A question of Artillery calibre

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 05 May 2003 22:32

Did you get one while it was up?


Actually not......
I was too busy with my video camera....... :cry:

Erik

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 05 May 2003 22:40

Mark V,

Thanks. :)

Best Regards, Juha

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 06 May 2003 00:29

Hi,

Oh yes it was my post n°100 I didn't noticed it ... I am not very active here on this forum because it is easier and more fluent to talk about all these things in French for me :)

Thanks Juha I didn't know that we delivered 80 mm and 90 mm Bange cannons to Finland, in fact I am pretty sure that these two cannons weren't in service in the French army in 39/40 but I may be wrong.

The Maginot line consists of many many fortified areas ... here are some (sometimes poor) links ... too often in French but you can find info and photos.

The retractable turrets are usually armed with 75 mm guns (mle 32 or 33), 135 mm Howitzers, 81 mm mortars or what is called AM turrets (AM for armement mixte = mixed armament) which is often a combination of a 25 mm cannon or a 50 mm mortar with 7.5 mm twin MGs. For example the turret B10 in Hackenberg is armed with 81 mm mortars.

There are also non retractable turrets many infantry and artillery bunkers, fortified houses, blocks, observatories, FT-17 tank turrets etc.

Then Behind the main line, infantry units and heavy artillery were also positionned in improved positions.


http://www.lignemaginot.com/index10.htm (nice site but only few is translated in English)

http://www.maginot.org/

http://www.maginot67.com/

http://grca.free.fr/menu10/index.htm

http://www.maginot-line.com/index.htm

http://www.fortweb.net/photos/

http://www.mutzig.net/index.html

http://assoc.wanadoo.fr/fasf/Ouvrages/hackenberg.htm

http://assoc.wanadoo.fr/fasf/Ouvrages/Michelsberg.htm

http://www.ligne-maginot-fort-de-fermont.asso.fr/

http://www.chez.com/kerfent/titresd.htm

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/ammann

David

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AvD
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Post by AvD » 06 May 2003 01:33

Thanks for all this information about the Ligne Maginot.
I think we should add Villy-la-Ferté where happened a real tragedy. The truth was only discovered some years ago when the only survivor finally started to speak after the journalist André Dartevelle asked him for days and days what happened there...

http://www.thissen-laboratories.com/cas ... 3?p=43&r=1
http://www.thissen-laboratories.com/cas ... 3?p=43&r=2
http://www.thissen-laboratories.com/cas ... 3?p=43&r=4

http://crdp.ac-reims.fr/memoire/lieux/2 ... _ferte.htm

and here:

http://www.kc3a.com/phototheque/frames/ ... 411005.php

Here you can read: "The 105-men of the garrison refused to surrender, and died resisting the invader". This is not totally true. They wanted to resist but were not allowed to and their young chief Maurice Bourguignon was forced to trow outside the keys of the bunkerdoors.

See also: http://maginotline.free.fr/ligne/sf-mon ... ndex11.htm
The story told here (in French) does not reveal the truth.
Last edited by AvD on 06 May 2003 02:04, edited 1 time in total.

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 06 May 2003 01:53

The Hackenberg is the biggest fortified sector with 19 bunkers of different types, connected by tunnels.

Position :
Image

blocks 21 to 25 are covering an AT ditches and pinetree lines with barbed wires.


Armament :

8x 75 mm cannons - howitzer in bunkers (75mm mle 1929) or retractable turrets (75mm mle 1933 with semi-automatic loading). The maximum range is about 12000 m, 12-13 shells/minute.

1x 75mm mle 1932 (short) in a bunker protecting an AT ditch.

5x 135mm mortars mle 1932 in bunkers or retractable turrets (range 5600 m and about 8 shells/minute)

4x 81mm mortars mle 1932 in retractable turrets (15 shells/minute, range 3600 m)

7x 37 mm mle 1934 AT guns (15 shells/minute, effective range 800 m)

30x Reibel MAC 1931F 7.5x54 mm MGs (15 twinnings in bunkers, retractable turrets or blocks) (500 or 750 rpm, effective range about 600 m)

61x FM 24/29 7.5 mm (two of them in a twinning protecting the ammo dump with special 70 rounds magazine for each)
caliber : 7.5x54 mm
range : 600 m
RoF : 600 rpm or single shot
capacity : 20 cartridge magazines
V° : 820 m/s

3x 50 mm mortars in bunkers

30x 50 mm mortars in GFM armored "cloche"

3x 60 mm mortars in GFM armored "cloche"

29x grenade launchers protecting the entrances

«dispositif de Belfort» for activation of grenades placed among the barbed wire nets, pinetree lines, walls and AT ditch

Individual weapons of the 34 officers, 135 NCOs and 872 men (revolver mle 1892, pistols SACM 1935S, MAS 38 SMG, (MAS 36 rifle), Lebel mle 86/93 rifle, Berthier mle 1892 M16 carbine).

Bunkers in the Vosges and along the Rhine area are also armed with Hotchkiss 13.2 mm HMGs.
The French 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG has been mounted in bunkers (96 HMGs in the Maginot Line), in a twin AA version (270 twin HMGs in 1939), in tanks and vehicles (28 in the Laffly AM 50 armoured car, an unknown number in the Panhard AM 80, an unknown number in the AMR modèle 1935, an unknown number in Renault armoured cars model 1915) but however most of the HMGs were used in the French navy which installed them on double and quadruple mountings. The Japanese, Romanian and Polish navy also used the 13,2 mm Hotchkiss.
It has some AT capacities and is often used in this role against weak armored vahicles which are common in 1939/1940.

Caliber 13.2x96 mm
RoF : 450 rpm
capacity : 30 cartridges magazine
different cartridges :
- mle 1935 P (armor piercing) penetration of 25 mm at 100 m, 20 mm at 200 m and 15 mm at 400 m
- ordinary cartridge (penetration of 17 mm at 200 m)
- tracer bullet
range : 2500 m
V° : 800 m/s
Sighting optic : 2.3x
served by 4 men

In comparison the Boys AT rifle was of spectacularly poor performance, it had a penetration of only 12 mm at 100m and 10 mm at 500m (however the weapon's practical usage ended at 300m)


Munitions that have been used in Hackenberg in May/June 1940 :
75 mm guns : 8050 rounds
81 mm mortars : 2340 rounds
135 mm mortars : 1336 rounds
50 mm mortars : 600 rounds
7.5 mm cartridges : 110 000 rounds
illuminating flares : 280


It was shortly attacked once by the germans but they were pulled back and never tried again.
French losses : 2 KIA, 6 WIA.I have no details about this engagment.

Image
drawing from the site http://www.maginot.org/

and a "naive" drawing :

Image

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 06 May 2003 20:17

Thanks Panzermeyer!!!

Magnificent info!!!

These are the Maginot-parts I have visited:

-Hackenberg
-Abri du Mont des Welches
-Hobling
-Edling
-Abri d`Hestroff
-Bois de Bosse

Hackenberg was definately the best!
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varjag
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The calibre djungle

Post by varjag » 07 May 2003 12:57

Back to 'the calibre djungle' and I think Matt L's of Vancouver post comes closest to the truth - this was largely an engineeing issue. The early deep-boring machinery to make cannon-barrels were mostly made in Britain and by their 'Imperial inch' standard. This 'standard' has stuck with us in most countries machine-tools even to this day. The French and to a lesser degree the Germans tried to translate the 'inch-scale' into millimetric calibres of their own - and often succeeded. Put the millimetric equal of the inch, into its' halfs and quarters and 1/8ths - and even 1/16ths - against the 'odd' calibers of today - and you have your answer - that's where it all started.

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 07 May 2003 18:05

Thank You Panzermeyer,

First link you posted is just marvellous.

Regards, Mark V

Atencio
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Post by Atencio » 11 May 2003 07:43

oleg wrote:in regards to Russian artil;ery calibres

20mm - (Shvak)
23 mm VYa
37mm (the original German door-knocker) later upgraded to 45mm
57mm - ZiS 2 AT gun
76 mm F-22, F-22USV, ZiS-3 also AA gun of 1927 type
85mm AA gun
100 mm BS-3 AT gun (late in the war)
122 A-19 canon
122 D-30 howitzer
152 mm howitzer
152 mm howitzer-canon
203 mm howitzer
also 120mm mortar and 160 mm mortar were classified as artillery

also in regards to cartridges you forgot 14.5 mm for AT rifles and 7.62 x 39 of 1943 type.


To add to your list
280mm mortar BR-5
305mm howitzer BR-18
25mm AA

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 11 May 2003 09:23

Hi Atencio,

Do you know is there anything at the web about the lesser known (?) Soviet 25mm AA gun?

Regards, Juha

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Post by Atencio » 11 May 2003 19:05

Juha Tompuri wrote:Hi Atencio,

Do you know is there anything at the web about the lesser known (?) Soviet 25mm AA gun?

Regards, Juha


Nothing of substance other than brief references. I know they were primarily used on naval craft. The book "Slaughterhouse" by Keith Bonn lists the gun but only gives general specs.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 11 May 2003 20:53

Atencio,

The only thing worth mentioning I´ve found, reveals something about the origin of the gun: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Bofors.htm

Regards, Juha

jpmuikku
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9x19 Glisenti pistol 1910-1945

Post by jpmuikku » 08 Jun 2004 16:12

Mark V wrote: 4) You would think that 9mm pistols are all 9mm pistols - EEK- wrong:
- well known 9mm Makarov is actually 9.2mm - better not reload these bullets to 9mm Para...


Not to speak of Italian 9x19 (!) Glisenti...

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Xavier
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Post by Xavier » 08 Jun 2004 17:34

nice thread, I wonder why I had not seen it before

regarding Adrian's original post, and one of the posted answers, I guess also it was only a engineering issue:

As an artillery designer, you try to do the most damage at the farthest distance, with the less weight or power, which in fact, is limited by the metallurgical advance of the time.

also, limits are set for the transport capabilities of the soldiers/army/transport that will use it, and the logistic support of the piece.

You have to consider also the quality of the optics, no use shooting that far if you can't see/figure where it will hit. on the same point, modern artillery has longer range because of "on demand" range figures and target acquisition, all of this, thanks to GPS and computers, unlike WWI/WWII vintage pieces, that required extensive engineering skills to calculate target.

as an example, on the german 105 mm gun, modifications were made to make it lighter, and to use a heavier charge and attempt more range, whitout changing the overall design of the gun, but adding a muzzle brake, diff charges, etc.

this is my non-technical point of view,

Xavier
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jpmuikku
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Finnish artillery in WW II

Post by jpmuikku » 08 Jun 2004 18:01

Logan Hartke wrote:That's still not that many when you realize that it only takes 10-14 guns to name off all of the USSR's artillery pieces that service during WWII. Also, it must be remembered that not all of those were being used at the same time. At any one time, you only had around 10 gun types to service and keep ammo to - not bad.

The US Army in Europe had these...


Back to the off topic discussion:
Dunno if Finnish army scores the victory on the number of artillery calibre’s used during the WWII

Field Artillery

75 mm (4 models: K 97, K 01, K 02, K 17)
76 mm (7 models: K 00, K 02, K 02-30, VK 09, RK 27, K 36, K 42)
84 mm (K 18 )
90 mm (K 77)
105 mm (6 models: H 33, H 37, H 41, K 13, K 29, K 34)
107 mm (K 10/13)
114 mm (H 18 )
120 mm (2 models: H 13, K 78-31)
122 mm (6 models: H 09, H 10, H 09-30, H 10-30, H 38, K 31)
150 mm (3 models: H 06, H 15, H 40)
152 mm (6 models: H 10, H 09-30, H 15/17, H 30, H 37, H 38 )
155 mm (4 models: H 15, H 17, K 15, K 77)

Here is only counted the artillery pieces that were used by the regular field artillery and which existed at least in full battery (12 guns) and were deployed during the war. Impressive number of calibre’s and models that didn’t use the same ammo…
And I don’t even start with the AA, AT & coastal artillery.. :wink:

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