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  • phaze
    started a topic Small arms ammunition consumption.

    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.

  • Cult Icon
    replied
    the book "stalin's nemesis" has further statistics and analysis on this topic. The author was interested in such things as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • phaze
    replied
    Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
    In thousands. So several billion cartridges expended each year vs less than a billion expended by the ETOUSA in 11 months.
    Originally posted by Karri View Post

    Seems to be in thousands. So, billions of rounds not millions of rounds.


    Google found me this:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...Amw/edit#gid=0

    From this discussion:
    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...in-ww2.308559/
    That would explain it, thanks. And for the enlightening links also.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karri
    replied
    Reading a Finnish paper on this, and it makes it pretty clear that increase artillery numbers and likewise increased calibre of these guns led to decrease in small arms ammo expenditure(even though these grew in number too). Likewise, doctrine changes seem to have had a significant effect as well(fighting tempo increased considerably).

    Leave a comment:


  • Artyom_A
    replied
    Originally posted by phaze View Post
    I can buy that the allies expended more, but surely 60 American divisions didn't use 100x more of it than either Soviets or Germans ? Is the latter data in hundreds or is there some coma in the former I'm not seeing ?
    In thousands. So several billion cartridges expended each year vs less than a billion expended by the ETOUSA in 11 months.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karri
    replied
    Originally posted by phaze View Post

    But I have trouble squaring that data with the western allied one. I can buy that the allies expended more, but surely 60 American divisions didn't use 100x more of it than either Soviets or Germans ? Is the latter data in hundreds or is there some coma in the former I'm not seeing ?
    Seems to be in thousands. So, billions of rounds not millions of rounds.


    Google found me this:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...Amw/edit#gid=0

    From this discussion:
    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...in-ww2.308559/

    Leave a comment:


  • phaze
    replied
    Originally posted by Emtos View Post




    British: 23337629 Vickers .303 VIII Z in Western Europe 44-45
    Thank you ! This is some great stuff. Soviet&German numbers would probably imply some 2-3x greater amount of rifle/mg ammo expended by the Germans though in combat that would be to some degree alleviated by the massive difference in the smg ammo.

    But I have trouble squaring that data with the western allied one. I can buy that the allies expended more, but surely 60 American divisions didn't use 100x more of it than either Soviets or Germans ? Is the latter data in hundreds or is there some coma in the former I'm not seeing ?

    Been also scanning through 21 army group history but didn't find anything beyond artillery numbers:

    Leave a comment:


  • 82redleg
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Many Divisions equipped with the M 3 in their 3 Cannon Companies had them grouped together as an ad hoc 4th 105 Battalion.

    Pruitt
    More likely linked into the FA battalion, effectively providing a fourth firing battery, although somewhat limited. Creating a fourth battalion would require an additional battalion staff created out of hide, and grouping three companies from three different regiments into an organization that would likely be operating away from at least two of the regiments due to the short rang of the M3. I've never read of this being done.

    What I've actually read about happing fairly often was putting the regimental cannon company under the fire direction of the direct support FA battalion. Since the FA battalion is set up to control extra firing units, additional structure is not required. And since the FA battalion is operating in support of the regiment, you don't place extra logistical burdens on the regiment to support a geographically separated company.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Many Divisions equipped with the M 3 in their 3 Cannon Companies had them grouped together as an ad hoc 4th 105 Battalion.

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    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. 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.
    Actually, the US didn't use many mortars. The regimental guns were the M3 105 howitzer.



    The only widely used mortar was the M2 60mm. 81mm mortars were relatively scarce. Usually just 3 at the Battalion HQ Company.

    At company level, the US infantry company usually carried forward as much ammunition as they could manage. In particular, veteran companies had every man carrying 2 60mm mortar bombs for the company mortars. They also used the 7 available jeeps to haul ammo forward whenever possible.

    The 4.2" mortar was only found in chemical weapons battalions, a corps unit that could be attached to divisions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pruitt
    replied
    Explain how YOU think that works?

    Pruitt

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  • Emtos
    replied
    And ? It doesn't prevents the commanders and logistics to know which type of weapons were issued and how much ammo they used.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pruitt
    replied
    Originally posted by Emtos View Post
    The reports for deliveries to different units certainly.
    Not so much. Infantry units can have Rifles that can be supplied by Bandolier, or magazined ammo. Automatic Rifles could be resupplied by Bandolier or magazined ammo. Machine guns are also present in Infantry units and they could be given belted ammo or the belts could be refilled from Bandoliers. Even support units could be armed with a mixture of Rifles, Carbines, BAR's and Machine Guns. This is not the old Red Army where they had Battalions formed with the same weapon.

    Pruitt

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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