US Artillery - Targetting

US Artillery Targetting - Page Title



Personnel in the Open
Personnel in the open are best effected by the following, in decreasing order of effectiveness:

  1. Air burst with VT fuse
  2. Air burst with time fuse
  3. Ricochet fire
  4. High-angle fire with quick fuse
  5. Low-angle fire with quick fuse

Sources say that going prone has no effect against air burst or ricochet fire, but would cause about 1/3 as many casualties against quick-fused fire.

Also, rolling terrain can make quick-fused fire about half as effective as flat terrain, though it has little effect on airbursts.

Short bursts at irregular intervals have a cumulative effect on morale. Surprise is essential if casualties are sought.

Personnel in Trenches
In shallow trenches, airbursts can be effective; ricochets usually don't have the right angles to penetrate the trenches; and impact fire is ineffective.

Overall, though, it is very hard to cause casualties against dug-in infantry with artillery fire -- its main effect is to keep their heads down and prevent them from moving out. 

WP can be effective in driving personnel out of foxholes where HE can be used.

Minefields and Wire
Artillery is ineffective against minefields and wire, and using it thus is just squandering ammunition. Minefields are frequently more difficult to neutralize after the ground has been stirred up by artillery fire.

HE shells with long-delay fuses (concrete-piercing) can be effective against fortifications, though it requires a direct hit.

AP and HEAT ammo can be effective against vehicles, and HE on a direct hit due to the minimal deck armor. AP and HEAT are nearly useless against other targets.

Artillery usually has great effect against armor only in assembly areas, when the vehicles are densely packed, or when a vehicle is immobile, when precision methods can be used. Air burst HE and ricochet can be used to force vehicles to button up.

Artillery's aim against armor is to force them to button up and to eliminate tank-riders (who can basically be treated as if they were standing). Actual kills would be rare unless it was immobile and precision fire could be used.

AT guns/Artillery/Machine Guns
Precision fire is used against guns. If under cover, neutralization is the goal; if visible, destruction fire is used. Light crew-served weapons are best attacked by neutralizing the crew.

Soft Vehicles
Soft vehicles such as trucks, halftracks, jeeps in an assembly area can be attacked by unobserved fire for neutralization or precision fire for destruction. HE with quick fuse, or WP if combustible, is effective. On roads, precision fire first stops the column then destroys each vehicle in turn. This is best done in a place on the road with no easy exit, such as at a defile or culvert.

Personnel in halftracks are about 1/10 as vulnerable as troops in the open; trucks, about 1/4. Again, direct kills will be rare, but these vehicles will be immobilized about three times more often than tanks.

Heavy bridges are very difficult to knock out. Heavy-caliber HE with concrete-piercing fuse is most effective. It's easier when the bridge axis runs along the line-of-fire.

Wooden and pontoon bridges can be knocked out by almost any artillery.

Pillboxes, Turrets, Bunkers
Close-range direct fire is best, with cover from smoke, covering fire, or darkness. Several direct hits are usually necessary.

Roads and Railroads
Precision fire with large-caliber HE and delay fuse can create craters. It is most useful where not easily bypassed.

Quick fuse on HE shells in woods may cause detonation in the trees. This may decrease the effect if the shell goes off high in the trees, or it may increase the effect by acting in the same manner as an air burst.

VT fuse is useless in woods unless the angle of fire is very great, in which case most bursts occur at their normal height.

Woods have little effect on low-angle quick fused HE fire (other than they may make observation difficult), while high-angle fire is about twice as effective as on open ground. Personnel in the edge of woods are in great danger from direct-fire HE, as almost any shot into the tree will act as an air burst.

Smoke in woods will take about half as much ammo, since wind is reduced.

Precision fire with pieces 155mm and larger are effective against heavy buildings; however, rubble is almost as useful in fighting as the buildings themselves. Light buildings can be destroyed with HE/quick fuse or WP. Quick fused shells striking light buildings containing infantry will usually be deadly to that infantry, since the blast is contained and highly on-target. Light buildings have many of the same effects as woods. Lower floors of heavy buildings and basements offer substantial protection and the building must basically be collapsed to get to the infantry within them.


Courtesy of Daryl Poe



Retrieved by Memoweb from at 25/08/01