I'm currently in a "build 1:35 scale models of artillery" phase of my life - should have tried it much before
Like the other day when I finished a model of the German sIG 33 15 cm Infantry Gun. Putting a 15 cm shell on a target brings you an obvious advantage but until now I just thought (with the image of a "normal" 155 mm howitzer like the M1 in my mind) that this could rarely be done with the sIG 33.
But now seeing the model next to other 1:35 scale models - it is actually quite small and weighs 450 kg (1000 lbs) less than the 105 mm M101A1/M2A1 howitzer (1800 kg vs 2250 kg)! And that one I've manhandled myself - or at least with a few other fellows. Two could change direction of the howitzer, four would with hard work move it, and the entire crew of eight would bring it almost anywhere relatively fast. I haven't found data on the crew size for a sIG 33, but I suppose gathering eight men to push it into firing position wouldn't be a problem - either way. BTW the sIG 33 has a frontal profile smaller than that of a 6 pdr. ATG!
Too me that well explains why the Germans built more than 4000 of this gun - 1800 kg appear a very handy way to have heavy fire support well forward and available.
I still suppose that the ideal firing position of an infantry gun, be it the sIG 33 or the much smaller 7,5 cm lIG 18 would be in some suppression in the ground where you wouldn't have to worry about enemy direct fire (and benefitting from the curved trajectory of a howitzer), but at what range could an infantry gun expect to hit a point target like a pillbox? And to what degree was elevation 45 degrees plus used?
Usually WWII field artillery at normal combat ranges (several km/miles) would have a CEP of around 50m of the individual shell, which would make it meaningless to try hitting a point target, but does anybody know how close the infantry guns needed to go to expect to hit a point target? (sIG had a max range of 4,7 km). After all you only had two sIG 33 in the infantry gun company and two guns doesn't give much "area fire".
Next honorary mention will be on the Soviet 122 mm 1938 M-30.