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Best artillery piece of WWII

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by Hufflepuff, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    In you opinion, what was the best artillery piece used by any force in any theater during WWII?

    My opinion would be the German 88mm Flak/Anti-Tank gun
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    I would have much rather have had the title 'favourite' and not 'best', but...

    The 17pdr
    [​IMG]
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I've always hated these "Best" Questions LOL. While IMO I think that the Flak 88 is a good choice for one of the "Best" multipurpose weapons but not for a artillery piece. The weapons that fall into the category would be the British 25 pounder or the US M101 and M101A1 105mm Light Howitzer for example. You are aso looking at different calibers and sizes too. 75mm and up. Light,Medium and Heavy. There are some outstanding ones in each category.
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I'd have to agree with JCF that it would be between the 25pdr and US 105mm howitzers in the category of artillery. Both were stellar performers and excellent designs.

    For an antiaircraft gun, the 88 might make the cut but the later US M2 90mm was probably better. This gun took all the lessons learned earlier in the war about antiaircraft guns and their uses and applied them in a way the Germans never did to the 88 (even the Flak 41 version).
    The US gun was on a powered mount, had automatic fuze setting and power ramming. Like the 88 it could depress below 0 degrees and be used as an antitank gun. Also like the 88 it could be fired from its towing carriage.
    In heavy artillery the two contenders would likely be the German 17cm K 18 and US M1 8" howitzer.
    For straight antitank work I'd pick the German 7.5cm PaK 40 hands down. While there are many other guns in roughly the same caliber that could match or beat this gun in penetration none comes close in being nearly as handy a weapon. The German gun was mounted on a carriage that could easily be manhandled. This advantage should not be underestimated. At 3300 lbs it weighed half of what the US 3" or British 17pdr did for roughly the same performance. It also presented a smaller silouette emplaced, particularly compared to the US or Soviet guns in the same size.
    In the infantry gun category I'd pick the Japanese Type 92 70mm battalion gun. This was a very handy little weapon with a good punch. You could haul it anywhere with as few as a dozen men and even put it right in the front lines without difficultly.
     
  5. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Allright, sue to request by several people, you can post your favorite artillery piece now, not just the one you consider the 'best.'
     
  6. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    Two: the american 81 mm mortar or the american 75mm pack howitzer. both weapons, especially the mortar, demolished the 40-year old pattern of infantry fighting centering around the machine gun. A US company using only hand-carried firearms would be routed by a german company armed with their 1,200 rpm machine guns. But with mortars, the rules of the game changed.
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    HMMMMM...The 81mm mortar isn't really an "artillery" piece. Its is a smooth-bore, muzzle-loaded, high-angle, indirect fire weapon.And I would think that quite a few US infantry companies were able to not be "routed" by German companies quite well with out the support of mortars. It may have given then an edge but wasn't necessary for sucess.And regarding the 75mm pack howitzer it had actually been around since the 20s. So it was not something new. It did not see widespread use in Europe only equipping 36 battalions in 1944-45. Its main use was by airborne battalions and in mountain artillery units. Also in the Pacific with the Marines. :)
     
  8. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I certainly don't think the US 81mm mortar, basically a copy of the earlier French Brandt mortar in that size, was particularly an outstanding weapon. It was no better or worse than its German, Soviet, or British (3" stokes) mortar.
    Also, it was not particularly widely applied as just three were available in an infantry battalion at the headquarters level. If anything, the US 60mm mortar (a copy of the French Brandt in that caliber) was far more widely used in WW 2. A battery of three was available in each infantry company. The mortar bomb for this weapon was also widely used with the rifle grenade clip as a building buster in urban warfare.
    As far as US infantry companies versus German ones go the biggest advantage the US ones had was radios. As prolific as the Germans were with machineguns they had the disadvantage of lack of communications allowing coordinated battalion actions and fire support on the level the US could manage. Also, the lack of mechanization made supplying those machineguns difficult. The prodigious rate of fire of German machineguns was, if anything, a disadvantage in that a squad could eat up its ammo supply in minutes in action.
    The US company with a number of jeeps available could at least rely on a stream of new ammunition being supplied in most circumstances. Also, the US (and British) still practiced the use of their machineguns in both fixed lines of fire and indirect fire using dial sights that the Germans forewent on their weapons.
     
  9. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    but you had to admit, those gerry guns were cool. they can whack infantry targets out to a mile. that's why the americans badly needed mortars. BARs were for squad fire support only.
     
  10. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    A hitting stuff at a mile with a 7.92mm machinegun?!! Obviously, you have spent very litttle time on a range firing anything.
     
  11. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    obviously you haven't seen what 1,200 rounds a minute can do past 500 meters. peace man.
     
  12. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    The effective range of the the MG-42 was only 1000 meters or 1,100 yds. The M2 .50 cal has a effective Area Target range of 2,000 yd (1,830 m) and Point Target range (single shot) of 1,640 yd (1,500 m) with a max effective range of 7,440 yd (6,800 m). Thats reaching out and touching some one LOL :).
     
  13. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    a 30-cal round at 1,000 meters is still basically a point trajectory fire, though a holdover is already needed. you can fire your 30-cal mg to plunge and enfilade a ground target well past a mile out. i've seen the m-60 reach 1,500 meters during a plunging fire exercise. those arcing tracer bullets looked pretty.
     
  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    It's interesting that .30 calibre is rated as 'artillery', or am I reading the heading of this thread wrong ? :confused:
     
  15. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    A 30-cal although very impressive in its own right and yes can shread not only a man to pieces but also lightly armoured units is not a artillery piece but a close squad combat support weapon.

    Quote 'Artillery':Historically, artillery (from French artillerie) refers to any engine used for the discharge of large projectile in war. The term also describes soldiers with the primary function of manning such weapons and is used organizationally for the arm of a nation's land forces that operates the weapons. This term includes coastal artillery which traditionally defended coastal areas against seaborne attack and controlled the passage of ships. With the advent of powered flight at the start of the 20th century artillery also included ground-based anti-aircraft battries. In military terminology, a unit of artillery is commonly referred to as a battery.

    This does not include field artillery such as the German 75mm gun or the Russian 76mm gun. It does include all indirect pieces such as mortars and howitzers a long with all the standard artillery pieces such as the British 25pdr or the 105mm and 155mm pieces plus all rocket artillery.

    Plus you meationed the M-60 SAW MG;), that is great what you said but this is a WW2 forum not based on anything but WW2

    Oh and mine would have to be the German 10cm (actually 10.5cm) schwere Kanone (sK) 18 yeah baby :)
     
  16. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Bah!
    ;)

    Then my vote goes for Stalin's organs.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    nice choice I reckon. We cant say thats no artillery just because its not a cannon, any lareg projetile whether it be a rocketm mortar bomb or shell
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Glad you were specific about which one of Stalin's organs you were talking about.

     
  19. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Regarding German MG's.

    Tomorrow some young aspiring Sergeants are getting a 14 day visit from Lt. Jaeger. We are going to train at Ã…ndalsnes. The MG's range built by the Germans during the war has a maximum range of 1300 meters. A range that is fully possible to shoot at when the MG is mounted on a tripod. With the decline of the 'human waves' it is less useful though. However it is interesting to see how many tracer rounds who are airborne at the same time at that distance.

    But MG's are not artillery.....

    As for 'favourite' artillery, it's the 25pdr.
     
  20. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    In regards to Rocket Artillery I like the Nebewerfer or the Sherman " Calliope".
     

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