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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #1  
Old 12 Sep 17, 00:02
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How effective is artillery against dug in troops?

I've looked for a while on the net. Can't seem to find any info on how effective artillery is against infantry in trenches of foxholes.

I wish I still had a copy of U.S. Army FM-640.

I'm interested in World War II weapons such as the U.S. pack 75 mm howitzer, the Brit 25 lb gun/howitzer , 105 mm and 155 mm howitzers.

And modern 105 mm and 155 mm howitzers.

I'm assuming the troops have overhead cover.

Using standard High Explosive projectiles.

No direct hit on the trench or foxholes.
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  #2  
Old 12 Sep 17, 06:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thfabn View Post
(...) I wish I still had a copy of U.S. Army FM-640.
Is it this one ?

https://archive.org/details/Fm6-40

As for the question, I believe it is commonly accepted limited fire will keep their heads down, prolonged bombardment will reduce organization and morale but will do all in all limited damage, if the defence is properly set up.

Obviously the quality of both the artillery and and the defending troops may affect this general rule either way.
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  #3  
Old 12 Sep 17, 08:21
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https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA...DFs/FM6-40.pdf
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  #4  
Old 13 Sep 17, 11:16
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Keeps the heads down, prevents them from. Doing work and reduces moral. If timed with a attack a bombardment is effective but on it own it would take win a battle VS while dug in positions.
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  #5  
Old 13 Sep 17, 11:42
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You might want to define "dug in".

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  #6  
Old 13 Sep 17, 12:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
You might want to define "dug in".

Pruitt
Indeed - what is meant by "I'm assuming the troops have overhead cover." Pill boxes, block houses, dug outs etc have overhead cover - trenches and fox holes AFAIK are conventionally holes in the ground open to the sky.

Also are you talking about rounds time fused to explode in the air or graze or contact fused rounds?. If the later and you say no direct hits how close a near miss do you allow?

What are conventional HE rounds? Fragmentation rounds? Blast rounds? Do you exclude shrapnel rounds?

Are you looking at casualty rates, effect on morale/effectiveness or both?
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Last edited by MarkV; 13 Sep 17 at 12:11..
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  #7  
Old 13 Sep 17, 13:05
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...I thought there were many battles where dug in troops put up a fight after arty and/or air attacks... there was not much degradation
...Corregidor, Hamburger Hill, etc
...terrain and how long the arty fired would be factors.....even if in only trenches and fighting holes as we called them in the USMC
...I thought I read TOT arty was very effective giving less time to take cover
Quote:
It had been found during World War I that most of the casualties in an artillery bombardment occur within the first few seconds. During those first few seconds, troops may be in the open and may not be prone
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_On_Target

...with no direct hits, there will not be much degradation...as stated by others, it will keep their heads down, but eventually arty will have to adjust out of the area
...in Operation Buffalo, it states the NVN ran 'through'/near their own arty...it was one of the worst days for the USMC
allow me to go over the book again, to get exactly what it said

Last edited by Moulin; 13 Sep 17 at 13:32..
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  #8  
Old 13 Sep 17, 13:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
...I thought there were many battles where dug in troops put up a fight after arty and/or air attacks... there was not much degradation
Not to mention Loos, the Somme and 3rd Ypres in WW1 and again in Korea. Indeed the high German casualties at the Somme were due to their doctrine of immediate counter attack when they had to get out of their trenches and pass through British indirect fire machine gun barrages. However much depends on the design of the trench and how much time has been available to build it and the nature and weight of the artillery barrage. The positioning of the entrenchments and the nature of the ground in which they are dug will also be a factor. The stoney ground in parts of the Western Desert and also parts of the Italian Front in WW1 contributed to casualties from rock splinters. I very much doubt that there is a simplistic one size fits all answer. However by and large trenches do provide protection against both artillery and small arms fire - that's why they get dug.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 13:30
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we went over effectiveness of arty/mortars in dense forest in the ''Tree Burst'' thread
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Old 13 Sep 17, 13:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
...fighting holes as we called them in the USMC
..
According to an item syndicated in a number of US papers mid war the US Army picked up the term fox hole from the British army. I suspect that there was less direct contact between the British Army and the USMC so the term did not take with the latter
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Old 13 Sep 17, 13:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
According to an item syndicated in a number of US papers mid war the US Army picked up the term fox hole from the British army. I suspect that there was less direct contact between the British Army and the USMC so the term did not take with the latter
''fighting'' sounds more aggressive.....and we try to not go with Army terms/etc
we use ''base'' instead of defense sounding ''fort''...
sorry--off topic
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Old 15 Sep 17, 03:17
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Airburst rounds are usually effective against dug in infantry.
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Old 15 Sep 17, 07:54
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Airburst rounds are usually effective against dug in infantry.
Depending on the definition of "dug in", airbursts of conventional field artillery will be generally ineffective against troops with overhead cover.
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Old 15 Sep 17, 08:12
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From an infantry officer point of view:
Artillery is pretty terrifying to infantry, but the trick is to keep your troops in their dug-in positions.
Their intuitive reaction is to leave the dug-in position and run to a place where there seems to be safety
and that is when casualties occur.
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Old 15 Sep 17, 12:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
Depending on the definition of "dug in", airbursts of conventional field artillery will be generally ineffective against troops with overhead cover.
What is overhead cover - in a bunker? In a dug out? but not in a trench
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