Greek Artillery 1941

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Sitzkrieg
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Sitzkrieg » 20 Nov 2009 11:58

Regarding the Hotchkiss 25mm AA guns: I have seen some preserved in military installations, so can we assume that they were leftovers from the German occupation?

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 20 Nov 2009 19:28

Yes my friend Sitzkrieg. The Hellenic Army used some Hotchkiss 25mm AA guns, until the '80s.
They should have been left from the german occupation forces, since no order has ever signed.

Idomeneas

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 01 Dec 2009 21:27

Something that I found, and may interests Stoly01.

The Mechanized Regiment of the Cavalry Division, by 1940 was equipped with 4 37mm flak and 6 20mm (heavy chassie).
These were probably truck mounted. The AA defense of the Cavalry Division, was completed with another 4 20mm flak (probably light chassie) transported by horses.

Regarding the XIX Mechanized Division, I believe that the AA defence was based on the 40mm Bofors guns, that were provided by the British.

Idomeneas

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 05 Dec 2009 18:57

I found some new info about the Skoda 150mm howitzers captured from the Italians, and there is the need to correct something that The Edge may find interest.
Previously I wrote that according to the official Army history the 7 150mm Skoda howitzers were technical similar with those used by the Hellenic Army, but they were of 149mm and not 150mm as it is stated. So The Edge made the following conclusion:
"That is a very interesting fact! I suspected that Skoda 15-cm howitzers in Hellenic Army use were guns captured from Turks. Since Turkish 15-cm standard was a German one (real caliber 149.7mm) it seems that Skoda M.14 howitzers made for Tukey had German, rather than Austro-Hungarian 15-cm caliber (real caliber 149.1mm). Italian guns were ex-Austro-Hungarian ones, so here is disparity in calibers – 150mm for ex-Turk, 149mm for newly captured Italian ones".

Recently I study the official report, over which the above mentioned published Army history was based. In this the situation regarding the captured 149mm Skoda howitzers, is described entirely different. More specifically it is stated that:
"Those technically were exactly the same to the greek Skoda 150mm. The difference on the caliber was not real, since those were of 149mm indeed, but the Greeks used to mentioned them as 150mm".
So it is now clear that the Skoda howitzers that the Hellenic Army possessed before the war, and the Skoda howitzers captured by the Italians, were both of the 149mm caliber (of Austro-Hungarian caliber 149.1mm). If this is so, then the Turks (from which the Greeks captured them in 1920s) had not only German 149.7mm Skodas, but 149mm Skoda howitzers also!

Idomeneas

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The Edge
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by The Edge » 07 Dec 2009 09:07

Idomeneas wrote: "Those technically were exactly the same to the greek Skoda 150mm. The difference on the caliber was not real, since those were of 149mm indeed, but the Greeks used to mentioned them as 150mm".
So it is now clear that the Skoda howitzers that the Hellenic Army possessed before the war, and the Skoda howitzers captured by the Italians, were both of the 149mm caliber (of Austro-Hungarian caliber 149.1mm). If this is so, then the Turks (from which the Greeks captured them in 1920s) had not only German 149.7mm Skodas, but 149mm Skoda howitzers also!
I'm affraid you're mixed up a little - my info might mislead you. To clarify this issue - during WWI Turkey obtained artillery from Germany & Austro-Hungarian Empire. These two allies used different calibers for artillery: field guns 77 vs 76.5mm, lt. howitzers 105 vs 100mm and hv. howitzers 149.7 vs 149.1mm (both called "15-cm"). In order to simplify its ammo supply, Turkey ordered Skoda M.16 mountain guns in German 105mm gauge (caliber alredy in use before 1914), so I suspect the same might be the case for heavy Skodas, nominaly a "15-cm" as similar Krupp guns that Turkey used.

Your info cleared my dilemma - Turkish 15-cm Skodas were in original Austrian 149.1mm caliber, while German 15-cm Krupp howitzers were in their original 149.7mm caliber (i.e. no unification of 15-cm caliber in WW1 Turkey - and no Skodas in German caliber).

Thanks for the valuable research, :D
Edge

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 07 Dec 2009 15:39

Thanks Edge,
So if I understant well there are no 149,7mm Skoda howitzers.

Idomeneas

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Leo Niehorster » 07 Dec 2009 19:52

I would be interested in information regarding the allocation of the type and number of artillery to units in the Hellenic Army and Royal Helenic Navy on or about 15 August 1940. I have some numbers and types, but am missing, for example, the divisional artillery assets.
For info as to what I have / am missing please see
Hellenic Army — Peace Time Order of Battle
Royal Hellenic Navy — Peace Time Order of Battle

Any assistance is welcome.
Thank you
Leo

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 07 Dec 2009 21:44

I only have info, regarding the artillery types allocation, according to the 1939b Mobilization Plan of the Hellenic Army, for which the planning started on 5 December 1939. This was the Mobilization Plan set in action in the morning of 28 October 1940.

Army > 12 85mm, 12 105mm, 12 155mm, 11 150mm Skoda

A Corp > 36 75mm field, 4 85mm, 8 105mm, 12 155mm
II Division > 16 75mm mountain
III Division > 8 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
IV Division > 16 75mm mountain, 8 105mm moutain

B Corp > 36 75mm field, 8 85mm, 4 105mm, 12 155mm
I Division > 16 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
IX Division > 16 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain

C Corp > 36 75mm field, 8 85mm, 8 105mm, 12 155mm
VI Division > 12 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
X Division > 16 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
XI Division > 16 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
XVII Division > 12 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain

D Corp > 36 75mm field, 8 85mm, 8 105mm, 12 155mm
VII Division 12 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
XIV Division 14 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain

E Corp > 4 75mm field, 4 85mm, 4 105mm, 4 6''
XII Division > 16 75mm Schneider/Daglis mountain, 8 105mm mountain
XIII Division > 16 75mm Schneider/Daglis mountain, 8 105mm mountain

Independent Units
V Division > 14 75mm mountain, 8 105mm mountain
VIII Division > 16 75mm Skoda mountain, 7 105mm Skoda mountain, 8 75mm mountain, 16 105mm mountain, 4 85mm, 4 105mm

Metaxa Line Fortifications > 16 75mm mountain, 2 75mm Skoda mountain, 36 75mm field, 3 105mm Krupp, 6 De Bange 120mm, 21 6''

Unfortunatelly, I do not have enough data for the Hellenic Navy, my friend Leo.

Idomeneas

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Leo Niehorster » 08 Dec 2009 00:24

Dear Idomeneas,
Thank you very much.
Cheers
Leo

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Stoly01 » 19 Dec 2009 01:17

Sitzkrieg wrote:Regarding the Hotchkiss 25mm AA guns: I have seen some preserved in military installations, so can we assume that they were leftovers from the German occupation?
Hi Sitzkrieg, thanks for the added information. I appreciate it.

regards,

Stavros

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Stoly01 » 19 Dec 2009 02:02

Idomeneas wrote:Something that I found, and may interests Stoly01.

The Mechanized Regiment of the Cavalry Division, by 1940 was equipped with 4 37mm flak and 6 20mm (heavy chassie).
These were probably truck mounted. The AA defense of the Cavalry Division, was completed with another 4 20mm flak (probably light chassie) transported by horses.

Regarding the XIX Mechanized Division, I believe that the AA defence was based on the 40mm Bofors guns, that were provided by the British.

Idomeneas
Hey Idomeneas, thanks for finding out a little more about Greece’s AA assets.

Please excuse the delay in getting back to you (for Sitzkrieg too), I’ve just been really busy.

The heavy chassis 20mm & 37mm used in the Cavalry Division may have been mounted on Daimler type trucks. Please see below.

As for the 19th Mech Div (formed in the last stages of the invasion); it makes sense that they employed British supplied 40mm Bofors, as most (if not all) of Greece’s arsenal, (including any spare kitchen sinks) were already committed to the fighting, with no other source for spares, replacements etc etc.

New Section:

I have some information about Greek purchases of AA guns from Germany, which I happened to find while surfing the net on a totally different topic. I think the name of the book speaks for itself. Its worth having a quick look at the review (if you don’t already know of this book). I myself have only read one section. I’ll have to get back to it sometime soon.

Name of book previewed on google: Tobacco, arms and politics by Morgens Pelt
Google.com - search field: tobacco, arms and politics [press enter]
Search REsults: The first entry (book review, preview).

The following is stated about Greek purchases of German AA guns (in the section that I read anyway).

p.65: ‘The main historical sources relating to the rearmament (of Greece) are Papagos’s book, published in 1945, concerning the Greek army during the interwar period, a publication issued by the Greek General Staff on the same subject, published in 1969, Annual Reports from the British Minister and contemporary German documents’ (end quote).

p.68 - p.69 (summarised):

Original orders of Arms materials (discrepancies below).

33 x 88mm guns
128 x 37mm guns
97 x 20mm guns

The discrepancy in the number of 88mm and 37mm guns recorded by Papagos and the Geman export cartel may be due to the fact that some weapons were never delivered. Another possibility is that Greece resold the guns. As will be demonstrated later Greece did resell war material to Spain. The discrepancy in the number of 20mm guns is likely to be due to the fact that the calculations from the German export cartel end on 30 June 1938, and therefore do not cover the whole period (up to 1939)


Also ordered were:

177 Daimler Trucks
50 Opel Trucks
Other material
48 Samoua Trucks (from France) with accessories
50 Renault Trucks (from France) with accessories
105,000 gas masks from Germany
101,000 gas masks from France

The book continues on to say:

From 01 January 1936 to June 1938 expenditure was as follows:

98 percent of a total of 221 million Dr. spent on vehicles and was used for new acquisitions. About 136 million Dr., or 61 percent of this total, was spent on equipment from Germany

Note: It is notable that the Daimler trucks were for transport of the 88mm and 37mm anti-aircraft guns, indicating that the guns and trucks constituted a part of a package.
55 million Dr. was sent in France on 48 Samoua trucks, 50 Renault trucks
including accessories. 137 million Dr. (86 percent) of expenditure on chemical warfare, was used for gas masks. Papagos mentions that the order was for 500,000 gas masks, but he does not say where the orders came from.
However the annual reports from the British Legation in Athens mention that the masks were ordered from Germany; the number according to this was 400,000.
The report published from the Greek General Staff claims that 105,000 gas masks were purchased from Germany and 101,000 in France.


I hope this helps. ThGreek orders of German AA guns were different that what they received as quoted above

Regards,

Stavros

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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Stoly01 » 19 Dec 2009 02:13

Are Canet guns and Creusotworks guns one and the same?

From memory, Canet was an engineer which designed a new type of breech, back in the days when words like “telegraph” and “sandwich” scared people. As for Creusot works, I only know that it was an arms factory owned by Schneider et Cie. I hope I am correct.

My question is; when everybody talks about the Schneider Canet gun or the Schneider Creusot gun, is there a difference (design and capability), or are they the same 75mm field gun manufactured in a different factory?

Unsure about this one.

Stavros

Idomeneas
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 19 Dec 2009 12:43

Hello my friends, I have some new info regarding the AA of the Hellenic Army.

As I wrote in the past the Mechanised Infantry of the Cavalry Division had the following AA assets:
4x37mm flaks
6x20mm (heavy chassie)
4X20mm (light chassie)
Please note (this is for Stoly01) that only the 20mm flaks were of 2 types (heavy/light chassie), not the 37mm flaks.
Those guns were probably used with Daimler trucks.

I recently had the opportunity to study some archives of the XIX Mechanized Division, and I discovered that the AA assets were limited to 4x37mm flaks and 4x20mm (heavy chassie). These AA guns were transferred from the N. Epirus front (Italians). There was no hint about the 40mm Bofors, transferred from the British.
The 37mm flaks were using Daimler trucks, while the 20mm Pavesi trucks.

Regarding the Tobacco, arms and politics by Morgens Pelt it happens to purchased it about 1 year ago, but you believe it or not, I havent read it yet.
Regarding the greek historical sources it mentions, relating to the rearmament of Greece, the author used just the Papagos’s book, published in 1945, but this book is based in a analytical report prepared by April 1938 from his stuff and he simply copied it. The analytical report, of the actual writer (Coloner Korozis) was published later by him, containing
more data, along with some critical points.
The 1969 poublication of the Directorate of History of the Helenic Army, is based on these two works. The really challenge for someone is to study the original historical archives of the Directorate. I had the chance to take a look and I was really shocked, because of the amount of information. The problem is that the archiving does not help the searcher.
The Directorate of History published another book in 1981 "Supplying of the Army on Material of Armament and Ammunition -Artillery/Infantry- 1940-1941". This is a more extentive work, based again in a report prepared by the Artillery Command of the Hellenic Army General Stuff, in 1942 (if I remember well).

I will come back, later because I have some business to do, right now.

Idomeneas
Last edited by Idomeneas on 20 Dec 2009 07:45, edited 1 time in total.

Idomeneas
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Idomeneas » 20 Dec 2009 07:42

Here I am again,

Regarding the Tobacco, arms and politics by Morgens Pelt book and the original orders of AA from Germany, as they mentioned were:
33 x 88mm guns
128 x 37mm guns
97 x 20mm guns

The number 33 of the 88mm flaks can be derived by the fact, that initially the Hellenic Navy ordered 9 units and then the Hellenic Army followed with two more orders (21+3). Finally the navy set another order for 6 units, so the total number acquired by Greece was 39 units.
Are you sure about the numbers of 37mm and 20mm flaks, or they are conversely? I am saying, this because usually the higher caliber guns (37mm) are acquired in smaller quantities, than those of lower one (20mm).
Anyway the number of 37mm flaks acquired were 54 for the army and 20 for the navy, so the total number was 74 units. I do not know if there is a possibillity that the Navy bought extra number of these flaks that were placed aboard ships.
Finally the number of 20mm flaks was 108 units, all for the army. I have find some sources stating that 2-3 were allocated to ground naval forts, but it is difficult to verify this detail. Again there is a possibillity that the navy had extra from these flaks placed aboard ships.

I personally doubt that Greece ordered modern german equipment and then resold it to Spain, or placed ordered on behalf of this country. It is interesting, that the Hellenic Army had placed an order in July 1939 for 72 more 20mm flaks, that the german side never delivered. After that, there were negotiations to buy 36 of them from Italy, but nothing came out of this. So Greece had no luxury for such "manoeuvres" in pure military terms.

Idomeneas

Stoly01
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Re: Greek Artillery 1941

Post by Stoly01 » 12 Jan 2010 22:27

Idomeneas wrote:Here I am again,

Regarding the Tobacco, arms and politics by Morgens Pelt book and the original orders of AA from Germany, as they mentioned were:
33 x 88mm guns
128 x 37mm guns
97 x 20mm guns

The number 33 of the 88mm flaks can be derived by the fact, that initially the Hellenic Navy ordered 9 units and then the Hellenic Army followed with two more orders (21+3). Finally the navy set another order for 6 units, so the total number acquired by Greece was 39 units.
Are you sure about the numbers of 37mm and 20mm flaks, or they are conversely? I am saying, this because usually the higher caliber guns (37mm) are acquired in smaller quantities, than those of lower one (20mm).
Anyway the number of 37mm flaks acquired were 54 for the army and 20 for the navy, so the total number was 74 units. I do not know if there is a possibillity that the Navy bought extra number of these flaks that were placed aboard ships.
Finally the number of 20mm flaks was 108 units, all for the army. I have find some sources stating that 2-3 were allocated to ground naval forts, but it is difficult to verify this detail. Again there is a possibillity that the navy had extra from these flaks placed aboard ships.

I personally doubt that Greece ordered modern german equipment and then resold it to Spain, or placed ordered on behalf of this country. It is interesting, that the Hellenic Army had placed an order in July 1939 for 72 more 20mm flaks, that the german side never delivered. After that, there were negotiations to buy 36 of them from Italy, but nothing came out of this. So Greece had no luxury for such "manoeuvres" in pure military terms.

Idomeneas

Hi Idomeneas, Im just writing to tell you that I haven't forgotten your post, I'm still working on a few things regarding your previous post, and will get back to you on this within a week. please excuse the delay.

On a quick note: The 20 x 37mm Flak the Greek Navy bought:

I can only account for eight of them. The Vasilefs Georgios class Destroyers (DD Vasilefs Georgios & DD Vasilissa Olga) both had 4 x 37mm Flak's C30 each. Whether the Greek Navy received the other 8 x 37mm for DD Vasilefs Constantinos & DD Vasilissa Sophia (yet to be built), i am not sure about. I will have to visit the state library for some reading material first, before I can figure out a few things.

Thanks,

Stavros.

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