Greek Artillery 1941

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nuyt
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by nuyt » 18 Dec 2020 17:46

Here it is, red hot evidence of being Vickers:
http://collections.dockmuseum.org.uk/mw ... 1;type=101
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Sturm78
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Sturm78 » 18 Dec 2020 22:49

nuyt wrote
Here it is, red hot evidence of being Vickers:
http://collections.dockmuseum.org.uk/mw ... 1;type=101
Hi Nuyt,
I think you has found the definitive solution...!! :)

However, this gun is a different model from the standard 76mm 3in 20cwt British anti-aircraft gun...
Was this a specific Vickers model for export?
Does anyone know if this model was used in some other Greek navy ship?

It is a pity that no information about the different guns is provided on your link's website. The small size of the photos makes it difficult to clearly appreciate any detail ... :cry:

Regards
Sturm78

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nuyt
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by nuyt » 19 Dec 2020 22:27

Not a specific export model I think, but a modernized older Greek 12 pounder from the Averof like here : http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_3-40_mk1.php
or Ansaldo 76/40, using a new barrel and a sliding wedge breechblock like on the modern Vickers 75mm AA gun.

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Sturm78 » 20 Dec 2020 14:39

nuyt wrote
Not a specific export model I think, but a modernized older Greek 12 pounder from the Averof like here : http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_3-40_mk1.php
or Ansaldo 76/40, using a new barrel and a sliding wedge breechblock like on the modern Vickers 75mm AA gun.
Ummmhhhh...New barrel, new breechblock and also new brake and recovery mechanisms....and probably new sights also and other things... :roll:
I doubt it was worth so much effort to modernize an old gun. It would probably be almost as expensive as a new one...

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nuyt
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by nuyt » 20 Dec 2020 16:24

Well, that's business :) The Vickers archives tag this gun as one built for the Greek Govt, not as a new type of naval AA gun. Then, if politics chose a British firm and this company does not have a ready made new naval AA weapon available for export, and the Greeks can supply old guns to be modernized or as a basis to work from, then, yep, there is a cost, but you get the job done.

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Dili » 20 Dec 2020 22:10

181192_389954234392655_316722025_n.jpg
Excellent nuyt, this mount is completely different from Italian ones, so it should be an original Vickers

it seems to have a longer tube than 40 calibers


edit: maybe based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_3-inch_20_cwt ?
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by nuyt » 21 Dec 2020 10:09

Yeah it is some sort of combination. I am guessing now it was the barrel and breechblock of the famous Vickers 75mm aa gun, but then in 76,2mm (like the Finns received in 1936), fitted on a navy mount with some purpose built adjustments.

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Leo Niehorster » 04 Dec 2022 23:13

Greetings. Reviving this old thread...

1st Question:
On 28.10.40 there was a total ~224×75mm field guns authorized i.a.w. the peace-time army and the mobilization plans.
  Corps field artillery regiments had a total of 148×75mm field guns:
  A Corps: 36
  B Corps: 36
  C Corps: 36
  D Corps: 36
  E Corps: 4
In addition, there were another 76×75mm field guns:
  Metaxa: 36
  Depots: 40 (not allocated to either the field army or the forts on mobilization)
The inventory is 208×75mm field guns :
  56 Field Guns Schneider-Canet M.1908 (75mm)
  4 Field Guns Schneider M.1907 (75mm) * (Serbian)
  20 Field Guns Schneider M.1904 (75mm) * (Bulgarian)
  128 Field Guns Krupp M.1904-1910 (75mm) * (Turkish)
  * Captured during the previous wars from Bulgarians & Turks.

Besides there appearing not to be enough 75mm field guns at all, does anyone have any idea which 75mm types were allocated to which units?

2nd Question:
Some 20mm antiaircraft guns were portee (mounted on trucks). Any idea which trucks were used for these units?

Thanking you for your time and attention.
Leo
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Hoplophile
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Hoplophile » 15 Dec 2022 13:09

I wonder if the difference between the Soll (224 field guns) and Ist (208 field guns) is a function of the age of the artillery park and the difficulty of obtaining spare parts. To put things another way, could the 16 field guns that had been authorized, but not on hand, have been "hanger queens," non-functional weapons that had been sacrificed on the altar of "selective interchange."

This possibility raises of the question of whether the "depots" in question were training units, storage facilities, or maintenance facilities.

Another question that comes to mind concerns ammunition. Did the Greek Army have a program to modify its captured guns to use standard ammunition? Did it manufacture new rounds for its captured weapons, particularly the Krupp field guns captured from Turkey?

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Hoplophile » 16 Dec 2022 11:19

In search of the answers to the questions posed by Dr. Niehorster, I delved into some printouts that, many years ago, I had made of German captured documents preserved on microfilm by the US National Archives. In the records of the Department for Evaluation of Foreign Land Fortifications [Abteilung Auswertung fremder Landesbefistugen] of the Army High Command [OKH], I found the pages of a printed Memorandum on Greek Land Fortifications [Denkschrift über griechische Landesbefestugen]. At the end of this Memorandum, I found a fold-out order of battle of for the Greek Army of East Macedonia. The diagram is undated, but the context suggests that it refers to the situation during the early days of the German invasion of Greece. (The microfilm reference is T-78, Roll 626.)

The good news is that this order of battle (scans of which are attached) provides a detailed breakdown of the number, caliber, and assignment of field pieces to various Greek formations. The bad news is that it does not differentiate between various makes and models of 75mm field guns.

The other bit of bad news is that T-78, Roll 626 is absent from the (most excellent) collection of digitized copies of microfilm rolls that John Calvin has been kind enough to make available.



AOK Ost-Macedonian 1 copy.jpg
AOK Ost-Macedonien 2 copy.jpg
Higher resolution versions of the same images can be found here: http://the-military-learning-library.34 ... td302.html
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Last edited by Hoplophile on 16 Dec 2022 13:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Hoplophile » 16 Dec 2022 13:00

On page 35 of the Denkschrift über griechische Landesbefestugen, there is a list of Feld-Kanonen employed by Greek forces defending the Metaxas Line. It reads:

7,5cm Schneider M97
7,5cm Krupp M07
7,5cm Krupp M11
? cm ital. Feldkanonen (Beute)


I find myself wondering of the "Schneider M97" guns are actual Schneider weapons (such as M1908 pieces that Greece ordered from Schneider before the Balkan Wars) or government-designed M1897 75mm field guns (the famous "French 75") that were confused with Schneider-designed weapons.

So, rather than helping Dr. Niehorster with his conundrum, all this source does is add to the confusion!

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by reedwh52 » 19 Dec 2022 15:31

The following information comes from the defunct Yahoo group on orders of battle, downloaded (quite) a few years ago. t may or may not help.

Greek Artillery

I went to the village, as promised, dug into the dusty volumes of WWII history and here are my findings:

I. ARTILLERY
There are 4 categories of types of Greek artillery pieces that were present and/or in use during 1940-41.
These are:
(a) those pre-war types that were too obsolete to be used in 1940-41;
(b) those pre-war pieces that were used;
(c) those given to the Greeks by the U.S.A. and Britain; and
(d) those captured from the Italians, either in Albania or in Libya, and used against them.
Types and numbers according to categories are:

1. Mountain Artillery:
(a) Schneider 70 mm. - 9 guns,
(b) Krupp 75 mm. - 10 guns,
(c) Erhart 77 mm. - 8 guns.
(d) A total of 27 obsolete mountain guns.

- 2. Heavy Artillery:
Schneider 120 mm. - 2 guns,
Krupp 150 mm. -4 guns,
Armstrong 105 mm. - 6 guns.
A total of 12 obsolete heavy pieces.

(b)
- 1. Mountain Artillery:
Saint Etienne 65 mm., mod. 1906 – 110 guns.
Schneider 75 mm., mod. 1919 - 192 guns.
Schneider-Danklê 75 mm., mod. 1908 -48 guns.
Skoda 75 mm. - 22 guns.
Schneider 105 mm., mod. 1919 - 120 guns.
Skoda 105 mm., mod. 1916 - 7 guns

- 2. Field Artillery:
Krupp 75 mm., mods. 1904-1910 - 128 guns.
Schneider 75 mm., mod. 1904 -21 guns.
Schneider 75 mm., mod. 1907 - 6 guns.
Schneider 75 mm., mod. 1908 - 61 guns.
A total of 216 75 mm. field guns of which 208 were serviceable.

- 3. Heavy Artillery, long (that is guns):
Schneider 85 mm., split trail, mod. 1925 - 48 guns.
Schneider 105 mm., split trail, mod. 1927 - 48 guns. (??French 105mm Schneider Mle.1925 field guns (60 purchased))
Krupp 105 mm. - 5 guns of which only 3 were serviceable.
De Bange 120 mm., ox-driven, mods. 1878-1916 – 12 guns of which only 4 were serviceable.


- 4. Heavy Artillery, short (that is howitzers):
Schneider 155 mm., mod. 1917 - 60 guns.
Skoda 150 mm., mod. 1914 - 12 guns of which 11 were serviceable.
English 6 in. Howitzer, Mk. I, ox-driven - 24 guns.

All these guns (a total of 905 serviceable pieces) were organized as follows, according to the mobilisation plans:

- A) Regimental artillery: Each of the 56 pre-war Infantry Regiments (both Active and Reserve) had a 2-gun 'escort' artillery troop of 65 mm. mountain guns.

- B) Mountain artillery: A total of 91 batteries. The mountain artillery was organised in 15 Mountain Artillery Regiments, belonging to the 15 Infantry Divisions and bearing their numbers (I-XV). Each Mount. Art. Rgt. had 3 groups: 1 group of 2 105 mm. Batteries and 2 groups of 2 75 mm. batteries each. All Rgts. had Schneider 75 mm./1919 and Schneider 105 mm./1919 except that the XII and XIII Rgts. had 75 mm. Schneider-Danklê instead. Moreover the VIII Rgt. Had Skoda 75 and 105 mm. guns. The Cavalry Division also had a Skoda portee (mounted on trucks) 75 mm. battery. Transliterating Greek is not easy. I transliterated 'Danklê' as if it was an ancient Greek word. Another transliteration might be 'Dagkli'.
In any case, the word is pronounced 'Thagli' ('Th' as in 'them', a hard 'g' as in 'go', and the accent on the final syllable).

- C) Field artillery: A total of 41 batteries. The field artillery was organised in 4 Field Artillery Regiments belonging to the first 4 Army Corps and bearing their number: A(lpha, 1st), B(êta, 2nd), G (amma, 3rd) and D(elta, 4th). Each Rgt. had 3 groups each of 3 batteries. Moreover, there was a field artillery group (2 batteries) belonging to the Cavalry Division and an independent field artillery group (3 batteries) belonging to the VIIIth Infantry Division, and bearing its number (VIII).

The remaining field guns were in the Metaxas Line fortresses, either inside them or in anti-tank bunkers around them.

- D) Heavy artillery: A total of 43 batteries: 12 85 mm. batteries, 12 105 mm. ones, 15 155 mm. ones, 3 150 mm. ones and a single 6 in. battery. They were organised in 4 Heavy Artillery Regiments (A, B, G,
D), belonging to the first 4 A.C. Each Rgt. had 1 85 mm. group (2 batt.), 1 105 mm. group (2 batt.) and 1 155 mm. group (3 batt.).

Moreover there existed an independent E(psilon, 5th) group (1 85 mm. and 1 105 mm. batteries) belonging to the 5th A.C., as well as an independent E Position Battery (6 in. howitzers), belonging to the
same A.C. One Heavy Artillery Regiment was directly attached to the (1st) Army. It was the S(igma, first letter of the word 'Stratia'=Army) Hvy Art. Rgt. with 1 85 gp. (3 batt.), 1 105 gp. (3 batt.) and 1 155 gp. (3 batt.). There was also the (motorized) Group of 150 mm. Skoda Howitzers (3 batteries - 11 guns), also
directly subordinated to the Army. The rest of 6 in. and 120 mm. heavy pieces were organised in
independent Position Batteries behind the Metaxas Line fortresses.

It must be stressed though that the above were mobilisation plans only. For example the 'Group of 150 mm. Skoda Howitzers' was not formed as such but as 'Regiment of 150 mm. Skoda Howitzers' with 2 (A
& B) subordinate groups (with perhaps 2 batteries each and about 3 guns per battery). The units of the D and E A.C. as well as those of the Inf. Divs. in Thrace were mixed/moved about/renamed/transfered in
an alarming way so as to provide reinforcements for the units fighting in Albania.
(c) - The U.S.A. agreed to send 60 155 mm., mod. 1917 guns, 50 75 mm. field guns (new type) and 24 75 mm. field guns (old type). None of these arrived before the Germans occupied Greece.

Britain sent 50 75 mm. field guns. Of these 18 arrived in Greece, 6 were sunk on the way and 26 did not arrive in time. These 18 guns were old but had pneumatic tyres. It is possible that these were American M.1897 field guns given to Britain through 'Lend Lease' and passed on to Greece by the latter. However, in my opinion, this might not be the case since they used the same ammo as the rest of the Greek 75 mm. field guns and were classified by the Ordnance Department as guns similar to the Greek 75 mm. ones.

Britain also sent 12 Saint Etienne 65 mm. mountain guns, identical to the ones already in use by the Greek Army.

The 18 75 mm. guns were organised as follows: 4 went to a battery belonging to the 19th Field Artillery Group (19th Mot. Div.) and 12 went to the B3 Field Artillery Group (3rd Art. Group of the B(êta) Field Art. Rgt.). The 12 65 mm. guns were organised as follows: 4 went to the 'K battery of 65 mm.' ('K' perhaps stands for 'Kentron'=Center), belonging to the Artillery Training Center in Athens, and the rest
into a 'Mountain Artillery Group of 65 mm. of the Cavalry Division', arriving to the latter Division in 9-1-41.

(d) - The Italian spoils were of two categories; those captured in Albania and those captured in Libya and arriving by ship from Egypt. These were by type:
Armstrong-Pozzoli 65 mm. mountain guns - 42 captured in Albania, 9 arriving from Egypt; a total of 51 guns.
'Skoda' 75 mm., mod. 1936, mountain guns - 33 captured in Albania.
75 mm., mod. 1927, field guns - 50 arriving from Egypt.
100 mm., mod. 1917, long guns - 15 captured in Albania (4 were field guns and 11 were mountain guns).
149 mm. heavy guns - 7 captured in Albania.

The Italian spoils were organised as follows:
5 65 mm. batteries, 6 75 mm. mountain gun batteries, 30 75 mm. Field guns (probably organised in 15 2-gun troops), 2 149 mm. batteries (a total of 6 guns), and 1 100 mm. field gun battery.

The rest were not ready yet by the time of the Armistice. All those organised in units were sent to the Artillery Training Center in Athens, but it is doubtful if many were sent to the front in time to
see action. The only positive information that I have for them is that the 20th Inf. Div. had (in April '41) one 2-gun troop of captured Italian 75 mm. field guns with A/T mission.

The total of guns used by the Greek Army in 1940-41 (including all serviceable spoils and British guns) amounted to 1019 guns. All batteries nominally had 4 guns and were organised in 2 2-gun troops.

II. ANTI-TANK WEAPONS
The pre-war A/T weapons of the Greek Army were:
24 German Rheinmetal 37 mm. A/T guns (10 in 2 1/2 batteries and 14 in the Metaxas Line),
22 Boys 14 mm. A/T rifles and
32 13,2 mm. Hotchkiss Heavy Machine Guns organised in M.G. companies, each with 4-6 HMGs.

Moreover, 90.000 H.E. artillery shells of the Schneider-Danklê 75 mm mountain guns were converted into A/T rounds for use with the Scneider-Danlê and the Schneider, mod. 1919 75 mm. mountain guns
As well as the 3 types of 75 mm. field guns. 50.000 were converted before the war and 40.000 during it.

25.000 De Bange system shells were dug in as A/T mines and were very effective during the German attack in Eastern Macedonia.
Factories in
Greece also produced during the war 5.970 A/T grenades and 2.600 petrol bombs (Molotov Cocktails).

After the war started the British sent 100 Boys 14 mm. A/T rifles and 30.000 A/T grenades. Moreover, 23 Italian 47 mm. A/T guns were captured in Albania and a further 30 were shipped from Egypt. Of this total of 53 47 mm. A/T guns 38 were sent to the front organised in 19 2-gun troops. Also 15 ex-Italian 20 mm. A/T rifles, also from Libya/Egypt. Of these 14 were sent to the front. Therefore, my previous statement that no A/T rounds were provided for the Greek artillery is not correct.

I hope that the above were of some help.

Regards, Dimitris

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Hoplophile
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Hoplophile » 20 Dec 2022 13:49

Well done, Dimitris (if I may)! This is a splendid find.

Readers interested in the various kinds of Schneider mountain guns discussed in this thread may enjoy the following articles.

https://tacticalnotebook.substack.com/p ... ns-in-1919

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k ... /f164.item

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by reedwh52 » 20 Dec 2022 15:20

Hoplophile:

I appreciate the comment, but:

Quotes around the text did not take . The quote was from Dimitrio, not me.

CAn't take credit for work that was not mine. I just retained the data.

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nuyt
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by nuyt » 26 Dec 2022 20:43

reedwh52 wrote:
19 Dec 2022 15:31
(c) - The U.S.A. agreed to send 60 155 mm., mod. 1917 guns, 50 75 mm. field guns (new type) and 24 75 mm. field guns (old type). None of these arrived before the Germans occupied Greece.

Britain sent 50 75 mm. field guns. Of these 18 arrived in Greece, 6 were sunk on the way and 26 did not arrive in time. These 18 guns were old but had pneumatic tyres. It is possible that these were American M.1897 field guns given to Britain through 'Lend Lease' and passed on to Greece by the latter. However, in my opinion, this might not be the case since they used the same ammo as the rest of the Greek 75 mm. field guns and were classified by the Ordnance Department as guns similar to the Greek 75 mm. ones.
This was not the 1897 gun (the US version of the French 75), but American made 18pdrs converted to 75 mm after WWI, so they could use the same ammo as the 1897 75mm. The Americans called them "British guns" because they had originally been ordered by them and made for them.

It could have been a mix up? The US promises to send 50 "British guns" and the British promise to send 50 75mm guns. Maybe it was the same 50 piece batch and both were talking about the same guns?
These are the guns I mean: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/75_mm_gun_M1917

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