British defence planning and Britain's NATO commitment 1979 - 1985

I am sure there was a Y in there somewhere. Maybe my memory playing tricks

Maybe "Martyn"?
I’m assuming this guy

 

LD17

MIA
BAS/RARS scales for 155mm were something like 397 RPG/D. I don't think M107 ever approached that - I do remember (as you recall) that 1 x AEC Mk1 = 80 complete rds of 175mm which handily equated to a 1 x DAER for an M107. I doubt very much (having competed in a 5 Regt RA gun position 'Olympics') that it would be humanly possible to maintain a realistic rate of fire into the 100s of RPG/D when the ammunition was very heavy and had to manhandled by a limited number of bunnies.

Same, same barrel wear.

Same, same life expectancy of guns and crews.

7 x DAER in storage was probably optimistic!
@Bubbles_Barker
The JFCSC has a copy of the BAS/RARS study I believe (see below), I do have the Staff College precis from 1988/89 which I received from them. I like how its stresses "...exercise planning purposes only."
1611078378332.png

The Logistics and Administration Handbook seems to have it in the Annex to Chapter 1. I do have to get a copy when the current unpleasentness is over...
1611078542458.png
 
Last edited:

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
We did an exchange with a US 107 mob back in the 70s. Most had Vietnam experience. Guns were firing 400 rounds a day just sniping the HoChi Min trail.

13 man crew ((WE) and 17 rounds per hour?

Not exactly rapid fire.
For 24/7 plus counter battery fire and crashing out? Yeah, right.

I'm sorry, I don't believe they fired 400 RPG/D in any kind of extended circumstances. On the odd day perhaps, but even then I'd be amazed.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
@Bubbles_Barker
The JFCSC has a copy of the BAS/RARS study I believe (see below), I do have the Staff College precis from 1988/89 which I received from them. I like how its stresses "...exercise planning purposes only."
View attachment 540920
The Logistics and Administration Handbook seems to have it in the Annex to Chapter 1. I do have to get a copy when the current unpleasentness is over...
View attachment 540921
OK - so what does it say for 175mm? I do know that 155mm in SOHB in the late 80s was around 400 RPG/D. It cannot (given role and number of guns available) been the same for 175mm surely? The laws of physics also come into play - given that you 'shoot and scoot' and have to move to other FPs which takes time, I'd be amazed if you could fit enough fire missions in over 24hrs given the fact that you'd be moving, withdrawing, firing, resupplying and apparently, changing out barrels (no mean feat on an M107). And you have to defend yourselves, sleep, eat, attend O Gps, recce the next but one position etc etc. The 13 man crew are not all bunnies btw.

400 RPG/D may have been the requirement, I doubt it was achievable for depth fire in reality - or if it was, it would have been for 'one day only!'

Perhaps a 5 or 32 Regt gunner from yesteryear will illuminate us?
 

Truxx

LE
I always got the impression, especially from anybody who was in a tank that the main aim was to load up with everything you needed. Drive to pre determined point. Destroy you’re allotted ten soviet tanks and then die in a loud grotesque military manner. Let the soviets drive over your remains until they met your mates a few miles back. Repeat several times until somebody opened up the cans of instant sunshine.
The challenge was never supporting armour or infantry. You could, for instance, resupply a whole battle group, including fuel with a handful of trucks.

The real challenge was artillery and, to an extent, mines. A complete order of magnitude different.

Now happily solved by doing away with the majority of artillery.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

Ayatollah

Old-Salt
My understanding is that there was only enough pre-positioned ammo for around 7 days of full-scale operations. This without taking into account destruction of storage facilities and degradation of supply lines (even before NBC conditions).

The Chiefs of Staff advised the Government in 1981 that, “… BAOR did not have the capability to sustain conventional warfare in the Central Region for more than four days …”[lxv] The indications were that vital stock such as anti-tank missiles and tank rounds would be used up within three days.

It seems I may have been ovewrlty optimistic

“Among the most serious shortfalls are Army air defence and anti-tank missiles (Blowpipe, Rapier, Swingfire, Milan, Tow) and [RAF] air-to-air missiles (Sidewinder, Sparrow, MRAAM). [Based on the latest plans] stocks of Blowpipe by 1980 will be sufficient for less than 5 days at intensive rates and stocks of Rapier, only 2 days. [Similarly] 5 days’ stocks of Milan will not be accumulated until 1987/88 and of Swingfire until 1984/85. Heavy ammunition is also in short supply, for example Chieftain APDS (3 days’ stocks by 1980) [Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot], 155mm shells for FM70 [Artillery piece] (2½ days’ in 1980) and 51mm Mortar ammunition (3½ days by 1980).”[lxiv]



I would also assume that if NATO did not achieve air superiority quickly then the WP would take full advantage of having shorter supply lines to, literally, outgun us.
My recollection is advancing front-line Soviets only had enough fuel ammo and general supplies to advance for seven days and it could take up to three weeks for them to resupply. Hense there was an unwritten policy that NATO could sit and wait and then attack and conquer with little resistance. Yet in retrospect all exercises were planned for NATO forces to lose?
Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Iran are in NATO?
Yes, they are now but prior they were in Cento and Seato and joined NATO when the others were dissolved.
 

Truxx

LE
For 24/7 plus counter battery fire and crashing out? Yeah, right.

I'm sorry, I don't believe they fired 400 RPG/D in any kind of extended circumstances. On the odd day perhaps, but even then I'd be amazed.
Wiki describes it as having a "slow rate of fire" of 2 rds/min. Or 120 rounds an hour.

Lets say a fire mission was 20 minutes before up sticking and moving to a new location. 40 rounds, half a limber full (they had a 10 tonner with 80 rounds for each gun plus a second 6 Sqn one in the wings) The new location will already have been surveyed in by the GPO. My experience was that they could be putting rounds down a handful of minutes after arriving on the new gun line. Lets say 8 or 10 fire missions in the course of a day (remember the need to inflict max damage farthest out) and we are easily in the realms of 400 rounds a day.

Remember too that the battle was going to be days not months.

My own experience of the late 1970 was that the likely rate of fire of such long range arty was going to be turbocharged.
 

Truxx

LE
My recollection is advancing front-line Soviets only had enough fuel ammo and general supplies to advance for seven days and it could take up to three weeks for them to resupply. Hense there was an unwritten policy that NATO could sit and wait and then attack and conquer with little resistance. Yet in retrospect all exercises were planned for NATO forces to lose?

Yes, they are now but prior they were in Cento and Seato and joined NATO when the others were dissolved.
SOP was tac nukes on D+4 or D+5
 

Yokel

LE
NATO was said to rely on importing 100 000 tons (mot metric) of materiel per day over the North Atlantic to maintain a war footing, which drove NATO naval planning.

GIUK80s 001.jpg


GIUK80s 002.jpg


GIUK80s 003.jpg


GIUK80s 004.jpg


GIUK80s 005.jpg


An increase in Soviet naval or air activity was considered to be a warning sign. The war at sea is also discussed here.

The advanced weapons, aircraft, and warships that entered service in the late seventies and throughout the eighties - how did they change the assumption that NATO would be unable of stopping the Warsaw Pact advance? Things like MLRS, guided weapons that could take out bunkers, the JP233 anti runway weapon fitted to the Tornado GR1.....
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
The challenge was never supporting armour or infantry. You could, for instance, resupply a whole battle group, including fuel with a handful of trucks.

The real challenge was artillery and, to an extent, mines. A complete order of magnitude different.

Now happily solved by doing away with the majority of artillery.
80% of 3rd Line transport (mainly 10 Regt and any part timers that had bothered to turn up) was required initially for the 'Corps Barrier Plan'.

So that was a task before the dumping began!
Wiki describes it as having a "slow rate of fire" of 2 rds/min. Or 120 rounds an hour.

Lets say a fire mission was 20 minutes before up sticking and moving to a new location. 40 rounds, half a limber full (they had a 10 tonner with 80 rounds for each gun plus a second 6 Sqn one in the wings) The new location will already have been surveyed in by the GPO. My experience was that they could be putting rounds down a handful of minutes after arriving on the new gun line. Lets say 8 or 10 fire missions in the course of a day (remember the need to inflict max damage farthest out) and we are easily in the realms of 400 rounds a day.

Remember too that the battle was going to be days not months.

My own experience of the late 1970 was that the likely rate of fire of such long range arty was going to be turbocharged.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Wiki describes it as having a "slow rate of fire" of 2 rds/min. Or 120 rounds an hour.

Lets say a fire mission was 20 minutes before up sticking and moving to a new location. 40 rounds, half a limber full (they had a 10 tonner with 80 rounds for each gun plus a second 6 Sqn one in the wings) The new location will already have been surveyed in by the GPO. My experience was that they could be putting rounds down a handful of minutes after arriving on the new gun line. Lets say 8 or 10 fire missions in the course of a day (remember the need to inflict max damage farthest out) and we are easily in the realms of 400 rounds a day.

Remember too that the battle was going to be days not months.

My own experience of the late 1970 was that the likely rate of fire of such long range arty was going to be turbocharged.
A ‘slow rate’ maybe.

Not a ‘sustained rate’ which is what you’re describing. Delivery of of 400 RPG/D would require the delivery of the equivalent of 120 knockers a day across the regiment, all day, across multiple dets and subs in multiple locations without no sleep or breakdowns or enemy interdiction. Or considering the loop to the DSA or through running to the CSA.

There were only ever 44 knockers doing this at 100% availability so never going to happen for one day let alone 4!
 
Oy you two banging on about bloody arty ammunition, what about 120mm Fin and HESH, and whilst you are about it what about some fuel for my Sqn and if you can bung a couple of boxes of compo in as well, and I want it in an hour.

Logistics, a skill neglected by the G3 world at their peril.
 

Truxx

LE
80% of 3rd Line transport (mainly 10 Regt and any part timers that had bothered to turn up) was required initially for the 'Corps Barrier Plan'.

So that was a task before the dumping began!
I went from BAOR to Marchwood where the uplift and shipping to Germany of the likes of bar mines was truly staggering. Shipload after shipload.
 

Truxx

LE
A ‘slow rate’ maybe.

Not a ‘sustained rate’ which is what you’re describing. Delivery of of 400 RPG/D would require the delivery of the equivalent of 120 knockers a day across the regiment, all day, across multiple dets and subs in multiple locations without no sleep or breakdowns or enemy interdiction. Or considering the loop to the DSA or through running to the CSA.

There were only ever 44 knockers doing this at 100% availability so never going to happen for one day let alone 4!
80 trucks in my day, for every one that we had, 5 Hy had another.

80 trucks of 80 rounds, a 100 mile round trip from the CSA at 25mih equals 4 hours. Let's say 3 runs a day. Divided across 24 tubes that's capacity for 800 rounds per gun.

I really should do some webcast for kids home schooling.


I do, however entirely agree with all the fcuk up factors, not least the CSA in which entire transport regiments could be lost for days. Oh and the legendary reliability of the Mk1 AEC. We had one ,16 EK 36, so bad that I am unsure if it ever actually managed to get out of the camp gates.
 

Truxx

LE
Oy you two banging on about bloody arty ammunition, what about 120mm Fin and HESH, and whilst you are about it what about some fuel for my Sqn and if you can bung a couple of boxes of compo in as well, and I want it in an hour.

Logistics, a skill neglected by the G3 world at their peril.
Sorry you are utterly wrong there.

All G3 Gods I know are really really good at logs. It is like at a certain stage, normally SO2, they are visited overnight by the logistics fairy and from that moment are world experts and don't mind telling you so.

As for tank ammo like I said before a piece of piss. A truckload or at most two would give a Regiment a complete replen. A ten man box per crew every couple of days, that works out at about 30 boxes a day, which would just about cover the load bed of a 4 tonne.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
80 trucks in my day, for every one that we had, 5 Hy had another.

80 trucks of 80 rounds, a 100 mile round trip from the CSA at 25mih equals 4 hours. Let's say 3 runs a day. Divided across 24 tubes that's capacity for 800 rounds per gun.

I really should do some webcast for kids home schooling.


I do, however entirely agree with all the fcuk up factors, not least the CSA in which entire transport regiments could be lost for days. Oh and the legendary reliability of the Mk1 AEC. We had one ,16 EK 36, so bad that I am unsure if it ever actually managed to get out of the camp gates.
5 Regt had as many trucks as 6 Sqn? I don’t think so, and even if they did, they would have simply held stocks on wheels for when we were held up by, you know, the enemy and stuff. They certainly weren’t in the ‘loop’ and were never planned to be. Think of them as the equivalent of turret stocks.

I don’t think so!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Sorry you are utterly wrong there.

All G3 Gods I know are really really good at logs. It is like at a certain stage, normally SO2, they are visited overnight by the logistics fairy and from that moment are world experts and don't mind telling you so.

As for tank ammo like I said before a piece of piss. A truckload or at most two would give a Regiment a complete replen. A ten man box per crew every couple of days, that works out at about 30 boxes a day, which would just about cover the load bed of a 4 tonne.
Sorry you are utterly wrong there.

All G3 Gods I know are really really good at logs. It is like at a certain stage, normally SO2, they are visited overnight by the logistics fairy and from that moment are world experts and don't mind telling you so.

As for tank ammo like I said before a piece of piss. A truckload or at most two would give a Regiment a complete replen. A ten man box per crew every couple of days, that works out at about 30 boxes a day, which would just about cover the load bed of a 4 tonne.
What he said. Inf and Armour replen’s a piece of piss.

Now, let’s talk about Gunners and Sappers...
 
Top