Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Oct 2021 23:23

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
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
No, your life is probably too short to waste on a reply.
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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Oct 2021 23:42

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
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
Nah you're just led astray by your buddy who doesn't understand what direct evidence means.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Takao » 22 Oct 2021 00:54

Really...Eyewitness testimony is not direct evidence?

Next time, could we have a real lawyer teach the remedial lesson.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Oct 2021 02:08

Takao wrote:
22 Oct 2021 00:54
Really...Eyewitness testimony is not direct evidence?

Next time, could we have a real lawyer teach the remedial lesson.
I'm amused enough to teach you. Did you not get that Bob from Manaus's report on the weather is also direct evidence?

Direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly, i.e., without an intervening inference.

So, in a discussion of combat effectiveness, statistics on combat effectiveness (and their summary in a table as excerpted upthread) obviously constitute direct evidence. I.e. there is no intervening inference between "combat effectiveness" and "combat effectiveness."

Indirect evidence, by contrast, involves an intervening inference. Were we to measure combat effectiveness by comparing relative trends in force size, for example, we'd rely on an intervening inference that size trends owe entirely to casualties (instead of, say, redeployments to other fronts, pestilence, or The Rapture). That may or may not be true; indirect evidence can be more convincing than direct (contrary to what you hear on the news about "just circumstantial" evidence).

What my fellow AHF'ers seem incapable of understanding is that the category "direct evidence" can be contradictory. Witness A testifies that you threw the first punch; witness B testifies that the other guy did. Both are direct evidence but they're contradictory.

Upthread we had the following logical inference from seemingly contradictory results of the linked TDI study:
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
21 Oct 2021 18:15
Does that [differential results at army vs. divisional levels] 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.
Here Tom is inferring that because two pieces of direct evidence contradict each other, there is actually no direct evidence. Hopefully now everyone sees why that's wrong: contradictory pieces of evidence can both be direct.

So how do we judge Truth then?

When confronted by contradictory pieces of direct evidence, an adjudicator must decide which carries more weight. Thus my analogy between crediting Amazonian climate data or Bob's eyewitness testimony "it's not raining now in Manaus" when deciding whether the Amazon is rainy. We have two pieces of equally direct evidence but no competent adjudicator would weigh Bob's testimony more heavily than climate data (even assuming Bob is truthful) when deciding whether the Amazon is rainy.

Proceeding forward with the analogy, we come to the pieces of contradictory evidence in the TDI report. One evidentiary set (division level comparison) is based on a larger sample in which random variations are more likely to average out, another (army level data) is based on a single comparison of two armies operating under very different circumstances. To select the army level data over divisional re combat effectiveness is akin to selecting Bob's testimony over climate data re whether the Amazon is rainy.

Returning to Takao's comment, hopefully we now see why this is another instance where someone thinks they've caught TMP out but actually doesn't understand what they're talking about and hasn't properly ordered their thoughts.

With that, remedial logic 102 has closed for now. Hope you all enjoyed the discussion.

--------------------------

Addendum... Takao's doubting that I'm a real lawyer needs a response in the interests of truth and justice.

My country alone has hundreds of thousands of lawyers who are morons. This is not an elite profession. I don't really care if you believe I'm a lawyer or not because I could be a lawyer and still be a moron. I do care that you, in the interest of truth and justice, take care not to associate being a real lawyer with not being a real moron.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Oct 2021 05:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Oct 2021 02:08


My country alone has hundreds of thousands of lawyers who are morons.
I thought the first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club?

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Terry Duncan » 22 Oct 2021 09:17

One of the rules here is to be nice and polite to other members, it would appear some people are starting to forget it? I suggest they remember it fully very fast, as well as what will happen if they do not do so.

Terry

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2021 10:59

To amplify on Mr Duncans remark; If another members post trigger anger & inability to respect their remarks the appropriate course is leave it alone and stick to topic. If you are infact dealing with a troll engaging only feeds and clogs the thread with off topic and generally worthless text.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Oct 2021 16:45

Richard Anderson wrote: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:
Source?

There is this study, which correlates IQ negatively with surviving WW2 for all children born in 1921 Aberdeen (not all soldiers, mind you).

Can we think of a reason for this other than having IQ leads to blundering into death or something in combat? Surely we can, right?

Obviously higher IQ and the likelihood of being in high-casualty WW2 roles (flying in a bomber and/or of being an officer) are correlated. Additionally, extremely-low IQ men would have been rejected for service.

This goes back to indirect vs. direct evidence. A measure of likelihood of dying in WW2 is an indirect measure of combat/casualty effectiveness. Multiple intervening inferences are required to relate it to combat/casualty effectiveness.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Oct 2021 17:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Oct 2021 17:37
mumbo-jumbo about wealth/nutrition/education factors.
So we have Richard's opinion, here's the opinion of the University of Oxford's site Our World in Data:
Poor nutrition and illness in childhood limit human growth. As a consequence, the average height of a population is strongly correlated with living standards in a population. This makes the study of human height relevant for historians who want to understand the history of living conditions.

Because the effect of better material living standards is to make people taller, human height is used as an indirect measure for living standards.
...again the disconnect between things acceptable to say on AHF and what actual scholars believe.
Richard Anderson wrote: 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.
Source?

Again the Oxford site gives us fingertip access to average cohort heights here. For birth year 1921 (men):

UK: 170.6cm
US: 173.96cm
Germany: 171.01

South Koreans, btw, are 3cm taller than North Koreans, in case any readers need further evidence that nutrition and height are correlated.

But that correlation only goes up to a certain point of economic development, after which there's no longer a wealth-height relationship. Americans born in 1980, for instance, are slightly shorter than Brits. America's still wealthier than Brits on average, but now the extra cash only makes us fatter on average. So British AHF'ers who suspect I'm generally wrong about everything have no height-based grounds to reconsider.
Richard Anderson wrote: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.
Same was true in Britain.


EDIT - further discussion should be moved here.
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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by antwony » 23 Oct 2021 12:03

Sheldrake wrote:
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.
You're probably correct about more advanced artillery practises in 1940 or 1942 not making much of a difference and not enough gun- tubes was the problem.

But, while you're correct about radars pre-war, not sure I'd agree about proximity fuses.

I studied advanced, extended, Physics in High School. I am also tall. In AHF terms this makes me basically up there with Einstein and Newton. We (by which I mean the teacher did and we watched) made a Theremin in physic's class. Swap the speaker for a detonator and put a resistor in front of it and a Theremin is a proximity fuse. Theremin's were (I'm pretty sure) 1920's tech. There was an antenna, a battery, we used IC's and transistors but pretty sure vacuum tubes would work for an oscillator and OP amps. Well, tubes would definitely work as they were what were eventually used.

Unsurprisingly, we didn't study cavity magnetron's in High School. But, would think there development didn't really affect proximity fuses. Think the bigger (biggest?) problem would be designing something to survive going from being at rest i.e. in the breech to going supersonic i.e. exiting the muzzle. Small , very robust tubes are what you need. They may have been around pre 1939

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Oct 2021 19:30

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.

Here's a diagram of lethality/distance for a 25er shell impacting at 20 degrees. As can be seen, lethality on the "Y axis" is quite low and particularly behind the shell's trajectory (whence the greatest friendly fire risk). Most fragments propagate on the X axis. So except for defilade fire on an enemy position, lethal distance from shell impact is further reduced as the controlling factor for friendly fire margin. Many arty-supported attacks will be functionally in defilade once into the depths of enemy positions but even then the 1% casualty radius extends perhaps 80m per the diagram. Escalating the 1% radius linearly with shell radius gives us ~95m 1% radius for the 105mm shell (but the Brits didn't accept linear escalation seemingly, as discussed below). That superficially justifies the 25er, given the above-quoted 100 yard distance, but only if we assume very little shell dispersion and near-perfect aim. The normal dispersion of artillery shells - even assuming perfect aim would exceed this ~15m difference between 105mm and 25er safe distances (unless the 25er shells had extremely weak effect, which seems at least as much vice as virtue).

I could just as easily see the British having been convinced by their own projections that shell effect is related to the square root of shell weight, as discussed here. That creates dramatic diseconomies of scale: Smaller the shell the better per equivalent weight (and logistical burden, cost, etc.). By this heuristic, a 105mm shell is ~23% less effective per weight on target. Ballistic carrying power puts a floor on reducing shell size while maintaining reasonable range and muzzle velocity; 3.5in is a reasonable floor for decent ballistics on divisional artillery (pace RKKA).

The British weight/effect heuristic implies that 3in shells are nearly 3x more effective than 6in shells per weight (SQRT(8) / 8 ). That sounds fishy, especially given contemporary military practice and the predominance of larger calibers.
Well, a bit further down in that link a table compares the effectiveness of various guns.

One thing left out so far is exactly what those guns were firing in terms of shells. Any gun on that table could have its performance improved or degraded by the design and filler of the shell being fired.

For example, if some country decided that their shells would be made from tougher steel, then they'd have a higher bursting pressure and that would result in the fragments having higher initial velocity. Using a better explosive would have an effect.

I would point to say, the Japanese using picric acid as a common filler with lower quality steel, and likely less inspection, versus say a US round using TNT or RDX with a much tougher steel and each shell having been magnifluxed to discover defects in casting would result in two very different levels of effectiveness in similar sized guns.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Oct 2021 20:27

antwony wrote:
23 Oct 2021 12:03
.... We (by which I mean the teacher did and we watched) made a Theremin in physic's class. Swap the speaker for a detonator and put a resistor in front of it and a Theremin is a proximity fuse. Theremin's were (I'm pretty sure) 1920's tech. There was an antenna, a battery, we used IC's and transistors but pretty sure vacuum tubes would work for an oscillator and OP amps. Well, tubes would definitely work as they were what were eventually used.

Unsurprisingly, we didn't study cavity magnetron's in High School. But, would think there development didn't really affect proximity fuses. Think the bigger (biggest?) problem would be designing something to survive going from being at rest i.e. in the breech to going supersonic i.e. exiting the muzzle. Small , very robust tubes are what you need. They may have been around pre 1939
Reflex answer is it's to hard, the science is not advanced enough, the old Crocks won't see the advantage.... I'd want to understand the engineering of this in the 1920s or 1930 before judging one way or another.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Oct 2021 06:06

antwony wrote:
23 Oct 2021 12:03
But, while you're correct about radars pre-war, not sure I'd agree about proximity fuses.

I studied advanced, extended, Physics in High School. I am also tall. In AHF terms this makes me basically up there with Einstein and Newton. We (by which I mean the teacher did and we watched) made a Theremin in physic's class. Swap the speaker for a detonator and put a resistor in front of it and a Theremin is a proximity fuse. Theremin's were (I'm pretty sure) 1920's tech. There was an antenna, a battery, we used IC's and transistors but pretty sure vacuum tubes would work for an oscillator and OP amps. Well, tubes would definitely work as they were what were eventually used.

Unsurprisingly, we didn't study cavity magnetron's in High School. But, would think there development didn't really affect proximity fuses. Think the bigger (biggest?) problem would be designing something to survive going from being at rest i.e. in the breech to going supersonic i.e. exiting the muzzle. Small , very robust tubes are what you need. They may have been around pre 1939
A Theremin wouldn't work for a proximity fuze. The detection range is far too short. By the time the fuze makes a detection, impact will occur before it can go off. Even if the fuze were instantaneous, the shell would be centimeters from the target when the fuze activated. You needed a radio signal and detector that could pick up the return. Sort of a omnidirectional radar of the simplest sort.

Making one in the 30's was well beyond extant technology. The Allied proximity fuzes required development not only of miniaturized tubes, but ones that could stand tens of G's or more on firing, then rotational force from the spin of the shell. They also had to invent a new kind of battery to power it. Alkaline dry cells took up too much space and would likely lose charge before the fuze was used. The cost of development alone in peacetime would have been prohibitive.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2021 17:50

Reread some literature on the proximity fuze development. The Germans had in several programs looked at near fifty possible detection/trigger systems. Most of this was inter war & some post 1939. None progressed to practical fuze design. The Brits had a proposal for a radio wave fuze as early as 1931 & laboratory level development by 1936. Vacume tube type fuzes were fitted to AA rockets by 1941.

Some thought had developed in the US, but effective lab work was unfunded until 1940. When the Brit examples were examined in the US it took the project engineers just a few days to reproduce it with off the shelf materials. The main difference being identifying a solid capacitor of metal & dielectric material that would be suitable.

Had anyone put the funding into development the paper concepts could have become production items several years earlier. The engineering of the seperste components like capacitors were already understood in manufacturing.

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Re: Alternative Artillery of the 20th Century

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Oct 2021 19:39

Oh, the battery was a neat idea on VT fuzes. The solution that was come up with was to put the electrolyte in a glass vail that would shatter on firing. The electrolyte would then be spread onto the battery plates activating it by the rotation of the shell. Thus the battery was always going to have the full charge on firing, could be stored for long periods without losing charge, and would provide the proper voltage for the life of the fuze when activated.

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