few se%onds
at most, to get the added push that
outranges other guns.
The greater range Is only one of
♦he vital advantages. Light weight
i* almost as important. A rocket
cannon is. by comparison with other
artillerv. always lighter, always can
be moved faster from place to place
and maneuvered or manipulated
Putting the rocket jets on airplane
bombs serves three purposes, all
combining to make them more
deadly than any other type of bomb. I
The London Daily Mail describes
two of these in a report of the re
cent experience of the great Medi
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FIRST ROCKET CANNON?—This photo of an extremely light German 88-milllmeter gun with an
exaggeratedly long barrel appears to confirm the use by the Nazis of a rocket gun against British
tanks in Libya. —A. P. Photo.
terranean convoys to Malta and to
It says the bombs strike with
greater accuracy and velocity. Be
fore the rocket wings were added,
all bombs were limited to a definite
top speed, by the resistance of the
air, a velocity far under that of an
Bomb Gets There Quicker.
The rocket Jet* by speeding the
I bombs make it possible theoretically.
and the Mall dispatch indicate*
' actually, to hit more accurately be
cause the bomb gets there quicker.
The higher speed means greater
penetration, probably enough for
the rocket bomb to begin menacing
even battleships the same as the big
gun shells. Italian experiments on
ordinary bomb dropping, just before
this war began, showed that even a
2.000-pound bomb, built In the
armor piercing shape, would pene
trate less than 4 Inches of steel.
That was not enough to penetrate
the armor, even deck protection, of
the newer battleships.
The third advantage of these
rocket bombs is their ability to travel
somewhat like a baseball thrown on
a level parallel with the ground.
Planes can pitch them ahead Into
large-size target areas without hav
ing to get above the anti-aircraft
Finally, the London June 18 dis
patches describe such bombs on Axis,
planes fixed beneath the plane and
aimed by pointing the plane's nose
directly at the target.
Baron Mannerheim's Visit
Declared 'Courtesy' Call
B* the AsftocifttFri Pr**s.
HELSINKI, June 30—Field Mar
shal 6arl Oustal Mannerheim's visit
to Hitler's headquarters caused wide
speculation today, but responsible
quarters said Finland would con
tinue to steer an independent politi
cal course in her war with Russia.
These sources declared Finland's
war was quite apart from the global
The newspaper Lusi Suomi de
scribed the marshal's visit as a re
turn courtesy for Hitlers trip to
Finland June 4 to decorate Marshal
Mannerheim on his 75th birthday.
"Mannerheim thus wanted to give
.visible evidence of how the late of
the Finns and Germans interlocks
in the struggle against the mortal
threat of Bolshevism,” the paper
Army, Navy Join Police
In Train Car ’Gas' Bailie
Pj tin Associated Press.
BALTIMORE. June 30.—The Army
and the Navy joined forces yester
day to subdue a train passenger who
felled two Pennsylvania Railroad
policemen with sprays of ammonia.
The railroac officers were sum
moned aftei the passenger, identi
HARRIS ARMATURE CO., 9th & 0
fled by police u Victor J. Skoglund,
39, of San Diego and Qlendale,
Calif., became involved in an argu
ment wi*h a club car steward.
After the officers went down un
der the ammonia barrage, delivered
from an atomizer, an Army sergeant
and a naval officer subdued Skog
lund, po'ice reported. The blinded
patrolmen were treated by a doctor.
Magistrate Elmer J. Hammer or
dered Skoglund, who said he was
an engineering company executive
at Pasadena, held in $1,100 bail for
grand Jury action.
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CHARLES H. MORGAN. Minify i
SIS WIST 4S«h STIIIT, NSW TOIK j
U.S. NEEDS MlkMSTRONG
EAT NUTRITIONAL FOOD
Svry day, oat this way
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at loan a pint
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OFFICE OF DEFENSE HEALTH AND WELFARE SERVICES
fAUl V. McNOTT, DIMCTOR, WASHINOTON. O. C
•WOMB CRIAU IISTOUt TO WMU MAW NUTWmn VAUM
YOUR friend, the grocer, is the most important figure in
the government's National Nutrition Program.
For just as the druggist serves the needs of the sick, so your
grocer serves the well. On his shelves are foods that every
mother must rely upon to keep her family in health—and. par
ticularly, to build strong, sturdy children. And he has much
knowledge and advice that you can use.
So, ask your grocer about the kinds of foods specifically
recommended in the National Nutrition Program. Get him to
help you plan your meals.
He will probably show you the official U.S. Nutritional
Chart that has been released by the Office of Defense Health
and Welfare Services. This chart is reproduced here. The
government has urged that food dealers display it, and that
homemakers cut it out and pin it to their kitchen walls.
But even more, it urges that you give your family, anil
particularly your children, these important strength-building
foods—some from every group in the chart, every day.
For these are the foods that build a strong nation. And
America needs Americans strong.
• • •
This advertisement is sponsored by the Kellogg Company
of Battle Creek, Michigan. As a sign of our support of the
National Nutrition Program, this company announces that
every cereal bearing the Kellogg name is made from whole
grains or is being restored with thiamin (vitamin Bi), niacin
and iron to whole-grain strength.
Uncle Sam says: Serve the Nutritional Foods
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