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Stop him being blown backwards? :D Seriously it does mean the crew member cannot get into the back blast zone. Is that a spotting rifle on the top bore axis?

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The sling is used to give extra control, when traversing the main gun. With the handle & using your shoulders/body to move

the main armament. It gave extra controllability, if that makes sense?

MOBAT & CONBAT had the same feature.

 

Yes, it is a Spotting Rifle, the M8C. It fired a .50" cal SHORT round, with a magnisiem tip. That 'Flashed' upon hitting a hard target.

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Is that a spotting rifle on the top bore axis?

 

...and are they spotting rifle empty cases strewn on the ground?

 

trevor

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The sling was as you say to aid control of the gun when traversing, but also stopped it being thrown around when being loaded and unloaded.

 

The rounds weighed about 60Ib so that could move the gun as the No. 1 rams the round in. The No.2 when unloading needs to whack the breech/venture open really hard to extract the empty case far enough to extract it easily.

 

Crew were

DC (Detachment Commander) who selects the target, aims and fires gun

No.1 who loads and spots the fall of shot

No.2 who watches the rear danger area, Unloads, services the Spotting Rifle (stoppages/changing mags), handled the emergency firing mechanism and has to deal with hang fires (that's when things do start to twitch!)

 

Top photo shows what the back blast does to concrete! Also the area behind the firing points were large puddles with rocks in them. That's because the soil had been blown away!

Wombat on Otterburn Firing Point.jpg

Wombat at Otterburn Firing Again.jpg

Wombat at Otterburn Firing.jpg

Wombat at Otterburn Loaded.jpg

Wombat at Otterburn Loading.jpg

Wombat at Otterburn.jpg

Edited by Alecbowman

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Sorry, forgot to answer - yes those are the empties from the spotting rifle which as ferrefixer says is a short 0.50" cal round (I thought they had zirconium tips though?).

 

The 0.50" short round gave the spotting rifle a lower muzzle velocity and was intended to match the trajectory to the Main armament. Even so the trajectories were not identical with the spotting rifle being flatter. There was a sighting board with 4 aiming points to align the Main Armament, spotting rifle, optical sight and CSWS. A bore sight was put in the Main Armament and aligned to the board, then without moving the gun, it was moved to the spotting rifle which was adjusted to its own aiming point, then the optical sight and CSWS likewise.

 

Digging a Wombat in was b****y hard work. First there was the weapon pit, then the shelter bay for the crew which was about 18+ feet long and 4 + feet deep, lastly the ammo bay both of which were covered by KIP sheets and given a couple of feet of earth for overhead protection.

 

The gun pit was covered by a "Cambrella", a frame work over which the cam net was draped. A sack was placed over the muzzle (to hide that 120mm black hole). Photo below has the cam net lifted up - otherwise you wouldn't see much!

 

 

 

Wombat Dug In with Cambrella.jpg

Wombat Dug In.jpg

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One final post on this I think - if you want to know how LOUD a WOMBAT is then take a look at the following link

 

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/919903.pdf

 

This is a report on hearing protection for the army. It lists a number of weapon systems from the 60's to 80's. The 120mm BAT produces a SPL of ~184dB for the firer.

 

WOMBAT 120mm mounted in a FV432 produced an SPL of 187dB for the firer. Ground mounted WOMBAT wasn't directly measured for the firer but they did measure 180dB at 20 feet. That in theory equated to ~ 195dB at 1 meter!!!!

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One final post on this I think - if you want to know how LOUD a WOMBAT is then take a look at the following link

 

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/919903.pdf

 

This is a report on hearing protection for the army. It lists a number of weapon systems from the 60's to 80's. The 120mm BAT produces a SPL of ~184dB for the firer.

 

WOMBAT 120mm mounted in a FV432 produced an SPL of 187dB for the firer. Ground mounted WOMBAT wasn't directly measured for the firer but they did measure 180dB at 20 feet. That in theory equated to ~ 195dB at 1 meter!!!!

 

Very interesting report! Amazing how only the 81mm mortar comes even close in terms of noise - even the Cent and Chieftain are significantly quieter. Glad to see the Sally is virtually a stealth weapon by comparison. It's also amazing the amount of analysis you can do on earplugs...!

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But I notice they did not measure the noise in front of the barrel of those tanks - just the sort of position the PBI might be in with the tanks firing over them. From experience at BATUS I would not like to be there!

 

Chris

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I guess that the reason why the 81mm mortar was so noisy is that the firer's head is right next to the end of the barrel. That report said that the instrumentation wasn't able to measure the very highest levels accurately but did say that levels of 195dB were seen. That apparently is close to the theoretical maximum possible at one atmosphere!

 

I certainly wouldn't want to be in front of a firing tank, but I wouldn't want to be in front or more particularly behind a firing Wombat for that matter either! The shock from the gun shook big scabs of concrete free on the firing points at Otterburn.

 

Someone at work took part in trials firing Conbat mounted on 1 tonne land rovers but found that it "caused the wheels to fall off" although I guess he might be being a bit dramatic.

 

Alec

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On 6/29/2015 at 11:56 PM, Alecbowman said:

I was a WOMBAT DC back in the late 70s, early 80s. Yes they were loud! If the weather conditions were wrong we weren't allowed to fire on Salisbury Plain because of the risk from breaking windows in Salisbury.

 

With a following wind, the efflux from the venture would singe your eyebrows and lashes, even moustaches. Weapon could be fired from the portee but only a few times as the blast started to pop the rivets!

 

If anyone would like some good photos of WOMBAT, portees on the ranges and on exercise etc then I have some pretty good shots, some taken professionally. I'd be pleased to post them if wanted.

Hi, I know it’s a long shot but, would you still have Wombat and portee pics? I too
was ATK for many years starting off as No 2 and finishing as Pl 2IC. 8 years on 120 and 5 MILAN, which the could teach monkeys to operate! I’ve now retired and taken up modelling again, discovered a conversion kit plus Wombat but fully loaded I’m a bit rusty where items go. 
 

thanks

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