Weapons 26/12/19 “Beat the squares”: why the Soviet artillery was the low efficiency of

In the novel N. Chukovsky “Baltic sky” and its wonderful film adaptation, there is an episode where the boy is besieged in winter on the old field produces potatoes. To dig out of frozen ground something impossible, but on the field has the German artillery and overturns the earth. By the mouth of Fame, the author explains to us that “…the Germans do not beat around the goals, and squares…” and so the Glory is not afraid of fire.

Hardly anyone of the readers has a question, why the German artillery to conduct indirect fire on an empty field, as had long been accustomed to that in the domestic books and movies have traditionally portrayed the Germans as fools.

But, as is well known to historians actually conduct indirect fire on a massive area to identify possible targets (which means artillery, the term “beat the squares”) was the main and almost sole reception of artillery of the red Army. As for the Wehrmacht, they tried to hit the specific target of the minimum number of shells, and the space gets rare.

Contrary to the wide audience pictures of the war, when the Soviet defense stormed the German tanks, which run chain-machine, and in the sky come to the bombing of dozens of dive bombers, the offensive of the Wehrmacht was somewhat different. This is not only written in the regulations and manuals, which German soldiers and officers followed unquestioningly. Recollections of surviving veterans.

of Course, the German air force, first and foremost, dive bombers Ju.87, which are deservedly referred to as the symbol of Blitzkrieg, played an important role. But they never had more than three hundred and everywhere they could. The German infantry is not used the techniques of the First World war and the bayonet did not go. And tankmen prefer the first shot of Ognevs of the enemy from max range, not substituting his armor anti-tank guns. The honour of suppressing the defense always had artillery.

the Enemy was laying a barrage on the previously developed targets, then, during the attack, the surviving gun emplacements were suppressed by artillery and mortar fire at the request of the infantry. Started the fire of heavy artillery, then the infantry was accompanied by the fire of regimental artillery, and then the battalion mortars. The final blow in emphasis led company mortars (if there was) assault guns. And then the infantry cleaned out what remained.

to Ensure everything is described to the Wehrmacht allowed the most perfect during the Second World war artillery reconnaissance. Since the war, the Germans had artillery regiments of infantry divisions air division (artillery instrumental intelligence — Beobachtungsabteilung) and a battery of air in the tank divisions. Permanent structure of the corps and army artillery in the Wehrmacht was not, there was the headquarters of the artillery command (Arko), which obey different separate artillery battalions, and, necessarily, division of air.

the Division of air consisted of a topographic (Vermessungs-), summerisle (Schallmeß-), optical (Lichtmeß-) batteries, and the batteries tethered balloon (Ballon-Batterie), which, however, were not available in all divisions. All these units were equipped with the most advanced technology and means of communication, and the personnel are well trained in their use.

One of almost the most popular types of armored vehicles of the Wehrmacht was the machine advanced artillery observers, which enables the adjustment of artillery fire on the front edge and allow the artillery to accompany the advancing troops with fire. Created these machines on the basis of tanks and armored personnel carriers. Very much used for these purposes, a variety of captured and obsolete models of armored vehicles, but on the basis of the new tanks, for example, “Panther”, created such machines.

Reliable “eyes” of artillery served with numerous restaurantsIslandia aircraft-spotters.

On the other side of the front, the picture was different. In the Soviet Union were engaged in the issues of air, but on a completely different level. In both qualitative and quantitative terms.

the report of the Commissar of Defense, dated 23 October 1939, stated that one of the two hull artillery regiments planned to have the division of air. But how things were actually written in the book “barrage attack” Marshal of artillery KP Kazakov. He met the war the commander of the 331st artillery regiment. And as we know from the book, his was the only regiment in the Kiev military district, which was fully staffed division of air.

during the war, as can be understood from the same book, the development of air to do did not have. Instrumental exploration required a very complex and expensive equipment and well trained personnel.

If you read the memoirs of chief Marshal of artillery N. N. Voronova (“the service”), and the chief of GAU N. D. Yakovlev (“About guns and little about yourself”), and other artillery, you can find a lot of mention of the fact that goals have been proven bad, that led to the firing on the area that the artillery barrage did not give the expected results.

you Can remember the battle of Kursk. Knowing the exact time of onset of the Wehrmacht, the Soviet command in advance struck at German positions, powerful artillery strike. But, as reported in the published in 2018, the report of the Military Academy of the General staff of the armed forces “…the fire was on the area, which allowed German troops to avoid losses.”

unlike the Wehrmacht, the red Army’s bid for a massive artillery fire on the area, which simplified the preparation and, equally important, allowed to make full use of the capabilities of the rocket artillery. But to reach the targets needed a lot more ammunition. In the red army could afford, whereas the Wehrmacht, the war sitting on a starvation diet, I could not spend such a large amount withoutfits.

Arguments about which of the two methods is more correct, may be of only purely theoretical interest, since in war the result is important. But winning the war was won by the Red Army and its artillery.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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