- Lind, L.J.
- Naval technology
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 1976 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The emergencies of war and the unpreparedness of Britain for a world war have tested the inventiveness of the nation to build new and often quite bizarre weapons. World War II saw many strange devices introduced, some successful, some highly impractical. The Holman Projector, introduced in 1940, fell into the latter category.
THE HOLMAN PROJECTOR was designed around the standard infantry hand grenade or Mills bomb.
This bomb is actuated by removing a safety pin which releases a lever that detonates the bomb’s fuse. The basic idea for the projector was to convert the bomb into a fused projectile by removing the safety pin and slipping the bomb into a tin canister which would hold the actuating lever in place until the bomb was in flight.
Basically the projector was a crude 4 foot 6 inch barrel with a bore to receive the tin canister. The propellant was either compressed air or steam drawn from the ship’s steam lines. A pilot valve emitted the steam or air into a receiver chamber and when the required pressure was registered on a gauge the operator ‘fired’ the projector by opening a second valve.
The barrel was mounted on a traversing base and was fitted with a crude anti-aircraft sight. The crew was a layer and loader.
Loading was similar to an infantry mortar, the canister was dropped down the barrel. When the projector was fired the tin fell away from the bomb in the first second of flight and the bomb exploded after four seconds.
As a shipboard anti-aircraft weapon the device proved a failure. Its range of 200 yards against low flying aircraft made a hit near impossible and a direct hit was necessary to inflict serious damage.
There is no record that the projector scored an individual success.