Montgomery's 21AG speech, Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Joe Brown, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Interest roused by this thread, just read again about the Gunners in Monty's lecture on the 21st Army Group to the Royal United Service Institute in October 1945.

    He said when considering the future of the artillery, it is very important to get the organisation right, with the correct balance between tracked guns and towed guns. He also added that the expenditure of ammunition in the North-West Europe Campaign had been tremendous and that it had been found that a large number of small shells over a given time provided a greater effect on the enemy than the same weight of larger shells.

    He also mentioned there is a time limit for bombardment after which the enemy morale gets no lower and further expenditure of ammunition wasted. We found that our own casualties increased in direct proportion to the distance of the infantry behind the artillery support and considered this pointed to the need for small shells with good fragmentation to be used in close support of infantry where neutralisation and not destruction is the immediate object.

    I remember when our Battalion attacked the German Command Post in Flushing, we had of necessity to use medium guns as the artillery support was firing from the mainland and we needed their range, the preliminary barrage timed to give us close support during the initial assault. Unfortunately, when we were still to reach the forming up place a large number of shells fell well short of the target, exploding in the deep flood water and creating casualties in our snake-like column who were carrying their weapons and wireless sets above their heads but fortunately were kept afloat by their May West lifejackets.
    Joe Brown.

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