How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

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Romani
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How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Romani » 16 Jun 2017 22:29

Hello!

Please move this question to the economy forum if neccessary.

This is a question that has been bugging me for some time. In general literature and forums you can find statistics on total yearly production of rounds and tonnage for different types or artillery. Exactly, how much ammunition did a typical infantry division use, or rather, was allocated?

I read that according to 1980s US doctrine, 70% of the transport capacity of an US division is taken up by artillery shells, leaving the rest for fuel, ammunition for small arms, rations, and other supplies.

What exactly I am trying to figure out, is ammunition consumption, or rather allocations in stocks. For example, 70% of production or stockpiles is artillery shells, 20% mortar shells. 10% small arms cartridges. Something like that?

I simply can't figure out if small arms ammunition is relevant in production and logistics, or it is a footnote after the needs for artillery and tank shells are done.

It would also be useful a comparison with modern practice if you know. With the proliferation of automatic rifles since WWII, perhaps modern militaries consume up much more bullets than WWII infantry divisions armed with bolt action rfiles. Though I suspect that in both cases the biggest consumer are machine guns.

Typical daily consumption for average combat of different types of ammo would also be helpful.


Thanks a lot for any help.

Romani
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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Romani » 16 Jun 2017 23:40

Okay, googling around found this on a statistics page. It's a starter:

US Daily Ammunition Expenditure In Tons
Action Armor divisions Infantry divisions 155mm battalions
Attack 436-832 353-658 66-121
Defense 596-969 472-768 86-142
Pursuit 107 83 15
Delay 321 256 51

And here I find something more, still trying to find the relative proportion of ammunition expenditure

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Germany/HB/HB-6.html


Section IV. MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

1. Total Requirements

a. VARIABLES INVOLVED. The determination of the over-all requirements necessary to maintain German troops presents a number of difficulties. This is best shown by a review of the German supply expenditures in Russia in 1941. Armored divisions averaged some 30 tons daily when inactive and about 700 tons a day when engaged in heavy fighting; infantry divisions required 80 tons a day when inactive and some 1,100 tons during a day of heavy fighting. When engaged in defensive, mopping-up, or minor offensive activities, the divisions required supplies in amounts somewhere between the two extremes. By far the most important variable in this campaign was the amount of ammunition expended; requirements of fuel and equipment also varied considerably, while rations and clothing consumption remained relatively static. Expenditures depended upon the nature of the action involved, the types of units engaged, the zone of action, the season of the year, the amount of materiel available for consumption, and the facility with which supply movements could be made.

Romani
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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Romani » 16 Jun 2017 23:48

And here I found the kind of table that was looking for, just I am confused about what the numbers mean exactly for small arms,, and how all that converts into tonnage. Looks I will have to do some math.

5. Ammunition

a. AMMUNITION ALLOWANCES. The initial issue (erste Ausstattung) of ammunition is the total ammunition carried by a formation in columns, in dumps, and with the troops. The initial issue is systematically replaced as it is expended, on the basis of reports of ammunition remaining on hand sent from the divisions through corps to army, except as operational conditions modify the system. The allowance per formation is based on the number of weapons called for in the table of organization of the unit. Each weapon, in turn, has a number of rounds which is allotted to it as an ammunition quota or unit of issue (Munitionsausstattung). Two units of issue for all weapons of the division are carried within the division, while another unit of issue for all weapons in the army is held on army columns or trains as an army reserve. Thus each army has three ammunition quotas or units of issue for all weapons of the army.

b. AMMUNITION ISSUES. Of the two ammunition units of issue that are found within the division, over one unit is found forward on the

[VI-20]

men, with the guns, and as company and battalion reserves, while less than one full unit of issue is retained as a division reserve in division columns and dumps. The exact quantity issued to each man is largely determined by the amount held by the battalion and company as their reserves. The following charts exemplify the units of issue found in infantry and artillery units of an army.

Ammunition Issues (Rounds) for a Volks Grenadier Division:

Weapon* Forward
Issue Division
Reserve Probable
Army
Reserve
(Unit of
Issue)
9-mm automatic pistol 18 16 17
9-mm machine pistol 690 512 601
7.92-mm machine pistol 720 540 630
7.92-mm rifle 99 75 87
7.92-mm rifle (for troop other than infantry 25 20 22
7.92-mm semi-auto rifle 159 135 147
Rifle grenade launcher 75 70 70
7.92-mm LMG 3450 2505 2977
7.92-mm LMG (for arty 1350 1020 1185
7.92-mm HvMG 6300 4750 5525
88-mm bazooka 5 5 5
81-mm mortar 150 126 138
120-mm mortar 150 90 120
37-mm AA 1200 none** ?**
75-mm inf how 192 151 171
75-mm AT (mtz) 150 100 125
75-mm AT 255 -- --
105-mm gun how 225 126 175
150-mm how 150 60 105
* Not included are 75-mm gun and flame thrower.
** AA ammunition reserves are usually kept by army and not by division.

Units of Issue for Artillery Units:
Weapon Number
of Rounds
37-mm AA 1,500
75-mm AA 300
88-mm AA 300
105-mm gun 125
150-mm how 125
150-mm gun 75
210-mm how 50

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Sheldrake
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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Sheldrake » 17 Jun 2017 09:06

Romani wrote:Hello!

Please move this question to the economy forum if neccessary.

This is a question that has been bugging me for some time. In general literature and forums you can find statistics on total yearly production of rounds and tonnage for different types or artillery. Exactly, how much ammunition did a typical infantry division use, or rather, was allocated?

I read that according to 1980s US doctrine, 70% of the transport capacity of an US division is taken up by artillery shells, leaving the rest for fuel, ammunition for small arms, rations, and other supplies.

What exactly I am trying to figure out, is ammunition consumption, or rather allocations in stocks. For example, 70% of production or stockpiles is artillery shells, 20% mortar shells. 10% small arms cartridges. Something like that?

I simply can't figure out if small arms ammunition is relevant in production and logistics, or it is a footnote after the needs for artillery and tank shells are done.

It would also be useful a comparison with modern practice if you know. With the proliferation of automatic rifles since WWII, perhaps modern militaries consume up much more bullets than WWII infantry divisions armed with bolt action rfiles. Though I suspect that in both cases the biggest consumer are machine guns.

Typical daily consumption for average combat of different types of ammo would also be helpful.

Thanks a lot for any help.


Small arms ammunition makes up only a tiny proportion of the logistic load. It will mainly be expended by the rifle platoons of the infantry units - only around 2000-3000 soldiers within a divisional establishment of 10-15 k. It will only be needed in large quantities on "big battle days" undertaking or beating off close assaults.

The concept of a "unit of fire" is useful for logistic planning. Its a calculation of what proportion of each type of munition needs to be supplied, against an arbitrary standard - a "nominal battle day." Multiply this by the number of each type of weapon and you have a basis to plan ammunition supply. The unit of fire doesn't necessarily reflect how much ammunition could be fired or would be needed on der tag. E.g. the artillery of the 352 infantry division expended fired over a day's worth of ammunition against Omahya beach, running out of ammunition by noon.

In motorised armies there is a balance between fuel and ammunition depending on the tempo of operations. US or British Division needed 600 tons of supplies a day, with the proportion of fuel and ammunition changing. Of course, armies dependent on animal transport need a daily supply of fodder.

Here are the comparable figures for the German army from the 1945 US Army German Army Handbook http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/w ... 1_1945.pdf
The tables in section VI have lots of the information that may help to answer your question. Its where the previous poster found the VG division.
Total in pounds per man per day for the Eastern Front
Inactivity 5-10
Mopping-up 15-20
Defensive fighting (but not against a major Allied push) 20-25
Heavy defensive fighting 25-50
Offensive fighting 35-50

There are certain items that are consumed daily - rations and forage.

If you carry out the mathematics 10,000 man Volksgrenadier division might need between 23 and 45 tons a day while inactive. The 3.3lb per man and 22lb per horse for the 3,000 horses make up 45 tons of rations. So the lower figure can only be achieved where there is plentiful local grazing.

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 17 Jun 2017 18:23

Probablly not much relevance in small arms, but the corps and army support units have a considerable draw in larger caliber ammunition. fuel, and other items. Up to a additional 50% in many cases. From Ruppenthat 'Logistics in Overlord' The Allied logistics planners allowed for a delivery of 900 tons daily per division HQ for the first couple months & then 950 tons daily after. The excess above division requirements included the tactical airforces ashore in Europe as well as ground forces, but not port operations and naval units rebased to Europe.

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby ljadw » 18 Jun 2017 12:33

Romani wrote:Hello!

Please move this question to the economy forum if neccessary.

This is a question that has been bugging me for some time. In general literature and forums you can find statistics on total yearly production of rounds and tonnage for different types or artillery. Exactly, how much ammunition did a typical infantry division use, or rather, was allocated?

I read that according to 1980s US doctrine, 70% of the transport capacity of an US division is taken up by artillery shells, leaving the rest for fuel, ammunition for small arms, rations, and other supplies.

What exactly I am trying to figure out, is ammunition consumption, or rather allocations in stocks. For example, 70% of production or stockpiles is artillery shells, 20% mortar shells. 10% small arms cartridges. Something like that?

I simply can't figure out if small arms ammunition is relevant in production and logistics, or it is a footnote after the needs for artillery and tank shells are done.

It would also be useful a comparison with modern practice if you know. With the proliferation of automatic rifles since WWII, perhaps modern militaries consume up much more bullets than WWII infantry divisions armed with bolt action rfiles. Though I suspect that in both cases the biggest consumer are machine guns.

Typical daily consumption for average combat of different types of ammo would also be helpful.


Thanks a lot for any help.

During the first year, the Ostheer needed daily 11000 tons of fuel and 3000 tons of ammunition .

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Art » 08 Aug 2017 08:03

An example of ammunition expenditure from 14 Pz. Division:
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
in 4 1/3 months (22 June to 31 October 1941) the following amount of ammo was expended:
Heavy infantry weapons - 229.5 tons (mostly ammo for 75 and 150-mm infantry guns)
Field artillery - 1957.7 tons
Tank guns - 212.8 tons
Small-arms - 137.4 tons

Total 2537.4 tons or about 19.2 tons daily or almost 600 tons per month. Doesn't look a large number - just several truckloads per day. Tonnage seems to stand for gross weight.

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Art » 08 Aug 2017 09:19

Speaking about general stats: the entire Ostheer consumed about 430 000 tons of ammunition in June-October 1941. That is more than 3000 ton daily or somewhat more than 20 tons per division (taking 150 divisions as a representative strength). Expenditure of the 14 PzD was slightly below average.

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Sheldrake » 09 Aug 2017 07:53

Art wrote:An example of ammunition expenditure from 14 Pz. Division:
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
in 4 1/3 months (22 June to 31 October 1941) the following amount of ammo was expended:
Heavy infantry weapons - 229.5 tons (mostly ammo for 75 and 150-mm infantry guns)
Field artillery - 1957.7 tons
Tank guns - 212.8 tons
Small-arms - 137.4 tons

Total 2537.4 tons or about 19.2 tons daily or almost 600 tons per month. Doesn't look a large number - just several truckloads per day. Tonnage seems to stand for gross weight.


That is entirely not entirely unexpected in a war of movement. Do you have figures for fuel for that period?

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Re: How much ammunition, artillery and other, allocated to each division?

Postby Art » 10 Aug 2017 19:56

Ammunition expenditure in the summer of 1941 wasn't that small, it was in fact larger than in the months that followed. On a larger timescale average tonnage spent on the Eastern Front increased almost twofold between 1941 and 1944. I suppose, ever-increasing output from the industry for the main reason for that.


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