Korea was an Infantry war but the
role of artillery in helping the Infantry control
the hills and valleys and mountains etc cannot be
minimized. Over sixty arty battalions saw duty in
the Korean War, each divided into three firing
batteries: six guns per battery for the 105mm and
155mm, and four per battery with the 8-inchers.
Late in the war twelve 240mm Howitzer batteries were
added, two per battery.
Firing missions and control were
directed by Forward Observers (FOs). Some FOs
served within forward infantry units, some in
spotter aircraft. Infantry Divisions deployed
Observation Posts (OPs) for the main batteries
Including ROK and other UN
forces, over eighty arty battalions, about 400
men each, were deployed across the 155-mile MLR
by the time a Cease-fire agreement was reached.
Together, they deployed over 500 - 155mm Hows,
over 800 - 105mm Hows, 36 - 8in Hows, and finally
the 12 - 240mm brutes.
One excellent reference on the critical
role of fire mission direction is:
The Role of the Forward Observer and Artillery
during the Korean War, by Anthony J.
My records say the above photo is
of 155mm hows in battery, part of 503rd FABn.
This is sometimes challenged on the bulletin
To me, the easiest way to be sure
is to compare
photos of the two guns.
|Link to the
above thumbnails for 196FAB, 155mm, supplied
by Jim Nix.
Of course, old gunners used
technical differences to make their points.
Appended is one site visitor's response.
RE: 155mm in battery
Posted by Richard G. Vissers
Friday, June 30, 19100 at 07:36:44
I am pretty sure (the original
caption is)correct. I think it is the gun
configuration that makes it look like a 105mm.
The recent versions of the towed 155mm gun have a
much longer barrel, so that is probably why the
person thought it looked like a 105mm.
One way to tell is the breach of
the gun. All the 105mm guns used a semi-fixed
round (it has a shell casing) so they had sliding
breaches because they didn't have to form a
tight seal (the shell did that). Where with the
155mm, the round and powder is jammed into the
breach (expansion chamber) and the breach block
typically closes with a breach block that screws
in and out (That isn't the correct term...but
you get the idea). When the breach block is
screwed out it is hinged and flips away to make
room to load the round. This is what I see in the
picture so it must be a 155mm howitzer.
One item of interest, the battery
is deployed in a 'lazy w' formation. That
is the offical military term for this type of