Question for the Gunners - Sniping with the 105mm Light Gun

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by toadinthehole, May 4, 2005.

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  1. Does the RA still practice precision 'sniping' with a single gun as described by Sydney Jarry in his world war 2 account of '18 Platoon' - or has this technique passed its sell-by date and gone the same way as the barrage?
  2. when I was in 289 Cdo Bty we often practiced using the guns in an anti tank role. the range was well over 2000 metres so I suppose you can say yes - Also if you read any accounts of 19 Fd Reg in Boz they often took out single tagets in line of sight. Sounds like sniping to me! 8)
  3. Thanks Rifle.

    The book - which is a good read - talks about indirect fire 'sniping' where a FOO brought a single gun onto German inf. in dead ground in very close to a British defended locality.
  4. I was going to mention the Direct Fire role, not sure if AS90 does that but I am pretty sure Lt Gun boys still do it

    Possibly better posted on the Gunners board methinks
  5. A 155 hit from AS90 will separate the turret from its ring on anything. However, the chances of hitting, say a T80 doing 75kmh across your arcs, with none of the lasing/sighting kit which you'd expect to find on an MBT is fairly small. With no stabilisation of course, the shoot would need to be done from a static position - which does not bode well if you fail to make a first round kill...

    Light guns still train in the direct role but there is a hell of a lot less KE in a 105 shell and you would still have the mobility problem - more so on the basis that the piece is towed and not SP.

    Your example sounds more a 'danger close' than a 'direct fire' engagement.
  6. When I was in 29 we used to practise the "pistol gun" tactic. It is heavily resource intensive though and of questionable tactical value - I'm not saying it doesn't have a role, I'm just saying in 99.9% of cases it isn't exactly an act of war to lob a 33lb brick and hope to do some terric damage...
  7. Cuddles, in what circumstances would you use this technique ?
  8. In the very limited experience of gunnery that I have, shameful considering I was 12 yrs in the Royal Regt, I was told that the Direct Fire role was usually used in the with draw, that is fire conventionally till you see the whites of there eyes then try to tke the tanks directly. Its a bit redundent now due to advancement in AT weaponary carried by the Infantry
  9. Oooh now you are asking...typical uses as I recall would be in a deception plan, or interdiction or harassing fire while the rest of the battery moved, marking targets, screening smoke tasks for detached units, plus the whole range of "normal" arty tasks but without power; golly now I remember why I got a B on my FOOs course - bastard Australian IG, humourless cnut...
  10. I saw a troop of light guns demo the direct role on Pond jump west. The Bn was drawn up on a hil and along came the troop, lots of running around setting the guns up and engaged some tank targets circa 2km away, blatted away for three mins. Missed the tragets and stopped.

    Bit of a shame really.

    It did look really good though.

    So here's a question, if it's so hard to hit a target over open sights why did the german 88 hit so many Shermans?
  11. Peter Wilkinson MC's book, "The Gunners at Arnhem" talks at reasonable length about the use of sniping guns in OBUA (as well as all the obvious AT stuff).

    IAs on observing enemy in a building were to put a couple of WP smoke through the downstairs windows of the house and promptly move on to the next problem. A technique developed on the way up Italy the previous year.

    More generally, Cuddles is talking about a trickle move - usually by pairs so the there is always a foot on the ground (or better yet 2 out of 3 - the foot analogy sort of breaks down at this point...) to give fire if/when it is required.

    (I didn't know that they gave out Bs... :lol: )

    Shermans were rather slower than export T80s and tended to 'brewup' even from a glancing strike (hence 'Ronsons' and 'Tommy Cookers'). The 88 was designed as FAK (AA) not PAK (AT) so had a reasonably high and accurate rate of fire, as well as lots of range and plenty of KE. The true/original PAK were phased out rapidly when it became clear that they were just not up to the job. As the war progressed further, the Germans ended up with what were effectively SP AT Guns as a cheaper alternative to more panzers.
  12. I have no evidence though would guess a high velocity round (thus a shorter flight time when compared to the LG) coupled with plenty of practice on the Ost Front :)
  13. As far as I know the 88 had a good quality optical sight fitted for direct fire work. It was always designed with ground use in mind. And there was a 88 mm PaK (PaK 44 ?) but few saw action. Luckily for us.

    It begs the question why we don't fit the same to our kit ?
  14. As I understand it, it wasn't really tried with the 3.7" AA gun - see:

    Because by 1942, we had the 17-pounder as a dedicated anti-tank gun; at least as good as the 88mm, it went onto the Sherman Firefly and the early Centurion.