Best Artillery of WWII

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
Caldric
Member
Posts: 8077
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:50
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 30 Aug 2002 01:49

That is some really good information Logan, I would well imagine that if you can get it to burst in the Air it is even more of an effective "area weapon" as he states. But then everything from toliet paper to cigar's made in Germany around here are far superior to any other nation's. :roll: Need to just instantly remove 1/3 from the German's in any poll... :)

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 30 Aug 2002 01:50

You might like this, too.

Also, another example of American artillery effectiveness, and an attribute that you left out, was the speed with which Americans were able to reign destruction down on the Germans. At Kasserine, about the only thing that stopped the Germas and made an impression on them was the American artillery. The high speed, accurate fire was so devastating that Germans captured after the battle asked to see the new American self-loading 155s. Another thing that set American gunners apart at that battle was their willingness to stay with their guns when German tanks were only 20 yards and closer and still fire, point blank, at thee oncoming panzers with devastating effectiveness (this would be repeated at the Battle of the Bulge).

At 1040 hours, 6 December 1942, the 27th Armored Field Artillery Battalion found itself in a life or death struggle with German Forces vicinity the Algerian city of Medjez. Charlie Battery was bombed by German Messerschmitzs and then attacked by German tanks and infantry on their right flank. The battery’s anti-tank guns, the 37mm M-2, were brought forward to fire at the tanks with no effect, the shells bouncing from the tanks like rocks. The Battery Commander, Captain Harrison, ordered his Self-Propelled 105mm T-19 howitzers into a direct fire fight with the German Mark-IV tanks that were assaulting his flank. At 1130 hours, Captain Harrison called for help and Battery B was ordered immediately to their assistance. Battery C was overrun by German Mark-IV’s with Section Chief, Sergeant Bouvigney, a former sergeant major in the Swiss Army, firing the last shot of Battery C at a range of 20 yards, killing the assaulting Mark-IV but losing his own life in the action. For his valor, Sergeant Bouvigney was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Battery C was awarded the first Presidential Unit Citation given to any ground unit in the European Theatre.

http://www.baumholder.army.mil/units/4-27fa/africa2.htm
This also happened at El Guettar. Americans got the range of German Mark IVs and infantry and decimated them.

As for the equipment itself, the American artillery was more simple, standardized, and the American artilery was more mobile in two ways. The towed weapons had better-designed and more mobile carriages, always had vehicles to tow their guns with, and had gas for those vehicles more often. Also, as for the second category, Americans had a larger number of mobile artillery vehicles on the fronts that the faced the Germans, were better serviced, and again, typically had more fuel for mobile operations.

For the story of how US 105mm pack howitzers firing directly at German panzers stopped the advance outside of Bastogne, go here...
http://www.milartgl.com/HTML/stopped_cold.htm

Logan Hartke

Caldric
Member
Posts: 8077
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:50
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 30 Aug 2002 01:56

Ahh I looked everywhere for something similar on the Bulge the other day. Seems that American troops are cowardly and poor human and military quality compared to the vastly more superior German Army.... 8O



Guess McAuliffe was wrong. Well around here anyway :)


In a Christmas greeting to the soldiers of his Division, Brigadier General McAuliffe stated:"...We have stopped cold everything that has been thrown at us from the North, East, South and West. [Enemy units], spearheading the last desperate German lunge, were headed straight west for key points when the Eagle Division was hurriedly ordered to stem the advance. How effectively this was done will be written in history, not alone in our Division's glorious history but in world history..."

User avatar
Zachary
Member
Posts: 1153
Joined: 13 Jul 2002 21:55
Location: Sunshine State, USA

Post by Zachary » 30 Aug 2002 02:06

How about those German super guns eh? (Von Manstein you have started the "eh" thing with me) :D
Regards,
Zachary

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 30 Aug 2002 02:07

Well, in the case of Houffalize, it was the Germans who were tricked, confused, retreating, panicked, technologically outclassed, and eventually killed.

Logan Hartke

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 30 Aug 2002 02:19

By the way, Ovidius, as for your comments on the Finnish artillery, I would agree that they did a great deal with very little, but what you must remember is that many more factors play into the effectiveness of artillery than just effectiveness of the equipment and the amount of ammo that you have. The Finns had the advantage of time, planning, knowledge of the land, and choosing the place where they were going to fight. Their situation was very similar to that of the Japanese at Iwo Jima. They had bad equipment with much planning, a great knowledge of the terrain, concealmeant, good training, plotting their artillery exactly, and spotting and calling down fire in a grid-like fashion. So one might ask why the Finns' artillery was so much more effective than the Japanese at Iwo Jima. Well, I attribute that to the terrain and the enemy that they were facing. The Finns were facing an enemy relatively inexperienced at winter warfare at the time and the poor Soviet tactics, reactions, grouping, and style of attack all reflected this. The Japanese on Iwo, however, faced a US enemy that was very experienced at attacking island fortresses. As for the terrain, the Finns were firing onto frozen lakes, which would barely hold the weight of Soviet attacks as they were, let alone shells raining down, cracking the ice underneath Soviet tanks and troops. The Japanese, however, were firing onto the black sand which, in more than one account, there were two Marines with arms locked to stay together, crawling up the beach when a shell landed on one of the men, causing him to simply vanish, never to be heard from again, while leaving the other one unscathed and wondering what happened to his buddy. So with what they had, the Finns did very well, but they had many advantages over their enemy compared to most other nations.
The Americans for example were not terribly familiarized with the terrain on which they were fighting, hadn't had the luxury of being able to plot artillery beforehand, were less experienced than their German counterparts, were unable to use camouflage well due to their highly mobile style of warfare, and did not typically have the terrain advantage. They did however have superior supply, skill, speed, tactics, and equipment than the enemies that they typically went up against. So, Ovidius, I respect your choice of the Finns, and I am not saying that I disagree with it, but I am saying that you didn't mention all of the advantages that they had over their enemy.

Logan Hartke

User avatar
T.R.Searle
Member
Posts: 1027
Joined: 27 May 2002 23:31
Location: Canada

Post by T.R.Searle » 30 Aug 2002 02:33

Zachary wrote:How about those German super guns eh? (Von Manstein you have started the "eh" thing with me) :D
Regards,
Zachary


:lol:

But just to stay on topic for a moment.Its hard to choose who had the best artillery(it isnt the area I know everything about in) But to me it doesnt matter who makes the gun its who fires it and the manner in which it is used to effectiveness.

T.R.Searle :)

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 30 Aug 2002 02:38

Well, if you truly believed that, I guess that we can assume you voted for either the US, Finland, or Japan, correct?

Logan Hartke

Panzer Gunner
Member
Posts: 70
Joined: 29 Aug 2002 03:02
Location: Tennessee, USA

Post by Panzer Gunner » 30 Aug 2002 02:54

I voted Germany,.....Maybe I'm just a sucker for rail guns :D

Tapani K.
Member
Posts: 863
Joined: 09 Jul 2002 11:29
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Post by Tapani K. » 30 Aug 2002 08:06

I voted for Finland, too for the same reasons the others that did so. Just imagine what General Nenonen's men could have done with the resources the Yanks had. As for the Soviets, the Red Army did achieve results but with the same amount of barrels and shells Finns, Yanks or any other army would have achieved much more with accurate shooting.

regards,
Tapani K.

User avatar
Tiwaz
Member
Posts: 1946
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 10:36
Location: Finland

Post by Tiwaz » 30 Aug 2002 10:37

Logan. Just few points about Finnish artillery.

First of all they didn't really shoot to ice that much. Russians pretty soon learned what kind of deathtraps frozen lakes were since it was rather easy to trap them as well.

And Finnish artillery didn't fight just during Winter war. Their effectiveness only grew during Continuation war thanks to better supply of ammo and other resources Finland gained.


And about plotting and grid like firing method... This discussion has been done elsewhere as well... I just wish I would remember exactly where. Anyway, Finnish artillery fired on method that used quite different than methods of other armies. In Finnish method FO (or whoever was holding phone at the moment) had do know his position and enemy position relative to his location, IE 100m southwest. This information would be sent to artillery where guys would grab few transparent cards and map and using those they would do quickly all needed calculations for strike. Is this

Fast, effective and accurate. Is this plotting and calling fire down in grid like fashion? (In case we are talking about same thing with different names)

User avatar
Harri
Member
Posts: 4205
Joined: 24 Jun 2002 11:46
Location: Suomi - Finland

Post by Harri » 30 Aug 2002 11:08

Tiwaz wrote:And about plotting and grid like firing method... This discussion has been done elsewhere as well... I just wish I would remember exactly where.


Tiwaz:
It was in "What if / Military History Forum" thread called "Soviet Union vs. Western Allies -1945" sub-pages about 7 and 8:

http://theforum.skalman.nu/viewtopic.ph ... &start=150

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 30 Aug 2002 13:42

I believe it was in the book Frozen Hell where they speak of the guns shooting through the ice like that and being pre-plotted into a certain grid-like fashion. I am about 85% sure, but you might need to check me on that. That's where I learned about their methods. Again, you guys can check me on that, but unless you come up with something that says it's untrue, I believe that at least in the Winter War, while on the defensive, that's what they did. I wasn't trying to beliddle what they did, I was only trying to show that unlike the picture that Ovidius painted of purely through skill and bravery they overcame their atttacker with much less, but in actuality, they had a great number of advantages such as an innate knowledge of the terrain and a great deal of time for planning. One thing that I think we need to remember is that this is the whole package as far as artillery goes; equipment, tactics, intelligence, accuracy, methodology, and mobility. The Finns excel in some areas, but as far as ALWAYS being there when they needed it, factoring in the relative inferiority of their opponents, and the poor equipment they were using, as a whole package, I would rather have the US Arty on my side. Think of it that way; if you had to be supported in a multitude of operations in a multitude of settings, who would you want supporting you? If you still would choose the Finns then fine, I'll shut up about them, but I think that what I said when I started this poll was that you have to take into consideration the entire thing. Again, the Finns did great things and they were very intelligent, but they did have many factors on their side.

Logan Hartke

BTW-the US must've had a very similar system of "arty on command" since all of the accounts that I read speak of stunningly accurate, instant, and devastating fire in all instances.

Ovidius
Member
Posts: 1414
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 19:04
Location: Romania

Post by Ovidius » 31 Aug 2002 12:36

Logan Hartke wrote:Now, Ovidius, if that doesn't sway your opinion of the immense superiority of American artillery using VT shells in 1944-45, nothing will. Your statement of...
Ovidius wrote:The Proximity Fuses do not offer significant advantages in field or naval artillery, since the field artillery is more or less an "area" weapon...

is completely and entirely uneducated and just plain wrong as evidenced by a multitude of sources that I've just given you about proximity fuse use in field artillery during WWII.


I agree.

But yourself had admitted that Finns, not having the Proximity Fuses, still achieved superb results, using to their advantage other factors.

So this device, while offering great advantages(some sources said it increased 3-5 times the effectiveness of the field artillery) it was still not an absolute necessity in a field shell(unlike an AA shell where it was vital) and it's lack could be compensated.

The finest hour of Finnish artillery was 4.6 44 during Tali-Ihantala battle when 21 Finnish artillery battalions (252 guns) fired barrage against same target area where Soviet tanks and infantry were starting a attack.Target area (200x300m) was hit during 1 minute 950 light and 720 heavy shells.So in theory one shell hits in every 6x6m.In one minute 200x300m target area received 9000kg explosives and 31000kg shell splinters. After that barrage there is no life in that area and not surprisingly Soviets did not attacked after that.That shooting method was developed by Finnish artillery general Nenonen and with that one artillery spotter could call artillery fire to one spot from all guns with range and shiff fire to next target in 3-5 minutes.Probably Finnish artillery was only in ww2 who could to that.


~Regards,

Ovidius

Logan Hartke
Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:30
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by Logan Hartke » 01 Sep 2002 00:56

Ovidius wrote:But yourself had admitted that Finns, not having the Proximity Fuses, still achieved superb results, using to their advantage other factors.

So this device, while offering great advantages(some sources said it increased 3-5 times the effectiveness of the field artillery) it was still not an absolute necessity in a field shell(unlike an AA shell where it was vital) and it's lack could be compensated.


It was just as vital to field artillery as AAA artillery. The difference in field artillery effectiveness was as much night and day as it was with AAA. I should think that you'd have realized that from all of my examples of it in action.

Logan Hartke

Return to “Life in the Third Reich & Weimar Republic”