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Subject: 155mm and 152mm
Yimmy    10/10/2004 2:25:47 PM
Could someone enlighten me as to why Western Armies adopted the 155mm caliber weapons? Throughout WWI and WWII 152mm (6 inch) was used by everyone, from navies to armies. Whereas the East kept this size, why did NATO feel the need to move up 3mm's? Also, why does the 152mm weapon have the reputation (as far as I know), of shooting the larger shells, do they have longer cases or something??
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neutralizer    RE:155mm and 152mm   10/11/2004 7:18:22 AM
The USSR adopted 152mm, probably because the Brits had transferred numbers of 6-in How to the old regime in WW1. The US in WW1 generally adopted things French (apart from 8-inch), and the French used 155mm for both guns (eg GPF) and Hows. It became the US standard (although pre-WW2 there was also a UK/US agreement on 4.5-in guns) and the rest is history. Note in WW2 GE used 15-cm and Italy tended to 149-mm. There's no reason why any particular calibre in the 150-mm class should be significantly different in terms or range, etc, to any other. It's a matter of choice, or more properly requirements that drive the various trade-offs that have to be made in any equipment design. People often forget that there is no such thing as an equipment that is inherently better that another of the same type. This is because technical features are only part of the equation. The priority given to differnt features is a result of military doctrine. For artillery this is very simple. Since WW1 western doctrine has emphasised firepower mobility, ie the ability (itself mainly a product of the fire control system) to concentrate fire from many batteries spread over a wide area. Assuming the fire control systems can cope with fire across formation boundaries this obviously makes range quite important. The USSR followed a different doctrine, lots of guns moved to wherever their fire was needed. This makes range less important, move the guns not the firepower. In fact the Russians also retained the distinction between guns and howitzers long after the west had adopted a multi-role piece. Guns traditionally have longer range compared to comparitively short range howitzers.
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Yimmy    RE:155mm and 152mm   10/11/2004 7:42:52 AM
So, Western nations adopted the 155mm weapon due to America forcing it on them in NATO??
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french stratege    RE:155mm and 152mm   10/11/2004 7:47:51 AM
As US was the main supplier of weapon in the fifties after WW2, it pushed for standardization. After WW2, apart US, only French and British have still strong armies in NATO, so as US and French used 155 mm caliber it was logical that others followed.
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neutralizer    RE:155mm and 152mm   10/12/2004 4:36:28 AM
I don't think it's true that the US pushed for standardisation, NATO wanted standardisation for all the obvious reasons. The choice was limited, 155-mm or 5.5-inch, and the former was in wider use.
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