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  • Small arms ammunition consumption.

    Well, the title says it all really, I'm looking for any kind of reliable numbers on small arms ammunition consumption among the armies of the period. Truth be told, I'm mostly trying to see if the adoption of MG34/MG42 at squad level, translated itself into a higher volume of fire and ammo requirements as compared to the other combatants. As such data from lower unit levels like infantry battalions and stuff; to omit ammo expended on higher levels or machine guns in cars, tanks and for anti-aircraft purposes would be the best though that's probably fool's errand. My own efforts have been unsuccessful, so any kind of info, even on more macroeconomic level would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Have you tried searching for the term "weight of fire"? The Germans tried to integrate heavy weapons into smaller units than the other countries did.

    Example- The attachment of a MG 34 to the squad (later MG 42). Germans trained the Riflemen to take carefully aimed fire at their enemy. At this time most enemy Squads had only bolt action rifles and a automatic rifle in their squads. German Infantry also carried a belt or two of Machine Gun Ammo.
    Company level you would see a squad of MG 34 or MG 42set up on tripods instead of bipods. This provided high amounts of aimed fire into the enemy.
    Battalion level you would see two 15cm and four 7.5cm Infantry Guns adding to the direct fire.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      there was a website that went into TOE details and graphs but I don't remember what it was.

      MG ammo was a major part of german ammo supply. The Soviets counted "bayonets", the germans counted "MGs"

      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post

        Battalion level you would see two 15cm and four 7.5cm Infantry Guns adding to the direct fire.

        I'm .pretty sure those 150 and 75 mms guns were at the regimental level.


        Pruitt
        "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
        Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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        • #5
          You are right about 15cm and 7.5 cm guns being in a regimental level company. These were Infantry Guns and not the same as the equivalent field guns and howitzers. They could be manhandled forward a bit. The Field Guns and Howitzers were heavy and needed trucks or draft animals to move them. The IG 18 weighed only 880 pounds and the IG 33 came in at 4000 pounds
          SIG-33_01.jpg450px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-219-0594-33,_Russland-Mitte-Süd,_Infanteriegeschütz.jpg
          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            The 1939 German Heavy Weapons Company had 8 Heavy MG 34 and six 8.1 cm Mortars.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #7
              I dunno what the English term is, but there should be something like a "fire ration". For finns in winter war one fire ration was 45 bullets for rifle around 400 for smg and 2000 for hmg. That's a quick google search so dunno how accurate.
              Wisdom is personal

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              • #8
                I have seen the term, "unit of fire" used to describe how much ammo the generals think they will use in a day of combat.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                  You are right about 15cm and 7.5 cm guns being in a regimental level company. These were Infantry Guns and not the same as the equivalent field guns and howitzers. They could be manhandled forward a bit. The Field Guns and Howitzers were heavy and needed trucks or draft animals to move them. The IG 18 weighed only 880 pounds and the IG 33 came in at 4000 pounds
                  t
                  The funny thing about those guns was.... everyone else was using or would use heavy mortars to do the same thing. Much lighter, cheaper and far faster to lay a barrage with once you had the range.

                  That might SEEM like the smart way to go, but you can't take a mortar and put it in an assault-gun then go dashing up and blast the bejeezus out of the enemy with direct fire. The Germans did that, with both of those guns, and in large numbers.
                  Guess they had the last laugh after all.
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                    The funny thing about those guns was.... everyone else was using or would use heavy mortars to do the same thing.
                    Ehm:
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_howitzer
                    My understanding is that infantry guns were designed to knockout small targets like MG nests. Being inherently more accurate than mortars they were better suited for this role. Also consider employment against tanks or in street fighting to throw shells into buildings windows (something mortars weren't able to do)

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                    • #11




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                      • #12
                        I don't understand how they could tell who was using the 30 Caliber cartridges. Sure some were on bandoleers and some was packed in magazines and some was linked, but soldiers used whatever reached them. It might be hard to reload canvas links with ammo delivered in bandoleers. I wonder if it was broken down further?

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                        • #13
                          The reports for deliveries to different units certainly.
                          There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by phaze View Post
                            Well, the title says it all really, I'm looking for any kind of reliable numbers on small arms ammunition consumption among the armies of the period. Truth be told, I'm mostly trying to see if the adoption of MG34/MG42 at squad level, translated itself into a higher volume of fire and ammo requirements as compared to the other combatants. As such data from lower unit levels like infantry battalions and stuff; to omit ammo expended on higher levels or machine guns in cars, tanks and for anti-aircraft purposes would be the best though that's probably fool's errand. My own efforts have been unsuccessful, so any kind of info, even on more macroeconomic level would be appreciated.
                            The addition of any type of automatic weapon increases ammo consumption exponentially. MG's are especially hungry beasts.

                            This is even true of modern semi-auto assault rifles that fire three round bursts. Each shot is triple the ammo consumption of a conventional rifle. When I trained with the M14 it gave me 20 rounds of aimed fire, but the M16 only gave me 7 "shots" of three rounds each out of the same twenty round magazine capacity.

                            The modern trend towards "spray and pray" assault weapons consumes incredible amount of ammunition for each kill accomplished. Much of the ammunition is, in fact, expended solely as "suppressing fire" designed to keep the enemy's head down until you can get close enough to to actually kill him.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                              Ehm:
                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_howitzer
                              My understanding is that infantry guns were designed to knockout small targets like MG nests. Being inherently more accurate than mortars they were better suited for this role. Also consider employment against tanks or in street fighting to throw shells into buildings windows (something mortars weren't able to do)
                              The infantry gun seems to have had some issues as it was expensive to maintain compared to mortars and was a bit "neither here nor there" (intermediate class ). It was neither a great direct fire weapon or a great artillery piece.

                              From memory from reading various materials.. they generally didn't do direct fire that close (like the soviets did) - the IG still retained a significant distance. The germans retained the weapons class, however, as the war went on the IG lost out to the huge proliferation of mortars, and then the 120mm class (copied from the Soviets).

                              The German MGs and mortars were the core of their fighting power in 44-45. They were more reliably available than artillery.
                              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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