List of techniques?
A friend trained at Canada's Royal Military College. I recall him telling me there was a standard list of techniques -- hammer a fixed target, fire at moving targets like tanks, lay down a barrage to keep enemy from moving through an area, and so on. He claimed there were two techniques down at the end of the list that were considered just theoretical, put in for completeness of the catalog, until Giap used both at Dien Bien Phu. One was using a howitzer like a mortar at above 45 degree elevation; Giap had guns behind a mountain, lobbing shells over it, The other was using artillery point-blank, at 100 yards or some such range; Giap had guns in the trenches during assaults.
Do textbooks have such a list? Should it be here? Were Giap's methods really all that remarkable? Sandy Harris 09:33, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
- Where does counter battery fire come in? I've heard that claimed as a Canadian development in WW I, even as a invention of General McNaughton. However, it seems such an obvious thing to do that I doubt it could be that new. Sandy Harris 10:39, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
- No, McNaughton deserves the credit. Yes, the idea of hitting the enemy's guns is obvious, but precisely locating them was not, especially with WWI technology. Frankly, I'm amazed at the sophistication of the Canadian thinking, which really went beyond the technology. Time of arrival, rather than goniometry (visual triangulation), without computers and precision time references, is rather subtle.
- Let me check Related Articles, but techniques, some of which blur into anti-air warfare, include (off the top of my caffeine-deprived head):
- Counter-rocket, artillery and mortar
- Suppressive fire
- Direct support
- General support
- Anti-aircraft artillery
- Forward observer, and the more general controlling close support to ground forces; also special reconnaissance
- Direct fire
- Indirect fire (not unique to Giap, but definitely 20th century) The challenge is knowing where, precisely, your shells are landing.
- Creeping barrage
- Battlefield air interdiction -- can also be done with artillery missiles, but cannon might have only had the range in very specific situations. Of course, as extended-range shells (with and without rocket boosters or base bleed or glide wings) come into use, the line between shells and missiles gets blurry
- Do look at air warfare planning, which has some good graphics that could go into an artillery article. Naval guns and gunnery tries to do too much and probably needs a rewrite with fresh eyes -- I made a number of changes in place to Jensen's version. Other things relate, such as explosives for the propellant and warheads, insensitive high explosives for the recent shell fillings, guided shell and subarticles, 155mm howitzer for some doctrine, etc. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:57, 18 February 2011 (UTC)