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"national differences in artillery" Topic


17 Posts

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830 hits since 2 Apr 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

donlowry02 Apr 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

The thread about which rules handle artillery fire the best caused me to think about the differences in how the various armies used artillery, how they called it in, etc., and I realized that I have only the vaguest of clues on the subject. How about those of you who are better informed enlightening me (us)?

christot02 Apr 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

nigelef.tripod.com

this is a great place to start

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2017 9:48 a.m. PST

There's entire books dedicated to the topic but the wargamers guide I tend to use is:

German artillery is accurate, not super fast and often spread out late-war.

Soviet artillery is pre-planned but with a crushing amount of guns.
Add more direct fire guns.

American artillery is fast, very accurate and with lots of guns.

British artillery is very fast, accurate and with lots of guns.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Apr 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

Nebelwerfer salvoes are scary, with lots of rockets.

MHoxie02 Apr 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

Japanese artillery is thin on the ground, with scanty ammunition.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2017 4:10 p.m. PST

link

Great article.

Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2017 8:34 p.m. PST

British artillery was the quickest but in order to get that speed they fudged on some of the calculations sacrificing some precision for speed.

US artillery had the printed firing tables so were nearly as quick as the British with more precision.

German artillery was precise but not quick being little changed for the system they used in WWI.

link

Skarper03 Apr 2017 4:29 a.m. PST

I think it's worth putting some effort into artillery rules that mirror the subtleties of the WW2 combatants. [or lack thereof in the Soviet case perhaps!]

Artillery was pivotal in most if not all the fighting in WW2. Unless have a small skirmish with only a platoon or so on each side artillery is going to be available to the British/Commonwealth side and also the Americans. Germans too but less so.

All the background needed is on Nigelref's site and the others linked to back that up.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

Yea. Germans used a lot of mortars though, especially on defense, and tied those in with their MG42 nests, and ranged-in fire zones, and/or with observers, to rain down fire on the attackers.

Defensive field phone networks were really key, supposedly, for this, especially in the Normandy bocage.

Having 120mm mortars, as well as 81mm/82mm mortars helped a lot, I suspect, too.

donlowry03 Apr 2017 8:34 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the answers!

LORDGHEE04 Apr 2017 2:20 a.m. PST

14 out of 15, could not remember the hills name.

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 6:51 a.m. PST

just a thought on Italian Artillery…from what i read the artillerymen training and morale was very good..so the use of artillery pieces was outstanding..one of the reason why i discovered during the compulsory Military Service i attended during the Eighties…being, including during WW2, an army made of conscripts..the best technically educated draft recruits were choosed by the Artillery…from memories..and tales made by veterans..quite a few engineering students and graduates operated the guns untill the Eighties and consequently,also NATo inter-armies competitions were dominated by Italian gunners, far more educated than average European professional troopers…

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Yeah, the 120mm mortars were pretty fearsome weapons.

Mortars were probably also easier to redeploy and harder to detect by allied air or counter-battery.

As a rule of thumb for late-war Germans, always give them a few mortars in support but concentrated heavy guns will be very limited.

donlowry08 Apr 2017 9:11 a.m. PST

who spotted for the mortars? communications by wire or radio? or hand signal? or …?

LORDGHEE08 Apr 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Yes. :)

Mobius08 Apr 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

Soviet artillery is pre-planned but with a crushing amount of guns. Add more direct fire guns.

This is a bit of a stereotype. Soviets could respond fast if they were on the defense and had wire communications. At Kursk disabled German heavy tanks often came under quick, accurate and concentrated fire. Basically, that was the priority.

On the attack. it was mostly pre-planned in the early part. Later on in the war the Soviet mortars could respond pretty fast.

number410 Apr 2017 8:56 p.m. PST

Most WWII artillery was pre-planned, either offensive fire plans in a timetable for an attack or defensive barrages on known or likely enemy positions and avenues of approach. No commander worth his salt would occupy a position with arranging coordinated defensive fires from all his available assets, from MG's on up.

British artillery was the quickest but in order to get that speed they fudged on some of the calculations sacrificing some precision for speed.

Not quite: British artillery was faster because junior officers had the authority to shoot their own Troop guns (and sometimes more)immediately without requesting them from an FDC.

Mortars were probably also easier to redeploy and harder to detect by allied air or counter-battery.

Not when they are that big. I never tried it but it's probably faster to bring a field gun out of action and hook it up (done that) than it is to dismantle a 120mm mortar. I've handled a WW2 era 81mm and that is one heavy beast! Mortar shells are in fact easier to detect in flight because of their steep trajectory, and by late 1944 the US was using the radar system designed for the 90mm AA gun as a counter mortar radar.

Infantry mortar observers (at least in the US Army) were an FO party (one or two men) from the mortar platoon of the battalion's heavy weapons company. Usual and preferred method of communication is wire (doesn't get intercepted by the enemy or messed up by atmospherics or jamming)

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