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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #31  
Old 30 Jul 17, 09:24
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
Most of the POWs happened in the late stage of campaign, especially in Falaise pocket. It's the result of operational and strategical situations, much less about the tactical situation and quality of troops.
Not really true. In the first weeks during June over 30,000 prisoners were taken. A hefty ratio to German dead and wounded in those weeks.
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  #32  
Old 30 Jul 17, 09:36
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Originally Posted by Jazsa View Post
...

If the Germans knew the exact landing locations the best thing they could do would be to move in about 500 hundred heavy artillery pieces with 50000 shells and hide them within range of the beaches. 100 barrels for each beach and 100 rounds per gun. But since the Germans didn't have cloaking technology it's kind of pointless.
Thats close to what artillery was supporting the beach defense. I am unsure of the ammunition situation on all the beach defense, but the field artillery batteries supporting the Omaha beach sector had only one or perhaps two units of fire on hand. Enough for a day of ordinary combat, or for 2-3 hours of intensive near continual artillery fires. Additional ammunition was hidden in the 7th Armies depots, but was not moved to the batteries, possiblly due to Allied air attacks.

Note: One 'Unit of Fire' for the 10cm Czech cannon used by the 352 Inf Div defending Omaha beach was about 80 rounds per cannon. At a average of 3 per minute these guns would expend all their ammunition in 27 minutes. Or, if a fire mission requiring the gun fire six round rapidly occured every fifteen minutes the ammo would be gone in about three hours and twenty minutes.
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  #33  
Old 30 Jul 17, 14:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
Thats close to what artillery was supporting the beach defense. I am unsure of the ammunition situation on all the beach defense, but the field artillery batteries supporting the Omaha beach sector had only one or perhaps two units of fire on hand. Enough for a day of ordinary combat, or for 2-3 hours of intensive near continual artillery fires. Additional ammunition was hidden in the 7th Armies depots, but was not moved to the batteries, possiblly due to Allied air attacks.

Note: One 'Unit of Fire' for the 10cm Czech cannon used by the 352 Inf Div defending Omaha beach was about 80 rounds per cannon. At a average of 3 per minute these guns would expend all their ammunition in 27 minutes. Or, if a fire mission requiring the gun fire six round rapidly occured every fifteen minutes the ammo would be gone in about three hours and twenty minutes.
I was under the impression the German artillery in the Normandy area was a collection of captured and obsolete barrels and a general low stock of ammunition.

I would want my 500 barrels to be the 15cm sFH 13. Once the landings had begun I would have each gun fire 10 rounds every hour walking the shells back from the waterline to the foreshore.

Would 100 barrels blanket a 1000m x 100m rectangle that would cover each landing beach? There's a possibility that I have no idea how to plan field artillery emplacements. Seen lots of pictures of guns though.

In other words the Germans weren't going to stop the landings.
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  #34  
Old 30 Jul 17, 17:19
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There were not enough 155's available. Many Static Divisions had artillery in fixed positions to support them. I have seen that there were Soviet, Czech, and French artillery pieces. The German Army also had Polish, Belgian and Dutch pieces to use as Ersatz artillery. The Soviet pieces were quite good, but some did not have much ammo. A good mix would include Soviet designed 120mm Mortars.

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  #35  
Old 30 Jul 17, 22:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazsa View Post
...
Would 100 barrels blanket a 1000m x 100m rectangle that would cover each landing beach? ...
No. To continue with the example of Omaha Beach the landings were occuring across a 7,800 meter front with a nominal depth of 300 meters. So 2,340,000 square meters to cover. If your 15cm ammunition has a effective casualty radius of 30 meters thats 2800 square meters so to cover the entire beach with the ECR of one volley would require 835 rounds. If I recall correctly the unit of fire for 15cm ammunition for a German howitzer would have been 40 rounds. Ordinarily a German inf div had 12 15 cm field howitzers & six 15cm infantry guns in the regimental cannon companies. At a sustained RoF of 2-3 per minute those 18 cannon can scatter their basic load of 720 rounds across the beach in <20 minutes. If my math is correct thats about 2.14 % of the beach per minute. That is a very light bombardment barely qualifying as harrassing fires.

The trick was the Germans were short of all classes of artillery, even counting obsolete cannon. The 352 was actually lucky to have a full complement of good quality modern Cezch cannon, even if they were all 10cm caliber. The static divisions were stuck with a lot of light & obsolete cannon in calibers ranging from 7cm to 8.5, or 10cm; shooting antiquated ammunition, and in 25% to 50% of a usual infantry divisions complement.

The artillery fires were supplemented with a variety of rocket batteries. These 'werfer' style launchers seem to have been one or two shot affairs. & each infantry battalion had 4-6 mortars to add to the harrassment.

I dont have all the details of how the German artillery commander of the 352 ID used his weapons. One fact is the priority of fire for the artillery was on the landing craft at the waters edge. A lot of them were hit by artillery fires during the day. Mortars and other weapons seem to have been the bulk of the fires covering the Resistance Nests or strong points.

Another fact is the defending artillery was still firing through the afternoon. so, either the commander was being miserly with the ammo, or the delivery of more ammo was effected. Perhaps both.

Fact three: German artillery doctrine emphasized accuracy over volume. A policy dictated by a chronic ammo shortage. So, I suspect the artillery attacking OMAHA beach was carefully and methodically attacking each target with a small number of rounds, & the commanders/observers were carefully picking the targets.

Somewhere I have laid out a calculation for the volume of artillery fire needed to properly suppress O beach around 07:00 or 08:00 6th June. Your idea may not be far off in terms of ammunition required. The trick is the Germans did not have 500 15cm howitzers in all of Normandy that morning. They may not have had even 100.
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