largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

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bltedouard
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largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by bltedouard » 21 Mar 2023 18:17

Hello everyone,

I once heard in a documentary that the initial artillery preparation for the Battle of Kursk consumed more shells than the campaign in Poland and France combined, others feel Seelow is where it there was the largest amount of ammunition fired; I therefore ask the following question: what was the largest artillery preparation of the Second World War in terms of shells fired? land and sea?

Thank you in advance for your answers to this question worthy of a forum 14-18

Art
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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by Art » 22 Mar 2023 15:38

A safe bet is that the largest expenditure of ammunition on the Eastern Front occured on 16 April 1945. In terms of shells per frontage or shells per area there were probably cases of more intensive expenditure.
I once heard in a documentary that the initial artillery preparation for the Battle of Kursk consumed more shells than the campaign in Poland and France combined
No, that wasn't possible. German expenditure of ammo on 5 July 1943 was considerable but no that gigantic. Actually it was surpassed by some days of defensive fighting in the summer of 1944 and probabably also in in the summer of 1943.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Mar 2023 16:21

Cant find the numbers I had for the cannon and ammo of each at the Kursk battle. I agree it was large, but not any sort of uber concentration.

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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by Art » 22 Mar 2023 17:31

Art wrote:
22 Mar 2023 15:38
A safe bet is that the largest expenditure of ammunition on the Eastern Front occured on 16 April 1945.
Ehm, not that safe as it turns out. According to an official source Soviet daily expenditures were:
1 Belorussian Front, 14 January 1945 (Vistula-Oder operation) - 815,305 artillery and mortar rounds or 1076 railcar loads
1 Ukrainian Front, 12 January 1945 (Vistula-Oder operation) - 612,720 rounds or 803 railcar loads.
2 Belorussian Front, 14 January 1945 (East Prussia operation) - 956 railcar loads
1st Belorussian Front, 16 April 1945 (Berlin operation ) - 440,500 arrillery and mortar rounds.

So 14.1.45 stands as a day with highest expenditure. All these numbers includes both the preparation and support of the attack proper.

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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by Art » 22 Mar 2023 18:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Mar 2023 16:21
Cant find the numbers I had for the cannon and ammo of each at the Kursk battle.
Here they are:
Zitadelle.png
The question was specifically about the preliminary preparation. 7700 tons expended on one day (5 July 43) is a large number, but actually not larger than the average daily expenditure of the German army ammo in July-August, which was about 8000 tons. Admittedly that doesn't include Luftwaffe expenditure of bombs and anti-aicraft ammo which must add quite a tonnage. For the purpose of comparison with railcar units posted above, one car load can be assumed as something between 10 and 15 tons, depending on the type of ammunition.
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Mar 2023 19:15

Don't have my notes for Op COBRA at hand. Its not at the same scale in 'divisions' or men, & a different strategic goal. But heres a rough comparison:

' 140,000 artillery rounds were allocated to the operation in VII Corps, with another 27,000 for VIII Corps.' For the US army that covers four different calibers and weights of projectiles and propellant packages. Roughly averaging things out thats 5,000 to 6,000 tons of projectiles. Note this is for the entire operation of 2+ days. Using a different metric to estimate: 750 tons supply were allocated to each division for the operation. If 66% of that is artillery ammunition then the four divisions of VII Corps shot out 6,000 tons of propellant, projectiles, and dunnage in 48 hours. VIII Corps of two div may have added another 2,500 tons. Allowing 75% of that for projectile weight we get slightly over 6,000 tons of steel & explosive on target. This was concentrated on a initial front of 7,000 yards for the initial artillery preparation, and expanded to maybe double that as the attack progressed into the second day. I don't know what sort of concentration or frontage the Kursk preparations used

Note the difference between calculating with propellant/dunnage included and projectiles alone. That can easily make a 20% difference or greater. I suspect th numbers I'm drawing from do not include the tank & tank destroyer ammunition fired with the artillery on long range targets. Several battalions of both were used this way in the preparation program.

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dgfred
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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by dgfred » 22 Mar 2023 20:54

Well at Seelow the Russians had all their Arty there and available to fire.

bltedouard
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Re: largest artillery preparation of the ww2 ?

Post by bltedouard » 26 Mar 2023 16:21

Thank you for your responses , with forum 39-45 we concluded that it was in Berlin that undeniably there was the strongest artillery preparation of the whole war.

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