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| | |-+  August-September 1914 Artillery Tactics Source?
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Author Topic: August-September 1914 Artillery Tactics Source?  (Read 460 times)
steve_holmes_11
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Posts: 538


« Reply #15 on: 08 November 2019, 09:19:59 AM »

Cannister = Case
Shrapnel (after its inventor) = Spherical Case

Two different rounds with different ranges and applications.

Quite true, but I cannot find any reference to a cannister type round for the 13 or 18 pounders in 1914.
The shrapnel shell was the only one on general issue to the field batteries at the very beginning of the war, the very first HE being rolled out in September 1914.

Thus any reference to the firld artillery firing case is likely to mean shrapnel.
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pierre the shy
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Posts: 955



« Reply #16 on: 08 November 2019, 10:02:03 AM »

Quite true, but I cannot find any reference to a cannister type round for the 13 or 18 pounders in 1914.
The shrapnel shell was the only one on general issue to the field batteries at the very beginning of the war, the very first HE being rolled out in September 1914.

Thus any reference to the firld artillery firing case is likely to mean shrapnel.

FWIW I have a book published by Pen and Sword called called "The Gunners of August 1914" by John Hutton which has a bit of info in it:

"Most of the guns at the beginning of the war were only equipped to fire shrapnel, which meant they were used largely as long-range shotguns. Only the howitzers (which were few in number) were provided with high explosive shells."

"Each brigade of artillery had a signal section attached to it, which was capable of establishing line communications (wireless communications were not yet developed) to only two batteries at one time. The theory was that the brigade commander would always be close to the other battery."

"In 1914 guns would be deployed in open or semi-open conditions; on the one hand this made it easier to bring down accurate fire, but on the other it meant that the British guns could be easily spotted by the enemy. New equipment (specifically the number 7 dial sight and number 3 director or survey instrument) had been introduced to allow the guns to fire indirectly onto their targets from covered positions out of sight of the enemy. The prevailing orthodoxy, however, despite the use of indirect fire tactics during the Russo–Japanese War, in particular at the battle of Sha-ho in September 1904, continued to stress the importance of a battery commander being able to exercise voice control over his guns from the observation post. This meant that, as the battery commander had himself to be able to see the enemy, the guns were normally deployed in either open or semi-open positions. "

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"this plan makes the Charge of the Light Brigade seem like a sensible military operation"
John Cook
Captain
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Posts: 406



« Reply #17 on: 08 November 2019, 03:34:36 PM »

Quite true, but I cannot find any reference to a cannister type round for the 13 or 18 pounders in 1914.
The shrapnel shell was the only one on general issue to the field batteries at the very beginning of the war, the very first HE being rolled out in September 1914.

Thus any reference to the firld artillery firing case is likely to mean shrapnel.

I was speaking in general terms really and, I think you are right.   I too am not aware of a specific case or cannister round for either the 13 pdr or 18pdr, only Shrapnel as you say.  I am less sure about the vocabulary of gunners at the time but I can't imagine any reference to case meaning other than Shrapnel.  The type of ammunition provided for the 13pdrs and 18pdrs in 1914 is indicative of their role as direct support to infantry/cavalry , pretty much as artillery had been for decades, if not centuries, and is why they were not grouped together for wider artillery missions.  That was left to the 4.5 inch howitzers and 60pdrs, which were provided with HE ammunition.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2019, 03:36:11 PM by John Cook » Logged
Dr Dave
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Posts: 758



« Reply #18 on: 08 November 2019, 05:08:30 PM »

Chaps, huge thanks. Really interesting info here. Much of what you’ve been saying has confirmed my suspicions: Very very limited indirect fire if any, and then from a position within voice command distance  of the btty commander/ observer.
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“In war possession of ground is nine tenths of the law,
And the infantry are the bailiff’s men”
MartinKnight1333
Cadet

Posts: 38


« Reply #19 on: 13 November 2019, 09:13:58 AM »

That is exactly why the 18prs fired cannister to destroy troops.

Also I read an account recently by an infantry man, that at the Somme the went away from using H.E on the wire as it had little effect, where as shrapenel did more damage to dense wire!!

Test were done on Slaisbury a few years back when I was near Larkhill, its failing in my opinon was the wire was not dense enough, nor thick enough like the German wire,  nor were enough rounds shot to come to the correct conclusion.

My sources are two different set of 6 volumes on each year of the war, out of print im affraid being 1920's editions.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2019, 09:15:59 AM by MartinKnight1333 » Logged
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