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The current time is: 12/18/2017 9:30:31 AM
 Ordnance    
AuthorMessage
17thfabn
Ohio, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 43

How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/11/2017 11:05:43 PM
I've done several searches on the net. Can't find any good studies on this subject. How effective is artillery against troops that are dug in?

I wish I still had a copy of U.S. Army FM-640.

I'm interested in World War II weapons such as the U.S. pack 75 mm howitzer, the Brit 25 lb gun/howitzer , 105 mm and 155 mm and 8" howitzers.

And modern 105 mm and 155 mm 8" howitzers.

I'm assuming the troops have overhead cover.

Using standard High Explosive projectiles.

No direct hit on the trench or foxholes.
---------------
Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3555

Re: How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/12/2017 1:39:53 AM
17thfabn,

 I have some of this but I'll have to dig it out of an old TM.

 Meanwhile, check out this page, particularly the final entry (click to access the document). Salt's information is wonderful. [Read More]

 A 1945 edition of FM 6-40 can be found here. [Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3555

Re: How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/12/2017 3:54:11 AM
 TM 9-1907 (July 1948) lists the following factors for casualty reduction given these cases:


Men prone, flat terrain, no shielding 3
Men standing, rolling terrain, no shielding 2
Men prone, rolling terrain, country fields 4
Men firing from trenches 10 to 20
Men in foxholes 20 to 100


 To your question of "effectiveness". Note that artillery strikes have varying degrees of effectiveness; sometimes suppression of the target is considered good enough. Also don't forget the British OR findings that "number of bangs" (explosions) is key; thus, a barrage with very many 75-mm projectiles may be more effective in reducing the functioning of a target than a few hits with heavier pieces.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2967

Re: How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/12/2017 9:00:49 AM
I'm not sure about fox holes and trenches, but most of the Pacific Islands help by the Japanese, that were invaded by the US and taken. These Islands like a "dug in Tarawa". were extensively shelled and bombed with little effect causing massive casualties to the invasion force! Granted low tides and shallowed area (reefs) landing zones, hurt the Marines! But still it seems dug in forces in WWII were relatively un-scathed by artillery!?

Many fortified islands invaded were costly!
What say you?
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

17thfabn
Ohio, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 43

Re: How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/12/2017 11:34:07 AM

Quote:
I'm not sure about fox holes and trenches, but most of the Pacific Islands help by the Japanese, that were invaded by the US and taken. These Islands like a "dug in Tarawa". were extensively shelled and bombed with little effect causing massive casualties to the invasion force! Granted low tides and shallowed area (reefs) landing zones, hurt the Marines! But still it seems dug in forces in WWII were relatively un-scathed by artillery!?

Many fortified islands invaded were costly!
What say you?
MD
--Michigan Dave



The Japanese fortifications on the various Pacific Islands could be thought of as fortification on steroids!

I have read that Naval bombardment by the USN was less effective than expected. High velocity naval guns often skipping off of Japanese fighting positions.
---------------
Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.

17thfabn
Ohio, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 43

Re: How effective is artillery against infantry in foxholes and trenches?
Posted on: 9/15/2017 4:49:09 PM

Quote:
 TM 9-1907 (July 1948) lists the following factors for casualty reduction given these cases:

To your question of "effectiveness". Note that artillery strikes have varying degrees of effectiveness; sometimes suppression of the target is considered good enough. Also don't forget the British OR findings that "number of bangs" (explosions) is key; thus, a barrage with very many 75-mm projectiles may be more effective in reducing the functioning of a target than a few hits with heavier pieces.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


In some circumstances suppression may be sufficient. In that case a light artillery would be sufficient.

But there are situations where causing causalities and permanently degrading the enemy are needed.

Men in protected positions with overhead cover are fairly well protected from shell fragments.

But a artillery shell with fuse delay will cause a crater. The bigger the shell the bigger the crater. If the crater caused by the artillery shell is close enough it should collapse the fighting position injuring the defender.
---------------
Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.

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