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RandyT0001

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Ignoring refraction and haze, a gun sight set 1.22 meters (4 feet) above the ground will be blocked by the horizon about 4.9 kilometers (~2.45 miles) in distance.

That distance, 4.9 kilometers, is about 123 hexes distant, along the hex grain.
 
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Eagle4ty

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A hypothetical question I've been wondering about of late. In ASL terms (i.e. hexes) at what range would you expect direct fire from ART category ordnance weapons to have additional to hit penalties? I'm assuming ART type guns, as a class, would typically not have special targeting sights for direct fire like you'd find in an anti-tank or AA guns. (My admittedly very lazy internet search produced nothing of note on the topic of direct fire sights for WW2 artillery pieces.) Also, let me reinforce that this is purely an academic question; ASL is already larded down more than enough with special rules for infrequent situations, IMO.

On a related note, I've always been more than a bit skeptical that German or French (for example) ART & INF pieces (black TH numbers) are better equipped with direct fire optics than Soviet AT guns or early/mid war US tank guns (red TH numbers.) But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong? Yeah, yeah - Americans couldn't buy Swiss & German optical lenses - so that makes the ones from Corning worse than NONE AT ALL?!?
I believe one first would have to determine what is considered a "Hit" in ASL. That is to say, does a Hit only encompass a direct impact of the round on the target or does it include the "bursting radius" (the actual round detonation radius) of the munition or the effective shock radius (calculated as pi times the bursting radius of the round in very simple terms)? Now one could also complicate the matter by taking into account the Blast Radius of the round (VERY roughly, 10 times the bursting radius of the round based upon the charge of the round being detonated). Of course the type of target had a great bearing upon the "hit" in each case as well, as do other factors such as elevation of the blast, terrain & weather conditions conditions in the blast area that may mitigate or enhance the over-pressure (shock effects) experienced by the blast and of course the charge/type of the munition (the higher the elevation of the blast & less air pressure or fewer terrain folds/terrain obstructions encountered that will enhance the effectiveness of the shock and blast radius), as well as the type of round (e.g. HE, VT, HE-S[shrapnel], etc.) being fired.

For example: (and Gun-bunnies are free to correct me here as this is just off the top of may head as I couldn't find my old charts), a standard 155mm HE round has a individual round burst radius of 10-15m IIRC making the shock radius- often times erroneously also referred to as the burst radius- of 30-45m and a blast (effects) radius of roughly 300-400+m. One can easily see why infantry deemed arty fire closer than 600m from their position to be "Danger Close". Now if an AFV is within the Shock radius (that is, the effective shock radius as the actual over-pressure shocks, both outwards and inwards, will certainly travel further but will decrease in intensity/effectiveness) the crew, if not the vehicle itself, will certainly be effected even if the round is not a direct impact on the vehicle.

As for sighting I believe fire sights for vehicular mounted guns (Wespe, Hummel, M8 HMC, M7 Priest, etc.) were probably better for direct fire as the sights were probably directly mounted to the system as opposed to setting them up remotely for say ground mount systems. Either way I would SWAG that a pretty decent chance for direct fire "hit" (direct impact or within the bursting/shock radius) could be relatively easily achieved up to about 2km over open sights (pluses going to vehicular mounted systems until you get to something like the M12 which was made exclusively for indirect fire purposes and NORMALLY acted as a ground mount indirect fire system). I believe the reason for red TH# for early war U.S. & French ordnance had to do with doctrine as much as the actual sights themselves (though it was pretty common knowledge the German sights were certainly at a higher standard) relying upon WW-I experience with ordnance fire. The Commonwealth, always at a lack of resources, probably stressed fire accuracy more and thus trained for better initial accuracy as opposed to having "better" sights (just don't know for sure).

All that being said, ASL has really slimmed down ordnance fire and its effects (especially indirect fire ordnance). Can you imagine if you got a "hit" on a unit but every unit within an effects radius, say 6 hexes for a blast effects radius, had to take a PTC (possibly just for the psychological effects) AND then take into account if terrain or other mitigating circumstances between the impact location and the unit possibly effected that could modify its overall effects? SL tried to address this with its Near Miss for ordnance fire of >100mm IIRC but as is currently in ASL, the TH & effects though not the best and certainly not perfect, works well enough for the game. Good enough is the enemy of perfect.
 
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Regarding gun optics and the American Army, you have to remember that most of the tank and ordnance firing personnel were trained
but live-firing expertise was still at a premium. Only after several weeks on the front line does the experience match up with the training.
That's why the Americans use red TH#s prior to 1944, black TH#s thereafter. (And hopefully by then manufacturers will have come up with
a better product for gun optics).
 

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Regarding gun optics and the American Army, you have to remember that most of the tank and ordnance firing personnel were trained
but live-firing expertise was still at a premium. Only after several weeks on the front line does the experience match up with the training.
That's why the Americans use red TH#s prior to 1944, black TH#s thereafter.
But wouldn't that be better represented by "Inexperienced Crews" rather than a blanket penalty for certain nationalities? (My response was inside the quote, oops!)
 
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Yeah, a lot of this doesn't hold water for me. "I believe the reason for red TH# for early war U.S. & French ordnance had to do with doctrine as much as the actual sights themselves " So their doctrine was "Miss the target"? And it took them TWO FULL YEARS to change this to "Okay, now actually try and hit the target."?

And as far as live-fire experience goes, this might make some sense except for the fact the Germans, Brits, etc. get black TH numbers starting the first day they're in the war. Also footnote 34 in chapter A makes it pretty clear that for the Americans, at least, the reason for the red #'s is equipment related.
 

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The US lost its supply source for high grade German optics with the outbreak of war in Europe and it took time to find/develop a replacement. In the case of the French I would wager that tanks have Red TH#s due to the one/two man turrets used rather than poor optics or doctrine.

By the way,... most towed artillery pieces in my day had mounted sight for direct fire.

I do know that British 25 pdrs had direct fire sights and they were not adverse to using the guns in the AT role (and had AP shot available) if the Germans got too close. Although artillery units preferred to displace this was not always possible. German infantry was savaged by US 105mm artillery support backing up the forward companies of the US 110th regiment in the Ardennes. They set their fuses for 1/2 second delay and fired directly at the infantry approaching. The results were a lot of dead landsers with the US gun positions intact.

Trying to overrun an artillery battery was not a pleasant experience for tanks or infantry.

(Fun fact: I do have experience with a 155mm shell landing within 75m when I was a young trooper marking pre-set positions for a live fire exercise. Interesting and instructive life lesson).
 
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The US lost its supply source for high grade German optics with the outbreak of war in Europe and it took time to find/develop a replacement. In the case of the French I would wager that tanks have Red TH#s due to the one/two man turrets used rather than poor optics or doctrine.

By the way,... most towed artillery pieces in my day had mounted sight for direct fire.

I do know that British 25 pdrs had direct fire sights and they were not adverse to using the guns in the AT role (and had AP shot available) if the Germans got too close. Although artillery units preferred to displace this was not always possible. German infantry was savaged by US 105mm artillery support backing up the forward companies of the US 110th regiment in the Ardennes. They set their fuses for 1/2 second delay and fired directly at the infantry approaching. The results were a lot of dead landsers with the US gun positions intact.

Trying to overrun an artillery battery was not a pleasant experience for tanks or infantry.

(Fun fact: I do have experience with a 155mm shell landing within 75m when I was a young trooper marking pre-set positions for a live fire exercise. Interesting and instructive life lesson).
Nice to know, was never a gun-bunny and had little interaction with them. I knew the smaller guns, AT and Pack HOW had a mounted site as do Mortars but was unsure of the larger pieces. As for the live fire (especially incoming) yup, your pucker factor increases exponentially.
 

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Was the T-34 "Shielded" aka T-34E used in combat or was it only a prototype. Supposedly built in Factory 112. This photo would seem to indicate it was in the field at least a little.

 

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I believe so. From memory I've seen slightly different patterns of add on armour. I've yet to see a photo of an uparmoured m42/m43 "hexnut" turret, all based on the m41 "slab sided" turret.

Just checked "T-34 Mythical Weapon" ISBN 0-9781091-0-4. On page 500 I count 8 hull armour patterns and 4 turret patterns. Produced by Zavod No. 112, STZ and Leningrad Zavod No. 28.

Allowing for my faulty memory or mis-titled photos, I believe I saw a photo of an uparmoured T-34 that was supposed to have been photographed in Germany. The uparmoured versions would be most commonly seen in the Leningrad to Baltic regions.
 

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To follow up with what The Purist said about 25lbr usage:

Both the 25lbr Mk 1 (converted late 18lbr) and Mk 2 came with a turntable. The purpose of the turntable was to allow full traverse when confronted by tanks. The turntable also helped when the ground was soft.

In the '41-'42 period a common complaint about 25lbr usage was that they were often distributed among the infantry to compensate for the inadequate AP performance of the 2lbr AT gun, rather than being grouped together for concentrated HE fire. While for a time they were only guns that could take on the likes of Pz III H/J and Pz IV E/F frontally, the introduction of the 6lbr relieved them of that vital task and thereafter they were concentrated for their proper artillery role.

Ditto "Jock Columns" which were company to battalion sized motorised infantry plus tanks usually had a 25lbr troop (4) or battery (8) and a few armoured cars. These acted a bit like a fat LRDG patrol, harassing and delaying. While useful in early '41 they invited destruction in detail and thus a waste of tanks and artillery.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I do know that British 25 pdrs had direct fire sights and they were not adverse to using the guns in the AT role (and had AP shot available) if the Germans got too close.
I can think of a couple of times that British artillery got overrun by tanks, in the desert (Terence Cuneo painted one such instance) and at least one unit in Normandy (I think Ian Daglish did a scenario about it). But I would say the Gunners were indeed "averse" to firing as anti-tank guns since it was the same as firing a pistol in a firefight - you know something has gone desperately wrong somewhere for it to even be happening.
 
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The US lost its supply source for high grade German optics with the outbreak of war in Europe and it took time to find/develop a replacement. In the case of the French I would wager that tanks have Red TH#s due to the one/two man turrets used rather than poor optics or doctrine.

By the way,... most towed artillery pieces in my day had mounted sight for direct fire.

I do know that British 25 pdrs had direct fire sights and they were not adverse to using the guns in the AT role (and had AP shot available) if the Germans got too close. Although artillery units preferred to displace this was not always possible. German infantry was savaged by US 105mm artillery support backing up the forward companies of the US 110th regiment in the Ardennes. They set their fuses for 1/2 second delay and fired directly at the infantry approaching. The results were a lot of dead landsers with the US gun positions intact.

Trying to overrun an artillery battery was not a pleasant experience for tanks or infantry.

(Fun fact: I do have experience with a 155mm shell landing within 75m when I was a young trooper marking pre-set positions for a live fire exercise. Interesting and instructive life lesson).
75 meters!!??!! ☹☹☹???

Too close by about a mile.
 

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Nice posts by all concerned. A great diversion after working on the house all day. Thanks!!?
 

The Purist

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75 meters!!??!! ☹☹☹???

Too close by about a mile.
[Vasiline edged lens as scene blurs,... fades to the past,... voices echo and fade,.... slow focus in on days of yore, youth and far too much olive drab clothing]

We were defending force in a div exercise with the enemy force provided by the US tankers from Fort Knox who brought their Abrams along for the fun.

We were to counter attack the 'red' force breakthrough over the Battle River River at CFB Wainwright. We were out marking two or three pre-planned positions for our vehicles to take as we advanced, tactical bound by tactical bound. The artillery lads were ranging in on their assigned targets and we could hear the outgoing rounds as they wobbled overhead to land 'somewhere wayyy over there'. Out of sight but we could hear the explosions as shells landed.

Our squadron had an artillery liaison/FOO attached who was there to watch over things.

While I'm dragging a couple of pieces of dead fall into position where we would be able to see them next day, the sound of one outgoing shell was markedly different.

"Wut the,....", thinks I.

Before I had time to do more than cringe there was a very loud Boom and I almost immediately felt the concussion of the blast (wasn't too bad at 75-ish meters). To my right I noted the earth being thrown into the air in the classic doco film manner, followed in a second of two later by the pitter-patter of small clumps of dirt, tiny pebbles and other debris landing on my helmet and shoulders (no damage, just a bit more cringing).

Looking back to my left where the OC's and liaison vehicles were it was like someone had kicked over an anthill. People were very animated. A bit more to my left and about 25 meters away was my vehicle and the Troop Warrant. He stood on the turret and hollered,

"You alive, Trooper!!"

"Fuc*@#% right, Warrant!" (lots of expletives in the army,.. about every second word begins with F, S or C)

The Warrant then toggles his pressel switch, says something inaudible from my range and we carried on.

Needless to say there was "Check Fire!!! Check Fire!!!" being screamed into radios hither an yon but no casualties. I had a short interview with the major and SSM on return to the bivouac and asked to write up what happened from my pov. Turned out some Bombardier (artillery corporal) did not reset the elevation properly after lowering the gun for reloading, resulting in a short round by about two kilometers or so.

Charge parade followed, stripes were lost. Or, so the story goes.
 
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Actionjick

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[Vasiline edged lens as scene blurs fades to the past,... voices echo and fade,.... slow focus in on days of yore, youth and far too much olive drab clothing]

We were defending force in a div exercise with the enemy force provided by the US tankers from Fort Knox who brought their Abram along for the fun.

We were to counter attack the 'red' force breakthrough over the battle River River at CFB Wainwright. We were out marking two or three pre-planned positions for our vehicles to take as we advanced, tactical bound by tactical bound. The artillery lads were ranging in on their assigned targets and we could hear the outgoing rounds as they wobbled overhead to land 'somewhere wayyy over there'. Out of sight but we could hear the explosions as shells landed.

Our squadron had an artillery liaison/FOO attached who was there to watch over things.

While I'm dragging a couple of pieces of dead fall into position where we would be able to see them next day, the sound one outgoing shell was markedly different.

"Wut the,....", thinks I.

Before I had time to do more than cringe there was a very loud Boom and I almost immediately felt the concussion of the blast (wasn't too bad at 75-ish meters). To my right I noted the earth being thrown into the air in the classic doco film manner, followed in a second of two later by the pitter-patter of small clumps of dirt, tiny pebbles and other debris landing on my helmet and shoulders (no damage, just a bit more cringing).

Looking back to my left where the OC's and liaison vehicles were and it was like someone had kicked over an anthill. People were very animated. A bit more to my left and about 25 meters away was my vehicle and the Troop Warrant. He stood on the turret and hollered,

"You alive, Trooper!!"

"Fuc*@#% right, Warrant!" (lots of expletives in the army,.. about every second word begins with F, S or C)

The Warrant then toggles his pressel switch, says something inaudible from my range and we carried on.

Needless to say there was "Check Fire!!! Check Fire!!!" being screamed into radios hither an yon but no casualties. I had a short interview with the major and SSM on return to the bivouac and asked to right up what happened from my pov. Turned out some Bombardier (artillery corporal) did not reset the elevation properly after lowering the gun for reloading, resulting in a short round by about two kilometers or so.

Charge parade followed, stripes were lost. Or, so the story goes.
Stripes, blowed up Sir!! Dude was lucky all he lost were his stripes.
 

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[Vasiline edged lens as scene blurs fades to the past,... voices echo and fade,.... slow focus in on days of yore, youth and far too much olive drab clothing]

We were defending force in a div exercise with the enemy force provided by the US tankers from Fort Knox who brought their Abram along for the fun.

We were to counter attack the 'red' force breakthrough over the battle River River at CFB Wainwright. We were out marking two or three pre-planned positions for our vehicles to take as we advanced, tactical bound by tactical bound. The artillery lads were ranging in on their assigned targets and we could hear the outgoing rounds as they wobbled overhead to land 'somewhere wayyy over there'. Out of sight but we could hear the explosions as shells landed.

Our squadron had an artillery liaison/FOO attached who was there to watch over things.

While I'm dragging a couple of pieces of dead fall into position where we would be able to see them next day, the sound one outgoing shell was markedly different.

"Wut the,....", thinks I.

Before I had time to do more than cringe there was a very loud Boom and I almost immediately felt the concussion of the blast (wasn't too bad at 75-ish meters). To my right I noted the earth being thrown into the air in the classic doco film manner, followed in a second of two later by the pitter-patter of small clumps of dirt, tiny pebbles and other debris landing on my helmet and shoulders (no damage, just a bit more cringing).

Looking back to my left where the OC's and liaison vehicles were and it was like someone had kicked over an anthill. People were very animated. A bit more to my left and about 25 meters away was my vehicle and the Troop Warrant. He stood on the turret and hollered,

"You alive, Trooper!!"

"Fuc*@#% right, Warrant!" (lots of expletives in the army,.. about every second word begins with F, S or C)

The Warrant then toggles his pressel switch, says something inaudible from my range and we carried on.

Needless to say there was "Check Fire!!! Check Fire!!!" being screamed into radios hither an yon but no casualties. I had a short interview with the major and SSM on return to the bivouac and asked to right up what happened from my pov. Turned out some Bombardier (artillery corporal) did not reset the elevation properly after lowering the gun for reloading, resulting in a short round by about two kilometers or so.

Charge parade followed, stripes were lost. Or, so the story goes.

I got to talk to my nephew when he was training with the artillery in the Army. He told me that during one of the exercises, a round had gone off the reservation and put a big hole in the parking lot of a Walmart. Fortunately it was around 3am and nobody was there. He never said how or who, so I have no idea what was done to the responsible party.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Stripes, blowed up Sir!! Dude was lucky all he lost were his stripes.
There is a saying in the Canadian Army. If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't sign up. The Purist obviously got the joke.

Our sister regiment here in Calgary had a major charged for a training exercise in Afghanistan in which someone died on the firing range. He was convicted and went down from Major to Lieutenant. He then got the best civvie lawyer in town, and got his rank back. He went on to command the regiment. Sometimes, so the judge figured, accidents happen.

 
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