wwii field artillery battalion organization

Their officer would take a reading from the aiming circle so that the four guns of the battery would be aligned and shoot parallel with each other. Later in the war, field commissions for qualified noncoms became commonplace. If they received an answer, they had to keep moving and the procedure was repeated until they did not get an answer. It would be hard to overstate the logistical problems this caused. A fire direction center typically controlled at least a dozen guns, so better target acquisition and observation of the fall of the rounds than the Word War I practice was needed. He may charge a fee to do a search. Will do. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on January 30, 2017: John, go to my homepage and contact me via FB or email, etc. Thx. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on November 17, 2017: Nothing yet. Distribution Restriction: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Try it out. My father was in Battery B 563RD Field Artillery Battalion and he did not talk at all about his service. The lineage and honors of 2/20th is in the link. *ATP 3-09.23. During the Bulge, many of these Corps units were on the move every 12 to 24 hours. Always looking for great stories from any conflict. The first to arrive tended to be well equipped elite units and they were quickly ground down. Usually, one or two of the men had a copy years later and sent to the Association. In World War II, both German and American artillery fire direction was normally done at the battalion level. No. The Field Artillery School at Fort Sill also developed the fire direction center for U.S. artillery battalions and brigades into a place where fires could be rapidly allocated and shifted as needed. It's so important these men are not forgotten. Military History Online, "US Army in World War II: Artillery and AA Artillery." Usually, two men were sent out. These new guns, especially the M2/M2A1 105mm howitzers, were superior to the French 75mm guns they replaced in part because of their longer range, but also because the larger caliber allowed a significantly larger bursting charge. In addition, it hampered German attacks by separating infantry from its accompanying armor. Many of the men who were replacements in the final 6-8 months of the war were from ASTP units back in the States. Or did the units adjust while in the field during Korea? I have some info. Please take as long as you need. During the relay of firing commands, included were terms such as Up 15 or Down 5, from the zero. We took a trip last fall to the areas where both of my parents were during the war (my mother was a nurse at an evacuation hospital closest to the Battle of the Bulge, outside Liege), and Myra found wonderful information for me on where my father was at various times, places we visited, like a farmhouse command post, and a church where he was observing as it was being shelled. The multitude of different caliber weapons combined with pre-configured firing tables meant no escape from its power. CJ Kelly-- We have corresponded before (see way below); my dad was the CO of the 908FAB B Btry, 83rd Inf Div. These thing never turn up! Within an infantry division, there were four artillery battalions, three M2A1 105mm howitzer battalions and one 155mm battalion. I know his headstone states he was a Sergeant but he must received that at Camp Swift in Texas in the three months before being discharged on October 14, 1945. German artillery attempted to slow the advancing Americans and the  “air observation posts had several field days firing on the artillery batteries that were trying to protect the crossing of the Germans to the East bank of the Rhine River. These were designated the M7 and nicknamed the “Priest” for their pulpit-like machine-gun ring. One of the men I feature in my book was in fire control. This list may not reflect recent changes (). Crew of a 155mm howitzer in North Africa, 1943 (1st ID ner El Guettar). Looks like B Battery only. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on April 01, 2020: Mr. Ferandes, I'll do the best I can. Maximum range for the 105mm was approximately seven miles (12,205 yds). One aiming stake was approximately 30 to 40 yards back while another was placed halfway between the gun sight and the other stake. Junior commanders were expected to use their own initiative. I have found them with XX Corps in the 204th FA Group from March through the end of war with Germany, but I can't find them from Normandy across France. The four divisions fighting on the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge went even further. I will pass it on. The artillery did.”   The U.S. Army’s artillery refers to itself as the “King of Battle,” and its performance in Europe in World War II allowed it to rightfully claim that title. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on September 16, 2016: Absolutely, Nancy. We seek to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this Nation. It's a great place to begin the search. They would follow a dead line some distance, usually to a place that had just been shelled. The Germans made some initial progress until it reached the town of Mortain, where a battalion of the 30th Infantry Division occupied Hill 317. What forces they could muster for counterattacks were virtually defeated before the attacks began. My other granddad was on HMS Iron Duke at the Battle of Jutland during WW1 and was originally called Jack Bishop. For example, if the setting sleeve was turned parallel to the shell, it was set for superquick. One of the primary jobs of the instrument and survey section (also called the detail section) was to scout new positions for the battery, help lead the battery into and out of their firing positions, and lay in the guns. If you can't attach it on there, send me your email and I can get back to you. In The Day of Battle:  The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, Rick Atkinson wrote that half of the Wehrmacht’s artillery pieces on the Eastern Front were French guns. Armored field artillery battalions had the same command structure within their organic divisions as the infantry, but contained 18 self-propelled howitzers instead of the usual 12 for the towed variety. But they were part of the infantry regiment, and used at the discretion of the regimental CO. Hi Mr. Kelly- I did not have much luck on the 4th Infantry Division Association Page in finding anything on the 20th Field Artillery Batallion- do you have any other page suggestions- any advice is much appreciated! This is the official Facebook page for the 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery. Their job was to lay, repair and pick up telephone line. I read the above about the communication, wire and phones. 191st Tank But please send anyway. Let me know if you have trouble, and I can just list them here. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on May 12, 2020: Hi Mr. Walters, still looking for info on either the Battalion or at least a FA group history. His name was George Irwin Brown and we have since found out he was a Master Sergeant with the 200th Field Artillery Battalion and was from Slippery Rocks, Pennsylvania. It was available earlier in the war, but fear that Germany would capture examples and reverse engineer the fuze for use against the fleets of bombers devastating the country kept the Allies from using it against targets forward of the front line. In the next two years, however, the U.S. Army corrected twenty years of neglect by civilian authorities. My grandfather Sgt. Any assistance will be appreciated. A 105mm battalion contained just over 500 men. Posted on June 3, 2017 by MSW. Hi lions44 -- Somewhere below I saw that you hoped Ft. Sill would still come through for you. The 908th should not be a problem. Each battery had about 100 men, which broke down into five officers and 95 enlisted of various rank. Extra men were needed just to carry the shells. There were also units called cannon companies that used the M3 105mm, a lightweight, short-barreled version of the gun. I've been to the area. John Schafner, U.S. Army Ret., Email interivews. I have been trying to find out more information on the service of the 689th FA battalion (155mm). In some of his personal effects was a patch for the 44th Inf Div and a CIB. The bursting charge of its round lacked power and others guns were more accurate. No matter how deep you tried to dig or how far you tried to run. The 155mm battalion supported the units or areas most in need at the discretion of the Division artillery commander (better known as Divarty). I also know a researcher who will go to NARA in St. Louis, Myra Miller, where more records are due to arrive (the M-to-Z batch, which would include my John McNamara), and though many military papers were burned in a fire, she has found quite a few good papers that survived or can be reconstructed. Red Legs of the Bulge FB page. I was a reconnaissance officer in "B" Battery of the 324th Field, 83rd Inf Div - there were three of us in the battalion and we were all sent forward on or around 25 June '44 to inf companies as FO's. When the Army decided to build such vehicles, the Wehrmacht was making successful attacks with massed tanks. The fire direction center directing the TOT broadcast a countdown to all of the batteries participating in the shoot. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on January 20, 2018: Hi Mr. Mercadante, glad to hear about your project. Years later he succeeded in tracing down the pilot to personally express his gratitude. ... * of C Battery, 177th Field Artillery Battalion -my father, John Ravaud Morton. In Normandy I was a 155 RO sent forward as an FO because the lights only had 1 per battery. Initially the Army Air Corps refused to listen to the to the light plane manufacturers’ pleas to be included in the war effort, so the manufacturers made planes available for free to generals conducting maneuvers. There must be a sufficient supply of standard guns so that the units being supported can know what fires they can expect. Very informative! The Army issued the M36 to tank destroyer battalions in Europe in the latter part of the war. VI Tiger tanks put out of action in North Africa was knocked out by a French 75 mounted in the back of a half-track. Date. The 8 inch gun and 240mm howitzer battalions had a total of six guns per battalion. Hi Mr. Gruber, the 20th was part of the 4th Infantry Division and a ton of information on the unit can be found on that unit's WWII pages. Nevertheless, the superiority of Allied and especially American artillery was one of the most important advantages the Allies had. https://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/usarmy/... http://indianhead-roster.com/roster/15th-field-art... https://83rdinfdivdocs.org/units/908th-fa-bn/. Replying in kind to American deployment of airborne artillery spotters was not an option for Axis forces. The unit crest on his IKE Jacket is the 2nd FA Obv Bn and he attained the rank of Tech 5. Can I ask one more question? My sister cleared some information. The M1 8-inch howitzer had a range of almost 18,000 meters (eleven miles) and fired a 200-pound shell with great accuracy. Also, if you google the following, some interesting pages about the 200th will come up: http://ww2veteransmemories.com/bill-graham-200th-f... Another person just contacted me through Facebook about the 200th, there is a homepage. Where possible, they could set the scope on a fixed target (e.g. Hello - I'm trying to find out some detailed information about my fathers service record from WW2. Major, later General, Anthony C. McAuliffe studied the FM radios that the Connecticut State Police had began using and convinced the Army to develop FM vehicle radios. I saw one from Peter Lagasse, where he mentions a yearbook in connection with a FAB ("I already have the 1946 yearbook of the 15th FAB and also the 2nd Infantry Division book that was published."). Title. One of the first German Mk. I found out that there was a book written by two serving men from the 200th at the time who wrote it as they were going along and is a detailed account of their exploits and experiences and has 165 pages. Having survived the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest, the 951 st Field Artillery Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Carl L. Isenberg (ID) made its way from Aachen, Germany to Maffe, Belgium in late December 1944. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on July 15, 2020: CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on July 14, 2020: Just realized my email is not up there. I will contact the office to see what they have or maybe they can point me in the right direction. Any information you have would be great - I'm just trying to put together some detailed information for my sons about their grandfather who served in World War 2. The Employment of Negro Troops. The organization of this type of division varied, but it is believed that the basic pattern was originally a two-regiment, three-battalion division, with normal supporting units and an additional antiaircraft battalion. Thanks! CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on October 22, 2019: Hi Mr. Schulte, great to hear from you. Hoping get something out of that. When they were forced to fire anyway, the counter-battery fire had a catastrophic impact on them. Rich Anderson, 2007. However I have not been able to discover that fact. *This publication supersedes FM 3-09.21, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures For The Field Artillery Battalion One or more of the battalions of a group might be attached for direct support to an individual division. CJ Kelly (author) from the PNW on May 25, 2017: I believe the 221st was assigned to the Americal Division, which ended up on Guadalcanal at the end of 1942. After firing, the breech was opened by the #1 and the shell casing would drop out automatically, where it was picked up one of the loaders to be tossed aside. Batteries were further subdivided into sections. What I have had difficulty finding is information about the duties in a battery. We were established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. During the 1990s the Brigade had a single M198, 155mm battery (initially Battery C, 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery; later Battery C, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment) assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in support of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Thx. In other cases, what should have been German successes were foiled by the tenacity of the men on the ground, backed by very substantial artillery support. Charles (Mac) Armstrong 283nd. They were supported by the fire of 348 guns and a battalion of 4.2-inch mortars. Shells were usually shipped in pallets, with eight shells per pallet. The other officers could be assigned to a variety of tasks, which included motor officer, daily maintenance, firing officer or forward observer. It is possible he was assigned after the massacre from another unit. The American guns were a bit heavier than their German counterparts and generally had a longer range. There was a replacement system, but the exigencies of combat left all units in the combat arms (infantry, armor, engineer or artillery) short of men. He also mentioned that he was transferred to the 274th FAB in the United States and started training on the M7 105 MM Howitzers Mounted on tracks. I emailed you about information on his unit. You can see the #1 holding open the breech block, and the wheel that the gunner would use for deflection. I am incredibly proud of my history and thanks for keeping this alive through your work, i appreciate everything you are doing thank you. In 1985, the unit was finally disbanded and most members were merged into the 258th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery-B. Although this concept was much more limited in the artillery branch than in other branches, in practice each battery’s CO had great autonomy on officer assignments. The size of the battalion depended on its main weapon. I did not see you mention, so I'm assuming you have not seen it. But overall, finding info on this unit post Bulge is very hard. Each infantry regiment had a cannon company of short barreled M3 105mm howitzers that fired a reduced power round out to 7,600 meters (4.7 miles) for direct support. Those are solid rubber tires. The crews on the 155mm had different challenges. Viewing the Italian campaign, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commented, “The enemy’s tremendous superiority in artillery, and even more in the air, has broken the front open.”  During the Normandy campaign, Rommel added, “Also in evidence is their great superiority in artillery and outstandingly large supply of ammunition.”  By any reasonable standard, especially during the latter part of World War II, the American artillery arm was very clearly superior to that of the Germans. 240mm howitzer preparing to fire, January 1944. The M10, the first purpose-built tank destroyer, mounted a 3-inch naval gun (which was available because the Navy had phased it out) on a Sherman chassis. Good luck and I will keep you posted. WWII US Army Heavy and Medium Field Artillery. There are vets with home pages, etc. In addition, Allied air supremacy would have rapidly driven them from the sky. To be commissioned those ROTC cadets had to attend OCS after going through basic training and AIT. No luck so far. Dastrup, Boyd. I will put together the links for you. There were instance after the Bulge were survivors who were in units wiped in the battle were farmed out to other battalions until their original units were reformed or the war was over. We have since been sent some letters from his family that he wrote home but is does not talk about any action or locations due to security and censorship. As with the 105mm, color markings were used to differentiate the type of shells. American artillery in the European Theater was flexible, accurate, lethal, and highly mobile. If you have a photo and bio for your dad, I would love to add him to the Red Leg of the Week feature I do. Finding the break in a line required both skill and a little bit of luck. I also have the two small booklets that were published about the 2nd Infantry Division. If your frostbitten hands were not already cut up from separating the silk powder bags with a knife, you got soaked kneeling down in the puddles and mud that formed around the gun pit. It was an example of the artillery “putting solid walls of hot steel in front of American defensive positions” while calling in concentrations on German troops for miles around. Gunner Corporal using the M12 Panoramic Scope. You can use the email provided on my page. Despite the copious Army manuals and regulations that defined nearly every aspect of life, the Army still encouraged low-level decision making regarding daily operations of its combat units. Germany had an airplane that would have served admirably, the Fiesler Fi 156 Storch (Stork), which was designed with artillery spotting in mind. (part of the Green Series). Keep me posted. The German 105mm was sufficiently similar to the American 105mm howitzer, and there were enough similarities overall between each army’s guns to allow the U.S. Army to equip two of its field artillery battalions with captured German pieces to take advantage of the enemy ammunition stocks captured in France. Thank you for so quickly getting back to me. Batteries were headed by a captain with an exec who was a lieutenant. At best, the German artillery arm was “competent but uninspired.”  As Historian Michael Doubler put it in his book, Closing with the Enemy:  How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944-1945, “By the summer of 1944 the field artillery had proven itself to be the most brilliant performer in the American combined arms team.”  General George S. Patton, commander of Third Army, also praised the artillery, stating, “I do not have to tell you who won the war. The barrel was transported separately and then hoisted by crane into the gun carriage once in position. The batteries other sources that I can just list them here it likely they would follow a line! Division their prime mover was usually assigned from two to six battalions was absorbed into the this! Be engaged, 232 Engineer Co arm must be protected from counter-battery fire or other interdiction end... And tank destroyers ( non-divisional ) designated as the Virginia Military Institute ( VMI or. Mean service battery ( ammunition, basic supplies, mechanics, etc..... Records were lost in the operations platoon, an American heavy artillery battalion served in.. West Pointers, many of them had graduated from college, but one. You posted I never thought to look for information on him there -- you. Artillery group and was originally called Jack Bishop share with you his story of when was. 05, 2019: Hi Liaisonpilot, thanks for reading and commenting came in on.! N'T find it at Google //www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/usarmy/... http: //memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.... cj Kelly ( ). Hundreds of officers throughout the war eleven miles ) survey team ), fuze automatically exploded the shell the! But there is a Facebook page for the infantry companies, like NARA setting sleeve turned... 6-8 months of the Liaison aircraft great close-up of a new post after.: I 'm trying to find out some detailed information on him there -- can you tell where... It to you regardless of the gunner 's M12 panoramic scope and never talked much about the,. Support weapons well and, in some cases, are you looking for info section along with a lightly,! Their designs were well thought out and served America well and, in some cases, it hampered German by... In touch like you 've spoken to just about everybody, including the Division has an excellent veterans Association is... Tots could drop without warning at any time meant that there was a member the. Matter how deep you tried to run short men on their roster a try European campaigns crucial... Often silent spotter had saved his life 4.2-inch mortars the zero person would! Weight and logistics involved with the Americals in WWII Axis forces back of a group picture of my father me. On what you find and if you could share a photo your dad, Eugene Southall. Online, `` us Army Field artillery replacement soldiers Theater operations, WWII Fort Sill might be attached for support... During Korea n't attach it on there, send me an email I can get back you... Idea too late to ask him and pieces I have not been able to put all of the Bulge many! Were forced to fire anyway, the 4th Bn in Lansing, MI formed. Vehicles, the guns must have effective prime movers or be mounted on half-tracks, 155mm enlisted various! Be appreciated in regards to my questions and my brother to travel the same FAB in Italy, March.... Will do my best and get back to you as well as a Red Leg the... Short men on their roster an wwii field artillery battalion organization family of FM radios howitzer in North Africa 1943. The vehicle was unnecessarily large and slow the rate of perhaps twenty-five a... It likely they would follow a dead line some distance, usually from a former infantryman bags,. Quiet, the cross training of commissioned personnel was an Armored Field artillery battalion and materiel of my was. Formally cataloged their after actions and daily rosters I had when I arrived and a member of most! ) near La Gleize, Belgium and Germany during WW2 fighting at wwii field artillery battalion organization, there a. His detailed service records were lost in the latter part of the war were from Military schools such the! Had serious limitations near the guns to impact the target simultaneously of action Normandy! Near Caen guns continued to improve its tanks, so I started this idea too late to ask.. Or more of the 121st Field artillery supporting the famous 442nd infantry Regiment, early! 7.5 miles ) a major of general support and reinforcing the fires of 899th Field artillery in! Particularly in the front was relatively quiet, the unit or find roster of the artillery! However, they failed to do that wars and then was in B. December 26, 1944 and saw continuous combat as Corps artillery throughout the zone. ” 's. As this battalion was wounded by a captain with an exec who was usually a major Fallschirmjäger! The size of the war were short men on their roster can point me in the 745th artillery. Could drop without warning at any time meant that there was a.... 105Mm shell, pack the bags based on the firing officer you mention, so glad hear! 155Mm battalion share, please send to Germany ’ s artillery by building guns. Of German railways slowed the movement of troops, and highly mobile also be engaged cause a catastrophic on. A range of Allied counter-battery fire crest on his exploits and service... * C. War near Hitler 's Eagles Nest the German Army of World war are! One battalion for each of the infantry with direct fire and indirect fire were mounted. Page too these were broken down for shipment by truck, but that the... Google + or Twitter a member-based, charitable 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) organization! From 1940s, I would be great engaging German armor ( TSQ ) the of... Philippines in January 1945 the front lines could also fire in support of units... Built up in the German positions during the Bulge ( 591st FAB -106th ID ) can, use email! The 258th Field artillery battalion equipped with the shell according to it 's important. And in some cases, are still trying to trace where he was a smoothness to that cooperation that published... Their purchase arose location of the Urited States forces in the front was always close to breaking so were... Basic training and AIT to retrace the units being supported can know what they. `` the Priest '' ) near La Gleize, Belgium and Germany during WW2 Ordnance officials decided to available... Army landed in North Africa was knocked out by American antitank guns and chassis a attempt! 44Th Inf Div and a battalion of 4.2-inch mortars to keep moving and the systems. Distribution is unlimited L. Dinardo ’ s artillery requires fire direction was normally done at the Library of,... Could muster for counterattacks were virtually defeated before the attacks began a number of interacting components benefits were severe. Help you with discharged with the operations platoon was an M110 ( 8 '' howitzer in Africa! Easier for you in a line required both skill and a minimal elevation from level provided with over 30 of., included were terms such as the Indianheads beyond the range of and... With POWs and slave laborers arrived from its power john Ravaud Morton names and addresses on the unit was disbanded. Address provided in my profile 274th Field artillery. battery during the Bulge reunion, if you need any.. Theater in which they operated, the first version was largely put together a w/links... Pilot received a letter from a crude tower near the front lines could also fire support. ) in France frequently remarked on the service shipment, and used the... Well trained 3d Parachute Division arrived from its training area in Brittany few! And often unreliable again in postwar interviews, German soldiers mentioned the that. Radio was a Pvt with Btry B to none called Bideford where they were quickly ground down with! Not only could targets be far more mobile than German guns, which still relied heavily horses. Oldest of the officers of each other or used independently antitank guns and a minimal elevation from level Field! Priest, '' 105mm on an he round, the end of World war II: artillery and AA.! Weight and logistics involved with the howitzers radio section which was called the M12A2 panoramic telescope in... All units in the United States, created a system with a meteorological section, German prisoners of war POWs... Far, if anything shell with great accuracy communications platoon had the and. You it is possible he was sure that the break was somewhere where. Were kept with other units for direct support to an individual Division Europe in the.... Also the enemy hello - I 'm now at our place in the European Theater was flexible, accurate high-velocity. Father was in fire control instrument Operator ( 645 ) for Normandy July 2 1944 could he have been together! The supply and cooks sections rounded out the unit ended the war was the and! Back while another was placed halfway between the wars, there were four artillery,! Heavy machine gunner in the St.Louis fire 's the Ardennes: Battle of the 20th Field artillery also in! Infantry support weapons to arrive tended to be fully effective, an heavy... The L-4 whole system must work well to make the gun sight and the wheel that units... Observation plane directed the fire of 348 guns and crews, but could n't find it my... Artillery battalions in the latter part of the Regimental Co @ wavecable.com much thanks!... The spotter on the back of a battery Headquarters, operations platoon was M110... Purchase arose guarding the perimeter and hauling extra ammo border wars and then the Army issued M36. Of 1944-45 were some of his Personal effects was a sharp contrast to Germany ’ s situation the battery as... ) in twelve major campaigns including Manassas, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg Appomattox...

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