Seelöwe - armament of barges

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Andreas
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Seelöwe - armament of barges

Post by Andreas » 28 Apr 2007 15:43

Split from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=119662 by the moderator - Andreas
leandros wrote:
Andreas wrote:But even if we accept 'a couple of hundred metres', what would that do to the argument that a convoy could pour out concentrated fire at naval targets? Or do we now have magic convoys that on the one hand are spread out to avoid damage from aerial attack, but at the same time are close enough to concentrate the fire of their guns on attacking destroyers and MTBs?

All the best

Andreas
From my above quote it can then be deduced that an enemy vessel approaching such a convoy from "the side" would, on a distance of 2 km. be within range of approx. 20 outboard and center tow-trains - depending on their armament. In all, 60 transport vessels with some sorts of armament - not counting their jury-rigged forward-pointing 75 mm's meant for landing support. Mostly 20 and 37 mm automatic cannons.
I would like to see some actual quotation on the armament of the barges and how problems of aiming without fire control systems were to be overcome, given the amount of errors you are making when recalling things. I am not aware of actual gunnery training taking place on barges being towed, so I would not mind you or anyone else bringing some examples of how gun crews were trained to allow for the new environment they were working in.

Regarding the ideas you have here:

- Forward pointing 75s are useless against an enemy attacking from any other direction.
- 20mm guns have a max range of 4,500m, 37mm of 6,500m, but in each case it depends on the munition used. If it was Zerleger, the range would be 2,200m and 3,500m, respectively. They would be outranged by any serious ship artillery piece, and it would therefore not be necessary for HMS Pinafore and her sisters to get into the danger zone.

In any case, ship artillery outranges anything that could realistically have been put on top of the barges, considering balance issues. The 37mm gun including crew and ammo would be 2-2.5 tons of weight (gun weight 1,550kg, magazine with 8 rounds 12.5kg). The 20mm gun would be about 1 ton+ (depending on the ammo at hand - a magazine with 20 rounds weighs 9.5kg, the gun (including shield) weighs 420kg (540kg).

All the best

Andreas

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Re: Seelöwe - armament of barges

Post by fredleander » 28 Apr 2007 16:52

Andreas wrote:Split from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=119662 by the moderator - Andreas
leandros wrote:
Andreas wrote:But even if we accept 'a couple of hundred metres', what would that do to the argument that a convoy could pour out concentrated fire at naval targets? Or do we now have magic convoys that on the one hand are spread out to avoid damage from aerial attack, but at the same time are close enough to concentrate the fire of their guns on attacking destroyers and MTBs?

All the best

Andreas
From my above quote it can then be deduced that an enemy vessel approaching such a convoy from "the side" would, on a distance of 2 km. be within range of approx. 20 outboard and center tow-trains - depending on their armament. In all, 60 transport vessels with some sorts of armament - not counting their jury-rigged forward-pointing 75 mm's meant for landing support. Mostly 20 and 37 mm automatic cannons.
I would like to see some actual quotation on the armament of the barges and how problems of aiming without fire control systems were to be overcome, given the amount of errors you are making when recalling things. I am not aware of actual gunnery training taking place on barges being towed, so I would not mind you or anyone else bringing some examples of how gun crews were trained to allow for the new environment they were working in.

Regarding the ideas you have here:

- Forward pointing 75s are useless against an enemy attacking from any other direction.
- 20mm guns have a max range of 4,500m, 37mm of 6,500m, but in each case it depends on the munition used. If it was Zerleger, the range would be 2,200m and 3,500m, respectively. They would be outranged by any serious ship artillery piece, and it would therefore not be necessary for HMS Pinafore and her sisters to get into the danger zone.

In any case, ship artillery outranges anything that could realistically have been put on top of the barges, considering balance issues. The 37mm gun including crew and ammo would be 2-2.5 tons of weight (gun weight 1,550kg, magazine with 8 rounds 12.5kg). The 20mm gun would be about 1 ton+ (depending on the ammo at hand - a magazine with 20 rounds weighs 9.5kg, the gun (including shield) weighs 420kg (540kg).

All the best

Andreas
I agree completely.... :)

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Post by Andreas » 28 Apr 2007 17:07

So you agree that untrained crew were unlikely to have much of an ability to profitably employ their guns against any form of target, and that the range of light guns on the barges would have been insufficient to contribute to the defense of convoys, and that in any case the number of guns added onto the barges was low due to balance issues?

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Andreas

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fredleander
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Post by fredleander » 28 Apr 2007 17:13

Andreas wrote:So you agree that untrained crew were unlikely to have much of an ability to profitably employ their guns against any form of target, and that the range of light guns on the barges would have been insufficient to contribute to the defense of convoys, and that in any case the number of guns added onto the barges was low due to balance issues?

All the best

Andreas
Of course not. That is not what you wrote.... :)

On the picture can be seen a barge with platform prepared for a 20 or 37 mm automatic cannon....
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Post by Andreas » 28 Apr 2007 18:22

Or for an AA-MG.

And I see four that have no platform.

How many barges were supposed to be armed thus?

What was the ammunition allocation? What type of ammunition?

Were the gun crews trained to fire from moving ships?

Where they supposed to engage air, sea, or all kinds of targets? Were they supposed to engage targets during the voyage at all, or only once they arrived?

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Andreas

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fredleander
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Post by fredleander » 28 Apr 2007 18:39

Could it be 37.....?
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Post by Andreas » 28 Apr 2007 18:53

Could be. What type of barge is this?

The gun in front appears to be a 10,5cm lFH18, judging from the shield.

Nice picture, please state its origin in line with forum rules, the same goes for the previous picture.

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fredleander
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Post by fredleander » 28 Apr 2007 19:30

Andreas wrote:Could be. What type of barge is this?
This is probably a Type A - 38 m. long by 5 meters wide. Carrying capacity 360 tons.
Andreas wrote:The gun in front appears to be a 10,5cm lFH18, judging from the shield.

Nice picture, please state its origin in line with forum rules, the same goes for the previous picture.

All the best

Andreas
The pictures are from the Jung collection as pictured in Schenk's book (scanned).
Last edited by leandros on 28 Apr 2007 19:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Andreas » 28 Apr 2007 19:37

Thanks - next question:

Considering that the barge pictured is already taking 3.6t of weight in guns (1,985kg for lFH18, 1,550 for 3,7cm Flak), could it be that the idea was to have designated gun barges which would not take much, if any additional load?

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fredleander
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Post by fredleander » 29 Apr 2007 09:45

Andreas wrote:Or for an AA-MG.

And I see four that have no platform.

How many barges were supposed to be armed thus?

What was the ammunition allocation? What type of ammunition?

Were the gun crews trained to fire from moving ships?

Where they supposed to engage air, sea, or all kinds of targets? Were they supposed to engage targets during the voyage at all, or only once they arrived?

All the best

Andreas
Answers to these questions are to probably to be found in the same sources which many of the Seelöwe researchers have used. However, I have seen very little mentioned in published works on these items. I know there was developed a system - a hinge - for training riflemen and machine gunners to fire from a "swinging" base.

As for which targets to engage I should think they wouldn't refrain from defending themselves if attacked on any part of their journey. There are written books on most of the (planned) participating German units. I am presently into a purchasing program.

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Post by fredleander » 29 Apr 2007 09:56

Andreas wrote:Thanks - next question:

Considering that the barge pictured is already taking 3.6t of weight in guns (1,985kg for lFH18, 1,550 for 3,7cm Flak), could it be that the idea was to have designated gun barges which would not take much, if any additional load?

All the best

Andreas
Space - not weight - seems to have been the normal limiting factor in loading the barges. At least for the initial waves. I cannot remember to have seen mentioned dedicated artillery barges, AA or otherwise. However, it seems like a good idea. There were dedicated "artillery vessels" - light and heavy. These were converted freighters armed with two or more swivel-mounted 88-150 mm guns on lower and upper decks. Like mini-raiders. As much as I have found out these were meant for artillery support during the landings. Beach "B" had allocated 9 such (Klee).

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Post by Andreas » 29 Apr 2007 10:09

leandros wrote:
Andreas wrote:Thanks - next question:

Considering that the barge pictured is already taking 3.6t of weight in guns (1,985kg for lFH18, 1,550 for 3,7cm Flak), could it be that the idea was to have designated gun barges which would not take much, if any additional load?

All the best

Andreas
Space - not weight - seems to have been the normal limiting factor in loading the barges. At least for the initial waves. I cannot remember to have seen mentioned dedicated artillery barges, AA or otherwise. However, it seems like a good idea. There were dedicated "artillery vessels" - light and heavy. These were converted freighters armed with two or more swivel-mounted 88-150 mm guns on lower and upper decks. Like mini-raiders. As much as I have found out these were meant for artillery support during the landings. Beach "B" had allocated 9 such (Klee).
It appears to me that total weight is less of an issue here than distribution of weight. My suspicion is that a barge loaded up like the one you show will have weight distribution issues, in that it is at the same time top and front-heavy, reducing seaworthyness if not counter-balanced. To then load it with a normal contingent of cargo may overdo things considerably.

Quite apart from this consideration, there is the question of how they would get the guns off the barge once at the beach if that was the intention (did barges have their own cranes and if so, up to which weight did they operate?). The wooden platforms would also not be easy to re-assemble on a beach, once taken apart to get cargo out.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by LWD » 29 Apr 2007 12:29

1) How many of the barges were to be armed?
2) Were sufficient weapons available?
3) The numbers of barges available to fire above seam to imply at least one and perhaps more lines of barges are firing through other lines of barges. Is this correct?

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Re: Seelöwe - armament of barges

Post by LWD » 29 Apr 2007 12:43

Andreas wrote:....
- 20mm guns have a max range of 4,500m, 37mm of 6,500m, but in each case it depends on the munition used. If it was Zerleger, the range would be 2,200m and 3,500m, respectively. They would be outranged by any serious ship artillery piece, and it would therefore not be necessary for HMS Pinafore and her sisters to get into the danger zone.
...
As max range would require a 45 degree angle a small variation would cause a miss in range the "danger zone" would be quite a bit under max range. Given that:
Most barges had a light flak gun mounted amid ship , although hundreds mounted either 3" howitzers or Pak guns. While useless at hitting ships [3 near misses on 100 test shots @ 600-1000m range], ....
This is Paul Lakowski quoteing [P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 48-58]. I believe.

The implication is the "danger range" is under 2km.

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Post by fredleander » 29 Apr 2007 18:24

Andreas wrote:It appears to me that total weight is less of an issue here than distribution of weight. My suspicion is that a barge loaded up like the one you show will have weight distribution issues, in that it is at the same time top and front-heavy, reducing seaworthyness if not counter-balanced. To then load it with a normal contingent of cargo may overdo things considerably.
Fors some strange reason I have confidence in the Germans having figured this problem out - if there was one..... :)
Andreas wrote:Quite apart from this consideration, there is the question of how they would get the guns off the barge once at the beach if that was the intention (did barges have their own cranes and if so, up to which weight did they operate?). The wooden platforms would also not be easy to re-assemble on a beach, once taken apart to get cargo out.

All the best

Andreas
I don't know about the unloading of the guns but the other item could be as simple as to load these barges with personell only..... :)...or equipment pertaining to the top-mounted guns.

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