Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 17 Oct 2021 17:48

T. A. Gardner wrote:
17 Oct 2021 02:51
The US got around that earliest by using Time On Target salvos. Then the first salvo of shells all land on the target simultaneously. After that, ROF really doesn't matter that much as the target goes 'turtle' and it's really hard to destroy it and it's already pinned in place.

The British adopted TOT in the Eighth Army in May 1942 after agreeing to use the BBC time signal as the source of "Time." What are the US origins?

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Oct 2021 18:28

Sheldrake wrote:
17 Oct 2021 17:48
T. A. Gardner wrote:
17 Oct 2021 02:51
The US got around that earliest by using Time On Target salvos. Then the first salvo of shells all land on the target simultaneously. After that, ROF really doesn't matter that much as the target goes 'turtle' and it's really hard to destroy it and it's already pinned in place.

The British adopted TOT in the Eighth Army in May 1942 after agreeing to use the BBC time signal as the source of "Time." What are the US origins?
It was another thing that came out of the Westervelt board in the late 30's. What made it possible was the adoption of the FDC (Fire Direction Center) that would coordinate multiple batteries directing them onto a target and specifying the time at which the first rounds would be fired. This would result in all the first rounds landing within plus of minus three seconds (give or take), on a target.
All that came out of studying WW 1 artillery fire effectiveness.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Oct 2021 18:53

T. A. Gardner wrote:
17 Oct 2021 18:28
It was another thing that came out of the Westervelt board in the late 30's. What made it possible was the adoption of the FDC (Fire Direction Center) that would coordinate multiple batteries directing them onto a target and specifying the time at which the first rounds would be fired. This would result in all the first rounds landing within plus of minus three seconds (give or take), on a target.
All that came out of studying WW 1 artillery fire effectiveness.
Terry, the Westervelt Board Report was 5 May 1919 rather than the late 1930's. The School of Artillery at Fort Sill began developing the techniques for massed battalion fires and the FDC under Major Carlos Brewer in 1929-1930. By early 1939, Brigadier General Lesley J. McNair, commanding the 2d Field Artillery Brigade, was able to demonstrate a prototypical "time-on-target" by multiple firing battalions to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General George C. Marshall. However, there was continued resistance against centralized battalion fire control by Field Artillery officers, who felt it derogated the authority of the battery commanders, and against the "time-on-target" by officers who believed it would be "wasteful of ammunition" well into 1942. I believe it was primarily the experience in North Africa, especially by the 9th Infantry Division artillery in Tunisia, which finally enabled now Major General McNair as Chief of Army Ground Forces to declare the new techniques doctrine, which decision was fully endorsed by now Chief of Staff General Marshall.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Oct 2021 20:36


The US got around that earliest by using Time On Target salvos. Then the first salvo of shells all land on the target simultaneously. After that, ROF really doesn't matter that much as the target goes 'turtle' and it's really hard to destroy it and it's already pinned in place.
Meh the instruction & effects tables said otherwise. Ammunition & target composition run the vulnerability window for personnel out past 30 seconds & past 60 seconds in many cases. Entrenched infantry are one type of target, but HQ, logistics sites, fire support, ect...are higher priority & draw a high proportion of the artillery fire missions. Some targets are worth more ammunition than others.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Oct 2021 20:49

Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Oct 2021 18:53
T. A. Gardner wrote:
17 Oct 2021 18:28
It was another thing that came out of the Westervelt board in the late 30's. What made it possible was the adoption of the FDC (Fire Direction Center) that would coordinate multiple batteries directing them onto a target and specifying the time at which the first rounds would be fired. This would result in all the first rounds landing within plus of minus three seconds (give or take), on a target.
All that came out of studying WW 1 artillery fire effectiveness.
Terry, the Westervelt Board Report was 5 May 1919 rather than the late 1930's. The School of Artillery at Fort Sill began developing the techniques for massed battalion fires and the FDC under Major Carlos Brewer in 1929-1930. By early 1939, Brigadier General Lesley J. McNair, commanding the 2d Field Artillery Brigade, was able to demonstrate a prototypical "time-on-target" by multiple firing battalions to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General George C. Marshall. However, there was continued resistance against centralized battalion fire control by Field Artillery officers, who felt it derogated the authority of the battery commanders, and against the "time-on-target" by officers who believed it would be "wasteful of ammunition" well into 1942. I believe it was primarily the experience in North Africa, especially by the 9th Infantry Division artillery in Tunisia, which finally enabled now Major General McNair as Chief of Army Ground Forces to declare the new techniques doctrine, which decision was fully endorsed by now Chief of Staff General Marshall.
US 2d Corps had been traiing the UK part of 1942 & been exposed to Brit training. & In Tunisia. Probable exposure there. There is possible cross pollination from the French. Their techniques for rapidly massing battalions and larger groups reach back before1937 & possibly the 1920s. French exchange officers were a thing at Ft Sill in the 1920s & 1930s. So, were exchange officers with the Japanese & German armies.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Oct 2021 22:00

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Oct 2021 20:49
US 2d Corps had been traiing the UK part of 1942 & been exposed to Brit training. & In Tunisia. Probable exposure there.
Carl, the II Corps went to England in June 1942 and was almost immediately tasked with planning, initially for GYMNAST and then for its role in TORCH. Its primary troop component was the 34th Infantry Division, arrived in the UK in three waves between 15 January and 13 May 1942 and were stationed in Northern Ireland, where it began the small unit training interrupted by its POM and overseas movement (it was inducted into Federal service 11 February 1941, completed basic training in May, participated in the Louisiana corps and army maneuvers June-September, and then were alerted for POM after Pearl Harbor. The division actually only had three months of basic training and just over two months of unit training when it arrived in Northern Ireland. It did participate in maneuvers with British units in June and July, but AFAIK those British units were still following Home Army artillery doctrine rather than that adopted by the Eighth Army in Egypt in May 1942. Worse, the units of the 34th Infantry Division began concentrating on amphibious training in early August 1942 in preparation for TORCH, which also affected unit and division training in basic doctrine. So I doubt they had much exposure to what was essentially an Eighth Army method or much chance to practice such, given they did not have much time to practice American artillery doctrine other than range shooting.
There is possible cross pollination from the French. Their techniques for rapidly massing battalions and larger groups reach back before1937 & possibly the 1920s. French exchange officers were a thing at Ft Sill in the 1920s & 1930s. So, were exchange officers with the Japanese & German armies.
Well, yes, GPF, mils, and all that after all. However, the development of massed battalion fires, the creation of the FDC, and then massing of multiple battalion fires, is well documented by Fort Sill, and were initiated by Major Carlos Brewer when he became Director of the Gunnery Department in 1929, and expanded upon by Brewer’s successor Major Orlando Ward. See Boyd Dastrup, "History of the US Army Field Artillery School from Birth to the Eve of World War II: Part I of II", Fires, A Joint Publication for U.S. Artillery Professionals, (January-February 2011), p. 7–11. I also have an unpublished memoir of one of the officers involved in the development under Brewer, while others engaged in the work included Jake Devers and Jay MacKelvie (who was a competent artilleryman but a terrible division commander).

Were they aware of foreign developments in the field? Certainly. Did it have influence on their thinking? Of course. Were the TTPs developed by Brewer et al British, French, German, or Japanese in origin? No.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Oct 2021 04:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Oct 2021 22:00
... It did participate in maneuvers with British units in June and July, but AFAIK those British units were still following Home Army artillery doctrine rather than that adopted by the Eighth Army in Egypt in May 1942. Worse, the units of the 34th Infantry Division began concentrating on amphibious training in early August 1942 in preparation for TORCH, which also affected unit and division training in basic doctrine. So I doubt they had much exposure to what was essentially an Eighth Army method or much chance to practice such, given they did not have much time to practice American artillery doctrine other than range shooting..
Not what Im reading in either Pemberton, or the Journal of Royal Artillery. Reorganizing the 24 gun brigade in 1938, into two 12 cannon firing groups (now labeled batteries) was a early step in the effort to rapidly concentrate fires. Pemberton touches on the effort to concentrate larger multi battery groups, why they failed, and the perception of failure of the 12 gun battery in the 1940 campaign. The JRA paralleled this with a series of articles 1937-1940 relating the searcher rapid concentration capability. By 1941 I'm not seeing evidence of the artillerists back in England following any residual pre 1938 reform practice. ie: the article 'Organization of Counter Battery Work In Mobile Warfare By A Medium Brigade Allotted To a Division' Vol LXIII, No 2 Im seeing in some detail the methods for rapidly reinforcing the regiments fires with the other division artillery in practice in the UK in 1940-1941.

Conversely Pemberton from Chapter 4 describes the fragmentation or dispersion of the artillery fires in the Western Desert. Early on in 1940 he ascribes this to lack of regiments to concentrate, shortage of communications equipment, and lack of señor RA officers to form workable HQ above the regiment. Concentrations described were deliberate, taking hours from defects/shortages in survey, ready ammunition at hand, slow communications.

Pemberton goes on to describe the lack of a CCRA & efforts of uneven result for the Division CRA as a substitute for 1940- early 1941. @ Tobruk three regiment concentrations of nominally 36 guns were achieved through preparation and planning, but not in the hasty or rapid methods. For June 1941 Pemberton describes only four medium/heavy regiments in use against the Axis in the western desert, & those in separate locations too distant for mutual concentration. As mid 1941 passes the description of dispersal of the division and corps artillery continues, with reduced batteries of six guns farmed out to Jock columns and the idea the brigade should have their own regiment of 25lbrs, vs control by the Division CRA.

In direct contrast Pemberton describes the development or training in the direction of the 1938-1940 RA, where the concentration of battery, regiment, and division/corps groups was "speeded up". The adoption of "Quick Barrage" procedures to supplement existing deliberate setting up of regiment & division fire groups on a target came in the UK during 1941. (Part IV Chapter VII) Articles in the JRA describing the campaign in Belgium/France of 1940 lead in lessons learned to the desirability of large scale and speed in concentration. Later in Chapter VII 103 Pemberton describes the obsession in 8th Army with maximizing AT fires leading to the further fragmentation of regiments among the armored & infantry brigade components. Making common survey, communications, and overlapping range in conducive to fast concentration of fires.

The idea of success of the 25lbr as a AT weapon in the 8th Army of 1941 connects to these descriptions of the dispersion of division artillery fires. I'm just not finding much evidence of the development of rapid large scale concentrations of the division and reinforcing Corps RA. Not like I'm seeing described in the UK. The opening paragraphs of Chapter VIII of Pemberton repeats the previous description of a fragmented artillery in the division & corps. ie: A removal of the CRA from and command responsibilities of the division artillery, leaving the HQ as a training and supply agency. It was also proposed the CCRA be eliminated as the regiments under that HQ were farmed out to the divisions>brigades. Post Gazala period one starts to see the change. Attention to the role of the Div & Corps CRA & the idea of coordinated, rapid large concentrations starts returning. This solidified after the arrival of Montgomery & other senior officers from the UK.
There is possible cross pollination from the French. Their techniques for rapidly massing battalions and larger groups reach back before1937 & possibly the 1920s. French exchange officers were a thing at Ft Sill in the 1920s & 1930s. So, were exchange officers with the Japanese & German armies.
Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Oct 2021 22:00
Well, yes, GPF, mils, and all that after all. However, the development of massed battalion fires, the creation of the FDC, and then massing of multiple battalion fires, is well documented by Fort Sill, and were initiated by Major Carlos Brewer when he became Director of the Gunnery Department in 1929, and expanded upon by Brewer’s successor Major Orlando Ward. See Boyd Dastrup, "History of the US Army Field Artillery School from Birth to the Eve of World War II: Part I of II", Fires, A Joint Publication for U.S. Artillery Professionals, (January-February 2011), p. 7–11. I also have an unpublished memoir of one of the officers involved in the development under Brewer, while others engaged in the work included Jake Devers and Jay MacKelvie (who was a competent artilleryman but a terrible division commander).

Were they aware of foreign developments in the field? Certainly. Did it have influence on their thinking? Of course.
Which was my point
Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Oct 2021 22:00
Were the TTPs developed by Brewer et al British, French, German, or Japanese in origin? No.
Well of course not TTP were unknown in that era, so those gentlemen would not have written any.

Judging from the US Army exchange officers account the lessons from the Japanese artillery of 1920s would be in what not to do.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Oct 2021 06:13

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Oct 2021 04:15
Not what Im reading in either Pemberton, or the Journal of Royal Artillery. (snip)
Excellent, thanks! I was always under the impression that Egypt was the field testing ground with the results feeding back to the Home Army.
Which was my point
Okay. And don't forget the exchanges passed the other way occasionally too.
Well of course not TTP were unknown in that era, so those gentlemen would not have written any.
They did not develop tactics and the techniques and procedures for implementing them? Or they didn't use the acronym?
Judging from the US Army exchange officers account the lessons from the Japanese artillery of 1920s would be in what not to do.
:D
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 18 Oct 2021 16:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Oct 2021 06:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Oct 2021 04:15
Not what Im reading in either Pemberton, or the Journal of Royal Artillery. (snip)
Excellent, thanks! I was always under the impression that Egypt was the field testing ground with the results feeding back to the Home Army.
Which was my point
Okay. And don't forget the exchanges passed the other way occasionally too.
Well of course not TTP were unknown in that era, so those gentlemen would not have written any.
They did not develop tactics and the techniques and procedures for implementing them? Or they didn't use the acronym?
Judging from the US Army exchange officers account the lessons from the Japanese artillery of 1920s would be in what not to do.
:D
Pemberton did not write the whole truth. His work is organised around the fights against the dive bomber, the tank and the mortar and draws on tactical lessons from the theatres of war. It largely omits some significant developments made within the Home Army. I suspect because it is an official publication and did not wish to include topics that were deeply political and potentially embarrassing to serving senior officers.

The most significant was the development of multi battery fire missions controlled by wireless championed by Brigadier HJ (Hatchet Jack) Parham, and supported by the School of Artillery. As CO of 10 field regiment he had trained his regiment to fire as a 24 gun unit in 1940. According to Bidwell, (Gunners at War pp142-143) Parham had been inspired by the Stuka as a close support weapon. Dive bomber targets lay within 7,000-8,000 yards of the front line, about the same as field artillery. A regiment of twenty four 25 pounders firing three rounds a minute could put down over 3/4 a ton of HE and metal. Parham was an enfant terrible of the RA. He picked fights with the RAF over army co-operation and the idea of artillery officers flying their own spotter aircraft. In the retreat to Dunkirk at Rexpode he was in the front line with some anti tank guns of 53 Anti tank regiment. The anti tank guns knocked out a panzer. Parham finished off the escaping crew with his revolver.

As CRA 38 Division he fired the 72 guns of the division as a big battery. Even though a big demonstration went horribly wrong injuring two generals, bringing down the fire of 144 guns in three minutes to a fresh target impressed the system. These techniques there then the foundation of British Artillery fire control for the rest of the war -and afterwards. The big difference between this and the US system is that the fire is ordered from the observer, rather than requested from the FDC. Those of us trained by the RSA Larkhill all believe that the British system is superior. I dare say that anyone trained at Fort Sill might beg to differ.... I don't think there has ever been any systematic comparison but I would be keen to learn more about the development of US artillery fire control. I may be in touch with several contributors to this thread via PM

The development of procedures to control divisional, corps or army concentrations was really important because it is the key argument for fighting a division as a division and not three brigade groups. Ever since 1940 there had been a school of thought that the division was too unwieldy a formation and combined arms should be achieved by parceling the artillery out to brigades. This is why there was no CRA for Armoured divisions. This view was prevalent in Eighth army and by July 1942 Aukinleck's HQ was considering battalion sized all arms battlegroups. Home Army, under Brooke and with Montgomery as his protégée thought this was nonsense.

Montgomery's CRA at 12 Corps and then South East Command was Sidney Kirkman, who he then took to be his artillery commander for the Eighth Army. The commander artillery for the First Army in Tunisia was H J Parham.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Oct 2021 01:47

Sheldrake wrote:
18 Oct 2021 16:11

Pemberton did not write the whole truth. His work is organised around the fights against the dive bomber, the tank and the mortar and draws on tactical lessons from the theatres of war. It largely omits some significant developments made within the Home Army. I suspect because it is an official publication and did not wish to include topics that were deeply political and potentially embarrassing to serving senior officers.
Still he had a paragraph on Home Army developments in many chapters. Enough to clarify some of the text in the Journal of Royal Artillery.
The most significant was the development of multi battery fire missions controlled by wireless championed by Brigadier HJ (Hatchet Jack) Parham, and supported by the School of Artillery. As CO of 10 field regiment he had trained his regiment to fire as a 24 gun unit in 1940. According to Bidwell, (Gunners at War pp142-143) Parham had been inspired by the Stuka as a close support weapon. Dive bomber targets lay within 7,000-8,000 yards of the front line, about the same as field artillery. A regiment of twenty four 25 pounders firing three rounds a minute could put down over 3/4 a ton of HE and metal. Parham was an enfant terrible of the RA. He picked fights with the RAF over army co-operation and the idea of artillery officers flying their own spotter aircraft. In the retreat to Dunkirk at Rexpode he was in the front line with some anti tank guns of 53 Anti tank regiment. The anti tank guns knocked out a panzer. Parham finished off the escaping crew with his revolver.
One of the most interesting items in the JRA was a article describing the French artillery of the mid 1930s. There, was clearly laid out the organization and method for observation and concentration of fire of the twelve gun Groupe. Despite British understatement & the calm required of a officer the author does break down in a show of envy of the ability to mass fires of the Groupe and the Groupments in a few brief minutes, or less. 'Why are we not doing this?' seems the tenor of the article.
As CRA 38 Division he fired the 72 guns of the division as a big battery. Even though a big demonstration went horribly wrong injuring two generals, bringing down the fire of 144 guns in three minutes to a fresh target impressed the system. These techniques there then the foundation of British Artillery fire control for the rest of the war -and afterwards. The big difference between this and the US system is that the fire is ordered from the observer, rather than requested from the FDC. Those of us trained by the RSA Larkhill all believe that the British system is superior. I dare say that anyone trained at Fort Sill might beg to differ.... I don't think there has ever been any systematic comparison but I would be keen to learn more about the development of US artillery fire control. I may be in touch with several contributors to this thread via PM
I've dabbled in such a comparison over the past two decades, but not collected the core documents. From that I've no opinion on if the Brit, US or French system was better. I will say that the idea of the US Fire Direction Center completely controlling the battery fires is wrong. Some of the sources cited on this don't seem to understand what they were looking at, & were depending on a narrow base of information. But I digress.
The development of procedures to control divisional, corps or army concentrations was really important because it is the key argument for fighting a division as a division and not three brigade groups. Ever since 1940 there had been a school of thought that the division was too unwieldy a formation and combined arms should be achieved by parceling the artillery out to brigades. This is why there was no CRA for Armoured divisions. This view was prevalent in Eighth army and by July 1942 Aukinleck's HQ was considering battalion sized all arms battlegroups. Home Army, under Brooke and with Montgomery as his protégée thought this was nonsense.

Montgomery's CRA at 12 Corps and then South East Command was Sidney Kirkman, who he then took to be his artillery commander for the Eighth Army. The commander artillery for the First Army in Tunisia was H J Parham.
Theres a story about Parham showing up at the US 9th Division artillery during the 1943 March 'Morning Air' offensive, & going thru the battery positions checking the lay of each howitzer. If he did one has to wonder what the gunners thought. The 9th Div was a relatively old & well trained division in the US Army and many of its members regarded themselves as Regular Army professionals. I hope they looked on this Enfant Terrible with a bit of tolerance.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Oct 2021 04:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Oct 2021 01:47
Theres a story about Parham showing up at the US 9th Division artillery during the 1943 March 'Morning Air' offensive, & going thru the battery positions checking the lay of each howitzer. If he did one has to wonder what the gunners thought. The 9th Div was a relatively old & well trained division in the US Army and many of its members regarded themselves as Regular Army professionals. I hope they looked on this Enfant Terrible with a bit of tolerance.
Here is where it gets complicated. The 9th Infantry Division was no such thing. It was almost nonexistent until 1 August 1940, when it was reactivated, critically less all of its Reserve personnel, who had manned the bulk of the division's units after 28 July 1926 when it was reorganized as a Regular Army Inactive unit. An RAI unit consisted of Reserve personnel, so were only active during Reserve training periods. They had no permanently assigned RA personnel. The only RA unit of the division that remained active interwar was the 18th Infantry Brigade, none of the FA did. The 26th FA Bn was activated 1 August 1940 and organized 1 October 1940 from the 1st Bn, 26th FA, an RAI unit, the 60th FA Bn was activated and organized the same dates from the 2d Bn, 26th FA, also an RAI unit, the 34th FA Bn was activated and organized the same dates from the 34th FA, also an RAI unit, and the 84th FA Bn was organized 1 October 1940 from the 3d Bn, 26th FA Bn, which had been constituted and activated 1 August 1940 as a new unit. By March 1943, all the 9th Infantry Division artillery had existed for two and a half years. They may have considered themselves as RA professionals, but most of the NCOs and enlisted were draftees, as were many of the officers, there was a small cadre of volunteers, but only the battalion commanders by then were probably RA.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Oct 2021 07:42

Sheldrake wrote:Wartime experience from both world wars was that infantry assaulting from within 100 yards were likely to catch German defenders before they had recovered from the bombardment. This is where the limited lethality of the 25 Pounder was an advantage. Check the minimum safe distances for different types of HE rounds.
What's the evidence that this was the actual reason for selecting the 25er? Not necessarily disagreeing, just not convinced absent direct evidence.

Here's a diagram of lethality/distance for a 25er shell impacting at 20 degrees. As can be seen, lethality on the "Y axis" is quite low and particularly behind the shell's trajectory (whence the greatest friendly fire risk). Most fragments propagate on the X axis. So except for defilade fire on an enemy position, lethal distance from shell impact is further reduced as the controlling factor for friendly fire margin. Many arty-supported attacks will be functionally in defilade once into the depths of enemy positions but even then the 1% casualty radius extends perhaps 80m per the diagram. Escalating the 1% radius linearly with shell radius gives us ~95m 1% radius for the 105mm shell (but the Brits didn't accept linear escalation seemingly, as discussed below). That superficially justifies the 25er, given the above-quoted 100 yard distance, but only if we assume very little shell dispersion and near-perfect aim. The normal dispersion of artillery shells - even assuming perfect aim would exceed this ~15m difference between 105mm and 25er safe distances (unless the 25er shells had extremely weak effect, which seems at least as much vice as virtue).

I could just as easily see the British having been convinced by their own projections that shell effect is related to the square root of shell weight, as discussed here. That creates dramatic diseconomies of scale: Smaller the shell the better per equivalent weight (and logistical burden, cost, etc.). By this heuristic, a 105mm shell is ~23% less effective per weight on target. Ballistic carrying power puts a floor on reducing shell size while maintaining reasonable range and muzzle velocity; 3.5in is a reasonable floor for decent ballistics on divisional artillery (pace RKKA).

The British weight/effect heuristic implies that 3in shells are nearly 3x more effective than 6in shells per weight (SQRT(8) / 8 ). That sounds fishy, especially given contemporary military practice and the predominance of larger calibers.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by antwony » 21 Oct 2021 09:13

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Oct 2021 07:42
Sheldrake wrote:Wartime experience from both world wars was that infantry assaulting from within 100 yards were likely to catch German defenders before they had recovered from the bombardment. This is where the limited lethality of the 25 Pounder was an advantage. Check the minimum safe distances for different types of HE rounds.
What's the evidence that this was the actual reason for selecting the 25er? Not necessarily disagreeing, just not convinced absent direct evidence.
To be fair, your question is perhaps in the spirit of the thread initial question i.e. alternate artillery, in this case not the 25 pounder.

But, your question's a strawman. No one has asked "what was the reason it was adopted?". Mr Gardiner claimed, obviously incorrectly as he was talking about the British, that the 25 pounder was adopted as a combined field/ AT gun. Gooner referred to the 25 pounder as an updated 18 pounder, which is correct.

Wouldn't really want to offer "the actual reason" for the 25 pounder's adoption. But, suspect I'd be >51% correct to say budgetary concerns. A low(ish) cost replacement for both the 18lbser and the 4.5inch QF.

While making artillery rader and proximity fuses would have always been beyond German's rather primitive understanding of "Jewish Magic" AKA electronics. Had the Germans made any moves to replicate WW1 era British sound ranging technology?

Without trying to be too much of a Wallie-aboo, how far could have the West gone towards tactical rader and proximity fuses, pre war, given the limited abilities of 1939 transistors/ valves?

Laser range finding?

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Oct 2021 10:54

I should be clear that, aside from the etiological issue, I also don't buy the argument that a ~15m reduction in safe distance from impact (vs. 105mm) is a sufficient reason to favor the 25er. A battery firing from 10,000m with 1%-of-range shell dispersion (100m) will render 15m a minor factor for the close approach of the infantry (180m vs. 195m) - and that's assuming perfect aim. Given that 4.5in and larger guns are also usually in the battle this would also present a very difficult problem for the infantry to know its safe distance in many situations.

The British Army underperformed the American in WW2, the 25er is perhaps one reason (elsewhere I've discussed that Americans were also bigger and probably smarter than the average Brit/German due to wealth/nutrition/education factors).
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Oct 2021 13:03

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Oct 2021 10:54
The British Army underperformed the American in WW2, the 25er is perhaps one reason (elsewhere I've discussed that Americans were also bigger and probably smarter than the average Brit/German due to wealth/nutrition/education factors).
This highly dubious and contentions statement is for another thread.

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