Use of self propelled artillery

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Aida1
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Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 22 Sep 2022 18:59

"Panzer artillerie Regiment 103 II. Abteilung commander Command post 01.06.1943

Concerns:use of self propelled artillery
I) The character of the new weapon
The armored Sf(light F. H. 18 and heavy F. H18) is no tank or Sturmgeschutze but a weapon of the artillery. The tank operates through the well-aimed individual fire of its fast main gun. The artillery operates through observed and agile conducted area and massed fire. The character of modern artillery exists in the fact that as the only weapon of the modern battlefield it can fire on targets it does not face(and cannot be seen under certain circonstances). This allows the command to build concentrations of fire where the decision has to be forced.
However concentrations of fire take time and this is just lacking in the way of fighting of the pz div., specifically in the execution of tank attacks. Only after equipment with the much faster and more mobile Sf, which united use allows fire concentractions from movement, can this character of modern artillery be expressed fully. The question in the new weapon is not in the first place, how am I protected by the armor of the Sf but how am i able to work faster and more mobile as artillery with the new material. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 22 Sep 2022 19:38

"II. The advantages of the new weapon in the support of tank attacks
1. )Because the weapon is limbered the going into position is much faster. Above all, the changing of position which hitherto was associated with the lenghty bringing on of the limbers, limbering up and later unlimbering in the new position, happens much faster. The batteries accompany the attack driving in a row or a broad front. It's going into position only consists in a halt and fast setting up.
2.)Because of the Sf being armored, it is possible under mobile conditions to set up the batteries close besides each other and with parallel barrels - 18 barrels besides each other-to break up the enemy with concentrated fire. Hitherto the the close setting up of the batteries had to be limited to situations where one had not to reckon with impact of artillery or air.
3)In the summer campaign of 1941 the artillery use of the Abteilungen accompanying the tanks was often delayed because in flat terrain it was difficult to find covered firing positions within the 'tank hedgehog'. Many times, it was even necessary to conduct the batteries into unfavourable firing positions further back. Sf artillery on the contrary is not bound to covered firing positions. Even when these are still the rule, an open firing position is any time bearable outside antitank range. Nevertheless, also in open firing positions one will generally aim indirectly with parallel barrels(area fire). "

To be continued

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Aida1
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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 24 Sep 2022 09:16

"4) The armor and high mobility of the Sf makes the battery invulnerable against enemy artillery because
a) only a direct hit can wound crew and gun
b) it is possible to drive left or right out of the fire
Just imagine the difficulties of a change of position by towed artillery in case of enemy artillery fire
5)The often uncleared terrain specifically in the combat method of pz div, long open flanks-so often artillery close defense- is much easier when equipped with Sf. Batteries marching or in firing positions are able without turning difficulties to fire fast in all directions. Positions unfavorable for close defense can conceivably be immediately replaced by others from which the enemy attack can favorably be fired at.
6) The previous endangering of unarmored batteries driving along in the Panzer hedgehog is not applicable .


III. The tactical use of Sf artillery in the support of tank attacks after a breakthrough with deep objectives which are further than the range of the artillery
The principles described in the elaboration of 'Command and use of artillery of the artillery Abteilung that supports the attack' are also valid for the Sf artillery with small exceptions.
The individual requirements have been made easier by the advantages of the new weapon. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 24 Sep 2022 11:50

"The strength of the tanks is:
a) its armor
b) its huge firepower
c) its speed and mobility
d) the fact that the collaboration of fire and movement is assured without loss of time(difference with the infantry attack where the infantry companies often have to wait long time for the moving up of the heavy weapons).
e) in the excellent communications which allow a fast regrouping in the attack or a fast turning away of the attack in a more favourable direction(enclosing, seeking the weak spot).

These advantages of the tank weapon-above all the huge firepower and mobility- bring with them that the tanks can help themselves in many situations and need no artillery support.
However, once the attack stops, then one battery also is not useful. Accordingly, a Sf Abteilung must:
1) be so deployed that it can break up the enemy from movement with the concentrated fire of 18 barrels without a long stop of the attack which could give the enemy time for countermeasures.
The character of the artillery as center of gravity weapon must therefore especially be expressed in the tank attack.
Targets for the artillery are not individual PAK, but connected positions, strongly occupied towns,, PAK nests, against which the tanks when one cannot drive around them, prefer to drive up under the protection of the area fire of the batteries standing in cover than only under the fire support of the tanks with long 7,5 guns which are themselves targets in this. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 24 Sep 2022 17:05

"Further objectives.:flanking heights, woods, towns, etc.. whose neutralizing through smoke often promises good results. Antitank defenses on reverse slopes, in hollows which catches the tank on ridges before it can bring its gun with a flat trajectory to bear.

2) The speed with which tank attacks are executed after breakthrough, generally does not allow a continuous artillery support with change of position by echelon as with infantry attacks (one battery stays back until another one is ready to fire and only then pulled forward).
Therefore the Sf artillery drives along as a matter of principle and goes into position
a) in decisive sectors, whose fast taking has to be guaranteed by a quick intervention of the artillery( overwatch)
b) at each enemy resistance which leads to even a short halt by the tanks(. preventive going into position). This is possible in contrast to the formerly towed artillery because each going into position is actually only a halting of the batteries with a configuration through the R Ii and there is no danger that through the slow unlimbering in the position, limbering ahain, the artillery would lose the connection with the tanks, when they drive off at high speed after breaking slight resistance.
The fast readiness to fire of the Sf batteries in each situation cancels the disadvantage that a continuous overwatch of the whole attack by changing of position by echelon is not possible in time. This is anyway not necessary in view of the firepower of the tanks. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 25 Sep 2022 08:42

"3)Nevertheless, the question remains for the artillery commander after the going into position and supporting a break-in :must the Abteilung remain in position and overwatch 2-3 km more of the attack depth or is an earlier changing of position appropriate given the enemy probably turning up here and there.,so that the Abteilung is in place in time there.
This is anyway not necessary given the fire power of the tanks.
The decision on this depends on continually judging the enemy position during the battle.
In many situations it can be expedient to have a battery drive along further in anticipation of later missions while only 12 barrels make possible for the tanks the respective break-in.
4) the question of the staggered or united changing of position of the Abteilung during an attack phase also depends on terrain and situation.
The principle remains: keeping all batteries close. In changing of position only short jumps.
In all situations it must be possible to pull together all batteries for building a fire concentration. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 25 Sep 2022 10:07

"IV in the support of tank attacks with limited objective within the range of the artillery as in attacks against enemy ready for defense the usual principles for towed artillery are valid. In the latter case the close keeping together of batteries is to be omitted. Depending om the time available the firing basics are to be improved by accurate measuring.
V) Organisational to part III. (here only basics)
From section III it emerges that in the tank attack(not in the Infantry attack) the Sf battery has to more or less fight as a 'big battery'. Accordingly, the organisation of the deployment must allow an agile and united command within the Abteilung.
Substantially, not much needs to be changed in the usual 'organisation tank attack for the towed artillery. "

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 25 Sep 2022 11:21

"Abteilung commander, 2 battery commanders and 2-3 panzer observers drive with the tank attack according to situation and terrain, the chefs generally using heights for observation, the observers integrated far forward (communication PzRgt cdr and pz art Abt cdr through radio respectively by personal contact. As a matter of principle assigning a pz art liaison officer). 1 battery commander generally brings the guns up in the second echelon The situation can however require another organisation.
Because one cannot expect the delivery of armored ammo vehicles, unarmored ammo vehicles must accompany the guns. When, as the case arises, this is not possible because of the situation, they have to be left back on the orders of the battery chef who is drivi g up and after clearing up the terrain by the panzergrenadiere, must autonomously under the command of the oldest amo echelon commander regain connection with the Abteilung. '

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 25 Sep 2022 16:17

"Because the Sf can carry 30 shells, for the time of the absence of the ammo vehicles there are 180 shells in the battery. The supplementing of this ammo from the trucks must be continuously done during the attack. The battery commander who is coming after is responsible:
a) for the choice of the firing positions which are generally ordered by the commander according to the line of advance.
b) for the direction of the fire within the positions(short connections by wire between the firing positions)
The two leFh batteries on SF will generally go in position close besides each other in mobile situations. The sFH battery will mostly have to be brought into another firing position-possibly in line of sight-(parallel positions) . In concentrations the distance to the sFH battery must be accurately taken into account... '
The use of ammo by the sFH battery is everytime to be reflected upon because of it's lower supplies(center of gravity battery)."

To be continued

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Re: Use of self propelled artillery

Post by Aida1 » 26 Sep 2022 08:41

"This organisation allows a fast fire concentration of all guns on each target registered by a battery even when many times each battery will only fire on its own target. In this it is to be ordered whether the fires of the batteries needs to be besides each other or overlay. Accurate registering by the battery chiefs is the prerequisite for good effect.
The observation officer of the battery which is provided by the chef who is driving up, keeps with his armored vehicle in the immediate neighborhood of the Abteilung commander(battery on call).
In case of staggered going into position in the Abteilung, the officer driving up will be generally where there are 2 batteries in position.
To secure at all times the support of the Panzergrenadiere that immediately collaborate with the 'battlegroup tanks', it is expedient to give these in advance 1 FO with radio for each battery so that when in the course of the attack the Panzergrenadiere have to deployed forward of the tanks(for example when building a bridghead over a tank obstacle), an immediate support of the Panzergrenadiere is possible by FO. Likewise it is expedient that the battery troops and the signallers vehicles drive with a batallion staff of the battlegroup so that they are available for moving into ground observation positions in the transition to defense.
Organisational and communication technical details can only be established after practical experiences have been collected. In addition, a lot depends on whether besides the Sfl more gear is delivered. Firing technical the same principles apply as before'"

Concluded

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