Aiming Posts

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Kevin James
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Aiming Posts

Post by Kevin James » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:49 am

Can anyone confirm the colours of the aiming posts were please?
Some of the references I have seen show them as black and white stripes. Others have been painted red and white. The cross boards appear to be consistant as black with white numbers from 1 to 6.

Thanks for any information on this.
Kevin

Mark Heaps
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Re: Aiming Posts

Post by Mark Heaps » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:27 pm

Likely both were used and are correct. They were used to line up the guns on a firing line when they went into a position.

Any visible object could have been used.Likely after the position was set up, all but a few would have then been collected in.

Mark

Michael Cecil
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Re: Aiming Posts

Post by Michael Cecil » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:09 pm

The 'Posts, Aiming, Crosshead, No.1' was black with white numbers and arrow, with a black and white stem. I am not aware of an official red-painted variant for field artillery (maybe for mortars?).

There were two types of aiming post: with a round head or a square head, each 3 inches (round = 3 inch D, square = 3 inch sides). Both were carried on each gun, folded, on the front of the shield. Each gun in a Section used the alternate post, ie if one used the square head posts, the other used the round head posts, to avoid aiming off/re-alignment on the other gun's post while in action. The posts remained in position while a gun was in action, so the layer (No.3) could re-align the sights as the gun carriage shifted slightly in a lateral direction during fire missions. If using the number to re-align (rather than the post stem) the same number on each post was used.

There were three different Marks which varied in detail and in how the crosshead was attached. Nominal size was 26 inch cross head with an overall length of 54 inches, but I'm not sure if that was the stem length or the folded length - I think the latter. The stem had a flared head to assist with driving into hard ground, and a foot-peg/step near the bottom for pushing into softer ground.

Mike

Section = two guns
Troop = four guns (two Sections)
Battery = eight guns (two Troops)
Regiment = 24 guns (three Batteries of eight guns)

Michael Cecil
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Re: Aiming Posts

Post by Michael Cecil » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:56 pm

I think I should add a little more detail ... I said that one of each crosshead type (round or square) was carried on each gun. True for Aussie guns, which allowed for flexibility in terms of mixing guns between Sections within a Troop or a Battery.

The British Army in WW2 did it a little differently, according to the 1940 and 1944 handbooks: each gun carried two posts of the same type. In a Troop with two Sections (so four guns) lettered A to D, A and C carried the same crosshead type post, and B and D carried the other type. Hence, when a Section came into action, each gun (A and B or C and D) in the Section carried posts with a different crosshead, so no mix-up with sight re-alignment.

For Aust guns coming into action, the two Gun Sgts needed to decide which post each would use, and set up accordingly.

Clear as mud, eh?

Mike
Last edited by Michael Cecil on Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stephen White
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Re: Aiming Posts

Post by Stephen White » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:21 pm

Refreshing to have someone who knows what he's talking about on the case. Great answer Mike. Learning all the time.

Kevin James
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Re: Aiming Posts

Post by Kevin James » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:04 pm

Thank you very much for some fantastic information. Much appreciated.

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