Finnish Artillery

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Ezboard

Finnish Artillery

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 19:21

daft
Veteran Member

Posts: 354
(3/5/02 10:14:25 am)
Reply Finnish Artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok, I need another favour from the Finnish ww2 buffs in here. How was the Finnish artillery organized? How many guns to a battery, how many batteries to a section and so on? The more details the better. :-)


Regards

~Henric Edwards

Juha Hujanen
Visitor
(3/5/02 6:53:53 pm)
Reply Finnish artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let's try.

Finnish infantry division had a artillery regiment.Regiment had 3 battalions and battalion had 3 batteries.Battery had 4 guns,battalion 12 guns and regiment 36 guns.Guns were mostly light(75mm-105mm).10 divisions had extra heavy battalion.Corps had1-2 heavy batallions and 1-2 fortification artillery batallions(older gun types).High command had some artillery units in reserve.So Finland had 16 artillery regiments,15 light artillery battalions,2 indepent light battery,28 heavy artillery battalions,7 mot. heavy battalions and some extra heavy batteries(this is summary of Finnish artillery units and not all units were available at same time coz old units where disbanned and new raised).Artillery regiment had:1813 men,36 gun,636 horses,40 motor vehicles and 615 bicycles.1.7.41 Finland had 1788 guns and 15.9.44 2492 guns(79 differend models).
Main problem with Finnish artillery in winter war was chronical lack of ammunition,in continution war more ammunition was available.But still guns were old(mostly before ww1,guns developed 1910-20 were considered almost modern!).Even French guns modell 1877 were used to 1943!.Because of old guns ranges were only to 10km and so many models caused problems with suply of ammunition.In summer 44 during heavy fightings Finnish artillery breaked many Russian attacks.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 surpispringly 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.Propably Finnish artillery was only in ww2 who could to that.

Regards Juha

daft
Veteran Member

Posts: 355
(3/5/02 7:02:35 pm)
Reply Re: Finnish artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Juha! Once again to the rescue. I'll let you know when I need your help again. :-)



~Henric Edwards

Marcus Wendel
Webmaster

Posts: 1663
(3/5/02 7:11:31 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Finnish artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Juha,

Interesting stuff, thanks.

/Marcus

daft
Veteran Member

Posts: 356
(3/5/02 8:09:11 pm)
Reply Re: Finnish artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Juha,

I just realised something. Wasn't the real "inventor" of the Finnish artillerysystem major Petää. (His first name escapes me at the moment) I think he presented the idea to general Nenonen who got the credit. I might be wrong though since I can't find the source, but I'll keep looking and get back to you if I find anything.


~Henric Edwards

JariL
Visitor
(3/6/02 9:56:31 am)
Reply Nenonen's role
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Henric,

Nenonen is the inventor of the Finnish artillery system what comes to the shooting methods and most of the mathematics used in preparation of fire. However, he has been falsely credited for inventing the two transparent cards that were used to calculate the values for the guns from 1943 onwards. The card made preparation of fire very fast and accurate. It was a sort of a "computer" of it's time.

Nenonen's contributions were the idea of strike (one minute, 30 s or even 15 s burst of fire at maximum firing speed), fire preparation done based on accurate maps, Nenon camera in 1930 (produced and sold by Carl Zeiss) that made aerial photography for mapping purposes 20 times more effective than previously, idea of relieving the FO's from making any calculations and light radios (developped already in 1920's) with about 10 kg weight (they materialised in sufficient numbers first during continuation war). He can also be credited for the high standard of training of Finnish artillery units. His scale of approval seems to have started from 100 %.

What Nenonen did not invent was the centralized command system of the Finnish artillery that was used in Syväri already in 1943 and which was hastily taken into use in the Isthmus in the summer of 1944. The idea was that there was only one artillery commander responsible for a certain part of the front. All artillery units and heavy mortar units plus infantry's own light mortars that were within firing range were connected into one radio and telephone network. Thus the artillery commander commanded not only his own dividions artillery but all the artillery that was available, regardless of the unit the guns belonged to. When fire commands were received the artillery commander assigned the tasks to different batteries. In order of urgency he then released the batteries to fire according to the commands given by the FO. The artillery commander worked in close co-operation with the commander responsible for the front sector so that he had a good picture of the over all situation. As already mentioned above in Tali-Ihantala concentrated fire could mean about 9 tons of shells per hectar/minute. But this sort of density was used only seldom. More usual fire density was 1 to 2 tons per hectar/minute.

Soviet artillery was more prone to use saturation fire. There the fire density was usually 100 to 200 kg/hectar/minute but it could go on for several hours. Just prior to the attack the density of fire was increased to the maximum. Then the density could rise to 2 tons/hectar/minute in the key targets of the attack. Red Army considered 2 tons/hectar/minute be equal to total destruction against fortified enemy that was not sitting in concrete bunkers. Finns would have to agree given their own first hand experience at Valkeasaari June 10, 1944.

Note that the above also meant that the FO's in the front did not have to be assigned to a certain unit. What was needed was only that you had an FO, never mind who's FO it was. And if things were really bad all you needed was a radio or a telephone connected to the artillery network. The fire controll method was so simple that almost anyone could direct the fire. All corrections were given in meters (left 100 meant that fire should be moved 100 m to the left). All you had to know really was your own location on a map, and distance and direction to the target from your position. The rest of the math was done at the battery positions with the two transparent cards.

Both armies facing each other in the Isthmus in 1944 relied heavily on their artillery. However, because of the huge difference in resources the artillery methods were very different. But the origins of both were in the imperial Russian artillery. After the revolution they just went their separate ways but both delivered the same effect: devastation of the target with massive fire.

It should be mentioned that Nenonen made it to colonel in the Russian army prior to revolution and that he was one of the youngest ever to get that high rank. The fact that he did not belong to nobelity made his achievement even more remarkable. But he was an excellent mathematician and more a scientist than an officer in many ways. No wonder that he served most of his time in the artillery academy in St Petersburg.

Regards,

Jari

daft
Veteran Member

Posts: 364
(3/6/02 10:15:28 am)
Reply Re: Nenonen's role
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you very much Jari! That was indeed a very infomative post.



~Henric Edwards

Late
Visitor
(3/6/02 3:00:52 pm)
Reply Information?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.winterwar.com/forces/...tiller.htm
dunno if it was still the same in 1941-1944

Juha Hujanen
Visitor
(3/6/02 3:23:32 pm)
Reply Nenonen
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Excelent post!.

JTV
Member
Posts: 25
(3/7/02 8:56:27 am)
Reply Yes, the TO&E of Finnish artillery were same
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, the TO&E of Finnish artillery units remained the same also during Continuation War.


godolfo
Visitor
(3/7/02 12:58:15 pm)
Reply Finnish Artillery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Juha for your most informative post.
I love it when someone is 'master of his subject' -
happens too rarely on this forum.

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”