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Ultradave last won the day on July 23

Ultradave had the most liked content!


About Ultradave

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  • Birthday 10/20/1956

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    Westerly, Rhode Island, USA
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    History, Astronomy, Running, Piano, Hiking, Bicycling

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  1. Right you are. If Elvis or Steve posts something, it's the official word. Beta team members can't say anything official in nature or reveal much of anything, but yes, they are building scenarios, maps, and doing TOE research as well as play testing scenarios.. Some (not me!) do ALL of those. I'm continually impressed with the depth of knowledge and research by some of them.
  2. That's what's listed in the patch notes in game.
  3. Yeah, right. Check my avatar. We supplemented with ramen, trail mix, whatever else we could pack that would keep for a few days. I'd always eat any of the fruit - instant energy. No one seemed to like apricots but I loved them so I'd trade my cannonball cakes for apricots any day. Needed too much water to choke those cakes down.
  4. Used to carry one on my key ring but it kept ruining my pockets. These days it's sitting on my desk at home.
  5. So did C-Rations. I never saw an MRE (yeah, I'm old). I could never manage to choke down more than 1 1/2 C-Rats a day. Sat there like rocks.
  6. Not at all. I was just saying I've pretty much exhausted what I can say about time round 🙂 Somewhere in 6-40 there is a diagram that shows the expected probabilities for time rounds. It's in % along a trajectory but you can think of it as a bell curve. Almost all the rounds will explode in the air, with error probability in fuze and impact location. Very, very small percentage might hit the ground. I don't remember exactly (it's been a while) but it was really small.
  7. It's an animation for the game. To me it's always looked the same, but 40-45deg is probably reasonable. Ballistics with air friction. But you don't know where the battery is (and therefore the range, the charge it fired - all that stuff is abstracted and from the infantry's viewpoint, you don't care at all). Maybe this will help. It's an example of 155mm Tabular Firing Tables. It shows examples of all the data and corrections to be applied. It only shows one page of each type of data in the book but if this can't convince you that there is accurate data and that artillery that can fire precisely and firing data that can be calculated exactly, there isn't anything more I can say. It works. I had years of experience doing it. https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/6-40/Ch7.htm If you REALLY want to get into it try FM 6-40 the gunnery manual. https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/6-40/index.html Just scroll through the table of contents to see the topics and you'll get a good idea of the complexity involved and the efforts for accuracy. You can probably find places to download some older editions of 6-40
  8. It's not coming straight down. Trajectory is actually pretty low. Just not flat like a rifle, tank gun or naval gun. (gun vs. howitzer). And no, the time is calculated for the mission. All the guns get the same data. The fuzes were quite reliable. And yes, we know the time of flight to very fine accuracy. The calculations are the same as any ballistics calculation you might have done in high school algebra (with the addition of the other corrections I previously noted). And we don't have to calculate on the spot. It's all tabulated data. The only time it would be coming (almost) straight down would be a high angle mission (say, to fire over the top of a mountain to the valley behind). Physics tells you that you can ballistically hit the same spot from two different firing angles - one below 45deg and one >45deg. You don't use time or VT for those for exactly the reason you are asking. But that's not a normal mission.
  9. Well, you'd need a guy assigned to a mech infantry division or an armored division. I stayed in the 82d Airborne so no FIST vehicles for me. Once we hit the ground we either walked with the infantry or got moved by chopper. Hull down, or moved to a good covered location and dismount to an OP would be my options. But someone with actual experience could say more.
  10. I guess what I was trying to get across in with all my narrative was that while artillery is an area weapon because of it's circular error probability (CEP), in general, firing data from howitzers used for the calculations is VERY VERY accurate. The powder is of high quality and consistent, so you can be pretty well assured that firing round after round they will perform very much the same. The data and the calculations for trajectory, time of flight, etc are very accurate and can be done very precisely. That would be the part you are maybe missing, - maybe I didn't emphasize it enough. I would never be surprised that ALL of the time rounds from a battery exploded in the air over the target. In fact, I'd be surprised if there were a lot of "misses" where the rounds hit the ground. It is MUCH more likely for that to happen because of an error calculating the data, than the variations or inaccuracies in the rounds and fuzes. They are very consistent. Muzzle velocity of our M102's from my era was about 500m/s. Impact velocity a little less due to air resistance. So yeah, they are moving but nowhere near a tank gun velocity. But we can calculate the trajectory and the time very precisely. When I was the Bn FDO we did battalion TOT missions with a combination of ground and airbursts. 3 batteries, (18 guns), 6 rounds each. ALL the rounds landed in a 200m diameter and the time rounds made a cloud of explosions over the target. Frightening in its effectiveness. Satisfying as the man in charge 🙂 Think of that as an enemy infantry company or two in the open and 18 rounds explode all at once, then 5 more volleys spaced about 5 seconds apart. After the first round of TOT the guns fire when ready so it's a continuous series of explosions for the rest of the 108 rounds. It works like a charm. Note that I can only speak for the US, Canadian and British armies as those are the only ones I have direct experience with. Also, I'm not trying to oversell the FA. Only that I have experience that's pretty similar to calculating firing data was in WW2. The main big difference we had was an FO (sp4 in this case) with each infantry platoon and a FIST chief ( 2LT) with the infantry company commander, so we could control more missions and were more responsive to what was going on right in front. Each infantry LT platoon leader had an FO from the FA battalion attached to him. It's no problem controlling more than one mission in a battery at once. Gets hectic but we were required to handle two simultaneously.
  11. They seem about right to me. 7m for VT, for time fuzes we would set the gun elevation to achieve a certain height. 10 meters usually for time rounds. Also, you can't fire VT over water. The return from the water will be too strong and set off the round.
  12. Our time fuzes had 0.1 second increments. You'd need that to get the detonation where you want. I can't say for sure about WW2 but I would expect they'd have to be the same just to have any chance of exploding where you want it to. I really don't think time fuzes changed from WW2 to the 70s. Super accurate timepieces - not really that necessary. The firing data has been accurately tabulated for each model howitzer. For example, we had "firing sticks" that were essentially slide rules that gave elevation and time for the range. There is a different stick for each charge (number of powder bags used). Typically we tried to fire at a range requiring charge 4 or 5 - most accuracy. Then you make a correction to raise the elevation so that the round passes over the target. My experience was with M102 105mm howitzers (the 82d Abn is a light unit so no heavy artillery). Smaller rounds, lower airburst, only because the effective radius of the burst is less for smaller caliber artillery. Given time in a position, we would add corrections to individual guns for their position so that the grouping of rounds came out evenly, and additional corrections to hit a center point. We also flew weather balloons to get winds at altitude levels and added corrections for those (daily). And corrections for the rotation of the Earth, which of course varies by 1) latitude, and 2) the primary axis of fire (direction the guns are pointing). Howitzers are low velocity, relatively high elevation weapons so all these things make a difference. Adjusting fire - stopwatch is handy in the fire direction center. We know time of flight. In game you can here shot, splash over the radios. Shot is obvious. Splash means 5 seconds to impact. So if the FO is keeping his head down, the splash gives him 5 seconds to take a look, and re-orient himself to the direction. Then he quickly decides corrections, covers again and radios the directions in (left 200, drop 400, etc). The one time you really need accurate timing is a time on target mission. One battery is 4 or 6 guns. A battalion is 3 batteries. A battalion time on target requires each battery to calculate its time of flight to the target, the battalion fire direction center to synchronize everyone (whether time of day mark or a say, 60 seconds to TOT). Then the batteries each fire at the right time for their time of flight so all rounds arrive together. It can be even more interesting if one battery is firing time rounds and the other two PD rounds. The battalion fire direction officer coordinates all that (I did that job too as the asst ops officer for the artillery battalion). It can get pretty technical but really it's no more than high school math level, and knowing what to do with the data. It helps being good at mental math and visualizing things spacially - being able to know instantly that data sounds incorrect (biggest fear was hitting your own troops accidentally). Today things are much different of course, but I was there in the late 70s and 80s. Computers were just coming in. We had one GPS in the division and it took up the whole back of a jeep. We had an analog computer but it never worked after being dropped in the back of a truck so we stuck with "charts and darts". Batteries were surveyed in position from landmarks. No GPS. You really had to be good (excellent really) at map reading. So I suppose you could say it was pretty "intellectual" It doesn't feel that way really. You practice and practice so calculating firing data becomes routine.
  13. No, it's not difficult at all. There are firing tables and "slide rules" that will calculate trajectory to the target impact point. For a timed fuse airburst, there is a correction to make so that the elevation to fire makes it so it passes over the target at the desired height, rather than hits the target. The first calculation is to the target ground point so you know the time of flight. Set the time fuze for that time of flight and BOOM, it goes off 10m (or whatever you calculated) right over the target as it passes over. VT is a little different in that you don't need the time setting, just the correction for 7m height above the target point. The transmitter will receive a strength signal from the ground return and explode at 7m height (not sure what that height was in WW2 but in my artillery days it was 7m). There IS a time setting so it doesn't go off prematurely, but you don't need exact time to the target. All the firing data is well tabulated. Just a matter of running some calculations, which don't take long, just a few extra seconds for the calculations (10-30), and a few (less than 10) on the gun to set the fuze (top of the fuze rotates - just match the hairline to the time desired). My artillery experience predates GPS and computers - all manual calculations, so my experience is MUCH more like WW2 and Korea than it is present day artillery (which is all computerized whizz-bang magic 🙂 ) So the answer to your question is any competent fire direction center can make the calculations in little more time than a PD (point detonating) mission, and you should get a battery sheaf of airbursts all at once. Devastating to troops in the open, and effective against trench lines. Adjusting rounds are done with ground bursts to make it easier for the FO to see where the round landed (hard to judge and airburst). Then FFE with the time or VT rounds. Hope that helps.d Dave (ex-US Army CPT, 2/321st FA (Abn), 82d ABN DIV) [edit] one other thing I thought of. We only carried about 20% time and/or VT fuzes with us. The rest were PD. Don't know what the ratio exactly was in WW2 and probably varied but my understanding is that they were probably about the same and VT was rare.
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