Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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Sheldrake
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Oct 2021 13:30

antwony wrote:
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?
Economics played a significant part in the design of the 25 pounder. One factor was to design a gun/howitzer which could use the existing stocks of 18 pounder carriages.

I doubt if tactical radar could have been introduced much faster. Radar was in its infancy in 1939. It took a lot of tinkering to enable gun laying radar to work in 1940-41 for Heavy AA, and that was at a time when defeating the night blitz was a national top priority. The Cavity Magnetron invented in 1940 was the big breakthrough in making radars able to spot small objects and small enough for tactical use and proximity fuses. By 1944 these are being used to detect mortar bombs in flight. Would this have made a difference in 1940 or 1942? Probably not.

1940 might have turned out very differently had the British and French had lots more antitank and AA weapons. Had France been protected by a similar integrated air defence system that the British developed, it is possible that the outcome might have been different.

Had the British introduced 76mm anti tank guns on the 3" 20 Cwt AA guns withdrawn from service in 1940-41 the western desert battles might have had different outcomes.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Oct 2021 14:55

Sheldrake wrote:
21 Oct 2021 13:03

This highly dubious and contentions statement is for another thread.
Thank you, moderator.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2021 16:56

Sheldrake wrote:
21 Oct 2021 13:03
This highly dubious and contentions statement is for another thread.
Im skeptical of even that.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2021 16:58

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).
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Oct 2021 07:42
What's the evidence that this was the actual reason for selecting the 25er? Not necessarily disagreeing, just not convinced absent direct evidence.
What's the evidence that the British Army underperformed the American in WW2? Not necessarily disagreeing, just not convinced absent direct evidence. :lol: :lol:

BTW still looking for any further evidence about plans to ship Lend-lease to Russia through Afghanistan but the trail has run cold at the moment...

Regards

Tom

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2021 17:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
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,
My remarks addressed perception. 2.5 years looked like 'Old Army' to many. A corporal section chief in one of the batteries had enlisted in 1939 & was described as a "Regular" by a section member, whatever his actual status might have been.

The anecdote about Parnham did not include if he found any cannon unsatisfactory.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Oct 2021 17:31

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
21 Oct 2021 16:58
What's the evidence that the British Army underperformed the American in WW2? Not necessarily disagreeing, just not convinced absent direct evidence. :lol: :lol:
Just for example, there's this report from TDI:
TDI report - US v UK EPW effectiveness.png
...any complaints should be addressed to Richard Anderson, who worked on the report. Not necessarily agreeing with Richard, just not convinced he's wrong this time. :lol: :lol:

IIRC TDI's blog contains some revisions to these conclusions, now 20 years old. But doesn't change the basics.
Tom from Cornwall wrote: BTW still looking for any further evidence about plans to ship Lend-lease to Russia through Afghanistan but the trail has run cold at the moment...
All good, it'd have been a cold, dangerous trail anyway.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 17:37

Sheldrake wrote:
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.
The first part of that statement may be more or less correct, given the limitations of the data set TMP bases his opinions on, but the second part is his assumption based upon zero actual evidence other than mumbo-jumbo about wealth/nutrition/education factors. The average height of an American Army draftee in World War II was 70 inches and his average weight was 144 pounds (of all inductees examined the average was 68 inches and 150.5 pounds). The average height of a British soldier in World War II was 70 inches and while I haven't found the weight it was probably similar to the American. In terms of "smarts" it would be variable, American soldiers with the lowest AGCT scores were typically selected for the Infantry, with higher scores being assigned to what were considered the more intellectually demanding arms and services. There appears to be less data regarding British Army IQ, although at least one study tended to indicate the survival rate of lower IQ soldiers was better than the smarter ones. :lol:
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 17:54

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Oct 2021 17:11
My remarks addressed perception. 2.5 years looked like 'Old Army' to many. A corporal section chief in one of the batteries had enlisted in 1939 & was described as a "Regular" by a section member, whatever his actual status might have been.
Exactly, my remarks were addressing reality versus perception. Fundamentally, by mid-1942 there was little difference between the three nominal components of the Army following the widespread dilution due to providing cadre for new units. A good example was the new Armored Force. As of 15 July 1940, there were 530 officers and 9,329 enlisted men assigned to Tank units that were the prewar RA cadre initially distributed (through 1 January 1942) between five RA divisions and 11 RA battalions, totaling around 80,000 officers and men and eventually expanding to cadre a total of 16 divisions and roughly 72 battalions in the RA and AUS.
The anecdote about Parnham did not include if he found any cannon unsatisfactory.
I would doubt he did; technical and tactical training in the American Army FA was excellent.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2021 18:15

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Oct 2021 17:31
Just for example, there's this report from TDI:
I prefer this slide:
US - UK Army Comparison (2).jpg
Does that suggest that the British Army out-performed the US Army in WW2? Of course not, it just shows that we don't have "direct evidence" to justify such statements.

I did ask whether another possible reason that the army-level data was inconsistent with the division-level data was that 8th Army were more realistic than Fifth US Army about what could be achieved given the limitations of the terrain or of their own troops. I never really got a response to that from the current team at TDI.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Oct 2021 17:31
All good, it'd have been a cold, dangerous trail anyway.
That's very true!

Regards

Tom
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 18:40

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
21 Oct 2021 18:15
I prefer this slide:
Yes, it does rather well summarize what I alluded to.
Does that suggest that the British Army out-performed the US Army in WW2? Of course not, it just shows that we don't have "direct evidence" to justify such statements.
We don need no stinkin "direct evidence" man!
I did ask whether another possible reason that the army-level data was inconsistent with the division-level data was that 8th Army were more realistic than Fifth US Army about what could be achieved given the limitations of the terrain or of their own troops. I never really got a response to that from the current team at TDI.
Given the team is now Chris Lawrence and he has other work to do, I am not surprised. The actual reason would be because there are zero - IIRC - Eighth Army divisional engagements from Italy in the DLEDB. So what is actually being compared are British X Corps DLEDB engagements to Eighth Army CADB engagements...apples v. oranges old boy.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2021 19:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Oct 2021 18:40
apples v. oranges old boy
Does that make the Germans the lemons?
US - UK Army Comparison (3).JPG
That's not a very good basis for the discussion in this presentation at all then and shows the danger (as you have repeatedly pointed out - :thumbsup: ) of over-reaching when generalising from such studies. That's also one of my gripes about the seductive nature of using numbers like 0.9 and 1.21 on powerpoint! There must be a psychological study into the seduction of the use of statistics without indicating uncertainty - especially for those of us who struggled with mathematics and significant figures. :wink:

Anyway, I shall slip back out of the conversation at this point and go and look for some:
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Oct 2021 18:40
stinkin "direct evidence" man!
:D

Regards

Tom
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2021 19:10

nuyt wrote:
14 Oct 2021 15:04
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Oct 2021 18:30

Do you have Rate of Fire information for these two weapons?
Sorry, my books are in storage.
Here is some info on the Bofors 90mm from the Overvalwagen Forum (from a contemp. Dutch mil. magazine):

breech is quarter-automatic (opening by hand, closing automatic)
hydro-pneumatic breaks
split trail with 56 degrees sidewards range
2 vertical equilibrators
same axis as with 10 cm field gun though without liquid
10 kg grenade
625 m/sec velocity
14 km range
1675 kilo weight
The article compares the piece with the Schneider 85mm, concludes that the performance of the French piece is higher but at a price: with 1970 kilo too heavy and unacceptable for main armament of divisional artillery.

Feedback on its performance welcome. Note this is data from a prototype tested around 1929 and the weapon was not further developed nor produced.

The Rheinmetall 9cm L31 had a range of 11km and a weight of 1400kg, see here: viewtopic.php?f=101&t=162448&start=15

If the RoF of this cannon is anything like the 25lbr then about seven rounds in 30 seconds will put the same weight of ammunition on target as 5 rounds in 30 seconds from a 105mm howitzer. Lots of other things to consider but in raw weight of ammo theres not much difference between the capability.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 19:28

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
21 Oct 2021 19:07
Does that make the Germans the lemons?
Why not carrots? You are skewing towards fruitiness.
That's not a very good basis for the discussion in this presentation at all then and shows the danger (as you have repeatedly pointed out - :thumbsup: ) of over-reaching when generalising from such studies.
IIRC that was the whole point of the slide.
That's also one of my gripes about the seductive nature of using numbers like 0.9 and 1.21 on powerpoint! There must be a psychological study into the seduction of the use of statistics without indicating uncertainty - especially for those of us who struggled with mathematics and significant figures. :wink:
Well,those figures were mathematically derived, so we are talking mathematical precision, but it should have been "0.9" and "1.2".
Anyway, I shall slip back out of the conversation at this point and go and look for some:
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Oct 2021 18:40
stinkin "direct evidence" man!
:D

Regards

Tom
Excellent.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Oct 2021 19:56

You guys clearly don't understand the concept of direct evidence.

Climate data on the Amazon is direct evidence of its raininess. So too is Bob reporting from Manaus that it's not raining.

To you guys, Bob's superficial contradiction of the climate data means there's no direct evidence regarding the Amazon's raininess. You're confusing noise with the absence of signal, a common thinking error here. You're also failing to discriminate between pieces of direct evidence.. Direct evidence (technical meaning) is rarely direct (casual meaning).

Anyway, we've been over this territory before. Thus ends today's remedial logic lesson.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2021 22:37

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Oct 2021 19:56
You guys clearly don't understand the concept of direct evidence.
I think I might be too short… :D

Regards

Tom

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