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Red Army Division strength 1943-45

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    Yes, I gathered the July date from the chart linked above, tho it is nice to have it confirmed. What I was asking was when did this originate? Was it the result of long term planning underway for many months, or from plannig initiated just weeks earlier?
    It was an emergency measure. Since it was issued right after the GKO Order dated 19 July to form over 80 new rifle divisions, I suspect it was a direct result of looking at the requirements for that many new formations and realizing that there weren't enough artillery, antitank, or infantry weapons available or 'in the pipeline' to form the new units - hence the drastic reductions in all of them in the new shtat issued 10 days later.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    You have seen or have documents showing the duties of the individuals in this company? ...a description of how it functioned when planning & controling artillery attacks?
    Alas, I do not have a copy of the prewar Artillery Staff Manual: I am infering it based on what the rifle divisional artillery was supposed to be able to do with and without it. I have several of the post-war Artillery Manuals in DTIC translation, but they reflect wartime 'lessons learned'. Volz referenced such a manual in one of his articles, but he found it in the German archives in Europe, and any such captured by the Wehrmacht seem to have been returned to Germany, because I've found no trace of them in the National Archives. Still looking.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    What would it take to put a copy of that chapter into my possesion?
    It is in Michael Parrish (ed) "The Battle for Moscow: the 1942 Soviet General Staff Study" ISBN 0080359779, published 1989 by Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, Inc, London. Chapter 5, "Combat Work of the Artillery in the Winter of 1942" . The chapter is only about 13 pages long, so I'll see if I can get it scanned for you this next week.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    I guess "unlimited amounts" depends on your PoV. During much of that period Bradley was complaining about having to ration the artillery ammunition.
    A lot depends on whether you are on the giving or receiving end as to whether there is a serious ammunition shortage. One German POW in northern Europe in the late summer of 1944 swore that every American gun fired a 100 rounds a day, whether or not it had a target at all! That was his perception, and one reason he gave himself up, but it was not, of course, reality.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    I suspose the mathematics could be a bit tough, but I have the impression the French artillery Groupment staff could have worked it out in a spare moment. For us the mathematics had long been taken care of.
    I gather the specialist work was on the more advanced calculations needed for accurate triangulation, sound and flash ranging, crater analysis and other counter battery techniques.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    Both Adamcyzk & Lubbeck describe digging deep and deeper. Draft horses or the tow vehicles were dispersed far from the guns. Log roofed bunkers with bursting pans above, and the cannon in deep pits. From Adamczyks descriptions it appears the CB fires were frequent & sustained, but not very dense.
    It depended on who you were facing. Against the 4th Guards or 8th Cannon Artillery Divisions, an unfortunate German artillery battery might receive the attention of a 'fire strike' by a half-brigade of 152mm gun-howitzers, which would be very dense indeed. If, on the other hand, the intent was merely to harass and neutralize rather than destroy, they might get 3 - 4 rounds at a time for an hour or more - just enough to keep heads down and disrupt rate of fire until events forced them to shut down and displace. Post-war manuals specified rates of fire by weapon for neutralizing or destructive fire for all sorts of enemy weapons and positions, and the bulk of that data was derived from wartime experience - at least up until the late 1960s, the GPW was the Soviet Army's 'data base'.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      It was an emergency measure. Since it was issued right after the GKO Order dated 19 July to form over 80 new rifle divisions, I suspect it was a direct result of looking at the requirements for that many new formations and realizing that there weren't enough artillery, antitank, or infantry weapons available or 'in the pipeline' to form the new units - hence the drastic reductions in all of them in the new shtat issued 10 days later.
      Another effect of the general mobilization then.

      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      Alas, I do not have a copy of the prewar Artillery Staff Manual: I am infering it based on what the rifle divisional artillery was supposed to be able to do with and without it. I have several of the post-war Artillery Manuals in DTIC translation, but they reflect wartime 'lessons learned'. Volz referenced such a manual in one of his articles, but he found it in the German archives in Europe, and any such captured by the Wehrmacht seem to have been returned to Germany, because I've found no trace of them in the National Archives. Still looking.
      You looked at Ft Sill?

      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      It is in Michael Parrish (ed) "The Battle for Moscow: the 1942 Soviet General Staff Study" ISBN 0080359779, published 1989 by Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, Inc, London. Chapter 5, "Combat Work of the Artillery in the Winter of 1942" . The chapter is only about 13 pages long, so I'll see if I can get it scanned for you this next week.
      I'll be grateful.

      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      A lot depends on whether you are on the giving or receiving end as to whether there is a serious ammunition shortage. One German POW in northern Europe in the late summer of 1944 swore that every American gun fired a 100 rounds a day, whether or not it had a target at all! That was his perception, and one reason he gave himself up, but it was not, of course, reality.
      Reminds me of the 'automatic cannon' stories. I think much of the German perception comes from the technique of massing multiple batteries or battalions on a single target. I've seen similar complaints from the Germans in specific cases of the French artillery of 1940. From my school days at Ft Sill there is a assumption or conclusion that 36 projectiles simultaneous from nine batterys will have a larger effect than twice that fired from two or three batteries. It follows the unfortunates under this fire would often think the volume of ammunition a lot higher than actually the case.

      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      I gather the specialist work was on the more advanced calculations needed for accurate triangulation, sound and flash ranging, crater analysis and other counter battery techniques.
      Translating the ships fire control from the naval techniques to indirect fire techniques from a distant observer might have required this help. I dont know how much preperation for this would have been done prewar. Firing under the control of a distant FO is a different gunnery technique than under control of a shipboard gun director with LoS to the target.

      Survey and map accuracy in the Lennigrad are may have been lacking. The aid from the university mathmatics dept would have been helpfull.

      Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
      It depended on who you were facing. Against the 4th Guards or 8th Cannon Artillery Divisions, an unfortunate German artillery battery might receive the attention of a 'fire strike' by a half-brigade of 152mm gun-howitzers, which would be very dense indeed. If, on the other hand, the intent was merely to harass and neutralize rather than destroy, they might get 3 - 4 rounds at a time for an hour or more - just enough to keep heads down and disrupt rate of fire until events forced them to shut down and displace.
      Lubbecks 13th company would not have been a high priority target for those heavyweights. He was probablly unaware of that war. Adamcyzk mostly describes the slow paced 'suppresive' fires.

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      • #18
        Originally Posted by Sharposhnikov
        It is in Michael Parrish (ed) "The Battle for Moscow: the 1942 Soviet General Staff Study" ISBN 0080359779, published 1989 by Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, Inc, London. Chapter 5, "Combat Work of the Artillery in the Winter of 1942" . The chapter is only about 13 pages long, so I'll see if I can get it scanned for you this next week.

        That is interesting & I skimmed though it. First thing that caught my eye was the focus on top down activity. There were several remarks about the need to improve the flow of information and direction or orders from the Army artillery HQ to the division artillery. Nothing about the flow of information, target requirements, from the division artillery upwards. Elsewhere there are remarks about the lack of target information, and the formation of "artillery reconisance units" as part of the Army Arty. HQ.

        There are several ways to interpret those two items. As usual more questions are or will generated to find the best explination.

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