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Csargo
05-15-2006, 23:16
I've read somewhere that in WW1 that the soldiers could tell what kind of shell was being fired at them by the sound of the falling shell can anyone give me some information on this?:help:

Alexanderofmacedon
05-15-2006, 23:26
No, not really, but I do know a bit about WW2 artillery.:sweatdrop:

Redleg
05-15-2006, 23:41
One can learn the difference between the sound of a mortar from that of a cannon. There is a minor difference between the two in the sound that they make. Primarily because the Mortar round is fired at a high angle - where most cannon rounds were fired at a low angle.

The different size shells can also have a different sound travelling through the air based upon the displacement of air. But its rare for most to be able to tell in my opinion.

However the primary way of telling what they of shell was being fired was the type of explosion that happened when the round landed.

To get a more specific answer - you will need to ask a more spefic question.

I for one could tell the difference between an Mortar round and a 155mm round from the sound it made traveling in the air - if I was able to hear the round - often you could not tell unless you were underneath the tragetory of the round. Which I was only able to do if my observation point was within the tragetory of the weapons. Not often done in peacetime because of safety factors inherient in training.


However most of the time - I was able to tell from the type of burst it had when it landed. Same goes for 105mm rounds.

Csargo
05-16-2006, 01:12
I don't know how they tell different shell size but I was thinking about the book All Quiet on the Western Front which they could tell when a gas shell was being fired or like 17in shell (I'm pretty sure thats not the right measurement) like that but I'm not sure.

Redleg
05-16-2006, 02:17
I don't know how they tell different shell size but I was thinking about the book All Quiet on the Western Front which they could tell when a gas shell was being fired or like 17in shell (I'm pretty sure thats not the right measurement) like that but I'm not sure.

Gas canisters and smoke rounds give a discint bursting that is different then the burst of a point fuze or a time fuze on a explosive round.

17 inch was a rare artillery shell - several big rail guns were used to limited effect more as terror weapons then anything else.

Csargo
05-16-2006, 03:35
Thank you Redleg

Redleg
05-16-2006, 03:53
Oh I forgot a couple of things to, because the artillery systems I am used to while similiar in nature to many of the WW1 pieces the technology has come a long way.

For instance the Gas shells were not perfectly shaped for aerodynamtics as the smoke shells I became fimiliar with. So the canister rounds could have had a distinct wobbling noise that was heard along the tragetory of the weapon.

Same goes for many of the artillery rounds - the dynmatics of ballistics as it relates to cannons were just getting started, and I believe there were more manafacturing tolerance for many of the weapon systems. Slight imprefections on the rounds could cause distinct noise traits for the rounds.

Many different factors can influence the way a round travels in the air.

For instance if you want to hear a round whistle in flight - something you normally don't hear unless you are on the tragetory. Sometimes the method used for this was to place a small piece of thin and flat metal - inbetween the fuze and the round when you tightened the fuze in place. This would cause the round to behave differently the the expected tabulated firing data would predict - but it would cause the round to whistle while in flight.

I would image what most are describing from WW1 is the imprefections on the rounds that caused them to behave in a certain way that was audiable in flight to those on the ground.

edyzmedieval
05-17-2006, 13:50
Correct me if I am wrong: Weren't the Krupp cannons the most powerful in WWI? :book:

Redleg
05-17-2006, 19:33
Correct me if I am wrong: Weren't the Krupp cannons the most powerful in WWI? :book:


If your speaking of the Big Bertha's then you are correct.






Big Bertha
Updated - Saturday, 2 August, 2003

Although the name was commonly applied to a whole variety of large-calibre German artillery guns the "Big Bertha" ('Dicke Berta') actually referred to a single siege gun, at that time the world's largest and most powerful.

Produced by the German firm of Krupp the Big Bertha was a 42cm howitzer, model L/14 designed in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 on behalf of the German Army. It was initially used as a means of (successfully) demolishing the fortress towns of Liege and Namur in August 1914, the war's first month (and subsequently as Antwerp). It was thereafter used to similarly reduce other enemy strong-points as the need arose.

The somewhat unflattering name itself arose from association with the wife of Gustav Krupp, owner of the Krupp factory. Her name was Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach.

Only four Big Bertha howitzers were produced, the first two rolling off the production line a mere matter of days after the onset of hostilities, on 9 August 1914. Once constructed these huge guns, whose shells weighed 820kg each, were shipped in their constituent parts by tractor to their destination point where they were once again reassembled by a huge crew of as many as 1,000 men.

With a range of 15km their 420mm shells proved devastating and all four were used during the German assault upon Verdun from February 1916.

Once the Verdun offensive was called off in failure (leading to the replacement of German Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn who had initiated the battle) the Big Bertha guns were decommissioned, since Allied artillery developments had resulted in guns with a longer range.



Now if you review the advances in artillery from about 1860 forward - I believe you will find that some of the tech developed by Krupp was included in the rifling tech used on almost all early howitzers and cannons. There were others as this site mentions - but if I remember correctly Krupp came up with the most combination that provided for the best accuracy and range.



1850-1860 Woolwich, Parrott, Armstrong, and Krupp respectably come up with their own "rifled" cannons. This design made use of spiraling grooves on the lining of the bore to create spin with ammuntion and more accurate and straighter firing. This rifling added distance to how far projectiles could travel and had more power than the smoothbore. This type of bore required hard metal that wasn't brittle so the rifling grooves wouldn't wear down.

http://web.bryant.edu/~ehu/h364proj/fall_98/tillotson/page_4.html

Aenlic
05-17-2006, 20:00
For those of you who have cable TV, the Military Channel has a series called "The First World War" which is wonderful. It has lots of film, including some amazing battlefield footage. A recent episode talked about the initial German advance into Belgium and how they used Krupp's Big Bertha guns to completely demolish the concrete bunkers around Liege and other Belgian towns. It's a great show, full of information, including lots of letters and journals of various participants read aloud. Another Military Channel show to watch is called "The Trench" if you can catch it in reruns.

Csargo
05-17-2006, 23:17
The History Channel has a series called WW1 in color comes on sometimes it's really good show but havent seen it on in a while.

ShadesPanther
05-18-2006, 11:48
The History Channel has a series called WW1 in color comes on sometimes it's really good show but havent seen it on in a while.

It used to be on Discovery Civilisation aswell, but I havent seen it on TV for at least 6 months

edyzmedieval
05-18-2006, 13:58
Thanks Redleg. :book:

Beirut
05-19-2006, 12:24
Now if you review the advances in artillery from about 1860 forward - I believe you will find that some of the tech developed by Krupp was included in the rifling tech used on almost all early howitzers and cannons. There were others as this site mentions - but if I remember correctly Krupp came up with the most combination that provided for the best accuracy and range.


Have you read The Arms of Krupp? The book is outrageously interesting. You could never imagine one family and one implement, the cannon, could have had such an effect on history. It's a must-read as far as military history goes.

Redleg
05-19-2006, 14:52
Have you read The Arms of Krupp? The book is outrageously interesting. You could never imagine one family and one implement, the cannon, could have had such an effect on history. It's a must-read as far as military history goes.

Yes indeed - its is an excellent book to understand the modern howitzer. People would be amazed about how much impact the Krupp family has had in that regards.

edyzmedieval
05-19-2006, 15:57
Krupp was a metalurgical empire really. So, it's not surprising.

Gealai
05-19-2006, 16:19
Redleg explained it very well, I just may add that there might be other factors too.

Given that the frontline troops occupied their piece of frontine for a long while they might have been able to estimate the type of gun quite well, thanks to

a) direction of the gun's sound: rather easy to guess roughly
b) sound of the travelling shell --> see Redleg's expl.
c) time of travel: if you hear first the sound of the gun and then the explosion close to you it just can be a mortar
d) type of explosion --> see Redleg's exp.
- it's sound
- it's shape
- it's effect

and
e) shooting habits
f) known location of the guns


Instead of a single factor all of them played togheter.