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This week's contents: Barrie Pitt

2969 The Tanks Nothing is more essential in the writing of military history than an awareness
Kenneth Macksey of the impulses thai motivate fighting men. Somerset Maugham once wrote that
2978 The Guns in order to describe the taste of mutton, it was as well at least to have eaten
lan Hogg a lamb chop-and it is certainly a valid contention that for a man to write
2989 The Men about battle, he must have some little experience of what it is like to be under
Kenneth Macksey fire; only then can he appreciate what makes a man stand up and risk his life.
But the historian must also have a clear appreciation of the technological
factors that shape battles, and although that first requirement has been
An inlernational history published by Purnell & Sons Ltd (a
basic and consistent since man first wrOte on war, the second one has become
member ol lhe British Printing Corporation) in co-operalion infinitely more complex as industrialisation has perfected the techniques of
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warfare. During the Second World War this technological complication
Editor-in-Chief; Sir Basil Liddell Hart necessitated the revision of many old and well-tried concepts of how armies
and men should be trained. The burden of Kenneth Macksey's article 'The Men'
Editor: Barrie Pitt
Deputy Editor: Kenneth Macksey
General Manager: Martin Heller is the selection of the right men for the right job and the clash which
Executive Editor: S. L. Mayer
Deputy Execulive Editor: Richard Humble occurs when the demand for cold technical ability run up against the need
Assistant Editors: Patrick Scrivenor
Chris Chant
to turn citizens into soldiers with discipline stronger than that of machines.
Editors' Assistant: Susan Fox By combining this article with descriptions of the development of armour and
Art Director: Chris Harrison
Design Consultant: Peter Dunbar
artillery, we present in this issue the essential contrasts of three major
Senior Designer: Liam Butler factors affecting land battle.
Special Designer: Gibson Marsh
Designers: Pat Sumner
Yet the vital issue all the time is whether or not the soldier will use his
Robin Humphries weapons. lt is always easier for a man behind armour or from the remoteness
Cartographers; Rjchard Natkiel
Gatrell Ltd of some concealed position, to fire against a foe who cannot see his
Picture Director: Robert Hunt
Assistant Picture Editor: Rose Barnicoat
tormentor or cannot immediately hit back-and it is the infantryman who
Picture Flesearcher: Susanna Lee nearly always is in the 'target' category. When he has to get to his feet and
Production Manager: Harry Killingback
Marketing Manager: David Miller
move forward, he does so unprotected by anything but his own courage and
Sales Manager: George McVicar unsustained by anything but his regimental training-and the distinguished
Export Manager: Colin Burrell
American military historian, S. L. A. Marshall, made a revealing discovery as
Editorial Address:49 Poland Slreet, London W1 the result of his interrogations of men who had just been under fire.
'We found that on average not more than 15% of the men had actually fired
How to obtain your copies ol lhe History: Each weekly issue
oJ the Hislory can be oblained by placing a regular order at the enemy positions or personnel . . . during the course of an engagement.'
with your local newsagent, and paying 3/6d each week.
Alternatively, you may take out a subscription. Later he added 'l have yet to see a Sherman tank or Browning gun that
Subscriptions: The cost is [2 5s 6d lor three months' added anything to the national defence until it came into the hands of men
!4 1 1s 0d tor six months and €9 2s 0d for a year. UK cost
ot 96 issues is e16 16s 0d. UK cost of 32 Jurther issues who willingly risked their own lives.' Despite industrialisation, then, in the
is !5 12s Od. USA cost is S47.00 for all 96 issues (posl
free). There is no extra charge tor postage or packing.
end it all comes down to 'the man behind the gun'. Armies that believe that
Subscription payments should be sent to cashier, material will solve every problem do so at their own peril. THE EDIToR
Subscription Department, Purnell & Sons Ltd, Paulton,
Nr Bristol, BS18 5LQ.

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The British found themselves to have been less well served the time at the front. The short campaigns before 1941 had not
when it was discovered that their prewar tanks were hard pressed fully tested this system, but Afrika Korps in the desert, and then
to accept heavier guns or armour. The Matilda was quite incapable the rest of the Panzer divisions in Russia, found their strengths
of being up-gunned and had to go out of production when the severely reduced once the campaign had gone on longer than
gun/armour race got too hot: the Valentine needed a completely Hitler's prescribed six weeks' maximum. Breakdowns and heavy
redesigned turret, as did the Centaur/Cromwell series later in the losses that could only slowly be replaced slashed tank strengths
war. The French, of course, fell out of the race in 1940 though below the level of safety.
all their front-line tanks had by then reached the ultimate point Then there were the inescapable restrictions imposed by logis-
of development. The ltalians, using their M-13s (an improved tics. Each campaign and each major advance started close to well-
Vickers design), never approached comparison with friend or foe, stocked depots that could usually maintain the invaders up to a
and the Japanese (who were also developing basic Vickers designs) distance of about 400 miles, so long as a reasonable road network,
had only a secondary need for armoured vehicles because of the one that could carry the wheeled supply vehicles, existed. Despite
terrain over which they fought. the hideous state of Russian roads which collapsed whenever it
Thus the Matilda gave the Germans a surprise in 1940 and the rained, the Germans rode forward over 400 miles in four weeks-
impulse to press urgently ahead with a more powerful 50-mm gun but then stopped dead, their axes of advance littered with broken-
in Pz Kw lll (a long established intention), as well as speeding up down vehicles, the Panzer spearheads grounded from shortage of
work on bigger versions of the 50-mm and 75-mm guns on field fuel and ammunition.
mountings. Nevertheless, the rate of the gun/armour race only As the war progressed every other mechanised army was to
marginally quickened. For although the 37-mm anti-tank guns meet, and be defeated by, this same problem to some extent.

tE-.,;!f}:
n

ttii.|.a;,

o* *'&

*.gzg

@
&'d-"w f
The Tiger ll, or'King Tiger'. lts 8B-mm gun had great range and accuracy. lts turret armour was 7 inches thick

had frequently failed against Anglo/French armour, field artillery Even though the supreme aim of all mechanised operations was
had then filled the tank-killing gap while the 88-mm anti-aircralt perpetual motion, logistics, in the end, inevitably imposed a halt
gun had emerged as a most potent anti-tank weapon capable of in order to give the supply services time to stock new, advanced
Settling with even the Matilda at ranges beyond 1,000 yards. bases ready to support the next main leap forward. And this usually
The gun/armour race did not really get into top gear until the gave the enemy time to recover his strength and composure.
Germans met the Russian T-34/76 and KV-1 tanks in July 1941. ln 1941 the Germans had to rethink their armoured technology
These were tanks whose 76-mm gun outmatched every German while the Russians reconsidered their tactical methods and tried
tank gun, and whose frontal armour generally resisted every field- to improve the training of commanders and crews whose abilities
mounted anti-tank gun except the new long 50-mm and the 88-mm had been found sadly def icient. Busy on the periphery of the major
anti-aircraft gun. lt was combined action of the German battle- conflict, the British, aided by the Americans, sought to build more
groups-when they skilfully outfought the poorly co-ordinated and better vehicles and reach the standard of professional per-
Russian forces-that led to the striking initial German victory, fection displayed by the well-trained German formations before
but the very magnitude of that victory then exposed the vulner- engaging them in Europe.
abilities of armoured forces in yet another way. ruow tne time and money spent on prewar study and research
Something like a 25"k unreliability rate in tanks had always been paid o{f-those with a real lead usually retained it. lndeed, the
allowed for by the Germans, but this rose sharply-and dan- Russian lead in production facilities was never overtaken: in the
gerously-during protracted operations because the vehicles quickest time imaginable they could reassemble masses of vehicles
depended upon centralised maintenance and servicing based in to outnumber the Germans on every front. The Germans, how-
Germany to put machines right, after a campaign, rather than at ever, were the equal of the Russians in technological quality and

2970
were able, with the knowledge at their disposal, to up-gun the other armies-the Semovente in the ltalian army, the M-3 in the
Pz Kw lV to match thef 44/76 and, by producing even bigger guns American, the Archer in the British, and the SUs of the Russians.
and fitting them to their second generation of heavier tanks (Pan- However, the Americans and British were most strict in def ining the
iher and Tiger), to defeat the T-34l85 and the KV's successors, role of tanks when in support of infantry: both earmarked par-
ihe heavy JS (Josef Stalin) tanks. But the creation of these two new ticular armoured formations to act primarily in this role (at one
German machines named Panther and Tiger (both of which had time the British actually substituted a tank brigade for an infantry
been first thought of before the war) demanded a vast increase in brigade within the infantry division but gave up the experiment in
industrial outlay, linked with the introduction of new manufacturing 1943 after it failed in Tunisia). Critics of the British infantry tank
techniques that were close to the frontiers of knowledge when system say it was wasteful, forgetting that the German use of SP
the German economy was coming under extreme pressure. guns was even more wasteful, since SPs were only defensive in
-oncept whereas tanks could be used for offensive as well as
On the battlefield tactical methods were constantly under re-
view. The German concept of all-arms battlegroups originated in defensive operations.
the First World War when infantry groups acquired increasingly ln any case, the underlying reason for the Russians and Ger-
close support from organic artillery and machine-gun elements mans operating SP guns was one of quantity linked with quality.
and withstood the tests of combat. ln the Panzer divisions, which It was quicker and cheaper to produce a new, more powerful
were fundamentally offensive in employment, even when engaged gun on an existing chassis, giving it only a limited traverse, than
in strategically defensive operations, tanks predominated, and to produce a chassis to carry a fully rotating turret.
the Panzer divisions themselves acted independently, though in By 1943 the evolving trends of manufacturing techniques were
conjunction with infantry divisions. This did not leave the infantry plaih for all to see. Where nations with vast industrial resources

f 4t€
F-
a

The British Comet retained the lay-out and engine of the Cromwell, but had better armour and a 77-mm gun

divisions devoid of armour, however, for besides the indirect could lay down new plant at speed, major armoured components,
support given by Panzer divisions when they wove mobile patterns such as turrets and parts of the hull, were made of cast steel-
around infantry positions, the infantry divisions possessed their a technique used in the T-34, with its three-man, 85-mm-gunned
own direct armoured support from the self-propelled assault gun turret, and in the three-man turret of the American Sherman with
known as the Sfurmpanzer. its 75-mm gun. ln Germany and Britain, where industrial capacity
fhe Sturmpanzer tirsl came into being in 1940. The earliest pro- had less means with which to expand, the technique of welding
Cuction model was a 47-mm gun mounted high on a Pz Kw I armour plate (which had been developed for AFVs only shortly
chassis, followed by versions with bigger guns built mostly on before the war) gradually took over from bolting or rivetting.
obsolete German, French, and Czech chassis that came into use Protection was further increased by sloping armour: in 1939
Dy stages throughout the war. At the same time the need to give most German, British, and American tanks carried vertical plates,
:ne infantry formations a more mobile anti-tank defence than but the example set by the Russian T-34 persuaded the Germans
:rat provided by towed guns (the gigantic field-mounted 88-mm to adopt sloping plate, and they were closely followed by the
Pak 43 guns were far too large and clumsy) led to the introduction Americans and, last of all, by the British who endured with the
ci SP (self-propelled) anti-tank guns-Jagdpanzers-which, theory that, since no shot ever arrived at 90 degrees to the vertical
:^cugh organised as army or corps troops, could readily be allo- plate, that sort of plate gave the better protection. At the same
:a:ed to close support of both Panzer and infantry formations. time few tanks anywhere entered service with frontal armour of
3;t the dividing line between 'Sturm' and'Jagd' vehicles was less than 80 mm-and some carried more than twice that thickness.
:-:'cughly blurred when it came to battle. Both could, and did, Automotive powerplants increased their output in proportion
-="r'out the function of the other, just as did similar variants in to the increasing size and welght of vehicles and the kind of

2977
engines that happened to be available. Most tank powerplants
derived {rom aircraft engines. The light Russian diesels, the British
Liberty engines, and the American Wright radial engines-all came
from this source, though there were some, like the 12-cylinder
Bedford engine in the British Churchill, and the 30-cylinder Chry-
sler engine in some makes of Sherman, that grew with the needs
of the occasion from improvised commercial vehicle engines.
Few engines were specifically designed for tank use. Range and
performance were then conditioned by national fuel policies: the
Americans, British, and Germans mostly insisted on their tanks
being f uelled by petrol (though many US and British diesel-engined
tanks were built), while the Russians settled for diesel, charac-
terised by greater range, reliability, safety-and by the plumes of
white smoke that betrayed vehicles when engines were started or
put under high power. lt is to be noted, however, that national
policy was decided by the availability of fuel-not operational
desirability.
Each inbrease in vehicle weight was accompanied by a corres-
Christie's system: independent suspension; enhancing speed and ponding increase in the size and weight of suspension. The cross-
allowing a tracked vehicle to run exclusively on its road wheels country mobility of a tracked vehicle is mostly dependent upon its
power/weight ratio and the track-to-ground pressure. Widertracks
give a lower ground pressure and a lower rate of sink-a tactical
advantage over soft ground that was to be decisive in Russia, at
one time, when Soviet tanks with a lower ground pressure were
able to manoeuvre while their German opponents were bogged
down.
Tracks also were fundamentally important, for not only did they
give grip (the American rubber tracks were actually of low gripping
efficiency on wet ground), but they also wore out very easily. At
one time low track life was the bane of British cruiser tanks, but
the introduction of manganese steel tracks, or, in other nations,
rubber-bushed pins, did much to improve track life. Changing a
E
track may be laborious, but to demand excessive life in one com-
ponent of a fighting vehicle whose life is almost bound to be of
short battlefield duration is often economically wrong-a fact that
was well recognised in tank design circles. Finally, let it be noted
=
E that wheeled vehicles continued to be made- mostly for reconnais-
o sance purposes-but it was generally felt that their simplicity,
E
silence, and speed did not compensate for shortcomings in cross-
The Russian BT medium tank series incorporated Christie's system, country ability.
but it was somewhat under-armoured and under-gunned
No other aspect of armoured development was more important
than that of hitting power, although protection ran it a close
second, and the needs of quality control to achieve improved
reliability nagged every phase of design. lt could be argued that
armour was bound to be penetrated eventually at some range
or another, and this was acceptable providing it was always possible
to penetrate the enemy at an equivalent range. The idea of what
distance actually constituted the 'normal battle range' at which
penetration would occur was fundamental to decisions about the
ratio of gun size to armour strength. ln the early stages of the war
few effective engagements against armour took place much beyond
500 yards, but in the desert and on the steppes this range increased
E to nearly 2,000 yards. However poor visibility and the problems of
J
identifying friend from foe brought the average range of engage-
l
ments, even in the latter stages of the war when a Russian JS lll
could kill a Tiger I at 2,000 yards, down to as little as 1,000 yards.
=
i lncreases in the size and effectiveness of guns represented the
o
most striking advances in fighting vehicle technology during the
E Second World War, and affected most profoundly tactics and crew
A later development, the T-34 featured a Christie-style suspension, a training. Longer barrels and the greatly increased pressures
powerful76.2-mm overhanging gun, and well-sloped armour exerted by thefiring of much more powerful ammunition imposed
immense strains on turret mountings, leading to increases in their
size, diameter and, consequently, in overall vehicle weight. Bigger
ammunition demanded more room for stowage and inevitably re-
sulted in fewer rounds being carried, with a corresponding rise in
demands upon supply echelons stretching back to the sources of
production and supply. Bigger ammunition also multiplied the
physical problems of a tank gunloader working in a cramped sp.ace,
bausing lower rates of fire that got still lower when the sheer
weight of an individual round had to be divided by separating pro:
jectile f rom charge. The 88-mm gun carried by the Tiger ll had fixed
ammunition: the 128-mm gun in the Jagdtiger was separated'
As more hard armoured targets began to appear on the battle-
f ield, related to a sharp increase in the number of tank-versus-tank
actions, it became essential to hit and penetrate the enemy at as
E
f

f long a range as possible. Guns became far more accurate because


design and manufacture grew more precise and gave rise to
E highbr muzzle velocities; the velocity of 1,265 feet per second given
- Oy tfre shorlL/24 75-mm German gun in 1940 is to be compared
o
E
witfr g,gSO feet per second reached by the armour-piereing (with
Germany's Pzkw-V Panther was designed to outclass the T-34, and discarding sabot) round fired from the British 17-pounder in 1944.
indeed ii proved itself to be one of the war's best tanks The need to judge distance was simplified at the shorter ranges
2972
because the shot's trajectory was so flat that an accurate lay by the
tank gunner might en'sure a first round hit. But observation of the
fall oi shot at longer ranges (with higher trajectories), to enable
corrections to be hade to the lay, was still mandatory-and the
flash and dust thrown up by the discharge of bigger guns could
easily obscure the fall of shot, as it arrived at its target before
the flash and dust subsided. Yet even at the short ranges a miss
was possible, either because sights were not fully integratedrruith
guns, the gunner had made a poor lay, or because the gun itself lost
iccuracy from excessive wear. lmproved optical devices could and
did helI reduce inaccuracies but in the final analysis straight
shooting was the result of true weapons and well-trained crews. E

lnto tlie design of shot and shell went enormous research' Simple f

armour-piercing shot (and even larger calibre high-explosive


shells) r,ias able to penetrate or disrupt light armour, but thicker =
armour with specially hardened faces could only be defeated by ,-
sophisticated shot moving at very high velocities' For instance, o
E
early British shot was found to break up against German face-
hardened armour, a process that could be prevented if the shot British Cruiser Mk I (A-9) was designed as a fast tank for
were made stronger, fitted with a protective cap, or given a higher armoured divisions; its suspension was inferior to the Christie
velocity-usually a combination of all three. Rises in velocity were
the mdst common solution as we have seen, brought about either
by increasing the size of charge relative to projectile (costly .in
slace) or squeezing the round. One type of squeeze could.be
a'pplied by firing a tungsten round through a tapered barrel, but
German 6xperiments in this field were curtailed by shortage of
tungsten: another, British, method involved adding an attachment
to the end of a 40-mm 2-pounder-but this'Littlejohn'device im-
posed almost unacceptable restrictions on firing anything other
ihan armour-piercing shot- high explosive and smoke were
excluded.
Usually the gun designers chose to squeeze the shot 'within it- E
self ', either (as with the Germans and Russians) by using composite o
rigid (APCR) shot that placed a hard core within a soft outer sheaf f

thlt iaused the core to accelerate on striking the target, or (as


3
with the British and Americans) by casing the round with a'sabot' 6
'-
wrapped round the hard core, acceleration being imparted to the o
o
core as it was squeezed by the sabot during their passage down the -E
gun barrel. This round was called an armour-piercing discarding The Mk lll (A-13), developed by Nuff ield, used Christie's suspension
sabot (APDS). and had a 2-pounder gun as main armament
But'a quitb different approach to armour penetration from that
practised'by the brute force of high-velocity, kinetic-energy rounds
came with-chemical-energy ammunitions-the hollow charge or
high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) round' These low-velocity pro-
lectites (which inevitably imposed a range assessment problem on
ine crewsl exploded on the hostile armour and then directed a jet
of molten debris to cut a thin hole at something like 27,000 feet per
second. Not only could they be fired from ordinary guns,-but also
from the hand-lield infantry weapons such as Bazooka, Piat, and
Panzerfaust; and though they had a somewhat lower chance of
a tank than shot, they could cut through the thickest armour'
killing"being
and, cheap and easy to make, proliferated the number of
anti-tank fueapons infesting the battlefield. They would also have E
l

been the warhead fitted to the first anti-tank guided missile ever
produced -the experimental German X-7.
It can be seen that most innovations brought added complexities B
in their train-throwing an additional load on manufacturing ';
capacity when increased numbers of tanks were being demanded o
E
at the fiont. Every nation wanted more tanks, but each had to over-
come different problems, besides those of research and develop- Cruiser Mk V, the 'Covenanter', dogged by mechanical faults, was
never used in action but was useful as a training vehicle
ment, to get them. America, blessed with limitless labour and
materials, and quite undisturbed by enemy action, produced the
most tanks once her industry got into gear-as it did by 1942.
Russia made vast strides in production despite losses and the
interruptions caused by removing factories beyond the reach .of
the Geiman advances. Britain made great numbers of tanks despite
hostile activities and labour shortage. But Germany's case was
easily the most interesting, for she redoubled and almost com-
pletely reshaped her tank factories during the war, although ham-
pered- by material shortages, destruction by air raids, disruption
of transport, and the vagaries of foreign labour.
Quality and reliability varied between and within each nation's
product6. None, except the Russians, achieved a very high level at
ihe outset and the Russians shunned sophistication in their search E
for basic simplicity. Some German designs started unreliably and o
l
were improved, and the same could be said of the British' whilethe
Americans started well and kept it that way, in no small part be-
cause they stuck to thoroughly proven components. =
E
ln the last years of the war armoured vehicles were still predomi- o
o
nant on the 6attlefield, but could no longer operate with impunity. E

The increased power and number of anti-tank weapons dqte-r19! The Cromwelltype entered service in 1944' two years late-to
ianks from charging defended localities in mass, lorbadeV2977 find itself outclassed by the Panther
2973
ln the Battle of France on May 21, 1940
Matilda tanks struck the flank of Rommel's
motorised infantry regiments, where they
created havoc. ln Rommel's own words: 'The
anti-tank guns which we quickly deployed
showed themselves far too light to be effective
against the heavily armoured British tanks.'
The strength of the 'Matilda's' armour was a
revelation to the Germans and opened their
eyes to serious deficiencies in their own
armour strength that had not been rectified
when Afrika Korps met them again in the
desert

ir
: o .
t,.il
-:.;.i.c, it:ra,i!.i.i'iir"
e ; "#
l,r-"r:: rii:'',::
..:$.iii*ii,ti
*&Albl:'ii:f

Pzkw-tVs pa$s a captured-Brltish Bren-gun


carrier in the Western Desert, the Panzer'
kamptwagen lV was the anly German tank that
remained in bqth production and servicg : :

throughout the war, lorming the backbone ol


the German armoured corps ljrntil
by the Pzkw-V Panther

t'a';r:l

1:,.i:+.rj:i::
',..,i;;a!:fi,:

,..
"€4,.
. )
s#'

.*cdd
The British Crusader tank (the Cruiser Mk Vl)
first saw action in the Western Desert in
June 1941. lts performance was marred by
mechanical unreliability and the low power
of its 2-pounder gun. This picture shows the
Mark lll version firing the bigger 6-pounder
which came into service in 1942

&

;y:l:*

':1i..!

-*"{"L"*,

."r"diln

,,l:r,lt iiiir]jti H
'liift,r' ":il:,!1,t:.r ' :

sr. '.ri+i&l

a.' eg";
Gun:2-pounder
Maximum armour: 80-mm
Muzzle velocity: 2,650 feet per second
Weight of shot: 2 lb
Gun: 75-mm
Maximum armour: 30-mm
Muzzle velocity: 1,263 feet per second
Weight of shot: 15 lb

Gun: 75-mm
Maximum armour: 81-mm
Muzzle velocity: 2,050 feet per second
Weight of shot: 14.9 lb
Gun: 75-mm
Maximum armour: 80-mm
Muzzle velocity: 2,461 leel per second
Weight of shot: 15 lb

Type:
r34/85

Gun: 85-mm
Maximum armour:75-mm
Muzzle velocity: 2,600 feet per second
Weight of shot: 21.5 lb
Gun: 75-mm
Maximum armour: 120-mm
Muzzle velocity: 3,068 feet per second
Weight of shot: 15 lb

Type:
Sherman FireflY

Gun: 17-pounder
Maximum armour: 81-mm
Muzzle velocity: 2,950/3,950 feet per second
Weight of shot: 17 lb
Gun: 88-mm
Maximum armour: 110-mm
Muzzle of velocity: 2,657 leel per second
Weight of shot: 22.25|b
Type:
JS-2

Fffi
Gun: 122-mm .160-mm
Maximum armour:
Muzzle velocity: 2,900 feet per second
Weight of shot: 40 lb
Gun: 128-mm
Maximum armour: 250-mm
Muzzle velocity: 3,020 feet per second
Weight of shot: 58 lb

2976
them entering close country or towns, and demanded that they
should be stiI more closely Supported by infantry and artillery and,
Type: if possible, directed away f rom heavily entrenched positions-in
Pzkw IVD fait, striking with even more care than the tank practitioners of
1940 had demanded.
Armoured operations were hampered still further by air attacks
and mines. The former, as they multiplied in number and improved
in technique, were less successful as tank killers (it was imperative
to hit a tank to kill it and most difficult to achieve by rocket or bomb)
than as disrupters of vital supplies. Mines were laid in belts and in
countless numbers as the Germans reverted ever more to the de-
fensive. Linked with natural obstacles such as rivers, they could
account for up to 20 or 30"/" of all tank casualties; they could impose
critical delays; and they channelled tanks into killing zones of
interlocki ng anti-tank f i re.
Tank tactics had to be modified with each new technical inno-
TYPe: vation. By 1943 armour could no longer race ahead unsupported by
Pzkw IVH other arms. lt had to move with care, searching hard to avoid oppo-
sition, using high-explosive shells and machine-guns to neutralise
and destroy anti-tank weapons, supporting each shift of posi-
tion by fire and hiding in well-concealed ambushes in order to
surprise careless enemy moves. lnfantry on foot or in armoured
carriers had to give close support to tanks to knock out opposing
infantry anti-tank weapons, which by the end of the war were
accounting for increasing numbers of tanks. Tanks, in their turn,
had to support the infantry's every step, shooting up machine-gun
positions that might wipe out unarmoured men in a trice. Massed
artittery fired immense volumes of ammunition in support of every
operation, while air power took part with stlfficient success to
cbmpel armoured forces to introduce special anti-aircraft tanks.
Though armoured forces could and did take part in every engage-
ment where they could be thrust into the front line (even in the
mountains and valleys of ltaly and, as the result of immense feats
of engineering, through the jungles of Burma or across the beaches
of Pacif ic islands) their principal purpose remained the quest for a
strategic stroke to the enemy brain. No better example of this came
during the invasion oJ France in 1940; thereafter the great armoured
drives into the Balkans, through the desert, deep into Russia and,
reciprocally, back into Germany from east and west, lost their out-
right stunning nature because the novelty had worn off and armies
and nations had learned how to weather these storms. Armour's
battle-winning capability, however, was in no way reduced.
Each operation of war had need of men surrounded by armour
for the same reasons as it had always been required to give protec-
tion against the effects of an omnipotent firepower that could not
itself 6e entirely destroyed by counter-f irepower. So in the attack,
following reconnaissance by armour, infantry (many in armoured
carriers)-and tanks led the assault, each picking the routes and
tasks best suited to their characteristics, f ully supported by artillery
drawn by wheeled or tracked vehicles, some of them armoured and
many in the assault gun class and moving in the second wave of
attack. ln defence or withdrawal, however, it was the assault guns
that found their place in the front rank along with infantry, backing
away out of trouble, their battleworthiness no longer seriously
circumscribed by lack of all-round traverse, while, in this phase' the
tanks were to bqfound as part of a counterblow force, held in depth
ready to pounce on the enemy's f lank or rear when he had become
entwined with and over-extended by the main infantry defensive
positions.
Finally, there appeared an increasing proportion of specialised
armour, developed to overcome the obstacles imposed by nature
or raised by man. Bridge-laying tanks to cross streams and ob-
stacles; flaii, roller, or plough tanks to destroy mines; flame-throw-
ing and bomb-throwing tanksto smash fortifications; and swimming
tanks to land on an enemy shore or cross wide rivers-each a
relatively costly device since its application was specialised and
TYPe: not universal, but each one tactically essential since, like armour
Jagdtiger itself, nothing else could ensure man's continued survival on a
battlefield smothered by weapons of widespread eifect.
By the last months of the war there was evidence to suggest that
theiuture of the tank might be limited by the dominance of anti-
tank weapons. At the same time every nation was making plans to
invent tanks that would exploit the lessons of six years of armoured
warfare-a demand for relatively cheap, universal machines com-
peting with the beliefs of those who considered a degree of special-
isation unavoidable for both tactical and technological reasons.
Compromise being the essence of armoured vehicle design, it has
shaped the plans for the future as it did in the war. Only the pace
has been reduced to match the needs of a peacetime economy,
when a fighting vehicle can be expected to last 20 years instead of
20 weeks.
lFor K.J. Macksey'sbiography,seeVol 1,p. 181 .)

2977
Technology and Land Warfare, 1939/45 A thorough discussion of the history and development of every
artillery weapon used in the Second World War would need several
volumes, for the sheer size of the subjects is incredible; the German
forces alone disposed over 200 land service weapons in 51 different
calibres, without considering experimental models' Britain and
America between them fielded about 100 artillery weapons, again
the not counting experimental models but only those which found
their way into the hands of troops. lnstead of trying to catalogue
every weapon used, therefore, this article merely outlines the
prin6ipal features of the research which developed during the war'

un
and aiso brings to light one or two of the more unusual and less
well-known weapons which were produced.
There are three main subjects to be explored:
o The routine improvement of weapons, in order to bring them into
line with changing tactics and concepts of employment or to
counter improvements in enemy defences;
o The improvements in ammunition introduced to step up the
performance of existing weaPons;
o The application of hitherto untried scientific principles.
In many cases these topics tend to overlap, but rather than try
to develolr a chronological story with these three aspects jumbled
together, it is best to consider them as separate f ields.
As with the tanks, so with the guns: the artillery designers of the First, routine improvement. A good example of this in action is
the history of the celebrated German 88-mm Flak Gun. This was
Second World War found themselves caught up in a ceaseless race
conceived in the late 1920s by Krupp designers attached
originally
c outmatch the ever-improving enemy defences lan Hogg shows how to [he gbtors Company in Sweden. When in 1931 they returned to
this affected the gunners' w-ar, and how it resulted in the artillery
Essen with the design, the political climate seemed right. A proto-
revolution o1 greater ranges, mobility and fire control'
type was built in 1932; and due to thorough paperwork it was an
immediate success and was issued in 1933 as the 8'8-cm Flak
Model 18. lt should be stressed, in view of the exaggerated tales
which became current in later years, that there was nothing unor-
thodox about this weapon at all-it was simply a good, sound,
conventional anti-aircraft gun. lt was taken to Spain by the Kondor
Legion during the Civil War and tested in action; its potentialities
as an anti-tank gun were also seen, though not advertised. This
experience showed that there were a few weak points in the design
and as a result, minor modifications were made in the mounting
to improve stability and facilitate mass-production. This modified
version became known as the Flak 36. ln the following year an
iin improved sighting and fire-control system was fitted, and the gun
#* became the Flak Model 37. The 36 and 37 remained in service
S$ throughout the Second World War, being used in their primary
iii s. role as an anti-aircraft gun; as an anti-tank gun, when fitted with
di shields and direct-fire sights; fitted to coastal craft and U-boats;
used as a coast defence gun; and even mounted on a 12Vz-lon
# half-track as a self-propelled gun (though this was not one of its
ffi most successf ul applications).
By early 1939 tirough, in spite of its excellence, it became obvious
thai bombers were gbing to f ly faster and higher than before, and
the gun's performance would have to be improved. And so in 1939
Rhei-nmettal-Borsig were given a contract for an improved model,
to be known as the Flak 41. Prototype trials began in 1941 and it was
found that the gun, although a most efficient design, had a lot
of teething troubles which were going to take time to eliminate.
Since no one else had a contract for the gun, the Luftwaffe (which
was responsible for Germany's anti-aircraft defences) was forced
to use it or else do without. Consequently the next year saw a great
deal of effort thrown in and by March 1943 the first issues were
made.
The Flak 41, as f inally produced, was a considerable improvement
over the 18,36, and 37. By using a turntable to carrythe gun, in-
stead of the more usual pedestal mounting, a much lower sil-
houette was achieved. The muzzle velocity and ceiling were both
improved by adopting a more powerful cartridge, and the stability
in bction was excellent. The only f ly in the ointment was the difficult
extraction of the fired cartridge case, which is a flaw of major
proportions in a quick-firing anli-aircraft gun. Different designs of
bariel were produced in an effort to overcome the trouble, and a
special brass cartridge case was developed; but none of these
palliatives made muCh impression and the gun was never the
success it might have been.
Some time after Rheinmettal had received their contract, a similar
specification had been given to Krupp. Their development' some-
times referred to as the Flak 42,became more and more entangled
with their concurrent development of 88-mm tank and anti-tank
guns in the hopes of producing a family of weapons which would
ise interchangeable parts and common ammunition. Before the
Krupp version-had got off the drawing board, the Luftwaffe was
demanding more performance than the design could produce'
and in February 1943, not without a certain amount of relief' one
feels, Krupp drbpped the Flak 42 to concentrate on the tank and
anti-tank weapons.
2978
While the 88 shows an example of improvement of a particular
calibre, the more common approach was to improve a particular
class of weapon by raising the calibre; most anti-tank weapons
display this iechnique. The British army began the war with a 2-
pounder; followed it by a 6-pounder and then a 17-pounder; and
iinally had a 32-pounder in preparation when the war ended, having
toyed briefly with a possible 55-pounder. America began_with a
37lmm, took over the British 6-pounder and called it the 57-mm;
then moved to a 3-inch based on a redundant anti-aircraft gun; then
a 90-mm, also based on an AA gun, and was working on a 105-mm
when the war ended. Germany also began with a 37-mm and pro- E
l
gressed through 28, 42, 50, 75 and 88-mm to arrive at a 128-mm o
1W; f
as the war closed.
All these series show steady progression in conventional guns, all ffi
,ffi
intended to beat the forthcoming increases in enemy armour. How- ,- =c
wffi
ever, the flaw in this system becomes apparent on looking at the w:, o
British 32-pounder or the German 12.8-cm Pak 44- bigger calibres affi{ .E

may mean a bigger punch, but they invariably mean bigger guns as The much-feared German 'BB'. Disliked equally by
'
Allied armour and
weil, and this means more weight to move about. This is a con- infantry the Pak 43 was both versatile and hard-hitting
siderable drawback for an anti-tank gun which usually has to be
emplaced by manpower, and certainly the 32-pounder was too
big'for its talk; even had the war continued, it is doubtful whether
it would have been accepted into service.
Anti-aircraft guns tend to show a similar pattern among all
nations, always striving to extract more ceiling and greater velocity;
the increased ceiling meant that higher-flying aircraft could be
engaged, while higher velocity meant a shorter time between firing
the gun and the shell arriving at the target, and hence less room
for elror in the prediction of the target's position at the time of the
shell's arrival. The two groups o{ anti-aircraft weapons in common
use were the light guns, such as the German 37-mm and the British
and US-employed Bofors 40-mm, and the heavy guns, such as the
German 88, 105, and '128-mm guns, the British 3'7-inch, 4.5-inch'
and 5.25-inch guns, and the American 90-mm, 105-mm, and 120-
mm types. The-light guns relied on throwing up a heavy volume.of
fire ai a high rate, to counter the low-flying attacker. The heavies
fired at slower rates, threw heavier shells, and had higher ceilings
to deal with the high-level bomber. But strangely enough, all the
combatants had a gap in their defences, which lay between the
maximum ceiling ol the light guns-about 6,000 feet-and the
minimum effective ceiling of the heavies-about 10,000 feet.
Below this figure the heavy gun could not swing fast enough to
follow a fast lbw flyer. ln an endeavour to f ill this gap, development
took place in both Britain and Germany to provide a medium AA gun.
As far as Britain was concerned, a paramount feature of anyweapon
proposed in 1940 was to avoid usurping production already hard could be fired by remote control as well as manually
at worf with the more basic weapons needed for simple survival.
ln view of this, the first question the designers asked themselves
was: 'What existing gun can be worked over to fill the bill?'After
a few false starts the design coalesced around the existing coast
artillery 6-pounder gun, the same calibre as the anti-tank gun but
using i hdavier cartridge and capable of greater rqnge. This was
adap-ted to a twin-barrel mounting on a three-wheeled trailer, and
work then began on pesigning a suitable automatic feed system
to get rate of fire thought necessary, and a fire-control system
-putthe
to the shells where they were needed. Since the guns were
-be for hand
originally designed loading, the adaptation to. autofeed
turied out to more difficult than had at first been imagined;
then Allied air superiority gave the project less priority; ryd' !n
the event, the twin 6-pounder never entered service and Britain
never had a medium AA gun.
The German developrient was not restricted to an existing
weapon, since the 'gap' had been appreciated before the war, and
in 1936 Rheinmettal was given a contract to develop a 50-mm gun.
This was eventually introduced in 1940 in limited numbers for an
extended troop trial to assess whether such a weapon was desirable
and whether ifre ftaX 41, as it was known, would fill the require-
ment. For a variety of reasons the gun was not a success, but the
experience showed that the medium AA gun was needed, and a
great deal of thought went into the design of a completely inte-
grated Weapon system, probably the first such system to be con-
ceived as a complete entity. lt was to comprise a 55-mm automatic
gun, with matched radar, predictor, displacement corrector, and
full electro-hydraulic remote control of a six-gun battery. By the
time all these theories and designs had been put together it was
mid-1943, and the production of such a far-reaching concept was
so difficult that the war ended before the weapon was completed.
To act as a stop-gap, the now-obsolescent 50-mm anti-tank gun
was fitted with an automatic loading system, but this idea fell
by the wayside, and it is doubtful if any were ever made. All in all'
tiie mediuh AA gun story is remarkable in the similarity of British The British 4.5-inch static AA gun is seen here being loaded by its crew'
and German experience. its 55-pound shells readY to hand
2979
ln the field artillery world practically all development was and loaded on to special trailers; the carriage was then winched on
simply a matter of improvement on existing designs' No nation to a special tank-transporter. For very long distances the complete
in iis'right mind would attempt a major re-equipment of its stan- gun and carriage ass6mbly could be slung between two railway
dard we"apons in.the middle of a war' The British 25-pounderserved ilat wagons by means of special trusses.
valiantly, and modiJications to meet special demands included the ln th-e use 6f railway artillery Germany virtually had the field to
self-propelled 'Bishop' (on a Valentine chassis) and 'Se-rton' (o-n herself. This ciass of weapon is really the prerogative of the Con-
a Rim'chassis); the Australian-developed 'Short' or 'Baby' 25- tinental nation with a weil-developed rail system by which it c-an
pounder with a truncated barrel, no shield, short trail and castor readily deploy them to any front. ln contrast, Britain and the USA'
wheel for easy manoeuvring in the jungle; it was tried as a self- while'possessing railway guns, used them solely as mobile coast
propelled gun 1Se; in many vehicles including the Lloyd.carrier, defenie units, since the problem of transporting two or three hun-
wni'cn *as"asking ioo muchof such a light vehicle; it was strapped dred tons of railway mounting across the channel was not a trick to
to the cargo bed-of a DUKW for supporting amphibious landings; be undertaken lightly. lndeed, the British and American weapons
and it was-even considered for the armament of submarines Simi- were almost entirely relics of the First World War which had been
iarly, the American 105-mm howitzer was tried in a variety of SP in mothballs. 1940 saw a few more mountings hastily cobbled
mol'ntings, starting with a half-track, until the Sherman-based together from available spares and hurried to cover the channel,
M-7 beclme standardized as the 'Priest'; it was shortened and irir in similar fashion American guns were mobilised and
placed on a light carriage for use by airborne units; it was mounted
"r
iieptoyeO in 1941. ln 1944 reports from France indicated that heavy
in tank turreti as a close support gun; and, like the 25-pounder, Ai*;i artillery might be of use in demolishing strongpoints to.b.e
mounted on the long-suffering DUKW. eipecieo in tha fin;l assault in Germany, and desig.ns were hastily
The German 1E FH 18, more or less the equivalent of the 25- pr6pared by the Americans for a number of 16-inch guns, but
pounder and '105 howitzer, suffered similar, though more drastic, i"itf,in u few weeks it was seen that heavy artillery of this class had
bhanges. First it was given a muzzle brake and a heavier charge been rendered superfluous by the quality and quantity of air sup-
i long-range shell; then in an attempt to reduce the weight' port available, and the demand was cancelled.
with ' The German army had a vast range of railway guns f rom 150-mm
like the 'BaOy 2S-pounder', the barrel and recoil system were
mounted on the carriage of the 75-mm Pak 40 anti-tank gun; the upwards, but two were really outstand-tng and deserve closer
wheels were removeo ano it was dropped bodily into a tank hull to eiaminaiion. The first was
the 28-cm K5(E) -Kanone, Model 5'
provide an assault gun; it was grafted on to a variety of tracked Eisenbahnlafette-which became their standard super-heavy
But eventually a complete re-design was..called Jor Lit*uy gun and was probably the finest Qesigl of its kind in the
mountings. paperwork had been done in the
and Rhe'inmettal was giv6n a contract. Before their offering was world.'Tie basic arithhetic and and work began on the gun in 1934'
|."uoy, tn" experiences-of the Russian Front had shown that certain Late 1920s and early 1930s,
in the next generation of field guns' is worth noting tfrat every German railway gun was designed and
featires were mandatory 1it
did design two, but they were never
g;"iiv,1rt"t" were that the- gun must have a good anti-tank per- built by Krupp-hheinmettal
it to capable raO".1'f irst, h tSO-mm barrel was produced for tests; it had been
tor*in"" for self-protection; at the same time had be
great range demanded, a conventionally
of hiding in forests and firing out at high angles; the range lll tq deciddd thai to obtainoJthe the question. A design was prepared with
oe at teist g miles without demanding special ammunition; it had rif led barrel was out
since Soviet partisans could attack f rom 12 deep grooves and having a shell carrying 12 ribs, or splines, to
to have all-round traverse,
this was that the engraving of a con-
any direction; and it had to weigh less than 2,200 pounds' Now even match. T"he theory behind
today a designer would have a hard time meeting that specification, ventional copper driving band on the shell gave rise to very high
Skoda rose to the challenge'
but i;r 1943 both Krupp and.,l0.5-cm pressure in th6 gun chamber; by using the spline and groove method
The Skoda version, the 1E FH 43, was most ingenious: io spin the shel-i, this resistance was removed, and the shell would
normal split trail at the rear, plus another ii"ii"tt more smartly, allowirlg a brgoer. propelling charge to be
the carriage had virtually a
test barrel provgd
a firing pedestal witfrout over-straining the gun. The 150-mm
split trail'at tne front, beneath the barrel, and usdO
was right, aiO tutt-calibre 280-mm barrel was built.
b'eneath the axle. ln action, the equipment rested on the two rear tfrat tfre theory
a
were the ground The mounting was a simple box-girder assembly carried on two
trails and the pedestal, and the front trails laid on
to allow
gun six-axle bogies] with the iront bogie slung so as the
to form a cruciform stable platform above which the could
of thJbox-girder to be swung across it for aiming the gun'
rotate through 360 degrees, the four legs giving stability al anY front
weapon was mounted on a special port-
angle o{ the-barrel. The novelty of this carriage lay in the fact that For large angles tFe whole
to the carriage; to able tu"rntabie built at the end of a short spur of track laid at the
thi two front legs were not rigidly attached permitted to lie at any OesireO firing point. Each gun was supplied with a special train
compensate for 6neven ground they were
convenient angle. A hydiaulic system was arranged so that slow which incluEed wagons for carrying the turntable, light-anti-
ot ifre legd-as during folding and unfolding to and aircraft guns f or Iocal defence, air-conditioned ammunition wagons,
movement
from the travelling position-was freely permitted, but fast move- living quarters and kitchen for the gunners, and flat wagons to
their entitlement of motor transport.
ment-as the firirig shock-would cause the legs to lock rigidly carry
f S+O eight of these complete equipments were in service, and
to the carriage and give the desired stability' ey
throughout the war, 25 being built.in all'.The
Krupp, un6er the same nomenclature, produced two models; one proiluction cbntinued
them 'Slim Bertha', but to the Allies in ltaly
was very similar in general design to Skoda's' though without b"rrun gunners called
famous as 'Anzio Annie'.
t|re rryor'autic system, white tne other was based on a more or less -
one at lealt became
Witf' the 561-pound pre-rifled shell the gun could reach .to
conventional cruciform platform of the type familiar in AA guns'
yards. A r6cket-adsisted shell was later developed-which in-
However, none of the designs, Krupp or Skoda, were ready for 6g,000
production before the war's end, and only prototypes existed' ii"ase<j this range, with a certain loss of accuracy, to 94,000 yards'
Finatty, the Pe6nemiinde Research Establishment designed a

The German super-guns 300-pound dart-like projectile which was fired from a special
The heaviest f ield equipments seen during the war were the German 31O-inm smooth-bore barrel and which ranged to 170,000 yards'
self-propelled howitzers generically klgyn as 'Karl Morsers'' Attfrough coming too late for general issue, these 'Peenemrinde
These ltiere of two calibres, 540-mm and 600-mm, mounted on the Arrow 5hells' weie issued for troop trials in the f ield, and some were
same type of carriage, Six carriages. were made and the exact fired against the US 3rd Army at ranges of about 70 miles'
The iecond railway gun, Gustav , was the biggest 9!n the world
disposiiibn of barrelJbetween them is in some doubt; the carriages
has ever seen-the Krupp-designed 800-mm Kanone' The idea was
were numbered I to Vl; Vehicle V was captured by the US lstArmy
and found to have a 540-mm barrel, yet photographs captured later
conceived in 1937 of a pair of super-guns; they were of quite con-
showed this same carriage to have a 600-mm barrel. lt is probably ventional design, except for their immense size. Too large to be
iut" to assume that thre-e oJ each calibre were made' The datet!'t9 of moved in one piece, they were transported piecemea.l in special
introduction is also a little vague, but it seems fairly certain Jhat trains and assembled at the selected sites by travelling cranes.
600-mm version was introduced in 1942 and the 540-mm in 1944' Whenassembled,themountingstraddledtwosetsofstandard-
.l
The carriage of 'Karl'was a simple rectangular box, divided into gauge rails, with 80 wheels tqklS the ,350-ton weigh.t An armour
three compaitments. The first held the Mercedes-Benz engine and 6i-c"oncrete-piercing shell of 7 tons was propelle6.bY ? l.ltl-t21
transmission; the second carried the gun; and the third held the to J r'ange oi 23 miles, or a s-ton high-explosive shell to,29
carriage raising and lowering gear. After.driving into position.on rii"si. rr,e f irst jquipment, 'Gustav', was proved at the Rugenwalde
"n"ig"
it, tr"""t . the ingine was usld to drive the loweringbars gear, which ringe in March 194S, in Hitler's presence. The only reco-rd of its use
,otateo the anchirages of the suspension torsion so as to wiiat the siegegoof Sebastopot; tne gun was sited at Bakhchisary
and fired som"e to 40 rounds. on-e shot is recorded as having
aitow tfre chassis to 6e lowered to the ground until the suspension peneirateO through 100 feet of earth to destroy a Soviet ammunitjo-n
ano tract were relieved of the weight. For long-distance.moves.the
bump at Severniya Bay. The subsquent history of the gun is un-
s;; ;"d recoil system were removed f rom the carriage, dismanled,
2980
6n: :e-\
*i,;#

The short 25-pounder Mark I was developed by the Australians. lts lighter construction
allowed its use in jungle terrain

#r . '::

.t
i{d#6e;
"f".::
$.:
!j.",

-::
F*is
powerful and sophisticated gun saw no service
The German 12.8-cm K44 anti-tank gun Luckily for Allied armour this

1*';,;$r

i i".i l irl,.!il
t':1

+iii l:ii!il
i.#r;
*

wFw.w5fffi1$;rffi w*ffiw*"':{"
-,,f*$lt. ; !

Several versions of a self-propelled 25-pounder were produced This version, mounted


on a Lloyd carrier, was not adopted
2987
The 60-cm Miirser'Katl'. Weight: 132 tons.
Length:35 feet 9 inches. Engine:580-hp diesel.
Max speed:3 mph (on good ground only). Crew:
1O9. Angte of fire: max elevation 60'. Max
depression 50' . Ammunition: a 4,850-lb
shell able to penetrate 98% inches of concrete
or 173l+ inches of armour

The 80-cm Kanone(E) Dora L40.6. Range:


51,040 yards (29 miles). Crew: 250 (for
assembly and firing), 4,120 in all. Ammunition:
one 10,500-lb shell, 25 feet long (plus case).
Rate of fire: 2 rounds-per-hour

John Bachelor

2982
The 28-cm Ks(E). Weight: 479,600 lb. Length:
96 feet. Range: 66,880 yards (38 miles). Crew;
10 (for firing)

The guns
of
Germany

The 10.5-cm Leichte Feldhaubitze 18m L128.


Weight:4,488 lb. Range: 13,377 yards. Crew:
6. Rate of fire: 6-8 rounds-per-minute

The 10.S-cm Leichte Feldhaubitze 43 L128.


Weight: 5,060 lb. Crew: 6. Range: 17,875 yards
Rate of fire; 6 rounds-per-minute
Sight port to Range Anti-tank Dial (or Range Sight Breech Hand- Firing
enable PeriscoPe scale telescoPe panoramic) setting case opening brake
lever
mechanism
to be used sight for wheel lever
indirect f ire

Sightcross-level Traverse Elevation Firing Case Firing Platform Spade box used when Towing Traversing
handwheel lever platform travelling platform is in use. When eye handle
(to keep sights handwheel containing
verticai on (4" right and fuse setting clamp fired without platform, the
uneven ground) left of centre keys box is removed and the spade
line) digs into the ground

pieces of the war


The 25-pounder gun-howitzer. Manoeuvrable, hard-hitting-it was one of the most reliable artillery

Breach Sear Cartridge Pressure Hollow High


release case chamber charge temperature
handle shell explosive

o
o

o
c
c
o

Venturi Firing Aerodynamic Firing Cavity in head When an artillery target was identified only
tube pin firing Pin Prn of hollow charge one gun of the battery would 'range in' on it.
sPring suPport shell When this gun's fire registered, the battery
command post would make the calculation to
bring all the other guns onto the target. This
principle could be extended to include any
The working parts of a recoilless rifle. Part of the blast travels backwards out of the venturi, thus
humbbr of guns, the key to success being good
communications
eliminating-recoil. The hollow-charge shell could blast a hole through thick armour
2984
known (it was presumably captured by the Red Army). forward by a Mr JanScek, a Czechoslovakian weapon designer
The second equipment, 'Dora', so far as is known, never left the working in England. While his idea was still under consideration,
proving ground, though what happened to it at the end of the war a specimen of the German weapon was captured in North Af rica and
is a minor mystery (some ammunition and a spare barrel were found flown home for trials: the idea was seen to be feasible. The British
at Krupp's proof establishment at Meppen near the Dutch border). version was in the form of a taper-bore adapter to be fitted to the
The detachment necessary to man, maintain, and give local pro- existing 2-pounder gun, together with a special tungsten-cored
tection to Gustav was 4,120 men strong, commanded by a major- shot, known under the code name of 'Littlejohn', an Anglicised
general. The actual f ire-control and operation of the gun demanded version of Jan6cek. The advantage here was that the adapter could
a colonel and 500 men, and the construction or dismantling of the be removed to permit firing normal explosive shells, but could be
weapon took between four and six weeks. A long-range 'Peene- refitted quickly for the special shot, whereas the German design
mrinde Arrow Shell' was developed for Gustav, but, so far as is required a special pattern of high-explosive shell to be developed,
known, was never f ired. This was to weigh 2,200 pounds and range a difficult feat in such a small calibre. The 'Littlejohn' attachment
to 100 miles. There was also a proposition to mount a 520-mm gun and its shot were not used in towed artillery, since by the time they
on the same carriage to fire rocket-assisted shells and 'Peene- were ready for service the anti-tank units were armed with 6-
mtinde Arrow Shells'to a range of 118 miles for cross-channel pounders, but it was used on 2-pounder and American 37-mm guns
bombardment, but this never got past the drawing-board. mounted in armoured cars.
lf it is accepted that it is not a good idea to tamper with a good To use tungsten in a conventional gun, a different approach was
gun design in the middle of a war, then the only way to render the needed. The first attempt, for the 6-pounder, was the 'AP Composite
gun more effective is to improve the ammunition, and this technique Rigid' (APCR) shot, a tungsten core mounted in an alloy sheath of
was f requently adopted during the war. And in no f ield is this seen approximately the same dimensions as the conventional steel shot
to greater effect than in the battle against the tank. The reason for for the gun. By virtue of its light alloy content the APCR shot was
this is fairly self-evident: personnel targets remain more or less the somewhat lighter and thus had a higher velocity when fired.
same-once the anti-personnel projectile is perfected it can stay Unfortunately the ratio of weight-to-diameter was unfavourable,
as it is. On the other hand, once a new anti-tank projectile appears, giving a poor ballistic coefficient or 'carrying power', and while the
it is only a matter of time before the enemy put thicker armour on short-range performance was impressive, the velocity soon drop-
his tanks. ped, and at ranges over 1,000 yards, steel shot was just as good,
At the outbreak of war there were two types of anti-tank projectile: sometimes better. Some German weapons were also provided
the armour-piercing (AP) shot, and the AP shell. The difference is with the same type of projectile, and one was designed for use in
basic. Shot are solid, with no explosive filling, and rely purely on the Soviet 76.2-mm field gun which the Germans captured in large
their speed to smash through the armour and do damage inside the numbers and converted into an anti-tank gun. Unfortunately for
tank by their impact, the fragments of plate they knock off during them, by early 1942 the shortage of tungsten in Germany began to
penetration, and their own effect when they penetrate the plate and be felt, and in the middle of that year a ban was placed on the use
bounce around inside the tank. AP shells, on the other hand, have a of tungsten in ammunition; what scarce supplies there were had
small cavity filled with high explosive and are fitted with a fuse in been earmarked for machine tool production, not for throwing
the base. The shell penetrates, similarly to shot, by brute force, but about the Russian steppes. After strong remonstrations, the 5-cm
the fuse is activated by the impact and, after a short delay to allow Pak 38 anti-tank gun was specifically exempted from this ban,
the shell to pass through the plate and enter the tank, the explosive since at that time it was the only weapon capable of stopping a
is detonated, shattering the shell into fragments and adding to the Russian T-34 tank, provided it was supplied with lungsten-cored
shot-like damage already caused. On paper the shell is the better shot.
proposition, since there is the bonus of the explosive filling. But Although the 6-pounder APCR shot seemed reasonably success-
paper figures tend to be deceptive, and in fact the shot is probably ful, it was notthe ideal answer. The ideal, in fact, sounded ridicu-
the more practical projectile, because the high-explosive (HE) lous: what was wanted was a shot which in the barrel was large-
cavity weakens the shell, and the fuse is precariously supported calibre and light, so as to pick up speed quickly and leave the gun
against the hammer-blow of impact. Britain held firmly to the shot at high velocity, but which outside the barrel should be small in
theory for anti-tank work, though many years of experience in pro- diameter and heavy, so as to have good 'carrying power'and keep
ducing AP shells for naval use was available. Several other nations up its high velocity for a long range. These two conflicting require-
preferred AP shell, bewitched by the HE bonus. ments were fused into one projectile by two British designers,
Most of the belligerents entered the war with a plain shot or shell Permutter and Coppock, of the Armaments Research Department.
and relied on throwing it hard enough to penetrate the opposing Even belore the 6-pounder had received its APCR shot they lvere
tanks. So long as the target was relatively lightly armoured this was at work, and in March 1944 their'AP Discarding Sabot'shot was
successful; but, naturally, each side began to increase armour provided for the 6-pounder. ln this design, the tungsten core is
thickness on each succeeding generation of tank. The quick answer contained in a streamlined steel shgath or sub-projectile; this in
to this was to increase the gun charge or even the calibre, and thus turn is carried in a light-alloy framework or 'sabot'of the full gun
throw the projectile harder, but there comes a time when the impact calibre. On firing, this sabot holds the sub-projectile centralised in
is too much for the projectile, and instead of piercing, it merely the bore and gives the whole thing the combination of light weight
shatters on the outside of the target without doing any damage. and large area which is wanted for velocity. But firing actually
The answer to this was to protect the tip of the shot or shell with 'unlocks'the sabot, and as the shot leaves the gun muzzle, so the
a softer cap, which tended to spread the impact stresses over the sabot is thrown clear, allowing the sub-projectile to race to the
shoulders of the projectile, instead of concentrating them into the target at velocities of the order of 3,000 feet per second. Now, since
tip. This preserved the piercing action to higher velocities, and the the sub-projectile's sheath is virtually a skin round the tungsten
gun was again winning the battle. The next move belonged to the core, it follows that the weight is high in relation to the cross-sec-
tank designers who made their armour thicker, and so it went on tion-the ideal condition for good carrying power and thus long-
until the projectile was once more shattering, cap or no cap. Atthis range performance. A similar projectile for the 17-pounder followed
point the projectile designers were faced with a new problem: if it in September 1944, and one was under development for the 20-
was futile to throw the projectile harder, might it not be possible to pounder tank gun when the war ended.
throw a harder projectile? And what was harder than an armour-
piercing projectile? Tungsten carbide, a diamond-hard alloy, pro- More punch from the hollow charge
vided an answer, but it was about one-and-a-half times as heavy Running parallel with this unfolding story of piercing projectiles
as steel, so that it could not easily be made into a projectile. Further- was the development of the hollow-charge principle into a viable
more, it was expensive and in short supply. weapon. This illustrates the adaptation of a well-documented
The f irst application of tungsten to an anti-tank projectile was by scientific phenomenon to a weapon of war: almost 200 years ago
the German army in their 28-mm Schwere Panzerbuchse 41 , a a Norweglan engineer had observed that hollowing out the face of
weapon with a unique tapered barrel. The shot consisted of a small an explosive charge made it cut deeper into rock when blasting. ln
core of tungsten carbide held in a light alloy casing of 28-mm the 1880s an American experimenter, Monroe, found that when
calibre. As the shot was fired down the gun barrel, so the calibre firing guncotton slabs against armour plate, the initials 'USN
diminished and the light alloy casing was ground down, until it engraved in the guncotton reproduced themselves in mirror-like
emerged as a 21-mm shot. This squeezing enhanced the velocity form in the face of the armour plate. From his observations and
and changed the ratio of shot diameter to weight. The velocity reports the phenomenon became known as the 'Monroe Effect' and
reached was 4,000 feet per second, and, on impact with the target, was a scientific curiosity for many years. Just before the First World
the hardness of the core was impervious to impact shock and War one or two inventors toyed with the idea of employing this
penetrated successf u I ly. effect in mines and torpedoes, but since no one really understood
About the same time-late 1940-a similar idea had been put why it did what it did, it was difficult to engineer the idea into a
2985
Two sorts of armour-piercing shot. Left and centre: the British Armour- The German airborne 28'mmPzB-41 gun had a barrel which tapered from
Piercing Discarding Sabot whieh shed its lightweight casing and (right) 2B-mm to 20-mm, giving its tungsten steel shot a muzzle velocity of 4'600
the Armour-Piercing Composite Rigid' which kept it until impact feet per second

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Recoilless: the British 3.7-inch RCL saw no service in the war

2986
practical form. a small shell which could be Jired from a signal pistol. They also
Just before the Second World War broke out, a Swiss consortium employed the principle in an ingenious attempt to prolong the life
approached the British government to offer a 'new and powerful of the prewar 37-mm anti-tank gun, whose piercing projectile was,
explosive' for anti-tank use-at a high price. The inventors refused by 1942, no longer effective against current tanks. A large hollow-
to divulge any information until cash was forthcoming, but were charge bomb was fitted with a hollow tail carrying fins; within this
prepared to demonstrate their projectile being fired. An astute tail was a stick which fitted snugly into the barrel of the 37-mm gun,
observer f rom the Research Department of Woolwich Arsenal went allowing the tail and fins to slide over the barrel. A blank cartridge
to Switzerland to watch the firing; being a well-read expert on completed the outfit, and this was used to fire the stick bomb to
ammunition development and history, he realised that what he was ranges of 300 to 400 yards. The bomb's warhead was about 6 inches
watching was not a new and powerful explosive so much as a in diameter and carried about 8 pounds of explosive, giving a
practical application of the Monroe Effect. Upon his return to devastating effect at the target. ln all fairness, it must be pointed
Woolwich he duly reported this, and, since it appeared that the out that Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker, inventor of the PIAT and the
Monroe Efiect could be made to work, research immediately began 'Black Bombard' of Home Guard fame, had proposed a similar
into applying it to a light anti-tank grenade which the infantry 60-pound stick bomb in 1940, to be f ired f rom the 25-pounder, but
soldier could fire from his rifle. Before the outbreak of war, this the idea was turned down on the grounds that it might lead to mis-
'68 Grenade' had been perfected and was in production, and employment of the gun as a purely anti-tank weapon. (This mis-
carries the distinction of being the first weapon ever to reach the employment theme was not confined to the British side: many
hands of troops which relied on the Monroe Effect, or as it came German Flak commanders bewailed the loss of their valuable
to be known, the Hollow-Charge Principle. 88-mm Flak guns as they were whittled away to provide anti-tank
What is this Hollow-Charge Principle? Put simply, it consists of defences.)
forming the forward surface of the shell's explosive charge into a The third subject is the application of new principles to gun
cone or hemisphere and then lining this with a thin metal liner. The design. The first of these to be unveiled was the taper-bore anti-
shell is then fitted with a suitably shaped nose, for ballistic effect tank gun, which has already been touched upon. This was the child
and also to give the vital 'stand-off' distance. This is the distance of a German engineer called Gerlich, who, advocating his principle
from the target-a matter of a few inches-at which the explosive of attaining high velocity without attracting any buyers, had been
must be detonated in order for the hollow charge to work effect- stumping the world for several years. He was briefly employed by
ively. On detonating the explosive at its rear end, the detonation both the US War Department and the British War Office at various
wave exerts an immense pressure on the metal of the liner; the cone times, but his ideas on improving shoulder arms were felt to be
shape virtually'focusses'the explosive energy and causes the metal impractical. He eventually settled in Germany and saw his idea
of the liner to be shaped into a jet of finely-divided metal and accepted as an anti-tank weapon. The 28/21-mm came f irst, then a
explosive gas, shooting toward the target at speeds of up to 20,000 42/30-mm and finally a 75l50-mm. Unfortunately, the lack of tung-
feet per second. The stand-off distance is necessary in order to sten carbide for the special projectiles spelled the demise of these
allow this jet to form and accelerate. When the jet strikes the weapons, but experiments continued with coned bores and coned
target plate, the pressure exerted is so great as to blast a hole muzzle-adapters for guns of various calibres up to as large as
through the armour, blowing splinters of metal f rom the inside and 280-mm, in order to boost velocity and range. These were intended
permitting the white-hot jet to pass into the tank where it will set to use high-explosive shells, which were more practical in the larger
fire to fuel or ammunition, and, of course, kill or injure the crew. calibres, though the development of a shell which would stand up
The great virtue of the hollow-charge shell is that its performance to being squeezed down the gun barrel was no easy task.
is always the same, irrespective of the velocity at which it strikes. The second, and more widespread, new line of thought was the
Even if the shellwere standing still when detonated, the penetration recoilless gun. Like most weapon ideas, there was nothing really
would be the same. Because of this, it could be f ired from guns too new about it: Commander Davis of the US Navy had produced a
small to fire the large cartridges needed to give the necessary recoilless (RCL for short) gun during the First World War which was
velocity to normal piercing projectiles. As soon as the 68 Grenade adopted by Britain as an anti-Zeppelin aircraft weapon. The virtue
was seen to be successful, design began on other hollow-charge of an RCL gun is that by having no recoil one needs no complicated
projectiles. A great deal of work went into producing one for the hydraulic buffer system to absorb the firing shock: one need only
25-pounder, though in the end it was never issued, since the AP make the gun-carriage strong enough to take the weight of the gun,
shot issued for that gun was quite satisfactory and there was no real instead of being strong enough to withstand being fired from-an
need for a hollow-charge shell. Then came a request from lndia to ideal state of affairs for an aircraft weapon, particularly in the
produce an anti-tank projectile for the 3.7-inch Pack Howitzer, the stick-and-string era. Davis's idea is worth looking at, although
modern version of Kipling's immortal 'screw-gun'. This gun, a small outside our time scale, since it is the classic recoilless weapon. He
and portable weapon, could not be made to fire a piercing pro- simply provided the gun with two barrels, one pointing forward
jectile at anything like the velocity needed to defeat even Japanese which fired a normal shell, and one.pointing rearward which fired
tanks, and a hollow-charge shell was designed and placed in pro- an identical weight of grease and buckshot. When the central
duction. The same shell was used in the 95-mm howitzer, an cartridge was fired the shell and countershot departed at equal
abortive infantry support gun which never saw service as a towed speed in opposite directions and cancelled each other's recoil.
weapon, though it was employed as a self-propelled support From this it can be seen that if you make the countershot (say)
weapon by the Royal Marines in Normandy and by the Armoured one-fifth of the weight of the shell and fire it out at five times the
Corps. speed, then the gun will still be in balance. Taking this idea to its
By 1944, though, sufficient basic research had been done into this logical conclusion one finishes up firing out of the back of the gun a
principle for it to be seen that a spinning shell was not the ideal fast, light stream of gas, still balancing the recoil since the weight
method of employing hollow charges, since the spin tended to times speed of the gas is the same as the (greater) weight times
spread the jet out and give poor penetration. Finned projectiles (slower) speed of the shell.
were more effective, and consequently no more artillery shells were
designed around the hollow charge; it was extensively employed, Cutting down the recoil
instead, for infantry weapons such as the PIAT, the Bazooka, and a This was the principle which the Germans revealed in Crete when
variety of rifle grenades. their troops appeared armed with a 75-mm RCL gun. The shell was
The Germans, and later the Russians, embraced the hollow- the standard 75-mm shell, but the cartridge case had a frangible
charge shell wholeheartedly. The Germans began issuing shell in plastic base which held for long enough to allow pressure to build
late 1940 and eventually almost every German field and tank up and start the shell moving, then blew out through a hole in the
weapon had a hollow-charge shell, thus giving every gun or how- breech-block, releasing the balancing stream of gas. The all-up
itzer an anti-tank capability. lndeed, so short were the Germans of weight of the gun, on its ex-machine gun tripod, was only 320
anti-tank guns after the Russian invasion got under way, that they pounds, whereas the weight of the standard 75-mm field gun was
hastily collected up all the French army's 75-mm guns and assem- aboul 11/z tons-no mean saving for airborne carriage. A 105-mm
bled hundreds of them on to redundant anti-tank gun carriages of version soon followed, weighing 855 pounds as opposed to the
German design. A hollow-charge shell was produced and these 105-mm 1E FH18's 4,312 pounds, and many more developments
makeshift weapons were deployed in Russia to stem the advancing began in this field to provide light weapons for mountain troops and
Soviet tanks until 75-mm and 88-mm anti-tank guns were in suffi- infantry, particularly for anti-tank use. (lt ought perhaps to be
cient supply. Judging from appearances, the Soviet hollow-charge pointed out that lhe Panzerfausf was in fact a recoilless gun, and
shells were developed as virtual copies of German designs which not, as generally supposed, a rocket launcher). Eventually RCL
had been captured. guns of up to 380-mm calibre were under development, including
ln addition to artillery shell Germany also used the principle for many for slinging beneath aircraft to carry artillery aloft for the
infantry weapons such as lhe Panzerfaust, rif le grenades, and even battle against the Allied bombers, but none of these came to f ruitlon.
2987
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ln Britain the RCL gun ddvelopment during the war is a scarcely- the cartridge. Another team developed 57-mm and 75-mm weapons
known story of one man's persistence. Sir Denis Burney, airship which used perforated cases similar to the Burney pattern but
O"iign"r and prolific inventor-engineer, began to be interested in having more and smaller holes, and also had the shell driving band
ine iecoittess principle early in the war' ln order to prove his pre-eigraved in order to reduce the pressure inside the SYn F-o.tI
theories he converted a four-bore gun into a recoilless weapon and these l-atter weapons were accepted for service early in 1945'
oroceeded to f ire it from the shoulder with ease; it must have been saw service with ihe US Army in the Pacific theatre, and remained
ine wortO's most comfortable duck gun. Having proved his point he in service for many years. A third team, this time under the auspices
proceeded to design a series of RCL guns ranging from 20-.mm.to of the National R6dearch and Development Council, developed a
b-in"n calibre. ln alddition to designing the guns, he expanded his 4.2-inch RCL mortar, an unlikely-sounding weapon which' so as to
tfreories and designed special ammuniiion to take advantage of the be able to fire direct at the target at low angles, carried a small
ballistic peculiarit'ies of ihe weapon. He argued that since the rear- rocket on the nose of the shell io push it down the barrel and fire
warO Otait was taking place, the pressure within the gun would be the propelling cartridge in the usual mortar fashion' Due to the
less than with a conventional type, and the shell would be subjected blast of'the iearward Jet, it could only be f ired at low elevations;
to-i more steady thrust, in whi-ch case it would be possible to make there was a certain amount of enthusiasm for this weapon but it
shells with thiriner walls, which would carry greater charges of never entered service.
eiptosive than previously possible. He then went further, and Perhaps the best summing up of all wartime development on
reasoned that, since tfre 6frett walls were thin, if the shell were to RCL webpons was made in a wartime report: 'Undoubtedly a num-
be filled with the then new plastic explosive, it would spread on to ber of efiective recoilless weapons have been developed, but they
ihe surface of the target likb butter; a fuse fitted in the base of the are being accepted with reserve, and will only be cons.idered as
shell would then detdnate this plaster and blast in the target- His supplem5ntary io older and more orthodox weapons which have
envisaged target was either the concrete emplacements of .the ' Theretheir
proved accuracy and reliability in service.'
Europdan coa6t, or the palm-reinforced Japanese bunker, and he is, unfortunately, no space here to delve into more recon-
called his shell the 'Wallbuster'. dite stories of research and development:the British 13'5-inch gun
ln 1944 his designs were accepted and a 3.45-inch (the same linered-down to 8-inch calibre which, fired from Dover, reached
calibre as the 25-pounder) shoulder-fired gun, a 3'7-inch towed a range of over 100,000 yards; the British and American develop-
gun, a 95-mm towed howitzer, and a7.Z-inch towed howitzer were ment"of flying artillery, which culminated in the mounting of a
jeep-mounteg-lhg 32-poundei'aiti-tank iun in a Mosquito; the German V-3 multiple-
firepareO lor production. The 95-mm was also chamber gun which was intended to shell London; the American
iirii appticatibn of what has since become a standard method of
carrying these guns. The 7.2-inch soon fell by the wayside, since 36-inch mbrtar 'Little David', designed to batter Japanese strong-
it friO 5een int6nded solely as a means of defeating the Atl.antic points; the German rocket-assisted and ramjet-assisted heavy
Wafi empfacements, but other weapons were found to do all that hrtitlery shells which promised vast increases in range; or-the
wai neebeO. The 3.45-inch was intended as an infantiy weapon in Anglo-hmerican development of the ele.ctronic proximity .fuse
the jungle, enabling one man to carry what was virtually a 25- which proved the answer to both 'Doodlebugs' and kamikaze
pounOei punch on liis shoulder. The 3.7-inch was proposed as the oilots. These and similar stories may only interest the specialist, but
iuture inthntry anti-tank weapon, and the 95-mm was contemplated ihey, together with what has been written here, serve to illustrate
ai ifre airOorrie field gun to r'eplace the US 75-mm howitzer and the tfre'inc6OiOle range of inventions brought into play in the war
iS-pounOer. Howevei, before the guns were.produce^d in sufficient waged between th! designers and inventors of each side, each
qudntity for issue, the war came to an end; some 3'45-in9h gng endlavouring to get one step ahead of the other, if only temp-
to^o5tain their orarily.
*to were issued to selected infantry units
S./-inch guns
reaction RCL guns as a general thing, and the 95-mm was
abandoned altogether. in in Durham City' enlisted in
IAN HOGG was born 1926
The principai- difference between the Burney guns and the the Regular Army during the war, and is now a Master
Germari type was that the Burneys had much longel barrels, and Gunner'in the R6yal Artillery. After serving in Europe and
used cartiidge cases which, instead of the plastic blow-out.base, the Far East, including duty with a Field Regiment duffig
used many ferforations in the sidewall to release the gas into a the Korean War, he becam6 a member of the lnstructional
surrounding chamber, from whence it was passed back to a num- Staff of the School of Artillery, Larkhill. He is at present
ber of vents around the breech. emoloved in the Ammunition Branch of the Royal Military
concurrently with Burney's work in Britain, American designers
Oegin on similar weapons.-A 105-mm howitzer T-9 was developed
on"similar lines to the German 105-mm, having a blow-out base to with particular emphasis on ammunition.

2988
sion, leadership, training, and behavio-ur )Top: German machine-gunners learn the
Often enough it has been said that a nation handling of their weapons'
sets the aimv it deserves and that, con- a"" iikely to be idjusted to national attitudes Bottomi A parade of horses, half-tracks, and
iersely, the iomposition and capability of such as belief in a cause' aggressrve or guns at the German school of artillery
that army is the reflection of the nation to passive motives, industrial or peasant occu-
which it 6elongs. In days gone by, before the oations. democratic or totalitarian govern-
mental systems, flexible or rigid organisa- order of priority-to reconsider their de-
leuie en masse introduced the nation in signs. At the sime time Roosevelt had to
arms and converted war-making from a tions-th-e final product probably emerging
as a compromise br integration of fundamen- ca"rry public opinion with him and secretly
limited to a wholesale operation, the wide- divert-civil development funds to lhe pyr-
spread employment of foreign mercenaries tal national characteristics.
It follows that when a nation's leaders em- poses of revival in lhe armament industries'
ouite often blirred the ethnic resemblance When a nation decides to expand its army
of un to its country of origin. During bark on the reconstruction of an army
""*y
the War of Spanish Succession, for instance, (assuming that they have some kind of it must harness its human and material
armed boly already in existence) they will resources to military schemes. Peasant
Irishmen foright in both the French and countries can draw on massed manpower ot
oooosins British armies and particularly, first take account of national aspirations'
They will then formulate an-army whose low output and staunch loyalty and arm
on'one"celebrated occasion, came face to their pe-ople with whatever equipment its
face during the Battle of Malplaquet-giving size and composition satisfies national
oolicv. that in turn fits a well-considered immature industry can manufacture, suq-
rise to the request, 'Gentlemen of France- bv purchases from abroad' Such
fire firstl' srani'strateev which is suited to geographic
ind climatiJ conditions and related to the was the ouilo6k of Russia before her in-
"iume"ted
Once the nation in arms became estab- dustrial output could place- sufficient
lished, the building of armies had to be- availability of vital resources such as man-
oower and materials. When the Germans weaDons in the hands of an almost inex-
come,'by definition, more fully integrated huoitilt" number of men. More highly
with the policies, aims, and economres ot Legan the reconstruction oftheir army after
19i9, they had to restore the confidence of a"uufop"a industrial countries that still
their parent nation. More often than not, possesied a sizeable- peasant. population
ofa country ordained a body already seriously uldermined- by
"alignmentlocation
the geographic
of national po-licy,-cglling defeat, revolution, and an arbitrary reduc- isuch as Germany and France between the
the wars) are usually persuaded to supplement
either f6r a maritime- or land-based Grand tion in number to 100,000 deprived of
offensive weapons under the rules of the their massed infantry forces with as many
Strategy deciding, in fact, wheth-er priority
- elite formations as the economy can support'
should-Le given to the creation of a navy or Versailles Treaty. Working on the assump-
tion that this could only be a cadre for an To keep a nation's economyin balance, long-
;; at-y.* I.t consequence, -continental army that need never fight outside Europe, term pianning and repeated reviews have to-
nations, Luch as Russia, tended to commit u.tuUfitft sym"pathy between the demands of
sreater'thoueht and more resources to the thev tackled their problem within reason-
ablv and helpfullv narrow limits' The the civil sector foi consumer goods and the
Euildine of land forces, while sea-bound grillsh. on the-other hand, had to re-adapt militarv sector for weapons. An acceptable
nationJsuch as Great Britain and Japan standaid of living has to be maintained in
concentrated mote on their navies-though an army that, for the first time in its exist-
ence, hid become conscript and continental order to placate the people-always remem-
neither type of nation, quite obviously, bering that the rearmament programmes. oI
could affoid to ignore the needs of the less- in orsanisation and reduce it to the size
of a Jmall volunteer force capable of opera- the 1530s probably had as much to do y!!h
favoured service. Governed by priorities imposed byvanying reversing lhe trends of the 'economic bliz-
such as these, the traditional impulses that ting under the conditions from Shang- zard' and reducing unemployment as any-
shape armies from their primary days, on- teriains and climates ranging and Egypt- thing else-and this trend remains evident
*u.d gto* in response to the demands of hai, through India, Palestine,
white maiitaining an army of occupation in to this day.
varying political situations. insurrectron rn The supply and selection of manpower- to
ff gols- without saying that the thoughts Germany and combatting for another the armed- iervices and industry thus be-
guiding an army's civil and military masters Ireland.- Preparations
European war went to the bottom of the list
-gene-ral comes critical, particularly when, as in the
ir" "oiditio.ted by the pressures generated early 1930s, employment was adjusted to
bv internal and external political and of courses of action.
the whims of traditional economic practices
.lottornic events. When the population of Unlike the Germans' whose motives cou-ld
only be acquisitive in the long run,, the which demanded that a nation should bal-
Germany exhibited a sense of grievance after ance its budget and never run into deficit.
the Firsi World War, their military leaders Briilsh wer-e strictly
preservative' More-
while the could train only Paradoxicalli several nations, Britain and
felt iustified, in salving what they could over, Germans
were bound to America especially, reduced their armed
fromihe wreck and rebuilding an army with on territory of the sort theytg services to lheir nadir when national un-
stronger than normal fight over,-the British h"4 spread their
employment was rising to a peak. To put it
a cadre comprised of a
provide for almost any
ofrcer and nbn-commissioned officer element tlirited resources to another way, however much an army wants
and an outlook that searched for means to kind of combat in colonial circumstances
in from desert to jungle and mountain to plain to expand, it must have the wherewithal to
the offensive. At the same time France,
chance that amphibious arm itself. The more technical an army be-
the nation and its generals, replete in -always wittrthe required and-a long comes, the greater demand there is for
victory, adopted a strictly defensive^ men- operatibns might beair. technologists first in the industrial areas,
talitv"in the belief that a strong defensive shot-movement bY
second,.l*ottg the cadres of the arrny, and
nostire would be sufficient deterrence to onlv finallv in-quantitv throughout the ranks
attack from outside. Britain, on the other The choicegrand of grand strategY
strategy takes- shape with- of the army as- a whole. Before the Second
hand, had perforce to revert to a syst-em A nation's World War the mobilisation of armies
which put first priority on policing- in the confi-nes of what is possible, imposed
!t-"7
bv the realities of treaties and economic (whether by the call-up of reservists or by
Empire, allowing a return to the pre-1914 takes place when permitting an influx of enthusiastic volun-
established within the class struc- r6strictions. Expansion
outlbok
quite adequately be- the government says so-Germany's from teersl hal frequently hampered civil ad-
ture that had served at the behest of aggressive ministration and industry by deprtvtng
fore. And America, isolated by distance and 193f onwards
of renewed those bodies of the very men they most
the Monroe Doctrine, simply took refuge in intent under the encouragement fixedto a European needed to arm and support the emergent
commerce and a democratic humanitarian- and illegal conscription,
with defensive/ forces. In France, among other nations at
ism that rejected war and consigned their erand ftrateqv; Russia's the beginning of the Firsl World War, good
armv and officer corPs to atroPhY. Sffensive sent"i-ments linked to the strongly
administratois, industrialists, farmers, and
Eventually a hosf of inclinations, inhibi- held beliefs that the
struggle against
in addition to those caoitalism must eventually take place by coal miners and others found themselves
tions, and itestut"s, in pious hope behind serving without distinction in the ranks
mentioned ibone, interact upon each other foice of arms; France's
concrete fortifications; Britain's fromapproxi- when iheir special skills were urgently re-
to formulate the philosophy and constitution to re-energise a dying economy.
of the kind of aimy a nation will come to mately 1935the onwards, with the intention quired
-
bolitering French from behind whose By the Second World War most nations
own in peacetime. Frequently the process of
mount a decisive had learned profitable lessons from their
is one of material and intellectual attrition lines they elected to air power. Meanwhile recent experiences. Manpower was more
in the face of retrenchment, yet no army offensive founded on
Munich, began to carefully ionserved, aided by government
worthy of its salt dare exist in pe-a-ce with- President Roosevelt, after of statistics that had never before been col-
varied plans to re-build in pre- develop a strategy deterrence based
out laying primafily upon industrial power in the hope lected and disseminated. In Britain the
paration
-that for the foreseeable circumstances Central Economic Information Service was
c.tt be envisaged as arising in war' ittat the-sigit of such material might could
and Japanese-in that not set up until the summer of 1940, and the
Before or during a war the resulting expan- cause the Germans
2990
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fop; Troops of the Reichswehr, forbidden to have ning to equip armies could be of use if -not all of whom necessarily relished put-
tanks, train with wooden mock-ups sufficient raw materials were not stockpiled ting on uniform again (though their terms
Bottom ieft: Churchill watches New Zealanders or indigenous within each nation's bound- of engagement prescribed that this could
at gun drill on an obsolete gun. Bottom right: aries. The acquisition of raw materials thus happen) but some of whom were only too
lnfantry train for night operations
merged with warlike preparations, the size pleased to escape from the routine of home
and nature of stocks being gauged in rela- life and even their wives. More closely re-
tion to the type of warfare envisaged, the Iated to the peacetime, regional organisa-
selection of technologists was, basically, time it was forecasted as lasting, and the tion were the Territorial formations com-
decided at Labour exchanges on the con- likelihood of fresh supplies being main- prising several divisions, each run by a
sideration of whether a man did or did not tained as the war proceeded. The Germans, minute cadre of regulars whose task it was
have a trade. Even so, the call-up of men in planning for a short war, had perpetually to train a great concourse of volunteers in
Britain went forward in step with the avail- to maintain petrol stocks from tenuous the evenings, at weekends, and during a fort-
ability of accommodation and weapons, and natural and synthetic sources without which night's camp each year. With the best wilt
in Germany the army was mobilised by their mechanised forces could no longer in the world (and the spirit of these men
degrees over a period of months before the function-and on more than one occasion was hard to beat) the Territorial formations
outbreak of war, first to give the nation a deflected their strategy to acquire fresh could not be rated fit for war upon mobilisa-
gradual introduction to its war footing, and stocks, often when their forces were already tion, and had to undergo intensive training
second to help achieve a high standard of inhibited by critical shortages. Britain from the start with what little (mostly
training throughout the service before the opened the war with the declared intention obsolescent) equipment could be found.
first shots were fired. of engaging in a three-year war and tried America employed a similar system to the
The brain and skeleton of an army is its to assemble materials in sufficient quantity British, their National Guard corresponding
cadre of regular officers, instructors, and to support expenditure at the rates that to the British Territorial Army-but the
technologists around which the flesh of prewar assumptions seemed to estimate. entire organisation suffered from an acute
reservists, conscripts, and war-time volun- America, enjoying self-sufficiency in almost shortage of regulars, many of whom had
teers is moulded and hardened. The latter every kind of raw material, nevertheless Ieft their most active days behind. In 1931
are called up to a carefully phased mobilisa- suffered minor restrictions, just when her its totai strength had sunk to only 134,000
tion scheme that is geared to the time and Victory Programme of Rearmament was of all ranks-and its officer corps was so
place of war and is, by its implication, a gathering energy, as the main sources of attenuated that sometimes only one officer
potent weapon in the hands of the politi- rubber were cut off by Japan overrunning could be raised for a whole battalion. By
cians engaged in negotiations during the the plantations in South-East Asia. 1939 numbers had risen to 184,000, but this
period of tension preceding hostilities. It Compared with the vast complexity of the was still a narrow base upon which to build
follows that the period in which mobilisa- long-term probiems involved in the assembly the proiected 8,000,000 men.
tion takes place is critical: it coincides with of civil and industrial backing for a growing Germany, learning from the failures of
the outbreak of war, when the nation's army, the arrangement of an army's internal the ill-trained Landwehr (territorial) divi-
economy is in a state of flux and its daily framework is relatively simple, since it sions in 1914, built up her regular forma-
routine is disrupted. The nation is open to usually serves to extend an existing and tions and diluted them with well-trained
the depredations of internal forces of dis- well-tried system. In Britain just before the reservists throughout 1939. But she too em-
content and the external interruptions of outbreak of war, the Regular Army had a ployed the regional system as the basis of
pre-emptive raids or full-scale invasion by strength of 22L,813 and could call upon a internal military organisation, each Wehr-
the enemy. Simultaneously, the mobilisa- further 661,797 semi-trained reservists and kreise reptesenting a corps with specified
tion of naval and air forces (which may have auxiliaries (such as time-expired regulars divisions. For instance, Wehrkreise Sachsen
a priority over the army) throws competing and Territorial soldiers) immediately. For produced the IV Corps, made up of IV, XIV,
demands upon the pure expansionist needs normal 'peacetime' operations the British and XXIV Divisions. The motorised, light,
of the army. For the other two services may army reckoned upon subsisting on a volun- and panzer divisions, however, belonged
well demand protection for vital points by teer intake, but after Munich pointed to to corps without a territorial affiliation, since
anti-aircraft defences or simply by armed the virtual inevitability of war, felt bound their specialised training also demanded
guards -just when the soldiers would rather to introduce conscription under a Military that they should be located close to particu-
be getting on with important re-formation Training Act in May 1939. France and Iar areas, while men of the required stand-
and training for their principal role in Russia simply extended the conscription ard of mechanical knowledge could best be
the field. that had long been a feature oftheir defence. recruited from the centres of industrial
Germany reintroduced conscription against population.
The mobilisation machine the terms of the Versailles Treaty in 1935 Of course, military commands and dis-
Based upon the experiences of 1974, al- and the Americans, under the pressure of tricts are mainly intended to provide an
most every government had set up unusually events, brought in the draft in 1941. administrative base to find and take care of
elaborate mobilisation machinery before The organisation of armies is roughly accommodation, feeding, and medical care,
1939 to gear their industries to a wartime standard throughout the world, comprising along with such training facilities as recruit
effort. Key personnei could be prevented or armies, corps, divisions, brigades (some- training depots, central schools, and training
deferred from entering the services by group- times referred to as regiments), battalions areas. A recruit entering an army might
ing them in'reserved occupations', and the (sometimes referred to as regiments), com- therefore expect to experience a routine
industries themselves recruited labour panies (or squadrons or batteries), platoons such as follows. Having volunteered or been
needed to manufacture the large quantities (or troops), and sections. Divisions are notified of impending call-up, he can expect
of equipment that would be needed by the usually the highest formation with a fixed a medical examination as the first stage of
armed services. These were deeply laid establishment of lower formations and units, his induction. If he passes that (and it
foundations, for the technological lead times but vary by type such as armoured, infantry, may be noted that in Britain during the
won in peacetime became the keystones of and airborne, each of which can also vary Second World War 8.V7o of those examined
success in war. The fact that Russia and still further depending upon the part of failed to reach the required standard) the
Germany rearmed with a new generation of the world in which it is destined to fight. next test concerns an assessment of edu-
weapons from the mid-1930s onwards in- The manner in which these formations and cational and trade qualifications (in Britain
stead of trying to adapt an older generation units are grafted upon each nation's regional 25Vo were below normal elementary school
in the manner of the French (who in any case civil organisation fluctuates, nation by standards-in some other nations the per-
started adapting two years after the Ger- nation. Before the war Britain was sub- centage was a good deal higher) in order to
mans started rebuilding) gave them signi- divided into commands, districts, and sub- fit the man to the task in which best use
ficant advantages. With the Americans, who areas related to county boundaries-each can be made of his talents or physique. In-
did not really get into production until 1941, corresponding respectively to corps, divi- variably, almost on a worldwide basis, the
the discrepancy was even more marked, sions, and brigades. Within their bound- scientific and technological grades were
particularly when it is recalled that almost aries each regional organisation adminis- shortest in supply in the 1930s-and this
any new major weapon system needed tered and helped train the fighting elements shortage fell particularly heavily upon
several years' development from conception that were to make up the Expeditionary armies who received a smaller slice of the
to being in service. A tank might need two Forces. They also commanded the local de- better intelligences in proportion to the
years, an airplane twice that if, for those fence of key points. navies and air forces. Waste such as had
days, it was fairly sophisticated. The regular formations were fattened out occurred in the First World War was quite
Naturally no amount of industrial plan- after mobilisation by the recalled reservists significantly reduced. Nothing so wasteful
2993
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A demonstration of gun drill by a Vickers machine-gun detachment German infantry practise patrolling
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An assault course for fitness and stamina Training for German artillery spotters
Realistic battle simulation in North Wales

could not survive. He needed to knorv how to tocracies and middle classes did not fre-
as 'Pals' Battalions' (which had included a quently enter. In all European armies
ludicrously high proportion of leadership shoot a rifle. how to conceal himself from
view and stalk the enemy, how to protect (particularly in Germany's) the base of the
material in its ranks) was allowed to recur.
Once selection has been decided, the em- himself against gas attack, how to cook and officer class was broadened to include the
bryo soldier can expect to find his way to a live in the roughest conditions, and so on. technocracy. In America the severe run-
primary training centre, there to receive To these basic skills might be added special- down of the officer corps in peacetime among
his uniform and learn the outward motions ised training as a heavy machine-gunner, a a nation that did not possess a traditional
radio operatbr', a driver (a considerable pro- officer-producing class, raised more complex
of military order and discipline lvhich set
the fighting man apart from others. In other portion of the British recruits had to be - though not insoluble - problems. The
to equal opportunity
words he is taughi how to dress, drill, and taught how to drive when they joine9-.the American allegiance
carry out the simplest of military duties. army: in the American army most soldiers within a demoCratic society clearly imposed
ot".r-ed and drove cars as a matter of course) barriers that could only be broken down by
Teaching a trade or perhaps as a radar operator. A good deal a display of individual merit which could
Thereafter the volume of training that a of ihis instruction can take place within not be fully evaluated until the selection
man receives depends upon how much he the man's unit, though those learning the system had been tempered by battle experi-
can profitably absorb in the time available more highly skilled trades (such as radar ence.
and ihe enthusiasm of his officers can teach. operator) have to attend long courses at a Running at odds through most armies were
Frequently a man's training used to be cgr- central school deaiing with that subject. And to be fouid serious misgivings concerning
tailed by operational contingencies' Under of course the instructors themselves have to the undermining effects of intellectual and
learn their subject from somewhere, in technological disciplines when they came
severe pressure from 1941 onwards, the into conflict with the older, better under-
Russians reduced a1l forms of training to a addition to the most effective way to impart
bare minimum: some of their infantry hardly their knowledge, and usually this is-.aiso stood automatic motivations associated
taught at a central school or, possibly, direct with the over-emphasised code of 'Do as I
knew how to aim and shoot a rifle. On the say, not as I do'. Only the truly ignorant
other hand there are almost no limits to from an industrial establishment.
Pre-eminent in the field of selection and employed this method without restraint,
the number of different subjects that a buL its mention suggested blind obedience
soldier can be taught. In the Second World instruction rvent the creation of officers' In
most nations they were volunteers but the and this could be the very opposite of intel-
War a recruit in the British army might ligent leadership and compliance. (As I
spend five weeks on basic training and. if sources of their recruitment were divergent,
he were a tank man. learn two clew trades for the technological upsurge of the First marched offthe Ofrcer Training Unit square
(say driver/gunner or signaller/gunner) each and Second World Wars imparted sweeping as part of a well-drilled squad on the way
changes in the functions of the officer. No to its first day on the tank park, I remember
of which might take eight weeks-the point
is thus made that, as in any other organisa- longe.-r could they mainly be drawn lrom.the hearing my Guards instructor-a soldier
tion, an army must aim to train its men traiitional aristocratic- classes who had of great merit-warn in an agoni,qed voic-e
within a reasonable division of labour along habitualiy impressed their methodg upon from afar: 'Don't become oil-minded,
armies in the past. The need for leadership, gentlemen.' Il was a cry lrom ihe heart, {or
with a degree of specialisation. somehow the new leadership had to be
As the technological aspects of warfare ingenuity, and organising ability were still
became more diversifled, the individual sol- pr-esent io the same degree, but the demands taught by the old to apply their technical
dier had to learn an enormous number of bf technology called also for officers whose knowledge with equal guile and fortitude
different, basic skills without which he background was aliied to a world the aris- on an unlidy battleheld where machines, in

2994
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infantrymen practise landing drill Many units rehearsed for years for D-Day
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German infantry on a live firing exercise Battle indoctrination featured in all good training. Tracer enlivens a practice assault

the end, obeyed their human masters.) war went on many concessions had to be men would operate. But in Britain, and to a
These winds of sociological change im- made in the pay rates of armies, not only Iesser extent in the other principal Euro-
pinged unerringly upon morale. Instruction because shortage of consumer goods induced pean nations, the provision of sufficient land,
designed to induce a frightened man to inflationary tendencies, but also because too above all of the right kind, posed innumer-
perform his duties to perfection for the com- invidious a comparison between the higher abie painful and domestic problems. It was
mon benefit, regardless of fear, could never wages of civilians and the lower ones of impossible to train formations for desert
completely make up for practical experience soldiers could not be compatible with high warfare with realism in either Germany or
under fire - though it could go a long way soldierly morale. Britain, and in both countries, where a high
towards that ideal. Given the time, men Unit and formation exercises became the population density made consistent calls on
could be trained up to and then, sadly, first stage in helping to apply the practices every square mile and where blockade
beyond the point of staleness. High morale of individuai training. By stages a recruit raised the value of farmland to a premium,
grows with confidence in personal prowess will find himself made part of a crew, a territory taken exclusively for military
and then within the team to which the section, or a team within the lowest echeion purposes could ill be spared. Yet many
individual belongs. But there comes a point of some unit whose title (which may aspire valuable acres of arable land had to be
when that morale may slip into decline if to glorious past achievements) means less turned over to teach men how to fight through
the skills can not be applied in earnest to him than the calibre of the officers (above hedgerows (the sort of ground they were
before boredom sets in. all the commanding officer) set over him. On likely to meet in France) rather than, for
Much time spent at war is time spent exercises all would learn their trade and the instance, grouse moors, which are exclusive
in monotony when the mind is insufficiently junior ranks would have the chance to work to Britain.
exercised and turns to other things. Like a out whether their superiors might have the In very few other aspects did the building
house, once an army has been built it has wit to steer them through danger to success of armies encroach more aggravatingly and
to be maintained. Its internal structure- and survival. During these lower level provocatively upon civil rights and good-
morale-demands a proliferation of minor exercises the soldiers have most to do and will. Although there is a noticeably passive
privilege! and services such as regular learn: as they rise by military stages to resignation to the military presence and
Ieave, adequate pay, reliable medical atten- reach corps or even army level only the more depredations throughout Europe, tendencies
tion, reasonable accommodation, enter- senior officers profit to a significant extent, such as these are traditionally resisted in
tainment, and the taste, every now and though it is equally vital that, even at the Britain. Here the application of defence
again, of home delights away from the sacrifices of the soidier's patience, this sort regulations cut right across the rights of
barracks environment. Pay, as an example, of exercise should be practised-very occa- property owners when land for training was
could cause the most harrowing anomalies. sionally. requisitioned and, in extreme cases, depop-
For a conscript whose standaid of living ulated. In wartime this was just acceptable,
corresponded to a high wage and long-term The need for space but the fear of its extension into peacetime
financial commitments, reduction to the Inevitably, most exercises require the com- was never far from peoples'minds along with
lowest rate of other rank pay overnight paratively free use of large tracts ofland. In a threat of bureaucratic dominance that
could be disastrous for his family and him- countries possessing vast land masses, such could not be sufficiently curbed. Neverthe-
self. In wartime Britain a firm was obliged as Russia and America, there was very little less, army building in time of national
to maintain the pay of men called up for difficulty in finding space-though even emergency cannot wait the due process of
service, but not every soldier's original there it
was not always possible exactly to Iaws that, in peacetime, prevented the
job entitled him to this privilege. As the duplicate every kind of terrain in which the construction of anti-aircraft gunsites by
2995
Letters
An absolute racket? civilians whom you seem to have left out?
tlexttllssk
5. Articles covering the occupation and
Dear Sir, f raternisation of Allied troops in various
With regard to your letter which I received the Axis countries after the war.
other day stating that you had decided to 6. Axis countries' war on churches, and most of
extend the History of the Second World War all the leader of Christianity in the world,
for another two volumes 'owing to public the Pope.
demand'. This is an absolute racket! When this 7. Could a pull-out wall chart be made of all
was first published it was stated there would or some of the insignia, flags, and badges of
be six volumes. Then on the last week of the the different fighting nations of World War Two?
last issue you have the audacity to write and My last question is to whether you will be
say you are extending it and on subjects which publishing a History of the First World War.
happened after peace was declared. That was Yours etc,
the end of the war, so the next two volumes Paul Fairbairn
are under the wrong title. I do not want these North Shields, Northumberland
and would like proof of this 'public demand' of
which you speak, but even if I wanted to sell Editor's reply:
them they would be incomplete without the last Many of these topics have in fact already been
two volumes. covered in the published issues of Volume 7,
What is there to guarantee that after these and other key subjects will appear in future
two volumes you won't decide to publish another issues. The work of the Red Cross, for example,
two and so on. is analysed in an issue devoted to concentration,
As I said before it is a racket and needs POW, and internment camps (Vol 7, No 15), and
exposing. Never will I ever buy any more of the Nuremberg Trials are the subject of
your publications and I am sure there are Volume 8, No 7. Mr Fairbairn is not alone in
thousands of your unfortunate supporters of raising the guestion ot a History of the First
this series who feel exactly the same as I do World War, which is under serious consideration.
-CHEATED. And I challenge you to publish We have always deeply respected the high
this. standard of constructive criticism shown by our
readers, and will be grateful for all suggestions
Yours etc,
V. M. Chatwin (Mrs)
Hull
on how our present standard could be
improved in a First World War history.
Itledals
Next week's full colour issue is devoted
Editor's reply: to the military glamour of the war, and
I cannot understand why you are using the the opening teature consists of five
word 'cheating', Mrs Chatwin. ln Volumes 1 to 6 Please lay some ghosts for me pages on medals and awards. lncluded
you have a complete history of the Second World
War-as you were promised when lssue I are the top awards for valour and a
Dear Sir,
appeared. As the history developed-as I have So the History ol the Second World War is
selection ol Axis and Allied campaign
made clear several times before in my Editorial coming to an end; it seemed like a second badges and shields-with a collection of
letters-our editorial staff found themselves not way of life these past 95 weeks. I would like not-so-famous medals.
infrequently snowed under by requests for ex- to say how much l've enjoyed it and especially
pansion of material-on the pattern of the one the editor's replies (and retorts) to readers'
published below. During the first half of the
period of publication, we were forced regret-
fully to inform our readers that there was no
letters.
lf the letter page is continuing over the
next 32 issues I wonder if you could lay some
Uniforln$
room for the extra material which they were ghosts for me. I am too young to remember The development of the lighting man is
requesting-with the result that very shortly anything of the war. My mother has been a traced in a pictorial leature which
we accumulated a large file of letters suggesting primary source of information for me. One extends lrom the Roman legionary to
that we made more room by extending the thing she recalls was the extreme feeling of the postwar Gl. Full-colour pictures
series. With this prospect in mind, we anxiety she had living in Kent during 1940. include the uniforms of the armies ol
published a letter by Mr Evison-Taylor in Vol 4, Sentries, posted on the Romney Marshes, were
Frederick the Great, Wellington, and of
No 16-and the resulting flood of correspond- disappearing without trace. Posting them in
ence made it perfectly clear that a large body pairs was lamentably unsuccessful and the both Federals and Confederates in the
of opinion supported the idea of appendix soldiers' morale was greatly affected. American Civil War.
volumes. May I take this opportunity to repeat Apparently no cause was ever discovered for
that the original six volumes will be complete this.
in themselves. An index, bibliography, and
errata list, at present rapidly nearing
completion, will soon be available to all
A young chap I was talking to had been a
merchant seaman on a ship working f rom Nor-
way, Stavanger I believe, had heard strange
ileadgoar
readers who are content with the six-volume tales of a forest in which was a large number While separate full-colour leatures and
edition of the history. Amplified versions of of dead German troops. The Norwegian Govern- illustrations show the evolution of
these three amenities will be available to ment emphatically forbade entry to this place military headgear from the time of the
readers who opt for the eight-volume edition. where skeletons, guns and ammunition and Norman Conquest to 1918, and a
And you can rest assured that the history other small items of equipment apparently lay selection of British regimental cap
will not be extended beyond eight volumes. in profusion. Occasionally small parties were
allowed in, but were searched on leaving. badges, the central leature ol next week's
Apparently a Lidice was committed in Norway; issue shows the main hats and helmets
More information, please if the strange tales are true, are those dead worn in the Second World War.
men victims of Resistance retribution? Leaving
Dear Sir, them where they fell hardly fits in with what
I am writing to thank you for a very good, if
not excellent, History ot the Second World War.
I would also like to suggest a few items which
I imagine the Norwegians to be like.
It was interesting to compare the two
accounts of the Russo-Japanese conflict in
Bad$s
you may, or may not, like to put into the 1945. There is a remarkable difference, but I Sleeve and shoulder badges and flashes
History. They are: suppose the censorship makes the Russian for all units, commands, and headquar-
1. Economic effects on various major Allied or historian, in a sense, an official spokesman
Axis countries after the war ended.
ters-these provide more pages of lull
and the Russian Government cannot admit to
2. Major items from the Nuremberg War Trials. the motives ascribed to it by the author of
colour, showing how tradition and ad
3. More history on supreme peraons in the war, the Allied view. hoc decisions both produced a welter
eg Chiang Kai-shek. Yours faithfully, of bewildering colour for the otherwise
'4. More articles about civilians at war-spies, Mr E. A. Stagg drab unilorms of the Second World War,
nurses, Home Guard: and what about Chinese Hove making the wearer feel part of a team.
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