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"RCL v M48" Topic

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uglyfatbloke24 Nov 2021 6:51 a.m. PST

Any thoughts on the effectiveness of RCL rifles against M48s?

Wolfhag24 Nov 2021 8:56 a.m. PST

I'm assuming the Russian SPG-9 recoiless rifle that came out in 1962?

It's about the same as the 73mm on a BMP. It has a penetration of about 300mm. It probably performs like an RPG-7 round. I've read a number of accounts of them bouncing off the rounded armor of the M-48 in Vietnam. They were probably used against Israeli M-48's too.



uglyfatbloke24 Nov 2021 9:08 a.m. PST

Much obliged- as ever. I 've read that they were pretty scary for M113s, but I've not yet found (or at least remember) anything about their performance against M48s

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2021 9:31 a.m. PST

I read that M48s were pretty resistant to RPG and recoilless rifles, but I don't have any facts or figures to back it up.

Oddball24 Nov 2021 9:43 a.m. PST

Thanks for the info on SPG-9. I just turned 2 up that I need to paint. Funny, plate of shrimp moment.

I remember reading that the M-113s were scared of ANY anti-tank weapon. Armor is not that thick, good for small arms.

From accounts I read, the infantry rode on top of the M-113 (good to be box like for that) due to not wanting to be inside when the round pen'd. Better to take your chances with small arms outside.

Also, if I remember, the RPGs (B-40) were mostly RPG-2 with communist forces in Vietnam. The better known RPG-7 although around in limited numbers, did not make a major appearance until after 1968. Then they were only available at 1 per company, increasing as the years went on. RPG-2 were down at squad level.

The RPG-2 is no tinker toy, just not the knockout punch of the RPG-7.

Effective range is only about 100-150 yards and pen is around 180mm. I would bet that when you read about a M-113 surviving a RPG/B-40 hit it was most likely a 2 not a 7 round that hit the APC.

uglyfatbloke24 Nov 2021 11:11 a.m. PST

That's a big help folks – I am obliged again. I'm guessing the VC were pretty much stuck with the B-40 all the way, which is kind of convenient for our games since virtually all muys are VC. This was not my intention; I always planned on 'doing' Vietnam (lived in South Asia in the late 60s early 70s), and always intended on having the US…right up to the point when I bought a load of Nam stuff and my wife said 'These are really nice….you can have the VC' ….'best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley' and all that.

Oddball24 Nov 2021 1:10 p.m. PST

I just watched the latest battle report from Little Wars TV.

WOW! Amazing. See new message on boards for the link.

The battle they cover is Vietnam Sept. 15, 1967. The crew at Little Wars TV does fantastic research into this engagement, translating that to a table top battle. Without a doubt one of their best works to date.

Their research shows this to be the first engagement with the RPG-7 in Vietnam. And it was in the Delta, long end of the supply chain. So save to assume that ALL communist forces had access to the RPG-7 at some level Sept, '67 and on as the commies were both NVA, Main Force VC and regional VC forces.

Don't know which units had the new toy, but Free World Forces were aware of them after that day.

Wolfhag24 Nov 2021 1:34 p.m. PST

A friend of mine that was a Marine tanker in VN said the RPG2 barely penetrated the armor and did little damage. The RPG7 was much deadlier.

The RPG2 was comparable to the M72 LAW as they both were propelled by black powder, not a rocket and had about the same range. The RPG7 was rocket propelled after launch.

Don't forget to let the M113's use the chain link fencing around the vehicle to protect from RPG's. Also, on occasion tankers hung a Claymore mine on the side of the turret that was command detonated from inside to protect them from RPG and assaults.

Operation Starlite (DaNang), 18 to 24 August 1965

The tank units were HQS, Charlie Company, 3rd Tank Battalion and 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 3rd Tank Battalion. After wading ashore, the tanks were soon involved a fierce firefight and three of tanks (A-31, A-32 and A-35) were knocked out by 75mm recoilless rifle fire. This was the first occasion which this weapon had been encountered firing anti-tank ammunition.

If you want to get a good idea of what tankers were up against in VN check this out: YouTube link


uglyfatbloke24 Nov 2021 2:33 p.m. PST

Oddball, the video's great is n't it? And thanks for the help. Wolfhag, you're a star; by chance I've just found that Youtube film and about to watch it.

Wolfhag25 Nov 2021 7:25 a.m. PST

I'm glad to help. I was a lowly Marine grunt at the end of the VN era so I do have a lot of first and second hand knowledge. The Marines were still transitioning from WWII equipment so I had the M-14 more than the M-16, we had the M-48A3 tank, flame throwers, 3.5" Super Bazooka, 106mm RCL, M1919 LMG for training, and web gear, helmet and canteen were WWII. I think our 105 and 155 arty was WWII also. The Army was not that far ahead of us. We got to train with the Royal Marines and FFL on Corsica. I have a WWII Ka-Bar and M1 Garand in my collection.

The Marines "celebrate" their birthday every year with a big get together. Over the years I've been fortunate to meet other Marines that were at Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Pelelieu, Roi Namur, Guadalcanal (as was my father-in-law), Guam (I was born there), Saipan, Chosen Reservoir, Khe Sanh, and many other battles. A good friend of mine was a Marine F-4 pilot in VN with two tours and two Purple Hearts. I've also met Kyle Carpenter and Brad Kasel and attended a talk by Gen Mattis when he was CENTCOM Commander. It was very humbling experience.

Up until about 2005, every other year in California they put on a Fighter Ace Symposium where they fly in 6-12 WWII pilots and Aces that would discuss their experiences and you'd get to meet them. I got to meet people like Gabby Gabreski, Jim Swet, Jeff De Blanc, Bud Anderson, Bud Mahurian, Marines who flew Corsairs with Pappy Boyington and Charles Lindbergh, Alex Varciau, Besby Holmes (P-38 pilot on Yamamoto Raid), Tuskegee airmen, and many others and had my son come along with me. It was great listening to the details of flying different aircraft and their tactics. Alas, they are all gone now.

I had a WWII Ace on my paper route as a kid too. A friend of my dad (a WWII Navy pilot) flew with Boyington. I still remember him saying what an ass Boyington was.

My wife's uncle flew B-25's in the Pacific and spent 3 days on a raft after being shot down. Her dad was a crewman on PBY Catalina's at Kaneohe Bay, HI on Dec 7, 1941 and PB4Y-1 (B-24) on Guadalcanal. Two from his squadron received the MOH, John Finn and Bruce Van Voorhees. You could write a book about his experiences.

When I lived in Coronado, CA in 1992 they flew in about a dozen WWII B-25's and put them on the deck of the USS Midway at North Island Naval Air Station that was being decommissioned. On 18 April, the 50th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, we watched them all take off from the Midway, formed up and flew about 50 miles north and flew around Jimmy Doolittle's house for him to see them all before he died. It was awesome.

We had the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain in Santa Monica, CA and I met German, British, American and Romanian pilots that flew in the campaign. They had a real Bf-109E, a Spitfire trainer and a Fiesler Stork there too that I got to see close up and fly. Standing on the ground I could look into the cockpit of the 109 and see the rudder pedals, that's how small it is. I also saw how the leading edge wing slats worked too. We had Adolf Galland come out for a Living History event but I missed him.

I did volunteer work for the Collings Foundation when their WWII bombers came into town and met many WWII crewman that came out to see the old birds they flew in. All WWII vets got to fly free which normally costs $450. USD I flew total of 2.5 hours in the B-24 for helping out. A good friend of mine from high school has 450 hours flying a B-17. He said flying it is like driving a dump truck with four flat tires.

Sorry if my reminiscing got off topic. I'll have to save all of this before I forget it. California had many opportunities like that and I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and know the right people. I met some great gamers there too. However, all good things must come to an end. I sold my house and took my money and guns and moved to Tennessee last month and don't regret it.

Happy Thanksgiving


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2021 9:14 a.m. PST

Don't apologise. From across the Atlantic, that was fascinating. As is the whole topic chain of messages.

Interested in the differences between the RPG 2 and 7. Must confess I thought the former was a rocket as well. Does velocity actually matter at all (other than maybe improved accuracy) if the wretched thing actually hits armour? It has a hollow charge, a squash head and that is what does the damage, not Newton's Laws and impact momentum.

At least that is what I imagined.

enjoy the Turkey.

uglyfatbloke25 Nov 2021 9:55 a.m. PST

Definitely no apologies required Wolhag – that was all interesting stuff as far as I'm concerned!

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