Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by stg 44 » 07 Oct 2021 17:59

nuyt wrote:
07 Oct 2021 13:10
Thanks for your reply.

Yes, the 12cm may have been to heavy for a horse team, but my point is also that, because the Germans developed their artillery in the 1920s, they still relied on horse traction and continued to do substantially throughout WW2. A decade later and they would be truck or halftrack drawn. Then the weight issue should be resolved. The Soviets developed their main artillery in the late 1930s so theirs was truck drawn.
Also versions of the lFH 18 and sFH 18 with regular wheels/tyres were never delivered to the troops. They continued to use the typical "train engine" wheels. Not suitable for high speed travel...
Agreed. With foresight they could have simply adopted a heavier caliber after WW2 from a piece already in service with the navy and just needed to design a new carriage. They could have simply foregone the 105mm SK18 and 150mm K18 and potentially even mounted it on a Pz IV chassis to self propel it.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by nuyt » 07 Oct 2021 20:23

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:20
In the 1920s the US Army went on with development of the 3" gun as a AA weapon. The M1 - M4 series the result. The M3 being the most common production model. Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.

Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
Well the crews might get overworked, they would require training for AT/direct fire and field/indirect fire plus AA? Better have an extra crew for AA role. Wouldn't work, also logistically would be nightmarish to operate.

Skoda sold dual purpose guns in the 1930s and one of the Soviet 3 inch field models (Zis2 I believe) was dual purpose field and AA. There is a picture of the latter in the US Field Arty Journal of the time, so the yanks were studying it indeed. But I do not think these guns were indeed used as dual purpose ones, just in one role.

However there are several examples of AA guns turned into AT guns with great success during the war.
In one of the other WI threads on the NL staying neutral in WW2 I have suggested they convert the locally produced Vickers 75mm AA gun into an AT gun. The Swiss apparently did it as well and so did the Romanians. The latter's weapon (Resita) however is beyond recognition and also uses parts of the Soviet ZIS models. But it may have been one of the best AT guns of WW2.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Oct 2021 22:00

nuyt wrote:
07 Oct 2021 20:23
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:20
In the 1920s the US Army went on with development of the 3" gun as a AA weapon. The M1 - M4 series the result. The M3 being the most common production model. Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.

Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
Well the crews might get overworked, they would require training for AT/direct fire and field/indirect fire plus AA? Better have an extra crew for AA role. Wouldn't work, also logistically would be nightmarish to operate.
For AA the difference is in the addition of range finders and the fire director/computation section & equipment. That's outside the cannon crew. Fuze setting for time is already in the gun crews skill set. It does occur to me having that analog computational equipment in the artillery battalion leads straight to applying it so gunnery solutions for ground targets. Something the Navy and coast artillery were also doing.

We regularly trained for direct fire/AT fire with our howitzers, including the eight ton M198. It's not rocket science.
Skoda sold dual purpose guns in the 1930s and one of the Soviet 3 inch field models (Zis2 I believe) was dual purpose field and AA. There is a picture of the latter in the US Field Arty Journal of the time, so the yanks were studying it indeed. But I do not think these guns were indeed used as dual purpose ones, just in one role.

However there are several examples of AA guns turned into AT guns with great success during the war.
In one of the other WI threads on the NL staying neutral in WW2 I have suggested they convert the locally produced Vickers 75mm AA gun into an AT gun. The Swiss apparently did it as well and so did the Romanians. The latter's weapon (Resita) however is beyond recognition and also uses parts of the Soviet ZIS models. But it may have been one of the best AT guns of WW2.
There's examples of the German 88 doing AT & artillery type support. The Brit 3.7" AA Cannon is my go to example of a triple use cannon as they used it for artillery fires in deliberate attacks & occasionally deployed it for AT use.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by nuyt » 08 Oct 2021 08:09

True for the 88, but not for the 3.7 inch. From Wiki:

"Like other British guns, the 3.7 had a secondary direct fire role for defending its position against tank attack. During the North African Campaign, the 3.7 was considered for use explicitly as an anti-tank weapon due to the shortage of suitable anti-tank guns. Sighting arrangements were improved for the anti-tank role, but the weapon was far from ideal. Its size and weight - two tons heavier than the German 8.8 cm - made it tactically unsuitable for use in forward areas. The mounting and recuperating gear were also not designed to handle the strain of prolonged firing at low elevations.

The 3.7 found little use as a dedicated anti-tank gun except in emergencies. There were few 3.7-equipped heavy anti-aircraft regiments in the field army and most were not subordinate to divisions where the anti-tank capability was required. The arrival of the smaller 76 mm (3-inch) calibre 17-pdr anti-tank gun finally obviated the need. "

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by nuyt » 08 Oct 2021 08:32

You are right about the 3 inch as an AT gun, it was of course successfully used this way. But as a field gun it would probably need some alterations. The barrel length would have been unusual and the velocity too high (850m/s appr). To make good use as a field gun they would cut the barrel short to about 40 cal instead of 50 cal and/or introduce a muzzle brake. But why would they if the US field gun's latest edition was quite good and the 105 was coming online.

Back in 2008 on my own Overvalwagen Forum I compiled a list of the best 75mm guns in service around 1940. As the Dutch had just started looking around for a new field gun to replace their 7 Veld or Krupp 75mm model 1903 (meanwhile a bit improved and locally produced), I was looking for that replacement in a What if scenario.

I found that the best field guns on hand were L40 cal approx, had a velocity of around 700 m/s and a range of 13-14 km. Most likely candidates for a purchase with licence for production would have been a Rheinmetall design and the Bofors 75mm L40. But you have a point with the 3 inch AA gun since the best weapons in the list (Soviet 3 inch) also are 50 cal (and inspired by the Bofors 75mm AA gun). Bofors themselves fielded their field gun with a shorter L40 barrel though and the Soviets' best gun, the Zis 3, had a reduced barrel length of L42 :)

The US M2A2 L40 was not bad in that comparison, see below (List from 2008, based on Franz Kosar, some tipos):

75 mm L35 - Cockerill/Rheinmetall - Belgium - Velocity 600 - range 11 km
75 mm L36 - Rheinmetall - Germany - velocity 662 - range 12,9 km (Fk16 n.a.)
75 mm L42 - Rheinmetall - Germany - velocity 701 - range 13,5 km (prototype 1930)
75 mm L26 - Krupp - Germany - velocity 475 - range 9,4 km (M18)
75 mm L34 - Krupp - Brazil/Germany - velocity 580 - range 11.3 km (M38)
75 mm L36 - Schneider - France - velocity 550 - range 11,2 km (M97)
75 mm L31 - Schneider - Finland - velocity 570 - range 11,5 km (M22)
75 mm L32 - Ansaldo - Italy - velocity 600 - range 12,5 km (M37)
75 mm L38 - Schneider/Osaka - Japan - velocity 700 - range 14 km (M30 or M90)
75 mm L30 - Krupp/HIH/AI Hembrug - Holland - velocity 544 - range 9,8 km (7 veld n.m.)
76,2mm L40 - "Soviet" - Soviet-Union - velocity 680 - range 13 km (M02/30)
76,2mm L50 - "Soviet" - Soviet-Union - velocity 715 - range 13,6 km (M33)
76,2mm L51 - "Soviet" - Soviet-Union - velocity 706 - range 13,6 km (M36)
76,2mm L42 - "Soviet" - Soviet-Union - velocity 680 - range 13,3 km (M39)
75 mm L30 - Krupp/Bofors - Sweden - velocity 540 - range 11 km (M02/33)
75 mm L40 - Bofors - Sweden - velocity 700 - range 14 km (M40)
76,5 mm L40 - Skoda - Yugoslavia/Rumania - velocity 650 - range 14 km (M28)
76,5mm L40 - Skoda - Czechoslovakia - velocity 600 - range 13,5 km (M30)
76,5mm L30 - Skoda - Czechoslovakia - velocity 570 - range 12 km (M39)
75 mm L36 - Ordnance - USA - velocity 575 -range 11,2 km (M97A4)
75 mm L40 - Ordnance - USA - velocity 663 range 13,7 km (M2A2)

From: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/theover ... 6518#p6518

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Oct 2021 09:13

nuyt wrote:
08 Oct 2021 08:09
True for the 88, but not for the 3.7 inch. From Wiki:

"Like other British guns, the 3.7 had a secondary direct fire role for defending its position against tank attack. During the North African Campaign, the 3.7 was considered for use explicitly as an anti-tank weapon due to the shortage of suitable anti-tank guns. Sighting arrangements were improved for the anti-tank role, but the weapon was far from ideal. Its size and weight - two tons heavier than the German 8.8 cm - made it tactically unsuitable for use in forward areas. The mounting and recuperating gear were also not designed to handle the strain of prolonged firing at low elevations.

The 3.7 found little use as a dedicated anti-tank gun except in emergencies. There were few 3.7-equipped heavy anti-aircraft regiments in the field army and most were not subordinate to divisions where the anti-tank capability was required. The arrival of the smaller 76 mm (3-inch) calibre 17-pdr anti-tank gun finally obviated the need. "
I would not fregard wikipedia as a definitive source.

Gunners in Normandy, the Regimental history points out that the 3.7 inch Gun was highly regarded as a versitile equipment. 3.7 inch guns were given a higher priority than 5.5 inch medium guns in Op Overlord as the 3.7 inch Gun had a comparable range to the 5.5 inch. The Heavy AA Regiments defending the Normandy beaches were also the inner anti tank defences, with units assigned anti tank poisitons covering armoured approaches. 3.7inch AA Guns were also used as coastal artillery in Normandy and NW Europe,coastline. protecting the allied held . By this stage in the war 3.7 inch guns were deployed with two sets of radars. One, comparable to the battle of Britian Chain Home Low was used for roughly aligning the second a centemetris gun laying radar. This was a deadly combination.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by nuyt » 08 Oct 2021 09:14

Thanks, Sheldrake!

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Aber » 08 Oct 2021 18:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:09
The combination of only wanting suppressive effects and the 12 cannon concentration got around the low destructive power of the 4.5" round. Still it was not suitable for targets requiring rapid neutralization or destruction.
IIRC the British designed it for counter-battery work, sacrificing shell weight for range.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Oct 2021 18:30

Aber wrote:
08 Oct 2021 18:01
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:09
The combination of only wanting suppressive effects and the 12 cannon concentration got around the low destructive power of the 4.5" round. Still it was not suitable for targets requiring rapid neutralization or destruction.
IIRC the British designed it for counter-battery work, sacrificing shell weight for range.
The British went with a 4.5" round because it had commonality with the RN's 4.5" gun that was their new "standard" size for AA guns and such.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Aber » 08 Oct 2021 18:36

T. A. Gardner wrote:
08 Oct 2021 18:30
Aber wrote:
08 Oct 2021 18:01
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:09
The combination of only wanting suppressive effects and the 12 cannon concentration got around the low destructive power of the 4.5" round. Still it was not suitable for targets requiring rapid neutralization or destruction.
IIRC the British designed it for counter-battery work, sacrificing shell weight for range.
The British went with a 4.5" round because it had commonality with the RN's 4.5" gun that was their new "standard" size for AA guns and such.
??

Army shell for 4.5" gun
114 x 695mmR

RN shell for 4.5" (actually 4.45")
113 x 640-645mm R
Also used as a land-based AA gun.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Oct 2021 23:22

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:20
In the 1920s the US Army went on with development of the 3" gun as a AA weapon. The M1 - M4 series the result. The M3 being the most common production model. Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.

Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
Isn't a cannon based dividional artillery a return to the First World War? The majority of British and initially all French divisional detillery were cannons, to use shrapnel.

The problem with cannons is hitting those targets behind crests. I suppose it would be possible to develop a fractional charge system. But would a cannon adapted to be a howitzer be any better than a howitzer adapted to act as a cannon. The 3.45 inch (88mm) 25 pounder Gun Howitzer was Ok but hardly ustanding in the anit tank role, but it was a lot better than most 76mm cannons as a field gun.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Oct 2021 00:13

Sheldrake wrote:
08 Oct 2021 23:22
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:20
In the 1920s the US Army went on with development of the 3" gun as a AA weapon. The M1 - M4 series the result. The M3 being the most common production model. Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.

Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
Isn't a cannon based dividional artillery a return to the First World War? The majority of British and initially all French divisional detillery were cannons, to use shrapnel.

The problem with cannons is hitting those targets behind crests. I suppose it would be possible to develop a fractional charge system. But would a cannon adapted to be a howitzer be any better than a howitzer adapted to act as a cannon. The 3.45 inch (88mm) 25 pounder Gun Howitzer was Ok but hardly ustanding in the anit tank role, but it was a lot better than most 76mm cannons as a field gun.
In the lexicon I was trained in "cannon" refered to any tube artillery. Either 'gun' or 'howtzer'.

When I went through the Basic Officer Field Artillery course 1982 - 1983 many of the instructors had been around when the US Army still used high mv cannon with less elevation and options for propellant charge increments. 'Guns' in our lexicon. The last of these fileded by the US Army or Marines was 175mm caliber cannon, discarded in the latter 1970s. Others in common use 1945-75 were a long barreled 155mm & a 203mm caliber long cannon. Both were replaced by newer more capable howitzers.

What learned was getting the 'gun' type cannon on to targets on reverse slopes required some extra planning in battery placement, This came up as we were taught optimal charge/trajectory for a straight gunnery solution was in some cases tactically inadvisable.

Later when studying the development of the French artillery post 1918 I found their continued use of the 75mm 1890s gun included provision of a incremented propellant charged. They also paid attention to battery placement for reduction of dead ground, and also had some howitzers to draw on when necessary. I also noted the French cannon development favored high mv weapons, emphasizing range vs howitzer like capability in trajectory options.

But, one other consideration for this universal artillery weapon vs reverse slope targets Is. For AA use it's going to be capable of elevations of 75+ degrees. That gets you over about any terrain crest, whatever the mv.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Oct 2021 01:30

Sorry, corrections in red.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Oct 2021 17:20
In the 1920s the US Army went on with development of the 3" gun as a AA weapon. The M1 - M4 series the result. The M3 being the most common production model.
Like everything dealing with US Army Ordnance, it was slightly more complicated than that. :lol: There were actually two parallel 3" AA gun developments beginning in 1917, the first was the M1917 on a fixed mount and the second was the M1918 on a mobile mount. Both were developed to use the standard 15-lb 3" round developed for the Coast Artillery 3" M1898, but the 3" AA M1918 used the 3" Coast Artillery Gun M1902M1 as its basis, while the M1917 used the longer-barrelled 3" Coast Artillery Gun M1898 as its basis. Relatively few of the M1917 AA were produced, but the M1918 became the basis for considerable development.

One problem in discussing these is that Ordnance gave separate designations for the gun and its mount. The original piece was the M1918 Gun on Mount M1918. However, an improved T1 mount was developed postwar in 1927, which was standardized in 1928 as the Mount M1, but was then replaced by a further modified mount in 1929 know as the M2. AFAIK the Mount M1 was never produced other than as the T1 pilot, but the Mount M2 went into production and replaced the Mount M1918. The M2 was later improved successively as the M2A1 and then M2A2 in 1938.

The gun too went through various modifications. The 3" Gun M1918 was replaced by the 3" Gun M1 in 1928, which had a removable liner and it in turn was replaced in 1938 by the 3" Gun M3. The 3: Gun M1917 was similarly modified with a removable liner and became the M2, which also was supposed to be improved in 1938 as the M4, but I do not believe any were so modified.Various other 3" gun projects based on the M1902M1/M1918/M1/M2/M3 were assigned T-numbers in addition to the AA guns and culminated in the 3" Gun T9 for use in the Heavy Tank T1, standardized as the 3" Gun M6, which then went through further development until the 3" Gun T12 was standardized as the 3" Tank Gun M7 in the 3" GMC M10 and the Heavy Tank M6 and M6A1. Another offshoot of the T9 was standardized as the 3" AT Gun M5.
Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.
AFAIK the 3" gun was never considered for the "universal gun". The 75mm was, which was usually referred to as the "divisional gun"...it was actually the "universal mount" they were working towards, intended as a light artillery gun or AA gun or AT gun. None of the various carriage designs, some quite innovative, were ever accepted though and work on the mounts ended around 1930 as money dried up.

Remember the US Army Field Artillery were pretty firmly wedded to the paired gun-howitzer concept after World War I and leading up to World War II. That mated the 75mm Gun with the 105mm Howitzer as the divisional "light artillery" with the 155mm howitzer providing the divisional medium artillery. Corps artillery then was to consist of the 155mm howitzer paired with the 4.7"/120mm gun, and army artillery was to be the 8" howitzer paired with the 155mm gun. Specialized super-heavy artillery was then going to be the 240mm howitzer and 8" gun.

AFAICT the 75mm divisional gun disappeared because the need for a light-weight gun capable of horse-draft disappeared when the divisions motorized, The simplified divisional T/O&E developed in 1939/1940 used only the 105mm and 155mm howitzers, although for a time the 75mm gun was considered for the role of heavy AT gun in platoon strength assigned to the corps and army artillery regiments, but the development of the Tank Destroyer force ended that experiment before it really got started.
Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
If there was no Great War and the US Army did not adopt the 75mm M1897 Gun wholesale, it would have continued development of its indigenous 3" M1902/1904/M1905 Field Gun, which was a different piece entirely. It utilized a 76.2 x 273R case as opposed to the much bigger 76.2 x 585R case of the 3" Coast Artillery/AA guns.

The 4.7" Gun would have been the heavy corps piece, while the various developments of 4" howitzers, 5" guns, 6" guns and howitzers, 7" guns and howitzers, and 8" guns and howitzers would likely have continued.
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 09 Oct 2021 06:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Oct 2021 02:32

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Oct 2021 01:30

Like everything dealing with US Army Ordnance, it was slightly more complicated than that. :lol: There were actually two parallel 3" AA gun developments beginning in 1917, the first was the M1917 on a fixed mount and the second was the M1918 on a mobile mount. Both were developed to use the standard 15-lb 3" round developed for Coast Artillery as the M1898, but the 3" AA M1918 used the 3" Coast Artillery Gun M1902M1 as its basis, while the M1917 used the longer-barrelled 3" Coast Artillery Gun M1903 as its basis. Relatively few of the M1917 AA were produced, but the M1918 became the basis for considerable development.

One problem in discussing these is that Ordnance gave separate designations for the gun and its mount. The original piece was the M1918 Gun on Mount M1918. However, an improved T1 mount was developed postwar in 1927, which was standardized in 1928 as the Mount M1, but was then replaced by a further modified mount in 1929 know as the M2. AFAIK the Mount M1 was never produced other than as the T1 pilot, but the Mount M2 went into production and replaced the Mount M1918. The M2 was later improved successively as the M2A1 and then M2A2 in 1938.

The gun too went through various modifications. The 3" Gun M1918 was replaced by the 3" Gun M1 in 1928, which had a removable liner and it in turn was replaced by a modified design designated M2 and finally in 1938 by the 3" Gun M3. Various other 3" gun projects based on the M1902M1/M1918/M1/M2/M3 were assigned T-numbers in addition to the AA guns and culminated in the 3" Gun T9 for use in the Heavy Tank T1, standardized as the 3" Gun M6, which then went through further development until the 3" Gun T12 was standardized as the 3" Tank Gun M7 in the 3" GMC M10 and the Heavy Tank M6 and M6A1. Another offshoot was standardized as the 3" AT Gun M5.
It looks like the M3 AA cannon is the one that simplifies the tangle, as it was the only one I see significant production numbers for. There is also the that the M1 & M2 examples were reworked to M3 specs & the data plate replaced with a M3. Something the Army seems to have routinely done with equipment in that era
Related to that was examination of developing a gun/carriage combination for making this a "universal" gun. One that could be used as a AA cannon, AT gun, and field artillery as the situation required. The idea seems to have carried on into the 1930s, but was ultimately dropped, probably from strong favor for the 105mm M1/M2 howitzer as the primary FA cannon.

AFAIK the 3" gun was never considered for the "universal gun". The 75mm was, which was usually referred to as the "divisional gun"...
Both cannon were on the table. One with its higher mv/range preferable for anti air attack & the other lighter but still suitable for ground attack. A lighter gun with a lower mv meant less demanding specifications for the carriage & thats the direction carriage or mount development was taking.

{quote]Remember the US Army Field Artillery were pretty firmly wedded to the paired gun-howitzer concept after World War I and leading up to World War II. That mated the 75mm Gun with the 105mm Howitzer as the divisional "light artillery" with the 155mm howitzer providing the divisional medium artillery. Corps artillery then was to consist of the 155mm howitzer paired with the 4.7"/120mm gun, and army artillery was to be the 8" howitzer paired with the 155mm gun. Specialized super-heavy artillery was then going to be the 240mm howitzer and 8" gun.[/quote]

There was a anti howitzer school, or maybe a gun school, who thought range more important than the flexibility of the howitzer. I wondered if there was French influence in this.
AFAICT the 75mm divisional gun disappeared because the need for a light-weight gun capable of horse-draft disappeared when the divisions motorized, The simplified divisional T/O&E developed in 1939/1940 used only the 105mm and 155mm howitzers, ...
Well there was the residual 75mm pack howitzer, not a 'gun' but it filled the light niche in the Airborne and Marine artillery for a few more years.
Im trying to visualize the US Army infantry divisions deploying to the Pacific and Europe/Africa 1942-43 with this universal 3"cannon as their primary artillery piece.
If there was no Great War and the US Army did not adopt the 75mm M1897 Gun wholesale, it would have continued development of its indigenous 3" M1902/1904/M1905 Field Gun, which was a different piece entirely. It utilized a 76.2 x 273R case as opposed to the much bigger 76.2 x 585R case of the 3" Coast Artillery/AA guns.

The 4.7" Gun would have been the heavy corps piece, while the various developments of 4" howitzers, 5" guns, 6" guns and howitzers, 7" guns and howitzers, and 8" guns and howitzers would likely have continued.
Sounds a bit like the Brits with a cannon for every occasion. Circa 1984 in a idle moment in Korea I reflected on US Army helicopters making attack runs on training targets. The were following the same set courses in & out. I amused myself & my FDC section by plotting a gunnery solution for putting a barrage of proximity fuze d 105mm howitzer rounds in their path.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Oct 2021 05:50

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Oct 2021 02:32
It looks like the M3 AA cannon is the one that simplifies the tangle, as it was the only one I see significant production numbers for. There is also the that the M1 & M2 examples were reworked to M3 specs & the data plate replaced with a M3. Something the Army seems to have routinely done with equipment in that era
It did not simplify a tangle, since there was no tangle. It was evolutionary development rather than a knot that needed to be untied. Somewhere I think I have data on the production of the M1918/M3. The M1 and M2 were never "produced", they were simply designations for the same gun fitted with replaceable liners. Some of the original M1918 likely remained for a while (ISTR about 155 were manufactured), but it could not be reworked given the M3 was of completely different construction. Those surviving, along with apparently a few M1917, soldiered on for a while as fixed mounts and may still have been around by the start of World War II.
Both cannon were on the table. One with its higher mv/range preferable for anti air attack & the other lighter but still suitable for ground attack. A lighter gun with a lower mv meant less demanding specifications for the carriage & thats the direction carriage or mount development was taking.
Which both? The 3" AA M1918/M3 was never considered for the divisional gun role because it was too large and heavy. The 3" FA M1902/1904/1905 may have been, except its development died with the Crime of 1916. The divisional gun after 1916 was 75mm.
There was a anti howitzer school, or maybe a gun school, who thought range more important than the flexibility of the howitzer. I wondered if there was French influence in this.
There was? Where? When? The Westervelt Board Report of 5 May 1919 defined the FA objective through World War II.
Well there was the residual 75mm pack howitzer, not a 'gun' but it filled the light niche in the Airborne and Marine artillery for a few more years.
Sure, but again it was never considered as the divisional gun...because it was a howitzer intended to equip pack artillery.
Sounds a bit like the Brits with a cannon for every occasion.
No, it sounds like the Westervelt Board Report.
Circa 1984 in a idle moment in Korea I reflected on US Army helicopters making attack runs on training targets. The were following the same set courses in & out. I amused myself & my FDC section by plotting a gunnery solution for putting a barrage of proximity fuze d 105mm howitzer rounds in their path.
Interesting anecdote, but I'm not sure how it is germane to the question?
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 09 Oct 2021 07:00, edited 1 time in total.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
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