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"Supporting 'Our Boys': How The Royal Artillery Became" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2023 7:39 p.m. PST

… A WWII Battle-Winner

"Britain went ill-prepared to war in 1939, but a decisive rearmament had started in 1938.

As far as the artillery was concerned it would take five years to complete what was needed in terms of new equipment and additional formations and training, to meet the needs that Germany and other enemies had made obvious.

First, the Royal Artillery modernised a large number of vintage guns from the Great War – but around 60% were lost in France when the Phoney War became 'hot' in May 1940…"

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Artilleryman20 Sep 2023 1:02 a.m. PST

Good article. I like the fact that it talked as much about procedures as equipment. It was the former that made the RA so effective. As the article said, it allowed close integration with the 'supported arms', the infantry and armour, and the rapid flexible use of firepower. A mere captain could rapidly bring the entire artillery strength of a corps onto a target.

From the other side, it was the artillery that most impressed the Germans about the British Army, especially the speed of reaction in contrast to their own system. I remember many, many years ago speaking to a Wehrmacht veteran who had been an artillery observer. He was very admiring of the RA and illustrated the contrast with a story from his time on the Eastern Front.

One day he was in his OP when he saw what was obviously a staff group inspecting the opposite front line. Through his binoculars he was positive that he could identify Marshal Zhukov. However, by the time he called for fire and had it approved, the target had gone. 'Just imagine', the veteran said, 'If I had been an officer in the British artillery with its resources and practices. How different things might have been!'

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2023 2:09 p.m. PST

Many thanks!


Legionarius20 Sep 2023 4:15 p.m. PST

From a distance every colonel looks like a Zhukov!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2023 2:44 p.m. PST



Artilleryman22 Sep 2023 12:10 a.m. PST

Ain't that the truth! 🙄

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