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Best artillery piece of World War II ?


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#1 mcgrunt

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 02:42 AM

Who had the best field artillery gun /howizter of World War II ? The German 88 MM , the British 18 pounder , the American 105 MM howitzer , the Russian
130 MM ? Talking about towed guns but some of you may know of SP artillery that was highly effective .
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#2 spidge

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 09:49 AM

Best I assume would have to fit into the categories of effectiveness, maneuverability, accuracy and be useful against most targets, eg armour, infantry etc.


My pick is the 88mm.
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#3 von Poop

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 09:54 AM

No hesitation in saying the '25 pounder'.
Extremely succesful piece which not only served with great accuracy and reliability during the war but went on to serve for the next 60 years across the world.
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#4 plant-pilot

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 10:09 AM

Can't argue with the choice of the 25 Pdr. But I do have to say that although an exellent field gun suited for the close support of a Brigade one of the arguments against it is the small caliber and small round and limited range.

The people you are supporting always want a bigger bang on the ground per gun. Commanders would prefer their close support artillery to be more effective and have more range, in order to increase the reach of their artillery while being able to keep it far enough back to keep it out of harms way (CB Fire). If that's not possible then the advantage of SP artillery is self evident. Better protection and quicker 'into action' time although a concept that had not quite found it's footing before the end of the war.

With that in mind I would like to suggest the 5.5 inch gun as a favourite artillery piece. Although it is still a towed piece, it had a larger caliber, bigger round and longer range than the 25 Pdr and one which like the 25 Pdr also served in the British Army untill the 1970s. The sign of a good weapon system.
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#5 Gnomey

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 10:16 AM

I can't argue with that either, it is the 25 pounder for me too.
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#6 stephen7

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 06:51 PM

as an ex- modern day-ish gunner, my basic training was with the 25 pounder, so i think that means the RA gives it it's vote. it has mine too.
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#7 Glider

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 08:56 PM

Can't argue with the choice of the 25 Pdr. But I do have to say that although an exellent field gun suited for the close support of a Brigade one of the arguments against it is the small caliber and small round and limited range.

With that in mind I would like to suggest the 5.5 inch gun as a favourite artillery piece. Although it is still a towed piece, it had a larger caliber, bigger round and longer range than the 25 Pdr and one which like the 25 Pdr also served in the British Army untill the 1970s. The sign of a good weapon system.


I think you will find that the 25pd had a longer range than most of the equivalent guns of the war, certainly the US and German 105mm together with a faster rate of fire and quicker deployment times. It had a smaller shell certainly but it did the job and was a popular, accurate, reliable weapon.

I thought the 5.5 was replaced by the 4.5 because of the longer range of the 5.5in gun. This was a different type of gun but the 4.5 would have my second vote.
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#8 Rob.Langham

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 09:41 PM

I'd have to say the 88, although the 3.7incher could have probably beaten it I reckon if it was used in the anti tank role more often (It was used as normal artillery quite a lot, apparently in Burma it was very useful as the high velocity shells made the tree trunks splinter causing anti-personnel damage)
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#9 lancesergeant

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 01:37 AM

If it had to come down to allround versatility and jack of all trades I would have to go for the 88. It is a pity that the upper echelon didn't deem it fit to deploy the 3.7 (think I've got it right) from aa to anti -tank, it would have filled a definite gap in the defences as well as being interesting to compare in a stand off with the 88.
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#10 Cpl Rootes

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 01:35 PM

88 and 25pdr get my vote
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#11 sapper

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 05:57 PM

From one who has been on the receiving end..The 88, that is the general view of all the Vets. The arguable best was the 25 pounder. Anyone that has witnessed a long line of 25s all fired at the same time..Would agree with that.

The Germans prisoners thought the 25 pounder was "Belt Fed" Seriously! One prisoner asked to see the belt fed artillery gun. We also learned from the prisoners that had served on the Eastern front, that the British Arty was far and away better than any Russian Arty.
But the British artillery has always been a feature of the army.
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#12 Glider

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 11:23 PM

I know its getting away from the Gun itself but its fair to say that the British Artillery was the best handled iro the abilty to concentrate fire at minimal notice.
There were different calls and tactics but where the British were ahead of the rest was in the ability to direct fire. I cannot remember the code word, but there was a code word where in an exceptional situation, the Observer called the code everything in range with few exceptions, would fire at that point without question. This went up to Army level Artillery. It was rarely used, probably no more than half a dozen times in the war but shows the level of trust given to the OP teams.
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#13 sapper

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 07:08 AM

I recall that there were several different barrages,thye all had different names. Two stick in my mind....."Pepper pot" that was a barrage that did exactly what it described, it covered the ground like a shake from a pepper pot. Every thing was poured into a selected area.
The other was "Pandimonium" A barrage so huge, that the cost affected a nations ability to pay. This could only be used with the permission of the Government. Though there were many names for different attacks.
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