Injuries from the sky

Discussion in 'General' started by levien, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. levien

    levien Just a member

    I am just wondering are there any statistics or stories known about people who got injured (or worse) by falling empty cartridge cases from airplane guns. Or the same by falling splinters from AA shells.

    Does anybody know?

    Levien.
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    This cropped up in this old thread:
    Flak: How effective was it
    There was rather a good article in the first issue of 'Britain at War' magazine. There were more statistics in there but it did seem that a fine line was walked between the morale effect of Flak and it's lethal side effects.

    {the article} Said it's possible that c.16,360 British civilian war dead were a result of their own defences.

    (Based on a survey after a raid in January '43 and others at Coventry and Pompey that found 20-27% of civilian casualties were from friendly AA among the overall civillian losses of c.60,595)

    Can't find the magazine at the moment but I transcribed a bit more detail of it on WW2F a while back:
    Read a recent magazine article on London Flak, concentrated largely on 'what goes up must come down' and includes a story of one returning AA shell that actually passed between a couple sleeping in bed!

    Seems that the Guns were not always such a morale booster as the 'blitz-savvy' citizens of London realised how rarely they brought down a plane and how much damage they did to the city. There are personal accounts that the main reason for taking to the shelters was to avoid ack-ack splinters, windows being blown in by blast and even a tale of a unit being asked to move as their blast was cracking toilets across one estate. One welsh Royal Ordnance factory was hit by a returning shell in March 1944 and exploded, leading to 9 killed.

    A report into an attack on 17th/18th January 1943 found that 20%-27% of dead or seriously wounded could be directly attributed to 'friendly' AA (this 20% figure seems to also apply to contemporary studies of raids on Pompey and Coventry).

    The rough conclusion (while admitting we'll never really know) is that of 60,595 UK civillian deaths during ww2, using a worse case scenario of 27%, it's possible that c.16,360 were a result of their own defences.

    I don't know enough to come to any conclusion on the 'worth' of flak, either in direct terms or in relation to morale but it's a very interesting subject and, as ever, more complex than it first appears.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  3. levien

    levien Just a member

    This cropped up in this old thread:
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-air/12678-flak-how-effective.html#post121351
    There was rather a good article in the first issue of 'Britain at War' magazine. There were more statistics in there but it did seem that a fine line was walked between the morale effect of Flak and it's lethal side effects.



    Can't find the magazine at the moment but I transcribed a bit more detail of it on WW2F a while back:

    Thanks Adam.
    My God, that many!!!

    In Germany it must have been even worse. Or would they have had better air raid shelters?

    Levien.
     
  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    There was story of a village in Kent that got rained upon by empty .303 cartridges as a very low chase flew over during the Battle of Britain.
     
  5. levien

    levien Just a member

    There was story of a village in Kent that got rained upon by empty .303 cartridges as a very low chase flew over during the Battle of Britain.


    That's what I mean.


    Levien.
     
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    I've got that issue of Britain At War about too....and equally hidden from view! LOL One anecdote I DO know - for it happened here in Belfast too - is kids being able to fish the next day after raids for spent munitions and shrapnel laying in the bottom of the open-air water cisterns and ponds in built-up areas ;)
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Don't forget what goes up has to come down too...When the war in Iraq 'Offically' (used lightly) ended in 2003 all the locals dug up their AK47's and started doing Beruit unloads into the sky. Lots of us when up on to the roof at Basrah Palace to watch the fireworks until someone realised the rounds had started coming down and we all did one off the roof ! Before you say anything we only had a few weeks to push and no one was taking any chances :lol:
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Not necessarily answering your questions:

    I read a book somewhere, and wished I could find it now, that talked about civilian deaths during the attack on Pearl Harbor. I don't remember numbers but, it seems that most of the civilian deaths in Honolulu were the result of falling ordinance, the vast majority of it US. Sources differ, but there were around 36 civilians killed in Honolulu.
     
  9. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    Just a personal note. My late wife told me how her baby sister was reported killed by concussion from a neaby AA gun during the Birmingham blitz. The house was also damaged. As you may appreciate I can no longer find further information.
     

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