Artillery Fire Control Equipment

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
Art
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Art » 13 Oct 2011 18:21

I've checked this book in a library. It is "Instruction for the Red Army artillery. Instruments of the battery and battalion for engaging ground targets" published in 1942. There were apparently earlier instructions. It must be added that there were separate instruction on instruments and devices used by AIR (observation) units, that is sound-ranging, light-flashing equipment etc. According to the said instruction all instruments were grouped in six classes:
1. Instruments for gun-aiming
2. Observation
3. Fire direction
4. Instruments for input data calculation
5. --- for performing fire registration.
6. Topographical instruments.

Type 1 instument was the gun-sight
http://scilib.narod.ru/Military/Artille ... 10/266.gif
Typically the gun-sight had a panoramic sight:
http://scilib.narod.ru/Military/Artille ... 10/254.gif
distance drum, a cross-level and an elevation level.
distance drum had several scales for various types of ammunition and for at least a part of propellant charges, in case they were varied. Distance was measured in ΔX (50 meters) for sights with a modern metric scale.
There were auxiliary instruments used for correcting gun aiming in case there was a deviation as a result of recoil.

2. Observation instruments were :
binocular (field glasses) with 6x or 8 x amplification
"scout" periscope (4x):
http://s017.radikal.ru/i405/1110/57/5d8df7c7c00f.jpg
http://waralbum.ru/wp-content/uploads/2 ... _orig1.jpg
stereoscopic "tube" (periscope) on a tripod (10x amplification). There were two types of them - BST (large stereoscopic tube) and AST (artillery stereoscopic tube):
http://s017.radikal.ru/i402/1110/82/a9fcd42a989a.jpg
http://bse.sci-lib.com/pictures/19/20/256751673.jpg
Apart from observation these instruments could be used for measuring vertical and horizontal angles, binocular and periscope - for rough measurements and stereoscopic tube - for more accurate.
Thus far everything seems simple, feel free to ask if there are any questions on this.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Oct 2011 21:44

Thanks for that. One important question: Picture 254 has a scale on the central column, and another on the dial or rotating control at the top; what are the increments of these scales? I am guessing the central column measurement comes to 600 or 6000 for a full circle. I assume the stereo binocular in Pic. 163 uses the same measurement on its scale...

A less important question is for picture 266. On the range drum each scale or disk represents ___ ? It is easy to make some assumptions here, but I'd rather see a accurate description of the object & its use if it is available.

Art
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Art » 14 Oct 2011 13:22

Azimuth ring of the panoramic sight was graduated in 100 mills from 0 to 60. Azimuth drum (micrometer head) in the central part of the sight was graduated in mils from 0 to 100. A full circle (360º) rotation of the azimuth micrometer meant a turn of the azimuth ring at 1 point - for example from 29 to 30 points (from 29-00 to 30-00). A complete angle was equal to the sum of reading of the azimuth ring and azimuth micrometer, so for example 10 points on the azimuth ring and 50 on the azimuth micrometer meant 1050 mils (10-50). 30-00 angle corresponded to optical axis of the sight directed along the gun barrel, 00-00 or 60-00 - directed parallel in the opposite direction and so on:
http://s51.radikal.ru/i131/1110/b7/a2dc6fc47f62.jpg
For quick rotation of the sight head the worm mechanism could be turned off, so that the head could be simply turned by a hand in a needed direction instead of rotating the azimuth micrometer head. The azimuth scale and rotating mechanism of the stereo periscope were virtually the same.
Note that Soviet artillery measured angles in mils equal to 1/6000 of the full circle or 0,06º or about 1/1000 of the radian. From what I can see Germans divided the circle into 6400 mils:
http://www.lonesentry.com/ordnance/rund ... pe-32.html
I don't know about other nations.
The disks on the range drum corresponded to different type of shells or different propellant charges. For example the range drum of the 76-mm divisional guns mod.1942 (ZIS-3) had for discs (according to the service manual): one graduated in mils, the second in ΔX for armor-piercing shell, the third -ΔX for old-type Russian HE shells, full charge, fourth - ΔX - for new long-range shells, full charge. The range drum of the 122-mm howitzer mod.1938 (M-30) had 6 discs graduated in ΔX for a HE shell, propellant charges: full, No.1, 2, 3, 4, 7. Also there was a scale graduated in mils on the front side of the drum. The service manual said that there were range-drums graduated in mils only, in that case tables of firing must be used to set a needed range.

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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Oct 2011 14:30

Art wrote:...
Note that Soviet artillery measured angles in mils equal to 1/6000 of the full circle or 0,06º or about 1/1000 of the radian.
Thats what I assumed, but wanted to confirm.
Art wrote:From what I can see Germans divided the circle into 6400 mils:
http://www.lonesentry.com/ordnance/rund ... pe-32.html
I don't know about other nations.
6400 seems to be the more common measurement.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2011 15:06

Bob_Mackenzie wrote:Is this what you want?

Image

Image

Image

The equipment depicted in Fig 50, 48 & 49; would it have been in the hands of the officer at the FO position, the Battery commander at the primary OP, or at the battery?

Second, did the battalion CP at any time from 1941 through 1945 keep that same equipment in operation either at the CP or at a battalion OP?

Art
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Art » 23 Oct 2011 13:49

Carl Schwamberger wrote: The equipment depicted in Fig 50, 48 & 49; would it have been in the hands of the officer at the FO position, the Battery commander at the primary OP, or at the battery?
I don't remember that it was mentioned in the instruction, I suppose most likely they would be with the battery commander. No major changes in the equipment occurred during the war, AFAIU.
Continuing with instruments, type 3 instruments used for fire directions were a) various types of aiming circles, b) PUO-32 (graphic device for fire direction), c) PUAOS (graphic device for fire direction from an airplane), d) range-finder.
The basic type of aiming circle was the BMT (artillery aiming circle):
http://s004.radikal.ru/i205/1110/48/c93621ff124c.jpg
The circle was installed in a tripod with a circular level, the scale of the circle was divided into 300 units, each unit was equal to 20 mils (0-20). There was a magnetic needle attached to the center of the circle, direction of the northern point of the needle was read from the inner scale of the circle. A fixed monocular was always directed to 30-00 (or to the "30" mark on the circle), also there was a rotatable sighting tube. The direction to which the tube was looking could be read from the outer scale of the circle. The circle was used measuring vertical and horizontal angles, finding azimuth of a target or a reference point, finding a target (or a reference point) using a known azimuth, directing guns on the firing position to a given azimuth or finding azimuth of gun direction.
There was also a lightened aiming circle which had a simplified construction. The tripod was substituted with a wooden rod, the monocular - with a dioptrical sights, otherwise it worked in the same way:
http://i007.radikal.ru/1110/a1/3513b3ff36a2.jpg
Periscopic aiming circle (PAB):
http://s017.radikal.ru/i410/1110/98/69afe6d8c870.jpg
A periscope was attached to a monocular, which allowed to work from under cover. This circle was more accurate: its basic scale was divided into 60 units (each was equal to 100 mils) and there was a micrometer with 100 units equal to 1 mils each. A full rotation of the micrometer head meant shifting at one point on the basic scale, in the same way it was for the panoramic sights or stereoscopic telescope. So the accuracy was 1 mil versus 20 mils in case of the two previous instruments. Good accuracy made this device suitable for topographical survey.

Art
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Art » 23 Oct 2011 14:33

Regarding this mysterious PUO-32, I didn't finish with it, but basically it was used for measuring distances and angles on the map to pin targets located from observation posts or to determine firing data. The instrument had a pantograph attached to a map (chart), a circle with scale in mils and a ruler (straightedge on the picture posted) were attached to a pantograph's triangle. The circle was used to measure or draw angles, the ruler - to measure distances or range settings. The right edge of the ruler had a scale graduated in kilometers and seconds (relative to the speed of sound, for cases when a time span between the flash and a sound of burst was measured). The ruler's face had a set of diagonal lines for ΔX measurement. A slide could be moved along the ruler, the outer edge of pointer was set on a target, for example. Distance in kilometers (second) was read from position marked by slide's outer edge on the ruler's scale. The slide also had to marks near its outer edge. One corresponded to ΔX=50 meters, the other to ΔX=140 feet=42,7 meters (used in old pre-metric gunsights). The reading from a diagonal line closest to the mark was the range in ΔX, that range settings could be commanded to the firing position. There were graphical firing table used for corrections, but I haven't understand how it worked yet. The instrument could be used for transfer of fire from a check point by K-transfer. For that the ruler and slide's pointer were set on the check point first. A mark was made on a slide using a pencil, for example, opposite to the diagonal line corresponding the range found by registration. That the ruler with the pointer was set on the target to be engaged. Range was read from a diagonal line opposite to the mark made and commanded to guns.
The instrument was to be used with a small piece of dense paper (called "passport") attached to the map under the pantograph. Pivot of the pantograph was placed successively on observation points and firing positions marked on the map and they were pinned (literally) on the passport with a pantograph pin, that was made to quickly setruler's zero on needed OP of firing position. Apparently using the instrument required accurate enough positioning of observation points and firing positions on the map from survey data.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2011 02:03

Art wrote:Regarding this mysterious PUO-32, I didn't finish with it,
This instrument is the core of translating the observation to direction & range on the cannon. Hopefully I'l be able to read the relevant text, & study it in detail.
Art wrote: but basically it was used for measuring distances and angles on the map to pin targets located from observation posts or to determine firing data.
The Range Deflection Protractor we used was far simpler, no moving parts & its scales showed only range & direction. I've seen photographs circa the 1950s of a RDP with extra scales attached showing time of flight fuse, settings, corrections for & projectile rotation, but have never seen a actual example. Some operators marked the RDP with ink or tape as a aid in choosing the optimal propellant charge for the range.
Art wrote:There were graphical firing table used for corrections, but I haven't understand how it worked yet
Illustrations of those available?

.
Art wrote: The instrument could be used for transfer of fire from a check point by K-transfer. For that the ruler and slide's pointer were set on the check point first. A mark was made on a slide using a pencil, for example, opposite to the diagonal line corresponding the range found by registration. That the ruler with the pointer was set on the target to be engaged. Range was read from a diagonal line opposite to the mark made and commanded to guns.
Our Graphical Firing Table, a slide rule as opposed to the Tabular Firing Table- a book, could be marked & used the same way. The final 'did hit' or adjusted range was marked on the slide & used to apply the registration or adjustment correction to subsequent ranges to target. Tube elevation, fuze setting, time of flight, ect.. were read from the adjusted mark.
Art wrote:
The instrument was to be used with a small piece of dense paper (called "passport") attached to the map under the pantograph. Pivot of the pantograph was placed successively on observation points and firing positions marked on the map and they were pinned (literally) on the passport with a pantograph pin, that was made to quickly setruler's zero on needed OP of firing position. Apparently using the instrument required accurate enough positioning of observation points and firing positions on the map from survey data.
Not sure I followed that correctly. Will study on it. Our RDP could be pinned or pivoted at any point on the map, but we rarely used it to measure from anywhere other than the battery position. Smaller protractors were used when measuring range & direction from the observers position in a 'Polar' location of the target or other measurments.

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John Hilly
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by John Hilly » 24 Oct 2011 12:48

Art and Carl.
You shoud think of asking our Finnish members about his:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilho_Petter_Nenonen
trajectory calculation formulas, which he developed, and are still in use today by all modern artillery.
I'm a AAA-trained myself, so I have no real knowledge of field artillery methods, but Nenonen was a way ahead of his time!

Regards
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

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John Hilly
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by John Hilly » 24 Oct 2011 12:57

Here's something about the Correction converter or transformer to be translated by someone, who understands about Field Arty:
http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korjausmuunnin

With best
Juha-Pekka :milsmile:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2011 15:15

John Hilly wrote:Here's something about the Correction converter or transformer to be translated by someone, who understands about Field Arty:
http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korjausmuunnin

With best
Juha-Pekka :milsmile:
Thanks. I could give translating a try with one of the online programs. No idea how far I can get with that. probablly Finnish-English dictionarys at the University library

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 24 Oct 2011 17:51

I think the great idea of the Finnish system was, that the forward observer didn´t have to make any calculations and didn´t have to know where the own artillery was located. He could control fire from any shooting unit within range.

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John Hilly
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by John Hilly » 24 Oct 2011 19:29

I just realized that we are going off-topic here (Soviet Artillery Doctrine!)
So here are some previous links of the Finnish system:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1214693

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r#p1292457

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1294389

With best regards
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Art
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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Art » 24 Oct 2011 19:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
Art wrote:...
Note that Soviet artillery measured angles in mils equal to 1/6000 of the full circle or 0,06º or about 1/1000 of the radian.
Thats what I assumed, but wanted to confirm.
Art wrote:From what I can see Germans divided the circle into 6400 mils:
http://www.lonesentry.com/ordnance/rund ... pe-32.html
I don't know about other nations.
6400 seems to be the more common measurement.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_mil
he Range Deflection Protractor we used was far simpler, no moving parts & its scales showed only range & direction. I've seen photographs circa the 1950s of a RDP with extra scales attached showing time of flight fuse, settings, corrections for & projectile rotation, but have never seen a actual example. Some operators marked the RDP with ink or tape as a aid in choosing the optimal propellant charge for the range.
There were simpler instruments, namely artillery circle and triangle made of transparent plastic, they were used for measuring angles and distances on a 1:50 000 map in the same way as PUO-32:
http://scilib.narod.ru/Military/Artille ... 08/222.gif
Hypotenuse scale of the traingle was graduated in ΔX, when working with a 1:25 000 map, the range read was divided by two.
For some reasons unlike PUO they were classified as type 4 instruments (instruments for firing data calculation).
Illustrations of those available?
In the library only.
Not sure I followed that correctly. Will study on it. Our RDP could be pinned or pivoted at any point on the map
It was the same basically as pinning points on passport with a pantograph pin: when the pin was placed on a certain point the pivot was on a point on the map representing the firing position or observation point. Not sure that I understand what it was made for, looks like the ruler and triangle screened the map somewhat, so marks on the passport were seen more clearly.

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Re: Artillery Doctrine

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2011 20:08

Seppo Koivisto wrote:I think the great idea of the Finnish system was, that the forward observer didn´t have to make any calculations and didn´t have to know where the own artillery was located. He could control fire from any shooting unit within range.
Thats exactly where we were in the 1970s. Exactly when the US artillery got there depends on what third hand account you are using. They are contradictory and vary from 1932 to 1972 depending on the source. Currently I'd judge the transition as during WWII, but the techniques were well understood earlier.
John Hilly wrote:I just realized that we are going off-topic here (Soviet Artillery Doctrine!)
So here are some previous links of the Finnish system:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1214693

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r#p1292457

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1294389

With best regards
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
I discussed with the sysop copying the posts on fire control to another thread. We may do that, tho the number to copy grows daily
Art wrote:......
Not sure I followed that correctly. Will study on it. Our RDP could be pinned or pivoted at any point on the map
It was the same basically as pinning points on passport with a pantograph pin: when the pin was placed on a certain point the pivot was on a point on the map representing the firing position or observation point. Not sure that I understand what it was made for, looks like the ruler and triangle screened the map somewhat, so marks on the passport were seen more clearly.
That helps some, and raises more questions. The "passport" was transparent with grid lines on it?

Actually operating the instruments should clarify much of the descriptions here, and much else besides. I'm making time to build reproductions of these tools. A long term project for sure, fortunatly I've still a set of manual drafting tools and work tables.

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