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Subdeacon Joe

OT - Artillery

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There is nothing quite like a short round lifting you up off the ground and dropping you back down again to make you want to check your shorts.

 

Pucker Factor, Doc.!

 

I was in an Infantry line company during the cold war. We had the "Pentomic Divison" concept. It turned out to be nothing more than a PR thngy, but our TO was four Rifle Platoons and a Weapons Platoon at company level.

We had attached to us a 4.2 Mortar Battery. Between the MB and WP I believe we had four 4.2, and three 81mm mortars, and two 106mm Recoilless Rifles.

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Pucker Factor, Doc.!

 

I was trying to be polite, but more like hearing your sphincter slam shut. :blush:

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You know, I've been in the Army for 17 years now, some active and some reserve, and have never even heard of a 175 mm. I've called for fire once in the real world, and seeing six 155mm rounds go off at a distance was rather disconcerting. I've also been on the receiving end of 107mm rockets and various sizes of mortars. Those were extremely disconcerting.

 

I'll hazard a guess that seeing a 175mm go off must be a sight to behold!

 

OK youngster, the 175 mm was a long barreled self-propelled Gun. It did not have the accuracy of the 8-inch Howitzer, but it could put them out further. m107, 175mm gun

 

During the Southeast Aisa War games, some enterprising Gun Bunnies decided to get more range out of their 175's by "borrowing" some Green Bag charges from the 8-inch batteries. Soon the 175's were having catastrophic failures of the barrels at the origin of rifling. We sent a bunch of Tech reps over there to find out why. After a few weeks of studying the remains of the barrels, Rock Island lifted the ban on shooting them. While one of the Tech Reps was watching a crew getting ready to shoot a fire support mission, he saw one of the crew run over to the 8-inch battery and cme back wit a Green Charge bag. When he stopped the errant gun bunny and asked what he thought he was doing the soldier replied he was going to get his gun to shoot further into "indian country". That practice was imediately stopped army wide.

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OK youngster, the 175 mm was a long barreled self-propelled Gun. It did not have the accuracy of the 8-inch Howitzer, but it could put them out further. m107, 175mm gun

 

During the Southeast Aisa War games, some enterprising Gun Bunnies decided to get more range out of their 175's by "borrowing" some Green Bag charges from the 8-inch batteries. Soon the 175's were having catastrophic failures of the barrels at the origin of rifling. We sent a bunch of Tech reps over there to find out why. After a few weeks of studying the remains of the barrels, Rock Island lifted the ban on shooting them. While one of the Tech Reps was watching a crew getting ready to shoot a fire support mission, he saw one of the crew run over to the 8-inch battery and cme back wit a Green Charge bag. When he stopped the errant gun bunny and asked what he thought he was doing the soldier replied he was going to get his gun to shoot further into "indian country". That practice was imediately stopped army wide.

I was talking about this thread with my Dad when he mentioned he remembered seeing a BUNCH of 175mm or 8 inch barrels and breeches in one of the storage yards (he couldn't remember if it was the 208 or the PDO) while serving with 1st Logistic Command in '68 and '69. Sounds like that could have something to do with how they came to be sitting in storage.

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Know how to take out a whole platoon of marines without firing a shot. Through wet sand on the wall and yell hit the beach. :D

 

 

 

But remember, "The words Marine and Mariner differ by one small letter only: but no two races of men, I had well nigh said no two animals, differ from one another completely".

Capt Basil Hall, R. N.

 

;)

 

Boothill

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You know, I've been in the Army for 17 years now, some active and some reserve, and have never even heard of a 175 mm. I've called for fire once in the real world, and seeing six 155mm rounds go off at a distance was rather disconcerting. I've also been on the receiving end of 107mm rockets and various sizes of mortars. Those were extremely disconcerting.

 

I'll hazard a guess that seeing a 175mm go off must be a sight to behold!

 

From Wikipedia:

 

The M107 was retired from the U.S. Army in the late 1970s but it continues to see use in many armies around the world.

 

 

 

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During WW II , the 155's gave the Japanese fits. They came to the forefront during the Bouganville campaign. :FlagAm:

 

The Lady Lex and Sara were originally laid down as heavy or battle cruiser's, but the Naval treaty after WW I set them up to be scrapped until someone got the bright idea to change them into carriers.........luckily. they laid down the training for naval air that stood us in good stead in WW II. the Lex was lost in the Coral Sea, Sara made it through, but was sacrificed during the Bikini atom tests :FlagAm:

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Well Noz, I lost most of mine to the M1 Garand, the 81mm mortar and 106mm Recoilless rifle.

What was that you wuz saying? What ear protection? We don't need no stinkin ear protection......

 

Man, I hadn't thought about the 106 in MANY years. What a nasty little weapon.

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You know, I've been in the Army for 17 years now, some active and some reserve, and have never even heard of a 175 mm. I've called for fire once in the real world, and seeing six 155mm rounds go off at a distance was rather disconcerting. I've also been on the receiving end of 107mm rockets and various sizes of mortars. Those were extremely disconcerting.

 

I'll hazard a guess that seeing a 175mm go off must be a sight to behold!

 

 

It is indeed since they rarely landed where they werre supposed to.

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Man, I hadn't thought about the 106 in MANY years. What a nasty little weapon.

 

Only problem I could see with the 106s was they were mounted on a jeep and top heavy, plus they were

a bear to do the manual of arms with.

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Short rounds?

I happened to be the S-2 of the 1st of the 75th Artillery in the late 60s in Germany. We were at our annual firing exercise at Grafenwoehr.

 

As S-2, I supervised the forward observers.

 

I was on the hill, doing my job, when the entire range was shut down for the final firing of the 280 MM gun, the proverbial "Atomic Cannon".

 

The mission was 2 guns, 1 round each.

 

We waited patiently for word to proceed.

 

Range control gave us a countdown and we heard the two guns fire in the distance.

 

There was a loud whistling as a round with a broken rotating band went over head.

 

My Sargeant yelled at me, "That was only one, Sir".

 

We all assumed the position in the bottom of the holes.

 

Round 1 landed in the impact area, round two about 300 yards behind us.

 

We didn't think we would ever get the fabric out of our.........

 

Never liked short rounds.

 

 

 

 

One of you more recent 8" Artillerymen. Did they ever get the charge 5 white bag problem solved?

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It is indeed since they rarely landed where they werre supposed to.

 

 

Eeek! I'm spoiled. The artillery rounds we have now will fly around a bridge to destroy the tank hiding underneath it. Yes, I'm serious. Remember the "shock and awe" campaign of the early Iraq war? The media lambasted the military for not delivering shock and awe as promised, but ALL of us in uniform were thoroughly shocked and awed. I knew our weapons had advanced beyond Gulf War era weapons, but I had no idea they were that precise. It was the first time in history that an air campaign and a ground campaign started simultaneously (the first Gulf War led off with 6 weeks of air war before the ground war started, and that was based on historical precedent), and it was the most rapid conquering (i.e. "liberating") of land per square mile in history. We were shocked and awed, I don't know what the heck the media was looking at.

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Eeek! I'm spoiled. The artillery rounds we have now will fly around a bridge to destroy the tank hiding underneath it. Yes, I'm serious. Remember the "shock and awe" campaign of the early Iraq war? The media lambasted the military for not delivering shock and awe as promised, but ALL of us in uniform were thoroughly shocked and awed. I knew our weapons had advanced beyond Gulf War era weapons, but I had no idea they were that precise. It was the first time in history that an air campaign and a ground campaign started simultaneously (the first Gulf War led off with 6 weeks of air war before the ground war started, and that was based on historical precedent), and it was the most rapid conquering (i.e. "liberating") of land per square mile in history. We were shocked and awed, I don't know what the heck the media was looking at.

 

I am not certain that anybody knows what the "media" is looking at.

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From Wikipedia:

 

The M107 was retired from the U.S. Army in the late 1970s but it continues to see use in many armies around the world.

 

Last year I saw one on a flatbed headed up the road toward Utah. Maybe destined to be re-painted and sit in front of some VFW post.

They better have a big dang lawn. ;)

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Man, I hadn't thought about the 106 in MANY years. What a nasty little weapon.

 

 

Then you would have really loved the USMC "Ontos".

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Then you would have really loved the USMC "Ontos".

 

 

Ontos

A very strange concept.

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Nearly as strange as "DAVY CROCKETT". Came as close to the nuclear hand grenade as anything before or since.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_%28nuclear_device%29

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Nearly as strange as "DAVY CROCKETT". Came as close to the nuclear hand grenade as anything before or since.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_%28nuclear_device%29

 

At least there was not much of a chance of having to reload a Davy Crockett.

 

And the SADM was pretty much an atomic hand grenade. :lol::blink:

Pretty heavy one though.

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Ontos

A very strange concept.

 

Strangest thing about The Thing is that it was designed like that. Not something cobbled together by some cynical E-8 who was tired of having jeeps and teams shot up. "GAWDAMIT! I'm sick of this! You! Make me some brackets like this (waves hands in air)! We're gonna hang these 106s off the side of that track there! Show those sumbeaches to shoot up MY jeeps!"

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There is nothing quite like a short round lifting you up off the ground and dropping you back down again to make you want to check your shorts.

 

 

Check my shorts???????? I had to buy new ones because my bunghole chewed a hole in my shorts.....

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There is nothing quite like a short round lifting you up off the ground and dropping you back down again to make you want to check your shorts.

 

I think it was May or June of '67 in Grafenwöhr, I was working in S2, hanging out in the S3 while the battalion was off in the mud somewhere. BOOM-BOOM, 2 8" rounds

blew up the tank trail nearby. Needless to say, the tank trail is not normally a target. Blew out the radiator on the lead jeep of a convoy that was maybe 100 meters from point of impact. If I recall correctly, two guns overshot the impact area.

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I think it was May or June of '67 in Grafenwöhr, I was working in S2, hanging out in the S3 while the battalion was off in the mud somewhere. BOOM-BOOM, 2 8" rounds

blew up the tank trail nearby. Needless to say, the tank trail is not normally a target. Blew out the radiator on the lead jeep of a convoy that was maybe 100 meters from point of impact. If I recall correctly, two guns overshot the impact area.

 

 

Not me!!! I was in Vietnam by then.

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The short round I experienced was while doing a medical check on the forward observers in my unit during Annual Training at Camp Grayling Michigan. I was standing with another NCO watching rounds hit the impact zone when out of the blue (to me) he shoves me hard back into a bunker they had there. The round was close enough that it did feel like it lifted me up and threw me back down on the ground hard, and loud enough to make my ears ring. The FO just shook his head and looked at me and said "short round."

 

Of course, we never had this problem like a Guard unit out of Illinois in 1994:

 

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1994-07-20/news/9407200406_1_illinois-army-national-artillery-shell

 

Army National Guard troops accidentally fired a 105mm artillery shell from Camp Grayling 2 miles past its target and into a subdivision in the next county, sending shrapnel flying through a house.

 

Fortunately, the homeowners, Robert and Joan Hutton, were out Monday evening when the accident occurred. Tuesday they said they were having second thoughts about retiring to the damaged Otsego County home, 5 miles from where gunners fired the howitzer round from the camp.

 

(continude)

 

That has nearly become the stuff of legend for us field artillery types going to Grayling.

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Range Control would get upset with us because the APCs full of sand were such a boring target for an artillery round with a quick fuse. All we would do and all we were supposed to do was blow some paint off of them. When we got too bored we would turn the fuses to delay and blow the APCs to little tiny pieces. I fired a destruction mission on one of the said APCs in which I hit it nine out of 12 rounds fired. Guns were 12,000 meters off to the west somewhere.

'Course the Colonel would get a letter and we would all get a tongue in cheek chewing.

The officers Club at Vilseck served an open face roast beef sandwich with french fires drenched in gravy that still reigns in my mind as the best I've ever eaten.

 

Vilseck, 280mm gun.

 

The evening of the day that they officially deactivated the 280s, I was in the O Club at Vilseck. The battalion commander, a Captain, brought his officers to the club. He formed them into a circle in the middle of the bar by date of rank. Capt. 2 1st Lts and I think 6 2nd Lts. He turned to the junior 2nd Lt and said "Lieutenant cognac!" The young man went to the bar and bought 9 glasses of cognac. Each lifted a glass from the tray and the Capt. said "Gentlemen, To the gun!" They all drank and the tray was passed to the next junior Lt.

After about 3/4 hour, most of the "gentlemen" were on the floor. Only the Capt and senior 1st Lt were left standing. The Capt said "Lieutenant, cognac!"

Both took their glasses off of the tray. As the Lt started to drink, he lost his balance and fell backwards, unconscious, onto the floor.

The Capt. looked at him, straightened up, looked at the open mouthed crowd in the O Club, Raised his glass and said, "Gentlemen, To the Gun". He drank, did an about face and marched from the bar.

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Range Control would get upset with us because the APCs full of sand were such a boring target for an artillery round with a quick fuse. All we would do and all we were supposed to do was blow some paint off of them. When we got too bored we would turn the fuses to delay and blow the APCs to little tiny pieces. I fired a destruction mission on one of the said APCs in which I hit it nine out of 12 rounds fired. Guns were 12,000 meters off to the west somewhere.

'Course the Colonel would get a letter and we would all get a tongue in cheek chewing.

The officers Club at Vilseck served an open face roast beef sandwich with french fires drenched in gravy that still reigns in my mind as the best I've ever eaten.

 

Vilseck, 280mm gun.

 

The evening of the day that they officially deactivated the 280s, I was in the O Club at Vilseck. The battalion commander, a Captain, brought his officers to the club. He formed them into a circle in the middle of the bar by date of rank. Capt. 2 1st Lts and I think 6 2nd Lts. He turned to the junior 2nd Lt and said "Lieutenant cognac!" The young man went to the bar and bought 9 glasses of cognac. Each lifted a glass from the tray and the Capt. said "Gentlemen, To the gun!" They all drank and the tray was passed to the next junior Lt.

After about 3/4 hour, most of the "gentlemen" were on the floor. Only the Capt and senior 1st Lt were left standing. The Capt said "Lieutenant, cognac!"

Both took their glasses off of the tray. As the Lt started to drink, he lost his balance and fell backwards, unconscious, onto the floor.

The Capt. looked at him, straightened up, looked at the open mouthed crowd in the O Club, Raised his glass and said, "Gentlemen, To the Gun". He drank, did an about face and marched from the bar.

 

I spent a week in Vilseck one night. :lol:

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I was working in Washington, DC in the late 50's when a coworker got a call to get down to his summer cottage on the Potomac River near Colonial beach, VA right away and bring some tarps. Seems a short round fired down the Potomac from the Navy's Dalhgren Proving Grounds exploded above his cottage and punched a bunch of holes in the roof. Don't know if the navy ever paid for repairs.

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I spent a week in Vilseck one night. :lol:

 

I'll bet it got drunk out. that's the only reason I could see for Vilseck existing.

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I'll bet it got drunk out. that's the only reason I could see for Vilseck existing.

 

Boy that's fer dang sure! :lol:

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Gotta love a good artillery discussion...

 

Short round stories:

 

Had an FDO who was called "Skip" for a good many years after not checking for intervening crests.

 

Had a sister Battery set a fuse a little too short and pop smoke all over the Battalion TOC.

 

and one of my personal favorites; my Battery was the premier battery, always firing and always ready. Worked through a lot of mechanical issues and had the best gun crews. All the VIPS would show up to pull tail.

 

So one day the VIPS are rotating out of one of the guns when a fire mission comes down. The gun cheif having most of his crew out while the VIPS rotated in saw that it was just him and his gunner. They decide they can handle the mission on their own. They couldn't. Long story short...no round, powder, primer, hook up, FIRE...giant fireball out the tube, hitting the ground, starting a giant brush fire. Not a fun day.

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Back in 1958 while I was at Riley, the First Division had a flock of visiting brass from all over the allied world. They decided to put on a demonstration by showing them an attack by a "task force" of tanks, planes and infantry. This was big. They even had napalm in front of the stands to show the awesome power of the attack.

I had never seen napalm before and I was impressed. But then again, I was a nineteen year old PVT so it didn't really matter.

 

We set up as a Battle Group behind the reviewing stands and true to Army routine, there was a mock battle in front of the Brass, but there was a little hitch in the git along. When the mortars were laid in, there was a cross fire between Delta Company and Alpha company. We were using VT fuses and as they passed over the stands the fuses were activated by the other rounds causing them to burst in the air above the stands. There was a loud scream of Cease Fire that could be heard over the roar of "Battle". Never did hear of who's a$$ got the most teeth marks, but it was probably some E6 somewhere in the mess hall drinking coffee at the time.

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On the subject of short rounds ;

Graf 1981 sitting in the TOC , hot cup of coffee , all is good with the world .

203mm flying overhead kinda erie sound

THEN BOOM had one land about 500 m away , sure was glad I was inside the 577

noone hurt real bad , sure scared the H--- outa the rest of us .

MSG with me pulled out a bottle , took a slug ,handed it to me , so I finished the other half

Still give me chills to think about it .

 

CB

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On the subject of short rounds ;

Graf 1981 sitting in the TOC , hot cup of coffee , all is good with the world .

203mm flying overhead kinda erie sound

THEN BOOM had one land about 500 m away , sure was glad I was inside the 577

noone hurt real bad , sure scared the H--- outa the rest of us .

MSG with me pulled out a bottle , took a slug ,handed it to me , so I finished the other half

Still give me chills to think about it .

 

CB

 

 

Didn't know you was a Red Leg!

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one time we were doing this combined arms operation thingy. So the Tank Battalion was headed out of their AA. They had to move across the front of the gun line (about 300 meters in front). So here they go. Hell bent for leather and ready for battle.

 

About half way through our prepatory fires start and the tank that just happened to be in front of the guns just all of a sudden dead stops. Then creeps a little then stops then decides that is not where he wants to be (even though we are firing well over his head as there is a huge ridgeline between us and the impact area) and he hauls butt outta there. Was funny to watch. Must have scared the crud out of him and all of a sudden what must have seemed like the whole world to his right just opened up with 155 rounds

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Since this thread has already been severely hijacked, I have to say I'm surprised no one has mentioned that artillery used to be measured by the weight of its shot. The USS Constitution used 24 and 32 pound cannons. Civil War field pieces were 12-pounders and the British used a very effective 5-pounder in WWI.

 

Seems to me that bore diameter measurement became standard about the time rifling became common for naval and ground artillery pieces.

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