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Mortars - 7/29/2011 8:28:10 AM   
Tarhunnas


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Continued from "The Anti Bolshevik Crusade".

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

I don't see why mortars should be so different from other artillery? Mortars are just another form of artillery, somewhat shorter range, worse accuracy and higher rate of fire, but not all that different from other artillery.


They tend to fire more often. For some reason, I rarely see artillery fire again when the attacker closes in on the defender, but mortars fire more often. The 120mm mortar in particular is deadly because it has an extra chance to fire due to its range compared to the smaller mortars. 85 morale/experience howitzers seem to fire one salvo and then they call it a day, but the Soviet 50 morale/experience mortar teams try to fire whenever they can. Infantry guns don't seem to hit much at range either. Currently, the reduced accuracy of mortars/low chance to hit for mediocre experience elements is more than compensated by the rate of fire and by the fact that a hit tends to whack an entire squad, at least for the 120mm's.

quote:

One thing for sure when I get back to my Russian game; a lot of mortar units are getting built.


That's a good idea not just for their effectiveness, but also because mortar battalions/regiments are much cheaper to keep up to strength than artillery regiments, because you can fill an entire battalion/regiment for the armament cost of about five 122mm or 152mm howitzers.


It seems mortars appear to be overrated in WITE then?

Historically mortars have advantages and disadvantages. They are cheaper than regular artillery, have high rates of fire and are easy to move, but lack range and accuracy. Mortars are a kind of poor mans artillery, and most artillerymen prefer real guns.

What mortars are particularly unsuited for is counter battery fire, due to their lack of range and accuracy. Given that artillery fire accounts for the majority of casualties, knocking out the other sides artillery has high priority, and that deficiency is a pretty big minus for mortars.

Mortars did become more common during the war, and volksgrenadier divisions for example had a high proportion of mortars. That can be seen as a result of lowering quality, the Germans being interested in cost effective firepower and not quality.

Edit: That last didn't come out right, I am not saying mortars are bad or anything, just that they offered cheap and effective firepower but had their limitations.


< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 7/29/2011 9:32:03 AM >
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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 8:57:47 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

I know the Germans hated the 120mm mortar with a passion and were very fast to put captured stocks in use, which in turn led to the Western Allies hating them as well. Must be a reason behind it, but I don't know about causing 1/2 to 2/3rds of all casualties.



Not saying that is wrong. However, anecdotal evidence like that only go so far. For example, Allied troops hated the Tiger tank, yet they were expensive to produce and had drawbacks, and conventional wisdom is that Germany would have been better served by building more of other tanks.

Mortars are effective, no doubt about that, but if they cause casualties on the rate that is claimed, something seems wrong.

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 9:09:31 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

Currently, it's common that mortars cause 2/3 to 3/4 of the casualties.



Do you mean in WITE or real war?

quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

I recall a figure of 57% to British forces in Normandy, but that might be my memory messing with me.



I am a little doubtful how such a figure could be arrived at. Telling if a wound is caused by artillery or small arms fire is usually easy, and there are lots of statistics available on that, but telling if a shrapnel wound is from a mortar or some other kind of artillery would take forensic analysis that I doubt was performed for every wounded in Normandy. Further, to make it meaningful, one would have to compare it to the proportion of mortars in the German artillery. And is that 57% of all casualties or 57% of casualties from indirect fire?

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 11:27:22 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
I am a little doubtful how such a figure could be arrived at. Telling if a wound is caused by artillery or small arms fire is usually easy, and there are lots of statistics available on that, but telling if a shrapnel wound is from a mortar or some other kind of artillery would take forensic analysis that I doubt was performed for every wounded in Normandy. Further, to make it meaningful, one would have to compare it to the proportion of mortars in the German artillery. And is that 57% of all casualties or 57% of casualties from indirect fire?


Losses from mortar fire were really high, because of the nature of the terrain. Too often Normandy combatants found themselves staging their attacks from sunken roads corsetted with bocage and it was too easy that someone spotted or heard them calling up a quick mortar barrage. British troops called these quick, focused mortar barrages "stonks".

About the numbers, well, I sort of remember reading a similar figure to the one ComradeP invokes from his memory, perhaps on Beevor's D-Day (which is not really the most precise of books).

Regardless of what happened at Normandy - a quite special place - we were discussing a battle involving 9 german divisions vs. 3 soviet divisions at what WiTE models as clear terrain. My intuition is that the nature of the tactical combat simulation - fire and maneuver phases, where the attacker closes range, gets fired, and fires back - might be distorting somewhat the actual efficiency of certain weapon systems both on the attack and the defense.

I don't see mortars as particularly good defensive weapons, unless - as ComradeP pointed out on his answer to my post - the attacker can be "channeled" into confined space (or just got pinned down because of defensive fire), or attacker staging areas are either guessed or uncovered by recon.

On the attack, mortars can be real killers, since the defender will remain static for longer periods of time.

I think that mortars on the defense should be toned down a little bit.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 7/29/2011 11:34:57 AM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 11:35:14 AM   
Keke


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Current, exaggerated lethality of mortars is the main factor in distorted casualty rates and ratios. Obviously something should be done about it.

< Message edited by Keke -- 7/29/2011 11:37:09 AM >


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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 12:01:37 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Do you mean in WITE or real war?


In WitE, although the figure might be different for Rifle corps as they are packing more heavy weapons than their smaller counterparts. A few dozen mortars can fairly easily add a few hundred casualties to a battle, sometimes even over 1000 if there are enough mortars and they get to fire more often.

quote:


I am a little doubtful how such a figure could be arrived at. Telling if a wound is caused by artillery or small arms fire is usually easy, and there are lots of statistics available on that, but telling if a shrapnel wound is from a mortar or some other kind of artillery would take forensic analysis that I doubt was performed for every wounded in Normandy. Further, to make it meaningful, one would have to compare it to the proportion of mortars in the German artillery. And is that 57% of all casualties or 57% of casualties from indirect fire?


Well, the Germans had only small amount of artillery in Normandy on any part of the front aside from near Caen but plenty of mortars. There are ways to determine whether you're being hit by a mortar barrage, such as whether you hear the shells coming and whether conventional artillery firing in a "parabolic" pattern would be able to hit your position. In Normandy, the answer to the last question was often "no", which is also why the overwhelming Allied firepower mostly came into play when the Germans were (counter)attacking and not when they were defending as it was nigh impossible to accurately target their defensive positions in the bocage.

quote:

On the attack, mortars can be real killers, since the defender will remain static for longer periods of time.


The odd thing is that heavy weapons for the attacker are underwhelming in the game currently, as little accurate fire is given before the range closes to less than 500 meters. This denies the Germans their historical advantage of having infantry guns whilst their opponents often had no (direct fire) heavy weapons in their infantry units that could do nearly as much damage on the tactical level. A sIG 33 is perfectly capable of ruining your day at a distance of a few hundred meters, but that doesn't seem to be happening much in the game. Defender casualties only really start to increase at 125 meters or so when the infantry and lighter support weapons can get into the battle.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 7/29/2011 12:02:38 PM >


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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 12:39:36 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
quote:

On the attack, mortars can be real killers, since the defender will remain static for longer periods of time.


The odd thing is that heavy weapons for the attacker are underwhelming in the game currently, as little accurate fire is given before the range closes to less than 500 meters. This denies the Germans their historical advantage of having infantry guns whilst their opponents often had no (direct fire) heavy weapons in their infantry units that could do nearly as much damage on the tactical level. A sIG 33 is perfectly capable of ruining your day at a distance of a few hundred meters, but that doesn't seem to be happening much in the game. Defender casualties only really start to increase at 125 meters or so when the infantry and lighter support weapons can get into the battle.


That would certainly account for most of the "surprising" combat results that I've trying to get grips with. And indeed a sIG 33 can certainly ruin your day. Have you find that to happen as well to assault guns?

EDIT: How does the range close during tactical combat? I think it starts at 3000 yards and then starts diminishing. Perhaps the fire and maneuver model should be sampled at intervals which are more fair to heavy weapons.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 7/29/2011 12:41:15 PM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 1:15:47 PM   
Tarhunnas


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I am not sure there should be a difference in mortar, or other artillery effectiveness for that matter, in the attack or defense. In the defense, artillery fire against troops advancing in the open can be devastating! Yes, we have a moving target, but artillery should have preregistered barrages that are simply executed when the enemy attacks, and troops in the open are way more vulnerable to artillery than troops in any kind of field fortifications.

That said, artillery in the attack should not be underestimated either. Artillery is extremely important in the attack, to suppress enemy artillery and direct fire weapons, to the point that if you don't have artillery, its almost suicidal to attack.

Mortars are much like any other artillery in these roles. They have some special traits, the steeper trajectory allegedly give them advantages in that the spread of shrapnel will cover a larger area, though I am not sure if practice really bears out the theory here, they are more effective in mountainous terrain again due to the trajectory, easier to carry around. OTOH they are lacking in range and counter battery capability.




< Message edited by Tarhunnas -- 7/29/2011 1:16:15 PM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 1:17:07 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

That would certainly account for most of the "surprising" combat results that I've trying to get grips with. And indeed a sIG 33 can certainly ruin your day. Have you find that to happen as well to assault guns?


Results with AFV's involved normally seem more reasonable, especially with some quality AFV's that have a good main gun. The defending mortars might still do a number on the accompanying infantry, though. StuG casualties are generally pretty low and they provide decent support, like most medium/heavy gun AFV's.

quote:

EDIT: How does the range close during tactical combat? I think it starts at 3000 yards and then starts diminishing. Perhaps the fire and maneuver model should be sampled at intervals which are more fair to heavy weapons.


I don't know the precise formula for how the range closes, but it depends in part on the type of terrain and the type of forces involved and even though the range might close to, say, 125 meters that doesn't mean that all combat in that particular segment is at that range. One of the reasons why the Germans lose at least one PaK 36 in most battles regardless of how good the result is seems to be that there's always something firing at it even as the range closes (the AT gun stays at a few hundred meters from the enemy infantry, but heavy weapons still try to target it).

-

Perhaps one option would be to lower medium and heavy mortar accuracy to 100 (120mm mortars are now at 250, 50mm's are at 50 and ~80mm's are at 150)

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 3:06:40 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:


quote:

EDIT: How does the range close during tactical combat? I think it starts at 3000 yards and then starts diminishing. Perhaps the fire and maneuver model should be sampled at intervals which are more fair to heavy weapons.


I don't know the precise formula for how the range closes, but it depends in part on the type of terrain and the type of forces involved and even though the range might close to, say, 125 meters that doesn't mean that all combat in that particular segment is at that range. One of the reasons why the Germans lose at least one PaK 36 in most battles regardless of how good the result is seems to be that there's always something firing at it even as the range closes (the AT gun stays at a few hundred meters from the enemy infantry, but heavy weapons still try to target it).

-

Perhaps one option would be to lower medium and heavy mortar accuracy to 100 (120mm mortars are now at 250, 50mm's are at 50 and ~80mm's are at 150)


Yes, it has a lot to do with accuracy, but also with range, or rather, at what ground elements do at each time step of ground combat resolution. Say that on clear terrain the ranges "sampled" are:

3000,1500,750,350,175,80

Which means 6 combat "steps", and at each step, attacking ground elements move forward one range "bracket". However, I understand that support elements - Tube/Rocket Arty, AT guns, mortars, HMGs - stop as soon as they reach a "minimal range" stop at that bracket.

I have a few questions about Ground Combat works:

1. Do support weapons keep firing at a normal rate when they reach their optimal range during the whole engagement? Not clear from what I can gather from section 15.6.1 in the manual, where it says:

quote:

ORIGINAL: WiTE manual
Generally, the range at which firing takes place will decrease for the ground elements such as infantry squads as they manoeuvre to come to grips with the defending ground elements, though indirect fire and longer range direct fire ground elments may continue to fire at longer range.


2. Would be helpful that for each type of ground element it has a different "engagement range profile"? (Now engagement range profiles depend only on the terrain).

3. Does the chance of hitting something depend on having moved forward in the current step? (I guess it does, and has to do with "combat fatigue")

Then, a good "behavior" for mortars and support weapons would be to close to their own optimal range and start shooting at the enemy.

A thorough example of ground combat resolution would be greatly appreciated, though I guess it's a bit impractical.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 7/29/2011 3:08:06 PM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 5:37:55 PM   
Mynok


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A very interesting point about infantry guns. Totally forgot about them. What level were they attached at in the division?

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 5:48:29 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


A very interesting point about infantry guns. Totally forgot about them. What level were they attached at in the division?


IIR, each Bn had a platoon of 75's, and each regt had a platoon of 75's and a platoon of 150's.

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 5:48:47 PM   
Pelton

 

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Suppressing enemy artillery fire during WW2 would only be done if you had planes in the air. How would they have any idea at all where the fire was coming from?

Lets not forget at the time there was zero radar to track incoming fire. So the only way to counter battery fire was by spotting the enemy guns.

Suppressing enemy artillery fire was basicly 95% done by planes spotting the enemy battery.

There should be no counter battery fire unless one side has control of the air, but there is probably no way to do this under the current game mechanics.

Pelton

< Message edited by Pelton -- 7/29/2011 5:49:15 PM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 5:49:38 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Suppressing enemy artillery fire during WW2 would only be done if you had planes in the air. How would they have any idea at all where the fire was coming from?

Lets not forget at the time there was zero radar to track incoming fire. So the only way to counter battery fire was by spotting the enemy guns.

Suppressing enemy artillery fire was basicly 95% done by planes spotting the enemy battery.

There should be now counter battery fire unless one side has control of the air, but there is probably no way to do this under the current game mechanics.

Pelton


They also had sound and flash ranging gear for locating enemy artillery.

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 5:56:09 PM   
Pelton

 

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Gun flash again can only be done if you can see the area where fire might be coming from and sound is almost usless. My father in law was in the artillery during WW2.

Very very few times did they ever have info ( spotters ) on enemy artillary locations.

Generally they only fire if they had some idea where the enemy front lines were or the Germans were attacking the lines ion some area.

Counter battery fire was just basicly not possible give the technology at the time other then out right guessing.

Basicly there is an enemy heeld town so lets fire 5000 rounds and we might hit something or a hill ect ect.

Pelton

< Message edited by Pelton -- 7/29/2011 5:57:00 PM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/29/2011 7:13:12 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Pelton, the way artillery was used differed significantly between the forces involved in WWII. If your father in law was an American artilleryman, he would've been trained to apply maximum firepower in order to keep infantry losses low, resulting in battles that in many cases started like a WWI offensive: a pounding of the presumed German positions for several hours that in most cases didn't do more than tell the Germans an attack was coming, as any kind of non-chemical or non-flammable ammunition has a limited effect on dug in troops in terms of casualties, the psychological effects outweighing the actual casualties in many instances. Allied air superiority would allow spotter planes to loiter above the battle, but those were not always available and could not always fly/spot due to weather conditions and the presence of AA guns.

Like the Soviets, the Western Allies expended huge amounts of ammunition for not always clear results. Unlike the Soviets and the Germans, the Western Allies did not use large quantities of rocket launchers so they had to saturate an area with guns only. Nearly without exception, the Western Allied artillery firepower advantage mostly resulted in high German losses when the Germans were either displaced from their position or were counterattacking. German unit density tended to be so low from late 1944 onwards that there were few targets worth the effort spend on them to begin with. There were few instances like those on the Eastern Front where a poorly deployed unit could lose virtually all of its combat effectiveness in the opening Soviet barrage and follow-up attack. The Western Allied advances were generally so slow and methodical that the Germans had the time to recover, whilst on the Eastern Front they would be overrun in a similar situation.

The Germans, with relatively speaking a much higher concentration of firepower in their divisions compared to what they had in independent unit attached to higher commands had to use very different tactics.

Bletchley_Greek: Joel or Pavel would have to give you some explanations on how exactly the range closes in and what effect that has on the behaviour of longer ranged weapons.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 3:09:06 AM   
Mynok


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Was counterbattery fire really totally dependent on spotting?


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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 7:50:54 AM   
Tarhunnas


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The Germans went to great lengths to locate enemy artillery and silence it, either with their own artillery or by air attack. They used sound and flash location effectively, together with air recon. These kind of units were common in the German army, and the Soviets used them too (Solzhenitsyn served in one BTW).

Sound and flash location was effective already during WW1. For example, when the German "Paris gun" fired, the Germans had several normal artillery batteries firing at the same time so as to mask the sound of the Paris gun so that the French shouldn't be able to locate it.

Well aware of the imortance in combat of having atrillery superiority, the Germans went to great lengths to hide their own artillery to prevent their artillery being knocked out. When preregistering targets, the Germans used a "working gun" (arbeitsgeschütz) firing from temporary locations so as not to reveal the real battery firing locations. Batteries only fired from the real locations when an important target had to be engaged, and then they regrouped to alternative firing positions after a short while.

This was all largely wasted effort on the Eastern Front, as the Soviets never developed an effective counterbattery capability, but it did help them a lot in the West, where allied counterbattery was more effective (apparently primarily using air recon). BTW you do not need spotter planes in the air, it is perfectly possible to fire on map coordinates unspotted, though the effect is naturally better when having spotters. The fall of shot can be judged by sound locator units, though spotter aircraft are of course preferrable.

German artillery was very flexible, and it was possible to shift artillery from one target to another quickly, and to call down artillery on new threats within a minute.

Soviet artillery OTOH mainly used predetermined fireplans and rolling barrages WW1 style. There is much written in memoirs etc about horrible Soviet artillery fire, and Soviet artillery was plentiful and probably made a lot of impressive noise but not very effective in causing casualties. The original War in the East book, accompanying the original boardgame, had German casualties from artillery fire on the Eastern front at 50%, while the rate for all fronts was 75-80%.

I must confess I have no idea how WITE is simulating counter battery, but IMHO there should be a counter battery step in every combat, a thorough one before even attacking, and continously during the combat as new enemy batteries are detected. At the risk of being labeled "German fanboy", I think the Germans should be much better at this than the Soviets.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 8:48:38 AM   
delatbabel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

Soviet artillery OTOH mainly used predetermined fireplans and rolling barrages WW1 style. There is much written in memoirs etc about horrible Soviet artillery fire, and Soviet artillery was plentiful and probably made a lot of impressive noise but not very effective in causing casualties. The original War in the East book, accompanying the original boardgame, had German casualties from artillery fire on the Eastern front at 50%, while the rate for all fronts was 75-80%.


Anyone who doubts the above should have a read of Antony Beevor's book on the fall of Berlin. In the approach to the city and the battles for the Seelow Heights, the soviets had concentrations of artillery approaching 1 piece per metre of front. In the hands of a capable and organised artillery system, that sort of artillery concentration should have basically turned anything in its path to shrapnel. The soviet doctrine, which was more or less a case of fire in the general direction of anything with a german accent, was a case of quantity rather than quality.


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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 10:59:30 AM   
Jakerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
German artillery was very flexible, and it was possible to shift artillery from one target to another quickly, and to call down artillery on new threats within a minute.


Not many people know but finnish artillery had best doctrine and fire control tactics for artillery during World War 2.

Nenonen developed the Finnish Army's artillery and tactics that proved decisive in the defensive victory in the Battle of Tali-Ihantala. The trajectory calculation formulas he developed are still in use today by all modern artillery.

Finnish artillery tactics was major reason why Finns remained only nation in the losing side witch capital was never occupied.

Soviet had 450 000 men attacking in Finland in their 1944 summer Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive witch suffered staggering 260 000 men casulties in dead and wounded and just gained few kilometers of finnish ground. Most casulties came from Finnish artillery fire. It was also on of the only battle where Finnish artillery did not suffer from ammo shortages.

Finnish casulties were high too about 70 000 in dead and wounded but still casulty ratio 1 finnish casulty caused about 3,7 soviet casulties was much better ratio than what germans could archive against soviet in 1944 operations.

< Message edited by Jakerson -- 7/30/2011 11:01:21 AM >

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:40:26 AM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

Soviet artillery OTOH mainly used predetermined fireplans and rolling barrages WW1 style. There is much written in memoirs etc about horrible Soviet artillery fire, and Soviet artillery was plentiful and probably made a lot of impressive noise but not very effective in causing casualties. The original War in the East book, accompanying the original boardgame, had German casualties from artillery fire on the Eastern front at 50%, while the rate for all fronts was 75-80%.


Anyone who doubts the above should have a read of Antony Beevor's book on the fall of Berlin. In the approach to the city and the battles for the Seelow Heights, the soviets had concentrations of artillery approaching 1 piece per metre of front. In the hands of a capable and organised artillery system, that sort of artillery concentration should have basically turned anything in its path to shrapnel. The soviet doctrine, which was more or less a case of fire in the general direction of anything with a german accent, was a case of quantity rather than quality.




Seelow heights was a monumental cockup for a number of reasons, I don't think this was a failure in Soviet artillery doctrine in particular. (And Beevor isn't my idea of a fit source for anything, but that's a whole other rant.)

Massive Soviet artillery did more or less flatten the Germans elsewhere -- see the Vistula-Oder operation for a much more typical example than Seelow Heights. Quantity has a quality all its own.

Also, for all of this talk about German counterbattery, the plain fact of the matter is that German artillery was being outnumbered by increasingly huge margins as the war went on. They were buried. Not a whole lot counterbattery fire can do when the enemy outnumbers you 10-1 in artillery.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:42:11 AM   
Keke


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jakerson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
German artillery was very flexible, and it was possible to shift artillery from one target to another quickly, and to call down artillery on new threats within a minute.


Not many people know but finnish artillery had best doctrine and fire control tactics for artillery during World War 2.


True that Finnish artillery doctrine and fire control methods were at par with the best (US), but the lack of radios and variety of different artillery guns meant that in practice it wasn't quite there. Anyhow, the Germans copied the Finnish fire control system for their mortars, and Western Allied got the taste of it at Normandy and Hürtgen Forest. Interesting fact is that when the German 122nd Infantry Division supported Finnish forces at Viipurinsalmi, during the summer 1944, its artillery was given only preplanned targets, because it was known that they were not used to the fast response, time-on-target system the Finns had.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:43:57 AM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jakerson

Not many people know but finnish artillery had best doctrine and fire control tactics for artillery during World War 2.



Better than US artillery doctrine? I don't think so.



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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:47:48 AM   
Keke


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
Also, for all of this talk about German counterbattery, the plain fact of the matter is that German artillery was being outnumbered by increasingly huge margins as the war went on. They were buried. Not a whole lot counterbattery fire can do when the enemy outnumbers you 10-1 in artillery.


Yup, in Finland, after the initial phases of the Soviet summer offensive 1944, it was recognized that counterbattery measures were waste of ammunition when dealing against the odds.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:49:10 AM   
Keke


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jakerson

Not many people know but finnish artillery had best doctrine and fire control tactics for artillery during World War 2.



Better than US artillery doctrine? I don't think so.




As I wrote above, at par. Same methods, slightly different implementation.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 11:59:16 AM   
Keke


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Oh, and it has to be said that the Finnish system was not fully made use of until the summer or 1944. So it was a late war development.

< Message edited by Keke -- 7/30/2011 12:00:09 PM >


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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 12:54:25 PM   
Tarhunnas


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My Sources BTW was mainly an article on German Artillery tactics in an old issue of Soldat und Technik. I did some more online research anf found a very good description of both German and Soviet artillery usage online here that describe among other things counterbattery using sound and flash location as well as balloons and aircraft.

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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 3:58:13 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Massive Soviet artillery did more or less flatten the Germans elsewhere -- see the Vistula-Oder operation


There was a huge difference between the effectiveness of the initial Soviet barrage at the Weichsel/Vistula, where the Germans had concentrated too much of their forces at the frontline and suffered badly, and at the Oder, where the initial Soviet barrage in most sectors hit positions that were either already evacuated or were evacuated before the barrage had really started, resulting in low losses for the defenders and an ugly suprise for the leading Soviet formations.

As a result, the Soviet crossing of the Oder was more costly, also due to the general chronic lack of bridging equipment and equipment for crossing rivers in the Soviet army (there was a general lack of specialist equipment to begin with), the assaulting divisions had to cross the rivers on anything that could float, with some divisions being forced to resort to chopping up furniture and trees to make makeshift rafts as there were too few boats and the boats that were there were quickly targeted by the defenders of by pre-registered artillery. The stories of what the lead formations went through are not pleasant reading.

-

Like with a large part of German doctrine, the problem often wasn't the quality of the doctrine, but the lack of the means to employ it.

-

As to US doctrine: it was effective in terms of fire control and the speed with which targets could be engaged, but the lack of area disruption weapons like rocket launchers was in my opinion a major handicap. Using hundreds of guns instead of a couple of dozen rocket launchers makes a big difference in terms of the ammunition that is expended, whilst the results can be the same. Still, US artillery was clearly a more combat capable arm than its citizen soldier infantry divisions with uncreative leaders at all levels.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 7/30/2011 4:01:44 PM >


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RE: Mortars - 7/30/2011 9:17:01 PM   
Narses

 

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The Canadians developed probably the first reliable ground based detection system to use against indirect fire during WWI.

Not to put the lie to what someone's father or grandfather told them but counter battery fire was regularly used in WWII. All artillery units me not have fire it however. Detection assets seem to have been concentrated at Corps level in US forces. Different types of artillery units had different missions and support respopnsibilities. There were batteries assigned to regiments, divisions, coprs, armies and a host of independend artillery battalions in the US Army. Missions and support assets varied considerably within these units.

Using a cluster of listening stations they employed a flash/bang detection system and repeatedly located enemy batteries positions within 25-100 meters in times as little as three minutes. It worked better at night since in daylight the locating system usually had to rely on sound alone.

The US detection assets loacted German railroad guns as far away as 55km. At Anzio railroad guns from 40-50km away. It was often ground detection assets locating those guns for air attack instead of the other way around. Indeed at Anzio US Corps artillery assets used sound ranging and bearings to direct 51.5% of all counter battery fire missions.

The US and the UK still use acoustic sensors to detect enemy indirect fire systems. Not quite as accurate as radar systems they have the advantage of being passive and thus undetectable to the enemy and cannot be targeted like radar detection systems.

I also trained in the 80's and 90's to use impact craters to get an azimuth to enemy weapons. Admittedly we new the locations of the many artillery training positions from which the rounds probably came but we were able to use this least accurate system to select between known choices with 100% accuracy. There would usually be a large range of error but we could eliminate most of a grid square.


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RE: Mortars - 7/31/2011 3:40:39 AM   
pwieland

 

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Tactically, an assault without the smoke cover provided by mortars would have caused alot more casualties.

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