Shooting point-blank

18
What do we know about the specifics of artillery shooting at the so-called contiguous combat sites in the First World War? Shedding light on this interesting question of tactical use of artillery is the task of this article.

In a positional war, the enemy's trenches were often close to each other - and in the conditions of shooting at close combat areas, the gunners could adequately demonstrate their skills.



Approximate areas.
Due to the lack of a sufficient number of trench guns in the Russian troops, the task of destroying the enemy’s first lines of defense in general, as well as the shelling of close combat areas in particular, had to be accomplished mainly with light field artillery.

Approximate areas are combat areas that converge with their forward lines only 200 meters or less. Such plots created a particularly difficult and responsible task for the work of artillery, and therefore required an individual study of each individual weapon - and often opening fire to each of them individually. It was precisely in-gun shooting, with careful calculation of its parameters, that was the main qualifying sign of shooting at close parts.

Jewelry shooting.
Such methods of shooting, included in the combat practice of the Russian artillery already from 1916, created the appropriate conditions for firing batteries. The practice of a two-year positional war showed that such shooting gave excellent results - hitting the enemy’s front positions during shelling was extremely rare, and occurred only at night or due to an abnormal deviation of the gap (undershoot).

Shooting with the correction of each weapon, creating the possibility of firing close combat areas, was also of great psychological importance, developing in the artillerymen the jeweler's accuracy of the task and special attention to the shooting - gradually raising their confidence, knowledge, skill and observation in them. Self-confidence, which arose in connection with the enormous risk and responsibility of firing at the adjacent sites, largely contributed to the positive solution of the most difficult tactical tasks by the Russian artillery.

As for similar firing by the enemy, they took place only in the first period of positional warfare, and were very quickly replaced by mortar fire. Moreover, from the very beginning, from the very beginning, there was a tendency to avoid artillery shelling of close combat areas, since this regularly led to shells breaking in the position of their own forward positions.

Shooting at contiguous areas required especially careful calculations of parameters for conducting artillery fire from the executors and reduced to taking into account not only the features of each weapon (taking into account individual installations — sight and level), but also changes in meteorological conditions (air density and temperature). The latter had an especially strong effect with a considerable proximity of the battle lines - especially with a large distance from the leading battery of the battery from the front line.

For example, in the position period on the Russian Front of the First World War in 1916 - 1917. The 6-th battery of the 3-th artillery brigade, when the enemy’s trenches were fired (close to the Russian advanced trenches on 100 - 150 steps), being in position at the Yamna line (south of Lopushana) five kilometers from clear days) changed the installation of sights. This was not done by chance. So, if the morning installation did not change during the day, then, due to a decrease in air density, it gave ineffectual migratory drops; shooting with the same daytime data in the evening resulted in shells breaking in their positions.

Thus, the Russian artillery reckoned with a variety of meteorological conditions with their firing as much as it could be done at the front. And it is worth considering that systematic methodological developments, summaries and field studies for processing existing firing tables, just as it was done in France for shooting without zeroing, were not observed in Russia during the war.


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18 comments
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  1. +3
    August 17 2017
    They also shot at Russian-Japanese
    1. +1
      August 18 2017
      Quote: dimon.gr
      They also shot at Russian-Japanese

      Learn the language you use. Shoot = shoot yourself. In Russian-Japanese, it’s not fashionable at all, judging by the subsequent exploits of the rennacamps. The Japanese also preferred to open their peritoneum with knives.
  2. +9
    August 17 2017
    Informative. Thank.
  3. +8
    August 17 2017
    Thanks to the author for the article with knowledge of the subject, he covered the topic. hi
  4. +5
    August 17 2017
    Normal destruction shooting. When each gun is fired according to special rules (given the dispersion of shells)
    Nothing particularly outstanding, just the use of the methods of "large" siege and other large-caliber artillery in combat work with small calibers
    necessarily three times a day (on clear days) changed the settings of sights

    Already in 1942, targeted installations were considered reliable for only three hours.
  5. +5
    August 17 2017
    the Finns fired at Vuoks and Svir in 1941-42, starting from the end of 1942, any Finnish cannon / mortar / machine gun / single shot from a rifle, those who gave voice were immediately suppressed by massive fire of at least one cannon or howitzer division + mortar regiment. saving shells was considered a sign of bad taste.
  6. +3
    August 17 2017
    When I read the headline, I decided: the enemy is practically in front of the gun position (this happened during the war), but it required the courage of the gunners.
    And in this case, when the distance between the positions is 150-200 meters, this requires a lot of skill on the part of the gunner and knowledge on the part of the officer, and if the gunner or commander is his own thirteen. How much was in the war.
    The guy said that under Gudermes they somehow fell under his artillery due to a communication failure. I don’t know him at all, but I think he didn’t lie: this could happen
    1. +3
      August 17 2017
      Quote: Monarchist
      The guy said that under Gudermes they somehow fell under his artillery due to a communication failure. I don’t know him at all, but I think he didn’t lie: this could happen

      The Americans once calculated that up to 30% of artillery shells flew in their own during World War II.
      There are many reasons for this. Sometimes they did it consciously. I am concentrating on the Shooting Rules Study Guide 1945:
      The task of suppressing and destroying enemy infantry weapons at crucial moments of an attack is so important that the possibility of individual accidental damage by fragments of their shells can not be reckoned with.
      1. 0
        August 17 2017
        Shovels, that's just their oh how sad but "accidental defeat of the fragments of their shells."
        As a child, I remember adults retelling stories of veterans: "having equipped and so it was not enough, and Tima dug in their own way"
        1. +4
          August 17 2017
          Quote: Monarchist
          Shovels, that's just their oh how sad but "accidental defeat of the fragments of their shells."

          This is actually a quote from an official document. "Shooting Rules" is an ABC book, a normative document, together with the Combat Charter and combat manuals that defines all aspects of artillery combat. The Study Guide is again an official document with a brief rationale for the articles included in the Shooting Rules.

          Quote: Monarchist
          As a child, I remember adults retelling stories of veterans: "having equipped and so it was not enough, and Tima dug in their own way"

          Maybe these adults mixed something up? Because my grandfather told the opposite. For example, before the start of the offensive in Belarus, they placed one and a half wagon of ammunition near each 160-mm mortar. That is, it was those mines that were fired during the period of artillery preparation and at the beginning of artillery support with this fire.
        2. +1
          August 17 2017
          Quote: Monarchist
          Shovels, that's just their oh how sad but "accidental defeat of the fragments of their shells."

          SW Ulanov somehow quoted a letter from a soldier’s letter intercepted by censorship — how they accidentally worked on the SU or ISU-152.
          “For the first two days I didn’t know what fear was and you don’t think about anything, only nerves made themselves felt, scammed and cowardly, like in paralysis, especially when our neighbors mistakenly stormed us, 3 self-propelled guns hit us 152 mm straight "Heaven and earth were mixed, I don’t know how the Germans like it, but I didn’t like it ..."

          © quote from a letter of a soldier of 6 guards. A, 01.07.1944/6/XNUMX, cited in the Memorandum of the Department of Military Censorship (NKGB) XNUMX Guards. And aimed at the PMA army. Spelling of the original saved.
  7. +3
    August 17 2017
    A classic example, when the impossibility of solving a problem by technical methods is redeemed by the ability to solve it by organizational methods. Such an approach is often better and more effective than waiting for a technical solution to the problem of inaction.
  8. +3
    August 17 2017
    Quote: nivasander
    Since the end of 1942, any Finnish cannon \ mortar \ machine gun \ single shot from a rifle that gave voice was immediately suppressed by massive fire of at least one cannon or howitzer division + mortar regiment.

    Can you find out the source of information? Especially in Svir, where a significant amount of artillery in the LO and Karelia (up to 4 thousand guns and mortars in total, taking into account the Maselsky direction and attack on Medvezhyegorsk) appeared just before the Svir-Petrozavodsk offensive operation in 1944, and the front line, conditionally passing through the entire course of the Svir it is about 224 km, i.e. even counting 4000 trunks we get 18 trunks per 1 km of the front, i.e. Your source describes an almost perfect situation.
    Personally, I’ll add that I didn’t notice the lunar landscape at Finnish positions in Svir, but here’s a layer of 20 centimeters of spent cartridges at the bottom of the whole trenches, which are now almost complete in profile.
    1. +1
      August 17 2017
      Blue Fox, you are right: Nivasander’s message, something from the realm of science fiction: on the secondary sector of the front in November-December 1942 there are so many guns, and most importantly SNARADOV. As I recall from the literature and stories of veterans: "shell hunger" in some sections of the front was back in May 1943!
  9. 0
    August 17 2017
    What I didn’t understand is point-blank shooting.
    If they had fired from 200 m, well, of course.
    And so, the usual shooting with a PDO with full training on targets in the immediate vicinity of their troops.
    Here is the fact that for that time full preparation is a new thing. It is unlikely that meteo and partly ballistics were taken into account there (there were no funds). PDO shooting is only 10 years old.
    Zeroing the rapper and moving the fire most likely.
    1. +1
      August 17 2017
      Quote: chenia
      And so, ordinary shooting with a PDO with full training

      Not a complete preparation, but a shot. Moreover, each gun.

      Quote: chenia
      PDO shooting is only 10 years old.

      However, the artillery science of that time was very, very advanced. Look at your leisure on the Internet "Artillery tasks for field and mining tools" of the 1906 edition.
      It simply was less formalized, and therefore required more calculations and more heuristic thinking from artillery officers.
      1. 0
        August 17 2017
        Quote: Spade
        Not a complete preparation, but a shot. Moreover, each gun.


        So I doubted (in the text about the calculations of meteo and ballistics).

        Sighting, and where is the buzz from surprise (although at that time surprise, artillery preparation could be several days)? But most likely the transfer for that time is difficult.

        Yes, a sighting with a deliberately large flight and a gradual (without a plug) approach to the target.
        And after an hour and a half OH.
        1. 0
          August 17 2017
          Quote: chenia
          Shooting, and where is the buzz from surprise

          Judging by the text, no surprise, more like shooting for exhaustion

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