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> The condition of the Romanian army equipment, weapons&equipment on the Western front
Agarici
Posted: October 04, 2013 11:24 pm
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For starters, a question: how was that possible? http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=86§ion=6&article=35
They look like a partisan unit (small arms-wise), not like the members of a regular army. I understand that the soldiers/officers in the photo were part of the same unit (company?). It must have been a supply nightmare, close to impossible to be dealt with. As far as I know, the weapons didn't even use the same caliber or type of cartridge. How did it came to that, even given the circumstances according to which part of the Romanian army equipement was confiscated by the Soviets, the German supply lines were cut off and some of the equipment from the storage was retaken into use? I mean, wasn't a minimal level a standardisation of equipment a condition, for avoiding situations in which the men from the same unit solidiered each with a different type weapon? Since some (and not a few) units were disbanded, couldn't their weaponry be redistributed to the surviving ones?
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MMM
Posted: October 05, 2013 08:07 am
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Re: different weapons. Perhaps this was a „photo opportunity”, or perhaps they just used their weapons for as long as they had the right ammo... or perhaps they „exchanged” with other captured types of ammo... When on the front, one has to be very inventive to survive!
Re: supply and redistribution. Yeah, right! As far as I found in the archives, the only concern of the disbanded units was... the archive! Of course the equipment should have been returned to the military depotes, but whether there was or not, that is a different question. The logistics and supply departments of the Romanian Army never excelled - at least in the first year of war, becasue that is what I studied extensively. One can only hope the situation got bettter in the fourth year of war. <_<
Re: extraordinary diversity of equipment. Should we need to remember the air forces situation: how many different types (and nationalities) were the RoAF planes? :roll:

This post has been edited by MMM on October 05, 2013 10:12 am
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Radub
Posted: October 05, 2013 08:36 am
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They are posing for the camera, it is obviously a staged photo. We may never know whether that was the general situation across the troops or just a "funny" photo showing as many weapons including trophies or war prizes.
It looks indeed like a quartermaster's nightmare.
Radu
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Agarici
Posted: October 05, 2013 09:16 pm
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Thanks for your oppinions.
Another example - what about that?
http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=83§ion=6&article=36
http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=84§ion=6&article=36

According to the site, they were retaken into use (from depots, from museums - de Bange 1878?:)) for two reasons: first - the creation of the traning divisions behind the frontline (before 23 August 1944), and second - the fact that the artillery of many divisoons was captured by the Soviets after the same date. But what happened with the rest of the artillery material (recentlly imported guns - from Germany - or the captured Russian field 76 mm, which, according to a report from general Rozin, had been repaired and retubed in the Romanian factories and were ready for being delivered to the troops)? What about the Russian (captured) 122 mm howitzers, weren't they in any aspect superior to a 1878 120mm gun?

This post has been edited by Agarici on October 06, 2013 11:22 pm
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MMM
Posted: October 06, 2013 06:57 am
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AFAIK, after 23.08, the Russians have reposessed their former „goods”. Anyway, perhaps the ammo was a problem: whereas the 122 caliber was not met among the German and Romanian artillery, the old (ancient...) ones in the photo had plenty of ammo.
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Radub
Posted: October 06, 2013 08:09 am
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In as far as "field artillery" is concerned, those guns will be useful even today. Anti-aircraft or anti-tank artillery had to evolve really fast to keep up with faster and higher flying planes or thicker armours (eventually guns were replaced with rockets). But field artillery did not need to evolve that fast. Field artillery only has to throw shells at buildings or into fields where they mow troops with shrapnel. They are perfect for trench warfare. They are brute force against slow or immobile targets.
As long as they had ammunition for it, they were a very useful asset.
Radu

This post has been edited by Radub on October 08, 2013 07:18 am
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Agarici
Posted: October 10, 2013 02:17 pm
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Radub is right. But apart from what he said there is an aspect which could make the difference. After the introduction of the breech-loading guns, in the 7th decade of the XIXth century (if I'm not mistaking, the first mass-produced breech-loaders were those manufactured by Krupp in the 1860s), the most important occurrence was the developement of the recoil break, which allowed the rapid-firing of the gun. In the absence of the break, the force of the recoil would move the gun, which needed to be repositioned and re-aimed after each shot. Another "fine-tuning" modernization that appeared in the XX-th century was applied to the angle at which the gun could be positioned (relative to the carriage) and fired, not to mention the secondary transformations as that of the carriage itself (for consolidating it) of the substitution of the wooden wheels with solid (or inflating) rubber tires.

The the first rapid-fire recoil-break field cannons were the French 75 mm model 1897. Hence, the 120 mm the Bange was a slow-firing gun, that feature impending upon its effectiveness, even it it has a longer range than the Russian 122 mm howitzer.

MMM: as far as I know, the Germans captured the 122 mm model 1910/1930 guns in important numbers, put them into use and even produced ammunition for them. So, they could have supplied the Romanians too (before 23 August), if these had not started to produce the shells by themselves. On the other hand, it is possible than the original model, the (Schneider-)Putilov 122 mm was in used with the Romanian army even since the interbellum, after being captured from the former Imperial Russian army depots in Moldova/Bessarabia.
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MMM
Posted: October 10, 2013 03:43 pm
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QUOTE (Agarici @ October 10, 2013 05:17 pm)
MMM: as far as I know, the Germans captured the 122 mm model 1910/1930 guns in important numbers, put them into use and even produced ammunition for them. So, they could have supplied the Romanians too (before 23 August), if these had not started to produce the shells by themselves. On the other hand, it is possible than the original model, the (Schneider-)Putilov 122 mm was in used with the Romanian army even since the interbellum, after being captured from the former Imperial Russian army depots in Moldova/Bessarabia.

You like computer games, don`t you? :P
That is not the way things worked... First of all, the Romanian artillery was subjected to a „standardization” of the calibers („uniformizare” is the Romanian word) during the inter-bellic period, so that there would not be too many different sizes of ammo. The Russian captured 122 mm. guns were among those „standardized”.
Second: the German artillery supply was not enough for their artillery, let alone the allied forces. IIRC, at Stalingrad the Romanian foces had to supply themselves... (again, I am not 100% sure about that) In the „early” stages of the campaign (I mean the liberation of Bessarabia / Bukovine), the Romanian artillery was used very carefully because of the lack of ammo. Many generals complained about this.
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Agarici
Posted: October 11, 2013 12:28 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ October 10, 2013 03:43 pm)
QUOTE (Agarici @ October 10, 2013 05:17 pm)
MMM: as far as I know, the Germans captured the 122 mm model 1910/1930 guns in important numbers, put them into use and even produced ammunition for them. So, they could have supplied the Romanians too (before 23 August), if these had not started to produce the shells by themselves. On the other hand, it is possible than the original model, the (Schneider-)Putilov 122 mm was in used with the Romanian army even since the interbellum, after being captured from the former Imperial Russian army depots in Moldova/Bessarabia.

You like computer games, don`t you? :P
That is not the way things worked... First of all, the Romanian artillery was subjected to a „standardization” of the calibers („uniformizare” is the Romanian word) during the inter-bellic period, so that there would not be too many different sizes of ammo. The Russian captured 122 mm. guns were among those „standardized”.
Second: the German artillery supply was not enough for their artillery, let alone the allied forces. IIRC, at Stalingrad the Romanian foces had to supply themselves... (again, I am not 100% sure about that) In the „early” stages of the campaign (I mean the liberation of Bessarabia / Bukovine), the Romanian artillery was used very carefully because of the lack of ammo. Many generals complained about this.


Actually I was referring to that (see page 56): http://www.rft.forter.ro/17_bibvirt/pdf/00...-si-imagini.pdf
No less than 125 pieces remained in use with the 1st Army Corps artillery until 1939. I guess it is the same army corps with which the Russian Maxim heavy MGs (and perhaps some types of small arms too) continued to be in use during the interwar years.

As for the caliber standardization, the situation was more complex than you suggested. An issue at stake was the important quantity of ammunition which was seized by the Romanian army from the Russians (including artillery shells in the typical Russian calibers) in the final phase of WW1, AND the fact that some of the guns of Russian origin were in a good technical condition. Hence, the solution adopted was the removable re-tubing of the internal sleeve (“retubare amovibila“ in Romanian), the removable sleeves allowing both 75 and 76,2 mm shells to be fired (see pages 71-73 of the same book). All these are arguments in favor ot the fact that the Soviet M 1910/1930 122 mm howitzer could have been use (and I think was used) by the Romanian army during the war.

Nevertheless, according to the same source the 120 mm slow-firing de Bange continued to be used during WW2, in some independent heavy artillery battalions.

This post has been edited by Agarici on October 11, 2013 12:31 pm
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Florin
Posted: October 12, 2013 07:32 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ October 05, 2013 03:07 am)
...................
Re: extraordinary diversity of equipment. Should we need to remember the air forces situation: how many different types (and nationalities) were the RoAF planes?  :roll:

This was not unusual for countries that did not have their own sophisticated industry, but they were big enough to need hundreds of pieces of equipment of all kinds.
We should not forget the politics of those days: there were only few countries with strong manufacturing background, and when they agreed to sell something, they agreed for small quantities, that sometimes were not fulfilled. If countries like Romania, Finland, Yugoslavia (I guess it is true also for Hungary) will wait to fill their needs just from one exporter, they will never reach their goals of military readiness. (They did not reach it anyway, but that's another story.)

P.S: Rather suited for another topic rolling now, I am adding that today the Romanian Air Forces trend to go in the same direction, with all these transactions of 20 planes yesterday, 12 different type of planes today, x (less than 10) different type of planes tomorrow, with the only benefit of filling better some personal bank accounts.

This post has been edited by Florin on October 12, 2013 07:43 pm
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