FIELD ARTILLERY

 

CORPS ARTILLERY

 

ORGANIC UNITS

The only organic artillery units of corps artillery are the headquarters and headquarters battery and an observation battalion. All other artillery units were attached to the corps from army artillery. These units consisted of group headquarters and headquarters batteries and separate battalions, which were then organized into artillery groups by the corps artillery.

 
HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, CORPS ARTILLERY

This battery is organized to permit a small detachment of about ten officers and fifteen men to work at corps headquarters, with the remainder at a fire direction center centrally located with respect to the corps artillery groups and division artillery command posts. In some corps, the corps antitank officer was assigned as a member of the corps artillery commanders staff.

 

The artillery organization at the corps headquarters consisted of the S-1 and S-4 section, representatives of the S-2 and S-3 sections, the artillery air officer, and the necessary clerks, drivers, and radio operators. This group collected the information needed by the corps artillery commander to properly control the artillery, maintained close liaison with the G-2 and G-3 sections of the corps headquarters, kept the fire direction center(s) properly informed and assisted in coordinating any required changes. All the administrative work of the S-1 and S-2 section was also done here.

 

The Corps Fire Direction Center was the coordinating and directing center for all corps artillery battalions and coordinated the divisional artilleries. It consisted of the remainder of the corps artillery headquarters and headquarters battery. The counterbattery officer operated here as a subsection of the S-2 section. Frequently a photo interpretation team was attached. If the corps front was too great, a second fire direction center had to be improvised by the use of a group headquarters or an artillery brigade headquarters. This was a common practice in many corps. 

 

Liaison officers were not included in the organization. These had to be supplied by battalions or groups attached to the corps for use by the corps artillery fire direction center as liaison with division artillery and groups. This caused a shortage of personnel in subordinate units.

 

FIELD ARTILLERY OBSERVATION BATTALION

The field artillery observation battalion is an intelligence gathering organization primarily for artillery purposes. In addition, it furnishes survey control to artillery units with the corps. It consists of a headquarters and headquarters battery and two letter batteries each equipped to do both flash and sound ranging.

 

The letter batteries were organized so that they could install, operate, and maintain several flash bases and two sound bases, although one sound base was the anticipated solution prior to combat. In most situations, the front was so great that one sound base could not give suitable coverage.

 
The headquarters and headquarters battery consisted of headquarters, supply, communications, and survey personnel.
 
ATTACHED  ARTILLERY

Artillery groups and battalions were attached to the corps by army. While it seemed necessary to frequently shift the battalions from group to group, corps to corps, and even from army to army, those corps which kept these separate units more permanently were generally the most successful in their operation.

 

THE ARTILLERY GROUP

 

The artillery group consisted of a group headquarters and headquarters battery and such separate battalions as were assigned time to time. The only organic organization in the group was the headquarters and headquarters battery.

 

The group headquarters and headquarters battery is similar in organization to the headquarters and headquarters battery of the division artillery except that it has no meteorological and survey sections.

 

THE NON DIVISIONAL ARTILLERY BATTALION

 

The artillery battalion is an administrative as well as a tactical unit; therefore, the number of batteries assigned can be such as to make the organization unwieldy. Every battalion in the European Theater of Operations had a headquarters battery, a service battery, and three lettered firing batteries. All the artillery weapons within a battalion are of the same caliber. 

     
    Light artillery battalions are equipped with the 105mm howitzer (towed or self-propelled).
    Medium artillery battalions are equipped with the 155mm howitzer or either the 4.5-inch gun.
    Heavy artillery battalions are equipped with the 155mm gun (towed or self-propelled), the 8-inch howitzer or the 240mm howitzer.
 
 

 

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