Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Nov 2021 19:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Nov 2021 19:24
Well, it looks like the French artillery leaders put a low priority on fielding a 120mm mortar, or even adopting it. Similarly they did not adopt a howitzer as the primary division cannon. The remaining 105mm Mle of 1913 were deployed as a reinforcing corps weapon. What they did put into production was the Canon de 105 L modèle 1936 Schneider. & that relatively late in the game. 160 were taken in by the French Army to September 1939, and a couple hundred more in the next ten months. Some sources claim the intent was to replace the 75mm cannon in the division with the Canon de 105, but I've not casually run across TO & E showing it in a divisions artillery. Given the funds this suggests they'd have reequipped first with the longer ranged Canon de 105 L.
The Canon de 105 long modèle 1936 Schneider was intended for the 105mm Gun Battalion in the artillery regiment of the DLM, DIM, and DCR, and in the Régiment d'Artillerie Lourde of the Army Corps (along with a battalion of 105 long modèle 1913) in both its horse-drawn and motorized form.

The Canon de 105 court modèle 1935 Bourges was intended for the 105mm Howitzer Battalion in the artillery regiment of the DLC.

I have seen nothing that would indicate the Canon de 105 long modèle 1936 Schneider was intended for any divisions other than the DLM, DIM, and DCR. It was designed for either horse (steel tire) or mechanized (pneumatic tire) draft. Similarly, all the old wooden-tired horse-drawn Canon de 75 modèle 1897 were intended for the infantry divisions, while the "modernized" versions, the Canon de 75 modèle 1897 sur pneus, were intended for mechanized units such as the DLM, DIM, and DCR.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Nov 2021 03:36

The Canon de 105 court modèle 1935 Bourges was intended for the 105mm Howitzer Battalion in the artillery regiment of the DLC.
I wonder what the thinking was behind giving the DLC howitzers?

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Nov 2021 06:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Nov 2021 03:36
The Canon de 105 court modèle 1935 Bourges was intended for the 105mm Howitzer Battalion in the artillery regiment of the DLC.
I wonder what the thinking was behind giving the DLC howitzers?
Most likely that those "divisions" (I use quotes because they're really not division sized units) were intended for use in the Ardennes region and a howitzer would be more useful in hilly terrain like that.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by antwony » 28 Dec 2021 11:45

stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
antwony wrote:
01 Nov 2021 10:58
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
Several thousand pieces 7 years later is rather large for a country that only had equipment for 20 divisions in 1932 and a very limited military industry relative to rivals.
At what stage of the war did the UK or the US have 20 equipped divisions? Think the answer would be surprisingly late.
Ok, and? The US and UK had a lot more non-divisional artillery that the Reichsheer was forbidden by the ToV.
Besides I was incorrect, they had 10 official divisions, I misremembered that they had 20 due to the 'black Reichswehr' which was a militia that could double the size of the standing army if needed. So 20 is the official and unofficial number, when in reality they had 7 infantry and 3 cavalry divisions officially:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichswehr
20 divisions, even if 10 are “secret”, is a lot. If I understand my Tooze correctly, Germany’s rearmament was bankrupting the country, as well as, engaging in straight up theft/ criminality. Although, to be fair, “several thousand” (your number) is also a lot.
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
The BEF in 1939 was larger:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_E ... ld_War_II)
Large parts of the BEF of 1939 were barely equipped and trained. Artillery wasn’t the biggest lack, but more than a few of those “divisions” had no artillery. Post BEF losses, suspect you’d have to get well in 1941, or even 1942, before there were 20 fully equipped British divisions.
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
antwony wrote:
01 Nov 2021 10:58
Your logic is all over the place, to me.
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
That's a fault of your understanding.
Sure, I’ve no idea what you’re trying to say. First you claim Germany had a huge artillery park in 1939. When it was pointed out that for the size of their army that they weren’t that well equipped, you claimed that unlike their rivals they couldn’t rely on WW1 legacy pieces. When it was pointed the German’s had a suspiciously large amount of WW1 era German artillery and enormous amounts of foreign tubes in their inventory you, for me, stopped making any sense and started up inane, ad hominem nonsense.
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
antwony wrote:
01 Nov 2021 10:58
Not quite sure what use the US made of the WW1 era M1897 (little I suspect) but the UK barely used 18 pounders or 4.5 inch QF despite the 25 pounder not entering operational service till 1940.
Why would the US matter when we were referring to the French, British, and Polish armies having WW1 left overs?
Sure, although the topic of the thread is 20th C. artillery. For me, you opinions are in line with Wehrabooish “Nazi German economic miracle” nonsense. US re-armament for WW2 is the gold standard to which other military powers should be compared.
stg 44 wrote:
31 Oct 2021 20:17
As to the 4.5 QF and 18 pounder...I don't think you know what you're talking about:
of the first shots of the Pacific War were fired by an Indian Army manned 18-pounder.
For me, your wiki quotes are just re-inforcing my point i.e. they were barely used. Opinions on this may differ.

nuyt wrote:
10 Nov 2021 10:29
This Tampella factory is very interesting, did some interesting artillery work as well, wonder if there was ever a good English language study on them...
Good study… I’m going with no. There is “Tampellasta Patriaan : 70 vuotta suomalaista raskasta aseenvalmistusta. From Tampella to Patria : 70 years of Finnish heavy weapons production” by Vesa Toivonen. Good luck finding that outside of Finland. The book is mainly in Finnish, but all the picture captions are in Finnish and English. Every couple of pages they have a little box with some English text in it. 25% (maybe) of the book is in English.

Finland’s military pre WW2 was a bit (sorry for this term) ghetto. They managed to field a reasonably effective army on the cheap. Filling their shortfall in artillery with mortars was, in my opinion, a very important part of that. Speaking of alternate 20th C. artillery, going with mortars pre WW2 ,for more budget conscious countries, seems very sensible. Would be some cap badge concerns, with Artillery not wanting their budget spent on an “infantry” weapon, an opinion which the Corps of Infantry would probably agree with. Would be easier to incorporate prox fuses with mortars too.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Dec 2021 18:45


Finland’s military pre WW2 was a bit (sorry for this term) ghetto. They managed to field a reasonably effective army on the cheap. Filling their shortfall in artillery with mortars was, in my opinion, a very important part of that. Speaking of alternate 20th C. artillery, going with mortars pre WW2 ,for more budget conscious countries, seems very sensible. Would be some cap badge concerns, with Artillery not wanting their budget spent on an “infantry” weapon, an opinion which the Corps of Infantry would probably agree with. Would be easier to incorporate prox fuses with mortars too.
Not much easier or more difficult. There was or is a technical detail about high angle impact & trajectory ordinate leading projectile velocity out running fuze function. But, that's solvable.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Dec 2021 19:41

antwony wrote:
28 Dec 2021 11:45
20 divisions, even if 10 are “secret”, is a lot. If I understand my Tooze correctly, Germany’s rearmament was bankrupting the country, as well as, engaging in straight up theft/ criminality. Although, to be fair, “several thousand” (your number) is also a lot.
I sometimes wonder if that one ever actually reads his "sources"? No, there were not ten "black Reichswehr" divisions, There were 1en divisions, three cavalry and seven infantry. Yes, there was an attempt at a Scharnhorst-style Krümpersystem, but it was not noticeably successful. When the decision was made to expand in December 1933, it required the dissolution of the three cavalry divisions, the recall of retired, but fit officers, and the recruitment of 50,000 to 60,000 men in April 1934 to create the framework for 21 infantry and 3 Panzer divisions by the end of 1934. Those divisions were filled out, 3 new infantry divisions, and 56 reserve divisions were created, in 1935, after the introduction of universal conscription on 16 March 1935.

However, it was October-November 1937, before the 1915 and 1916 birth years were fully called up, adding 705,000 recruits, along with about 250,000 of the 1914 birth year, making up the bulk of the Heer's 39 regular and 56 reserve divisions. Critically, the Weißjahrgang (1901-1913), who had received no training in the Great War and who had only received 2 to 3 months reserve training in the Reichsheer and Heer, made up the bulk of the strength of the reserve divisions, 46% of 3. and 4. Welle divisions. Overall, about 326,000 of these partially trained Reserve II personnel were mobilized in the fall of 1939. It is unlikely they made up a significant fraction of the supposed "black" Reichswehr.
Large parts of the BEF of 1939 were barely equipped and trained. Artillery wasn’t the biggest lack, but more than a few of those “divisions” had no artillery. Post BEF losses, suspect you’d have to get well in 1941, or even 1942, before there were 20 fully equipped British divisions.
They were close to that by the end of September 1939 and had the better part of 20 divisions equipped. The remaining critical shortfalls were 2-pdr AT (8.4 divisions worth) and medium artillery (10 divisions worth).
Your logic is all over the place, to me.
One reason I keep this poster on ignore.
Sure, I’ve no idea what you’re trying to say.
Another reason I keep this poster on ignore. :lol:
stopped making any sense and started up inane, ad hominem nonsense.
And yet another reason I keep this poster on ignore. :lol:
For me, you opinions are in line with Wehrabooish “Nazi German economic miracle” nonsense.
One of the more interesting qualities of the current crop of Wehraboos at AHF is that they somehow believe that those not of the Wehraboo ilk must somehow be "Wallieboos" rather than rational persons able to see the real issues on both sides.
For me, your wiki quotes are just re-inforcing my point i.e. they were barely used. Opinions on this may differ.
It depends upon what you mean by "18-pdr". The unmodified, Great War era Ordnance QF 18-pdr was still in existence, 405 in England upon declaration of war and 130 overseas, mostly in India and the Middle East, but also in Canada, Australia, and so forth. Most were mounted on a late war box trail (Mark IVP) or split trail (Mark VP) carriage. Of those, 216 went to France with the BEF and were lost, while some remained in service as such, most were eventually converted to 18/25-pdr, which was the 25-pdr liner, mounted in an 18-pdr jacket on an 18-pdr Mark IVP or Mark VP carriage.
Good study… I’m going with no. There is “Tampellasta Patriaan : 70 vuotta suomalaista raskasta aseenvalmistusta. From Tampella to Patria : 70 years of Finnish heavy weapons production” by Vesa Toivonen. Good luck finding that outside of Finland. The book is mainly in Finnish, but all the picture captions are in Finnish and English. Every couple of pages they have a little box with some English text in it. 25% (maybe) of the book is in English.

Finland’s military pre WW2 was a bit (sorry for this term) ghetto. They managed to field a reasonably effective army on the cheap. Filling their shortfall in artillery with mortars was, in my opinion, a very important part of that. Speaking of alternate 20th C. artillery, going with mortars pre WW2 ,for more budget conscious countries, seems very sensible. Would be some cap badge concerns, with Artillery not wanting their budget spent on an “infantry” weapon, an opinion which the Corps of Infantry would probably agree with. Would be easier to incorporate prox fuses with mortars too.
Interesting, thanks.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Dec 2021 19:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 19:41
antwony wrote:
28 Dec 2021 11:45
20 divisions, even if 10 are “secret”, is a lot. If I understand my Tooze correctly, Germany’s rearmament was bankrupting the country, as well as, engaging in straight up theft/ criminality. Although, to be fair, “several thousand” (your number) is also a lot.
I sometimes wonder if that one ever actually reads his "sources"? No, there were not ten "black Reichswehr" divisions, There were 1en divisions, three cavalry and seven infantry. Yes, there was an attempt at a Scharnhorst-style Krümpersystem, but it was not noticeably successful. When the decision was made to expand in December 1933, it required the dissolution of the three cavalry divisions, the recall of retired, but fit officers, and the recruitment of 50,000 to 60,000 men in April 1934 to create the framework for 21 infantry and 3 Panzer divisions by the end of 1934. Those divisions were filled out, 3 new infantry divisions, and 56 reserve divisions were created, in 1935, after the introduction of universal conscription on 16 March 1935.

...
Kleine-Albrahndt related in in a 1980 lecture I sat in, much the same. He had interviewed some elderly Reichwehr officers & had this from them: Paraphrasing what I recall...

The closest group to a organized reserve were the police reserves/auxillaries. Those were well trained, and armed with rifles, MG, and 'grenade throwers', as were the regular police. They lacked artillery weapons & training in such, communications equipment, logistics vehicles.

The administrative office responsible for care of Great War veterans had a up to date roster of names, current addresses, and health status of the vast pool of veterans. As others have pointed out, from 1925 this was a sinking asset with significant losses of men able to serve for health and political reasons, immigration, and their soldierly skill set very stale. The idea of 'Gun Clubs' and Veterans organizations being a secret reserve was dismissed. While that would have provided enthusiastic groups of individuals, there was no clandestine organization for these men.

The Reichswehr officers interviewed did describe a pool of small arms hidden from the treaty inspectors. Part of that was in the armories of the police reserves, those were described as 'overstocked'. Reichswehr armories were overstocked as well. Then there were what K-A referred to as disposal depots which were never actually emptied. All the weapons there were referred to as a "small arms". No mention of artillery, radios, telephones, office equipment for the HQ staff, tents, blankets, uniforms, engineering equipment, or much else.

K-A dismissed the idea of a million man army deployed out of the Shadow Army. He thought half that could have been armed & organized into rifle battalions or regiments of any combat value. They'd have to have been attached to the existing Reichswehr divisions to have any function as division troops. Otherwise they'd by operating in loose groups with ad hoc supply service.

My own take is the bulk of these men would have had value only as fillers & replacements un the existing Reichswehr formations, otherwise they'd been useful only as a quasi resistiance force in the case of invasion & useless for offensive operations. Were there some pool of hidden artillery my experience suggests that with a full cadre with current skills a minimum of six months is necessary to bring a battalion of artillery to full capability, less if all you want is a collection of batteries with little ability to operate as a tactical entity. To stand up ten light divisions with three battalions of cannon each would require 6000+ cadre for the artillery component. Im skeptical such could have been taken out of a 100,000 or even 200,000 man Reichswehr.

Kleine-Albrandt concentrated on modern European history, and published on the interwar period. Previous to his academic career he'd served in the US Air Force as a intelligence officer, so he had training in analysis of military OB & capability, so his interviews with the Reichswehr officers were informed by that experience.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by stg 44 » 30 Dec 2021 20:37

Richard, why are you instigating by talking crap? The reason our interactions have been so unpleasant is your rudeness and incivility since the beginning of our interactions in this subforum; you get what you give.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 19:41
I sometimes wonder if that one ever actually reads his "sources"? No, there were not ten "black Reichswehr" divisions, There were 1en divisions, three cavalry and seven infantry. Yes, there was an attempt at a Scharnhorst-style Krümpersystem, but it was not noticeably successful. When the decision was made to expand in December 1933, it required the dissolution of the three cavalry divisions, the recall of retired, but fit officers, and the recruitment of 50,000 to 60,000 men in April 1934 to create the framework for 21 infantry and 3 Panzer divisions by the end of 1934. Those divisions were filled out, 3 new infantry divisions, and 56 reserve divisions were created, in 1935, after the introduction of universal conscription on 16 March 1935.
Did I claim there was 10 organized ones ready to go? The 'black reichswehr' was the unorganized troops off the books, not Reichswehr equivalent standing divisions. They were men with military training that could be organized into units in the event of a shooting war; it would be equivalent to militia divisions given the lack of equipment and standing organization. Which is why I said this:
'black Reichswehr' which was a militia that could double the size of the standing army if needed
Double in the sense of overall numbers and potentially separate units if given enough time to do so.

The decision to stand up more divisions later on caused the cavalry divisions to be dissolved, as they only existed due to restrictions on the number of infantry divisions allowed; they were always intended to be cadre units to allow the standing up of regular division as soon as it was politically feasible:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsweh ... omposition
The Reichswehr saw itself as a ‘cadre army’ or ‘Leader army’ (‘Führerarmee’), which meant that every soldier was trained in the skills needed to gain higher levels of responsibility. This was to become a basic prerequisite for the rapid growth of the army after the proclamation of military sovereignty by the Nazi regime in 1935.
Same with the recall of retired officers, if they were going to expand the military by 24 divisions beyond the 10 existing they needed experienced men quickly and the guys retired after the ToV were still useful for training up a new series of divisions. Any of the militia units in the interwar, pre-Nazi period would have seen the call up of WW1 vets and retired officers just the same as they did when organizing new standing divisions during the Nazi period. That doesn't mean the 'black reichswehr' couldn't have turned into 10 militia division in the 1920s just because when rearmament started they built 24 new divisions and disbanding standing ones to help stand them up as well as recall WW1 vets. Beside the entire point of the original discussion was that out of 10 standing divisions and arguably 10 militia divisions without much in the way of artillery they were able to produce thousands of artillery pieces in 7 years during peace time; my error was in over-estimating the number of equipped divisions Germany had in 1932, which makes the large number of new guns all the more indication of the focus they had to put on building an entirely new artillery park despite Sheldrakes claims that they skimped on artillery and artillery motorization as if they had the resources, but chose not to:
stg 44 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 15:50
Sheldrake wrote:
29 Oct 2021 23:02
a. German re-armament skimped on artillery. They never invested the logistic vehicles that supported the British and American artillery arm or the level of C3. Most of their artillery arm was no more mobile than in 1918. Horse drawn transport was inadequate for ammunition resupply and tied to railheads. The attrition of artillery horses was horrendous and led to lots of abandoned guns in Soviet offensives. Arguably the Germans should have motorised their medium artillery rather than their anti-tank guns.
I've never actually seen that claim substantiated before. The Germans had a huge artillery park at the start of the war and increasingly expanded it as time went on until defeats and mass losses of equipment coupled with increased bombing that disrupted production and a greater focus on FLAK meant shortages appeared by 1942.
Since they had to build so many new guns and had limited resources in the short time before the war there simply wasn't enough for everything and motorization for supply and mobile divisions took priority over ensuring foot infantry divisions had trucks for artillery. AT guns were more important to have more mobile than foot borne infantry division's artillery, as it could keep the same pace with infantry rather than be faster, which would have been a waste of resources. AT guns had to rapidly deploy and redeploy so they got the motor vehicles, especially as they could use light ones to tow some 37mm ones around rather than have prime movers to haul 105-150mm guns about.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 19:41
One reason I keep this poster on ignore.

Another reason I keep this poster on ignore. :lol:

And yet another reason I keep this poster on ignore. :lol:
Yet you keep commenting about me on thread that had been dormant. What is your obsession with me? Because I've dented your ego?
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 19:41
One of the more interesting qualities of the current crop of Wehraboos at AHF is that they somehow believe that those not of the Wehraboo ilk must somehow be "Wallieboos" rather than rational persons able to see the real issues on both sides.
Confession through projection. You're just accusing me of exactly what you're doing: calling someone a wehraboo because they disagree with you.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Dec 2021 20:57

Damn. Am I going be locking my own thread??

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Dec 2021 21:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Dec 2021 20:57
Damn. Am I going be locking my own thread??
:lol: :welcome: :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by paulrward » 31 Dec 2021 22:14

Hello All :
Carl Schwamberger wrote: ↑31 Dec 2021 12:57
Damn. Am I going be locking my own thread??

Only if you want the snide rudeness of one self-appointed ' expert ' to shut
down all discussion on the AHF.

Again and again, throughout this Forum, this supercilious incivility and boorish
rudeness has caused threads that apparently this individual finds uncomfortable
or disturbing to his preconceptions and prejudices to be lock down, ending
discussion on the Forum.

At this rate, in a few more years, the AHF will have morphed into the TND Memorial
Tribute Site
. And one person will be very happy.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
Discussions that are silenced, are discussions that will occur elsewhere !

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by nuyt » 03 Jan 2022 16:07

[/quote]
Good study… I’m going with no. There is “Tampellasta Patriaan : 70 vuotta suomalaista raskasta aseenvalmistusta. From Tampella to Patria : 70 years of Finnish heavy weapons production” by Vesa Toivonen. Good luck finding that outside of Finland. The book is mainly in Finnish, but all the picture captions are in Finnish and English. Every couple of pages they have a little box with some English text in it. 25% (maybe) of the book is in English.

Finland’s military pre WW2 was a bit (sorry for this term) ghetto. They managed to field a reasonably effective army on the cheap. Filling their shortfall in artillery with mortars was, in my opinion, a very important part of that. Speaking of alternate 20th C. artillery, going with mortars pre WW2 ,for more budget conscious countries, seems very sensible. Would be some cap badge concerns, with Artillery not wanting their budget spent on an “infantry” weapon, an opinion which the Corps of Infantry would probably agree with. Would be easier to incorporate prox fuses with mortars too.
[/quote]

Thanks for the book tip!

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jan 2022 16:47

going with mortars pre WW2 ,for more budget conscious countries, seems very sensible. Would be some cap badge concerns, with Artillery not wanting their budget spent on an “infantry” weapon, an opinion which the Corps of Infantry would probably agree with.
How different it is when one is actually 'doing' fire support. There were nuances in the difference in range, mobility, or projectile performance. But, at the end of the day all that really mattered was getting the correct quantity of ammunition on target at the correct time. The rest of it was often transparent to the company or battalion commander & his fire support liaison/spotters.

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