An 'issue' of artillery ammunition

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Gooner1
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An 'issue' of artillery ammunition

Post by Gooner1 » 09 Apr 2021 10:50

How many rounds were typically in an 'issue' of ammunition for German field guns?

I ask because pre Operation Diadem in Italy it was "Yet supplies arrived, and, on 29th April for example, Westphal [COS to Kesselring] proposed to make a special issue of ammunition to bring AOK 10's stocks up to three 'issues' for most of its field guns."

Would three 'issues' of ammunition be regarded as a good amount?

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Sheldrake
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Re: An 'issue' of artillery ammunition

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Apr 2021 14:34

The answer is "It depends on the calibre of the field guns". According to the US handbook on the German army (1945) chapter VI PP 20-21
a. AMMUNITION ALLOWANCES. The initial issue (erste Ausstattung) of ammunition is the total ammunition carried by a formation in columns, in dumps, and with the troops. The initial issue is systematically replaced as it is expended, on the basis of reports of ammunition remaining on hand sent from the divisions through corps to army, except as operational conditions modify the system. The allowance per formation is based on the number of weapons called for in the table of organization of the unit. each weapon, in turn, has a number of rounds which is allotted to it as an ammunition quota or unit of issue (Munitions-auststattung). Two units of issue for all weapons of the division are carried within the division, while another unit of issue for all weapons in the army is held on army columns or trains as an army reserve. Thus each army has three ammunition quotas or units of issue for all weapons of the army.

1). AMMUNIITON ISSUES. Of the two ammunition units of issue that are found within the division, over one unit is found forward on the men, with the guns, and as company and battalion reserves, while less than one full unit of issue is retained as a division reserve in division columns and dumps. The exact quantity issued to each man is largely determined by the amount held by the battalion and company as their reserves. The following charts exemplify the units of issue found in infantry and artillery units of an army.

Artillery units in a Volksgrenadier division

Weapon Forward issue Divisional Probable Army reserve
reserve (Unit of issue)
75-mm inf how . . . . . . . . . 192 151 171
75-mm AT (mtz) . . . . . 150 100 125
75-mm AT (SF). . . . . . . 255
105-mm gun how. . . . . . . 225 126 175
150-mm how . ,. . . . . . . . . 150 60 105

Units of Issue for Artillery Units:
Weapon m Number of Rounds
37-mm AA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,500
88-mm AA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
105-mm qun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
150~mm how . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
150~mm gun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
210-mm how . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
The hand book also says that an issue of ammunition was not the same as the expected rate of expenditure and three issues of ammunition was considered to be enough for eight to ten days of fighting. The figures in the hand book are for a Volksgrenadier division may not be very different

A German Unit of issue was supposed to be around three days of fighting. By comparison British 21 Army Group planning norms were for 25 pounder were 70 RPGPD = 210 in three days and 5.5. inch 50 RPGPD = 150 in three days, two or three times as much, but not an order of magnitude of difference.

So the implication is that 10 AOK are below the normal three units and are to be brought up to their nominal ammunition reserves. The 225 rounds per gun with forward units could be fired off in around two hours at rate two or, say, seventy six defensive fires.

For Operation Diadem, VIII Corps dumped 600 RPG for field, 350 for Medium and 200 for heavy guns and in the Polish sector where transport difficulties were acute, 1,090 RPG for field and 700 for medium. So, at the start of the offensive the British have dumped on the gun positions about the same amount of ammunition as the Germans had in the entire 10 AOK stocks.

Gooner1
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Re: An 'issue' of artillery ammunition

Post by Gooner1 » 09 Apr 2021 14:46

Sheldrake wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:34

The hand book also says that an issue of ammunition was not the same as the expected rate of expenditure and three issues of ammunition was considered to be enough for eight to ten days of fighting. The figures in the hand book are for a Volksgrenadier division may not be very different

A German Unit of issue was supposed to be around three days of fighting. By comparison British 21 Army Group planning norms were for 25 pounder were 70 RPGPD = 210 in three days and 5.5. inch 50 RPGPD = 150 in three days, two or three times as much, but not an order of magnitude of difference.

So the implication is that 10 AOK are below the normal three units and are to be brought up to their nominal ammunition reserves. The 225 rounds per gun with forward units could be fired off in around two hours at rate two or, say, seventy six defensive fires.

For Operation Diadem, VIII Corps dumped 600 RPG for field, 350 for Medium and 200 for heavy guns and in the Polish sector where transport difficulties were acute, 1,090 RPG for field and 700 for medium. So, at the start of the offensive the British have dumped on the gun positions about the same amount of ammunition as the Germans had in the entire 10 AOK stocks.
Great, thanks. :milsmile:

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