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The "Real" German 88

Discussion in 'German Heavy Weapons' started by KodiakBeer, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    That's impressive ballistics. So, I would hazard to guess that anyone being shot at by one of these would only hear the report of the gun after the explosion of the shell. BANG-whump, rather than whump-BANG.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Hey Rich, just checked my copy of Ian Hogg's "German Artillery in World War Two" and he definitely states that the pre-war infantry divisions had a medium battery composed of eight 15cm howitzers and four 10cm guns.
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know he does, but unfortunately Saint Ian knew more about the technical aspects of the German artillery than he did the organizational aspects of it. A less extreme case of a certain other poster we are likely all familiar with from the OMAHA Beach train wreck thread. ;)

    The 10cm sFK was originally intended as the primary counter-battery piece of the Heer. They were found pre-mobilization as a battery in the II.Abteilung of the two-battalion Heeres (schwere) Artillerie Regiment, which was administratively part of the 50-odd peacetime Infanterie-Divisionen along with a three-battalion (leichte) Artillerie-Regiment. However, on mobilization, the two-battalion regiment was split. The headquarters (Regimentstab) and II. Abteilung became Heerestruppen. The I. Abteilung then became the IV. Abteilung of the divisional regiment. The II. Abteilung consisted of two batteries of 15c, s.FH and one battery of 10cm s.FK. They became Korpstruppen, along with the Regimentstab. Later in the war, many of the 10cm s.FK batteries were split off and formed as three-battery battalions as Heerestruppen.

    For example, prewar the 34th ID consisted of Artillerie-Regiment 34. with three light battalions and Artillerie-Regiment 70. with two heavy battalions. On mobilization, AR 70. became Heerestruppen, assigned to the XII. Armeekorps with its Regimentstab and II. Abteilung with its two 15cm s.FH and one 10cm s.FK batteries. Its I. Abteilung was then renumbered and became IV./Artillerie-Regiment 34., but with just three 15cm s.FH batteries.

    The prewar Infanterie-Division also included a Artillerie-Beobachtungs Abteilung (observation battalion) that also split off as Heerestruppen for assignment to a Korps.

    There were minor exceptions, such as to the artillery regiment of the mobilized motorized infantry division, which retained its 10cm s.FK battery when mobilized. The Panzer Division also followed a different course. Its Artillerie-Regiment prewar consisted of just two light battalions and a third attached (schwere) Abteilung comprised of two 15cm s.FH and one 10cm s.FK battery from the Heerestruppen. In October 1940, the attached battalions were all renumbered as part of the divisional artillery regiment. Confusing things, the division often referred to the battalions that were technically only attached Heerestruppen by their divisional designation often before they were officially renumbered. o_O

    Cheers!
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Rich, Three questions:

    1. Where did you get this info? Not doubting you but am interested in reviewing it myself-if possible.
    2. I would think the Heer's main counterbattery weapon, at least after 1941 was the 17cm Kanone 18. Correct?
    3. If this is correct, I'm not sure of the role of the 10cm kanone. What was it's role later in the war?
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    1. Lexikon der Wehrmacht, Nafziger, Tessin, RG 242, et al, and 30-odd years of deciphering them. :)
    2. Production of the 17cm K.i.Mrs.-Laf. (gun in howitzer carriage) began in 1941 when 91 were produced. Total production was on the order of 388. Production of the s.FK 18 began in 1931-1932 and it was fielded in 1933. Production by the start of the war was 702 and wartime production was 1,515. The 10cm K18 was the standard counter-battery piece at the division and corps level. The Heer intended it to be augmented by a heavier and longer-ranged 15cm piece, but never liked what they got and thus went to the later 17cm, putting it on the same carriage as the 21cm M 18. The 17cm i.Mrs.-Laf. became the standard heavy counter-battery piece.
    3. It's role did not change. It remained a counter-battery piece in mixed and homogeneous battalions to the end of the war.
     
  6. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Thanks!
     

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