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German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer

German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer


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German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer

German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer

The First World War was dominated by artillery, which was responsible for around two thirds of all casualties. This book looks at over 100 different types of artillery piece used by the German Army and the coastal guns operated by the Navy during that conflict. These range from 2cm antiaircraft guns up to the massive 'Paris' guns, which fired shells into the stratosphere, and could be seen as a precursor to the many wasteful German weapons programmes of the Second World War.

We start with a short introduction looking at the development and use of artillery during the First World War, including some interesting material on attempts to improve the effectiveness of the artillery. This is then followed by the gun articles, with most getting a single page. Each one gets a brief description, technical stats and a fairly sizable picture. I'd have preferred more text and smaller photos, but the good pictures will be popular with many.

Having just read a similar book on Second World War artillery, many of these pieces look remarkably primitive in comparison (especially some of the gun mounts), but that shouldn't detract from their effectiveness - these were the weapons that created the devastating artillery bombardments recorded in so many British memoirs of the First World War. This is a useful guide to those German guns.

Chapters
Guns of the Field Artillery
Guns of the Fussartillerie and Heavy Flat-Trajectory Guns
Anti-Aircraft Guns
Infantry, Anti-Tank and Mountain Guns
Fortess Guns
Coastal Guns

Author: Wolfgang Fleischer
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 128
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2014



German Artillery

The importance of artillery in warfare grew more and more throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. New developments such as solid cannon barrels improved hit accuracy and the range of projectiles. This Fact File volume focuses on German Artillery during the Great War, when it could be argued that artillery was for the first time the dominant weapon on the battlefield. Wolfgang Fleischer discusses the diversity of artillery developed and used during the First World War by the Germans.


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The gun was a development of the previous standard howitzer, the 15 cm sFH 02. Improvements included a longer barrel resulting in better range and a gun shield to protect the crew. Variants were: the original "kurz" (L/14 – 14 calibre short barrel version), the lg. sFH13 with a longer barrel with minor modifications to simplify wartime manufacture of the lg. sFH weapons. Initially there were serious issues of weak recoil spring mechanisms that would break, and gun barrel explosions. The problems were solved with the upgrades. [2] A sub variant of the sFH 13 was the lg. 15 cm sFH 13/02 which combined the long barrel with the carriage of the earlier sFH 02 when those guns became obsolete. The sFH 13/02 gun shield wasn't hinged at the top and it only used a hydro-spring recoil system. Approximately 1,000 conversions were completed and their performance was the same with only a 40 kg difference in weight. [3] [4]

The British referred to these guns and their shells as "Five Point Nines" or "Five-Nines" as the internal diameter of the barrel was 5.9 inches (150 mm). The ability of these guns to deliver mobile heavy firepower close to the frontline gave the Germans a major firepower advantage on the Western Front early in World War I, as the French and British lacked an equivalent. [ citation needed ] It was not until late 1915 that the British began to deploy their own 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer.

About 3,500 of these guns were produced from 1913 to 1918. [5] They continued to serve in the Reichswehr and then the Wehrmacht in the interwar period as the standard heavy howitzer until the introduction of 15 cm sFH 18 in the 1930s. They were then shifted to reserve and training units, as well as to coastal artillery. Guns turned over to Belgium and the Netherlands as reparations after World War I were taken into Wehrmacht service after the conquest of the Low Countries as the 15 cm sFH 409(b) and 15 cm sFH 406(h) respectively. [6]

In the course of World War II about 94 of these howitzers were mounted on Lorraine 37L tractors to create self-propelled guns, designated 15 cm sFH13/1 (Sf) auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f).


Assault Artillery – History & Organization of Assault Gun Units #Stug Life

Intro

Time to talk about the famous the German assault guns or as they are called in German “Sturmgeschütze”. Now this video is more about the branch and organization and not individual vehicles. Thus, the name “assault artillery”, because this is the translation of the original name for this branch in German which was “Sturmartillerie”.

Origin Story

Now, the origin story of the assault artillery begins unsurprisingly in World War 1. During the war a common problem was that after a successful initial attack, the follow-up attack advanced too far for proper artillery support or that it took too long to move the guns forward. Furthermore, there was a lack of direct fire support, after all most guns were quite unwieldly and the terrain usually quite deformed from artillery fire, additionally these guns were usually not well protected even from small arms fire. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 2 see also Artillery Combat in World War 1)

The Initiative – Manstein’s Memorandum

The first major call for a “Sturmartillerie” as a mobile and armored infantry support gun was in 1935 in a memorandum from Erich von Manstein, back then, when he was still a Colonel. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3)

He proposed three main formations as the base for the Army:

1) Independent Tank division with their own organic infantry and artillery units to support the tanks.
2) Independent Tank Brigades that consisted only of tanks and that were under the authority of the Army Command to allow for the localized concentration of force.
3) Regular Infantry division with organic assault gun units to support the infantry units.

Now, the important part here is that the assault gun units should be an organic part of the infantry division. Why is this important? Well, organic divisional units are trained with the division and stay with the division all the time. This means, that other division units are familiar with these units and are also trained in operations where the various different units supported each other, thus everyone involved knows of the strength and weaknesses of the units.
Remember, even to this day tanks without proper infantry support can be quite vulnerable. Additionally, you need to consider that back then most of the German division weren’t even motorized, thus a Sturmgeschütz was quite an oddity that was mostly known from propaganda. Hence, a lot of soldiers attributed qualities to these units that they couldn’t fulfill. Something that could be deadly in combat situations. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4)

Note that the proposed number of units per division was still relatively small. Every division should have one battalion with 3 batteries each with 6 stugs, thus only 18 stugs in total. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4) But, numbers without context can be misleading. So, let’s look at a weapon system with a similar role and its number, this would be the light infantry support gun and in a regular German infantry division of 1940, just 20 of these were present, thus the number of 18 stugs is actually not that low as it might appear at first glance. (Source: Alex Buchner: Handbuch der Infanterie 1939-1945)

The first 5 prototypes were ready in Winter 1937, after which a first series of 30 units was ordered. This series wasn’t completely delivered until May 1940, hence the first time StuGs were used in significant numbers was during Operation Barbarossa. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 4)

Problems & Delays

The original plan called for an assault gun battalion for each active division until Fall 1939. Yet, due to changes in the command structure, delays in the specifications, limits of the German arms industry and internal rivalries this goal was never achieved. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4)

Even far from it, even in in May 1940 only 2 batteries were operational, whereas around 180 would have been necessary to equip all active divisions in May 1940. (Frieser, Karl-Heinz: Die deutschen Blitzkriege in: Wehrmacht: Mythos & Realität. (S. 184) Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 4-5) Furthermore, the Tank Brigades were realized neither. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7)

Operational History

At the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 the situation had changed, around 250 StuGs were ready, these were organized in 11 battalions and 5 independent batteries. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 6)

During combat it became obvious that the combat effectiveness of infantry units was increased by a large degree due to the use of the assault gun units. Due to the high amount of training, firepower and mobility. It should be noted that the assault guns were part of artillery branch, thus they were accustomed to supporting infantry from the get go. Furthermore, the better optics and stronger emphasis on artillery practice resulted in higher hit chances. Yet, one major problem was that the battalions were part of the overall Army Units and not organic units of the infantry divisions as Manstein originally had proposed, thus the coordination between the infantry and StuGs was limited. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 6)

By the end of 1942 around 27 Stug Battalions were operational on the Eastern Front, furthermore the required strength increased from 22 to 31 StuGs, although on average only 12 were operational. This means around 320 Stugs operational. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7)

Although the assault guns were originally intended for infantry support, their role changed on the Eastern Front. Soon they were used more and more as tank destroyers, because the German anti-tank guns with 37mm and 50 mm were simply not able to deal with the T-34 and KV-1, although in Summer 1942 the 75mm Pak 40 was introduced this gun was too heavy to have tactical mobility.
Since Spring 1942 the StuGs were upgraded to the F version that used the long barreled 75mm gun that was also capable with dealing with Russian tanks. And unlike the dedicated tank destroyers like the Marder I and II, it was better armored and also had a far lower silhouette. Thus, the StuG III F was the best German anti-tank weapon at its introduction. As a result, many StuGs were used in the anti-tank role, but thus they were missing for their intended role, namely supporting infantry. This was the reason for the development of the “Sturmhaubitze” (StuH), literally meaning assault howitzer. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7-9)

By the end of 1943 there were 39 assault gun battalions on the Eastern Front with a total of 1006 StuGs. The average operational rate increased to 15 Stug for each battalion. In 1943 the Wehrmacht was mostly on the defensive and the StuG became a mainstay of the defense. Once Guderian became inspector for the tank troops (“Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen”), he continuously tried to get the assault artillery integrated into the tank destroyer units, yet without success. Nevertheless, quite a large number of produced StuGs were transferred into tank divisions to compensate for the lack of regular tanks. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 9-11) This situation worsened after the failed 20th July assassination attempt against Hitler, after which Guderian became Chief of Staff. He limited the total amount of assault gun battalions to 45 and furthermore assigned a smaller portion of the produced StuGs to the assault artillery branch. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 11)

Although the output of assault guns increased year by year and reached its peak in 1944. More and more numbers were assigned to other branches. Ultimately, in March 1945 the total number of assault gun battalions was 37 with a total number 606 operational vehicles. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 12-13)

Panzertruppe – Parallel Developments “Sturmpanzer”

Now, some of you might wonder, what about the various other variants of German armored support vehicles with large guns that were similar to assault guns, like the Sturmpanzer “Bison”, the Sturmpanzer 38(t) “Grille” and of course the “Sturmtiger”? Well, those were all parallel developments by the German Tank branch.
Most of them were used with rather limited success, they were usually built upon obsolete vehicles and traded firepower for mobility and protection. Thus, giving them a rather unbalanced quality, their combat effectiveness was quite limited and for the most part they were just a waste of already limited resources. To a certain degree these parallel development by the tank branch were motivated by the fact that the assault guns were part of the artillery branch and thus avoid any dependencies to that branch. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 5-6)

Organization of StuG Units

Now, there is one question that military historians up to this day haven’t answered yet, namely what is the difference between Thug Life and StuG Life?
Well, first, the German accent and second, organization, organization , organization, so here we go.

Sturmbatterie / Sturmgeschützbatterie 1939 (K.St.N.445)

Now the original Assault Battery from 1939 had the following organization:
1 battery headquarters, 3 Platoons, an lightly armored ammo column, a transport unit and a maintenance squad.
Each of the three platoons consisted of just of 1 observation halftrack, 2 StuG III and 2 ammo half tracks.
Now, this is a rather odd setup, because the headquarters unit actually is only equipped with an observation halftrack, whereas armored headquarters units usually had a similar vehicle than their combat units. In total the unit had 5 light observation vehicles, 6 StuGs, and 6 light armored ammo carriers.
Note that this was an intended organization that was probably never achieved due to a lack of proper halftracks, which to a certain degree were replaced by trucks in the following layouts.
(Spielberger, Walter: Sturmgeschütze. S. 233)
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 18)

Sturmbatterie 1941 (K.St.N446)

Now, the 1941 version was quite similar, a major change was the addition of the 7th StuG in the headquarters unit. Furthermore for this unit, I have some data on men & equipment.
In total there were 5 officers, 1 official, 37 NCOs and 83 enlisted men. Additionally, 9 light machine guns, 17 trucks, 6 cars, 7 StuGs and 3 light armored ammo carries.
As you can see the early batteries were quite small with only 2 guns, this number increased throughout the war.

Sturmgeschützbatterie (mot) K.St.N.446 (1.11.1941)
(Spielberger, Walter: Sturmgeschütze. S. 236)
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 33)

Sturmgeschützabteilung November 1942 (K.St.N. 446a)

Now, let’s take a look at the organization of an assault gun battalion from November 1942.
It consisted of a headquarters unit and 3 assault gun batteries. Each assault gun battery consisted of a headquarters unit, 3 platoons and a transport unit. Now each platoon now had 3 StuGs and each headquarters unit one Stug, now if add the multipliers, we get a total of 31 StuGs. Finally, let’s take a look at a late war unit.

(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 67)

Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade Juni 1944 (K.St.N. 446B)

One of the latest organizations was the “Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade” which means Army assault artillery brigade from 1944.
It consisted of a brigade headquarters, 3 assault gun battalions and 1 support grenadier Battery. Each of the assault gun battalions consisted of a headquarters unit,1 assault gun battery and a transport unit. Finally, the assault gun batteries consisted of 2 assault gun platoons, 1 assault howitzer platoon, an ammo column and 1 maintenance column.
Now, if you think this is overly complicated, well, you might be right or you may not be German enough. Anyway, each assault gun platoon consisted of 4 StuGs, whereas each assault howitzer platoon consisted of 4 assault howitzers. Now, let’s take a look at the whole unit. The headquarters units together consisted of 9 vehicles. Whereas the Combat platoons for each Battalion had a total of 12 vehicles. Together there were 30 assault guns and 15 assault howitzers in the brigade.
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 105)

Summary

To summarize, the original concept for the StuG was to be a direct fire support weapon for the infantry, especially in the attack against enemy defensive position. The StuG combined mobility, firepower and protection, additionally since it was part of the artillery branch, its members were better trained in firing and also are more accustomed to support infantry units, unlike regular tank units.

Due the lack of proper tank destroyers the StuGs were used quite often as tank destroyers, for which it was also ideally suited due its strong frontal armor and low silhouette, although this was not their initially intended role. Ultimately assault gun units were also added organically to infantry divisions, but at this stage the German side was on the defense, thus the StuG was mainly used as a tank destroyer and not its original role supporting infantry in offensive operations.


Assault Artillery – History & Organization of Assault Gun Units #Stug Life

Time to talk about the famous the German assault guns or as they are called in German “Sturmgeschütze”. Now this video is more about the branch and organization and not individual vehicles. Thus, the name “assault artillery”, because this is the translation of the original name for this branch in German which was “Sturmartillerie”.

Origin Story

Now, the origin story of the assault artillery begins unsurprisingly in World War 1. During the war a common problem was that after a successful initial attack, the follow-up attack advanced too far for proper artillery support or that it took too long to move the guns forward. Furthermore, there was a lack of direct fire support, after all most guns were quite unwieldly and the terrain usually quite deformed from artillery fire, additionally these guns were usually not well protected even from small arms fire. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 2 see also Artillery Combat in World War 1)

The Initiative – Manstein’s Memorandum

The first major call for a “Sturmartillerie” as a mobile and armored infantry support gun was in 1935 in a memorandum from Erich von Manstein, back then, when he was still a Colonel. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3)

He proposed three main formations as the base for the Army:

1) Independent Tank division with their own organic infantry and artillery units to support the tanks.
2) Independent Tank Brigades that consisted only of tanks and that were under the authority of the Army Command to allow for the localized concentration of force.
3) Regular Infantry division with organic assault gun units to support the infantry units.

Now, the important part here is that the assault gun units should be an organic part of the infantry division. Why is this important? Well, organic divisional units are trained with the division and stay with the division all the time. This means, that other division units are familiar with these units and are also trained in operations where the various different units supported each other, thus everyone involved knows of the strength and weaknesses of the units.
Remember, even to this day tanks without proper infantry support can be quite vulnerable. Additionally, you need to consider that back then most of the German division weren’t even motorized, thus a Sturmgeschütz was quite an oddity that was mostly known from propaganda. Hence, a lot of soldiers attributed qualities to these units that they couldn’t fulfill. Something that could be deadly in combat situations. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4)

Note that the proposed number of units per division was still relatively small. Every division should have one battalion with 3 batteries each with 6 stugs, thus only 18 stugs in total. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4) But, numbers without context can be misleading. So, let’s look at a weapon system with a similar role and its number, this would be the light infantry support gun and in a regular German infantry division of 1940, just 20 of these were present, thus the number of 18 stugs is actually not that low as it might appear at first glance. (Source: Alex Buchner: Handbuch der Infanterie 1939-1945)

The first 5 prototypes were ready in Winter 1937, after which a first series of 30 units was ordered. This series wasn’t completely delivered until May 1940, hence the first time StuGs were used in significant numbers was during Operation Barbarossa. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 4)

Problems & Delays

The original plan called for an assault gun battalion for each active division until Fall 1939. Yet, due to changes in the command structure, delays in the specifications, limits of the German arms industry and internal rivalries this goal was never achieved. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 3-4)

Even far from it, even in in May 1940 only 2 batteries were operational, whereas around 180 would have been necessary to equip all active divisions in May 1940. (Frieser, Karl-Heinz: Die deutschen Blitzkriege in: Wehrmacht: Mythos & Realität. (S. 184) Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 4-5) Furthermore, the Tank Brigades were realized neither. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7)

Operational History

At the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 the situation had changed, around 250 StuGs were ready, these were organized in 11 battalions and 5 independent batteries. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 6)

During combat it became obvious that the combat effectiveness of infantry units was increased by a large degree due to the use of the assault gun units. Due to the high amount of training, firepower and mobility. It should be noted that the assault guns were part of artillery branch, thus they were accustomed to supporting infantry from the get go. Furthermore, the better optics and stronger emphasis on artillery practice resulted in higher hit chances. Yet, one major problem was that the battalions were part of the overall Army Units and not organic units of the infantry divisions as Manstein originally had proposed, thus the coordination between the infantry and StuGs was limited. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 6)

By the end of 1942 around 27 Stug Battalions were operational on the Eastern Front, furthermore the required strength increased from 22 to 31 StuGs, although on average only 12 were operational. This means around 320 Stugs operational. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7)

Although the assault guns were originally intended for infantry support, their role changed on the Eastern Front. Soon they were used more and more as tank destroyers, because the German anti-tank guns with 37mm and 50 mm were simply not able to deal with the T-34 and KV-1, although in Summer 1942 the 75mm Pak 40 was introduced this gun was too heavy to have tactical mobility.
Since Spring 1942 the StuGs were upgraded to the F version that used the long barreled 75mm gun that was also capable with dealing with Russian tanks. And unlike the dedicated tank destroyers like the Marder I and II, it was better armored and also had a far lower silhouette. Thus, the StuG III F was the best German anti-tank weapon at its introduction. As a result, many StuGs were used in the anti-tank role, but thus they were missing for their intended role, namely supporting infantry. This was the reason for the development of the “Sturmhaubitze” (StuH), literally meaning assault howitzer. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 7-9)

By the end of 1943 there were 39 assault gun battalions on the Eastern Front with a total of 1006 StuGs. The average operational rate increased to 15 Stug for each battalion. In 1943 the Wehrmacht was mostly on the defensive and the StuG became a mainstay of the defense. Once Guderian became inspector for the tank troops (“Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen”), he continuously tried to get the assault artillery integrated into the tank destroyer units, yet without success. Nevertheless, quite a large number of produced StuGs were transferred into tank divisions to compensate for the lack of regular tanks. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 9-11) This situation worsened after the failed 20th July assassination attempt against Hitler, after which Guderian became Chief of Staff. He limited the total amount of assault gun battalions to 45 and furthermore assigned a smaller portion of the produced StuGs to the assault artillery branch. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 11)

Although the output of assault guns increased year by year and reached its peak in 1944. More and more numbers were assigned to other branches. Ultimately, in March 1945 the total number of assault gun battalions was 37 with a total number 606 operational vehicles. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 12-13)

Panzertruppe – Parallel Developments “Sturmpanzer”

Now, some of you might wonder, what about the various other variants of German armored support vehicles with large guns that were similar to assault guns, like the Sturmpanzer “Bison”, the Sturmpanzer 38(t) “Grille” and of course the “Sturmtiger”? Well, those were all parallel developments by the German Tank branch.
Most of them were used with rather limited success, they were usually built upon obsolete vehicles and traded firepower for mobility and protection. Thus, giving them a rather unbalanced quality, their combat effectiveness was quite limited and for the most part they were just a waste of already limited resources. To a certain degree these parallel development by the tank branch were motivated by the fact that the assault guns were part of the artillery branch and thus avoid any dependencies to that branch. (Wettstein, Adrian: Sturmartillerie, S. 5-6)

Organization of StuG Units

Now, there is one question that military historians up to this day haven’t answered yet, namely what is the difference between Thug Life and StuG Life?
Well, first, the German accent and second, organization, organization , organization, so here we go.

Sturmbatterie / Sturmgeschützbatterie 1939 (K.St.N.445)

Now the original Assault Battery from 1939 had the following organization:
1 battery headquarters, 3 Platoons, an lightly armored ammo column, a transport unit and a maintenance squad.
Each of the three platoons consisted of just of 1 observation halftrack, 2 StuG III and 2 ammo half tracks.
Now, this is a rather odd setup, because the headquarters unit actually is only equipped with an observation halftrack, whereas armored headquarters units usually had a similar vehicle than their combat units. In total the unit had 5 light observation vehicles, 6 StuGs, and 6 light armored ammo carriers.
Note that this was an intended organization that was probably never achieved due to a lack of proper halftracks, which to a certain degree were replaced by trucks in the following layouts.
(Spielberger, Walter: Sturmgeschütze. S. 233)
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 18)

Sturmbatterie 1941 (K.St.N446)

Now, the 1941 version was quite similar, a major change was the addition of the 7th StuG in the headquarters unit. Furthermore for this unit, I have some data on men & equipment.
In total there were 5 officers, 1 official, 37 NCOs and 83 enlisted men. Additionally, 9 light machine guns, 17 trucks, 6 cars, 7 StuGs and 3 light armored ammo carries.
As you can see the early batteries were quite small with only 2 guns, this number increased throughout the war.

Sturmgeschützbatterie (mot) K.St.N.446 (1.11.1941)
(Spielberger, Walter: Sturmgeschütze. S. 236)
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 33)

Sturmgeschützabteilung November 1942 (K.St.N. 446a)

Now, let’s take a look at the organization of an assault gun battalion from November 1942.
It consisted of a headquarters unit and 3 assault gun batteries. Each assault gun battery consisted of a headquarters unit, 3 platoons and a transport unit. Now each platoon now had 3 StuGs and each headquarters unit one Stug, now if add the multipliers, we get a total of 31 StuGs. Finally, let’s take a look at a late war unit.

(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 67)

Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade Juni 1944 (K.St.N. 446B)

One of the latest organizations was the “Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade” which means Army assault artillery brigade from 1944.
It consisted of a brigade headquarters, 3 assault gun battalions and 1 support grenadier Battery. Each of the assault gun battalions consisted of a headquarters unit,1 assault gun battery and a transport unit. Finally, the assault gun batteries consisted of 2 assault gun platoons, 1 assault howitzer platoon, an ammo column and 1 maintenance column.
Now, if you think this is overly complicated, well, you might be right or you may not be German enough. Anyway, each assault gun platoon consisted of 4 StuGs, whereas each assault howitzer platoon consisted of 4 assault howitzers. Now, let’s take a look at the whole unit. The headquarters units together consisted of 9 vehicles. Whereas the Combat platoons for each Battalion had a total of 12 vehicles. Together there were 30 assault guns and 15 assault howitzers in the brigade.
(Fleischer, Wolfgang: Die deutschen Sturmgeschütze 1935-1945. S. 105)

Summary

To summarize, the original concept for the StuG was to be a direct fire support weapon for the infantry, especially in the attack against enemy defensive position. The StuG combined mobility, firepower and protection, additionally since it was part of the artillery branch, its members were better trained in firing and also are more accustomed to support infantry units, unlike regular tank units.

Due the lack of proper tank destroyers the StuGs were used quite often as tank destroyers, for which it was also ideally suited due its strong frontal armor and low silhouette, although this was not their initially intended role. Ultimately assault gun units were also added organically to infantry divisions, but at this stage the German side was on the defense, thus the StuG was mainly used as a tank destroyer and not its original role supporting infantry in offensive operations.


German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer - History

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                                            German Heavy 24 cm Cannon: Development and Operations 1916-1945

                                            Wolfgang Fleischer
                                            Available Now

                                            Provides a detailed account of the use and the design of the German heavy 24 cm cannon.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | over 100 b/w photographs, drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764305696 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Heavy Field Artillery in World War II

                                            German heavy artillery as used on all fronts and with a variety of sizes and capabilities.

                                            Size: 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" | b/w photos, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887407598 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Heavy Half-Tracked Prime Movers

                                            Reinhard Frank
                                            Available Now

                                            The Sd.Kfz.8 and Sd.Kfz.9 heavy prime movers of the Wehrmacht on a variety of war fronts.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | over 100 b/w photographs | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764301674 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Heavy Reconnaissance Vehicles

                                            Horst Scheibert
                                            Available Now

                                            Covers the types and usage of German heavy reconnaissance vehicles.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887405211 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Infantry Carts, Army Field Wagons, Army Sleds 1900-1945

                                            Wilfried Kopenhagen
                                            Available Now

                                            First book ever published on this little known aspect of German military equipment. Shown is the wide variety of horsedrawn.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" X 11" | over 100 b/w photos | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764312731 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Light and Heavy Infantry Artillery 1914-1945

                                            Shown are the various caliber heavy guns used by the German infantry during World Wars I & II.

                                            Size: 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" | over 70 b/w photographs | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887408151 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Light Field Artillery in World War II

                                            German light artillery as used on all fronts and with a variety of sizes and capabilities.

                                            Size: 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887407604 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Light Half-Tracked Prime Movers 1934-1945

                                            Reinhard Frank
                                            Available Now

                                            Covers all of the light half-tacked prime movers used by Germany during WWII.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | over 100 b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764302626 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Medium Flak in Combat

                                            Werner Muller
                                            Available Now

                                            Numerous action photographs and a detailed text depict the use of German medium flak in combat.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887403514 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Medium Half-Tracked Prime Movers 1934-1945

                                            Reinhard Frank
                                            Available Now

                                            Covers all of the medium half-tracked prime movers used by German forces during WWII.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | over 100 b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764302633 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Military Motorcycles in the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht 1934-1945

                                            Horst Hinrichsen
                                            Available Now

                                            This volume of photographs provides a documentation of the many motorcycle riders and their various cycles between 1934 and.

                                            Size: 7" x 10" | over 300 b/w photographs | 200 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764301926 | Binding: hard cover

                                            German Motorcycles in World War II

                                            Stefan Knittel
                                            Available Now

                                            Covers the different types and variations of German motorcycles used in WWII.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887402050 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Motorized Artillery and Panzer Artillery in World War II

                                            Wolfgang Fleischer and Richard Eiermann
                                            Available Now

                                            Size: 7" x 10" | 260+ b/w photos, line drawings, charts | 160 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764320958 | Binding: hard cover

                                            German Remote-Control Tank Units 1940-1943

                                            Markus Jaugitz
                                            Available Now

                                            Covered are the radio and wire controlled vehicles as used by the Wehrmacht in 1940-1943.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | over 100 b/w photos, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764301780 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Remote-Control Tank Units 1943-1945

                                            Markus Jaugitz
                                            Available Now

                                            Covered are the radio and wire controlled vehicles as used by the Wehrmacht in 1943-1945. These vehicles were used for mine.

                                            Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 52 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780764301858 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Rocket Launchers in WWII

                                            Joachim Engelmann
                                            Available Now

                                            This book covers both in photographs and text the various rocket launchers used by Germany in WWII.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887402401 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Self-Propelled Artillery in WWII: Bison

                                            Joachim Engelmann
                                            Available Now

                                            This book covers the design and use of the self-propelled armored vehicle Bison in WWII.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887404061 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Self-Propelled Artillery in WWII: Wespe

                                            Joachim Engelmann
                                            Available Now

                                            This book covers the design and use of the self-propelled armored vehicle Wespe in WWII.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887404078 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Tanks in WWI: The A7V & Early Tank Development

                                            Werner Haupt
                                            Available Now

                                            This book covers the earliest forms of German armored fighting vehicles used primarily in WWI.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 48 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887402371 | Binding: soft cover

                                            German Trucks & Cars in WWII Vol.I: Personnel Cars in Wartime

                                            Reinhard Frank
                                            Available Now

                                            Covers the different types of trucks and cars used by Germany in WWII.

                                            Size: 11" x 8 1/4" | b/w photographs, line drawings | 52 pp
                                            ISBN13: 9780887401626 | Binding: soft cover


                                            42 cm gamma mortar “Dicke Bertha”

                                            The 42-cm gamma mortars were manufactured by Krupp to meet the needs of the General Staff for guns capable of destroying the heavy fortresses in Belgium and France.

                                            Under the disguise short naval cannon 1909, the first mortar of this caliber was presented. After the first test runs and the improvement of the ammunition, the first 4 guns were delivered with the beginning of the First World War.
                                            The additional denomination "Dicke Bertha", however, refers only to the version of the guns that are equipped with a wheeled carriage.
                                            For the relocation of the gun 10 railway wagons were necessary and for the construction it took about 24 hours.

                                            Especially when taking the fortresses around the Belgian cities of Liège and Antwerp showed the enormous firepower of the guns. However, unlike modern fortresses, the Belgian ones were not made of reinforced concrete, which explains the great destruction.

                                            The guns were also used at Verdun, but due to the construction with reinforced concrete, the guns did not do so much damage.

                                            After the First World War, all 42-cm guns had to be handed over to the Allies due to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. However, one of the guns remained undetected on the test site of Krupp and was later discovered and used by the Wehrmacht. During the Eastern campaign and the siege of the Russian fortress Sevastopol, the gun was used for the first time in World War II. The second and final mission took place in September 1944, during the suppression of the uprising in Warsaw. The whereabouts of the gun is still unclear.

                                            42 cm gamma mortar "Dicke Bertha"

                                            Designation: 42 cm gamma mortar
                                            Country of Origin: German Empire
                                            Manufacturer Companies: Krupp
                                            Year: 1909
                                            Number of pieces: 10
                                            Caliber: 420mm
                                            Tube length: 6700mm
                                            Rate of fire: 1 shot/5 min
                                            Mass: 76.400Kg

                                            You can find the right literature here:

                                            German Artillery: 1914-1918 (Fact File)

                                            German Artillery: 1914-1918 (Fact File) Paperback – October 3, 2015

                                            The importance of artillery in warfare grew more and more throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. New developments such as solid cannon barrels improved hit accuracy and the range of projectiles. This Fact File volume focuses on German Artillery during the Great War, when it could be argued that artillery was for the first time the dominant weapon on the battlefield. Wolfgang Fleischer discusses the diversity of artillery developed and used during the First World War by the Germans.

                                            42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard)

                                            42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard) Paperback – January 21, 2014

                                            Big Bertha, Germany's World War I top secret mobile artillery piece, easily destroyed French and Belgian forts, helping set the stage for trench warfare.

                                            In the first days of World War I, Germany unveiled a new weapon - the mobile 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. At the time, it was the largest artillery piece of its kind in the world and a closely guarded secret. When war broke out, two of the howitzers were rushed directly from the factory to Liege where they quickly destroyed two forts and compelled the fortress to surrender. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German soldiers christened the howitzers 'Grosse' or 'Dicke Berta' (Fat or Big Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, owner of the Krupp armament works that built the howitzers. The nickname was soon picked up by German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of Big Bertha was born. To the Allies, the existence of the howitzers came as a complete surprise and the sudden fall of the Belgian fortresses spawned rumors and misinformation, adding to the 42cm howitzer's mythology.

                                            In reality, 'Big Bertha" was but the last in a series of large-caliber siege guns designed by the German Army for the purpose of destroying concrete fortifications. It was also only one of two types of 42cm calibre howitzers built for the army by Krupp and only a small part of the siege artillery available to the German Army at the outset of the war. Such were the successes of the German siege guns that both the French and British Armies decided to field their own heavy siege guns and, after the German guns handily destroyed Russian forts during the German offensives in the east in 1915, the French Army abandoned their forts. However, by 1916, as the war settled into a stalemate, the effectiveness of the siege guns diminished until, by war's end, 'Big Bertha' and the other siege guns were themselves outmoded.

                                            This book details the design and development of German siege guns before and during World War I, to include four models of 30.5cm mortars, two versions of 28cm howitzers, and two types of 42cm howitzers (including 'Big Bertha') in total, eight different types of siege guns. Accompanying the text are many rare, never before published, photographs of 'Big Bertha' and the other German siege guns. Colour illustrations depict the most important aspects of the German siege artillery.

                                            German Artillery of World War One

                                            German Artillery of World War One Hardcover – September 14, 2001

                                            World War I introduced the use of artillery on a hitherto unprecedented scale, changing the very nature of war from a series of set-piece battles to stalemates punctuated by attacks on frontlines. Starting with development of German artillery through 1914, this illustrated history describes in detail the light and heavy howitzers used by the Germans before going on to examine heavy mortars and long-range weapons. Specialist weapons for mountain, coastal and railway use are also covered, along with specialist engineer and infantry guns.

                                            Railway Guns: British and German Guns at War

                                            Railway Guns: British and German Guns at War Hardcover – February 17, 2017

                                            In the nineteenth century the War Office showed little interest in developing large heavy artillery for its land forces, preferring instead to equip its warships with the biggest guns. Private initiatives to mount a gun on a railway truck pulled by a steam engine were demonstrated before military chiefs in the Southern Counties, but not taken up. However, the development of longer-range guns, weighing up to 250 tons, to smash through the massive armies and trench systems on the Western Front in 1916, led to a rethink. The only way to move these monsters about quickly in countryside thick with mud was to mount them on specially built railway trucks towed by locomotives.

                                            The railway guns were to be put on little-used country lines where they could fire on beaches, road junctions and harbors. The locations and cooperation given by the independent railway companies is explained, as are the difficulties of using the same lines for war and civilian traffic.

                                            The First World War also saw the emergence of large training camps for railway men. When the war ended most railway guns were dismantled and lost in ordnance depots. The Army Council was uncertain about artillery needs in a future war, so training, and development stopped.

                                            This book largely concentrates on the realities of the time, the type of gun, the locomotives, artillery targets, locations, and what it was like when firing took place. It is fully illustrated with pictures, maps and plans covering different aspects of railway guns their locomotives and equipment.


                                            10.5 cm lightweight field howitzer 98/09

                                            The 10.5-cm field howitzer 98/09 went back to the 10.5 -cm Feldhaubitze 98, which were delivered at the end of the 19th century to the German troops. Just a few years later, the introduced model was outdated as a solid recoil weapon and the company Krupp was commissioned to modernize the gun.

                                            Between 1902 and 1904 different variants were presented, which, however, did not meet the expectations of the Ministry of War. Only with the variant of 1909 could be fulfilled, with which the gun also got the additional designation 09.

                                            Captured by British soldiers 10,5-cm field howitzer 98/09

                                            Designation: 10.5 cm lightweight field howitzer 98/09
                                            Country of Origin: German Empire
                                            Manufacturer Companies: Krupp
                                            Year: 1909
                                            Number of pieces: 1230
                                            Caliber: 105mm
                                            Tube length: 1625mm
                                            Rate of fire: 4 shot/min
                                            Mass: 2260Kg

                                            10.5 cm light field howitzer 98/09 in the troop of the Ottoman Empire

                                            10.5 cm lightweight field howitzer 98/09

                                            Captured by Canadian soldiers 10.5-cm lightweight field howitzer 98/09

                                            Battered german field cannon in the forest of Méreaucourt

                                            You can find the right literature here:

                                            German Artillery: 1914-1918 (Fact File)

                                            German Artillery: 1914-1918 (Fact File) Paperback – October 3, 2015

                                            The importance of artillery in warfare grew more and more throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. New developments such as solid cannon barrels improved hit accuracy and the range of projectiles. This Fact File volume focuses on German Artillery during the Great War, when it could be argued that artillery was for the first time the dominant weapon on the battlefield. Wolfgang Fleischer discusses the diversity of artillery developed and used during the First World War by the Germans.

                                            42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard)

                                            42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard) Paperback – January 21, 2014

                                            Big Bertha, Germany's World War I top secret mobile artillery piece, easily destroyed French and Belgian forts, helping set the stage for trench warfare.

                                            In the first days of World War I, Germany unveiled a new weapon - the mobile 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. At the time, it was the largest artillery piece of its kind in the world and a closely guarded secret. When war broke out, two of the howitzers were rushed directly from the factory to Liege where they quickly destroyed two forts and compelled the fortress to surrender. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German soldiers christened the howitzers 'Grosse' or 'Dicke Berta' (Fat or Big Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, owner of the Krupp armament works that built the howitzers. The nickname was soon picked up by German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of Big Bertha was born. To the Allies, the existence of the howitzers came as a complete surprise and the sudden fall of the Belgian fortresses spawned rumors and misinformation, adding to the 42cm howitzer's mythology.

                                            In reality, 'Big Bertha" was but the last in a series of large-caliber siege guns designed by the German Army for the purpose of destroying concrete fortifications. It was also only one of two types of 42cm calibre howitzers built for the army by Krupp and only a small part of the siege artillery available to the German Army at the outset of the war. Such were the successes of the German siege guns that both the French and British Armies decided to field their own heavy siege guns and, after the German guns handily destroyed Russian forts during the German offensives in the east in 1915, the French Army abandoned their forts. However, by 1916, as the war settled into a stalemate, the effectiveness of the siege guns diminished until, by war's end, 'Big Bertha' and the other siege guns were themselves outmoded.

                                            This book details the design and development of German siege guns before and during World War I, to include four models of 30.5cm mortars, two versions of 28cm howitzers, and two types of 42cm howitzers (including 'Big Bertha') in total, eight different types of siege guns. Accompanying the text are many rare, never before published, photographs of 'Big Bertha' and the other German siege guns. Colour illustrations depict the most important aspects of the German siege artillery.

                                            German Artillery of World War One

                                            German Artillery of World War One Hardcover – September 14, 2001

                                            World War I introduced the use of artillery on a hitherto unprecedented scale, changing the very nature of war from a series of set-piece battles to stalemates punctuated by attacks on frontlines. Starting with development of German artillery through 1914, this illustrated history describes in detail the light and heavy howitzers used by the Germans before going on to examine heavy mortars and long-range weapons. Specialist weapons for mountain, coastal and railway use are also covered, along with specialist engineer and infantry guns.

                                            Railway Guns: British and German Guns at War

                                            Railway Guns: British and German Guns at War Hardcover – February 17, 2017

                                            In the nineteenth century the War Office showed little interest in developing large heavy artillery for its land forces, preferring instead to equip its warships with the biggest guns. Private initiatives to mount a gun on a railway truck pulled by a steam engine were demonstrated before military chiefs in the Southern Counties, but not taken up. However, the development of longer-range guns, weighing up to 250 tons, to smash through the massive armies and trench systems on the Western Front in 1916, led to a rethink. The only way to move these monsters about quickly in countryside thick with mud was to mount them on specially built railway trucks towed by locomotives.

                                            The railway guns were to be put on little-used country lines where they could fire on beaches, road junctions and harbors. The locations and cooperation given by the independent railway companies is explained, as are the difficulties of using the same lines for war and civilian traffic.

                                            The First World War also saw the emergence of large training camps for railway men. When the war ended most railway guns were dismantled and lost in ordnance depots. The Army Council was uncertain about artillery needs in a future war, so training, and development stopped.

                                            This book largely concentrates on the realities of the time, the type of gun, the locomotives, artillery targets, locations, and what it was like when firing took place. It is fully illustrated with pictures, maps and plans covering different aspects of railway guns their locomotives and equipment.


                                            Watch the video: Τό Πυροβολικό Ἐμβατήριο (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Vojinn

    Did you quickly come up with such a matchless phrase?

  2. Glewlwyd

    Lovely thought

  3. Fenribar

    Exactly! I like this idea, I completely agree with you.



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