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Was artillery as intense during battles as tv and movies about world war 2 suggest?

Discussion in 'Counter-Battery Fire' started by OpanaPointer, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. OpanaPointer

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

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    Most of the shells fired were to keep the enemy down or make them run. "A Bridge Too Far" has a good rolling barrage. The first rounds fall short of the treeline held by the Germans. Each succeeding shell came closer and closer to the trees. When the Germans knew the next round would fall directly on their lines some of them ran, some stayed alert and some just went to the bottom of their holes and sucked their thumbs. You have to live it to fully understand. About fifty years ago I came to understand that a young man with a radio can be quite deadly.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    While machine guns were the big killers in WW1, artillery and mortars were caused the most casualties in WW2. The Japanese had artillery too and if they could keep it from being destroyed by our preparatory fires and air attacks , then they shot back at US/Allied forces until their ammo ran out. One of the big jobs of artillery is to destroy the enemy's artillery (counter-battery fire). Most infantry attacks and even infantry/armor attacks can be broken up and/or stopped by arty concentrations so counter-battery fire was of great importance.

    One of the biggest mistakes made by the Allies, especially in Italy, was to have these huge concentrations of artillery and air strikes, but then not attacking immediately afterwards. This gave the Germans time to reorganize their defences.
     
  3. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn Member

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    Pretty tough to know what you "felt." How can that be measured? If something can't be measured, how can it be compared to something else that you also lack data on? Having an opinion is fine; asking others to help you resolve inner struggles is not.
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    In real life there is almost nothing worse than being under IDF (indirect fire), much of that is related to the fact that you really can't do anything but hunker down and pray you don't get hit. It is also drummed into your head that 75% of casualties are due to fragmentation weapons.

    As for series "The Pacific", the biggest barrage is the one in episode two at Guadalcanal. In real life the Japanese came down the slot and bombarded the Marines for an hour and 23 minutes with two battleships, a light cruiser and nine destroyers. 973 14" (356mm) shells were fired. To put that in perspective US light mortars are 60mm, heavy mortars 81mm, standard field artillery 105mm and heavy 155mm, each shell weighed 1378 lbs! That is the action depicted and was the worst of the bombardments, but there were others where cruisers and/or destroyers bombarded the perimeter with thousands of 8" (actually 7.9in 200mm, 277lb shells) and 4.7" (120mm, 45lb shell) shells at different times.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

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

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    Iwo got a few love taps too.
     
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Small point, the Japanese used 20cm/7.9" guns on ships in the 1920s but upgraded to 203mm/8", the largest caliber permitted under the Washington treaty for cruisers or aircraft carriers. This allowed them to increase shell weight from 242 to 277lb. The new guns were designated 20cm Type 2. By the outbreak of the Pacific war, the only
    ships still carrying Type 1 were Akagi and Kaga; apparently they realized that maximizing gunpower on carriers was not a priority.

    Older destroyers like the Kamikaze or Mutsuki classes carried 4.7" guns, but frontline fleet destroyers like the Fubuki or Kagero had 5".

    I doubt the folks on the receiving end appreciated the difference!
     
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  7. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Thank you, learned something today. !!!! That's why you're one of my go to guys in things naval.
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Staff Member Patron  

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    WW1 and no sound but you can imagine what it felt like.

     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    This is German, but it has sound.

     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Well, reading about the European warfare, the Red Army really had a powerful artillery section and used it as well.
     
  11. Owen

    Owen O

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    I have read that some Germans captured by the British said the artillery barrages they endured in Normandy were worse than anything they'd faced in the East.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

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

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    Both Rommel and von Rundstedt noted in the KTB that the naval gunfire was the biggest obstacle to moving troops on and after D-Day.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I am amazed that the Germans could do what they did at all. For instance the 21st panzer division counterattacked between Juno and Sword beaches and also almost managed to reach the beach.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

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

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    Where it would be flanked and exposed to the heavy ships with a bead on the target.
     
  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Australian Field artillery...PNG 44 - RAA [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    'Where right and glory lead'.
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Soviet summer offensive 1944 and the Karelian isthmus:

    The storm broke on 9 June in the Valkeasaari (western) sector of 10th Division.The Soviets had 300 guns firing per kilometre and they fired over 80,000 rounds on the Karelian Isthmus that day. Badly maintained positions dug in sandy terrain collapsed and minefields exploded.

    Hobby
     
  17. Owen

    Owen O

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    The thread starter doesn't care about our answers.
    On Thursday they edited "applinked" into their post.
    Dont click on it.

    I suspect they copy & pasted their question from an old thread.
    Seen spammers do that before.
     
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  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Artillery was probably far worse than portrayed by Hollywood. Movies are constrained by time, space and money. There is a limit to how much CGI can be spent creating the effects of thousands of fragments of shell casings. Most "artillery" Is represented by charges set in the ground, so solid shot, airburst and shrapnel are ignored.

    Nor can the fear be reproduced. I included a few pages in my book on the Royal Artillery in Normandy about the experience of incoming and outgoing fire.

    This is from Ernest Powdrill's memoir In The Face of the Enemy
    Powdrill Chapter 6

    This is from George Blackburn's Guns of Normandy
     
  19. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Otto may have removed the OP (good eye Owen), but there's a lot of good replies and information here. People responded with their ideas and impressions.
     
  20. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    Just an anecdote on artillery fire. My mother worked in a newspaper office in Nancy, France. This was during the Nazi occupation. The night before liberation, the barrage was so loud and constant, she had a hard time sleeping. When she went to work the next morning, the Nazis had all vanished. She then knew that the Americans were coming.
     

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