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WW2 Aircraft .50 Cal Ammunition

Ca. 1942 - 1945

.50 Cal Bullet fired from a WW2 Fighter Aircraft at practice targets in southern New Mexico. This round was collected by metal detectorists on private property where aircraft would train for war during WW2.


During World War II, aviation firmly established itself as a critical component of modern warfare from the Battle of Britain in the early stages to the great aircraft carrier battles between American and Japanese Pacific fleets and the final delivery of nuclear weapons. The major combatants – Germany and Japan on the one side and Britain, the United States and the USSR on the other – manufactured huge air forces which engaged in pitched battles both with each other and with the opposing ground forces. Bombing established itself as a major strategic force, and this was also the first war in which the aircraft carrier played a significant role.

As with Aviation in World War I, military investment during World War II drove aviation forward in leaps and bounds. The streamlined cantilever monoplane quickly proved its worth in almost every role, although a few older biplanes remained in niche roles for much of the war. Engine power and aircraft performance increased steadily, with jet and rocket engines beginning to make their appearance by the end of the war. Avionics systems increased in sophistication and became more widespread, including power-assisted flight controls, blind flying instrumentation, radio communications and radar tracking.


The development of civil aviation stagnated until peace could be restored, and in the combatant countries many existing civilian aircraft were pressed into military service. However military technologies developed during the war would revolutionise postwar aviation. In particular, the widespread construction of aerodromes with serviceable runways would provide the basis for a postwar move of long-range passenger flights from flying boats to landplanes.


Aviation during this period was dominated by the conduct of the war, and the war in turn by air power. Aviation was heavily involved in the development of military technologies, strategies, tactics and events throughout the war.


At the outbreak of the war in Europe in 1939, the German Luftwaffe had amassed an attack force of modern all-metal cantilever monoplanes designed to support the Blitzkrieg style of warfare at relatively short range and manufactured by a large and organised industry. Pilots had been well-trained, both in flying clubs and in some cases the Spanish Civil War. Other European air forces, especially the British RAF were struggling to re-equip with similarly modern types and to train up aircrew. Early German successes, with the notable assistance of the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber, overran Europe and left Britain open to attack.


During the ensuing Battle of Britain, the British fighter squadrons had to quickly relearn the old tactical lessons from the first war. Initially the RAF fighters flew in a tight three-fighter arrowhead formation, soon changing to the looser four-aircraft arrangement which the Germans called the "finger-four." They soon also relearned the value of climbing above your opponent before attacking. At the same time, the development of an early radar warning system by the British provided a new way to track German attack formations as they gathered over the European coast and flew across the English Channel. The radio communications, provided to every pilot, also required new protocols such as radio silence before engaging the enemy.


Later on, the British and Americans developed large long-range heavy bombers, causing great damage to the German war effort and substantial casualties. While the British favoured unescorted night bombing, the Americans preferred to mount daytime raids, escorted by long-range fighters.

In the Pacific war, both sides made extensive use of aircraft carriers and carrier-to-carrier engagements became pivotal turning points in several campaigns.

WW2 Aircraft .50 Cal Ammunition

SKU: WW2 Aircraft .50 Cal Ammunition Dislay
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