Monday, July 4, 2011
Machine guns firing rifle-calibre ammunition were only effective against low-flying aircraft if they were used en masse. Weapons such as the heavy Browning .50 and DshK1938 were capable of taking down aircraft. Yet one of the most effective features of these weapons was the deterrent value of the tracer ammunition. For the gunner, the burning tracers allowed him to correct his aim against moving targets. For the pilot of a bomb-laden aircraft diving towards a target on the ground, the sky filled with flashing tracer, which could put him off his aim. Tracers proved effective against aircraft as late as the Falklands War in 1982.