Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

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Sheldrake
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 19 Jul 2019 16:54

I have just spent the last hour re -reading this thread. There has been a lot of debate and information shared about the batteries of AR 716, but I can't find any comparable list for AR 352. Have I missed something?

This interests me as I would like to test a hypothesis. A few pages back posts 229-240 there was a discussion about the methodology behind the British OR studies. In particular, why did the intelligent soldier scientists ignore the effect of artillery fire? Rich090 pointed out, artillery complicated the elegance of a comparison of what could be assumed as identical assaults.

There is a rationale. The studies must have been based on the following assumptions:-

1. Effective counter battery fire would neutralise the defensive fires during the assault. This is based on experience from Vimy Ridge onwards. The study methodology did infer that there might be casualties from artillery fire. Troops landing did incur casualties for some time after all direct fire weapons had been neutralised and mopped up.

2. D Day Allied intelligence was assumed to be super accurate and all the defences including German batteries identified before D Day. This was not so. Allied intelligence missed much artillery deployed in field positions. On the British beaches AR 155, AR 989 and some of the batteries of AR 716.

Behind Omaha Beach there should have been twelve battery positions of AR 352 as well as the three (or four) from AR 716. But if Allied intelligence was not aware of the presence of 352rd Infantry Division, why would anyone have been looking for their gun positions? Ignoring the identified 716 batteries, 16 field gun batteries should have been able to put down an effective defensive barrage 3.2 km long. Might this be the simple explanation for why Omaha beach was so bloody? What is the evidence that these batteries were located before or during D Day?

The Battle Zone Normandy Omaha Beach book mentions rough battalion positions and refers to four (not twelve) guns of IV/AR 352 and one OP at WN62. We know about Major Pluskat, but where were the other 14 OPs? Simon Trew, the series editor has posted on this forum. Is this the best information we have?

Does anyone have a location list for the artillery of ID 352 or can point me to it?

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Jul 2019 11:54

Artee wrote:
17 May 2018 02:47
WO 291/246 is a fantastic, and floored document. Yes indeed there are multiple references to shelling and mortaring in WO 291/246 - and yet the casualty correlation specify's MG's and Mortars only.

.......................................... I've used the casualty figures in the book - checking and expanding on your efforts (nice job by the way), whilst looking in particular at the German artillery that was deployed behind the coast. This ongoing work has taken years and involves reading through hundreds of War Diaries, reports, memoirs etc. The conclusion (in brief) is that German Artillery inflicted a sizeable proportion of casualties in ALL of the Allied sectors.

Thanks to your efforts (& Joseph Balkoski & Steven Zaloga for example) the US sectors have been examined in some detail ie. more recently than 1945. However as far as the Brit/Canadian sectors go, WO 291/246 needs to be stamped "RESUBMIT".
Artee,
Image1.jpg
WOP 291/262

Here is the heart of the "flawed " assumptions in AORG 291/246 and 291/262

There are two possible flawed assumptions.

1. That artillery fire had a negligible effect on casualties on British beaches

2. The artillery fire also had a negligible impact on US beaches.

My current view is that assumption 1 is correct for practical purposes. I understand your comments about observers seeing some shellfire on British beaches. However, there is a distinction between the odd shot and "effective fire." Are you arguing that the figures for "Mortars" also includes "artillery"? You seem to have carried out a lot of research on artillery on the Calvados coast. Have you published your findings anywhere? If so can you supply a link.

I suspect assumption 2 is incorrect. My hypothesis is that the field positions of AR 352 did not feature in the 1st Army or V Corps fire plans, nor did the V Corps possess the means to locate and neutralise them on D Day. If you carry out the same calculation as the ORG did, but add half of the divisional artillery s if they were 81mm mortars the casualties per MG equivalent figure for Omaha beach falls to 17.2, which is within the range of other results.

What information have you collected about the US Beaches? Can you list the locations of AR 352's batteries on D Day?
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Jul 2019 16:11

Um, Sheldrake, you seem to think all 12 batteries of AR 352. were located around OMAHA? They were not.

Art.-Regt. 352
Gefechtsstand – Moulagny
Kdr.: Oberst Kurt-Wilhelm Ocker
I. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Château d’Etréham
Kdr: Major Werner Pluskat
1. Bttr. – Houtteville (between Surrain and Etreham) (four 10.5cm
le.FH) – Oberleutnant Bernhard Frerking
2. Bttr. – Hill 29 and Hill 61 (near Montigny, two 10.5cm l.F.H. in each
position)
3. Bttr. – south of the Coleville-St. Laurent road, northeast of Formigny
(four 10.5cm le.FH) – Hauptmann Wilkening
II. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – St. Clément
4.-6. Bttr. (four 10.5cm le.FH each)
III. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – La Rosière (north of Bayeux)
7. Bttr. – Pierre Solain (four 10.5cm le.FH)
8. Bttr. – Sommervieu (la Tringale) (four 10.5cm le.FH)
9. Bttr. – Magny-en-Bessin (near Vaux-sur-Aure) (four 10.5cm le.FH)
IV. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Asnières en Bessin
10.-12. Bttr. (four 15cm s.FH each)
Bttr. – Longueville

In typical German fashion, there appear to be three battalion groupments based around the three light battalions, each reinforced by one of the medium batteries.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Urmel » 20 Jul 2019 19:57

Here's a map.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jopaerya » 20 Jul 2019 20:45

I agree with Sheldrake that between Pointe du Hoc and Lonques no batteries were attacked
around D-Day . Half the Artillerie Regiment 352 with I Abt and IV Abt were located close to
Omaha -beach and II Abt and III Abt were close by . These 10,5 cm l.F.H. 18/40 with a max
range of 12.325 m so they also could reach the Omaha-beach , the 15 cm s.F.H.18/40 of the
IV were closes to Omaha beach .
Batterie list is from 01-06-1944 ( BAMA ), the plan of the Art batteries’s of the A.R.352 is from
B 490 352 I.D. by Oberstleutnant Frits Ziegelmann from 1947 ( made after the war ) , III,./AR 352
from BAMA . B 490 and D-Day map from Alain Chazette .

P.S. will make a list of Artillerie observations post in this sector .
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jul 2019 01:03

jopaerya wrote:
20 Jul 2019 20:45
Batterie list is from 01-06-1944 ( BAMA ), the plan of the Art batteries’s of the A.R.352 is from
B 490 352 I.D. by Oberstleutnant Frits Ziegelmann from 1947 ( made after the war ) , III,./AR 352
from BAMA . B 490 and D-Day map from Alain Chazette .
Excellent! I have never seen the battery map before for those. That solves the mystery of IV,/1352. I knew one battery was near Longueville, but always assumed the others were with the other battalion groupings. From the looks of it the batteries were in a line north of the N13 running eastward from Longueville then?

Thanks so much.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Jul 2019 08:52

Thanks you very much. I revisited the calculations in WO/291/262. The calculations in this document, based purely on mortars and machine guns, results in a much much higher figure of casualties per machine gun equivalent (23+) than on the British beaches (C 17). However, after reworking the calculations to add in half of the artillery of AR 352 and the figure drops to C 17 - a much closer fit to the pattern elsewhere. On this model over half the casualties were inflicted by indirect fire weapons, which is what happened in other WW2 land battles.

Now it may be that ther German artillery on Omaha Beach was useless and the casualties were all inflicted by direct fire weapons and mortars. For me the revised model is a better fit with what we know happened at Omaha. The German gunners, unhindered by counter battery fire did their work and fired on targets called in by observers such as Lt Ferking whose communications to the guns made him more of a beast than his brew boy Serveloh.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jopaerya » 22 Jul 2019 18:27

Here a list of observations post in this sector, please keep in mind that tactical sign has no A = Artillery or I = Infantry

Wn. 88 Gefosse Fontenay
Wn. 82 Grandcamp
Wn. 78 Grandcamp
Wn. 59 St.Honorine des Pertes
Wn. 54 Escures
Wn. 42 Arromanches
Wn. 39 Asnelles
? Meuvanes

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Jihem » 29 Jul 2019 20:47

Could that table from a french magazine be helpful ? Range is in the last column.
Batteries allemandes en Normandie.JPG
From « Le Jour J & la bataille de Normandie » (Numéro spécial 75e anniversaire) - Second Conflit Mondial Hors-Série n°11.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Jul 2019 21:41

Jihem wrote:
29 Jul 2019 20:47
Could that table from a french magazine be helpful ? Range is in the last column.

Batteries allemandes en Normandie.JPG

From « Le Jour J & la bataille de Normandie » (Numéro spécial 75e anniversaire) - Second Conflit Mondial Hors-Série n°11.
Some lazy content here

Once again the artillery under command 352 infantry division has been omitted. So has the battery of 1716 in the orchard at Breville-le-mont.
I wonder if the source of this table isn't ultimately been taken from pre D Day allied intelligence estimates dressed up as "historic fact"?

There has been some really dreadful stuff been published for the 75th Anniversary, by people who should know better. I picked up a book today that stated that 2,000 Americans were killed on Omaha Beach and went on to tell the story spun by the old Nazi Hubert Meyer that Hitler was betrayed on D Day by Speidal.

Oh and some of the ranges are wrong. e.g. The Merville battery was equipped with the same equipment as the other light batteries in AR 1716 so it's range ought to be the same.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Jul 2019 02:15

Sheldrake wrote:
29 Jul 2019 21:41
Some lazy content here
Yep.
Once again the artillery under command 352 infantry division has been omitted. So has the battery of 1716 in the orchard at Breville-le-mont.
I wonder if the source of this table isn't ultimately been taken from pre D Day allied intelligence estimates dressed up as "historic fact"?
The battery at Bréville was 3./1716. It was still equipped with 7.5cm FK 16 n.A., although slated to be re-equipped with 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t).

I think it is probably taken from various war gaming sources?

My current understanding of the likely arrangement of the artillery in K.V.A. H1 and H2.

Art.-Regt. 1716.
I. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Colomby
1. Bttr. – Merville (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
2. Bttr. – WN 16 (Colleville-sur-Orne) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
3. Bttr. – Bréville (northeast of Caen) (four 7.5cm FK 16 n.A.)
4. Bttr. – WN 12 (Ouistreham “Water Tower Battery”) (four 15cm
s.F.H. 414 (f))
10. Bttr. – 4 kilometers northeast of Bayeux (four 15.5cm s.F.H. 414 (f)
11. Bttr. “Graf Waldersee” (six 15cm s.FH 13 (Sfl.)
II. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Crépon
5. Bttr. – WN 35b (Crépon) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
6. Bttr. – WN 32 (la Mare-Fontaine) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
7. Bttr. – WN 28a (Bény-sur-Mer) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
III. Abtl. (- 10. and 11. Batterie, attached to 352. Inf.-Div.)
Gefechtsstand – Le Cambe
8. Bttr. – Maisy La Martiniere (Wn 84) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
9. Bttr. – Maisy Les Perruques (Wn 83) (four 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f))

Art.-Regt. 352
Gefechtsstand – Moulagny
Kdr.: Oberst Kurt-Wilhelm Ocker
I. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Château d’Etréham
Kdr: Major Werner Pluskat
1. Bttr. – Houtteville (between Surrain and Etreham) (four 10.5cm
le.FH) – Oberleutnant Bernhard Frerking
2. Bttr. – Hill 29 and Hill 61 (near Montigny, two 10.5cm l.F.H. in each
position)
3. Bttr. – south of the Coleville-St. Laurent road, northeast of Formigny
(four 10.5cm le.FH) – Hauptmann Wilkening
II. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – St. Clément
4.-6. Bttr. (four 10.5cm le.FH each)
III. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – La Rosière (north of Bayeux)
7. Bttr. – Pierre Solain (four 10.5cm le.FH)
8. Bttr. – Sommervieu (la Tringale) (four 10.5cm le.FH)
9. Bttr. – Magny-en-Bessin (near Vaux-sur-Aure) (four 10.5cm le.FH)
IV. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Asnières en Bessin
10.-12. Bttr. (four 15cm s.FH each)

s.Art.-Abtl. 989 (t-mot) (est. 400)
Gefechtsstand – Reviers (east of Bayeux)
1. Bttr. – Basly (four 12.2cm s.F.H. 396 (r))
2. Bttr. – Amblie (four 12.2cm s.F.H. 396 (r))
3. Bttr. – Creully (four 12.2cm s.F.H. 396 (r))

H.K.A.-Abtl. 1260 (the Longues Battery was not 4. Bttr., it was part of M.A.A. 260.)
Gefechtsstand – Ryes (south of Arromanches)
1. Bttr. – St. Aubin-d’Arquenay (Ouistreham) (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
2. Bttr. – Pointe du Hoc (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
3. Bttr. – WN 35a (Mont Fleury) (four 12.2cm K 390 (r))
There has been some really dreadful stuff been published for the 75th Anniversary, by people who should know better. I picked up a book today that stated that 2,000 Americans were killed on Omaha Beach and went on to tell the story spun by the old Nazi Hubert Meyer that Hitler was betrayed on D Day by Speidal.
Well, Severloh and Gockel alone killed at least 2,000 each... Anyway, AFAICT, something between 830 and 860 personnel who landed on OMAHA were killed.
Oh and some of the ranges are wrong. e.g. The Merville battery was equipped with the same equipment as the other light batteries in AR 1716 so it's range ought to be the same.
Except for 3. Batterie, yes. I haven't looked closely at the rest.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jpz4 » 30 Jul 2019 11:17

H.K.A.-Abtl. 1260 (the Longues Battery was not 4. Bttr., it was part of M.A.A. 260.)
Gefechtsstand – Ryes (south of Arromanches)
1. Bttr. – St. Aubin-d’Arquenay (Ouistreham) (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
2. Bttr. – Pointe du Hoc (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
Didn't both of those batteries have 15.5 cm K418(f)?
The battery at Bréville was 3./1716. It was still equipped with 7.5cm FK 16 n.A., although slated to be re-equipped with 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t).
Interesting. What is the source for that? I'm asking because from March onwards this battery is listed with 10 cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t).

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Jul 2019 15:44

jpz4 wrote:
30 Jul 2019 11:17
H.K.A.-Abtl. 1260 (the Longues Battery was not 4. Bttr., it was part of M.A.A. 260.)
Gefechtsstand – Ryes (south of Arromanches)
1. Bttr. – St. Aubin-d’Arquenay (Ouistreham) (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
2. Bttr. – Pointe du Hoc (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
Didn't both of those batteries have 15.5 cm K418(f)?
Possibly? I always believed most of the 418 were in Norway, Belgium, the Ostheer, and North Africa? However, I may very well have missed one of the batterie lists for these.
The battery at Bréville was 3./1716. It was still equipped with 7.5cm FK 16 n.A., although slated to be re-equipped with 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t).
Interesting. What is the source for that? I'm asking because from March onwards this battery is listed with 10 cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t).
I believe it is earlier in this thread.
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jpz4 » 30 Jul 2019 17:20

Emmanuel already addressed the K.418(f) here: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=211905&p=1913906&h ... 0#p1913906

Thanks for the pointed on 3./A.R.1716. I've checked this thread and I think this is a source which could support it: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=179853&start=15#p1611239
(I sort of doubt that document was the base of this, but that's irrelevant if the document is indeed from 1.6.44 and accurate) Would be nice to have additional confirmation though….
__________
FWIW, all 36 le.F.H. in A.R.352 were, as expected, le.F.H.18/40. All 37 in the division have been identified as such.
Last edited by jpz4 on 30 Jul 2019 20:56, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Jul 2019 19:42

Diagram Omaha Beach.jpg
I have put together an interpretation of the artillery effects on Omaha Beach. Interested in your comments either on my blog or on this forum. Hit me with what is wrong with the interpretation....
http://www.theobservationpost.com/blog/?p=2121
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