Rocket Firing Grapnel Hook - Pointe du Hoc/ 2nd Rangers

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by brithm, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I am trying to find the specifications of the the rocket firing grapnel hook used by the 2nd Rangers at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. I am having a hard time trying to find detailed information, hence the post.

    I believe these were made by the Combined Operations Experimental Establishment, I have looked at Nevil Shute's book The Secret War which mentions the grapnel hooks; but there is no detail of their specifications.

    Any help or info would be appreciated

    Chris C likes this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    brithm likes this.
  3. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    This guy, "Marmite", owned one until he sold it to a museum.

    I'll throw up one of his pics. Wasn't there also a hand held rocket gun that was used?


    Cheers ...

    Edit: Actually I think the cord just shows how it was attached rather than a trigger mechanism as originally thought ... or was it both?
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  4. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    A few more photos.

    One taken at the museum in Arromanches sometime ago and one from website.

    The IWM has a film online showing one of the training exercises before the Normandy Landings.

    “Military Modelling” magazine in the 1970/80s had an article about the LCA used at Pointe du Hoc and how to make a model of one. From memory the authors father was in the crew of an LCA. Cannot remember what photos were used for the article.



    0g Arromanches text.jpg 0g  text.jpg
    0g iwm.jpg
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  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

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  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    From DEFE 2/755:

    IMG_4508.jpg IMG_4509.jpg IMG_4510.jpg IMG_4511.jpg

    IMG_4517.jpg IMG_4518.jpg IMG_4519.jpg IMG_4520.jpg IMG_4521.jpg

    Marmite's kit looks like the lightweight model referred to as the 'Schermuly Mortar'.
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  7. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Brilliant reply Idler, just what was asked for.
    Rep on way.
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    And then I remembered this:


    From here.
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  9. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for all your help. I would not have found anything without your help.

    Idler that is truly great stuff I went through the Kew catalogue and had no luck, thank you.

    I didn't realise how much stuff there was, I kept finding GI Joe and Action Man 'rope launchers'.

    I remember Anthony Hopkins using one of these in Alastair MacLean's 'When Eight Bells Toll'.

  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I agree you certainly get some quirky results with "grappling hooks" in the search term ... :lol:

    I tried Google Patents without much luck. Quite a number for Schermuly and Company did turn up, but nothing related to the bigger launchers that were created in secrecy. You have to admire the sophistication of the rocket launched grappling hooks from the LCAs. Idler's docs are spot on! The book, The Secret War, is frightfully amusing in places.

    Regards ...

    Commandos training ST IVES 1944.jpg
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  11. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Some footage of Rangers training

    "The landing (on Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, Dorset) is carried out by LCAs, each carrying six 2-inch rocket projectors fitted with grapnel heads and attached to rope ladders. Upon beaching the rockets are fired and men begin to scale the cliff (Burton Cliffs) using the ropes thus provided. Grapnel lines pull away some of the entanglements from the cliff top. Light chair-legs are rigged to lift mortars, MGs etc. Once the bridgehead has been won, portable steel ladders are erected, and if well sited, some of these will provide a safe route up the cliff "... whatever fire the enemy may bring to bear". Swans (amphibian DUKWs fitted with 100 ft extensible ladders) provide easy access for troops of the second wave. The Swan's armament, tactical control equipment, and maximum handling capacity are described. The film ends with a subtitled frame informing the audience that an operation similar to the one portrayed, took place on 6 June, 1944, at Pointe du Hoe, Normandy - within 20 minutes "... this vital battery was overrun and the guns destroyed"."
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  12. idler

    idler GeneralList




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  13. I am in the figurine 1/6 and it's been months that I'm looking for pictures of the dimensions especially on the crates the operation of the firing all that interests me very hard to be able to realize my diorama on June 6 Rangers thank you for all information that would be very useful
    brithm likes this.
  14. grappl10.jpg
    Bonjour tout le monde qui pourrait m'aider sur les nombres qui sont marqués sur le grappin comme je voudrais le réaliser à l’échelle 1 6e j’aimerais savoir s’il est possible de trouver une image plus claire de cette graduation ou si quelqu'un a des photos Merci d'avance
    brithm likes this.
  15. voila le modèle que j’ai réalisé c’est un support en métal et qui pince le reste en bois fait exactement 24 cm sur son support et c’est à l’échelle 1/6
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  16. [QUOTE="here is the model that I realized it is metal support and grapnel the rest in wood is exactly 24 cm on its support and that's the scale 1/6
    View attachment 229676 [/QUOTE]
  17. idler

    idler GeneralList

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  18. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I do like Method 6 on P44 'Balloons' and in the remarks column 'Can only operate in onshore winds'. Anyone a picture of this being tried?

  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I forgot to mention that gem. Presumably some poor sod tried it so they could develop the method.

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