An online database
of WORLD WAR
books and information
on the Web since 1995
New & forthcoming
Books by subjects
Latest book feedback
Sell your books
Nations at war
Hogg, Ian V. British and American Artillery of World War Two. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002
Preface; photos; diagrams; tables; Glossary
Appendices: Ammunition; Ammunition Markings
Originally published in 1978 by Arms and Armour, this is an unrevised and unabridged reprint of that edition, and it remains the best overall survey of US and UK artillery in the Second World War.
The contents are divided into eight chapters:
Artillery development by the Western Allies
Field and Medium Artillery
Heavy and Super-Heavy Artillery
Each chapter covers from eight to about twenty guns, split more or less evenly between Yanks and Brits. The "Heavy and Super-Heavy" chapter, for example, includes these entries:
6in Field Gun
BL 12in Howitzer
240mm Howitzer M1
914mm Mortar "Little David"
Each entry indicates whether the weapon was British or American, gives the title of the weapon (or group of weapons), summarizes development and operational use of the weapon, lists all the variants, and then gives in tabular format full specifications, such as weight, length, rifling, elevation, traverse, ammunition, etc. Entries are also usually accompanied by photos of the weapon, diagrams of the ammunition, etc. Here's an example of a short entry.
The 8in Howitzer was another relic of the First World War and, by 1939, only the Mk 8 was left in service. Several were left behind in France in 1940 and, rather than perpetuate an old design, it was decided to replace it by the 7.2in howitzer. The carriages were to be used as they stood, while the breech mechanisms and any other useful bits were to be incorporated into the 7. 2in design. As a result, the 8in was 'cannibalized' out of service in 1941; it was formally declared obsolete in July 1943. Except for some counter-bombardment fire in France in 1939-40 and subsequent use as a training weapon in Britain until called in for conversion, the 8in played little direct part in the war, but it was invaluable as a short-cut to the 7.2in design.
Weight of gun and breech mechanism: 7,5601b.
Total length: 148.4in.
Length of bore: 138.4in (17.3 cal).
Rifling: 48 grooves, uniform RH 1/25.
Breech mechanism: Asbury interrupted screw, percussion fired.
Elevation: 0° to +45°
Traverse: 4° right and left.
Recoil system: Hydropneumatic, variable, 24in to 52. 5in.
Weight in action: 20,0481b.
Performance firing standard 2001b HE shell
Muzzle velocity: 1,500ft/sec.
Maximum range: 12,400 yards.
Ammunition separate loading, bag charge.
Propelling charge. This consisted of a six-Dart charge, a total weight of 1721b of Cordite. Performance of the charges was as follows.
|Charge: ||Muzzle velocity: ||Range:|
|1 ||735ft/sec ||4,950 yards|
|2 ||840ft/sec ||6,100 yards|
|3 ||985ft/sec ||7,950yards|
|4 ||1,300ft/sec ||10,750 yards|
|5 ||1,400ft/sec ||11,450 yards|
|6 ||1,500ft/sec ||12,400 yards|
Shell, HE, Mk 15. A nose-fuzed non-streamlined shell filled with TNT or Amatol. The Percussion Fuze IOIE or 106E were used, and the weight as fired was 2001b.
Read and submit feedback
Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002
Introduction; photos; diagrams; tables; Index
Appendices: Ammunition; Ammunition Markings; Identification of German Cartridge Cases; Fremdengerat; Wehrkreis Organization; Glossary
Hogg's volume on German artillery was originally published in 1975 by Arms and Armour, then reprinted in a revised edition by Greenhill Books in 1997. This edition is a straight reprint of the latter.
Unsurprisingly, this title is organized much like its companion:
Heavy Field Artillery
Overall, the Germans have many more types of weapons, and more unusual and interesting types, but presentation of data for each individual weapon closely resembles that of the British/American artillery volume. Here's a typical example.
15cm Kanone 18
The K 18 was developed by Rheinmetall, commencing in 1933, to provide a replacement for the elderly l5cm K 16; it was eventually accepted into service in 1938. The K 18 was little improvement on its predecessor, it was almost two tons heavier, it still had to be dismantled for travelling, and the increase in range was a mere 2290m (2500yd).
In appearance the K18 was certainly more moderna good example of the Rheinmetall's design style. The box trail was supported on a small limber for travelling and beneath it was slung a two-piece platform. The trail also carried a set of ramps for use during assembly, and for transport the barrel was removed to a transport wagon. The carriage unit, when it came into action, was drawn into the required position and the platform was lowered; the carriage was then pulled forward so that a supporting bracket attached to the platform and to the axle, pivoted and raised the wheels from the ground. The ramps were then assembled to the trail and the barrel transporter was drawn up until the barrel could be slid into the cradle and connected to the recoil system. Once in action, the equipment was balanced so that it could be traversed relatively easily on the platform.
Length of gun: 8200mm/322.83in/26.90ft.
Length of bore: 6432mm/253.23in/21.10ft.
Rifling: right-hand uniform twist, 1/30.
Breech mechanism: horizontal sliding block, percussion fired.
Traverse: 10° on the carriage, 360° on the turn-table platform.
Elevation: - 2° to +45°.
Weight in action: 12760kg/261361b/12.56 ton.
Firing standard high explosive shell, weight 43.00kg(94.821b).
Full charge: velocity 890mps/2920fps, maximum range 24500m/26793yd.
Separate-loading, cased charge.
15cm K Gr 18: fuzed AZ 23v(0.15), AZ 23v
(0.25) or Dopp Z S/90, weight 43.00kg(94.821b)
This, the standard high explosive shell, was of
conventional pattern. Two copper driving bands were fitted and the filling was 5.65kg(12.461b) of amatol 60/40.
15cm K Gr 42: fuzed AZ 1v(0.15) or Dopp Z S/90, weight 43.00kg(94.821b).
Similar to the earlier model, this shell had two soft-iron (FEW) driving bands, set about 25mm (1in) farther forward on the shell, giving it a longer boat-tail. The walls were also slightly thinner, giving a capacity of 6.15kg(13.561b) of amatol 50/50.
15cm Gr 19 Be rot: fuzed Bd Z f 15cm Gr Be, weight 43.50kg(95.921b).
This was an anti-concrete shell with a truncated conical nose concealed by a bluntly-rounded ballistic cap; it was filled with 3.25kg(7.171b) of TNT and was base fuzed.
It is known that three charges were provided, but no data of their constitution is available.
The percussion primer C/12nA was standard.
Case Identification Number: 6352.
Read and submit feedback
These are both classic references for WWII weapons, and anyone with any interest in artillery should absolutely grab these titles.
Both books are available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or directly from Stackpole. In the UK, published by and available from Greenhill Books.
Thanks to Stackpole Books for providing these review copies.
Reviewed 5 May 2002
Copyright © 2002 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone