German Artillary

German weapons, vehicles and equipment 1919-1945.

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jerijerod
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German Artillary

Post by jerijerod » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:57 am

I'm doing some research into Blitzkrieg and the use of Stuka's as mobile artillary on the West and Eastern fronts.
I wanted to compare their efforts as flying artillary to the Mobile artillary of the Army but not found much.
What were the types of artillary used by the army and how mobile were they?
Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: German Artillary

Post by Christoph Awender » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:26 pm

Hello

I have some "porblems" with your question. You want to compare two totally different systems and weapons.
First....You cannot compare the mobility of an aircraft with ground transported artillery pieces.
Second is that the Stuka was not used as mobile artillery but as bunker and armor "cracker"... not comparable to an artillery piece which was used in a totally different fire mode and fire strategy.

\Christoph

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Re: German Artillary

Post by phylo_roadking » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:03 pm

Chris, Carl Schwamberger is doing research on this topic, how artillery was tasked...
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Re: German Artillary

Post by jerijerod » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:53 am

What I'm driving at is that the main thrust of my work is that the Luftwaffe were used as a flying artillary by the army.
I was reading "Auchtung Panzer" and Guderian says that for the pounding of enemy hardpoints a vast reserve of mobile artillary needs to be deployed quickly so that the enemy doesn't know where the Scwehrpunkt will be.

What i am looking into is: Was German artillary able to fulfill the role that Guderian had hoped OR were the bombers and ground attack aircraft of the Luftwaffe used to fulfill that roll as German artillary couldn't be arranged or moved quickly enough to areas of advance.
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Re: German Artillary

Post by Carl Schwamberger » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:38 am

Chris... just stumbled across your question. Both it and the answers are long and complex. I'll try to get back to here later this weekend.

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Re: German Artillary

Post by Carl Schwamberger » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:36 pm

Ok...

The short answer is no. The 'artillery' of the three armored divsions attacking at Sedan amounted to twenty four howitzers in each divsion, of 10.5cm caliber. They were all towed and were probablly the FH18 model. That totaled 72 howitzers. As far as I know any corps artillery assigned to Guderians corps had not arrived. In any case the commander of the French 55th divsion defending at Sedan could call on the support of approx 170 guns and howitzers of his own reinforced divsion artillery groupment and the reinforcing corps artillery groupment. So, even after adding in the eight 8.8 cm FLAK guns each divsion had Guderians corps was still much inferior in artillery to the defender. A second problem in this situation is ammunition. The howitzers carried one Basic Load (I'm using a US Army term here) in each battery and another in the battalion or regiment ammunition train for each battery. Thats about enough ammo for a day of ordinary fighting, or two hours of sustained firing by the artillery. Guderians ammo resupply was enroute on roads jammed with a couple infantry armys and all their supply. So a fast addition of ammunition could not be counted on. The French calculated it would require the Germans roughly ten days to bring up the additional artillery and ammunition necessary to support a assualt on the Sedan sector defenders. They were probablly correct. Conversely the 55th Division had approx a weeks worth of ammo at hand, or enough for 10-12 hours of sustained fire. And, more was avaialble in the ammo dumps just to the south near Verdun. With the roads clear and a railroad running back to Verdun resupply was realatively easy.

The battle of Merdorp is another example. Two French armored divsions, with a reinforcing artillery unit totaled 24 105mm guns and 84 75mm guns. The two German armored divsions had 48 10.5 cm howitzers between them. Again I dont know anything about what corps artillery the Germans might have had. In this case the ammo would have been a bit more equal as both sides had a long march to reach the battlefield.

Overall the Whermacht had a somewhat lower ratio of artillery battalions per divsion than its opponents. When all the extra 'battalions' (I am defining that as twelve cannon) in the corps and army artillery units are divded out and added to the divsion artillery the US Army had 10-12 battalions per division, the British a similar number. The French may have had slightly more. The Wehrmacht had considerably less. Currently I am pegging it at six or seven battalions per divsion. So, the point being the German armored divsion could not depend on its corps or army artillery command to make up the difference between it and a enemy divsion.

The bulk of the Wehrmachts artillery was horsedrawn as well. In 1940 a bit over 20% was motorized. In 1944 that had not gone much above 25%. Virtually all the US & British artillery was motorized. France had motoraized nearly 40% of its artillery by 1940.

Why did this occur? Guderians proposed armored force was to be a combined arms force. Indirect fire cannon either howitzers or guns, were to be mounted on tracked chassis and given armor protection. Not only were noe built, but the 24 howitzers assigned to the armored div were inadaquate in numbers for supporting a divsion size unit. A large part was fiscal. The rearmament program was contributing to the nazi goverments banckruptcy. A second factor was the Wehrmachts doctrine of emphasising manuver over fire power. That encouraged selecting tanks over towed cannon for purchase.

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Re: German Artillary

Post by jerijerod » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:43 am

Hi Carl, thanks very much thats kind of what i thought. So it would be fair to say that the army would have used the Luftwaffe, especially close support Stukageschwaderen for assualts on hard points and areas of resistance?

I know that in Auctung Panzer, Guderian had argued that to avoid a trench war like 1914-18 then a mobile artillary would be necessary to create a surprise schwerpunkt. I'm guessing that this was substituted for the Luftwaffe. Whats more manouvrable and quick to deploy than Stukas ;-D

Thanks for the response
Chris
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Fri May 25, 2012 6:16 pm

Hello to all :D; just to put together the trident of the German Field artillery as to say the leFH 18, the sFH 18 and the s 10.0cm K 18....................

The 10.5cm leFH 18.

After WWI the artillery branch of the German army had decided that the howitzer was the best weapon for their vision of future warfare. The high trajectory and heavier payload delivered by the 10.5 cm howitzer far outweighed the range advantages of the 7.5 cm field gun, which fired a lighter projectile from roughly the same weight weapon.

Initially the Germans still had large stocks of their WWI vintage 10.5 cm leFH 16 howitzer, but it was soon decided to develop a modern replacement. New designs were worked on from 1928 under the leadership of the Rheinmetall Company. The final production model was introduced into service in 1935. Nothing revolutionary or unusual was incorporated into the design, but it proved to be reliable and a very stable firing platform.

Sources: The German 10.5 cm leFH 18 Howitzer. http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?SectionID=2 offline.
10.5cm leFH 18 http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmacht/index.htmoffline.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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The old leFH 16.
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Fri May 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Hello to all :D; two pictures about the old leFH 16..................

Horse-drawn artillery. Struggling with the old leFH16!

Sources: Fotoalbum Polenfeldzug Warschau,Frankreich ,Russland. eBay auction.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun May 27, 2012 6:43 am

Hello to all :D; more follows....................

The 10.5cm leFH 18.

The 10.5 cm le FH 18, another Rheinmetall design, entered German service in 1935 to replace the 10.5 cm le FH 16 as the standard German field howitzer. A weapon of conventional design, the le FH 18 earned a reputation as an accurate and reliable howitzer, but like most German artillery, also somewhat underpowered. It weighed 1985 kgs, which increased to 2050 kgs once the muzzle brake was added.

A well-trained crew (5 men) could detach, unlimber, and completely prepare a howitzer for firing in under 5 minutes – a necessity during mobile campaigns where the ability to bring artillery to bear on focal points of attack or defense as quickly as possibly can be the deciding factor in the success of the battle. During the war on the Eastern Front many Soviet penetrations were sealed off by the rapid reaction of German artillery.

Sources: The German 10.5 cm leFH 18 Howitzer. http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.as ... 20offline.
10.5cm leFH 18 http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmacht/index.htm offline.
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A horse-drawn leFH 18 on the move.........................
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A well-trained crew (5 men)..............................
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:24 am

Hello to all :D; more follws...........................

The trident of the German Field artillery.

The 10.5cm leFH 18.

The le FH 18 could fire a number of ammunition types such as high explosive, armor piercing, improved armor piercing (with ballistic and penetrating caps for increased performance), and several different hollow charge shells. Like some other German artillery pieces, the le FH 18 used separate-loading propelling charges, between one and six, depending on the desired range. With a full 6-charge propelling load, the le FH 18 could fire a standard 14.91kg (32.66 lbs.) high explosive shell up to 10,675 m. The le FH 18 formed the backbone of German divisional field artillery.

For most of the war, each German infantry, panzer, and motorized (later panzergrenadier) division was allocated three full battalions of three 4-gun batteries of le FH 18 howitzers for their inherent artillery regiments.

Sources: The German 10.5 cm leFH 18 Howitzer. http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?SectionID=2%20 offline.
10.5cm leFH 18 http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmacht/index.htmoffline.
15 Fotoalben mit über 1200 originalen Fotos ! bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 16_08_09 185430 MESZ).

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A leFH 18 fulfilling a fire mission......................
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A horse-drawn leFH 18 which was allocated to the standard infantry divisions.............
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:04 am

Hello to all :D; more follws...........................

The trident of the German Field artillery.

The 10.5cm leFH 18.

In 1940, in an effort to increase the range of the le FH 18, a muzzle brake was added and the recoil system altered to accept a slightly heavier propelling charge and new long-range HE shell. The new guns, designated 10.5cm le FH 18M, the M standing for Mündungsbremse (muzzle brake), were able to fire the long-range HE shell 12,325m, an increase of over 1,500m compared to the maximum range of the unmodified le FH 18.

When first confronted with the Soviet T-34, KV-I and KV-II tanks in 1941, German anti-tank weaponry was quickly found to be inadequate. Initially, the only guns capable of destroying the medium and heavy Soviet tanks at anything but point-blank range were the 8.8cm Flak 18/36 and the 10.5cm le FH 18 firing armor piercing or hollow charge shells. In these instances, many le FH 18 crews found themselves operating in direct fire roles for the first time.

Sources: The German 10.5 cm leFH 18 Howitzer. http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?SectionID=2%20 offline.
10.5cm leFH 18 http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmac ... htmoffline.
15 Fotoalben mit über 1200 originalen Fotos ! bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 16_08_09 185430 MESZ).

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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leFH 18M of 10 Pz at the Medjerda valley.........
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:43 am

Hello to all :D; more follws...........................

The trident of the German Field artillery.

The 10.5cm leFH 18.

During the Russian winter of 1941/42 the mud and the snow proved too much for many leFH 18. Many were abandoned to be captured by the Soviets when their crews could not drag them from the mud. Despite being designed with motor traction in mind, the German artillery still relied heavily on horse drawn limbers as its main means of motive power.

During 1942 thought was put into how to overcome this design flaw. The final result was the leFH 18/40 which utilized the much lighter PaK 40 trail and wheels (wider wheels were introduced later) for its carriage, though the result wasn’t substantially lighter than its predecessor, 1900 kgs, it was put into production in 1942. The leFH 18 continued to be the main form of artillery in the German army, the introduction of the leFH 18/40 merely supplementing those already in service.

Sources: The German 10.5 cm leFH 18 Howitzer. http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?SectionID=2%20 offline.
10.5cm leFH 18 http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmac ... htmoffline.
15 Fotoalben mit über 1200 originalen Fotos ! bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 16_08_09 185430 MESZ).

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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Dealing with the Russian mud...........................
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The leFH 18/40 which utilized the much lighter PaK 40 under carriage...........
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:36 am

Hello to all :D; more follows...........................

The trident of the German Field artillery.

The 15.0cm sFH 18

The 15.0cm sFH 18 was part of the ‘18-series’ of guns that were developed in the late twenties and entered service in 1933-34, and was to become the standard medium artillery piece of the German Army during World War II. Based heavily on the s 10.0cm K 18 design, it in fact used the same carriage, the sFH 18 was little more than a scaled-down version of its big brother, and both guns were used to equip the batteries of the heavy battalions of German Army artillery regiments. For the duration of the war the fourth (heavy) battalion of the artillery regiment of the standard German Army infantry division was equipped with three 4-gun batteries of 15.0cm sFH 18 howitzers. The sFH 18 was light enough to be horse-drawn, although motorized and panzer divisions were equipped with prime movers to tow their allotment of howitzers.

Sources: http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmacht/index.htm
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A sFH 18 towed by a prime mover Sd Kfz 7/8.............................
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Re: German Artillary

Post by tigre » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:23 am

Hello to all :D; more follows...........................

The trident of the German Field artillery.

The 15.0cm sFH 18

The sFH 18 fired a variety of ammunition including high explosive, concrete piercing (with a light ballistic cap), and hollow charge shells – there was even a discarding sabot round for increased anti-tank performance. Like many German artillery pieces the sFH 18 used separate-loading propelling charges, with anywhere from 1 – 8 being used depending on the desired range.

In most cases only the first six charges were used, the 7th and 8th charges caused such strain on the gun that permission from a higher command staff was required for their use.

Sources: http://www.angelraybooks.com/diewehrmacht/index.htm
15 Fotoalben mit über 1200 originalen Fotos ! bei eBay_de 1918-1945 (endet 16_08_09 185430 MESZ).

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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A horse-drawn sFH 18 marching thru Poland........................
Der Sieg im Osten. Friedrich Friess. 1940
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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