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Heinrich Severloh The beast of Omaha

Discussion in 'Omaha Beach' started by Jim, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Still patiently waiting for our new friend to provided chapter and verse on which unit's morning reports were falsified and who signed off on those falsifications. His claim, his responsibility to produce the hard evidence - you know, like any lawyer will tell you - and not just opinion. If you are going to call people liars, then you best be able to prove it.

    It is a credibility thing . . . perhaps our new friend has heard at least once of credibility.

    Jeez, my mother's family has been in Virginia since 1620; does that make me special, too? How about my fathers' family - arrived in Massachusetts in 1640. Now I am doubly special . . . bow down all you knaves and varlets, I want to hear your hats scrape the floor.
     
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  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    That IS a little bit impressive mate...
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Big deal, my Granny used to say her family was living in the hollers of West Virginia for longer than anyone could remember. Plus on my Dad's side they settled western Pennsylvania after the Revolution, my Great Uncle was killed commanding the 49th PAVI in Upton' s assault on the Mule Shoe, and a distant cousin was Hiram Grant. Oh and my GGgramddad was President of the Gettysburg borough concil and my Ggranddad watered Bufords horses on the evening of 30 June. Oh, and John Burns worked for Ggranddad as a cobbler in his shoe factory.

    Not that that matters a hill of beans in this mixed up world...
     
  4. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    What we are talking about is different kinds of precision. In a prior post I mentioned that the Germans considered that there 3 classes of infantry machineguns. light, medium and heavy. Prior to WW2, just about all armies had 3 different machineguns specifically designed to fulfill those 3 different needs. The Germans came up with the idea that 1 machinegun with the right design features and the right kinds of "add ons" could be a light machinegun with the right add ons, a medium machinegun with a different set of add ons. and a heavy machinegun with more add ons. In English, this concept is called a Universal machinegun.
    To be a light machinegun, just take the basic MG34/42 weapon and add a bipod.
    To make a MG34/42 into a AA gun, take the basic weapon and place it onto a AA tripod and add the "spider web" sight into it's mount and flip up the AA part on the real sight.
    Severloh used the light machinegun to do his work.
    To make a medium machinegun, take the basic MG34/42 and put it on the infantry tripod (lafette). The MG Z or MG Z40 glass optic sight may or may not be used. The lafette board may be used. E 34 rangefinder will be used. The medium machinegun was intended for direct line of sight fire. There are many other items necessary, but I am not going to list them as they are items of kit carried about the person. This would be the German equivalent of Vickersgun or a US 1919 .30 caliber Browning MG. The Germans achieved sustained fire by a higher RPM and quick change barrel. A 34 takes about 30 seconds for a well trained crew a 42 is faster. The battlefield results would be similar to Vickers or a .30 Browning. The Germans had 3 features that would definitely give them the edge in some conditions. The glass sight equals more accuracy. The searching fire feature on the lafette equals more precise coverage and the 7.9mm sS German service cartridge has more power and range that either the .303 British or the US .30 caliber M2 ball.
    To make a heavy machinegun, take the MG34/42 in it's medium MG configuration and add the Messdreick 34 protractor computer, clinometer, aiming stakes, RK31 aiming circle. There are other items, but again, they are kit items carried about the person. The heavy machinegun was used mostly as a defense weapon for indirect fire. Meaning that the Germans would be hidden on the backside of a mountain and shoot you on the other side. Never thought of that one did you? It is called indirect fire and they could do it from 2 miles away. If you have ever talked to a GI and have him tell you that a sniper got his buddy while they were hidden in a ditch or something similar. Odds are he was actually hit by indirect fire. The clever Krauts figured that their defensive fire would drive their enemies to cover, so they sighted their heavy MGs the same way as artillery, centering on places that offered cover from line of sight fire. An observer, carefully hidden with field phone and coded map would call indirect fire where needed.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Not really. Of course it would help if you understood what was written or maybe you do and just try and twist things because you don't like the answer.
    Not when there is enough information available and the same information is available to all. In the abscene of sufficient information they may assign different probabilities to various possibilities but they will still recognize that some of the same things are possible and others aren't.
    Nice diatribe. You should look in the mirror for a prime example though. If people ignore facts because they are inconvenient then they are not rational. In this case some of what you called "facts" are indeed facts the problem is that they are irrelevant to the topic at hand or at least you have not really given any substantive reason how they are relevant. Others of your "facts" are really just your opinions and some have been shown rather conclusively to be wrong. At the same time you have continued to ignore the relevant facts posted by others as well as the obviously ridiculous logical conclusions that result in proceeding as if your "facts" were indeed facts.
    Of course you would say that. The "producer" that video was a liar and a troll. If you two are one and the same then that's exactly what I would expect.
    Typical troll speak.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Again you either exibit a lack of something. Any or all of the following are possible: reading comprehension, memory, ethics, ....
    Pure and utter garbage. I thought that there was at least some possibility you knew what you were talking about in regards to German machine guns but this pretty clearly indicates that you do not.
    This isn't the pot calling the kettle black it's the pot calling the freshly shined silverware black.[/quote]
     
  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    While very interesting, this is all irrelevant to my question which was "You are seriously arguing with me that a MG34 / 42 on a lafette is not capable of being used as a precision weapon, yet the same gun on a bipod is?".

    I've come to the conclusion that you know exactly one thing very well -- that thing being technical aspects of the MG34 and MG42 -- and are are either unwilling or unable to acknowledge the fact that one nugget of knowledge about a firearm does not make you an authority on military history. This is corroborated by the "FACT" that regardless of what you are ostensibly responding to every message you post harps on the exact same points about the superiority of these 2 weapons (most of which are already well-known by most here), and the "FACT" that I can find multiple instances of whole blocks of text from you which have been posted across the internet verbatim on a variety of forums -- even with the same punctuation (this even applies to your posts in this very thread). When you're backed into a corner and cannot copy-paste anything else - or are perhaps just incensed that us vermin on the internet do not accept your totally uncorroborated claims - you begin to throw insults.

    Before you again begin to hurl insults such as "defective", "dead from the neck up", "retarded", etc, it may be prudent for you to do some research into the people you're engaged with. The people you've insulted are by far the finest and most authoritative members of this forum, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and each bring vast amounts of knowledge and experience to the table.

    And yes, I did "think of that of that one". Do some research into who I am, what I've done, and what I do before treating me as a petulant child with no knowledge of the topic at hand.

    Auf Wiedersehen, Kamerad!
     
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  8. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    Typical troll speak.[/QUOTE]

    I do not know how to speak "troll". You do however seem not to comprehend what I am saying. I suggest that you go back and ACTUALLY READ my posts with a view of actually trying to comprehend my meaning, before making unfounded comments. If you do that and need clarification on a certain point, feel free to ask a polite question.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I have read and understood what you have said. Whether or not it's what you meant to say is another question. The problem is you have to date done little or nothing to support your opinions.
    You have claimed your opinions are facts.
    You have claimed that some things are facts which are obviously fallacies.
    You have stated some facts but they have either been irrelevant to the points under debate or you have failed to demonstrate their relevance.
    You have not addressed the valid facts that other have provided that undermine your positions.
    You have constructed logical arguments going from the opinions and facts you provide to your conclusions in great leaps of faith.
    Your great leaps of faith often (always) have introduced logical holes so large that instead of cloth your arguments look like a broken string.
    You have not addressed the logical arguments that others have produced that bring to question your position.
    You have insulted others who have pointed out the problems with your position.

    In conclusion you have presented no reason that any reader should agree with your position.

    You also speak excellent troll whether or not that is your intent I leave up to the judgment of readers.
     
  10. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    Meine Kamerad,
    I know a lot more than just the technical aspects of the MG34/MG42. I had extensive talks with some of the men who actually used them in combat. I didn't get it out of a book! In fact, just about all of what you refer to as "fact" is unfounded opinion, it matters not if it came out of a book or not. You, or someone else, it really does not matter who, keeps harping that were 80 machineguns, of different types, on Omaha beach and that each one of them had 10,000 rounds and must prove some nonsense or other. They do not understand the German system so it will explain it to you, as a public service. When a German division was equipped or reequipped, it "owned" the equipment. No other unit could demand it, but some could be "loaned". If our division "captured" enemy equipment, it owned that equipment too and in the same way. There was a minor exception: If a private soldier captured a piece of enemy equipment in combat, say a nice tommygun or a TT33 pistol, he "owned" it, it was his personal property! (Believe it or not, it was easier to own a gun in Hitler's Germany, than it is in the USA today! Want proof?) This is germane (pun intended) to this discussion, because captured machineguns use captured ammunition! If a bren gun was captured with 3 mags and two boxes of ammo, that's what they had! The German supply system normally only supplied only German made ammunition for German weapons. Assertions of huge amounts of ammo for non German weapons are sheer nonsense without very strong evidence to the contrary! And it appearing in a book is not strong evidence. Fake News is everywhere.
    One other thing, check back, I did not start the name calling! But like a teacher in grade school, when the tykes get rowdy, I have to get their attention. Feel free to ask any reasonable question.
     
  11. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    "Troll" must be some kind of code word to describe someone who does not agree with your preconceptions. You keep harping about some kind of "facts" that I am ignoring. If you think I am ignoring something important, speak up and tell me exactly what it is! I can not read your mind! !f you are right, I will agree with you. If you are proven wrong by my answer, extend me the same courtesy. The third possibility is nothing worse than that we can not agree what the true facts are. How terrible can that be?
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Go back and read the post of others on this board in reply to your comments. It's hard to find one that doesn't have facts you've ignored. R Lenard's last few post have asked specifically about the morning reports for instance and you've yet to say a word about them. If you prove me wrong anywhere I'll not only admit it I'll thank you for it as I have done for others. I don't see much chance of that though.
     
  13. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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  14. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Again, interesting, but still entirely unrelated to my question which has now been asked twice. However, thanks for proving my point. Carry on.

    Also, in regards to who started the "name calling", I quote: "You obviously do not know anything Go and study a whole lot and then come back to talk with the big boys when you know a little bit."
     
  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Well, thanks, I guess? :)

    There are actually numerous sources for the strength of the German defenses in Normandy, but describing exactly what type of machine gun was where is usually difficult. The reason we have so much information on WN 62...and why Severloh and Gockel have become the poster boys of the "Beasts of OMAHA" cliche...is simply because they survived to tell their tales. Even so, not uncertainties remain and some suppositions still must be made. For example, we do not know for certain the exact type of Polish MG Gockel used, but since 716. ID only had the CKM Wz.30 HMG (German designation sMG 30(p)) and Polish Hotchkiss mle 1914 (German designation sMG 14(p)) in inventory, it seems likely he might have thought of the Hotchkiss as a "French" MG and so described it. Otherwise, the only other Polish "MG" in inventory was the 7.9mm leMG 28(p), which was a Polish-produced version of the BAR. Anyway, as of 1 May 1944 (the last date we have a complete report from the division) 716. ID had:

    25 leMG 116(f) - French mle1924/29
    22 leMG 311(f) - French mle 1929
    20 leMG 28(p)
    10 sMG 14(p)
    5 sMG 30(p)
    5 sMG 257(f) - French mle 1914
    9 leMG 311(f) i.Turm (the mle 1929 mounted in a tank turret in the fixed defenses)

    It also had in its fixed defense weapon (Bodenstandig Waffen) inventory the following "German" weapons:

    1 leMG 08/15
    4 leMG 34 Z and 2 leMG 42 Z (the twin AA MG mounting of the MG 34 and MG 42; one mount was in WN 62)
    18 sMG Schwarzlose (the Czech Schwarzlose-Janeček MG either the vz.07/12 as modernized in 1934 as the vz.7/24 or newly produced to the new design as the vz.24)

    Otherwise, it appears that all the leMG and sMG issued to 716. ID were MG 34. It so reported on 1 December 1943 and it appears there was little change to the 1 May report, except in the Bodenstaendig Waffen, where numbers decreased, usually because they were replaced by "German" weapons (the Zwilling AA guns and the Schwarzlose). The infantry units of the division at or near OMAHA attached to 352. ID were from Grenadier Regiment 726:

    3. Kp. based at Colleville-sur-Mer with 12 leMG 34
    Stab/III. based at Château de Jucoville with no MG
    10. Kp. based at St. Laurent sur Mer with 12 leMG 34
    11. Kp. based at Vierville with 12 leMG 34

    The infantry units of 352. ID at or near OMAHA were from II. Batallion/Grenadier Regiment 916:

    5. Kp. based at St-Laurent-sur-Mer with 16 leMG 42 was actually "in" the beach defenses as stiffing for Grenadier Regiment 726
    6. Kp. based at Ferme Le Buissonet (near Formigny) with 16 leMG 42 was in reserve and committed during the battle
    7. Kp. based at Surrain with 16 leMG 42 was in reserve and committed during the battle
    8. (s) Kp. based at Colleville-sur-Mer with 12 sMG 42 and 3 leMG 42 (it was the schwere or heavy company of the battalion and was doled out to the three rifle companies as support)

    Severloh's unit though was a FO party under the command of Oberleutnant Bernhard Frerking of 1. Batterie/Artillerie Regiment 352. (BTW, it appears that his battalion commander Major Werner Pluskatt's famous account of sighting the invasion, which was enacted in the Longest Day, was more likely experienced by Frerking, who was killed that day). He had one of the five leMG 42 assigned to the battery, the other four typically being used as close in defense for the battery's gun position.

    So then, there were at least 36 leMG 34, 17 leMG 42, and 4 sMG 42 of the units in place at the start of the battle - 57 total. In addition, another 34 leMG 42 and 8 sMG 42 were committed during the battle - another 42. So 97. Then there were the two leMG 42 in the AA mount. And the Bodenstandiges Waffen of 716. ID probably around a dozen or so (at least 10% of the 119 were likely there, just from a count of the WN). So 111 MG of various types altogether, but WAIT! Where does 88 come from? Well, after the battle, various operations research personnel conducted surveys of the battlefield to try to comprehend what happened. They deduced - from counting fixed weapons remaining in place, MG positions, and brass on the ground, that approximately 88 MG were employed "on the beaches". They did not count weapons brought up with the reserve companies unless they were engaged "on the beaches", since they were not interested in those. Thus, the figure of "88" is the lowest possible number actually employed against the invaders on OMAHA.

    Note BTW, the OP maintains his record of getting things wrong. The inventory of Bodenstaendig Waffen was not "owned" by the division, it was "owned" by the defenses and were passed from one unit to another as they rotated through. Nor did the Germans use a three tier system of "light", "medium", and "heavy" machine guns; they only recognized leichte (light) and schwere (heavy), although they did sometimes refer to their 1.5cm MG 151/15 and 2cm MG 151/20 as an überschwere maschinengewehre and also used the term for enemy weapons such as the American M2 .50 caliber (12.7mm), British Besa 15mm, and Soviet 12.7 and 14.5mm series of machine guns.

    Anyway, just why only Severloh's leMG could be employed in its super-duper, German-only, precision-accuracy mode where every five shots fired knocked over one tin can, er American soldier, is a mystery that remains beyond me. And is also, ultimately, uninteresting. ;)
     
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  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Thus illustrating that you either don't understand or choose to pretend not to. The point of course is that if the "German system" was what allowed one person to perform such a feet why did it not allow the many others in the same or similar situation to do so?
    But is it? The German army certainly issued various captured crew served weapons along with their ammo but even personal weapons such as submachinguns were also issued some after conversion to handle German ammo. At least according to:
    https://www.quora.com/Were-German-Soldiers-in-WW2-allowed-to-keep-captured-enemy-weapons
    Now if you have proof they are wrong feel free to present it.
    That some Germans kept and used as is captured weapons doesn't mean that others weren't issued along with their ammo.
    This is of course of minor consequence to the point because it's quite clear that most of the 80+ mgs were German and a fair percentage of those were Mg34's and MG 42's.
    Not everywhere but it can readily be found in your posts.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Care to list the specifics? Just how much more "power" did the German round have and how much greater range (and was it of any practical use?
    I'm going to need to see sources on this one. Indirect fire with an mg is a good way to burn through a lot of ammo without creating much effect. Of course it was hardly a German invention or exclulsive to the Germans. When mg's first showed up in the 19th century they were often treated as artillery. From my reading idirect fire with mg's was fairly common ub through WWI and is still taught today I believe It's use in that role has declined considerably though. Others here know a lot more about this than I do.
    Actually it's been discussed fairly extensively on this forum. Including the trivia that the French doctrine during the Franco Prussian war included using infantry rifles in that way.

    Personally in a defensive situation I'd rather have a US heavy mg than the German one you are describing. No need to change barrels with a water cooled Browing and the M2 has some big advantages as well.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Um, no, sorry, but that is simply wrong...in so many ways. The Germans made extensive use of captured enemy weapons of all sorts, assigning them, and their ammunition a specific inventory designation. With regards to ammunition in many cases they only had what was captured and either fired off what was available and re-cycled the material or destroyed them. In other cases though, they actually acquired the factories manufacturing the weapons and ammunition and found it simpler to just continue to produce them for use by security and static forces...such as those in the occupation of France and other countries. For example, Czech weapons, ammunition, and the factories producing them were acquired intact after Munich, Skoda and BMM became major "German" arms manufacturers, but usually producing to Czech designs. Ditto France, Belgium, and Poland...note the number of "Browning" pistols carried by German soldiers. It was also made easier by the simple fact that many designs were simply licenses of others, manufactured in various calibers, such as the "Hotchkiss" and "Browning" machine guns produced by Belgium, France, and Poland. For machine guns the designations were:

    7,92-мм ZB-26 [MG.26(t)]
    7,92-мм ZB-30 [MG.30(t)].
    7,92-мм ZB-37 [MG.37(t)] .
    7,92-мм Browning wz.28 [MG.154(p)]
    7,92-мм Browning М1930 [MG.30(p)]
    7,92-мм Hotchkis wz.25 [MG.257(p) i MG.238(p)]
    6,5-мм Hotchkiss М1914 [MG.201(n) i MG.240(n)]
    7,65-мм Chauchat М1915 [MG.126(b)]
    7,65-мм FN M1930 [MG.127(b)]
    7,65-мм Hotchkiss М1914 [MG.220(b)]
    6,5-мм Lewis М1920 [MG.100(h)]
    8-мм CSRG M1915 Chauchaut [MG.156(f)]
    7,5-мм Hotchkiss Mle1922 [MG.105(f)]
    7,5-мм Châtellerault Mle1924/29 [MG.116(f)]
    8-мм Saint-Etienne Mle1907 [MG.256(f)
    7,5-мм Hotchkiss Mle1914 [MG.257(f)]
    8-мм Chauchat М1915 [MG.156(g)]
    8-мм Hotchkiss M1926 [MG.104(g) i MG.152(g)]
    8-мм станковый пулемёт Saint-Etienne M1907 [MG.256(g)]
    7,92,8-мм Chauchat М1915 [MG.156(j) i MG.147(j)]
    7,92-мм ZB-26 [MG.26(j)]
    7,92-мм Saint-Etienne M1907 [MG.256(j)]
    7,92-mm Hotchkiss M1914 [MG.257(j)]
    7,62-мм DP-27 [MG.120(r)]
    Kulomet Vz.30/Puska Mitralez 7.92 M37 = 7.92 Maschinengewehr 30(t) & 148(j)
    Breda modello 30 = 6.5mm LeMG 099(i)
    Mittrailleur M20v = 6.5mm LeMG 100(h)
    Norwegian Madsens = 6.5mm LeMG 102(n) & 103(n)
    Hotchkiss M1926 = 6.5mm LeMG 104(g) & 7.92mm LeMG 152(g)
    Hotchkiss M1922 = 8mm LeMG 105(f)
    Darne M1922 = 6.5 oder 8mm LeMG 106(f)
    'Lewis' M1924 = 8mm LeMG 107(f) (Not the Lewis Gun, a French aerial mount)
    Chatellerault M1924/29 = 7.5LeMG 116(f)
    DP 1928g = 7.62mm LeMG 120(r)
    FM 1930 = 7.65mm LeMG 127(b)
    Hotchkiss Mk.1&1* = 7.7mm LeMG 136(e)und(g)
    Lewis gun Mk1 = 7.7mm LeMG 137(e)
    Bren Mks 1&2 = 7.7mm LeMG 138(e)
    RKM wz.28 = 7.9mm LeMG154/1(p),154/2(p),28(p)
    Chaucats = 8mm LeMG 156(f),(g),(j) - 7.65mm LeMG 126(b) - 7.9mm LeMG 147(j)
    FM Madsen M1922 = 8mm LeMG 157(f)
    Danish Madsens = 8mm LeMG 158(d), 159(d)
    7.5mm Mle 1931 = 7.5mm KpfwMG 311(f)
    DT = 7.62mm KpfwMG 320(r)
    Assorted Maxims = 7.92mm sMG 08, 7.65mm sMG 221(b), 7.9mm sMG 248(j),(p),(r)
    Vz.37/Mitralez M40 = 7.92mm sMG 37(t), 246(j)
    ZB Vz.60/Mitralez 15mm M38 = MG 38(t) Kal.15mm, FlaMG 39, FlaMG 490(j)
    Fiat 14 = 6.5mm sMG 200(i),(j)

    The use of those captured weapons in the Atlantic Wall defenses is very well documented. The document closest to the invasion dated 1 May 1944 for 716. ID lists the various "German" and "Foreign" Bodenstandig Waffen used by the division and there are similar lists for the other divisions of 7. Armee. Uniquely, 352. ID only listed German weapons though. Why? Well, because it was newly formed on 5 November 1943 from remnants of the 321. Infanterie-Division, which had been destroyed on the Eastern Front. It was not formed as a static Bodenstandig formation though, it was a mobile of Bewagung division intended for counterattacks. As such, it was fully equipped with what was often newly produced "German" weapons...such as the MG 42. Those original German documents may be found at NARA II in microfilm or at BAMA in the original and may be accessed at NARA as RG 242, T315, R2260. Similarly, the quartermaster of 7. Armee conducted detailed surveys of the holdings of German and foreign weapons in the army prior to D-Day, along with assessments of the ammunition on hand for each. You may find that in RG 242, T311, R1, RG 242, T312, R1570.

    Those documents all indicate that the divisions prior to D-Day had in place substantial reserves of ammunition, much of it forward in the defense emplacements. Furthermore, since the Germans recognized the problems associated with supply multiple types of rounds for multiple foreign weapons, they sensible chose to keep as much forward with the weapons as possible. Thus, in Normandy, coast defense divisions had 3 units of fire forward for rifles, compared to the norm of 1.5 and 6 units of fire for machine guns, compared to the standard of 2. German reports also indicated that overall army holdings of ammunition included sufficient to cover 52 days of "normal combat" for rifles and machine guns, 120 days for sub-machine guns and pistols, 81 days for light mortars, and 25 days for medium mortars.
     
  19. shooterike

    shooterike Member

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    I have not proven your point - YOU HAVE PROVEN MINE! I ask you point blank "What is your question?" and you persist in being silly. As to your "proof" that I started the name calling: Reread it a few times until you notice that I definitely did not call you anything. The ADVICE I gave you then is yet good.
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    From what I see, the German Mauser s.S. Patrone fired a 12.8 gram projectile at 760 m/s and with a muzzle energy of 3,697 joules to a maximum range of 4,700 meters.
    The American .30 Caliber M2 Ball fired a 9.8 gram projectile at 855 m/s and with a muzzle energy of 3,601 joules to a maximum range of 3,150 meters.

    None of which matters of course at combat ranges, which in this case was effectively under 1,000 meters (the maximum range at which Severloh...or any other German gunner with the exception of a few in WN 60, WN 72, or WN 73...had targets at).
     

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