Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

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brian_05
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Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by brian_05 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:01 pm

After reading "Company Commander" by Charles B. MacDonald, I never realized how vital artillery was...and how readily available it seemed to be during WWII.

I'm trying to find some reading material on how it was deployed and used by either Allies or Axis forces, pretty much the nuts and bolts on how the artillery units worked and not so much an encyclopedia of the weapons themselves.

I've found "A Dangerous Assignment: An Artillery Forward Observer in World War II" (ISBN: 0811734854) and have ordered it. It looked to be very much like what I wanted to read. More a first hand account of what a Forward Observer actually did, told as a narrative.

Any other ideas?

Thanks, Brian

John Kilmartin
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by John Kilmartin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:23 pm

Hi Brian,
There is a set of three books Where the hell are the guns, The guns of Normandy and The guns of victory by Blackburn. Blackburn was an officer in the RCA during the war and held many positions but was the longest serving FOO in Northwest Europe. I feel it gives a good account of how the RCA operated during the war and I would think there would be very little difference between how the other Commonwealth Artillery forces worked. I hope this is of some help.
Cheers,
John K
' Strip war of the mantle of its glories and excitement, and it will disclose a gibbering ghost of pain , grief, dissappointment and despair'

brian_05
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by brian_05 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:25 pm

Perfect!

These also look like just what I am looking for.

Thanks.


brian_05
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by brian_05 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:42 pm

John Kilmartin wrote:Hi Brian,
There is a set of three books Where the hell are the guns, The guns of Normandy and The guns of victory by Blackburn. Blackburn was an officer in the RCA during the war and held many positions but was the longest serving FOO in Northwest Europe. I feel it gives a good account of how the RCA operated during the war and I would think there would be very little difference between how the other Commonwealth Artillery forces worked. I hope this is of some help.
Cheers,
John K
Have you read all three books? I'm not sure which one to read first.

Brian

John Kilmartin
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by John Kilmartin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:44 pm

As per my PM I believe the best way to read these first person accounts is to read them in chronological order instead of the way I read them as they came out. If one is looking for 'train spotting' this is not the book I would think the book recomended by laurence strong is probably better though I have not read them. I know that these books gave me enough information on how batteries operated to understand better what had to occur in order for infantry operations to proceed.
' Strip war of the mantle of its glories and excitement, and it will disclose a gibbering ghost of pain , grief, dissappointment and despair'

PaulJ
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by PaulJ » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:30 am

The seminal work in the field:

Shelford Bidwell & Dominick Graham, Fire Power: British Army Weapons And Theories Of War, 1904-1945
Paul Johnston
Per Ardua ad Astra
http://tactical-airpower.tripod.com

nigelfe
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by nigelfe » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:26 am

"Blackburn was an officer in the RCA during the war and held many positions but was the longest serving FOO in Northwest Europe", quite possibly in Canadian forces but there were also four UK corps that landed in Normandy, not to mention lots of US ones. Somehow I doubt that anybody actually knows how many FOOs served in the role from June 44 to the German surrender. One of the issues is that British FO casualties were significant, but no doubt lots returned to duty, many as FOs.

If you want to want a comprehensive account of UK artillery in WW2 then my web site http://nigelef.tripod.com/index.htm is the place for you.

nigelfe
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by nigelfe » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:34 am

I would treat this site about UK with great care, in a 2 minute glance I found quite a lot of errors and misinterpretations.

mconrad
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Re: Artillery tactics and operation. WWII.

Post by mconrad » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:53 pm

http://rapidshare.com/files/308556502/B ... arrage.pdf

This book is a good view of what artillery was supposed to be doing during big attacks, and how the artillery arm developed techniques to get that done. Not so much the inner workings of a battery, though.

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