|Please assist me in clarifying this myth that I had stumbled upon about the Soviet M46 130mm gun. According to some reports during the vietnam war the American 155 howitzer was outgunned by the soviet M46 gun? Could the M 46 as the reports claim be able to fire at US artillery with impunity from counter battery fire ????
Quoted from an article in the Marine Corps gazette :
"GEN Giap wore his poker face the day he studied the buildup of Marine forces along the DMZ. A master of Soviet tactics, he decided to call and raise. He positioned his heavy artillery pieces just beyond the range of the most common guns in the Marine Corps’ fire bases, the 105mm and 155mm artillery.
He knew publicly stated U.S. policy prevented American forces from entering North Vietnam. The Marines would not penetrate north of the Ben Hai River.
Holding these political and military restrictions like a trump card, the general dug in his Soviet 152mm guns and his 130mm field pieces precisely where U.S. ground observation was limited. He employed Soviet missiles and antiaircraft weapons systems to hinder aerial observation. He felt confident that his most powerful guns were now capable of suppressing Marine artillery fire with near impunity.
When U.S. air reconnaissance spotted the NVA shifting some 130 artillery pieces in the area north of the Ben Hai River, the Marines rushed to reinforce their artillery deployment to 180 tubes.
Nevertheless, Giap’s strategy clobbered the Marine artillery bases with little effective return fire. Then, while holding the Marine fire bases fixated on counterbattery missions, particularly at Camp Carroll, the general released his infantry to the attack. "
And a further excerpt from an article about Gerald Bull, even the US navy needed help :
" If you had a problem w/ your artillery, he was the man to call.
During the Second Indo-China War he again used the sabot,
this time to increase the range of the U.S. Navy's 5 in. guns.
They had been getting out distanced by the new Soviet 130mm
artillery pieces being deployed by the N. Vietnamese."
Could anyone confirm those facts, I do recall seeing an advertisement in the 80s from Fabrique National, that they produce 130 mm shells for the M46 that go up to 39 Km!!!, but the american howiters range at that time was only about 27 km.
If so, what is so special about the M46 gun that without base bleed or rocket assisted shells it could have such phenomenal range?? I know it has a flatter tragectory, and am not sure if its considered a field gun or a howitzer, as the M46 is said to be able to provide direct fire? But strangely there has been no more development for this gun????? and now most users are using the new generation 155s or 152s.