Artillery Observation

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MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 09 Sep 2021 21:53

Pips wrote:
06 Sep 2021 01:45
Thanks Sheldrake and Richard. Whatever the cause, the loss numbers are quite high. Appreciably more so than that mentioned in the books in my first post.

Carl. The technique you describe is surprisingly similar to that originally employed by French and German aerial observation airmen in 1914. Much use was made of flags and smoke bombs back then.
The RFC was well behind in their tactics back then, as little co-operation had been practiced between them and the Artillery. It wasn't until the Battle of the Aisne 1914 that the RFC adopted French techniques.
Hi
The above comment on the RFC and Artillery is not strictly true as they had been involved in trials and experiments each year from 1912. Indeed, the editorial of 'Flight' of 27 July 1912, referencing the experiments that year contained the following quote:
"Major-Gen, Rawlinson, commanding 3rd Infantry Division, says that the most pressing need at the moment is a satisfactory code of signals between the aerial observer and the artillery commander."
The trials over these years included, message dropping, signalling with flags, lamp, wireless, smoke balls and Very lights from aeroplanes, also telephone and flags from man lifting kites. (The British had used flags and telephone from balloons during the Boer War, although the telephone cable had a tendency to breakdown, if close to the guns the observer would shout.) White cloth strips 5 feet by 8 inches were used to signal to aeroplanes and man lifting kites from the guns.
For those interested I have had an article published in 'Cross & Cockade International Journal, Winter 2019' reference the pre-WW1 communication experiments 'Communication and Aircraft: The British Military Experience, Pre-First World War Experiments and Practice'.
The first British 'standard' document for these methods 'Co-operation of Aeroplanes with Artillery' was issued in December 1914 after use of the methods on the battlefield, the signalling methods used include, lamp, wireless, Very lights and smoke balls plus some aeroplane manoeuvres, all things tried out pre-war. Ground signalling used strips of white cloth 6 feet by 1 foot. Each method had pros and cons and no method was with out its problems.

Mike

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Urmel
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Urmel » 09 Sep 2021 21:54

man lifting kites from the guns
Okay...
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 10 Sep 2021 07:12

Urmel wrote:
09 Sep 2021 21:54
man lifting kites from the guns
Okay...
Hi

Cody Man-Lifting Kite:
WW1kiteairborne011.jpg
Mike
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Urmel
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Urmel » 10 Sep 2021 10:08

My life insurance payments went up just from looking at that.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 10 Sep 2021 11:50

Urmel wrote:
10 Sep 2021 10:08
My life insurance payments went up just from looking at that.
Hi

The full system is below:
WW1kitediagram010.jpg
Mike
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Sep 2021 14:01

MikeMeech wrote:
09 Sep 2021 21:53
..
. Indeed, the editorial of 'Flight' of 27 July 1912, referencing the experiments that year contained the following quote:
"Major-Gen, Rawlinson, commanding 3rd Infantry Division, says that the most pressing need at the moment is a satisfactory code of signals between the aerial observer and the artillery commander."...
Were these remarks connected to experiment unique to the 3rd Division, or across the Royal Artillery in general? IIRC the 3rd Div artillery had better tactics & techniques in the early 1914 battles than the others.

MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 10 Sep 2021 14:38

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Sep 2021 14:01
MikeMeech wrote:
09 Sep 2021 21:53
..
. Indeed, the editorial of 'Flight' of 27 July 1912, referencing the experiments that year contained the following quote:
"Major-Gen, Rawlinson, commanding 3rd Infantry Division, says that the most pressing need at the moment is a satisfactory code of signals between the aerial observer and the artillery commander."...
Were these remarks connected to experiment unique to the 3rd Division, or across the Royal Artillery in general? IIRC the 3rd Div artillery had better tactics & techniques in the early 1914 battles than the others.
Hi
It was much wider than the 3rd Division, for example the correspondence relating to the 1913 experiments mention some of those present such as the Secretary of State for War, the Rt. Hon J E B Seely, also the Inspector General of the Royal Field Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery plus others on the 16th May. On the 27th May 1913 at the Royal Artillery Practice Camp Lt. Col. Bingham, the Chief Instructor Horse & Field School of Gunnery, was involved (the aeroplane was equipped with wireless). Many of the RFC personnel involved were in France with the outbreak of war. It is interesting to note that an increase in the annual ammunition allowance (over the budget) was allowed to undertake these experiments using 18 pdr guns using shrapnel against concealed targets.

Mike

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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Sep 2021 17:47

& Wireless. If there is a web link to that I'd be in heaven. Have had arguments about radios on aircraft with people thinking that did not happen until the 1930s.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Sep 2021 18:53

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Sep 2021 17:47
& Wireless. If there is a web link to that I'd be in heaven. Have had arguments about radios on aircraft with people thinking that did not happen until the 1930s.
Here you go. http://marconiheritage.org/ww1-air.html

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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Sep 2021 19:16

FA Journal talks about the airborne observation with radio equipped aircraft in the early 20s.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Urmel
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Urmel » 11 Sep 2021 07:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Sep 2021 17:47
& Wireless. If there is a web link to that I'd be in heaven. Have had arguments about radios on aircraft with people thinking that did not happen until the 1930s.
Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Sep 2021 19:16
FA Journal talks about the airborne observation with radio equipped aircraft in the early 20s.
Amiens, 1918, and I presume even earlier than that.
For instance, the latter does not mention the work of kite balloons or artillery aircraft, both of which used wireless extensively in the battle, this is despite a chapter dedicated to air operations.[18]
https://www.westernfrontassociation.com ... gust-1918/
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 11 Sep 2021 10:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Sep 2021 17:47
& Wireless. If there is a web link to that I'd be in heaven. Have had arguments about radios on aircraft with people thinking that did not happen until the 1930s.
Hi

Wireless was used in experiments in various aircraft fairly early on including 'free balloons', the British Official History 'War in the Air' Volume has mention of them (Volumes 1-6 should still be available as free downloads on line), I mention them in my article (mentioned previously), here is a page from it that includes some information:
WW1acdpec149.jpg
WitA Volume 2 , Appendix VIII includes statistic from the Battle of the Somme (1st July-17th November 1916) mentions that 306 aeroplanes had been fitted with wireless with 542 ground stations, with 8,612 targets being registered with air observations. Reference Balloons , the RFC had 14 on the 1st July and 22 on the 17th November.
Interestingly according to French documentation the French tried out some wireless telephony during the Verdun battles, apparently 'successful', however, later documentation mentions a number of problems with using it that made it 'difficult' to use.

Mike
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MikeMeech
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by MikeMeech » 11 Sep 2021 10:41

Hi
The wireless signals from aeroplanes in the previously mentioned December 1914 document are below:
WW1artyobsrfc010.jpg
The signals for both wireless and lamp were the same as they both used Morse code, James McCudden in his book 'Flying Fury' page 69, mentions the use of the lamp for artillery spotting, from November/December 1914 by Capt. A S Barratt of 'B' Flt. No. 3 Sqn., stating:
"Mr. Barratt did about forty hours flying on this machine, directing artillery fire, and how he managed to fly the machine and Morse to the battery by means of this lamp single-handed, still remains a mystery to me."
Capt. Barratt later became an Air Marshal and was AOC in C of the British Air Forces in France and then commanded Army Co-operation Command, he had started his career in the Royal Artillery, so a direct link between WW1 and WW2 reference spotting for artillery.

Mike
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Urmel
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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Urmel » 11 Sep 2021 15:35

Fantastic info, thanks!
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Artillery Observation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Sep 2021 12:39

Ditto. Thanks

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