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Allied artillery at Buna

October 1 2015 at 5:28 PM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to NZ and Aussie 3.7-inch howitzers



> According to the book "Australia 1942: In the Shadow of War" pg.229, Australian and US forces on New Guinea had a severe shortage of artillery; for example the two divisions at Buna in December 1942, had to make do with only three 3.7-inch (which included the 2 being loaded onto the barge), four 4.5-inch and one 105 mm howitzers along with eighteen 25-pounders. >

Pretty much as various volumes of the U.S. Army Green Book series confirm. Word is that Mighty Mac refused to release any more. To be fair, just maybe he couldn’t get any more, although I must point out that the three American field artillery battalions, which had arrived on the Pensacola convoy armed with 75mm guns and remained in Oz after the surrender of the fourth on Java, were rearmed with 105mm howitzers by June or July 1942. Whatever the truth, both Yanks and Aussies at Buna were glad even for that single and obviously overworked 105mm howitzer as a bunker buster, because the 25-pounders (87.6mm) were of the early type and just couldn’t quite do that job. Once they were capable of firing supercharge rounds, they too could bust bunkers, but supercharging meant a muzzle brake (which in turn reduced muzzle velocity, so it was a fine dance). Probably all of us have seen the leapin’ lena 25-pounders in the Western Desert firing supercharge rounds without muzzle brakes, likely necessary because of the exigency of the mo’, but obviously not good for the gun.


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