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Loudest artillery?

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by Poppy, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Wonder what the loudest gun out there is. Does the largest bullet equal the loudest bang? Would the Paris Gun be louder than a 16 inch naval gun? Were there weapons that created an abnormally loud/quiet bang? Were mortars the worst offenders on ears?... Asking because of some veterans accounts of battle where noise was felt and heard.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Weird question...It doesn't matter what the calibre is. its the charge behind it that makes the sound...for a super sonic velocity the "boom" from breaking the sound barrier (3/4s the way up the barrel) is usually the majority if the sound...(particularly small arms) but the large naval guns use so much charge that there is a massive boom...I'd go therefore for a naval gun as a standard, 16"-18". There were a number of "super guns" on rail tracks that would no doubt be louder, due to the larger charge.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Cheers CAC. I wonder if maybe a tapered barrel might be more or less loud than say a howitzer or mortar. But if it's all about the powder charge size, that's the end of that.
     
  4. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I think you have to take a couple of things into consideration:

    1. The Report of the round being fired.
    2. The sound the round makes when traveling to target.
    3. The sound of the round detonating.
    4. Consuscive force of the round detonating.
    5. The type of round being fired.
    6. Proximaty to all of the above.

    so

    1. Artillery and rockets make more noise than mortars
    2. The faster and round travels the more sound it generates. Mortars are all but silent.
    3. This depends on the size of the round 60MM, 81MM, 88MM, 105MM, 120MM etc
    4. The bigger the round the bigger the boom.
    5. An HE round will be louder than AP, AT, AA, Smoke etc
    6. All depends on where you are at.

    Trajectory will also play a very large role. Mortars which have a very high trajectory travel at very low speeds and rely on terminal velocity and gravity to take them into the target. So the further past terminal velocity a round travels the more noise it is going to make traveling through the air.
     
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  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Yeah...what he said.
     
  6. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Sorry about that, I started cranking that out and didn't see your post until I hit send.
     
  7. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Thanks for explaining. I guess combatants could tell what type of weapon was being fired by it's sound signature. And then figure out what they'd need for counter battery or prepare for an attack that would stop whatever was shelling them?
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    No probs mate, learnt something too!
     
  9. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    I had a friend that served in Vietnam and he saw his fare share of combat. He told me once that the scariest time in Vietnam for him was when the New Jersey was off shore and firing 16" salvos over his position. He said he had never been that scared in his life! I don't know if that was from the sound, or the air displacement, or whatever.

    Also, wasn't the German 88's some of the loudest artillery of the war? I seem to remember something about that on "Band of Brothers".
     
  10. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    - Yeah, an experienced soldier/marine could tell ALL by its sound signature: type of weapon, whos firing, the rough distance, whether they are being targeted or someone else etc etc. Counter battery was worked out by range an trajectory, a smart battery would fire and then quickly move! Sps or Self Proppelled guns are a good example of setting up, firing and then moving quickly to a new location BEFORE the counter battery retort. The grunt on the ground just kept his head down...under heavy shelling, they would get a grip on the sequence and move to where they KNEW the rounds weren't about to explode, and make their way out of the area.
     
  12. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    - Just a guess, but maybe due to the round being almost a tonne, (about the weight of a volkswagon!) And thats BEFORE it explodes...I'd be crapping my dacks!
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Well gee Terry, now that you mention it I was remiss in not including all the variables which enhance the accustic quality of loud noises. Maybe we should also include: Inversion layers, cloud cover, soil composition, fresh water, salt water, standing water, moving water, air temperature, humidity, time of day, prevailing wind, types of vegetation, amount of vegetation and how many people are around to hear it; but, I guess I just can't think of everything.

    Glad you corrected me on that.
     
  14. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Harsh...but ultimately fair call. :)
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    For some reason I'm under the impression that shorter barrels also produce louder "bangs". It could be a frequency thing if so then that could well be range dependent.

    As for the 88 I think I've read that it had a very distinctive "crack" rather than a "boom".

    My guess at the loudest would be one of the big German railroad guns although large mortars might be in the running. I have seen a 16" rifle fired and it's impressive even with no projectile and a reduced charge.

    One of the quitest firing but the loudest detonating guns were probably the ones on the USS Vesuvius. See: USS Vesuvius (1888) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
     
  16. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Lol, Jug.... Thanks Lwd. Had only heard of the dynamite gun as an artillery piece used in cavalry times. Heard that was more of a terror weapon as it relied only on blast for effect and was very inaccurate.
     
  17. Vinny Maru

    Vinny Maru Member

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    As was stated earlier, the noise level is going to be tied to the amount of propellant used in the gun. The 16 inchers used about 660 lbs in a full charge.
    The pictures shown at Do Battleships move sideways when they fire? are a good example of these guns being fired. The shock wave is about 300 feet out from the gun and were capable of doing some severe damage. At Guadalcanal the South Dakota blew it's own scout planes overboard with the muzzle blast, after first setting one afire with a blast. The Yamato 18 inchers were supposedly capable of killing an exposed person, and caused them to have to put blast shields over some of the AAA guns. Considering that the 80cm German guns used a 2500 lb charge they would probably win the loudest contest easily. The amount of noise perceived by any individual will be related to how close he is to the source. I would suspect that a short barrel would seem louder simply because a gunner would be closer to the muzzle. I think it's safe to say bigger is louder.
     
  18. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    My vote would go to the 80cm Gustav as well, amongst more common artillery, so skipping naval guns and their track mounted equivalents, the German 17cm guns are suspect, it's the only German weapon where pictures consistently show the crews protecting their ears when firing, that practice is more commonly seen in allied pics, I wonder if the German were issued ear plugs, that would be invisible in the pictures?.

    Not looking at individual guns, the soviet practice of lining up the guns axle to axle, they obviously were not much afraid of counter battery fire, would make for a big bang too, same goes for the allied TOT (Time On Target) tactics that timed the firing to have all shells arriving at the same time to maximize shock.

    AFAIK blowing the scout planes to bits was a pretty common occurrence.
     
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  19. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Great thread, some old soldier told me you never hear the one with your name on it (how he come to that conclusion I dont know), do rockets such as the Nebelwefers and Katyushas come under this section, they seemed very loud when they are shown on TV.
    Can I break away a second and ask if anyone can tell me how you salute a person, there have been some very helpfull folks on this site who have been very kind and I just want to show my gratatude in a salute.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Ulithi, I was along for the day when Missouri test fired her main battery for the first time after coming out of mothballs. When we got back into Long Beach we heard new reports of a "non-quake quake" in SoCal. Seems people were reporting earthquakes when the seismos weren't picking up anything. We compared the times and had a good chuckle. We had a sexy talking head from KTLA shooting on the dock the next morning, with the forward battery looming over her head. She had to keep reminding herself to not duck under those rifles.

    Back to the OP. The folks in Sevastopol reportedly had a drill. When Gustav/Dora would fire they would look around to see which city block was going to disappear next.
     
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