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How do you aim a Katyusha launcher?

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  • #16
    MRLs are another form of artillery and use the same basic methods.

    Somewhere on the launch rail superstructure there will be a mount for a dial sight possibly with range and angle of sight scales and levelling bubble, this was the normal Soviet sighting arrangement. The sights may have been removed before firing.

    The dial sight would have been oriented using a director type instrument oriented in a centre of arc or zero line. Calculations, or more likely measurement of bearing and range from the map was probably at battalion level.

    A ranging gun would have acted as a rangefinder. The difference between rocket and shell ballistics was such that the effects of meteor on projectiles would have been somewhat different so the correction derived would have been approximate.

    With BM 21 a low level wind measuring system was sometimes used, I've no idea if such arrangements were used earlier.

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    • #17
      This: From this thread may have some relevance to the question

      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...t=74742&page=2

      You can inquire about the original source there.

      [Quote/]Aleksandr F. Panuev
      Officer in a Guards Mortar unit link



      Q: Did you have a howitzer for zeroing in?
      A: No need for it.

      Q: So you mean it was available but not used?
      A: No. The howitzer was only given to Flerov's unit due to lack of experience (red. Flerov - the commander of the first Guards Mortar unit). Naturally it was practically never used. It is because we quickly realized that with the given magnitude of dispersion it is quite difficult to miss the target. The barrage order comes from either battery or regiment commander. I am always asking about dislocation of our forces and the concentration of the enemy forces. I need a big target, I am not going to target a machine gun nest - we have normal artillery for that. My target is concentration of infantry. An enemy battalion concentrating for attack, that is my target. Or tank battalion advancing to attack position. Or something else big, like supply depot. Such target are easy to cover considering the salvo spreading across 20-30 hectares. So the howitzer has no meaning. The good salvo spreading and precise map - all you need.
      ...
      If you want to hit the target with conventional artillery, then the artillery commander first tells you that he has not data and he needs to zero in on target. This is the signal to the enemy to seek cover. Taking cover takes 15-20 seconds. So maybe 1-2 shells will land on the enemy position before they take cover. But I can send 120 rocket in the same 15-20 seconds. This worked well in 1941 and 1942. But in 1943 the Germans went to defensive war. So the first and second German lines dug in and our M-13 rocket was useless. We could be effective agaist enemy artillry positions as they were not dug in. Also against large structures like large command centers - to disrupt communication lines. Against reserve units and rear supply units - those usually are softer targets. But for braking through the first lines we needed a heavier rockets , such as M-30 and later M-31.[Quote/]
      Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 10 Dec 11, 13:37.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by the ace View Post
        So you'd use similar calculations to those of conventional artillery,then, FS ?
        A rocket round is no different than an mortar round. The propelling charge is the same in each round delivering the same velocity the range for which can be adjusted the same as a mortar or gun/howitzer round by increasing or decreasing the elevation of the launch rail. The range is calculated with a simple graph chart, with the range on one side and the elevation on the other. Rocket rounds are not as accurate as Artillery and act in flight more like a mortar round because they are slower and more affected by windage and humidity. They are "area" weapons that deliver a concentrated bombardment in a sector rather than a point. The Soviets referred to them as a "stun" weapon.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by the ace View Post
          So you'd use similar calculations to those of conventional artillery,then, FS ?
          I would imagine that they used something like this;
          Last edited by SRV Ron; 13 Jul 17, 05:50.
          “Breaking News,”

          “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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          • #20
            Originally posted by SRV Ron View Post
            I would imagine that they used something like this;
            A calculator disc ? Makes sense.
            Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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            • #21
              Originally posted by the ace View Post
              A calculator disc ? Makes sense.
              Here is another style. Set the line on the slide on the estimated range, then read the elevation to set the tube, the time of flight for fuze setting, & other fun facts off the various scales. There are two seperate range lines/scales visable on the 'stick' (artillery slang), one for a single powder charge & the other for three bags. (Isn't this fun! )
              Attached Files

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              • #22
                Ever try to calculate flash exposure manually ?
                Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by the ace View Post
                  Ever try to calculate flash exposure manually ?
                  I dont remember the term in our lexicon. What are you refering to?

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                  • #24
                    Using electronic flashguns in photography. That's why most have calculator dials/charts built in, or just let you select auto. I have worked it out manually in extreme cases, but it's no fun.
                    Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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                    • #25
                      Ach! I thought you were refering to a technique for location of cannon by their flash at night

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Michel View Post
                        A rocket round is no different than an mortar round. The propelling charge is the same in each round delivering the same velocity the range for which can be adjusted the same as a mortar or gun/howitzer round by increasing or decreasing the elevation of the launch rail.
                        Sorry if I may be picky. Let me clarify; A rocket is very different from a mortar, but as they are both high angled trajectory weapons the ways of calculating accuracy is similar. Thing is that elevation dictates more the accuracy and the amount of driving propellant on the mortar or howitzers round dictates the more the range. The rocket has only a one step (?) internal engine hence range can only be adjusted by elevation.

                        / Pappy
                        "Charley Dont´t Surf."

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Pappy View Post
                          .... The rocket has only a one step (?) internal engine hence range can only be adjusted by elevation.
                          "Charge" would be a clearer term for the artillery folk like myself. (For those who are not following this: Most mortars & cannon have multiple propellant packages that can be removed when used to aid in varying the range, reduce the sound and flash, and reduce wear on the cannon.)

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