Famous WW2 Artillery battles

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by commzmeanzbombz, Sep 2, 2011.

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  1. Good afternoon Gents,

    I am thinking of organising a Battlefield Tour and I would like it to be based upon the use of mobile wireless communications, the introduction of the phonetic alphabet, the introduction of voice procedure and recognised fire orders.

    I would like it to be in a location where a Battle was won because of the Artillery.

    I am a history biff and my knowledge of WW2 battles is nil!

    Can anyone assist and suggest a battle and location for me to start my research?

    thanks for your help,

  2. Larkhill, plenty of Artillery battles along the Packway after closing time.

    I'll get my coat...
    • Like Like x 1
  3. El Alamein, which I believe was the last time 'Fire Mission Army' was used. Now - or was - it's (IIRC) ' FM all available!
  4. Who are you aiming your tour at? Is it for you or are you organising it for a group? If so is the group for the military or civilians?
    As an ex gunner and a historian am am, delighted to hear of someone looking to do a gunner tour.

    Arguably all WW2 battles were artillery battles so you can look at field artillery in battlefields as far apart as belgioum and Burma France and the Falklands. One WW2 officer described his riole as escorting his FOO across NW Europe.

    A lot of the innovations you mention were made in the Great War. Thats when the phoneitic alphabet and mobile wireless made their mark. However the mobile wireless was morse and phonetic alphabet was over the telephone.
  5. You could do a tour of the WW1 battlefields, explaining the evolvement of artillery employment - e.g. the creeping barrage and the short 'shock-type' barrages that were laid down prior to an assault. I'm sure there are others here who could explin this better, but I seem to remember a good description of the evolution in a book called "The Great War Generals on the Western Front, 1914-1918" by Robin Neillands.

    Might be a bit embarrassing though when you have to describe the success of many operations without any artillery preparation! ;-)
  6. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

  7. As Pteranodon says, all WW2 battles were essentially decided by the artillery...even to the extent of 70% of battlefield casualties being from artillery effects.

    Good Gunner sites for battlefield tours include Kemmel, Casino, Anzio and of course Normandy. There are half a dozen Goodwood sites/stands where you can see the reason why artillery was critical for example. Personally i love Kemmel - partly because of its' association to a battery I served in and partly for the incredible view. You can see why 5000 Frenchmen were prepared to die up there, in sadly a vain atttempt to prevent the Boche artillery gaining it as a vantage point.
  8. Incidentally this may amuse devotees of the Great War...

    Lt Bethune was obviously a very bloody minded sod! The position was in fact held!
  9. What about drivers' hours, sir?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. While Robin neillands does an OK job of presenting a general battlefield history it is a very simplified view of artillery. A better start for an artillery oriented battlefield Tour might be

    GUNNERS AT WAR. (ISBN: 0099060108 / 0-09-906010-8 ) Bidwell, Shelford.

    FIRE-POWER. THE BRITISH ARMY WEAPONS AND THEORIES OF WAR 1904-1945 by Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham

    This is a gunner oriented history of the C20th

    Neither of these should set you back more than £5 plus p&p. If you want someone else to do the history side and recommend battles and locations send a pm.
  11. One of the Yankee Military History programs was explaining how the US won the Battle of Kasserein Pass due to the superior handling of Massed Artillery, The 'Time on Target' method.

  12. I agree about the book FIRE-POWER. THE BRITISH ARMY WEAPONS AND THEORIES OF WAR 1904-1945 by Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham

    First rate accounting of how the British Army developed its use of artillery (especially the WWI era)

    As to battles won, any fought by the British Army on the Western front, from Cambrai onwards.
  13. Thank you fellas for all your info,

    We are a Comms Troop within an RA egiment so I want the lads to concentrate on what we do on a day to day basis both at home and operations and where our procedures and doctrine originated from so a WW1 tour doesnt really cater to our needs, we also did a tour of Ypres which was amazing from start to finish but we want to do something different this time.

    You have given me some brilliant information here and i will now task the lads to start researching!

    Thanks again,

  14. Your comment illustrates how much ARRSE and the world needs more artillery battlefield tours.

    ......the US system is less flexible and responsive than the British.

    The US Observer requested fire. The requests for which were then prioritiesed and authorised by a FDC. The British system authorisred observers to order fire. These are enshired in the different systems used in Fire Discipline. System 1 and system 2. (I have forgotton which is which)