“Horse, Foot, and Guns.” This is about the “guns” part.


The above title is an old shorthand for the essence of Ground Power. Artillery is all the (guns above 105 mm as well as missiles, and rockets) that support with fire maneuver units (armor and infantry) in combat.

In American doctrine, artillery units and their weapons are rarely attached solely to any particular maneuver unit. The artillery is instead considered a pool from which fires can ban be assembled for a particular fire strike. To that end, the relationship of each artillery unit to a particular maneuver unit is described as “Direct support,” “general support,” “general support reinforcing,” and “reinforcing.” These taskings reflect the priority of support accorded to particular maneuver units.

At some senior level in the field there exists a thing called a “Fire Support Coordination Center” (FSTC) where the reins of all these artillery units come together and where fires can be massed against individual target sets perhaps in what is called a “Time on Target.” It should be intuitively obvious that the longer the ranges of the weapons, the more fires can be massed from any set of positions.

Hey! With this system you can fire in one direction and then the FSTC can switch the fires to a completely different direction. Once again, it should be obvious that this is very applicable to the situation in Ukraine.

C’mon Joe, give’em ATACMS. pl

Comments: BTW what Putin actually said was “For those who threaten us with nuclear weapons, we might retaliate if they use them.” pl

MGM-140 ATACMS – Wikipedia

MRSI animation SMIL (wikimedia.org)

fire support coordination center (US DoD Definition) (militaryfactory.com)

Time on target – Wikipedia

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9 Responses to “Horse, Foot, and Guns.” This is about the “guns” part.

  1. mcohen says:

    Russia should consider leaving Syria and Africa.That way there would be less pressure in ukr.

  2. ambercat says:

    Russia is supporting Christians and other religious minorities in Syria. They should stay there to help.
    Ukraine, they should leave.
    No more brother wars.

  3. Leith says:

    Ukrainian artillery, both gun tube and rocket, are using the Ukrainian developed system GIS ArtA that outshines our FSCC. No Western artillery coordination system is as capable, or so they arguably claim. GIS ArtA is shorthand for ‘Geospatial Infromation System Art Artillery’. It is an “app that takes target information from drones, US and NATO intelligence feeds and conventional forward observers, and converts the information to precise coordinates for artillery.” And now Bayraktar and SU-25 pilots are using it to zero in on targets. Plus any Territorial Defense Force platoon with a cell phone can be tipped to nearby targets for their ATGMs and/or mortars.

    One of its best features I believe is that it allows a TOT from multiple directions by several dispersed single guns instead of by a gun battery or battalion in formation.

    Neat system and homegrown. An early off the cuff system was used back in 2015 after (or perhaps before?) the Debaltseve disaster when they lost many 122mm guns in the kettle. It became more formal and improved starting in 2017 under a league of Ukrainian Defense companies. It’s software is vaguely similar to that of Uber or Lyft, in that it assigns targets to the nearest gun, mortar, rocket launcher, drone or aircraft. It became extremely efficient after Ukraine received Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals.

    Hat tip to Trent Telenko, can no longer find his original links but here is a republished grouping:

    And more from the Moloch:

    By the way regarding ATACMS – there is some speculation by OSINT artillery analyst Tom Theiner that the Saki Airfield attack was done by ATACMS despite the claim by Ukrainian officials that “a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used.” But for me I still suspect it was a Ukrainian Special Forces operation.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      A post today which carries on about artillery, by a Ru blogger. I know little about the subject. Apologies in advance if it irrelevant or inaccurate.

      —————— Continues at link.
      If we study the structure of the latest Western military-technical assistance packages for Ukraine a little more carefully than official commentators do, we can notice a number of very interesting details. For example, in the latest declared US delivery, you can see 36,000 105-mm artillery shells and 1,000 high-precision 155-mm shells. What is remarkable about this information? Firstly, there is a shift in emphasis in the equipment of Ukrainian field artillery: it is gradually switching to the use of 105-mm L118 and L119 guns. This is not an accident – the howitzers of these models are designed for conducting intense artillery fire. This is determined both by their design features and the relatively low cost of ammunition, and the technical characteristics of these guns, combined with mobility, are more than enough to provide direct fire support for troops. Secondly, it is obvious that heavy 155-mm artillery is switching to the use of predominantly precision-guided munitions. The meaning of this process is not so much in increasing the effectiveness of its fire work, but in the multiplier effect of guided weapons. The countries helping Ukraine cannot provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with enough howitzers to create quantitative parity in artillery systems, but, frankly, there is no need for this. In the 80s of the last century, analysts of the Military Economic Directorate of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the USSR calculated that 1 weapon system using precision-guided munitions, on average, replaces up to 70 (!!!) so-called. traditional systems. “A wide range of innovations in Western technology makes it possible to increase the strike potential of conventional weapons at least tenfold …” – Marshal N.V. Ogarkov, Chief of the General Staff of the USSR in 1977-84 The combination of facts about the combined supply of artillery ammunition clearly traces the theoretical developments of the American armed forces used at the end of the Cold War in the formation of the “Early Victory Strategy” and the “AirLand Battle” doctrine. In short, the emphasis is on the widest possible use of the most technologically advanced weapons against the most dangerous targets. After the defeat of these targets, the priority of fire work passes to the use of traditional weapons and ammunition. In the situation of the current

      • TTG says:


        This is both relevant and accurate. I also noticed the inclusion of 105mm artillery shells in the latest list of support. I think the lightweight 105 guns are an excellent addition to the Ukrainian forces. They can be easily and quickly moved with light vehicles like commercial SUVs. They have a high rate of fire and can be put in and out of action quickly. They far outrange the 120 and 81 mortars. Logistically, they are easier to support than the larger guns and missile systems. Hopefully they are upgraded models or soon to be upgraded with GPS and computerized fire control systems. Coupled with the ever widening use of drones to spot and adjust artillery, these 105s could fill the gap between the limited HIMARS and M777s available and the near unlimited targets identified by the drones.

      • Leith says:

        I agree with that Marshal Ogarkov statement that F&L mentioned: A wide range of innovations in Western technology makes it possible to increase the strike potential of conventional weapons at least tenfold …”

        But I find it hard to agree with the beancounter calculation that one weapon system using precision-guided munitions, on average, replaces up to 70 (!!!) traditional systems. The current situation in Ukraine might prove them right, but that could perhaps be tainted by the archaic logistics system that uses unpalletized muscle power to resupply ammunition to Russian artillery batteries. Against an army that has a 21st century system of sending ammunition to the front that 1-to-70 figure would be toast IMHO.

        Regarding the L118s and L119s, how many are they getting? I’ve seen figures of 36 from the UK and 16 from the US. Are their more. If not 54 guns total is only about nine batteries or three battalions, about what is (or was in my day) used for direct support of an infantry division. And those are old systems, the L118 is well over 40 years old, so I hope they got some that have been upgraded with new gun tubes.

        The L118 can be towed by a Land Rover instead of a 5-ton truck, I assume the L119 can also. Plus they can be hele-lifted by UH-60 or CH-46. I’m a big fan of towed artillery because their light weight makes both battlefield mobility and strategic transportability easier. Plus a towed gun is not put out of service by an engine breakdown of the prime mover like a self-propelled gun.

        My uncle who served in the South Pacific during WW2 loved the old 75mm Pack Howitzer. He said they did not have mules, but it could be towed by a jeep. And he said they experimented with mounting them in the bed of half-tracks and ¾-ton ammo carriers. We should develop a modern equivalent and put it in the bed of a pick-up. You could probably do it with half the weight and improve the accuracy by an order of magnitude even without GPS.

  4. Fourth and Long says:

    It’s a Hi Bridget war. Job Eyed In said he wants India, Germany, Japan and probably something elzes on the You When? Seek Curity Councill or whatever ever that body presently numbering 5 countries is called.

    On the 22nd of a month in 2022. Excuse me for peaking in the ducts officer, I thought it was a tv set. Oops, a spell-ding mustache.

    Job was old. He lost his children, his wife .. so many thing. He was blameless and upright and .. oh sorry again that was long ago in the land of Urdu, er, solly again Uzmatuzz.
    Oh, I’m sorry. You guys are the intelligence crew.

    Cense or nonsense?

    Joddipurr the big bad puddy tat felt sorry for Job and used whirlwinds, fake friends, bad advice and horses and sea creatures to get him his revenge? Good thing I’m not a bee leaver.

  5. realpolitik says:

    Some months ago when there was much hand-wringing over the superiority of Russian weapons systems, I commented this would make a first (nuclear) strike a reasonable option for the US. Col. Lang replied that the US leadership lacked “cohones.” We are now at that point. If the US folds, its control of the periphery folds with it.

  6. cobo says:

    The next generation of NATO trainers will be Ukrainians. Perhaps the next generation of NATO leaders will be Eastern Europeans. No lack of cojones there.

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