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Artillery Question

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thats the vertical timer (a grog will proboably correct my acronym!). those 105 & 155mm shells had a proxminity fuse that would detonate the shell so many feet above the ground. so, instead of having almost all the force go into the ground, it would explode onto the men below (just like a tree burst) with devastating effects.

great when they are in the open/on wire/or any other restricting terrain. no huge added bonus in the woods.

not so great when your in the open/on wire/or any other restricting terrain and they have it

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VT = Variable Time. Otherwise Chad's description is correct ;)

The distinction comes from the earlier, Mechanical Time, fuses. These were set before loading to detonate the shell a certain number of seconds after being fired. With these fuses you can get airbursts, but it isn't as accurate or reliable as using the VT fuses, which always (baring a fuse malfunction) detonate at the optimum 20-40m above the ground.

Incidentally, depending on the degree of cover, firing VT on a target in heavy forest could be a waste of time, as the VT fuse could cause the round to detonate 20-40m above the canopy, which could be 20-40m above the ground. At this height the fragments would be too dispersed by the time they reach the ground to be really effective.

AFAIK, now-a-days MT is mostly used to fire smoke rounds (where the height of burst is important but not critical), and the VT fuses are used for "troops in open" or "troops dug in with no OHP". Oh yeah - MT is also used for Illum rounds, as the flares need to pop at about 700-800m, which the VT fuse can't do.

As a side note, a favourite hypothetical scenario: fire a VT mission onto a fuel dump and rupture all the fuel containers, then follow it up with a single illum round at a 100m height-of-burst. Then sit back and watch the logistics chappies run like hell before the para-flare lands amongst all the spilt fuel :D



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