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eliw00d

WWII Ammunition Loadout Questions

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There's a possibility that Airborne units got the cream, but I doubt the difference would be huge enough for you to keep splitting hairs over. Certainly in the absence of proof to the contrary, I would use that as a rough guide to the ideal load out.

I couldn't tell you if the AT platoons organic to each UK infantry battalion (and hence not RA) would have different ammo.

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I couldn't tell you if the AT platoons organic to each UK infantry battalion (and hence not RA) would have different ammo.

The only RA gunners using 6-pr in NWE in 1944/45 were A/B gunners. Otherwise they had towed or SP 17-pr.

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FWIW (and sidetracking a bit...) the 17 pdr in the Firefly, Archer & Chariot was the same length as the AT gun - it was the "77mm" in the Comet that was a bit shorter. Its ammo was 17pdr projectiles (incl APDS) fitted to the cartridge for the 3" AA gun.

According to this site, 20% of Comet ammo was APDS - a much higher % than for the 17 pder - that may be the source of the "shorter gun requires APDS" info earlier?

WW2 APDS accuracy was nothing to do with gun length (well not specifically....) - it was because they didn't fully understand the effects of seperating sabots yet - they upset the flight of the penetrator, resulting in lower accuracy.

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WW2 APDS accuracy was nothing to do with gun length (well not specifically....) - it was because they didn't fully understand the effects of seperating sabots yet - they upset the flight of the penetrator' date=' resulting in lower accuracy.[/quote']

Yeah, I understand that. What I meant was that for most purposes the MV and KE produced by full-length 17-pr barrels firing regular AP (or, rather, APCBC) was sufficient to destroy anything the Germans bought to the party, but the shorter barrels had a greater need for the extra sting of the APDS ammn.

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eliwOOd,

Welcome aboard!

These should help.

57 mm APDS: Scale of issue and actual combat use

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=47318&highlight=apds

U.S. HVAP ("T" in the game) availability and scale of issue

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=1324&highlight=apds

75 mm Sherman load and type split

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=46464&highlight=apds

Crash course on 17 pdr and 77 mm guns, ammo, production stats

http://www.wwiiequipment.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:17-pounder-anti-tank-gun&catid=40:anti-tank&Itemid=58

Sherman Firefly specs, but no ammo split (deduce from previous link)

http://www.onwar.com/tanks/uk/data/firefly.htm

This should help enormously. Tech specs (inc. ammo stowage) on U.S. AFVs of WW II circa 1944

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13647102/Osprey-Catalog-of-Standard-Ordnance-Items-Vol-1-1944-Tank-Automotive

The above plus many other such volumes in one handy well-illustrated book

http://www.amazon.com/American-Arsenal-Antiaircraft-Ammunition-Paperbacks/dp/1853674702

TM9-1901 Artillery Ammunition (grog fest; covers 20 mm -240 mm)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24436830/Tm-9-1901-Artillery-Ammunition-1944

Regards,

John Kettler

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eliwOOd,

Welcome aboard!

These should help.

57 mm APDS: Scale of issue and actual combat use

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=47318&highlight=apds

U.S. HVAP ("T" in the game) availability and scale of issue

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=1324&highlight=apds

75 mm Sherman load and type split

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=46464&highlight=apds

Crash course on 17 pdr and 77 mm guns, ammo, production stats

http://www.wwiiequipment.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:17-pounder-anti-tank-gun&catid=40:anti-tank&Itemid=58

Sherman Firefly specs, but no ammo split (deduce from previous link)

http://www.onwar.com/tanks/uk/data/firefly.htm

This should help enormously. Tech specs (inc. ammo stowage) on U.S. AFVs of WW II circa 1944

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13647102/Osprey-Catalog-of-Standard-Ordnance-Items-Vol-1-1944-Tank-Automotive

The above plus many other such volumes in one handy well-illustrated book

http://www.amazon.com/American-Arsenal-Antiaircraft-Ammunition-Paperbacks/dp/1853674702

TM9-1901 Artillery Ammunition (grog fest; covers 20 mm -240 mm)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24436830/Tm-9-1901-Artillery-Ammunition-1944

Regards,

John Kettler

Thanks, John! The first three links are the ones I mentioned earlier, that I found by searching (using the very same term!), but the others are all new to me. I haven't actually looked at the numbers in detail, but do you think taking the number of guns produced and the number of each ammo type and trying to come up with a distribution based on that could work? Or would that boil down again to what was actually issued or requested by battlefield commanders? I'll be looking through all of these today, see what I can get. Thanks again!

The Osprey Ordinance catalog is pretty good, but it doesn't seem to list how many rounds of each ammo type were in the tank, just that it had X amount of rounds, and the types. I already have the information for the amount of rounds each tank had, from here:

http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/

http://afvdb.50megs.com/germany/

And some other sources. If only it had the amount of AP/HE they carried, but I understand that it's just giving the maximum capacity in stowage. Good source, though!

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eliwOOd,

You're welcome! I didn't realize you already had ammo load numbers for everything. Oops! Ammo split is hard to come by. If you look in the Normandy Bones thread on CMSF and the Follow-On thread, you'll see some remarkable things I turned up, to include the ammo split for 60 mm and 81 mm mortars with the Airborne on D-Day and what various U.S. armored cars and halftracks had for weaponry and ammo, right down to grenade breakdown. Also, TM 9-1901 should definitively answer the vexed 75 mm pack howitzer ammo question. I have NEVER heard or read of APDS for it, and the Wiki on the wee beastie lists no such projectile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M116_howitzer

Both the U.S. and German solutions for such weapons vs. armor was HEAT, for this howitzer, M66 HEAT, as shown in the above ammunition data table. I suppose it's possible the British made some custom rounds and fired them using Super Charge, but frankly, it makes no sense to me. If they did, there ought to be records somewhere.

Regards,

John Kettler

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eliwOOd,

Also, TM 9-1901 should definitively answer the vexed 75 mm pack howitzer ammo question. I have NEVER heard or read of APDS for it, and the Wiki on the wee beastie lists no such projectile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M116_howitzer

Both the U.S. and German solutions for such weapons vs. armor was HEAT, for this howitzer, M66 HEAT, as shown in the above ammunition data table. I suppose it's possible the British made some custom rounds and fired them using Super Charge, but frankly, it makes no sense to me. If they did, there ought to be records somewhere.

Kettles, it's not a vexed question. I was mistaken and said so a post or so later using the same Wiki link. They used HEAT-T rounds in the 75mm pack and destroyed at least two AFVs in the Arnhem perimeter that I know of. No sabot though.

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Affentitten,

Have gone through the thread twice since reading your Post No. 35 here, and I see absolutely nothing by you discussing the 75 mm pack howitzer in an AT role following your earlier comment. What I do see is some great material on the 6 pdr and 17 pdr. Please provide the post number in which you supplied the pack howitzer ammo correction.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Would it be safe to assume that any shared vehicles, like the 6-pounder in American service (57mm Gun M1), would use ammunition based on their originating country? For example, since 57mm Gun M1s used APDS, did M10 Tank Destroyers in British service use HVAP?

So far, and until better sources are found to change this, I think I will go with something like this:

M4, M4A1, M4A3: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/WP)

M4A3(76)W: 70/25/5% (HE/AP/HVAP)

M10, M18, M36: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/HVAP)

Sherman V: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/WP)

Sherman VC: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/APDS)

M10: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/HVAP?)

M10C: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/APDS)

I haven't found any data for the Germans, but I would assume that Panzers/Panthers/Tigers would have a similar distribution to Allied tanks, and Marders/Jagdpanzers/etc. would have a similar distribution to Allied tank destroyers. Obviously APCR would be a much smaller factor for them.

Thoughts?

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ISTR reading that, from mid-war to the end, APCR was virtually nonexistent for the Germans in the 75mm+ calibers due to tungsten shortage. What little was available for ammunition was used for calibers like the PzB'41, which used a lot less per round, and also really needed APCR to be effective.

Unfortunately, I can't provide a source for you on this, tho.

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Actually, I read that they stopped producing APCR for anything except 5cm PaK38, but I'm sure they still had a decent amount of rounds to distribute. I'll have to get the URL when I get home, but I believe a source I found stated that Panthers and Tigers (only) would often carry between 1 and 3 rounds of APCR for use against IS-2s and other heavy targets.

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Yes once they lost access to Turkey and the Crimea there was no supply of several metals, chromium being one of the most important for AP rounds. Speer makes much of that in his book, saying that he knew from the moment the Balkan corridor was lost, so was the war. He says something like they had a 6 month stockpile (assuming no further damage/disruption to industry) but after deliveries of chromium ceased, that would be the end of armament production.

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Would it be safe to assume that any shared vehicles, like the 6-pounder in American service (57mm Gun M1), would use ammunition based on their originating country? For example, since 57mm Gun M1s used APDS, did M10 Tank Destroyers in British service use HVAP?

So far, and until better sources are found to change this, I think I will go with something like this:

M4, M4A1, M4A3: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/WP)

M4A3(76)W: 70/25/5% (HE/AP/HVAP)

M10, M18, M36: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/HVAP)

Sherman V: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/WP)

Sherman VC: 70/20/10% (HE/AP/APDS)

M10: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/HVAP?)

M10C: 20/60/20% (HE/AP/APDS)

I haven't found any data for the Germans, but I would assume that Panzers/Panthers/Tigers would have a similar distribution to Allied tanks, and Marders/Jagdpanzers/etc. would have a similar distribution to Allied tank destroyers. Obviously APCR would be a much smaller factor for them.

Thoughts?

Maybe tweak the Sherman VC - 60/30/10? With, say, 50 rounds max ammo, that's 35/10/5 going to 30/15/5 rounds apiece. Maybe better balance for an AT gun when you have the vanilla Shermans carrying HE for you?

I'd be happier if the dedicated AT tanks carried 40-50% HE loadout, too. It seems to me to be a waste of APDS and AP rounds if your average tank survives 50% of an armoured encounter.

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Yes once they lost access to Turkey and the Crimea there was no supply of several metals, chromium being one of the most important for AP rounds.

It was even more important as a component for the tube liners of gun barrels. I think it was also used to plate the cylinders of aero engines. Any surface that experienced high wear needed it as a hardening agent.

Michael

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I also seem to recall tank unit memoirs where the tank crew was given some leeway when they replenished as to what types of ammo they could receive. Obviously, if some is in scarce supply, they're not going to get a lot of it, but they could to some degree manage their own load outs, depending upon unit (probably company commander) preferences, but possibly up to battalion level dictates, depending upon how closely supervised they were and the general supply situation. Recall that at some periods, right after the breakout, ammo was scarce in general.

Since reloading was a one-on-one experience with the supply folks, I expect that a lot of custom loads went out, or quite a few at least. The wartime GI was pretty crafty and had a healthy dose of self-preservation in him.

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Would the up-gunned (for lack of a better term) tanks have slightly more AP, as costard suggests? Tanks in question being M4A3(76)W and Sherman VC Firefly. I think someone earlier in the thread said that even though the HE was weaker in the 76mm, they still had about the same amount.

Also, a friend of mine recently debated about the naming of a particular round, WP/Smoke. Did all nations use WP for their smoke rounds? Or only the Allies? And if they all did, would using WP generically suffice to describe smoke rounds of all nations?

And as far as HEAT, from what I've been able to gather, it would be a smaller percentage of a vehicle or crew's distribution because it wasn't their primary duty, but more of a defensive round. Is that correct? So, for example, an M4A3(105) would have something like 70/20/10 (HE/HEAT/WP - did they have smoke rounds?).

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Since reloading was a one-on-one experience with the supply folks, I expect that a lot of custom loads went out, or quite a few at least. The wartime GI was pretty crafty and had a healthy dose of self-preservation in him.

There might have been a few bottles of captured vino swapped for HVAP, in other words.

Michael

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Seems you have good responses on the German tungsten round but this is from "Guns vs Armor" at

gva.freeweb.hu/index.html

This is a great source for all details on armor, guns, types of armor, types of ammunition, etc.

"Germany was cut off from tungsten sources in 1943 and production ceased shortly after. The remaining ammunition was allegedly put into storage for industrial use. On the other hand, some sources claim that 5cm Pzgr.40 remained in production throughout the war because the Pak38 was utterly useless without it. Others claim the Panthers and Tigers would occasionally carry one or two of these rounds in 1944 and 1945 in order to deal with those special targets like the Soviet IS-2."

I would be very surprised if Tigers or Panthers were issued the APCR rd against Western Allies as there was no need for it. They could easily penetrate the Shermans and Cromwells with APCBC.

I also note that in Jentz's "Panzertruppen" Vol 2 he quotes German battlefield records from Russia indicating HEAT was not at all liked by the pz crews and it often took 5 or 6 rds to destroy and enemy tank. The crfews also complained its slow velocity also made it difficult to use on moving targets. Of course for some pzs like the PzIII N with a short 7.5cmL24 HEAT was about all the gunner had.

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@Narses

Thanks for that! Funny thing is, that was my source for the Germans getting between 1-3 rounds per Panther/Tiger earlier on in the thread.

As for the HEAT, I have a feeling that German HEAT rounds were probably disliked because they were fired out of short barrel weapons, which made them ineffective (lack of muzzle velocity). I wonder how the StuH42 with its HEAT rounds faired, since it had a relatively long barrel? From the data we've gathered, it seems that the M4A3(105) HEAT round was pretty decent, although not as good as conventional AP or HVAP.

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Effectiveness of HEAT is not dependant on length of barrel. Also, HEAT typically must be fired at a low MV in order to be effective (as distinct from accurate, which typically requires a high MV)

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I cannot recall the source at the moment but Germans actively disliked the HEAT round because of poor range and accuracy. Unfortunately BF has HEAT as accurate as any other shell.

400 metres effective range rings a bell and it was a German source - I will see if I can find it.

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