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2,170 hits since 6 Dec 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Dec 2012 5:38 p.m. PST

In keeping with my previous postings on Artillery subjects grin. Robert


"The focus of this study is on how the armies of different nations;countered the threat of massive concentrated artillery and/or other types of preparatory fires. Not all were successful, and the reasons for the success or failure of each army provides the contemporary military commander an opportunity to learn from his "predecessors" and benefit from their hard-learned lessons."

PDF link

Timbo W06 Dec 2012 5:48 p.m. PST

Well, If you knows of a better 'ole, go to it!

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian06 Dec 2012 6:44 p.m. PST

"RUN AWAY" is a good choice too

number4 Inactive Member06 Dec 2012 7:34 p.m. PST


UshCha Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2012 11:24 p.m. PST

Thanks for that, looks very usefull.

Barin107 Dec 2012 3:27 a.m. PST

Seeing what happens with the earth when it is pounded by 60 122mm howitzers and 24 x multibarrel rocket launchers I can say that those on the receiving end are in real trouble. Nowadays, with the combined warfare you may call for all-weather aviation group, or tactical missile, in WWII,and especially at night there wasn't much you could do apart of digging deaper…or run, but you need to run VERY fast ;)

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2012 5:27 a.m. PST

Dig and dig some more? Spreading out in width and depth helps a lot, as does concealing the location of the MLR with covering positions etc.

Legion 407 Dec 2012 7:43 a.m. PST

OOPs !!! Double post !!! huh?

Legion 407 Dec 2012 7:43 a.m. PST

Immediate action drills we were taught, were if on a patrol or moving … get out of the impact area … Fast !! The PL using the Clock System to designate the direction to run, hopefully to some cover. But the important thing is to get out of the impact area. When static, in a Hasty Defense or NDP … dig-in, even if it is only deep enough to get you covered even with the ground. If in Deliberate Defense, dig in deep. Deep enough to stand in your "Foxhole". Usually 2 men, side by side, in a position, called a "Depuy Bunker". link With a minimum of 18 inches of overhead cover … Well camo'd … So with incoming you basically have 2 options, Get out of the impact area or dig, dig and dig some more …

deephorse07 Dec 2012 8:24 a.m. PST

Ah yes, the Depuy Trench. I remember being compelled to dig this kind of position in Germany. No extra materials were provided though, so we were only able to complete one in my platoon area. And that was because we found an old door in the wood we were occupying. I also found it very difficult to lay out the trench positions and create the necessary overlapping fields of fire. So difficult in fact that I gave up on the idea and sited normal slit trenches instead. No-one came to check.

Legion 407 Dec 2012 8:30 a.m. PST

Yes, I'll freely admit … we very rarely dug an actual "Depuy Bunker". Besides the difficulty, we usually never stayed put long enough …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 Dec 2012 8:50 a.m. PST

You are most welcome UshCha. I particularly like that it used various geographical locations, terrain and situations. Robert

M1911Colt07 Dec 2012 5:13 p.m. PST

The thought that comes to mind immediately after reading this. Just like infantry. Artillery, should utilize maneuver and fire.

Legion 407 Dec 2012 7:27 p.m. PST

SPFA can … but that is usually to avoid counter-battery fire and CAS …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 Dec 2012 7:54 p.m. PST

It appears the IDF learned from the past weapons. Robert

Legion 408 Dec 2012 8:38 a.m. PST

They usually do … however sometimes the learning curve is steep …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Dec 2012 1:46 p.m. PST

Unfortunately for some too late. Robert

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Dec 2012 5:22 p.m. PST


Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Dec 2012 5:28 p.m. PST

LOL. Sorry Tim. I know its hard for some to read a book with out pictures LOL wink Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member10 Dec 2012 9:24 p.m. PST

I think this says alot,

"A division report of 5 August 1918 included the lessons learned of
(1) the importance of trenches as protection against artillery fire and
(2) that reserves cannot be maneuvered in the open during a
bombardment. Two battalions had been in motion to the front
when the enemy preparation started (one each in the 30th and 7th
regiments). Caught in the open by enemy artillery, they were
combat ineffective for the duration of the battle"


Legion 411 Dec 2012 7:19 a.m. PST

Yes, being caught in the open by an artillery barrage is a bad thing …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Dec 2012 1:26 p.m. PST

You would have thought that what happened in WWI would show that for subsequent conflicts. Robert

Legion 412 Dec 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

Unfortunately … Bleeped text happens …

Lion in the Stars12 Dec 2012 10:51 p.m. PST

You would have thought that what happened in WWI would show that for subsequent conflicts.

Those who fail to learn their history are doomed to repeat it.

Elenderil13 Dec 2012 4:40 a.m. PST

You have to love the phrase "Combat ineffective" I take that as a polite version of FUBAR.

Legion 413 Dec 2012 8:53 a.m. PST

Normally a unit is considered combat ineffective if it takes 1/3 losses … Now those losses, could be a combination of KIA, WIA, MIA/POW and/or "Suppressed" from having FA, CAS, etc. falling all around you … throwing you to the ground, ears ringing, blurry vision, confused, etc., etc. … even if it is only temporarily … so yeah … FUBAR about says in all …

Iron Front Inactive Member13 Dec 2012 3:59 p.m. PST

Rommel talked a lot about this in "Infantry Attacks". The best response was preparation. He noticed a significant difference between trenches that were only 4 feet deep vs. 6 feet deep. He drove his soldiers tirelessly to dig until exhaustion, saying "sweat saves blood". 18" of hard pack dirt overhead was helpful as well. They were very careful to dig in in open terrain, nowhere near a treeline. Even though it's obvious why I think we tend to forget that as wargamers.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2012 6:11 a.m. PST

"FUBAR about says in all …"

Indeed. Very intense and prolonged bombardments could also induce serious and long lasting morale effects even if the target unit suffered relatively few losses (as it was properly dug in), such that it would essentially just surrender when attacked.

In their inexhaustible way, British Operations Researchers and Soviet military scientists did considerable research into the weight and duration of shellfire required to produce these effects.

Hours, not days.

Legion 414 Dec 2012 8:51 a.m. PST

We still use some lessons learned from Rommel. Digging in dramatically reduces losses from most weapons systems. But yes, we still prefer to dig-in in the woodline. Eventhough treelines are a most likely place to hide troops. Digging in in a treeline is a good option. Realizing the enemy may try to suppress likely enemy positions with FA or CAS. I'd rather be in a hole in a wood line then in one in the open. But with the nature of warfare changing a bit from WWI, with the advent of the deployment of large scale armor/mech force. And the paradigm shifting to a war of maneuver. And that plays into prolonged bombardments. Since in most cases, heavily fortified fixed positions are rarer since the shift to a war of maneuver … However, it still occured with the Maginot Line, Metz, Iwo, Pork Chop Hill, Hamburger Hill, etc., …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member14 Dec 2012 4:48 p.m. PST

Hopefully with overhead protection from tree bursts Legion. Robert

Archeopteryx Inactive Member15 Dec 2012 3:17 a.m. PST

thanks very interesting

Legion 415 Dec 2012 8:10 a.m. PST

Yes, overhead protection is a must. But many times we don't stay in one place long enough to complete a full bunker. And with the wider use of aircraft than in WWI, digging in in the open, is less of a "desired" option. But terrain and situation still dictate many things from WWI to now …

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2012 12:51 p.m. PST

Yes, the main problem with digging in along a tree line or the edge of a BUA is that it is blindingly obvious where your positions are. In WW1 the advice was to dig in well in front of such obvious terrain features (or well inside them).

As Legion says, the increased prevalence of air recce means that digging in around cover has become more common. The old WW2 British pamphlet on camouflage shows how to dig in utilisating terrain features as cover from air observation but without the shape of the position being obvious (much utilisation of shade around natural and man made features, running wire entanglements along hedgerows etc) but the whole position is far more dispersed that 1914-16 era entrenched positions or even the deeper defences of 1917+.

Legion 416 Dec 2012 6:41 a.m. PST

Yes, to disperse or "spreading-out" no matter what the situation is really SOP and good field craft. Taught in all armies. Whether moving in formation in a movement to contact, a column, patroling, setting up a hasty or deliberate defense, etc. either mounted or dismounted, is SOP. And as Martin mentioned, proper use of terrain and camo, cover and concealment are all part of good field craft … And again, terrain and situation dictate most actions … For example, in closed terrain, you may have to set-up a little closer to get interlocking fields of fire, etc. …

Lion in the Stars16 Dec 2012 11:35 a.m. PST

Tactical response to concentrated artillery?

If possible, LEAVE!

If not possible, dig hole. Crawl into hole, then pull hole in after you!

number4 Inactive Member16 Dec 2012 4:22 p.m. PST

Proper technique demonstrated here:

YouTube link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member16 Dec 2012 4:52 p.m. PST

A log covered foxhole against tree bursts in the Hürtgen Forest.


Legion 417 Dec 2012 7:44 a.m. PST

I think the video says it all, number 4 … thumbs up

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member17 Dec 2012 1:19 p.m. PST

And of course if you had alot of time,



Korea 1953

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2012 1:58 p.m. PST

Very interesting. In planning our campaign the need to draw the enemy into counter battery range is not a tactic I had thought enough about. You have made my 12km deep campaighn even harder to plan.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member17 Dec 2012 5:42 p.m. PST

LOL. I was hoping that it would make some think. Robert

Legion 418 Dec 2012 8:00 a.m. PST

The best way or at least one of them, to deal with FA, is CAS, and along with that SEADS(Suppression of Enemy Air Defense Systems) comes into play … Enemy AD/AA can be suppressed by FA if it is in range. But FA that is deep behind enemy lines, Enemy AD/AA must be suppressed by CAS flying what was sometimes called (IIRC) "IRON HAND" missions. Flown by special "Wild Weasel" aircraft during Vietnam, then strike aircraft and/or bombers take out the enemy FA … But there are no guaranties …

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 8:19 a.m. PST

While the paper was very interesting it is light on timeings. How long would it take to actally identify a battery position best case. This would give some indication of how long it could fire before needing to relocate to avoid the counter fires. Judgeing what is worth counretbattery is another issue. Local mortars may be very difficult to dammage. I recall the US maual noted that one of the vietnam mortar batteries did not cease fire even under fire due to its deep protection.

Legion 418 Dec 2012 8:35 a.m. PST

As I said … No guaranties … As you mentioned, there were some NVA mortars/FA shelling Khe Sahn, were so well placed and dug-in, that even B-52 strikes didn't touch them … Not to mention in general, FA and mortars can displace after firing to avoid counter-battery fire or the inevitable airstrikes … again, no guaranties … And in many cases you are using SEADS or Counter-Battery on likely or possible enemy positions as well as known locations … With direct fire from AFVs, Grunts, etc., it's called "Recon by Fire". Rolling the dice so to speak … in both cases …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 12:28 p.m. PST

Well as I have said if you have enough time you can build bunkers deep enough and safe enough from all types of fire. Robert

Lion in the Stars18 Dec 2012 12:43 p.m. PST

How long would it take to actally identify a battery position best case. This would give some indication of how long it could fire before needing to relocate to avoid the counter fires.

If your side has counter-battery radar, one battery-3 is about all it will take to locate the arty position. The first round is an alert, the second and third rounds would give confirming data.

Sonar-based systems are probably not as good, but laying two lines of microphones at 90deg angles would probably fix that.

Legion 418 Dec 2012 3:21 p.m. PST

Counter-Battery Fire generally in the past 2 or 3 decades or so, includes using C/B Radar in many situations … But as I said, there are no guaranties …

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 9:53 p.m. PST

For WWI or WWII though. Counter Battery fire if any was very primitive. Robert

IanB3406 Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 6:53 a.m. PST

German counter battery fire was very effective, they had the mathematics training, and optics to be effective.

They also adapted very effective tactics versus soviet pre attack bombardments later in the war……basically left the frontline trenches unoccupied, and than moved back in after the bombardment.

I highly recommend the Raus account.

Legion 419 Dec 2012 7:49 a.m. PST

Like many things in WWII, the Germans were a little head of every one else, at least in the early going in many cases … and they adapted best they could as the war progressed … Both tactically and technically, generally …

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