Jump to content


Photo

Battleships At D-Day

close in fire

  • Please log in to reply
69 replies to this topic

#21 alejandro_

alejandro_

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,086 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxfordshire, UK
  • Interests:History, cinema, football, aviation, armour, military history.

Posted 11 June 2019 - 1726 PM

That extra twentieth of range means a lot to the people who were out of fire support range

 

Since you are mentioning range, I have a question about the artillery support during D-Day. I remember reading that the Germans were surprised about the effective range of the Allied battleships providing support with heavy guns. I wonder if this was the case, as the Germans had similar battleships (380 mm guns on Bismarck and 406 mm in coastal batteries).


  • 0

#22 Markus Becker

Markus Becker

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Westphalia, Germany

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0604 AM

WAG: Even with the same elevation a shore battery should have an effective range advantage in theory because it's gun are monuted on a stable platform. Ships move on all three axis and at very long ranges this might matter. 


  • 0

#23 rmgill

rmgill

    Strap-hanger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:33.8369/-84.2675
  • Interests:WWII Armor, Ferrets, Dingos, Humbers, etc...

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0619 AM

 

That extra twentieth of range means a lot to the people who were out of fire support range

 

Since you are mentioning range, I have a question about the artillery support during D-Day. I remember reading that the Germans were surprised about the effective range of the Allied battleships providing support with heavy guns. I wonder if this was the case, as the Germans had similar battleships (380 mm guns on Bismarck and 406 mm in coastal batteries).

 

It might have been the flexibility of fire control and the fact that there were very broad ranges of coordination between landing troops and the ships off the coast. There were whole ranges or radio sets with the range/frequency coverage and antenna configurations for working from Ships to talk to the ground stations and ground and air stations to talk to the fire control centers. The spotters were able to call pretty much anything in range. And these were not just the organic spotters or spotting planes related to the USN or RN ships itself, but Air and ground forces that could call the Battleships or any other guns from the Monitors, Cruisers, destroyers, guns landed and ashore already, mortars even. 

One particular account I read of was how the Germans quickly realized that they were best to leave the allied spotting planes alone unless they could VERY quickly shoot it down. Otherwise they were pissing off someone who could REALLY ruin their day by getting EVERY gun in range shooting at them. The Spotters were, iirc, called Iron Tommy's or some such. 


  • 0

#24 rmgill

rmgill

    Strap-hanger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:33.8369/-84.2675
  • Interests:WWII Armor, Ferrets, Dingos, Humbers, etc...

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0620 AM

WAG: Even with the same elevation a shore battery should have an effective range advantage in theory because it's gun are monuted on a stable platform. Ships move on all three axis and at very long ranges this might matter. 

That increased dispersion issue might have been dealt with by adding in 'Factor P' when conducting those long range shoots. A factor the Germans didn't couldn't add in. 


  • 0

#25 Markus Becker

Markus Becker

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Westphalia, Germany

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0626 AM

Factor P is the larger number of guns on a battleship? 


  • 0

#26 DougRichards

DougRichards

    Doug Richards

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10,080 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking at Tamarama Beach, Sydney, Aust
  • Interests:Degree in History and Politics. Interests are Military History, military models,

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0730 AM

Proper coastal defence guns (as opposed to simple anti-invasion weapons placed to fire on invading forces) have many advantages over ships: firstly a coastal defence gun, properly emplaced, is very difficult for a ship to even spot, let alone hit.  A ship off the coast is somewhat obvious.

 

A ship can be disabled or sunk by hits that do not hit the ship's own weaponry.  For a ship to destroy a coastal defence weapon a direct hit is required.  Direct hits are hard to get when firing from a moving ship on a small target.

 

Usually coastal defence weapons form part of a larger system, with separate and hidden spotting and ranging installations, which were also in communication with each other, giving not only better spotting ability but also as these were usually some distance apart they provided much better triangulation for ranging purposes, and could each contribute to spotting shell spouts. 


Edited by DougRichards, 13 June 2019 - 0730 AM.

  • 0

#27 shep854

shep854

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,299 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Birmingham AL, USA
  • Interests:Military History, Aviation

Posted 13 June 2019 - 0809 AM

It may be a bit fanciful, but I read somewhere that fixed coastal guns with well-drilled crews had a good chance at first-rounds hits on ships even at fairly long range


  • 0

#28 rmgill

rmgill

    Strap-hanger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:33.8369/-84.2675
  • Interests:WWII Armor, Ferrets, Dingos, Humbers, etc...

Posted 13 June 2019 - 1033 AM

Factor P is the larger number of guns on a battleship? 

Factor P for Plenty. Why fire 2-5 rounds when you can saturate the area with 100 rounds in a larger CEP? The Germans were in a supply limit at that point no? The allies, supply coming out of their ears at that point. If it was worth a BB firing at a target that was in the way of the allied advance, it's worth firing 100 rounds. 

I seem to recall that one of the coast defense guns that was causing problems for the advance wasn't a coast defense gun so much as a Pak 42 or 88 in a pill box set up to fire down the beach and not at the water. One of the DD's had to get in close to get a good angle on it as it had a rather substantial wall parallel with the beach and more or less keeping it obscured. 


Edited by rmgill, 13 June 2019 - 1035 AM.

  • 0

#29 John_Ford

John_Ford

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,731 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Tanks

Posted 13 June 2019 - 1457 PM

  AT bunker in the British sector If I recall.  Mounted a 50MM PAK gun on a pedestal.  Could fire directly up the beach.  Was supposedly a bastard to knock out.        Attached File  wn38_kicker.jpg   28.79KB   0 downloads


  • 0

#30 bojan

bojan

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,535 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Belgrade, Serbia
  • Interests:Obscure tanks and guns.
    Obscure facts about well known tanks and guns.
    Obscure historical facts.

Posted 13 June 2019 - 1746 PM

It may be a bit fanciful, but I read somewhere that fixed coastal guns with well-drilled crews had a good chance at first-rounds hits on ships even at fairly long range

 

They used various techniques to plot out and calculate exact range to ship, which eliminated greatest random factor in the gunnery.


  • 0

#31 GregShaw

GregShaw

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,104 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Salt Lake, UT, USA
  • Interests:snowmobiles, guns, computers

Posted 13 June 2019 - 2058 PM

IIRC there was a link to an article about the US Puget Sound or San Francisco defenses several years ago. I think it was provided by Ken Estes, but if it was someone else I apologize for not attributing correctly. The US was pretty confident about getting first salvo hits even with coast defense mortars, with essentially no danger space due to the trajectory.


  • 0

#32 KV7

KV7

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,883 posts

Posted 13 June 2019 - 2306 PM

 

It may be a bit fanciful, but I read somewhere that fixed coastal guns with well-drilled crews had a good chance at first-rounds hits on ships even at fairly long range

 

They used various techniques to plot out and calculate exact range to ship, which eliminated greatest random factor in the gunnery.

 

I suppose the biggest advantage it that on land triangulation is feasible. And as the distance between observation point is fixed, you can compile range tables for those posts especially.


  • 0

#33 DougRichards

DougRichards

    Doug Richards

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10,080 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking at Tamarama Beach, Sydney, Aust
  • Interests:Degree in History and Politics. Interests are Military History, military models,

Posted 14 June 2019 - 0051 AM

 

 

It may be a bit fanciful, but I read somewhere that fixed coastal guns with well-drilled crews had a good chance at first-rounds hits on ships even at fairly long range

 

They used various techniques to plot out and calculate exact range to ship, which eliminated greatest random factor in the gunnery.

 

I suppose the biggest advantage it that on land triangulation is feasible. And as the distance between observation point is fixed, you can compile range tables for those posts especially.

 

 

There are two types of triangulation possible as well.  Obviously the horizontal method, where two or more posts can provide bearings and also estimates of speed and movement of the target, but also there is vertical triangulation, where a gun, or observation post, is located at even a fairly modest height above sea level.  If a sighting instrument is pointed at the waterline of the target vessel, and the height above sea level of the post is known, then the range is easily ascertained from the angle of the sight.  This is how the so called autosight worked.  When the sight was aimed at the waterline the sight automatically passed the range to the gun, and took into account tidal variations.

 

That is why you often see markings on the inside walls of coastal fortifications with a line and a number, something looking like this  ------ 92 ------ indicating the height above sea level of the gun's trunions.  It also meant that if communications with other posts was lost the gun could at least get a bearing and range of a target.  Not great for very long range work of course, but not bad for inner coastal defence.


Edited by DougRichards, 14 June 2019 - 0223 AM.

  • 0

#34 shep854

shep854

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,299 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Birmingham AL, USA
  • Interests:Military History, Aviation

Posted 14 June 2019 - 0732 AM

Having a (literally) rock-steady firing position didn't hurt, either.


  • 0

#35 Panzermann

Panzermann

    REFORGER '79

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,233 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teutonistan

Posted 14 June 2019 - 0735 AM

Having a (literally) rock-steady firing position didn't hurt, either.

 

that is why effective range of coastal guns so much longer than from ships. A coastal battery has less sea state and knows exactly where it is.


  • 0

#36 rmgill

rmgill

    Strap-hanger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:33.8369/-84.2675
  • Interests:WWII Armor, Ferrets, Dingos, Humbers, etc...

Posted 14 June 2019 - 1909 PM

On D-Day, during the bombardment, how effective were the observation posts and coastal gun fire?

After a certain point, even if you're not getting directly hit by the projectiles, the proximity of the blasts have to have an effect on working efficiency of the observers and the gun crews.
  • 0

#37 Josh

Josh

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,268 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 14 June 2019 - 2315 PM

I've no idea what the facilities at Normandy were, but after seeing the set up in Hawaii on the Diamond Head crater, I think you couldn't possibly see the observations posts and you'd need a direct hit to make them be ineffective.


  • 0

#38 DougRichards

DougRichards

    Doug Richards

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10,080 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking at Tamarama Beach, Sydney, Aust
  • Interests:Degree in History and Politics. Interests are Military History, military models,

Posted 15 June 2019 - 0029 AM

On D-Day, during the bombardment, how effective were the observation posts and coastal gun fire?

After a certain point, even if you're not getting directly hit by the projectiles, the proximity of the blasts have to have an effect on working efficiency of the observers and the gun crews.

There is a separate issue here: that is, some of the Normandy guns were proper coastal defence guns, that is, with full emplacement, sighting systems and observations posts.  These would have been designed for both counter bombardment and close defence work, and would usually be at least 15cm calibre.  That is the sort of set up at Dover and defended ports on the other side of the channel.

 

But there would have also been more local weapons, usually of 10cm or smaller, that did not have the full set up for coastal defence but were for local defence / anti-invasion purposes.  These guns would be useless against ships out at sea, so to speak, even if they had the range to hit them they did not have the directing systems.  A classic example of anti-invasion but not coastal defence was the British railway mounted 18in howitzer (a kitbashed weapon using a WW1 howitzer and a spare railway mounting) sent to Dover in 1940.  It had a good range (22,000 yards) but had no chance of hitting a ship in the channel, but would have made a mess of an invasion force landing on the beaches within range with its 2,500pd shell.. 


  • 0

#39 Rich

Rich

    intellectual bully ilk

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,423 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:WW II, Current Defense Issues, Military History in General

Posted 15 June 2019 - 0932 AM

On D-Day, during the bombardment, how effective were the observation posts and coastal gun fire?

After a certain point, even if you're not getting directly hit by the projectiles, the proximity of the blasts have to have an effect on working efficiency of the observers and the gun crews.

 

There were only two coastal batteries...Point du Hoc and Longues sur Mer. Point du Hoc never went into action. Longues sur Mer was crippled when the bombardment severed the communications cables transmitting data and was only able to fire in local control. SWORD was more a peril due to coastal guns and eventually became too hazardous and was closed down.


  • 0

#40 Tim the Tank Nut

Tim the Tank Nut

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,752 posts
  • Interests:WW2 Armor (mostly US)

Posted 15 June 2019 - 0938 AM

I hadn't realized the Sword beach guns weren't neutralized.  Any idea why they'd been able to stay in action?

I would have expected the RN to be better than the USN at ship to shore bombardment in 1944 ETO.


  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users