Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Feb 2022 03:41

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Feb 2022 05:23
...

General Alberto Pariani, Chief of Staff of the Regio Esercito and concurrently Undersecretary for War, was the primary moving force behind shifting from an amphibious doctrine that used large vessels directly landing a battalion landing team, which he saw as a recipe for disaster, to one using an initial landing by primarily infantry forces in small craft. He was dismissed from the Cabinet on 31 October 1939 and then from his position as CoS on 3 November 1939, after writing a letter to Mussolini stating Italy was not ready for a war. His brainchild, the 20-ton landing craft, was cancelled shortly afterwards.
Were those the Motolance ML ? Allegedly 100 were ordered in 1941 & nine built.
Screen Shot 2022-02-08 at 9.38.23 PM.png
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Feb 2022 08:19

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Feb 2022 03:41
Were those the Motolance ML ? Allegedly 100 were ordered in 1941 & nine built.
Yes, they were resurrected for C3 in 1942. Too little, too late.
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 09 Feb 2022 23:17

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Feb 2022 08:19
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Feb 2022 03:41
Were those the Motolance ML ? Allegedly 100 were ordered in 1941 & nine built.
Yes, they were resurrected for C3 in 1942. Too little, too late.
Interesting choice on the gangway; was there a version with an actual ramp?

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Feb 2022 06:38

daveshoup2MD wrote:
09 Feb 2022 23:17
Interesting choice on the gangway; was there a version with an actual ramp?
I doubt it given only the nine were ever built.
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Feb 2022 22:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Feb 2022 06:38
daveshoup2MD wrote:
09 Feb 2022 23:17
Interesting choice on the gangway; was there a version with an actual ramp?
I doubt it given only the nine were ever built.
Thanks. Not that going down a ramp or over the side is much better, but those gangways would be an obvious aiming point for anyone in a defensive position...

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by T. A. Gardner » 11 Feb 2022 17:13

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Feb 2022 03:41
Were those the Motolance ML ? Allegedly 100 were ordered in 1941 & nine built.

Screen Shot 2022-02-08 at 9.38.23 PM.png
All they needed to add was a big spike at the end and they'd have reinvented the Corvus! :D

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 11 Feb 2022 21:34

T. A. Gardner wrote:
11 Feb 2022 17:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Feb 2022 03:41
Were those the Motolance ML ? Allegedly 100 were ordered in 1941 & nine built.

Screen Shot 2022-02-08 at 9.38.23 PM.png
All they needed to add was a big spike at the end and they'd have reinvented the Corvus! :D
Excellent point ... to give them their due, the RM really did put resources into small combatants/naval special warfare, from WW I onwards, so ... could boarding parties have been that far behind? ;)

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Feb 2022 18:28

daveshoup2MD wrote:
09 Feb 2022 23:17
Interesting choice on the gangway; was there a version with an actual ramp?
Rear ramps worked better on the LVT. But, if your suppressive fires are not working it does not make much difference where the gate/ramp is.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 12 Feb 2022 21:11

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Feb 2022 18:28
daveshoup2MD wrote:
09 Feb 2022 23:17
Interesting choice on the gangway; was there a version with an actual ramp?
Rear ramps worked better on the LVT. But, if your suppressive fires are not working it does not make much difference where the gate/ramp is.
Ture, but at least a ramp means the infantry aren't trying to disembark one at a time... shades of the River Clyde.

Even the LCIs had two gangways.

Of course, one can (potentially) go over the side on the side of the boat with less exposure to enemy fire, but not sure how well that would work on a rocky shore like the one pictured.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Feb 2022 00:23

Appropos to nothing in particular. There were some remarks earlier in the thread about locating firing or battery positions. In my training/experience the most basic of assorted methods is shell crater analysis. This is something of a arcane science that starts with using the craters to get a accurate compass azimuth or direction back to the position of the cannon that fired the projectile. With a estimate of the projectile/cannon a range can be estimated. The final step is following a map plot of the azimuth from the cater & estimating the most likely firing positions along the azimuth. With multiple craters you get a more accurate average azimuth. With dispersed or separated craters you get intersecting azimuths that reduce the guesswork from estimating firing positions. Time required? For a half dozen shell craters ten minutes maximum for a two man team, a lot less with experience. Plotting the resulting Azimuths is a task of literally seconds and estimation of enemy battery positions less than a minute. Artillery officers told me that in Viet Nam they could have counter battery fires based on crater analysis on target in less than five minutes in some cases and always less than ten. The technique has been on the books during the Great War & is still on the books in the artillery schools & used in the field.

Bottom line is air observation, counter battery radars, sound ranging equipment, ect are not required to locate from Malta enemy cannon located on Gozo. Just a good terrain map on a plotting board. Since the artillery being targeted is of the heavy variety swift shifting to alternate firing positions is not in the playbook.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Shell+c ... YjejiqhGFM

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Kingfish » 18 Feb 2022 01:48

Without question the easiest and most effective method for locating enemy heavy artillery on Gozo is to observe them as they are being unloaded at Mgarr.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Feb 2022 02:23

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Feb 2022 00:23
Appropos to nothing in particular. There were some remarks earlier in the thread about locating firing or battery positions. In my training/experience the most basic of assorted methods is shell crater analysis. This is something of a arcane science that starts with using the craters to get a accurate compass azimuth or direction back to the position of the cannon that fired the projectile. With a estimate of the projectile/cannon a range can be estimated. The final step is following a map plot of the azimuth from the cater & estimating the most likely firing positions along the azimuth. With multiple craters you get a more accurate average azimuth. With dispersed or separated craters you get intersecting azimuths that reduce the guesswork from estimating firing positions. Time required? For a half dozen shell craters ten minutes maximum for a two man team, a lot less with experience. Plotting the resulting Azimuths is a task of literally seconds and estimation of enemy battery positions less than a minute. Artillery officers told me that in Viet Nam they could have counter battery fires based on crater analysis on target in less than five minutes in some cases and always less than ten. The technique has been on the books during the Great War & is still on the books in the artillery schools & used in the field.

Bottom line is air observation, counter battery radars, sound ranging equipment, ect are not required to locate from Malta enemy cannon located on Gozo. Just a good terrain map on a plotting board. Since the artillery being targeted is of the heavy variety swift shifting to alternate firing positions is not in the playbook.
Yep. Not just crater, but projectile entry point and fragments were also an important tool for analysis. One of Trevor's favorite CBI stories was when he was trying to convince Stilwell's staff that the Japanese had managed to bring up 150mm guns to counterbattery his artillery command in Burma. No one believed him until Joe Stilwell Jr, the theater G-2 showed up and Trevor buttonholed him and had him do did a crater analysis with him. They found a crater with a perfect entry point, which allowed them to run a stick down it for azimuth and striking angle and he found an intact base fragment as well. All measuring out to around six inches in diameter. Even then Stilwell tried to argue it couldn't be a 150mm gun though and must be an infantry gun or howitzer, even though nothing else could have ranged there...Trevor thought he was an incompetent putz who was there because Daddy was the CG. :lol:
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Feb 2022 03:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Feb 2022 00:23
Appropos to nothing in particular. There were some remarks earlier in the thread about locating firing or battery positions. In my training/experience the most basic of assorted methods is shell crater analysis. This is something of a arcane science that starts with using the craters to get a accurate compass azimuth or direction back to the position of the cannon that fired the projectile. With a estimate of the projectile/cannon a range can be estimated. The final step is following a map plot of the azimuth from the cater & estimating the most likely firing positions along the azimuth. With multiple craters you get a more accurate average azimuth. With dispersed or separated craters you get intersecting azimuths that reduce the guesswork from estimating firing positions. Time required? For a half dozen shell craters ten minutes maximum for a two man team, a lot less with experience. Plotting the resulting Azimuths is a task of literally seconds and estimation of enemy battery positions less than a minute. Artillery officers told me that in Viet Nam they could have counter battery fires based on crater analysis on target in less than five minutes in some cases and always less than ten. The technique has been on the books during the Great War & is still on the books in the artillery schools & used in the field.

Bottom line is air observation, counter battery radars, sound ranging equipment, ect are not required to locate from Malta enemy cannon located on Gozo. Just a good terrain map on a plotting board. Since the artillery being targeted is of the heavy variety swift shifting to alternate firing positions is not in the playbook.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Shell+c ... YjejiqhGFM
Thanks for the insight. Geometry is a useful thing, isn't it? :D

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Feb 2022 03:41

Kingfish wrote:
18 Feb 2022 01:48
Without question the easiest and most effective method for locating enemy heavy artillery on Gozo is to observe them as they are being unloaded at Mgarr.
Ssshh ... the clever Hun will never expect that! Opening our eyes?

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by danebrog » 20 Feb 2022 13:46

I still don't understand the point of the operation.
Even if you just want to neutralize Malta, you need good old-fashioned infantry to occupy the island. Harassing fire from a few heavy guns next door is not nearly enough.
But one should never underestimate the almost immoderately stubborn doggedness of the RN when it comes to matters of prestige.
The mere occupation of Gozo and the subsequent necessary supply would probably mean a Mediterranean Guadalcanal for the Axis powers

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