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(1) Field Artillery, (2) Coast Artillery, (3) Air Defense Artillery. These represent somewhat different lines of evolution, although the first two have ceased to exist as completely independent arms, and the third never did so exist.
FIELD ARTILLERY. The Field Artillery has two principal missions in combat. First, it supports the other arms by fire, neutralizing or destroying those targets which are most dangerous to them. Second, it gives depth to combat and isolates the battlefield by counterfire, by fire on hostile reserves, by restricting movement in the rear areas, and by disrupting hostile command facilities and other installations. These missions are accomplished by artillery mortars, conventional cannon, free rockets, and guided missiles.
In World War I, each infantry division had a field artillery brigade composed of two 75mm gun regiments, a 155mm howitzer regiment, and a 6-inch trench mortar battery. The batteries, other than mortar, each contained four pieces. Thus the division had 48 light guns, 24 medium howitzers, and 12 trench mortars. The French supplied the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) with 3,834 field pieces and trench mortars. Only 24 of the cannon used in action by the AEF were of American manufacture.
In the interwar period there was extensive experimentation with self-propelled mounts, motorization, and improved fire direction techniques. By 1937, 61 of the Army's 100 batteries were motorized.
On 1 October 1940, nine Regular Army infantry divisions were reorganized as triangular divisions. Field artillery regiments were broken up into separate battalions, the first battalion assuming the name and honors of the regiment. The new infantry division had three 105mm howitzer battalions (36 howitzers) and one 155mm howitzer battalion (12 howitzers). The armored divisions had three self-propelled 105mm howitzer battalions (six gun batteries) (54 howitzers'. Field artillery replacements were trained at Fort Bragg, Fort Sill, and Camp Roberts. In 1942, two light
aircraft were authorized each field artillery battalion. By 31 March 1945, 89 divisions had been activated, requiring 339 light and medium artillery battalions. There were also 326 nondivisional battalions of field artillery, of which 137 were heavy, 113 medium, and 76 light.
In 1947 all light and medium batteries were increased from four to six pieces. The armored division gained a medium battalion (155mm howitzer). A third lettered battery was added to each observation battalion. Platoon sergeants were each redesignated as chief of firing battery. Airborne division artilleries were equipped with 105mm howitzers to replace their 75mm pack howitzers.
On 18 March 1954, the field artillery era of rockets and missiles began with the first troop unit firing of a Corporal guided missile by the 246th Field Artillery Missile Battalion at Fort Bliss. On 22 June 1954, an Honest John rocket was fired at Fort Sill by the 7th Field Artillery Battery. At Frenchman Flats, Nevada, a historic event occurred on 25 May 1953, when the first atomic projectile was fired by a 280mm gun of Battery "A," 867th Field Artillery Battalion. On 15 April 1956, the 217th Field Artillery Missile Battalion (Redstone) was activated at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
As the artillery transition from guns to missiles progressed, the Field Artillery Missile Training Command activated at Fort Sill on 1 July 1957 to train missile specialists. These trooptrained specialists supplement the missile technicians trained by the U. S. Army Artillery and Missile School. The Lacrosse and Sergeant guided missiles will soon join our arsenal of weapons.
During 1957 all infantry and airborne divisions of the Active Army were reorganized under the pentomic concept. The pentomic infantry division (ROCID) has one 105mm howitzer battalion of five firing batteries ("A" through "E") (30 howitzers), plus a composite battalion consisting of two 155mm howitzer batteries (“A” and “B”) (12 howitzers), an 8-inch howitzer battery (“C”) (4 howitzers), and an Honest John 762
2 The Ist Cavalry Division, Dismounted, and the airbome divisions had different quotas of artillery.
mm rocket battery (“D”) (2 launchers). Each of the five infantry battle groups has an organic artillery mortar battery (8 mortars each).
The Artillery accepts with pride its multiple missions, as the primary supporting arm to the Infantry and Armor and the force that controls the airspace above the battlefield.
COAST ARTILLERY. In the pre-airplane era, a strong naval force might inflict severe damage on an enemy's seacoast cities and ports by naval bombardment, or might cover the landing of troops, unless deterred by coast defense installations. Accordingly, from an early period in our history we began to develop fortifications at our major ports, naval yards, and other key coastal locations. By the early twentieth century we had created a system of powerful coast defenses, based on large-caliber barbette and disappearing guns, mortars, minefields, and supplementary installations.
After the Coast Artillery Corps was created as a separate branch, its missions were to provide protection, in conjunction with the Navy and (later) with the Air Force, to elements of the fleet while at, entering, or departing from their bases; to support the combined arms in beach defense, and in field operations while acting as army or theater reserve artillery; and to defeat naval and air attacks against harbor defenses, cities, and other important installations. In World War I, because of its long experience in firing at moving targets, it was assigned the mission of developing the Antiaircraft Service.
With the growth of air power the relative importance of fixed coast defenses based on heavy guns decreased. Due to this, and also to the larger calibers of mobile artillery which came into use by troops in the field, the distinction between "field" and "coast" artillery progressively lost significance. The merger of the two, in 1950, into a single artillery arm, including air defense artillery, was the logical result.
AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY. The date 10 October 1957 marked the fortieth anniversary of our air defense artillery. In that interval its armament evolved from crude field pieces to supersonic and deadly accurate artillery missiles.
Equipped with the best tested air defense weapons in the world, today's missilemen are trained and combat-ready in case of an attack.
The mission of air defense artillery (formerly called "antiaircraft artillery'), stated briefly, is to deny penetration from the air; and to this end, to detect, attack, and destroy. This applies not only to the protection of cities and fixed installations, but to the defense of our ground forces on the battlefield. Moreover, in an era of guided missiles and nuclear explosives, partial destruction or attrition is not enough. All airborne objects, whether or not piloted, must be destroyed as hostile unless they are positively identified as friendly.
During World War I the Antiaircraft Service was equipped with light artillery, machineguns, and searchlights. AAA gun battalions organized for duty at the front had 4 firing batteries of two 75mm guns each, plus a headquarters and service battery. AAA machinegun battalions were motorized, were equipped with Hotchkiss machineguns, and were organized into 4 batteries with 12 guns per battery. Before the armistice, 7 such battalions reached France and 3 saw service at the front.
Interwar developments included improved methods of fire direction, and the introduction of the 90mm gun and the 40mm automatic weapon for use against high-flying and low-flying aircraft respectively. Data computers advanced from the mechanical to the electronic stage of development. When target tracking by radar was added in 1941, fire direction for AAA gun batteries achieved an outstanding level of accuracy.
Air defense artillery units played a vital part in World War II. They participated in the landings on the coast of North Africa and in the invasion of Europe. They helped to secure and protect the otherwise untenable beachheads at Salerno, Anzio, and Omaha Beach, and at a later date the vital Allied supply area at Antwerp. At Remagen they assisted in holding the bridgehead gained by surprise east of the Rhine. Equally important was their role on the other side of the world. They were among the first units to be shipped to the Pacific theater, less than three
months after Pearl Harbor. Antiaircraft defense was essential, and was provided at every base and major airfield and in connection with every major landing. At its war peak, in 1943, air defense artillery included 368 battalions and 77 separate batteries, and had a strength of 431,000.
In the initial stages of combat in Korea all air defense artillery functioned as ground support. Later it was divided into ground support and air defense categories. It performed outstanding services during our advance north and subsequent withdrawal, and in the establishment of the antiaircraft defenses of Korea.
The period since 1950 has seen revolutionary advances in air defense artillery. The present U. S. Army Air Defense Command (USARADCOM) (so designated in 1957; formerly called the "Antiaircraft Command")
established in July 1950. At first its units used the conventional guns of World War II with improved fire direction systems. Later they were issued the
75mm Skysweeper gun, a fully automatic weapon effective against low altitude targets.
The Nike-Ajax surface-to-air missile, whose development had been initiated in 1946, was first fired by a troop unit on 28 October 1953. Nike-Ajax is now being superseded by the much more efficient Nike-Hercules, which will be supplemented by the Hawk missile for use against low-altitude planes or other aerial objects. Nike-Zeus, a third member of the Nike family, is under development.
A career in air defense artillery offers an inspiring challenge to enlisted men and young officers of the Army who possess the necessary high qualifications. Those who are able to meet the challenge reap the reward of deep personal satisfaction gained from the performance of a vital and essential duty.
For details on USARADCOM and continental defense generally, see chapter 3. For full data on present-day Army artillery, small arms, and missiles, see chapter 9.
CHIEFS OF BRANCH. The following served as Chiefs of Artillery, Coast Artillery, or Field Artillery, in the periods when those offices existed
Chiefs of Artillery 27 Feb 1903—22 Jan 1904
.Brig. Gen. Wallace F. Randolph 22 Jan 1904—19 Jun 1905
.Brig. Gen. John P. Story 20 Jun 1905—30 Sep 1906
..Brig. Gen. Samuel M. Mills 1 Oct 1906-30 Jun 1908
..Brig. Gen. Arthur Murray
Chiefs of Coast Artillery 1 Jul 1908–14 Mar 1911
.Brig. Gen. Arthur Murray 15 Mar 1911-23 May 1918
.Maj. Gen. Erasmus M. Weaver 24 May 1918-19 Mar 1926
.Maj. Gen. Frank W. Coe 20 Mar 1926 21 Mar 1930
.Maj. Gen. Andrew Hero, Jr. 22 Mar 1930 21 Mar 1934
.Maj. Gen. John W. Gulick 26 Mar 1934—20 Jan 1935
.Maj. Gen. William F. Hase 21 Jan 1935—31 Mar 1936
.Maj. Gen. Harry L. Steele 1 Apr 1936–31 Mar 1940
.Maj. Gen. Archibald H. Sunderland 1 Apr 1940—9 Mar 1942
.Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Green
Chiefs of Field Artillery 1 Jul 1920–19 Dec 1927
.Maj. Gen. William J. Snow 20 Dec 1927-15 Feb 1930
.Maj. Gen. Fred T. Austin 10 Mar 1930_9 Mar 1934
..Maj. Gen. Harry G. Bishop 26 Mar 1934 -25 Mar 1938
.Maj. Gen. Upton Birnie, Jr. 26 Mar 1938–9 Mar 1942
.Maj. Gen. Robert M. Danford
Armor is the newest of the combat arms, dating from World War I.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. The modern tank was developed by Great Britain. Its first appearance in action was on 15 September 1916, in the Battle of the Somme, when the British committed 49 of these "secret weapons," divided into small groups, on a broad front. Because of mechanical failures
only 9 of them fulfilled their missions. Nevertheless it was apparent that they had imparted impetus to the attack, and all the major powers began building them. On 29 November 1917 the British used 378 tanks in their attack on Cambrai, deployed on a seven-mile front and followed by six infantry divisions. In twelve hours a penetration nearly six miles deep had been made,
and 7,500 prisoners and 120 guns captured.
The American Tank Corps created on 26 January 1918 as a separate arm. Under the command of its Chief, Brig. Gen. S. D. Rockenbach, it entered its first engagement on 12 September 1918 in the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient. Objectives were seized and the salient reduced in 36 hours.
By the end of the war, armor had been used by the Americans, British, French, and Germans in a total of 91 engagements. However, in spite of this and the dramatic example of Cambrai, the potentialities of armor were not fully appreciated. Tanks were capable of breaking the agonizing stalemate that had been created by the machinegun in combination with elaborate field fortifications and barbed wire, and of restoring mobility to the battlefield. But they were too new, and their technical imperfections were too great, to permit more than limited application. Most tacticians of the time assumed that tanks would always play a secondary role, operating in support of infantry to reduce strong points and centers of resistance. Our National Defense Act of 1920 assigned the Tank Corps to the Chief of Infantry. Its remnant was broken up into separate companies and assigned on the basis of one company per infantry division; a few other units were formed into infantry-tank regiments.
Meantime, however, a gap was developing in American military doctrine. According to that doctrine the branch of the Army which provided a swift maneuvering element, and which could exploit a victory by shock power, was the (horsed) cavalry. But in the light of World War I and its lessons it was beginning to be realized that cavalry could no longer fill this role. Certain far-sighted officers believed that armor was destined to take its place. The decade 1930-40 marked by the gradual victory of this concept over the alternative view that tanks were mere auxiliaries to infantry.
In 1930 the first elements of what was to become the Army's mechanized force
were assembled at Fort Eustis, Virginia, under the command of Colonel Daniel Van Voorhis. This 1930 experiment, although valuable in later years, was discontinued by the War Department, and the various arms and services were directed to carry on their own experiments in mechanization. In 1933 the mechanized cavalry was formed under the Chief of Cavalry, Maj. Gen. Guy V. Henry. The 1st Cavalry Regiment was sent to Camp Knox (Ky.), mechanized, and combined with the nucleus of the Fort Eustis forces. Later, artillery support was added; another cavalry regiment, the 13th, was mechanized; and these units were combined to form the 2d Cavalry Brigade.
The pioneers at Fort Knox evolved a new and daring concept. They visualized a mechanized force executing missions based on speed, firepower, shock action, and a large operating radius; exploiting a breakthrough, seizing distant key points, and making wide flanking maneuvers to strike an enemy in his rear areas. This force would have, organic to it, all the supporting arms and services needed in modern warfare-infantry, artillery, air, signal, engineer, and so on; a team of combined arms, able to operate deep in enemy territory.
Following field maneuvers in Georgia and Louisiana, during which all available armored equipment and units were assembled, the Armored Force was born on 10 July 1940. It was formed from elements of cavalry, infantry, and artillery and consisted of 242 officers and 7,015 enlisted men, with 393 light tanks. Brigadier General Adna R. Chaffee was designated as the first Chief of the Armored Force. Meantime the 1939 German campaign in Poland had shown beyond dispute what armor could do when properly handled.
Before the end of 1941 the Armored Force contained five armored divisions. In the following months more activated. In July of 1943 the title of the Armored Force was changed to Armored Command. In October the II, III and IV Armored Corps were removed from the jurisdiction of that
8 However, the reduction of the sallent was not primarily due to the presence of armor but to the great American infantry and artillery superiority and to the fact that the enemy made little resistance.
command and redesignated respectively the XVIII, XIX and XX Corps, with two or more armored divisions in each. This resulted in the reduction of the Armored Force from its position as a semiindependent force of sixteen powerful armored divisions, and placed it in the normal command channel under the Commanding General of Army Ground Forces. In February 1944, in furtherance of the same policy, the Armored Command was redesignated the Armored Center.
By the end of World War II, armor was recognized as one of the major combat arms. On all fronts our tank battalions, working with the infantry, proved that they could ably support its advance and actively assist in defensive situations. In the European Theater, armor employed in mass proved to be the most effective weapon with which to exploit successes. On 20 July 1950
act of Congress established the Armor branch. Thereby armor into official being, combining all the esprit, tradition, and background of the historic cavalry arm, the Tank Corps of World War I, and the Armored Force of World War II. Cavalry as a separate arm ceased to exist, and the light armored units which had been known as “mechanized cavalry" were incorporated into the new Armor branch.
ARMOR TODAY. The term "armor" does not refer to tanks alone, but includes the contingents of other arms and services which operate with it. A large armor unit thus constituted, and supported by tactical air, is the most powerful ground striking force in the world today. It can live and fight on the atomic battlefield. It has the organization, equipment, and firepower needed to close with and destroy the enemy. It can cover wide fronts and deep zones of action in dispersed formations, and concentrate rapidly at need. The following capabilities are inherent in armor
(1) The ability to maneuver, control, and direct tremendous firepower on the battlefield. This ability, in conjunction with the staying power of armor units, permits maximum exploitation of success.
(2) The ability to move rapidly from one area to another and interpose it
self decisively at a critical point, thus applying the principles of surprise, maneuver, and the offensive.
(3) The ability to disperse quickly in order to minimize the effects of enemy atomic weapons, and to concentrate rapidly to take advantage of the effects of friendly atomic weapons.
It is difficult to visualize a major war in the foreseeable future with an enemy who will not have powerful armor. The hostile armor must be defeated, and the supremacy of our own on the battlefield must be gained, before complete victory can be insured. This will be the task of our armored divisions and corps, supported by organic atomic firepower and fighter aircraft.
In addition to these major armored units, there are tanks which are organic to or attached to infantry, and which provide support in all types of operations. They will often be given infantry support and used on independent or semi-independent missions. The tanks operating with infantry units are employed to—
(1) Destroy hostile armor.
(2) Add strength to the attack and counterattack through its firepower, mobility, and shock effect.
(3) Assist in exploiting successes in the attack.
TACTICS OF ARMOR. Successful armor actions are based on rapid but thorough estimates and deliberate planning, followed by bold and violent execution. Armor commanders are normally issued mission-type orders which tell them what to do, not how to do it. These orders include the commander's concept in as much detail as is feasible, but give maximum latitude to subordinate commanders with minimum restraint, which allows them to take immediate advantage of changing local conditions.
Armor units are assigned to all major Army commands. A modern corps, for example, may consist of two or more infantry divisions, one or more armored divisions and an armored cavalry regiment, plus an armor group (composed of two or more seperate tank or armored infantry battalions). In addition, each of the infantry divisions has an armor battalion and an armored cavalry squad
Although especially suitable for of