Military Review

The Fire Hammer of the Third Rome. Part of 1

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The effect of the explosion of a light field cannon projectile and large-caliber projectile heavy artillery guns vary considerably - and by the destructive result, and the degree of impact on the moral state of man. Large-caliber projectile (120-mm, 4-, 6-, 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 15-, 16- and 17-inch) has tremendous destructive power due to the weight there is a bursting charge, also a typology of the explosive used.


Heavy artillery is a type of artillery that includes large-caliber guns designed to destroy fortifications and enemy troops behind closures. Heavy guns were intended for the destruction of long-term trenches, powerful defensive structures and for counter battery.

The experience of the Russo-Japanese War showed that field artillery was unable to solve all the tasks put on the agenda by modern combat. The Russo-Japanese War emphasized that the view of the field artillery as a universal artillery turned out to be false. Seats on the River Shahe and on the Mukden positions confirmed the need to involve for solving special tasks unbearable for field artillery (the destruction of particularly strong targets, the fight against Japanese howitzer artillery) more powerful type of artillery.

The experience of this war was carefully studied by the Germans - who came to the conclusion that powerful guns should be in service with the heavy field artillery. Persistently and methodically, the Germans created powerful heavy field artillery - letting their neighbors wage fruitless debates about the "overload of the German division with artillery."

Heavy field artillery perfectly manifested itself during the agile stage of world war. And when the impossibility to achieve a solution during maneuverable military operations “buried” the belligerents into the ground - heavy field artillery became an indispensable tool, a “fire hammer” in breaking through the enemy's echeloned defense. During the positional hostilities, heavy artillery was particularly in demand.

World War I put forward the following range of tasks for heavy artillery:

1) shelling live targets and batteries from a distance inaccessible to field artillery fire; 2) long-range shelling of parks, bivouacs, convoys, reserves and targets in the rear of the enemy that are out of reach of field artillery fire; 3) shelling of living targets, covered in dugouts and field-type resistance nodes; 4) destruction of heavily fortified strongholds; 5) methodical shelling (so-called fire observation) of settlements; 6) systematic shelling of important railway stations; 7) shelling of message nodes; 8) shelling of warehouses and supply points; 9) counter-battery combat (especially with artillery, which is in solid closures); 10) shelling aviation parks; 11) shelling of tethered balloons; 12) destruction of important targets, the shelling of which with other types of weapons is useless.

Heavy artillery is strong in its caliber and heavy projectile weight, as well as the destructive effect of the latter and a greater range of fire — that is, its advantages consisted in “power” and “long range”. On the other hand, it is inactive - especially with very large calibers, as well as “capricious” in matters of ammunition. But the minuses paid off with the results obtained from the totality of the power and range of heavy artillery systems. The rate of heavy artillery in this period ranged between 4 - 8 shots per minute, which was considered satisfactory.

Speaking of mobility and maneuverability, it is worth noting that the ability of Russian heavy field artillery to actively move was tested in the Carpathians in February - March 1915 (Volosyany, Vyskov pass, Likhobori) - for example, when a heavy battery of the 3 of the Siberian rifle artillery brigade out into the valley of the river. Sivki. She did this at night (!), Crossing the Vyshkov Pass, passing along terrible mountain roads, only in some places patched with wooden flooring. Here, of course, the level of training of the personnel, the high moral qualities of the Russian artillerymen and the awareness of the enormous responsibility to the infantry played a role.

The key criteria for classifying a gun into the category of "heavy artillery" were: a) its functional purpose; b) a place in the structure of the Russian army. That is why the 122-mm light field howitzer along with the 76-mm field gun was part of the light field artillery. And the 107-mm cannon belonged to the "heavy artillery" (as well as the 120-mm cannon of the Obukhov factory system and the 120-mm French cannon that appeared during the war in the Russian army).

The 107-mm (42-linear) rapid-fire gun, the 152-mm gun and the 152-mm howitzer of 1910 samples of r. Are the backbone of a gun fleet of Russian heavy artillery - they were part of corps artillery, heavy artillery battalions and brigade teams and heavy artillery corps. (TAON).


Schneider's 152-mm gun in a combat position. Barsukov E. Russian artillery in world war. T. 1. M., 1938. From the author's library


152-mm howitzer, Hämeenlinna Museum, Finland. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/152-%D0%BC%D0%BC_%D0%B3%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B1%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B0_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B7%D1%86%D0%B0_1910/37_%D0%B3%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2#/media/File:152mm_m10_schneider_polavaja_3.jpg


107-mm gun. Pictures of war. Issue 1. M., 1917. From the author's library

The fact that the main calibers for cannon and howitzers of field heavy artillery were adopted - for 4,2 inch guns (42-linear field guns), and for the howitzer - 6 inches (152-mm howitzer) - it was not accidental. Both guns were easily transported by 8 horses. Only the charging box carried by the entire 6 horses was not mobile enough. And in a combat situation, the box almost always lagged behind the gun. Sometimes it was necessary, to speed up the mobility of the charging boxes, to harness "civilian" horses towards them. Since both systems were equipped with automatic devices for rollback and roll up of the gun, as well as modern sighting devices, they were quite rapid. Thus, the battery under the command of Captain Sokolov, part of the 1 heavy artillery brigade, during the battles at Angerburg (East Prussia) showed: for a cannon - up to 9 shots, and for a howitzer - up to 4 shots per minute. The experience of firing peacetime peacetime, during the testing of these guns in 1914, showed the following indicators - for the 10 gun, and for the howitzer - 6 shots per minute. But, of course, test site conditions were significantly different from combat conditions.

The classification of heavy artillery that existed before the war — and which subdivided heavy artillery into “field” and “siege” —was also important. Russian artillery had in 1910 - 1913's. to endure repeated reorganizations until the heavy artillery reached the structure that took place during the First World War. During the latter years, heavy artillery became subdivided into “maneuverable” and “positional” - however, this functional division was rather arbitrary.

The above guns belonged to "maneuverable" or "mobile" heavy artillery.

T. n. Positional heavy artillery differed from it in that it did not have its own standard means of transportation, moving from one sector of the front to another as necessary. In contrast to the more unified on the gun park and the organizational structure of the maneuverable artillery, positional artillery was characterized by a greater "variegated". For the formation of positional artillery was used artillery, consisting of siege, serfs, coastal and even naval guns. The guns were transported, as a rule, by narrow-gauge railways, by good highways and for short distances - by dry and wide unpaved roads (if they were operational and had very strong bridges). The ability of such tools to move was largely dependent on their caliber, the state of the soil, and, consequently, the time of year. The speed of movement on tractors on good highways - 5 km / h (at higher speeds the material part suffered).

Positioning the positioning tools was prescribed in groups of at least 2 units - the complexity of the mechanism sometimes caused the tool to break, which could affect the execution of the task. Thus, the rupture of an 11-inch howitzer on the left flank of the 49 Corps deprived Russian troops of serious fire support on the crucial day of 18 June 1917 - the first day of the June offensive of the South-Western Front. This episode was very unpleasant - after all, the howitzer was supposed to destroy the enemy’s concrete observation post at the height of the villages. Years. As a result, the observation point of the commander of the 11 Army General of Infantry D. V. Balanin called “Volga”, located in 3 km from the front line of the enemy, was under continuous enemy fire observation. Every 5 minutes, a line of 4 projectiles of various types exploded next to it - and in the evening the enemy damaged the right embrasure of the observation post.

The formation of positional heavy artillery began with the allies for the 1915 summer by, and in the Russian army by the end of 1915. To install the positional guns it took 20 minutes (8-inch Vickers gun) to 7 days (10-inch coastal gun) and special cranes and other mechanisms.

Positional artillery was designed: a) to fire the most important targets in the enemy's rear (warehouses, headquarters, bridges, intersections of roads, etc.), to combat large-caliber and long-range artillery (Kane’s cannon was most actively used); 6) For destruction and shelling of important railway stations, communications centers and large military depots (used long-range 2-inch coastal gun with a range of almost 10 km and 20-mm Vickers gun - with a range of more than 120 km); 13) For the destruction of very strong structures and especially important fortified sites and sites (used 3- and 9-inch coastal artillery howitzers, 11-inch Vickers howitzer, Schneider’s 9-inch howitzer and other tools); 11) for the destruction of solid structures and especially fortified trenches - used 4-inch guns.


Heavy artillery cannon in position. Pictures of war. Issue 1. M., 1917. From the author's library

To be continued
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 9 January 2018 12: 16
    16
    Thank you, we are waiting for the continuation ...
  2. Lieutenant Teterin
    Lieutenant Teterin 9 January 2018 12: 53
    16
    A wonderful and very informative article. I look forward to continuing with interest. To the author — my gratitude for the work done! hi
  3. XII Legion
    XII Legion 9 January 2018 13: 34
    19
    The heavy artillery of the Russian army during the WWII era was always underestimated - and it played an important role in many operations - especially in 1916 - 1917. An integrated approach to the topic is interesting.
    Thank you!
  4. Olgovich
    Olgovich 9 January 2018 13: 42
    10
    Fire Hammer Third Rome
    The rumor cuts a bit: Russia in terms of scale and size has long exceeded both First Rome and Constantinople recourse .
    and a 120 mm gun of the Obukhov plant system and a 120 mm French gun).
    The 107-mm (42-linear) rapid-fire gun, the 152-mm gun and the 152-mm howitzer of 1910 samples of r. Are the backbone of a gun fleet of Russian heavy artillery - they were part of corps artillery, heavy artillery battalions and brigade teams and heavy artillery corps. (TAON).

    Information on the manufacturers of these guns (except for the mentioned Obukhovsky) would be interesting.
    Thanks to the author!
    1. OAV09081974
      9 January 2018 14: 19
      24
      Dear Olgovich!
      Speaking about the third Rome, I had in mind the ideological-imperial continuity of Russia from the first two Romes. Only this.
      As for the artillery manufacturing plants. These are: plants - Obukhovsky, Petrograd gun, Perm cannon (state-owned enterprises), Putilov joint-stock, Bryansk engineering, Tsaritsyn group (Petrograd metal, Kolomna engineering, Sormovsky locomotive and Lesner) (private). There was a whole range of arsenals.
      Applied to heavy artillery. The Obukhov plant could manufacture all types of heavy guns, the Perm plant was only short-barreled heavy guns, Putilovsky increased production in the course of the war. Inter-factory cooperation also played a large role.
      hi
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 9 January 2018 15: 00
        12
        Quote: OAV09081974
        As for the artillery manufacturing plants. These are: plants - Obukhovsky, Petrograd gun, Perm cannon (state-owned enterprises), Putilov joint-stock, Bryansk engineering, Tsaritsyn group (Petrograd metal, Kolomna engineering, Sormovsky locomotive and Lesner) (private). There was a whole range of arsenals.
        Applied to heavy artillery. The Obukhov plant could manufacture all types of heavy guns, the Perm plant was only short-barreled heavy guns, Putilovsky increased production in the course of the war. Inter-factory cooperation also played a large role.

        Thank you Alexey Vladimirovich! hi
        I read that the powerful Saratov OZ was also being built, but was stopped due to the revolution
    2. Monarchist
      Monarchist 9 January 2018 14: 33
      13
      Olgovich, you voiced my wishes. The title is quite appropriate: Russia since the time of Ivan the Terrible considered itself: "the third Rome
  5. Albatroz
    Albatroz 9 January 2018 13: 52
    17
    Ausgezeichnet!
    There is relatively little information on domestic heavy artillery PMV (unlike sausages).
    And even more so in the complex - materiel, organization, interesting episodes of application. So thanks!
  6. Curious
    Curious 9 January 2018 15: 00
    +4

    Barsukov E.Z. Russian artillery in World War II. - M., 1938-1940. A classic publication containing all the information and written by a direct participant in the events, a professional. The author of this work spent all his many years of service in artillery. Starting military service in 1884 as a junior officer in the artillery brigade, in 1895 he graduated from the General Staff Academy and continued to serve in artillery, successively holding positions in the Main Artillery Directorate, in the Office of the Artillery Inspector; From 1904 to 1914, he was part-time leader in an officer artillery school; From 1910 to the World War I was a member of the artillery committee and the commission for the drafting of charters and manuals. During World War 1914 - 1918 He received business trips to the Caucasus and Southwestern Fronts to examine artillery operations and supply ammunition, and from January 1916 to February 1918 he was head of the Office of the Field Inspector of Artillery under the Supreme Commander and chairman of the commission for the organization of heavy artillery for special purposes. Close familiar in his posts with the most important aspects of the development of artillery of the tsarist army, the author widely used numerous archival materials for his work.
    We open the first volume of the specified book.
    “In general, little was done before the World War in heavy siege artillery in Russia. The Russian General Staff, assuming a maneuvering offensive war, did not foresee the great, almost decisive importance that heavy artillery received in the World War, and did not provide for siege artillery the mobilization schedule of 1910, valid until the very outbreak of World War II. "
    That is, by the beginning of the World War, there was no fire hammer in nature. It was yet to be created. Logically, from this it was worth starting a cycle, from creation. Maybe it will be continued? Or does the author correctly circumvent uncomfortable moments in order to please Teterin and Olgovich?
    1. soldier
      soldier 9 January 2018 15: 22
      20
      By the beginning of the war there was a fire hammer - 5 siege brigades + several heavy divisions.
      And during the war, he really turned into a hammer - both qualitatively and quantitatively.
      You need to read the whole cycle - right?
      In addition to the aforementioned publication (in 2 volumes), Barsukov also has:


      And also such a 4-volume (this is the cover of the 1st volume)

      Still this

      This

      And finally, this
      1. Curious
        Curious 9 January 2018 18: 01
        +3
        Soldier, you needlessly put several illustrations in one comment. They, except for the latter (the article is true about heavy artillery), do not open.
        Therefore, it is better not to insert more than one picture. Or letters.
        "Barsukov E. Preparation of Russia for World War II in the artillery relation. M.-L ..: Military Publishing, 1926"
        1. soldier
          soldier 9 January 2018 18: 05
          17
          Well
          I understand you
          1. soldier
            soldier 9 January 2018 18: 21
            18
            In addition to Barsukov’s 2-volume “Artillery in World War II” and the 1-volume “Preparation of Russia for the World War in Artillery Regions”, the 4-volume “Artillery of the Russian Army” and articles “Russian Artillery in the World War” and “Artillery at breakthrough of the fortified strip "
    2. Gopnik
      Gopnik 9 January 2018 18: 27
      +8
      The article uses the term "heavy field artillery" somewhere 6-7 times, and even explains: "The classification of heavy artillery that existed prior to the war — and dividing heavy artillery into" field "and" siege "was also significant." But to someone, it seems that these 6-7 times are few, they still do not understand what they mean.
      1. Cat
        Cat 9 January 2018 20: 33
        +1
        By the way, in the Russian Empire, in addition to field and siege artillery, there was a significant park of heavy serf cannons. Let it be diverse, outdated and worn out, but its role in the operations of the beginning of the FDA was very, very invaluable. Especially considering the number of modern heavy field guns over 76 mm.
        1. OAV09081974
          9 January 2018 20: 39
          19
          You are absolutely right dear Kotische!
          And these guns were used to form new heavy artillery battalions.
          This will be mentioned in the next part of the article. hi
      2. Curious
        Curious 9 January 2018 21: 58
        +1
        Well, not everyone is as gifted as you, Mr. Gopnik.
        1. Cat
          Cat 9 January 2018 22: 51
          +1
          Dear Victor, today he is "mocking" - he is "lifting up the gopot"! What is it for?
          hi
          1. Curious
            Curious 9 January 2018 23: 30
            +1
            Yes, I do not bully anyone, so, kicked in the ass, for the order.
        2. Gopnik
          Gopnik 9 January 2018 22: 59
          +2
          Fair statement, I can not disagree.
  7. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 9 January 2018 15: 49
    18
    The issue of creating field heavy artillery is very important.
    It was a question of a different artillery than the siege that existed before (synonym "heavy").
    The Germans and the Austrians flagships in the matter of creating a FIELD HEAVY ARTILLERY - but the others pulled themselves up. Russia has made a powerful leap.
    And the division of PTA into maneuverable and positional is not accidental - the specifics of the database.
    Fine !
  8. Ostrovsky
    Ostrovsky 9 January 2018 16: 25
    17
    Great article. It is interesting for both professionals and amateurs.
  9. BRONEVIK
    BRONEVIK 9 January 2018 18: 31
    16
    The effect of the explosion of a light field cannon shell and a large-caliber projectile of heavy artillery guns varies significantly - both in destructive results and in the degree of impact on a person’s moral state.

    In a field battle, the latter is even more important than the first
    Well, about the actions of heavy suitcases, which buried alive fighters in the trenches, members of the WWI often write.
    So many new weapons in such a short period of time - truly the war veterans were heroes in every sense, including the moral and psychological
  10. Edvid
    Edvid 10 January 2018 02: 27
    +6
    Quote: BRONEVIK
    The effect of the explosion of a light field cannon shell and a large-caliber projectile of heavy artillery guns varies significantly - both in destructive results and in the degree of impact on a person’s moral state.

    In a field battle, the latter is even more important than the first
    Well, about the actions of heavy suitcases, which buried alive fighters in the trenches, members of the WWI often write.
    So many new weapons in such a short period of time - truly the war veterans were heroes in every sense, including the moral and psychological

    ///////////////////////
    “Backward” tsarist Russia built battleships and produced large-caliber guns and shells for them, and did so many of them that the entire Soviet army used them all over the Second World War.