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Translation of spezzoniere per aeroplani

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
I have been translating a report/memorandum from ten. col. Bettica about parachute training. In those documents is the item spezzoniere per aeroplani. I believe this is an antipersonnel bomb, but I am not sure. I have copied below the original Italian text and my first draft translation.

This first bit is from a letter of tranmission/cover letter written by a staffer at the SMRE commenting on Bettica's memorandum.
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3) [Bettica] Attacca i centri di studi, che definisce organi burocratici insediati in capaci e comodi uffici, creati in località adatte agli interessi di quelli che vi sono preposti. Afferma che le creazioni fatte da tali centri, per l'esclusiva loro teoricità, sono crollate al primo fuoco.

[Bettica] Cita la spezzoniera per aereoplani: la precedente lanciava duecento spezzoni da 35 m/m ciascuno dei quali faceva 150 scheggie mortali che lanciava in un raggio di 150 metri. Le attuali ne lanciano solamente 34 da 70 m/m che danno effetti dieci volte minori. Soggiunge sarcasticamente “ non importa, ma la spesa è dieci volte maggiore”.

3) Attacks the study centers, which defines bureaucratic bodies located in large and comfortable offices, created in places suited to the interests of those in charge. He claims that the concepts developed by these centers, due to their exclusive theoretical nature, collapsed under the first fire.

He mentions the shrapnel bombs for airplanes: the previous one launched two hundred pieces of 35 mm each of which made 150 deadly splinters that were launched in a radius of 150 meters. The current ones launch only 34 of 70 mm which give effects ten times less. He adds sarcastically "it doesn't matter, but the cost is ten times greater”.
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This second bit is written by Bettica himself.
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Ma ecco un esempio pratico: ho visto in questo aeroporto le famose spezzoniere per aeroplani. Ma invece di lanciare 200 spezzoni da 35 mm come quelli della guerra passata per spezzoniera, ne lanciano solamente 34 da 70 mm. Ma ogni spezzone da 35 mm faceva 150 schegge mortali che lanciava in un raggio di 100 m ed era frutto di un lungo studio di micidialità eseguito non sulla carta ma sibbene sul nemico.

Uno spezzone da 70 mm fu già sperimentato anche nella guerra passata ma scartato perché consumava troppo esplosivo, faceva poche schegge micidiali a cagione dell’eccesso di esplosivo sul metallo e copriva troppo poco spazio di terreno.

Basta un piccolo calcolo per dimostrare che mentre con gli spezzoni da 35 mm si copre il terreno con 30.000 schegge per spezzoniera, con quello da 70 mm si hanno effetti quasi dieci volte minori. Un massone penserebbe subito: “non importa, ma la spesa è 10 volte maggiore”.

Intanto però, quando si espongono i nostri aviatori al rischio mortale del volo radente per spezzonare e mitragliare non si pensa che la reazione nemica è tanto maggiore, quanto minore è la micidialità degli spezzoni e che quindi un errore di questo genere costa alla Patria sangue prezioso e materiale preziosissimo.

All our numerous and very expensive study centers have shown the impracticality of their creations especially because instead of living in close contact with the Army and its contingent needs, they have locked themselves up in capable and comfortable offices, created specifically where their convenience and they preferred to scribble. So it happened that at the first fire their creations proved to be neither practical nor efficient. No weapon and no specialty has escaped this sad fate that costs and will cost the state billions and rivers of blood.
But here is a practical example: I have visited this airport and the famous fragmentation bombs for airplanes. But instead of throwing 200 35mm clips like those of the past war, they only throw 34 70mm clips. But each 35 mm piece made 150 deadly splinters that it launched in a radius of 100 m and was the result of a long study of lethality carried out not on paper but on the enemy.
A 70 mm piece was already tested in the past war but discarded because it consumed too much explosives, made few deadly splinters due to excess explosives on the metal and covered too little ground space.
A small calculation is enough to show that while with the 35 mm pieces you cover the ground with 30,000 splinters per piece, with the 70 mm pieces you have almost ten times less effects. A Mason would immediately think: “it doesn't matter, but the cost is 10 times greater”.
In the meantime, however, when our aviators are exposed to the mortal risk of grazing flight to break and machine-gun it is not thought that the enemy reaction is the greater, the less the deadly is the clips and that therefore an error of this kind costs the homeland precious blood and precious material.

Any thoughts?

Pista! Jeff
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
And....

d) realizzazione di lanciaspezzoni di peso non superiore a 10 kg con velocità di tiro di almeno 16 colpi al minuto, con gittata da 150 a 250 metri con spezzoni da 35 m/m armato di spoletta universale, capace di produrre 150 schegge micidiali entro un raggio di 100 metri e di distruggere reticolati anche profondi;

d) production of launchers weighing no more than 10 kg with a firing speed of at least 16 rounds per minute, with a range from 150 to 250 meters with 35 m / m lengths armed with a universal fuse, capable of producing 150 deadly splinters within one radius of 100 meters and to destroy even deep wire entanglements;
 

DrG

Member
https://dizionari.repubblica.it/Italiano/S/spezzoniera.html
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spezzone
main.php

Source: http://www.modellismopiu.net/m+gallerie/main.php?g2_itemId=131605
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you DrG. I knew that the Italian bombers hung their bombs vertically in the bomb-bays, but I didn't know they install small vertical tubes for dropping multiple fragmentation or incendiary bomblets.

Pista! Jeff
 

Andreas

New Member
Early form of cluster munitions, equally ugly. The Germans had them as well, I suppose so did everybody else.

All the best

Andreas
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Andreas

Agree. From the picture, it appears that a rack of tubes is attached to the underside of the aircraft. I don't know whether this is permanent or removable. This is different from fragmentation bombs that are dropped like normal bombs and don't require a special installation.

Pista! Jeff
 

Andreas

New Member
I understand it was removable, and you could also combine the Spezzioniera with larger bombs (not sure about that). Yes, it is different and more cumbersome, with similar results of dropping numerous small munitions over an area to essentially deny it to unprotected movement. These were the so-called 'Thermos Bombs' or just 'Thermos' that you read about quite often in Allied accounts.

All the best

Andreas
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Ahh, the scales have now fallen from my eyes. :)

I didn't connect the Spezzioniera with the Thermos bombs. It makes sense. The unexploded tubes lying on the ground.

Thank you for that tidbit of information.

Pista! Jeff
 
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