One of the best documented examples is described by Geoffrey Perret in There’s a War to be Won:  The United States Army in World War II. Great close-up of a crewman adding a propellant charge to a 155mm howitzer. The jobs of the enlisted members of each firing battery varied depending on their training and circumstances with many personnel being cross-trained to do a variety of work. Germany developed a family of high frequency vehicle radios for military use, but their radios were not nearly as effective as the American versions. When they were forced to fire anyway, the counter-battery fire had a catastrophic impact on them. The Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 caused such a manpower crisis in infantry units that even some artillery units ended up sending non-essential personnel to the infantry as replacements. The crews on the 155mm had different challenges. I will start checking into the unit ASAP. The potential for rapid improvement and transformation of the Army’s artillery was developed in the interwar years largely at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the home of the U.S Army Field Artillery School. Any information you have would be great - I'm just trying to put together some detailed information for my sons about their grandfather who served in World War 2. Hello - I'm trying to find out some detailed information about my fathers service record from WW2. It was an example of the artillery “putting solid walls of hot steel in front of American defensive positions” while calling in concentrations on German troops for miles around. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on October 14, 2016: Ms. Southall, thanks so much for sharing your dad's story. The relative lack of mobility of Germany’s artillery was caused by the limitations of the German economy, desultory planning, and the initiation of hostilities long before the planned expansion of the Wehrmacht was complete. Although the shells were shipped semi-fixed with the fuse already installed, it was the powder that provided the punch, so that had to be added to the shell. He also mentioned Regansburg, Germany and ended the war in Austria and did occupation duty there until coming home to train for the invasion of Japan. Fine article. That is the most likely reason your dad was moved to the 196th. One aiming stake was approximately 30 to 40 yards back while another was placed halfway between the gun sight and the other stake. Rich Anderson, 2007. There must be a sufficient supply of all of the above to meet the needs of the maneuver units or other forces the batteries are supporting. ... With the exception of those in the 8-inch gun and 240-mm. Finally, the guns must be protected from counter-battery fire or other interdiction. The M1 4.5-inch gun, range 19,300 meters (twelve miles), was used mainly for counter-battery fire. The officers’ jobs within the battery varied. Always a popular feature and in some cases, it has brought old friends together. He listed many names and addresses on the back with their location in the picture. He only spoke of the war on a few occasions. At first glance, there seems to be little difference between the artillery branches of the U.S. Army and German Wehrmacht in World War II. During the 1990s the Brigade had a single M198, 155mm battery (initially Battery C, 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery; later Battery C, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment) assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in support of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). I'm very rarely stymied, but in this case, hard case. Thank you for so quickly getting back to me. The shells had lifting rings attached at their nose during shipment, and they had to be removed to install the fuse. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on October 15, 2016: Hi Ms. Southall, I would like a picture of your dad in uniform. Thank you. The Field Artillery OCS at Fort Sill (one of three during the war) produced 25,993 second lieutenants during the war years,which included over 3500 ROTC cadets who had completed between six and eight semesters of ROTC. I can send you a description of his duties as an FC Operator. The rest of this article examines the several components of the American and German artillery systems with an eye to showing how this transformation took place and describing its impact. Headquarters, 5th Infantry Division. Not sure how useful these will be, but give it a shot. It is very interesting and quite humbling. I have seen them, but I hope to add them to my You Tube channel soon. Nevertheless, evaluating an army’s artillery requires a good deal more than looking at the standard guns that it deploys. 1 gunner on a 105mm (M2). Artillery batteries also had a fifth section, which was called the machine gun section. We seek to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this Nation. The Employment of Negro Troops. Once the orders were received, he would spin his wheel to the correct angle. I am assuming that my father was in a 3rd Army towed 155 mm battalion until VE-Day and then transferred to the 274th in Austria during the reorganization & disbanding of units. My dad was a wire corporal with the 268th FA 8in gun. Sorry I misunderstood you. The United States was the only country with such a plan. The reading was then given to each gunner while the howitzers were at zero deflection and a minimal elevation from level. Any information you have would certainly be appreciated. The gun is the most visible part, but the whole system must work well to make the gun effective. I can't find hardly any information about the 2nd FA Obv Bn or the 894th Ord HAM Co and am hoping you may be able to help me with any information about either of these units? It was a 155mm howitzer battalion and did fight in the Bulge and in '45. All we had to go on was a name from my gran. According to Weigley, this limited the effectiveness of U.S. artillery. Title. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on October 22, 2019: Hi Mr. Schulte, great to hear from you. Besides the four firing battalions, an infantry division’s artillery complement contained a Division Headquarters component. These thing never turn up! Each battery had about 100 men, which broke down into five officers and 95 enlisted of various rank. Did the 274th Field Artillery Battalion have a towed 155 MM Battery attached to it anytime during the war?? The M1 75mm pack howitzer, with a range of 8,880 meters (5.5 miles) for mountain, airborne, and jungle use, was put into service, and anything larger than a bicycle could move it. The use of aerial spotters solved the problem of a shortage of spotters on the ground. When the spotters were in the air, enemy batteries generally remained silent or limited their fire to a few rounds at dawn and dusk. The command element of the groups was structured very similarly to that of a divisional artillery HQ with such features as fire direction center, H&H battery and service battery. That was repeatedly confirmed during the war. Changes: Type: Pages. WWII US Army Heavy and Medium Field Artillery. They were also capable of plunging fire, which allowed the guns to engage targets in defilade, unlike the flatter trajectory of the French 75. Time and time again in postwar interviews, German soldiers mentioned the fear that American artillery engendered along the front lines. On this version, there were no split trailers. who does research at the Library of Congress, did a search on my father for me. Hi, I got a notice of a new post and after reading it scrolled down for others I may have missed. Getting the timing right can be tricky and slow the rate of firing. A better system was needed quickly, so Ordnance officials decided to use available guns and chassis. However in practice, they just never seemed to fit into the basic operations of the regiment and in many cases, ended up being used as perimeter defense. The steep hedgerows helped conceal the crews but also the enemy. It sometimes has mentions of the 20th Field Artillery, although references to World War II are becoming fewer and fewer. A truck could carry between 50 and 60 shells per trip. Lo, June 1944. Those are solid rubber tires. The 100th Battalion was absorbed into the 442RCT as its 1st battalion. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on December 26, 2018: Hi Liaisonpilot, thanks for reading and commenting. The 908th should not be a problem. I'm looking for pictures of the C Battery 81st Field Artillery. But his task did not end there; he also operated the breech block, set the primer and pulled the lanyard upon the order, Fire! Memorial to the Wereth 11 The unit landed at Normandy in early July 1944 and saw continuous combat as corps artillery throughout the summer. There was a setting sleeve located at the base of each fuse. The Army Historical Foundation is the designated official fundraising organization for the National Museum of the United States Army. Tanks unsupported by infantry were regularly taken out by American antitank guns and bazookas. Will do. Type in 83rd Infantry Division. Figure it would be easier via email. Last week we found a Facebook group for the 200th and sent them a mail about if they knew of the book as it might mention my grandad. Crew laying wire near St. Some of these advantages are well understood and some less so. He was with the 2nd FA Obn Bn which was part of the 18th FA BDE prior to WWII. One or more of the battalions of a group might be attached for direct support to an individual division. If necessary, these heavier guns could be moved by truck, but they were usually pulled by the M4 high-speed tractor. Other battery and battalion personnel included radiomen, wiremen, instrument operators (survey team), cooks, drivers, and mechanics. In addition, it hampered German attacks by separating infantry from its accompanying armor. Between the wars, there were important changes to the standard practices of the branch. A lieutenant led the small team of 3 or 4 men to a forward outpost to spend up to several days manning a front line position. It mentions that in the UK they were stationed in a small town in Devon called Torrington. Always looking for great stories from any conflict. There are numerous anecdotes about sabotage that caused shells to fail to explode at crucial times. I actually have several L-4 pics (not great ones), but I put the best one in another article, the Artillery Innovations article. Thanks, CJK, my grandfather also passed before i could talk to him of his service. If he has any pics he would like to share, please send. Whilst driving their truck under blackout they found a steel wire across the road and stopped. You can contact their historian (Dave Curry) or visit their website at: Here is a link from the site: CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on May 14, 2020: Mr. Poore, thank you very much. My father serverd in the 282nd FAB in Europe.I understand they were loaned out to may units.. Is there a way I can find out more about their unit and the men killed in his outfit. The shift of several large caliber artillery units, particularly segregated African American battalions, to Bastogne during the first 48 hours of the battle helped save the city from capture. Behind the safety plate, on the left side of the breech, the gunner corporal worked a telescopic sight known as the gunner’s quadrant (or gunner’s scope), containing an azimuth scale that measured horizontal deflection, which he set on orders from the firing officer. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on January 02, 2018: Glad to hear from you. Thank you! My grandfather was in the 282nd fab and i saw you respond to mr. Armstrong in the comments and was hoping that u still had access to the information id love to find out more but its very hard to find info in his personell file bc alot of what they actually did differs from what it says they did. This smaller version of the 105mm howitzer replaced the 75mm gun in Army airborne units and cannon companies. The proximity, or variable time (VT), fuze automatically exploded the shell above the ground, simplifying the gunners’ job. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on December 14, 2017: Hi Mr. Rodgers, my so called "sources" turned out to be a dud. Normally, this is accomplished with a time fuze set to detonate the round a fraction of a second before it impacts. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on June 09, 2018: I'm going to assume you know these sites? In Korea I was the Fire Direction Chief as a Major, 64th Field (Lancer 3) - the T&O gave me 3 FO's per firing battery - whether that was a permanent change I have no idea. Germany deployed batteries of long-range 170mm guns against the Anzio beachhead that could shoot from beyond the range of Allied counter-battery fire. I think both were part of the 79th Infantry Division. These batteries were destroyed or silenced.”. Many of them had graduated from college, but had not completed the summer training after their junior year required for commissioning. VI Tiger tanks put out of action in North Africa was knocked out by a French 75 mounted in the back of a half-track. It was designed to counter the mass infantry attacks that were typical of the tactics of the late nineteenth century by placing large numbers of time-fused shells over bodies of enemy troops. My father just passed away last week and I've been trying to find out about the actual unit he served in. Finding rosters is incredibly hard but they might have them or be able to piece together the info. But Fort Sill might be come through for me. Or you can go to FB, and message me. with . That would be common. - Did you get to Buchenwald at the end of the war? But they were part of the infantry regiment, and used at the discretion of the regimental CO. I have the outfit's schedule from landing at Utah to disbandment in Germany. 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