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During the closing stages of the war, with constant aerial bombardment of the Reich, a solution to hitting the bomber formations with destructive accurateness was sought. The development, by Mauser, of the 50mm nose mounted cannon was thought to be the answer. This heavy gun, fitted to the Me262 became a lethal combination of stealth and firepower, and even though proven to be a formidable weapon against the B17 formations, was produced in insufficient enough quantities to have made much difference to the outcome of the bomber offensive against Hitler's Germany. Nevertheless, the terror brought to bomber crews during those final months was untold.

 

    Mauser Mk214 Cannon  *  .


Initially, 2 Me262`s (Wk/nr 111899 & 170083) were modified to carry this new weapon, being flown and tested from Lager-Lechfeld during March and April of 1945. This newly modified machine was designated the Me262A-1/U4.This machine was known as the Pulkzerstörer, or `Group Bomber. To accommodate the new gun, the nose wheel arrangement had to be modified. This modification resulted in a mechanism which rotated the nose wheel 90° during retraction, enabling the wheel to lie flat as opposed to its usual configuration. A new, split wheel well door arrangement was also used to deal with the new layout. Incredibly, the colossal weight of the new gun didn't have much effect on the flight characteristics of the jet. The latter of the 2 jets modified to receive the Mauser, Wk/nr170083, was the subject of an abortive attempt, by Messerschmitt`s Test Pilot Ludwig Hoffman (on the orders of Watson's Whizzers Col. Watson) to move her to the US for trials and valuation. She crashed in Jersey during the flight. To read more about the `Watson's Whizzers` squadron and the pliots who flew the captured Me262`s, please visit Stormbirds.com`s Watsons Whizzers page here. For a complete overview of the Me262 Werknummers, including the 2 Pulkzerstörer machines, visit the Werknummers Resource Center.

 

    Mauser Engineering Drawing of the Mk214  *  

 The Mauser Mk214 project was instituted by Mausers Director, E. Linder, in the July of 1943 on the strength of an RLM request. The favour of the  anti-tank gun, the KWK 39/1 project meant that this project fell behind schedule.

The ammunition cartridges were supplied to the weapon via a belt, from the left of the weapon. the cartridge was released by the ejector, which opened a wedge catch. This catch locked into place whilst the loading platform ran back into it`s resting position, ready to load the next shell. At this point, the firing sequence for the first shell could take place. Two electrical contacts could now be closed in preparation for shell ejection, and these were activated by the interlocking of the wedge, and also by the loading platform being in it`s stationary default position. These switches operated the electric ignition of the cartridge, which in turn fired the weapon. At this stage, the ejector opened, and moved the wedge catch, allowing the ejection of the used cartridge. The 2400kg recoil of the weapon was alleviated by a hydraulic damper. The renewed introduction of the loading procedure took place pneumatically.

Please see the next page for the technical data, and a catalogue of images illustrating the Mauser Mk214 weapon.

  * These images were used with express permission of Classic Publications.

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