WORST Artillery piece of them all?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by ivanotter, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. ivanotter

    ivanotter Member

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    I just wonder:

    We have seen a lot of good comments on all the "BEST... artillery/..."

    Does anyone have a bid on the worst artillery piece? for the life of me, I cannot find even one, which is plain bad.

    Anyone?

    Ivan
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    #2 fastmongrel, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
    The British 95mm infantry howitzer. It was an infantry gun made from a mix of parts and kept falling to pieces when it was fired in trials. There is very little info about it I think the war office was so embarrased they kept quiet about it. It was made from a cut down 3.7" AA barrel liner with a 25 pounder breech, a 6 pounder recoil mechanism, wheels from a jeep, a welded split trail and fired ammo from the 3.7" pack howitzer used by mountain troops. Ordnance QF 95 mm Howitzer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have never come across a good picture of the 95mm googling it brings up pictures of the close support tank or pictures of the 3.7" pack howitzer this google link shows a 95mm firing but the side picture is of a 3.7" pack not a 95mm.

    The encyclopedia of weapons of World ... - Google Books
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It could be a prime contender for mass produced but never issued in earnest.

    There are a few pictures in Ian Hogg's book on British and American artillery of WW II.

    A number of the WW I left overs might be candidates but that is more due to age rather than bad "design".

    See this site for guns used that date from before WW I.

    Finnish Artillery pieces in the Winter War, guns without a recoil system

    The Americans Certainly had a candidate back in WW I. The 75mm model of 1916 was sometimes known as the "crime of 1916".

    The US had a couple in the "why did they bother" category.

    Several nations found a few of their designs either too light and not up to prolonged use, or had included features of dubious use that added weight and cost without really adding much capability.

    Going up in size to the 120-155mm range really brings out the antiques that had no business on a modern battle field.
     
  4. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello
    even if the guns without recoil system were totally obsolete they were not necessarily bad guns. Technical details and some info on their use can be found here FINNISH ARMY 1918 - 1945: ARTILLERY PART 1 and the next page which is on those got from France during the Winter War. The joke at the end of the introduction of the first page is the one I heard at the appr. age of 10.

    It's well known here that one fights with what one has not with what one likes to have or even oughts to have.

    Juha
     
  5. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Shortround have you got a copy of Hoggs book. The copy I have read must have been a different edition the only photo of the 95mm was of a row lined up outside a factory or barracks and was far too small/poor quality to see any detail, you could tell it was a gun thats about it.

    If anyone has a good picture of the 95mm I would appreciate it if you could link to it. Its a gun that has always intrigued me British artillery from the earliest days has usually been sturdy, reliable and easy to use. The 95mm seems to have been a rare stinker possibly because it wasnt a Royal Artillery gun.
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    They were not bad guns in their day and when you are desperate you use what ever gun/s you can get your hands on. The Joke points to the big problem with using these old guns in WW II. The practical rate of fire could almost be measured in minutes per round rather than rounds per minute. The guns had to wrestled/man handled back to the original firing position and re-aimed (and with no traverse on them aiming means a number men heaving back and forth or one/two men with hand spikes for 'fine' adjustment. ) for every shot. This means you need a lot more guns and a lot more men to do the work of just few modern guns. Of course it does mean that the ammo supply lasts a a lot longer :)

    The Italians used a few 70mm infantry guns with no recoil system and also a 149mm or 152mm piece that was so old it not only had no recoil system but used a friction igniter and was aimed using a gunners quadrant.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The edition I have is a 2002 reprint of the original 1978 book. Ian Hogg has written so many books that making sure we are talking about the same one is a little hard ;)

    Amazon.com: British American Artillery: WWII-Hardbound (9781853674785): Ian Hogg: Books

    By the start of WW II the art/science of gun making was pretty well known. The only real 'stinkers' were going to come from trying to meet unreasonable requirements and/or trying to cobble together something out of bits and pieces that were never intended to go together in the first place.
    Every army in WW II would have loved to have had a 105 howitzer that fired to 15,000meters, weighed only 1000kg had 360 traverse and fired 20 rpm. It just wasn't possible. So how far did anybody push the limits of design while still keeping the gun relaible and sturdy enough to tow over hundreds or thousands of miles of bad roads/fields?
     
  8. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Yes the low rof was a problem but more so with the lighter ones, if the max rof of 120 K/78 was 2 rpm, it wasn’t much lower than what was usually used with uptodate WWII medium artillery.

    And the ammo question, during the Winter War we had so little ammo that our only heavy cannon battalion equipped with 107 K/10, our only real counter-battery unit, ran out of ammo in Feb 40, even if its shooting was carefully regulated.

    But of course some of the guns without recoil system were fairly useless.

    Juha
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The book I read had a different cover to the one you have linked. I will add that edition to my ever growing list of books I want, I will have to hurry up and win the lottery.
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The most serious failures are those guns that had a tendency to burst the barrel, or which had carriages too weak for moving. I am trying to think which guns suffered the most from those problems.......
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of times burst barrels were caused by excessive wear or bad ammunition. Both were quite common in WW I and in WW II most nations were a bit reluctant to allow relaxations in production standards in order to increase production numbers of shells. WW I had provided too great an example of the cost in guns and gunners of substandard ammunition.

    I believe even the US 105mm howitzer suffered some burst barrels in western Europe. Some barrels, despite the US production capacity, being fired several thousand rounds more than their 'normal' life span. Worn barrels not only have a bit lower velocity and perhaps a bit less accuracy but the shells can be subject to tipping in the barrel and 'jamming'. Anything that hinders the smooth progression and acceleration of the projectile down the bore can lead to ringed or burst barrels.
     
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