Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

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ghost1275
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Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by ghost1275 » 28 Jan 2021 20:51

Also, does any one have detailed battle campaign history fought by 1st Army Group Royal Artillery in WW2? It was the forefather of 1st Artillery Brigade. I am fascinated by this unit since it became the one and only Artillery Division raised by NATO allies during the Cold War (In the late 1970's 1st Artillery Brigade merged with 7th Artillery Brigade to form 1st UK Artillery Division supporting BAOR).

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Michael Kenny » 28 Jan 2021 22:04

Given the millions of 25 pdr rounds in store and the mid 1944 US Ammo shortage it would seem to be a very wise choice

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Jan 2021 01:55

ghost1275 wrote:
28 Jan 2021 20:51
Also, does any one have detailed battle campaign history fought by 1st Army Group Royal Artillery in WW2? It was the forefather of 1st Artillery Brigade. I am fascinated by this unit since it became the one and only Artillery Division raised by NATO allies during the Cold War (In the late 1970's 1st Artillery Brigade merged with 7th Artillery Brigade to form 1st UK Artillery Division supporting BAOR).
The 25 pounder gun howitzer was a replacement for two different artillery equipment the 4.5" Howitzer and the 18 pounder field gun. This was to have a weight in action of 30 cwt (1.5 tons), cross country mobility, a projectile between 20 and 25 lb and a range of at least 12,000 yards later increased to 15,000 yards. For economic and military reasons the design of the new gun must allow for the conversion of existing 18 pounders - of which there was a large stock According to the 1951 classified publication artillery tactics and equipment by Pemberton, the British thought they had a better gun howitzer than the German 10.5 cm fh18 - or the US equivalent. The 105mm HE shell was more lethal, but paradoxically this made the 25 pounder more effective for true close support. The classic British fire and movement tactic involved infantrymen advancing very close behind the 25 pounder barrage which they may have been reluctant to do if the round had been more lethal.

There is a short history in the RA Commemorative book. I will post it separately

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Nick the Noodle » 03 Feb 2021 10:45

The 25pdr had two main advantages over the 105mm. It could fire further and faster.
The 105mm had two main advantages over the 25pdr. Each shell was more lethal, and a greater weight of fire could be brought down in a given area in a given time.

The British found that the cacophonic effect of greater number of shells landing was at least as important as the the amount of HE delivered, and that both were equally good/bad against targets in cover.

In effect, the real difference between the two was the 25pdrs greater range.

Source : Montgomery's Scientists.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by ghost1275 » 03 Feb 2021 18:30

In the end British Army did switch from 25 pdr to 105mm with OTO M56 and later L117 light gun for sake of NATO standardization.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Feb 2021 18:04

Im guessing there was a post war analysis of how effective the 25lbr actually was? Where can we see this? I'm also guessing it was at least somewhat favorable since there was no urgent post war effort to replace it.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 02 Apr 2021 16:56

Nick the Noodle wrote:
03 Feb 2021 10:45
The 25pdr had two main advantages over the 105mm. It could fire further and faster.
The 105mm had two main advantages over the 25pdr. Each shell was more lethal, and a greater weight of fire could be brought down in a given area in a given time.

The British found that the cacophonic effect of greater number of shells landing was at least as important as the the amount of HE delivered, and that both were equally good/bad against targets in cover.

In effect, the real difference between the two was the 25pdrs greater range.

Source : Montgomery's Scientists.
The 25 pounder could fire faster than the 105? What is the difference between the two in the first minute, and the fourth minute. Long time ago,(1974-1975) when I was in the corps artillery at Fort Bragg, the 82d Airborne Divarty had a competition between gun crews and if I recall correctly the winning crew put out around 17 rounds the first minute!! I am sure that is way above the max rate of fire for the 105.

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Apr 2021 18:07

A really well drilled crew could reach 20 rounds in first minute with the older M101. The crews of the old French 75 the 1897 model were expected to hit at 30 a minute, tho I've seen claims for 40. US Army crews thought that when you had three empty cartridge cases in the air to the discard pit and one in the breach you had hit full stride.

To put that in perspective about one round per gun every 15 to 30 seconds will keep a enemy inf position suppressed, & a fast battalion six on inf in holes or trenches will keep them stunned for several minutes after the fires cease. We had tables that gave guidance for number of rounds & RoF to get effect on various target configurations.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 02 Apr 2021 18:20

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:07
A really well drilled crew could reach 20 rounds in first minute with the older M101. The crews of the old French 75 the 1897 model were expected to hit at 30 a minute, tho I've seen claims for 40. US Army crews thought that when you had three empty cartridge cases in the air to the discard pit and one in the breach you had hit full stride.

To put that in perspective about one round per gun every 15 to 30 seconds will keep a enemy inf position suppressed, & a fast battalion six on inf in holes or trenches will keep them stunned for several minutes after the fires cease. We had tables that gave guidance for number of rounds & RoF to get effect on various target configurations.
Carl,

In 1975 “The Division” had the M102 which had the vertical breech block, which in my opinion made it harder to load.

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Apr 2021 18:52

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Feb 2021 18:04
Im guessing there was a post war analysis of how effective the 25lbr actually was? Where can we see this? I'm also guessing it was at least somewhat favorable since there was no urgent post war effort to replace it.
Pemberton (1951) Development of Artillery Equipment and Tactics is a classified analysis of the British Artillery WW2. It is obviously biased in favour of British artillery thinking. As has been pointed out the British moved to 105 mm for NATO standardisation - but designed their own non standard ammunition. Modern materials and construction methods meant that they L118 Light Gun weighs roughly the same as a 25 Pounder gun Howitzer, but fires a 50% heavier round 50% further, Same idea, but updated.

By the 1980's the view was that anything below 155mm was likely to be ineffective, given that the enemy was likely to be under armour. It was the rationale for replacing the Abbot 105mm SP with AS90. However, the 105mm Light gun did well in the Falklands Bosnia and counter insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last edited by Sheldrake on 02 Apr 2021 18:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Apr 2021 18:53

Delta Tank wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:20
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:07
A really well drilled crew could reach 20 rounds in first minute with the older M101. The crews of the old French 75 the 1897 model were expected to hit at 30 a minute, tho I've seen claims for 40. US Army crews thought that when you had three empty cartridge cases in the air to the discard pit and one in the breach you had hit full stride.

To put that in perspective about one round per gun every 15 to 30 seconds will keep a enemy inf position suppressed, & a fast battalion six on inf in holes or trenches will keep them stunned for several minutes after the fires cease. We had tables that gave guidance for number of rounds & RoF to get effect on various target configurations.
Carl,

In 1975 “The Division” had the M102 which had the vertical breech block, which in my opinion made it harder to load.

Mike
Was wondering about that.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Apr 2021 19:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:07
A really well drilled crew could reach 20 rounds in first minute with the older M101. The crews of the old French 75 the 1897 model were expected to hit at 30 a minute, tho I've seen claims for 40. US Army crews thought that when you had three empty cartridge cases in the air to the discard pit and one in the breach you had hit full stride.

To put that in perspective about one round per gun every 15 to 30 seconds will keep a enemy inf position suppressed, & a fast battalion six on inf in holes or trenches will keep them stunned for several minutes after the fires cease. We had tables that gave guidance for number of rounds & RoF to get effect on various target configurations.
You can bang off rounds quite quickly with C20th QF equipment. The problem is logistics and endurance for sustained fire.

It is hard to sustain rate 3, a round every 20 seconds, let alone rate 4 - a round every 15 seconds. Each 105mm round weighs 35 lb and a 155mm round 96 lb. An hour at rate 2 shifts just under two tons of HE down range. Someone has to pick up and carry every round. In the Falklands six man gun detachments were reinforced with four infantrymen as additional ammunition numbers. Some of the fireplans supporting infantry assaults were "Fire until I tell you to stop"

One idea is the importance of a high rate of fire in accurate early fire for effect. It is believed that most casualties from artillery fire are inflicted in the first 30 seconds, before personnel in the target area can take cover. The FH70 and AS 9-0 were designed with a burst rate capacity to fire three 155mm rounds in 15 seconds.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Apr 2021 19:54

Sheldrake wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:52
...

By the 1980's the view was that anything below 155mm was likely to be ineffective, given that the enemy was likely to be under armour. It was the rationale for replacing the Abbot 105mm SP with AS90. However, the 105mm Light gun did well in the Falklands Bosnia and counter insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US Army analysis I saw based the decsion on the Soviet equipped artillery, like Nicaragua, Cuba, ect.. had cannon that predominately out ranged the US M102. In map exercises in the latter 1970s Nicaraguan 122 & 130 mm caliber cannon hammered the light expeditionary artillery of the 82 AB Div & reinforcements. This brought back bad memories of times the long range guns of the NVA dominated the artillery battle along the DMZ. Result was large scale reduction of 105 in favor of longer range 155

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 02 Apr 2021 19:57

Sheldrake wrote:
02 Apr 2021 19:25
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
02 Apr 2021 18:07
A really well drilled crew could reach 20 rounds in first minute with the older M101. The crews of the old French 75 the 1897 model were expected to hit at 30 a minute, tho I've seen claims for 40. US Army crews thought that when you had three empty cartridge cases in the air to the discard pit and one in the breach you had hit full stride.

To put that in perspective about one round per gun every 15 to 30 seconds will keep a enemy inf position suppressed, & a fast battalion six on inf in holes or trenches will keep them stunned for several minutes after the fires cease. We had tables that gave guidance for number of rounds & RoF to get effect on various target configurations.
You can bang off rounds quite quickly with C20th QF equipment. The problem is logistics and endurance for sustained fire.

It is hard to sustain rate 3, a round every 20 seconds, let alone rate 4 - a round every 15 seconds. Each 105mm round weighs 35 lb and a 155mm round 96 lb. An hour at rate 2 shifts just under two tons of HE down range. Someone has to pick up and carry every round. In the Falklands six man gun detachments were reinforced with four infantrymen as additional ammunition numbers. Some of the fireplans supporting infantry assaults were "Fire until I tell you to stop"

One idea is the importance of a high rate of fire in accurate early fire for effect. It is believed that most casualties from artillery fire are inflicted in the first 30 seconds, before personnel in the target area can take cover. The FH70 and AS 9-0 were designed with a burst rate capacity to fire three 155mm rounds in 15 seconds.
I started out as a 13B Cannoneer (AKA “Gun Bunny”) at Fort Bragg on the M114A1, 155mm Towed Howitzer (1974-75). We were authorized about 10 or 11 men and we had 5 or 6. Now, could we service the gun? Yes! Could we do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? No way in hell! Loading the Howitzer took two guys on the loading tray, and two guys ramming (one guy from the loading tray)and an additional guy with the powder charge. Could one guy load the round in the Howitzer, yes, a tall guy, but not for long! Had to be careful not to damage the threads on the breech.

Setting the Howitzer up was difficult! The spades were very heavy and then you had to attach the base plate and then Jack the Howitzer up.

Lots of fun when you are 18 or 19!

Went to FDC after about 8 months on the guns, not as physical but more intellectually stimulating! And more fun!

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Nick the Noodle » 02 Apr 2021 20:44

Delta Tank wrote:
02 Apr 2021 16:56
Nick the Noodle wrote:
03 Feb 2021 10:45
The 25pdr had two main advantages over the 105mm. It could fire further and faster.
The 105mm had two main advantages over the 25pdr. Each shell was more lethal, and a greater weight of fire could be brought down in a given area in a given time.

The British found that the cacophonic effect of greater number of shells landing was at least as important as the the amount of HE delivered, and that both were equally good/bad against targets in cover.

In effect, the real difference between the two was the 25pdrs greater range.

Source : Montgomery's Scientists.
The 25 pounder could fire faster than the 105? What is the difference between the two in the first minute, and the fourth minute. Long time ago,(1974-1975) when I was in the corps artillery at Fort Bragg, the 82d Airborne Divarty had a competition between gun crews and if I recall correctly the winning crew put out around 17 rounds the first minute!! I am sure that is way above the max rate of fire for the 105.

Mike
You obviously haven't the source I quoted. That any well trained artillery crew can have a 'mad minute' is not in question. We are talking about a sustained bombardment over 1-2 hours for maximum effect. The US gun wins on weight of fire, the 25pdr with rate of fire to produce the cacophonic effect that neutralizes dug in infantry. Both are equal in this regard. The 25 pdr has greater range, and it is also much lighter. It is one of the few weapon systems that Britain easily outmatched the USA in WW2.

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