Firepower Vs The Pillbox


A great video today. Filmed at Aberdeen proving grounds during WW2. The film demonstrates the best artillery for knocking out concert reinforced pill boxes. They start small and work there way up to the big stuff. Before I watched the film I knew what the most effective would be.

In several first hand accounts from the war company commanders talk about the trouble of forcing their way through the Siegfried line. The pill boxes the troops went up against were apparently a lot better than the ones made up at Aberdeen for this test. Captain Dawson of the 1st Infantry Division tells of how one morning before their scheduled assault a 155MM self propelled gun rolled up. They leveled the tube and bore sited in on the first pill box. Fired a 155mm round into the first bunkers and said it was taken out. The pill boxes erupted into a cloud of smoke but otherwise looked unharmed. Captain Dawson expressed let down that it wasn’t destroyed but the 155 crew said the men inside would be dead or concussed so bad it wouldn’t matter. After moving down among them,that was indeed the case. Dawson called the results from the 155 “spectacular and satisfying.”

The SP 155mm became the US Army’s do it all battering ram by the time they entered Germany. “nothing inspires mass exodus faster than a 155mm through the kitchen window”. Using it in cities to demolish all built up urban positions and to smash entire buildings German troops held up in. One German commander in Aachen calling the 155 inhumane and saying it should be against the laws of warfare.


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