Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

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

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Apr 2021 23:08

I think I have found an image of the mating tray. This is a still from a video of a New Zealand L119 in action.
Image1.jpg
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Richard Anderson
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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Apr 2021 00:23

Years ago I ran across what I suspect was the highest sustained rate of fire of 105mm howitzers. Perhaps surprisingly, it was World War II, but Korea. It was during the "Great Bug Out" from Kunu-Ri, when most of the 2d Inf Div FA battalions were forced to abandon their pieces when the CCF cut the only road out. The 15th FA and elements of one other - I forget which one and haven't been able to find my notes on it - in support of the 23d Infantry, decided that instead of simply disabling and abandoning their guns they would fire off all remaining rounds dumped at their position, which averaged out to just under a basic load...nearly 200 rounds per howitzer. They supposedly fired them all in under 20 minutes. By the end, IIRC, one of the pieces would not return to battery and one had a premature in the tube, luckily none of the crew were hurt.

The highest "official" recorded ROF was also in the Korean War, which was 801 rounds per howitzer in a single 24-hour period...the second highest was in World War II and was 761 rounds per howitzer.
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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Apr 2021 00:48

Sheldrake,

Sheldrake wrote: “Aha. Looking at the videos I can see that the US Artillery mates the round on the back of a truck.”

No, that is incorrect! The round comes mated in the shipping container. You take the round out of the fiber container, put a fuze on it, cut the charge if needed, and load it into the Howitzer. It is so simple and easy. I never saw anyone do anything with ammunition on a truck except to unload the rounds from the truck to the ground.

Mike

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

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Apr 2021 01:13

Sheldrake wrote:
10 Apr 2021 23:08
I think I have found an image of the mating tray. This is a still from a video of a New Zealand L119 in action.
Image1.jpg
As far as I know, there is no mating tray in the US Army, maybe in the New Zealand Army, don’t know. Now, in World War II I am betting there was no mating tray, in fact I don’t know what a mating tray is??? What are they mating? Horses? Zebras? Unicorns!!! That’s it!! Unicorns!!😁

Maybe Carl knows what a mating tray is.

Mike

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

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Apr 2021 01:29

105mm firing video, I know it is a demonstration, but you can see the Cannoneers preparing the round by the left side trail near the Gunner. Notice, no tray, no truck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJ_ivYWP-Y

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

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Apr 2021 09:51

Delta Tank wrote:
11 Apr 2021 00:48
Sheldrake,

Sheldrake wrote: “Aha. Looking at the videos I can see that the US Artillery mates the round on the back of a truck.”

No, that is incorrect! The round comes mated in the shipping container. You take the round out of the fiber container, put a fuze on it, cut the charge if needed, and load it into the Howitzer. It is so simple and easy. I never saw anyone do anything with ammunition on a truck except to unload the rounds from the truck to the ground.

Mike
So the US Drill is to take a complete round out of the container. The ammunition numbers then take it apart to remove unwanted charge increments, show this to the No1 and put the round back together before firing? Not sure this is faster than starting with the separated cartridges and rounds.

Another factor influencing the British approach is that the 25 Pounder and L118 both have a super charge which uses as different cartridge with additional propellant. These could be used with different ammunition natures. How does the US Army do this for the L119 ?

Maybe the mating tray was purely a British and Commonwealth thing? Our logistics seem to be based on the assumption that cartridges and ammunition are packaged separately. The Larkhill firepower video shows a mix of L118 and L119s perhaps I have missed it but I did not see complete rounds being unloaded. (I also saw gunners heaving the shells around in a way that would not have been allowed if the heavy but robust shell was mated to the easily damaged cartridge case. )

Maybe the mating tray might have been necessary to use British HE rounds with US Charges. Maybe it was design silliness or perhaps it was in my imagination....

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

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Apr 2021 17:42

Sheldrake wrote:
11 Apr 2021 09:51
Delta Tank wrote:
11 Apr 2021 00:48
Sheldrake,

Sheldrake wrote: “Aha. Looking at the videos I can see that the US Artillery mates the round on the back of a truck.”

No, that is incorrect! The round comes mated in the shipping container. You take the round out of the fiber container, put a fuze on it, cut the charge if needed, and load it into the Howitzer. It is so simple and easy. I never saw anyone do anything with ammunition on a truck except to unload the rounds from the truck to the ground.

Mike
So the US Drill is to take a complete round out of the container. The ammunition numbers then take it apart to remove unwanted charge increments, show this to the No1 and put the round back together before firing? Not sure this is faster than starting with the separated cartridges and rounds.
Take the round apart involves lifting the shell off of the cartridge, no tools required. Cut the charge only if necessary! If you are firing charge 7 you don’t have to lift the round to cut the charge. If you need to cut a charge, you lift the round with your hands, no tools required, you grab charge number 7 which is on top, lift it up with your hand no tools required, charge 6 is connected to charge 7 by a string, charge 5 is connected to charge 6, all the charges are connected in sequence with a string. So if the charge to be fired is charge 4, you lift the round, grab charge 7, pull it up until charge 5 clears the cartridge case, put the round back down on the cartridge case, pull on on charge 5, the string will break no tool required. You show charge 7,6 and 5 to the Chief of Section, they are still connected to each other by the string. The round is then handed to the loader (I forget what number he is, I think Number 1.). Fuzes, the Chief of Section will instruct the crew how many rounds will be fuzed, PD, MTSQ (Mechanical Timed Super Quick) and VT (Proximity Fuze, why we still call it VT is beyond me!)
Another factor influencing the British approach is that the 25 Pounder and L118 both have a super charge which uses as different cartridge with additional propellant. These could be used with different ammunition natures. How does the US Army do this for the L119 ?
I have no idea. You would have to ask someone that is in the FA today. We are talking about World War II artillery. . . Correct?
Maybe the mating tray was purely a British and Commonwealth thing? Our logistics seem to be based on the assumption that cartridges and ammunition are packaged separately. The Larkhill firepower video shows a mix of L118 and L119s perhaps I have missed it but I did not see complete rounds being unloaded. (I also saw gunners heaving the shells around in a way that would not have been allowed if the heavy but robust shell was mated to the easily damaged cartridge case. )
Don’t know, never heard of a mating tray. Carl may know but I don’t.
Maybe the mating tray might have been necessary to use British HE rounds with US Charges. Maybe it was design silliness or perhaps it was in my imagination....
The rate of fire for the WWII era 105mm was 10 rounds per minute for the first 3 minutes. That is the official book answer, but you can get many more than that out if needed.

The rate of fire for the 25 pounder was?? I saw four rounds per minute and I saw 7 rounds per minute, so what is the official book answer?

Mike
PS. My answers are in there, not having much luck with the quote function, sorry!

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

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Apr 2021 18:51

Delta Tank wrote:
11 Apr 2021 17:42

Take the round apart involves lifting the shell off of the cartridge, no tools required. Cut the charge only if necessary! If you are firing charge 7 you don’t have to lift the round to cut the charge. If you need to cut a charge, you lift the round with your hands, no tools required, you grab charge number 7 which is on top, lift it up with your hand no tools required, charge 6 is connected to charge 7 by a string, charge 5 is connected to charge 6, all the charges are connected in sequence with a string. So if the charge to be fired is charge 4, you lift the round, grab charge 7, pull it up until charge 5 clears the cartridge case, put the round back down on the cartridge case, pull on on charge 5, the string will break no tool required. You show charge 7,6 and 5 to the Chief of Section, they are still connected to each other by the string. The round is then handed to the loader (I forget what number he is, I think Number 1.). Fuzes, the Chief of Section will instruct the crew how many rounds will be fuzed, PD, MTSQ (Mechanical Timed Super Quick) and VT (Proximity Fuze, why we still call it VT is beyond me!)

<snip>

The rate of fire for the WWII era 105mm was 10 rounds per minute for the first 3 minutes. That is the official book answer, but you can get many more than that out if needed.

The rate of fire for the 25 pounder was?? I saw four rounds per minute and I saw 7 rounds per minute, so what is the official book answer?
Mike
I remember the loading drill using the M1 ammunition for the L119. The charge increments were known by the Brits as "Tea bags".

I am not sure the book firing rates mean very much.

British WW2 era doctrine referred to X rounds Gunfire = an executive order to fire X rounds as fast as possible. US is X Fire For Effect. Three, five or ten rounds might be ordered. I doubt there was much difference between the 25 Pounder, L118 and M1, as the drills and equipment were very similar. Good detachments would get the rounds away as fast as they could.

Sustained rates of fire as part of fire plans is much lower and the deciding factor is logistics. Some of the fireplans lasted several hours. Rate one or two.

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