French infantry division firepower 1940

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Kelvin
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French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 08 Jan 2018 07:57

When I study the TOE of French DI and DIM, I found that French DI and DIM 's firepower was much inferior to that of German counterparts. In accordance with my calculation, One French DI only had 29 x 60mm mortar and 30 x 81 mm mortar, 52 x 25 mm AT guns and 8 x 4.7 cm antitank guns. German Infanterie division had 93 x 5 cm mortar, 54 x 8 cm mortar, 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns and also 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G..

In term of artillery pieces, French had 36 x 75mm field guns, 24 x 155 mm howitzers ( Or DIM had 12 x 105 and 12 x 155 mm) while German had 36 x 10.5 cm and 12 x 15 cm howitzers.

Both French and German were Great Powers, France must know the status of German infantry force, why they still kept relative inferiority in firepower of their DI ?

Gooner1
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 10 Jan 2018 17:40

Germany spent the money and France didn't, simple as that.

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Sheldrake
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Jan 2018 21:51

Kelvin wrote:When I study the TOE of French DI and DIM, I found that French DI and DIM 's firepower was much inferior to that of German counterparts. In accordance with my calculation, One French DI only had 29 x 60mm mortar and 30 x 81 mm mortar, 52 x 25 mm AT guns and 8 x 4.7 cm antitank guns. German Infanterie division had 93 x 5 cm mortar, 54 x 8 cm mortar, 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns and also 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G..

In term of artillery pieces, French had 36 x 75mm field guns, 24 x 155 mm howitzers ( Or DIM had 12 x 105 and 12 x 155 mm) while German had 36 x 10.5 cm and 12 x 15 cm howitzers.

Both French and German were Great Powers, France must know the status of German infantry force, why they still kept relative inferiority in firepower of their DI ?
They didn't. You need to include the non divisional artillery. The French "Methodical battle" was based on the successful ideas of 1918. Artillery conquers: Infantry occupies. Much French firepower was in reserve artillery. You will have to do the maths. http://france1940.free.fr/oob/oob.html

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 11 Jan 2018 05:36

Hi, everyone, it seemed like Soviet practise, concentrating over 50 % artillery in non divisonal units and reserve. But after all, Russian won, French lost.

French corps had standard artillery units itself, 24 x 105 mm and 12 x 155mm, Cavarly corps had 36 x motorized 75mm field guns too. German corps was just a HQ unit somewhat. Perhaps French spent money on big one , 155mm howitzer while German spent on small one like mortar. Except in guerilla warfare, mostly big one overcame small one.

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 11 Jan 2018 10:21

Gooner1 wrote:Germany spent the money and France didn't, simple as that.
Besides spending money on Maginot Line and navy, France did spend money on tank. Renault Char B1 heavy tank certainly a formidable tank with 56mm turret frontal armor, two guns : 47mm for antitank and one 75mm howitzers which German cannot match. Somua 35 medium tank was also good design and slightly superior to German Pz III. And FCM 2C heavy tank was another monster, 69 ton, 75mm howitzer and large shell stowage and four MG. Renault Char D2 was another great tank too.

The organization of DIM was also not inferior to its German counterparts, the formeer had total 280 AFV ( 87 Somua 35, 87 Hotchkiss 35, 66 AMR -35 ( 13.2 mm heavy MG or 7.5mm light mG), 42 x Panhard 4 x 4 armoured car with 25 mm gun. Three motorized infantry battalions on either Laffly S20TL or Lorraine 28 trucks. Also motorized Artillery and engineer. Of course, organization of DC was not perfect and organization of DLC was failure with mixture of motorized and horsed brigades.

Gooner1
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 11 Jan 2018 13:30

Kelvin wrote:Perhaps French spent money on big one , 155mm howitzer while German spent on small one like mortar. Except in guerilla warfare, mostly big one overcame small one.
Most of the French artillery - and probably most of the ammunition - dated back to 1918 and earlier. The German artillery pieces were new, as were the shells.

Skarpskytten
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Skarpskytten » 11 Jan 2018 18:02

Kelvin wrote:German Infanterie division had 93 x 5 cm mortar, 54 x 8 cm mortar, 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns and also 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G.
Your comparison is flawed.

These figures are true for divisions of the 1. Welle. Others had less equimpent. (The figures below ignores the 9. Welle and Bodenständige divisions).

Mortars. Divisons of 1. and 8. Welle had 93 x 5 cm mortar and 54 x 8 cm mortars. Welle 5. and 6. had 24 x x 8 cm .Welle 2.,3., 4 and 7. had none (0).
Anti-tank guns. Welle 1.-6. had 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns. Welle 7. and 8 48 x 3.7 cm.
I.G. Welle 1. had 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G. Welle 2.,3. and 4: 26 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G (no heavies). Welle 5. and 6.: none. Welle 7.: 12 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G (no heavies). Welle 8.: 18 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G.
Artillery, Welle 1., 2., 4., 5., 6. and 8.: 36 x 10.5 cm and 12 x 15 cm howitzers. Welle 3. theoritically the same, but many lacked the heavy howizers. Welle 7.: 24 x 10.5 cm, and one division had a heavy bn.

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 13 Jan 2018 21:35

Skarpskytten wrote:
Kelvin wrote:German Infanterie division had 93 x 5 cm mortar, 54 x 8 cm mortar, 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns and also 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G.
Your comparison is flawed.

These figures are true for divisions of the 1. Welle. Others had less equimpent. (The figures below ignores the 9. Welle and Bodenständige divisions).

Mortars. Divisons of 1. and 8. Welle had 93 x 5 cm mortar and 54 x 8 cm mortars. Welle 5. and 6. had 24 x x 8 cm .Welle 2.,3., 4 and 7. had none (0).
Anti-tank guns. Welle 1.-6. had 72 x 3.7 cm Antitank guns. Welle 7. and 8 48 x 3.7 cm.
I.G. Welle 1. had 20 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G and 6 x 15 cm s.I.G. Welle 2.,3. and 4: 26 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G (no heavies). Welle 5. and 6.: none. Welle 7.: 12 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G (no heavies). Welle 8.: 18 x 7.5 cm Ie I.G.
Artillery, Welle 1., 2., 4., 5., 6. and 8.: 36 x 10.5 cm and 12 x 15 cm howitzers. Welle 3. theoritically the same, but many lacked the heavy howizers. Welle 7.: 24 x 10.5 cm, and one division had a heavy bn.
Hi, Skarpskytten, thank for your correction.

alain adam
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by alain adam » 15 Jan 2018 23:43

Everytime , simple analysis forgot simple things ...
One example : the french infantry had the VB ( vivien-bessieres ) grenade launcher , able to launch explosives up to 200 meters with a simple riflegun . In each group of ten mens , you have at least one VB launcher . For a compagny , let's say 10 . It's why french sections don't have small caliber mortars in 1940 . But if you don't know this equipement , you cannot compare ...
One other example , the comparison between the FM 24/29 and the machinegun"light" MG 34 . By analysis , the use of each was the same , and the lightest weight of the french model will give a little advantage for the frenchies , even theoretical performances are different .

Regards,
Alain
ATF40 ( Armée de Terre Française 1940 ) : French ground army in 1940 , website atf40.fr

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 16 Jan 2018 08:21

alain adam wrote:Everytime , simple analysis forgot simple things ...
One example : the french infantry had the VB ( vivien-bessieres ) grenade launcher , able to launch explosives up to 200 meters with a simple riflegun . In each group of ten mens , you have at least one VB launcher . For a compagny , let's say 10 . It's why french sections don't have small caliber mortars in 1940 . But if you don't know this equipement , you cannot compare ...
One other example , the comparison between the FM 24/29 and the machinegun"light" MG 34 . By analysis , the use of each was the same , and the lightest weight of the french model will give a little advantage for the frenchies , even theoretical performances are different .

Regards,
Alain
Hello, Alain, I am too simple and forget VB launcher. That mean German squad used 5cm mortar while French squad used VB rifle grenader launcher as squad support weapon. Rifle grenader launcher can be used by one solidiers and much more easier than 5 cm mortar but the range is much more limited than 5 cm mortar.

But I want to ask if German did not have grenade launcher in 1939 ?

For MG, MG 34 can sustain longer firepower with 250 rounds belt while French FM 24 only had 25 rounds magazines.

alain adam
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by alain adam » 24 Jan 2018 21:36

Hi Kelvin ,
The modernized armament for french army should be one small grenade launcher ( 50 mm brandt ) per section , with the possibility to have grenade launchers on rifles for some of the soldiers . But this was not implemented in may 1940 .
I do not know if you're able to read french , but i've made a text about french and german dotations for small level of units .
https://www.39-45.org/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=47788
Please indicate if you need some translations .
Anyway , at this level , germans had only ( when available ! mostly in Welle I units ) one leichte granatwerfer ( 5cm ) , no grenade launchers for rifles .
Each MG.34 machine gun had only two belts of 250 rounds , more dedicated to defense , and use mainly loaders of 50 rounds ( to be able to carry the MG ) in case of offensive tasks .

Regards,
Alain
ATF40 ( Armée de Terre Française 1940 ) : French ground army in 1940 , website atf40.fr

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 25 Jan 2018 08:53

Hello, Alain, thank for your answer and link, I will go through the website, if need help will call u, thank again.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Jan 2018 11:45

Kelvin wrote:Hi, everyone, it seemed like Soviet practise, concentrating over 50 % artillery in non divisonal units and reserve. But after all, Russian won, French lost.

French corps had standard artillery units itself, 24 x 105 mm and 12 x 155mm, Cavarly corps had 36 x motorized 75mm field guns too. German corps was just a HQ unit somewhat. Perhaps French spent money on big one , 155mm howitzer while German spent on small one like mortar. Except in guerilla warfare, mostly big one overcame small one.
Similarly the groups of infantry support tanks in each corps altered the firepower of the French division.

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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Jan 2018 11:48

Gooner1 wrote:
Kelvin wrote:Perhaps French spent money on big one , 155mm howitzer while German spent on small one like mortar. Except in guerilla warfare, mostly big one overcame small one.
Most of the French artillery - and probably most of the ammunition - dated back to 1918 and earlier. The German artillery pieces were new, as were the shells.
The Germans in 1940 made much use of their elderly Reichswehr & Austrian artillery as well as lighter Czech artillery.

Kelvin
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Re: French infantry division firepower 1940

Post by Kelvin » 26 Jan 2018 06:28

Some Czech was big one : 305mm and 355mm

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