Direct/Indirect with the MGZ series optics

Tripods, ammo cans, gunners kit, etc.
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Postby Ed S » Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:05 pm

Reichpapers wrote:
Ed S wrote:The collimator is used in indirect fire to look at the aiming stakes.


A Richtkreis 31 could also be used in place of the range stakes by utilizing mils and complicated math.



I actually set up a lafette with mgz sight and a RK31 in my yard one time to mess with the indirect fire thing. Got a few strange looks, but it does work. I didn't set up the gun or fire anything, I just set up the sights to work on the angle part. I used to teach mortar gunnery so I find the indirect fire stuff interesting.

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Postby Reichpapers » Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:23 pm

I find it facinating too, except I don’t really know what I’m doing  I tried to follow the steps in Myrvangs book, but find some parts confusing. I have everything I generally need EM34, Deckungswinkelmesser, Richtkreis 31, Ranging stakes (not really needed) and soon my MGZ34 will be back.
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Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:44 pm

I know I could figure out how to shoot indirect fire if I had all the parts you had, including a couple Aufklaren to feed me info. All it takes is a little math and some practice.
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Postby Ed S » Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:39 pm

What had me messed up for a while is knowing how the US does it for indirect fire of artillery and mortars. The german way for MG's is pretty simple.


Anyway, back to the mgz40 sight. I went to a gun show about a week ago and a guy had a ragged out mgz40 sight for $650. He has had it for a while and is hoping to score big on it, but if I recall, it is a little rusty and the optics are dirty. I don't know if it could be restored, but it may be a source for parts, if the price can be lowered (a lot). There is another show this weekend and I may go and look for this guy and his crappy sight. If I find him and it, I will pm contact info to Rotenfuhrer.

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Postby Blanksguy » Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:54 pm

Using the MGZ series optics for indirect fire of small-arms ammo requires nothing more than what we used for Mortars....or Field-Artillery in the US Army.

1: Required equipment:
A: Aiming-Circle or even an M2 Compass for direction.
B: MGZ series Optics mounted on the Lafette.
C: Collimator mounted on the head of the MGZ series Optics.
D: Map of your location....required to compute data (for direction/Azmuth) to set on Aiming-Circle/M2 Compass (RK31) and to comput data for Optics.
E: Aiming-stakes (what you may be calling ranging-stakes) for use as an aiming-point...but you can use any DAP ("Distant-Aiming-Point") that is in view from the optics that is at least 2,500 meters away.
F: Range-Tables......that book (or sheet) for the ammo that you will be firing that says what the elevation (angle of gun barrel) will be set on the Optics-elevation-scale.

2: Nice-to have-equipment/information:
A: Known range/ballistic data for the "LOT" of ammo you will be firing.
B: Corrections for elevation with this ammo.
C: Corrections for "traverse" of the gun for wind/temp., etc..
D: If the gun was "Bore-sighted" on this Lafette ?.....and if the Optics being used were bore-sighted/zeroed.......there are two methods for this......using a fold-out chart as in "Folke's" book........and/or using that DAP (over 2,500 meters away).

The RK31 (?) should have a scale of 6400 mils around it if it is set up as an aiming-circle.......it should also have "level-vials" for setting it up level....and the magnetic-compass inside of it should work (but may have a lever to lock/release it.
"Mils" are more accurate as there are 6,400 "Mils" in a circle...but only 360 degrees in a circle.

Let me know what you have....and if you are interested in learning "Indirect-Fire".
Note: This could turn into a long thread if required subjects have to be covered so that everyone knows how each piece of equipment is used, teminology, and then the "set-up"....math for computation...and that we will need some Balistic-data for 8x57mm ammunition (IE: At _____elevation of the barrel ....the bullet will travel ______meters. These are kind of like charts in their basic-form.

Regards, RichardS.
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Last edited by Blanksguy on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Reichpapers » Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:37 pm

Thanks for the info. The EM34 is the Enfernungsmesser 34...it's a sterioscopic rangefinder. I have been wanting to get a map, but was unsure of the scale I would need? Any info on the subject would be appreciated.
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Postby Ed S » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:47 am

Blanksguy wrote:Using the MGZ series optics for indirect fire of small-arms ammo requires nothing more than what we used for Mortars....or Field-Artillery in the US Army.
1: Required equipment:
A: Aiming-Circle or even an M2 Compass for direction.
B: MGZ series Optics mounted on the Lafette.
C: Collimator mounted on the head of the MGZ series Optics.
D: Map of your location....required to compute data (for direction/Azmuth) to set on Aiming-Circle/M2 Compass (EW34) and to comput data for Optics.
E: Aiming-stakes (what you may be calling ranging-stakes) for use as an aiming-point...but you can use any DAP ("Distant-Aiming-Point") that is in view from the optics that is at least 2,500 meters away.
F: Range-Tables......that book (or sheet) for the ammo that you will be firing that says what the elevation (angle of gun barrel) will be set on the Optics-elevation-scale.

2: Nice-to have-equipment/information:
A: Known range/ballistic data for the "LOT" of ammo you will be firing.
B: Corrections for elevation with this ammo.
C: Corrections for "traverse" of the gun for wind/temp., etc..
D: If the gun was "Bore-sighted" on this Lafette ?.....and if the Optics being used were bore-sighted/zeroed.......there are two methods for this......using a fold-out chart as in "Folke's" book........and/or using that DAP (over 2,500 meters away).

Your EM34 (?) should have a scale of 6400 mils around it if it is set up as an aiming-circle.......it should also have "level-vials" for setting it up level....and the magnetic-compass inside of it should work (but may have a lever to lock/release it.
"Mils" are more accurate as there are 6,400 "Mils" in a circle...but only 360 degrees in a circle.

Let me know what you have....and if you are interested in learning "Indirect-Fire".
Note: This could turn into a long thread if required subjects have to be covered so that everyone knows how each piece of equipment is used, teminology, and then the "set-up"....math for computation...and that we will need some Balistic-data for 8x57mm ammunition (IE: At _____elevation of the barrel ....the bullet will travel ______meters. These are kind of like charts in their basic-form.

Regards, RichardS.
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The method of indirect fire for MGs developed by the Germans for the MG34 is much simplier than indirect fire with mortars/artillery in that the RK31 is used only to aim the mg and not set up a deflection scale that would be used in adjusting mortars/artillery. The RK31 (or another mg sight) is sighted on the target and then set to 32, for 3200 mils. This means that the true compass direction to the target is ignored when using the mg in indirect fire, unlike in artillery. In mortars/artillery the aiming circle is used to first find north, orient the instrument to the direction of fire and then point to the mortar sight. The actual direction of fire is ignored when using the lafette and RK31 and the universal setting of 3200 is set for a direction to the target. When the RK31 is then turned to the mgz sight, the number is read and placed on the mgz sight. When aligned, the mg is now aimed in the direction of a target that it cannot directly observe. The EM34 is then used to determine range and the RK31 is used to determine any differences in elevation between the mg and target

The EM34 rangefinder does not have a 6400mil scale. It uses a unique tripod that also has no scale, so I do not see how the EM34 can be used as an aiming circle. It also has no compass. If you have one with this scale, I sure would like to see a picture of it. Please note that the RK31 does have an azimuth scale and a north seeking arrow, but when used for indirect fire with the lafette, the compass is ignored and the instrument is always indexed to 32, regarless of the true azimuth to the target. Once the Rk31 and MGz sight are aligned, the RK31 can be removed and aiming stakes put in place.

I would like to know if inderect fire was ever really used by the Germans in WWII. Indirect fire was used a lot in the static fighting of WWI, and I think the Germans carried it over to WWII simply because it was theoretically (damn thats hard to spell) possible, but probably not very practicle.

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Postby Blanksguy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:03 pm

Hi Ed S,
Thanks for the correction to that nomenclature.....I wasn't sure if it was the EW34 or RK31 and have gone back and changed my posting.

Just going back by memeory only.......I believe that they stopped teaching small-arms indirect-firing as they went into WWII. The massive amount of troops that they had to train made the services (here and in other countries) go to more simplified training....more of the basics and less of the "advanced-information".

I have seen photos of British MG units in WWII with massive amounts of web-belts thrown in front of the gun positions.......but it doesn't give much details.

As for "Indirect-Fire" using the RK31 (if it is like our M2 Aiming-Circle).....(and again...we are talking "indirect-fire" where you would not be able to use a range-finder as it would then be long-range direct-fire...correct ?).....you would still have to know your location...and a direction to the target that you can not see. A map would have to be used to determain the differences in elevation from gun to target (+ or - elevation differences).....unless you have an "on-site" forward-observer to make corrections so that the impacting bullets in the "beaten-area" at the target can be move/corrected.

Known Requirements are:
1: Location/elevation of gun position (gotta' know where you are).
2: Target location/elevation for area-fire (gotta' know where they are).
3: Distance to target (for elevation)....(gotta' know how far away they are).
4: Direction to target (gotta' know which direction from you/your gun they are).
5: Ballistic-data for ammunition to be fired. (again..figures into elevation of gun-barrel)....(gotta' know how much to raise the muzzle to hit that range to target).
6: The other stuff just makes it more accurate, easier to replicate/train troops with for future use. (and.....within limits as we are talking "area-fire" into what is called the "beaten-area").

A good compass can also be used for this....and many an 81mm Mortar has been layed with an M2 Compass.

The traverse-scale on the Lafette is not used in this type firing.......only as a "stability-aid" once the gun is layed for basic-direction within....say 100 mils of direction of fire. If I recall correctly...the Lafette-scale was only used after the gun was set up in a more permanent firing position so that the gun crew could fire on known point/targets during periods of bad visability.....such as the US Army uses "range-cards" for a lot of MGs.....and the use of "limit-poles" so that you don't shoot friendly-troops to your left/right of your position.
As far as direction....once the RK31 is set to the correct reading/azmuth-of-fire and then oriented to magnetic-North........the sight (when aimed at the MGz-series optic head on the Lafette for reading is read at 3200 mils direct opisite/reverse so that the MG would be aimed in the same direction ("back-azmuth").

"Mast" is that measurement/angle and distance to an obstruction in front of the gun....such as a hill...or building in the line-of-fire.
Regards, RichardS.
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Postby Ed S » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:57 pm

Blanksguy wrote:Hi Ed S,
Thanks for the correction to that nomenclature.....I wasn't sure if it was the EW34 or RK31 and have gone back and changed my posting.


As for "Indirect-Fire" using the RK31 (if it is like our M2 Aiming-Circle).....(and again...we are talking "indirect-fire" where you would not be able to use a range-finder as it would then be long-range direct-fire...correct ?).....you would still have to know your location...and a direction to the target that you can not see. A map would have to be used to determain the differences in elevation from gun to target (+ or - elevation differences).....unless you have an "on-site" forward-observer to make corrections so that the impacting bullets in the "beaten-area" at the target can be move/corrected.


"



"Indirect fire" for the MG34 (and I guess also the MG42) is different than indirect fire for a mortar or cannon. For the mg indirect fire, the gun cannot see the target, but the RK31 or whatever device ( another mgz or mgz40 sight could also be used) must have the target under direct observation. The RK31 is used as a defacto sight for the mg, and when moved, the RK31 is replaced with aiming stakes for a reference. With indirect artillery fire as no one sees the target except the FO and the guns must know their location on a map. Mortars and artillery use true indirect fire as you described, while what the Germans did in WWII with the mg34 is sort of a "poor mans" indirect fire in that the target was still under direct observation by another sight (RK31 for example). Distance from gun to target was determined by taking the average of three measurements with a EM34 (can you image really doing that in combat: sounds more like a SAT test question) or plotting on the map.

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Postby Blanksguy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:49 pm

Ed S,
Thanks...I understand the way the Germans were teaching their indirect-fire a little more now from what you are saying.......
....still just doesn't make a lot of sense to me........if you can "see" the target.....with my training and reasoning, it would be a direct-fire-target as the gun's optics could see it also......?? The "range-finder" (although helpful).....would only give range......but the "gunner" should be able to see some of the rounds impact and make his own corrections which would seem faster.

I fully understand the use of the "math"...........in US Artillery.....we were taught to use the two guns in the Battery that were fathest apart (known-distance) and to use the math (angles) ......diffrences in readings from their sights to figure the distance to an unknown point.

Regards, RichardS.
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Postby Ed S » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:06 pm

It's only indirect fire in the sense the mg gunner cannot see the target. It's more like firing from a defilade (sp) position.

ETA:this has to be one of the all time thread hijacks :idea:

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Postby Reichpapers » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:02 am

This topic was split from another post. The above warranted it's own post.
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Postby Reichpapers » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:37 pm

Ed S wrote:
The EM34 is then used to determine range and the RK31 is used to determine any differences in elevation between the mg and target



Do you mean the Deckunghswinkelmesser?
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Postby Ed S » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:07 pm

Reichpapers wrote:
Ed S wrote:
The EM34 is then used to determine range and the RK31 is used to determine any differences in elevation between the mg and target



Do you mean the Deckunghswinkelmesser?

The RK31 can do it also, and since it is on a tripod, it is more accurate. Please note that in my opinion this entire indirect fire thing was something created in peacetime because it could be done, and not necessarily because it was something that would be used a lot. In WWI, when defenses were static, indirect fire was more common. There is acutally a case where the British fired an estimated 1milliion rounds in a 24 hour period to prevent the Germans from moving troops into an area of terrain. I really wish I knew if indirect fire was really used in WWII or if it was just an academic excerise from the peacetime army.

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Postby TOM R » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:10 pm

[(O)]
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Postby Ed S » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:30 pm

TOM R wrote:[(O)]


Pictures of what? An Rk31? If so, I'll work on it

PS: RK31's are not hard to find, but finding the correct tripod is tough

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Postby Reichpapers » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:19 am

Here is a link to a previous thread with RK31 pics.

http://www.panzer46.net/mg42board/viewtopic.php?t=396

I am still on trhe lookout for the smaller tripod.
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Postby Ed S » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:48 am

Here are a few more pics:

You can seel in the pic a close up of the window used to determine the difference in elevations
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Postby Ed S » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:49 am

another overall pic
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