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(55,894 posts)
7. I apologize if I got my previous recollection wrong. But here is Happyslug-
Tue Aug 27, 2013, 10:37 AM
Aug 2013

No trained Artillery would fire such a round

Last edited Mon Aug 26, 2013, 01:09 AM USA/ET - Edit history (1)

We go by what is marked on the shell to determine HOW to fire that Shell. When I was in, we were still using mechanical "computers" for our calculations (Computers were coming in as I left the field Artillery) but those mechanical Computers were dependent in knowing what you were firing (as are the computers being used today).

Furthermore, Chemical rounds, tend to be "Liquid", much like White Phosphorus (Which I did fire and handled). We had to be careful when hauling White Phosphorus, for it was liquid and thus had to be stored standing up. If you laid it down like a high Explosive round, the liquid would flow to one side and unbalance the round. The biggest problem would be the people firing the round could not know where the round would land and thus would NOT fire it. Could it be fired? Yes, but given no one would know where it would land, not worth firing.

Sorry, no one would fire a repainted round. Furthermore, given the special handling such liquid rounds require, it would be almost impossible NOT to know what you are firing.


ou can tell, for each batch has been known to be different

We like to say we have top notch quality control, but it is known that each BATCH of ammunition made can have different firing characteristics. Thus if you have to go from one batch to another batch, new firing tables come with the new batch. If re-painted that hides the lot number for the batch and thus, unless, disparate, artillerymen will not fire the repainted shells.

You also seem to miss the second reason I gave, such shells have to be handle differently then High Explosive shells. Chemical Shells, like White Phosphorus shells, must be stored and transported standing up, not on their side like High Explosive Shells. That difference in handling is the main reason such shells are marked as they are. Remember if these shells are mishandled, i,e, Chemical Shells handled like it was an High Explosive shell, the shell will no longer be balanced, instead would be heavy to one side. That difference is weight would make it impossible to fire such shells AND KNOW WHERE THEY WILL LAND. Some will be short, i.e. land on your own troops.

Sorry, one of the reason such shells are MARKED, is because any shell with Liquid inside (even if a semi solid liquid in White Phosphorus or chemical Shells) require special handling. Due to the need for such handling for the shell to be useful, you paint the whole shell an different color to make sure Fatigued soldiers quickly see that it is a different shell then what they had been firing.

P.S. Shells are color coded in addition to what they are marked. Thus you would have to repaint the whole shell AND then re label the round to make a Chemical round look like a High Explosive Round. That is just plan dangerous given shells are used in indirect fire missions most of the time (i.e. a fire mission is called in, and fire is given to the area where it is requested for). It is rare to have a direct fire opportunity in today's combat environment.

The Soviet Army seems to have a greater emphasis on direct fire opportunities then we in the west (this is probably due to that Russia is a huge FLAT terrain and thus such direct fire opportunity occurs more often then in the rolling hills and mountains of Central and Western Europe) but even is such situations, most artillerymen will want to use only one type of ammunition if at all possible. Mixing between batches will shift the impact area, let alone differences between type of shells being used.

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