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Thread: Deflection Shooting

  1. #1
    PipsPriller
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    Deflection Shooting

    I know that US naval aviators were taught deflection shooting prior to 1939 - although I don't know from what year it started. In that the USN was unique.

    It was not taught in the Luftwaffe, RAF, USAAF, Regia Aeronautica or JAAF/JNAF in 1939.



    My question is was it adopted officially by any of the above air forces? If so, does anyone know what year it was?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jank's Avatar
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    Isn't deflection shooting really just a technical term for the common sense idea of leading your target when it is both moving and at a distance?

  3. #3
    IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO FLYBOYJ's Avatar
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    One name - Hans Joachim Marselle!!!!

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    Senior Member Nonskimmer's Avatar
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    Another name - George Frederick Beurling.

    Not as high scoring as Marseille, but he was a natural at the deflection shot.

  5. #5
    IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO FLYBOYJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nonskimmer
    Another name - George Frederick Beurling.

    Not as high scoring as Marseille, but he was a natural at the deflection shot.
    Yep!!

  6. #6
    PipsPriller
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    All the men mentioned above were, it seems, natural shots. And to add to that list you could include 'Sailor' Maln, Gunther Rall, Saburo Sakai to name just a few.

    But what I'm after is whether Air Forces other than the USN actually taught deflection shooting. As far as I can ascertain the answer is no, but conformation one way or the other would be nice.

  7. #7
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    Yes Jank. That's it. All pilots were taught the concept in one way or another. All infantrymen knew about it too. Really more art than science because it involves a great deal of guesstimation in determining a firing solution for the intersection of armament and target.

    Most pilots learned its application on the job so to speak. Sheer experience is what gives you a feel for the trajectory and time to distance of your rounds.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lesofprimus's Avatar
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    My Grandfather who flew with VMF-214 was also taught deflection shooting during his initial fighter training, but never was it practiced till actual combat...



  9. #9
    IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO FLYBOYJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PipsPriller
    All the men mentioned above were, it seems, natural shots. And to add to that list you could include 'Sailor' Maln, Gunther Rall, Saburo Sakai to name just a few.

    But what I'm after is whether Air Forces other than the USN actually taught deflection shooting. As far as I can ascertain the answer is no, but conformation one way or the other would be nice.
    The USAAF taught deflection shooting to pilots later in the war. Marseille and Beurling were renouned deflection shooters.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Twitch's Avatar
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    I think it is in error to to say that deflection shooting wasn't actually taught in flight training Germany or Japan.

    The American aces were 5% of all the US pilots and they scored 95% of the kills. One big thing I took from every one of them was that in their youth and in civilian life they knew how to handle firearms of all types. They knew deflection shooting way before they ever got into a cockpit from hunting. Many of these guys had to put food on the table with their weapons and they got naturally good. The ones that didn't do much shooting/hunting were the few who simply had a natural gift to comprehend the dynamics of flying and shooting.

    It is a common term used in nearly every tale the aces relate, "I pulled about 30 degrees deflection and snapped out a quick burst," for example.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Marshall_Stack's Avatar
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    Here is a ditty about deflection shooting...

    http://www.enter.net/~rocketeer/13thdflect.html

  12. #12
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    You may trace deflection shooting back to ww1 and great Ace Albert Ball.
    He even made a habit of it. Donīt know in how far this was teached outside the RAF. in the interwar period.
    ---delcyros---

  13. #13
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    I suspect that it isn't a matter of if it was taught, I am sure it was. Its more a question of how difficult it is to learn and the reply is very difficult.
    The RAF realised that the key was practice and nearly every RAF base was given a supply of shotguns and clays. All fighter pilots and gunners were encouraged to practice on or off duty to try to hone this difficult skill.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLYBOYJ
    One name - Hans Joachim Marselle!!!!
    Probably the best airial gunner ever and the most deadly. Reports from other pilots say that in most of his kills his bullet strikes started at the nose of his opponents aircraft and traveled back to the cockpit.

  15. #15
    Senior Member R988's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dac
    Probably the best airial gunner ever and the most deadly. Reports from other pilots say that in most of his kills his bullet strikes started at the nose of his opponents aircraft and traveled back to the cockpit.
    He was also incredibly economical with his ammunition.
    Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.

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