Better rifle for German army in 1914

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by T. A. Gardner » 04 Oct 2021 02:29

The Germans soon started issuing 20 round magazines for their K 98's once trench warfare set in

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Sheldrake
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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Oct 2021 08:33

Latze wrote:
30 Sep 2021 08:02
I think the question whether the cannon or the howitzer is the weapon better able to give effective support was answered in the Great War. The howitzer is much more flexible in it's target selection. In the frontier battles of 1914 the French were in most cases unable to deploy a sufficient weight of fire to stop German attacks. This was especially acute in meeting engagements.
Not really. All Armies ended the war with a mix of guns, howitzers and mortars. Some were mounted on tracked chassis as tanks.

The French 75 was a very effective gun capable of puttign down a high rate of fire. Hoiwever, it was not enough to have the best light artillery piece alone. Their artillery park was unbalanced until they introduced higher calibre guns and howitzers.

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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Hans1906 » 04 Oct 2021 12:48

The Germans soon started issuing 20 round magazines for their K 98's once trench warfare set in
Links on this topic:

Mauser Trench Gewehr 98 https://www.instmiltech.com/mauser-trench-gewehr-98/

"Deckungszielgerät" for the Gewehr 98 / WW 1


German Wartime Modification of the Gewehr 98 / WW 1


Dozens of other videos also on YouTube...

Attached two historic photos with the 20-rounds "Grabenmagazin" for the Gewehr 98 / WW 1
Source for both photos: https://laststandonzombieisland.com


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Latze
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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Latze » 05 Oct 2021 09:46

I should note that the "trench magazine" was discarded again as soon as open warfare conditions applied. The evolution that was kept was the replacement of the Gewehr 98 with the Karabiner 98, the long rifle was discarded for a much shorter weapon with a different charging handle design but the 5 round magazine was retained.

The French army meanwhile deployed a much better self-loader (RSC 1917) than the Germans (Mauser Selbstladegewehr) during the Great War. Clearly self loading offered a real advantage while mucking around with magazine size was not. Everybody had programs for the development of them in the inter war period. But the development of these weapons up to the American M1 and SVT-40 shows that nobody was conceivably able to field them in 1914.

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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Latze » 05 Oct 2021 09:53

Sheldrake wrote:
04 Oct 2021 08:33
Latze wrote:
30 Sep 2021 08:02
I think the question whether the cannon or the howitzer is the weapon better able to give effective support was answered in the Great War. The howitzer is much more flexible in it's target selection. In the frontier battles of 1914 the French were in most cases unable to deploy a sufficient weight of fire to stop German attacks. This was especially acute in meeting engagements.
Not really. All Armies ended the war with a mix of guns, howitzers and mortars. Some were mounted on tracked chassis as tanks.
But cannons (direct firing) were clearly on the way out (lets discount specialized guns like AT, AA and infantry guns, we were discussing something different). French and German light field guns were kept because they were numerous and the production facilities were there. Everybody developed or ramped up the production of light howitzers as the main divisional support piece.
Sheldrake wrote:
04 Oct 2021 08:33
The French 75 was a very effective gun capable of puttign down a high rate of fire. Hoiwever, it was not enough to have the best light artillery piece alone. Their artillery park was unbalanced until they introduced higher calibre guns and howitzers.
Which was my point all along. The "better" French gun was unable to overcompensate for their deficiencies.

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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Sheldrake » 05 Oct 2021 23:11

Latze wrote:
05 Oct 2021 09:53
But cannons (direct firing) were clearly on the way out (lets discount specialized guns like AT, AA and infantry guns, we were discussing something different). French and German light field guns were kept because they were numerous and the production facilities were there. Everybody developed or ramped up the production of light howitzers as the main divisional support piece.
Really?

So what you are saying is that if we discount all the new and varied types of direct fire for which cannons are the answer (plus tank armament) we can conclude that cannons are on the way out.

I am not sure if all armies ramped up production of light howitzers. The proportion of light (4.5 inch) howitzers to 18 pounder guns in the British divisional artillery remained the same throughout the war 25%. One battery in four. The French divisional artillery remained the 75, so did the US. Sure they supplemented them with medium and heavy howitzers and a wide range of mortars.

What about long ranged artillery pieces? Most WW1 armies had some sort of long ranged guns for counter battery and interdiction. Many were versions of naval guns (canons)

In WW2 the most famous German artillery piece was the 8.8 cm - versatile as AA, Anti tank and Field artillery. The British 25 pounder was a gun/howitzer.

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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Latze » 06 Oct 2021 21:14

Sheldrake wrote:
05 Oct 2021 23:11
Latze wrote:
05 Oct 2021 09:53
But cannons (direct firing) were clearly on the way out (lets discount specialized guns like AT, AA and infantry guns, we were discussing something different). French and German light field guns were kept because they were numerous and the production facilities were there. Everybody developed or ramped up the production of light howitzers as the main divisional support piece.
Really?

So what you are saying is that if we discount all the new and varied types of direct fire for which cannons are the answer (plus tank armament) we can conclude that cannons are on the way out.

I am not sure if all armies ramped up production of light howitzers. The proportion of light (4.5 inch) howitzers to 18 pounder guns in the British divisional artillery remained the same throughout the war 25%. One battery in four. The French divisional artillery remained the 75, so did the US. Sure they supplemented them with medium and heavy howitzers and a wide range of mortars.

What about long ranged artillery pieces? Most WW1 armies had some sort of long ranged guns for counter battery and interdiction. Many were versions of naval guns (canons)

In WW2 the most famous German artillery piece was the 8.8 cm - versatile as AA, Anti tank and Field artillery. The British 25 pounder was a gun/howitzer.
What I am saying is that for the "field artillery mission" (divisional guns supporting their infantry in offense and defense) the cannon was found to be muss less useful under "modern" (read post 1914) conditions than the howitzer. The German army settled on a howitzer as the standard divisional gun after the Great War, the US Army also, the British as well, the French were obviously unable and started WW2 with an obsolete field artillery park... The conclusion that howitzers can much easier find suitable firing positions and are able to hit the enemy in defiladed positions or on reverse slopes is a matter of ballistics. (see for example Major E. D. Scott "Howitzer Fire" in Field Artillery Journal July/August 1915 p. 356ff or Lt. Gen. Sir Noel Birch "Artillery Development in the Great War" Field Artillery Journal July/August 1921, p. 366ff which argues in section I "The necessary artillery and it's rolê" about the necessity of the howitzer as the main weapon).
Concerning light howitzer production ramp up... Maybe I overstated my case there (German and Austria-Hungarian bias?).

Maybe we start another thread because we moved a long way from the question of rifle design and performance in 1914, haven't we?

Concerning the 8,8 cm FlaK: I tried in vain to find out if they were ever really used as field guns. Yes, concerning ballistics the guns were certainly capable. But did the batteries have the necessary equipment, the crews training in indirect fire? If you have sources on this and or good examples of their use in that role I am very eager to hear it.

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Re: Better rifle for German army in 1914

Post by Sheldrake » 06 Oct 2021 21:39

Latze wrote:
06 Oct 2021 21:14
Sheldrake wrote:
05 Oct 2021 23:11
Latze wrote:
05 Oct 2021 09:53
But cannons (direct firing) were clearly on the way out (lets discount specialized guns like AT, AA and infantry guns, we were discussing something different). French and German light field guns were kept because they were numerous and the production facilities were there. Everybody developed or ramped up the production of light howitzers as the main divisional support piece.
Really?

So what you are saying is that if we discount all the new and varied types of direct fire for which cannons are the answer (plus tank armament) we can conclude that cannons are on the way out.

I am not sure if all armies ramped up production of light howitzers. The proportion of light (4.5 inch) howitzers to 18 pounder guns in the British divisional artillery remained the same throughout the war 25%. One battery in four. The French divisional artillery remained the 75, so did the US. Sure they supplemented them with medium and heavy howitzers and a wide range of mortars.

What about long ranged artillery pieces? Most WW1 armies had some sort of long ranged guns for counter battery and interdiction. Many were versions of naval guns (canons)

In WW2 the most famous German artillery piece was the 8.8 cm - versatile as AA, Anti tank and Field artillery. The British 25 pounder was a gun/howitzer.
What I am saying is that for the "field artillery mission" (divisional guns supporting their infantry in offense and defense) the cannon was found to be muss less useful under "modern" (read post 1914) conditions than the howitzer. The German army settled on a howitzer as the standard divisional gun after the Great War, the US Army also, the British as well, the French were obviously unable and started WW2 with an obsolete field artillery park... The conclusion that howitzers can much easier find suitable firing positions and are able to hit the enemy in defiladed positions or on reverse slopes is a matter of ballistics. (see for example Major E. D. Scott "Howitzer Fire" in Field Artillery Journal July/August 1915 p. 356ff or Lt. Gen. Sir Noel Birch "Artillery Development in the Great War" Field Artillery Journal July/August 1921, p. 366ff which argues in section I "The necessary artillery and it's rolê" about the necessity of the howitzer as the main weapon).
Concerning light howitzer production ramp up... Maybe I overstated my case there (German and Austria-Hungarian bias?).

Maybe we start another thread because we moved a long way from the question of rifle design and performance in 1914, haven't we?

Concerning the 8,8 cm FlaK: I tried in vain to find out if they were ever really used as field guns. Yes, concerning ballistics the guns were certainly capable. But did the batteries have the necessary equipment, the crews training in indirect fire? If you have sources on this and or good examples of their use in that role I am very eager to hear it.
FMS interview PICKERT, General der Flakartillerie Wolfgang MS # B-597 In this he debunks the myth of Luftwaffe 8.8 cm guns in the anti tank role, but explains how they used the AA batteries in the field role.

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